On the Highway to Excellence
Channel: Daood Butt
File Size: 22.63MB
Episode Transcript ©
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Assalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh
No, it's not gonna work. A salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. How are you guys doing here with us today to discuss the pursuit of excellence. We have shifted the shift the wood has come from Toronto, Ontario, where He currently serves as the director of Religious Affairs at the Islamic community center of Milton. Shift the wood Bob was raised, born and raised in Montreal, and he has received many degrees and certifications from universities such as Islamic University of Medina and the International Islamic University of Malaysia. Chef the Buddha is known for his observance of punctuality and does not like being held late. Help me in welcoming shapes I would brought him up
Bismillah Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa people to live in Hollywood suddenly more highlanda v Hill Karim. Allah He estado sobre todo tasleem rubbish rollin sodbury y acidity emri that a militia Annie f Coco Lee, my brothers and my sisters in Islam. Salam or Aleikum, wa rahmatullah he wrote about our cattle.
So, first off, it's a pleasure to be back here and hamdulillah. And I noticed that this year is even bigger and better than all the previous years, because the lights are even brighter and stronger than all the previous years. So much so that whoever was on stage before probably said, this is the easiest task ever. It's like standing in front of nothing. What I see in front of me is a black wall, some kind of law, but that's really good. That's really good. Because a lot of the time when we're looking for excellence, when we're striving for excellence, we can have that pursuit towards goodness towards striving for righteousness and Hyatt and Baraka and greatness from Allah subhanho
wa Taala, with the right intention, or we could be doing it for the wrong intention. And a lot of the time when people strive for excellence, if they sit down, and they wonder and ponder and think of their own lives, they realize, at some point in time, I lost focus.
I lost focus on why I'm doing what I do.
And that's simply because people are watching. And so we'll handle that, like I said, it's a blessing to have this black barrier in front of me where I can't see you. Because in a way, it doesn't matter whether you are there or you're not there. It's about conveying the message of the deen conveying something that will strengthen myself first, and then others if they grab hold of it. And if Allah subhanho wa Adana allows that to be the case. So striving for excellence. What does that mean? We heard at the very beginning just a few minutes ago, the importance of excellence and what what it means in our Deen and we heard of the hadith of gibreel alayhis salam, when he comes to
the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and he questions him about three things
about Islam, about a man and about his son.
Now we're going to put the Islam and Iman outside because it's a very lengthy Hadith, but just to touch upon it, when jabril alayhis salam comes to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he asks him, what is Islam?
He asks him, what is a man? And you would think that anyone who comes to the profits in the long run and he was selling them is coming to ask him a question because that person doesn't know. That person is unaware of what Islam is, that person has no idea what a man is. And in fact, you could think of it if a non Muslim was to walk through the door and you're using this word, amen, amen. Amen. They're like, what's a man I know a student at school who was named a man. Right? That's the only thing I might think of.
But it's important for us to understand, for those that don't know, a man is belief or faith. All right, just to clarify, in the Hadees, in the story in the incident where the angel jabril comes to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam in the form of a human being, he's questioning the Prophet, not because he wants to know what Islam or Eamonn actually is.
Because every single time the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam answers him,
he responds to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam telling him that you've spoken rightly with
Does that mean? That means that this person who the Sahaba, the companions, or the alohar, and home, they have no idea who this man is? He comes in out of nowhere. He's wearing extremely white clothing. His hair is jet black, and they're like, Who is this man? He just comes out of the desert. And he comes in asks our messenger, our Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he's questioning him and asking him and then telling him you spoken rightly? Who does this guy think he is? Like, how dare you come to the Prophet, the Messenger of the oma, the, the leader of the nation of the believers in Allah subhanho wa Taala. How can you come to him and then have the nerve or the guts to
actually say you've spoken rightly?
But the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam knows, this is not the average person.
This is someone who sent from Allah subhanho wa Taala had
someone who sent to question the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, to reaffirm that within Allah subhanho wa Taala and the relationship of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, there is a synchronized agreement and understanding as to what this really is. And then he asks about ASN
and the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam responds, and terrible de la haka and Nikita, for ilam. token Tara, who for in Iraq, excellence, sn perfection, is to worship Allah subhanho wa Taala as though you see him. Obviously, we don't see Allah subhanho wa Taala. We know that that's one of the biggest blessings that we will get in the hereafter. One of the greatest things even greater than going to paradise will be the ability to see a loss of Hannah Woods added while we're in paradise. So we'll be extremely happy and excited to be in paradise running around enjoying ourselves. Some people will be swimming in chocolate, other people will be driving Lamborghinis, other people will,
you know, just be sitting there enjoying their time because they never had time to themselves. But the beautiful thing about paradise will be the fact that we get to see a loss of Hanover to Holland. But in this dunya in this life, we don't actually see a loss of Hanwha data directly.
