Personal Growth for Muslims

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Haifaa Younis

Channel: Haifaa Younis

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Bismillah your man you're watching

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I said Mr. Lee Cammarata lava Carter Smilla Al hamdu lillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah while it was Sahbihi woman Walla wa Malim na VI and file Now one final Bhima alum Tana in a casa Mian would you would do our along anyhow do we can emulate amfa wakatobi Nyasha on I've seen Latisha What do I in love with SMA or Bonilla to the polu banaba is Daytona whatever the NAM Lucara indica interval hub will be strictly Sodre us Lee only Watlow optimally standing of county desert Mila here welcome to our Tuesday night's program who did our brand I mean, it's it's a heartwarming to spend and I say this to everybody to spend an hour in the care of Allah and remembering Allah in learning personally

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and in sharing knowledge with all of you Zack Mulla hit for joining us. And as I always say, please share with us where are you joining us from the the one of the missions of gender Institute is humbler blimey is to spread the knowledge of Islamic knowledge to the hearts and the homes of the Muslim woman. And there is many ways where the left hand Allah made us and use us to do this. But one of the ways also is to share the other sisters and other scholars who are working for the sake of Allah Spano, Tala to spread this knowledge in a different ways. And in a different categories and a different disciplines. And hamdulillahi rabbil aalameen Especially in the last 510 years, we had a

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lot of sisters will in their hand, it more and more involved in this. That's number one. Number two, we always share that knowledge is power. Subhan Allah is when we learn when we learn about Allah. When we learn about his book, men and women, this applies to everybody. We get stronger and Rasul Allah in salatu salam in a hadith he said, and we know we hate him, then what not by the strong believer is better than the weak believer when he couldn't hire the fact you are a believer, that's good. But if I want to be a better person is actually a strong believer. Now the question always comes in is how do I improve? Or what is my personal growth? So now I am at the end of 2021 in six

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months, where do I want to see myself? I want to be a better I want to be more knowledgeable. How do I do that? What is the steps and it gives me a great pleasure today hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen to world come from Michigan, very call the state sister Eisah or shed design Lohit we're accepting our invitation sister is as I said, is actually joining us from Michigan. She's actually motivational speaker she carries more than one hat May Allah reward her she's a motivational speaker. She's an also carries a background of an it she also have Islamic Studies background mashallah she actually is she developed a mentorship program for sisters called the strong believer, I love the title, the

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strong believer where she does what coaches Muslim woman on how to step up without sacrificing their values so they can feel confident inside and out. She also is involved with a Monroe Institute and in Michigan, also involved with ing Midwest. So Tamara Colossi also was part of the research team at ISP U and on the Muslims for American Progress. So may Allah reward her she, you have done a lot and still doing sister Aisha welcome. It's a pleasure to have you with us.

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As I call her sister, she her. Thank you so much for having me. Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah all praises due to Allah and make his peace and blessings beyond the last messenger of Allah. Thank you so much. bhiwadi his salatu salam, I want to hear from you, sister Ayesha telling me how do I become stronger? So quite simple question and and

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such an important question. Right. Such a powerful question. This is really the question that I have devoted the last several years of my life to answering how can we specifically as Muslims, as Muslim women, how can we step up while holding on to our faith without burning out without sacrificing who we are and what we believe in. So this is really my passion, and in my life's work for the last couple of years. So I'm very sure that with you

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It's very important, especially for our youth, and especially for our working mothers and for our mothers stay home who chose to be stay home mothers, it's extremely important to feel worthy and strong, and to improve. So where do we start?

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So, what I'd like to do is share

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a short presentation that I've prepared for you. And in this presentation today, there's three things that I'd like to cover. So the first thing that I'm going to talk to you about is what is personal growth? We're going to define it, we're going to look at a couple of different ways that people characterize this term. And then we're gonna look at why is it important? First, just from a basic perspective, and then specifically for us as Muslim women, why is it important? And then finally, how do we achieve it right? Because that's the million dollar question is, once we know what it is, and once we realize that it's something that is important to us, then the next thing we

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want to know is, well give me a system for implementing it. Right. So those are the three things inshallah that I plan to share with your listeners today, Inshallah,

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we'll have the letter of Lamin Bismillah Bismillah. So the first thing I want to do is just share a couple of different definitions so that we can really wrap our mind around what is this concept? When we say personal growth? What exactly do we mean by that? So one way that it's been defined is that personal growth is a term that refers to various techniques for improving one's habits, behavior, actions, and reactions, things like learning how to control your anger, learning how to overcome procrastination, becoming a more responsible person, learning new skills, changing your mindset, all of these things are examples of what you can achieve with personal growth. And, and

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what it says here at the bottom is that personal growth requires motivation. It requires the desire to improve, and the willingness to strive to make changes. Because anytime we want to bring about improvement in ourselves, it's a gradual process, it takes patience. And it takes motivation, right. So we have to be there, we have to be willing to put in the effort. So that's a big component of what personal growth is all about. Another definition is that personal growth is the process by which a person recognizes herself and continually develops herself to reach her full potential.

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It's an important part of a person's growth, maturity, success and happiness. Another thing that we know about personal growth is that it's a process of spiritual, physical, social, and all different types of growth that lasts a lifetime. So it's not a destination that you reach and you're done. It's something that you continue throughout your life. It's a process of active learning, and developing new skills long after you're done with your formal education. And then this last definition, I think it's a really good simple one to end on. And that is that personal growth refers to the self improvement of your skills, knowledge, personal qualities, life goals, and outlook. And

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whenever you seek to better yourself in any way, you are seeking personal growth. So this and these are the links for all of those information. So what this means in a nutshell, is that personal growth is the process of improving oneself. That's a really, really basic idea that we can all carry with us that anytime we're trying to improve something about ourselves, we are in fact engaged in a process of personal growth. Can I can I can I ask just for this? So if I say to myself, and that's a very common, self neffs

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way of putting a barrier? Well, I'm absolutely fine. I don't need to change.

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Yeah, so I think that I'm glad you brought that up. Because for a lot of us, we might even be ashamed to admit that we have things we want to improve. Or another barrier could be that you believe that being content means that you don't want to look at any problems. But what I would offer to that is to say that, saying that I'm fine the way I am, is not a statement of contentment, or, or acceptance but rather, a statement of laziness or not wanting to really look at yourself in an honest way. So it takes really a great deal of humility to say, you know, I'm okay, but I could be better, right? Because we're not talking about like being down on yourself and saying, Oh, these are

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all the things that are wrong with me.

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You don't some personal growth experts do take that approach where they start with, you know, let's make a list of everything that you're bad at, and then how could we improve? But the approach that I prefer to take is to say, what's already working? And then how can we make it better?

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And so I hope that that, that answers the question. Okay, so I'm going to write my questions, and I put it at the end, because you may have had have the answer during the presentation, is that I like you interrupting because it gives us a chance to have a dialogue in between. So please, by all means, okay, so why is it important? Exactly? Why is it important? So, you know, we talked about what is personal growth? When we look at the why, from a purely secular perspective, the why is, is pretty obvious. The reason we want to grow is so that we can have success and happiness in this life, most mainstream approaches to personal growth, that is the aim. Now, for us as Muslims, we

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want that to, but that's not all we want. So we want success and happiness in this life. Yes, we want to have our needs met, we want to prosper. But we also want success and happiness in the next life.

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And in addition to that, we also want protection from the hellfire. Now, we might say that if we have achieved Jannah,

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which is success in the next life, why? Why do we also need to ask for protection from the fire. And the reason for that is because in the hereafter there are some people who, though they will eventually make it to Gemini, they will have to first cross through the fire. May Allah protect us from that fate, we ask Allah to not let the Fire touch us even for a moment. I mean, and so as Muslims, our motivation for personal growth is all three of these things.

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And what you can see from this is that our approach is much more comprehensive, right? It's much more comprehensive, than simply saying, I just want good stuff in this life. And we can see this in sort of Bacara is number two, a one, the dwad that most of us learned as little kids have been at the Nafi dunya Hasina or Phil accurate, their Huseynov Joaquina. Gov. Our Lord, give us good in this world, and good in the hereafter and defend us from the torment of the Fire. So when we say why is personal growth important? This is our why right here. These are the three things that we want to achieve as Muslims, right. Now, this gives us a broad and general answer. But what I want to do

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today is I want to get more specific. What I want to do is talk more about the the first part of it good in this world, the other two good in the hereafter, and protection from the fire. Those are pretty obvious. But what exactly do we mean by good in this world? And specifically, what does that mean for us as Muslim women? Right, that's really what I want to get to the heart of. And that's really what you know, my work is all about is helping Muslim women achieve good in this world. So some things that we might want to achieve are better health, a happier home life, getting a better job, financial freedom, so that money is not what is the driver of our decisions, and we have some

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extra income that we can give to charity or help others. Maybe you want to volunteer at the masjid, that's something that you want to grow in. Maybe you want to volunteer for a cause that you care about.

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And all of these things we want to do in accordance with our theme. So if we are if we are making these as goals for ourselves, and we're doing it in a way that is in accordance with our deen, that's our why that's for us as Muslim women, why personal growth matters. Because we want to achieve these things in a way that is in line with our faith, and also in a way that doesn't burn us out and stress us out.

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This is like a dream. Let's see. This is like a dream. And no, the first step I feel like to to achieving anything is to say, this is what I want right? To say, Look, is there a way right? This would be ideal if I could have good in this world and good in the next and be saved from even being touched by the fire.

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And because Allah has has taught us this dua, we we approach this from the standpoint of well, there's got to be a way because he told us to ask for it. Right. So then the question becomes well, in our day and age given where we are living given what we are going through, how do we achieve it because that is really the million dollar question right? We can leave

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can hopefully we can wish for it. But if we don't actually have a system that is specific to us, then we're not going to have any way of getting to it right.

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Now, before we get into a specific system, we need to address the obstacles, we need to ask ourselves, you know, we know what we want, we know we know the end goal of what we want.

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We want to achieve all these things in this world. We want to achieve the pleasure of Allah. How do we do that? And what is standing in the way of us doing that?

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What is standing in the way specifically for us as Muslim women to have healthy, happy, prosperous lives, where we are stepping up and serving others while pleasing Allah? So that's the question that I want to focus on, for the next couple of moments. Now, when we talk about developing ourselves, there's both an inner aspect to that and an outer aspect. And so we're going to talk about both of those. Now, when I've looked at, you know, in my experience, when I look at the challenges that Muslim women, particularly in America, but even around the world, the challenges the things that they struggle with, the things that keep them from becoming their best self, one of them is

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struggling with their emotion. So they feel like it's not that they don't believe in Allah, but it's more like, they don't have that strong sense of trust in Allah. So that's, that's clearly a barrier to us becoming our best self. Another one is self doubt. You can also think of this as negative thinking, pessimism, where the the negative thoughts are just taking over your life, and they're taking over your mind. And you don't have the energy or the enthusiasm or the confidence to try to achieve anything, because you just don't see how it's possible. So self doubt is one of the very big obstacles. And this is specific,

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especially for women. It's not that men don't have self doubts, but But research shows that this is something that as women we struggle with more. So this is something that if we're going to grow, we have to, we have to address, we have to look at that.

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Another thing that I hear a lot of women talk about is their inability to manage their time well. So they might have the strong connection with Allah, they might not have too much of an issue with their thinking, but they're just not too happy with how they use their time. And right, so and anyone that struggles with that, they know that as long as you have that issue, you cannot be the best version of yourself.

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It's just, it's, it's an obstacle, it's gonna be a barrier, it's gonna stand in your way until you deal with it. And and as women, you know, this is challenging, because we have so many different things that we're trying to juggle, right? We have our own needs, we're trying to take care of our family, some of us are working, we might be active in the masjid. So being productive, and organizing ourselves in a good way, is not an easy thing. So if you're one of those people that's listening to this and saying, Yeah, I struggled with that, I want you to know that you're not alone. You know, most women would say that that is a challenge that they have at some level.

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Now, the next one, it might surprise you a little bit. The first three might have been obvious, like Yeah, of course, I know that if I have struggling, if I'm struggling with my emaan, or with self doubt or with being productive, then naturally I will not be able to be the best version of myself. But what about this next one? What I have found and what research has shown is that when we as Muslims are not confident in talking about our faith, what we do is we tend to hold back and we don't want to step up. We don't want to put ourselves in situations where we may get asked a question. And so and I'll share some examples of this with you in in one of the coming slides. But

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we unconsciously hold ourselves back, because we don't know how to talk about Islam in a friendly, confident, calm way. So having or not having this skill.

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Being nervous to talk about our faith can be another barrier to our own personal growth, especially as Muslim women who are visibly muslim meaning that if we wear the hijab or a baya or niqab this is this is a major thing that we have to deal with. And most most personal growth programs don't address that

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So that's what's different about the way that I that I teach it. And then finally, I'm having this mindset of not wanting to step up. So it's, it's this way of thinking that well, it would be arrogant of me to, you know, volunteer or to step up or to, to get more involved in this or that it's more modest, it's more humble, for me to just keep my talents to myself. And so, as long as you have that mindset, even if you're someone who's very, very talented, you're not going to be able to serve others. So in order to really live the best version of ourselves, we need to tackle that aspect of our thinking that says that the best way for me to live my life is just to stay to myself

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and not try to, you know, be engaged in the in the world around me. So these, in my experience are five of the biggest challenges that Muslim women face, especially in America, when it comes to, you know, trying to be the best version of ourselves. So that brings us back again, to the big question, the million dollar question, which is, given these challenges, how do we achieve personal growth? How do we become the best version of ourselves as Muslim women? And as I've alluded to, we need to address each of these five challenges.

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And so what does that look like? When we get to the other side, when we have been able to successfully address these challenges, this is what our life looks like. So on the left, you have the statements that describe, you know, when we are in this challenging place, and on the right, you have the opposite of those were so for the first one is where we have developed a strong emaan. And we have developed art the local in Allah. So this is going beyond just believing that Allah exists. This goes beyond doing the daily worship that we are required to do as muslims. Both of those are important. But what I'm talking about specifically here is getting to that place where you know that

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everything is not your responsibility, that you cannot, by yourself, fix and do everything. Right, so we tie our camels, but then we also have to place our trust in Allah. So the very first step before anything else is to develop that trust. That's the first thing. The second thing is to develop inner confidence and peace. And this comes about when we understand the way that our minds work. This gets into neuroscience and positive psychology. But in a nutshell, in order to develop inner confidence and peace, we have to understand

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where our feelings come from. And I'll talk about that a little bit more in a moment.

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The next one is making better use of our time. So this doesn't mean that we have to be, you know, busy every second of every day, but that we are aware of how we spend our time, and we have a specific game plan for how we want to improve it.

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Be more productive is not something that happens in a single day. It is a lifelong journey. But making a commitment to start that journey is where personal growth happens. It's where we say, Okay, this is what I'm spending time on right now. And given the goals that I have for myself, what's a better way that I can spend my time. And this really gets into daily habits because as I'll talk about in a little bit, we can never change our life until we change what we do every day. It's the daily habits that really determine our quality of life. The next one is getting to a place where we are happy and confident to talk about our faith. If we want to shine as Muslim women, if we want to

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step up, and contribute to the world around us in a way that doesn't burn us out and doesn't sacrifice our values. We have to learn how to answer simple questions about Islam. Without this, even with all the other personal growth training that's out there, we will never be able to step up some way or another we will sabotage our own success. Because we know in the back of our minds that we don't want to put ourselves in a situation where we might get asked something. And so what we do is we just stay in a bubble. We isolate ourselves. And this is not how we want to live. This is not how we want to spend our money.

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Life because it is

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it curbs our happiness, it curbs our fulfillment, and it is also not pleasing to Allah, that we should go through our entire life and face him. And when we're asked, What do you do with all the things I gave you? We have no answer to that. Right? We don't want to be in that situation where Allah gave us all of these talents. And we're hiding, just because we didn't know how to talk about our faith. And the last one is, please, I'm sorry. Are we going to go through how to get to there? Because it's beautiful, the end the future? It is going to be how do I make my mind strong? How do I get inner confidence and peace?

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Yes, so what I'm going to do in today's session, in the short time that we have, is, I'm going to give one

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one tip for each of these things perfect. So I won't be able to go into a whole lot of detail, but I have isolated one thing that I will share for each one inshallah. Excellent. Because I was like, this is dream come true. But okay, how do we do that? Right? That's the big question. Exactly. And I and I do hope inshallah to leave the your listeners with, with some tips for that, inshallah. And then the last one is developing the mindset of someone who is able and willing to step up and contribute, making it a purpose and a mission in your life to say that, whatever Allah gave me, I'm going to use it in some way, whatever that is, for me, right now, even if you're busy, even if you

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already have a lot of responsibilities, there is so much work to be done. And so I'm not talking about, you know, using every free minute to go and volunteer, but at least to find something that you're passionate about, that you can help in some way with. And if you do these things, what we find is that

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this is a complete solution that helps us deal with all of our challenges in a balanced way. So we are not saying that personal growth means you just focus on yourself, you don't care about anybody else.

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You know, it's just me, me, me, that's not what we're saying. We're also not saying that just pray all day long. And don't worry about the world. And Allah will just magically take care of things for you. We're saying that we need a balanced approach, that we have to give time and care and attention to all of these different things. And again, as I've said, this is not something that changes overnight. It's something that we dedicate and commit ourselves to as a lifelong process. But if you do that, you will have milestones along the way, you will have these aha moments where you will notice a change in yourself. And you will see the progress happening. And as long as you focus on

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progress and not perfection, I guarantee you will be given allow with the help of Allah, you will start to see changes in your life for the better.

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So the system that I have developed to help Muslim women achieve the best version of themselves, without burning out and without sacrificing their faith is what I call the five C's of personal growth. And the five C's of personal growth. This is again, a comprehensive system that addresses the inner aspects of our growth, as well as the outer aspects. And so what I'm going to do now, briefly, is I'm going to go through each one. And I'm going to give you one specific strategy that can help you with each of these. And then Inshallah, at the end, I will recap all five of those strategies. And then that's where I'm going to turn it over to you to decide what you want to do

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with this. You know, do you want to take these and try to implement at least one of them? I'm not even saying to do all five. But are you willing to implement even one small fraction of what you learned today? And the reason I'm asking you that question now is because I want you to go into the rest of this presentation with that commitment to yourself, not to me, not to the Chifa but to yourself to say, I am going to listen to these strategies, and I am going to commit to picking at least one that I will implement starting today. Because no matter how much I teach you, your life is not going to change until you decide to change, right? And we know this from the Quran surah number

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11 where Allah says that Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. Right, exactly.

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So this is something that is no one can do this for you.

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others can give you the knowledge to do it like I'm doing today. But the actual steps are something that only you can do for yourself, that's a gift that only you can give to yourself. So these five C's that I just showed you, they relate to each of the five challenges. And what I'm going to do now is go through them in shallow one by one. And before I do that, I want to point out here to you how the first two seas, they cover the inner aspect of our growth. And then the last three seas cover the outer aspects.

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And why this is important is that a lot of personal growth approaches, they only focus on the inside, they only focus on helping you feel better, but they don't show you how to change the the outer aspect of your life. And then there are approaches that only focus on the outter stuff. But then they totally neglect the mindset and the emotional resilience that you need in order to make it all work. So what's unique about this approach is that it covers all of those things.

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So let's go through these one by one, the first C, the first and most important thing that we must do for our own personal growth, if we are going to live the best version of ourselves is to connect with Allah. And the one strategy that I want to leave you with today in this first see.

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There's so many things we could do with this one, right. But the one thing I want to leave you with the one practical thing that you can do starting today is to begin by learning the names of Allah. And why do I emphasize that? The reason I emphasize that is because when we know Allah, we cannot help but love him.

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And when we know and love Him, we cannot help but want to obey Him and trust Him. Sister Ayesha, have you heard any of my, what I this is exactly what I teach the woman our year of knowledge. It's amazing. I was like sub hypo law. And and just like a declaration, I really didn't know anything about the presentation. I'm loving every moment of it. And just just if you allow me Just to add, because in our year of knowledge program, we are teaching our feeder creed. And our Peter is usually for anyone who studied STEM studies, usually one of the most challenging ones, because there's a lot of its philosophy, its history, it's everything. But we moved it and changed it the way to present

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it is literally how to know Allah and Subhan Allah, the highest number of the students attend this is in that class.

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Because that's exactly what I say all the time to myself, if you know who he is he capital H there is no reaction other than you will love him. And submit to him willingly. Willingly, I will never ask why an F. And absolutely trust in Him. Subhanallah I love this slide. Absolutely. About Jackie louka. Very straightforward. No him. And one of the other ways if you allow me to add, and especially when you're very busy Look around you. Every time you see a beautiful scene, and just say one thing Who are you you're Allah, that you created all this beauty. We don't want to just say wow, or even when you muslim say subhanallah beautiful, but really feel it? And then if that is the

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product, who is the creator? Subhanallah beautiful. I love that slide. Absolutely just cycle affair. Thank you so much. And you're absolutely right. You know, it really does. There's nothing more important than this. Right? They say that. For the believer, the greatest delight is knowing Allah, that's the greatest delight. And and and why this is important is because a lot of times we try to reverse the order. We try to convince people to obey Allah and trust Allah without telling them who he is who he is. So not only are these four things important, but they have to happen in this order. Right? We have to know Him. And as you said so beautifully. Once we know him, our heart cannot help

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but love him. Absolutely. Right. So so this is the foundation of our personal growth. This is this is point A, this is where we start. If we don't have this, we have nothing.

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You can teach me all the strategies all day long. But if I don't know my Lord, and if I don't love him, and if I'm not connected to him, then I cannot deal with anything in this life in a way that will be pleasing to Him. So that

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That's the first thing. So Pamela, and also, you know, scheffau, what I would add to that, too, is that this is the ultimate superpower of a believing woman. You know, it's not in trying to be masculine or acting aggressive. You know, when we think of this notion of being strong, sometimes as women we think that will feminine is weak, masculine is strong. So if I'm more like, a man than I can feel, that's not it at all.

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We can access unbelievable strength, while still honoring our feminine nature that Allah made us with, when we connect with him. Right? When we find strength in him, and not in trying to be something that we are not having one of one of the ways if you allow me, Are we one of the names of Allah, these strong? No power, no strength? Except what he has five connected to the source of strength? Of course, I'm strong. So Panama. Absolutely, absolutely. So so this is the most important thing, if you leave today's session with nothing else, if all you remember, is, I need to know Allah, I need to know my lord, you will have left with a big treasure, right? So that's the first

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seed. Now the second see is care for yourself.

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By this, I don't mean buying expensive things or going to the spa. Although if that's what you enjoy, by all means, fine. It's okay. It's okay.

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But what I mean by care for yourself, is something much, much deeper. What I'm talking about here

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is understanding how the mind works, and where our feelings come from.

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As long as you think that your feelings come from your circumstances, you will never be happy.

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Until this shift happens, where you can see that

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the way that my coach says it, Catherine Jones, she's an Australian convert. And the way she says it is feelings come from thought in the moment and nowhere else. The day you understand that not just intellectually, but the day you really internalize this knowledge, your whole life will be different. I know it was for me.

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The heaviness of negative thinking and overthinking, is lifted. And if you're anything like me, I'm a type A person, I tend to be very analytical, I tend to think a lot

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this can really be a life changer, is once you start to understand the real nature of your mind. And for us as Muslim women, the reason that this one is so important is because when we don't understand how our minds work, we sometimes think we have weakened on. So when we struggle with negativity, we interpret that as I must not have very strong emotion, when in fact, that's not it at all. It's more a case of you don't understand the nature of your mind, the nature of feelings and the nature of thought. Once you get that, then you will no longer be a prisoner of your negative thinking. And it's not going to be

00:38:28--> 00:38:57

it's not, it's not where you're trying to push back with negative thinking by using positive thinking, although that can be helpful. to a limited extent. It's it's deeper than that. It's where you realize that whether it's a negative thought, or a positive thought, it's all just thought. It's not reality. It's how I'm thinking about reality. And it can't hurt me unless I give it the power to do that. Right. So it really helps you take back

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control over your knifes and not be a slave of it. And so the one strategy that I want to share with you here, there are so many that we can apply. But the one strategy that I want to share with you is meditation.

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And I'm not going to get into any specific methods. There's so many out there. For me personally, I started learning meditation as a teenager from my grandfather. And since then I've had many teachers and I've studied myself as well.

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But this practice, in a nutshell is about dropping into the present moment. And simply observing what's happening around you. Whether that's the sensations in your body, whether that's the thoughts that are crossing through your mind, whether that's the sounds in the room, whatever it may be. And for us as Muslims, this practice can have a deeper significance than just helping you get calm, right. That's one benefit of meditation. But for us

00:40:00--> 00:40:02

If you really think about it,

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what we are doing is we are letting go and putting our trust in Allah, that moment by moment what is happening is not up to me, it is only up to him. And that as a believer, I want to release my mind knifes, I want to release the controlling aspect of my nature, and submit and surrender to the One who created me. So that's really what the what this is about for us as Muslims, and why it is such a powerful strategy. So that's the one thing I want to leave you with. If you if you allow me, Sr, I should because there's a very nice comments which I was about to say. Maybe meditation may take us to because it is used by other faiths and other practices, but it's definitely part of Islam, but

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maybe it's not called meditation. It's actually called zikr of Allah remembering Allah and one of the comments which is absolutely true Salah itself if I do it properly, not that two minutes Salah that we do it very quickly if I do it properly, specially night salah. Absolutely, it's meditation, reading Quran with focus. And one of the best way of meditation, especially for those of us who are very busy is to reflect on the things around you. And don't look don't see the external, only see the inner of it. And then that will make you think around you and get out from yourself. So again, it's very nice. And a lot of comments on the chat about the vicar Sala remembering Allah halwa spent

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time alone. And I mean alone with nothing, no phone, no distractions, no internet, just 510 minutes daily morning, evening as car, all these are parts of the practice of Rasul Allah is auto center, and absolutely help us to focus inward on ourselves and move us emotionally and even physically. Does that know his beautiful commit? Yeah, that's the question.

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Yeah, so Exactly. And just to follow on to what you said, you know, when we take some time in our day to just be in solitude, to just quiet the mind to just breathe, right. So we're not talking about imitating anything from any other tradition, I want to be very clear about that, that we have our own tradition, which we are very proud of. But as a mental health practice, without, you know, using any chance of any other, you know, faith or anything like that. Just simply being in silence is such a powerful way to improve our concentration in prayer, to improve our ability to not get caught up in our thinking, right. So all of these benefits we can find, when we when we take up a

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regular practice of meditation. And then the next one is commit to your growth. So what do I mean by by this? This is where we look at each area of our life.

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And we try to examine how we are spending our time on a daily basis.

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Something that John Maxwell said, really stuck with me. And that was, you will never change your life until you change what you do daily.

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Before I came across this quote, in his book on personal growth, what I used to assume is that success happens in leaps and bounds. I used to assume that people, they just something really big happens for them one day, and then everything just gets really easy.

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And what I realized was that no success, whether it's worldly success, or spiritually, getting closer to Allah, any of those things, we have to work on them every day. It is not a one time thing. It's not one day, something big happens. And that's it, even if something big happens, but we're not able to build on it. And really make get the most benefit from it. Unless we focus on how and what we are doing every single day. So the daily habits is what the third C is all about.

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And you know what I teach this I go into a lot of detail, we look at six different areas and, and we do a whole, you know, we look at where you're at and all of those areas, and we go through a lot of steps, but in a very simple way. Something that every one of your listeners if she wants, if she chooses to, can do this today right now for herself, is

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think about one or two new habits, that if you started doing those today, they would make the biggest difference in your life. I'm not asking you to pick five or 10 I'm not asking you to change you

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Know your entire day overnight, I'm not asking you to schedule every minute of the day, believe me, I've tried those things, and I failed miserably. So do not try that.

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It does not work.

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In fact, I can tell you, when I was a little kid, in elementary school, I used to come home when the summer vacation would start. And I would write down, I would take out a piece of paper. And I really, I didn't like the fact that I was just wasting my time. And I wanted to be more productive. So I would make a schedule for myself, okay, this was an elementary school, I would make a schedule for myself of how I was going to use every minute of the day. From the time I woke up to the time I slept, and I had Quran in there and I had prayer in there, and I had exercise, I don't know what else was in there, good lots and lots of things, I can tell you, sadly, that I never followed it for

00:45:57--> 00:46:44

a single day, not a day. And because I wasn't wanting to quit, I tried this year after year. So I said, Okay, this is the year where I'm going to stick to a schedule, and I would pull out my piece of paper, I would sit at the kitchen table, I would make my schedule. And once again, I would fail. So I can tell you from experience that when you try to make too many changes at one time, it does not work, all you do is overwhelm yourself, and you program yourself to think that I am not someone who can be productive. You know, other people can do it, but I can't do it. And that's not what I want for you. So I'm stressing really that do not pick more than one or two, even one is is even

00:46:44--> 00:46:44

better.

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And when you limit the habits to just one or two, what happens is, you really have to be very deliberate. And really think through what is going to make the biggest difference. So you have to be very careful, right? It really makes you reflect on your life right now, what your goals are. And what's the one thing so I'll share for you, you know, an example, that there was a time for me, where, you know, the one thing that I wanted to do was stay up after fajr.

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Or there was a time where the one thing I wanted to do was read adjust a day.

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There was a time when I said Oh Allah, if you give me the budget, I will never be scared of anything in my life ever again. I will never be intimidated by any problem ever again. And so Allah is Al Karim, when you turn to Him, and you ask for these things, he will grant you, right. But you have to really look honestly at your life and say what's the one thing that's going to make the biggest difference? And I invite each of your listeners to to do that tonight as take out a piece of paper and ask yourself what is one habit, that's going to make the biggest difference for me.

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So those are the first three C's. So we talked about the first one was connect with Allah. The second one was care for yourself. And the third one was committed to your growth. So now we have the last two C's remaining. So the fourth one is communicate effectively. And the one and what I mean is communicate effectively about Islam. As I said earlier, until we learn how to talk about our faith in a calm and confident manner, we are always subconsciously going to hold ourselves back. And so the one specific strategy because there's so much knowledge out there that we could gain right. But the one specific thing that I want to leave you with when it comes to communicating effectively, is

00:48:56--> 00:49:51

to learn how to answer common questions about women. And there's a couple of reasons for that. One is that the stereotype that Islam oppresses women, is the most prevalent stereotype among our fellow Americans when it comes to our faith, even people who identify as Democrat. Research by rethink media shows that 30% of those Americans believe in this stereotype. Whereas the second most prevalent stereotype, which is that Islam promotes violence. It's a much smaller percentage of people who believe that, but the one about women is very, is very common. It's not just common among non Muslims, but sadly among our youth. Muslim youth know that Islam does not preach violence. They

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know that that stereotype is wrong. But the stereotype about women is one that sadly does affect a lot of youth. So we

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Need to learn as mothers?

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You know how to answer these types of questions related to women in Islam? Because as Muslim women, we are going to get questions about women, you may or may not get questions about other things. But you will get asked about women in Islam. So what I would say here is find, you know, one or two of the most common questions. If you're someone who wears a job, then you've probably been asked at some point, why do you wear that? Just take that one question and research it, find all the different answers that you can, and then decide, what is the answer that you are going to give. And I would say even memorize it, so that it is right there in your back pocket ready at any time. When

00:50:48--> 00:51:12

someone asks you this question, you want it to be factually correct. But you also want it to be something that feels authentic to you, right? Because there's not like one single way of answering these questions. So that's why I say do a little bit of research and decide, you know how you're going to answer this so that no matter where you are, you never have to feel insecure about how you're going to answer it.

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No, in the past, it was enough for us as Muslims to just know how to practice our faith, in order to be Muslim. That's all we needed. But in today's time, where there's so much negativity and doubt about Islam, and even about religion in general, we, we need to know not just how to practice Islam, but also how to communicate about Islam. This is now a basic life skill that we need to have not just to communicate with non Muslims, but even our fellow Muslims. So just simple answers to simple questions. We're not talking about trying to be a scholar or being an expert. But just using some basic knowledge, how can we have some friendly conversations with other people. And and as I

00:52:00--> 00:52:40

mentioned earlier, this skill is not usually included in personal growth programs. But I'm including it here because as Muslim women, particularly those of us who live in the US, we've got to have these basic skills. Otherwise, we will always hold back and play small. For example, these are some like real life situations where you might hold back if you don't know how to answer basic things, you might avoid raising your hand in meetings at work, because you want to just stay under the radar and you don't want people to notice you. You might avoid making eye contact with other people at the grocery store. Because again, you don't want to be asked a question, you might avoid going to your

00:52:40--> 00:52:51

child's PTA meetings or their little league games. Because again, what if someone asks you something what if they comment on something and you freeze or you get awkward, or you say something in a rude way,

00:52:52--> 00:52:58

you might avoid volunteering in the community, even though there's things that you really care about, right.

00:52:59--> 00:53:13

So these are some practical and real ways that not having some basic communication skills can affect our lives. And so that's why this fourth C is so important.

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The last and final C is contribute, if we are going to live the best version of ourselves. We as Muslim women, we cannot live in a bubble. We have to find some way to step up. And why is that? Why is that so important? Because Allah didn't create us just to eat, sleep, work and pray. Right? Other people have a right over us as well. When we contribute, and I don't mean contribute, like give a donation, although that can be part of it. But I mean, contribute your time and your talent.

00:53:55--> 00:54:05

When we do that we not only benefit other people, but we also grow ourselves. So it's becomes a part of our own personal growth. And it's also pleasing to Allah.

00:54:09--> 00:54:52

So the one strategy that I want to leave you with in the area of contribution is to find one cause that you care about, and find one way that you can volunteer. So that could be your local Masjid. That could be your local food bank, that could be a candidate that's running for office, it could be any number of things, but find one thing and decide today that you're going to look for at least one way to help in that cause. And what you will find, as you implement all of these is that your life will become much more richer, much more satisfying.

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Even though you will be doing more maybe than you're doing now. There will be a level of

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satisfaction that you simply don't have right now. And and what I want you to know is that it is entirely possible, it is entirely possible to do all of these things in a way that you're still there for your family, because that's our number one responsibility as as women, as women, right is to be there for our families. And so what I'm saying is that you can do that. And you can also use the talents Allah gave you so that when you stand in front of him on the day of judgment, and you are asked about what you did with the things he gave you, you actually have something to answer with, right? You're not just hanging your head in shame and saying, oh, Allah, I just kept it all to

00:55:45--> 00:56:32

myself, because I thought that's what you wanted. Right? Yeah, this is actually beautiful. And share something about Islam and volunteer, I probably will say these, these can come together. And I think this is the most common opportunity. And always in the teachings in the classes with the woman, I say, not everybody can be a dad and give lectures and travel and do it's not practical. And even if you go back to the time of Ross Wallace, auto Serrano, the Sahaba not everyone did the same. We're not copy and paste, each one of us is similar to the other that were exactly I say this The following grocery shop, you are filling gas, your car, the gas station, most of us mothers, you go

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and pick up your child from the school, you are in that client, there's always this opportunity where you have to take advantage of it, you have to take advantage. And if you don't know how, and again, this is from my personal I always ask Allah Jad, that moment is making me say that I think, use me to please you, and you never know how this happens. And third, I will add, especially for the woman, always try to be positive and pleasant.

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It's a shyness is beautiful. But that doesn't mean China's I am not going to be saying anything you are in that client. And then you are putting that they are this scanning your your things. Just say okay, you want me to for example, bag them. And then they will look at yours like wow, this is especially if you are wearing hijab and um, you said it beautifully. If you are a woman who is obviously a Muslim, or even if you are if you if you look neither you if you look different, and you know what I mean? Always try to think the person in front of you knows nothing about Islam. Yes, most of the people, it's ignorance, it's not like they, they really don't like us, most of them,

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they don't know anything about it. This is my opportunity in this two minutes with this person, maybe that's it, this is my lifetime opportunity to change the mind of this person she already about a Muslim woman. And this makes you going to make you feel exactly it's a personal growth much, much, not much. You will feel you have you done something and that's how you contribute. There's many ways of contributing but to always ask Allah Subhana Allah the moment you leave your home, that's your Allah in this journey. Use me in the way that pleases you. I really loved your five C's SR eyes. It's really nice. So we have questions. Are we done with the presentation? Are they so we are done?

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So there's just

00:58:32--> 00:58:40

so there's a question here. How can a mother with toddlers have full concentration? In the salah? True.

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I love that question.

00:58:45--> 00:58:47

My voice is echoing.

00:58:48--> 00:58:58

It's fine. We can hear you all humbler? Okay, good. It's interesting, that question because the other day I was in a workshop on the inner dimensions of Salah

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by Shiva model Shoukry. And he got the exact same question was a young mother said, you know, we're talking about her shoe. I want her shoe. But I have little kids and the minute I start praying, they start crying or they start they need something, right.

00:59:17--> 00:59:59

And what I would say and what I shared that day in the class was that we want to start small. So if you are in a phase of life, where you have young children, then who shoe insula for you might happen in brief moments, for you to expect that you will go from the beginning to the end of your prayer and not have any interruptions. You're just setting yourself up for disappointment. But what you can achieve and this comes back to having some sort of practice of mindfulness or meditation is that even in brief moments during that Salah if you can get to a place where your mind can be quiet

01:00:00--> 01:00:22

And you can achieve that stillness, then consider that as a win, celebrate every small win that you have, instead of thinking about a prayer of his shoe as being one without interruption, if that's how you define it, you will never achieve it, as long as your kids are still young. But if you define it differently to say that,

01:00:24--> 01:00:34

can I be still, even if there's noise around me? Can I remember that in this moment, I'm having a conversation with my Creator.

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And can I do some strategies so that I can empty my mind before I enter into this prayer.

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And any type of personal growth that you do, whether you're a mom of small children, whether you're a middle aged woman, whether you have no children, there are going to be aspects of your life that are challenging for you, given where you are, and what you're going to have to do is have some patience with yourself, have some grace and gratitude for whatever little you're able to achieve. And if you give things to Allah for the little wins, he will make them grow. So that's the best advice I can give. If I want to add, also.

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Every moment in our life, every stage in our life, there's a form of a better form of worship to Allah subhanaw taala. So the mother of a toddler, her form of worship to Allah subhanaw taala is taking care of these toddlers, don't compare yourself with a mother, who her children went to college, and now has all the time for herself. And she can pray for an hour or two or can do this. So basically, we're and there's a very famous spiritual quote, it says, Only hi to Allah Killa stand up where Allah put you. So if Allah put Yeah, that's very good. It's a, I think it's even about secondary. So if Allah subhanaw taala, in 2021, you are a student in college, and you have all these

01:02:08--> 01:02:52

long classes and all this, you're not going to have time to do the SATA for hour or two. And he doesn't expect you that because that's not realistic. But anyway, as a student, that's where you're a bad is how you're presenting yourself as a student, or as a mother, the same thing. And back to the toddler question, which is so true. And I remember and this happens to me even up till this day, is the phone doesn't ring the moment I say Allahu Akbar, the hospital call me and I was like, Subhan Allah. But then I say, Allah, you have a reason for that. Yeah. Because everything happens with Allah has permission, we have to remember this first thing connect with Allah. So however, these

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stories are not up 24/7 And is what I say to myself, the phone doesn't ring 24/7 So there has to be some time night solder when they are asleep during the day, and pick up that time and focus on your Salah there, then it becomes a habit. You know, I'm sure a lot of our

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viewers you have always struggled with not closing your eyes in the sauna. And then gradually the more you well, then it becomes habit. And you always look at those Imams. It's like how can they read them? They're not closing their eyes, it turned to be is all practice practice. So where are you are you worship Allah who had he puts you not where you want to be one and grasp the opportunity when you have peace and quietness in the house and focus on your Salah. The last thing and again, I don't want to take too much of your time. But this question was I it was also always the the million dollar question. And one of the best answers I have heard is what you are outside. Sora is what you

01:03:53--> 01:03:54

are inside sauna.

01:03:55--> 01:04:22

If you are focused on Allah outside Salah when the baby is crying, and you're getting overwhelmed, the immediate response to Allah helped me to calm down this baby, then you are connected with Allah when you go and say Allahu Akbar, you are connected with Allah. Exactly. Now, this is really nice. And we will get to over that I if you if you allow me in the viewers Allow me. Maybe we have couple of other comments here.

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Let's see.

01:04:27--> 01:04:35

If you want to add something to life, find out some more very nice comments here. Let me just read it. Do you want to add anything else to that Asia?

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The only thing I wanted to end with I hope that that was beneficial. These are the five strategies that I shared. And then the last thing I maybe I'll come back on another time and talk more about the hobbies for sure. I'm telling you. I'm just wanting to leave you with my website in case you want to learn more. And you can also connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

01:05:00--> 01:05:41

Yeah, shall we now after listening to this, this is really needed. We probably will maybe plan a longer course through Jamna Institute to our students or so I want to remind everyone two things I want to really thank everybody may Allah reward you if you allow me. You know, Sal, Sr, I sure thank you for your support for last week Tuesday Giving Tuesday 100 Lucha Libre and me as always, Muslims are very generous. May Allah reward you and may Allah make us grateful to all what he gives us, Europe be me. And number two is as you see it on here is a humbler brand me Allah finally allowed it to happen. We're taking a group for Amara, and it's actually not only woman but we are also taking

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families now. If hamdulillah Harami is in January, and for the very common question that we are getting is can woman go to Amara without Maha scholars differed? The main idea the scholars who allowed it is if safety is not an issue, safety is guaranteed. So you're going with a group of four men, you're going with a very respectable well known agency Darussalam has probably most of the people know them here in the States and Canada, then scholars have allowed it again, but there is a difference of opinion. And you can come with your family now you can come with your Mahan to Zach Miller here started his sister Ayesha does Akela okay, this was really nice. And may Allah subhanaw

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taala allow us to learn and to implement and inshallah we will have you more again Zack moolah everyone please forgive us for going over time but it was really nice Subhanak Alohomora behind the shadow Allah Allah and I stuck Furukawa to Bulik solo Allah say now Muhammad Ali. He was happy to Sleeman Kathira deserved