Have you ever attended a course that made you believe that ‘You’ could become a hero? That ‘You’ could truly make a difference in the world? Well, I can say now, that I have. ‘Heroes’ an interactive workshop presented by NYM Ink took place on March 10, 2012 in Vancouver. Its aim was to delve into our history to uncover the gems of inspiration from those Muslims heroes of the past.
This course was very unique as we not only learned about the brave and honorable men from our history, but we also learned about the strong Muslim women who helped shape Islamic society. Discussing these great Muslimah’s really helped to fill the Sisters with motivation and provided role models that we can strive to emulate. The course helped convey the message that the quality of heroism and working towards the betterment of our Deen is not a characteristic that is limited to any one gender, rather as Muslims we should all be striving to develop these characteristics within ourselves. The course was full of laughter, some tearful emotional moments, and most of all stories that can fill our hearts with inspiration and the desire to do something great!
For part of the course, Brothers and Sisters separated into two sections and local Brothers and Sisters gave presentations on topics relevant to each respective gender. On the Sisters’ side, the presentation topics touched upon contemporary issues that are often overlooked, yet are issues that sisters face on an everyday basis. For example, very rarely have I attended a course where subjects such as, “The Attack of Feminism on the Female Muslim Psyche”, and “The Devaluation of Traditional Gender Roles” have ever been explored so deeply in a classroom setting. The topics were unique in nature as the sisters were asked to critically analyze the true meaning of feminism and question whether they would rather be classified as a “feminist” or as a “Muslimah” and the implications of each title. Another distinct topic called for sisters to ponder deeply on what it means to be a “student of knowledge”, how our pious predecessors used to approach valuable ‘Ilm or knowledge, and how they incorporated it into their lifestyles.
As one of the presenters, I found this to be an excellent learning opportunity and a chance to practice leadership skills. I was very impressed by the Sisters’ willingness and enthusiasm to participate during the breakout sessions and the level of thought and contemplation they put into their answers. It was also very positive to see how the course facilitated Sisters of all ages, educational, and social backgrounds, to work together in groups and share their thoughts on these very relevant topics.
The Heroes Course contained many stories and examples of individuals from our past who served as excellent role models for us today. Towards the end, the theme of the workshop emerged in a beautiful way: Each and every one of us can be a hero in Islam, as long as we strive and work hard to implement our Deen, work towards pleasing Allah (SWT), and to better our religion. We need to begin with a sincere, intention to please Allah (SWT) in our hearts. Then we need to take that one courageous step to improve ourselves as Muslims and dedicate ourselves to bettering the Ummah. I feel very blessed to have taken part in and attended such an inspirational, knowledge filled, and thought provoking workshop. I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is proactive and willing to work towards implementing the change they dream to see in the world.[nggallery id=12]