But we know that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam says, For ylim techwin Tara, who for in Iraq, that even though we don't see Allah Subhana, Allah knows that our law sees us. Allah Subhana Allah is aware of every single thing that we do. Now before I get into the next part of my lecture, before we start talking about striving for excellence, I want to actually add something that many people overlook, many people forget. And many people don't really understand that we can see Allah subhanho wa Taala without actually seeing him.
Now the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa salam when he teaches us this hadith and tells us worship Allah as though you see him. But even though we don't see him directly, he's teaching us that we should also be looking for a loss of Hannah Montana in his creation, as in look for the greatness of Allah subhana wa Adana, in every single thing that's around us. Now, the reason why I'm saying this is because many of us we lose focus. We strive for excellence, we're being told to strive for excellence. But how many from amongst us sitting here today, I can honestly say that I am perfect. And I will strive for excellence because I'm able to do so
it's very difficult for a person to say you know what, I'm going to strive for excellence, I will be the person who will achieve the greatest things in this life. And I will get the highest levels in paradise because many of us know we have a past
what did we used to do when we were teenagers?
How did we used to live?
Where we worshipping Allah?
Or were we disobedient to Allah subhana wa, tada
was someone busy getting high, getting drunk, smoking up, going clubbing, enjoying themselves, dating, going to places they shouldn't fast forward, doing business, taking interest, doing things that were hard on things that a lot doesn't like cheating the system, trying to cut corners in different ways that we know are not permitted not only in the land, but also not permitted according to a law.
So everyone has
past, some people are still living through what some of us might call a past. And in fact, the majority of us, even though we have a past, we are still living through so much hardship, and going through so many difficulties in our lives that we think how would Allah subhanho wa Taala Hannah ever forgive me? And how am I supposed to start my path, my journey on this pursuit of excellence? If I'm a sinner, if I'm someone that Allah Subhana Medina is probably not pleased with and that's because many of us belittle ourselves.
Let's take some examples of how we shouldn't do that. Allah Subhana Allah says in the Quran
You have levena
la takanobu Mia, de la, Allah subhana wa COVID to Allah tells us all you who believe latoken Abu Muhammad Allah, the mercy of Allah subhanho wa Taala is so great. It's at a next level, a different level that you and I can't even understand we can't comprehend this yet. Allah subhanho wa Taala being the one who is most merciful, can forgive us of anything that we've done, including the things that we do right now. So how do we begin our pursuit towards excellence? We begin with asking Allah subhanho wa Taala to be merciful upon us and seek forgiveness through him. The next thing my brothers and sisters, is something that we connect with a loss of Hanwha data on a regular basis. We
always will focus on this every single night for those of you that know what you're supposed to do before going to bed at night. One of the things that is recommended is to recite surah mulk
and Allah subhanho wa Taala says something powerful in pseudotumors that many of us don't really understand, we just recite the surah and I say this all the time we recite the Quran and we don't know what we're saying. Allah subhana wa Jalla says rubine He means shavon Hua Ji Bismillah
g b d mu, welcome,
Body lfv Hola, melotel hyah Tony Abu Welcome.
Did you hear that?
The blue or come up from San Juan Allah. Allah subhanho wa Taala created something to test us which one of us is going to be best is going to strive is going to push hard to achieve the greatest status we can with Allah subhanho wa Taala and he says Tabata keleti via the hill Moloch. Will who are Allah couldn't be shy in Kadir Allah subhanho wa Taala. So grand, so powerful, so great with him is, is basically he owns dominion, he is in charge of everything he is the king of the kings, and is capable of doing anything. And lady holla call Mota while hayata Allah subhanho wa Taala created death and life. Why does Allah subhanho wa Taala say death and life mode, before we even come into
this life, we are dead. As in we don't have a soul yet. The body of every single one of us was formed inside of the womb of our mother and Subhanallah within our mother, after four months, Allah Subhana Allah then placed the soul into the body that was within the womb of our mother. And so there and then we became alive. The body was there but our soul wasn't so awesome. Hanrahan it begins by telling us a lady Hello, Polly Mota, well higher then gave us life. But what do we notice after life comes death.
But there's another step to it. After death comes life again. Once we leave this world, we are resurrected and life is given back to us. So when we strive for excellence, when I'm looking for goodness in this life, when I'm trying to push to be the best that I can, I should be striving as hard as I can to be as best as I can, with the littlest things that go on in my life.
Now, generally speaking, we've taught we've spoken about excellence and striving for it. But for you and I, what does that mean?
For many people sitting in the audience, they will say
You know what one day I'm going to be on stage. One day I'm going to be the reciter of the Quran. One day, I'm going to be someone who teaches the deen one day I'm going to be the president of a Masjid one day, I'm going to be the CEO of a company. One day, I'm going to be the person who funds and who runs all the projects of, as you see behind us Islamic Relief in human concern International. One day, I'm going to do this, and I'm going to do that one day.
But in order to reach that day, when we could say Alhamdulillah, live done that, we need to take these baby steps.
The baby steps that we take in our lives, are the steps that get us to where we're going.
And what's really beautiful, somehow analyze that many of us we want to be the greatest we can in our life, so that we can have something really great in the hereafter. But we always feel as though we're never going to get it the amount of people that come into my office and they sit down and they say, You know what? I make Doha and the help of a lot never comes.
So Pamela, this happens a lot, especially with sisters, they come in and they ask, you know how to shift How long is it going to take? When is the help of Allah going to come? When am I going to get what I asked for y'all I keep you know, they say, you know, I ask Allah, Allah, please allow me to marry this brother or marry that sister, right? People are making dua for things in their life that they want, not realizing Allah Subhana Allah is either giving you or protecting you from something that you should or shouldn't have. Whatever comes from Allah is the Greatest. And this is where I like to encourage us to strive for excellence, even in the bad things that happened to us. And I'll
give you an example.
Coming up here this morning, before you know coming in, I like to roll through my mind and figure things out and plan out my lecture, I usually jot down a bunch of notes. First, I do what we were taught in school, I put down all my notes on a piece of paper, then I rearrange them, then I cut certain things out, then I add certain things in then I like move one thing up and another thing down, right? just rearrange things. We were taught to do that when we were writing an essay in school, but I never thought it would be something that was useful. I do that. But in the hotel room. So Pamela, just as I'm going through everything in my mind, my wife calls me now I was in the
pursuit of excellence. In this lecture, I was trying to find how I can be most beneficial, most impactful in my lecture in what I've learned in all the years to try and just convey something very simple, very straightforward, very easy to be understood. But then I get this phone call.
And my wife tells me, you know driving the car, but I can't get into the car because it's a Toyota Camry and has a key fob. There's no key. Right? It's the electronic entry. So you just put your hand on the door handle and it opens up. She's like the battery inside the key fob that you know, little thing, the remote that you keep in your pocket. The battery's dead. I can't get into the car. I'm like, you know what, I don't have time for this right now. She's like, but it's cold. And I'm standing outside and I'm at the park and I can't get into the car. I'm like, Alright, fine. There's a little tab on the back. You open it up, the keys gonna come out. She's like, Okay, all right,
takes it out, opens the door sits in the car and she's on the phone. She's like, Okay, I got it. And I'm like, wait, it's push button, start how you're going to start the car. There's no key hold to put the key in. How will you start the car?
She's like, I don't know, what should I do? Like, I'll call you back in two minutes. I'll Google it. And I'll find the video on YouTube. I'll send it to you Everything will be fine. So I do that. And I send it to her humbler figure everything out. It literally took me two minutes, right. I already knew what to do. But to make her satisfied, I sent her the video so she could watch it herself. And just put the thing there, push the button and everything is perfectly fine. But I thought to myself, while I'm trying to perfect and strive for excellence in my delivery of this lecture. I'm still a human being.
There are things that stopped me from becoming as good as I would like to be. And that happens to every single one of us. We all go through hardships. You're a mother, you're you're pulling your hair out because your husband is never home. Your children are frustrating you you want a vacation, you want a break when your husband comes home He's like, Oh, I'm so tired from work. Right? And I know in Ottawa spent a lot you have pretty much an equal sort of amount or percentage of of men that are working as well as women, right? So women are in the workforce as well. So the women are coming home and they're like, you know what we want to work. But we also have children the husbands are
like Well, you know what is better for you to stay at home? I'm not saying that's me. That's what the husbands are saying. Right? disclaimer, right? flashing red lights don't go posting things on the internet like don't saying all women should stay at home. No, hear me out. Right? It is
permissible for a woman to work in Islam, nothing wrong with that. But I'm giving you the typical scenario at a household. You are striving for excellence, but you don't know how to get there. Because every single day, you're going backwards. Every single day you wake up and you're like, today's the day, today, I'm going to be the best I can. today. I'm going to pray five times a day, because yesterday I was at work and I missed one of my prayers.
