Channel: Haleh Banani
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salam alaikum Welcome to mindful Ramadan. And today did discussion is going to be about humility how we can establish this humility, how we can have this beautiful characteristic that the Prophet sallallahu Sallam embodied and taught us and how can we make it a part of our everyday life? It's a pleasure and honor to have a staff of saina Mohammed with us today to discuss this very important topics. Hello, my les Kamara, huhtala. Or any question, I'm gonna have to leave it at Cata are y'all doing? I'll have that Illa very good. It's wonderful to have you here today. That discussion of humility. How important is this as a part of our Islamic identity and characters? This is extremely
important. There's a hadith of prophesied, Selim says that a person who even has an ounce of arrogance will not enter Jenna, right. So this is a characteristic that is, I would say mandatory for a Muslim to have right if one wants to be successful in this life and in the Hereafter. So it's important that we understand what humility is, it's important that we understand how we can embody this, how we can grow this trait in ourselves, so that we don't miss out on the rewards that we could be getting in this life, right. And sometimes people may not be able to identify themselves right as having this characteristic. It's very easy to see it and recognize it when others have.
They may define Okay, I'm not a show off. Let's say I don't show off about my wealth, right? No, I am. I'm humble in that sense. But there may be the arrogance, like you said, the mustard seed of arrogance, yes. It may come up in in your like in the fact that you're self righteous that I am. I'm so religious right? up in, in how you treat others or your accomplishments. So how about the self righteousness? How common is this kind of self righteous is in our communities? It's very common. I mean, I feel like it's almost part of human nature, sometimes right to want to. Sometimes people grow their own confidence by putting other people down, right. So to think that I am so religious
and to look at somebody else and think poorly of them, is sometimes a mechanism people use just to bring themselves up, right? I would say, a lot of people probably have this at one point or the other in their lives, right? The important thing, as you said, is to recognize it, so that we can work on it, you know? So, for example, as you said, someone might say, Well, I'm not a show off. True, right? But even having those thoughts is not good, right? Even having those thoughts of looking at someone and saying, Oh, I bet she doesn't do certain acts of worship, or I bet he doesn't even know Fatiha. Even having those thoughts. laziness. Yeah, it's not good. It's bad for our
hearts. Right. So the first thing that we want to do is we want to be able to recognize that, you know, I have some work to do in this regards. I think a good way of figuring out whether I have some work to do is asking myself, you know, when I started listening to this talk, or when I hear any sort of talk about this subject, do I think it applies to me or do I call other people and say, Hey, you should tune in and listen to this, right?
Good litmus test are yours, personalizing the message and feeling maybe I can learn from this, maybe I can improve. And that that reflection or the introspection that I could become better is very critical. Yes, yes. You know, and we're not seeing that anybody is perfect. Nobody's perfect, right? Which is what anytime we hear a reminder, we want to sit and listen and see what can I gain from this? There must be something here for me, I'll put this in my path for some reason, right? So and the reason is not just so that I can go and tell someone else or I can forward it on WhatsApp to someone else. It's meant to be something for me as well. Right there. You can always learn something
you can always be improving in some way, shape, or form. So the first thing is, whenever we hear a reminder, we try to think to ourselves, this is for me, this is a message for me, right? Ignore everybody else and personalize it as you said, when we first start out, right, and becoming aware of the judgment that it is I feel is very prevalent, it is human nature, but we have to make that conscious or we have to be mindful not to have the judgment. We have the checklist right and you know, maybe the more conservatives will look at someone who is very liberal
My goodness, they have this kind of hits up where they're, they're wearing this and you go through that checklist. And it could be the other way around. And we really have to cut out the judgment. And you know, in my profession, I have had to really hone in on not having any judgment. Because if a person feels like I'm judging them, then healing cannot start, right. So being in tune with not judging the other person, I think is so critical. And because even if you think it, you may not say a word, but if you are thinking that this person is whatever, you're what's going through your mind, it seeps through. So yeah, like you said, it's not even correct to have those thoughts. The self
righteousness. Mm hmm. Very true. And, you know, one thing you mentioned is sometimes, especially the more conservative or those who feel they're more religious. We have a checklist, right where we're like, okay, hey, job, check your beard check. You know, long enough. Yeah, right. Exactly. Right. The funny thing is that this checklist is not in the Quran or Sunnah. Right. The prophesied, someone told us at tuck wahana, and he points to his chest, right? God consciousness is in your chest, you can't see it, right? It is not measured by you know, how much hijab a person is wearing, or how black their obeah is, or whatever it is, right? So if we remind ourselves of that, then
hopefully it can help us move away from this checklist and see that every buddy we meet is somebody who we can learn from we can benefit from, and hopefully they'll also learn and benefit from us. I also like what you just said, about you can't help someone who feels that you are judging them, right? That is true, not just you know, because you're a counselor, but also in general, right? If I go to the merchant, and I see a sister who, maybe she needs help, right, if I go over to her, and I say, Who taught you to wear your hijab that way? Right. The conversations gonna end right there. So that's, that's a good principle. I'm so glad you said that. Because at the end of the day, we must
love what's best for other people, and we can't help someone who we are looking down on. Yes. So in the form of giving Dawa, like giving advice, the humility is everything, because it's interesting that you mentioned this about the hedgehog, because when I was starting off, I didn't used to wear the hijab properly, it was just, you know, or around my neck. And one of the sisters, she was a convert in a beautiful way. She says, I like to get my head chopped very large, so I can cover this.
And at that moment, I made a decision. I'm like, I'm going to do that from now on. She didn't criticize. She didn't say like, what's wrong with you? This is all wrong. And it was out of humility, and it penetrated my heart. So we really have to win when giving advice. It has to be from a place of humility, not in a place. I'm better. You're wrong. I'm right. Let me correct you because it will not and many people do this with their families, right as they become religious, and then they're just like, you know, you're all you need to change and everything. So that humility plays a big role. Yes, yes, very much. So you know, and, well, if we look at the example of the Prophet
sallallahu, Alayhi, salaam, prayed he would seek advice from his companions. He's the Prophet, right? If he said, I don't want to listen to any of you. Don't tell me what to do. He's the Prophet he could. But he never did that, right. An example that I love so much is the example of when the companions had wanted to go for Hajj, and they were stopped from going for Hajj. And the Prophet sighs on goes to his wife on cinema and asked her advice. What should I do? You know, they're, they're not listening to me. Everybody's kind of, they're distraught. They're distressed. I told them, you know, let's go ahead and sacrifice animals and let's get ready and go home and they're not
moving. Right? And he went and asked her, What advice do you have? What should I do? Right? And that's also a sign of humility, right? That one is not embarrassed to seek advice from others when it's not. And this is the prophets of lice alum, right? He doesn't have to ask anybody's advice. He's the Prophet, right. If there's anyone like you've said, if there's someone in the family who thinks I am the head, and I can give advice, but I don't take advice, right. How can we think that we have that right when the prophesies on didn't even get on my lolly Salah, and that humility is so critical in relationships, right? So I'm glad that you bring up this story, the marital
relationship, right? Because if I've worked with many people who may have humility in the community at the masjid, they're humble in their worship, but then when it comes to their relationships, they're tyrants. Right? And that pride really seeps in when we are in a conflict with someone that I'm like, I'm too good to apologize. I'm too good. Why should I make this effort? So we have to incorporate this humility in every aspect of our life. So to make
sure that it's it's really genuine. In what other ways? Do you feel that humility plays a role as far as our progress our spiritual Ascension? Yes, yes.
What I feel, as we've been saying, if someone has humility, it allows them to grow spiritually, right. There was a very lovely paragraph that I've been reading, we've been studying the names of Allah. And there was a paragraph that the scholar had written about learning. And the scholar had said that a person destroys themselves basically, when they choose to stop learning because they think I'm too good to sit in this circle. This is a big deal, especially for people who feel like I'm religious. Right. So they think, Oh, this community Haleakala is beneath me, you know, or, oh, this YouTube lecture is beneath me, you know, I need to be sitting with the big books and, you know,
with a share who with the big beard having one on one attention, right. And you start to think that common circles of knowledge that are being, you know, attended by just the regular eyewitness, the community, we start to think these are beneath us, right. So the scholar wrote that, once a person gets to that point, they have destroyed themselves, and they have allowed their arrogance to dictate to them that they are perfect. This is a problem, right? So that's the first honestly, that's the biggest issue with lack of humility, that if we don't have humility, we cut ourselves off from being able to learn and improve. recognizing the fact that there are flaws that we have, there are things
we can learn and then it stops the the growth. So what a destructive path to take.
There's a Persian proverb that says a tree that bears the most fruits, hangs his head low, right? Fine, you see that those who are truly knowledgeable, and you see some of the scholars and those who are really accomplished, they really have genuine humility, because we've got the fake humility.
Yeah, the the ones that they keep verbalizing how, you know, there are some people I sometimes you hear that, that I have no blonde, I have nothing to offer. Who am I and it's a little bit like exaggerate is
genuine humility is like it, you see it in those individuals who are truly accomplished. And they are, they don't have anything to boast that not that they don't have anything to boast about. They don't boast about it, versus someone who has very little accomplishment, and then they feel very proud of that. And they're always talking about it. Mm hmm. Yeah, that's true. who are teachers always used to? Just like you said, with the fruit, you can tell which person has has the most fruit by how much they talk about their fruit?
Yeah, yeah. And same thing, or teachers that was used to tell us that when you see someone who's spouting all the knowledge that they know, realize that this is all the stuff that like everything they know, they've five minutes.
But a person who knows a lot. It doesn't brag about it as much. Yeah, that's got to keep us humble. And what about some of the, you know, there are some people so we talked about the self righteousness, we talked about people that would, they may have some fake humility. But there's also some people who really in our communities, especially with a lot of women, they may lack a sense of self self esteem. And they may have you know, the imposter syndrome and feeling like they're never good enough. And then how, what are your reflections on that? Yeah, this is very important point to bring up, right? Because we don't understand sometimes what is the definition of humility, right?
humility is not the opposite of confidence, for example, right? I think it's important for every person, sit down and make a list of these are my strengths. And these are my areas of improvement. And be honest with yourself, right? So imagine that you have somebody who's gotten a degree in some subject, right? I don't know. Let's just say medicine. Right? So he's gotten a degree, they're a doctor. And then they come across somebody who needs medical attention. And they're like, Oh, I'm nobody, I can't do anything. Well, the person needs help, right? And this, anyone? Yeah, it doesn't serve anyone to sit there saying, Oh, I know, buddy, or worse to sit there and like, start debating.
Should I tell them I'm a doctor, or what if I'm bragging, Oh, am I doing this? Like if you sit there, you know, kind of second guessing yourself, then again, it doesn't serve anybody. Right? And I've given a very extreme example, right? An emergency situation, but sometimes people don't realize that even in what you one might not consider any merge
See, there's still a space, right? So as an example, let's say there's a sister in the community who has studied maybe a Quran or something like that. And they see that the community doesn't have a Quran teacher, right. And the sister says, You know what, it would be great to start a class, right and teach people to read and grow love of the crowd. But then she starts to second guess herself. Oh, but, you know, do I know enough? And I'll have to put my credentials on the flyer so that people know I'm qualified to do this. But maybe now I'm bragging, everybody's gonna know that I memorized or I have this VC Jazz's, or, you know, so there's this weird back and forth where we stop ourselves
from helping in the community, because we're afraid that we're being arrogant. Right? And, again, we go to the Quran for the answer, right? So we see in Surah, Yusuf, we see Yusuf Ali Salaam, who, the point we're coming into in the story, he's in prison. And he has interpreted the dream of Al Aziz of the Lehigh, right. And he has interpreted that they're going to have a famine, and they're basically, you know, their food situation for the next few years. So when you surprise them finally meets with Allah disease, he tells Aziz himself, make me in charge of the food, right? basically make me a minister put me in charge of the food. Right? So first of all, nobody offered him the
position, right? Use of it Salaam, he
requests the position, right? So first of all, he says, Let me be in charge. And then he provides his resume his credentials, he says, In the heavy load on it, right? I am trustworthy. And I'm knowledgeable. Right? He doesn't mince his words, because he sees that people need my help, right now, instead of sitting back and saying, No, I'm afraid I'm bragging. I'll let somebody else do it. If that's somebody else who steps up is not qualified. Our teachers, whenever they taught us this verse, they would tell us that if you sit back and let someone who's not qualified, do the action, right, and they mess it up that's on you. Right? That's fine. Right is right. And I always like to
give the example of the doctor because I feel like people, you know, encompass that better, right. Like, imagine that again, you know, the doctor is like, No, I can't do it. So some random person shows up and says, Well, I'll cut him open. I'll give it a try. Right, right.
accountable, stepping up. And that's where and I'll define the imposter syndrome is where a person feels like maybe they're not good enough, or they don't, they're not qualified enough. And who am I to help? Or who am I to teach? And, and it's very, and I, you know, I remember maybe about 20 years ago, or so, maybe maybe 1718 years ago, I had this feeling I wanted to, I wanted to just be a student, I wanted to just continue being I love being a student, I'm going to be a student for the rest of my life. And I love that feeling of learning from from an instructor and my, my teacher at the time we're on teacher Dr. Hynek I'm on. I had moved to debate. And she said you need to teach. I
said, No, no, no, I'm not. I'm not a teacher. Who am I? And exactly I had that imposter syndrome. I said, I can't. And she said something that really resonated. And she said, If you do not give the second delay, if you don't share what, you know, Allah will take that knowledge away. And I got scared. I said,
you don't want that to go away. But I remember distinctly feeling like Who am I to teach? Why am I going to and, and so we really have to balance that out where you have to, you know, you have to have the qualification you have to have, you know, the knowledge. But you don't want to step away from that opportunity. Because you feel like you're not good enough. Yes, yes, exactly. And I really like that you give the example of your teacher encouraging you because that is one way to combat imposter syndrome, is to ask a teacher, let's say you don't know whether you should teach something. Am I qualified to teach this? Ask your teacher, right? They know you're the best they saw you
through your student journey. So see, you know, am I am I qualified to teach this? Here's the curriculum I wanted to do, what advice do you have for me? And then take the teachers advice, right? Maybe the teacher might tweak it a little bit or say, you know, start off doing this but don't completely shut down and say, okay, no, I won't do this at all right? And we see the Prophet size some of them, right, his teacher was up, right. So they came in and brought him the Quran, right? And then what do we see in the Quran, we see a lot of santella tells the Prophet size and then confirm their right, get up and warn people, right? So this is his permission to go out and start
telling people and we know that the prophet SAW the lifestyle and had a difficult time. Right? Right. But he has this encouragement from Allah. He has this encouragement from Khadija all the time.
Right when he came to her after receiving the first revelation, and she told him no, you're not crazy, you know, you have all these great characteristics Allah would never ever, you know, humiliate you. Right. So he was he was not sure if, am I going crazy? Or am I really receiving some sort of divine miracle? And, you know, she was she was there for him. So that's the other thing is to lean on our teachers, our family members, our mentors, those people who sincerely have our best interests in heart, right? And ask them and if they say you're ready to go, you look this below. Go ahead, right. That's, that's a great way to get the feedback, feedback from your mentors and your
callers. And as far as, as far as how to develop this humility, let's say someone is listening to this. And maybe they took heed and hamdulillah. They're not saying this is for someone else. They're personalizing the message and thinking, you know, what, maybe this is an area maybe I have been a little bit self righteous, or I have had this fake humility. What can I practically do in order to, to develop this characteristic? Yeah, I think one thing that has worked for me personally, in this regard is being very aware of two things. One is my internal dialogue, right? So all of us things that thoughts just go through our minds all the time, right? Sometimes we're so used to looking at
someone and saying, What is she wearing? That we don't even realize? We thought that I right? So the first thing is to try and catch ourselves when we think that and admonish ourselves, right? So say, Well, that wasn't very nice. That wasn't kind, you know, why are you judging her? Right? So admonish yourself right? hold yourself accountable, try to get a hold of that internal dialogue that goes through our brains. The second thing is, look at who you're surrounding yourself with, right? Some people unfortunately amplify that. Right? Some people bring you back down, right? So
my sister for example, is very good at the bringing back down.
Yes, yes. You know, when one trade that she has that I really wish I could grow so Pamela is she was fine. Something to compliment somebody about? I shall always
Yes, yes. Hi. I mean, both of them Mashallah have
qualities that I enjoy and wish I had, but I especially like, I'll see someone and I wouldn't even think twice about that person. And my sister will stop and just be like, Oh, hey, sorry, come I really like your nail polish. Or your earrings, or Oh, these are such great looking you I love your top, like she'll find something to compliment the person on right. And I'm always thinking of how to love like this person, she can make friends anywhere I saw a lot and that spreading, spreading that the positive vibes because
when you can see a smile because smiling First of all, it's charity. And then when you can make someone else you brighten someone else's day, that's that's incredible. It's so heavy on the scale. So developing these characteristics and making us more and more like the Prophet sallallahu Sallam because we emulate him a lot of times where there's a lot of focus and motivation in emulating him in his worship, which is critical, it is definitely essential for us to do that. But when it comes to emulating his character, many times we fall short were not embodying his, his characteristics and the way he went about dealing with people so inshallah inshallah, through these series, we can be
more mindful, mindful about our own character and embodying this and Sha, Allah amin, any any parting words as far as as far as the role of humility, and how this will get us closer to Allah?
Honestly, I think at the end of the day, it's just something that as we continue to evolve, and we grow, we're going to continue making mistakes in this as well. And I think that's something to end with, right. We've talked about how to improve, we've talked about the science, but one thing that I want to remind everyone is as we're trying to improve, we're going to have setbacks, right? We shouldn't think of that, as the end all be all that I failed. I'm an arrogant person, I'm a terrible person. But rather remember that anytime we fall down, we're just going to go ahead, stand up, dust ourselves off, and we're going to keep moving forward. And a very important message extremely
important because we will make mistakes, we will fall short, but it's about getting back on track. And one of the lessons that I teach on the on the mindful Hearts Academy, it's about like developing women's characteristics and helping them to be the best version of themselves. one phrase is very, it's been very helpful. Okay, so you say, even though Okay, and you say even though I boasted even though I fell short, even though I didn't finish
The amount of Brian that I was going to read, I still love and respect myself, okay? And that is a very powerful way because sometimes we beat ourselves up right? We're just like, Oh, I didn't finish it, I didn't do my work or I didn't finish this or I did this again and we beat ourselves up in it that doesn't help us in the progress. So when you say you know, even though I messed up, I still love and respect myself, then it gives you that strength to to carry on so inshallah that we can. We can continue building our character and being gentle, being gentle and compassionate to ourselves inshallah, because so far Calafate and for your beautiful perspective, we've benefited greatly and
inshallah, that we can all have more humility, whether it is in our worship, whether it's in how we deal with people not having judgment, or even in giving advice that we implement this level of humility and Sharla Sharla me, does like a lot a run for coming on and thank you from bump Bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump,
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