REJECTING THE CALL E-Reminders
Channel: Abdurraheem Green
File Size: 31.63MB
Salam Alaikum brothers and sisters, welcome to another episode of the true hero's journey,
where we are going to be
exploring that journey. It's an inner journey. As my very wise 16 year old daughter said to me on our adventure today, I'll tell you about that in a minute.
I was talking about climbing Mount Everest.
Let's put some context to this. I live in a beautiful part of the UK, called Shropshire. I live in a place called a Shropshire hills. So we're surrounded by hills. And whenever we go for a walk, it almost inevitably starts with going up a hill. We can't almost can't help that either up a hill or downhill, but going up and Hill down hills is part of
in that an inevitable part of ideally what? So anyway, we decided to extend our walk beyond the normal little short walk relatively short, we do.
And, and my daughter was saying, Oh, she said, What a day, she said, What a day was laughing, because really, actually, that's a pretty, pretty normal day. And I was thinking about this amazing film that I saw called 13 peaks, where these Nepalese climbers climb the 13th highest peaks in the world,
in seven months, truly extraordinary feat.
And part of that whole adventure that they went on, was climbing Mount Everest and another mountain in 48 hours, which was just incredible to think that they climbed Mount Everest, and another mountain, which is over 2000 meters, these two mountains in 48 hours. So I said to her, Well, you know,
it's not really like, it's not quite like climbing Mount Everest, and that other mountain in 48 hours. And she said, Well, you know, not every mountain is a mountain that you have to climb some mountains are in your mind. And although I was love, and I was really impressed, I said, you know, subhanAllah that's, that's a really profound statement. I'm going to mention that in my talk this evening. So I have mentioned that, yes, not every mountain
is a mountain that you visit, every time actually. Even climbing mountains, really, most of it takes place, in your head most challenges. Most adventures that you go through, really take place here in the head before they happen anywhere else. And so part of the journey of the hero, which is really the journey, the inward journey, that's what it's really about. The journey of the true hero is really the journey that we are all invited to take.
And it's a journey that challenges our normal way of looking at the world. It challenges our normal life, it challenges us to be something better, something greater, to reach our full potential. And that's what we want to do brothers and sisters. And that's heroic. That's what it is. That's what's heroic, and
being a hero is not about
it's not really about courage. It's not really about strength. It's not really about beating up the bad guys and not that's not really what true heroism is about. True heroism. At the root of it is compassion.
At the root of the true hero is compassion and empathy for others, to see yourself in other human beings and to want to improve their lot to make the lives of others better and
is a quality that we all need to have. And we all need to cultivate. And we all need to develop. And it is a very, very deeply
Islamic concept, that desire
for goodness for other human beings because the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he said, Adina Naseeha,
the dean is in to see her.
And what isn't a see her, often to see her is translated as good advice, but it's not good advice. Naseeha is wishing the best for someone or something,
doing something in the best way. Not necessarily. You know, that's sad, but it is wishing the best. And they said well for who you are. So Allah and the Prophet, so for Allah, His message for His Messenger, his book, for the leaders of the people, and the generality of the people, and that is the Muslim, the Muslim wants good for everybody. They want good for ordinary people, they want good for the leaders of the people. We don't want people to be destroyed. We don't want people to be cursed. We don't want people to go astray. We don't want people to be misguided. We don't want people to live miserable, unhappy lives. We don't want people to live in oppression, exactly the
opposite of that. We want human beings to be truly and profoundly and deeply happy, and at peace with themselves at peace with the world around them. Whether they are the ordinary people, whether they are the leaders of the people, we want for them the best. And we want for Allah and His deen and his book and his religion that he's revealed for us. We want the best for it.
This is how we should be as Muslims, you see, so that is fundamentally our concern. That is our religion, this Deen this way of life, this way of being that's what it is about. That's what being a Muslim is all about. That's what our deen is all about. And it has also a good character. That's why the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, I haven't come to accept a perfect good character. But put these two heads together, it indicates to us what is the essence of good character? What are the essential good characteristics that we need to have? They are the characteristics of compassion. They're the characteristics of forbearance, they are the characteristics of mercy, they are the
characteristics of kindness, they are the characteristics of caring about others, and wanting the best for others. Why? Because you see yourself in that other human being, you are able to walk with them, you are able to put yourself in their shoes, and try to feel what they feel and see what they see
and hear what they hear. And that's what you're trying to do. And of course, this doesn't necessarily mean in any way that you are going to accept.
bad or evil or misguidance No, not at all,
obviously, because you have to have a criteria and you have to have a means you have to have a mechanism through which and by which you can judge
what is appropriate, what's not appropriate? What's the right way to behave? What's the wrong way to behave? Because that's essential. That's very, very important. And that's why we have revelation. That's what we have. That's why we need guidance from Allah subhanaw taala. Yes, we need that guidance from Allah, because it gives us that pathway. It shows us the path it is the map that we can use to navigate our way on this journey. And it is a journey. That's what it is. You see, this analogy of the journey is an analogy that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam himself used the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he said, whatever, what am I going to do with this world? I'm
just like a traveler, who takes rest underneath the shade of the tree and continues on his journey. That is how the Prophet gave he this the analogy he gave. Life is like a journey. He is like a traveler. Our time on this earth is just like we're taking rest.
And why do we take a rest on the journey? Because if we don't, right
stone the journey, especially when we need to, maybe we'll never reach our destination. The rest is essential in order for us to take what we need to complete our journey. And so what do we need from this life? What do we need from this life are good these, what we need from this life, our MLO, Salah righteous actions, that's what we need from this life.
And those good deeds could be in respect to our relationship with Allah, our worship of Allah subhanaw taala. Or it could be in relation to how we are with other human beings, how we care about them, how we treat them, how we look after them, how we stand up against evil for what is right and for what is good, and for what is true and void is just
this is what is very important brothers and sisters, and this is this is the essence of true heroism. That's what it's about. It is that it is a lack of selfishness. This is a lack of it's, it's being selfless. It's caring about others. And that's is that's what is at the heart of it. Right.
Now, this, in a sense, is an adventure. It is because that's what we're called to. We are called to this adventure, because fundamentally brothers and sisters, it is about who you are, it's not about so much about what you do. And it's not so much about the processes
that you go through in order to change your behavior. At the heart of it at the key of it.
It's about who you are.
How do you view yourself?
How do you think of yourself? What sort of person do you want to be?
Do you want to be ordinary? Do you want to live an ordinary life?
Or do you want to be heroic? Do you want to achieve something significant? And I don't mean here, in an egotistical, self serving, narcissistic type of way. No.
Because that's not heroic. That's the opposite of what true heroism really is. No, you can't, you can never
really be heroic in any real sense of the word. If you're just doing it for yourself.
That's just self serving. And that's that, by definition, by the very definition of understanding what is at the heart of being heroic,
it contradicts it.
Now one of the things that is can be quite disappointing about life, sometimes brothers and sisters, is that most of the time, change and transformation is something that is gradual. We would love things just to happen at the click of a finger. One day, I'm like this the next day, I'm like that one day, I'm fat the next day, you know, I'm thin, one day, I'm fit the next day, boom, I can keep my fingers and suddenly I'm super fit. And a lot of us we think like that, you know, we for 20 years, we eat pecota biryani, you know chocolate and crisps and drink liters of coke. We are massively overweight. And we think that all of that years and years and years of abusing ourselves
can be undone by one day of fasting.
Oh, one day we in some fruit and veg. And you know, like a week later, it's like, Oh, why haven't I changed? Well, you haven't changed because you're local, you've been doing for 20 years, it doesn't happen. Maybe after 20 years of doing the right thing, you're going to see that change. But that's what we you know, that's unfortunately how we are brothers and sisters. You see, we want everything to be instant. You know, we are so unfit we're so unhealthy. You know, we go for a walk and we think that's it now you know, I shouldn't be superhuman. Now I should be able to, you know climb Mount Everest a couple of times quite easily. It doesn't work like that. Brothers and sisters. It really
doesn't work like that. We dream that it works like that. We wish that it did but it doesn't
change most of the time is something that needs to happen and does happen gradually. It doesn't necessarily have to take a long, long, long time. And that actually is amazing. Like yes, you can treat yourself badly and eat badly and have bad health habits for 20 years and Alhamdulillah most of the time in
actually doesn't take 20 years to sort yourself out, it can take a relatively short time. If you work hard at it genuinely in six months to a year, you can turn your life around, you can turn your health around, you can do that. And that's a really comparatively short time. But still, it takes effort. And building habits, good habits, building that change, it really is something that takes time. And it is something that is gradual. But it's got to start somewhere.
And the place where it starts, is within yourself, how do you identify yourself? What do you think about yourself? What sort of person do you want to be? Now I was thinking today, right? Today, I was thinking I was looking outside of the window. And as the weather changed from pouring rain, to better sunshine, to more clouds, and then to a bit of sunshine. And at one time, I thought, oh my gosh, there's not even a cloud in the sky, what a beautiful day, we need to get out, we need to go for a walk. And this may seem like a really small or insignificant thing.
But just something as simple as that. I was thinking to myself, it's so easy
not to do anything. It's so easy just to stay at home,
read a book,
continue looking through social media, onto some more emails, whatever it is that you're doing.
And I was thinking to myself, Oh, tonight, I'm going to be giving a talk about refusing the call. You see. So everyone, we get this call to adventure, this call, let's call it the call to transformation.
But that call to transformation is not necessarily something big and massive.
We get that call for transformation. And we get this call to adventure all the time. And I was thinking Subhanallah
this happens to me every day, I think in my head about all the adventures that I want to go on and the things that I want to do. And they are adventures and, and I know that if I went on them, and I did them, and I have this sort of real urge to do that it will be transformative, it will be amazing. It was something it would be really something that would improve me as a person. And this is what is important, right? The call to adventure brothers and sisters is not a call for you to you know, go out on the town with the boys and the girls and go to the movies and you know, stuff yourself in a restaurant. And you know, like, this is not a call to adventure, right? This is just a
call to satiate your passions and your desires. And adventure is something that is gonna change you. And adventure is something that is going to transform you may not be it may not transform you completely, but it's going to make you in some way shape or form a better person a better you, you're going to come out of that thing. You're going to come out of that adventure if you come out of that adventure. Because part of what makes it an adventure is the unknown factor. Will I survive? How will I survive? And I guess
the bigger that question is, how likely am I supposed to survive? Well, the more scary is and then in many ways, it's even more of an adventure. Right? It makes it even more adventurous. So yeah, the the call to adventure brothers and sisters we have to understand, right? The call to adventure is a call to transformation. It's a call for change. It's a call for you to be something better than you what you are now. It's a call for self improvement not only for yourself, by the way, but ultimately
it is going to be something that is going to help in whatever way shape or form the world be a better place. That is what is important.
It's it's it's not just going to change you. But by changing you, you are going to in some way, shape or form contribute to the well being of your fellow human beings and ultimately, the more you contribute, the more you benefit others, the more heroic this adventure is going to be. Now you you may get this call to adventure many times a day and you turn away from it. Be said no, I'm just gonna stay at home. Go for a walk. Go to the gym.
Read a book
Say your prayers, read the Quran, learn some Arabic,
make some dhikr make some to double, sit and reflect deeply upon Allah subhanaw taala. Go and spend time with your mum and your dad, or with your relatives.
Spend time with your kids. Tell them stories about the prophets. It could be so many things, brothers and sisters, it could be so many things.
And how many times we just refuse, we refuse that call.
The sea the call to adventure doesn't need to be
a journey to another planet. It doesn't need to be going to Mars. It doesn't need to be traveling to a different land. You know, it doesn't need to be going and you know,
I don't know fighting some war or traveling to some land to
help refugees. And it doesn't necessarily have to be that.
It could be really something as simple
as going for a walk, taking some exercise, picking up a book and studying it. learning a new skill, saying your prayers saying some extra prayers going to the masjid
any one of these things, it depends on you. Of course your call to adventure is going to be different. If it's your habit to go to the masjid every day, five times a day, masha Allah, Allah bless you. If that is your habit, it's very unlikely that the quarter event that's not going to be your call to adventure that's already Alhamdulillah your existing habit, which is very good. The call to adventure will be something different from that something that is different from your normal life. But something that is going to take you to a different level. And of course that that's that's really the first in a sense, the first part of the hero's journey. And one of the identifiable parts
of the hero's journey is that reluctance the refusal of the call the initial refusal, it doesn't always happen. Some people don't refuse.
Some people accept it and embrace it straightaway.
And some people, they find it confusing. Look at the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa salam when he received the first revelation, in a sense, this is clearly his call. This is clearly the call, he is getting this call to adventure, that great adventure, greatest of all, the greatest adventure, the greatest hero of all, is of a single loss of Allahu Allah usmma The greatest of all human heroes was the Prophet salallahu it himself and he received his cool,
right? But even before you see the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he was going to the cave of Hira. Every Ramadan, he would go there, in a sense, that was already he had already responded to that call. So what motivated him? What made him think to do that? What drove him to go? What was it? It was brothers and sisters, his his feeling of disquiet, his feeling of discomfort, his feeling that the world was not right. And things around him were not the best that they could be. And surely, things could be better and his people could be better and the world could be better. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he used to go to this cave to retreat, to think in Ramadan, in
the sacred month, and he would go away from everybody. And he would use that time to think and he would use that time to contemplate is what he would do. So Allahu Allah, he was so
and so this in a sense, that was not normal. That absolutely was not normal. There were very few people who are deep thinkers like that in Arabia.
This is what the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam did. He was someone who thought deeply and thought profoundly and cared. That's the thing. He cared about his people. He cared about the world. He cared. He wanted things to be better.
But when Gibreel came, and when the first i ads of Quran were revealed to the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, what was his reaction? He was
he didn't. He was afraid. He was terrified. He saw debris as he's running down from jump from the mountain of lights, which is just outside Mecca. He's running down from this mount
So from the cave and he is seeing Gibreel fill the horizon.
I am Gibreel and you are Muhammad the Prophet of Allah. But the prophet saw some is terrified.
He goes to from Egypt
wrap me up, you know He's shivering.
doesn't know what to do he's he's pscad
and the prophets Allah, Allah and Helenius and Khadija reassures the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
In a sense, it's not he was refusing the cord, I suppose, in a sense here, he wasn't refusing. But it was very confusing to him what was happening. Similarly, when Musa
when Allah tells Musa throw the staff, the staff turns into a snake and Musa turns back and flees, he's not even looking back. He's not even looking backwards, is just running. And Allah tells him to come back.
This is, in a sense, this, this instinct to flee from this terrifying because it is this challenge, what we are confronted with can be very, very scary. And sometimes it is momentous.
It doesn't I mean, it doesn't have to be something as grand as that.
Right? For some people, we may look at their challenges, we may look at their call, and we may think it's insignificant, but for them, it's a very, very big thing. You know, there are people that there are people who are very overweight, who are very sick.
And they don't see a way out.
For some of us, we may look at that as being this is insignificant. What is this, this is just,
this is nothing.
But for them, it's not nothing. And for them, the idea of change is is terrifying. It's just as terrifying. In fact, they would rather kill themselves than do what it takes to make that change. Because it looks so difficult. That mountain looks so high, it looks like it is impossible to climb.
You see. And for some people who knows what it is, it may be the smallest thing.
But you know, as a as that saying, that famous saying is that every journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. And it is so important to realize that
even the greatest and the most momentous things that we can think about that have been achieved by human beings
started with small, simple, small changes in a person's life.
And those simple small changes were developed into habits.
And when those things became habits, it's through those habits that
a person was able to
do what we may think of as amazing and superhuman things. You may look at some athletes, some gymnasts, some football players, whatever it is, you may look at and you think how do they do that? Well, guess what? Practice, practice, practice, practice hours and hours and hours and hours of practice and improvement in practice and improvement and not just practicing, but practicing with the objective of trying to improve and get better.
Purposeful practice. This is what it's it's that purposeful practice brothers and sisters.
That consistent effort, again, and again, as they say it takes 10,000 hours to become really, really good at something 10,000 hours. It takes a lot less to become an expert. Right? It doesn't actually it doesn't take that long, to become competent to become an expert to become but to reach that stage where you are at the top of your game where you are, you know, amongst the best of the best. Not that takes something else. That takes really, really concerted effort and practice.
But it's not it doesn't happen in a day.
You can't fit 10,000 hours, there's only 24 hours in a day brothers and sisters, that's all you've got. But you know what? All those athletes, all those great scientists, all those great minds, all those people who you are seeing, achieving so many things, they have the same 24 hours in a day that you have. And you have the same 24 hours in a day that they have. And guess what, honestly, you their brain and your brain, they're not really that different. I mean, yes, certainly, certain people have certain predispositions to be good at certain things. And for sure, Allah has given something that he has predisposed. Predisposed, pre? Well, it's something that he's made you good at
this because this, any I might even my brain stuck on that. So brothers and sisters, the thing is, you got to take that journey. And, you know, I want you to start by thinking about what sort of person do you want to be? What sort of person do you think you should be?
What sort of person does Allah subhanaw taala want you to be? How does Allah want you to be? And I think if you think about that deeply,
then you realize, yes, it is a challenge.
It is an adventure. It is a journey. And you are definitely going to face many challenges, gotta fight many battles, you're going to meet some monsters, some demons.
And there's going to be a transformation. But it's worth it. Because what else? Are you here for brothers and sisters? That's my question. What else are you here for?
Don't forget what we talked about last week
that the two feet of the son of Adam will not moved from their place in front of their Lord until they're asked about five things. And one of those things is your life. What did you do with your life? What are you going to do with your life? Brothers and sisters? Think about that. And then I want you to think about how many times in a day do you feel that call that call to adventure,
that call to do something
or be somewhere that is going to, you know, deep down inside is going to make you and puts you on that path to making you a better person.
It's, it's on that path of transformation. And then ask yourself why?
Why are you not answering that call? Why?
I can't answer that. For you, brothers and sisters, you need to answer that question
for yourselves. But one of the things I'm going to be telling myself from now on, is when I feel that urge and I feel that call to you know, go on an adventure. It could be a spiritual one. It could be an intellectual one, it could be a physical one. Not all adventurers are going out into the mountains or the desert or climbing now. My daughter said, No, all mountains are ones that you climb with your body and mountains in your mind. Right. But whatever it is brothers and sisters, right?
Why are you resisting? Why aren't you committing yourself? Why aren't you answering that call? And why are you not embarking on the journey to become the true hero that you need to be and the world needs you to be?
Until next week, if Allah gives this life, a Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh