Mentorship, Purpose And Contentment

Abdullah Oduro

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Channel: Abdullah Oduro

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The speakers emphasize the importance of being a doctor and the high rate of suicide among physicians, as well as the success of their community college program and the importance of protecting one's health and career. They stress the need for a "ourRider" to achieve their goals, emphasizing the importance of family and family members, as well as the need for a "ourRider" to achieve their goal.

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their identity revolves around being a doctor, they get their sense of purpose and fulfillment from being a physician. But the reality is being, being a physician is really not that glamorous, you know, we have to deal with a lot of stuff, especially in the emergency department. After a while that novelty wears off and those people end up happy, which is why a lot of physicians are you know, the suicide rate amongst physicians is extremely high. One time I was doing it, and it was from Allah, Allah is from Allah, everything's from Allah, but this like Allah was like, shut. Yeah, yeah. Am I giving you a football right now? He looked at me he's like, Yeah, but you give me Oh, I'm a

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doctor. Sure. I have money. Yes, I have this. I went on this vacation. Great. But am I happy and I wasn't

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a Santa Monica Matala who about a katsu. I'm a doula Oduro and welcome to The Man Cave, where we discuss issues of male excellence while being grounded in faith or handled my brother and co host when he governor was good, man.

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Good good living humbly calculate everybody's great deal. hamdulillah and live well. We got my man so a man who, mashallah, may Allah bless you.

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Good to see you. Nice to be here. hamdulillah Good, good man. Earlier you gave him some eyedrops? I did. Yeah. Why do you give some?

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Haram the guy came here. finished one. One of his shifts and now he's on his second shift and a 24 hour period now.

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What are you doing shopping? What are we

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working working in the emergency room? My ER doctor? ER doctor? Yeah, like we've been doing it 1415 years now. Really? Yeah. So you've seen everything. Just about everything. Now I'm kind of slowing down a little bit, you know, not trying to get too crazy with all the big er stuff. You know what I mean? So yeah, I'm all about the coughs and colds and ankle sprains now.

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All right with me. So y'all go way back. You know how far back y'all traveled together? We did a bunch of things together. Yeah, man. I think we can implement the Hadith here.

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I heard there's a beautiful hadith of how you how you really get to know somebody. Oh, yeah, that's right. He asked a man that might wonder if they if they knew him. And then he asked him if he traveled with him. Have you done business with them? Or have you live with them? Yes. Then the man said no. He said is that fennica That's it for we go. He said go and leave for you don't know this person. Yeah. See all like road dogs? Yeah, we spent a lot of time on the road. We tested each other on the road. We took a road trip from Dallas to Michigan. Yeah.

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And I didn't know the guy. He didn't really know me. Well, I hardly even knew this brother. Mashallah, you know, like, we were just talking. We were at the masjid.

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We were just chatting. Some security work. Yeah, we're doing security work for the masjid. And then I just mentioned to him, I was like, I'm going on a road trip. Next week, I'm gonna have to head back to Michigan. And he said, Yeah, well, what time are we going? I'm like, Are you serious? Are you crazy? I came home, I told my wife. I'm like, Yeah, I think Brother wants to go with me up to Michigan. She's like, who is? Yeah, I'm like, I don't know, you know, was Hamdulillah we ended up really getting to know each other really well. And Hamdulillah we became really close friends so humbled that, you know, it's interesting, because number of studies that are showing that,

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from the transition, like a boy Becoming a Man, it is necessary that he is amongst men in order to learn how to be a man. And I think I think this is important, because when we're talking about purpose of life, and a man having purpose in a Muslim man, particularly having that ultimate purpose, you know, being around people that live that same purpose, they use this term called rites of passage, right. So yeah, I mean, just going off of that one of the things that I can tell you for myself personally in my life, that really made me who I am today

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is having mentors. You know what I mean? When I was growing up, of course, my father, I'll tell you how many he was. He was he was the best mentor. But when you know, when you're a boy, you're growing up you think you think your dad, he's great, but you want more, you know what I mean? And then I got really interested in cars when I was young, and I just was all about, like, souped up cars and everything and I gravitated towards a mentor who was actually my shop teacher. I took classes in high school on how to fix cars and all that where was this? This is this is in Guam. I grew up is that real place? real place? Do you? It does exist Yeah. Okay. Okay. Other corner of the world so

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we're America's day begins actually.

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Is that true in in Guam, my very your father and you establish the first semester first semester and go on. So I actually built the dome that's on top of the masjid

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I didn't mean that

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it's my

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anybody him. So I'm actually planning on going to Guam next year to see the community and to actually this mentor that I was talking about. He's been teaching at that college for at the community college for I think now going on 40 years, and he's retiring next year. And I still keep in touch with him to this day. And I told him, I said that, and bear in mind, he's not a Muslim, but he's, he's a wonderful, wonderful man, I messaged him, I said that when your retirement comes, I'm flying back to Guam for your retirement party, because I want to give a speech and tell everybody how much you impacted.

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And I can tell you when I was young, you know, I, when I first met him, I actually didn't like him at all, you know, and if he hears this, he probably knows, because he's this really coarse, like, kind of tough, everybody was all the boys in the class were like, afraid of him, you know. And he comes off as just really this strong kind of figure, you know, but once I got to know him, I realized that he's been tough on us, because He wants us to be better, you know what I mean, then over the years, you know, just spending time with him and then make a long story short, we ended up building a classic car like a hot rod. In the class, we made our class project and he guided me

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through the whole step from beginning until the end. And it took about a year and a half to complete that project. And it was like weekends. And after school hours, I saw I spent a lot of time in that shop class. And he was always just there kind of guiding me, he didn't do it for me. But he showed me what I needed to do and what I learned from him, the reason why I say that, the part of the reason I am who I am today is because of him. And some of the other strong figures I had growing up was because he taught me that when you have if you want to achieve something big, you got to break it down into small parts, and take it one step at a time and just keep working and just being

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persistent. And, and, and keep working towards that. And that's what I learned. Because, you know, the thought of building a car from the ground up from scratch really is it's overwhelming when you're 15 years old, you know what I mean? I didn't even know where to start, you know what I mean? But he broke it down. He was like, you know, you do this and then you're gonna do this and eventually you're gonna get here and then you're gonna get there and and then, you know, that was that was actually my high school senior right, I drove that height, that hot rod. Every day, it was my daily driver, and entered in a car show one first place and beautiful car, you built a car that I

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built? Yeah. 1932 Ford. Yeah, man, there's a lot. There's a lot of elements of masculinity in there, man, that was the lesson that I learned. So going back to the mentors, I think, got exactly what you're saying that boys growing up expecially today, they really, really would benefit from having a strong mentor in something that they're interested in. Okay, you know what I mean? So if you kind of force somebody upon them, say, Hey, this guy will teach this, and they're not even interested in whatever he's going to teach. It's not going to work. But if I if they have the drive in the interest, and they find somebody that can kind of take them under their wing, then that's the best

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the best thing you guys did. But you're saying that because how old are you? 4444. You see, that's why we do different demographics of people, because you're going to come with some type of experience that started with knowledge that you'll be able to relate now. Because what you're saying is priceless, right? You wouldn't expect you know, someone of a younger age demographic to say something like that in that way. You know, and that's why when talking about you know, you mentioned your father and helping brother in the masjid, then this mentor you had, how would you see that with tying in with, you know, your purpose of life? Because when we see the purpose of life, you know, as

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Muslims, you know, that for me, it was really, you know, when I actually decided to become a Muslim, like, the fact that I decided to become a Muslim. That's what, that's where the connection came in. It was like, okay, everything I do in this life, is to show gratitude to Allah, the most important thing is that I have the right intention, because the intention will make it or break it. Right. You know, I'm saying, so if I'm going to school, because after I became a Muslim is when I decided to go to community college, if I wouldn't have been that I would just been in the street doing wild stuff. So that was the transition for me. And it was that belief in God. Yeah, that pushed me to do the

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quote unquote, right thing. And a lot of people have recent. I know, we're, we're shooting the breeze earlier, we're talking about recently, a lot of people with high caliber, accomplishments achievers in the sports world, per se, have entered in the fold of Islam. Yeah. And why we were talking about why why was that? Right? Right. What was that all about? Why do you guys feel that was part of the reason? Well, you know, again, I mean, sometimes it takes somebody inspiring that people they want to emulate that. So we talked about Habib, you know, like how he inspired the whole MMA world and the whole

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A world altogether, you know what I mean? And then a lot of young fighters saw the success that he had saw how humble he was in achieving it, and said, I want to be like that guy. I don't want to be like that arrogant other guy that's, you know, running all over the ring and this and that. And that's the first step. So even if you can't have a mentor, like a physical mentor in your life, having a role model right to emulate, is is really part of the thing. But the second thing I'll say that really I you learn from being around older men, is that you learn confidence, you know, confidence is is key, you know, I'm able to do a lot of the things that I do today is because I have

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confidence, and that confidence started growing at around that age. Yeah, high school, I started doing things then I start I realized that you know, I'm doing something that all the other kids in my school aren't doing. I'm building my own car, I'm driving something that nobody else can drive. And that gave me confidence and then those skills necessarily didn't translate to a lot of other things I did but the confidence did let me ask you this though. Let me ask you this. When you were making the car

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when you started making the car you were hanging around this mean teacher that a lot of the guys didn't like Yeah, well, you like being made fun of like you are no

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I got called brown noser. I got called past teachers a whole shebang. Because, you know, like he rewarded hard work, right? That's how my teacher was. Yeah. Okay. And the way I just tell you how our class structure was, there's three years to graduate from this community college program of like automotive, you know, whatever. And only the seniors they get to they get to paint and when you're a young boy, you're it's all about paint. You want to be the one laying down the finish on the car, putting the graphics on all that kind of stuff. But the top of the shop is only the only guy that's allowed in the paint booth, right? So I was like, I was a first year right? But everybody else was

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goofing off. I was busting my tail in there, you know, sand and doing all the grunt work and all that kind of stuff. And one day, the shop my shop teacher, Mr. Nadella he was so mad at the top of the shop. We all had nicknames, by the way. So his name was Joe Bondo. Right Joe he got so mad at Joe Bondo. He said you're not painting today. He said about we get into the booth here what we're gonna paint my was the godfather.

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So, so So I started painting and that like, everybody was instantly mad at me. Yeah, right. Oh, how can you let Hoku your brown.

