Unlock the Secret to Balancing Deen and Dunya

Haleh Banani


Channel: Haleh Banani

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How to be lame in the shaytaan rajim Bismillah Blackman Rahim Salam Alikum everyone and Ramadan mubarak. Welcome again to our daily ITV USA Ramadan show balancing deen and dunya. I'm Dr. Susie Ismail and I am thrilled to be with you again on the show where we get to speak to inspirational community leaders, those who are in the service field those who are giving back to their communities to learn a little bit more about the work they do their organizations and to learn how they balance their lives in terms of Dean Antonia. Today with us we have an incredibly special guest that I'm super honored to welcome to our show. She's not just a an inspirational figure across the nation and

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across the world. But personally, I counter among one of my friends and a true sister that I'm blessed to have met a few times, but felt connected with right away. Our special guest for today is sister Helaba. Nanny sister Hela has been serving 1000s of people worldwide in the Muslim community since 1998. With her very unique approach to faith based counseling. She's launched a global mentorship program three years ago, which is called the mindful Hearts Academy. And it's a program that's focused particularly on sisters, which really transforms the lives of women by empowering them to be the best versions of themselves. Both Hala and her husband brother Abdul Majeed are the

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founders of the five pillars of marriage program. They also run a premarital program, which is called laugh and learn with comedian Baba Adi sister Hala hosted her own TV show on Adventure TV in Egypt, which was called with Hannah. She currently has a television show on Hooda TV, which is called inspirations. She's an inspirational international speaker and the motivator. Sister Hala is also in her personal life. A very happily married Masha Allah to her best friends for the past 26 years. And she also has three children, ages 2320 and 18. So without further ado, we'll welcome Sister Hannah to the show.

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Salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. What a pleasure and honor to be here, it's just like a lot here for that warm welcome Lolly from the salam O Allah, I am the one that is truly honored to have you with us. You are just such a gem in our communities, Mashallah. And, you know, as I mentioned, I think from the first time I met you, I just felt you know, your warmth and, you know, connecting with you. So, thanks.

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Good luck. It was like it, the feelings are mutual, I felt the connection, especially when you came to Dallas. We, you know, after our conference, we just couldn't stop talking, we connected and it's so nice. You're one of the most genuine female speakers that I have met and they felt the immediate connection like a sister mashallah Hamdulillah, just like a law here, honestly, for being there for responding to, of course, Sister Hannah. Today on our show, we want to discuss, you know, a few of the incredible initiatives that you've put together. You know, we started off by talking about the sisterhood that we feel with one another, but we know that this feeling of sisterhood can be very

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upset for many women or men as well. But you know, I can speak for the sister side, many women, you know, across the nation and around the world. I know this has been you know, a personal goal of yours to try to, you know, eradicate maybe this feeling of loneliness. Tell us a little bit more about the programs you offer that helped build that sense of sisterhood? Absolutely. Just like you said so many people are isolated. They may be living in communities that are not as blessed as we are with these huge mosque mega mosque and activities. So my mission was to create a global support group and this is a mentorship program for sisters. It's called the mindful Hearts Academy and it

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really helps to build the self esteem, the emotional

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intelligence really becoming the best version of ourselves and feeling the sisterhood because sometimes you don't get that sometimes you don't have it within your family. Sometimes even within the community, people can be kind of catty if you've, if you've seen, and so this is one of those environments with no judgment, and just complete support and encouragement and 100 Allah. Okay. Mashallah. Definitely something that's needed. And, you know, I got to get a glimpse of some of the pieces of the program online. And I noticed that it's broken into different modules, or, or different little kind of chapters almost.

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Can you tell us a little bit more what would happen, let's say there is a sister out there, one of our viewers who's watching this and feels like, I want to connect, I want to be part of this, walk us through what they would do and what they would experience in the mindful? Absolutely. Well, it's self paced. This is the beauty of it. I do live lessons every Thursday, but everything else is self paced. And when you come in, you basically choose you, there's self esteem. So there's six, seven lessons on self esteem, because a lot of people suffer from low self esteem. And you know very well that if someone has low self esteem, their marriage suffers, their work suffers, they just even

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spiritually, they can't be their best. So it's building the woman from the ground up, right? Feel the making them feel like they are enough. And then it goes into emotional intelligence and how to even think properly how to have that positive mentality and the self talk and how to program your brain. And we go into like mindfulness, spirituality, even how to attain happiness, and it's just, every, every phase I find to be very enlightening, and it can be very transformative. This is what I hear from the members, mashallah is that it is transforming their lives, Mashallah. And, you know, a lot of people cannot afford to go for counseling. And this is actually a response to those

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individuals who reached out to me and said, You know, I need help, but I can't I can't afford the counseling. So this is just done at a very affordable price. It's like $11 a month and just to make it accessible for everyone in sha Allah, masha Allah, may Allah go into total faith in this initiative, and I am sure it is impacting, you know, hundreds and 1000s of women who have access to it. And you know, like you said, it makes the help and the support more accessible, and remove some of those barriers. Yes, it does. Alhamdulillah. And I think when it's when you are with a group of sisters, and you're all like minded, you're working towards a goal, it can be so encouraging you

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feel like you're not alone. All the difficulties we face, we're not alone. And that in itself can be so therapeutic. Absolutely, absolutely. I know ITV recently held a World Hijab Day celebration. And, you know, within a few days, you know, tickets have sold out completely,

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to the need of sisters wanting to connect with each other and finding a safe and secure secure space for themselves. Absolutely. And that's the key when you say a safe place, right? Where there's no judgement, because sometimes online it can, people can be pretty cruel, and they can attack so it's having that place of just being able to be yourself not having to pretend and, and being able to just feel safe and supported and Hamdulillah I love it. I think it's an incredible resource. And I hope all of our viewers do check it out. You know, check it out for yourself, for your sisters, for your spouse, at the mindful heart Academy. And I know from SR Hellas website, you can also connect

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with us the website stretta. Sure, it's the mindful hearts with an s.com. And on my website, Hala banani.com under courses, so just like a lot of hate, and I hope that more sisters benefit from it. Yes, absolutely. Now, sister, Hannah, you mentioned something that I thought was was super important as well, when you were talking about self esteem and how a lack of self esteem can impact every part of our being in every part of our lives. And you mentioned how even our self esteem can impact our marriages. And I know this is kind of a field of expertise for you. Rejuvenating marriages, rebuilding marriages, helping people reconnect, can you tell us a little bit about your work in the

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space of rebuilding marriages throughout

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your life? You know, my husband and I have mashallah been happily married for 26 years. And one of the things one of the ways we wanted to give back was to be able to help others to achieve that because many times people have not had the examples. They don't have the marriage skills, they don't have the know how. And the example I give, it's kind of like when someone goes camping. If they don't have the equipment. If they don't have the tent, they don't have the food that I have the flashlight, they will be miserable. But if they are fully equipped

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It can be an amazing experience. So we're we are trying to provide that equipment, the skills, and we have the five pillars of marriage program and Hamdulillah, which is a very comprehensive course. And I say that even if you're working on saving your marriage alone, you can do it and people get they gasped when I say that, but I've seen that, with mashallah 1000s of people that they come on, they work on themselves, they make changes within themselves, and then the spouse responds differently. Yes, absolutely. And sometimes it takes that first step of willingness for one person to kind of show the changes they're experiencing, to inspire maybe the spouse to want those changes

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as well. Absolutely. And Allah says, in Allah, Allah, Allah, beta AMI, and

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Rama pasa him that Allah will not change the condition of the people until they change themselves. So with any of these programs, we always start with the self, you know, if you take responsibility, you take initiative you give and it's, it's amazing at that how much a person will reciprocate that as long as it's not an abusive relationship, and there's no psychological issues, then that's a different case. But generally, people will tend to reciprocate that. Oh, absolutely. And I'm happy that you offer the, you know, the the clarification that, you know, in a situation of oppression, of course, that goes outside of the scope of like, you know, be patient and stay in check. It's about

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seeking help, you know, and prevents us seeking Hi never would tell someone to stay in an abusive relationship, because it's actually very harmful for the individual. It depletes them spiritually, emotionally, and the children growing up in a dysfunctional home will suffer. And I'm sure you would agree that they will end up with psychological disorders. That's it's pretty much a given. Now you go through divorce if it's not healthy marriage, and they can emerge from that in a healthy way. But staying in a dysfunctional household is pretty guaranteed to have half dysfunctions unfortunately. Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I often tell couples, you know, we have adult children who will say,

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I wish my parents have left one another, rather than suggest to witness that all the time all the time. And I wish more people knew this because anytime you ask someone who's in a dysfunctional marriage, they say, I'm staying for the kids and they say those kids aren't you're not doing them a favor by subjecting them to this kind of constant anxiety and abuse so thank you for saying that. That's so critical. Absolutely. So Sir, hello. You know, just a colloquial you shared a beautiful area from the Quran with us and Euro citation, Masha, Allah is beautiful.

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I'm gonna get a little personal here in our show, I know that you have an ijazah to teach the recitation of the Quran and that you received it while studying in Egypt. I want you to share with our viewers a little bit more about your personal journey in terms of incorporating your Islamic studies or religious studies. And you know, currently the work that you do tell us are not here. Sure. What a beautiful question. Well, it was, you know, when I when I became pregnant, it was such a feeling of responsibility, and it weighed so heavily. It's not just about raising a child but I felt the responsibility to raise our children on the team and I felt I don't know enough How can I

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give that which I don't have and it really felt heavy and I just I said I'm going to make a commitment to study as a non air admit I'm not Arab. And so we chose my husband and I to pick up and move to Egypt we made hijra with the intention of the children learning Arabic and memorizing Quran Alhamdulillah mashallah Tabarak Allah mission accomplished with a high but as I was having the Quran teacher come to our home man, Masha, Allah, incredible shift, we tend to just coming to our home on a daily basis, teaching our children, I thought to myself, I'm gonna be asked, What did you do with this opportunity? He is coming to my door, and I just got goosebumps when I think about it. And I

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just set out to improve my recitation because it was at a point that I couldn't even follow along. It was it you know, as not being an Arab, it was very difficult. I would stand for Tata, we, and I was shed tears, but I didn't understand what I was. And I said, Wow, what if, what if I actually understood, this is affecting me without understanding? So it was just the pursuit of I really did it as a way of I felt Allah is gonna ask me and hold me accountable. There's this blessing. The chef is coming to your home. In Egypt. You're teaching your kids but what about you? A lot of times, we're just passing the buck to our kids.

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Because it's like, you get us to Agenda, you memorize the Quran, right. And so, at Hamdulillah, I went through the baronne with, with the sheikh, several times, and hamdulillah with the, with the tech see it and, and it was just a blessing, it was a blessing during that time, it was, you know, I say that time I was at a very different stage of my life, the focus for the kitchen is things were

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and I had the time and, and the opportunity to spend a lot of time with it. Now Subhanallah I'm in sixth gear, and I want to reconnect the way I did before but, you know, taking courses, making a commitment to learn and trying your best to understand that because there was a course I took and it was very intensive. And after that I remember turning on the Quran and it was the first time I could understand what was being said and it's just like the tears just kept coming because I felt like oh my god, this is my Lord talking to me. And I'm getting to understand it and so it was it was a difficult journey and I have a long way to go and and you know I've fallen short since the time in

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Egypt so I have I have a lot to work on but hamdulillah for for that opportunity.

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That's a beautiful kind of way of coming together the family and the studying, being able to do it and you know I'm a personal fan of Egypt Of course.

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And that by that Masha Allah, but it was beautiful. I loved our time there. It taught us so much. And really the highlight of it was Egyptian people they're just so so warm and fun and welcoming. So we treasure that experience, Masha, Allah, masha Allah and I'm happy that you were able to experience that with your family. And they know that you mentioned the importance of the taking care of the self while you're taking care of others that oftentimes as parents, as mothers in particular, we may put a great deal of our focus on our children and lose sight of care of ourselves and in the Quran and Sunnah. Definitely, Allah azza wa jal reminds us who enforcer como Alikum naran. Save

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yourself and your families. What do you do now sister Hala, while you're managing many, many things, different initiatives, I know you have a very busy schedule with travel and talks and you've got a family. They're a little older, but as my children are close to your children's age, so

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it's harder.

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For yourself, Well, I'm glad that you asked this because I came up with a method and it's called the Banani balance. Okay, would you like to hear what it consists of? Yes, I could use it. We all can use it. And it consists of the three Big B's Okay, so we have three Big B's that we're going to talk about for balance. The first B is about creating, you know, the belief, right? The belief that you are good enough, the belief that you are smart enough, the belief that you are enough, you know, as women, we have a tendency to expect so much from ourselves. society expects so much and there's a lot of cultural expectation. And so a lot of women are starting to feel or they have been feeling

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maybe for many, many years, that they're just whatever they do is not good enough. And this feeling of feeling, it just makes a person feel very depleted. So having the belief that you are good enough, and also the belief that you can create balance, right? Because if you are thinking to yourself that I can't do this, oh my god, I'm overwhelmed. Oh, this is too hard. How am I going to manage these are the things that are going to drive you to feeling overwhelmed. But when you control your self talk, and you say I've got this, I'm going to manage and you you talk yourself into a state of calm. And that's that is the first step. That's the first B so the B is for belief, right?

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And then the next theme, it's about basic, you have to be basic, sometimes we tend to want to be supermoms, right? We want to be supermom, we want we want our home to be immaculate, we want gourmet meals and we want to do our best at work and and it just becomes very demanding. What I would recommend is keep it basic right keep it basic. Yes, clean your home have a nice home. I mean, that's part of our email and has to have a clean home. It doesn't have to be impeccable, right? Because if you know many people and I'm sure you've experienced this with younger adults, when you ask them what was your you know, home environment like they hardly ever say it was

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Stuck in spam, it was so clean and we had meals and the laundry was always done. What did they say? Mom's always angry. Dad was always working, we never call them so many times people become so consumed and becomes consumed with everything having to be perfect and they shoo away their kids when they're little went Mama Mama, can you play with me? My Can you talk with me is I don't have time. I need to clean I need to cook get out of it. And so what ends up happening when they're teenagers, and the parent wants to spend time with the child is like they don't want to have anything to do with their parents, right? Because they didn't make time for that. So keep it basic,

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the food's great once in a while, do those gourmet meals I love to make my water hand up. I like to make the Kusa vana Duda. But it's not on a daily basis. It's a special treat, so make those meals, but don't overburden yourself. And when it comes to daily deposits, make the daily deposits and make it basic, it doesn't have to be grand gestures, doesn't have to be a huge party, a huge gift getting next to your child. And right before they sleep, connecting with them, having a little walk together, finding out what is going on texting, maybe just to see how their interview went how the course they were teaching, when whatever it is, when you show that connection, it's so basic, but it

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makes a huge difference. So that being number two is being basic. And then the third B and this is the biggest and most important, B is boundaries, boundaries, we have to create boundaries, when we say yes to everything, and many of us, and I'm a former people pleaser.

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And I'm still working on it. And you know, so easy to want to be yes, do it, I want to do it. And when you limit what you are doing, then you are prioritizing the really important things. So when you say by all means, except do the things that you have time to manage, but don't just say yes to everything and then neglect what you're going to be held accountable for right.

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Masha Allah, I love it. I love the three B's. So basic and boundaries. So yes, I think this is you know, something we should definitely like put onto like a painting or a chart or something on your refrigerator, something that we could definitely all use and that we could also teach our children as they're growing up in communities and societies, that they're constantly bombarded by the online world social media, you know, this Metaverse, that seems to be the next place that they'll be going. Sure, sure, yeah. And when you keep that in mind, and then you something that also helps us having an emotional deposit with each person where you feel, you know what, you may not be able to make the

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deposit every day with every person. But as long as on a weekly basis, you've made sure that you've made that deposit, then you're in a good place and sha Allah and then you don't get overwhelmed. I love that. Yes. So tell me how about with your own children? How do you kind of guide them towards finding their own balance? Right, using those three B's? I'm sure. But in children being teens, young adults, how do you guide them? Particularly balancing Dean and dunya? Definitely, well, we've always made sure that there is that balance where we're not just focused on one aspect, it's not just the academics and Okay, so even if you have a child that is valedictorian, and graduated from

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Yale, and they don't have the dean, I don't find that to be successful, right? If your main purpose in life is to worship a lot, and your child does not worship Allah, there is a, there's a huge gap there, then we're going to be held accountable. So many times, parents only focus on you got to get the grades, you got to get the degree you got to get the become a doctor, right? And we lose sight of creating that love for Islam. And then you have the other extreme where some people are just so dogmatic about the deen and they come down so hard on their kids that they just become like they just want to push push the deen away, right? And I always use the analogy of like, what is your

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favorite food? So I really like chocolate cake

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I can get you a chocolate cake when you come over and show love.

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Imagine chocolate cake as much as you love it as much as you crave it. Okay, everyone's gonna be salivating now because

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but if someone is stuffing it down your throat, what are you going to do? You're going to gag you're going to push them away. So the Dean as beautiful as it is, if it's pushed

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She's down with harshness, then that person is going to push away. So it's a matter of making them first and foremost, loving the team. Right? Because one of the things I'm so grateful to my parents, I'll lay out how I'm home. They really they really made me and I may get emotional. They they made me love the deen, we may have not had the rituals down. We may not have had a lot of the knowledge but they made me feel that Allah is like, it's just the most amazing, more amazing creator and made me love the deen. And then when you love the deen, you can establish the rituals. But if you don't love the deen, if you only have rituals with no love, and there's hatred, and there's animosity, and

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there's force, guess what the rituals just they just go away as soon as they have freedom. So it's creating that, you know, you need to end being religious doesn't mean you don't have fun. Being religious doesn't mean you're judgmental and harsh. You always so what we would do, instead of letting you know, it's always good to replace things and not take it away. Right. So instead of birthday parties, we would do more on parties, right? So at the end of each Jews that they would memorize, but have a big party, and you know how they go all out for birthday parties and each other. So we would do that for a celebration of finishing the job, right? And it was this feeling of

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accomplishment. Like I've done this, I've worked hard, and now we're celebrating, right. And we always had amazing opportunities in Egypt in doing humanitarian work. So I remember my kids being so little, there's like nine, seven, and maybe like four. And we would you know, the shunt that says Ramadan, we would carry these bags up like four flights of stairs, to the students of knowledge would visit the orphanage. And so for them to really feel that life is about service. And as you serve, you feel more and more grateful. And I really feel that that left such an imprint on their hearts that when you are just only seeing we lived in Dube for a couple of years as well. And

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they're oh my gosh, like if you don't have a Lamborghini, they'll start a fund a GoFundMe

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because everyone is living over the top. And, and it just makes you intoxicated. You sometimes you feel intoxicated with the dunya. Okay, we enjoyed our experience there. But it was like I felt it was so grounding to be in Egypt. And to have those experiences where you are balancing the worldly things, you enjoy it, you have fun. At the same time you work on your dean you memorize, you get service, and then you do your best at school and with the family. So this we lived it and this is what I believe in walking the talk. If I am not doing something, I am not going to teach it. And by living it I feel that our kids and hamdulillah they were able to witness it and they learned Masha

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Allah, that's incredible. And I think it's good to kind of keep in mind with our own families, we definitely do see that service and acts of service often are, you know, very helpful in alleviating situational depression or situational anxiety. And so it's it's incredible to remind our viewers of making sure that that's a family activity that everyone does it together. Absolutely, it makes such a difference on there. Because the point of reference, right, a lot of times our point of reference our social media, Instagram, multimillionaires and billionaires and you feel like you never have enough. But when you actually take the time to see people who are not, well, often they struggle and

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yet they're happy and grateful. That's the amazing thing. So it really, it's a way of increasing your gratitude. Absolutely. So sister, Allah Subhanallah I feel like we just started our conversation, but we're already coming to the end and the final minute of our show. Is there any last words that you want to share with our viewers in about 30 seconds or so?

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Absolutely, you know, the most important thing is in addition to doing all the acts of worship, right, whether it's the prayers, the tedavi, the reading of the or on the beyond the charity, make sure that it's impacting your character, make sure that you emerge that we all emerge from Ramadan as a better version of ourselves. And the litmus test of this, your your acts of worship being counted is your they are your relationships, right? So if your relationship with your spouse is improving, that means, you know it's affecting it's having an impact on your heart. If you're being kinder to your kids, if you're being more patient. If you your overall demeanor is more polite and

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and more accepting and less judgmental. That means it is having the impact that Allah wants it to have and the Prophet sallallaahu Salam came to complete our character and that's going to be the heaviest on the scale more than the person who stays up all night. Praying and and reading we're on so my advice is work on the character in sha Allah, masha Allah just like a little kid. It's priceless that you've shared with us, and I'm so happy that you said yes to the show.

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There's a lot of things that you do say yes to and I appreciate you taking the time to be with us. For all of our viewers. Please take a few moments to check out the mindful hearts that's with an s.com Also check out sister Hellas website is hella banana.com You can learn a lot more about the work that she does. She's an incredible woman. 30 minutes does not give us enough to dive into the depth of her wisdom knowledge and experience. So please check her out in sha Allah and just look I'm a little scared everyone for joining us. Ramadan mubarak. We'll see you again tomorrow at 2pm Eastern Standard Time. ITV USA is Ramadan show balancing deen and dunya Santa Monica. Thank Allah