Calisha Bennett – Muslim Change Makers

Calisha Bennett
AI: Summary © The social entrepreneurship term " Hotel" is used to describe those who want to make a change, while "roar and whine" of Islam is emphasized where Muslims want to be "people on the sea." The "face of change" that is being captured in the "backwarded culture" of Muslim countries is also emphasized. The importance of protecting Islam and finding one's own path is emphasized, as it is the ability to act, and the "backwarded culture" of Muslim countries is also emphasized. The importance of flexibility and flexibility in the context of the pandemic and the potential impact on the economy is emphasized, along with the need for a flexible workforce to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and customers.
AI: Transcript ©
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Let's move to Allah mentions change in the Quran which means the topic the concept of change is very very important for us as Muslims. A lot smarter Allah says in the Quran Allah Allah mina shaytani r rajim. In Allahu Allah, you are Jiro mabie Coleman had EULA Jiro mabie foresee him last month, Allah says surely Allah does not change the condition of a people, as an entire community or a nation or the globe until they change their own condition. So this topic of change is mentioned quite strongly and this is the promise of Allah subhanaw taala that this change of the condition of people, the world, our families, our community won't happen until we change our own condition. And we're going

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to go into this importance of studying change with yourself, inshallah, as we journey along so when we draw from the Quran at the opening of this presentation, and we realize that the Quran teaches us the importance of change the Quran gives us that main source of why we want to be an agent of change why we want to create tangible why inspiration comes from the Quran, we should always attribute any good that we want to do in this world, to the message of the Quran to what Allah subhanaw taala has been asking of us or commanding of us or warning us about. So the Quran should be that driving factor for us when it comes to making change. And the Quran had such an overwhelming effect on the

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Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam that there were some chapters that were revealed, for example, sort of hood and his sisters that relate to Surah Surah Hood, he said they brought me white hairs before they do time. So he would read the Quran and it would freak him out. sallallahu alayhi wasallam it would make him worried. It would make him feel panicked about Okay, I need to do something and he became a prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam when he was 14 so that was quite later in life to say okay, now you need to figure out do something you know, sometimes you get moms and then they're like telling their 20 year old daughters and the moms are in their 40s and then they're

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telling their daughters you need to do something good for the oma you must do great things and the daughters like what are you do something I'm I'm too old. Right? But the prophet SAW Allah what is on the Sunnah was he was a mature aged Changemaker so it doesn't have an age whenever you feel an inspiration and idea passionate about something, make it happen. So the Quran was a massive driving factor for the message of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi Salaam In fact, it was the message that he was delivering to mankind.

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So not only did the the lessons from for example, sort of hood and its sisters and other similar verses of grant, it didn't just affect the prophets of Allah, Allah Islam. It didn't just affect him spiritually it also extended to his physical being. So it made his hairs white. So when we look at our faces in the mirror later on in life, you'd be like, hey, see this wrinkled stress line? I have one right here. I'm like that's the worry I used to have you know when I'm like okay, how am I going to do this and how how can I address it? How can I help Mike at this line in sha Allah is from that we weren't Botox it right? We're gonna need that Muslim women, right? We embrace these changes that

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a cause you know, in our biology, from our concern for the reality of life that the Quran always teaches us and reminds us of.

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I want to give you an example of the companions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi Salaam who followed his footsteps, they followed him his concern, they followed in the work that he did, they will also save it the sweetness of the Quran, and they were touched by it. So I want you to just start off with this presentation thinking about how the Quran is meant to impact us. A lot of the times we think Quran is what I'm forced to go to every Saturday or after school on Mondays and Thursdays or Quran is like my parents would like drill always angry at me about my memorization of the Quran. I want you to just put that aside that you know, the memorization that type of madressa style learning

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is important. Now I want you to think about what is the Quran supposed to mean for me as a Muslim in my life, like what's it supposed to be in my mind when I wake up in the day what what relevance does this Quran How am I like what is my mission just today for this day, based on what I lost when I to Allah is saying in the Quran, which verse Am I going to be connected to today in implementing and acting upon? So the prophets companions, may Allah be pleased with them. They loved the Quran and I want to tell you this beautiful Hadith. So this is a story of Abba even bishop on the way back from one battle the Prophet salallahu alayhi Salaam appointed a bed and a man even nastier to God the

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camp at night. That took the first turn and then Ahmad went to sleep. The place seemed safe, so therefore our bed spent his time in prayer. However, one polytheist or you know, one of the disbelievers was watching the camp and shut up bed with an error. A bad took the error out of his body and continued his prayers.

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The police showed another error at a bird. And once again, I bet to get the error and continued with these prayers. They polytheist shot a bad with a third error. And it was only then that he stopped his recitation, he made ruco and sujood. And then he woke up, Amar, even yasir and he asked, I might ask him, why didn't you wake me up when you were shot the first time to fight defended, you know, against the person she knew that said, I was reciting a sutra that I didn't want to interrupt. But when the polytheist attack, it kept shooting me I woke you up by Allah had I not feared the task of guarding the camp assigned to me by the Prophet would be jeopardized, then I wouldn't have stopped

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reciting until I'd finished or until he had finished me off.

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So how important was his recitation to him? How important was the meaning of what he was reciting team he was being shot, and he would have continued happily being shot and pulling out errors until he died. Because that sorta was what meant mattered to him, not his own life, or his own well being. Why because the message in the source of the message was his purpose. So when we read Qur'an, that core and every idea is tying into our purpose of why we're here, why we're alive and what we're meant to do while we're alive. So when we think about life, and we're stepping out into the world, what we have always had to think what truly matters from the Quranic message in my life. So then

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what happens, you have the strength to keep doing it. So there might be ladies involved in organizing these groups, they might keep going until there's one person left. And they might keep going organizing this program till it's just them, the volunteers who are benefiting from the program that keep powering forward, it doesn't matter how tiring is to organize events and hold on. I know how hard it is. I did it for many, many years in an Islamic Center. very draining, but why the vision? I'm going to do this to my last breath, because it's my mission. Right? And that's what whatever age you're at, what can you do for the deen? What can you do for your deen? What can you do

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for your spiritual benefit? and not give up on inshallah?

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So let's have a look at this term, because my request was to do a talk about being a change maker. And what does it mean? So what is a change maker? a change maker, it's a term coined by a social entrepreneurship organization. So basically,

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a business someone's business that helps to benefit people socially. So it gives back so it's a business that gives back, it's called Ashoka. And it means one who desires changing the world. And by gathering knowledge and resources makes that change happen. So if we look at that definition, this could be any of us, right? Do we all have the ability, someone who desires change, you just want to make the world a better place? In whatever small way you can? And how do they do it, they gather knowledge and resources, right? They turn it into something, they start making it happen, okay, through that effort. So this could be is being a change maker, only a select special people,

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talent, people who get a plus, plus plus, in their exams, it's not, it's anyone with a desire to create change. And then they go and collect knowledge and resources to make it happen. So it could be anyone it could be you. So what kind of change do changemakers seek on the first part, the only change that really matters for a change maker is usually social change to change something in a local or global society, or any type of change that's going to help people, change makers can be described as social entrepreneurs, activists, or any number of titles, but there's not a really decent description. Aside from this, this is probably one of the best descriptions of it.

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So they want to achieve change that will not only change the state of man, but also reach as many people as possible. So there's one main difference between change makers and the rest of the world. Because this is where you have to make a decision. Do you just want to be the rest of the world? Do you just want to be like everyone else? Or do you want to be part of some great good and great change? So most people desire change, and many know, they would like to see a different world. And some even know how it could be done best. But there's a higher class of people. Okay, so there are some people who are you there could be different if this was done, and that was done, and usually

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this called keyboard warriors, or you see at coffee shops, and everyone's like, yeah, this needs to change, and that needs to change and they complain about what's right, what's wrong, then actually do anything about it. So high level of people is those who act to make that change happen.

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A lot of people will fail in that path. But this is where change makers differ, they make their change happen. So no matter what, no matter the struggle, they go through, they're going to make it happen. So what's the key difference determination? They don't give up on their mission or their message. They use knowledge, resources, determination, very important, and they push through until their dream for change becomes a truth.

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Then they push them on it continue their whole life. So they are a force of social evolution. Everyone can become a change maker. And everyone should imagine if everyone was doing their part, if everyone was making some kind of effort, even if in your local neighborhood, you did a little local in your three streets near your house, a project that every Saturday, everyone would pick up any rubbish by the street, that's creating change. You're changing people's focus. They're like, Oh, no, we don't care about the environment. Now they care because everyone in that community does a rubbish cleanup of their neighborhood. You know, on that set day, something small like that. Yeah.

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So let's have a look at the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam as a Changemaker. So he received the final revelation of Islam. He was all alone in the cave of Hira. And at first he started preaching only to his intimate circle of family and friends. And often that's where your idea first gets, you know, your passion first gets expressed family and friends. You're like, I'm so sick of the oppression happening here or really bothers me when I see that orphans are hungry, what can I do? Or you're like, you know, there's too much plastic in the ocean, we need to do something about it. Or you think you know what good manners are going down the drain, we need to start a

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campaign to bring back good manners. You just feel passionate about it, and you share it with your family and friends and the prophets of Allah or Islam when he was given the message of the purpose of our existence, and the final guidance to the universe until the end of time. Imagine the heaviness of that. He went to his family and friends first. So at that time, in pre summit Arabia, society was up to the elbows in polytheism. worshipping idols was like rampant female debasement and indulgent drinking and alcoholism and womanizing that were just really, really wild. And you know, what's the word um, civilized society. Today, we look now at the F of his work, there is nearly

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there's nearly 2 billion Muslims or 1.8 billion Muslims around the world who inshallah praying five times a day, they are reading and reciting the Quran connected to the Scripture. And they're doing their best throughout the day trying to stay steadfast, of course, sometimes slipping, but overall, holding on to the truth. So these examples show us that reciting the Quran. For them wasn't just like lip service, it meant something and it created a change which has reached all the corners of the globe Pamela. So this was the effort of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi Salaam and his companions. So

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if we look at the Prophet sallallahu alayhi Salaam as a change maker, his driving force was the Quran and it's message and his companions rallied behind him in that message. And the Quran was able to revive people's hearts and reform their minds. People changed from the message of the prophets of Allah Islam and what he was calling to because of the Quran. The Quran is the transforming factor upon a lot. So if we look at changemakers throughout history,

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who would you guys say are some any that you can think of? So I'm gonna give you a minute to just chat beside you can write it down try to come up with like five or six different changemakers Muslim not will seem from recent from way in the past. Just write some down shala. So do that for a minute or two and then we'll share them.

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Yep, algebra. Yep. What else who else?

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Who changed? Create a change? Anyone else?

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Zainab LFO. Sally. Yep.

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Anyone else? Yes.

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Omar Ibn Al Fatah. Yeah. How about her invented the first university in the world?

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Fatima theory. Yeah. First University was established by a Muslim woman. And then the world wants to say that were oppressed.

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Okay. Yeah. She actually started leaving.

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Education evading Wow. Yeah.

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And because

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women need to go to

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school. Yeah.

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So she revived the sooner which is the right and the the commandment for Muslims to seek knowledge. She brought it back, even though it's a Muslim society. And they're like, No, no, women are not today. She said no, hang on a second. Right. And she had to she brought like, you have to fight for that. Yeah. I'm just, hi everyone for those suggestions. Okay, so I had to look up collage of like people who create a chain. So I don't agree with all of these. But I managed to get female ones that

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Don't have to be female. We mentioned females but there's a lot of males as well. So a couple of these I wouldn't agree with because I thought the top there she's the oppressor in Burma, Myanmar. So some are animals, environmentalists, some are humanitarians, just different types of leadership. So when we look at change makers in history, whether we agree with all of these or not as examples, we I don't know why we don't have a you know, like a female Muslim one, that would be nice. But we don't have a lot of photos of a female Muslim ones you guys can maybe that can be your working design. One. What traits did the change makers that you guys mentioned, and maybe some of these

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have? What was the traits I want you to think about? What were the traits of these changemakers? Yes, they were ambitious. Yep. Perseverance.

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They never stopped and kept going. Someone said to him, yes.

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That was determined. Yep.

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Yeah, they're passionate believed in what they were doing. Yep. They had strong voices. Strong voices. Yeah. outspoken. Yeah. Good. Yes.

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Brave. Yep.

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You forgot you

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had a purpose? Yeah. Yes.

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Smart. Yep. Do you need to be smart to be able to create change. You don't need to be a Brainiac. But it helps to be smart in ways maybe smart people skills or smarts in life skills, or smarts academically. So it doesn't have to be one type of smart because we're all intelligent, in different ways. Yeah. So you guys know what traits are required. You didn't need to interview each of these are the ones that you mentioned, you know, in your mind that I think that this is what I see they had in common. So if we look at those traits, do you need to get a certificate to have those traits? Do you need to pass a test? Do you need to like run a marathon to get those traits? those traits are

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a decision. I'm gonna do this no matter what I believe in this I have conviction, I'm going to persist. Going to be brave, right? Be brave, even though I feel fear doesn't mean not having fear. Yeah, there's this beautiful saying it's courage is not the absence of fear. It's the ability to act despite your fear. So I do a lot of things that I feel at the time I'm like, so scared, people ask me, can you do this? Can you do that? or run this? And then I'm like, I'm scared, like, that's out of my league. And I'm like, No, I have to I have to be brave, to get my mission out or express what I believe is important for us to be reminded of, so you guys see the traits and you know, the traits

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that changemakers have. Now, you have to ask yourself the question, can I have these traits? Can I exemplify these traits? Can I instill these traits within myself when I do or if I already have what I know my my changemaking you know pathway will be so I want you to reflect on that inshallah.

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So let's have a look at Muslims as the next generation of changemakers. I found this beautiful article, which mentions shalina, Zahara Janmohamed, she's a British writer, and she's written a book called generation m, young Muslims changing the world, I really want to read it actually not.

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And Jen, Mohammed, she says about the traits that our community has. So Jen generation m, other Muslim millennials, the global generation that's been born in the past 30 years, but it's with a twist. So unlike Christian counterparts in the US and Western Europe, many, like people who have grown up Christian in the last 30 years, a lot of them actually turning away from organized religion, which is why we see there's a lot of the rise in atheism, a lot of people who were raised Christian, they're like, no, that's backward, and it's so old school and we don't want to be religious anymore. How does it in our generation m, our Muslim community has one overriding

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characteristic, which is that they believe that being faithful and living a modern life go hand in hand. And there's no absolutely no contradiction between the two. So we know what we're empowered with is that as Muslims, we can still practice our faith properly, and still dress the way we want to dress and worship the way we know we should worship. But we know we can also be modern, we can be high tech, we can be edge really educated, we can be fun, we can be trendy, but we can still be very religious. At the same time, we don't see a conflict between the two. Whereas other religions, particularly as Jen Mohammed mentions about the Christian counterparts, they kind of don't want to

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be religious because they think it conflicts with being in the modern world. But Islam is a beautiful thing that adapts and changes according to the modern times. So it's universal. And this is why we know that it was the final message of the Prophet Muhammad SAW Allah Islam and the Quran was the final guns until the end of times. So obviously we know Allah is going to make

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teachings relevant until the end of time. Because why would Allah give something away to leave in a Sharia and know, you know, a way to practice in worship, that only fits in the olden days, and now it doesn't fit. It's designed to fit all the way until the end of times. So in the book, she writes, their faith affects everything, and they want the world to know it. This is what sets them apart from their non Muslim peers. It's the single factor that will shape them and a world that they are determined. And a world that they have determined should cater to their needs. They are a tech savvy, self empowered, youthful group who believe that their identity encompasses both faith and

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modernity. Okay, so we feel like no, we're telling the world and hamdullah we have a very strong Muslim drive in the world now where it's like, We're here. We're not going anywhere. We're not going to give up practicing our faith. And the world needs to figure that out and accommodate it, which is now why we have every second place is Hillel. And, you know, the Muslim fashion industry is massive, like people like oh, watch out, the Muslims are here. Right? The world knows that they have to cater to what our community needs, because we're saying, we follow Hillel. And we're not going anywhere. We're not going to compromise that even though the world would like us to compromise and not want

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Hillel, whether food or clothes or, you know, practice. We're like, we're here, and we have to practice our faith. And so places around the world are accommodating for us Hamza Lila, what honor Allah subhanaw taala gives to our community. So if we look at the predicted future,

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the demographics depict an extraordinary predict trajectory. In 2010, there were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, a figure forecast to grow by 73% in the next four decades, in the next 40 years, more than doubled the general rate of growth we're going to grow in in number double the the standard numbers of society, our community by 2050, according to the Pew Research Center, there'll be 2.8 billion Muslims globally, more than a quarter of the world's population. So we our community is going to grow you guys like oh my gosh, that's like in my lifetime. You like that's if I have like 2.5 kids is still going to be that many will sin, hums out the Muslims embrace having families and

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big families and inshallah were a healthy, lovely community. That's why our population will inshallah grow. So if that is the growth that's going to happen in the next 40 years, inshallah I'll be here in the next 40 years if I look after my health, and you guys will be like in your late 50s Yeah, you'd be grandmother mode just about to empty your grandmother hood.

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Yeah, so at that time, there's going to be 2.8 billion Muslims can be very big busy road and it's going to be a lot of inshallah, influence and power that the Muslim community have based on what we do in the next 40 years, based on what each and every one of you do in the next 40 years. So now the question is in that number in that growth, what part will you play? And this was predicted how many how Muslims will be everywhere, it was predicted in this Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam, where he said, it is Nia that his time 1400 years ago said it's Nia there's a time coming with a nation's we'll call one another against you, just as the eaters call one another to

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their dishes, like we're going to be eaten, like people will eat from a feast. Like we'll be kind of like attacked or you know, destroyed or, you know, oppressed. And then someone asked is this, is this gonna happen to the Muslims going to be attacked and overwhelmed? Because we're a few in number because there's not many of us. Maybe that's why because this is the companions at that time, that couldn't imagine that Muslims would be preyed upon or attack. Is that because there'll be only a few and the Prophet said, no, that day you shall be numerous you'll be like, but you'll be like the foam on the sea. And Allah will take fear away from fear of you away from your enemies and we'll place

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weakness in your sorry, it's supposed to say hearts. Somebody asked, What is this weakness? It's known as the Arabic word and the Prophet sallallahu Sallam said, Love of the world, and dislike of death. Okay, so the numbers the Prophet sallallahu, Alayhi, salaam, predicted we have a lot of Muslims. But now the concern is, they'll be like the foam on the sea. And we have to decide what part will we play? Will we be the farm on the sea, these people that are just so many, but people take advantage of them, and they're getting killed, bombed and abused and oppressed, and we go to the workplace, and we don't say I need a place to pray. I'm going to do it in my brain. I'm not

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going to impact the workplace, or do we just shy away we're hiding. We're not strong to show what we need to do for our faith. Will we be the foam on the sea? Or will we be the ones creating the waves, and if you're a change maker, you want to create the waves for our Omer to sail on the sea. This is the being the foam on the sea as the Prophet peace be upon him. He predicted this. Whenever I read this hadith. I'm like he says we're going to be like the foam on the sea.

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I'm not going to be the phone. No way.

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I'm not going to be the phone. I refuse if we learn this headed what's the Hadith, the Quran, Hadith, we're supposed to learn it. And you're always making a decision. Am I this? Or am I not this? Do I want this? Or do I not want this, I read this Hadith, I don't want this, what's the cause of being the firm in the sea, the weapon, the weakness, love of the world and fear of death. So I'm like, Okay, number one, make sure to love the world too much. Because this is not my ultimate destination. This is just the train ride to the athlete. So I don't get too attached to the world, I do my thing, live a good life, enjoy nice things in the world. But I don't get overly attached to

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it, like, Oh, I have to have everything perfect in the world. And now I want all the dunya. And I want to look perfect, and I want to have this and have that and see this and do that. And the dislike of death. I have to live every day, not trying to pretend and run away from the fact of death, but realizing death is going to come at any minute. So what does that mean? I've got work to do. Because I want to die doing something that is pleasing to Allah, I want to die. And I was like that day she was striving for me and the day before and the day before and the day before. So these two things we want to combat so we don't become the foam in the sea. But you have to make that

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decision. No one can push you into it, your parents can't make you do it. You can't fake it. Because all your friends are also doing you have to say I'm not going to be the foam in the seat, even if that means standing on my own. So you have to ask yourself, what part will you play in the growth of that one? My 2.8 billion Muslims. We want 2.8 billion game changes change makers. Yeah. Not people who are the foam on the sea. And one of my favorite speakers shashikala Diaz seen? He said, You know, we've got at that time, he said, we've got 1.6 billion wet matches. What do you do with a wet match? Can you light a spark kind of a lot of Spark. The match is there to create fire to create

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warmth and sustenance and security. But the matches are wet. So us as Muslims, largely at the moment, we're like wet matches, we want to light up our spark we need to dry off and start thinking about how you want to create that fire, that fire of change, not the fire of them.

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Allah protect us. So the face of change who is the face of change? So again, from this article in The Guardian Guardian, rather than being downtrodden and subjugated Muslim women are experiencing increasing empowerment in education, employment, public life, marriage and childbearing. That's Jen, Mohammed, she says, if we were to pick a face, that captures the global pace of change, it would most likely be a Muslim woman. She's part of the largest population because there's more Muslim women then Muslim men in nations where change is happening fastest. And in the segment, which change is most potent? In short, Muslim women are where it's happening. So even now, we're sitting here

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we're like, okay, shall I marry a guy, he's like a change maker,

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shall all my sons will be change makers or I will support my husband to make chain. We don't have to handle look, we can also create that change, we can lead change, and our families can follow us, our sons can follow us in that creating of chain. So john Mohammed says, It's women in terms of the largest population. And I read a statistic that in the US, it's the Muslim women who are graduating with better grades in college and getting better jobs. They're doing really well they surpassing the men, Muslim men and this surpassing general society statistics, they're doing really well on a law. So we are very resilient, very resilient community. And we know as Muslim women, maybe of all

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communities, how much we have thrown in our path from cultural, cultural backwardness expectations, from, you know, certain types of oppression that have pushed on Muslim women globally. The things that the non Muslim says about Muslim woman, sometimes when we look to our communities and our homes, everyone's saying negative stuff to us, you can do this, you can do that. Then we go out in the world, and they're like, you can't do this, you can't do that. And we're like, what? Waiting sandwiched in the middle. But what that does, is teaches resilience, we end up smashing through both of those sides, and creating amazing change as what's captured here. So what's meant or designed to

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kind of squash us down? We're still coming up out of that. It gives me goosebumps actually. So you realize how strong Muslim women are? And where do most Muslim women get their strength from when they're faced with the cultural communities and you know, some of the oppressive things that happen in Muslim countries or you know, wrong Muslim leaders, and what the world says Islamophobia. We get the attacks we get sworn out, we get all this stuff. We're the most you know ostracize females in the in the community. We squashed by those two. We drive our strength now from what Allah Allah says to us. He says we are how he honors us through again the message of the Quran. Allah always says

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believing men, believing women and

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Honoring women and sort of Marian a, you know, a whole chapter, praising this beautiful, strong woman as to the story of ESEA. And she stood up to the fair, the biggest press all the time, that's like being married to Donald Trump. And you're like, you can do whatever you want to me, Donald's, right, stand up to him. So that's, these are the examples we have. So we draw strength from that everyone can say and do what they want, we're still gonna push through because we're not just little minions, you know, we're not like little robots, or we're just gonna, whatever someone does to us, that's, that's who we are. And that's where we are, we're gonna push forward because we know a lot.

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medalla holds us in very high esteem.

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So the face of change is Muslim women.

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So I'll tell you a little bit about my background, and how I got to where I am now in terms of my business, developing diamonds and what I'm pushing in terms of Muslim women and youth owning their identity. That's kind of like my shaula global campaign pushing people to own their identities in who Allah, Allah created them to be. So I started off born Muslim, my dad's a convert to Islam. And my mom is from Christmas, Cocos Island background, which is just under Indonesia. So I've got a mixed race background. Even my mom and dad's coming together was difficult because of the racism of, you know, my mom's family, being against white people, and not trusting them. But hamdulillah my dad

00:31:26 --> 00:31:58

embrace Islam proved to be you know, him that I like a true Muslim and raised us in mostly an Islamic life, you know, that it took a while for them to actually learn and practice both of them together. But hamdullah, they ended up being a good example and inspiration for us. Within my family, though, within my best friends and the local neighborhood I grew up in, in Western Australia, in Perth, very small Muslim community back when I was growing up, most of the people closest to me got involved in drugs, partying, and the worst of life. You know, my brother just got put in prison again.

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On Friday, my mom is raising his baby. No, I have the most colorful background and my friend, people think, oh, Islamic speakers, you must have such a stomach, family and background, I have massive struggles with trying not to, you know, lose focus on what my personal mission and end goal is as a believer and not to get caught up in the pain of what happens in my family is that I lost my best friend's Muslim friends, to drug addiction as well. And that stuff was always all around me always saying, Come, come to this party come this guy likes you. Come do this, come do that. And I had to choose a different path from where everything else was pulling me and him that I made a decision to

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get married quite young, have my first baby quite young.

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So she's a teenager now from Zealand have five children now. And I, in my early, I think I was about maybe 19. I went to a lecture and it was a holiday I seen and I watched his lecture, I bought the DVDs on that night about a whole bunch of them. And I watched them all and I cried like I cried, like, my chest became so tight, because what he gave in those talks was reminding me of the bigger purpose which I knew, I knew that we had to try to be good and true to Allah subhanaw taala. But I always felt unsupported that always felt like I was the only one. When I watched those lectures, I was like, Oh my gosh, life is beyond so much more than what we even think is right in front of us.

00:33:32 --> 00:34:09

It's such a big picture of reality that we're not seeing, or that we don't want to see. So after I watched those lectures, and I joined a handler core and had read class and studied under a teacher for about six, seven years, and got you jazza to teach Quran as well, a journey through that, that kept me grounded, because I still have family stuff going on everywhere. But every Monday I'd have a two hour quarter and class I'd have to drive all the way there. I sit in that class, sometimes I didn't do my homework. Sometimes I you know, had a baby with me. And sometimes I just finished like on the weekend with my family, and barbecues, and beach and all this stuff. And I'd go on that

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Monday put on class and I'd be like, Hello, like wake up check again. It would just keep waking me up every Monday for six, seven years, like training me. And so what I say about the Koran is this massive training transformation of your heart.

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So after a while, it's not to think I'm supposed to I would I was late at night and I couldn't sleep thinking I'm supposed to do something. I need to do more like I couldn't figure out what it was. And I decided to start a youth group for girls. The Saturday youth group did it for four years, and then it stopped. And then a few years later, one of the moms in the community like we need you to start youth group like we our girls need it. So I started again, based on what the mums asked me to do. I didn't believe in myself. I didn't really know you know exactly what I wanted to do. started the youth group again. And it became a very strong model in the community and it continued to grow. And

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I started a conversation

00:35:00 --> 00:35:34

whole group I started teaching back to basics of Islam classes started teaching core. And so I started teaching all these different classes from the language move and highest centers like this, we travel, you know, go to different places, booking bringing boxes of stuff. And eventually Hamdulillah, we came together, we said, let's put this into actual center. And then we ended up opening up an Islamic center. And it's called Perth oma center. And, you know, I moved to Sydney a year and a half ago, and I left that behind just for a fresh start and a different space for my own children. Because over there, we still had the same problems in our family, a lot of drug addiction,

00:35:34 --> 00:36:09

a lot of mental health issues. And we decided to just come away and look after our own little nest for a while, over here, and I left behind the center and all the programs under the law are all there, and I'm still on a path of fulfilling my mission, but parts of my mission are left then inshallah I hope that'll like steps and I still get reward for that inshallah. But see, the motivation is because I knew what I felt and had from Allah wasn't from me that I wanted Islam in my life, it was from Allah. And he put that in me from about 11 years old, where I was like, I need to pray because when I die, I don't want to go to hellfire. That was my psychology of like, that's the

00:36:09 --> 00:36:29

basic assault on you. If I die, and I don't pray, I'll go to help. And I don't want to help I want to go to Paradise not so I just started praying at that age. That was my Islam one on one. That was it. That's all I knew. I knew that Allah chose that guidance for me from a young age, if he hadn't chosen that I would be where my best friends are now, I would be with some of my siblings on now.

