Sunday, January 9, 2011
PMS 2010 (Sheffield)
author: Nabilah Mhd Fauzi (Lala), 1st year TESL
author’s blog: http://geekisagirl.blogspot.com
PMS (Winter Retreat) is one of the most anticipated events in every part of my life. Likewise, I am completely deranged of what exactly need to be done during the hiatus apart from extension hours of sleeping, indulging the pile of I-know-they-are-chocolates in my locker and playing games with my new red wine Nintendo DSi. In sooth, I really need to recharge my iman.
Iman can be regarded as something that is relatively unstable like the reactive metals in the periodic table. I can’t recall such. It can be overwhelmingly strong and it can be sadly feeble. It can sometimes be found with full gauge of health or sometimes critically weak (futur) and requires some phials of potion to ease the sores from sins. That’s iman. You’ll know when your iman is weak when you’re hopelessly in ecstasy of wordly stuff that you don’t even bother to regret as you’re committing a sin.
“O mankind! Lo! We have created you from male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (Al-Hujurat: 13).”
I personally am taken with this ayat. It has beautifully highlighted the importance of ukhwah (unity). Allah has made us of a diverse of people so that we could get to know different people and won’t feel bored. It will be utterly dull to stick around with the same circle of friends. Same faces every day, same idea almost each day. In addition to this, be that you’re a male or a female; be that you’re a Malaysian or an Indonesian; be that you’re Malay or Chinese – it never matters. To Allah, we’re equal. What matters the most is our ibadahs and sincerity. In short, it can be said that PMS is a platform for everyone to get to know different people from every corner of the UK and the Eire.
This year’s annual PMS was held somewhere in Sheffield. Apart from looking forward to meeting my friends from MRSM Langkawi, I was literally wholeheartedly excited of what to expect from PMS. Words travelled that this year’s will be a slightly different from what they had beforehand. Children will have their own programmes. In another word, we’ll have children as participants too. Excitingly, kids from the early age of four were given tasks and had their own games just like the adults did. They even had movies!!! At least, it’s better than letting them left unattended while the adults were occupied with their seminars.
The theme for this year’s winter retreat was “Revival of a Rhythm” (ROAR) in which a special focus will be given on the concept of baitul muslim or rebuilding the ummah, starting from the very individual that is ourselves and iman. Quoting from one of my friends, “Jannah is huge and barren and it’s up to us “to decorate” it with our amals (worship).” The life we’re living in is temporary, an impermanent stop before akhirat. My life is solely for Allah. He lends me a life so that I’ll worship him. Nothing else. Hence, we must race to fill those empty spaces with our amals so that it’ll look beautiful and exclusive, just like what we had imagined while we’re listening to our bed time stories — of a beautiful princess in a posh, fascinating palace overlooking the green glade with shimmering daffodils under the calm breeze of summer in May.
So, “O thou enveloped in thy cloak, (1) Arise and warn! (2) Thy Lord magnify, (3) Thy raiment purify, (4) Pollution shun! (5) And show not favour, seeking wordly gain!” (Al-Mudassir:1-5).
I always limit my posting to only 1000 words. Ergo, I have to skip most of the points. On the whole, there were five interesting talks by prominent figures. The first talk, “Islam in Each Corner of Life” centred the concept of unadulterated wholeness. The speaker briefly asked a simple question. “What would you do if you’re given a chance to talk about Islam to a non-Muslim for only 1 hour?”. As a matter of fact, talking about Islam in 1 hour is impossible. Islam is wide and vast like the blue ocean, like the incessant rain. We have the prayer, hijab, fasting, circumcision, etc. Wrong! This is one of the reasons why Islam is being deemed as dreadful. Due to its weak and unknowing ummahs. I’ve turned 20, yet I can’t even come out with a simple answer — Islam is ad-deen. Period. When we set our niat (intention) purely for Allah, automatically, we’ll be insya-Allah rewarded. Simple as that. Islam liberates everyone from human slavery and demands to only submit ourselves to the only god, Allah. Islam is a lifetime journal; which is so wide that it answers every question of world and hereafter, which is as deep as the ocean that deals with every aspect in life. That is Islam.
There were many ibrahs (lesson) learnt through PMS. I’ve met many interesting characters in Warwick but the people in PMS had left me with something that Warwick hardly has; respect and inspirations. Most of the ukhtis and facilitators are practising medicine and engineering. However, quran and sunnah always in their heart. They can cook well, soft-spoken, they dress modestly, intelligent and they are the assets to the community but they never brag their achievements. They’re tawaduk (humble). I am going to become a teacher and I am not packed with stuff like they do, yet I can’t even spare an iota of time for Allah.
On the authority of Abu al-‘Abbas Sahl bin Sa’d al-Sa’idi, radiyallahu ‘anhu, who said:
A man came to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and said: “O Messenger of Allah, direct me to an act which if I do it, [will cause] Allah to love me and people to love me.” He, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, answered: “Be indifferent to the world and Allah will love you; be indifferent to what people possess and they will love you.” (Ibn Majah).
I want to be loved by Allah. I want to be loved by everyone…how? Zuhud (asceticism).
*More information about PMS, log on to http://pms2010.msmonline.net