DEATH – E-Reminders

Abdurraheem Green

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AI Generated Summary ©

The importance of knowing oneself and not just seeking truth is discussed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The speaker emphasizes the benefits of knowing oneself and being wise in the face of the "monster" of the "anything that you don't know" aspect of the pandemic. The importance of preparing for death and not leaving something behind for one's dependents is also emphasized. The speakers stress the importance of having faith and belief in one's deeds to achieve success in life and not just focusing on the consequences of their actions.

AI Generated Transcript ©


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Salam Alaikum brothers and sisters is great to be back for another series of IE reminders on Newcastle Fs, Newcastle FM, or new Call of Newcastle fast FM or now streaming services called. And, yeah, I'm sort of continuing with the same theme that I have been talking about previously, which is all about knowing oneself, but not, you know, now I'm going to move into slightly different territory, which is actually what I started, I actually started the whole series a little bit talking about this. And I'm going to be exploring

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the whole field or the whole area of what is called in psychology, cognitive dissonance. And I'll probably go into what exactly that is in Sharla. In some, you know, in some net future episodes, but very briefly,

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in very simple terms, the purpose of this is for us to understand about how we get things wrong in our thinking. And I think that's very important. Because

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we're all we should all be pursuing wisdom. And there's not one of us that should not seek to be more wise. And to be more knowledgeable, and to have more understanding. And I don't, hopefully don't need to repeat myself over and over again, although I do as to why it is so important to know yourself, why it is so important to understand yourself to be very brutally honest about who and what you are, and what is going on in your mind and what's going on in your heart.

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And, as I've mentioned before, many times, this is connected to sincerity, it's connected to loss. And in broader terms, it's just connected to making better decisions in your life, in so many things.

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And ultimately, it's about truth. And that's what we are we're truth seekers, in Sharla. We're truth finders, we're not just seeking truth, we want to find it. And the truth is out there. It's not hard to find Alhamdulillah.

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And we know in broad terms, what the truth is, the truth is knowing a lot. The truth is knowing your Creator, the truth is following Islam, the truth is there in the air. But then, of course, we can have so many discussions about those different levels of understanding of the Quran.

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And the revelation that Allah subhanaw taala sent us but let me not get diverted too much by that because today, my main

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what I want to talk about is death. And I want to link death to really this topic of how we get things wrong.

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Cognitive dissonance, how we think in ways that

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are generally, you know, the point about again, I don't want to go into this too much, but I'm going to talk about it very briefly. Our brain likes to economize, we like to economize, because using our brain takes a lot of energy, and it takes a lot of effort. So we, the way that Allah subhanaw taala has created us is that Subhanallah we have lots of shortcuts. And our brain take shortcuts. And those shortcuts help us save energy. And most of the time, a lot of the time those shortcuts are good, they are useful. They help us save energy. But it's also very important for us to realize that our brain does take these shortcuts and these shortcuts are not always the right things. They don't

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always come to the right conclusions. In fact, if we over rely upon them, we can come to some pretty catastrophic decisions, which, you know, we'll talk about that another time. And, well, one of these catastrophic decisions that we can take based upon an understandable shortcut

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is death.

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So what is an understandable shortcut? I don't know exactly

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what this type of cognitive dissonance is called. Some of them have names I'm sure this does have a name.

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But generally, as human beings, we just expect things to keep on going the way that they generally have been going. That's what we sort of expect. We think that because the sun rises from you know, we think the the sunrise in the East

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Since sets in the west, then it's going to keep on rising from the east and saying in the West,

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and we don't really think about it,

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you know, the moon goes through its phases it has done for as long as human memory, collective human memory goes back, that the moon keeps doing that, and it keeps going through phases. And it's, you know, it's predictable. And it's similar with the seasons we go through the seasons is pretty predictable. Generally, we have the seasons, and just life goes on. And that's just pretty normal for human beings, right is that, and for obvious reasons, because if we kept on worrying constantly, every single minute, every single moment, every single second, something completely, radically different is going to happen.

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The stress and the worry of that may make normal functioning of our life quite difficult. However,

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the other extreme is just, you know, living life on this, this just merry go round thinking that everything is just going to keep on being the same, and that that it necessarily is going to be the same. And, you know, this has been noted, is that it's called The Black Swan effect. You know, this, the idea that we think that because every single Swan that we've ever seen is white, we think that swans are white.

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And suddenly these unexpected events can come, we find that there is a black swan, and then suddenly it turns everything that we presumed and everything we thought about

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on its head, and that's what they call them, you know, black swan events is that these things that

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that just almost unpredictable. Well, technically, a black swan event is not unpredictable. In fact, technically, they are predictable, because if you think about it enough, we know that they're going to happen, we know these unexpected events are going to happen.

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And so it just means that we have to take into account that dimension in our thinking. And as Muslims, brothers and sisters, it is very important that we need to be thinking people, one of the things that I want to talk about maybe next week in sha Allah is social proof. And that is another type of cognitive dissonance or another way that our thinking can sometimes

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get get things really badly wrong. And often actually, when we're not thinking we're just relying upon these mental shortcuts that we have. But it means that we don't always see the world and understand the world the way it is. And sometimes it doesn't really matter. But sometimes it can be really devastating. And the impact of it can be catastrophic. And obviously, we want to avoid that we want to avoid it as human beings. And we definitely want to avoid that as Muslims.

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When you look at something like social proof, and when we look at it within the Quranic context,

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and we can see that how human beings have relied upon it. And it's been a cause of their misguidance. And going astray and going to hell fie collectively as nations, we can understand exactly how dangerous and catastrophic it is. But back to my topic today, black swan events, well, let me introduce of a common black swan event and that is death.

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Death is entirely predictable.

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From the point of view of Absolutely, we all know that we are going to die.

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One of the most thing, one of the things that we can absolutely be sure about is that we are going to die.

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But we don't know when.

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And part of it is a real problem. And it is a real issue. And it is something that is really negative in our general life, that we don't recognize the reality of death.

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And we don't live as if we are going to die. Most of us absolutely most of us except people who are really wise. And it's interesting that I began this talking about wisdom and acquiring wisdom and wanting to be wise what is wisdom? Wisdom is the ability to make the right decision. And what is the right decision, ultimately, the right decision

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for every human being, and this is especially true for us as Muslims who are cognizant of the reality of what is going to happen after death. The right decision

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Is that what are the consequences of our actions going to be?

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When we meet Allah on the Day of Judgment? This is how you make the right decision. The right decision is when you think about the consequences of your actions, when you meet Allah subhana wa taala. What am I going to say to Allah when he questions me about this? And I don't mean it in a sense of, how can I come up with some clever, something clever for me? Because Allah will see through all of that. There's no cleverness in front of Allah, He sees to the very depths of your being, he knows stuff about you, you don't even know about yourself. What I mean is, is that, how am I honestly going to be able to justify my action truly, and sincerely in front of Allah, on the Day

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of Judgment? This is what we should think about every single thing that we do, actually. Because every atoms we have good and evil, we will know about it on the Day of Judgment. So it reminds me of what Hassan Al bursary said that he said that for 40 years, I did not say or do anything except that I thought to myself, first, is this pleasing to Allah or not?

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This is truly profound, this is truly deep, this is truly an amazing state in which we should try to be, we should always try to think about what are the ultimate consequences of our actions. I mean, even from a human, secular, non religious, non believing perspective, a person who is able to project the consequences of their actions, either individually or collectively, beyond, you know, the next week, the next month, the next day, into the future, if you can say someone can, you know, really think about what are the consequences of what we do in 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 100 years, then as human beings, we will think of that person, as being really wise is having deep

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insight.

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So this type of deep insight, this type of wisdom, this type of ability, to be able to think deeply about the consequences of what we do is really important. But what

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what, in essence, prevents us sometimes from doing that, is the normality of life, that life just does seem to go on.

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In a pretty normal way, day in, day out. And I guess one of the very interesting things about, you know, the whole pandemic, the Coronavirus, everything that's happened alongside with that. What's interesting is that, almost definitely, it is going to have some sort of shift in human thinking about how things that we have taken for granted as being normal in life suddenly are not normal. And that is something that a lot of people have recognized, a lot of people are recognized is that they have taken a lot of things in their life for granted. A lot of things that they just presume that we're just going to keep on happening, have not kept on happening.

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And death is like that. Brothers and sisters, you see death is like that as well. Because death is fundamentally a very, very massive change in our state of being. And it happens to around us all the time. This is the thing now, what's sort of strange about this is that while pandemics don't happen all the time, like they've happened historically, we know about them we know about you know, the Spanish flu.

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In the, in the beginning of the 90 the 2019 century, we you know, we know about the the bubonic plague we know about the Black Death. And there were actually many plagues in Islamic history, many plagues, and so on and so forth that happened. So it's not something new. It's not something strange in the human experience, but it tends to be generational or you know, happen every maybe five or you know, five generations doesn't even normally happen every generation. It's something that maybe not even a generation, maybe two three generations can go by and nothing like that will happen certainly nothing on a worldwide scale. Yes, you get localized outbreaks and stuff like that.

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But death, death happens all around us all the time.

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Yet, incredibly, we don't really think about it that much.

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And considering the reality of death, considering

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The commonality of death considering how frequent death is,

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you would think that it would have a bigger impact on our behavior, you would think it would have a bigger impact on our mindset, you would think it would have a bigger impact on our mentality. And, you know, perhaps the reason that it doesn't, is because one, I think one of the reasons is that, in many ways, in many ways, shapes or form in the West, we are very isolated from the reality of death. And again, it's interesting that even during the pandemic,

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people did not really experience the reality of death around them very often, because they were not allowed to be present. When the people that were close to them were dying. Of course, there was a time in human history. And there still is, in many places in the world, where there are people who are close to you

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that die frequently, whether it's children, whether it's elderly relatives, whether it's you know, people in your, your, you know, your tribe,

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there's still places in the world. And of course, up until recent in human history, it was quite common that a lot of people around you a die death would be very, very common. And that has an impact, it has an impact on how you think about life. Because seeing death and experiencing death, does impact on your attitude towards life. And it also impacts on your attitude, attitude towards death. If death is something that you don't see or experience around you the reality of it, I mean, you may see it on TV, you may see it, but it's not, you know, actually seeing it is not like hearing about it. Being with someone when they actually die

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is not like hearing about it. Or seeing it being there at the moment of death.

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literally seeing experiencing the breath of life going

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the soul leaving the body

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actually being there present when that happens.

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Like how many of us have actually experienced that?

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How many,

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you know, I mean, even in an animal, like unless you work in an abattoir most people, you know, they don't slaughter their own animals, they don't sort of the food that they they, you know, buy, packaged and ready cut up in a supermarket. So even from that perspective, there was a time when you know, death was, you know, if you're going to take the life of a creature to eat it, you would do it yourself, or you're maybe a daddy, your mum would do it or you know you, it will be happening right in front of you. So death would be a reality, you'd experience it. And that experience of the reality of death is going to bring into focus, the reality of the temporary nature of your own life.

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And hopefully what that should do is make you appreciate your life, make you value your life, make you value time, make you value every day and every moment of every day, because it should make you understand that this could happen to you at any moment.

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There is no guarantee brothers and sisters, that you are going to live to a ripe old age, there is no guarantee that you are not going to die young, that you are not going to die in middle age, there's no guarantee you're not going to die next week or tomorrow, or next month. You know, but a lot of us do you think as if we're just going to live to a ripe old age I'll live to 80 I'll live to 90. You know, we that's how we live. That's how unfortunately, we do live life.

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But if we if death was a reality to us, if we realize that death could happen to us at any time, it can be a very positive thing. It should be from the point of view of a Muslim, very positive. Number one. It makes you appreciate every moment it makes you respect your time. It makes you realize that there are things that you need to do things that you want to accomplish things that you want to fulfill in your life, and that you do not have an endless scope in which to accomplish those things. As the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, you know he is sitting with his companions and he drew a box in the sand like a box. He said this is your life. And then he drew a line coming out of that

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box and going

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I think you can picture it, the box, yeah, they drew a line coming out of that box going up. So beyond the line of the box, is it so this box is your life, you see that little box, there is your life. And this line, that line that's your desires. That's the things you want to do. That's the things you want to have those the things you want. And meaning, those desires go way, way, way further than what that little box of your life can contain. Your desires are so much but your life is so little, you see. But when you when you remember death, and this is truly the wisdom. A wise person is the one who remembers death frequently.

