Channel: Calisha Bennett
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So what I'm going to do is we're going to do a little bit of a diagnosis and then we're going to look at the way forward. And and hopefully along the way, we will experience a wake up call within us though, so inshallah I hope everyone can look for that wake up call for themselves in their lives because we all have Wake Up Calls and we all have moments which can be a wake up call. And for me personally, in my journey as a Muslim, my biggest Wake Up Calls have been through the simplest of reminders from lectures and speakers, even from the comfort of my home watching a DVD back in the day, right before YouTube was big, just watching a DVD where a switch can go off and you can just
realize something that your heart and soul never saw before. Somehow last month, Allah grant us something that we can take from all of today and inshallah from what I have to share today that is some kind of wake up call within us. So we in the Quran, Allah, Allah, Allah says in Surah Hadid and I'm going to start with surah Hadid and we're going to end with surah. Haddad Allah Allah says, Aaron mo and number two Daniela
was enough to
buy in Akuma Thank you get to what I can build, when he when our lad cannot lie in our jungle Pharaoh nada to some Maya he Jupiter better Ah, Moses.
Maya kuno Robo man. When Phil ferati either shadow Pharaoh to me no more he worried one woman hyah to dunya Isla Mata Allahu Allahu taala says know that the life of this world is about amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another, and Competition in increase in wealth and children, like the example of rain whose plant growth pleases the tillers then it dries and you see it turn yellow, and then it becomes scattered debris. And then the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion? So we're told about the times we're living in we're told about amusement diversion,
adornment boasting to each other competition, money, children wealth status, we're told that this is what will happen in the life of this world.
And we're told in the example that it just becomes like dried to breed dried grass, it means nothing yet why do we give so much time energy focus worry and concern with us on a law? If we look at what we Muslims are facing in the world now, who knows what this picture is? What is this thing?
a typhoon sidecar.
A Whirlpool. Yeah, we Muslims are facing a whirlpool. And what happens in a whirlpool? The brothers are like sorry.
It's it spirals which way up or down? spirals down to drown you rises the times we're living in now we're facing a whirlpool.
A bombardment of things pulling us down, potentially drowning us and when I speak to sisters panela they'll say I feel like I'm drowning. And when we say what are you drowning from like, I don't know everything.
Everything. So here's some examples of the Whirlpool dragging us down.
Next slide. I'm used to having a clicker so I feel a bit out of control.
So what are we facing? We're facing a lot of different things. We're facing identity crisis. epidemic. We're facing so many temptations. We're facing confusion in who we are. We're facing Islamophobia. We're facing internalized oppression, which is where you start to believe the narrative of your oppressor, you start to believe what's said about you, you start to believe that Oh, yeah, Muslims are bad, they backward Islam. And we have this happening in so many communities in front a lot. We're starting to feel a lot of shame or embarrassment about being Muslim or being openly Muslim. We're feeling a lack of confidence within ourselves. lack of confidence in who we
are, what our Deen stands for. And we are facing a global culture, the global the modern consumerist, capitalist culture, which is calling us further and further into that Whirlpool to come along. When we look at our identity crisis. We're seeing statistics where in the US, US American born Muslims, where they say they've come up with stats, 23% of them don't identify as Muslim anymore, which is almost a quarter of the Muslim population.
