As Muslims we are told to say Alhumdulillah for all the blessings Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gifted us with. We are also taught that the blessings of our Lord are limitless, that they are innumerable. After my first experience of Islam Awareness Week, it was as if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala was so evidently showering us with blessings on top of blessings. That if anyone ever felt like they had no blessings in their lives, after the IAW experience they would have an overabundance of reasons to say Alhumdulillah. Many are having IAW withdrawal so there’s no way I could not write about anything but the special week that so many of us were able to experience.
Before I came to Rutgers I was debating whether to attend this university. Money was a problem and I didn’t want to do anything that would somehow cause a burden. But Alhumdulillah I was brought to this amazing school filled with Muslims who really understood the meaning of being one Ummah. Back at home we don’t exactly have something like a YM, and I am in some ways restricted from searching for that Muslim community feel. So upon entering Rutgers, the one organization I knew I wanted to be a part of was the Muslim Student Association. Alhumdulillah that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala put that inside of my heart because I, Insha’Allah, don’t ever want to forget how great my first year here at Rutgers was. To start off with the first semester gaining knowledge through the classes that the MSA provided in the Iman of Steel classes, from the Eid Banquet, to the beneficial lectures from inspirational people who devote their lives to Islam. Of course, my first experience giving Da’wah at the Da’wah table, realizing how it felt to speak to Non-Muslims about Islam. Then the second semester, when the amazing events were just following one after the other. With the amazing speakers at Road to Revival, the special one day class the next day, to my first awesome bonfire experience listening to stories on a brisk, cool night. The barakah doesn’t stop there. I was able to also participate in the amazing da’wah initiative to spread smiles, literally just go around all four campuses giving away free candy and sunglasses letting people know Muslims believe making people smile is charity as well.
Finally, Islam Awareness Week where so many firsts occurred. I was gifted with the opportunity to attend my first Da’wah class series and Alhumdulillah, was able to implement the knowledge during the event, an entire week dedicated to giving Da’wah and spreading Islam. There was a different aura during that week. It didn’t matter where you were or what you were doing, you just wanted to be there at the tent around excited Muslims. It felt like we were in a Muslim country where the Adhaan was heard from a distance and Muslims were openly praying in unity. Then at night, we’d have influential and knowledgeable speakers who grabbed our attention and allowed us to understand concepts that we as Muslims, or at least me, didn’t know before.
The Friday following the last day of Islam Awareness Week, there was a feeling of peace surfacing from every direction. As I entered the tent, I realized all the tables were put away and a spread of sheets were laid out. The wind blew in calmly, soothingly, along with the beautiful smell of musk reaching us. Sounds of conversations filled the area but almost immediately, as soon as the khutbah began, all conversations stopped. Total focus. Nothing else mattered. That’s how the entire week felt. As if nothing mattered but being at the tent. If you tried to focus on something else your heart wanted to be at the tent. Alhumdulillah. That’s all you wanted to say when thinking about the week. Alhumdulillah. So Alhumdulillah for the people who put in so much effort. Alhumdulillah for all the previous events. Alhumdullilah for the friends and family that we were able to enjoy it with. Alhumdulillah for being Muslim. For if it were not for the gift of this Deen none of this would have been a reality to any of us. So Alhumdulillah. Alhumdulillah. Alhumdulillah.