Gem # 1:
“We were created to receive Divine light. A person who does not live up their potential in this world will regret it in the next…you are the extraterrestrial of this world, this is not your real home.”
-Shaykh Muhammad Mendes

Gem # 2
“That which proves ones humility to the self is when one is content when he is not given preference over others in a place where he deserves it.”
-Notes from Ustadha Nagebah Hayel’s class

Gem # 3
“How many of you have a garden?

It’s very important to grow some of your own food, even if you live in a NYC apartment it is possible to grow herbs such as mint and lemongrass.

Remember that every plant has its own dhikr. Every food, like human personality, has its own temperament (hot, cold, moist, dry). Every color has its own vibration. The attitude and mood we prepare our food in will manifest itself in the meal. The way our food has been raised and then transported to your fridge will impact and may degrade the nutritional content. Grow what you can, and increase the nutritional content of your food.

Eliminate soda from your diet.
Red meat is NOT the 6th pillar of Islam! (Lol)
The prophet (pbuh) said: ‘The meat of the cow is poison, and the milk is a cure.’
Embrace herbs and super foods such as spirulina and mint tea.
Use air purifiers in your home.

Overall, have an intense consciousness of your home environment and the food you place into your body. You become a reflection of what you eat.”
-Short Recap from Holistic Healing Workshop with Salahuddin Tauhidi and Sh. Muhammad Mendes

Gem # 4
The priority of the Shariah is the prevention of harm, which is defined as ‘a pain and the means to it, and anxiety and its causes’. This is a sophisticated system because it includes mental suffering as a priority to prevent.
After prevention of harm comes the procurement of benefit, which is defined as ‘a joy/pleasure, and the means to it’.

La ilaha illa Allah is a covenant between you and God, but that covenant has a ‘fine print’, and that fine print is fiqh (sacred law).
-Notes from Shaykh Jihad Brown’s class

Gem #5
“Every human being is a kabah that must destroy the idols within.”

Gem #6 & 7
“Women are inherently generous, which is why it is mandated for men to provide for them, so that men can learn to become more generous.”

“Rabiah al-Adawiyah was the fourth daughter in her family. Her father was so tired of having daughters that he wanted to name her ‘Number 4′. Little did he know that she would grow up to be one of the most influential and spiritual women in Islamic History, where her writings are widely read and stored in thousands of masajid, and that she would become known for her asceticism and deep love of God.”
-Notes from Shaykh Mendes’ Class

Gem # 8
“Children are the sirr (secret) of their parents. They are the outward manifestations of the latent possibilities in their parents.”

Gem # 9
“Just like how we look up at the night sky and view the stars with awe and fascination and say, ‘SubhanAllah’, the angels look down and see gatherings of dhikr (remembrance) as stars glittering the earth.”

Gem # 10:
“The more you are in touch with the spirit, the more you will connect with people on the level of the spirit.”

Lastly, here is a beautiful rendition of Qasidah Ya Imam Ar-Rusuli that I recorded;
Sung by Munshid Ghuydar Bashmaf, Sidi Nader Khan, and most of the teachers at the retreat: