By: Asiya Aston
Asiya is a writing intern and youth mentor at Good Tree Institute
This past Seeds of Wisdom retreat took place at the gorgeous Parsons Leadership Center in South Mountain. The grounds were clean and contemporary, but not lacking in natural beauty. Retreaters took advantage of the picturesque environment during post-fajr hikes and leisurely walks during break time.
From the moment we arrived at the retreat, it was clear that this was a place where people were coming together to share their love and support for one another in addition to increasing their knowledge of the deen. The informative Quran sessions progressively led us through Surah Ad-Duha, Ash-Sharh, At-Tin, Al-Alaq, Al-Qadr, and Al-Bayyinah. The all-encompassing theme of the event was the simple phrase “Who Am I?” encouraging attendees to reach their own individual responses through the weekend's exploration and dissection of these verses.
As Dr. Nadia Katrangi led our group of nearly 60 attendees, we delved into the 6 Quranic chapters to help us learn how to overcome self doubt and understand our life's purpose.
Surah Ad-Duha tackled the issue of our awareness of God, drawing a key comparison between how our status in life and our closeness to Him reflects the way we feel in the current moment. Topics of abandonment, hope, and reassurance were examined, and Allah SWT was established as our Caretaker— the one who provides, nurtures, and loves. Sarah Ash-Sharh follows up with consolidation and addresses the desperation we feel, containing the key verses stating that with hardship, comes ease.
Surah At-Tin established the true importance of the human being and the command to trust in Allah and realize our impact, while Surah Alaq orders us to Read! and use this immense power to do good. Surah Qadr then reminded us that the self can be a distraction from the spiritual.
The eye-opening retreat ended on Surah Al-Bayyinah - which was all about proof. We learned that there is clear evidence in front of us and we will always have access to our book of guidance— the Quran. It’s now up to us to reveal that truth to others and continue to bend back toward our Lord as we struggle and succeed in life.