Abdurraheem Green


Channel: Abdurraheem Green

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The speaker discusses their struggles with grief and sobriety, including their mother and father’s death. They also talk about their experiences with their grandmother's death and the negative impact it had on their personal relationships. The speaker emphasizes the importance of training oneself and being kind to family members in order to be successful in Islam. They also mention the potential for harm and the need to be aware of one's parents' deaths.

AI Generated Transcript ©

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Brothers and Sisters and Salam aleikum, welcome to another episode of E reminders with me after him green. And today we're going to take a little diversion from the true Hero's Journey to talk about something that is quite personal to me. And I hope that if any of you know, any people who are converts or reverts to Islam, you might share this with them, because I think it's going to be particularly relevant to them. But also, I think everybody hopefully can take a lesson from this. So the reason why I've changed or diverted from the theme.

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And today's talk is called your mother, your mother your mother, is because the night before last, my mother died, she passed away in her sleep. And she didn't take shahada, she didn't die on slim,

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despite her being given lots of dour by myself, and you know, my her grandchildren, my kids, and lots of mashallah brothers, who have met her over the years, but Subhanallah a lot and then you had the local filler, or de la mejor Lin, follow her the Allah, Allah guides, whom ever he guides and whoever he leaves to go astray, no one can guide.

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But some strange things happen to my mom

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before she died, and one of them was that she was a great lover of animals. My mum loved animals, she loved her dogs, she actually loved all sorts of animals, like almost any animal or any creature that there was, she loved it. I think she reckoned that, you know, generally a lot of them were better than most humans. And you're not my mum, my mum has had a tough life she she was born. While she was sort of a child during the war. She she had to leave Poland when she was a little kid. And she migrated across Europe to get away from the Nazis. Her father was killed in the Battle of Monte Cristo, or soon after the Battle of Monte Cristo. He was in the Polish Free Army.

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And he was killed. So she was basically from an Islamic perspective and often and she she spent most of her childhood being brought up in Kenya, in you know, I mean, not poor by I guess, African standards, but certainly by European standards, or certainly by the standards that she was used to, because she came from a, you know, sort of landed gentry

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back in Poland. And yeah, my myself was born in Tanzania, because that's where my mum, my mum met my dad in East Africa.

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what can we say all praises always do to Allah? But really, I wanted to, you know, use it as a chance not really so much to reflect upon my mum, herself personally, although there's lots I could say about her.

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You know, very positive things, very, very positive things. Alhamdulillah no doubt, whatever, you know, whether she was Muslim or not, literally, the only thing I could, you know, fault her for was that she wasn't Muslim. I mean, in terms of the way she brought me up the way she raised, she really did her best. And,

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and Allah knows best. That's it really. And I was, I must admit, I was very, very upset. I was. So this I guess this the first thing is that the first thing I want to talk about, I suppose, is grief. The first thing I want to talk about is you know how the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam has taught us to be moderate in what we do, and you know, not to wail and, and, you know, the type of wailing anyway that was done for the dead is when you know, people are ripping their hair and, you know, beating themselves like this, having to lie didn't do that. But I have to say is that, you know, when I got the news,

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I was really overcome with with really, really very, very distressed I haven't been distressed like that probably, I don't think ever in my life, which itself, looking back was a it's a bit of a shock to me.

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And, you know, the thing was, I get it's a big lesson for me, and there's some big lessons for me personally, in the death of my mum. Number one was I used to look at people grieving and crying out

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And I would sort of, I must admit, I would think, you know, get a grip of yourself, you know why, you know, okay, it's sad, but you know, have some restraint. And, but I found myself when I got the news. And, you know, literally crying and sobbing and even, you know, making some quite loud wailing noises like uncontrollably it was not really something I had any control of.

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And it took me it took me probably 20 minutes before I could even really just calm down enough just to go and make wudu. And as soon as I could really, I made will do and I went and prayed to Raka and then I prayed another two to come because it just needed to, you know, I remembered what Allah said Steiner was somebody who was salah, but the things that really hit me brothers and sisters, and this is what I want to talk about. And I really want to share this with all my revert brothers and sisters convert whatever you want to call yourself revert convert. I know, there's some big debate going on out there, honestly, just you know, whatever.

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you know, I suppose there's some advice, particularly I want to give to my brothers and sisters who are converts to Islam, but really to everybody as well. So the first thing was, is that for me personally, it was very strange. I, it was it, it's in a very relatively short time, but it was only when my mother, when I heard she had died, that I really appreciated.

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I really appreciated her. And it's this classic thing, you don't know what you've got until you've lost it.

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And, you know, I took it for granted, I honestly thought my mum was going to live, you know, I thought she was going to outlive me niches such, you know, everyone who met her and everyone who knew her will, you know, talk about what she how strong she was mentally and how strong she was physically, despite having, unfortunately, you know, severe accident about 1015 years ago, and which really damaged her brain. But despite that she's really strong. But it did did impact her and various other things falls that happen and various things. But despite that, she was very strong. And to be honest, I thought she was going to outlive me. So that was a real shock. And like that

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everyone in the family was like that. It was for everyone. It was sort of Yeah, I'm gonna go and see grandma. Next month, I'm going to go and see, you know, next year, I'm going to go and spend a year with grandma, like, this is how people would think like she was this, almost this monument that who was living in Portugal. And like any one of the kids was thinking, Yeah, I'm gonna go and spend some time. It's like, literally has almost like a rite of passage amongst the kids. So it was shocking. The other thing was really, that I felt the loss of brothers and sisters, and this is really what I want to really what I want to dwell upon, please, you know, I want you all to think about this. I

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don't, don't you know, because it's too late. It's once your mom's dead, it's too late.

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And that is, you know, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he said, A man came and asked the Prophet, who has the most right to my kindness. And the Prophet said, Your sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he said, your mother, he said, and after that, you said, your mother. And after that, your mother, and after that, then your father, and I'm sure you all know this, your mother, your mother, your mother, and I'm sure you're all familiar with the same, you know, Paradise lies at the feet, you know of your mother.

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And that it's a way to Paradise serving your parents. And I always remember the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, where the prophet said, may your face be rubbed in the dust, may your face be rubbed in the dust, may his face be rubbed, you know, like, may he be humiliated? That's it's the it's that's the what the Prophet is saying. The person who one or both of his parents reach old age, and he doesn't enter or she doesn't enter Paradise by serving them. And, you know, definitely that was the case of my mum. And although she was in Portugal, and I was here in UK, and if she'd wanted to come and live with me, or would have been fine, but obviously, I have a

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family. I have a lifeboat, you know, and she wouldn't have ever expected me. I mean, obviously, if she really needed me, I would have just gone and I have stayed over there for months, you know, at a time sometimes

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to look after her. But you know what, what really hit me is that gate is closed that gate of reward that gate to paradise. That gate of getting Elizabeth and it's so easy, like, it's so easy, like at least my mum is really easy to look after. She's very, very not demanding. She's just happy to see you. You make her

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cup of coffee, she's so happy to cook us some food. She's so grateful. You know, she's, she was a really easy person to look after. So it was so easy to get, you know, rewards and blessings because she was so easy to sort of look after. And there she was reaching his old age. And she, she, you know, there's this, you know, this gate of paradise. And that really hit me so bad brothers and sisters that it's gone. You know, that is gone, that gate has closed that door to Jenna is closed.

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And that that was really, that really hit me hard. And the other thing

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I just, you know, I don't think you know, how can you ever appreciate your mom? How can you ever thank her you can't thank her. You know, you know, like my sister said to me today oh, you know, you did this for her, you did that for her, you know, she was like this to you. And you were like that to her and it was no wire. There's nothing I can do to pay her back. Like nothing I can do to pay her back. I just for the fact that she gave birth to me, you can't, I can't pay you back for that all the pain and all the agony your mum goes through to carry you to Fiji. To Kathy, when you're a child, there's nothing you can do to pay that back. Nothing at all, doesn't matter. There's just

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there is no amount that you can pay. That's enough. So

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you can try you can show gratitude, you can be dutiful, you can be kind, right, etcetera, etcetera, but you can't pay it back.

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And you know that I think that's the other thing is that?

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Most I don't know about all mums? Of course I don't, you know, I can't speak for everybody. But you know, I guess that's what we do. As human beings. Sometimes what we do is we take our own personal experience, and then we just think everybody has exactly the same experience. But I've talked to enough people in my life and counseled enough people to realize that no,

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people have very different experiences, even with their mothers. And some people, you know, do get a really horrible hard time from their mothers. And I this is the weird thing, brothers and sisters is that I wasn't that close to my mum, a lot of the stuff that I did for my mum, I did it out of duty. I did it because because of Islam honest, that's the real truth. I did it because what Allah told me, and because it was a reward, and even though I didn't, I could never really understand what my mum did for me. And I guess I got a bit of flavor of that, when

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one of the things that like, see my, you know, my wife, my wives giving birth to my kids, that shook me up, because I thought, oh my god, this is what my mum went through. And, you know, not just giving birth, you know, the pregnancy, the morning sickness, the you know, the breastfeeding, and all this stuff that goes with it. And, you know, that's just a big wake up call. Like, oh, my God, this is what my parents went through for me. Yeah. But my mum was, you know, she was a bit of a disciplinarian in many ways.

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yeah, I guess for there were various reasons. I didn't, you know, I didn't, I didn't gel with my mum about certain things. She had certain rules about how to eat about how to dress about how to behave, which I just thought were ridiculous, a lot of them. And they were really silly. And I still think that, and, you know, she was really strict about that stuff. Even when my kids like, you know, my kids knew that grandma was, you know, super strict.

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But she chilled out a lot, a lot a lot in the last years of her life. So there were certain things and again, you know, I was sent to private school boarding school when I was 10 years old. And I never understood that I guess I resented I mean, you know, in retrospect, I know they were trying to give me the best education and they did.

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You know, the best education that money can buy, no doubt about it. I went to one of the best schools in this country, maybe in the world.

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And that was, you know, it served me very well in my life. No doubt about that. But I didn't enjoy it. I didn't like it. I pretty much hated it.

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And I sort of, I suppose maybe had a bit of resentment towards my mom used to joke with her about it later. And I certainly if there was anything I'd certainly forgiven her because not that there was anything to forgive because she did our best. But I think these things they were these things and other things.

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was that, you know, I didn't really just connect with my mom that well, and I guess it did change a lot later, especially when I spent a lot of time with her when my dad was dying.

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But still, that is when when, when I heard, you know, when I heard the news suddenly was, I don't know, it was very weird brothers and sisters very weird. Suddenly, it was I just only realized then how much I really did, how important she was to me in my life. And the other thing I realized, and you know, and it's interesting that I was saying this to my sister, and again, this is for all of you, brothers and sisters, that maybe you can take a lesson from this is that maybe you never, you don't really grow up till your parents are dead. Because you're still a child, as long as your parents are still alive. Yeah, you're still someone's child.

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Right. And that I realized the other thing I realized, and this was a, I think, a good realization, this is something good. I realized that I had to up my game, in terms of my trusting and Allah.

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And, you know, I, I realized one of the things I know about myself, I have a bit, I'm quite privileged, because my, you know, my mum and dad were well off. And I knew that, you know, although I've gone through some real difficult patches in my life, real financial difficulties, I've lived in some pretty

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crowded places with my wife and kids. And, but you know what, at the end of the day, I mean, that was my choice. If I had wanted to, I could have just asked my mum and dad for money, and they would have given it to me, and I realized, you know, and the point being here is that, you know, you've always, I always had this thing in the back of my mind that my mum was there for me. And then if I needed to go run into her, she was always there. And I know, there's a lot of people who don't have that, in fact, it's the opposite way around, their parents depend upon them, and their parents rely upon them financially. And they have that burden of having to look after their parents, I never had

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that I never had the burden of having to look after my parents financially, quite the opposite. I realized that's given me privilege. And it's given me the privilege, you know, in the past, to have a bit of courage to say things and do things and take positions, and speak out, that I can understand a lot of people may not feel comfortable doing because I never feel threatened. And I never felt my

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livelihood, or my life was threatened in any particular way, ultimately, because I knew I could go running back to my mum and dad if I really had to.

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And so that's gone. Yeah.

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That's quite a shock brothers and sisters, it's quite a shock.

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It's, you know, and that was one of the things it's like, yeah, I have to up my tobacco game now.

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You know, I think the main thing brothers and sisters is look, you know, I started this whole little conversation with you. And whoever wants to listen to this, obviously, I'm, you know, hopefully this will be on the internet for years. And people may listen to it, and I hope they will get some inspiration from it, and they will get some motivation and hopefully some guidance and some consolation as well.

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But, you know, one of the things I started this, you know, today's talk was with was about her not being Muslim. And although the last words she said, apparently, according to my friend, Edie, who, you know, who was looking after her,

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sort of her carer, for the last year, may Allah bless him. He, he said, the last word she says was Alhamdulillah Inshallah, because he asked her, you know, is everything okay? She said, Yeah, hamdulillah Inshallah, I'll be fine. And was the last words that she said. So, you know, Allah, Allah knows, but she didn't take Shahada. So I mean, from everything I know from what I've understood, is that Allah makes it clear in the Quran,

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that you know what, if a person has died outside of Islam, then it is not permissible to make dua for them. It is not.

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And this is an important thing to understand.

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And it's, it's something that should motivate us to try and get our parents and try to persuade them to be Muslim. And obviously, Allah guides who he wants to guide. I don't look back and have lots of regrets. I don't feel that I you know,

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oh, I could have given my mum more dour. Yeah, maybe I could have I don't know what else I could have done.

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And I try

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I tried to get her to take shahada

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but she, she, she wasn't having it. She really wasn't. So, but the point is, that's my mom, you know, with my dad, you probably know the story of my dad and Hamdulillah that he did take shahada 10 days, you know, 10 days before he died, he took shahada and said it over and over many, many times.

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So, and that was largely based upon advice that a chef gave me. I say, a chef, he is a chef, you know, but he's a close brother to me, like a friend to me.

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And, and he said to me, you know, abdur-rahim, just get your dad to say it, even if even if you're just tricking him, even if you just say, Oh, Dad, listen, I've got some thing to say, see if you can say after me, like, whatever. I mean, I didn't feel comfortable doing that. But his point was, at least if he says the words, you know, mate, there's a chance, right? And you can make dua for him because you can say he took shahada and, and I, I was really sad. I didn't get the chance to do that with my mom.

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Because if she did die, suddenly, I mean, literally, I was talking to her the night the same night she died.

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And she sounded so chirpy and cheerful. And she went out with my brother who had literally just flown in that day. And they went out to dinner together, and, you know, handsome chicken, Perry Perry, in, you know, in the famous algarvian dish, and, you know, it was a great night, so and then, you know, she just died in her sleep. And this is another thing, brothers and sisters is that, you know, I mean, my mom died the way that she wanted to die. Like if she had literally written a script, how I want to die, it like and she used to talk about how she would like to die. And she died exactly that way. It's like, what she wanted, she got, she wanted to die in her sleep quietly.

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She was really, I think, tired of life. She didn't really have that much to look forward to, except maybe me and my brother visiting her occasionally.

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And, but you know, subhanAllah at the end of the day,

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any slam

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a long, slow death is actually a good death. And it's funny that, you know, a lot of the people that you talk to, and my family who are not Muslim, you know, they'll talk about Yeah, it was a you know, it was a good death. And it's like, no, not by my by our, what we believe is a long death is a good death because a long slow death is a death that gives you time to reflect. It gives you time to make Toba. It gives you time to repent. My dad, he or you could almost say he took two years to die on and off like he came home briefly. But he was really deteriorating over a long, long period of time. And definitely, he had a lot of time to reflect a lot of time to think. And I'm sure this is a huge

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part of the reason why hamdulillah Allah he you know, Allah opened it for him to be able to say those Shahada. I was shocked brothers and sisters for another reason is that I had a dream that I made Hajji with my mum. And so I was really convinced that I was going to do that.

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And so I was like, tripleshot, from that, because I was felt really, you know, convinced in my heart that eventually she would take the shahada, but she didn't. It is what it is brothers and sisters, of course, I believe in Allah's mercy, I believe in Allah is justice, Allah guides who he wants to guide. And only Allah ultimately is the judge. But for us, we have to go on what is apparent, we have to go on what is obvious. And what was obvious and apparent is that she you know, she didn't take her shahada, which is, you know, which is sad.

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So, brothers and sisters, the point of all of this, and the point of me discussing this is really just to encourage you more than anything else, my river, convert brothers and sisters, please don't be shy in giving dower to your parents don't be,

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you know, because you don't know how long they've got. I mean, and I think this whole COVID pandemic should have woken us up to reminding us how short life is and like how many people

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their parents died, and they couldn't even be at their bedside. They couldn't even be there because they were shut out. Or certain politicians were having parties and drinking and boozing, and many people couldn't even see the parents die.

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Let that be a lesson.

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and you don't know, I really brothers and sisters, I thought my mum had another 10 years, it's, that's a big shock, you don't know how long you don't know that your mum is just not going to go or dad is going to go to sleep one night. And the strange thing is, you know, I've always I always prepare myself, I've prepared myself mentally, for one of my kids dying.

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I love my kids. And I always I'd always just put sometimes I just think about it, what if one of my kids, if Allah tested me with that, not in a pessimistic type of way, but just to be prepared for a test that Allah sends you because you should be prepared, you have to train yourself, you have to give yourself tarbiyah you have to train yourself so that when something happens

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Subhanallah you you behave in the way that Allah wants you to behave, and you behave in a way that is pleasing to Him. subhanaw taala because that's all that is important. But I never trained myself to think about my mom's death. I, you know, maybe I did years ago, but I forgot somehow. So that was realized I sort of, you know, I was taken very much by surprise. And that's, I guess that's what a test is, isn't it? Yeah. I suppose if you prepared for every test, they wouldn't really be tests, because you'd sort of be prepared for it.

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And, you know, so Allah tests you in the things that

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difficult for you.

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Alhamdulillah it's brothers and sisters, I don't want to talk too long. Because obviously, you know, keep it short, keep it sweet.

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It's it's also been really therapeutic for me just obviously didn't think of canceling today's little talk. But I thought, No, I want to talk about this, I want to share this with everybody. And maybe one of my brothers and sisters out there, maybe all of your hope in some way can benefit from it. And you know, be good to your mom and dad.

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There's no little there's lots of little sort of sub things I'd like to put

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and have some conversations about, you know, being good to your mom and dad and listening to them. And obeying them doesn't mean that you allow them to cause you to oppress others or do injustice to others. That's, you know, like obedience to your parents is not in disobedience to Allah. And that's something my mom and dad understood right from the beginning. I wasn't going to compromise on certain things. And they knew that there's certain things I would not compromise on.

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And, yeah, I made it very, very clear, and Hamdulillah that served me well, over the years that I made certain parameters and certain guidelines absolutely clear, this is not going to happen. And they understood that and by and large, it was respected. And I hope that I've never allow my allowed my love and my

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desire to serve and obey my parents ever be a cause to distress my wife or my children or any other human being and it shouldn't be because you know, you can't, you know, you and unfortunately, I do see this happening.

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You do see people who imagine that being nice to your parents means

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being bad to your wife, or to your husband or various other things or allowing acts of disobedience to take place.

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No, no brothers and sisters, this and this is not You're not being kind to anyone. If you really being kind to your parents means saving them from being oppressors, saving them from committing crimes and saving them from tyranny as the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he said that help your brother, whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed, you're not helping someone by allowing them to continue

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by allowing them to continue to back bikes or allowing them to continue to treat people badly. Yeah, and I've I have had to say some sharp words to my mum

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in the way that she was maybe talking to my wife or even the kids and you know, but that's not out of disrespect to her. Quite the opposite is out of

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out of fairness and out of justice, and that of stopping her from doing something that is transgressing the bounds. And that brothers and sisters, you have to understand that it's really caring about someone. If you don't if you're not telling your mum and dad about Islam, my brothers and sisters who are converts. Do you really care about them? Really? How do you think you're caring about them? If you're not finding a way to tell them about Islam? You need to get over if it's just to do your own awkwardness. You need to get over it, because it will be regrets. It will be regrets you will sit there just knowing that Subhanallah you did

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fulfill your duty. Don't wait for some magical time just to happen where you think it's gonna, you know, there's going to be some magical moment where everything is going to fall in place, and you're going to be able to talk to him about Islam. No, you need to make it happen, you need to make the environment right, you need to make the situation, the right situation, right. And sometimes just straight out, you know, and I don't mean in a rude way, I don't mean a bad way.

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But you got to, you know, take that you got to invite them to the sand brothers and sisters.

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And for all of you, my brother in law says to a Muslim already,

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that it's the same thing, really. It's the same thing, be good to them, be kind to them. They're a door to Paradise, they're a door of great reward. And you never know when that door is going to close when that door is going to be taken away. So brothers and sisters, well, until next week, well, we will continue on our hero's journey. And I suppose this is just one of those things that will happen in our journey of life. It's going to happen. So it's one of those tests and trials because that's what we're talking about, isn't it? tests and trials. That's what our theme has been last week and this week. So, yeah, one of them just hit me. Big one. Brothers and sisters, may Allah

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bless you. May Allah guide you. May Allah help us to be good and kind to our mothers and our fathers and give it give our parents the respect and the honor

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that they deserve. Allahumma cilia lemma having the word early, you'll save yourself which is going to have Salam Alikum