Channel: Haleh Banani
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family calm and welcome to a mindful Ramadan. We all have dreams and goals that we want to accomplish. You turn those dreams into reality. And most people spend their entire life regretting the fact that they didn't take action. The difference between success and failure was a lot less to do with aptitude, and much more to do with having the attitude of persevere and having the grit having that ability to push through and do the things you don't feel like doing. Our ultimate goal is achieving Jenna. And in order to do that, we have to have the perseverance we have to push through. We need to overlook the immediate gratifications of our pleasures and focus more on the
delayed gratification of pleasing our Creator and attaining our ultimate abode. Today's topic is on perseverance. And the excellent person to be able to talk about this is Dr. Ronnie Allah, who is a practicing psychiatrist and is a clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine Mashallah where she is the director of Muslim mental health lab and wellness wellness program. She has also received her a jossa and are on Islamic law and other branches from Syria. Mashallah, she's doing tremendous work in the area of site psychology and Islam. I am so proud and impressed with Dr. Rania. What we're so happy and honored to have you here is below my
What's alive but I got to thank you for having your head Oh, it's a pleasure Mashallah, you're doing a beautiful job in, in the community in the Muslim community combining psychology and Islam and and we're all just very proud. Michelle, Allah, vertical, lumpy, calm. Thank you, sir. Now as far as the perseverance what what role do you feel that perseverance has in in developing ourselves and achieving our goals and our ultimate goal of achieving genda inshallah? Absolutely, that's, that's exactly right. What is the ultimate goal your inshallah Tada. And I think about how last kind of dynamic Rodin has told us over and over and back to this concept of perseverance has showed up so
many shows up so much in the put in, there are countless verses that actually refer to it. And if it's, if I'll start actually with one, just to kind of start us off of how I really see this as a key to getting us to Agenda because a lot of prasada says and they'll put on Yeah, you have Latina Armand is through wasabi, wasabi through what's up, Allahu Allah, Allah constantly heard. And so when you look at that, like this series of things, Allah says, He says, Oh, you who believes he's talking to us, he's talking to believers, for those who believe right perservere and patience and constancy. And then buy in that perseverance with that, you know, so there's there's the having the
perseverance in the first place, right? And then there's the buying and the perseverance, like literally good competition with each other to persevere.
That's the big boy.
That's the SP rule, the having the perseverance and the sabido. Right to buy that perseverance. And then I'll be to, like, strengthen each other. And then we'll double down right then be pious, so that what law law come to your home so that you can be prosperous? And it's so beautifully put in that verse where it talks about like what is what is the
Rule of this pursuit Why is it such an important character trait to really embody and have, so that we're able to become from the prosper as a child, my son, my, there's so much emphasis on that, right? So there's so much emphasis on just persevere. And that was a really critical characteristic to have. Because many times, it is like people just give up. And if they hit just lasted a little bit longer, or if they had tolerated like, sometimes people have difficulty with the hit job, they feel like oh, you know, I'm not getting a job because of the job and, and they end up giving up and taking it off. Or sometimes it's in their marriage, they give up. And sometimes it's with their
children. So that perseverance really makes all the difference in being being successful. Absolutely, and, and even when you think about perseverance, there is really different kinds of perseverance. So again, and they'll put on lsbf that actually talks about the different types of perseverance and one of them is considered is called patient, perseverance,
to persevere that that phrase shows up also separately and consistently. And I'm thinking about how you know, you know, the moment we're in a global pandemic, it's really difficult for all of us, right, we've all seen incredible loss and just difficulty, and I haven't quit, and that talks about this patient perseverance actually talks about all this loss first, because it says, you know, when iwon Nakhon bishi imminent, hopefully will do or you end up some mentally unwell you will see with them or not, well, Bechet is celebrating. And I'll translate because Allah says, you know, we're going to test you with something of fear, and hunger, and loss of wealth among lost lives, and loss
of fruits. And we've seen all of this and this COVID pandemic, right? We've seen all of these things upon Allah. And then he says, what that shows solvating give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, like it's not just the perseverance, it's a patient perseverance. And there is a distinction, right? If you know if we complete the next first because it kind of finishes the thing. It says a levina either. Also, I bet some will see a battle pardue in the law, he was in LA he Raji which that phrase, and I'll translate, it's when we know commonly right, because it says, and those who have the calamity that comes to them, they say to Allah, we belong, and to him is our return.
Right? Like that's the phrase we say commonly. And basically, what the most popular saying here is that if we are the people who say this and patiently persevere, then we will have blessings descend upon us and mercy from almost upon with honor and guidance, through the difficult things that were patiently persevering through. Beautiful, very powerful verse, very powerful for us, reminding us that, regardless of all the difficulties if we persevere alone will reward us and, and you're right, during this pandemic, we're getting all of it at once. In the past, it was like, okay, you have the loss, or you have you know, this the one difficulty but it's now it's all together and I think this
is when you have spiritual reserves, right. All the all the worship, we've done all the prayers, all the dogs is like, now is the time to really show in our character that we are, we are persevering through this. So that's, that's a beautiful reminder. Was there another verse that that you wanted to mention regarding perseverance? Yeah, actually, I'm thinking about there's so there's patient perseverance, and then another type of perseverance that also shows up enough put on its pedal that there's like slight differences between them, and they're all types of personal bias. There is also one that is called a beautiful perseverance. And that's where in students use it, it actually shows
up twice. And for southern Germany, right? And so what's the kind of that is saying and reminding us that there are actually different kinds of that perseverance and patience, that is beautiful, which also means that there's some that are not
doing things that are not so beautiful, right? Yes. Little button in the best practice will be that suburban Jimmy, that beautiful patient I people ask, like, what does that mean? Like, how do I beautifully personal, right, like, like with, with, with almost like with elegance, right? Kind of persevere through something? So pantalon when you think about what that means, and in that story of absurdity. So if you look at the father of use of St. nyako, he's gone through tribulation after tribulation, after you know, he's lost his son lost his eyesight, and he's lost his now his leader in the swearing loses his other son. And so he repeats the plus everyone should meet again when he
loses the second son, right? And he says, you know, and and everyone around him essentially is criticizing him and say, Why do you keep grieving over things that have passed right? Then he says, Allah knows what you don't know. Right? He kind of reminds them that Allah here he has a sense that there's something your own blood is saving and so when you think about what that is, it's a beautiful patients where he says
slowbro in Germany is going to persevere patiently by what I have a good opinion of a walk through the difficulties. That's a beautiful distinction, just making it. That is the beautiful patience and perseverance because sometimes people can persevere, but it's more about, it's learned helplessness. Some people will say and hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah. Yeah. But you don't sense the contentment, you don't see that result, right? It's more of a learned helplessness. So, so critical to be on that stage of a stage of a mind where you can totally accept that whole heart wholeheartedly with bridenstine. And I have a modern day example. And I have to draw on the example of my mom, I lay on
her that even though you know, while she was paralyzed, she couldn't eat she couldn't speak for communication was with blinking the yes and the no support Allah. And yet she had a beautiful smile on her face. And yet, she I mean, she really exemplified this, this sobre engineer and stubborn Jamil to all of us, and during a period of time where she was mute, she taught us more than than any ever any other time supplant Allah, so exemplifying that you know what, whatever is happening, I am, you know, having that beautiful patience. So, that's so beautiful Michelle, and I like give her the highest levels of gender and give
me your story. So probably your mom reminds me of an island put in response data talks about exactly what you said there because he says,
What spearfishing no mohalla you will be eligible massini and like, it is speaking of perseverance, right, like be steadfast in that person. Because Allah will not much anyone who has suffered, let that reward go or perish. Like he like in this difficulty and difficult moments that we live in our lives that we experienced in our lives. Allah is so merciful because you think of what he's doing. Every it's an even the prick of the thorn. Excavations of sin like we get our sins forgiven, like with calamity and difficulty. On one hand, you get your sins forgiven for every even little prick before you feel. The other hand, he talks about getting reward for the ancients, right for Serbia.
