By Kumaran Nagapa- Grassroots
Syukur Alhamdulillah, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Open Your Eyes Dinner at the very retro-ish Kelab Darul Ehsan, Ampang, last night (28/11/15).
The dinner was organized by Hidayah Centre and the speakers were Bro Firdaus Wong and Sis Rafiedah Veronica.
Since my car is still in the workshop, Subashini, Baby Jyo, Mr. Mariappan and myself were driven there by the wonderful couple Abg. Sahid and Kak Rugayah Shadan. This is not the first time these active members of Ikram-Kuala Selangor, came out of their way to help us.
The evening was made sweeter by the presence of my non-muslim family members; Mr. Mrs. Nagapa, my parents, Mr.Mrs. Gopalan, my brother and sister in law, Mr. Mrs. Gopal, my uncle and aunt, and their son Sanjeev, who were some of the earliest to arrive.
This is the first time my family members are attending an Islamic function. Perhaps some of you may understand when I say how nervous I was. The hardest to dakwah, is, ones own family.
But the friendly voice our emcee of the night, Bro Kassim, eased my nerves and we started off the evening with solat Maghrib jemaah and followed by a sumptuous dinner.
By the time our first speaker of the night, Bro Firdaus Wong, took stage, the banquet hall was jam packed by about 80 people and extra chairs were arranged.
This eloquent ex-footballer was scoring within minutes, catching the audiences attention by sharing the key message of Allah is the God for all mankind. He shared easy to understand verses from the Holy Quran and Hadis of our beloved Rasullallah Nabi Muhammad PBUH.
During the question and answer session, Bro Firdaus had to tackled questions from the crowd before ending the talk with the catchy yet meaningful phrase “I.S.L.A.M. – I Shall Love All Mankind.”
The warmed up crowd was easy picking for Sis Rafiedah Veronica, who shared some heart-wrenching personal experiences. Many of the audience were moved by her well timed and worded talk.
I took chance to hang out with her children and could see how this amazing mother juggles her dakwah without neglecting her family. May the strength of Allah swt. be always be with our inspirational Sis Rafiedah.
Towards the end of the evening, we were treated with a round of prizes from a quiz based on the given talks. After viewing a short video of Dr. Zakir Naik, another round of quiz and prizes were given.
Just when I thought the evening could not get any better for the up and about crowd, we beared witnessed to the highlight of the night, Syukur Alhamdulillah, three wonderful souls who had received Hidayah decided to Syahadah on stage.
As I walked my family to their respective cars, I thanked them for joining this event and tried getting some feedback. Alhamdulillah I heard many positive things.
It was the minor details that won big. My mom mentioned how thoughtful it was by the organizers to consider the vegetarian corner and no beef was served. My dad spoke about the multitude of races amongst the attendees and coordinators.
Finally before departing, my mother gave me some muruku, nei urundai, sippi and coconut candies as we were yet to meet for Deepavali, and asked, ” So, when are we doing this again?”…
Ps: My heartfelt prayers to the organizers, speakers, our new brothers and sister, my family, attendees and the readers of this article. May we be blessed with His hidayah and rahmah always. Amin ya rabbal al amin.