Born in the US saying, I don't attribute to that I don't ascribe to that community or that faith anymore. I'm alone. And as we know with with trends, often other countries, Western countries, those Muslim populations are not far behind, where the US is, the direction that they go into. We've got research being done with kids aged five to nine years old asked about their identities on a line, you've got little kids that age five to nine years old, a third of them saying that they don't want others to know that they're Muslim. So they're like, they don't want to point it out. They don't want to be identified the Muslim, and you've got one in six who say that they pretended not to be a
Muslim. So that's the young generation. But where are they getting that from? Where are they getting that sense of lack of identity from what are we as adults modeling? What kind of identity do we exhibit? When we look at that condition of the times we're in now and holding on to the deenis times, we were warned about this from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he predicted that there will come a time when Muslims will display certain characteristics on the law. And the times where he now we know this, I'm sure most of us will know this Howdy, where and as even Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, a time of patience will come
to people in which adhering to one's religion is like grasping a hot coal. It's hard, it's painful, it's difficult. People keep wanting to drop it. And holding on to it is so hot, difficult, so challenging, and only a few can hold on. But we have to choose to be of that those of you were also described as we know this one is all about being the farm on the sea, with Oban reported that the Messenger of Allah Salallahu alaihe salam said it is Nia that the nations will call one another against you, just as the eaters call one another to their dishes. So the Muslims will be like a smorgasbord. Somebody asked, Is it because we'll be few numbers that day? Will there only be a few
of us? Will there not be a lot of Muslims and the Prophet sallallahu wasallam said, no, that day you'll be numerous. But you'll be like the firm on the sea, like the scum water. And Allah will take the fear of you away from your enemies, the enemies will not fear the Muslims Muslims are like, what are they? What do they fear for Muslims? What are they going to do to us? And a low place weakness into your hearts.
Somebody asked what is this weakness and the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam said the love of the world and the dislike of death. So the dunya insert the love of dunya has entered the hearts for these Muslims at that time and the dislike for death, not wanting to die being afraid to die afraid to leave this world because of the attachment to this world. So what is the quality of us as Muslims, we have to ask ourselves what is the quality within ourselves as individuals? What is the quality within our community or our families, the global oma at large, even Omar reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi Salaam said people alike, people like 100 camels amongst whom
you have to find one fit for writing. We asked us those who can I truly depend on in my network? Can we come up with 100 people or a lot of people? Sometimes we're lucky can hardly find one. Sometimes we'll say you can't even trust anyone these days we hear these types of narratives that will say you can't trust anyone, no one's actually there for you anymore. No one everyone's to phase where these are generalizations that will say because we have this massive sense of distrust. The quality within ourselves and quality that we see around us is very low. Pamela, we have to change that. Also wavering belief of a writer of quoted that the messenger of love for the loved one is the mom said
hasten the good works before the advent of tribulations like pieces of dark night. And men will get up a believer in the morning and in the day as an unbeliever or in the day as a believer and get up as an unbeliever the next morning selling his religion for a share of this world. How many times do we see in the community it will be like what happens to that person? What happened to that family or happened to that couple that were we thought they were rock solid. So it can change at any time none of us are safe from the tests of Allah subhanaw taala and we are always at risk of being tempted by the dunya and to sell our Deen for the worldly life. Also we have split personalities having two
faces as this the theme of this conference Pamela invisible in that outwardly we look away we look the part stomach the year but this together and behind the scenes were a mess. Behind the scenes we feel disconnected from Allah. But we're putting up this facade or in front of people we act and behave server they just leave them at home with the way
Behave to our families on a lot of what I reported the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi Salaam said barely among the worst of people is the one with two faces, He who comes with one face to these and another to those, what an awful trait to have. So what is the way forward, we have this situation wherein we have these predictions of the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam, which we hope that we haven't, you know, fully fallen into, we hope that we've still got a good grasp of ourselves and our Deen. So what do we need to do, we need to think about our identity, we need to own our identity, and you can't earn it until you reclaim it. Right? Your identity is what you think of
yourself how you feel about your exam is tied to what you think about yourself and your Islam. So we have to assess that. And we have to sort that out. We have to reclaim our conquered minds, if we're feeling and thinking a certain way about ourselves, or our Deen or our community than something we've been conquered in some way. Right? So we have to be able to identify that those are not the thoughts that I want. And I remember I watched a lecture and the speaker said, are your thoughts even your thoughts? Or have they been implanted in you? By influenced by what you've watched by someone you spoke to by something you read? Are your thoughts, even your thoughts? Or are your
thoughts in the messages and ideas and the sense of identity that has been imprinted on you through what you've been exposed to in your life and along? So reclaiming your conquered mind saying, This is my mind? I need to think I need to question I need to delve deep into figuring out who I am. We need to detox from toxic influences and ideas. start sorting out your environments, where you learn from what you read what you watch your newsfeed detoxing, cleaning it out, understanding deeply who you are and what you stand for. In the workshop that we had this morning with the sisters, we had 10 tips to to own your identity. And we had the question, Who are you? If I asked you, who are you?