Beautiful, right. So it's double double the rewards and, and I think that's what helps us through, right and and I can't imagine someone going through tragic events, without this belief, without knowing that you're cleanse without knowing that you're rewarded. Because then it would be very difficult, but when you really keep that in mind, and that was, I kept reminding myself of that, that this is, she is being elevated, she's being cleansed. And that is, it's so comforting. So I said, I surrender you know, you feel that it's, it's a beautiful way to cope with it's upon Allah, I'm so thankful I will play this, this thing of ours is such a blessing. Because I think sometimes
in you know, in our, in the work that we do, I work with Muslims and non Muslims both and, and in Canada for the work with and with all different types of ability to help all different people from different walks of life. I think about faith and people of faith a lot, and how, even in therapy, I actually find it easier to be able to talk to somebody who has me in which they, which they rely on something greater, someone greater almost felt that a god or a greater than themselves, and they can rely on that. And when things aren't going well, it's easier to kind of refrain that because you're able to see, there's more to the story, potentially, and there is reward coming your way. And there
is absolutely no there's a hereafter that is much better than this dunya
is much easier. I remember when I was working at the VA hospital. And we had to be very careful not to talk about religion or God. And it was just so difficult. It was so challenging. And actually at that moment is when I decided I'm going to focus much on the Muslim community and I saw the difference when you can integrate, you know, Islam and realigning yourself with your religion with your Creator surrendering, like all of that, it's just it was actually it really made the healing process faster. It was faster and more effective. Because
Subhanallah Subhanallah it's it's so interesting that we had similar experiences here. It's nice to connect with someone you know, with similar martial law, background and experience then definitely, it's it's beautiful to see to see how the faith that connection we have with our Creator helps us and you know every area of our life. So what else What did you want to share as far as was there a different level of the perseverance so you talk about the the patient perseverance, the beautiful perseverance and and this
Fast personal data this this the verse that we read most of it, but in the Lord, I'll be honest, you're investing in like the one about being very steadfast in that, because that is the kind that a lot of promises, we won't lose any reward. In fact, we will gain reward and we'll lose sin.
Through full difficulty. I mean, these different, like, levels of perseverance are so beautifully outlined at the end. And they show up often, often. And interestingly enough, a lot of times when the word perseverance shows up in the end, soon after, it also comes prayer.
And when you think about what you don't like, what are the last four that I intend to buy that like, what are we meant to learn from that? So clearly, there's a connection about how to those who are persevering through something, also being prayerful. You know, when need something, what do you do, you, you, you know, you ask for it, and you go after it and you work. And I always think about how my teachers would often say, spiritual teachers would say, if you really want something, you know, then you need to be praying for you don't want it bad enough, if you're not praying to hijo
I'm not so important. Because we know that if you really want something, or even if you look at it from a psychological perspective, you can't just wish for something to happen. You can't just Oh, I wish I had a better body, Oh, I wish my business would grow I it's you have to take action. And even with a lot of the miracles that happen the you know, Allah would get the office to take some kind of action, right? So it's like most stylists, he was you know,
at the he was by the Red Sea and ferocious army was there. And he was they were stuck. But he said, just take your stack and put it in the water. He didn't have to do that it was not necessary. But it's just take that action, Allah will put Becca
right, she was in the middle of a desert, like shake the palm for the palm trees so hard to shake. But it's just saying it's kind of symbolic. We got we have to take that first step. And then Allah will put buckets in our in what we're doing. So true. So true. It's like the hottie that talks about factories with electricity, right, like, tie your camel. Yes, and depend on Allah. And so for me, I find two different levels of how people do this. Sometimes I find people who are who tell it's kind of like how the Hadith actually talks about the man who ran into the master to pray and didn't tie his camel. And the Prophet corrects him and tells him, you know, and when he asked me, he said, Why
didn't you do so? He said, Because Allah will take care of him. He said, No, no, you need you need to tie the candle.
And then I find other people who go the other extreme, where they're actually like that just tie the candle but the like, hamstring the candle, like?
Exactly. And it's like, that's not cold for either.
It's a beautiful balance of you take action, and then you trust and then the rest is in a lesson. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, excellent. So in attaining this perseverance, right, how, how do we work on ourselves? How, how can people who are right now struggling, they're struggling with whatever it is, whatever losses, whatever difficulties, and they're just like, This is hard. What can you tell them as far as like maybe to develop this desire to to be more to have more perseverance? Definitely, I think, in speaking in very practical terms, sometimes we almost have to like give ourselves a little pep talks, you know, like set what we call self talk like Dr. Marcel's
pep talks in saying, you know, in for different people, it's different for some people thinking about that reward really helps them. Others, it's actually bringing to mind examples of other people. Like for example, I'll show you brought to mind your mother and rely on data. And for others, they might think of, you know, historical examples, maybe like, you know, one of the most patient and persevering people that historically that are in the plan is to the Asya, right, the life of Barrow, right, who who patiently persevere through this, you know, very ugly character of Aveiro, you know, and even in Subhanallah personal finance to so beautifully that even at the very
end of her life, as she's, you know, on her deathbed and she's been tortured by Fidel and right this this this monstrosity of a person, right? Right. And his people, like she prays to Allah, and Allah shows her, her place in Jenna. Right? Like it's just a beautiful kind of imagery of how, what patient perseverance can help this sometimes, we need to do as much as we can to take control into our hands. But sometimes situation is much bigger than us. I think about people who have been through like war torn situations like it is so drastic, it's as much as you do, you can do so only so much and the situation is closed beyond you. And so you patiently persevere knowing that that
reward is coming and trauma, right that's a video for right so talking about
The fact that you're thinking either think about the reward, or think about examples that you've seen, and just keep yourself going in some way. And it is so critical to have mentorship to have people you look up to, I mean, obviously, we have amazing examples that we can read about, I think even modern day examples where you can feel that if someone when you see someone going through a difficulty with maybe with grace, then that also motivates you to be stronger. I know, with, with one friend that she had, she had lost her, her twin sister. And I thought that she would be devastated. But it was her beautiful face that made her just, you know, to be pleasant and accepting
of it. So planula when you see examples like that, it just ignites you and ignites the faith. It does. It does depend a lot. And I also in thinking about how Allah subhanaw taala when he sends difficulties to us, and he's this, he's promised also that he promises to send ease right? on our studio. Right? It's up to twice. Man, I also said people sometimes translated as after the difficulty, but actually, it's the Mau, which means like, with like, other. Yeah, sometimes we can't see it, because the difficulty that's coming our way so so it's a lot like it's heavy. And but we have it like tucked, who can talk to with it is, right, sometimes if we're able to take a step back,
or eventually we'll actually see that ease, because it's promised, it's quite bright. And with that, for some, that was my mantra for
many periods of my life support a lot. And it's saying that was three, you know, it's one difficulty and then they use is like, indefinite, right? There's no, you get with one difficulty, you get so much ease and so it's such a beautiful, that's beautiful, how psychology is so interwoven, I'm sure you you'd love seeing that into our fraud into our Deen and, and how we're reinforced by these beautiful verses, Mashallah.
For that I think about this all the time, and then there are more with the blessing of having faith, really. And there are others who might criticize that or say that that's a naive way of looking at the world, in fact, and I'll share it if it's okay, I'm gonna shift science for a minute and share, you know, just statistic wise, because, you know, a lot of the work that I also do is research and like, we've all share this about how we've, along with our law school mental health lab at Stanford, along with the Athena Institute, we have Did you know, one of the largest study, if not the largest on Muslims and COVID, and there were over 9000 people who were a part of the study, it's it's really
big study patrulla. What we found, like, I was really surprised, because when we asked people a question that we saw on a different study, that was for all Americans, like all faith groups, and no faith groups, they asked about if people had a closer relationship with the law,
because of the bill with God, because of the pandemic, and actually found an increase, they were supposed to that they've had an increase for people. They said it was a spike, it was 24% of Americans felt closer to God because of the pandemic, when we repeated the same thing in our Muslim study, we actually found the number was more like 70%,
almost threefold, and you think about like, what is it like, what is it about Islam that's like, woven into the way we relate to our belief system that allows for that, and it's It is a beautiful thing. And so when people say, oh, faith, per se, they say no, look at the pandemic right now. It's actually a protective factor.
Yes, yes, it gives us tools. I really, I can't imagine when people don't have, it's really like not having the tools to deal with all life's challenges. So that's a very powerful study that you did with 9000 people and seeing that the Muslims, their faith, jumped up by 70%. That's phenomenal. Mashallah. So it shows that when you are tested, and that is, I think one of the
important ways how we interpret the events in our lives, right? So it's not the situations that have been how we interpret it. And some people may interpret these hardships losses, as, Oh, Allah is mad at me, oh, I'm being punished. And it's so important to distinguish between these two things that as long as you are connected to Allah, as long as you're still praying to Him, and you're asking for his help, then that's a mercy, even if you're going through a hardship, because when, as soon as someone defines that as I'm being punished, or Allah is mad at me, then all despair comes in, right? They are just, they feel very defeated. So it's so important. As long as you have that connection
with Allah and you're going through hardship, you're good and prosody not so true. So true. And I'll say one more thing, part of that same study, when we asked her she asked people like, do they believe that this situation that we're in right now is is a punishment from Allah? Is it a test from Allah? Look at all these different questions and
And like, you're right, some people do [???], you know, kind of almost immediately go bad equals, you know, it's a punishment like something right? It's upon Allah It was so beautiful and actually very, I felt a sense of hope in the study because I thought we found that the majority of Muslims actually believed that this whole COVID experience was a test, and not a punishment, which meant that like, you know, because a lot of them about the punishment part, but for sure, the tests because Allah says so when they'll put on like, diversity, we're talking about, yeah, on a law. And that's reassuring, because I think that means that you can then cope through a patiently persevere
beautifully persevere through the test, and know that you're being executed for your sins in the meantime, and not look at it always from Oh, it's a punishment, because that's, yeah, it's debilitating. It really gets you immobilized. And, you know, for so many years, I mean, the past definitely 20 years, I've always used that angle of, of seeing it as a test because of the verses that you mentioned. And,
and so the, I have now shifted, and started it because with a test, it has a connotation of, you know, you have your stress, there's anxiety, you may feel pressured, and so I'm not shifting it to see it as a gift. So instead of a test, it's a gift and that I can't tell you how empowering it is. Because even if it's not something that we're happy about, but it's a gift because because it's from Allah right, it's a it's a package, it's a present, it's something from Allah, and it really it beautifies your life in one way or another and it takes away also the the stress may be associated with being tested. So in my own personal life, I'm using the word gift more because I just feel
everything is a gift. And when you have that mindset it just makes you look at things in a very different light. So true, so true. Mashallah, what a beautiful way of reframing
a recent thing I've always used that there was like this is this is it but I just feel like I always feel like we can we can never stop learning and growing and improving so this is one way to improve and just like a Lafayette I Mashallah such beautiful perspective on perseverance and May Allah reward you for all the all the research you're doing all the you know, being such a foreigner Mashallah in this in this field and adding so much
like Allah, you really are the foreigner
I love it and you know, I've come to the we're all we're all in this together and I think because of the way Mashallah having that abundance mentality is so critical in our field and and just, you know, lifting each other up and we're all we're all on the same journey supplant Allah and it's always it's always nice to see like minded individuals the same passion and the same, we have a lot to talk about. So we I really enjoyed it and really benefited Michelle I thank you so much for your time and the beautiful wisdom and May Allah continue to shower you with so much better than salt. I mean, he was low and more. Does like a lock ADA. So it's like a life fair for coming on. And just
like a lot here for tuning in, everyone's Take care of yourselves. bump Bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump,
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