Back from ISNA
Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,I just came back from the ISNA convention so I thought I would share my thoughts of my weekend experience. Alhamdulillah it was an amazing experience as I was able to meet face to face with the many people I have communicated via email and facebook. I heard there was about 40,000 people in attendance and at the entertainment session, I got a chance to perform in front of nearly 10,000 people so that new to me. I never stood up in front of so many people and with the GPU conference around the conference, I can only imagine what 25,000 people live looks like. Anyways, I live in an area where Muslims are scarce, so it was awesome to see brothers and sisters from all over the world in one conference was awesome. MashAllah I met many inspiring brothers and sisters and the whole weekend felt like it ended too soon.
Honestly, before I came to conference I wasn't sure if most people would even have heard of Ummah Films. I was very surprised by the large number of supporters that I met from all across the world. Keep in mind that when I film these videos, I'm sitting in a room by myself with no cameraman. Its pretty much a one man film crew so I'm not sure if anyone else is watching the videos until I post them on the web and hear the feedback. Its weird because its almost like talking to yourself and you keep thinking is anyone other than me going to even see this? And then you hear so much positive feedback from a very WIDE variety of Muslims, that doubt disappears. When I say a "wide variety", I mean WIDE VARIETY...everything from salafi to sufi, from niqabi to hajabi to even non-hijabi, from little kids to people old enough to be my grandparents, from doctors to artists to students to directors to journalist to even CEOs of companies (I mean when do they get time to watch Ummah Films). I'm speechless. I mean I just a guy, sitting in chair, with no film experience. I just ali...that's it. People walking up to me and telling me how they became Muslim and the videos is what inspired them to look into Islam. I tell them that I can't take credit for anything because I can't convert anybody and if I could, I would start with my family but the hearts are not in our hands but rather in the hands of Creator, Allah (swt). I'm just a guy with a video camera and an opinion. That's it. My only hope was to make a difference by making people think.
I just wanted to say one more thing: Even though, I have mentioned it in the video, I wanted to mention something here so it would be clear. The autograph request things was happening left and right like 100 hundred times and each time I kindly said no. The reason behind this is because I have seen people become successful and that success has got to their heads. I don't want to become one of those people and may Allah (swt) protect me from that.
This whole "celebrity" thing for me is nothing more than a trial for me and shaitan will use it to lead you astray, to make you think you are better than the next person. In fact, I am no better than anyone else and as I have said many times, I am reminding myself before I am reminding anyone else in my videos (just in case you forgot). No matter how popular my Reminder videos become, I'm just Ali and nothing more.
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