Inverness Masjid was honoured on Saturday to welcome Shaykha Dr Tamara Gray who gave us a talk on Surviving and Thriving. Dr Tamara spent twenty years studying traditional and classical Islamic sciences, Quran and Arabic in Damascus, Syria. She is an author, translator, and public speaker. A synopsis of her talk as follows:
Right now, as Muslims we are surviving – barely, but we are not thriving.
We are not thriving as an ummah and not as individuals or as families.
How do we move from where we are barely surviving, to a place where we as a community and as individuals are thriving?
This is not a complicated religion and, when we complicate it, we make it difficult for the next generation to take on.
Dr Tamara talked about three aspects of our faith through which we can seek to thrive …
Simplicity and beauty are basic foundations of this faith.
Simplicity and beauty open the mind and open the heart to have a spiritual experience. Simplicity and beauty open our heart and mind to what otherwise we would not experience and, if we want to thrive, we have to be open to spiritual experiences.
Dhikr of Allah subhanu wa ta’ala. Increase our ibadah, increase our prayer, increase our dhikr – our remembrance of Allah, increase our Qur’an. Open ourselves up to spiritual experiences.
Both of these :-
Simplicity and beauty
Dhikr of Allah.
both bring us to a spiritual experience.
The need for knowledge, for ‘ilm, for knowledge of Islam.
We really don’t have a wide and deep understanding of our religion, we are limited in what we know. We think we know everything about our religion, but we don’t. And that place of being stuck, actually holds us back.
If we want to thrive, we have to change our mindset about what we know
Islam is a faith, it’s a spiritual journey, and so we have to open ourselves up to that and live it and experience it – if we really want to thrive, and if we want to share that thriving with the next generation