Abdurraheem Green – How To Be Content E-Reminders

Abdurraheem Green
AI: Summary © The importance of learning about one's mindset and habits to achieve success in life is emphasized, along with the need for forgiveness and compassion. The concept of depression and sadness is also discussed, which is a result of negative thinking and lack of proper behavior. The speakers stress the importance of staying in a state of submission to Islam, practicing values such as character development, and being mindful of one's actions and emotions.
AI: Transcript ©
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Yes, so they can brothers and sisters. Thanks for joining me again. And today we're going to be talking about how to be content. And I guess even before we talk about how to be content, why don't we just think about what's the benefit of being content asis may be so obvious, but I don't think we live in a world where in any way shape or form, contentment is something that is pursued. It's not.

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It's almost like it's all I think it's actually almost frown down upon because we look in a world we live in a world where everyone is saying that we need to move forward, we need to advance we need to be better, we need to be faster, we need to be bigger, we need to be, you know, you get my point. Right. Okay. And, and the idea that you could just be happy. Just the way things are. I don't care if I live, you know, in a, in a small little house.

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You know, I've got my provisions, I've got what I need. That's enough for me.

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So I mean, on a very basic level, that's contentment, isn't it? Contentment, on a very basic level is just being happy with whatever your life is giving you right now. Okay. I mean, obviously, it's easy to be content when your life is pretty nice. Yeah. I mean, for it's interesting, for example, that when they, I don't remember when this happened, but there was like a survey that was done of who were the happiest nations, who were the happiest people. And of all the people that it seemed to come out, well, one of the happiest people on earth were apparently the Danes, the Danes, the people live in Denmark, right, the Danes.

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And like, why were they happy, apparently, the reason is that Danes have very low expectations, they don't really expect much from life. So you know, when a little bit of something comes to them, they get really happy about it, but they don't, they don't have big expectations. And of course, if you have huge expectations, then

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you're gonna get disappointed. And if you get disappointed, you'll probably get sad, and you'll probably get depressed. So on a very, very simple level, one of the ways that you can acquire contentment is just not by having big expectations. Now, that may seem to go right in the face of what I was talking about the other day on my YouTube channel about, you know, the magic of thinking big, but it doesn't really contradict, if you listen to that, not really two contradictory things. But generally, contentment is something that, actually historically, some of the most wise and spiritually enlightened people in history have actively sought. That state of contentment, you see,

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I think that there's a very simple understanding of contentment. And that is, you know, like, being happy with little being content with little. And then a lot of the things a lot, if you want to know how to be content, then a lot of the things that you could practice, or a lot of the

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how a lot of the activities or the things that you might practice in order to achieve anything, apply. So like,

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if you want to be successful, hang out, you know, if you want to be materialistically successful, then hang out with materially successful, successful people, because their manners and their mannerisms and their thought process will begin to influence you. So that's because you take your, you take your way of living from the people who are your close friends, right? So if you if you want to be pious, you want to be knowledgeable, you want to be studious, you want to understand knowledge, then hang out with knowledgeable people. If you want to be well, you know, if you want to be well read, hang out in libraries, and have a big library at home. I mean, these are very, very

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basic things and then formulate the habits that will lead you in order to reach that state in which you want to be Yeah. So that's what it's really about. It's about learning about habit forming, and this can apply to anything and that includes being content and that includes developing that mindset of contentment. But you know, that's generally true for everybody but for the believer for

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The one who believes in God for the one who believes in Islam, the idea of contentment, particularly we mean here, contentment with the decree of Allah is something on a whole completely different level, it's really on a completely different level level. It's not what people maybe commonly or traditionally understand by contentment. Contentment here means that whether you suffer or you don't suffer, it doesn't, it doesn't really make any difference to you, you're just happy with whatever situation you are in. Now, that may be extraordinary. And I guess for a lot of us, to be in that state, or to even think about being in that state is extraordinary, because without doubt, most of

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us, most human beings, we are programmed to, you know, to avoid and flee from harm and things that harm us as much as possible. And we gravitate towards pleasure and things that we think are good for us as much as possible. But I guess, when it comes now to and this is what it really connects to what we were talking about over the last two weeks, which what we were talking about for the last two weeks was the love of Allah subhanaw taala. Right. So if we connect these two things, because they are very strongly connected. So we're talking about noble and lofty characteristics that we should try to acquire and develop within ourselves as believers. So one of those things is

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contentment, but I mean here particularly contentment with what Allah or God has decreed for you. And obviously, everything that happens is from the decree of Allah, there is nothing that escapes the decree of God. So whatever happens is from the decree of Allah subhanaw taala.

