Jumu’ah at the ICNYU
Thirty years down the line, what will you remember as the impact that others have had on you, and what will others remember as the impact that had on them?
This was the crux of the khutbah (Friday sermon) delivered by Khalid Latif at the Islamic Center of New York University last Friday (Sept. 7, 2012). That Friday was the third time I went to jumu’ah at ICNYU and each time I went I heard a profound message that struck a deep chord (admittedly Khalid’s khutbahs are better than the guest khateebs’). I started going to jumu’ah after I discovered the ICNYU during Ramadan and fell in love with the progressive, young, diverse community (blog post on why I fasted during Ramadan to come soon).
Last Friday’s message really hit home and forced me to reflect on the amount of time I invest in developing and nurturing relationships. When I was a student at Princeton, I spend significant amount of time with my friends and mentors, meeting new people, and learning from them. However as a young professional in New York City working in a pretty demanding job, I don’t spend as much time either meeting new people or deepening relationships with my friends. Unlike Princeton, I also don’t belong to a particular community in New York, though I go to a few on a regular basis. The khutbah jolted me back to reality and made me re-think how I spend my time as developing human relationships is very important to me.
As I sat there listening to Khalid, I reflected on the people who have made me who I am. There are many people on that list starting with family to childhood teachers, professors, spiritual mentors, friends and most importantly, my college years in Princeton. I would not be who I am today if I did not go to Princeton and meet all those brilliant, caring people who challenged and loved me very deeply. Tears welled up in my eyes as I felt an intense surge of gratitude towards those people. I can only hope to keep meeting people who challenge and transform me in radical ways.