Would you be able to answer it like that? At the snap of your fingers? Or would you need to think like I don't know, like Who am I? A lot of people are able to answer what they are. I'm a mother, I'm a doctor, or I'm an educator. That's what you are. That's not who you are. We should be able to very easily, deeply understand who we are and be able to say it with conviction once said, I'm a Muslim, and I said beautiful hamdulillah you're Muslim? But what does that even mean? Do we know what the word Muslim means? Do we know what it entails? Muslim one who submits the means to work? Who? Allah? Do we know Allah? If I'm a non Muslim, I say to you, who is Allah? What's this Allah?
Can you tell me very quickly and briefly, who Allah is over? Or do you fumble and Bumble and feel like oh my gosh, like, these simple questions, we haven't even asked us those yet. Yet we have given the responsibility of the dour to mankind come along, we have the responsibility to share the message of Islam, not me, because I'm up here with a microphone, all of us one by one by one, we have a responsibility to connect everyone to allowed to know at least to our life, we have these questions. Who are you? What do you believe in? Why do you believe in it? Who is it that you believe in? So Allah is your God? Who's this God? Can we even communicate that? So we have to really
understand deeply who we are? And then what we stand for? What are our morals and values and principles? Are we people who just go with the winds do whatever feels right when it feels right? Even if it feels wrong, we still do it? What do we stand for? You know that that's saying he who stands for nothing false for anything. So we're just living in life, not standing for anything, and falling and tripping over all the times on a wall, we don't, we don't want that cop. We don't want to keep falling over we have a path, which is an upright path, a clear path that we say 17 times a day emptiness that often has nothing to guide us to which way the straight way, we have the power,
we have the roadmap, yet we fall off it or we choose to walk off that path, or shaitan tricks us into falling off that path. So we need to get back on that path. inshallah. We also want to manifest our inner faith without action.
So we have enough faith, right? Everyone says, My man is here my man is in my heart. But when he man is truly in our heart that needs to manifest in our action. Sometimes we have the opposite. We have the outer action, and there's no interface. And that's probably one of the ugliest things that we see. You know, one of the ugliest things to see someone who in look looks practicing, or has a position where they have some authority or leadership of others under the guise of religion. And then underneath that people are like that's like the most rotten person
knew the love protect dogs. It's one of the worst things Pamela so we have to balance it out in a faith out of action and that should be the recipe as we said own Jamal said about knowledge, feed the interface, knowledge and then out to action, more knowledge, more out to action. Also faith which penetrates the depths of the heart, you should feel about your Islam to the extent where you you can feel it in your heart physically. You can feel how you care about your deen how you love Allah subhanaw taala has this Deen is the life like our life life blood like this is what we need to survive. Man we need out human being more than we need food and water. And we say oh I'm hungry. I'm
thirsty every few hours but do we say oh my soul is hungry. My soul is this deep. We don't even say Shea or nourish our spiritualities upon a lot. Yet we'll just feed this Junior body and give a priority. So we want fate which penetrates the depths of the heart that's when you have earned your identity. And again building from strength to strength, being steadfast and continuing to grow and keep getting stronger inshallah Allah Allah says in the Quran chapter three verse 200. Yeah, you had Medina and also be your word for bureaux de la Allah Allah.
Allah says believers, telling us oil believers, calling out to us. Be patient, out to outdo others impatience, remain resolute. Remain resolute which is to be be convicted. Be rock solid, and be mindful of Allah in order that you may succeed. Here's your recipe for success. Be patient, compete in patience, why she's so patient with that test when my tip comes. I'm going to be patient as well.
Remain resolute to just be rock solid, steadfast, not someone who's like a roller coaster. Practicing nonpracticing up down happy set the resolute and be mindful of Allah, have Taqwa of Allah Spano Dada.
So in our journey towards owning our identity, and really becoming aware of our lives, we want to inshallah, think about what our wake up call is.