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When you love Allah, and when you realize how much Allah subhanaw taala how much God how much Allah Loves, human beings, how much particularly God loves those who obey Him, and follow His commands,

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and submit to Him. When you really realize the great

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ocean of forgiveness and compassion and mercy and tolerance that Allah has for us, even though Allah needs nothing from us. Allah needs nothing from us. He He is totally self sufficient. Yet still, when we offend him, we abuse him, we insult him, we disobey Him, He forgives us, he is patient with us, He gives us time to change, even though he needs nothing means nothing. Right? Like if a debt collector gives you time, they're only giving you time because they want you to pay the debt, because they want the money and they need the money. Allah doesn't need anything, he has no need. He is compassionate to us not because he needs anything from us because He is compassionate and he is

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merciful, and He is bountiful. And however many sins that we do and we return to Allah, we ask him for forgiveness, he keeps on forgiving us. Like if any human being gave us the minutus amount of compassion and love and mercy that Allah gave us we would be endlessly grateful for them. Yet despite that, most human beings are ungrateful to God. They insult God, they disobey God, they rebel against God, they turn away against God. And despite that God keeps keeps forgiving them and keeps giving them time and keeps giving them space. Subhanallah not only that, when you do good, God multiplies it over and over and over 10 times to seven times to 7000 times or even more than that.

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Because this is how much Allah appreciates, and loves that we do good, and that we thank Him and praise Him and make dua In fact, if we don't pray to God, and we don't ask God for stuff, God gets angry, God loves us to ask, and he doesn't need anything. It's not because he has a need. This is from as we talked about last week, right? One of the reasons we love Allah and we worship Allah is because of his beautiful names and his lofty attributes and when we think about them and contemplate them, how can we not except for you feel full of love and or for our Creator? Allah subhanaw taala. So you see, there's something now that comes from that brothers and sisters, there's like, it's a

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consequence of that. It's a result of that it's something that flows from loving Allah and from knowing how much Allah loves the believing slaves, when you understand that this

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characteristic of contentment is something that naturally comes from it. And I think for me, the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that summarizes the mindset that allows us to reach that state, or that condition, or that character, of being content with Allah subhanaw taala. And whatever he has decreed from us, is the saying of the Prophet, that how amazing is the condition of the believer, everything that happens to them is good. Everything. So if some bounty or some blessing, or some favor comes to them, they are grateful, and that is good for them. Or if they are afflicted by some calamity, right, or some hardship, they are patient, and that is good for them. So

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contentment, by the way, is different from patience. Patience is just putting up. Patience is like putting it up with something that's unpleasant, is unpleasant. Contentment is not really feeling that it's unpleasant. Not even, you know, when something happens to you, or some calamity strikes you all some difficulty or some hardship you encounter. You don't look at it as being like that. You don't view it through that lens. That's not how you experience that thing. And it doesn't really matter to you how long that difficulty or hardship or calamity goes on for, because for you, is the same as if some blessing had come to you. Why? Because you understand that this is something that is

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decreed by a lot. And your opinion of Allah is good. And because you love Allah, and you worship Him, and you hope that Allah loves you. And that Allah tests the people that he loves, and the people that he loves the most. He tests them the most, the people that Allah loves the most, he tests them the most. And that Allah loves that his servant or his slave, that when Allah tests his servant or slave, that that servant or slave has contentment.

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So brothers and sisters, this station or this characteristic, or this attitude, of being content,

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of not minding of not really caring, how long the test or the suffering or the difficulty goes on, it doesn't really matter to this person. Because for them, it's all good. Because they look at everything that Allah subhanaw taala has decreed as being something good and beneficial. So I think if you think about that, brothers and sisters, you can realize that that is something very deep, and that is very, very profound. And it's definitely something worth trying to develop. It's definitely a characteristic that if you could acquire it, imagine how your life would be. Imagine how you wouldn't be in a state of depression and grief and sadness.

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Right? Because what what it really why are people depressed, why are people sad? Why are people in a state of grief? It's because their life is not meet, meeting their expectations. What they think they want from life, and what they think they're trying to gain from life is always disappointing them. And so because of these disappointments, they get sad, they get depressed, right, they get disheartened. This is really at the root of depression. Right.

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And it's interesting, I was having a discussion with a brother who, whose family has a long, long history on the male side of the family of severe depression. And he said that is like his dad broke this, like, broke the cycle of depression through almost like sheer from the sheer power of His will. He just simply refused to allow himself to go down that path. And you know, this, this brothers father has that opinion that depression is a construct of the mind. It's it's not real in any real sense. Now, of course, there are people who would argue and say, No, there's such things as clinical depression. And you know, I've studied it and I've looked into it, and there's a whole

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discussion about people's brain cancer.

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St being, you know, but but even in these discussions most psychologists and neurologists, aren't they, they still recognize that the path of depression does start with negative thinking, it starts with those negative thoughts. That's what brings the spiral. That's what it gets it spirals out of control. Right? But it's still a path that in some way, shape or form a person allows themselves to go down and you allow yourself from the point of view, I am saying from the point of view of you may not consciously been allow yourself, right, but no, like I tell my kids, right? I tell my kids, listen, kids, there's a difference between something that was an accident, over which you really had

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no control whatsoever.

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And there's an accident, that something happened that you didn't intend, but it happened because you were doing something really stupid, that if you thought about it, you wouldn't have done that thing. There's a difference between the two types of accidents, right?

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I'm sure you will get that. Right. So it's the same thing with our life, we can find ourselves in many sit different situations. I mean, I'm talking about in our mental state here, right. And I'm not saying anyone purposefully, or those even some people may even purposefully, for some strange reason, get themselves in that situation, right. But people fall into that. Not on purpose. Yes, by accident. But it's that type of accident, that is a result of not taking the right precautions, not building the right behaviors. Not adopting the mind, the right mindset, not putting the time and the effort and the energy because yes, I'm sorry, it does take time and effort and energy. Of course it

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does. Of course, it takes huge amounts of effort and energy, and deep thinking,

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and struggling with your own self, in order to be able to build within your psyche, within your mindset within your mentality within your own character, that character of contentment, all character development is probably the hardest work that you will ever do. Character development is the hardest work that you will ever do. And similarly, that's why they say hard work hard manual, anything that is hard work hard grit. He say it's character building, it works both ways. Right? You work hard at something, it builds your character. You work hard at building your character. That's hard work. Right? So yes, I'm not this is not something you just click your fingers and it happens

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and you know, you love Allah and Allah loves you, and you're content with everything that happens. And you know,

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but as it happened, you know, I think it was Addy had been Hatem he, you know, he,

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I can't remember he went on a journey. And he he was blinded, and he lost one leg and his son died. And, you know, he came back.

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And you know, and he said that, you know, you should be content with what Allah has decreed for you. And he recognized that he recognized that yes, the in content when there is happiness and there is peace is but it's not an easy, I don't claim that.

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I'm like that. I don't claim that I achieve it. You know, if I feel pain,

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I want the pain to end and I make dua for the painter. But at the same time, I do try to train myself and to say, You know what, Abdur Rahim, you know, who knows where the benefit is? Who knows what Allah has good, Allah has decreed for you through this pain and through this suffering. And you know, that's something that I think it clicked with me.

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Very early on. When I first became Muslim, Subhan Allah, it sort of clicked. Because I remember that in those early days, when I first became Muslim, I was very confused about a lot of things that were happening in my life. And I was, I was confused about the things like, what's happening with this and what's happening? I don't know. I didn't. I mean,

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so it's like, I don't want you to misunderstand me.

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I wasn't confused in a general sense it I mean, I so the thing was, I guess I wasn't confused. I put the conclusion of what I'm trying to say is that I wasn't confused because I concluded ultimately that

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it's all happening for a reason. And Allah is saying

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Give me You know, God is taking me Allah is taking me through some path. I may not understand what's happening right now. But I know I look back in the future. And I will understand why I had to go through all of this. There's a wisdom behind it, you see, right?

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Look at that beautiful story and sort of tell Kath. Right, which, you know, is really recommended, highly recommended to read every Friday, the story of Heather, right? How Heather breaks the boat, and he kills this young man and he builds this wall and Musa has just not able to be patient keep saying, Why are you doing this? And why are you doing that? And then, you know, further explains why these seemingly innocuous and strange things that he did, were all for, in fact, a very, very clear wisdom and for a clear reason, but most Musa couldn't comprehend that. And that is, of course, a wider similitude about what happens to us generally in our life. And this is one of the beautiful

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things about Islam, brothers and sisters, one of the really, really beautiful things about being a Muslim and I when I say being a Muslim, I mean being really living Islam. I don't mean just brothers and sisters, you know, being Muslim by name and you know, doing the perfunctory, ritualistic movements, I mean, really understanding what it means to submit and to surrender to God. Right, being a Muslim, being in that state of submission to Allah. Right. And that is part of it, isn't it? That contentment with Allah's decree is a really essential and important part of what it means to be Muslim what it means to be in the state of surrendering to Allah. Right. And that is why there's

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this beautiful dua that you can make every morning and every evening. What are the two biller here Robin? Will Bill Islam Medina will be Muhammad Sallallahu i Lee he was so happy and I, which means I am pleased with Allah as my Lord. And with Islam as my way of life and with Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam as my messenger. Right? That's it? Yeah. That the rod Yeah, that that contentment, that being in a state of I'm content? I'm happy with that. Right. So brothers and sisters, let us try to develop this very important character, characteristic, this very important quality of contentment. How do we do that? Well, it goes back to what we were talking about over the last two

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weeks, it goes back to understanding our relationship with Allah understanding, and loving Allah subhanaw taala. And understanding how much Allah cares about us, and that believing and knowing, because when you study and you look, and you think, and you contemplate deeply, did anyone do that, by the way, remember, last week, I sent you the task of going through the 99 names of Allah, I did it, did you do it? What a shame if you didn't.

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The idea was to go through those names and spend some time thinking and contemplating about those names. And you see that most of the names of Allah are to do with His mercy and His forgiveness, and the fact that he is bountiful, and generous, right? They're all to do connected in some way, shape, or form most of them with those with those characteristics, right.

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And so when you know that when you really understand that, then, you know, it begins to click in your mind, you begin to understand that, you know, not everything I like, is good for me.

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Right? And not everything you hate is bad fee. Sometimes you don't like things, but those things are good fee.

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And sometimes there's things that you like them, but they're bad fee. So you liking it or not liking it, you feel uncomfortable with it or not feeling comfortable with it. It's nothing to do with

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whether it's the right thing or not, whether it's good for you or not. Right. So you can understand that Allah who loves you and cares about you and wants you to be the best that you can be. You see, maybe you don't want to be the best that you can be. Maybe you don't want to be the best character and be the best personality but Allah wants that for you. So, you know, he'll put us through some difficulties and tests but you know, those tests and difficulties they are the things that are going

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To give you strength they are going to they are what exactly they are character building. That's what it is, right? So brothers and sisters, try them when you find yourself suffering any type of hardship or difficulty, try to remind yourself of these things, trying to remind yourself that everything is from the decree of Allah. And that if Allah is putting you through a test or a hardship or a difficulty, then that's because he loves you, and He wants good for you. And then when you think deeply about that, that will help to generate within you contentment and the more content you are, the more Allah subhanaw taala will love you

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and hamdulillah

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and isn't that something worth?

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Striving for brothers and sisters Izaak Allah her for joining me as always May Allah bless you. You know I don't have anything really to say to practice for next week except, you know, try and think about what I said and and try and develop within yourself contentment with the decree of Allah, based on the firm and deep knowledge and understanding that Allah is Allah is our Lord. He is a Rahman Rahim. He is Allah dude. You see, here's the Merciful, the Most mercy giving the loving and almost Martha wants the best for us. So, however tough your life is in Sharla try and be and devote within yourself contentment about that, and see the results for yourself. Until next time, if Allah

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gives us life, brothers and sisters Zakka don't forget to share Who knows you may share this with some poor unfortunate soul who is suffering and they listen to this and you know their life will be happy mashallah because of it, who knows and you will get rewarded for that. Brothers and sisters JazakAllah once again as Salaam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

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