Striving in Islam

Haleh Banani


Channel: Haleh Banani

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Assalamualaikum. And thank you for joining me. anything worthwhile in life requires sacrifice and striving. If you take the example of becoming a doctor or a lawyer or becoming an Olympic gold medalist, all of these things require hard work and sacrifice. And sydnee. Howard has said that one half of knowing what you want, is knowing what you must give up before you get it. So there is this principle of if you want to achieve something great, there is going to be something you have to give up. And if you don't give it up, then you possibly won't achieve it. Let's take the example of becoming a doctor when you become a doctor. There are so many things you have to give up as far as

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like the hours of sleep, the hard work the studying. If you take the example of an Olympic gold medalist, for instance, they have to train from four to eight years, 12 hours a day. Can you imagine this? There's the example of Lance Armstrong, who is an Olympic gold medalist with the Tour de France seven times in a row, how did he do it? He was practicing 12 hours a day, and sleeping only five. And this is the way that he achieved his goal. Can you imagine if these individuals whether a person who's wanting to become a doctor, or a lawyer, or an Olympic gold medalist would say, you know what I don't feel like studying today or I don't feel like working out it's too hot. It's too

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cold. I'm too tired. These people do not say this because they're so determined on their goal. And

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now, they're willing to give all this up a lot of things up in order to achieve whether it's fame, or status or wealth. And what I want to ask is What are you willing to give up to earn paradise? What is it what is it that you can give up you can strive hard sacrifice in order to achieve the success of paradise. Faith requires a radical reorientation of your life because Islam is a way of life. It's a way of life. It's not a Sunday thing. It's not a Friday thing. It is the way we live our lives. So basically, Islam has to permeate in everything that we do, whether it's the way we we dress, the way we eat, the way we conduct ourselves, the way we do business, it has to permeate in

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everything that we do. Now, becoming a Muslim is a very easy step. You take the Shahada, which is confessing or taking the testimony, that there's no deity worthy of worship, except Allah eyeshadow en la Ilaha, la la. And that there is that the prophets Allah Alayhi Salam is the last and final messenger, why shodhana Muhammad and after what I saw, as simple as that you enter into Islam. Now, as far as living Islam, you have to live the Shahada, you have to implement it. The single act will transform your life, and it will make you like a living and continuing the testimony of faith. So even if you're born Muslim, we have a lot of people who were born into Islam with because of their

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mother and father, but you still have to live the Shahada. It's not enough to just say that, you know, you can't just be a geographic Muslim. You have to actually implement it, understand it and embrace it. And so Islam is not just a confession of faith. It's not just lip service. It's not something that you can just either and something that you do once a week, it's really something that you have to embrace and you have to make it a part of your life. In order to see if you are actually embracing Islam, and you are making it a part of your life you have to ask yourself, Is God truly a priority in your life? Is it a priority? And are you striving? Are you giving things up? Are you

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putting extra effort to achieving paradise ensuited uncoupled is number two and three, Allah says in the Quran, Allah Subhan Allah Jimenez shavon and Reggie Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim, Allah is

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me, I have

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a truck who at APU now our home life

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one ah the fatten Allah vena cava lay him, Salah Allah. Allahu Allah de na sada boo

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Well, I Alamin Alka dB. Allah says in the Quran LS la meme that two people think that they will be left alone just because they say we believe so because you're saying yes, I believe I'm a Muslim? Is that it? Is that all that's going to matter? Are you going to be tested? And indeed We tested those who are before that, and Allah will certainly make it known, those who are true and those who are liars. So basically, this is telling us that it's never enough to just say, I believe, or I'm a Muslim, it's not like I said, it's not lip service. So we have to continuously we're going to be tested. And once we pass the test that's going to determine our standing. It is like the example of

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of students at a university. Could the teacher ever come in and say, okay, who understood the subject? Now, let's say you have biology, he asked the students who understood everyone would claim that they understand. And imagine the teacher asking, okay, what grade Do you deserve, and everyone would be like, I deserve an A. And you see that this would never work, the teacher has to give out the test. And those who studied those who prepare those who are present and aware, they will pass the test. And the same thing goes with us that when we say that we believe it's not enough, we're going to be tested, we're going to be tested with hardship, we may some people may lose their job,

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they may lose loved ones, they may have test after test after test with sickness, with wealth with losing their wealth. And all of these things will be the the test and to see how they respond to the test. And if they pass it, that's going to earn them the agenda. Not there are four principles to follow. Basically, from a psychological perspective, when you want to achieve when you want to attain something that is really worthwhile. There are four principles. One is you have to think long term, you can't ever be focused on just the here and that if you're into this instant gratification, and getting things right here and right now, and you lose sight of your long term goal, then then

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you're you're ruined, you have to have that long term goal. And for us as Muslims, our long term goal is attaining paradise. So when that is in the forefront of our minds, and we're focused on that, then and only then can we say no to all the temptations that are out there. And we can say no to whether it's our desires, whether it's to the laziness, because we have that goal, and we're focused on it. And the second principle is that sacrifice has to be done in order to achieve success. So whether it is a business success, whether it's an athletic achievement, whatever it is, you have to know that there are things that you need to give up. And when you're focused on that the

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length of time does not matter. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to train or how hard you have to study, or let's say how much effort you have to put in memorizing or on, you will do it because you know that that part of achieving the goal.

