AbdelRahman Murphy – Stories of the Prophets #13 Modesty

AbdelRahman Murphy
AI: Summary © The story of Sayyidina "time is discussed, including her loss and the challenges of Islam, including the belief that one cannot be perfect and the importance of the spiritual aspect of Islam. The speaker emphasizes the need for people to reflect their own values and reflect their families' reputation, while also reminding them of the need to be the first person in a certain position to commit an act.
AI: Transcript ©
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In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

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Continuing our series tonight, insha'Allah, on the stories of the prophets in the Qur'an.

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May peace be upon all of them.

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We're continuing with Sayyidina Yusuf, alaihi salam.

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And we have, insha'Allah, tonight just one ayah.

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So it shouldn't be too long, but then we have a special surprise for everybody, insha'Allah.

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In Surah Yusuf, I'm sure, you know, a sheikh mentioned last night,

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I wasn't here in town, but I'm sure he gave everyone an understanding that

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the story of the Yusuf, alaihi salam, is one that was very impactful in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, alaihi salam.

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It was something that gave him a sense of sakina and tranquility in the most difficult Yusuf's life.

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The story of Prophet Yusuf is embodied in the chapter of Yusuf, number 12, in the Qur'an.

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And it really encompasses so many different lessons in Allah about forbearance and about faith,

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and the different aspects of faith.

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One of the aspects of faith that Yusuf, alaihi salam, embodies is,

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despite the fact that he was obviously someone who was, you know, very beautiful.

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And the hadith tells us that Sayyidina Yusuf, alaihi salam, had half of the world's beauty.

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Despite the fact that he possessed this physical attraction, attractiveness,

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he was someone that simultaneously demonstrated modesty and humility and chastity.

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And the verse that we're going to go over tonight, inshallah, is verse number 23,

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in which Yusuf, alaihi salam, is captured in a moment and is basically given an ultimatum.

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And if you know from the story of Sayyidina Yusuf, alaihi salam,

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he had a very difficult path in his early life as a young boy being, you know,

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unfortunately his brothers, you know, basically gave him a way or got rid of him,

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or I'm trying to be respectful because the tafsirah mentions that they later became prophets themselves.

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But his brothers essentially really, you know, oppressed him in that way.

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And of course, as he's saved by the caravan, which he thinks is going to be his salvation,

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that caravan also ends up selling him into a position of slavery until he reaches the house of the minister of Egypt.

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And when he reaches the house of the minister of Egypt, then there's also this idea as you're reading the surah

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that at this point, at this time, this is when Yusuf finally will find his peace and his tranquility.

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There will be no more difficulty and no more hardship for him.

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But interestingly, he finds a different kind of hardship.

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And in this ayah, Allah swt tells us that the lady, which is the wife of the minister,

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who had found Yusuf attractive, had found him to be somebody that was attractive,

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in this moment she tried to seduce Yusuf, alaihi salam,

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and she seduced him and she basically made a proposition to him

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in this moment and she locked the doors and she sealed off all exits and all entrances

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and she essentially was proposing herself to Yusuf in this way, say Yusuf alaihi salam.

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Now, there's a couple of things at play here that are very interesting.

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Number one is the base human attraction physically that people will have.

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And this is one of the reasons why the Prophet, salallahu alayhi salam,

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he constantly and persistently advised people to be anist of modesty when it comes to the opposite gender.

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Because even though a person might trust themselves,

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as we know when a man and a woman are alone, shaitan is the third.

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And so this is something that our religion teaches us,

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which is that a person should never put themselves in a situation where they can make that mistake.

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It's not a guarantee that they will make the mistake,

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but a person's nefs, if the desires are strong and the person's taqwa is absent,

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then there is a possibility of a person making many different kinds of mistakes,

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whether it be from the lighter side or from the heavier side.

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Now, in this moment, Yusuf alaihi salam is being proposed here,

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and he is being asked for by this woman very aggressively.

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And she's not insinuating anything, she's not implying anything,

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she's directly asking for Yusuf alaihi salam to be physical with her.

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And on top of the fact that he has, of course,

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what we would call this natural male disposition towards a female,

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there's also the other side of it, which is that he, alaihi salam, is in a position of vulnerability.

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He has been brought into this house.

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He's someone that's being taken care of in this house.

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He has the odds of power are stacked against him when it comes to the situation of the home self.

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Qala ma'adallah.

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The first thing that Yusuf alaihi salam does when he is engaged with any sort of fahisha,

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any sort of indecency, is he seeks the protection of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

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And this is something that I think a lot of us might think of, is just being like an extracurricular thing.

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Oh, okay, you know, if I, you know, maybe I'll just do it if I remember, or it's not necessary.

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You know, this is a prescription, a prophetic prescription,

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that when you find yourself and your chastity and your modesty being compromised,

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the first thing that needs to be done is to remind oneself about Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala,

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that Allah is watching, Allah is present, Allah is the one who gives power, Allah is the one who gives determination.

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Allah can give me the willpower to find myself out of this situation.

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So he says,

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that my Lord has given me such a good refuge, has given me such a good situation, has taken such good care of me.

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The tafsirah said this could mean either one of the two.

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He could be talking about,

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that Allah has taken care of me up until this point.

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Why would I abuse, and why would I go against what my Lord wants from me?

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But the other tafsirah mentions that he could also be talking about who, the minister himself,

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the husband of the wife who's trying to, you know, propose herself to Yusuf A.S.

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And then Yusuf A.S., he reminds us all of a principle, a principle that's essential for every person to understand.

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You know, in Islam, we are taught virtue. We're taught to do the right thing.

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I mean, simply put, without being complicated, Islam is such a gift because it gives us the roadmap.

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It tells us in every situation, it gives us the formula, how to find your way out of a situation

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in a way that will be pleasing to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

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Now, the challenges that each and every one of us has our own nafs.

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We have our nufus, we have our internal dispositions and desires.

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And those desires go against that knowledge of wahi, of hidaya,

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and they battle internally creating this conflict.

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You know, I know that I shouldn't be here. I know that I shouldn't do this.

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I know that I shouldn't look at this.

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We know these things, but we find it difficult sometimes to reverse course because nafs is strong.

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Yusuf A.S. at the end of this verse, he gives himself the logical reasoning the whole way.

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He says, I'm going to seek refuge with Allah, you know, that my Lord has taken care of me

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or the person, the owner of this mansion, this palace has taken care of me.

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How could I offend? How could I abuse that relationship?

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But then he gives us now the spiritual principle, the spiritual note.

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He says, Allah will never make anybody who commits oppression successful.

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And the tafsir here says beautifully two points.

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Number one, she right now is oppressing Sayyidina Yusuf A.S.

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She is the one who is the dhalima. She is oppressing Prophet Yusuf.

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She is forcing herself upon him, exacting the leverage of power over him.

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Yusuf is reminding who? Himself? No, not only him, but also her.

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That you will not get away with this.

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A person who oppresses another person, in this case it has to do with modesty and chastity, will never be successful.

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But then he's also reminding like the general arena, the atmosphere,

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that when a person goes against their default state of hayat, of modesty,

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in reality they are oppressing the purity of their own heart and soul.

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Everything that we do or see or say or watch or listen to or around

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that reflects immodesty is an oppression upon our own selves.

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You can't unsee certain things. You can't unsay certain things.

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You can't unhear certain words.

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And many people commit actions and have regret for decades

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because they made a bad choice in a bad time in a rough moment of their life.

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May Allah protect us. Allah Ta'ala here is reminding us

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that moment of zulm upon oneself of injuring the hayat of an individual,

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Allah will never let that moment be a moment of salah, of success.

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Hayat in our religious tradition equals a good quality of life.

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That's why the scholars say it comes from a similar root word as hayat.

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Because if a person has modesty, then a person will have a good quality of life.

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Their shyness, their disposition, their deference, their charm,

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all of that will revolve around what? The fact that they want to be a modest person.

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The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was of the most modest of people.

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And he would always engage with people in a modest way.

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He would always respect people in a modest way.

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And whenever it came to the opposite gender,

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he primarily focused on making sure that the person that he was engaging with,

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the sahabiah, the female companion that he was talking to,

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understood that he was modest.

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There's one narration that actually happened in the month of Ramadan.

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I'll share with you and then we'll conclude.

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Where the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam,

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he was speaking to one of his wives at the door of the masjid while he was in Etikaf.

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He stepped out quickly, just on the barrier of the door,

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and he was speaking to one of his wives.

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There were two sahaba who walked by and they noticed,

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and obviously because she's Ummahat-ul-Mu'minin,

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she's covered in a certain way,

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they weren't able to see exactly who he was talking to, Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

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And so the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, he actually called them back.

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And they came back.

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And he told them,

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I just want to clarify to you,

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that that woman that I was speaking to in the middle of the night,

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with no one else around, was who?

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My wife.

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I just want to clarify.

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I just want you to know this.

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And the companions, they were like,

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We would never, we would never assume that you, of all people,

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would be engaging in any kind of inappropriate behavior,

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especially at night, especially,

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and he said, No, I know, but sheytan, he runs through you like blood.

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Which means what?

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If I give you the idea, and I don't clarify,

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and I don't make certain, and I don't make clear,

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and I leave that door open,

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I can't control who comes in and who leaves from that door.

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Modesty is such an essential trait,

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is such an essential characteristic for every Muslim to have.

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And the reputation of modesty,

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the reputation of chastity,

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all of these things that we think just revolve from a cultural standpoint,

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they do have religious function,

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they protect our iman, and they give our iman quality more than we realize.

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May Allah Almighty make us people who are modest,

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who have modesty with one another,

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who reflect that in our community,

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and who reflect that in our family.

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