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But you know what, as you know, I just I just it built my confidence. It built my kata, younger age, at a young age. And that's why going into college, you know, coming from Guam to Nebraska, you know, was a huge culture shock, right? And then just, you know, all those kinds of things. It just you you go in with that confidence. And I think that's what's lacking today. Play Do you want sports? I played rugby. Yeah, for the University of Nebraska. Again, these are all things that kind of build you up, right? You know, you're in the gym, you're training. You're playing rugby. It's a tough sport. You know what I mean? And you feel and act tough because you are in your job. You're a jock

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walking around to write the code, but this was like for you whether you give me your relationship guy, man, everybody that should be like a T shirt for you. Everybody knows what

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Raymond is gonna get jealous. We gotta give you another one man, Everybody Loves Raymond scratched off put a good with

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so so like with you, I mean, for you know, when talking about you know, the fact that you know, a lot of people you have to gain a level of confidence because I'm almost sure people turn you down. But how did you for instance, with the with what Allah has given you the skill of being able to get in a room to talk to people to make business deals, make things happen? How did you when did it impact you, you said yourself you know what, I want to live my life doing this, this how I want to worship Allah via this, you know, actually 100 I think, started early on with just establishing the core foundation of our of our faith, which is our prayers, our salah, and when I was playing varsity

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sports in high school, I knew that I had to separate myself from

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the boys to the men, which you know, because now we hit puberty. And now we have to start making salah. Right? And at that time at 13 years old, you know, which is like sort of that the golden age to use you for puberty, I felt Subhanallah that I had to start if I wanted to be treated and accepted, you know, as as a Muslim and whatnot and to be confident about it. I had to actually act upon it. Okay, and how nice that I established that early on and then from 13 years old now and what just turned 39 Hamdulillah I kept the foundation of the Salah, and actually the core of the Salah, just kept me in sync because irrespective of what I

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Every day, whether it be you know, we try to keep ourselves out of haram and whatnot. But you know, that always remind us to go back and revert back to our, our core principle or faith, because I remember man when I wasn't Muslim,

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you know, high school. You see those Muslim names? I didn't know they were Muslim names. And they, you know,

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they weren't acting Muslim. Let's just say that. Yeah, both of you are born Muslim, correct? I don't know. So the transition for you was sports. But what was it that made you say, you know, what, I want to pray because this is how I want to be okay. In that time, what were you saying to yourself? So interesting enough? I was living in the town

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door when we all know the tragic episode of the September 11. Yeah, so I lived in the town where the most casualties of 911 happened, which is called Middletown, New Jersey. Okay, that's the high school I went to. And we actually got documented. You know, the school, we were the only one of the only Muslim families in the whole entire school, there was over 2000 students at our high school, my brother and I, I was a senior at the time, and he was a junior when it happened. And they came in to actually document that our family, okay, you know, in terms of Muslim family, living post 911. And actually, you know, we had a camera crew or photographer, a book writer, that came in what followed

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us and wanted to actually portray the proper image of what a Muslim family looks like, and actually boosted our confidence in our, in the, and what we're doing and how we're living as a Muslim. And Hamdulillah. And fast forward, you know, the the book was completed, and there were a whole chapter on our family. And I felt like, at this point, I can't be, I have to practice what I preach. And it was it wasn't easy. And I remember that the moment that that September 11 happened, and I was in the high school, I got a call, because we used to have those two way Nextel phones. So the principal actually, she she, she bleeped me on the phone. And she goes Walid come down to my office. That was

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my relationship with my principal. Okay, she had my cell phone, and she would call me because we had that much trouble. Okay, no, we got an app.

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You could say drove wagon.

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Well, I was involved with so much more school schools, school spirited varsity sports, Senior Counsel, you know, business leaders, like homecoming queen, or

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I'm sorry, there was no bicego I said, that happened in college.

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We got to build the foundation. That's right. That's right. Yeah. No, but Subhanallah she actually came and she said to us, because of the work we put forward, you know, you say pay forward. This is exactly as she said to us. And she was a sweetheart, sweet Irish lady. And she said,

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listen, whatever happened, you know, happen. This is not this has nothing to do with you guys. Right? This is just some crazy scenario took place. We know who you are as Muslims. You know, you guys are good people. We know you guys are good. You know, in the school. You guys are have been here for many years. We all graduated from there, all my siblings and my mom taught there as well at the school, so walk around with hijab, and then all predominately white neighborhood weighed down and very blue collar and white collar as well. But we we actually put it forward like we were never the ones getting in trouble. Right? Right. So when they saw that they were like, they accepted the

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Muslims for who they are, because they knew them. And you know, my mom was being around and always coming and she always came with her trazer of baklava

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to the school and they loved her so much because this is genuinely who we were. Yeah, it wasn't we had to like make up for later on. So so at that point, so I guess you say September 11 was a catalyst for you. It was about Yeah, like what I do is a way of showing gratitude to Allah and I live out that purpose. Yeah, right. Because not a lot of people could experience that because we lived literally, like right across the water from when it happened. So as a man now

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all of us here have fathers. Yeah, I'm a father of four. Let me tell you, I'm the know we have five Hola, hola. Hola. Same five five masala so well over three chilies ever well over two children, being a father men like being a father. And

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each moment that you mentioned that you mentioned from from your from your mentor building msgid with your father and then you're mirroring your teacher as a mentor and having go through the blood, sweat and tears, you know what I'm saying? And then also September 11. Having that as a catalyst, you know, to to really think about what life is about. Like I said, when I became a Muslim, the question I asked myself was What is life really about? I'll never forget, I watched that colleges scene tape was

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I was just thinking about him right now. That was it. For me. That was really when I said the purpose of life. Goes back to God. It doesn't go back to my profession. Yes.

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You know what I've attained? Like, my accolades, my reputation. It's it goes back to God. And that I think for a man is crew. Sure. Yeah, absolutely. And actually Fast Forward real quick. So finished high school, college, and he's talking about the purpose of life. I 20 years old, I proposed to my my wife in marriage, okay, of course to her father, which she had no clue about it because we were in the MSA. As everybody knows, the MSA is in the college we went to service served on

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the first of our

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first summer day, actually, I know and actually, I know about 10 couples that got married internal through the MSA. I'm not mad at that. Man. That was the best over the golden years. Yes. And I propose to you why Subhanallah I was 20 years old. I didn't have a nickel to my name. But I wanted to fast forward I want because I was learning so much talk about mentorship. I saw a lot of people that have advanced their lives of being around good people. Okay. And I'm that I when I went ahead and made that decision to propose to her for marriage, and she was senior to me, as well. I felt this is a time I needed to settle down in my life at a young age because there's so much fitna out

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there about manhood, and I want to protect my manhood. I want to protect my, my, my family, and everything else. And I felt this was the right approach, and set a Subhanallah since that, every single one of my siblings, they followed suit. merseyrail like my brother in law, met my or saw my sister on the day of my wedding. And he wanted to propose to her in marriage. And couple months later, is it and 15 years later strong. And they also have their five kids. That was from the day of the wedding. Yeah. And also my older brother, and then my other. So all this circulated into a good

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something good came out of it. Yeah, because I put put it forward. I didn't want to wait. And I felt I see all the brothers that started at an early age, to really establish themselves and to start developing themselves from a boy to a man, you gotta you can just talk about it. Well, I mean, one of the things that you said is really key. I mean, the thing that if you asked me what the issue is with our young men today, is that they're kind of trapped in this perpetual boyhood. You know what I mean? Like, you see these 25, even 30 year olds, and they're still doing the same thing that, you know, we were doing when we were 16 years old. Yes. You know, I mean, playing video games, and, you

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know, hanging out no responsibility. And a couple of things that you mentioned are key. I also got married very young. I was 21 years old. I've been married for 22 years or whatever. Now. I'm gonna get that number, right. Yeah. For the record, get ready for the what were some of the key things that could propel somebody to become who they are? Whatever. Marriage is one of them. Yep. You know what I mean? And I tell I tell my kids, I have I mean, one of my my daughters in college, my son's senior in high school, tell him the same thing. I said, Listen, get married. Yeah, absolutely. So you don't have to be financially independent on your own and have a job and have a degree and then

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you get a little bushing and just get married, like and go through life's journey together. We struggled together. Yeah. And that will make you stronger as a couple in the future. And that's the beautiful thing about the struggle, right? Because when you struggle as a young, vibrant man, that is learning how to protect themselves on his way to study to eventually provide, he's gonna learn, okay, before I graduate, I need to start thinking about providing nouns, right, you know, not only rely on the degree, but rely on soft skills that I can attain them. So you know what I'm saying, to be able to protect, because this woman I want to marry and so I'm going to ask you, I remember a

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mentor of mine. He said, Man, when I asked the girl that I'm married, why do you want to get married? She said, I want a partner to help me to get to Genesis. That's it, everything else? Yeah, it's just the way that I do that. And those ways need to be halal. So like, when you when you're talking about getting married young is very, very important. It's good to hear a father say that, you know, 2024, man, because, you know, you'll find it. I was thinking the other day, you know, a guy graduated the age of 1718.

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goes to college at least four years. Yes, that's 21. And if he goes to med school, you're talking about that. Another seven? On top of that, that's when you start thinking about marriage. And that's actually sometimes they do. Yeah, and actually, sometimes you've already like passed those happy years. Not not necessarily but you vibrant. You missed a lot of opportunity. My wife mind you, she wouldn't when Subhanallah she I'll show you how amazing she is. When I approached her in marriage. For marriage. She actually came approached me and she walked right up to me on the college campus and she said, I got a question for you. She lives Why do you want to marry me?

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And of course at that time, either you'd be Rico Suave, or you'd be like the nebi Salah Santa. Sounds like I gotta fix I gotta, you gotta fast forward a little

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Have it. So I said to her, I said, because I look at you as the mother of my children, you know, and I was nothing else more than that I said, and I asked her, I said, Where do you stand? You know, in terms of your career, your family and when she goes, Listen, I'm in med school, but my family comes first. That put me at ease. Michelle, she's very successful. She's She's a practicing family doctor, but she had three. We had three kids during her residency. Yeah, man. See, this is what you guys also had.

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YouTube? Yeah. So my, my wife's also a physician, and we had our first one in medical school. And then second one and internship, which is yeah, it was very difficult. Obviously, this is this is very important in regards to this has been a consider rite of passage as well, because you're growing as a man going through hardships with the mother of your children with your wife, and that only made us better. And it only makes you strong, you still

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think that? You know, once you go to this, go through this? It's going to be a trial and tribulation that will be heavily traumatic? Yes. So after, you know, as funny as my college professor, I got married when I was still an undergraduate. It was summer, my junior year. And we had, we were taking this ethics class, we needed to graduate both my wife and I, and the professor, I'll never forget him. He told me, he said, Listen, you guys are really nice people. He said, My advice, don't get married. And I said, why? He said, because statistically, over 50% of people will get divorced by the time they graduate medical school, people who go in married to medical school over 50% will end

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up divorce, because of the stress of being in medical school and stuff like that. And I told him, I said, you know, Professor, I said, respectfully, I think we're different. You know, he says, Yeah, that's what they all say. And I'm the law. I know what I meant was we're different is that we're most Muslim. You know what I mean. And even though those those years, we were dirt poor, we had nothing apps, I still had to depend on my parents to help out every once in a while and things like that. But I'll tell you what, it was the happiest years of my life. Not that I'm not happy now. hamdulillah Allah has blessed me with five beautiful children, if you're listening, I love you guys.

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But but, you know, just that the foundation that was set for those challenges? Absolutely. They know those times those struggles, the if we used to go camping, and you know, on our breaks, and just all the things that we used to do. I mean, it made us who we are today. Now SubhanAllah. That even reminds me, I totally forgot when I went to surgical tech school, and I became a Muslim around that time. And I remember, you know, I was growing my beard out. And she was like, I don't know how you going to do this, you know, you're going to be going in the OR, and, you know, I said, Well, there's masks, there's appropriate masks that we can wear, you know, and I trust in God. You know, this is

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what I trusted the most. And he's the one that's going to give me this job or take it away, right. And she was like a very, she was very Methodist. She was a strong Methodist. So she heard that she backed off or left me alone. Yeah. And the second incident is when I graduated, and I found a job as a surgical tech and I had the opportunity to make hij. And it was during my two week, my three month evaluation and a three month orientation. So I walked on their feet, I walked in, I told Shirley, your name is Shirley Taylor walked in and said, really?

00:28:14--> 00:28:37

I know this is going to be difficult. But you know, I'm a Muslim, as you know. And there's something called hudge. It's a pilgrimage. And I've been given the opportunity, all expenses, pay dollar expenses paid, right? To go to go and my brother, we don't haven't. She said, Oh my god, really. My husband is a historian. And she showed me he showed me a picture of the cabin. It was in her office.

00:28:38--> 00:29:13

And she said, Yeah, look, we'll make something I noticed you're religious, your guy will make something happen. Don't worry, we'll have somebody coming for you. Perfect, man. Like everything goes back to that when you trust and that's what I mean by the purpose like everything. And this is very common medical school. Yeah, yeah. I got a lot of phone calls from brothers. By the way before they marry a sister in med school. They say what should I do? I said, support her, give her the give her the emotional, physical and the mental support, because they're gonna need all that. Because it's very stressful. You guys did it both together? Yeah, I applaud you guys for that. Know,

00:29:13--> 00:29:21

hamdulillah hundreds, and hundreds and a lot of brothers, they wanted to take their advice. They appreciate it. Those hardships. It makes a man out of you.

00:29:22--> 00:29:59

And sometimes, by the way, mind you, as scary as it sounds, that you have no clue what's going to happen while you're just putting the trust on Allah subhanaw taala he never it was never a dull moment. We've never worried actually because we always knew our intentions were pure, but we at the same time did you know we did always Sahara and it's the chakra is the shadow with the shooter the people that you counsel from people? Absolutely. Because that's a big point that people don't know. And that's another aspect of responsibility. Because once you're part you always have your ultimate intention is to do it for Allah. So you're seeking advice that takes a lot of humility. Yes be

00:30:00--> 00:30:34

time it takes a lot of knowing the right people, because there'd be some interesting. Yeah, you whoever you talk to, you're trusting them blindly trust me, we don't want to be vulnerable man, we want to look weak, right? Being weak. Yeah. What's weak about asking Allah subhanaw? taala? Yeah, you know, guide me, helped me support me. And then you go to your friends, your beloved brothers that you love, like, I have two in front of me, say I need to talk to you about and you know, as the you go, you go, you go to a lot. First is the harder, right. And then you go to the ones that you feel Allah has gifted to give you that advice. Yeah, allows Well, you know what I'm saying? And

00:30:34--> 00:30:55

that's what makes a man are human. And that and that whole process. I think that's that's really what distinguishes the Muslim man, out of everyone else, when we're talking about the purpose of life. And that purpose, being something that goes beyond is transcendent. You know what I mean? So talking about family, and I like I like that you mentioned that Mandy says, you know, when I look to get married to I didn't have any money I was that was in miskeen. Student, club.

00:30:57--> 00:30:58

miskeen. College.

00:30:59--> 00:31:20

Founder of that club, it was good. I had my I had money leftover from surgical tech. But the first second year, there's books and I'm like, man, come on. By the time I found somebody, you know, I didn't have any money. Don't worry about it. When I was gonna propose to my wife. I parked my car around the corner. That's how Myskina was the car with my bicycle over

00:31:21--> 00:31:23

$75 car, my brother.

