Friday, July 18, 2008
KCC Celebration - minus the chicken.
KCC and not KFC is "Khilafat Centenary Celebration" ; a worldwide celebration of Ahmadi Muslims, commemorating and celebrating the existence of their Community for the past 100 years with their founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed (the Promised Messiah), is what the title of this post stands for. I am one of the fortunate people who is proud to be a part of a community that preaches Islam with logic reasoning, rationality and truth. Please visit : alislam.org for more info.
I was extremely ecstatic to be a part of the celebration while our beloved Khalifa (the current leader of the Community) paid a visit to the annual convention in Harrisburg, PA. The opportunity of meeting him LIVE and seeing him speak to the audience as a person and leader, rather than just the leader we know of on Satellite TV broadcasting from London on MTA, was in itself a great experience to witness. My trip however, was blessed a thousand time more when I found out about the following;
My sister and I were given a great opportunity to sing a poem, called the Arabic Qaseedah at the Convention and we were more than excited to perform in front of such a large audience of almost ten thousand people. The ladies' side consisted of five to six thousand at the most. My part was to sing the Urdu translation of the poem, whereas my sister sung the actual Qaseedah in Arabic and beautifully mesmerized the whole audience with her nightingale voice. Later I heard, people would stand still and drop silent at what they were doing, listening to our Qaseedah as our voices were magnifying the walls of the convention hall, reaching into people's hearts and souls.
Unfortunately, this event was not shown live on satellite television as our poem was not scheduled to be performed in front of Hazur (our leader) which became a matter of discussion amongst people when we finished. They approached us and raved on our performances saying that we should have sang the poem in front of Hazur. :) Well, the opportunity itself was so large and just the chance alone to be a part of such a great event, that it never really bothered us, but we were rather humbled and gratified by the whole experience! It definitely brought back some beautiful memories of Holland's performances in front of the fourth leader, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmed.
The experience of dedicating oneself to three days of 'moral cleansing' and 'spiritual healing' as we call it, is absolutely necessary in today's society. Our lives are surrounded with materialistic accomplishments and fulfilling of desires, that it's damaging our view points of life and the purpose we're here to serve, which in my opinion is God and Mankind.
My post today is very unconventional, yet clear to who and what I am; an Ahmadi Muslim.
The declaration of "Love for All and Hatred for None" is nevertheless a powerful quote to be revised and practically applied into our lives and the lives of others. Think about it, if we were literally about to follow this motto; vices such as jealousy, betrayal, lies, insecurities would most probably diminish (not vanish!) from the face of the earth and evil wouldn't have the chance to manipulate innocent beings. If only this motto was practiced, without the bias of following a religion, just the motto itself....I sometimes wonder how much love would transcend into people's lives and hatred be buried deep down, never to rise again.
I couldn't believe when I received an email a couple of weeks after submitting a 5000 word essay on the Blessings of Khilafat, stating that I was one of the winners of the essay writing competition! I clearly remember visiting Austin and residing at my husband's aunt place when I went downstairs to check my email. I had not the slightest clue that they'd chose my essay as a position holder, so it came as a total surprise when I opened my email and found this wonderful news. Naila, who terribly underestimates herself, pinched herself to reality and forcibly believed it to be true. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks as this "prize" represented almost everything I have been trying to achieve in my life; the perfect balance between Deen and Dunya (the material and spiritual worlds/realms). Soon after, it felt surreal and I knelt in front of God asking Him to give me more strength and 'intelligence' perhaps in achieving much higher goals than what I've set for. The tears ran out of joy, but also a bit out of sadness for the ones I've loved so deeply and aren't a part of my achievements and celebrations, today. The past was a build-up, a training field for all the awkward years of being a late bloomer, the kind of girl that wasn't into impressing others by materialistic approaches or advancements, but wanted to continue to do good, either by community work or plainly by making others feel good.
My sister Madiha, who is my right arm in all "our pursuits" of facing challenges and making the smallest of dreams come true, is without a doubt a vital part to my growth of love, intellect and achievements. Without her by my side, my inspiration would've lessened, my reflection would've died and perhaps my self-esteem would have still suffered. Our understanding of each other and the importance we place on such events in life, is by far the strongest relationship sisters can have with one and other and I am more than proud, eternally grateful to God, to have sent her as a beautiful gift to a needy sister like me who could have never honed the skills without her sweet presence and commitment. My very lovely Madhu Bala :)
It's funny how one always tend to prove him/herself through hardships and feelings of void, to cover the pains of loved ones or the ones that decided to drift apart...knowing that in the realm of 'living' they'd be somehow proud and grant upon a prayer or two for the betterment of our lives. Maybe those distant people aren't our inner-demons, but rather a driving force to do better and better...
My perfect KCC celebration, without the KFC, mind you! ;) All Hail the Chickens!!!