Channel: Haleh Banani
Ramadan Conference A-Z held at Islamic Center of Irving TX on May 8th 2016.
America in Malaysia with her contributions to psychology and Islam. So, that further ado, how they've been on
my day calm
smilla rahmanir rahim in the hamlet Illa Meadowhall when I say you know who when I stuck through when I was a biller, he moves sruti on foot to now women say tr mon in a maniac who follow him within the last one minute little fella howdy Allah wa shadow en la ilaha illallah wa shodhana Mohammed an actor who are a pseudo Armada. Every evil that we see in society is a result of lack of self control. Whether you think about someone committing a murder, stealing extramarital affairs, alcohol, drug abuse, anything you think of that is evil is a result of someone not being able to control themselves they take their desires after God and Allah says this fella wanna Rahim?
Isla Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, tata coonawarra, e. y keila? Have you seen the one who takes out his God, His own desires? then would you be responsible for him? Does this sort of work on I am number 43. So imagine if we had a society that's focused on training people not to be impulsive, not to have this excessive indulgences and have self control. And that for us is the month of Ramadan and hamdulillah It is really a boot camp for disciplining ourselves. It's a boot camp to discipline our heart to discipline our actions, our thoughts, everything and our hearts in order to improve ourselves. Now I'm going to share with you 10 psychological benefits of fasting because we all know
the spiritual aspect, Mashallah the shoe have reminded us of the benefits, the spiritual aspect, and we all get that Eamonn Ross, I'm going to talk from a more psychological perspective, and there are 10 of them. And each one what's really fascinating about it, is that it trains us it is the characteristics that we need to attain genda. So whatever the benefit is, that is a trait that we need to be able to attain to them. And it trains us to get to a stage where we have Taqwa because the whole purpose of Ramadan, established that taqwa where Allah says in the Quran, was
But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from unlawful inclination than a day, indeed, paradise will be his refuge. So we want to get to a point where we get these desires were tempted, and yet, we're going to be strong, because we're thinking about meaning our Creator, we have so much love and respect, and we're in awe of a lot, that we won't take those steps. And what's interesting about it is that, like I was saying how every psychological benefit is basically the characteristics that we need to attain junda. It's like a lot preparing us preparing us and giving us the tools we need. It's like, if you have final exams, right now, it's final exams
time, right? And you have teachers, teachers who really care about the performance of their students, they will give them some really tough preparation, tough preparation to ensure that they do well ensure that they will succeed on the test and what is the method? Okay, so
the first psychological benefit is discipline. First psychological discipline is discipline. Because anything that we do that required, any things that we want to achieve requires a lot of discipline, and you find that a person who can control their eating and their drinking, they can control anything. So this gives us so much self control. And it also helps us to train to adjust to difficult, difficult circumstances. And it's, that's the point of reference, it sets the point of reference. So what I feel that it does, mainly is that it's a bootcamp to get you in spiritual shape, right? So having that benefit and so now we're going to talk about how it is needed to attain
genda First of all, the reason why do we need discipline? Why is that so critical in attaining genda? First of all, we see that with, we're living in a society that the focus is all about immediate gratification. We want instant pleasure, right? So if we train ourselves for that delayed gratification, that is what's going
To get us to achieve gender, because that is the ultimate delayed gratification. If we want done as our goal, then we need to train ourselves not to just look for instant happiness, instant gratification, it also is a form of self control. When we have self control, then we can do anything. It's not succumbing to temptation, right. So we see that a lot of the youth I'm doing Blitz a therapy we, with, they are faced with so many challenges so many temptations. And if they don't have the discipline to hold back, if they don't have the ability to say, you know what, I'm not going to take this, I'm not going to try this alcohol, I'm not going to watch this pornography,
if they don't have that ability, then they're going to falter and not be able to attain genda. The second benefit is emotional management, emotional management. That is when you are able to when you're thinking about fasting, I think chef Omar Suleiman was talking about how there is a spiritual way of nullifying your fast, right, whether you live or you gossip or you talk, you get angry, maybe you get into a fight. So that ability, just being aware of your emotional relationship and your emotional reaction, then that if we can control that, that is going to be very powerful. And that is what we need in order to attain jhana. As far as our relationship, every relationship that we have,
can be either a way to earn gender, or it can be a way of earning the hellfire. So that relationship you have, for instance, with your spouse, if you don't have a way of controlling your emotions, because I do a lot of marriage counseling. And I can tell you, many people have a problem with this, many people don't know how to control their emotion, I just had a case where an individual they were unpacking and the husband came home, there were two boxes remaining from the 120 boxes, he got so angry, and he got physical with his wife, because she didn't have the toolboxes finished. That is a lack of self control. That's a lack of ability to emotionally control the reaction. And then you
have sometimes sisters that may react with a lot of the yelling and the screaming or the crying, which really affects the unity of the marriage. So when we learn how to have emotional control, we're not reactionary, we're in control of our emotions, then that's going to help us attain jhana. And you find that a lot of times people cut the stiletto rahem This is the bond of kinship, I actually had a case where a brother came in, he was young, he had just gotten married. And he goes that he got in such a big fight with his father, on the on the just planning the wedding, that they didn't speak to each other for two years, two years not talking to his father because of a dispute
over their wedding. And you find that upon a lot people just cut the ties of kinship and they don't even realize the implication of this. A lot of there's a hadith bootsy that says that Allah has named to letter him from his name, who ever cuts, this kinship has been cut from my mercy. So we can't take it lightly. We can't just think oh, I don't like my I don't like my brother, I'm going to cut him off. I don't like my mom or my mother in law's, I'm just going to cut them off. They have been put in our life for a reason. There's wisdom for every single person that is in our life. And what I like to look at it as those difficult people are there to teach us something, the person who
irks you the most, they're there to make you either more patient to make you may be more grateful for those people who are so friendly and so loving. And they also teach you to have that patience, right? So look at them as an edger making machine, look at them as a way of earning reward, how the more difficult they are, the more reward you're gonna get. Okay, so the first one we said was what the first psychological benefit discipline, it teaches us discipline and delayed gratification, right. The second one is the emotional management. It teaches us how to control ourselves. Because we don't want to nullify our fasting, we're fasting, we're hungry or thirsty. We don't want to
nullify it by getting angry or lying or doing anything like that. The third benefit is empowerment. Okay, it's empowerment. It's that feeling of accomplishment you get, you know, when you have been, let's say, how many of you have been on a diet and you are able to resist anyone? No.
All right. When you have
Let's say a table full of sweets, you look at it and you resist and you go for the fruits. How good do you feel? Okay? It's tough at first, right? But that feeling that you can control yourself, right? I remember going to the public schools here. And really the first 12 years, I didn't have any Muslim friends. And so when I was when it was Ramadan, I would be hanging out with my friends, it's lunchtime, they're eating, and I would just, I would just be with them. But I felt so strong. Because when you can do something that you believe in, and you stand up for what you believe in, that's an amazing feeling of empowerment. Okay, and so how can that help us? How are we? How are we
empowered for attaining? JOHN, we need that empowerment, because we need to be able to stand up for what's right, we need to be able to say no to a lot of things that come up, if you feel empowered, you can do that. Because I remember growing up, I didn't grow up in a very religious household. But they did instill a lot of self confidence and self respect. And that was the thing that made me survive all those years in public schools with everything that I was exposed to. But because I respected myself, I was able to say no to the things that were immoral. And so we need to make sure that we're instilling that in our kids, that we feel empowered enough to be able to stand up for
what's right. The fourth thing is mindfulness. Mindfulness is like this buzzword and psychology about being in the here and now. Because most people are either regretting the past, or they're anxious about the future, right? mindfulness means you are right here, you're present. So when you're feeling those pangs of hunger and Ramadan, when you're like being careful about your behavior, so you don't nullify it, that is mindfulness. Right? And that's, that's one of the benefits. Now, how do we need mindfulness to attain jhana? You need that mindfulness, because you need to be aware of everything you say, and everything you do to attain jhana, right. I know some
people who will say, you know what, I don't like to think about what I say I like to just blurt it out, that's the kind of person I am, I just like to blurt it out. That's not a way to establish good relationships. That's not a way to earn your weight agenda. Because if you blurt it out, nine out of 10 times, you're gonna do something, say something that's really gonna damage your relationships, right? So a lot of times, people who blurt things out, are always constantly doing damage control. So when you're mindful, when you're aware of your words, you know that you're watchful. It's like having that surveillance camera. How do you act when there's surveillance camera? How do you act
when there's a cop on the road, you suddenly right, you slow down and you follow all the rules. So we need to have that sense of God consciousness and mindfulness, to be able to, in order to attain jhana. The fifth psychological benefit is being grateful, being grateful, because after a whole day of fasting, when you are so thirsty in the heat of the Texas heat, right, for those of you who just moved to Dallas, get prepared for a totally different level of thirst. So when you're taking that first sip, after like, 1516 hours of fasting, how grateful are you for that? Right? biting into that date, right? So deprivation leads to appreciation. When you have been deprived from water, you are
going to be so much more grateful. And so you have a heightened sense of appreciation as well, right. And Allah tells us in the in the Koran,
check out a ton less Eden calm, when I am calfire. Tom, in the below show deed, if you're a grateful I will surely increase for you. So if we show gratefulness for all the things that we have a love will increase it. A lot of times we don't even recognize what we have. We wake up in the morning and we reflect on what I don't have, I don't have a dog, I have a wife, I have money. I don't have this, I don't have that. And then by the you know, by the time it's 9am, you are so grumpy because you've listed the 200 things you don't have, right? What I do with my clients who are feeling a bit depressed, I start telling them, why don't you think about all the things you do have, right? If you
wake up in the morning and you say, you know what, and hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah. First of all, I'm breathing, right, I'm alive. I have one more day to earn that genda. I remember asking a client I said, What are you grateful for? And she just looked at me. Like she had nothing to say I said, just the fact that you're not in a coma.
Just the fact that you're alive and you're healthy, then that's something to be grateful for. And when you start thinking about other things, you're grateful for that
Before you know it, you feel like the happiest person. So try this, try it and try to be grateful. Because what is that going? How is being grateful going to lead us agenda? The way it's going to lead us agenda is that when you are a grateful servant of a law, you are agenda worthy, right? You are suddenly at that state of showing worthiness to being in Geneva. And it's, it makes you an optimistic person, because there are too many people going around outwardly very religious in appearance, but how is their facial expression? Many look miserable. Right? Many are walking around, they'll say the words hamdulillah. But you don't sense it, you don't feel it the facial expression,
the law, what kind of handler is that? Right? We need to be that we have to have our facial expression, we need to have our posture, we need to have our energy, showing that optimism, right. And as a believer, we have no choice but to be optimistic, because if we are pessimistic, we are not believing in the names and attributes of Allah. Right? We do not believe that is Al Hakim, if we are wondering, Why in the world, am I in this relationship? Why in the world? Is my business failing? Why in the world are my kids driving me nuts? Right? If we're constantly thinking that that means we're not putting our trust in Allah. So we talked about being grateful. And the six characteristics
are the six benefit is being patient, being patient. Because when you're able to control your physiological needs, that gives you patience, right? Being able to control your desires, from all the things that were prohibited from during the fast, then that really empowers you and makes you a more patient person. And it controls your behavior as well. Right? And how do we need this? Why is it so important to be patient in order to attain genda The reason we need it is that we're going to be we're going to be tested right? Unless as one another one minute healthy when jewelry went up some minute, um, one, you will see what some are, Ah, well, that's [???]test sub any, that you will
be tested with some hunger, with tests with hunger loss, and glass hiding to the believers, to the patient ones. So we're going to be tested and we're going to really need the patience when we're tested. When do we need patience. Again, we need patience to avoid sin, you're going to be tempted with so many things, so many things will be presented to you. And to be able to resist is going to take patience, and also in your ibadah in the worship that you do just the fasting alone. That is that requires a lot of patience. So that's the sixth one. So quick review. The benefit. First one is discipline, right. Second is emotional control, emotional management. Third is empowerment. Okay?
Fourth is being mindful mindfulness. Fifth, is being grateful. Six is being patient. Okay. Number seven, is prioritizing, prioritizing. Because when you are fasting, suddenly all your focus becomes about being a better person. You're thinking about your prayer reading we're on. It's like, it's those of you who have gone to Oman, and you find that your whole focus, how many of you have been to ombre ombre or Hajj. Okay, so what happens when you're there? It's like the only thing you think about is the next prayer. So your whole priority shifts, right. At that time, you think, how can I squeeze in something between the prayers? What do we do here? We try to squeeze in the prayers
between the things we're doing. So it's kind of a shift in priority. So when we have Ramadan, and it suddenly becomes the most important thing in our mind, that really affects everything that we do, right? And how does that help us in attaining genda? Well, when a lot is your priority, when you base every decision on whether this is going to make you happy or not, whether this is going to get me closer to general or not, then we are definitely going to make the right decision. So we need to have that if the priority is not right. Then all your actions, all your decisions are going to change are not going to be good. Number eight is clarity of mind. When you're fasting, you have this
clarity of mind. One of the benefits is that you have a better focus there actually writers and artists who choose to fast in order to get into this state of mind where
They're just in the flow, doing what they're doing and not having any kind of distraction. So imagine that say you're studying. I know my son, my 16 year old just took his LSAT yesterday, as he was preparing for it, all he could think about was you know that that exam, right? So if you're preparing for MCAT, or LSAT, or whatever it is, what is on your mind, that's all you can think about. Right? So if we have that kind of clarity, about attaining junda, about pleasing Allah, if we have that kind of focus, then that is going to help us in everything that we do. Number nine, is increase in empathy, increase in empathy, when we are fasting, we feel the hunger pangs, we can
relate to what people are going through. I remember when I had broken my toe A few years ago, and the only people who were sympathetic were other people who had broken their toes, right? Because when I would say my little toe is broken, people would be like, okay, big deal. But those who had a broken toe before, they have so much sympathy, they're like, Oh my god, that must have been so painful. So when we experience something, when we feel the pain, when we have the hunger pangs, that's the only time we can really relate to what people go through around the world on a daily basis. I remember one,
one individual called into a to a program and asked the chef, I'm not sure where he was from. But he was an award and war torn country. And he said, Sheriff, does our fasting, is my fasting accepted, if I don't eat suhu, and I don't have anything to break my fast with. And the shift just started crying. That's upon although there's so many people, I mean, we sit there and we worry about our thoughts. There are individuals who don't even have the food to break their fast, right? So when we go through this, it's a training for ourselves to be more empathetic. And how does that help us in in attaining jhana. It helps us because we cannot apply the head deep that says love for your
brother, what you would love for yourself, unless we have empathy. I have some individuals I work with that they tell me they confess they're like, you know what, I have no empathy in my heart. I really don't care. And I don't know how to help other people. Well, if it's a person, is that that day? How are they going to
do humanitarian acts, how are they going to give to another person if that feeling of empathy isn't there, so we have to nurture it, even if it's not there. Because sometimes, depending on the way people are raised, they may not have seen a lot of love, they may not have been given that kind of empathy. So it's not natural, but you can nurture it. I've worked with individuals who didn't have that empathy, but little by little, they train themselves, they get themselves to do things where they're helping others and they get that satisfaction and the end it becomes really addictive. So being able to have that empathy really will lead you to genda because that's that's going to be the
fuel to get you to do charitable acts like Mashallah, like Islamic Relief? How if they didn't have that sense of empathy, how would they go and help people who are you know, they're suffering in these different kinds of situations, right, natural disasters. And the 10th thing is basically that it's a boot camp for spiritual enlightenment. If you really get spiritual you get that eemaan rush right, it's a training for the rest of the year so it should really set the tone and what I've seen is that and the whole point of this conference is to prepare us for Ramadan right? It's all too and Mashallah does like a lot here for thinking about instilling that motivation in us because really it
is it's like a marathon and we have to prepare for it if we prepare now it's going to be so much easier for us and I know I've been motivated so solidly like this coming month we can try to take those baby steps to do things so we're better prepared because how you how you do your Ramadan how nice it is or how fulfilling it is has a lot to do with how you lived your whole year right? You can't be completely heat lives and disconnected with the or on or with your prayer and then expect to have this magical Ramadan right. If you are preparing all year long and you are keeping connection, and you are helping and charitable and doing all these things. By the time Ramadan
comes, you have you have created that soil and you have planted the seed and then it's just gonna blossom right. So and it has it's very unnatural.
It goes to how you live your life is going to determine how you die. So you can't live a heedless life and then expect to die on the dean and have a good ending, right? So it just makes sense. If we want to have an amazing Ramadan, we need to start from now and prepare for it because it is a marathon. And we need to kind of get into shape for it. And the way the reason that we need this for tonna is that when you're spiritually driven and enlightened, this is the fuel This is the fuel that will get you to do everything to avoid the head on in order to be motivated to do more to
to just do your utmost and attaining genda and Allah says
one Medina Am I know I'm a little sauna, hottie wanna eat cows have a
home theater for the dune, but they who believe and do righteous seeds, those are the companions of Paradise, they will abide there in eternally. So and it's always I know why I'm in the spa had the belief has to be followed with action. So in sha Allah, that were motivated to take steps in preparation to Ramadan. And just like the last speaker said, it's not just about doing the acts but we want to make sure that your acts are accepted last yesterday I attended a tough suit of Swords Manasa Boone with
says, No mon le han, and it was very heavy. It weighed me down because it's like just, you know, you could do the good deeds, you can crank them out, you can crank out whether it's giving lectures or giving to the poor or reading or on but then you really have to check your heart and you really have to make sure that are these deeds being accepted. And we always have to check ourselves and make sure that we do our utmost and just like Allah hair for the time as salaam alaikum.
Sister. Now I'd like to invite him to speak to Mr. sobia. I'm sorry