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When you remember death, you realize that your life is limited, you can only achieve so much, you can only do so many things, there's only so much that you can fit into that little box that you have that is your life. And you don't even know when is the end of it, by the way you don't even know when that box is. So constantly remembering death has the benefit of helping you to prioritize, it has the benefit of helping you to focus on the things that are actually really important. And what are the things that are actually really important, then not so much the things, although obviously some things are important in this life. From an Islamic perspective, it is good to leave your

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family, your dependents in a good state, it is good to leave them with something to carry on with, it is not good to leave them simply just you know in poverty and with nothing, there's nothing wrong with leaving something behind for your descendants, that's a good thing, that's a positive thing. And thinking about that and preparing for that is all part of preparing for death, this is what you should not die, you know, you should not even spend what is it two days or three days, I don't remember the Hadith Exactly. Without writing your will. You know, so if you have something, that you come into some property, you come into something else, you shouldn't wait even a few days before you

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include that, and how that should be divided in your will of course Alhamdulillah the Sharia, you know, as prescribed for us that you know the division of our inheritance Alhamdulillah. But still, this is part of thinking and preparing for death, my brothers and sisters very important. So that's one benefit. It focuses you on what is important in this life, but also it will focus you on what is really important and that is preparing for what is to come. Now, this is what really sets us apart. This is what really sets us apart from the rest of humanity is that as Muslims, we understand that this life is not the end. And of course there are many other people who believe in the afterlife.

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But you know, some of them, like for example, say Hindus and some Buddhists believe in reincarnation, they believe that you will be you know that a person based upon their behavior will be reincarnated, you know, either as a human being or some type of creature or if you are bad as you know, like an animal.

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And so they believe in reincarnation and the impact of what you do affects how you're going to be reincarnated. There are other religions who somehow believe that

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there are things in this life that you could take with you to your afterlife, like the ancient Egyptians and many ancient pagan people would be buried with possessions with, you know, soldiers, arms, farm equipment, horses, thinking that all of this they will be somehow able to take it with them to the afterlife. But as we know as Muslims, all of this is false, all of this is just falsehood.

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And none of those things are true. We will not be reincarnated. You will not be able to take anything with you when you die. The only thing that will accompany you to your grave or your deeds

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is the goodness that you did or the good deeds that you did. And the evil deeds, they will accompany you to your grave. They will be your companions in the grave. They are that is what is going to determine how your next life is going to be the things that you did.

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And part of the

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He in a sense, part of the right way to prepare for death, is to make sure that the things that you do in order for them to be things that are going to benefit you in the next life, they need to be done with the intention of the benefit of those things being in the next life. Right. So in a sense, that's the point, you have to put it in, right. So it's, you know, like, say you have a bank account, you can have your current account, you just keep your money in the current account,

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you're not going to, you're not going to earn any investments from that. Of course, you know, arriba is haram and getting interest is haram. But, you know, if you take that money and you invest it in a business, then you have the potential to get some returns from that. You can't keep your money in your current account, and not invest in your business and then expect you're going to get some return from it, you're not just going to sit that it's the same thing. If you do good deeds, just to be a good person, and just to get benefit and dislike, that's all you'll get. But if you invest your deeds, with the intention of the benefit of that, being that in the genre, then that's the starting

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point. That's your that's the place where you're going to begin to actually get the benefit from the actor. And it's not enough just to do that you have to have him on you have to have true faith and trust and true belief and Allah subhanaw That's a pre requisite. Otherwise, it's just a false currency. It's a false, you know, you're just getting involved in some, you know, scam. Otherwise, that's it. So it's important that you have Imaan, that your faith is true that your belief is correct, that your deeds are sincere, that done it with the people who do it with the purpose of seeking the reward when you meet Allah subhanaw taala, seeking the reward in the Asherah. That's the

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that's what you're looking for brothers and sisters, right? So when you do deeds, with the intention of the benefit of those deeds, being in the next life, that's when they're going to benefit you in the next life. And then of course, those deeds have to be correctly you just can't make up for yourself, what they're going to be right you have to understand, you know what is actually going to bring you benefit in the accident.

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This is very important. So a wise person is always going to be investing. Because you realize, the more you think about this life, the more you realize how transitory is, how transitory it is, how temporary how, how fleeting this life is, in fact, really in reality, this life is like an illusion. It is like an illusion. We think it has permanence. We think it has some permanent nature, but it's not. It's very fleeting, is very transitory. It's actually really an illusion, and deception.

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You see, and that's, that's how we get things wrong. Brothers and sisters, we get things wrong as one of the most important ways and although my ideas talk about some other types of cognitive dissonance, I thought the most important thing to start talking about this topic

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is on the subject of death, to remind ourselves of the reality of the transitory nature of this world. So take some time brothers and sisters, to think about the reality of death. Take some time to think about the reality of the transitory nature of this world. And take time to do that every day, not just once in a while, every single day. Some of the ways that you can do that is by at the end of the day, or sometime in the day, take an account. Think about what have I done today? What did I achieve with my day? What did I do with my time today? How did I spend my time what what have I done that has added to my balance negatively or positively of my good deeds? What have I done that

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inshallah Allah is going to benefit me if I die tonight? If I die in my bed tonight, what is my state going to be? It's very interesting that

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you know, just back to a general note is that when they talk to, you know, they've done interviews and talk to people, old people in old age homes and you know, people who their lives are drawing to an end and what what is it that you know, they regret and you know, most people didn't regret things that they did they more regretted the things they didn't do. The things that you know, and this is it brothers and sisters a lot of the time how many times we just sit wait

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Setting our time,

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set wasting our time.

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And there is so much we can accomplish. Honestly, the amount of things that we can accomplish in our life is absolutely staggering.

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And the amount of time that we waste in inconsequential, unimportant, or how about even worse, negative, detrimental and destructive things? How much time do we spend arguing? How much time do we spend backbiting? How much time do we spend gossiping? How much time do we spend even worse than all of that? How much time do we spend

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in really destructive things like bitter,

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like religious innovations, like doing acts of worship that are actually we think that we're getting rewarded for it, but in fact, we're gonna get punished for it. That's even worse. Subhanallah, who is the greatest loss? Who is the greatest loser in respect to their deeds? The Greatest Loser in respect to their deeds is the one who thinks that they are earning good, when in fact, they are actually earning evil. This is what Omar even Tom used to say when he used to see monks, when used to see them people who had, you know, given up the whole world, given up everything

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you see, were given up marriage, given up property, given up whatever they didn't even, you know, have any worldly pleasures. And they did all of this thinking that it was something pleasing to Allah. Whereas Allah had never institutionalized that Allah have never ordered them with it. Allah had never told them to do something that is the correct answer. They invented it for themselves. Subhanallah, who is the greatest loser in respect to their deeds, the one who thinks they are earning good.

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And this is why this matter, brothers and sisters, of understanding your religion, this religion is based on knowledge, this religion is knowledge,

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you see. And so we need to be careful where we take our knowledge from, we need to make sure that we are truly understanding what is Islam, what it means to be Muslim, what is truly pleasing to Allah.

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And that's why we will talk about in sha Allah, if Allah allows us to live until next week, who knows,

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maybe I will die, maybe you will die. Maybe this will be the last time I will talk to you. Maybe this will be the last time you listen to me. Because maybe that's it. It's our last days on earth, for some of us, only Allah knows. But if Allah gives us life, we will talk about that issue of social proof. Social proof is basically what does it mean we just do what everyone else does. And die is not a proof of anything when it comes to worshiping Allah.

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And we will see in sha Allah, how every nation to whom Allah sent a prophet, everyone without almost without exception, as far as I know, except the people of Yunus, they were destroyed because of social proof because of what? Well, we just doing what everyone else is doing. We're doing what our ancestors do, we're just following the crowd. Very, very, very problematic. This is cognitive dissonance, at its most dangerous, and most destructive.

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So brothers and sisters, that sit death is one of those things.

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We just think life goes on. We just think because I was alive yesterday, and I've been alive for 56 years, or 40 years or 20 years. And funnily enough, the funny thing is, you know, almost the younger you are that, you know, the less you appreciate this sometimes, right? And the older you are, the more generally you get more and more aware of the reality that your time is running out. The funny thing is some people get to the stage where it's almost like they're looking forward to death. And that again, is I guess, because they don't really know what's coming. And we shouldn't really look forward to death brothers and sisters. Yeah, in the sense that maybe we do get fed up of life. Maybe

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we want to meet Allah. Maybe we want to go to Paradise, but there's always opportunities to do good deeds. And this is what the Prophet SAW last summer long way lately. He was so generous. He told us he said, that we shouldn't wish for death. It's not something we should wish for. We should wish actually to have a long life that we can fill with good deeds and that we

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can do more good with our life because that's what we should be trying to do. And that's why by the way, a death of a believer is always a calamity. The death of a believer is always a calamity.

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in Melilla, he were in LA Raji to Allah, we belong, and certainly to whom we are going to return. That's what we say we say, when a believer dies, it's like a calamity. Because a being that there is a life that worshipped a law that remembered a law that was trying to do good, true good. That's what a believer does. They try to do good with their life, they try to do positive things with their life, they try to make the world a better place. They try to make the world around them a better place. This is what we are trying to do brothers and sisters as believers, and we're not, and we're doing it seeking the pleasure of Allah. And this is very important to our focus, ultimately, is the

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area, whether we see the results or not, it should not be that important to us.

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Think about that. This is another beautiful thing about doing things with the intention, and with the focus of gaining the record in that area.

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Because it also psychologically helps to save us from frustration.

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It may be that many people have worked really hard for something. And they never saw the fruits of those things. They never really saw that thing bear fruit. You could plant a tree. You see, I mean, I could plant a tree now. A fruit tree, I may never live to see that tree bearing fruit. Does that mean I shouldn't do it?

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What would motivate me? Well, maybe my children would eat from it. It's not likely not they're not going to keep living here. Well, you know, maybe some person or why don't why would I care about other people? Well, maybe you would care about it. If you realize that you will get rewarded, you will get rewarded for every person for every creature for every animal. When you are in your grave, you will get rewarded for that. I'm just giving this as an example of one simple little good deed that the Prophet SAW along well ism actually encouraged us to plant something, plant something that creatures, insects, animals can benefit from. Even the Prophet said, even if sallallahu alayhi wa

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sallam, even if you knew that there was one day left,

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until the day of judgment by tomorrow, why would I plant a tree, it's not going to grow, it's not going to bear fruit, the Day of Judgment is tomorrow, no still do it. Because in the mind of linearity, every action is judged by intention.

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You see, that's how the believer is, you and this is something so important. You need to take personal responsibility, you want to make the world a better place, however remote, it may seem the possibility of that thing. Having any benefits or consequences, it doesn't matter. Because as a believer, you're doing it for the pleasure of Allah and in that is goodness in that is benefit doing these things, there are things that are good in and of themselves, whether we see the results of it or not.

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You see brothers and sisters, so this is really important. From so many different things, so many different angles, and if you have this attitude, inshallah you will never fall into despair, you will never get lost, you will never get you know, really over worried or over concerned. It is beautiful. It is a beautiful way to be it is a beautiful way to live. It's a beautiful way to it's the only way to it's life. This is what it is true life True.

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True tranquillity and true peace. And that's sort of paradox, isn't it? Is that really

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the only way that you're going to really live life is when you're constantly realizing the reality of death. But if you think about it, you'll solve that paradox and you'll understand what the reality is. So brothers and sisters, this is one of the very important things to think about. One of the important things that we need to have, in order to be clear thinking right thinking, wise

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people, we need to constantly remember the reality of death. We need to constantly think about the consequences of our actions of our words of our even really our thoughts

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when we meet Allah subhanaw taala All right, brothers and sisters. It's been a pleasure talking to you again after a

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Have a long break. I look forward to talking to you next week in sha Allah. And next week my intention is to talk about social proof. Why? One of the things that we do as human beings is, we just do what everyone else does. And a lot of the time, that makes a lot of sense, but not always, and how it can be actually really quite dangerous. We want to talk about that. And it's just about the main thing, Brothers is being aware of these things, when we are aware of them, when we are recognizing those things. It helps, it helps us to add, I suppose, in a sense to our mental arsenal, our sort of, you know, our, our tools of good thinking, that's what we want to we want to develop an

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ability to think in a healthy, clear, good way. And thinking about death is one of those things that we need to do in order to think clearly and properly. So until next time, brothers and sisters, may Allah bless you. May Allah subhanaw taala or would you and I look forward in sha Allah may Allah give us life

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to talk to you next week. Until then, A salaam alaikum