Mindful Ramadan 2024 – Transform Your Ramadan- Transformed by Generosity

Haleh Banani


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The importance of transformation through Islam and finding one's true self is emphasized, along with the need for mindfulness and transformation through Islam to navigate the "weacing culture." The success of their new product, the light bulb, is discussed, along with their plans to expand internationally and bring new products to market. The pandemic has not impacted their business and they are working to mitigate the impact. They are focused on bringing new products to market and their success in the US and plans to expand internationally.

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Salam aleikum, Brother Where do it how are you today on family law sound like graft Allah thank you so much for this opportunity to be with you on this interview that we're going to be doing today. Well it's a pleasure and honor to have you on I always look forward to your insights and you go deep in your reflections mashallah, this interview I'm really excited about it's a very dear friend of mine and she's been on a mindful Ramadan since since we started Ma sha Allah. So sister Lauren booth, and I've known her now for maybe about seven, eight years. Alhamdulillah. So it's exciting to have her on. Yeah, and her story of how she found that opening and truth and light in Palestine. The

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reporter is a journalist that traveled there had no idea. Yes, just unbelievable. And then eventually, you know, just finding that transformation for her to accept Islam and what she has done to be the voice of the people of Palestine Salah Yeah, it's so inspiring the stories that she has shared in the past and how she was impacted by their example. She went from being very judgmental and thinking she is superior to the people while she was there and just being completely transformed by the light. That's all we can say. And I can't wait to hear those touching, touching stories. I'm sure everyone will be inspired by them how to claim that sense of presence and the sense that she

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shares in our own story and also the voice of the Palestinians. It's incredible. Yes, because she transformed there. It is her mission and her work and there's so much we can learn from her and it's going to be such a pleasure to have her on and inshallah we'll get started. Salam Alaikum and welcome to a mindful Ramadan transformed by the light, inspiring stories of converts. I'm blessed to have brother would do Hassan on as a co host martial law specialist in mindfulness. We're so happy to have you on Alhamdulillah such an honor to be on this journey together learning and transforming together with these stories. Salaam aleikum and welcome to a mindful Ramadan so happy to have you

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sister Lauren booth mashallah Salam Alikum when it comes to land reform, it's a lie It's a pleasure to be here I love our moments in Ramadan together. Absolutely. We've had several years together so good to have you back Mashallah. And I'd like to introduce you to my co host brother would do love that's such an honor to be here with Sister Holly you and this beautiful tradition of mindful Ramadan and meeting sister Lauren and really excited to hear her stories inshallah transformation and takeaways or a beautiful Ramadan. Absolutely. We're so honored to have you brother with you. You've done incredible work Michelle, and mindfulness and sister Laura and we have gone back

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Michelle, I think first time I saw you was in Ottawa, Canada doing a conference together. Then it was in South Africa and then in Turkey, masha Allah, we met and met with your husband and you took us out and we had a seafood feast. Mashallah, which I loved so much. It's such a pleasure and honor to have you have you too. I keep forgetting about South Africa, because there was Do you remember there is that sports guy who was so kind of like raw and we were giggling all the time, because he was so very full on and very dynamic and very amazing, but you didn't make us kind of giggle with my Sharla Mashallah. And brother, it just came back from South Africa, overcoming the jetlag from

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coming back from Cape Town Hamdulillah. Which which cities are you going in this South African people are just such beautiful people. They really are. We were in Johannesburg, remember? And we went on? I think it was a safari, didn't we? Did we do the safari together? Yeah, we did. Yeah, the whole thing was beautifully organized. And it was a great pleasure to be a part of it and meet the speakers. I'm actually going back to motion Darebin Yeah.

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Today's we're gonna miss him already in sha Allah died. Can you see him? Yes, yes, I've done I met he flew down to Cape Town just to be with us. The ACE and every night he was the center of our dinner, you know, Ma sha Allah He brings.

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Yes, he brings so much life Ma sha Allah. It's been beautiful having these connections and it's such an awkward

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tunity when we connect with other speakers and get to hear their stories and get inspired because I always get fully inspired whenever I do these mindful Ramadan I'm the first to be inspired by them mashallah because of our beautiful beautiful guests and today's guests sister Lauren booth mashallah is a writer and a presenter and public speaker mashallah you've written two books. One is in search of the Holy Land and finding peace in the Holy Land and the play accidentally Muslim, masha Allah, and you have a program called Find your voice. And we're so excited to have you here today. Ma sha, Allah.

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Ha. So your books in search of the Holy Land and finding peace in the Holy Land, beautifully captured your experience in Palestine and the profound impact it had on your journey towards embracing Islam? Could you share a pivotal moment in that interaction from your time in Palestine that deeply resonated with you leading your way to eventually embracing Islam and our learner? I mean, one of the moments that really I talk about a lot when I give my talks, because I love to be in that moment and to recognize the Islamic tenets that I was being taught in that moment, was way back in 2006. It's almost 20 years by the Grace of Allah that I've had a relationship with

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Palestine. And it was in Janine. And there was, I think, traveling around as a journalist, and I was having my worldview shaken. How was it shaken because I realized that although I was a Christian, I didn't know the people of the Holy Land, I realized that although I was supposed to be writing fairly on Palestine, I didn't know anything about Palestinian people. And in fact, I had suspicions and prejudices. And these were being very gently and very organically stripped away by the meeting of the people. So I had II in Jeanine with a family. And in the evening, I was surrounded by a group of women from several families who just wanted to hear me talk, how you find in Palestine, how you

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journey, what do you think of the people, and at one point, I said, Look, I can't do anything physical for you. But I give you my pen. And what I meant by that was, I'll write the truth that I see here. And I will be honest about it. And I will do my best, because what's going on here is not being written about. And a little boy aged about nine, got up and quietly left the room while I was speaking to the hijab to women, I wasn't Muslim. And he came back and he was holding a shield. And if you wanted later on, I can get it because it is hanging on a wall, just in the next room. That's how important it is. And I've moved 10 times since then, 10 times and the shield is with me. And he

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handed it to me. Now, it was a it's homemade, in red felt. And on the front of it. It has an XL, actually the Dome of the Rock in gold pen and some Arabic lighting. So it looked homemade looked maybe a child or someone had done it with a child at home. Now normally, I already knew from being in Palestine for a week or so. But when the Palestinians give you a gift, they go

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to celebration, celebration, you know, this time when the little boy gave me this homemade shield, the reaction resists being. And I looked around at the women, and they were all sort of like, aghast. And so I knew it was something special. I said to the Mother, did he make this and it was the grandmother who took me by the hand and she said, that was made by my son Salim who has been in an Israeli prison since before his son was born. His son has never met him. He had this smuggled out of an Israeli prison to keep us strong. And I said to his son, had never met his father, this was me saying, bye can't take risks. And he pushed it back and said Latin, you must have it and I said, Why

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would you give me this? And then he said something and it's it just inspired me to this day. He said, I'm giving this because my holy book the Quran, our holy book tells us that we must give the best we have to the guest and to the visitor plan the traveler and what you're holding in your hands is the best thing that we have. Oh, my

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What a beautiful story about you know depicting that. The the idea of generosity and following the first is and implementing it and she he came

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If what was most precious to you and you still have it after all these years, and all these moves Subhan Allah, I really feel that in that moment Allah to Allah tied me to my house. It was a timing of an oath. What not nickel boys selflessness made me recognize that when I said I knew right your truths and I will promise to tell your stories and bound now by that shield, that shield pinball of you can never turn away from this no matter what happens. This is so important just to that just that one child.

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Allah, Allah, we have no idea how our words and our actions leave an impact. And here you are Mashallah. sharing your experiences to millions of people brother would do it, and your reflections on this. Yeah, it's just unbelievable as you were talking and just like this is just unfolding for me like Ramadan is. And this is the this Quran is is reveal for so many beautiful things for us. But this was revealed in the month of Ramadan. And the Quran the first, you know, the first few verses has this two beautiful things that sometimes I talk about in our mindfulness work is that first that it pura that reading is such a beautiful way to learn and get to know people and your contribution,

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you know, that we're able to read your story, we're able to learn theory and reading of the Quran and redy in general, that this command came in now you have to read and read by a command of the Lord, you know, and then just a few verses down, I left the column that Allah has now you know, given our of this pen, and you will use a short that pen and I realize oh my god, like you're talking about different things. A lot of times people say, How do I learn to be mindful? How do I learn to meditate? And I say, you know, reading is a form of meditation. Writing is a meditation. When was the last time you wrote about where you are in life and where you want to be? And starting

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with just these two things can really transform who we are and you're talking about both of this likely picked up advantages like I just had the shipper and I remember the verse you're talking about the love right? This this Ramadan is not about how much we do, like fasting is actually I had a session, you know, in South Africa in Cape Town and mindful Ramadan have to do was on my so we were talking about I asked the audience like what is mindful? What is What are you actually doing when you're fasting? Are you doing anything when you're fasting all day? And it's not about what you're doing? But it's about not what you're not doing. But in what state you're you're even if we

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don't do and we just be and just be in that state in the way that we supposed to be transformed who we are, you know, and you're talking about the be complete personification of that as they are giving you that most beautiful thing and underbid Rahat triple B matter hipbone you cannot reach piety unless you give what you love. And this is the state of B, you know, this is heart that really touched another heart. I mean, so much to take away from this beautiful view. Can I can I share another another another minute with you? There are many, but I don't have to talk about this one. But it had an impact on me as well. There was a driver. He's a taxi driver from Jerusalem called

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Jamel and he picked me up on my first ever trip to the West Bank at Tel Aviv airport and driven me to Ramallah, the his side that he was allowed on with his particular paths. And that was it. That was all our interaction. And then a year later, I come back and I find myself at Gaza at the era's checkpoint and I realized I need a taxi when I get through the checkpoint that might take four hours might take six hours. So I call him in the morning and I say can you come around one o'clock in the afternoon? He says no problem. And he's the way he greets me is that more than boosts Oh, Allah's joy is descended again upon the Holy Land, my wife will stop crying and my children celebrate

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because you have returned to this blessing place. The flowers are in bloom and you know this beautiful, meaningful Arabic and I was like wow, one taxi and taxi ride and he's nicer to me than my family. Wow, that's amazing. And

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subhanAllah so eventually I do get through this awful rule checkpoint where people don't Palestinians suffer but it was six o'clock in the evening and my phone was dead. And remember I'd booked at Jimmy Jim out at 2pm but when I got into the car park on the other side with my big pink suitcase and I thought am I gonna have to move to Jerusalem now I don't know where I am like come get shot at by the soldiers. A car reverse towards me very quickly through its door then. And there was Janelle And I know

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attendance, I said, What are you doing here? He said you you call the taxi right? I said, Yes. Four hours ago. He said, I waited, I said that I'm sorry, I didn't understand. You waited four hours, for a journalist you didn't know was going to come through a checkpoint? Who could have just changed her mind? We've gone in another taxi. Why did you do that? Check the answer, because I'm a Muslim, and a Muslim would never leave a woman alone at risk. And I started to cry. I was crying. It wasn't one of those nice Turkish drama cries with one tear. It was a big snotted

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breathing into a bank kind of crying. Because I picked these people are from another planet, how do they just give and give and give and give and give? A lot. I saw a lot. I think it is the embodiment of just understanding accountability and, and knowing that Allah is watching, that it's not about the other people, it's not about what they're going through the difficulties, they realize that everything that they are doing is a testimony and that it is all going to count back and Subhan Allah that these Allah has put these experiences in your life and in your travel in Palestine to really resonate with you. And you transform your you were a daughter of Subhanallah Jewish model and

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an actor and you live such a different life. And yet you came to Palestine you have these very beautiful and transformative experiences in a change your How did those things change you transform you and made you embrace Islam? Well, you know, that was a very practical lesson I had to have as well, because being a Western feminist leftist at the time, I not just to my name, in 2006, you know, I came with a certain amount of supremacist baggage to the holy language I didn't think I had I'm not a nice person, and then honest and open, but it was a bit kind of like women in hijab, or then. And I remember going to an apartment in Gaza City with a friend of mine, Muhammad, a

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journalist, and he said, I want you to meet my wife and my children. And I remember being a bit okay, you know, for fine. How long was this gonna take? It was in my mind, and I go in, and they the mother has cooked 10 dishes, and she's got 10 children, and it's an absolute feast. Now, how do I qualify that? With me being away from home for my own children and my husband for such a long time? And in my career things and it was all about me, I qualified it by going. Yeah, but she doesn't have a real job. Even this is all she does. He's really good at it. Congratulations. But I have to earn a living. And I'm clever and smart. Right? Yes, the arrogance. Anyway, I remember sitting down after

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the sumptuous meal, and saying, hey, you know what, that must have taken ages, you must work so hard at filling, printing all these children. And she said this, this, which really annoyed me so much. She said, Well, of course. Of course, I'm very busy with the children. Well, what makes it harder is doing a PhD in higher maths for Parnell law. And you cook like that, and you care for your children and your husband? And you can have guessed? What is that? And what what that was a lesson in first and foremost is different ways that people live there is no, you know, the Western superiority idea of this, this is the way it should be. And also Berikut of time, rather count of time. I saw in

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these incredible people the possibility that the more you give to others, it doesn't decrease your time in the in the same way that the Prophet sallallahu wasallam teaches that giving more in South Africa doesn't decrease your wealth. And I think you know that we can they call it a more comity mindset. Don't come in Islam don't come at these practices with a poverty mindset. If you sit and wait before hours and the person never turns up, you've done a good deed by Allah. Give that time if you have something small but precious. I don't think most of us can let go of that. I said that's it's a gift from the Palestinians the good from what you had good from what matters not from what

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doesn't matter. So many lessons. Subhan Allah, masha Allah Ma sha Allah, as far as what you said with the beta cat and time and how by her demonstrating the generosity and inviting you and then you find that she is actually working on her PhD. And that Allah does put that back when we do think sincerely and when we embrace giving to others. It's like it isn't

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anything how the more you do the more Allah will bless you and how incredible of an experience that must have been for you Ma sha Allah.

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It was such a beautiful learning experience because it was humbling as well. Because suddenly you take off your West, you to stop the Western struck for a minute and you get equal lives differently. But are they somehow living better? Are they? Are they doing better things? And then you start looking at yourself and thinking, What do I lack? What if I'm not the center of the universe? What if I am not the star in this drama of the use of life? Right? What if I'm a bit part in the universal story? Am I actually a bad character in this story? Am I a weak character have a stroke, so much can be assessed? When you go to beautiful Gaza? And you meet those beautiful people? May

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Allah bless them and protect them. I mean, I mean, beautiful. Any reflections, brother with eautiful, as you're talking about the poverty mindset, I just thought about like yesterday, my clip, though, was scarcity to abundance overcomers scarcity and get to abundance. And a lot of times, you know, it's these excuses that the whispers have shaken enough that you at one of your interviews talked about that shaytaan enough sometimes So either you're not good enough to become a Muslim, I want to ask you about that. Before I do, I just wanted to connect this what you just saying that in Ramadan? How do we find that Leslie's like I looked at the phone, that you have this sense of

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becoming mindful of God and just just a couple eyes down, ALLAH is talking about Lakota Schroon, so that you can become grateful. And Allah says in the Quran, that very few of my servants are actually truly grateful. So as we are thinking about this scarcity, to abundance, that you can find abundance like that taxi driver, they could find abundance in their time and their commitment by giving up what they might possess to this God centered way of living. Right. But because we think that we don't have enough to be able to show up for my best sell, or what mine to be able to do this. I don't have enough knowledge. I'm not enough, I don't have enough, you know, and there's so many

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scarcity that we have that I can't almost show up for my best life or my best potential, my best purpose, and to understand that it's not about me at all, anyways, that it isn't the God centered abundance where I find the resources and I find help and that God surprises me when I step up. And I can do this in his abundance, not mine. I know that one of the areas you're interested in talking about is about transformation, through Islam, and I think a huge moment for me, and a huge refresher for us all. Well, it happened in a mosque in Ramadan. And I wasn't Muslim, but I was traveling with a friend. And I had a huge experience where just a piece, I sat down, I wasn't planning anything, I

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wasn't like, oh, I want to be Muslim. I was like, I'm gonna have a look around, and then I'm gonna go and eat and then we'll go to a hotel, and it was quite, you know, the, and what, when I sat down by the Grace of Allah in this mosque, everything stopped. That, you know, we all have that inner voice, right. And in the modern age, that inner voice is often limited to what you're going to do next on what you're not doing. And some people have a negative voice or satanic was was, there's all this stuff going on, right? And as a single mom, I've been having a hard time I'm as a constant Lister. After this, you're gonna go here, and then you do that, and you might buy pain pills and

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then misery. And you're planning every moment except the moment you're in LA, he sat down in this mosque, and it worked and my voice went, the inner voice went, and you can do this.

