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7/6/09

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

While many tourists came to DC to attend the 4th of July celebrations to honor America's 233rd anniversary, I along with about 30,000 Muslims had other plans. I attended the 46th annual convention of ISNA at the DC Convention center, blocks away from the Capitol. There were many programs which were taking place at this year’s conference: Lectures and discussions by Siraj Wahaj, Hamza Yusuf, Yusuf Islam,....., Islamic film festival with the showing of movies and documentaries by Muslims ( I was able to watch New Muslim Cool, yey!), Islamic Art Exhibit with beautiful pieces of wood, calligraphy, pictures,... just amazing and the infamous addictive bazaar!
Heading first to the Bazaar was a mistake my DH can testify to, since I made him walk for hours, mesmerized at all the hijabs, clothes, jewelry, accessories, art,..... Name it, if a business had any touch of Islam in it, it was there. With over 600 booths for vendors and businesses, I felt like a kid lost in a candy store. I wanted to buy everything.


It was good to put a face on all the online Muslim stores I've been to. It was good to touch the clothes and be able to try them on before buying them, good to discover new businesses, new talent, meet people I wouldn't have met otherwise.
On Sunday night, Native Deen and other Muslim groups did a "concert" while Baba Ali from Ummah Films performed a skit.






I attended about 4 lectures in 3 days.... I know, I wish I attended more, but what's a girl to do when lost in a bazaar full of goodies? The speakers as usual were very motivational and inspirational. They focused on real happiness as opposed to fake happiness. Is happiness achieved by maximizing pleasure, earning fame and fortune, or living a life of unlimited leisure? To the contrary, real happiness can only be obtained through the search and acceptance of God. Only believers can achieve genuine happiness. All forms of happiness attained without a firm belief in God, the Almighty, are mere illusions.
As our prophet saw said:
“True enrichment does not come through possessing a lot of wealth, but true enrichment is the enrichment of the soul.”
(Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
We learn from the Quran that happiness is an exclusive quality of the soul. Thus, a body that attains all the material successes it longs for - money, power, fame, etc. - often belongs to an unhappy person. Happiness depends totally on the degree of growth and development attained by the soul, the real person

So, dear readers, are you happy?

(Video from ISNA website)

17 comments:

Mona said...

MashaAllah, it sounds like it was great. Thanks for the video.

struggling said...

wow, mashAllah! Looks like it was an amazing event!

hijabee said...

Mona,
Yes it was. MashaAllah your brother and his partner were so polite and had great stuff.

Struggling,
Yes it was!

Elom said...

I really love that quote:

"To the contrary, real happiness can only be obtained through the search and acceptance of God. Only believers can achieve genuine happiness. All forms of happiness attained without a firm belief in God, the Almighty, are mere illusions."

The path to happiness is TOO often confused with the path to riches and pleasures of this world.

American Muslima Writer said...

Masha'Allah I loved how much oppourtunities you have at these conventions. Wish i can go to one someday!

Did you see the Islamic Writers Alliance Booth with their awesome books? SubhanAllah I wanted to visited them so much. Sis Safiyyah from Blog, Shalom to Salaam was there! So many of our sisters went.
I'm glad you learned so much and insha'Allah it stays in your heart! :D XOXOX

kakchik said...

What an interesting event. I've heard a lot about ISNA because some of my local friends who studied there attended the event too but a few years back.
From the pictures, it looks more or less like our yearly muktamar. However, I do wish to attend the event once.
Thanks for sharing sis hijabee

clare said...

Glad you had fun!
Maybe next year I'll be less broke and able to attend, insha'Allah...
Also, glad to see you back on the blog!

Amina said...

omg!! I wish I could be there!!

Umm Amirah said...

It was great to meet other muslim bloggers there too!! **wink, wink** oh...and AHDC...'I hate you'..LOL.

Masha~allah it was great to be in the company of the believers. Even though I only really volunteered it was still nice.

hijabee said...

Elom,
Where are you hiding girl?It's been ages! And I agree about the happiness thing. I guess that's something that life teaches you eventually lol.

American Muslima Writer,
Indeed tons of opportunities & networking! OMG I didn't know Safiyah was there. I stopped by their booth for a quick second but there were so many things to see that I did not get a chance to speak with them! InshaAllah, you will be able to attend one day!


Kakchik,
Yes it is. You should definitely attend if given the opportunity!

Clare,
InshaAllah, next year you will be able to go. I heard it will be in Chicago, hopefully I can attend again.

Amina,
Yes it was great :)

Umm Amirah,
Lol. Yeh it was great to meet your crazy face and I hate you more. Oh and THANK YOU for volunteering LOL, Really thank you so much for making this event happen. What would we do without you?

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

Amazing how two people can be in the same place at the same time and yet worlds apart.

I suppose I should blog about my journeys now.

Lisa said...

Mashallah it's especially wonderful to hear that Siraj Wahaj was there, despite his health conerns! Hope you got some wonderful stuff sweetie and love you.

hijabee said...

Perplxin Texan,
Lol. Tell me about it!

Lisa,
Yeh, it was good to see him & know that he's feeling better. He said that Allah healed him! What an amazing person he is mashaAllah!

JASMINA said...

Assalamu alaikum Hijabee :),

finally I took time to read your post about the ISNA convention.You really were lucky to go.I would lose myself in that bazaar :)!
The quote about the happines is something to cherish dearly.
I wish I could go to such an event one day.
Kiss,kiss my dear :)!

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Hijabee!

OMG! You stopped at our booth and I didn't know it was you?!

Whaaaaaa.

Hijabee said...

LOL, I know, how random is that? I had no clue you were there lol

Browngurl said...

All these bloggers colliding and you don't even know!