Channel: Haleh Banani
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Salam Alaikum and welcome to mindful Ramadan. 2021 fairness is something that all of us desire, we want it in our relationships, we want to be treated fairly, whether we're in school or at work or in any situation and when that whenever there is a preferential treatment or if there's any form of prejudice, it really hurts us internally. So it's very important for us to be mindful of the level of fairness that we apply in our lives and in our relationships. So today I have my dear friend or Sarah Jose machete coming on set on my Neko aren't going to sit down with a lawyer but I get to Holly it's such a pleasure again to be with you always have to do I love the arts program. I love
what you do. Mashallah. So,
thank you so much. Well, you're a guest speaker, Mashallah. And our mindful Ramadan and mindful Hearts Academy. We've benefited from Mashallah, all the work that you've done with the purification of the hearth and also emotional intelligence, it's been so enriching. Michelle, I'd love to go over to the home Did you topic, you know, Michelle led something that I as an individual, I mean, on individual level, of course, as you said, we all want fairness, but also, as a mother and a teacher, it's something I emphasize almost all the time, right? We're always reminding our kids to be fair with one another when they were younger, and their play the way that they treated each other, even
as they're growing to her awareness that your needs should never come before the needs of other which is in fact, you know, again, going back to our promises to them, this is a fundamental core teaching I want for your brother or sister what you want for yourself. So I think that's just it. You know, to me, that's the formula that really can help people understand the value of justice is that if you want something, don't think that another person doesn't deserve it? Or does it? You know, shouldn't get it too, they likely want the same thing, right.
And sorry to interrupt, but that one had these if we apply that alone, it would change everything, wouldn't it? Like just worldwide? If we just apply what we want we do for others, then we would do we just have better relationships, we would have peace and everything would work so beautifully. So pod Allah, which is why you know, we have to go back to the basics and really learn our nature. Because the knifes and shavonne when they work together, they're incredibly selfish. Right? This is part of our Mujahid of that struggle that we all have is to not be selfish. And if you look at you know, all of the profits you'll find story after story after story where they're told they're you
know, exemplifying for us this act of selflessness and how to be selfless how to put the needs of other people before our own. I mean, when I look at think of the prophesies and the fact that you know, he had many of his virtues he had all his life not just after prophecy, right? We talked about truthfulness, Mashallah that those were certainly, you know, things that he was known for before prophecy, but in addition, also His justice. And I remember reading that his witness honey Miss idea, she noted that even when he was an infant, he would not take the milk until his his milk brothers drank first Subhan Allah right, the fact that Allah gave him that, you know, that was just
a quality of his and she noted that I mean, you know, you when you're nursing, multiple children, you see habits and she was like, that's the habit of ism lists until his brothers drink first, he doesn't drink so patola. And then, of course, so many other stories throughout his, his life where he's always preferring other people before himself. One of my favorite Hadeeth is when uncle Herrera was this was during in the meccan period when they were starving. And we all know how challenging that time was when the sanctions were put on the Muslims and they were boycotted, and they had nothing support on nothing. And to imagine the proper size set up, you know, starving and, and, and
just really unbearable to imagine what they went through. They had to tie rocks, right on their stomachs and so many things, but even in those states of absolute starvation, if there was ever something presented to him a morsel of food, a bowl of milk, something, he would share it with everyone else, and he would be the last one to drink sopapilla so we can learn so much from this selflessness from him, but that's the core issue of justice of fairness is if you can get beyond your own knifes, and see another and see them as also having needs, then you will live by this rule of wanting for them what you want for yourself. But when we're too self absorbed, I think our needs
are. You find that many people suffer from narcissism where they're so self absorbed, they're only thinking, how can this person benefit me? Right? They're not thinking
about their benefit to others. And, yes, when we focus on the fact that every single everything that we do, Allah is observing and it we're going to be held accountable. I think that sense of accountability, if someone is really vigilant about that, that's what's going to keep us in line, that it's not just getting away with it, we're going to be held accountable. And that's what should really make us be completely watchful, watchful of what we're doing 100% because at the end of the day, you cannot stuffer the trick a lot, right? And the idea that maybe you got away with something with another person, but that you, like you said, you're in the clear, it's just, it's delusional,
because Allah knows what was in your heart, right knows that you had a mal intent, he knows you were selfish, she knows you were not caring about the other person, and not even not caring. It's one thing to be apathetic, you know, just look out for yourself. But it's a whole other thing to be malevolent and malicious, and really not, and not care about the consequences or the suffering of another person, so that you could advance yourself, right, which is people do this all the time. Like with careers, you know, you'll see in workplace I've heard of horrific stories, where someone will literally sabotage another person, because they want to get ahead in a position or promotion.
And so you sabotage your co workers, or, you know, friends, I've seen friends, you know, when it comes to marriage, elder that really sad but you know, sometimes single people, they may want you not against each other, they probably can sometimes their own best.
Because it's this again, self absorption is the issue and you cannot just and be and be selfish, it just doesn't work. They're not compatible. Right? So you have to be a good point. Yeah, right. You have to make it
right in and that's why you'll see that people who are who are truly just are always thinking of other people. It's not necessarily like people on the front lines of social justice causes, right? People who will do advocacy work people, social workers, you see all these people who are out there advocating for the poor, the weak, the, you know, that the impoverished or the vulnerable, but they're not they're doing those things, asserting their their, you know, justice and wanting the rights of another. So because they're not really it's not about them, you know, it's not callings, usually they're underpaid, they're overworked, right? So it's like when you see people in those
positions, you can really see that their nature Mashallah is to look out for the benefit of other people. Whereas people who are in professions or in lifestyles, where they're, it's all about acquiring for themselves. It's all about me, I want the high paying salary, I want the, you know, the the trophy wife, her husband, I want the big house, I want the nice car. So I will justify doing whatever it takes to get there. And And nowadays, with social media, that's a whole other thing, right? Because it's fame, everybody can be famous and popular. So it's not just material wealth anymore, it's status and clouds, the people chase it, but that when they do those things with the
mind of just self promotion, you will likely be unjust, it's just kind of they go together, right? You're not caring about the consequences of your actions as it affects other people. And this is really, unfortunately, a big, big problem in today's world. Because, you know, I think that like justice costs are when we think of, you know, fairness and injustice, when we look at on a micro level or a macro level, right? Right level, it's about our relationships with one another and just having those transactions in those and those rules in our homes, with our relationships, where it's about equity and fairness. Right. That's, that's something we can I think most of us inshallah we we
incline towards a we want, we still struggle with that. Certainly there's a lot of oppressive homes and oppression that happens inside homes. But I think inshallah, that's that's one form of looking at this topic. But then the macro level is also another thing that we have to remember because the last part is a tells us right? And they'll put out in sort of an ISA, he says, Yeah, eval, Edina, mn okuno, kawamata, budapesti shuhada, Allah, oh, you will believe be persistently standing firm in justice as witnesses for Allah. So this idea that this is just who Muslims should be just people, fair people, it's how we should identify ourselves right? On both levels, macro and micro. Right. I
love that. I love that you distinguish it? Because on a micro level, when you see in the families, whenever there is unfairness, right? Whenever there is preferential treatment, or there's favoritism, you find that it breeds so much jealousy, so much tension in the household, and sometimes it's amongst the in laws, there might be preferential treatment. And so we have to be so cautious of that. There are times that people wonder, why is there so much animosity or hatred amongst people? Well, it's because of the unfairness, right? I can't tell you the number of clients that will come to me and they're they're Mito in their 40s, maybe 50s. And they
Still traumatized by some of the unfairness that happened in their households, and it's still continuing to this day. So we do need to be definitely aware of that within our households within how we treat others. And and then if we're aware of it, I think in each household, then it won't happen so overtly.
I love that you brought that up is that there is absolutely a connection, right. And I've seen the same, I've observed the same how we are in our homes with our children. And I always like to put it back on the parents because it's an Amana, right, parenting is an Amana. So if you don't establish this fairness, and there's justice early on, then like you said, you breed has said, you breed all those diseases in the hearts of your children. And then that self preservation that kind of we all have right will justify behaviors that are unjust, and then it has a broader impact in there in the world as that person becomes an adult and goes into other relationships. So this is how these things
permeate in society and affect the world at large. And it's interesting, because right now, in the modern world, a lot of people are very caught up in social justice causes, right. And so we're looking at that macro level issue of justice, but we're not making the connection, that it starts in the home, you cannot have, you know, abusive homes, you cannot have domestic violence homes or homes where again, like you said, there's preferential treatment, or between, you know, multi sibling households. And this certainly occurs, and sometimes on the most superficial levels, either, but I'm sure you've heard, I've had friends who suffered a lot, because maybe they weren't as attractive, or
they were darker skinned God, then then their siblings, they were mistreated for the most, I mean, I can't imagine, but I've heard it. And it's really painful to imagine that a parent would be more harsh, because their child doesn't measure up something, you know, doesn't look a certain way, or maybe isn't as good in their studies, or isn't as successful in other ways. But it happens with young children, all the bla and then it absolutely happens into adulthood. Right? Oh, heartful, I have seen instances where someone may even have maybe some pigmentation, some kind of health issue, mental health issue, and they're ostracized, and they are told that we're not going to take you this
one lady. I mean, it was, it was so heartbreaking, her mom would never take her to any event, any social event, because she was embarrassed of her. And so this is equally deeply damages a person's self esteem. And so definitely being aware of our biases, right, we may have certain biases, we just need to be aware of it, we need to do our best to treat our kids with with fairness, because obviously, some are going to excel in one areas, what some are going to be better academically, others are going to be maybe more talented in sports, and we really need to be, you know, aware of how we are treating them. And, and giving you it doesn't have to be the same exact attention. But
you have to make sure that you're aware of each person's feelings and you don't, you don't hurt them, and you don't make them feel neglected or ostracized in any way. Absolutely. And like the example you shared about that Mother, I mean, I think holding yourself into account of why you have those biases is
that is a purely selfish reasons your she was worried more about her own image, rather than than the feelings of her child, which is what I was saying earlier, you cannot be selfish, and just at the same time, it just doesn't work. Because you will always prefer your knifes over the feelings of another person, right? to really step back. And if you do see yourself and I'm speaking now, really to parents who have young children, because I, I see this unfortunately, you know, occur a lot where there, we allow, you know, these, these certain things to take hold in our homes, not realizing the greater impact. But as you said, How to just take yourself into account, think of your biases,
what's going on, and if you can arrive to, you'll likely arrive to the same conclusion that it's about me I'm, you know, this is, you know, I was I'm conditioned maybe to think, you know, of a certain behavior in a positive way, and then another behavior in a negative way. You know, for example, like, let's say you were raised in a household where you were very controlled, and you had to speak a certain way. And you were even, you know, a lot of our women from our cultures, for example, we weren't allowed to really be children, right? I mean, I don't know I feel like we're entered into adulthood very early on even our dresses, police, our behaviors, police's young girls,
whereas brothers are brothers, they can go out and get dirty, messy. Nobody cares what the boys in the family are doing. They walk in the house with guests, and they have dirt all over them. And it's like, oh, boys will be boys. But young girls are really pleased a lot. But if you were raised in a household like that, you may have two girls, let's say and I deal with this. I have some moms are like, Oh, my dainty, soft, you know, sweetheart girl was always like doing crowds and it's just playing with dolls was really quiet. She gets a lot of great treatment, whereas the girl who maybe has, the more you know, rambunctious energy is a little bit more
Loud is treated like she's, there's something wrong with her, you know, I just not being in tune with the fact that you were raised a certain way to think of a certain thing. But at the end of the day, they're children, they're in a state of play, and they have different temperaments, and they'd have different personalities, and your children are not always going to be extensions of you. Right? Don't make it about you live vicariously through your kids. That's
important lesson and parents here, right? Now, that's what critical we do, we have to be so aware of this, because so many people are not aware, they're doing this maybe mindlessly, right? They're just not conscious of it. And they don't realize the damage that it's causing. So just having that awareness, thank you for bringing it up and, and bringing it to everyone's attention so that they're more careful of this behavior. And I would also take it to the relationship and marital relationship, right, sometimes there's a double standard, and you'll find that, you know, they not holding each other, or holding only the other person accountable and not looking at yourself, right.
And it works both ways. Sometimes it is the man has the double standards and feels like you know, I don't have to ask for where I'm going or what I'm doing. And and sometimes it's the woman who you know, maybe holds her husband to a higher standard and expects more out of them and doesn't do the same. So we need to make sure that we are not falling into this, that we we don't have a double standard, whether that's with our spouse, or you know, with anybody because it's very distasteful when you find that someone is holding you accountable, and then they're not holding themselves.
And that's actually another trick of the next right because enough is so delusional that it can actually distort reality, and you only see the faults of another person and they're unjust. But then you completely are oblivious to your own behavior that may be in many times worse than what you're accusing them of. But because we're just not paying attention to our thoughts, or we don't hold ourselves accountable. And you know, it's very normal, people are always willing to point the fingers at other people and complain. But when it comes to self evaluation, we don't do it enough. And this, this feeds into the victim mindset, because the victim mindset only sees, you know, its
own problems as being relevant. But when you actually step back and say, you know, I'm capable of hurting people, even if I don't intend to, I am capable of doing it. And if someone's actually telling me that my behavior is offensive, or it's unfair or unjust, I cannot just dismiss those words, because I don't like to hear it. Right. I think criticism is really important. Sometimes we'd have to be willing as Muslims, especially to take criticism, as long as it's not coming from a source of, you know, false vote or just, you know, but it's really, you know, like in a marital context. I mean, nobody's going to a therapist, for, you know, the purpose of just trying to bash
their partner, I hope they're not I'm hoping that their intention, you know, they might be there to vent a little bit. But the goal isn't just to have a basket budget session, right? Let's hope that you're there for a resolution. But yeah, you might need to purge. So you would like to think that if they're being critical of you, there's a reason it's because their grievances are true. And and they actually want a resolution instead of just becoming defensive and thinking that there's no truth to what they're saying. That is, you know, this is again, goes back to human nature, knowing that our knifes can can absolutely take hold of us, if I let it. But when you do them a hassle by that self
accounting, yes, where you're actually taking your thoughts into consideration, and comparing and contrasting and listening, I always say, if you have, you know, the if there's multiple people in your life telling you the same thing, it's likely true, yes, if your children are complaining that you're certainly spouses, your mom, dad, likely true, it's like, and that's a, that's an excellent point, as far as being open to constructive criticism, and recognize that there are areas that we can always improve, there's always something that we can improve in ourselves. And I find that when I when I listen to that, then I find that you can get excited about instead of being, you know, hurt
or frustrated, be excited because you're about to improve, you're about to take your negative quality, and then somehow improve it so that that's a very, it's important, your perspective and what you said as far as you know, feeling victimized so my I get it, I've heard the stories, the heartbreaking stories of the unfairness of the injustice. I mean, it is it does happen and it's a reality. But what do you do with that, right? So you can either feel like you're a victim, and just feel sorry for yourself and have a chip on your shoulder and go around and just be angry at the world. Or you look at it as you know what, this is something that Allah wrote for me, and I want to
I want to take this and I want to improve myself or I want to learn from it. I want to somehow just that acceptance First of all, and then do something with it, right? I'd like some meaning
to it that way, you don't just sit there and feel bad for yourself, because the unfairness a lot of times leads to people feeling victimized and they get stuck in that feeling like a victim. Absolutely. I'm so glad you brought that up because this really does bring us back full circle, you know, in this month of Ramadan, really maximizing our time and using the opportunities that we have to call on Allah subhana wa Tada. That's another very, you know, accessible, proactive thing that we should be doing. Because as we know, right, there's a amazing Hadith I love but the Prophet Isom said, beware of the supplication of the oppressed, right? Even if he's an unbeliever. So even if the
person is an unbeliever, there's no screen between that person and Allah. So if you're truly in a situation where you're being oppressed, or you had a horrible, unjust injustice done to you don't feel powerless, you're certainly not powerless, regardless of what the person did to you, and how you may feel your daughter with a lesser part of that is incredibly strong, but be patient with his decree, because maybe the answer is not going to come to you in a slide. if let's say, again, your you know, your ex spouse did some horrific things to you left you in shambles left you with dead, you know, just ruined your name, number of things, right? When you just feel like Why? What did I do
to deserve this, and I'm so down, and instead of sinking further, like 100, beautifully articulated into that, you know, just
yeah, that victim mindset, don't do that. rather say Allah, this is your decree for me. But I can because I put my trust in you, I know that all justice will be served, right? At some point, nothing, nobody gets away with anything. And I'm not going to be defined by what happened to me. But rather, I'm going to be defined by how I come out of it, right, which is what they're saying, grow, come out of it with a new resolve. And you see a lot of people who have been through really horrific situations, it's like a phoenix rising, right, they have burned in the ashes, but then they find their path, they come out and they start a foundation, you know, supporting this or that or
something, but they take their tribulation, or their sense of oppression of injustice, and they turn it into something meaningful, right? That's the mindset we should absolutely be having. Absolutely. So inshallah, that we can really take that initiative to recognize where some unfairness has happened in our life, you know, we don't ever want to just ignore it or be in denial of it, we recognize that there's some unfairness, and then except the right accepted, and then if sometimes you need to get help to process it, but make some meat, you know, have meaning and purpose to it, and let it let it guide you in how you respond. or recognize and I what I really admire, and some of
the clients I've had, who have been maybe physically abused as a child, and they make the they have the result that they won't be, you know, perpetuating this, this abuse, they will end the cycle of abuse. And when that I find just so amazing when you don't just take it out like this happened to me, so I'm going to do it, and you are powerful enough to, to just stop that cycle of oppression or the cycle of abuse is really, it's powerful. It's very powerful. And I've I've seen many people do the same martial law. And that's, I think, when you really realize that all power is with a loss of power, that he is the most just, he's witness to everything, and you just surrender. And you know
that at the end of the day, this dunya is not a place where we might see a lot of, you know, things work out our way, because it's just a place of tribulation, a place of sorrow. But we do believe in an afterlife, we absolutely would certainly believe that all accounts will be settled there, then it just puts you in a state of You know what, I just have to be patient, and it'll come but instead of dwelling, and letting he believes right, because this is what he does, he loves to pull people down in those toxic, miserable states, instead of letting him do that, like you said, rise above have hope. And then you know, just turn over a new leaf in sha Allah and let that situation and the
justice you seek, be with, you know, leave it to Allah, it'll come and and as far as you know, those who are still in situations where you know, they may be doing this self evaluation, which we all should write about. And we should be really looking at ourselves. I would say take yourself into account because if you are being unjust with others, you likely are going to see that be done unto you. So hold yourself to a high standard, say I'm always going to be fair, I'm going to always try to prefer other people but these are these are prophetic qualities, right? I'm going to always want the happiness of another person before my own and watch how Allah soprano data will take care of
your needs for you. He will bring the helpers he will facilitate things for you in directions you didn't even know it was possible because your generosity is going to be rewarded. Whereas when you think of yourself only, you're just you're actually repelling people. Nobody likes the selfish, miserly, greedy person who did it for themselves.
Nobody likes to be around that talent. But you know, the other position of just being magnanimous and generous is prophetic, it's beautiful. And it's also going to benefit you. So at the end of the day, what you want out of this life, inshallah is easily facilitated with that spirit of justice and fairness, as opposed to self absorbed pneus and selfishness. Right? Absolutely, absolutely. And that, that's the beautiful reminder, and really is the critical point is that we may not see justice here, we may not, you know, ever get the apology, you may never get that, you know, you may never be forgiven, or you mean, never get the things that you expect in order to set things right. And it is
so critical not to take it in your own hands, not to try to set things straight not to be vengeful, because when you recognize that Allah is the best, and he is an audit, and he is the most fair, then it you just feel it's you know, you feel like you're in good hands, right? It's like putting your trust in, let's say someone is in deep trouble, or they've had they've been accused. And then you get the best lawyer, right, and you, you don't sit there and try to advise or say what to do, you sit back and let them do their thing, right, because you have full trust that they know what they're doing, and they will get you out of this. And when we recommend and Allah is above all examples, but
when we recognize that Allah will hold each person accountable. So if you have been wronged, if you have been mistreated, if you've been talked about it, whatever it is, you've gone through, just recognize that it's not over it is not over and justice will prevail, either in this vignette, or in the author. And when you when you have your IP, when you have certainty and all your heart about that, then you're not going to be fired up, you're not going to be hostile, you're not going to be bitter, because you know, that there's an afterlife, and there's going to be accountability. I mean,
martial law a lot fortify our hearts on me always remind us to just put Arthur wukan in him and and just inshallah I think the best of him, and he will prove that to us in this life. Absolutely. So the takeaway with in this month of Ramadan, we're going to be more and more focused about our treatment with our treatment towards others, that we make sure that we are being fair. And you beautifully said it by being selfless, right and recognizing remembering the headache that we need to want for our brother or sister what we want for ourselves, and and making sure that we don't fall into being unfair. And if there's been any unfairness we're going to be we're going to be patient
with it. Obviously, you don't want to tolerate abuse. That's not the message. But it's just about things you have no control over right things that have happened in the past and your childhood. And sometimes it's hard, maybe you can't set it straight. But it's being patient with that and knowing that you can rise above it and Sharla any parting words as far as as far as being fair and having justice? Michelle, you summed it up so beautifully. But I think you know, again, in a nutshell, we're Muslims, we're believers, we believe in the last part that we believe that he's capable of all things. We don't have the scarcity mindset, we're not selfish, we're not self absorbed. We're
generous. We're supposed to be generous people, we're supposed to be people that that want the common we'll the common benefit, the mutual benefit for all people. And so if we're not there yet, this is the month to put these things into practice, practice self restraint, practice controlling our knifes, right? We're not eating, we're not drinking, we're not getting into those base desires, I should also be in addition to suppressing all those base desires, we should let emerge these beautiful virtues which invite in in all of us, we just have to bring them out and trust and do it for the sake of Allah subhanaw taala beautifully said and I I love how you're tied into you know,
having that abundance mindset we're not going to be have the scarcity mindset or feel like we need to snatch from others so we can have more, we're going to have an abundance mindset, we're going to feel that the more I give, the more Allah is going to give to me and that's a beautiful, comforting mentality. And it makes you so relaxed and definitely you start treating people with a lot more fairness. So just like a lot of feta, I really do appreciate your contribution to to this Ramadan Mashallah mindful Ramadan 2021 you've been instrumental Mashallah and we really appreciate your valuable valuable insights, medical FET Always Always a pleasure and an honor and I pray that all
those products up to everyone's fast and prayers have been
the most Mubarak month you've ever had on me and I mean, it's like a Lafayette And may Allah reward you for all your efforts in sha Allah. Thank you so much, sir. Thank you. So I'm it. Thank you for tuning in. Everyone said I'm on a call