Being ME: Muslimah Empowered 2012

After living in a Western country for many years I've come to realise there were things I had taken for granted about Muslim countries. I am now able to appreciate the "little" things about living in Malaysia.  Things such as being able to hear the adhan (call to prayer) from my house, the availability of halal food everywhere, and most of all, more access to Islamic knowledge. I am very fortunate to have attended many Islamic talks and events in Kuala Lumpur this year alhamdulillah e.g. Productive Muslim, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani's "haul". This is what I feel has been missing in my life all those years in Dunedin. 

On the 30th of June I attended Being ME: Muslimah Empowered, a women-only conference organised by Mercy Mission. The array of speakers made it impossible for me not to go - Yasmin Mogahed, Myriam Francois-Cerrah, and so many more!

Literally thousands of women were there. I had never seen so many women at one place in Malaysia! The conference hall could barely accommodate everyone at once. It was a good thing they organised parallel sessions to take place during the main session. I enjoyed all the talks and loved how every speaker brought something different to the table. I left the conference early to attend Vivy's wedding but I think the most heart-touching session is the one I will share with you now.

I had left the hall for about 30 minutes to perform Dhuhr prayer. When I returned a documentary was being screened. I sat down and watched attentively. I observed the woman in the documentary and listened carefully to the words she said. "I was once a model and then I owned a boutique. After that I became a very successful real estate agent in California. I had everything and I lived a luxurious lifestyle. I even drove a Rolls Royce. But in my heart I felt empty. I then began to seek God." She was born into a Muslim family but they were not practicing Muslims. After searching for God in various religions for many, many years she eventually returned to Islam. Alhamdulillah

As I listened to her life story during the self-made documentary I thought, "This woman cannot be real. Her story is too good to be true." The documentary ended and then to my surprise the woman in the film walked out from backstage. The hall was in tears. Even she was in tears. That woman was none other than Raya Shokatford. I was amazed. Life is truly a journey and at times it feels like a never-ending, heart-wrenching one but Allah has a plan for you. Have patience. Believe in Him and His plan and you will find purpose. Put that belief into action and you will find success and happiness, not only in this life but in the Hereafter, inshaa Allah.

Subhana Allah. I never dreamed of having the chance to meet one of my favourite writers and speakers, the ever inspiring Yasmin Mogahed, and one of the women I admire and aspire to be like, Myriam Francois-Cerrah. But it happened much thanks to my sister and the helpful Being ME volunteers. That's the power of Allah. When you start to live, love and work for His sake amazing things will start to happen in your life. And that's when it hit me. If He can make unimaginable things happen in this life think of what He can do in the Hereafter. Think of what God has prepared for the inheritors of Paradise! May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala inspire and guide us to be among the people of Jannah inshaa Allah

"And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do." {Surah As-Sajdah, 32:17}
“I have prepared for My righteous slaves that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and has never crossed the mind of any human being." {Hadith Qudsi}

JazakumaAllah khair to the organisers, volunteers and speakers of the Being ME conference whom I'm sure worked very hard to produce such an event. Here are some gems from the conference I'd like to share with those who couldn't make it on that day. However, if you were lucky enough to attend Being ME please feel free to share what you learned from that day. Be it in the comment box, in your blog, on Facebook and Twitter or when talking to your family and friends. It's Ramadhan. All the more reason to do good deeds and share your knowledge!


aishah amin said…
so sad that i didn't get to go;(
Nai @ TPJ said…
Lovely post. Attached is my 2 cents:
Ayuni A. said…
"People judges results, Allah judges efforts " - Dr Fadilah Grine

I remember this always, as a motivation for me to continuously put an effort to be a better person, in and out!
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@Aishah, you were busy with your wedding prep hun. It's ok there will be another one next year inshaa Allah ;)

@Tak Pe Je, yay! Thanks for sharing.

@yunayuni, I missed her talk actually. It was when I went to pray hehe. It's amazing how some lines just stick with us right? =) Thanks for sharing.
Fida Islaih said…
Thanks for sharing! Sr. Yasmin is one of my favorites, too! (:
Asyik Izas said…
Bertuahnya dpt join event mcm ni..
Iffah Izzati said…
thank you for posting this Shahirah! never heard of such events here in singapore. would love to attend one. hope they'll have it here too.

thank you again! and salam ramadan to you! :)
Siti Hajar Anuar said…

Saw you in Sunsilk commercial :) Beautiful as always :)
Farahh Arshad said…
kakak, may i share that beautiful gems~ :)
gotta do a poster about it for my da'wah group in FB :)
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@Farahh, please do :)