Where is Your Focus
Channel: Calisha Bennett
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Episode Transcript ©
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For the ladies online, it is recording so you might want to stay off camera Shala just for your own
I'll be Lahaina shape on a regime Smilla Rahmanir Rahim in Alhamdulillah Hina Hamid who want to start you know who want to sell a pharaoh when are also bIllahi min. surey unforseen our means say Dr. Molina Mejia de la who Fela Mobley la vie mejor. Lil fella heard yella eyeshadow, Allah Ilaha illa Allah who the whole luxury color was shadow Anna, Mohammed and after who are a Zulu Ahmedabad. Verily All praise is due to Allah we praise Him we seek His help and we seek his forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and the evil consequences of our evil actions. Whoever Allah subhanaw taala guides, none can misguide. And whoever is led astray, none can guide I
bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah He is alone and has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is his slave and messenger. Salam o aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato dears sisters
Nice to see you all and as Claire for returning their greetings of pieces Nice to be here in Masjid as salaam beautiful Berkeley slash woolen Gong area, fresh air mountains, blue skies, lakes and you know, beautiful scenery here as panelists a different definitely a different energy. And welcome to the sisters tuning in online. Just feel free to write in the comments where you're tuning in from Z a couple from Sydney, we've got sisters from Melbourne, maybe Perth as well. I think my mom's watching
hamdulillah so apologies. I'm a bit sinuses I was sick for the last few days, but hamdulillah things settled today. But um, yeah, my probably my brain and my voice is not as clear as usual. So today's topic in sha Allah Tala is Chantelle and I just came up with it randomly. We bump ideas back and forth hands a lot throughout the year over the last few years. And we thought about where is your focus? Because she was talking about how sisters, you know, struggling after Ramadan, you feel that bit of post Ramadan slump. And then it's like, where am I what do I want? How do I get that feeling? Again, it's the struggle to prioritize, which I think is a constant one. And then, you know, we kind
of tied into the topic of where is your focus with, you know, to coincide with us wanting to achieve focus in our life and focus on what we know to be the true priorities in life, and to face and address some of those things that we struggled to focus on, and the reasons why we struggled to focus and then maybe gain some tips and ideas as to how to focus or what we should focus on. Inshallah Tada. And we know that, you know, the fastest way to a destination is in a straight line. Yeah, we don't want to go on tangents and zigzags. And there's a beautiful Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, where he drew a line in the sand, and then he drew these branching
lines coming off that straight line, he said, This is my straight path. And these other diverging paths are the paths of the shape, shape on all the paths of misguidance. And the head of each of those paths of misguidance is a shape on. So we're constantly being called to stray from the straight path stray from the Serato monster theme, which we ask Allah subhanaw taala to guide us to at least 17 times a day in sha Allah consciously we asked for that. So we have a lot of distraction. We have a lot of pulling us off that straight path, whether it's our energy, our time, our focus, our intentions, our desires, and it's very important that we're aware of those diverging paths so
that we can get ourselves back on track again, sha Allah,
Allah Subhan Allah Allah says in the Quran, how will we live in a shaytani? R rajim?
What can AIIM mean? Yeah to fie sama wa T Well, orally your Yamo Runa Ali, her wha hoo man, her Maury born, Allah says there are signs of God all around us. But most people turn away. And there are many signs in the heavens and the earth that they pass by and give no heed to. So there are signs around us all the time. Signs calling us back to Allah subhanaw taala signs calling us to prioritize our lives. But we often don't see the signs we're often heedless, blind numb, in attentive. And so when we look at this topic of focus, we want to be able to be people who have our energy gathered. So we have focused on collecting and noticing the science that are trying to call
us back to the path of Allah subhanaw taala
The path of focus, the things that we can focus on so that we don't diverge and get
distracted from the path. Even Ibis Radi Allahu Allah and he says that you will gain nothing from your prayer, except what you focus on.
You will get nothing from your prayer except which you focus on. If your focus in prayer is getting it over and done with, then you will get it over and done with if you focus on in your prayer on just trying to recite Quran really well then inshallah that's what you'll get out of it. If your focus in prayer is Allah and communicating with him and having a dialogue with him, then that's what you will inshallah get out of it. But likewise, this quote, I chose this quote, because I wanted you to relate it to life, as well this this wise quote by Ibn Abbas de la one. So he said, you will gain nothing from your prayer except what you focus on. On now you to replace prayer with life, you will
gain nothing from your life, except what you focus on.
You will gain nothing from your life except what you focus on. If you have no focus, what will you get out of life?
If you have nothing that you focus on what we get out of life, nothing.
If you're focused on poor quality things, misguided things, wrong things, evil things, then what will you get out of your life? Those will be your fruits. If you select very carefully what you focus on, then insha Allah Tala, you will get that out of it.
So relate that to your life. There's a quote by Seneca, who 2000 years ago he was a stoic philosopher, what is what's a stoic someone who doesn't get emotional about things that deal with it, and they try to be really practical. And here's how we find the solutions. Here's how we cope with things. You can take wisdom from non Muslim philosophers, so long as they don't conflict with that Islamic teachings, so long as we're not taking spiritual teachings from them, right, just different reminders. So Seneca says, look back in memory and consider how many have robbed you of life, when you are not aware of what you were losing? How much was taken up in useless sorrow in
foolish joy ingredie desire in the low moments of society, how little of yourself was left to you, you will perceive that you are dying before your season.
If you're on your deathbed, and you look back, what will you regret when you look back? You will look back and you regret every sin you committed. You regret the time you wasted playing and having fun and entertaining. Why do I spend so much time in entertainment? I should have been reading studying praying, learning, worshiping ingredie Desire
someone's microphone is not muted.
Hang on one second.
You'll look back and you'll say how much time was spent in useless sorrow?
Maybe there it is. Got it.
So how much time was spent in useless Sorry, what did you used to cry about in life and you realize that the end of your life I shouldn't have cried, I shouldn't have complained I should have just gotten on with it.
The allurements of society worrying about what the don't the Joneses have or thinking about piling up the dunya or your worldly aspirations? You will regret you look back and go I was dying before my death even because those pursuits are futile.
So I want to ask you all how is your focus? How is your focus?
Anyone want to share? What does your focus feel like these days? Who feels unfocused? Let's relax it a little bit. Who feels unfocused a lot? Like they feel distracted? overwhelmed, confused? Yeah, just too many things. Who, who has always done well or they feel really good with their focus? Like, when I have a task, I get it done. There's a couple of Yep, get things done. hamdulillah sometimes it's a temperament two and a personality type. You're able to just hone in and get done what needs to get done and isolate your tasks. Majority of the room said they're struggling with their focus and this is a very common struggle in today's times Pamela they they say the attention span now the
average human is eight seconds, which is less than a goldfish. Mashallah, we have not evolved. We've devolved. Yeah, the animals outdoing us in their ability to concentrate something as insignificant as a goldfish can concentrate for longer than us. We get distracted. I'll do interesting research about that. So you have to ask yourself, how is your focus and what's going on? Okay, a lot of us
will struggle to focus on one task at a time. Often you have multiple tabs open on your laptop, your phone's beeping and buzzing and you're going between apps on there as well at the same time, and your kids trying to ask you a question Mom, mom, and you just in all these places, and your head is like I have all these tabs open in my head, as well as my laptop, as well as my phone as well as what the kids need house needs. MashAllah so many things more than ever before. As much as we've got all these technological advancements to help us so called help us were spread more thin than ever. Once upon a time, before all the technological help people used to the women used to have to scrub
their clothes or traditional way, grind the grain, right by hand, make the bread. But that we look at that now and go, we think, Gosh, Pamela, that looks sounds relaxing, to have the leisure to just do things, the traditional waste phenomenon, some of our grandmothers or our mothers give us stories about how things used to be. Now we have all the conveniences and less time than ever. Like I know myself, sometimes I'm like, I'm struggling, I'm like, I need to take the lint out of the dryer in between. And I just don't have time because the washing was there, my shoes, get in the car back kids everything's it that says how time poor we asked Pamela.
So our focus is in more of a struggle than ever before, we have all these things running in the background, you know, on your computer, they say you have to defragment it every now and then. Because there's too many things open and running. And sometimes the computer says stop, we need to just shut some background things down or your phone or whatever it is to just get it running more efficiently. That's the same for us. And Inshallah, I want that to kind of come up for you as a practical takeaway for yourself personally, to think what needs to be closed, so that I can really open up what needs to open up certain tabs, we have to actually shut it down actively. So I'm not
going to give that energy time or focus by my own choice, because here are the things that I actually want to do or these this is what I need to kind of get running smoother and get running clearer and more efficiently in my life as a Muslim.
the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that there are two blessings, which many people take for granted? Who knows what they are two things in this hadith? Yes, no?
Good, yep, health and free time. Health and free time, we waste our health, and we waste our free time. But all of us I think maybe no 99% of us in the room will say free time, what free time I don't have free time. We should have free time. But we don't have any because we're wasting all of it. spamela We're wasting all of it. We're losing all of it. Were distracting ourselves with the mundane things which are taking away the blessing of our time. And then our health. Our health dissipates because we're not meant to run this height. Like it's like running you know, when they say like your random example. You know, your rocket blender. They say you just wizard a little bit
and turn it off. If you visit too long. It burns the motor out. We are whizzing like this day after day. From the moment we open our eyes until the moment we go to sleep and even in our sleep. We're like twitching waking up, right? Not sleeping. Well, some people will have chronic insomnia, right, not sleeping well. bodyweight you wake up, you feel like you haven't slept, your body's hurting. Right.
So this is very important for us to realize what we waste. We're in a time now the economy of our time. Now we think the economy is about money. The economy now is called the attention economy. The world we live in now is about capitalizing on your attention. If your attention can be grabbed, then money can be made out of you.
If I grab your attention for you to go into my app, and chat on my app, or browse on my app or shop on my website, and I get your attention, I can make money out of you. I can collect your data, and I can sell your online identity. The attention economy is to pull you away from living your real life and pull you into a digital life. So it can be plugged in to a machine and the lifeforce can be sucked out of you, which it does. You know, when you've gotten off your phone, you're like, Oh my God, how did I spend an hour and a half? Where did it go? And you actually feel like your brain. Everything's liquefied panela it's been sucked out of you. And then you have no attention and focus
because it's all gone on another mundane and we're going to talk about that in Sharla. The Attention Economy feeds off your anxiety, if it can make you anxious. It's going to make money a few if it can, it feeds off your envy. When you are running on envy, they have she has she looks like
they know they have this that when you have envy then
You can be monopolized, right? It makes you weak. If you're an envious person, I can make you feel like oh, you want what she's got come, I'll help you get what she's got by this. Listen to me. Watch the small, right. And the other thing is distraction.
Keep you distracted.
Think I mentioned this last time we talked about like news feeds, news feeds on everything, whether it's your whatsapp, you're flicking through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, just your general news news.com.au, this scrolling movement, you know what a poker machine does pokies you put your $1 In you go Ching, and it wasn't getting any meaning and then it stopped somewhere. And you're hoping that you get something that goes jackpot, and you get your $4 and you just spent $400 doing this? Right? You just spent 400 hours. And then you got to watch 10 things that made you laugh or that were like, Oh, that's interesting, you're actually looking for something to give you a novelty fix,
which is a dopamine hit gets released in your brain, so type of drug. So the anxiety, the envy, the distraction, all of that capitalizes on your attention. You have and we're wondering, why can't we focus, because our attention is being pulled away constantly. So you have to know what is trying to take my attention, who is trying to take my attention? And what is the price of that the price of that is your life, your time and your health is your life. And that is taken away from you. Often from from all of us without us even realizing it. Once you realize that you take your power back, you start taking back control of your life because once upon a time, our mothers and grandmothers
had control of their lives. digital devices didn't control their lives. They were focused on their families, on feeding their families proper food on their children on running homes, on looking after their husbands, their extended community, on their Deen, could you imagine the whole show in this Salah without the things that we have to worry about or the things that we just seen flipped in front of our eyes, the 300 images that you woke up after fajr you did your car, then you went on your newsfeed and you saw 300 images of useless nonsense, which implanted in your brain? Probably overlaying our HIV because now we can't memorize anymore. Right? There's all these layers. Our
mothers didn't have these issues, they had clarity of mind, and likely a lot more peace of heart than what we have. And a lot less agitation. This word even anxiety that our mothers say I was very anxious as a child that didn't have that word doesn't exist. There were a lot more resilient. People now are afraid to be alone with their thoughts. That's why there's noise. That's why there's distraction all the time. People are very scared to be on their own. And people will say I get anxious if I'm alone. We get anxious if it's quiet.
We're afraid to do that alone with our thoughts philosopher and boredom theorist what a
Korea boredom fear is Blaise Pascal in the 1600s. He said, all of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
He writes that the present hurts now it hurts. And our response is to look ceaselessly for fresh purposes that draw our attention outwards, away from ourselves. Because we don't want to be alone with ourselves to confronting you have to meet your you have to meet your soul who you are your accountability. I don't like myself or the she scares me. I don't want to know her. When you're ready to face and confront that, then you are living and it hurts to see yourself. It hurts to sit with yourself. We live in an age of noise now. And silence is almost extinct. When do you get silence? Do you I love something that I only used to happen when I was a child who used to live in
the country. I love it now when the power goes out.
Because there's this quiet that you don't normally hear. Normally there's this constant hum, that electricity makes or hum of cars. We don't even know what silence is anymore. True silence is panela.
That's like a novelty, that we cannot really imagine. You know the sound of silence. It's almost extinct now. There was an experiment done by the University of Virginia and the Harvard University. They put people in a room alone for six to 15 minutes. Most of them said they felt discomfort and they found it difficult to concentrate. A third of the people who did the test at home broke the rules and cut the time short. They're like I can't I couldn't sit between six and 15 minutes.
There was an option they added to the test now let's have this see how weak miserable human beings are. They said okay, this is an electric shock option. If you press the buzzer, you'll get a shock but it will reduce the time you have to
Sit alone. They will. The people had to try the shock first and it did hurt. It hurt. Right?
What do you think and what had many people do think administered the buzzer.
Half of the people electrocuted themselves to cut the time shorter because the 15 Minute was that unbearable. alone in a room. One person pushed the button 190 times. It was just
to get the time to go because he just went out of that room.
But isn't that us now? When this gets picked up, we sit back we have about 10 seconds.
It gets picked up. This is the buzzer now the modern day buzzer you have to pick it up to suit distract, instead of sitting alone. But what is our tradition? Our tradition is to sit and make a car. Do you remember one of the Prophet sallallahu Sallam left
was that one of the companions left his home and went out in the morning. And I think it was shot one of the females or heavier she was making a vicar and he came back towards Mita and she was still making it. Look at the time that they were able to sit hours just in the Dhikr of Allah got some spare time just going to make dikkat and reflect ponder, an increase in my love and remembrance of Allah make it still far think about Allah's greatness for hours on end.
And in that hadith, you can learn it is a beautiful hack that was given if you say this, this car three times, it'll suffice that whole time that you spent.
We even have shortcuts for those of us who don't have the time. But look at how they were able to sit in stillness.
So that experiment, it's quite shocking what human beings are like we're very distressed when we're alone. We're very distressed when we're in quiet. And because it's almost non existent now. The Prophet salallahu alayhi salam, His Prophet would came to him were
in isolation of a cave in the quiet solitude of a cave.
What is the impact of distraction and lack of focus? So distractions that keep us from doing the actual things that we want to do. And to read something to
talking about the attention economy, we experienced the externalities of the attention economy in little drips, and we tend to describe them in words of mild amusement like annoying or distracting. You know, when things just ping your phone pings or whatever, it's annoying, it's distracting. But this is a grave misreading of the nature in short term distractions can keep us from doing the things that we want to do. In the long term. However, they can accumulate and keep us from living the lives we want to live, or even worse undermine our capacities for reflection, and self regulation, making it harder, in the words of Harry Frankfurt to want what we want to want.
Thus, there are deep ethical implications lurking here for freedom, well being and even the integrity of the self. We're in times now where people feel like they're not living their own life. We feel like we're like, who am I? What am I mentioned, I'm not doing what I'm meant to do. I'm not manifesting the way I know I should manifest. Something is robbing us of our lives, something very pervasive. And it's only going to increase and this will become more aware.
Again, Seneca 2000 years ago, he said, Life is very short and anxious. For those who forget the past that don't reflect that I learned from it. Those who neglect the present, don't live now. What do I need to do now? And they fear the future. Life is very short and anxious for those people. When they come to the end of it. The poor wretches realized too late that for all this time, they've been preoccupied in doing nothing.
Once upon a time, the people before us in the span of a couple of years, look at Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam in 23 years, the Empire he built, built in 23 years. Some of us are double 23. Some of us are in our 40s Some of us are in our 30s What did they do and achieve and built out of their effort and sacrifice and focus? Now we'll get to the end of our lives we'll What did I manifest? I tried so many times to read Quran and then I gave up I kept giving up Why did I keep giving up all those years? Why don't I read more of the Tafseer Why didn't I go to that class? Every Tuesday night? Why did I just stay home and just cook and clean the cooking cleaning was always waiting, I
should have gone to that class.
Why didn't I volunteer and help to build something and make something so that the next generation could benefit from it?
We are preoccupied in doing nothing or building nothing every day you have to assess yourself at the end of each day. What did I do today that built something for myself or for others or for the athlete era, or for some kind of goodness, or for some kind of benefit or learning? If the day has passed and you haven't done anything, you haven't built anything of goodness, don't sleep until you do read something. Do something kind, you know, make an effort make some kind of effort.
So what are we distracted with? Give me some ideas.
Shout them out. Sorry. Phones.
Work, work. Sorry. Everything everything. Talking after talking.
Too much talking. Yeah. What else?
That's all children. Because children Yeah, sorry.
Because someone's working. More and more and more.
overtakes your life. Yeah. Okay. Sorry. Yeah. Work studies. Yeah. We feel distracted by things. Some things are priorities essential for survival, they have to take an element of your focus and they become an act of worship, if it's for the sake of Allah subhanaw taala. To provide for your family to you know, have a halal income. It's not a bad thing. To strive in the worldly sense for things which will build strength for your family or your community and stability and security. Some things are responsible, you're, you're responsible for some things are followed compulsory on you. But again, we have to make sure we keep things in balance. So Allah Subhana Allah says in surah, erode.
Allah says, Allah Who You Are The sutorius poly V Asha WIAA 30.
Well, 30 who will be higher dunya yml higher to do near fill Herati lammeter. Allah extends provision for who He wills and he restricts it and they rejoice in the worldly life while the worldly life is not compared to the hereafter, except a brief enjoyment or loss once Allah tells us about the mindset we're meant to have.
All throughout the Quran, when we look at ourselves or our community, and we have this skewed mindset because we moved away from the mindset that allows me to Allah teaches us to have and trains us to have in the Quran. We started to develop our own worldly mindsets, Western mindsets, modernist mindsets, liberal mindsets, feminist mindset, secular mindsets, these things creep in, and we lose our identity. Our identity is the way that allows one to Allah wants us to see things and he reminds us, Allah provides for her he wills and he restricts for who He wills, you work hard, but whatever is decreed for you. It's written and Allah will give it if he withholds from you, you're not going
to get it. And people rejoice in the worldly life. This is where it's all that indulge, consume, until it makes you sick. This word is like you know, junk food, a table of desserts. If you devour it, you're just gonna be sitting there and you're gonna be sick, you're gonna feel horrible. But if you sit there and you say that's not healthy, that's not a good choice. So this is what I will have out of the buffet that is good, or in moderation, different story, you feel good and you're composed. And Allah says the worldly life is not compared to the hereafter, except a brief enjoyment. And Allah also says we're not here to dunya Illa Mata la hora. And the life of this world
is but goods and chattels of deception. If Allah says that in this world, it's just dunya worldly material things and chateaus of deception.
This world is full of deception. So if I ask you what do you know is the deception in the world that we live in today? In economics, in politics, in in ideologies in the education system? Can we pinpoint them? A lot of us will struggle. We're actually consuming the deception and not able to identify this has some poison in it that has some poison in it. This isn't healthy, that's not healthy, that's not halal. We've lost that ability to discern.
Whereas once upon a time, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam his companions they were so diligent, I was so careful and wary watching Who's that? What are they teaching? How are they influencing us? Don't listen to that newsreader. Don't listen to that. Now, Masha, Allah we take all that information, we forward random things, no one proof checks, anything that we pass on, like it's how
On the back the like a top and actual help the Quran, the Sunnah, like we don't even share it with each other, everyone's bored of it or another either skim past it
we distract ourselves with entertainment. Guess what the average Netflix consumption is in Australia per day.
The average in Australia per day is about 3.4 hours. Mashallah, on top of studies and work, we have 3.4 hours, chosen all that 3.4 hours to watch stuff a day.
Once upon a time that three to four hours was spent becoming scholars, young people, especially the next generation becoming scholars, right, studying their religion, learning the sciences, for grown adults, you could be building an expertise, you could be becoming a Hatfield law, you could be building some kind of, you know, business or community project three hours a day, that's 21 hours a week.
We don't building were sucked into this distraction.
A lot of that time, there's a lot of people that do it while they're cleaning, while they're washing up while they're doing housework and stuff, not just sitting there watching Netflix the whole time. So I know that's a true
3.4 hours for one of my that's the latest stats that say the average Australian noon actually sits there and does. I don't know how you would watch a Netflix series while doing something like
washing up and I will just have a series on Yeah, yeah, my life, I'd sit down at 3.4 hours. All I do is while I'm doing house multitasking, it's not just me, there's so many of my friends that do it. So is that as well want to know is that
actually people sitting there watching it that what they're doing while they're watching, but that's just the average consumption of Netflix per day in Australia by Australian consumers.
Yes, it could be just in the background.
So that's that's the average use per day. So that's the one of the I guess distractions. People could be listening to podcasts or they could be listening to something else as well. Like there's a choice that we make, in what we consume. In that time. Each of us make that choice. We know ourselves what we do without time in between while we're in the commute to work and back. What are we watching and listening to? Is it growing us? Or is it shrinking us? Is it distracting us? I was listening to a talk this morning by a chef and he was saying that he has clients men and women that come and after they watch series together, show series sitcom type series. They come in they have
these, they they fight they explain to this this stat that they fight after they watch this and they don't know why. He says because it's affecting your subliminal emotional charge between you and your spouse because you are taking in everything we watch you said we take in and our bodies absorb it and there's energy connected to that what we see with the eye that one of the quickest gateways to the heart and to impact the heart is the gaze that I so it's panela in that example, that was that was just saying that they'll they'll fight after they've watched their show their their programming their sitcom, so we have to understand we are impacted by the content that we consume, it does
affect us. Another thing that were distracted by is the collecting of material possessions. And we know that the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam said about a surah attack cathode. Al Hakim would get catheter hat as auto ml macabre, the mutual rivalry for the piling up of worldly things diverts you had death, Zoltan will macabre until you visit the grave, then that stuff that you were worried about compiling all of a sudden it doesn't distract you anymore. The Prophet peace be upon him said the son of Adam says my wealth, my wealth, but your wealth is what you eat and consume. Or it's what you wear and then it wears out or what you give in charity and you send the head for the hereafter.
So what is your wealth Sisters is what you eat and consume goes in your mouth and comes out the other end in the bathroom is what you when it wears out. It's worth something now just bought it once it has a hole I'm like, I don't want it anymore. It loses value. Or it's what you give in charity and you send it for your Athleta so which of your wealth my wealth is the true investment is what you give away in sadaqa. Anything else you spend on? It doesn't have the same weight. We're also distracted with news and gossip mashallah we have like relentless streams of that coming through. We are distracted by our problems and our traumas which are ongoing and never ends. Pamela
will you think one situation ends and then another one opens up with another member of the family or they all come in at once. There's always something which is which we're being tested by and which distract us, which cause many
So spiritual distraction.
We're distracted by apps as well.
The different social media apps.
I'm not sure I'm gonna read this,
read that quote, it's a bit long.
We're distracted by information overload. There are various academic articles about information overload. And now more than ever, we suffer from information overload. before you've even left the house to go to work or to school in the morning, you've already been exposed to multiple hundreds of points of information. And the brain is not designed to have to flick so instantaneously from one topic to another. And I talked about this before, we expose ourselves to a story, a photo of a cat, and it's so cute. And then it goes to a charity video of starving kids. And then it goes to a lady dancing. And then it goes to a hijab tutorial. And then it goes to some crisis happening somewhere
else, and then it goes to LGBTQI rights. One minute, literally, in one minute of just a quick scroll 1314 15 different topics, your brain is gone.
Nothing's actually absorbed, nothing's able to take root, nothing's able to give fruit. You know, you don't even have time to reflect on an actual point or idea. So when we talk about the struggle to focus, the information overload is a big part of that.
An excess of banal content distracts people from serious or collective issues, what's banal content, it's irrelevant things. When we have an excess of that it distracts us from what a serious collective issues, when we are looking through random points of information, what actually matters, your kids, their spirituality, their well being their manners, the care of your home, your relationship with your spouse, your family, checking on your parents, you get distracted from that, what's happening in your Muslim community, what's happening at the Muslim school for your kids, we get distracted from that, because all this stuff is taking all of our mental energy.
attributes or connects with not being able to maintain a coherent train of thought.
And when unable to communicate effectively with others, because of this inability to maintain a coherent, coherent train of thought,
without space and time, that dialogue with ourselves, the dialogues with our friends, a dialogue with other people, they will not only die, but they'll never be born in the first place. And that's a quote from this book, how to do nothing, which I don't encourage you to do nothing, but it's an interesting book.
So yeah, you know, I could read out examples of your wall, or what would be shown in a simple newsfeed. And you'll be like, whilst finally I didn't realize that, I'm only telling you this to make you aware. That's all I can do equip you with things to make you more aware so that you're more of a conscious consumer. Because I don't know about you, but I don't like the sort of the wool being pulled over my eyes. And unlike the thought of being treated like I'm some sheepish robotic consumer, I don't like that. That's not what Allah subhanaw taala wants from us. We're the leaders of the Earth, we need to have clear minds, we need to be free thinking we need to have strong willed
and we need to have strong spines, about truth about reality, and about not being taken advantage of the Hadith that we know is manifest that, you know, the nations will come and our fists on you. That's what we were foretold about our Alma and we look at the times now and we're like last panel is that what's happening to us now that we go to people? Is that what's happening now? The people from Wautoma Burmese you know, our brothers and sisters, the Rohingya Ian's
who's coming to the A,
you and I are we going Are we the heroes are we the saviors we'll say someone else, someone else. These people are crying I work for a charity. I watched the videos every day of people in Palestine, have people in all different parts of the world in concentration camps in refugee camps for decades at a time where's the all my where, where, where?
Who's answering? We keep saying Who else someone else because we're busy, distracted. So we don't think we are the ones responsible for helping. We are all collectively collectively responsible in Islam we have the concept of father dying and 40 fire for dying is what each person has a responsibility. You have responsibility to know how to pray each and every one of you. It's far Keifa that someone in the community teaches the group how to pray, then you have to know how to pray and take on the individual responsibility. Right? We have collective responsibility for each other.
You know, if our sister Maha is sick, it's all of our responsibility to check on her
Not only Chantelle not only helped me out, it's all of us. Is she okay? Whoever's in proximity actually her neighbors or the whoever lives closest to her, you know is more accountable inshallah.
So we have to feel that collective responsibility. Another thing we're distracted by as low quality information. What we are finding our news feeds and what goes viral is what is often the lowest common denominator of agreeable content. What goes viral, something that everyone goes, Oh, that was cool, or Yeah, that's true. That's interesting. The more nods it gets, the more it goes viral and gets shared, doesn't mean it is the hack. It doesn't mean it's high quality content or information that deserves your attention.
And that's the problem. Those are the things that get forwarded. Those are the things that come up most in the newsfeed that doesn't mean it's good content. And my boss, Pamela, the charity said, the social media, the social media platforms have put a mute on anything that tags Islam, Muslim, and all those related words. So you think our religious content is going to get the forefront of the news feed? Of course not.
The agendas don't want us to give Dawa to the wider public. They don't want our own Muslim community to get stronger. They want us weak us to feed us more garbage, more junk food, not nutritious, organic nourishment is panela.
And you get well whatever low quality information or whatever your algorithm throws you as well. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, this world, its pleasures and duration in comparison with the hereafter, is similar to the amount of water one gets when he puts his finger in the sea. Let him see what he returns with it. See, like Illawarra over there, if we dipped our pinky finger in it, and it came out how much water compared to the length, the ocean, the oceans, will come out on your finger very little. That's the weight of this world compared to the next. Right, that's the value. That's the taste. It's so insignificant.
Yet so much is invested in making it look like this is the be all and the end all.
Were also distracted by self soothing and self righteousness.
self soothing, and self righteousness. Remember I said we can't sit alone and we grabbed this to give some kind of soothing, then the content you see on this suits you, you see a post and you're like, oh, that's I relate to that. That's me, that's happened to me. And then you reshare it and you're like 100% or you do hashtag whatever me to whatever it is right? So makes you feel better. And self righteousness like yeah, Don't you hate it when people do that you reshare something that makes you feel like yeah, I don't like people who do that. Unfortunately, we never learn anything. If we follow that way about ourselves that surprises or that challenges or that changes us.
All we have around us in our bubbles are just pat on the back. pat on the back, you're good, you're good. You're good as you are. Don't change don't grow. Don't especially don't become a tall poppy. Don't become someone who's striving for more than us the collective like get back down. You know, you're in a group of sisters, you're having a coffee day and you're like, I really want to study join a Quran class. They're like, how are you going to have time? We don't have time. How are you going to have time? Do you reckon but like, I don't know, it's been in my mind. I really think I need to, you know, work on my Quran. No, you're so busy. Why that environment, that energy, that
group don't want you to rise above because it makes them feel inadequate. Sometimes if that's the company you keep, you have to figure that out. Might be family members. Why what for why? Right? Undermining that can happen sometimes. So you want to be around energy and influence that surprises, challenges or changes you things that you don't want to hear
things you don't want to hear about yourself, things that whip you into action and change things that reprimand you.
Often too, we don't see what our privileges we don't see how blessed we are. Because we expose ourselves to things and distractions that loop make us lose focus on how grateful we should be. Because we should be so grateful.
Hamdulillah we should be so grateful.
We're told that if you had if you had to count the blessings of Allah you wouldn't be able to count them.
What's worse is we don't even bother trying to count we're busy listing what's not good enough in our lives what we don't have enough of and how poor we are poor us. Poor us. You know we had a video with the charity that
for quarterbacks and they asked these kids in refugee camps. This kids don't have shoes, in wind clothes shoes in winter. They have old clothes, they have umbra.
Just here. They asked them if you got Corbyn meat for, for invalid how what would you do with it? You know, this kid said straightaway, guess what they said,
not even share it. They said I'll give it to someone who needs it.
They don't see themselves as needing it.
They see that they feel that they have enough.
I said I would give it to someone else who needs it, I'll give it to someone who needs it
we should think about that.
There's an attitude and a heart that they're growing up with, with the little that they have that we don't have,
that our kids don't have.
That we want our kids to have.
We become ungrateful, and we ascribe to ourselves and unnecessary victimhood.
We act and live like we're so hard done by like the world has just turned against us and not given us enough. And we've just gotten a bad handout. We know nothing of what people go through and endure, we have no idea. Some of us may have had some enormous hardships, no doubt, compared to others who live in a state of utter gratitude.
Compared to them, we've got a lot to be grateful for.
Jenny Odell, the author of this book, how to do.
She says, unless we are vigilant, the current design of much of our technology will block us every step of the way, deliberately creating false targets for self reflection, curiosity, and a desire to belong to a community. I want to read that again, I want you to listen carefully. Unless we are vigilant. The current design of much of our technology will block us every step of the way. And what does this technology create with deliberate deliberately creates false targets for self reflection? It's shaping what you should reflect about false targets for your curiosity. Oh, what's that? What's that new thing? What's that trend and a desire to belong to a community? That's what all those women
are saying? That's what's trending everyone's resharing that that's what's hashtagging trending? Of how to be that must be okay. I want to be a mum like that. I want to be a woman like that.
Are we looking at own community the huge rise in in LGBTQI support in Amazon community, to belong to a community that's what's trending, you know, in the universities, one knows that girls want to belong to that community.
So what should we focus on? What do we need to focus on? You guys told me
Anything else? Yes.
getting healthier. Yep. sha Allah, anything else? Well.
What should we be focusing on? What do we need to focus on?
Our prayer? Yep.
How we spend our time?
Our families our clock.
Our knifes, yeah, our self,
our egos, our hearts, our lines. What we say what we say? our speech, our impulse control. Discipline is
shifting our focus.
Yep, shifting our focus. Yep. This brainstorm. I've done it for a long time, maybe 15 years. When I first started doing little programs in the community. I used to have the board up, or we'd have it as a worksheet. We would have what's important
and what's not important, but first we do the what's not important. What do we focus on in life? Basically, what are our distractions that we listed before? We used to come up with a lot of things. What's changed now just in 15 years is now largely people say phone. It wasn't back evens panela 15 years ago, the way it is now the phone and social media social media is technically quite new. In 15 years, how it's changed us change societies change the world.
And the brainstorm of what we should focus on Risa come with a huge list. People will say, got it and the five pillars, the articles of Eman seeking knowledge, our health and well being our, you know, all sorts of things that are important in life. What we've lost now even is the ability to map that out what isn't important and what is important, and everyone should go home and do this on your paper or whatnot. What do you do that, you know, isn't that important? That takes up a lot of your time. Also, what are my distractions? And what do I want to focus on? And that list should be very clear, a very clear list, even things like knowing what you stand for? And what are your priorities?
And what are your values, that should be very clear, you should be able to come up with it like that.
The scholar said, the one who knows himself knows Allah. We don't even know ourselves anymore. We don't know what we want. We don't know what we need to do. We don't know what we need to change. We've forgotten how to define ourselves. In a time when we have more knowledge at our fingertips than ever. We're so connected to the world outside ourselves. But we're not connected to ourselves right here. So that this self you can be connected to Allah subhanaw taala we've lost grip. Because there are all these invisible threads pulling out all this all the pieces of you. This is the Chantelle has got that poncho on see those strings. If I pull one by one, each little reel, she's
going to be left what? You're left stuck bare naked, there's nothing Do you feel vulnerable? People can't sit alone. People can't sit in the quiet. They don't know who they are. They don't know who Allah is. They're naked in the world and then the devil's can take what they want from you. Right? You rob you of your identity. rob you of your view of your identity as a human being as a woman as a Muslim? Ah, what's left? What's left?
