By Sara Ahmed
On one side, a racetrack, on the other a swimming pool, and in a sunlit hall between them on a Sunday afternoon: the Age of Fitnah workshop.
As the Youth Club team added the final touches to the decor and dawah stalls, people gradually started to file in and were entertained by video presentations about Youth Club and the upcoming event. At exactly 12 pm, after a heart-warming recitation of the first ten verses of Surah al-Kahf, Brother Raja Zia ul Haqq, the speaker for the day, graced the stage. By this time, the hall was so full that rows of extra chairs were needed to accommodate the crowd!
Brother Zia acquainted the expectant audience with the schedule and guaranteed that they would not be bored. Without further ado, the first session began with a brief introduction to the major and minor signs of the Day of Judgment, knowledge of which, he added, would convince us of the truthfulness of the Prophet(s) and make us realize how shockingly close we are to that day.
The audience was refreshed by making all of them stand and introduce themselves to 4 of their immediate neighbors. After a merry ice-breaking jumble of greetings, talk and laughter, all of them were told to sit back down.
As Brother Zia continued with the coming of Dajjal, the crowd was amazed by the intricate details of Dajjal’s humanly appearance, that have been mentioned in authentic ahadith. He added that this was crucial information, otherwise, in the near future, Dajjal might be staring us in the face and we would be so stupid as to not even recognize them.
After the end of the first session, it was time for a give-away. Brother Zia asked those people to raise their hands who had come from very far especially to attend the workshop. On the brothers’ side, people from Mianwali, Toba Taik Singh and Bahawalpur and from the sisters’ side, those from Attock, Sialkot and ‘Saudi Arabia’ raised their hands! Brother Zia’s jokes concerning all those places left the audience roaring with laughter. All claims were then verified and the candidates were rewarded with Mushafs with translation.
Intending to spark up the crowd, Brother Zia told them to yell “Youth Club!” three times with increasing intensity. The brothers’ last cheer was so deafening, that the floor shook with the words!
The mission having been accomplished, the session entitled ‘The Legacy of Suleiman(A)’ was up next, in which Brother Zia discussed the reality and fitnah of black magic. He explained that black magic practitioners tell you all about your past, through a wireless connection between their jinn and your jinn. When you get really impressed, they tell you about your future, through knowledge that the jinn have overheard from the angels, and that too, which they mix with a hundred lies, so there is no need to be impressed by such people and weaken your faith in the process. He illustrated all this through a personal story, which repeatedly sent the crowd into fits of laughter.
The audience was undoubtedly amazed when Brother Zia moved onto introduce the Free Masons, Templar Knights, Zionists and did an exposέ of the Israeli flag, the intent of which was to create awareness about what actually went on in the world.
With the announcement of break at 1:45 pm, everybody rushed to make wudhu for Zuhr prayer and the modest little washrooms, were absolutely jam packed! Meanwhile, sisters and brothers climbed up the stairs to the respective prayer areas. The areas were such that one could easily scan the entire hall below, giving a grand feeling to the atmosphere. Prayer also had to be performed turn by turn, due to the huge turn-out but the attendees were so cooperative, that they did not complain.
After prayer, platters of oven hot samosas and containers full of tea, were laid out on the tables downstairs and along with eating and drinking, Youth Club members also had a chance to interact with the crowd. Meanwhile, the dawah stalls were selling books, CDs and Youth Club merchandise like crazy. The customized T-shirts with eye-catching messages, were the first to run out.
Brother Zia had to bang on the microphone to call everyone to order and the third session began with an extensive exploration of the US one dollar bill, huge images of which were being shown on the projectors. This was again to illustrate the hidden reality of the plans of Dajjal.
It was then explained how natural, military and technological resources, political power and even the food industry of the world is gradually culminating in a few hands and who knows, eventually we would have juice brands named “Dajjal”! For further information, he recommended we watch the movie entitled “Food Inc”.
He then went on to describe how the enemies of Islam were uniting in their own efforts and dividing the Muslims for generations and keeping every Muslim family member busy with soap operas, TV shows, and other physical and mental distractions. Even if it succeeds, change of face with not change the face of the Pakistani ummah. In such times of fitnah, we should be increasing our ibadah time instead of increasing our TV time. We were supposed to be people of “Nurun alaa Nur” and we have become people of “Tabsira alaa Tabsira”!
At this point, every member of the crowd was divided into groups of five and told to come up with the 3 greatest problems facing the ummah today and their solutions. The next 15 minutes were spent brainstorming and writing the findings on pieces of paper. The papers were collected, checked and then two of the best works were announced and the respective groups were rewarded.
With everybody energized once again, the next session was about “The Footsteps of Shaitan”- how he makes us adapt other cultures and thus distort our priorities. We want to be Disney Princesses instead of Queens of Jannah. We confuse video games with real life. Music is the new dhikr!
Around this time, another award ceremony was due, so Brother Zia asked, “Which of you have brought the maximum amount of people to this event?” Many raised hands informing that they had brought 6, 7 or 8 people, but the shocker came, when a sister claimed to have brought a whooping 26!! The whole posse of 26 was showered with candies by the Youth Club team!
Having discussed all the problems in the world, it was now time for solutions. In a nut-shell:
- Memorize the first and last 10 verses of Surah al-Kahf.
- Swear to work on yourself and leave what others do.
- Think big. You can be the likes of Abu Bakr(R), Umar(R) and Khalid bin al-Walid.
- Be people of Quran and Sunnah.
- Increase your Ibadah.
- Carry deen and dunya together. That’s the only way you can change the system. A moulvi and a secular alone, can’t do much.
- Leave useless, time-wasting activities. Your youth is precious.
- Keep yourself in righteous company
The workshop culminated with these legendary last words: “Nothing is impossible and impossible is nothing.”