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The third thing is you have to put in the sweat, you have to do the hard work because not only do you give something up, but you have to be striving towards it. Because if you're not willing to roll up your sleeves and work hard, then there's no way that you can achieve what you want to achieve. And the fourth principle is to be discipline. And this I love this definition, self discipline is the ability to make yourself Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. So this is a perfect definition of being self discipline. So you do what you need to do you do it when you need to do it. And whether you feel like it or not, it's too bad, you just simply do

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what you need to do. In summary, everything that is worthwhile requires striving and sacrifice. And I was mentioning how taking the Shahada saying proclaiming your belief in God and the prophet SAW that a Cylon has to become a part of your life and it has to permeate in everything that you do. And the four principles of achieving any kind of success. First is that there needs to be a focus on the long term, there has to be a long term goal. So our long term goal is genda inshallah, and we have to know that there are going to be things that we sacrifice so the principle of sacrifice. Third is that we have to put the sweat in we have to work hard, we need to put the hours and basically the

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last and final step is being disciplined and this is what usually is the challenging part is being disciplined whether we feel like it or not, we stick to our goal and we achieve

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Keep it. So stay with me after this break, and I will continue talking about how we can achieve our success through striving.

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satellite channel.

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Welcome back, I was talking about how we need to take four steps in order to achieve our goals. And that was about looking at things from a long term having a long term goal. And knowing that there has to be a sacrifice, and we need to put in the hard work and the sweat. And basically to be discipline, because discipline is a very critical part of this. A lot of times we may get weak, we may want to give up. But when we develop the sense of discipline, then we can achieve our goals. Now from an Islamic perspective, there are, there are things that we can do in in striving and achieving our goals. First thing that has to happen is a paradigm shift, we need to realize that turning to

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Allah is going to require will and effort, it's not just going to happen, you can't just wish to be a better Muslim, you can't just wish to be closer to Allah. It's something that is going to require hard work just like you can't wish to be, let's say someone can just wish to become a doctor or wish to have a good body it has to take work and effort. And if you take the example of a bodybuilder, someone who is focused on on building muscles and going to the gym, if they go, the only way that they can see results is each time they go, they increase the weight, they increase the weight and they increase the repetition. Now what happens if a big guy goes to the gym and carries like a three

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pound dumbbell, nothing, absolutely nothing will happen. And many times what happens with us is that our about that the things that we're doing is just like that three pound dumbbell, it's not having any impact on us. So we have to increase. Now what I'm going to talk to you about now is we all have a baseline, a baseline in the activities in our body that we do the worship that we do, and maybe it varies for each person, each of us have a baseline. And that is like what we do in a normal state that we're in Maybe someone's baseline is just making it for the five prayers. another person's baseline might be praying the prayer and doing the Sunnah. Now what we need to do since our eemaan

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fluctuates, it goes up and down. When our eemaan is high, you know how you're feeling like when you're in Ramadan, or right after ombre. When your email is high. You need to bring up the baseline a few notches, you need to take it up. And what happens is that you will create you will create fortresses. So for instance, you do your let's say normally you just do your prayers. Okay, so to bring up the baseline, what you need to do is let's say do the prayer, do the Sunnah, do the vicar afterwards, maybe read a page of Koran. And that way when the next time your Amman goes down, then maybe you just stop with with reading the Koran, maybe you you stopped doing the thicker, but what

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happens to the person whose baseline is barely making the five prayers, they'll just fall off the boat and they'll just completely stop their worship. So as you increase your baseline, and you do let's say you're doing the sun that the sun now will create a fortress, this layer of protection, then the vicar will create a layer of protection and all of this will prevent you and protect you from the shaytaan penetrating. And so this is really critical for us to do because many times people are not working to increasing their their baseline and so as soon as their mind gets a little bit weak, then they just lose it all. Allah says in surah assura ayah number 13 Alpha Billahi min ash

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shaytaan and regime, the smilla Rahmanir Rahim, a la jolla gtaiv la he may

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he may uni but there are a lot chooses for himself whom He wills and guides on to himself who turns to him in repentance and is in obedience. So when we are striving when we turn to Him, even if we've made lots of mistakes in our lives, even if we've fallen short, but as we strive towards Him, He will He will forgive and he will choose you when

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You make an effort towards God, God will bless everything that you do. And I'd like to give you examples of the prophets like Prophet Moses Musa alayhis, salaam, imagine

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being up against the most powerful army. And it's just you, and lots of lots of soldiers coming after you. And that's what happened with him. And he got to the point where he was right by the Red Sea, and they felt like that's it, they had no place to go. And what did Allah Tell him to do? So take your stick, and place the stick on on the sea. Now, was that was that really necessary? Was it something that really did anything, it actually is a symbolic act, it is a symbolic act, because God can just say, confiar coin Be and it happens. But it's a symbolic act for you to take a step. And Allah will bless it. So he put the stick and then this, the Red Sea parted. There's the other

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example of Maryam Mary, at a salon, that when she was imagine, in the desert, she was about to give birth all by herself. And along said God told her to shake the palm tree. Okay, how difficult is it to shake the palm tree, it's really hard. So it's a symbolic act, saying you take the step you strive, you make a little bit of effort, and then Allah will bless it. So even with the miracles, even with all of these things, he is training us, for us to eat to take the first step. So number one was, we need to make a complete paradigm shift and know that we need to work hard and strive towards a law. The second is making a total change an inner and outer change. And we need to be kind

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of like an artist, if we look at ourselves as an artist, and we need to chip away at any bad deeds that we have any bad characteristics. And we just keep sculpting ourselves until we have like this ideal, that Islamic personality. And we can say that this is the way I am. And this is my personality. A lot of people have this mentality, oh, this the way I brought I was brought up and this is how I, we need to take ourselves and mold ourselves and chip away until we get that ideal. And then from the inside and the out. So we need to be simultaneously working on ourselves, our heart purifying, and outer appearance, we need to work on it as well. Number three, the progress

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depends on the striving. So depending on how much effort you put in, that's exactly what you're going to get out of it. And we are either striving, hard learning and moving forward, or we're moving back. We're never at a standstill. And I think this statement really had a profound impact on me because a lot of times we feel like okay, well, I studied in the past and I'm just gonna stay where I am for the time being, well, that doesn't happen. We regress we start regressing. And if you think about how,

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how it would feel for let's say, a senior in high school, a 12th grader, not working hard, not striving, not passing the test. And so they keep going back until they're in eighth grade. That would feel like you just feel so defeated. And this is what happens to us on a on a spiritual level. That if we're not striving we could be at a very high point we could have achieved so much. But if we're not continuously working and studying and learning, then we start regressing and going back. I have a lot of American convert friends that as soon as they embrace Islam, they would be memorizing the Quran learning Arabic changing their life, and they would put forth so much effort and you would

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see the results were amazing. So it all has to do with what you're putting in and that's what you're going to get out of it. And Allah says in Surah Al Anka booth is number 69. Out of inla human eye shape on a regime, the smilla her Rahman and Rahim, one Latina jaha do Sina Lana Deanna home sabula Anna, and Allah says that those who strive hard in our way, surely we shall guide them onto our path. So it's just about putting forth effort, trying your best making that effort because once you do it, then the rest is with Allah, Allah, God will guide you and propel you in the right direction. And Allah says also insert a ballot, and I am number four. Alpha Billahi min ash shaytani r rajim

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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim, love lapada holopainen Sanofi Cabot that we have created man into life of tests that we are creating

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With tests and tribulations, and this is just part of our life. The fourth point is that without the sweat without the struggle, then you don't get the full gifts of God and you don't reach your full potential. So maybe some of you have not right now, given that commitment, or have given up things or are striving enough, and that means that you're not living to your full potential. And when you start giving it giving things up for his say, you see how much you grow. And I can see that in my own life, there was a period of time when I wasn't as practicing. And I didn't feel the struggle, and there was no tension, because I wasn't giving forth and making the commitment. So what we need

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to do is try to start making those commitments. And in summary, I'd like to say that the things that need to happen is one is that we need to have a paradigm shift, we need to realize that we need to work in order to get close to a law. And then the second thing is that there has to be a total change, an inner and outer change, we have to work on that. And remember, we have to chip away at our personality and our shortcomings in order to come up with the ideal Islamic personality. Third, is that the progress we make islamically is it's not an ambiguous thing. It just has to do with how much you put forth. So the more you put in, the more that's going to come out of it. And fourth is

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basically that without the struggling without the sweating without doing that, you're not going to reach your full potential. So we should all look and see what is it that we can do, how can we strive and how can we give up more in order to achieve that closeness? Join me next time when I will continue talking about what exactly you could give up or what you could give up in order to achieve that success and that closeness to Allah Sokka la fere as salaam alaikum

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