Allah subhanaw taala. Yes. Can social media be used in a positive way? Absolutely. It can be used in a positive way. But you have to keyword filter, you filter everything and that other word vigilance, filtration, and vigilance is really important. You have to use it. So restrictively. What did she say? Sorry? I said, Can you use social media in a positive way? Absolutely. But
there's risks to it always. But you have to be aware of it. You have to know what are your vices? What are your weak points? What are your what's the healthy way to use it? What are the intentions behind using it? It's not it's not easy. It's not easy. We don't even control our tongues moment to moments on Olara we say things I shouldn't have said that. Well, that was backbiting, let alone having this in the palm of our hands, which no one taught us to use it. No one made us qualify before we could have it and use it. Same way with kids having devices now. We never make them qualified before they can have. Some families do they have to do certain things before they're
allowed to have it? But as ourselves we weren't trained in how to use it. We weren't taught about the pitfalls and the vices of it. But it's about using it consciously, not mindlessly and purposefully use it with a purpose you shall I keep it keep it safe.
A last one to Allah says oh man can be mindful of your Lord and fear a Day when no parent will take the place of their child nor a child take the place of their parent in any way. God's promises true so do not let the present life delude you, nor let the deceiver delude you about God. The Prophet salallahu alayhi salam said Any action without the remembrance of God.
Any action without the remembrance remembrance of God is either a diversion, or heedlessness to things a action without the remembrance of God, it's either a diversion, or heedlessness, except for for things which were permissible hobbies or things that you can learn. That is permissible entertainment, walking from target to target archery, practice, training a horse, playing with your family, and learning to swim.
Those four things he said, this is good this height in it. But anything other than that it's a diversion or heedlessness, you've got to watch that you don't fall into heedlessness or diversion from it.
in Arabic system,
walking from target to target during archery practice, as target the shopping
for things so the archery, horseback riding, playing with your family, and learning to swim.
These are the four things to spend your spare time doing. Other things it can be diversion or heedlessness off law.
Walking from target to target what it's archery. We know when you're going from your target, moving from target to target practicing archery.
are smart enough underrated that his father said Zaid, even fabric departed from Mattawan. At midday, I said, he has not set him sent him out at this time of the day except for something that he asked. So I asked him, and he said, he asked me about some of the things we heard from the messenger of allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam,
which we heard the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam say, This is what the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam advised, whoever is focused only on this world, Allah will confound his affairs and make him fear poverty constantly. And he will not get anything out of this world except for what has been decreed from for him. Whoever is focused on the athlete or the hereafter alone will settle his affairs and make him feel content with his lot. And his provision, and worldly gains will undoubtedly come to Him. If you focus on the worldly, only, that's your focus, it will always confound you always going to leave you empty handed. But if you focus on the ACCA, Allah will take
care of your worldly affairs make things settle for you give you a sense of contentment. So what you focus on is up to you. I'm going to close with some tips for focus, and then send you on your way Inshallah, Sorry for going a little bit over time. We started about 10 minutes later. So typical focus number one very important. If you want to gain focus, you have to disengage from what is distracting you, we ran through some of those examples now. Okay, you have to disengage, unplug, and tie. Okay, you can't you have to disengage before you can consciously select what you want to re engage in. And they say one thing at a time.
Very important focus on one thing at a time, the Quran should be a part of your lifestyle. That's a very important tip for focus. If you focus on your Quran as your life staple per day, that's going to help you get a focus mindset, instead of someone who's all over the place, because it's going to help you prioritize, prioritize. We have to wake up, we have to wake up.
Even today, we had the option of sitting at the table. I didn't want to sit at the table. It's just different. When I sat with my teacher and when I used to teach them as resources, they just sit really close need to be on the floor. Is there discomfort? Yeah, like I can feel the blood circulation. I'm getting pins and needles I have to adjust. But that discomfort keeps you diligent and alert, right? If I'm sitting back leaning on a wall, that's not me showing respect to us. And you know, it's it's there's an engagement here, there's energy transfer. There's energy transfer between you sitting with others, how close you see with another, how close you pull each other in,
and their companions, when they used to sit listening to the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam, they said that sometimes it was like they were you could purchase a bird on their head or tail still, they'd sit listening, you know, wanting to take an eagle, you get to take. So we have to wake up.
Sorry, there's microphones coming on here.
There it is.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I want to relate this to you thinking about now the times that we're in now.
Times are changing. Yeah. And they're changing fast.
And you either fall into the changes that happen and you've just become like part of the tsunami of the changes get washed away in it. Or you take yourself to safe grounds. I would always have these little dream there every now and then of like a tsunami and I'd be like trying to think which kid do I carry? Who do I save as panela. The tsunami now is all ideas of fitna of the corruption of the times and the domino effect of the ends of Time End of Times approaching, we have to think about where are the safe purchase to take ourselves and our families and our community to be safe. Martin Luther King Jr. says one of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people failed to
remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo, and its fraternities of the indifferent, who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.
So the reminder for this point is a wake up for us to wake up and to be vigilant who needs protecting now, who needs us to speak for them now? Who needs protection? Now, who do we need to watch out for? Who has conspicuous ideas trying to penetrate our community, our kids minds and psyches of wider society who's trying to pull the wool over?
Do we just sit and just trust the masses the world of, of disbelief and Cofer to take care of us and the affairs of our future? Where the past we are the cockroaches that they want to exterminate?
Do we not realize that believing in La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasul Allah, you are a pest, you're a speck in the eye of the one eyed
that doesn't want belief in God, when you believe in God. And you have faith in conviction, Allah as your protector, and you have a way to live according to a law and a Sharia and you have a standard, you become a big threat, a big threat.
But so long as we are like the foam on the sea, we have wet hand in our hearts love of the world and fear of death. We're not a threat at all. So long as we stay asleep. We shouldn't be able to sleep at night. We should be in restlessness and fever that are almost suffering, that people are not sleeping through the night because it's so cold, that they are not eating for days because they are hungry, that there are millions of people in Yemen, and babies and children in starvation. Well, our kids eat themselves to obesity.
Do you see the imbalance in the world that we are a part of that imbalance? We have to be part of the change are in one of these books that says you only need 3.5% of a population to resist. And you can turn things around
three people three and a half people out of every 100 If they stand together and they say we will not obey injustice we will not obey and follow and conform to wrongdoing. You can turn things around doesn't even take that many. We think oh we need a majority we're too weak or too weak. No It takes a few with a strong backbone to make the chain. This is what we saw of the Sahaba I just watched the other week that beautiful cotton you have to watch I kept crying through the one of our beloved Have you guys seen amazing
amazing has had goosebumps all the time. Bilal Hi Colin quality or high quality cartoon but amazing.
Starts with a few who stand for something.
Solitude as we mentioned, we have to learn how to be alone. We have to learn to be still we have to learn to be quiet. We have to learn to breathe. We have to learn to sit and make vicar. We have to learn to have ashore in our salah. The Prophet peace be upon him said anyone who performs ablution and does it well. And he stands and offers two units of prayer and he concentrates on it with his heart and his body. Paradise will be his lot by all means
you love the Salah, Paradise is yours inshallah. Learn how to observe to watch things to pay attention.
A poem by William Blake says to see the world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and an eternity in an hour.
To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.
Can you pay attention to the small things and see the beauty of the small things? That's how you gain focus.
We can watch a million videos that we go wow what an awesome video. We can look at a flower for 10 minutes and praise Allah subhanaw taala the beauty of that flower. One flower I was amazed at when I saw the passion fruit fly. Have you seen it? It looks like a person going like this has a face and everything is Pamela Amazing. Amazing. In nature, you'll see the mirror and the anchor of everything else in the universe. It's amazing. Everything is in patterns. I love designing things in patterns where you see certain fruits look like the organ that it helps warm that looks like the brain and we're aware, right?
We should notice those things. But there's so much that we don't notice because we don't pay attention anymore. Reflection and self assessment very important. Seneca says life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past we read that one all this time we've been preoccupied with doing nothing. Learn to listen. This is what's very hard. We don't listen properly. We don't listen anymore. We don't know how to pay attention long enough to listen to anything more than eight seconds or these videos. 60 seconds. 15 seconds that 90 seconds. Our attention span is so small in nature. I grew up hunting with my father. When we go and we had we have to tiptoe through the bush.
We have to make sure where the wind is coming from that we're going in the opposite direction because the wind if it blows through us
The animal is behind us. They're going to smell us coming. So we have to watch the wind, we have to know the sound, you step on a stick wrong, the animal goes, and it runs in nature. Listening is survival for that animal. You watch those David Attenborough on the prairies of the Sahara Desert, right?
Right, any little noise and the Impala just runs. In nature, listening is survival. Now, in our lives, listening is also survival and we are dying because we don't listen, our souls are dying. Our intellects are dying, energy levels are down because we don't listen anymore. We have to learn how to think we have to learn how to write a hope everybody writes, you have to write, you have to put your thoughts on paper.
Most kids are leaving school, they don't know how to write, express themselves, write lines of poetry, write an essay, right, what they're feeling and thinking, let alone even speak. We have to even learn how to speak. You ask a young person, what do you think about the world that we live in now? Oh, no.
Does anything bother you? Not really.
Mom, can we get Uber Eats? Right? We can't like where's the higher thinking? And that again, that ties into a lot of things to do with the education system, the prolonged adolescence, once upon a time. Teenagers didn't exist. Did you know that you went from child to young adult philosophy into the adult world like that. Now, a decade of teenagehood where you just muck around and everyone makes excuses for how Dopey and silly you're being. Whereas once upon a time, it was like, All right, you can think you can speak you can carry some responsibility. You go now with your Baba to work or you help your mom with this or that. Or you go and live with your uncle and help on the
farm. 6789 years old, married by 1011 12. Now it's like 2125 years old is 20 to 25. She's like, I didn't know who I am. Have you been to 25 when I was 25, I had three kids. My oldest was eight years old. I started very young. I don't advise that to anyone these days, that's for sure. But look at what's happened your quarter way through your life at 25. We're a third of the way through life.
So we have to learn how to speak and think and write. We have to cure ourselves of boredom. Very interesting quote about boredom or we don't have time for that get out in nature. Glenn Ulbricht he's he ticked coined a term called SOS selja. He's an Aussie sustainability professor. He says it's the terrible existential homesickness from nature. So selja We really miss nature. Because we don't get out enough. become disciplined. Discipline involves strict alignment with one's own laws over and against prevailing laws and habits.
Hold yourself to a stern assessment very, very important if you want to gain focus, and remind yourself of the purpose of our lives.
What is the purpose of our life? Sisters? We should know this
Yeah, well, my far left, go to the gene our Insert earlier Budokon have not created gene and mankind except to worship me. You want focus, focus on that? Turn everything you do into worship, so that you end up critiquing everything that you do, if this is a worship, I shouldn't be doing it. If this time spent can't be categorized as worship, I'll stop doing that. Try to turn things into worship, even your leisure time, even your downtime, even when it is watching something choose something which isn't as bad as something you technically want to watch that everyone else is saying. Watch it, watch it you like No, that one's just got too much bad stuff in it. Or the theme of it isn't
good. Choose something better, always choose better, because you deserve better. You deserve to honor yourself better. You deserve to honor your time better, because Allah subhanaw taala deserves the best of you.
Allah subhanaw taala so with that, I end sorry for the interesting haphazard style of this reminder talk. May Allah subhanaw taala accept and make it beneficial to all of us first starting with me. Maybe we correct ourselves from the inside out and correct our relationship with ourselves with Allah subhanaw taala with the people around us, just like luck out of two sisters who were tuning in online. It's nice to have the sisters connecting with us at hamdulillah Subhanak lovin will be handy here. So Hanoch Allahumma, we handicap a shadow Allah Illa illa Anta Nesta Federica to be like, if anyone has any questions feel free to ask comments box come on the mic or in the room here as well.
We'll take a couple of minutes of questions inshallah.
Finally, come send out
the questions. Everyone's all set, super focused, or just overwhelmed war and
I think that's
on the lower end
sorry we covered a lot of a lot of different areas to pick topic