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So now I know my responsibility is to share what I discovered what I believe what I stand for what what I you know, believe to be true with others. That's the change I am to make inshallah. And

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so that was my motivation to just give back to do something to leave something behind, and to share the basic goodness that I learned. I'm not like a scholar of Islam. I'm Hamza basic, I've managed to do Sharia studies, and I have my Quran he does, but I'm not an alima, or like some of Hamdulillah, the scholars you have here. But I do have an important message to share. So sometimes I'm like, I'm not learning enough, we should get a shift and come and speak here instead of me. But I have, I have to create that change through my own message and unique experience. So I thought I'll share with you guys some of the challenges that I faced in that journey. So one of them is self doubt, who

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experiences self doubt, well, can I add on or if I can, yeah, so many of us experienced self doubt, I grew up with actually pretty bad self esteem, really low self esteem with what I thought about myself, I didn't think I was very good, or very worthwhile, or very lovable. I had all these types of instilled self concepts, because I had attachment issues between me and my mom.

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My dad was really good and attached. But your mother is a very important attachment issue. You have weak attachment with your mom, you actually have a weak relationship with yourself that a lot of self doubt about what I thought about myself. And I remember I was at a youth camp and he ate and the camp leaders at the end of camp, they were like, they voted me for the best role model. And I was like, I don't know who you're talking about. But that's not me. Like, I totally felt like, that's not me. I don't know what the heck you guys are seeing? Well, I'm not a role model. I just want to hide in the corner. But they saw I had some leadership traits, but I didn't see it myself.

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And no one nurtured that in me as I continued Actually, I had to took me 20 years to find that in myself and say, okay, you do have some strength. And I hate that it took me that long upsets me. I wish someone was there for me. So now my in my ethos, or my motto is I want to be there for other sisters for you guys. I want to be for you guys. What I didn't get growing up. Yeah, be for others what you didn't get. If you you know, were hurt, then be the healing for others. If no one lifted you up, lift up others. Yeah. So one of them was self doubt, had to work through that. Another one is fear. It's scary to do something that no one else is doing. It's scary to do something on your

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own. It's scary to do something where people like you shouldn't be doing that. Even now, sometimes I speak at conferences. It's so scary because I've never spoken in front of mixed audiences. Recently, I have to fly over with my husband to Hong Kong to fly with my son to Philippines, to present at conferences. I'm like, so scared. I'm like, Can someone else do this? Can someone else you know, take my spot. It's really scary. But I know that I have to put myself out of the picture. Do these words need to be said someone's got to say these words. And maybe someone won't say it the way I'll say it. You know? So fear is one that you have to face as a challenge. lack of support. Sometimes

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your families will be like, Oh, yeah, go do that then. But they're not actually helping you. Some people will actually be against you. Oh, really? That's what you want to do. Yeah, go there and change the world. People say these comments. Who are you? You think you can do it? Who are you? How are you going

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Do it. cynics Yeah. Or you're like, No, I'm gonna do this. I have this idea. And then they're like, Yeah, good. You know, good luck, off you go, but they don't actually help you. Sometimes you like trying to rally a team, there's no team, you are the team, you and your laptop ends up being the team. And that's happened to me so often throughout, but Hamza ended up finding, you'll find gems throughout. And what happened was actually a couple of the girls from my youth group who I was mentoring them when they were 1213 years old. Now that about 23 years old, they're like my best friends. And my number one supporters, I'm like, Guys, I have this idea. What should I do? And

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they're like, Hey, you got to do this, you gotta do that. They helped me out and they support me. So you find the people we ask Allah to send you the best supporters because you don't need everyone's support.

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lack of resources. If I told you how much we did with zero money, you would be like, shocked. We didn't have funding. We didn't have I didn't have any money. I was a stay at home mom. Right? I didn't have a rich family. I grew up quite low, very low on the economic scale, from my family's upbringing. So we didn't always have resources, but again, determination you'll find a way. And we had a fundraiser for the center we established so we said this is all the programs we've gotten all the classes that we've got, it's ready. It's already running. Community get behind us because we want to turn it into actual space. We're sick of hiring stuff was sick of lifting boxes. I had a

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room in my house full of our resources. I had an Islamic library in my house. I had boxes of youth group stuff, boxes of combat stuff, boxes of back to basics of boxes of dollar stuff in my house, and assist as we were women to we didn't have any guys on our team. We were a group of women. And the community got behind us we raised I think just over $60,000 from one afternoon tea from just ladies coming. We sold food we had an auction we got donations. And then we locked in in we almost gave up actually, we were looking at so many different venues and we almost gave up we said no we have we've got to we've got the money, we have to find a way we started to feel like that's it we're

00:41:59 --> 00:42:16

never going to find a place when we found this beautiful place. I should have put a photo Actually, we painted a turquoise blue to match the logo. We had chandeliers and beautiful couch and a playroom for the kids. It was really nice panel. So lack of resources a massive one, but that's just one obstacle inshallah, that you can get past

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lack of experience. So a lot of the time like, I'm not good enough, I don't know enough. How am I going to do this, I have no idea. I've never done it before. I hadn't done like project management at uni. I hadn't done business management at uni, I hadn't done community at uni community services and designing infrastructure, but ended up having to manage and head a community center and run and design programs, as well. Like, up till now, I didn't do any specific studies for the leadership and management that I have. And then, you know, just recently I got offered a job by an organization without any fancy qualifications. And, you know, they hired me to run one of their projects that