Some of us have already had Wake Up Calls, who's had a wake up call in their life, anyone Put your hand up? who's had a time where they were really shaken Pamela maybe numerous times? Yeah. Quite a few. So what we want in life is not to require a wake up call to wake up or to require a shocking, terrifying, overwhelming wake up call to wake up my eldest sons, Allah protect all of us from calamity, I mean,
but sometimes we have Gen two Wake Up Calls calamities around us around us are always signs for us to get serious about life. And when we talk about this topic, holding on to the dean in our times, we've got Of course, the How to step 123. The times where and yes, it's so bad. But what we really need to ask ourselves an answer within ourselves is why why do we need to hold on to adding in these times? If I asked you why, what answers would you give?
I want you to think
I said, Why do we need to hold on to our Deen in these times? Why? What for? Because why should you hold on if you don't even know why? For everything you venture upon in life, always remember so you have to ask yourself, why why am I doing this? And when we look at waking up to our Deen and really taking it seriously and holding on to it and valuing it and loving ourselves loving our identity.
We shouldn't need again like a serious calamity to happen. And in my life's Panama what led me to really want to take this seriously. I'm actually a bit of a lot human person. If my friends know me, I like to have a laugh. I like to have fun. So I'm very serious right now. Hello, my deenis my serious pot that settles me down. But what caused me to be serious about my Deen was from young when I was about eight years old, my grandmother passed away. I didn't have much of a relationship with her. And my mom didn't have a very good relationship with her either. But that was my first
experience of seeing death up close and trying to understand what death was in Mashallah, you know, traditionally, the parents back in those times that are no longer going to talk to the kids and explain. We don't have any of that. It was just like grandma's passed away. All this stuff happens and no one's processed it with us. Panama. Sounds like okay, that's death. I'm eight years old. And then when I was about 11 years old, I started to reflect like, as an 11 year old I think you grow in a little bit of maturity at that age of the preteen. And I started to think about my parents and especially my my grandma and I remember I was thinking my grandma passed away and my grandmother is
my mother's mother. And I was like, gosh, my mom must be sad.
I was wondering because my mom said does she miss her mom. And then I was like, hang on a second, my mom's mom died, my mom's going to die. And then I'm 11 years old, and I'm like, Oh my gosh, just had a moment or a moment of realization. And I freaked out. I was like, Oh my gosh, my mom's gonna die, and my dad's gonna die one day, and I freaked out started crying, right, my kid crying myself to sleep on a wall, and then the link join, and I was like, hang on, they're gonna die. I'm going to die one day, then I had a massive 11 year old heart attacks come along, and I'm crying. And my parents don't know what time of the night This was over a series of night. Just thinking and
reflecting realizing death is the ultimate reality. And once that reality, that realization came to my mind that I'm going to die one day, I asked myself, like, what's gonna happen after I die? And I went to some extreme, I didn't learn a whole lot, Panama. But I knew when you die, we learn you either go to Paradise, or you go to profiles, black and white on a lot. And I was like, I don't want to go to Home fire. And then I said, Okay, if I don't get home, I don't want to go to Paradise. Other sons pray that this is what Islamic recipe. That's the maximum knowledge I had. And then I started telling my parents can you wake me up to pray, they didn't know what was going on. And I was
like, I need to pray. Like, you know, I've got to look after myself as well. So I started praying at that age comes in. And again, this is from Allah subhanaw taala. It's not from ourselves, these realizations. And
then when I was 14 years old, we had another
close brush with death. And my brother who's 16 years old, he accidentally reversed over our family friends, Todd loves Pamela and the baby nearly died. And my brother was already going through so many behavioral problems as a young person at that time. And
that baby came so close to dex Pum lensing, my brother who was like the naughty boy, be insula and crying sulla.
And I knew we were always a family making the offer that baby comes in later, that boy survived. That was another close brush with death, we're seeing that it could happen so quickly, and that a calamity can happen at the snap of your fingers. And my brother's Personally, I don't think he's recovered from that. He still has many problems, Pamela, that impacts our whole family.
And these things can happen, his test can happen at any time. So just you know, having to draw close to our Dean in that time, as well as the big realization. Then when I was about 16 years old, I got a phone call from a friend who we were around the same age, our brothers used to hang out together and I'd never used to speak to because we were living different lives. I was, in a basic way trying to practice your dean. And she was Mashallah very liberal and used to live live life, right.
And I got a call and she's on the other side of the phone. And then she says, I don't want to come collegia and then I was like, yeah, how are you going? And I was scared. I was like, What did I do wrong? Why is she calling me but I was in trouble for something complex. And then she's gonna want to ask you something. She said, I want to know what made you want to wear hijab? When the rest of us she was all the people around you close to me wearing hijab, potty and everything. And I was like, I've told her the story, why I chose to wear it, and he knows skateable last month I like I was, I must be as you can see, I'm a fear driven, personal driven by fear of Allah. Some people are driven
by the hope agenda. But I was just I just wanted to avoid in punishments, Pamela, and she asked me, you know, what made me want to wear hijab, and I told her and explain to her how I came to that decision. And she's like, okay, it's like, because I think I want to wear it. I was like, really mama slow. That's excellent. She's like, Yeah, I just got a diagnosis that I have brain cancer. And she was just 18 at that time. And her cancer diagnosis for her was a wake up call to turn her life around, just being on that call with her, her coming and asking you and we didn't really have a relationship with each other. We knew each other. We used to select each other. We didn't actually
hang out but she came to ask about Pooja. It reminded me of like, you have to stay on this path. Even though at that time again, like we're getting calls and temptation, from every direction all the time in our lives, especially in the 1980s and it's upon Allah Allah subhanaw taala took her life not long after that diagnosis. May Allah, Allah accept from her. And she had to she what she didn't Toba. And, you know, she came to the dean hamdulillah. And what a test, we have no guarantee in life. And once again, it reminded me death, anytime, stay serious about this life and this blessing of Islam that we have. And then when I was 17, not long after my grandmother and my
grandfather both passed away in the same year. So there's this sense of loss can live very close to home. And then when I was 19 years old, my brother's baby passed away as well as Pamela and that was a very painful
to witness the baby lift for nine months, pretty much fully in hospital with so many surgeries. And to watch that baby, watch my brother do the whistle for the baby, his precious baby and I had to hold the baby from the hospital to the machine. My sister in law said do you want to hold it actually didn't want to hold it. I was creeped out like it was beautiful babies wrapped but stiff and had so much medication in her system and all swollen, and the baby felt like lead. When I held that baby all the way to the mostess panel and watching my brother tenderly wash this precious baby's body just makes you realize that this is this life is so fleeting, life comes and life goes
on like gears and he takes we don't earn our lives we don't earn ourselves. We belong to a lot of pantalla and being a Muslim and earning your identity stepping into your son means submitting our law I'm yours and you will do as you will with me but I submit to you in that process. We can either submit the human that persist or run from him in this life. Run solo or run from Allah there's nothing in between. and we are making those decisions every day moment to moment to run to Allah or run away from him has come along.
So we have all these situations and Wake Up Calls so we don't want to wait panela until the wake up call hits so close to home that we are forced to wake up or maybe we're not ready for that wake up call when it comes and we break. So we have to live ever ready ever diligent ever aware that our forelock is in the grasp of Allah subhanaw taala he's holding our life in his grasp. We are not the ones in control and we are meant to live in submission to him throughout our lives. Allah tala says put aluna in the important modes, every self will taste death and you'll be paid your wages in full on the Day of Resurrection.
On the Day of Resurrection, that's when you get paid for everything you sacrifice for everything that was hard but you did it even though it was hot. You're going to get repaid for it by Allah subhanaw taala and we're in time to holding on to the deen is super hard.
But you will be rich, you will be compensated for by Allah subhanaw taala even Omar used to say in the evening, do not anticipate the morning and in the morning do not anticipate the evening. Take from your health, for your illness take from your health, for your illness and from your life before your death. You only have now you only have today you only have this moment. And don't think that you have a long life ahead. When you have that sense of urgency in your heart and in your mind day to day moment to moment. You will treat this life like the amazing gift and Amana that it is you weren't take the blessing of Islam for granted you weren't take your time and your health for
granted you will maximize your quality of life if you have this in the forefront of your mind. Otherwise the walk this life you get caught in that Whirlpool
don't even get in the water rise above it don't get caught and pulled down into that downward spiral.