And you realize today, you missed two prayers. Or you didn't miss them, but you were late for them. And you think to yourself, Well, how is this even possible?
The fact that you are trying is what's granting you excellence? How do we know this? Allah subhana wa tada says, Hello jazz.
jazz, ah, Sonny,
Allah Subhana, which Allah says, as I said, in a second time, the first time I made a mistake.
Is there any reward for excellence? I'm working really hard. Will Allah actually bless me for what I'm doing in my life? I'm taking two steps backwards every day, I'm taking two steps backwards, I don't think I'm moving forward. How am I actually going to reach Jenna, if this is my, if this is my pursuit, this is this is the road that I'm on. Relax, embrace the hardships. Embrace it is the moment we start to accept the hardships that we are going through is the moment that we start to take that first step forward.
you might notice in your life, that when things can't get worse, they get really bad.
A couple of months ago, January, my wife's aunt passed away her great aunt in, you know, Eastern Canada.
I asked this question to my wife, I said, you know, what if this is how sad we feel when one of our great aunts passes away, when an old relative of ours, who's 92 years old, when she passes away, we feel such sadness and sorrow. How is it going to be when our parents pass away? And you can think to yourself, some of you sitting here already lost your parents, some of you sitting here, your children passed away? Right? Some of you may have had a miscarriage, some of you your child might have passed away because of a medical condition. But I asked that question, not realizing Allah was ready to test me like nobody's business.
And so what happened was, about a week or two later, I'm driving down the for one highway for one,
traffic slows down, I come to almost a complete stop. The car behind me, had no idea that the traffic in front was stopped. And I'm watching him in my rearview mirror, and I can see him coming right at me. And I'm sitting there and I start to brace myself because I know I'm about to get hit.
And within a few seconds, bam, he slams into the back of my car, the back lifts up spins around in 180 degrees slide across the fast lane of the fourth one, smashed into the middle of the fourth one.
And I'm sitting there like,
what just happened.
The first reaction I had was called my wife let her know I was in a car accident. But don't worry, everything's fine. The cars done totaled, it was written off.
I couldn't find my phone. Because of the impact my phone literally was all the way somewhere else in the back of the car.
Fast forward the next day, I got into a rental car and I had to go back to the same destination I was going to I was actually going to pick up my passport, because I had to apply for a visa for one of the countries I traveled to. So I'm going back to pick up my passport. I'm driving down the four one in the exact same spot. And I thought in my mind, you know what, let me take a different route.
I don't want to drive down this same spot on the fourth one where I just had this accident. The trauma was so bad that in the middle of the night, I jumped out of my bed and ran. That's how bad it was. I jumped out of my bed and ran from my bed from my sleep. Because everything was playing back in my mind. So I'm thinking know if I want to be able to be as best as I can and tackle this and get through this difficult moment. I need to I need to go and face it head on. And so I started driving down the four one
and I drove right through the same spot and I was I could handle everything was fine. Nothing happens.
And I get to the parking lot of the High Commission to go pick up my passport, and I get a phone call. parked the car. I just turned it off. My phone starts ringing. I answer it. My dad tells me
He's, you know, he called me about four times already that day. How are you Everything okay, you sure you're fine. Go see a doctor. I'm like, I'm good. I'm good. Don't worry, I'm fine. He's like, okay, I just want to tell you, your aunt just passed away.
Now, this is my end. She just turned 61 years old the day that I had the accident the day before the phone call.
She just passed away in Montreal.
So I'm thinking now so how can things get worse?
and things got worse. But to make that long story really short I realized I need to embrace the hardships that will last panel data is facing me with
because the moment I embrace them, I realized a lot is testing me only to build me into a stronger person.
The blue or come from us and we're Allah. Allah subhanho wa Taala is testing me as we recite in pseudo tumult. He's testing me to see Am I going to live my day? And am I going to spend my night in the best most possible ways according to the dean, according to the son of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam helping society, yet still having that personal lifestyle?
That is going to give me the best in the hereafter?
And the answer to that is, yes.
