Bits and Pieces

Assalamu alaykum ladies & germs:

Greetings and salutations. My husband and I just had the BEST weekend! We attended the Islamic Circle of North America 2008 Convention in Hartford, Connecticut. MashALLAH what a wonderful experience it was! From the moment we stepped foot in the parking garage, we were surrounded by Muslims from all walks of life, for the same purpose!

The program was CHOCK full of talks, lectures, slide shows, and informational booths. There were so many choices, that we had to pick what was most interesting to us (it was almost overwhelming with the plethora of choices available to us). Friday and Saturday, every hour on the hour, there was something new being offered in one of the TWENTY conference rooms available! I mean, I just can't convey to you, how massive this was. There easily had to be at least 5,000 (yes- five thousand) Muslims present. We brought iBaby with us, and mashaallah he was SO good. We dragged him around 14hrs each day on Friday and Saturday, and he never made a peep unless he was hungry.....even the noise didn't bother him. Well- I take that back. He screamed bloody murder when he heard the adhan! I think it was way to loud for his tender little ears, so I just made sure I boogied out of the main hall when it was coming.

A large part of this conference was dedicated to sisters, and sadly I just did not have a chance to investigate, as there were so many others things to do. The highlights for me were talks and lectures given by the following individuals:

Yahiya Emerick

Dr. Jeffrey Lang

Shaykh Yusuf Estes

Imam Siraj Wahhaj

Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui

Chaplain Yusuf Lee

The knowledge, peace, thoughtfulness and love for Allah swt was so clear in the hearts of these brothers. I walked away with a boost in my iman and having learned something new. For me, the biggest benefit I received from this weekend was understanding and accepting the Qadr of Allah.... I had been going through some stuff prior to this trip, and something Sh. Mokhtar said has not left me....I dont remember his exact words, but in essence it taught me to change my thinking and that when I see something that I long for myself, to say "Alhamdulillah for what Allah swt has given this individual, and may Allah grant the same for me".

So of course, you are wondering what I was longing for- and I don't want anyone to think it was something material, sooooooo here goes, for the last time, as I promise to no longer revisit this issue: breastfeeding. It has been the #1 disappointment of my life. Every time I would see a woman nursing a child, it would move me to tears and I wished I could do the same.....iBaby is almost 11 weeks old now, and I have decided to stop trying. I truly believe it is Qadr Allah swt. Allah says that with hardship comes ease,so I am trusting that Ive done all that I can, and since alhamdulillah iBaby is healthy and thriving, I ought to just leave it alone.

The Bazaar was OFF THE HOOK! This was a bonus. There had to be at least 200 vendors there, in a flea market like setting, all from popular websites you and I have probably shopped on. There were Jilbabs, hijabs, abayas, and niqabs for sale as far as the eye could see! There were entire book stores that catered to children and adults (oh man-I found some really great things for iBaby that include but are not limited too a mini prayer rug, kufi and his "first quran"). My husband and I found some great books, AND I got a stash of hijabs and pins that ought to last me a long while.

I met sisters from all over the world and I loved every minute of it. This truly was a family oriented event- so i wasn't worried that iBaby was going to cry or have an explosive bowel movement. I was panicked about changing his diaper in public if need be, and it only happened once. The line for the ladies room was TOO long, so I found a discreet corner and draped a blanket over his stroller so no one could see his business LOL. I brought these diaper sacs that conceal odor, for moments like these. I also had to pump milk in my car (gotta love technology), that was a bit of a positional challenge! Did I feel like a pack mule for this trip? You betcha, but it was worth every bit of aggravation.

Do you know what also impressed me? The youth! A large part of this conference was also dedicated to young Muslims, and it was great! It was so refreshing to see young Muslims practicing and really taking their iman seriously. Since I reverted to Islam at 32, i don't know what it's like to be a Muslim teenager in the west. I am certain it is a huge challenge, and I commend these young people for doing their best.

Saturday night my husband and I attended and entertainment gathering that featured The Travelers AND Baba Ali!!!!! Do you know who Baba Ali is? He is the comedian behind Ummah Films that you've probably seen on YouTube. If you haven't seen him, look him up on YouTube, Im sure you will get a good laugh!

Total strangers would stop us frequently to check out iBaby and make dua for him. During a lecture, I was feeding him, and when it was time to burp him, I put him over my shoulder, and he was just looking around and cooing at the ladies and children behind me. When he opened his mouth to coo, and a giant burp came out LOL and all the children giggled; it tickled me pink!

So there you have it, a watered down version of my wonderful weekend. I hope inshaallah we go again next year AND I hope some of you will go too. I believe ICNA has chapters all over the USA. Check out !

2 Birds Chirpin':

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Sis:

Masha Allah, the burp moment was soooo cute! Glad you had a good time.

mummyjaan said...

Salaam, sounds like a conference worth attending.

And of course, nothing is cuter than baby burps!