Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zuhd - Doing More with Less!

This year's Mizaan Retreat was a great time to catch up with family, friends, and reflect on the beauty of all these signs placed by God for us. I had many delightful conversations about preserving nature and philosophical underpinnings of the modern environmental ethics with the teachers such as Martin Nguyen (Fairfield College), Atiya Aftab (Rutgers University), Iftekhar Hussain, Amin Venjara (Princeton University), Sohaib Sultan Chaplain at Princeton University, and Mairaj Syed (Bard College). 
There were about 200 attendees. I spoke about incorporating zuhd (abstinence from indulgence) and doing more with less in terms of the environment. Zuhd stands as a principal to guide our behavior from the onslaught of materialism, consumerism that led to bailouts for the few selected Wall Street schemers. Zuhd is the opposite of greed and over-consumption. I encouraged the attendees to be mindful of their usage of water (for wudu and quick showers) and shift away from disposable culture (Styrofoam, plastic, and paper products). 
Class I Intro: The Application of Zuhd & the Environmental Stewardship.
Have you ever wondered how Muslims are often taught to reconcile between this life and the hereafter for example, to live in this world and not be part of it or take an account of yourself before you are taken to an account or be in this world as a stranger or a traveler. These teachings guide our moral vision to see beyond the life of this world. Zuhd is one of these principles that conveys a worldview that is full of purpose, meaning, intention, awareness, priority, and Godliness. In this session, the discussion will revolve around care for the environment and a number of beneficial practices based on Zuhd.
Class II Intro: Sabr (patience), Shukr (gratitude), & Zuhd (abstinence), Three dimensions of a Muslim Personality.
Patience and Gratitude are two concepts that people often talk about but what about Zuhd? In a culture bombarded by the latest mobile apps, youtube videos, free shipping from Amazon, daily Starbucks Frappuccinos, and who can forget latest tweets on twitter and self-indulgence on facebook, where is the place for Zuhd? As we indulge the world or see it indulge us, how could we step aside and focus on that which matters the most and will last forever? In this session, the discussion will center on finding God thru Zuhd in our daily lives.

2012 THEME |  Zuhud:  Doing More with Less
September 7-9 (Friday evening-Sunday afternoon)
Zuhud means non-attachment from all that which distracts from God.  It is at the heart of Islamic spirituality and ethics in the way that we connect with our Lord and live in the world.  It requires that we consider how we spend our God-given blessings and resources, and how we enjoy the life of simplicity and asceticism.
“Whatever is with you shall perish, and whatever is with God shall remain.”  Qur’an – Surah Nahl: 96

No comments:

Post a Comment