DR HALIMA BOUKERROUCHA
Dr. Halima Boukerroucha is an Assistant Professor at Ahmed Ibrahim Faculty of Law - International Islamic University Malaysia since 2008. She obtained her Ph.D. in Islamic Law from the University of Algiers in 2007.
Dr Halima published one book, five chapters in books and several articles in
refereed journals. She has also presented several papers in international conferences; she conducted several workshops and speeches. She has also supervised several masters and Ph.D. students.
Dr Halima’s services in the field of da’wah started in early nineties in Algeria
where she contributed several lectures, workshops and trainigs. Her international profile grew in 2008, when she joined the International Islamic University Malaysia and was exposed to multi-disciplines and multinational community. During this period, she was able to present her thoughts on da’wah education and family matters in an integrated approach. This approach manifested in a series of lectures and presentations in Universities, radio and workshops in addition to international da’wah symposiums.
Harry Fear is a broadcast journalist, filmmaker and speaker, passionate about covering the conflicts and crises of our times.
He is best known for his reporting on the European migrant crisis and his hard-hitting coverage in Gaza (especially during the 2012 and 2014 Israel-Hamas conflicts).
For 2 years Harry worked as a UK and International correspondent for alternative broadcaster RT (formerly Russia Today), a controversial state-funded 24/7 news channel. He covered: several of France’s recent terrorism incidents; the historic closure of the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp; anti-migrant violence and the rise of the far-right in Europe; the Greek Debt Crisis; and Turkey’s ongoing crackdown on dissent.
Previously, he worked as a freelance correspondent and independent filmmaker. His crowdfunded coverage of the 2012 Israel–Gaza conflict was nominated for a Next Century Foundation International Media Award. His accounts appeared on the BBC, Al Jazeera and CBC. In 2010 he produced a feature-length documentary shot on-location in South Africa.
Harry is also a keen public speaker and has delivered three TEDx talks.
LOVE FOR GOD,
THE GREATEST LOVE STORY
Dr Halima Boukerroucha
“…the life of the heart is with Allah and there is no life for it without that.”
(Ibn al Qayyim)
This world is a race, and each of us is running - to find a meaning and purpose, fleeing towards that which we love, towards a shelter from our struggles and pain. Craving for love in perennial optimism, we hope to desperately illuminate the darkness of our soul. Yearning to be accepted, for the recesses of our heart to be acknowledged and appreciated. Waiting for the fairy tale to come true.
And yet, in this search for life, we often run away from the Giver of life. In our desire to satiate our hearts, we try to escape from the Maker of our hearts. And in there lies our biggest challenge, and our best chance of solace.
The true knowledge of the purpose of our existence cannot be reached but by the knowledge of the Creator of this World, the Master of you and me, the Beloved who gives life to dead earth despite its barrenness. The true love story cannot be accomplished but by discovering the real Source of love – the Ever Loving Allah (swt).
When your heart and soul is truly connected to the Provider, Sustainer and Nourisher, it is then and only then that the hunger of acceptance is satiated, and the thirst of fulfillment is truly quenched.
Through this talk, we invite you to connect yourself to the Beloved by discovering some of His Most Beautiful Names and Attributes, and how they manifest in our own lives. We invite you to bond your hearts to the most sublime and beautiful knowledge in existence, a bond that can never disappoint, and never break.
Come let us sit together, one and all, and begin our journey to know Him, and in that process know ourselves. Let us, like the passionate young bird of the dawn, search in humility and tell Him –
I am longing to know you, my Lord, in the hopes that you teach me about You, and instill in me trust, and let me come to you by the fountain of love, to obey you by the virtue of Your Beauty. I come to you broken, so make me whole. I come to you for solace, so make me Yours.
WE ARE NOT LOST
When I was in my late teens one of my favourite philosophical works was Arthur Schopenhauer’s Studies in Pessimism. That philosophical enquiry later led me to find Islam. The first chapter of Schopenhauer's work, On the Sufferings of the World, brought us cheerful (!) but sharp lines like this:
‘We might well consider the proper form of address [between people] to be,
not “Monsieur”, “Sir”, “mein Herr”, but “my fellow-sufferer”.’
He’s quite right. And that’s why as Muslims we greet each other with blessings of peace – in the face of that suffering Schopenhauer correctly identified.
We have all had our hearts broken by something; be it the loss of a loved one, the end of a romantic partnership, or the heart-cracking pain we feel when our brethren are killed in war zones like Gaza.
But when we are in the most exquisite of pain, how do we cope?
In some cultures and communities, some sufferers turn to alcohol.
But as believers we embark on ‘journeys’ to find our strength and heal ourselves.
We often end up writing new chapters in our lives in which painful contemplation is all-prevalent.
But how do we go? And where do we go?
Indeed, Sufi mystic Rumi’s invocation tries to hurry us in the right direction:
“The act of trying to find the way home is what convinces us we are lost.”
You may know, as I do, those kinds of painful nights in sujood with soaked eyes. Sometimes it takes months or years to heal and start to feel ourselves again—feel at home within ourselves again. But when we feel better, we somehow feel anew, too. Through the weakness we found strength.
But in our awfully painful and sometimes fraught journeys—and some last for weeks, months or even years— we somehow end up returning home with new beautiful Armour.
Where we were cracked, now shines the brightest light from the very place our painful journeys inexplicably redirected us to, a place of nothing but: Love. Fear. Submission.
That is, ultimately, we end up being redirected toward our Creator. And we know that from Him we come and to Him we all eventually return.
And it is this meta mechanism – redirecting ourselves closer toward Allah – that has to be (or become) the meaning in our lives. And with this in our hearts, we really can live, miraculously, with no fear for the sufferings of the world.