Mindful Ramadan 2021 #08 – Finding Personal Peace with Ust. Fuseina Mohamed

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Haleh Banani

Channel: Haleh Banani

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Hello, money calm and welcome to the mindful Ramadan. You know, we're all searching for peace and whether we look for it within our relationships, we look for it within our religion and we search for it so intensely. And when we look at the name of our religion, Islam, it means that it is submission to Allah to the will of Allah and it comes from the root word Salama, which is the same root word as peace. And when we give greetings to one another as salaam alaikum. We are spreading peace to one another. However, sometimes the last thing we feel when we're interacting with one another is peace, because there's grudges and there is fighting and there's disputes and

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misunderstanding. So one of the things that we need to improve within ourselves and improve our character is how do we embody this peace and how do we spread the peace within our relationships? We have our special guests with Saddam Hussein on Muhammad joining us to talk about this salaam aleikum.

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wa rahmatullah wa barakato. Very nice to see y'all and join you today. It's a pleasure, an honor to have you and I specifically chose this topic for you because you exude peace, Ma sha.

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Allah, the lightray online and so when we interact with others, we find that a lot of times it really leads to anything but peace. There's a lot of disputes, and there's a lot of bitterness within our communities within our families and friendships. So what do you think are some of the major causes of this lack of peace in our relationships? You know, I definitely think that as we started when we talked about the Salaam that's a good place to start looking at it right when we say a Salaam why they come to someone, I feel as Muslims, it's very automatic, right? You say mostly and say Salaam Alaikum, right? We don't think about what does that really mean? What am I really saying

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to this person? Right? We're making a door offer this person that may allow us Peace be on you, right? And then not only that, but our scholars teach us that when we say that I'm more and equal to someone, we are also kind of entering a contract making a promise that you know what, I'm not going to hurt you. You know, I'm here in peace. It's a very powerful statement. In fact, unless until it tells us in the end that if someone says that I'm really come to you, you cannot say that person is not a believer, right? You can't say to them less than me now you're not a believer. So this is an extremely powerful statement and one that we need to think about when whenever we say it, you know,

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so this is a good basis a good place to start is even just thinking what do I really mean when I say that I'm why they come and I mean, fulfilling that contract Am I following through I love the fact that you call it a contract that we are making a contract of I want to spread peace and bring peace to you. And a lot of times you I think we underestimate it right? We don't give it the value that it deserves. That's very true. And you know, I like how you mentioned also about our religion, right being Islam, right? It is submission but it's also has the same root word as the word of peace, right? And one thing that we see the Prophet sallallahu Sallam encouraging his companions and of

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course his oma is to spread Salaam right he said I'm sure Salaam spread Salaam, right. He doesn't just mean say salaam aleikum, but it can also be understood that spread this idea of peace, right be peaceful people. There's a very beautiful Hadith, which is mentioned were in Timothy where the Prophet sallallahu sallam, he comes to a group of people and he asked them he says, Would you like me to tell

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You who the best of you are and who the worst of you are. And I guess, you know, maybe the people kind of surprised like, Oh my goodness, this sounds like a, you know, a heavy lesson. So obviously some asked again, would you like to know? And then they were like, they were kind of a little hesitant, maybe a little nervous. Maybe somebody in the crowd was like, Oh my gosh, she's gonna say my name, right? So the prophesize Sam says, Would you like me to tell you who's the best to you? And who's the worst? And then finally, someone says, Yes, please tell us. So the Prophet sallallahu Sallam says, the best of you is the one whose goodness is hope for right his higher, right when when

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you see this person, you know that, Oh, I'm gonna have a good interaction, right? You look forward, you get a text from this person. And it makes you smile, you got a missed call from this person, and you want to call them right back right there, goodness is hoped for. And people are safe from any bad characteristics that this person might have. None of us is perfect, right? But we do our best to put our best foot forward to make sure that we're catching ourselves when we're not having a positive interaction. So let's do the prophesies on set is the best. And the worst is the opposite. The one who he says his goodness is not hoped for, right? You get a phone call from this person,

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you're like, Oh, I don't have the bandwidth to talk to you today, right? Or you get a you see the person and you want to turn the other way, and you just don't want to have an interaction with this person. Right? And then the prophesized concludes by saying and that and people are not safe from that person's bad character from their, you know, negativity, right. And so we look at ourselves, obviously, when we read these sorts of studies, we know which category we want to be in, right? So the question becomes, well, how do I get to the category of the best of people and try to, you know, reduce the number of times where I'm in, you know, exhibiting characters of that other group, right?

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So that's, that's where the Prophet sallallahu Sallam starts, he tells us, there's a schools that is deep, because first of all, they thought they're going to be named. And then they realize, they realize that it is about, you know, you are a person that is spreading the peace, and people look forward to having you and how beautiful is it for us to really purify our intentions and, and improve our character so that we're amongst these people. And that's what the session today is going to be about is how do we become the kind of the kind of category of people that will be anticipated they will people will look forward to spending time with us because we fit into this category. So

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what are some of those characteristics that we can develop? You know, one of the beautiful things about the prophesised lm is he gave us a curriculum for this. There's so many narrations which talk about building good character and building relationships. So some of the things that the Prophet slice alum told us and encouraged us to do, the first one that comes to my mind is having benefit of doubt of people, right? Because a lot of the times when we have negative interactions, it could be because we have a negative view of the person we are interacting with, right? Maybe I come into the masjid, and I see a sister and I said some article, she didn't respond. And immediately I think, Oh,

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she thinks she's better than me. Or, you know, I have some sort of negative idea. Maybe she didn't hear me, maybe she was on the phone. And I didn't notice, right, maybe she's just having a bad day. And she's just not really paying attention, right. So if I can have that benefit of doubt, if people then it helps me to, to continue to make an effort to have a positive interaction with that person, right? I always have a joke. Whenever here in Texas, you know, traffic is, can be challenging sometimes.

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So I always have a joke with someone is driving kind of crazy or kind of fast around me. I always think to myself, Oh, well, you know, maybe they're rushing a pregnant person to the hospital. My sister's always laughs

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Yeah, my sisters always laugh when I say that. But I've actually been in that situation when my sister was having her baby, I was the one who took her to the hospital. And I will say, I appreciate it. Everybody on the road who, you know, benefit of doubt for me. So the first thing is just having benefit of doubt. Right? And I like how you said that it really helps the relationships because when you go in with that positive intent, then you're not scrutinizing the person. But what it also does, it's a benefit for yourself, right? Because the person who has to advance that they're always assuming the worst, they're always paranoid. They're always thinking people are out to get them or

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they people are, you know, being rude to them. That affects their psyche. Right? Exactly. It affects their peace of mind, because they're just always going to assume the worst, and it's going to make them so miserable. Right, exactly. It's it's very difficult and stressful to go through a day go through life having negative opinions of people, right? It does, as you said, affect a person's psyche, it affects your mood. And the thing is that it can affect your relationships with other people as well. Right? So you're always defensive, right? You're always defensive. You're always like ready to attack and that it really deteriorate.

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Extra relationships. That's a great one to start off with. So we're going to be happy. Plus this time we're going to assume the best of people inshallah. Good. Exactly. Now of course, it's it's very possible that I'm assuming the best of someone, but they did actually hurt me they did actually wronged me, right. So then what do I do next? What? What's my next step? The first is to do our best to accept apologies and not hold grudges, right? This is extremely important. A lot of the times we feel that because I've been wronged, I have the right to drag this out. That's also problematic, right? All of us make mistakes. All of us are going to be put in a position where we have to

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apologize to someone, and also where someone's gonna apologize to us. Right? We even see the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam at the Battle of budget. I think we've discussed this before in another discussion, but I'll remind anyway, where the prophesized selam, right. He's getting his companions ready for this battle. It's a very stressful time for everybody. And one of the companions of standing out of line, write his name, see what see what is standing out of line and the prophesies. I'm telling everybody to stand straight stand in rows. And so the prophets, I saw them he's holding an arrow, like kind of a stick, and he hooks you up a little bit with the stick and says, Get in

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line, and see what immediately starts to complain, like, Oh, you hurt me. You poked me and Allah sent you with truth and justice. You know, how could you do this and see what makes a big deal out of it and says, you have to let me take my revenge. And the prophet SAW Selim doesn't get rude or defensive, which, you know, he's the General of the Army. He's the Prophet. It's the Battle of whether for crying out loud, like getting booked by an arrow is the least of your worries right now. Right? But the Prophet sallallahu Sallam Still, he takes off his cloak, he gives the stick to seawater and says, okay, poke me like I poked you, right. And at the end of the story, of course,

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see what he doesn't poke the Prophet slice on him, but he rather hugs him. And he said that I wanted to be able to hug you because we're going to the Battle of butter. And I don't know if I'm going to I don't know what's going to happen. So I wanted the last thing in my life to be to touch your skin. So that's why I see what I did what he did.

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It's very beautiful. It shows us. It also shows us when we talk about expecting good from people, right that when, when he said, You hurt me, he expected the Prophet sallallahu Sallam to react the way he did. Right? He immediately acknowledge that, okay, you're right. It may not be a big deal to anybody else. But it was a big deal to you, right? So the point I'm making here is that even the Prophet sallallahu Sallam was put in a position where he felt that somebody is saying, I've wronged them. And so I'm going to try and make it right. Okay?

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If we just have that open heart to, you know, have the open heart to want to make that peace rather than getting defensive. A lot of times people become defensive, they, you know, the ego gets involved, and then it creates a lot of issues. So just Yes, that you made a mistake. Mm hmm. Exactly. And also accepting when someone makes mistake and apologizes to us, right, I might be in the right, you know, somebody comes to me and is very rude. And I'm completely innocent in this whole, you know, interaction, the person comes later and says, For saying, I'm really sorry, I was having a bad day, or whatever it is, please forgive me. This is not my opportunity to beat the

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person into the ground, right? This is my chance to help the person improve to pick them up and say, You know what, thank you, I appreciate it. Let's move forward together, right. And we see this also in the life of the Prophet sallallahu sallam, the Battle of Osho when he had told the archers to stay on the mountain, and he told them, even if you see, us being, you know, completely annihilated don't come down. And then what happened is it looked like the Muslims were winning. So the archers came running down. And, you know, because they left their post, the, you know, the Quraysh, the Qureshi army was able to come round and attack from behind. Now just imagine having to apologize for

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something like that, right? Where the battle was lost. And you feel like it's your responsibility. Imagine having, having to accept an apology for something like that. Right? The prophet SAW someone lost a lot of loved ones in this battle, he lost his uncle, he lost, you know, so many people, right, but still, the Quran, Allah santella tells the Prophet sallallahu Sallam to be gentle with them, right to be merciful to them. And a lot of times that says in the Quran, if you were harsh with them, they would completely scatter away from you, they would leave you. And so the Prophet salicylate was being told, be gentle with them, right? accept their their apology, and then going a

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step further and last until it tells the prophesize So what shall we do? Right and as their their opinions and advice as you go forward, right? And so we see that people make mistakes, right? And part of being a human being is being able to not only apologize for the mistakes that I make, but also accept apologies and not hold grudges, you know, there's nothing worse than right, right? Exactly. No, nothing worse than someone apologizing and they're not. They're not mature enough. They're not they're not

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After this, and I really think it boils down to a maturity level when you have emotional intelligence, and you have that, you know, spiritual maturity as well that you know what, it's just not worth it. And one phrase that I feel is very powerful in in the line of work that I do is that it is through conflict that a person's true character shines through. Because it's so easy. It's so easy to be kind, when people are kind to it's so easy to, you know, when you're gifted to be gracious, but it's when you are maybe mistreated. Maybe you're talking about maybe you're doing the you know, something happens, then your true character shines through and so that we need to be at a

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stage where even if the worst thing happens, our default character is positivity. And we're emulating the prophet SAW the light. Right? Exactly, exactly. So now, the next step, then that we can talk about in this in this journey of trying to, you know, find that peace, you know, to center ourselves, is now asking ourselves, what environment Am I in? Because obviously, my environment affects my behavior, it affects my mood, and so forth. Right? So looking at what our triggers for my negative behavior, right? And it could be anything, right? So for some people, for example, being hungry is a trigger for negative behavior, right? Not having had the morning coffee is a trigger for

