Family Well-being in Light of the Covid19

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Fatima Barkatulla

Channel: Fatima Barkatulla

Episode Notes

Ustadha Fatima Barkatulla went live on Facebook earlier today in a moving and motivating address as part of the Solidarity Summit, to support families during the Coronovirus lockdown.

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Salah Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah

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dear sisters a salaam aleikum, wa rahmatullah wa barakato.

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This is your sister Fatima barakaatuh. Love speaking to you

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on this Facebook Live session four, still we rise.

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I really hope you can all hear me because I can't actually tell. And this is the first time that I've done a Facebook Live session. So I'm, I'm hoping that

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I'm coming across to you live, and loud and clear.

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Subhana Allah,

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what a amazing few days it's been.

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I'm just trying to gather my own thoughts, to be honest.

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Today, I'm going to be trying to talk to you a little bit about families, how we can help keep our families strong.

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And how, as families we can

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navigate, I guess, the next few weeks, the next few months

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of uncertainty, that where

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it seems inevitably going to experience.

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So I hope in this session, I can help all of us just think about some of those things.

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I'll be really honest with you,

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I myself

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have been feeling quite,

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I would say confused at times, you know, in the last few days, because things have been changing so fast. In my own family, I have obviously, my children, my my eldest son, his a levels have been canceled.

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My

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second son was about to do his GCSEs they got canceled,

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you know, and all the preparation that had been in place,

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suddenly kind of

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felt very, like the, I guess the rug had been pulled from under you somewhat.

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And I have, obviously, my youngest, her school was closed suddenly. And initially, you know, you take a moment to think about all these changes and the things that suddenly have happened and,

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and how the next few weeks that you'd planned are not really going to be the way that you plan them to be. But then Alhamdulillah when the dust settles, and you really think about the the real impact of some of those things.

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And also some of the bigger things, you know, things like just not being able to carry on as normal, meeting your family members.

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And things like that.

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And just the biggest bigger kind of picture of the whole

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pandemic

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illness, mosques closing, or at least most not holding prayers, you know, what actually means everyone having to stay home shops, or shops are open. But, you know,

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obviously, there's a lot of panic buying going on. So sometimes you'll go to the shop, and there will literally be nothing left, you know, in certain, uncertain, and so on satin shelves,

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all of that. And then restaurants are closed cafes as well.

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We're not meant to be congregating on streets and basically normal everyday things that we all took for granted.

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Suddenly, you've become very

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we realize the importance of those things, right? And how much we take those things for granted.

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And so once you kind of take stock of all of that,

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and you might have a wobbly moment,

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and I'll say I had I had my own wobbly moment.

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I think, you know, as believers we

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we really,

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we really have to notice all the things we have to be grateful for.

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You know, so Pamela, and that I think that's what I've found the most useful in this time, you know,

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Asking yourself, what can I be grateful for?

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For me, I think those are the things that really came to mind when I asked myself that question is, are things like, you know, I'm alive, handle it.

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I may have had, you know, a little bit of a cough,

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which is why I'm at home.

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But at home, that is a lie, you know, very mild symptoms, very mild. And it could just be a cold, you know,

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our children are safe Alhamdulillah

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we live in a land where

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things are orderly, you know,

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there is peace.

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We have shelter, we have food, we have our basic needs being met. More than that, right? We have family members who we can contact. So Pamela, you know, I was just watching a

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documentary about the Spanish influenza.

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The early 20th century, the Spanish influenza, which wasn't really Spanish, but some reason they call it the Spanish influenza. It was a pandemic, similar to the Coronavirus,

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but actually affected young people as well in a very lethal way. And

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it was spreading throughout the world. And so Pamela, just watching that documentary and thinking about what a difference 100 years has made, right, in terms of technology in terms of connection in terms of the implications of

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these types of illnesses, and how are they really going to affect us.

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We are, we are really blessed, you know, we're really blessed to live at a time when.

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So Pamela, you know, the, we have a lot of things that people didn't have in those, those days, right, we have access to a lot of things, even just something as simple as the internet, existing, you know, has meant that social isolation isn't, is not literal, you know, means that we can have sessions like this, a Facebook live, where we,

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where we can hear from people and

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connect with them, we can contact our families on FaceTime on zoom, and people are doing all sorts of innovative things to keep connected, right. Just by virtue of the fact that we have the internet, we're able to do that.

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And so, dear sisters, I would encourage you, at this time.

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I don't know how you're feeling. But

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I'm sure you've had moments where you felt quite overwhelmed as I have,

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I would encourage you and I encourage myself, to really focus on the things that we have to be grateful for.

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And help children to notice those things as well. Because

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Subhanallah you know, we we often forget, it's very easy for us to ignore and forget those very fundamental important things.

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And remembering that they are blessings to and that we still have those. So please use this opportunity to talk to your kids, to highlight to them, the blessings that they have,

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and help them notice the beauty.

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I think that's the thing about difficult times, right? When you're going through difficult times.

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Got to look for those moments of beauty, you've got to look for those moments of joy, you know, little things that you can start noticing again and enjoying again.

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And looking for the blessing in the situation that we are in. Right. So I know for myself, for example, this

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kind of changes that took place forced me to slow down completely. Right. So I had a particular plan it was you know, full speed ahead. And you know, my children, we're going to have exams, I have exams, myself essay deadlines, and and then suddenly

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it all changes. And

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I guess the thing for us to think is well,

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how can I use this time

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to benefit in a way that I might not have benefited otherwise, right? How can I use this time in a way that I to benefit my

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myself and my family, my emaan

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my work in a way that I wouldn't have if these new events have not transpired. So

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just think about the fact that, you know, for so many, for so many of us, we, we try to convey to our children certain lessons, right in life, as mothers, you know, our families often say, you know, make family, your finest project.

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We look at our families, and we want to teach them things, we want to convey certain things to them, what could be a better teacher, then, circumstances such as this

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Subhanallah, there's things that our children can learn from this situation, and the way we respond to it, the way we help them look through it, that later on in life, we'll give them a resilience and Sharla and give them the ability to weather, other storms that may lie ahead, right. So in a way, this situation,

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is really a learning opportunity for them.

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And for us, to help them navigate, because, you know,

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it can teach them a lot, it can teach them resilience.

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We can't protect our children and ourselves from the world. We can't protect them from the trials that Allah Subhana Allah promised, he will send to all people, especially to the believers. But what we can do

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is we can teach them to have courage, teach them to build strength, so that when such trials come their way,

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they'll have a toolkit they'll have within them the ability, the resilience of the means to psychologically dealing with

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such things, but also, you know, getting through them, and realizing that actually, there is going to be,

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you know, light at the end of it. Right.

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I think the question that I'm asking myself, during this time is, how can I be a role model? How can I be a role model? And it's not easy to ask yourself that question, you know?

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Because there are times when you need support. And that's okay. That's okay. You know, I'm not saying that, you know, it's not okay for you to Need Help yourself.

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But I think the question that is keeping me on track, and helping me with my family is asking myself, How can I be a role model at this time? How can I be a pillar of support

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for my kids, my husband?

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What can I do to step up to this challenge? Right?

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And that's a question that all of us should be asking. Because Subhanallah, you know,

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just looking at the life of our mother, Khadija, the learner, and the things that we often praise her for.

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The quality that she had, which I really started thinking about, even more deeply in our current situation is,

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is that quality of being that pillar of support for our family, right? That quality of where everyone is losing their heads around you, or when, when your status is being pulled from under you, right? That's what happened to Khadija delana.

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And in a way, we're experiencing something similar, not to the level that Felicia did, or the allowing her but there is a certain kind of loss of status that we're feeling like

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the status of being sure about what was about to happen in the next few weeks, right. And the next few months, suddenly that has gone and suddenly we're looking forward to uncertainty. We don't know where we stand anymore with regards to so many things.

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So that kind of situation or the Giada Dylan ha

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was the one who didn't lose her head. She was the one who

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fought what, what is the correct thing to do in this situation?

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And she was a role model. She was a role model. So Pamela

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I can see some

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People are waving at me.

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I'm completely new to Facebook Live. So please bear with me.

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How can we be role models in this time?

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The other thing that I'm thinking about, and this time is,

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you know, it's, it's very easy to talk about being a Muslim, it's very easy to talk about how much we love Allah is so easy to teach our children or Canada. And, you know, that lies in control of all things, that after hardship, there will be ease that, you know,

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a low test the believers, and, you know, we've got to be like this. And we've got to be like that it's very easy to talk the talk, isn't it?

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But my sister's, this is our,

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this is the opportunity that we have to show our children what all that really means, right? It's at times like this, when things aren't certain, when maybe certain things are falling apart or, you know, the society around us, as we know, it. Is seems to be

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you know, upside down in many ways.

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It's in those types of situations that the reality of our acleda the reality of our Eman in Allah Subhana, Allah Allah comes out, right? It's revealed. So let us hold ourselves to the standard that we, in good times talk about, right? When we talk about trusting in Allah, we talk about lies, uncontrollable things, that our behavior reflect that if either let our behavior reflect those beliefs that we have, right and let our children experience that.

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We tell our children that we should pray to Allah when we're in difficulty. We tell our children that the prophets of Allah when he was telling us to turn to Salah, whenever he had an ache whenever he had any difficult situation, you know, is the coolness of his eyes was in the Salah.

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So are we in this situation? showing our children? And are we living the reality of that?

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You know, have we turned to Salah have we turned to making blah?

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Do we gather our children around and make blah with them, teach them how to talk to Allah, this creator of this Subhana Allah, you know, we're often thinking of things that are going to keep our children safe, we try to think of things that are going to,

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you know, help them in their futures, we might set up I don't know, an investment fund, or we might save up money for this or we might, you know, buy some gold in case they need to get married. And, you know, there's all sorts of things that we might do to prepare them for the future or to prepare for their futures.

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Well, what about this, my dear sisters, and brothers, you know, what about?

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What about situations such as this? Have we prepared them for these? What can we do in this situation that will

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help them in the future, to be able to weather maybe even greater test smell and protect them and protect us?

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So I think those are some of the questions and the things that are going on in my head.

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And yes, you know, there are moments that I've been finding it quite tough.

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And that's okay. That's okay. Because Allah Subhana Allah, dear sisters, promised us Didn't he in the Quran, he said, Well, hon one Lacombe Shea a mineral hovi one Jew, a Naka, Seminole, unworldly will unfussy what Femara well, Bashir is Siberian Alevi and I either saw that Tomasi baton kalu in de la Ilaha Gian, Allah says in Surah Baqarah and we will over surety test you

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well in a blender can be a mineral healthy with something of fear, fear right and I think a lot of us are feeling that moment, type of fear.

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Healthy while jewelry and hunger

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Wanaka Seminole and wily and loss of wealth. You know people are seeing

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the stock market being affected people are seeing

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you know,

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They're feeling uncertain about their jobs, etc.

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While unforced and loss of lives, people are dying,

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with thermal rot and fruits, so people are seeing the fruits of their efforts, seemingly, you know, falling out of their hands.

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And then Allah says,

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What unfussy what some odd or bashira sabeti in and give glad tidings to the sabeti give glad tidings to those who are patient. But remember, sobre doesn't just mean patient as in, you sit and don't say anything, no patience here sobre means, who patiently carry on, who persevere, right? persevere, in what way, persevere in continuing to obey Allah and persevere in continuing to stay away from sin. Stay away from saying things that would be displeasing to Allah stay away from lashing out and acting in a way that would be displeasing to Allah. Right? Stay away from our base desires, and that instinct that we have to be selfish, right? People go into the shots like

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literally emptying shells, right? You know, where does that instinct come from, to just hoard and want things just for yourself and your own family? Knowing that the next person is going to come along, might might want some of that thing. And yet you've, you've literally taken all there is, you know, those types of

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base instincts can come out at these types of in these times. And so, dear sisters, ask ourselves, you know, am I having subber the suburb of perseverance, not the suburb of staying quiet and not saying anything? You know, some people think summer is? No, the scholars of Islam say that sobor is continuing to obey Allah, throughout through the test, continuing to stay away from what Allah has forbidden us from?

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How can I use this time?

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To teach my children resilience? Really important question.

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You know, because our children are watching us, they're watching us. And even if we do have times of weakness,

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we can show them how we're overcoming that, right?

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We, I think it's a really important time to have a family meeting,

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no, to talk about what the new normal is going to be, to have a routine

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to have a routine.

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A new routine, right? Could be that you're having to completely rethink the next few weeks.

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And that's okay. That's okay. You know, you can do it, you've got what it takes. And I'm sure this isn't the first test that we've ever experienced, right? Those of us who are mothers, we've gone through childbirth, for God's sake, you know, we've gone through a lot. And childbirth, and that whole period of time when you're, you know, when you're pregnant, and then you've had your baby. And in many ways, it also kind of pulls the rug from under you, right? It kind of takes you back to square one. In many ways. It makes you question everything about yourself, about your situation, all your assumptions that you had right about how life would carry on. Remember, the first time you had

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a baby, how all of those went out of the window? Well, you know, we've been there before, right? Especially as moms, as moms, you know, we've we've experienced this, we've got this, we've got what it takes to get through this.

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So some of the things that I'm going to be doing, and I'm going to encourage you to do in order to support our children's well being and the well being of our families is, is just that, you know, to have a family meeting, have a family meeting

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with your husband, and also with all of your children, whoever is in your household, get everyone together and talk about and let them have a safe space to talk about what they're finding tough about this new situation. They may be not finding it tough, they may be extremely happy, but they don't have to do their GCSEs anymore, right? Or that. On the other hand, you know, Subhanallah I know that with my daughter, for example. She's feeling very sad because very suddenly

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School closed. And she's not going to be going back probably until September, learners best, which means that it will be a new class, it will be a new teacher. So for some of our children, that's very,

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that's a very sad thing for them, right? Men, it affects them. So give them that space to express, give them that space to be able to talk to you about how they're feeling about each of those things, and then help them think through that, right. So with my daughter, for example, when she was feeling quite down about the fact that she won't be going back to her class, or that she won't be meeting her friends for a long time. And her teacher, who she really likes,

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we talked through it, and we said, well, you know, so panela,

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when you go back in September, now you can start fresh, you'll meet those people again.

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Maybe

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when things die down a little bit, we'll get to meet some of our friends. And we started reflecting on how it must feel for children who are in year six, right? Who will literally in the last year, they're not going to be going coming back to the school, there'll be going on to secondary school, and yet their year came to a very abrupt end. And so just reflecting on some of those things, I think it really helped my daughter to, to put things into perspective, and realize that, although it's not ideal, you know, things are not going the way maybe we would have ideally like them to go.

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It's okay, you know, they're there, we'll get through this, there is beauty, there is something that we can gain and some blessing, even in this new situation, right.

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And I also one of the things I did was I reached out to my daughter's teachers and said to them, you know,

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Please, could you record a video message for the students, you know, for the for the pupils of the school, so that they can still feel connected to you, right?

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So, trying to think of ways through any kind of difficulty that your child is experiencing? in dealing with this situation, I think, you know, you're, you're helping them to get the right mindset to have the proactive mindset. So that in future when they have to deal with problems themselves, when you're not there for them,

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you know, they'll have the tools that they need to be able to get through those. So giving them that space to talk, answering their questions. You know, sometimes we assume they actually understand what's going on this whole

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you know, the stuff in the news, the virus and pandemics, and we kind of assumed that they absorbing it, but actually they're not quite understanding what's going on. So I think just taking the time to make sure that each member of the family

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actually understands what's going on. And,

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you know, can put it into perspective, I think is very important. I think avoiding being too immersed in the media coverage is also very important. Because it's very difficult to be a role model. It's very difficult to stay focused, and, you know, have a plan and execute your plan, when you're constantly distracted by negativity, right? And there's a lot of negativity out there.

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There's also a lot of positivity out there actually. Mashallah, if you look for it, but at the moment, especially with the media coverage, there's a lot of negativity out there. And it's just not healthy. And we have to keep a little bit of a distance from it. Right. So if you're like, literally checking your email or checking, you're checking the news every few minutes. I mean, you know, that's gonna drag you down. It's just gonna do that, you know, because there's this, you'll have your flat flight or what does it call fight or flight instinct, right, constantly going into overdrive, right? Because you're constantly thinking, where's the danger coming from? Where is the

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next bad news coming from? Right? So I think it's really important for us to keep a little bit of a distance and avoid being too immersed in the media coverage, right? Be mindful of

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what you're feeding your mind with. Right? Whether it's on social media or

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in a mainstream media.

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Because all that does is sometimes add to the worry and anxiety right?

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I think, set yourself a time where you'll catch up with whatever the latest news is, maybe once a day, once a day is enough, you know, you really don't need to, to know what's happening from minute to minute hour to hour.

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And you're checking it is not going to change it either. And I think that's really important for us to, to bear in mind too.

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Excuse me, I'm just gonna cough.

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I think it's really important that we

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that we remember that, you know, for our children,

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they're still living everyday life. So it's really important that we keep doing nice things, we keep staying active together, right?

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According to the latest advice, going out is fine, you know, in terms of like going to open spaces. In fact, in the UK, the National Trust has actually made

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parks and a lot of their kind of open spaces and stuff free for people to go to. So

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try and find those things that you can do. You know, when there's open air, you don't need to, like get close to other people, but can keep some some of the joy right in everyday life. Because I think that's really important for us to do, doing nice things, keeping active,

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keeping some kind of a routine for every day, right? It's a bit like when people have to work from home.

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On a normal day, right? What are some of the things that you're encouraged to do, if you work from home, get up at a fixed time,

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get changed. And that sounds like a really radical thing, right? Like the two, three days, my kids are in their pajamas. And I said to them, Listen, we're not doing this, you're not going to be in your pajamas. For the rest of the next few weeks, you're going to wake up, you're going to get change, you're going to make your hair, you're going to look good. And we're going to have a good day, right. And I think it's really important for us to, to emphasize that, you know, when the external structure that is on our day, which usually comes from work from school and things like that, when that's been removed, we've got to create our own structure, right, we've got to put that

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new structure into place. And that really helps us all to navigate the day. And to have some kind of purpose for the day.

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keep in contact with your family, you know, we don't realize how much our children actually missed their friends, they miss grandparents, and other members of the family.

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And one of the blessings we have is things like Skype, FaceTime,

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WhatsApp, etc, you know, I think we can keep in touch with our family members through those means, and reassure one another Subhanallah

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do what we can to reach out to our neighbors, and people in our neighborhoods, but also, people that we hear might not be having such a good time of it, right? Whether it's elderly people who might be feeling isolated, or people who you can tell, don't usually ask for help, but maybe they're showing signs that they need help.

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I remember last week, I was quite ill. I had a cold and I mean, I had a cough. And I don't know what was happening, but physically.

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You know, I had I was very shivery. And

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so I just had flu symptoms.

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And it really hit me quite hard.

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But I find it quite hard to ask people for help.

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And hamdulillah one of my friends she just kind of

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I think she sensed it that I could do with some help and

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May Allah reward her. She sent me she's she sent a sister to make some soup and send it around to my house and deliver it to me and even though I hadn't asked her about something simple like that, it really it was really touching it really helped me because sometimes you know, as a mom when you're ill

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you feel that everything else gets affected, right because you're responsible for so much in the home. So

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So Pamela, you know, just something like that. Just Just trying to think what it is that somebody might might need help with. And acting on it. I think, you know, in this time is so important, so important.

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I think one of the other things that I would emphasize is making the law collectively.

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What do I mean by that? I think recently in a, in an Ellen feed podcast clip, you might have seen me talking about my mum, and how I learned more about Allah through her da than anything else, right. So regularly, and especially when they were difficult times, like when we were kids, there was a time where we were going to be evicted.

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I remember and I was just like, primary school child, and we literally were going to be homeless. And I remember her gathering us around, and we were all getting together and making blah, making the art right.

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We would get together, make the art. And she would go through each member of the family and make the law for them. She would, the way she talks to Allah, I've learned who Allah was from that, right, she would call on him, she would tell him how much we need him. And how much

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excuse me

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how much we can't do without him.

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And it is times like this, that we realize how much we need a lot.

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And how much we can't do without him.

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So

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it's so important for, for us to express that to Allah. Right?

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It's so important for us to express that to Allah.

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Because sometimes Allah sends us tests.

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Because we've stopped calling on him.

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We've stopped relying on him.

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And he's reminding us that we need him. He's reminding us that

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he's the one who was keeping everything. In order for us. He's the one who was keeping things going for us. Right? We were relying on a system we were relying on maybe people, institutions, and all those sorts of things.

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But actually, it's last Peridot Allah,

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who's keeping everything together for us. Right.

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And without his help, without his support,

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we don't have anything.

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So let's use this time to gather our children together and, and make them

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Excuse me?

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And yes, I do. I do find it quite emotional. Because I think

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I think, you know, it's upon a lot. I think it's affecting people in different ways.

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And I think that's the last thing that I will

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say, you know, that actually, it's okay to be emotional. It's okay for us to take time for ourselves, as well and take care of our own basic needs as well.

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So, in my family, for example, I've asked my children for certain hours in the day, that I can be by myself, that I can have time to do things that I want to do in silence.

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Because usually, my habit was to actually go to the library or

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excuse me, to go somewhere else

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in order to work and to just have some quiet time, but because of the current situation, obviously everyone is in the house.

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And so

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I think it's really important for us to as moms, especially to kind of figure out what exactly we need in order to keep

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This,

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to keep things going for our own personal needs, and not to be afraid to ask for those needs to be met, you know, whatever it is, whatever that is, if you need it,

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ask your family members and say to them, Look, I'm gonna need two to three hours of complete silence by myself. So if you guys could stay upstairs, or if you guys could, you know, keep it down or whatever it is. And just not not interrupt me in that time, then I would really appreciate it.

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I think we need to make sure that every day, we do things that keep us able to carry on, right?

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Whether that's finding little joyous things,

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or

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carving out time for ourselves, for some self care, as they call it, right? Whether it's doing something for your own personal care, reading or listening to something beneficial positive.

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Even if it's just going to get a coffee, obviously, you can't drink in the cafe now. But you could take it home, take away

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keep some of that joy alive, you know, and don't be a martyr. Don't be a martyr, I think that's, that's really important. Because that helps know that no one, you know, if we don't take care of ourselves, then

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everything sinks. Right. So

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I hope they're sisters that some of those things were useful.

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I got quite emotional during that.

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I think it is really kind of shows you that. Yeah, we are living in uncertain times. And but Subhanallah, we've got so much to be grateful for. We're alive. We're in Britain.

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All of you aren't in Britain. But I'm grateful to be here

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in the place that I'm in, and I'm sure there are blessings in the place, wherever the places that you're in.

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I'm grateful that we have the internet, I'm grateful that my children are safe, that we are all safe, and Hamdulillah, that we have books, that we have positive things to feed our minds with.

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I'm grateful for all of those things. And I encourage all of us to look for those things to be grateful for, to look for ways in which we can be resilient through this time, and realize that it's not going to last forever, even though it seems like it at the moment. So balilla you know,

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it's not going to last forever. It's going to be

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one day, we're going to look back at this time. And we are going to remember how we responded. I think that's also really important for us to

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realize, you know, one day we're going to look back and we're going to ask, How did I respond in that time? And do you remember that time when that virus thing happened and you know, it will just be a small little memory

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so you know, it's really important for us to keep that in perspective. I think

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just below Hara dear sisters.

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I do hope we get to meet again, like this. hopefully there'll be other opportunities.

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Do keep in touch, you can

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send me an email. If there's anything that you would like to communicate with me. My email address is contact at Fatima barkatullah.com contact at Fatima burger tila.com and

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inshallah, see you soon.

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inshallah, with that I will bid you farewell szczepanik alone Moby hamburger, a shadow, Allah, Allah, Allah and as the firaga to be like, salaam Alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh