Fieldnote on ijtima - Issue 101
Here is a brief background on the the first edition of ijtima (issue 101) which can be read at ijtima.org.
The main theme of the edition is sincerity. The message is, "Dear students, the first lesson [is to] create weight in your actions". Ironically, this edition actually was the last message given to those graduating from their studies. I wanted to allude to the concept of istiqamat with the point that the beginning and the end is same and hence they were on a straight line (صراط مستقيم). As a subtext, I wanted one message which will suffice for which I turned to the hadith in which a Sahabi asked the prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) give me an advice after which I will not need another. The prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) said, "قل لا اله الا فاستقم" (Say, there is non worthy of worship and stand firm).
It comprises of three articles, (1) Dear students..., (2) The first lesson, and (3) Create weight in your action. The first article was written on 13 Sha'ban 1432 AH (13 July 2011 CE) as a parting advice to graduates finishing their Alimah course. The second article was a speech I gave at a Khatm Bukhari graduation ceremony on 15 Sha’ban 1432 (15 July 2011). The third article is a translation of a segment from the lesson given by Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Taqi Usmani during that ceremony. It highlights the possible dangers of the path for those who may have succeeded.
I present this set to students at the beginning and end of their study to plot their journey. 'Dear students...' sets out the path for those seeking the pleasure of Allah. 'The first lesson' highlights the dangers of falling from the path. 'Create weight in your action' highlights the dangers of overshooting the path. The key is balance (istiqamat).
Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
14 Zul Qa'da 1432
16 November 2011