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they got a grant from the government for for $100,000. They're like, we want you to do it, you're perfect for the job. So again, experience will build through just volunteering. That was my 12 years of volunteering in the community became my expertise. So you can get there and shall even without experience, time and energy consuming. This is that heartbeat, right? It will take a lot of energy. How many nights I stayed up two to 3am planning things writing things, programs, marketing, designing things. being away from home having to drive I homeschooled my kids as well. So I was like juggling between homeschooling finished homeschooling, then I'd have to go out and do community

00:43:37 --> 00:44:00

work, to miss out on, you know, dinners with friends and coffee dates, and shopping and all of that because you're servicing a community need or a cause to make change, and loneliness, very lonely journey. Sometimes you like, Oh, I just wish I had someone that was like my twin like my buddy who just gets it that I can they understand, right you'll feel lonely in your journey towards creating change.

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So just to finish off, inshallah, any questions about any of that, I'll finish off with some keys to making change. So keys to making change, as we mentioned at the start, it starts with yourself. You can't create change externally, if you don't change what's inside. And inside means you have to develop your sincerity and make that stronger. You need to make your knowledge base stronger. You need to develop your self esteem and self belief. You need to fix and work on your mindset. You have to change yourself first. If you're like I want to be, you know, I'm going to change the environment. You know, I'm going to reduce waste in the world. But then in your own house you don't

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recycle doesn't make sense, right? We like I want to address the issue of the oppression of women. But then in your own house, you'd like telling your daughter you have to do the dishes boys don't have to do chose, right. So you have to start with yourself and practicing that change yourself. change requires knowledge, awareness and open mind

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Thus, you have to be ready to adapt. So I'm always listening even though now I'm like, okay, here's what the message I need to share with the oma. I'm always listening for like, what does that person have to say? Or like? What's their view on this topic? What's that person's personal struggle with their identity? I'm always trying to learn, I go to corporate conferences, I go to lectures, I go to local classes, you never stop learning and wanting to be open and aware of further ways to learn. Number three, is to know your why your motivation, very important. with anything, even new, usually, at the start of mind, Toyota said, Why are you here? You have to know why you're here. Did your mom

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make you come? Did you know? Did you came with a friend, know your why and fix your intention. Because sometimes you need to change your way. Like if I say, or I want to create change, because I want to, eventually,

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I don't know, you know, get a role on a board of a high charity. So I can raise my status to be on the board of a high chair and have all this power. If that's your intention behind creating change, then this is shifty intention. That's not for the greater good. So ultimately, you want to know your why's that for Allah, is it because you know, it could be a mix of incentives for Allah, Allah ultimately. But then you also want to help others, you also will know it will heal and benefit you to give to others what you didn't get, you might want to you know that, you know, there's certain benefit, there's something missing there that need that no one's doing it, and you want to be the

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one to do it. So know your why and your motivation, because you're going to lean on that often. Number four, try to collaborate, this is starting something new. Who wants for youth centers in one suburb,

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it's not ideal. There's more power in a collective. So if you have an idea, always look up if there's anything existing, and if you can add to what they have, rather than start something new, and invent something new. And it just creates, maybe not always competition, but sometimes it does create unhealthy competition. It's not you versus any other Muslim or any other person or group. It's everyone adding whatever they can. So

00:47:10 --> 00:47:51

yeah, even when we started that Islamic Center, yes, it was majority of my programs that I design. But we went and started that center under another Islamic organization, versus becoming our own Islamic organization. We said to another organization, you guys don't have a female wing, would you like us to come be the female, right wing and run our programs on the year. And it makes it easy for us because we didn't have to do all this paperwork to become an organization. And we collaborated, and that builds strength, unity builds strength. So try to do that when you can. Number five, mentors and advisors are essential. Just like I said, My journey. One big part that was lacking was

00:47:51 --> 00:48:24

mentors, especially from early on in my life, I had mentors training me and coaching me like, how to build on what strengths I had, and ideas I had, I would have done a whole lot more way earlier. Like, I wish I was standing here in front of you 10 years ago, you know. So mentors and advisors are essential, always encourage people, because every time I did find a mentor, I just really pushed forward because it helped me to believe in myself more to be able to do more. So mentors and advisors getting that nasty, how is done from someone who's done it or is doing it.

00:48:25 --> 00:48:39

Make sure that what you do is number one permissible. It's permissible islamically Yeah. So you know, you don't want to be part of a cause that is promoting something impermissible? what's an example? Like,

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bacon eat a society or something, right? The rights eat like this not this is probably not permissible. I didn't want to so many other examples I could give. But there are a lot of movements. Now a lot of our Muslim girls, I get calls from moms, my daughters joined this group, which is pro XYZ. And I'm really concerned and she's supporting this community. That is not what we stand for. So make sure that what you're standing for is permissible. And make sure you're passionate about it. If you're part of it, and you're like so bored, it's about you know, bricks should all be yellow society. And you're like yeah, brick should over yellow, then our houses all look the same. You're

00:49:16 --> 00:49:26

like, Oh my gosh, it's so boring. Make sure you're passionate about it. Don't just jump on board because everyone else is volunteering or helping out. So this is for number seven, which is dropped the expectations of others.

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When you worry about others expectations, what other say you should do you're going to be paralyzed and read this quote, rich Riyadh's read a few times, I'm not that bright loyalty to a petrified opinion, never yet broken chain or free the human soul. If you are loyal to people who say things about what you should or shouldn't do, or their views, and they don't do anything, they're petrified. They're scared so they don't actually make change. And they've tried to push that on you. their views never broke a chain or free to human soul their views have or their biggest

00:50:00 --> 00:50:36

opinions, I've never actually helped or change anyone. So those types of people, I had this ally, I had people around me, who would just whinge about everything and I come with, how about this, I'd have these ideas, I'd be like, we could do this. And they'd be like, no, and they would have all these opinions, but they weren't actually creating change, I was ready to create change. Once that idea, I was like, That's it, I'm gonna do it, I'll do it. I had a few people very close to me that I was working with, and, you know, bumping shoulders with, he would just kind of dampen and push down and have all these comments, and they want to stop and I was like, hang on, this person doesn't even

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do what create that, in that not even helping anyone. And they're stopping me from helping others because of their opinions, I had to actually move away in terms of get create space and not go to them with my ideas, because they kept like pouring water on it, I have a spark, and then they would just put water on it. So don't be loyal to people who have petrified opinions, they're scared. So they want to make you scared to not branch out either. So drop that expectation of others, what they should say you should or shouldn't do, of course, doesn't mean rebelling against your parents and stuff, right? Your parents will be like, No, no, don't do that or don't, don't get involved.

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Sometimes they have the right stance, but you should seek some advice. And you know, you mentors, like I mentioned, and for them to help you with your parents, so they can encourage your parents, you know, she'd be really good in this project. We'd love to have her on board, would you let her come and you know, help us design something in this project or this campaign.

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Number eight, find some Islamic inspiration is very important. Very important. If you're not doing Islamic learning, whatever you are passionate about and working on, can easily go astray. If you're not fueling it with Islamic inspiration, like I have classes that I make myself go to even though I'm tired or overloaded. I'm like I need to go. And then when I go, I'm like, Oh my gosh, this point, this Hadith, that we're learning about the Day of Judgment, or we're learning about the rights of men and women, or we're learning about the fit of the law, and it's something from that will apply to something I'm working on. Because it's something Remo is universal, the Islamic

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teachings will apply everywhere in your life. So Islamic expression is very important. So that as you have ideas and creativity, it guides your journey, I was so easy to just get caught up with the way that non Muslims do things. Number nine, be consistent as you guys have seen this, if you stop and start, nothing will actually build can't keep changing ideas in groups all the time, you won't grow. Number 10. If it isn't created a radio, there's no one doing it lead the way you don't always have to join or volunteer. If someone's not doing something, say you know what, I can't find this type of thing. Can I lead it, you have to believe in yourself to be able to lead the way. Think Big

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and believe in yourself. Very important. So think big as in don't limit it. Okay, so you're like, I'm just going to help my local mosque. And that's it. Maybe the project that you do, amazingly helps you local mosque, and you can give that design to a bunch of other mosques. Think bigger. Maybe it can be a global design where other muscles around the community can also take that design and do something in their mosques with it. So think big, don't limit like to just that's all I can do. That's all I'm worthy. Oh, so believe in yourself inshallah. Number 12. be resilient, we've learnt a lot about that. So resilience, if no one knows what it means someone doesn't know what it

00:53:27 --> 00:53:37

mean, means it's that when you fall down, you get back up. when something gets hard, you push forward. Okay? So it's resilience, persistence, and a few more

00:53:38 --> 00:53:40

so about your thinking.

00:53:41 --> 00:54:00

thinking big the world as we have created, it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. So the world as it is now is what people thought the world could be right? Someone thought about making light Globes, someone thought about making this thing someone thought about making this and they made it.

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We can't change the world from what it is if we're like, this is not working that's wrong, that the outer stuff can't change until we change the way we think about it. I think we can do things do things a different way. It's time for change. In the final few work with communities so important, so powerful, like it's just building communities builds the entire society. 14 Speak up, that's important. You do have a seat at the table, even though sometimes you're not invited to the table speaker if something is wrong, what needs to be done. Be prepared for failure and challenges. So yes, there will be challenges and that's why I shared with you my challenges, but there will be

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failures. Sometimes. Sometimes something totally won't work, it'll just flunk. But we know that that's part of the path and we keep going have humility and integrity. Your values are so important in the journey, not to be dodgy not to do shortcuts, not to be arrogant and proud. Just be humble. We all slaves made from the

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Same just returning to the same ground. When or at what you do or how high you get in the work that you do. We're all the same. We're all slaves of Allah subhanaw taala just little specks were so

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insignificant, but we're also significant with Allah. But we're so insignificant in the bigger picture. Okay, we're just here to do some work for Allah. Number 17. Do what moves you has to move you has to impact you, you have to feel something. So don't just do stuff. Because in your mind, if you think it's good, and it sounds good, has to move you has to affect your heart.

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18 just get started. Don't procrastinate. You may have ideas right now. Write it down, do a massive brainstorm. And instead of action plan for making it happen, number 19.

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Don't shoot for the stars aim for the heavens. Yeah, for us as Muslims, you know, they tell us shoot for the stars. Aim for the heavens, aim for your reward in paradise in sha Allah for whatever effort and sacrifice you make.

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And the last one, again, a change maker is a game changer. Okay, if you want to make change, you probably have to change the game, you have to change the way things have been done, and create a new way. And especially that's the times we're in now, when very adapting times changing time. So we have to be the change, of course. But we have to sometimes change the game. Everyone's doing things this way. And you're like, no, it's not working. That part is not taking us to our destination. We have to change that path, change our method change our mindset.

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So I really like this. This is by Apple Inc. Incorporated. So here's to the crazy ones, the Misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them disagree with them glorify or vilify them about the only thing that you can't do is ignore them because they change things they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy ones we see genius because they because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do so sometimes people like can you just be like everyone else?

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Like I can't I can only do me and people might see you as crazy rebellious, your troublemaker, why keep bringing those complaints to the mosque about the ladies area in the mosque? Why you know these types of things but you have to do you want change you got to push for it.

00:57:28 --> 00:57:36

So remember our last one I was promised surely Allah does not change the condition of a people till they change their own condition.

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