So we have to prepare our provisions for the next slot before I death. Now in this spot now we're packing the suitcase this life is just suitcase packing. This isn't the holiday. This isn't the end destination this isn't the bliss and enjoyment you can still have enjoyment in life right disclaimer, but this life is preparation and putting your provisions together. Life is just too short. To treat it like it is the holiday that it is the the resting place. It's not
a last month Allah warns us not to be of the people who realize this only when it's too late. Last month, Allah says about people in the Acela, they'll say yaku Yeah, Attorney for them to the hayati. He'll say Oh, I wish I'd sent ahead some good for my life because they get to the Acela and they open up the suitcase good deeds and then it's so low and their sins are so many and then this night I should have done more good. We don't we're not in Africa right now. But we warned about the Athena now. So we have to fill that suitcase with good there's no time to muck around and worry about joy and and knifes and desires and living you know living this life. You know the, I guess the you know
the way of, of those who are not faithful to Allah Spano Donna, Allah. Allah also says in reverse about Hajj in chapter two verse 197, about going on Hajj, she says about the best provision that you can take. He says, What What does Oh, what do fair enough I Iran said taco Taka and take provisions for the journey. But the best provision for the Hydra journey but in the life journey is what? Why? taqwa consciousness of Allah
That you live life and you're just always thinking about Allah is the best choice for Allah right now. If you just ask yourself that, as you go moment to moment, this is the best choice for Allah what I'm about to eat where I'm about to go, who am I about to spend time with? What I'm about to watch is the best choice for Allah and just navigate your life like that. That is tough work.
It sounds simple, yeah. But there is a practice, it's something we have to work on and build upon.
So just to close in sha Allah, in Surah, Mohammed Allah Subhana, Allah says,
And as for those who follow the right direction, he increases them in guidance and gives them guarding and protection against evil. So those who follow the right guidance, if you follow and you choose to follow the right guidance, Allah will increase you in that guidance, you'll continue to guide you. So if you choose to step forward to a line is going to help you navigate navigate the way so like, doesn't feel too hard, too overwhelming, or too confusing. Or too I'm lost. I can't do it. I can absolutely do it. But you've got to step forward first. take that responsibility. You don't need anyone to save you you have to save yourself. a loved one to Allah says who was the como
alikoum narrow site who first save yourself first and your family we know that responsibility of our families because we see these beautiful children and then we are protected. We want to save them but Allah says save yourself first. You don't need no Superman, superhero, Avengers, right Justice League whatever these superhero is not to fly in and help you you got to help yourself.
So it's time for us to wake up and end with the verse chapter from Surah hadik chapter 57 verse 16. Allah tala asks us
and then yet nearly Latina man Oh, Doc sharp boo boo home lady, a woman as de la mina hopefully whether you know whether yaku can Latina Nikita, Baba Luca La la la Mola. Madoka pasa kulu boom Makati min Moon Festival, Allah asks this question, questions are there for us to reflect upon Allah has asked me I remember, in my surgery class, when my teacher we will learn in this ayah I was like every idea that I would first learn with my teacher is like, Where has this been my whole life from a lot. So look at this ayah Allah is asking, and I want you to ask yourself, this has not the time come for those who believe that their heart should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of
Allah and what has come down over the truth.
And let them not be like those who are given the Scripture before and a long period passed over them so their hearts hardened and many of them are defiantly disobedient.
So last ones, Allah asks us isn't a time
but the hearts of those who believed us believers that it became humbly submissive? At the remembrance of Allah?
By asking, Is it time is it time? For me, for you, for our families? For husbands?
It's time What are we waiting for? countless Muslims are headed in a direction which is doomed.
Maybe us part time we're in directions that are doomed. But it's time on was asking us start without heart. It's time for our hearts to become humbly submissive. Be a Muslim one who submits their will to Allah subhanaw taala. So holding on to our faith in current times, my brothers and sisters. It starts with our hearts.
stuff starts with our hearts. So take that ownership of your heart and earn your identity and give your heart to Allah subhanaw taala to sample a theorem panagia locomobi handy. He's kind of a lot more
likes than I am on a few more