Oh, and I also got called on by the translator for answering too many questions! I didn't even realize that I was answering that many. Oops.
Anyway, Shaykh Omar, who's our fiqh teacher, also gives an optional Q & A session once a week. The one question that resonated with everyone today was:
"The rawha with Habib Umar is really deep. But how do we go about implementing his advice without getting overwhelmed by how horrible we are? [i.e. the deficiencies in our character]."
You could just see everyone nodding and smiling. Because it's so true. I literally come out of the rawha feeling like an insect and so despairing of ever fixing the defaults of my character.
On the back cover of the book we are studying in the Rawha are these verses of poetry by Imam Hadad that serve as a tiny fraction of what we try and remember every day—that all our desires and wants are focused on the wrong things. I've tried to translate them as best I can, but of course they sound 100% different in Arabic. Forgive my poor translation skills:
Oh servant of the Body, how you strive to serve it,Sh. Omar's advice was:
Are you asking profit from what you can have only loss?
Advance towards the Self and complete its virtues,
For you are human [because of] the self and not the body.
Let your heart leave the world and its ornaments,
For when you sieve out [all the good in the world] you get only grief, and [when it's at your feet] it still leaves you.
1) Always renew your intentions.
2) Make sure to act upon the knowledge you receive.
3) Try and be completely content with what Allah has given you.
4) Keep listening to lectures like the rawha when you get back.
On a completely irrelevant note, I just discovered today that the men don't wash up or serve themselves in the male Dowra house. And they have curtains. No comment!
(Not to mention the fact that their house is two minutes away from Dar al-Mustafa while ours is at least a five minute walk from Dar al-Zahra (though to be fair, we do have a microbus most of the time)).
Today's Quote: Just like you die if you stay three days without water, your heart will die if it stays three days without listening to anything that reminds you of Allah, whether it is Qur'an recitations or lectures. So what if you're not only not listening to things that remind you of Allah, but listening to things that make you forget Him? Habib Umar
Another Quote: Every time you sin layers are added to your heart, until eventually your feelings [towards Allah] are blocked. Every time you feed your body what it wants, it just wants more. And when you do that your soul is dying. If it could talk to you it would tell you to feed it; the food of souls is worship. Sheikh Imaad.