Participants Feedback on Imam Finch’s ‘Letting Go, Letting God’ workshop:
“Both workshop sessions were highly interactive, although we were a conservative bunch of people. However, Imam Abdul Latif brought home several pointers, especially about how Islam is only about Allah. Subhanallah it was a breathtaking 2- day workshop series, and I thank Sout Ilaahi for providing this opportunity to Singaporeans…. He’s definitely well-read and well-prepared; I’d like to attend his talks and other workshops someday In shaa Allah.”
~ Aisha Ali
“Imam Abdul Latif Finch has enlightened me personally on letting go of our burdens and leaving it to Allah. I can relate to how he said that we think Allah has to do certain things for us, and how we continuously forget that He can take things away from us just as He rewards. That was nice.”
~ Rahmat Ahmad
“For a youngster like me, I thought the workshops were pretty laidback. The part when the Imam had an outburst – that was intense…. He has served the otherwise dense and controversial issue as easily digestible. That’s amazing. My time spent was worth it – feels like it’s a detox for my turbulent heart as well.”
~ Jumilia Atan
one of my favourite points was when he said let go and leave to Allah decide.be like a slave to Him. in islam, the Master has a responsibility to take care of his slave. eg.to clothe, let him eat as the same as Himself. so similarly when let go control to Allah, He will take care of us and adorn us as a khalifah with blessings etc..sorry if the words r not so acurate. but thats the gist of it
From a Blogger who is kind enough to share her notes with us
Here are some excerpts of what I heard.
Day One (Let Go, Let God):
- “Every single person in this life seeks permanence, because we are human beings, and that’s the way we are. We are searching for permanence despite never knowing what it is – either because human beings are categorically insane or we’ve experienced permanence before. That permanence is God.”
- On the reason why some people adamantly believe in the Hereafter: “Some people have realised that permanence does not exist in this world. Every being that is temporal is a victim of temporality.”
- “God will not take you to task for remembering Him if you dont already know Him.”
- “He has put emptiness into our hearts so that we will go back to Him.”
- “The slave is given the choice not to choose, and if they’ve done so they have chosen properly.”
- “If the fastest growing religion in the world is materialism, and the most substantial material is the self, therefore the fastest growing religion is…. the worship of the self.”
- On being deprived of what you desire: “The more you have to taste the absence of what you choose, the more love that Allah shows you.” On the same point, Imam Finch mentioned that God’s Prophets were the ones who faced the most tests, and that one can still choose what one desires, but what will be at the end of the day, is what Allah wants.
- “Whosoever does not plan for himself, Allah plans for him.”
- On how Allah plans for His creations, Imam Finch gives the example of an infant and its mother: A baby that is about to put itself in danger would be prevented from such danger by its mother, no matter in what ways or forms. For example, if a baby were to unconsciously try to harm itself by putting its finger into a power socket, the mother would do anything (even to the extent of throwing a hard object at the baby) to stop it. The baby will initially cry from the pain, but it is still saved from a larger danger then it was in, before.
- “Don’t you think that when Allah afflicts us, it is to adorn us, to embrace us, in His attributes?”
- On the soul: “Once Allah creates a soul, it never dies. The soul will only be satisfied by that which never dies. The soul is uncomfortable because it is not from here (dunya).”
- On the pain of existence & Allah’s rahmah – “There are some people who Allah removes this (pain of existence) from them, and adorns them with His existence – that is rahmah.”
- On the verse ‘with difficulty comes ease‘: “If you see difficulty in your lives, smile, for the ease is coming.” In another instance, Imam Finch points out that the verse does not specify that ease comes after difficulty, but ease & difficulty occurs simultaneously.
- On the definition of sabr: “Sabr is not patience. In the Quran, it is the seeing, witnessing of something beloved being taken away from you – and being okay with it.”
- On the importance of having the knowledge of God, Imam Finch presents the concepts of gifts: Imagine being surprised with a gift on your doorstep one day. There is no note, no trace of where it comes from. You might feel happy, grateful even. The next day, another gift is left on your doorstep – this time it is a greater, much better gift than the previous one. This goes on for days, gift after gift after gift. You then start questioning about its source,you start to feel weird that you have no idea where it is coming from. A trial from God is like that – when God is giving you trials & challenges, He is actually giving you a gift. “It is human nature to know the Giver of the gift, and where it is coming from. The One who sent the gift is far better than the gift itself. It is Allah’s right to be known.”
- On loss: “You have to let go, because it wasn’t yours in the first place.”
- On giving shukr to God: “Being thankful when your nafs does not want you to do it, is the best time to do it.”
- On God’s awliya (friends of Allah): “When you’re around them, the only thing you think about is Allah. They are the people of hamd (constantly being grateful and praising Him).”
- On the issue of homosexuality: “Being in a state of disbelief is worse than being in a state of sin. The moment one feels regret (for a sin), one has already done tawbah. Acts of kindness will undo sins, but disbelief cannot be undone.”
- “A return to Allah is perfected when one regrets & repents.”
- On those who change drastically towards religion: “What brings a person into Islam will bring one out of it.”
- On the observance of sin among people: “Why limit Allah’s mercy? Condone & condemn an act categorically, but leave the person.”
- “If you hate people, you’re hating a property of God. How can we say we love Allah, and then hate His property?”
- On what makes a Muslim (with reference to a question on converts): “A Muslim consists of two things – Islam, & a person.”
- On being aware of Allah – in order to carry out actions solely for His sake: “If one has ever been in love, this question does not even need to be asked.”
- “The Prophet said ‘Exchange gifts – this leads to loving each other’. Look upon the gifts that Allah has given us, likewise you should give back something you really like.”
- On being aware in prayer: “Just take one blessing, one thing you love from Allah, and think about it in salah. It may not be the most perfect way, but it works. See how your prayer changes.”
- “Before we came into this world, we were purely potential in God’s knowledge. When we came into this world, we are actualized.”
- On Allah’s knowledge of His creations: “Allah is al-Alim. He is The Knower. How can Allah be a Knower if there are no objects of His knowledge? He knew everything about us, and yet grants us the blessings of Islam.”
- On letting go & letting God despite a hectic work schedule: “Allah is Lord of the job, not the boss. Allah is the Lord of every second. Every outcome is Allah’s.”
- “The more money we have, the less we trust in Allah.”
- On the question of whether a spiritual path is an obligation on everyone: “From the legal view, it is not. But it is highly recommended, to get you from one point to another. Tariqah itself means the path of applying what you believe in, and the goal of a tariqah is to get to God.”
At one point during the workshop, while trying to bring his point across, Imam Finch was almost in tears. What made it even more emotionally heart-wrenching was to see participants in tears as well.
May we all benefit.