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I failed to make deep friendships in the Muslim community – Until I learnt this beautiful lesson

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Lauren Booth

Channel: Lauren Booth

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Episode Transcript

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Oh.

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I said I'm Malik who Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh peace and blessings be upon you. Bismillah AR Rahman Rahim, welcome to another Lauren looks at and today we're going to be looking at mixing with the Muslim community and finding those essential new friends, a new a new way of life and your new path. Tell me Does this describe you? You were at first when you took your shahada surrounded by people, and then one or two gave you their numbers. And out of those one or two, one became almost a friend and then that one too vanished. So suddenly you find yourself alone is that you? Or maybe you are dating a Muslim man. And you want to know more about Islam, but you don't know how to find friends

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in the community to guide you. There are as many different paths to finding the Oneness of Allah to Allah as there are human beings, but in each of us is the need to have a friendship group, right? And what happens after shahada however we reach that point is that, guess what? We can quickly find ourselves alone. So today's video, my top tips, do's and don'ts to do with friendship, and you're numerous. And first of all, what is a friend, a friend is someone who's described as loving you, despite knowing who you really are. Okay? That's a bit of a harsh one. But it's somebody who's that close. One description says it's somebody who must have dined at least three times at your house. In

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Islamic tradition, we have a saying whereby the person who you know, well is someone that you've traveled with, okay, because travel brings out that under stress personality. But you know what, when we've had friends outside Islam, and then suddenly you come to this, this big group of people who all have shared associations, they grew up together, you remember Uncle so and so our families go back back 200 years, and my family's still not Muslim. So what do I do? So there's that feeling of disjointedness. So how do we make friends? And how do we avoid friendship failures, and ending up on the outskirts of our society?

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Number one,

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don't just walk into a masjid. What did I just say? Don't just walk into a masjid. Okay, here's why there's a qualifier here. If you've just taken your shahada, or you've been Muslim for a little while, and you've just moved somewhere where there's a masjid and you're thinking, this is going to be the answer to all my loneliness, prayers, don't go in with too high and expectation. Go to the masjid with the intention of praying to Allah for help. And know this, when we walk into the mosque for the first time, and we especially if we've read about our faith, especially if we know the incredible characters that were in the early years of this faith, the possibilities for the

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characters of the Muslim to be so raised, so generous, kind, so, so close to Allah to Allah, so full of goodness and patience, and then we're pushed and shoved when we go to Jama. And people are a cruel and mean and they're just getting on with their lives. So when I say don't go to the masjid, don't go to the masjid with high expectations of meeting someone of the character of Khadija Radi Allahu Anhu or Earthman one of the key lifts the first Kailis of Islam Subhana Allah generous and sweet human being what he was, Mashallah. What you're going to meet is average Joe, average Joanna, with Muslim names, or Asian names or Arabic names, who are going to have their own stuff going on.

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So don't bring too many expectations into the mosque.

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And be patient as well with the people that you do meet. After all, our Holy Quran says Be tolerant command to what is right and pay no attention to foolish people. So don't react. Okay. If strange things happen if somebody says, Hey,

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you're wearing nail varnish trousers aren't long enough, your topis not this your beard isn't that have some Sabur these are people good people, but they're going around their everyday business trying to be better. So we have to have patience with the community we're going into and hope they have patience with us. But walking into a masjid and expecting a miracle. It's a miracle. And

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so the first step to actually take to avoid loneliness is really to do the work on ourselves. And we do that by finding out about the faith. Now this is going to mean a period of reflection and learning. So we really have

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To know, five simple pillars, six articles of faith, right? It's not that complex, it's very deep. And the deeper you go, the more expensive it gets. But we have a duty to ourselves, have found the aim this far out of our own practice, that we need to learn this. And sometimes that happens on our own. And that's a good thing. So don't rush into because of loneliness looking for friendship. Allah to Allah has given us that time on our own, so that we learn about the fate. So find good courses online.