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negative behavior, being very stressed out, right, being in traffic, for some people, they are a completely different person. If you drive with this person, you'd be like, Subhan, Allah, you lead. So are you ready? You know? So sometimes, you know, so it's important for us to really have that introspection to say, Okay, what are my triggers for negative behavior, right? And then when I find myself triggered, that gives me the opportunity to pause and say, Okay, I recognize a trigger. Let me pause, let me breathe, you know, counter turn, whatever it is the prophesies of use advise people, if you're angry, make wudu, sit down, lay down, right, whatever it is, you need to do

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internally to defuse that situation, okay? There's such a powerful, like a psychological tool here, because it's pattern interrupt, right? You're doing so you, and that could just, you know, spiral out of control. But he's saying, you know, interrupt this pattern of behavior by doing something else. So it's just, it's remarkable how much psychology is embedded in the teachings of the Prophet sallallahu Sallam LaHood, he was selling very true, very true. Right. So that's, that's the first thing is looking at that internal environment that we have. The next thing we can do now is we can go outside and we can say, Okay, what are some outside factors that might be affecting me? And

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there's two things that I feel is are very important in this realm. The first is the company that we're keeping, right? Who do I surround myself with? Who do I talk to? Some people are more common than others? We can put it that way. Right?

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So think, think about if you're having a bad day, you call someone. There's one person who will say, Oh, I'm really sorry, you had a bad day. You know, let's say you're complaining about a co worker, right? This coworker did this. And this, one person will say, Oh, well, I'm sure they really didn't mean it that way. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. Why don't you try to talk to them, and another person will say, I can't believe they did that they're such a terrible person. So one person escalates the situation, one person diffuses, the escalates the situation, right? You really want to find people who help you defuse the situation, as opposed to throwing fuel, adding fuel to the fire.

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truck with our service staff, we have to remind each other to be patient. And sometimes, you know, your own parents, sometimes when you seek advice from them, they're adding fuel to the fire, but it's like, I can't believe they did this. How could your in laws do that? Instead of and, you know, have stubborn, you know, be polite have just taught me to have respect. So that's a very good point to seek advice from individuals who are going to defuse the situation, not add fuel to it. Right, exactly. And, you know, I like the example that you bring up this is a very important example, because a lot of the times when when someone cares for you, sometimes the way they they try to show

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they care is by always taking your side, but always, you know, kind of fueling and adopting your anger, which is not always the best way to go, right. It's very possible for someone to give advice and for someone to help you through a situation without riling you up, if you will, by fire. So I'm really glad you shared that example as well, because we're coming from a place of love. It is it is you know, and I have a personal experience where whenever I would share something with my mom, when I had just recently gotten married, I were from different cultures and different expectation. One of the things my mom would always remind psychologists Be patient, smile and lower your expectation and

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these were things that really helped me to keep peace in my home, rather than you know, some people just really the advice they get is breaks breaks the family apart. So if you're further if

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The mother in law, we need to make sure that we're giving those you know words of patients inshallah, advice, stations, and email also to allow all of our homes to be homes in which we have good conflict resolution strategies. Good communication, so important, very important. So that was the first external factors, the company that we keep the people we talk to. The second one that I feel is very important, especially in our day and age is the media we consume, right? whether it's social media, it's it's TV, internet, radio, whatever we're reading, right, the things that we let into our eyes and our ears, they go into your soul eventually, right? And so for some people,

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and again, everybody is different. I'm going to give you one example of something that I personally found, which is a certain reality TV shows, for example, right? There are some TV shows where you start to watch them. And even though you know that, okay, this is all kind of put together. And it's not necessarily real life, you know, that in the back of your head, but it still perpetuates these sort of ideas, right, these sort of ideas of backbiting or encourages being nosy about somebody else's life, it encourages, you know, drama and and

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overreaction, a drama queen, right, right, exactly. So it could be something like that. It could be someone who watches the news constantly. And that stresses them out, right? I know. For me, personally, I don't like watching the news. I prefer to read it because I find it to be quite stressful. To to listen to the news, especially when you have these 24 seven news stations and all of that. So I personally don't listen to the news ever. I just I'll read it on the newspaper for myself when I have the time.

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Not to just be so sucked into that because I get so stressed. And then it will really affect the way that you you react. Mm hmm, exactly. When we talk about social media, that's another thing, right? Who are we following on social media? What are they posting? Right? There's a term that's making a lot of people money. It's called clickbait right. You might have heard of this, right? You see a headline where it says, what did this celebrity do now? And you want to click it, right? And these sorts of things play on people's emotions, right? Social media, especially is designed to suck people in. So you might want to look at who am I following? What are they posting? How do I feel

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when I'm on here? Right? Am I constantly just scrolling looking for something? How is it affecting my mood? How's it affecting my relationships with people? Right? I think last Ramadan, you and I had this conversation, I was rolled on fast during social media fast during Ramadan usually extends beyond Ramadan, because honestly, I find it so peaceful to be off social media.

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But these are some things that we need to think about. Right? You bring up a very important point, because it's not right now, we may not be getting together with people, but it is all the people we follow and the information that they give us. And, you know, recently I made a very deliberate selection of hearing from people that I find are inspiring and constantly being reminded of those good positive traits that I want. And it really does impact you. Because when you repeatedly see or hear something, first of all, it normalizes it for you, right?

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should remain shocking, right? That was one of the first things I remember, hearing from one of the lectures I attended.

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Excuse me.

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One of the lectures was saying that the huddle up should remain shocking, right? And when you get exposed to something, you get desensitized. So when you're constantly being exposed to things that are inappropriate, right, whether it's an inappropriate behavior, and I think this happens a lot with the youth, that they're watching youtubers in the way they react to their parents. And I always explain that these individuals, many of them have had some really turbulent childhood. It is there's a reason that they're revolting many times against their parents, there is a lot of

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either neglect or abuse and when our children many times, emulate the the behaviors of these YouTubers, then it's just completely unacceptable and right. It is very critical for us to be selected and who are Yes, yes, that's very true. It reminds me of the narration where the prophesised and I'm said, Do you know Allah? Or sorry, I want to know Allah. Dini. hollyland, right a person is they follow the way a lot of the times is translated as they are on the religion but it's not necessarily religion. It really means the way of life of their family and are clearly someone who you take who you trust, who you follow, whose advice you take, and as you're mentioning,

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a lot of us

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don't quite realize the impact that celebrities these influencers and you I mean, they're called influencers for a reason, right, but we don't realize the impact they have on our lives, right, and then the profit slice, and I'm finished by advising us on your vote, I have to commend you, Holly, take us take stock of who it is that you have led into who you're letting influence you who you're considering a friend who you're you know, who's you're letting impact your life be careful about that.

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It's so critical, because if we're not cautious, and if we don't deliberately choose, then we're impacted by everybody. And I find that when you surround yourself with positivity, and you surround yourself with people that you want to emulate, then that is going to have exponential impact on you. Because it's one thing when you're motivated to do something, but when you find a whole group of people, they're doing it, they're working towards the same goal, then it's it definitely is inspirational. Yes, very much. So it really can help you, you know, pal, jumpstart you. Yeah, exactly.

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So what else do you find? So you're talking about the external influences and what house impacts us? Right. So in terms of our we talked about our company, we talked about the media that we're consuming, and I think this, the third part is kind of what you're mentioning already as well, which is where we really have to take stock of of those things, and start to come up with now a plan, right? So just like we said, looking at who it is that you're following on social media and saying, how is this person influencing me and really, actually being honest with myself, right, I saw this post this person put up how how did that make me feel? What did I think? What actions do I want to

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take now that I've read this? Right? The same, all of the other things that we talked about as well, right? So what are my triggers? What what happens when I have this trigger? actually writing these things down really helps. I'm a big advocate of writing things down. I feel like it really solidifies it, you know, makes it concrete it does. When it's like a contract to yourself. Anytime you write down, whether it's your goals, whether things you want to work on, you just feel like it, it makes it it's an actual plan towards that goal, rather than just wishful thinking. So that's very important to pinpoint. Yes, yes. And that's the last part, right? Having being able to now be honest

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with myself to have some introspection so that I can get on the road to self improvement. You know, there's a story that my sister had been telling me not too long ago, she had read, a gentleman shared his story online. And it was very profound, because he said that he always thought that he was the life of the party. I have a lot of friends, you know, he thought that I'm someone everyone wants to be around. And then this gentleman got sick, he ended up actually getting very sick. He's okay now, but he ended up getting very, very sick, and he had to be hospitalized for a little bit of time. And when he was hospitalized, he said, Nobody came to visit him in the hospital. And that just

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broke his heart because he was like, I thought, everybody, you know, I thought I'm this amazing person to be around, but nobody wanted to come and visit me. So he started to do this self reflection, self introspection, and he he started to realize that maybe I'm not as fun to be around this. I thought I was right. Maybe people were hanging out with me for other reasons, or people didn't feel comfortable telling me you know, helping me to improve right giving me that advice. And so that's the last part here too is as we're doing this introspection, it's important to accept advice from people. Right? It's it can be a hard pill to swallow. Sometimes nobody likes to have

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their their faults pointed out to them, I like to call them opportunities for improvement. Yeah, I have a positive understanding. At the end of the day, sometimes I might be doing something I don't even realize how it comes off to other people. And someone who sincerely cares about us will help us see that and help us improve. So look for those opportunities of improvement, accept them, and then work on on improving. That's a critical point. And you know, this month of Ramadan is all for us to introspect, we are looking within our and if we're utterly honest with ourselves, that we're not just checking off the list of our ibadah but every act of abaza needs to improve our character. And

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so the whole goal of this, this program these 30 days is to really help us to get in touch with improving our character. So today talking about you know, how to be more peaceful, how to have more peace within and then pass that peace on and with all the things that all the beautiful advice you gave that were so incredible Mashallah, as far as having husna done, and being able to if you make a mistake, apologize and if someone apologizes accept those apologies, and and being very selective in who we spend time with and receiving advice, so that was that was so beautiful, any parting words as far as how to

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How to develop that piece within ourselves or pass on the piece and, and the kind of impact that it will have on our society if we really prioritize this. Yes, yes. You know, I like that you talk about the impact on the society, because we've been talking about individually, how do I improve myself, right? So the first thing that we'll notice is an impact in ourselves, right?

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You feel less tired, when you're not stressed out, you feel happier, you're, you're more energetic, right? So you yourself will start to feel better, right? So that's the first thing. And then now if I'm feeling good, if I'm feeling positive, if I'm feeling happy, then I'm able to share that with other people, right? Maybe instead of going into the grocery store, and let's say my trigger is traffic. So I was driving at all the traffic was terrible. I go into the grocery store, I'm just in a bad mood, right? Maybe I take a breath and I say, Okay, I really didn't like the traffic, but I'm good. Now. I go into the store. And I see someone say, Oh, hi. You know, good morning. Good evening.

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How are you doing? Nice to see you. When the cashier says, how's your day going? And sort of saying off, it's just terrible. I'll say, you know what, I've had a good day, how is your day going? Going? Well for you, right. So now I'm spreading that positivity. Yeah. And then that person, maybe I was able to uplift their mood, and then they pass it on, it becomes like, you know, a light that continues to grow. It's sort of it's a ripple effect is that I treat you with kindness and you're going to be in a better mood and, and that's what we really need to focus on is like what you said reframing look at the positive thing that's happening and pass that on. Yes, yeah. And I think

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what's important here to to end with is don't think any action is too small, right? Like sometimes we feel like oh, well there's so much going on in the world and you're just telling me to be nicer Yes, that's that's actually a big thing. It is it's a very big thing and you don't know how it's going to impact someone so if all all the sisters I everyone watching today if you can just do that one act of kindness and really spread the Peace be the reason someone smiles be the reason someone feels comforted be the reason that someone you know, doesn't lose hope in the world and I would that would be powerful if we all do that inshallah. That's That's a lot of data and I always enjoy our

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discussions always feel peaceful after our discussion so Mashallah, perfect topic for a perfect person. I saw

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the largest secular Faden. Oh, yeah. Okay. Thank you all for tuning in. inshallah, see you next time on The mindful Ramadan. So it's like Allah, Faden bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump,

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bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump.