2018 Interview – Accidental Muslim Podcast

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Ismail Kamdar

Channel: Ismail Kamdar

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Sheena's Park CEO of pinion plus South Africa. This episode is brought to you in collaboration with accidental Muslims calm and Penny appeal. Assalamualaikum I'm Hello ellika and I'm Zaire Parker. Welcome to accidental muslim.com. So accidental muslims.com is a movement, a platform where we showcase present and future leaders to help us live with purpose. And we believe that everybody has a story to tell. This podcast hopes to add value. So welcome and enjoy. Salaam Alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh This is my conda and you're listening to accidental muslim.com. Today we have a special guest chef Ismail Kanda. He's the founder of Islamic self help calm faculty manager

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of Islamic online university Content Manager of zellige at tech startups specializing in Islamic apps and games. He's also the author of multiple books. He completed an LLM program in 2006, and a Bachelor's in Islamic Studies in 2014. He works from home he's a lucky man by Chad Durbin where he homeschools his four kids he works online and writes his books and articles. Everyone would like to welcome molana chef Ishmael counter Somali Kumara McCullough he will borrow Gatto shukran for sharing us your moments of time. I know they're precious and you know the book time management's I'm sure you know much about time management. But let's start off I remember you in school, we were in

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school together 100 lucky am I in primary school together and you very quiet guy and I remember you loved your World Wrestling Federation WWF what type of childhood would you say you had hamdulillah Everyone has their tests and in general has a very blessed childhood had the best of Deen and dunya. My mom's very religious, she raised us the point Islam raised us to be practicing Muslims to understand the religion taught us Islam. So when it comes to Deen, we weren't lacking for anything. Likewise, with the dunya Alhamdulillah, I come from a generally word of Muslim family and, you know, do you want anything in this dunya that we were deprived of, except,

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you know, allows will that at a very young age, when I was eight years old, my father was murdered. So I grew up without a father, everything else when it comes to dunya Alhamdulillah we had, when others will, that I grew up without a father. But to make up for that Allah gave me everything else I need in terms of, you know, money in terms of good education in terms of family. So hamdulillah I had a really fun childhood, a really memorable childhood. And

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so then what motivated you to undertake Islamic studies? Was it something you always had a passion for a young age, it was a career you wanted to aspire to? You know, the funny thing is, right into today, I don't consider Islamic Studies my career

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terms, I have multiple careers. I'm the faculty manager of a university I work for a tech startup I'm an entrepreneur, my own self help business. Islamic studies for me is a passion it's it's it's a guiding force for my life, and for the lives of those around me. So it's a way for me to navigate the dunya any business or job I get into I know what's halal or haram in that field. I know how to get through there and make sure my income says hello. You know, any situations that come up in life, I know how to handle it from an Islamic perspective. So right up to today, I don't look at Islamic studies as my career In fact, I will do Islamic work for money later be clear, right? Whether it's

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the radio programs, I used to have a new ad manager time you know and do for money. It was completely free. I didn't take venture money. Wait, yeah, right. Wait is the local Holocaust that I do, whether it's Islamic programs for kids in Durban, all that is free. I don't, I don't charge for teaching Islam. And I make dua to Allah, I never have to reach a point where I have to.

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My careers are separate my Islamic Studies in separate Islamic studies for me, is something I love. It's something I'm passionate about from a very young age. From the time I've learned to read, I've been reading books about the Sahaba books about the prophets, books about the signs of gamma. Right, totally. I love reading, I love listening to Islamic talks. So it's something that I grew into not considering it a career, but considering it's something that will benefit me and benefit others. So as you learn, you start sharing. Yeah, that's more or less. If you look at I started studying Islam full time at the age of 13. I started doing our the age of 16. So it's really been you know, it's

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something that I've been driven. Allah has guided me to be driven to love this this topic, the subject of love this topic, beautiful, man. So tell us share with us your journey of your studies that you've been through. Yeah. No, my studies. It's, it's strange. My first seven years were in a traditional dark room. A lot of scary stories there. You know, your typical, very extremely, I think it's one of the most extreme ones in South Africa. And this gives you an idea when you were in school, right? The kids consider me to be like a pious guy. Yeah. When I went to the doctor

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are the same guy because they need to be a bad boy. Okay, I was the exact same kid. But their idea of pious is so extreme that you couldn't live up to it. You know, I mean, on the spot, they want you to give up TV to give up video games to do a full time coat and Toppy to just be the super super pious guy overnight and your kid? Yeah, it's just not possible. So I had a lot of conflict in early years as to you know, is this really what I want to do? Is this really what Islam is? What it means to be a Muslim? And and those questions are good, those are encouraged. They are good questions. They are what they do push me when I was about 15 years old are in Formula and in MCI set everyday

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by the Kaaba, making the dewasa fattier

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guidance. And you went on that trip, I went to the bookstores, I was introduced to books by moody by qaradawi, but even Tamia by a variety of different schools of thought. I remember the first time I love this story, I went to the bookshop, and asked the bookshop owner give me a book that proved that music is haram. And he looked at me strangely, and he gave me this was in Saudi Saudi in Morocco books of me strangely, they took us of Canada with holiday, Jeremy Sampson, read this book, you're gonna benefit from it. I was

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a good salesman. It was a complete opposite of what I'd let him address. I'm happy I was exposed to those variety of different schools of thought at a young age because it made me realize that what I was learning wasn't the only understanding of Islam because one understanding of Islam, and I began to explore other understandings of Islam as well. Once I graduated, I went through a very extreme Salafi phase, right in my early 20s, after you're unemployed, yeah, I finished my I started 13, I finished and I was 20. Right? So for 20 to 24 hours, a beautiful, extreme Salafi type of introduction phase, because what I found is they

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were very strict on Quran and Sunnah and rejecting any changes to their religion. And that was attractive to me. But after a few years, I found that, again, they had these unrealistic expectations, and they were really extreme in their definitions of what is better. I mean, when I see someone making do I want to see that line to the carpet is better. And I didn't have a set definition. And many of them have really extreme understandings and authority that in that circles, conversations just revolve around backbiting others, your whole conversation that this guy is a bad idea, that guy's a diva that these people are homies, and I didn't like that second, like what he

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was doing to me either. And that's a common factor in many, in many circles, because I experienced the exact same, what I found is, the beliefs were different from what I was in before, but the mentality and the group mindset was exactly the same. You know, when I was a hardcore do do hardcore Salah, it was the exact same group mentality. Yeah, even though they both hated each other so much, but the more likely they imagined. And so as I grew older, I kind of pulled away from any label altogether, what really pushed me to that was, so I went to India, and I spent two months living in India and teaching at a Salafi school there, okay. And why not teaching it at school, I was exposed

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to so many extremists amongst them that I remember it telling the school principal, I'm no longer Salafi. I'm just a Muslim. I just don't want to sleep. I don't want any labels. So I came back to South Africa. and South Africa really labeled me at that point in time. I got job online. Alhamdulillah been working online ever since my understanding of Islam has grown to a level where today I'm just a Muslim, I don't follow any specific rule. If you go to my library have books by Salafi authors by Sufi authors by Deobandi artists, I need across all math hubs. When it comes to issues of differential opinion, I sit and make to ask Allah for guidance. I don't rely on a specific

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school of thought anymore.

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And then then you you further your studies, yes. with a Bachelor of Islamic Studies online, online. So in 2014, I finished that umbrella. and thereafter you you get married at a fairly young age. How old? were you? I was 20. My wife was 1800. Do you think this is a solution? I mean, do you face it right at that at that time? Do you think it's a solution for this 21st century young man or lady to steer them away from the vices of the current situation we'll be living in?

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What do you think our generation at the moment are pretty, you know, much less mature than the times before? Both.

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The generation being less mature, it's parenting problems. It's the parents fault. It is a Muslim parents duty to raise their child in a way that when they attain puberty, they are responsible adults. We are following the Islamic parenting model. My mother raised me like that. I mean, by the age of 13, I was praying five times a day by the age of 16. I was doing Dawa by the age of 23 to 21. I was a father at the age of 23. I was a published author. My mother raised me like that. Other parents can do the same. The problem is we're not doing that. So the immaturity is the parents fault. If

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You raise your I see parents treating the 30 odd babies, that child's never going to grow up islamically once your child hits puberty, you start treating him like how you want to be treated as an adult. And you'll see how quickly you mature. So that's the one side. Now the other side, I believe, 100% it is a solution to the problems of our time. And we only have these problems because we are not following the dynasty. You know, always sit back. And I think, if I had not been married in my early 20s, I don't know what would have happened. Because I became famous at a very young age, like 2324, I went to my first international 25 Yeah, if I wasn't married, I had a lot of woman

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chasing after me at that young age. Some of them for wrong reasons, I wouldn't want that marriage. But the other day I was married, we still wanted marriage. That's a lot. A few more. That's the mentality. Right? So always think back, what would have happened if I wasn't married, you know, based on his fitness, you know, how would I have survived it? Yeah, you know how many I got married a very young age, we both were chase to go to a brought up in our pure upbringing. We got married, we both received from fitness through that. And I encourage it all around. But you see what we have two problems here. Number one, is we are following the western model for marriage, even though we

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have a different culture and morality. So they from the age of puberty until 30 they sleeping around.

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And meanwhile, the building a university degrees, they're building a source of income, and then they get married, they settle down. Now, that's not what Islam teaches. We want to do the same thing without snooping around. Yeah, how do you fit that in? Because from the age of puberty until 30, that's when you are at the most crime? Yeah, the most destructive when it comes to that part of you, you know, and also psychologically, that's the time of your life when you most need a spouse in terms of emotional support. You need someone to connect. So you're looking for a girlfriend that is because you need that emotional connection with someone. It's not natural to go to that age without

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someone to connect to emotionally. So we want to follow their lifestyle. Without the immorality, we have to go back to our life say, and one of the ways to do that is we need to redefine our understanding of nikka. Waiting the car means you get married, you move in together, he must have a big house, he must have his car he must have degrees life must be said, yes, you must be safe. That's not how the Sahaba did it. When I got married, I didn't have a job yet. I lived with my mom. We lived my first three years of marriage. Then I moved on my own. In my family, there are others. You know, there was two who were in university together. And they liked each other, had IndyCar

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performed continue to the university life. When he finished university they moved in together. Someone else recently came to me in high school told me he found a girl in two years after getting married. So don't wait two years. You only have Young University, high school.

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High school so you can make the car right now. And when you are ready to move in in 123 years time okay movie together. He Sam doesn't say you have to move in together at the same time. Why do we want to follow other people's standards? Allah tells us in the Quran, that get married Allah will provide for you after that. That's what the Quran says. We don't believe in Allah has promised us construction. Yeah, we don't believe it unless promise. I was promising us. If you get married, Allah will open the doors for you. And so the Sahaba used to get married at a very young age. I got married at a very young age. I've been married for 11 years now. hamdulillah. I'm 31 got married,

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and I was 20. And I have no regrets for getting married young. And I'll tell you some people, some people got married young and they got divorced. Yeah. I would say no, no people got married all in a divorce.

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Has nothing to do with getting married young getting old do you marry the wrong person is what's nice is if you get married young and you marry the wrong person, you still young, you can still get a divorce and surprise. But you can wait until you're 18. And you get married to the wrong person and you get divorced by 35 is much harder to find a second time. Right? Again, our society has a major stigma against divorce, which is actually Hello. Yeah, it is Hello, we are not Catholics. You know, if two people are not right with each other, there are so many cases where I told people to get a divorce. And now they're both happy and married and moved on with their lives. It's just that

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stigma. The stigma is there with our society. We need to let go of that stigma. Let them get married young. If it works out at hamdulillah. It doesn't work out is to save them from it now. Yeah.

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So you said there were two issues. The second issue was our own understanding of Nika. There was the second issue. We have to redefine. We need to stop thinking of Nika as this whole wedding ceremony and having a big house and high expensive. It's just get them on and get the witnesses get the father and sign the contract. And Allah guide us army. Going back a bit. You You said you had or other experienced many versions, very commerce of Islam, right, or schools of Fortune recorded. How do you know which one is the right path? I mean, many people are going through a similar situation. You went through the questions that you asked that time. I think this is an important journey for

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everybody to take. And what you're going to find everyone when they first start practicing Islam, they go to this extreme zealots phase. You know

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Were you like Superman, and everything's harami everyone is bad, and you're the good guy and you're trying to change society. And when you realize that doesn't work, you crash or you find a balance. To me, people crashing, don't find a balance. We need to find that balance. And that's what I think happened to us all hamdulillah and

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what we need to realize is that in Islam, there are certain fundamentals that everybody agrees upon the five pillars. You believe in your Shahada, you pray five times a day you first the month of Ramadan, you give you as a god, you go for Hajj. Everybody agrees upon that. Yeah. So do that. Don't worry about that. Allah's hands means hands, it means these powers, what's the meaning of that verse? The ones you have the wrong meaning are going to Johanna. That's, that's all it tells us in the Quran that if someone's been the whole life, fulfilling the five pillars of Islam, Allah is going through the agenda because they misunderstood one verse of the Quran. We have this really

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extreme mentality that if your understanding of Islam is no 100%, in line of minds that you're going to help, we forget Allah has. Allah has divided his mercy into 100 portions and save 99% for the Day of Judgment. We forget all about when you understand that you realize what really is the big deals, the big deals, you know, avoid Zinner avoid alcohol, you know, avoid shirk, fulfill the five pillars believe in the six pillars of Eman. Focus on what people agree upon, on areas where they disagree. follow a scholar who you trust, make, do ask Allah to guide you. And then respect the other views that are out there. Don't Don't try to make the whole world fit your understanding. There's two

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things there's what Allah has revealed, and is what people have understood. The Quran, the Hadees, the see what Allah has revealed, the agreed upon laws, what Allah has revealed,

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the labels, the groups, these are all people's understandings. And people's understandings can be right, they can be wrong, respect them, don't blindly follow them. I love you mentioned two points, which I think it's a really take home is one is the why why you're doing it understanding the purpose behind all the actions that you're doing. Yes, repaying the car yesterday doing hard yesterday, fasting, but understanding the why. And the second thing you spoke about, was asking a lot for guidance. Is that you said you did it in the Kaaba and Allah guided you. And I think that's where people get feel strange to do so. Yes, because they don't feel alone answer them. You see, a

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lot told us in the Quran, he tells you that Allah guides whom He works and you leave the three homie worlds, or what we don't realize elsewhere in the Quran, Allah says he guides those who seek His guidance.

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So that's unless promise, and I believe 100% of the promise of Allah. So when I am confused on the issue of feeco aqeedah, I turn to Allah and I make dua, because I am 100% sure that Allah will guide me to what is best for me. And allow will not hold me accountable for following what he guided me to. Because the prophets Lawson has promised us that when it comes to these areas of difference of opinion, if you are sincerely wrong, let us look into the watching. And if you are sincerely right, we'll get double the reward either way, I was gonna reward you because he knows you sincerely tried your best. You following based on all your research what you sincerely believe is a correct

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understanding of Islam. So beyond that, Allah is not going to punish you for sincerely trying to obey Him.

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Hungry Allah. Now at a young age again, you 23 you wrote your first book? How did the interest in writing start and grow? It's always been there. In school, I was always getting A's for my essays, okay, I can't read my own comics.

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I'm a writer from that age. It's just been something that I'm that I've been naturally blessed with, from the time blessed to the summertime, I'm a kid. And I never ever thought about not writing. It was always in the back of my head. I'm going to write one day. And then how did you develop it? It's, it's really just trial and error. What I always do is, every time I write a book, I look at my previous books, I see the negative reviews, I see what did people not like? Maybe they found repeated information, my sentences were too long. They were grammatical problems. And I try and improve. So my goal is always whatever book I write needs to be better than the book before it. And

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so when they are negative reviews, initially, I should be very upset about them. I learned to realize that the most important reviews, yeah, because they've helped me to hone my craft to improve. So when you look at my earlier books, in my later books, you should see a significant improvement in my style of writing. Absolutely. Now the topics you you've chosen to write on are not very common and pretty unique, some of them so like the titles I'd like to mention is having fun to allow entertainment in Islam, my favorite book, themes of the Quran guidelines for confused Muslims. I like to tie But recently, you kind of branched off into somewhat of an untapped market called

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Islamic self help with books like getting the Baraka and Islamic guide to time management, discover your hidden gems, and 10s 10 self help tips from 10 authentic IDs. Would you like to share with us the concept of Islamic self help? Sure. Before that, you know, why do I write about unique topics? I believe that if someone's already written a book on

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topic, why should I write a book on the same topic? You know, like I remember once a student of mine said he was writing a book about the benefits of praying Salah. So I asked him why? He said, because it's a good topic, I said, but there's already 1000 books out on that topic. So what's different between yours and those 1000 books, right about something that no one's written about before. Yeah. And that's where I get my inspiration from all these things. What is nobody written about before, or very few people are these nobody in English has written about it, but nobody in my community. And that becomes a topic I choose to write about. That's why I have these unique topics. And that's an

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Islamic self help came about, it wasn't something that I ever planned to do.

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When I became the manager at the university, I didn't have management experience or skills or education. So I started reading self help books to build my own management skills, personal interpersonal skills. And I found that they were in books, or a lot of books in a market by Muslim authors. And whenever people were asking me now because people actually saw the difference, and I asked him, you know, you've got all these time management skills and self confidence skills. Which books did you read? What book can I read? And I'll give him the names of books by non Muslim authors. And they will ask me, What about a Muslim is an Islamic book is a book by Muslim on this

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topic. And actually, I realized that there's a whole untapped market out there. We don't have an Islamic self help niche. So I started the website and I wrote the first two books time management and self confidence, which 100 combined have sold 1000s of copies around the world. And it just grew from there into into a full fledged Business Online 100. And so the like workshops that have been done now, they are workshop, not that many, right now focusing on articles, ebooks, online courses. I want to go more into workshops in the future, just workshops are but more expensive to host. So as we build up, then once we can afford you will be doing workshops. And then you've written a book

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called homeschooling one on one what to expect in your first year. How did this come up? And why did you choose to homeschool your own children rather than a conventional school? Yeah, I used to be a school teacher. And I lost hope in this African school system in our CG schools. I just, I could never imagine my children growing up in that environment. They've just degenerated. I know if you see the Facebook post I put up today about the problems with Muslim schools. Yeah, it's a slide by Shetty our back, which says that schools are run for profits. And the teacher that they're just to do a job but not to have a passion. And the parents are basically outsource parenting to the

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schools, they want the school to better take care. So true. And is it all of the points is right. And I realized that as a Muslim parents, my children's education is my responsibility. I can't outsource it to someone who I don't trust, or someone who I'm not sure is going to do a good job as me. I am a teacher, and I work from home. So I have the skills and the time to teach our kids. If I didn't have either of those two hours, I've sent them to a school. Or if I knew of a school that I truly believed in, in the area, I would have set up to that school feel comfortable, but I don't. So homeschooling is something which I really spent three years thinking about it. And I sent my kids to

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one of my elders to school for one year to preschool just to test it out. And at the same time, my second eldest, I was homeschooled again. And I found that they were learning much more much faster than he actually enjoyed the learning to homeschooling, compared to the one who was going to school, who was actually much further behind, less confident and not enjoying the learning experience. I realized that the school system makes children dislike learning, I know if you realize that, that when you go to school, you start to hate learning, it becomes a burden, it becomes like a prison, you know, and I love learning. I want to make kids who grew up with a love of learning. I myself, I

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didn't finish school at school, you know, after grade eight, I disappeared. The rest of it I did to home school. I did from home country correspondence micrometric. I don't just go to university get my bachelor's degree online. Because I did do my so my schooling from home. And I'm very grateful for the fact that I did high school from Home Instead of experiencing a high school environment, because I know what would have happened to me in our local high schools, you know, with the wrong company, things like that. Yeah. So it worked on me. It worked. A lot of people I know other people who I look up to, they homeschool their kids, or my mentors. And eventually I keep the decision that

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I do work from home, I am available. I do have the skills. I am a teacher. And this is something that we can really do. And it's been five years or almost My kids love it. You know, for me if they are naughty, then I tell them if you behave like this, I'm gonna send you to school.

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I love that. But I mean, there's a lot of controversy behind it is does your book kind of clear some of those myths? We have a whole section in the book on frequently asked questions about homeschooling, we cover all of those things, you know, the socialization method, the legal illegal method, all of that is covered there. Yeah. Because socializing would be the Yeah, I don't really get that because you get excursions, right. Yeah. I mean,

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Look at the side, when we go to school, the teachers tell us to shut up, they keep quiet. And then we keep our kids at home. They tell us how they're going to socialize. How are we shutting up, we keep it quiet socializing. You know, my kids at home, there's no Shut up, I keep quiet. They talk to each other. And their group is no one kid. It's for kids. They're basically a class, you know. And they were the cousins or the weekends, they go for martial arts class, we take them for excursions. They, they have their friends in the neighborhood, but they have defended at their extracurricular activities. You don't have to go to school to socialize. The school system only existed for the past

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150 years, which I told you before that people don't

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like that. I like that a lot. Now, you know, everyone goes through, you know, obstacles in life and down. But it's always about those successes that really, you know, stick to the heart and push you on. Would you share some of what one of your success stories with us?

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That would be the study by an Islamic self help. In 2014, Hamdulillah, I was earning well enough that I had extra money over each month. And I was thinking to myself, should I save this money or invest it and decided to start a website? I started Islamic self help for it cost me 2000 to set it up. And the running costs right now is about 2000 to 3000, including marketing, because I do a lot of paid marketing to Facebook and Google AdWords, social marketing. So yeah, yeah. So it's costing 2000 3000 to run. And what's happened is it's has developed into a source of income for me, where for the past, since October 2015, Reichl now, it has been running consistently at a profit. So that

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little bit of extra money ahead each month 2000, I turned it into two new sources of income ebooks, online courses. So now suddenly, instead of one stream of income, I have multiple streams of income. And that was a that gave me the ability to upgrade my life even further. And so my advice to people is that try to create multiple streams of income in your life. Think about how you can diversify, he doesn't just have to be your job. If you look at a website website, takes you about, you know, literally four hours a week to learn. I got the whole idea from the book, The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. That's literally how early Islamic self help. It's literally four hours a week, and

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it's a whole side income. So I have a lot to do. on my own. I built the website, my own if you look at the website, everything from the graphics to the design of the webpage, the hosting, everything's on my own, it's a one person job. How did you do that? Did you learn I learned I invested ice I studied online, I signed up for online courses on web design, or graphic design or marketing or social media marketing. And I learned everything. I became a one man business. And it's really helped me to grow. For me, it's been a success, not just financially, but in terms of my own growth, my own confidence, my own confidence in my ability to do things I never knew I could do. Like

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before, I used to hire people to design graphics for me. Now I've purchased my own graphics design software and do it all myself, you know, and it's really empowering to be able to do that. So it's been a really beautiful journey that Islamic South hub hasn't just benefited 1000s of other people. But most importantly, it's benefited me and helped me to grow into who I am today.

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So I hear your success stories. And I'm so inspired by it. And then I remember you as a kid, we've been pretty quiet child, as I mentioned earlier. Oh, and now you're giving talks on major stages across the globe online. How does it change? Yeah, the funny thing is, I'm still a pretty quiet kid. I'm still an introvert and what what changed is when I was younger people to tell me Don't be an introvert, you grew up to be introverted, not only like some kind of bad or scary thing. And when I grew up, I grew to embrace being an introvert as as an advantage. You know, Mandela was an introvert. Gandhi was an introvert.

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Lamas introvert Bill Gates is an introvert. A lot of these people who are very famous are highly introverted. And what introvert doesn't mean we're not social, it simply means we really do well on our own. So for if you look at my lifestyle, today, I work from home, I will literally sit alone at home in front of a computer for six hours and not miss society. That's my personality. That's how I'm able to write books. honestly think if I was extroverted, I wouldn't be able to write books because it takes a lot of determination to sit alone in a room and just type and type for hours on end. Definitely opposites.

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Yeah, and being an introvert doesn't mean I don't like being part of society. It simply means that when I'm around people, I get exhausted. Every on my own, I get powered up. So for example, when I need to relax, I need me time and your alone time. That's part of being introvert. Right? While other guys were more extroverted when we need to relax, you want to go to the guys don't hang out with their friends. So it just means you've got different ways of relaxing and different things we are good at. introverts are generally better at creativity better at working alone, better at writing books, better at doing work, that

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requires you to be alone for long periods of time. So many truck drivers are introverts, because you're literally alone on the road all day. Just you in your mind. Yeah, exactly. So if you are introverted, that will kill you. So it's not a negative. It's simply something Allah has given you. It's how you choose to see it that will make it a positive or negative in your life. Fantastic. Now, one of the most intriguing things I find about you is that I would call you a cool share, right? many younger younger people who meet you. And I know we had the the meetup. And that's the response I got was like, wow, this is someone I could please approachable is someone I can talk to grab a cup

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of coffee with how important you think is for Islamic scholars to be able to be approachable and not intimidating to young people in especially in these times. Yeah, you know, when I was studying Islam, I almost got pushed away from Islam, because of the the attitude of my teachers, you know, they were these strict scary guys, we're always frowning. And you can't talk to them, you know, they are so judgmental, and they carry on, like, they don't have any sense. And as soon as you scan of them, and I looked around me and I saw that many people because of that, they left Islam, either. Literally left is someone who just stopped practicing, because they look at that and think that

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that's what it means to be a practicing Muslim.

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And for me, I grew up reading the stories of the Sahaba reading the stories of the prophets, lawyer, Solomon, I saw them to be very approachable people, the prophets long son was always smiling. So I don't know when frowning became the showrunner

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and the Prophet's life. So when he sat with these people, you would not be able to distinguish him from the crowd, not from how he dressed, nor from where he was sitting. He was a man of the people. So where do we get this idea that because you studied Islam, you need to dress like a super pious and you need to sit in a special chair and get special treatment. That's not the Prophet, that's not the Sahaba it's not a human ready, we get this fun. So in reality is going back to the sooner you know, and people may find it ironic that I'm wearing a shirt and pants, and I'm talking about going back to the sooner I believe this is the sooner the sooner is to just like your people are wearing

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loose fitting clothes when able to need a covered pencil about my ankles, I'm not wearing female clothes. I'm fulfilling all the Sharia requirements of how a man supposed to dress is just shirt and pants is of course, a topic. And both are permissible, we forget that both ways are permissible. You know, many people began to think that the topic is watching, especially if your mother Yeah. And for many years, I was scared to step out of the house in a shirt and pants because of people's judgmental stares. When I hit the tee, the way my way of thinking just changed altogether, I'm like, I'm not gonna spend the rest of my life living according to other people's standards. And what I

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found is once I started wearing shirt and pants, even more people started approaching me to teach him because suddenly, they didn't look at me as a scary guy. They looked at me as someone like him, someone they can relate to. And I found this to be very good for reaching out to a younger generation, who have been in some cases traumatized by people who just a certain way, who beat them up when they were kids, or hit them with sticks when they were kids, they don't want to go to someone who looks like that, for the Islamic education. You know, unfortunately, it has created a negative image in their minds. And also, we are in danger of becoming a community, that thing that

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quota and Toby is watching.

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To counter that thought, some of us have to just differently to everybody who chill. That's permissible. But this is also permissible. Both ways are permissible. So let's not go to extremes here. And whatever is close to your heart and do it exactly, as long as what someone's doing is hollow, we shouldn't be picking on him for it.

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So if you're below the age of 3500, and you've achieved such a great deal in such a short time, why is it do you think young Muslims are unable to find their identity and connect with who they are like how you've done? You know, there's two issues here. The first is the parenting.

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My case and in your case, we both been raised by parents who gave us both an engineer you know, they raised us to excel at both. They we and you know this is something which a lot of people don't have a lot of people have been raised to they actually haven't been raised at all. To put it simply a lot of our generation they literally were raised by the television used to be consumers. Yeah. So they don't have a purpose they don't have a goal they don't have an idea of what they're doing with their lives they accidental Muslims that's what they are. I love the name of this podcast because that's exactly what our society has become. You know he just a Muslim because you happen to be born into a

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Muslim family. But in the end you just a consumer of materials culture and you you just buying and buying the latest iPhone, the latest this latest that trying to get to that level of everyone the social status of it. Yeah, exactly. And when you get there, you're still not happy because there's no real reason behind it. There's no why there's no reason to be up there. So one thing is the parenting the other

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Related to that what I'm mentioning now is a lot of young people don't have a wide you have a purpose, you know, you're still going to live with purpose. Yeah. And we have a purpose, we know what you want to do. Islam teaches us that Allah created us to worship Him. Islam teaches us that Allah created us to worshipping. But what a lot of people fail to realize is that there are many ways to live your life and worship Allah.

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Are you going to be involved in our community work? Are you going to be, you know, giving a lot of charity? Are you going to be building machines? No, what are you going to do? You need to find your way, your way of worshipping Allah benefiting the Ummah, a lot of people don't have this. They raised to be consumers not to be givers. as Muslims, we are supposed to raise our children to be givers. Let me tell anyone out there who's living a consumer lifestyle, you will never be happy. Because happiness comes from giving back. Happiness comes from helping others. You buy the latest phone, it's not going to just make you happy on its own. Not if you are living a selfish lifestyle.

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But if you are benefiting this oma, you will be happy. So there's nothing wrong with wanting to be rich. I mean, if you're living with purpose, so for example, your purpose could be I want to be a multimillionaire, because I want to build mastery, I want to dig wells, I want to build schools that I need to be a millionaire to do all that, yeah, now you have a purpose. Now you are driven to a higher and nobler goal, you're going to make the same money as the other guy, but you're going to make it in a pure way you're going to spend in a pure way is going to pile up in the afterlife for you and benefit people in this world as well. Yeah. So what's missing? Is the purpose to be an

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accidental Muslim, live with purpose, take time to think I'm on this earth for a limited amount of time. What am I going to do with that time, because I'm going to be answerable for it to a love anniversary. And that's the time that we've given a very finite space of time. And the lesson, I guess, you say, question us, and what do we do with the time but then it comes to the time of finding that that balance between your duties to Allah and your duties mankind, like someone to me, I love, you know, being out in the space and doing all this work communities and all the time. But then at the expense, possibly of me missing my pleasure. So no morning, right? So how do you get