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radio silence, a complete, beautiful, blissful, void. It could have been minutes, it could have been hours. This can affect itself. This confection of experiences Lauren booths cease to exist. And that was the most beautiful moment I had experienced in my life, not being not existing. And I knew with absolute certainty in my heart at that moment, that that is the state of the universe, the reset the go to space in the universe, like one that Allah has created his piece.

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And I realized we make the issues. I am problem and my rushing around and if I switch off and

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Oh to that you get your you're in peace because God is is Arif mana Rahim I didn't have the emotional language. But by the grace of Allah, He allowed me to touch on that mat in that Ramadan in that mosque nothingness. And that's what you're aiming for Subhan Allah, I think you just described so beautifully the mindfulness, what that means is being in the present, because so many people are either regretting the past or anxious about the future. And you being in that moment right then and there, and really embracing it is what was very transformative. And majority of people don't know how to do this. And I feel that brother would do it, I'm sure that you would, you know, reflect on

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this as well is that it really requires that mindfulness to transform it really requires when you are in prayer, when you are in sujood, that you're really in that moment when you're connecting with your family members, that you are present, because most people are physically there. But emotionally they are not available. And you know, what fun is to jump in here. Sure about going beyond that. Because isn't there a risk at the moment where even if we're practicing maraca, this mindfulness, and we talk about it in a self centered way, I want this time to refresh myself, I am in the moment because I knew this is still not being in the moment, it is being in the drama of your life. How and

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what we're talking about is really letting go, you know, I've seen the transformation of before Assam and after Assam. And the moment of not going, I'm gonna do it. This is the right thing. They remember, it was a film with Harrison Ford, and it is one of the Raiders of the Lost Ark. And I think it is Raiders of the Lost Ark in The Last Crusade. horrible thing, right. But at the end of it at one point, he comes to the edge of a rock and this all he can see is a huge, huge cabin and he's gonna fall into it if he takes a step. But the clue on the card is something like take the first step and all will be unveiled. And it has to step into nothingness you have to go into not be step

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into not the brother, I feel like you have

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things about this, this whole thing and I'm thinking okay, this really thing for you one of the poems I was looking up and as you're talking Ruby says like when you let go of who you are, you become who you might be, you know, just kind of like when you get when you rid yourself of yourself, then you get it really find who God if and this like because we were enough's in our sleeves all over ourselves all about us and truly letting go that moment of transcendence that people sometimes find the truly kind of letting go in, you know, like touch and that ultimate journey that used to be the essence of truly letting go in the in the state of it around, you're truly let go of your nafs

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and the white, the white cloth fabric that signify that journey to Allah that you're now mindful and you're traveling to God, you're letting go of everything else. And the Salah is supposed to be the experience that when we say Allahu Akbar, the lead go and only what you've got is Allah and you let go, but we don't understand how to really let go. And we don't know how to let go. And that experience, I think what you're saying, sister Lauren, is what I've heard from my teacher, that when you find these experiences, just stay there. Like really, in Ramadan when you have those flow moments, you know, New York Sarabi and in New York, and just stay in the moment because God has

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given given that to have the gift.

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I stayed I stayed overnight in that mosque, by the way, I sat on the floor of the mosque overnight, because I was like, I am never leaving whatever magic is happening on this particular space. And I don't want to leave it I would have swapped everything in my life to have had that feeling forever. But you know, you become a pilgrim. You know, as a convert, you get you may get a gift. And Allah to Allah and the gift is the shahada anyway, which is huge. And you get these beautiful moments, but you don't do then you have to earn it. There's no you know, nobody gets a free ride. We all become on this path together with the bumps and then we have to overcome them and the overcoming them is

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taking us to the next step. And I know this sounds, perhaps this sounds a bit a way out there for some of our for some people listening but the basic point is just stop and listen for a bit with the phone down. And also I do have some I have a concern about new Muslims who come to Islam with a following or off the back of an amazing moment and they're on YouTube and suddenly they've got a minion

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followers? How do you reflect and get away with that if you're sharing at all? That's very difficult. That's very concerning. May Allah help them and help us all to get the quiet time we need. It's just such a distraction. Because some of that, you know that self centeredness sometimes comes through unintentionally, when we're always thinking about what can I do? And sometimes letting go of that. And what does God want me to do? You know, like, even outside Allah mentioned that we wake up in the morning, the, the government wakes up in the morning and thinks, what, what am I going to do today? You know, this is he said, This is the god pill. And to me, it's like, oh, he's

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supposed to be wise guy like he's planning. Turn, let's see, Garfield, is the one wakes up and think, What am I going to do today? Because he's, he's ego centered, right? And he says that

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the real intelligent person is the one who wakes up and says, What does God want? Where is God gonna put me today? You know, so it's always kind of like that God centeredness in the way that we show up in the world. And I love that. I love that. And I love like, Sister Lauren, you were saying as far as earning it, and I think that's a trophy, the trophy, it was like that blessing and the invitation. We have to constantly work on ourselves and get rid of all the impurities that we have the diseases of our hearts. And when we do that, and we're really longing for it is that before anyone takes their shahada, there's always a story of them asking Allah for guidance that they ask

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their creators like, if you exist, guide me, and it's in those moments when we're asking for it, and we're seeking it and we're working on ourselves is where Allah truly guides us. I love the concept of the trophy, if that is like this amazing invitation that you have. And hopefully throughout Ramadan, we have the trophy and every time we stand for prayer, every time we have the opportunity to do here is that beautiful invitation that we have been blessed with Subhanallah I have a question just to Lauren. I mean, right there maybe this witnessing that you're talking about when we want to really get to this sense of be present with God and everything we do you know, become this deeply

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God centered verse and transform we are through this Ramadan Allah, Allah comes its own. You want to feed our viewers, I listened to something be really beautiful. And somebody asked you, I think was Paul from a blogging theology? I think you was asking you that in terms of people that are searching for truth, they're, they're about to find the kind of feel this inspiration from Islam. And then they're, they're kind of hesitating, what advice would you give them? And you said something that a lot of times there's this whispers of shame on and knifes of the ego and lower self and they say that it's not time yet, or you're not good enough? And how do you kind of let go of that thought and

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that distraction, whether it's for new Muslims or for Muslims that are trying to transform themselves, like all of us in this Ramadan? How do we really find our true self, I must admit, or whenever I talk to myself, first and foremost, to remember that Islam and Tofik and closest to Allah to Allah is not an exam that we can learn playing the page, because you can read about incredible actions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and then not take one of them away. Allah forgive us, we can read the Quran n and then be a less generous person at the end of it, because we haven't seen it referring to ourselves. So the real telling is in the eating, isn't it? It's in the

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doing. It's in the making those changes, even if it's just one, even if it just saying this does apply to me, I handled I was fasting today. And then I kind of remembered that I was fasting now what? Have I said something bad? Do they have that? And then at the very last minute, shaytaan came to me right in the last five minutes in the past, and there's someone who I really, really have a problem with about, you know, shaytaan about say something about that person or turn it in and say I said to my husband, I spoke to that person, and they were really nice. And they were looking at yourself and I left it like that, and I just loved it. Because it's in those last moments. It's that

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last pedaling up the hill. That's where the endorphins are in the run, and that's where the spiritual endorphins and the change happens. It takes work. You must love Michelle, I love that spiritual endorphins. I'm going to use that sister Lauren. And you know, Imam Al Ghazali emphasized the importance of knowledge in his quote, knowledge without action is wastefulness and action without knowledge is foolishness and mashallah you have integrated this concept in your life, your activism, Masha, Allah, your advocacy work, and particularly in raising awareness about the plight of the Palestinians have been commendable, mashallah and impactful. Can you elaborate on what you're

00:34:56--> 00:34:59

doing the strategies initiative that you're currently under?

00:35:00--> 00:35:44

Taking to spread the light of Islam to others, especially in light of your experiences in Palestine. The first thing I want to say is that I'm hoping to reach a time where I don't need to speak about Palestine anymore because we're reaching a time when the Palestinian voices are so strong for themselves and so dynamic and being picked up upon now by the mainstream 100. We love that people like me can can be the second tier as we wish should have been. So that's number one is I started talking my talks now with a poem a lot of my talks by Retief Ziad. They're called her ideal about a little girl who was murdered in a way that's become more mundane. And because I want to give that

00:35:44--> 00:36:34

voice back to the Palestinians who should be allowed to tell their own story and have those spaces. So that's number one, you know, may we be able to back up and let that come forward and just be in that supportive role. But as I do get asked to speak because Allah to Allah has allowed me to spend time in husband spend time with the people know about this cause I like to connect people to the sense of positivity and the sense of hope and determination, and especially to an AXA, you know, when we say this is a struggle for land, we're taking a very secular viewpoints on this one that is not true to the Palestinian majority calls, their calls if you ask them, Allah for a lack so we do

00:36:34--> 00:37:26

this, Allah, Allah, we're standing steadfast and they won't get rid of us. They know that some of them if they move, they could have this better life, but they'd be letting go of that rope. You know, and I really want to say to brothers and sisters everywhere, that Alexa is not the third holiest mosque in Islam. That is a BBC a CNBC, a Western journalists lie that we have got used to repeating and laksa was the first Kindler and laksa is the second mosque ever to a visit that existed in their world, Allahu Akbar, it was built only 40 years after the Kaaba. That's a laksa. Don't let them tell you. It's the third. And I was speaking to a very, very interesting scholar

00:37:26--> 00:38:14

called Dr. Khaled LVC, who specializes in Betamax from an Islamic point of view. And he said, Look, if people are planning on going on camera for a second or third time, don't do it. Come to a Naxa because people are dying for your right to pray there. And then I asked ourselves, what would be stopping us from going and this is something very deep. Are we cowardly? Are we scared? Or are we afraid and this is kind of expressed by some Pfister's. But if I go, and they blocked me from getting into Alexa, will I have wasted my money, I used to be laminate sheets, I'm Reggie, it depends on your intention. Because if your intention was, I want to feel good and have a selfie in

00:38:14--> 00:38:46

front of a dome of the rock. Yeah, you might be disappointed, but will lie if you make the intention a lot. I am going to be one of the protectors and guardians of the first Kibler and to stand with my brothers and sisters will lovey you can pray in the street. And your prayer will be worth 1000 May Allah accept it and you've done so much for the steadfastness of your brothers and sisters. So that really is the message Dr. Allen described as you know, if you have three children,

00:38:47--> 00:39:01

and one of them is in intensive care, do you go and use it with your other children? Or do you spend night and day with the one in intensive care? He said, Well, La Jolla laksa is sick and needs our attention. Wow.

00:39:02--> 00:39:04

Oh, unbelievable. This is

00:39:10--> 00:39:54

just mind blowing, really letting us think about it in a very different way and Allah Akbar, so this beautiful people that Allah has chosen, who carry on the tradition of all his beloved messengers, the place where, from Adam, to Abraham, to Moses, to Jesus to Mohammed prayed, and in a night of mirrors, they all pray together. And this row that's holding this beauty and this light of that mosque and the tradition of all the messengers together, through their sacrifice to keep this place sacred for people to live that tradition, and they're living the tradition to protect the tradition, right? So they're the living embodiment of those beautiful tradition. What a beautiful reflection. I

00:39:54--> 00:39:59

love that thank you so much for sharing. Amazing Mashallah. Mashallah. I learned

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Surah Baqarah says well and Abdullah niccone che Eman al Houthi will do are you an XM, and I'm wily? Well, I'm fussy with them at all to a Bashar Assad but in that he will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient. As you reflect on your time spent in Palestine and the lessons learned from the people there, how do you believe that their resilience, their acceptance of the trust in Allah can serve as a guiding light for the Muslims seeking to navigate the challenges on the modern world while remaining grounded in faith and perseverance? I'm gonna let Roseanne speak at this point was on a

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native set, she was five years old, and she's not 23. He just graduated from the was the Islamic University but a pharmacy Faculty of Pharmacy, mashallah in August. And on day five of this genocide, I called and I said, resent I'm really sorry, I can't do this. He said, What do you mean, Auntie, I said, I can't make you feel better about this. I need you to make me feel better. I called Gaza and said, Can you make me feel better about you being killed, and I could hear the bombs in the background? This is the quality of the people. And she said, Okay, Auntie, let me recite some verses of the Holy Quran for you. And also Auntie, I know that you're worried about me personally. So let

00:41:32--> 00:41:47

me tell you this. And this really is a message, a message to the world. She said, I've been speaking to my alarm for two years now on a specific question. And this is something I've noticed that the people in cleanser do, they say, My Allah,

00:41:49--> 00:42:45

you know, Allah Lynmouth is, is Allah Allah? And imagine saying, My Allah will always be NASA me. He's moved on my love my special. Yes. So she said, My Allah, please don't take me until I have learned your book by heart. Online. She said, as you know, Auntie six weeks ago and became a half the girls Quran. They were lucky, don't worry about me, I'm ready to meet my Lord, because I want to be on the spirit. And I want to see that white light that Allah has promised lighting away from me and my family. There is a whole other reality, running alongside this deadly, dull, tested worthy, unpleasant, quite ugly, visceral, physical experience that we're having. And we just need to get to

00:42:45--> 00:43:32

that with the code and with our real love for it with how much time just ask I want us to ask ourselves, when we're with our youngsters, are we just playing foolish games with them? Or are we teaching them the DUA to make against the de Zhao? Are we teaching them love of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam? How is it that you see a four year old a five year old a six year old in iser going Well lucky, Allah and telling Allah about, you know, Allah, He, Allah sees all of this, and we will get on with our children be like, in a catastrophe, and one and we equip them and ourselves when? That's the question that is so profound sister Lauren, that you reached out to this

00:43:32--> 00:44:22

sister wanting comfort and her answer was just so incredible that she is prioritizing and this is it's a quest that we need to all be on that we prioritize the aka we can be so drawn into the dunya and all the distractions and and find ourself running after this world. But what he she has done is prioritize the AHA, she made her focus, memorizing the Quran. And once she achieved that she felt like her mission is accomplished. And what a way to transcend this dunya Subhan Allah and what an example. And I remember having a phone conversation with you and you share that very powerful story that I that day, every time I thought about it, I was in tears, and I would love for you to share

00:44:22--> 00:44:59

the sister that came I think she was about 18 And she came to visit you. And she came please share that story. She came to Turkey. I know what you're talking about. So this young sister, so we're talking about the separation now, and hardship and how does Islam actually help? Allah has given us this great gift. All right, and it is like it like it's like an anti venom for dunya All right, we have the anti venom here, but we don't know thanks. I'm just going to take the drink the poison or I just got you've got powerful analysis.

00:45:00--> 00:45:04

Sr. I love it the anti venom for the dunya

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dunya sin, this young girl, she, she came up to me after I was giving a talk to a university about Palestine. And she came up and said, Auntie, I just want to tell you, I'm from Gaza, and she burst into tears. And it was the first 10 days of the genocide. And I stopped everything. And I took her to one side. And I said, Who have you got here? She said, I haven't got anybody. And her story is this. He's 18 years old, she's only liberal. And she left Gaza 10 days before because she got a special scholarship. She's super bright to university here in Istanbul. And then the bombing campaign started. And I said to her 100 In a your hair and she looked to me like, What a strange

00:45:51--> 00:45:59

thing to say. She said, No, no, no, Auntie, I'm asking myself day and night.

00:46:00--> 00:46:12

What have I done, that Allah doesn't love me enough. Or he's angry with me that I am not being honored by being in Gaza. And right now.

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That's paradigm shift in thinking Subhan Allah Subhan Allah pausa event. Zittel is the dancer the honorable and dignified, the honored and the dignified and warm. And she coming from there knows this knows them, you know that stuff you've got here, it's very minor, it's glitter. You know what they've got there. Don't say I want to be there. And if I'm going to go, I want to go there. I want to be close to Allah. And it reminded me at that moment, and I had on the mat, in this far off mosque, in Ramadan, as a non Muslim, that feeling, you'd never leave it. You'd never stop it, but dunya and that's all Allah, give us those moments this Ramadan, give us give us a freedom from

00:47:05--> 00:47:31

ourselves, that we may eliminate this feeling that within that dunya matters. And we are the center of a story. When when you are the center of every single we are dependent upon you. And Oh Allah, bless us with your light and bless the Palestinians and accept the reason I'm writing an endless test, which is so strong, but only you know that they are able to please us through it. Yeah, I don't believe that being

00:47:33--> 00:48:22

mean, I mean, what a beautiful reflection. And it's a total paradigm shift. We are living in a delusion, and they have it right. And I feel like Allah is using them as examples for us to recognize our shortcomings to recognize how we need to realign with that God centric focus. And the things that we are seeing right now are what we have read about in history, from our profits from the sahaba. And we couldn't imagine someone in our presentation experiencing that, like the young boy who would recite Quran because there is nothing to numb the pain and he's just reciting Quran as they're doing the stitches. So they have really shown us that our life is a delusion, and we are

00:48:22--> 00:49:03

delusional in many ways running after it. And Subhan Allah to just put it into perspective, brother way, dude. It's just, I'm just, this is amazing. I don't know what to say after you hear these stories, you know, and I think this is such a beautiful thing, to have these stories and these voices guide us through this Ramadan because we're losing all and they're not losing hope. They're actually bold and optimistic to get closer to God. So rest of the rest of the people around the world that are seeing this and losing that hope and losing that strength in their heart to come back and say, you know, in God, we can find that resilience in that, that reality we can find our

00:49:03--> 00:49:50

resilience, our hope, and don't give up hope make this Ramadan, about resilience, about hope about being mindful of God and letting go up these expectations we have about these attachment and expectations we have from this world that dictate you know, our understanding of what success and failures are and what true you know, triumphs in the sight of God it's check Can I Can I ask you something you know on this point there is a theme this I don't want to let us off the hook here because you know sometimes there can be you know what's what's that says do the spiritual thing and date post about Gaza just move away from it, just leave it and look. It's so fundamental to be sad.

00:49:52--> 00:49:59

Allah Allah has told us he will test us not once in a lifetime but twice two or three then once or twice a year if only they knew every sin

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Oh yeah, we're gonna get tested. If we're in a place of comfort right now, but our brothers and sisters and they aren't going through this falling unbelievable terrible pain and hardship. It's okay to cry. In fact, it's recommended to cry. I remember the story of Omar Abdullah who and who one day so the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam with Abu Bakr Siddiq, and they were sitting down, and they were crying over son matter of the ummah. And on that piece of paper, Mallaby these with him came across and said, Tell me what you're crying about that I may join you. And this is Omar, who's supposed to be this hard man learned that they know, they, the soft heart is exactly what we want,

00:50:41--> 00:51:25

cry every day. And then get up and appreciate that a lot. What I want is given you, you know, if we, if they read and we're upset about a child who has no water next time we do with them just underneath, thank you for this moment. May I use this moment, you know, keep it all in perspective, but but don't swap one for the other, you don't have to switch out. Definitely thank you so much for doing that. You just really, really tried to balance this out there. It's so important that the same prophet and cried his heart out all night and to the point that the Sahaba said the crying of the Prophet was like the boiling kettle and see person who cried his heart out for as long as I had so

00:51:25--> 00:52:05

much empathy and you know, and wait, and then he was the same person during the day that was also the one that was smiling the most, and was giving you the hug and giving you the healing presence because he was, you know, he was not afraid to show his emotion express his emotions with God, but also fill his cup with that God centered presence, you know, in the lack of in a hurry, subhanAllah Vela, you're in the middle of oceans of people and you're just tired and exhausted and overwhelmed. And at night stand before me so that you can feel yourself and then releasing that all of that and feeling those emotions, but at the same time. It never gave up hope and never give up optimism never

00:52:05--> 00:52:51

stopped smiling while carrying that pain as well. mula mashallah, what a beautiful description brother widowed of how in solitude, we weep and then showing that compassion to others like the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and may we be able to do that in sha Allah more, maybe reflect and may we be able to transform ourselves, many people will say it's too much to see, I can't take it. And what we need to recognize, just like what you said, Sister Lauren, is that this has been a powerful point of reference. I think in the past, whenever people watched or looked at videos on Instagram, it would lead to a lot of depression and anxiety because they felt like they didn't have

00:52:51--> 00:53:38

enough and they were striving more and more for the dunya. And now our feeds are filled with really people the starving, starving, losing their loved ones, body bags. And all of this has become a point of reference, which I feel if we use it in the right way and recognize the gratitude increase our gratitude, increase our blessings, make more draw and be more connected as an OMA because, you know, the Prophet sallallahu sallam said that we are one body, and when one part is aching or sick than the whole body, when it's in fever, the whole body feels that and I feel that it has actually created a connectedness with the whole Ummah, if we allow it, if we allow it to be a point of

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reference, which increases our gratitude, and also shedding those tears, it's necessary. And if we're not shedding tears, then what is wrong with our heart, if we are not moved by this, if we are not heartbroken if we are not impacted and more grateful, and we recognize that our problems are so insignificant in comparison. If that has not profoundly change, then we are not doing the maraca, we are not being mindful, we are not being reflective, we are not taking these examples. And Allah is giving us lesson after lesson after lesson to wake us up. It's like when you're about to miss a flight and it's like last call, or you're about to miss your exam and your mother is telling you

00:54:25--> 00:55:00

wake up, you're going to miss it. And this is what is happening and yet some people are still in deep slumber. So if we are not being reflective, and if it hasn't changed our life significantly, then we're not allowing it and inshallah Ramadan, we can reflect and see how can we allow this to really don't protect yourself from it, allow your heart to feel to see and to be transformed and sha Allah and love that and that's a beautiful point. Thank you so much and

00:55:00--> 00:55:55

empty. I want to pick up on something you said that was so interesting and so pertinent, which is that before October the seventh, we were seeing a spike in social media users, which is all of us feeling and recording instances of anxiety, calling it depression, whether or not it was that serious but feeling sad, because of pretty things. Because of things on the people had seen on the one hand, what is the state of our mind when we look at things that other people have? When we want what they have? When we feel we haven't got enough of that stuff? That Man That life in will that confection of fakery? How are we going to really assess ourselves in the light of this flip flop?

00:55:55--> 00:56:37

All right, on the one hand, and never, okay, so my thing on Instagram is, I love I like looking at these hickory shorts. And whenever I make them, they're pretty much a failure. It's like those fall I'm obsessed with the folding ones as well, you know, if you just fold them like this, and I'm like, oh, and then I ended up doing with it. Okay, lack of patience on my part. But, and if that was our problem, then and now we have a problem, like, I don't want to be so I want to be sick. I'm allowing myself to be sad, because I can't fold the clothes. And I don't have that beautiful, imaginary life. But I don't want to allow myself to feel sad because of this. How do we navigate that? Yeah, yeah,

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it's very beautiful. And I would just add a little tip here for everybody that asking for expansion of our heart while we're sitting pain rubbish or the Saudi Allah, expand my heart. And as we are sitting with that anxiety, or that sadness, or that pain of our brothers and sisters, you know, just asking Allah to expand our heart and be there in that moment and say, It's okay for me to feel this pain, it's okay for me to be with this emotion to shed my tears. And my Allah has given me a heart, if Allah has given them that capacity, give me the capacity, Allah can expand my heart and my heart can be as vast as the sky. And this difficult emotions are like the clouds passing through. And I

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will make space for these emotions. And I will not let them take me over to the point where I don't want to see it anymore. But I will make space and I will steal it and observe it. And I will stay with it for a little bit of time, so that I'm able to feel that human and sometimes that spiritual side of me that comes out when I'm able to sit with it, you know, so, to be able to handle those things in a way that you were able to sustain. I just I want to add to that expansive heart and expansive thought I felt for other people not filled with myself, Dr. rubellite, Amin, and I'm going to give you an example now what an expensive heart looks like. So resents father is an old friend of

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my family. We do so much charity work together by the Grace of Allah, him I'm not talking about me. He's the one who does the work on the ground, Masha, Allah when I speak to him, they have been displaced five times. They've been burned out five places. There. His mother is very sick with diabetes. She's got blood poisoning. They're now in a tent by the side of a road. And I call them as often as I can, every day if I can. Can I get through? And this is how yes answers post Soleimani Cong rockin with alone Medicare to Bradley T. Lauren, how are you? I am so happy to hear your voice. How is your husband? How are your children? What is your life? Like? What's going on? How is your

00:58:41--> 00:59:31

How is everything with you? Not it's like, their normal day is like a normal day while lucky he will not hear a complaint come from them. So that's expansive heart. And I told him some good news about a family member. Oh, this has made me feel so good for not I wished Why aren't I having that? Why is it hard for us in God? Oh Allah, thank you for giving my dear sister. That is good news. For the sake of Allah and wanting for your brothers to serve what you want for yourself and embodying that and not having the rat race and comparing yourself to others but having that complete contentment and this is something that can only happen when you do the internal work when you overcome those

00:59:31--> 01:00:00

diseases of the heart and when you are really God centric because you're seeing this as as your other and being accepting of it. So that's that's such a beautiful demonstration of really believing and accepting because someone could go through something so minor, and they can miss a vacation and they can go into a deep depression because they didn't get to have their vacation And subhanAllah I just so sorry, Helen. Let's

01:00:00--> 01:00:31

A very good point I just wanted to come in here because when I first came to Islam, I did a lot of complaining and because it takes time to get her off you know and so I was in some quite serious situations and I remember a Palestinian brother growing up one you need not to be telling everybody about the situation you're not a Vegas stop asking I'm like but if I don't ask and this doesn't happen and then there's enough and the kids and he said Stop breeze, it will come right you have one or two people?

01:02:06--> 01:02:48

Family we do so much charity work together by the Grace of Allah. him I'm not talking about me. He's the one who does the work on the ground, Masha, Allah when I speak to him, they have been displaced five times. They've been burned out five places. There. His mother is very sick and diabetes, she's got blood poisoning. They're now in a tent by the side of a road. And I call them as often as I can every day if I can. Can I get through? And this is how yes answers both Soleimani Kong rock with a loan Medicare to Bradley T. Lauren, how are you? I am so happy to hear your voice. How was your husband? How are your children? What is your life? Like? What's going on? How is your How is

01:02:48--> 01:03:36

everything with you? Not it's like their normal day is like a normal day Well lucky, you will not hear a complaint come from them. So that's expansive heart. And I told him some good news about a family member. Oh, this has made me feel so good for not I wished Why aren't I having that? Why is it hard for us and God ash? Oh Allah, thank you for giving my dear sister. There is good news out there for the sake of Allah and wanting for your brothers to serve what you want for yourself and embodying that. And not having the rat race and comparing yourself to others. But having that complete contentment and this is something that can only happen when you do the internal work when

01:03:36--> 01:04:21

you overcome those diseases of the heart and when you are really God centric because you're seeing this as as your other and being accepting of it. So that's that's such a beautiful demonstration of really believing and accepting because someone could go through something so minor, and they can miss a vacation. And they can go into a deep depression because they didn't get to have their vacation And subhanAllah I just so sorry, Helen. That's a very good point. I just wanted to come in here because when I first came to Islam, I did a lot of complaining. And because it takes time to get her off, you know. And so I was in some quite serious situations. And I remember a Palestinian

01:04:21--> 01:04:37

brother growing up one you need not to be telling everybody about the situation. You're not a Vegas, stop asking. I'm like, but if I don't ask, and this doesn't happen, and then there's enough and the kids and he said stop. Worries. It will come. Right. You have one or two people