Sacred Text Messages S02 E07 – Don’t Be Triggered

Hamza Yusuf

Channel: Hamza Yusuf

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The word “triggered” is used to describe a strong emotional response to an upsetting event that reminds one of past traumas. The term has become popular for its colloquial use of feeling offended or hurt. Learning to handle negative or stressful situations is key to living a life of emotional and spiritual balance. In this episode, Shaykh Hamza discusses the sacred messages from the Quran which provide the antidote to negativity, teaching us to break free from the shackles of our base desires and find true freedom through the prophetic response.

Episode Transcript

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spin on Rahim masala Lahore NSE. Deena Mohammed Ali will slap you send them to Sleeman kathira a saramonic Omar Abdullah he over a carto peace be upon all of you. hamdulillah we're here again for another sacred text message. The verse that I'd like to look at today is in Surah Baqarah it's the 200 and 16th verse

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which says, could you be in a coma Peter, that

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struggle fighting?

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Obviously, in our tradition related to defending, defending the faith is prescribed upon you that it's an it's incumbent upon you. But then it says we'll we'll call to hillicon but it's it's distasteful to you. Well, I sent a crochet on Waheguru lecan was sent to hip bushi on Whoa, whoa, shout ruler calm, while La Jolla, Anna Morton from lotta animal. And perhaps you dislike a thing, and it is much good for you. And perhaps you love a thing. And in it as much harm for your evil for you. It's not good for you. And and Allah knows, God knows, and you don't know. So this very interesting verse in relation to something that in traditional psychology was identified.

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And something I learned from a really brilliant sinologist and scholar, Dr. Cleary, but in traditional psychology, that was a real recognition of the relationship between thinking and feeling that they're there. These are two capacities that are constantly in interplay in human beings, both from the external environment, but also internally. So we're affected. A word that people use today is triggered, that that people are affected by other people by what they say. There's a great story of a

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Pakistani Hakeem who

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used to treat with Rokia. And so this physician had a patient who he treated, and then and then the patient got well, and and the physician said, I'm so happy that the medicine worked. And she said that medicine didn't help me. And he said, Well, what helped you and she said, the hurricane did a rockier for me. And that's what cured me. And and the doctor was like, What do you mean? He said, I, after I came here, I went to my Hakeem sobbing, and he actually gave me a Duan did autopia and that's, that's what cured me. So this physician, he was a materialist, he was very upset about that he wanted to meet the height game, and explain to him that you're really misleading people. And so

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he went and visited him. And then the heck came said, when he met him, the doctor said to him, you know, you all this mumbo jumbo that you're doing misleading people telling them that, you know, you can say magical words, and they affect them and change their their body. And you know that we have science now, we don't need these things anymore. And then the heck came said, You're a donkey. And he's got really angry and he started turning red and puffing up and what do you mean, how dare you call me I'm, I'm a physician, I studied at King Edward Medical College. And, you know, I'm well regarded. And he said, No, no, you're worse than a donkey. I think you here's something else. And he

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saw get it. And then he started like, just really, really getting angry. And, and he was he was about to explode. And, and the hurricane just said to him, he said, Look, now these few words I've said to you have just completely changed your internal state. And there are only words, I didn't I didn't give you anything to

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you know, I didn't give you anything physical. How is it that those words could have such an effect on your internal state? And, and this is really about triggering and thinking and feeling. And so one of the things about thinking and feeling is that, that people can use them for really nefarious means like, because we're so susceptible to the the the changing of our inward states based on what's being presented to us, that people who have bad intentions can really do this. So one of the things traditionally that was understood, when you look at thinking and feeling they're related basically to the emotions and to logic, so there's a relationship between the emotions and logic and

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and so when we have this kind of, lack of knowledge of what's being

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done to us from others who might have real nefarious

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intentions in in, in manipulating our internal states. So when we're unaware of that, we can really really be used to, to they can excite us, and they can arrest our attention and take hold of us. It's a type of possession really, if you think about it, so people can become easily possessed groups can become possessed whole entire nations can become possessed under the spell of people that know how to manipulate them, when they have a type of unconscious vulnerability to these things. And so one of the things this is what this great teacher

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taught was that, that there's two classic models of emotional reprocessing, which illustrate how these differences in individual intellectual development are related to differences in emotional development. So one of the traditional ways of doing this was to rethink our likes and dislikes. And this is exactly what the vs is reminding us, that maybe you dislike a thing, and it is good for you. And maybe you like a thing, and actually, it is harm for you.

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So this is actually telling us to re process the way we're thinking about things. And so, if you look at

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what could be termed as emotional logic, so for instance,

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somebody does something to you, and and you and you feel that sorrow about you, you feel sadness from it, and then that, in turn, leads to self pity. So you feel like you're a victim, somebody who's harmed you, and then that leads to anger. So you, you start becoming angry, and then that leads to blame. So you're going to find a source of your anger. So you blame that person. And then that leads to rationalization why you're doing it, well, I'm justified in doing it. So that is a type of emotional logic where your feelings have really taken over. And they've taken over your internal state, and you actually have no control now over them, and you become basically a victim of

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a type of mind control, that Denise when talks about in a book called manipulated mind, was a very interesting book. And it's worth reading, because this is done constantly. And and rulers and governments use these techniques to manipulate the masses, there's a Chinese manual of us, for the Emperor have how to control whole nations, and one of the chapters is translated as the art of letting all hell break loose. So there are times when governments will actually let what they call a purge, they'll let a society purge itself, because they know they're so pent, there's so much pent up frustration, that it's kind of bloodletting. So they, they it's it's like it's, it's it's like

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when you Lance, a boil, so that, so that you can defuse the poison. So these are all techniques. But there's another model which which could be termed logical emotion, which is where you're, you're, you're really reprocessing your thoughts. And it's a type of is a way of thinking that you can detach yourself, so so you so something's happened, somebody has done something to you, so you feel this sorrow.

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But then you detach yourself, so you step away from it. And really, what's going on inside me? Why? Why do I feel, quote, unquote, triggered? Like, what? what what's happening inside of me that this person has taken control of my inner state. So you detach yourself, pull yourself away from it, and then you reflect.

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And that actually can lead to compassion, where you begin to actually have a different response. That's a free person's response. The first is the default setting. So all of us have default settings. When you get when you buy new technology. They're always on default settings. And then you have to read the manual, the operating manual, and then then you can actually set them to suit what what you need that thing for, where we also are come into this world with default settings. One of them is me, me, me, that's a default setting. That's why children scream when they don't get what they want. But you have to reset. And if you have good teachers, they'll help you that they can

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because you're like that new technology that they're going to reset the default setting and put in something else. But the book that the operating manual for the human being is called the haoran.

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That is the operating manual so you can actually learn how to

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understand yourself and then you can reprogram yourself, because a lot tells you all these things like where you then have the ball home

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Have a funeral. And when they get angry, they forgive. Oh, so I don't have to blame and attack and like, it's like somebody who's been watching television. And they think there's only one channel and their whole life. They just were watching this one channel. And then somebody comes in the room and says, What are you watching? And you say, I'm watching the TV. No, no, what channel are you on? What do you mean channel? What's a channel?

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That looks like a really stupid thing to be watching, but it's what's it called jackass? You know, so you're watching people do stupid things.

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No, there's other channel here. Look, here's the nature channel.

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You know,

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oh, look, here's a documentary about Mecca.

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Oh, here's recitation of Quran, there's whole other channels that you can turn on to. But if you don't know they exist, then you're just trapped in these in these empty mindless states. So really getting out of the default. setting is, is the lives challenge. That's what we're here to do. Because if you're constantly state of anger and blame, which is based on self pity, it makes you susceptible to divisive and defensive feelings. And so people can manipulate you, because you're angry. And there's all these people that

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a lot of their social work is actually personal pathology. So they're out there shouting and screaming against this, that or the other, they're actually just angry at their father for neglecting them. I mean, I'm not this is just I'm telling you the truth, people might not want to hear this. And I can speak from my own personal

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internal self reflection, and dealing with my own childhood traumas and things that happened to me and, and my own evolution. But I think a lot I was once with a really remarkable

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psychiatrist from Ghana, and he was beautiful. He was from a traditional family, his father had been a scholar, but he had a PhD, and he had actually MD in psychiatry, and we were at a conference and I won't say which Muslim group that there was a Muslim group, and they had a series of speakers. And one of them he was just just shouting in such agitation. And, and he was really going on and on about this and the other. And this this, this man from Ghana, he said, isn't it tragic that people can use public platforms to express their personal pathology? And I don't think you it wasn't like backbiting like he genuinely felt sorry for this person, like he could see that they weren't well,

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and that they, and that they, you know, they had this public platform. And so that, I mean, that's a lot of what's out there, that just people aren't Well, there's, there's all these unwell people. And so we shouldn't allow ourselves to be psychologically manipulated

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by people that understand how to manipulate us, and they do it through these techniques. And so

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one of the ways that people are vulnerable to this, this internal manipulation is, is this tendency to mix likes and dislikes with judgments of good and bad. So that's why the Quran is telling us, maybe you like a thing, and it's, it's actually bad for you, and maybe you dislike a thing, it's actually good for you. So this is one of the ways that you can actually re process your feelings and judgments by considering what is bad about what you like and what is good about what you dislike.

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And said when it becomes when, you know, Dr. Cleary says when when when the exercise becomes an ordinary reflex, then it is much harder to be deceived. By appeals to emotions, disguised as appeals to reason. Really important point. I think that's being made. Because both you know, individuals and groups can be fixated on things from outside. And this is real manipulation and we're living in a time of manipulation. Let us not forget that. The multitudes follow the Antichrist. They follow the Antichrist, he has at bat followers, that's what the prophesized him, called them. And he said that, that that he would have drones Yeah, I see. But the prophet literally said drones, that the that

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that Oh, yeah, I see that the Antichrist will be followed by drones and and I just

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You have to wonder about these drones that that they call them drones. And that was the word celluloid is and the province is m used to describe

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something that the Antichrist would have with him. So I hope people just reflect on this this idea of

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being triggered. This idea of not being triggered, is is clearly in the Quran because Allah subhanho wa Taala says, What about All right man illenium Shauna Allah of the whole network at the heart of Omen Lj Hideo Nakata, salam, that those who the servants of the merciful, they tread lightly on the earth and if ignorant peoples speak to them, they say peace. They just simply say peace. And then Allah subhana wa tada says, also, will you the mobile will biLlahi Maru, kerama that when they hear any vain talk, they just pass by it nobley and, and and in the tafsir as I say that Uzu Morrow kirana saho they overlook it, they don't, because the only way we can live together the prophets I

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send him said that the best people are those who mix with people and our patient with their other with their harm, that that that it's like, this is the world people are going to bother you. People are going to upset you. Don't let them take control of your internal states. Don't let them control you. Because Allah has Rodin Baba comely bobbin fitna, we have made some of you a trial, a trigger for others.

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Will you show patience, that's what Allah says, We've made some of you, a fitna a trial for others.

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Will you show patience. So again, patience is moving from the default setting of impatience of getting angry, of blaming of feeling victimized, to moving to

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what Allah subhanho wa Taala is given us in that operating manual, here's how you need to reprogram from the default setting, to

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the higher setting.

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Like don't allow people to trigger you don't feel triggered, don't even use the word you're triggering me know, have control of your internal emotions and just recognize Who's that person to, for me to allow that person to take control of my internal world.

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One of the things about and this something that kirkegaard pointed out, he said, people demand freedom of speech.

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As a compensation for lacking freedom of thought.

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That we, we have an internal world that we completely control if we learn how to control it. But if we don't, other people will control it. Don't let other people control your internal world. Take control of it, you can do it. It's called

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medica to neffs, the prophet SAW SM told us to take control of ourselves.

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I'm sickly Sonic, he said, Take control of your tongue.

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Right? I mean, the Quran tells us to take control of ourselves. Cool unphysical. Save yourselves. Don't let yourselves take control of you. You take control of yourself. Don't be the Don't let the elephant ride you. You ride the elephant.

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But if you let the elephant ride you

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it'll crush you and destroy you. Don't let other people control you control yourself. And the only way you can do that is by reflecting. And that's why reflection is so important about thinking, why am I getting upset? Why am I feeling this way? These are things that are there actually. There are things that we can do. We wouldn't have been commanded to do it. I remember when I read with more of that heard, the yuja hidden absolutely Robert onomichi halaby mahkamah theory of pain was in even Asher, at the end of CD, the VA had beautiful text. And I said to him, you know, it says, you know that you jahad enough so he struggles with his self for the sake of the lord of the world. I said we

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though relevant to an episode I asked more of that has one of the self overwhelms you. He said, No, no, you have to find it. That's the whole point. And he told me that Allah would not give us this tech leave. If it wasn't in our capacity. There you can live for long enough son in law. He will not give you any responsibility that was not in your capacity.

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What he told me, and he said, you just have to keep doing Mujahid until you take control of it. But don't let other people control you. Don't let other people manipulate you. This is really, really important, especially in an age where there's so much mass manipulation. You can't trust any of the news. You can't trust. You think you can trust what you're being told. What world do you live in? How many times you have to be lied to, before you realize that you you just that's why the best advice I think I've ever heard from any Western

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tradition, was the advice of

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Henry David Thoreau. And it was his the advice he gave about newspapers. He said, don't read the times, read the eternities.

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And what everybody's doing today is reading the times. Now on it's now it's on New York Times or whatever London Times. Now it's the internet, but that's what it is. Whereas we actually have a book of the eternities. It's called the Koran. If you want to know everything, it's all in there. And I'm not just saying it really is I'm, I mean that

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it's a difficult book, I'd be the first to admit that it's not an easy book, but nothing that's worth achieving, or attaining in this world is easy, nothing. All the easy things are the default settings. It's easy to overeat, it's easy to over speak, it's easy to waste time. It's easy to be lazy. All the default settings are easy. It's when you change those default settings which which is the Mujahid which is the struggle

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within Ninja delphina learner, Dr. gnome Suba, Lana and those who struggle in our way, we will guide them to our paths. And these are the paths of righteousness. May Allah make us from the people of righteousness. I mean saramonic