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that balance? How do you sort that out? Well, again, it's a matter of priorities, remember our duties to allow, if you look at our religion, the majority of our religion is actually duties to mankind, very few duties to Allah five times a day, that's less than 30 minutes of soda a day. So 30 minutes for Allah, the race for benefiting the oma, you know, so if we can't find that 30 minutes a day for Allah, then there's something wrong with our priorities. And so we need to realize a lot not asking us for much for him. He's asking us for more for his oma, for, for for his creation, you know, so making the time you're just realizing, listen, I know four o'clock is for john, I know if I

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go to bed at this, I'm not going to recover, john. So I must get into the habit of falling asleep two hours earlier, or get a better alarm clock, okay, my neighbor to wake me up, or get my wife to water, my face, whatever it takes, because that's a priority in my life. So it really comes down to realizing a large not asking us for much just make the time for what is asking for. So after all the seriousness, and after all the homeschooling and the lecturing, and the writing, how do you find your balance and your peace? What are some of the tips that you use to get that? Well, one is meet time, right? As I mentioned earlier, I'm an introvert, I need a lot of alone time. So that's a

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priority to me. And you know, actually, in my early years of working hours, just all outward, non stop working. And one day, I was taking my grandmother somewhere, just me and my grandmother in the car, and I was telling about all the work I was doing and then she told me what you're doing for yourself. Now. So what do you mean, don't ever even crossed my mind? She's like, what are you doing to take care of yourself to enjoy yourself? You know, you have to teach, she told me you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. And that stuck with me and since the rifle today, part of my priorities is taking care of myself. In fact, you know it, I put the other

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priorities like this a lot more rights than myself. Then my family did the community that people say why yourself before your family. Because if you're not taking care of yourself, you don't have the ability to take care of your family. If you are depressed, if you are not healthy, if you are sickly if you are stressed out, you cannot take care of your family. So you have to prioritize taking care of yourself you have to make time and have the I have a very understanding family. You know if I tell my wife Listen, I'm really Gina I need some alone time she understands because we've been together for 10 years, she knows my personality, she knows something I need to be at my best for her

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and for the kids. He also we found that that balance. So number one is behavior.

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To make meeting, whether it's for video games or whether it is have a cup of coffee or something, or go to a coffee shop, or just sit alone, you'll see me just sitting alone with a cup of coffee deep in thought I see you walking on the road, I do that a lot to at least once a day, I take a half an hour walk just down the street in completely lost in my thoughts. That's also my me time, I need that to be at my best. And so when I see I need me time I head to a coffee shop, or go for a walk or play a video game, I do something that this connects me from the world. And this keeps me with myself. The other thing, which helps me to have a balanced life is I live a life of gratitude.

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This is something I've developed recently, and it's really really benefited me, it's really helped me, one of the things I do is every morning, as soon as I wake up, I write down to the things that I'm grateful for today. And for each of those three things, I see Alhamdulillah. And I think of something really, really powerful and the biggest such a shocker straightaway. And there's nothing will ever something amazing happens I immediately make such and take a lot for it a life of gratitude to such an extent that when negative thoughts come in my mind that negative thoughts come in the mind of everybody. I counted them and I tried to come to them with total gratitude are the

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exact same thing. So if I'm thinking I've got too much work to do today, I counted to the total hamdulillah I have so many jobs that some people are unemployed. Allah has blessed me with this work. If I'm having negative thoughts about the children being noisy, I said, hum did I have four amazing kids? You know, that's something really to be grateful to allow for I love my kids. So you take the same thing that's irritating you. And to remind yourself, it's actually a blessing from Allah. Allah tells us in the Quran about one's wife, it says if you dislike her, there may be many things Allah had given it as beautiful, is one thing you don't like about your wife, which is 100

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things you love about the focus on 100 things you love about not one or two human thoughts. Right. And so that should be our attitude to everything we need our kids with. It's our job, we need anything around us focus on the good and you will find that you have so much to be grateful for and the most beautiful part of living a life of gratitude. Allah has promised us if you are grateful, I will give you more. So that's how I love and I've seen this in my own life. For many years I Joe very beaten up video 20 old car, people actually tell me to cancel all your cars like this, your cars identity, I always see Al Hamdulillah by car never breaks down at 100 I have a car. And last

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year,

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I got upgraded, you know, to a much better cut the exact same count we can do for and accordion half the price, it's actually market value. And also people that's because I was grateful for my old car, Allah gave me a better car if I was complaining about my old car alone or give me a better person because I'm complaining about the blessing already had. And so I really believe in the power of gratitude. That's what keeps me going. That's what keeps me happy. The simple way that we can do it down there is I love that advice. So we shed you you know your family, you have a lot. We shared some funny moments we've experienced, I'm sure there's some funny moments that you've experienced

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really

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live with forever? I mean, would you share some of them? Yeah, this is the moment where it really hit me that the evil eye is real. You know, I mean, there's a hadith that says that but because we grew up in a secular world, the suffering is it really, you know, really. And it's also the moment that I decided to stop giving lectures to female only crowds.

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So this was in December last year, I went to Kenya for a lecture tour. And one of my lectures, I walk into this classroom and is like 50 young ladies, nothing else but 50 young ladies know me. And they are blushing, they are giggling there. It's really hard to concentrate to give an Islamic lecture to a crowd of giggling, blushing young ladies. And I was very uncomfortable, but again, my duty to Allah to give these lectures to talk to every crowd. I gave the lecture way back to my hotel room. I cut my finger opening a bottle of culture, like cut two fingers and it stopped bleeding water. And while I was cleaning that up, I bumped my foot against a foot tree and he got cut, he's

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bleeding. Then I made a cup of coffee and for the first The only time in my life I've spilled the entire boiling hot cup of coffee on both my hands at the same time. All of this within the span of one hour. I'm sitting at Dickey to myself watch going on. Did the hardest hit my head evil is real those ladies were blushing and giggling and looking at you like that and she gave it to you.

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So I set a ribeye to consider by three calls. And it all stopped it literally all stopped that's realized Whoa, this is a real thing people can get jealous of you are jealous of your family. So you know I always make it a habit to recite idol consumer records every morning. And personally I don't like to give a lecture to a female only crowd at mixed crowd is fine but female only it's just that unfortunately a lot of sisters when they attend my lectures the

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the end up I see some of the messages I get

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to see Oh, we should have a husband like you and you're looking for a second wife and

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Fit now. It's big fit now. So I stations, so I just stay away from that type of crowd altogether. Now we are not guided. So forgive us for mistakes.

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And finally, I'm sure there's going to be a beautiful thing coming after this one of your favorite Quranic verses and why? You know, when you send me this list of questions, that's the one that got stuck on the second longest, the funny incident was the longest, but I have so many favorite Quranic verses, I sat down for 10 minutes and thought to myself, what is the one verse I remind myself about most often, that's the one I need to tell you. And you came to my head. And this verse, maybe the opposite type of verse where people are thinking about people thinking of like, you know, with difficulties ease and if you're gay, they'll give you more diversity I identify myself most often is

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in Surah Baqarah Allah says, while a double wonder can be shaved middle, hopefully will do even oximeter and while you will see what some are odd for bursaries for bidding, we will definitely, definitely there's actually two definitely in this verse, we will definitely definitely test you with fear hunger, loss of life, loss of wealth, loss of efforts Farragut fear, hunger, loss of lives, loss of wealth, loss of effort. So give good news to those who are patient was lots of effort lots of ever means you worked hard your business, the actual versus loss of fruit. And what I've seen says is that you build your farm up, you cultivated the crop, you can have a good harvest. And

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you say the same thing applies to business, you worked hard, you'll make any profit that month, or even the end of this is the loop give good news to those who are patient.

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And I remind myself of this first throughout my life, you know, because when times are bad, this is the first person that comes to my head, be patient because Allah has promised you this, you are with some people who they become atheists, they say because bad things happen. And what they thought is if I become pious, allow love me, Allah protect me, only nice things are gonna happen to me. Let me just read the Quran. Allah promised you the Quran is going to test you. So if you believe that Allah is promised, when bad things happen, you're going to lose faith is going to increase your faith. Allah says in the Quran, the true believers are those who, when these things happen, it increased

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their fitness spoke about the Battle of azabu destroyed, it increased their faith because Allah promises going against us. And so whenever something bad happens, this is the first verse that hits my head. Allah has promised to test me to see my test for battery swapping, I have to have somebody is he the only way do I have to have somebody? And in the good times of my life, I remind myself about this versus saying, Listen, good times don't last. Why do you? Why is your enjoyment, big sugar tank Allah, Allah will give you more. But when something bad happens down the line, remember, Allah promised you that he didn't promise you this. So that was his promise. So be prepared for

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that. Don't think is going to be rosy, Fabiana kaleida they are going to be tests. So this verse is really something which when ever and I've read so many tests in my life, but whenever they come up, they see the first verse that hits my head, as well as the first before two verses before the Allah says that Oh, you who believe seek Allah's assistance to patients and follow it by myself, as well. So remember last ones when you had a major problem at home, and one of my kids was in hospital at the hospital, even though it was like major time I went straight to the salado and I pray to God and ask Allah for help. Because this verse came straight to my head, seek assistance through prayer. And

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so and so but some people think only the support but the prayer is so important. You know, when property rival Islam and his wife started walking, and his wife was kidnapped by a king daddy states, he started playing solo. And he did this top battle she came back and he came back to the salon he goes like this you like Tell us what happened. And then she said, I'm pretty nearly finished the salon here.

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And from there, realize that when things get tough, that's when you have to increase your Salah. Because Allah is the only one who can help you. So why do so many of us run away from Allah that situation? So this is the verse that I really believe if we live by it, no matter what goes wrong in life, it will just increase our faith and increase our closer to Allah subhana wa Taala I mean, shut his mouth these moments are so precious to me. shukran sharing your time with us. And Allah bless you, Allah grant you much more strength and and may your voice be as loud as any others can hear you and benefit from it.

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Thank you for listening and sharing this podcast. Be sure to tune in next time proudly brought to you by Penny appeal, South Africa, small change, big difference. So that's it for today's show. We hope we added value. We hope you enjoyed it. But most of all, we hope our cases inspire you to live with purpose. Don't forget to send us your suggestions via info at accidental muslims.com. If you know anybody out there that is inspiring, that's leading is living with purpose. please do contact us. And remember, feedback is our

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So follow us on social media we on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Hope you enjoyed. God bless a Solomonic