00:31:24--> 00:32:07

Really? Big ups to my brother? Yeah, he gave me a car. Because I couldn't afford 270 $5 car. He said use this user for six months till completed died. Yeah. But we'll lay the botica that was put in that. Yeah, that's funny. You mentioned that I think all of us have car stories. And that's even when you say free, they say 75 bucks, even though one of the things you mentioned, though, is you said purpose. Yeah. And I think another thing that I think I've identified a lot with people, when they're not happy, it's because they're trying to find purpose in the wrong thing. That's you know, and I see it a lot as physicians, right. So a lot of people, their identity revolves for doctors,

00:32:07--> 00:32:47

their identity revolves around being a doctor. So they get their sense of purpose and fulfillment from being a physician, right? But the reality is being being a physician is really not that glamorous, you know, we have to deal with a lot of stuff, especially in the emergency department. After a while that novelty wears off, and those people end up happy, which is why a lot of physicians are you know, the suicide rate amongst physicians is extremely high. So my point is, is that you know, whatever it is that you do if you're trying to find purpose in something other than through your deen and your connection with Allah subhanaw taala. Eventually, the novelty will wear

00:32:47--> 00:33:31

off and it will get old and you will be unhappy. This is what I was doing some research on men, there's a book called Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. He's a psychologist of the past and he was in the concentration camps. You know, he was he lived through the concentration camps. And he realized that people once they lost a lot of their belongings, their loved ones, what is life about him in the concentration camp, some got suicidal, some felt that life had no meaning. Life had nothing, nothing was worth worth anything. But he said, really, the goal of man is to find meaning, right? Once he finds meaning he finds relevance and once he finds relevance, that's where any Hill

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Hill overcome any triumph. Right? Right. Right. But I was like this is deficient in some way. Because exactly what you're saying is, you know, subhanAllah, you know, unfortunately, call it Allah that you'll find Muslims even find their validation in their profession and there and then the position is that one of the most noble professions, mashallah to Batticaloa on the mainstream, right? Being a physician? And if they find stress in it, they might question that because, you know, is it really worth it? Yeah. So I came to a conclusion

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that there's the meaning in life. And there's the meaning of life, right? So the meaning in life, that we find people saying, I'm finding meaning in this as finding fulfillment in something you do. I find fulfillment in being a physician and helping people get to their optimal health, right? Or an emergency when somebody comes with a gunshot wound. I want to be that person that Allah uses to help this person that's meaning in life, you find fulfillment, somebody may not find fulfillment. How many people have you met the first sign of blood? They faint? You've probably seen some medical, surgical. They see blood they faint. They're like, Yeah, I don't think there's not gonna be a long

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road for them. You're not cut off. Right? You don't. But they may find meaning in being a first grade teacher and teaching a child how to read. Right? Right. You know what I'm saying? And that's Yeah, but it's deficient though. So someone that doesn't have their purpose to live they say, I want to I was I was I never forget, I was learning how to I was went to a Tehsil school and like to teach English as a second language, because it was lost. I was trying

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would be my wife from overseas and I had to learn teach English so I can still know when I was getting my be calm and stuff like that. Yeah. So I was in Tribeca, right Tribeca, learn how to teach English. Secondly, when I met this girl, man, she was in our class, she was from Tennessee. And she was learning how to teach English. For what reason, because she went there to just learn teaching us to go to Uganda, to teach the kids English. That was her lesson.

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But her lifelong mission was to do that, and that was in the name of religion. Of course, there was a missionary missionary. Exactly. So that's, you'll find people that will do it, but it's for a purpose. That was their purpose, right. But you'll find people that are not even their religious, but they only do it for a monetary gain or for personal fulfillment, right? But the connection with the Muslim is that I do that. And that's my way that I worship Allah, right, the meaning of life. And that's what we mean by purpose. So you know, that's what I see in cotton in society in general, to put the Muslim society, we see this phenomenon, all more and more, especially amongst the

00:36:04--> 00:36:45

millennials, you know, what I mean, is that everybody is searching for purpose. And they feel like they're gonna find it before it was Save the Whales, or save the polar bears or whatever, then it was personal fulfilment, I'm going to climb Kilimanjaro, I'm going to dive the deepest ocean, or whatever it was, or run a marathon or become a triathlete, because and so you will find temporary purpose in these kinds of things. But as soon as it's done, you realize it's empty, and then you try to go on to the next thing, but eventually, you're going to run out of that, and it's going to be, it's going to be all in vain, right? For all just be honest about myself. You know, I don't want

00:36:45--> 00:37:00

people to get the impression that, yes, I was born Muslim, did I come from a family that we used to pray all together and things like that, but I didn't. If you asked me, When did I really realize the gift of Islam. And it wasn't until I was probably 3536 years old.

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I was just like, these people that I'm describing right now, I was building cars, buying properties, doing stuff trying to go on these kinds of trips, and this and that. I thought that I could find happiness through that. But you know, the turning point in my life was when my father Allah, yeah, he passed away. I was really, really close with my dad. He lived with us. I didn't have any brothers. He was like my father and my brothers. So we did everything together. And then when he died at a young age, a relatively young age, you know, just kind of more suddenly, I realized, what is the what am I? What am I doing? Yeah, what am I doing? I'm a doctor. Sure I have money. Yes, I

00:37:43--> 00:38:26

have this, I went on this vacation. Great. But am I happy and I wasn't, you know, I mean, so then, I, honestly, I had to go on this personal journey myself to really I wanted to know for sure that Islam was the right religion. And I couldn't do that until I investigated all the other routes. I went to like this two year journey, and my wife remembers, where I started studying all the other religions and deep dives with a real open mind, and this and that, and then eventually, I said, Okay, well, let me like, learn more about my religion, you know, and then when I when I started doing that, then I said, Man, I had it all along. And now Now I finally realized it right? So then

00:38:26--> 00:39:03

my my life started having purpose, right? I could still be a physician, but I knew that that's not the source of my happiness. It's one of the things that if I do it with the right intention, inshallah it'll bring me closer to a less month Allah and then everything else that branched out from that raising family, having children, you know, and things like that. It all branches from wanting to be closer from love, but that for me, it came to me later in life, you know what I mean? It sounds like for you, I'm the Love came when you were young. And actually part of your you're mentioning, like, what really solidified a lot of stuff is that I actually, to your point exactly,

00:39:03--> 00:39:41

is that I started my, a lot of people they get, they retire, then they start doing charity and philanthropy work. Okay, I did the complete opposite. I finished business, I graduate from business school, I had a choice to either go to the charity world, or to go to the corporate world. And that's when I started working for Islamic Relief at a very young age. I was there for 17 years, up until recently, right? Which I started working on some new new initiatives and collaborations. I wanted to sort of finish in what I'm doing finish in the world of philanthropy. We're finished in the world of sadaqa. Yeah, and giving back and serving. And I think the purpose to me, that's just

00:39:41--> 00:39:59

my personal definition of purpose is serving Allah subhanaw taala. Yeah, in whatever way, shape or form so now, going back to the purpose, that's where I feel, you know, our purpose should be find whatever door that will allow you to enter into the agenda. And that's exactly my man. He said. Everyone has the

00:40:00--> 00:40:32

doors that they when they asked him why he didn't go and fight right because he was always he was in Medina Yeah. But he mentioned something along those lines that he wouldn't have their doors in their pathway and choose what the last month was, as possible Selim says, he said do work for everyone. And we yesterday Muhammad Allah, that there is a facilitation has been made for what they've been created for so long has created you with a certain interest in something. Go at it. And we as fathers, you know, it's our duty for our art. Right. Yeah. You know, it's a process so said cool. Look, Ryan, he said all of your shepherds, clinical Mazoon and rioting and you will be asked about

00:40:32--> 00:41:09

your your your flock, to facilitate our children to live their purpose, you know, once you and that's why, you know, not every child has to go into Taffy the Quran. Yeah, yeah. Right. This child may be gifted with it, and that's how they fulfill it, you know, and, and this one may not in regards to memorization, but in other ways of the most important thing is that they live the Quran in their lives. Yeah, at least fathers. That's our ultimate. Just today alone, I was talking to my son Hamza, he's 10 years old, my eldest boy, and my eldest is many my daughter, she's 12. And subhanAllah. I was talking about two things today I spoke to him about, about him pursuing health.

00:41:09--> 00:41:43

Yeah, in a nutshell, I know your kids, Michelle already got to there. So you guys are my mentors are my inspiration for that. And I told him, Hey, if this is something you want to do, I fully support you. And I don't want you to be pressured to doing it. I want you to love it. Enjoy it, live it. So you can you know, breed it. Yeah, I think honestly, what he what I've noticed my kids is that, and just myself growing up, I'm sure you all kind of felt the same way. But we innately just want to please our parents, right? You know what I mean? We want them to feel we want our parents to feel and to look at us and say,

00:41:44--> 00:42:21

good job, my son, you know what I mean? Like, feel proud of us, right? That's in the end of the day, that's what we all want, right? You know, when it comes to our relationship with our parents, so what it is that you value in your life, your children are going to also learn to value those kinds of things, you know what I mean? So I think, you know, for families and for young boys and young girls and things like that, just giving them a good example giving them being showing them the right way that a husband and wife interact, you know, in the home, you know, that's really really important. That's the best that you know, teaching because the reality is they're going to revert to

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whatever it is that they saw. Growing up. My parents will I grown up because I was one of five children, the middle boy middle child, anytime my father and my mother had a dispute, anytime they would go up, they will go to the room close the door, though, though, those speak their mind to each other. No comment, like nothing ever happened? Yeah, well, like in the respect of my father gave my mother You know, so many for so many years up until today, you know, masha Allah, and may Allah preserve them and be pleased with them. And we were talking about, like, part of our inspiration to write that was my inspiration to how I wanted to have my, my family, like I never my wife and

00:42:59--> 00:43:22

Hamdulillah you know, we have a great relationship, and may Allah preserve that relationship and make it better, you know, and part of that is I and I always remind my children, whenever they're yelling and fighting and beating each other up, and the way, whatever they do, I said, Do you see me doing that to your mother? Automatically? They say no. Yeah. And, and myself as a public speaker, you know, sometimes I'll catch myself speaking to my son one time.

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I'm talking to I think, after a basketball game, sometimes, you know, I changed my way when talking about basketball, because I don't want to get in the car and I used to say, Okay, second quarter, man, why don't you do a turn around? You just should have went up with the now I'm quiet and then he'll open up, okay. But before I remember one time I was doing it. And it was from Allah, Allah. Allah is from Allah. Everything's from Allah. But this one like Allah was like, shut. Yeah. Yeah. I was talking. And I just I was Jonathan.

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I said, Why am I giving you a hook right now? Me with the music? You give me? Oh,

00:44:00--> 00:44:01

man.

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Well, like recently, I've been trying to change my approach with my kids. Like my son, Hamza? Yeah. He is the type person that does not like to be yelled at or barked at, yeah. And guess what he shuts down. So my wife would take him, she'll talk to him very casually, nice, soft, smooth, click, and I was like, I could do that too. I can be the we want to be the man of the household and yell and burn. But same time, I can also come down that nobody saw Selim was so good to how we connect with so many people who asked earlier, how do I the connection connecting with people is because sometimes you got to read people and talk to them on their level. You know, whatever comes from the

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heart reaches the heart. You know, and I really think that's something I'm learning as well. No, it's, it's trial and error. Yeah. And that's what fatherhood is all about. That's it, and that's why it's so deep. That's why you know, we're going back to purpose and reason yeah. When your ultimate purpose for that person, right, that co worker is for them.

00:45:00--> 00:45:35

Ultimately, to recognize a line become Muslim. Yeah. And if they are Muslim, it's like, okay, to bring them back to Allah. Yes. Not saying that I'm better than yours. But I see something that I would want someone to tell me. Yes, you know what I'm saying that that's why this is the first, the first theme of all of this is this these episodes is because this is the foundation, we need it, when you have this foundation, everything is is exemplified and shown through this, keeping this in mind, like I have this purpose, and therefore I'm going to talk to the person this way. And that's why we see within the son of the Prophet saw some, like these are Hadith that were mentioning and

00:45:35--> 00:45:42

how you deal with people and how a man should be versus a woman. And, you know, it was interesting. When I was at this conference, i Brother,

00:45:43--> 00:46:19

I gave a lecture on male roles and female roles, right? So I said, I like to use the word rules. I like to use guidelines with objectives, right? These are guidelines and have ultimate godly objectives, not cultural. It's not it's not ours. It's what was scripted for exactly man. So he came he somehow like the election. He said, I like what you said about, you know, you know reo, owning, owning the term housewife, for example. I think we as Muslims, we need to own that term. It's not a derogatory term. It's a very lofty, honorable term. But he said something is so deep. He said, man, he said, My Father, cancer, my wife, it to my wife, you know, in the process of them said that Jenna

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lies at the feet of the mother. He said, You have to earn that.

00:46:24--> 00:47:00

You got to earn being called the mother. That is not like, and the same thing with the Father. So we find this verse out of reach out to Comunale. It's controversial. I always say, Okay, I speak to the men first I don't talk about okay, the Man has authority over you this and this and that. I say, look, first be original. Yeah. And you will naturally be calm. Yeah, the woman will naturally want to follow you when she sees. Yeah, and knows that you originally and that's where I lie. He it was it's a cupboard here. He's saying, This is what it is buttery. Jellicle. I'm what he says like not not, you can't change that. Right. But you have to be there and that it was scripted that's in our

00:47:00--> 00:47:27

scripture that we follow that we accept that we have to live it, we have to learn to act, we have to apply it. And part of that, though, will lead I think, you know, is we have to let go of two different things. Number one is the old notions from back home. You know, father doesn't hug the children. He's the tough guy. He just goes and works hard earns the money brings it home. Woman Where's my dinner? You know, like that kind of bacon though, right? Yeah, that's right. I love

00:47:28--> 00:48:10

that bacon. That's something we got to let go of. But then we also have to let go of this new age kind of phenomena. Oh, it's, it's a 5050. You know, yeah, you wash the dishes one night, and I wash the dishes the other night? And then we're equal, but we're, no, no, we have to let go of both sides. Because I think that over the last 1520 years, since we were what high school middle school, I mean, we've been kind of slowly conditioned into believing we were both raised. And all of us were raised in United States. I mean, conditioned to believe that men or dads are the doofus, you know, Homer Simpson, you know, like clear, and the wife is the brilliant, intelligent one that holds

00:48:10--> 00:48:31

everything together. And the father is a bumbling idiot. You know, I mean, so this is what society has projected upon us, which is probably why our men are in the state that they're in. So there's a balance in between, right? The balance in between is yes, men are the caretakers of women. But that also comes with the responsibility. So David is beautiful. He told me that because the Hadith the process,

00:48:32--> 00:48:52

at least this should either be surah. Net, the harsh one is not the one that can wrestle right. He debunks in a mountain? Yes. He said, the one that is hard. The one that is the should eat is the one that can control themselves in times of anger. He doesn't discredit anger, right? Because if you're not angry about what's going on in Lesson, what's the rosin? We've said? Many of them you had this nephew who because

00:48:53--> 00:49:26

you know, the one that doesn't speak about Gaza in his heart, like there has to be some level of battle that you have that you have to have want in your heart. Yeah, you know, that is important. So he doesn't deny the anger. But he says you control it, don't let it control you write it just because you're a wrestler. Not discounting the wrestling. But don't think that that is what masculinity is. Don't think that that is what this should be this Yeah. And he also said about the man that said, it's interesting you said about the old fashioned way. Yeah, you know, the man came he said, I have 11 children. I don't kiss any of them. Right. Right. Yeah.

00:49:28--> 00:49:29

Lay your hand lay your hand.

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He debunked it immediately. He's like yo, no, no, that's not what I'm doing. Those are not merciful to those Yeah, those show mercy to them and not not show mercy not so much Allah may Allah bless you brothers for coming through man and I'm that's a beautiful gathering, really understanding the importance of fatherhood family, and how that is a way of living your purpose. May last $1 Make this a blessed gathering and make it a means of explanation for any shortcomings and make us the best men that he's created us to be. Back last weekend was

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I want a camera to work anyway good