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Get to know the basics of the face, before you put yourself out there. And that process can be long or it can be short. But by knowing the basics of the face, one, we can't be misled by people who who don't know what they should be doing and give an advice. And secondly, in sha Allah to Allah, we won't meet the kinds of friends we had before who would pull us a long way from the faith because we are able to say, Leila hit Allah, Allah, I don't feel this is right, I'm gonna go back to the book and and make sure that I'm staying on the straight path. And

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then you've got these friends, you've got a handful of people, you've been going to Halaqa meetings to talk about the faith, and something happens, somebody falls out with you, a cruel thing is said, or a rumor is spread. Or maybe business isn't working out. And honestly, we have such fitna in business at the moment in this, the Muslim community maleta, Allah forgive us and make it better. And then you feel excluded. You feel gossiped about. And that's very, very painful. And a lot of new Muslims do go through this because it's a bit like being the new kid at school, right? Everybody knows each other's uncles and aunties, and they've got a shared history together through the years

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and your, you know, Johnny or Jackie now meets to be quite honest, it's very isolating, and then there's gossip as well. You know, it really can be feel like Boolean culture, even if it's not, even if it's a misreading of the situation, but you know, what shaytan does, at that point.

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Don't have anything to do with this community. Run as far as you can. You can be completely on your own and do this on your own.

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Don't separate yourself forever. For this idea of forever from the Muslim community. There will always be a time of coming back at that point. ask Allah to bring you the right people. Ask Allah to allow you to find the right Mosque, the right community center, the right community group, who's going to increase you in deen and bring good people to you Inshallah, to Allah but don't switch off. Because the wolf loves the lone sheep. The wolf picks off the one on its own. In fact, I had something really interesting recently, which is like, Why does Deborah's have sheep? Why does zebras have stripes in the middle of the Serengeti? All right, it's a yellow plane, the lions blend in with

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the environment. But the zebras who are going to be hunted by the lions stand out so they can see them?

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Well, scientists didn't experiment and they daubed a couple of zebras in a big pack with a different color with a red on there, behind and on their ears. And they found that without fail, those were the ones the lion hunted. Why? Because they stood out. Because they were the ones they could focus on. And shaytan is the same Ha, this one's a bit different. This one's on their own. Let's go for that one. And he will come for us, we'll come for you. And being alone is not a solution.

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That said, do embrace it being on your own. Unfortunately, in modern culture,

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being alone a seeming of seen as a failure, what you don't have 100 friends who you can go rollerblading with, you know, and everybody's there and in a bar or drinking coffee together.

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You know, I had a very well known sister contacted me recently. And she's a fantastic activist. She said, I'm, I'm feeling very lonely. The people that applauded me on social media, never call me to see how I am. So to some degree, everybody's feeling lonely right now. But being outside another community can add an extra tear to that we have to embrace this. The Prophet peace be upon him used to go to the cave at Hera, in order to have his alone time waiting for revelation, even pre revelation to consider the universe consider the world to make his thought, Ah, this is a very, very sweet time. Because of course, with great friendships comes great responsibility. Once you're in

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somebody's life, you can't just take from them

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And the other part of that is the giving culture they will need you to so when you have time on your own use it for learning, use it to come close to Allah to Allah and it will end

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Wow, this is a big one. Don't try and be somebody else. I know when we first come to Islam we get these bags of second hand buyers mashallah very beautiful and very kindly donated. But, you know, I went to I met her auntie betul you know you are she's an amazing system, mashallah for converts. And she looked at me when I first came to Islam, she remember the days when I used to look like I dress from a jumble shop, she didn't say, as well. But I picked up the as well. And I was like, What am I wearing?

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Right. So everybody's really generous that they try to make us like them. And that's the, that's how people react, it's like, this is what I wear, you can now wear it too. You don't have to, to be somebody else entirely. And leave all your culture behind only the only the handful carts. So being true to the self is something that's really, really important. And you know what having those real friends who can connect about how you were before and how you are now really troubled, that passed with you, without us having to be a little bit fake, you know, Subhan Allah. Now, that's not to say that we shouldn't choose people who improve us. That's the next stage. So two things here. We should

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choose people who improve us who we have to up our game around who we want to,

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who make us want to draw closer to Allah to Allah, that's number one. But number two, if we're around a group, and we're trying to be somebody else, because we think they won't like us, then that can lead to more loneliness, right? Because we're not being ourselves.

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How do we get around that feeling of I'm not really being myself with this system much as I like her is

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except that we're always going to be an expat in the Muslim community. Expat meaning would go or he's going to stand slightly to one side and have a different cultural background. We're never going to be able to share photos of our Eid when we were four years old. Our aunties and uncles, you know, aren't on quick speed dial now. In fact, English culture, who knows aunties and uncles, right?

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Whereas perhaps the Asian culture, who you're mixing with smiley cultural is wonderful, wonderful cultures, mashallah tabanan color, and they have really wide, wide connections, we're always going to be a little bit on the side and you know what, that's okay. When we find ourselves quiet, and peaceful, Subhan Allah that's when Allah to Allah gives us the openings

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are always going to be a bit different. And what did the Prophet peace be upon him say, Islam started out as strange, and it will end up a strange

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so welcome to the strangers. So the one who is really welcoming us Subhan Allah is I have a prophet, to walk in His footsteps, to be strange in the way that he's strange Inshallah, to Allah, what a beautiful invitation that is.

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Finally, try this.

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Being yourself is really important, and we all lose our hobbies, especially if your hobbies like mine, were drinking and smoking and going out to the bars, right? Perhaps you were already given those up and you had totally beautiful hobbies that many of us our stuff was done in a way that we wouldn't want to bring with us now and we can't. So what are we good at? What do we actually have to share? How are we going to meet friends? Well, you don't have to leave your interests behind. Just make the intention that they're for a good purpose and secondary intention, Oh Allah, please give me friends who are going to help me on the deen helped me on the deen and helped me to grow and I can

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help grow as well. So you can do that by what if you like art, join a calligraphy class online or in the local area. There's always chats going on. And people will teach you or admire you, or admire teaching you one of those hamdulillah and you can work together and also expand your skill set Mashallah. What if you like writing join a writing group or a book club? There are loads of Muslim lookbook clubs out there now. What about sports? Really love sports? If you are connected to a masjid? How about being the first person to say let's have a basketball team here. Let's do dentists to attend us in the summer. Or I'd like to upskill a mental some of the Muslim kids in x, y and Zed

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my skills skill area by giving our time we will meet others also giving their time and there are plenty of other ways to meet people soup kitchens,

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soup kitchens, local show

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lops charity stores charity organizations, look them up, offer to volunteer Subhanallah and then you're getting the Barraco doing something good and you're also not making yourself be alone because you know we're not hermits and that's not part of our faith, being able to practice our faith in the groups where we are in in our community. That's where it's at and that's the test

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finally, brothers and sisters, please follow this three step plan, perform the prayer of need in the last hours of the night inshallah there's a link below to that prayer and ask Allah for the very best

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secondly that's a phone going but I'm not going to stop recording because I lost my last recording not that that worries you but I'm going to carry on to just block that out inshallah.

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God your prayers and increase in active worship, know your acts of worship and increase in them. You've got the time right hamdulillah Shakur, Allah and Allah will bring you openings.

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Finally, tried and tested standard promised in the Holy Quran, give charity, give charity as a means for pleasing Allah and the doors will open for you. in all areas of your life, you won't be lonely anymore handling their chakra Allah. Now

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about Islam editors and I have worked together and we have put together a really great list of links who have people and organizations who help converts and you can have great conversations there. Meet new people in Sharla and they will link you to getting to know your deen and all kinds of good deeds via the letter Allah. So these are tried and tested groups below here. Do link and follow them. That's it for this video Miata. Allah bless you like comment share as you so wish. See you next time inshallah my Salama