Dinner and Breakfast with YQ – March 2008

While most people are used to seeing Shaykh Yasir Qadhi at a podium giving speeches about Allah subhanahu wa ta’alah, he made it clear last weekend that he likes to chow down as well.

While in town for an academic conference sponsored by the American Orientalist Association, Shaykh Yasir made plans to spend a couple of meals with the QWasat brothers. Despite a tight schedule on his busy weekend in Chicago, QWasat brothers treated Shaykh Yasir to a Friday night dinner in Devon, and a Sunday morning breakfast in Chicago.

Taking Shaykh Yasir to Usmania Restaurant in Devon whenever he’s in town seems to have become a QWasat tradition! Known as his all-time favorite Desi restaurant in the country, he always requests a dinner at the hot spot on Devon. Alhamdulilah, we were able to invite a lot of the brothers to come enjoy a night of biryani, gosht (meat), and conversation with one another.

Towards the end of the meal, while everyone was sipping on their mango shakes (absolutely amazing, by the way), Shaykh Yasir gave some words of encouragement and advice for the brothers in regards to his upcoming class, Light Upon Light. “This class, although not covering Allah’s names and attributes one by one, will enable you to know who Allah is in a proper manner, and understand Him in that sense,” he said. He then quickly changed the subject, asking how late Tahoora was open – something tells me he had sweets on his mind the entire night.

While sipping on some chai and eating desserts, the brothers pressed Shayk Yasir to tell us one of his famous jinn stories. After a long day of traveling and attending the first day of his conference, he unfortunately was too tired to stay out and recount tales of the unseen, but he did promise a few stories for the dinners we’ll be having during his upcoming class in June, insha Allah!

On Saturday, the volunteers received an e-mail from Siraaj about Shaykh Yasir wanting to get some breakfast on Sunday morning. Making our way downtown, with the navigation help of Saqib, the brothers found themselves at White Palace Grill, a local favorite in breakfast dining.

Walking in, you’d immediately notice how popular the place was – it was packed from wall to wall, every table, booth, and chair was taken up! Alhamdulilah we were able to squeeze our party of 10 into sitting at a larger table. Our food was right in front of us just minutes after we ordered, an indication of how good the service was. After taking a few bites, we realized the food wasn’t half bad either! Among the table full of pancakes, hash browns, syrup, and orange juice were stories about the conference he was attending, as well his time as a student at Madinah and a teacher at AlMaghrib.

A weekend of food, fun, and nothing short of a great time, alhamdulilah. One of the coolest parts about AlMaghrib is the chance to increase your brotherhood with not only fellow students, but with the teachers. With the busy schedules of all of our shuyookh during conferences like ISNA and ICNA/MAS, it’s really awesome to see that some of our them can make time to have a light-hearted dinner with their fellow brothers in Islam. Not only do the instructors become your teachers and mentors, but they also become some of your closest friends.

Taha Ahsan

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