Because once we understand that this life is nothing but a temporary short span that we live in, transition through and then we move on to another part of our lives, we realize that there's so much we can do in so much we can achieve. So it doesn't matter if you're a janitor. It doesn't matter if you're a stay at home mother. It doesn't matter if you're a labor worker. It doesn't matter if you're someone who's a doctor or lawyer or an engineer, or you know, a salesman at a used car dealership. It doesn't matter if you're a volunteer, it doesn't matter if you're student It doesn't matter if you're a child who's I don't know how old you are 12 years old.
10 years old, it doesn't matter if you're 10 years old.
You do what you're doing as best as you possibly can. Simple example I see you with a water bottle. What hand do you use to drink your water with your right hand by drinking with your right hand and pleasing Allah subhana wa tada and following the Sunnah you are on the path of excellence. You are building your paradise, you are getting higher and bigger status with Allah subhanho wa Taala. And by getting that status with Allah subhanho wa Taala you will get status in this world. Because when a loss of habitat and loves you, he tells the angels
and all you did was drink water.
But Allah subhana wa attallah tells the angels
and the angels know that Allah loves you because you are doing what Allah subhana wa tada loves.
So the angels make the people around you love you as well. And that's why the person next to you loves you
write the people who are sitting next to you. Usually when we come to conferences, we don't sit next to people we don't know. We sit next to people that we know, why do we sit next to them? Because we know them? How do we know them? Because they obviously did something that is dear to our hearts, or there's someone who we feel they're honest. They're just they're good. They have respect? Would we be sitting right next to our enemy? If someone you didn't like came through the door and sat next to you and you did not like them? You would get up and move you wouldn't be there sitting Sunday morning going? How are you? Or Hey, how's it going, Man, you're the leader or so and so person of
that country, we don't really like you. But hey, take a selfie.
No, you get up and you walk away. And so in pursuit of excellence, we surround ourselves with people who we like because the angels encouraged us to do that. Because Allah subhana wa Dan is happy with us. And all we did was do this simple little x in life. My brothers and sisters.
Never be literally yourself. We said this earlier and I want to conclude with it. Never belittle yourself never belittle the actions that you do in life. You look at the end to the time of Solomon and his center. He goes towards the other ants and he says protect yourselves is a little and protect yourselves. protect yourselves. The army of Solomon is coming and trampling on the land. Go back into your ant holes, protect yourselves because they might harm you. They might step on you.
This is a little end, what did the end do? The ad did what it was capable of doing. informing the other ads.
Never be little the action that you do. My brothers and sisters, I want to conclude with something that is dear to my heart. How many of you love your mother, raise your hand if you love your mother. We all do. Even if you're a mother, you're raised
in your hand, that's how beautiful it is. Right? You're a mother and you're raising your hand. So Allah,
Allah subhanho wa Taala teaches us the importance of our mothers.
Mothers, I say this specifically for you and sisters in particular, this is for you, women in general.
never feel as though you are lesser or insignificant. never feel as though because you're at home raising your children, you're something that or you're a person that is never going to be respected in society. I was thinking of this this morning, and I thought I'd share it with you last year. My parents were here, so I didn't want to talk about them too much. They're not here this year.
My dad tells me every single time that we're sitting down with my mother, teach her how to recite the Quran. My mother accepted Islam a year and a half before I was born. Till this day, she does not speak Arabic, or I should say she does not read Arabic. She cannot recite the Quran. Can you imagine? She's been Muslim for over 38 years, she cannot recite the Quran not because she doesn't want to but because it's just too difficult for her. My mother never graduated from high school. My mother is someone who her whole life she raised her brothers and her family because her mother passed away. And her father was never around. And what's really interesting somehow when I think of
it is I'm work every single day so that my parents get the reward for what I do. And that's what children are supposed to do. Give back to your parents. So if you're a mother, never belittle yourself and never feel as though I'm just a stay at home mother or I'm just a mother or I'm just raising children. What good did I do? What can I do for society, you are doing so much You don't even know it to the extent that you are to be praised and you are to be respected and you are to be looked after more than the king or the leader or ruler of a land.
Because Allah tells us in the Quran, to respect our mothers, to respect our parents to look after them. And we know that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam tells us your mother, your mother, your mother, and then your father. So my brothers and sisters, never belittle yourselves. never looked down at yourselves. Never think that you're not capable of being excellent in what you do. strive for excellence in what you do. Even if it's just taking a sip of water. Does that come along? I don't know vertical or pecan, or Santa Monica, Morocco.