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Ramadan Reset #02 – Ramadan Reality – Asim The Poet and Atif Nawz

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Lauren Booth

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Welcome to Ramadan reset with me Your host Lauren booth. This podcast series is sponsored by what hand.org.uk delivering services to Syrians in need. Hey Sarah, welcome rahmatullahi wa barakatuh How are you all doing? Tonight? I'm really, really delighted to introduce to you, brother asam. And he is a poet and Award nominated spoken word artist and a motivational speaker. He delivers a range of topics from hard hitting stories to light hearted poems. He began his journey as a page poet writing I'm guessing, with the intent of expressing love of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and spreading positivity that's really beautiful by the Mashallah he now continues and

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covers a range of topics and subjects to engage audiences and he conveys powerful messages. But I asked him I said, I'm Ali Khan Rahmatullahi

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wa Alaykum Salama, how are you doing? He okay. Welcome to Ramadan reset. We've also got another wonderful guest today. So again to do a three person package today, Mashallah to Batticaloa and it is for the attic. Now as an acclaimed comedian from the UK, who works on TV, he tools, and I didn't get your bio clearly. So I'm waffling. So I'm really cool Rahmatullah. He will better care to anything you'd like to add, though. I said. I said, comedian, I acted I mean, most comedians actor to their resume, which sometimes I feel a little bit put out by? Yeah, no, fair enough. I mean, I guess I'm probably best known for acting on a pretty big TV show. But uh, you know, I mean, it's all

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from a lifestyle. It's not, I don't really, I feel very uncomfortable promoting myself and like, telling people what I do. So it's really bizarre. When you bump into phones and things on the train, you often have that moment where people stare at you for 10 minutes, and they'll walk up to you and say, Do I know you from somewhere? And you'll say, I don't know. Maybe you went to school together? Like, I don't know. I'm not. But I feel very uncomfortable. So yes, of course, you will have seen me and

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yeah, yeah. And it turns out, you actually did go to school with them. So yeah, it's easier just to plead ignorance. Have you ever had that moment where someone said, Can I take a photo? And you're like, Yeah, okay. And they're like, they had you the camera. And they literally want you to take a photo of somebody else. I love those moments, because they're humbling, right? It's like Alaska. I lucked out. There's going to be do you think you are? Absolutely. I thought the worst. But other than that, I was sitting with a friend of mine, who we worked for a charity. And somebody came over to both of us saying, Oh, brother, I company, but finally met you can I take a photo? And we both I

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wasn't just me. To be fair, we both assumed the person wanted to take a picture with me. But it was actually they'd want to take a picture with the other brother who was fundraising on television the day before. So we all had a good laugh about it. And as you say, it's a humbling moment from a largest. Remember that everything you have any kind of fame, success, whatever. It comes from Allah subhanaw taala. So just always remember that. So awesome. I'd really like us to kick off by talking about your favorite Ramadan, and what has changed this year for you both in difficulty and in ease. Wow, beautiful question. I think my best Ramadan water when I think maybe last year, because it

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brought a few challenges with my day job as well as the poetry side as well. But I think one of the biggest things and I think a lot of the brothers especially as well as the sisters have seen the difference of Dharavi. Not being able to cover the masjid not being able to be with the community to be able to share that experience of Ramadan. And I think for myself, as well as many friends and families that close to or share the same feelings. I think for myself, one of the main things I'm trying to do is really just trying to have some sort of routine on a daily basis. So after the normal time that I'm supposedly going to be picking up friends and family to head towards the masjid

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religious time but another establish to the type of routine which I've done on a daily basis. So I think that's one of the key things myself. What's your routine just curiosity maybe we can learn from each other? Yes. So for myself is after if our cleaning up in the kitchen, guys get up and do that make sure you do the

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cleanup in the kitchen, doing my bits there spending time with family and then really just heading to my room and there's a process of Quran reciting reciting Quran recitation of Salawat pray my own, Ravi at home, listen to motivational talks on YouTube or listen to

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certain teachers that I've been following on on daily streams. And really just trying to keep that up. I'm not going to lie. There are some days you know, you get tired and you fall asleep before

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But before satisfied, you're on what now, but that's what I've been trying to do. 100 It's been very interesting in other ways, but the one the one thing that I've learned recently is that we've kind of been forced to isolate in this placid month. And whilst I've been exploring through my one word for poetry, it's like, you can still have a conversation with your Lord. In fact, more so than anything else, because you can conversate generally with other people, but you're not truly isolated. In that sense, you're not alone at all you have a lot. And I think that's one of the key things that has really been emphasized within this Ramadan for myself, did you make goals at the

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beginning, or have you just built up as its as you've gone along?

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I think one of the key things again, another little thing that I learned a little while ago was Allah subhanaw. taala loves those small consistent deeds that you do. And nothing for myself is at all I want to establish those small consistencies as a start, and just have that once the ball is rolling, just keep going with it. So praying, for example, a citation of grace, even if it is just a few verses. I know many brothers and sisters out there, martial law, the killing, they're killing out their re citation at the moment, but even if it's just a few of us, and reflect on those of us who are beside ation of solo art, and so on, and so forth. I think that's another another thing that

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I've been trying to hold on in terms of goals. But as far as the poetry side is 100, I managed to complete three brand new spoken words, which is amazing for myself, and all available on us and the poet on Instagram On Facebook. Strange about a month ago, because well, about eight weeks ago, because, uh, you know, everything started to stop, the whole year changed. So I was going to one minute I was going to the Edinburgh Fringe, and I was doing a tour here and there was Malaysia, and there was Internet, and there was, you know, and there's your big conferences, and then the diaries, like, you must have experienced that in a very powerful way. Yeah, I mean, I'm somebody who relies

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very much on being around people to make a living. You know, stand up comedy is a very, it's about the least socially distant thing you can do in life.

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I mean, I had just like yourself, like a pact, I was gonna go to the Edinburgh Fringe as well, before you go to the Edinburgh Fringe, with a brand new show, you have to tour it and you have to do loads of work in progress and previous shows and things like that. And stand up comedy is that kind of medium where you can't gauge the quality of what you've written until you present it to a live audience. So yeah, I mean, I, I mean, I don't even want to go through all of them because it's a little bit depressing really, to be honest with you the amount of things that have been cancelled between now and sort of the end of well, pretty much the end of the year, but Alhamdulillah there is

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some benefit in it, you know, when when things go against you sometimes, you know, you got to think that you know, like, I used to pray for very specific things when I you know, corporate my Salah, I pray for very specific things that I love, please get me this part in the TV show, Allah, please get me, you know, on this particular platform, I love Please get me this car, Allah, please let me get on this vacation, all these very specific things, but, you know, I was guided by,

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you know, my, my mom to, to guide to pray for what's best for me. He said, praying that Allah takes you closer to what is best for you. Maybe you needed some time. Like last year, you said to me, how many days did you spend at home last year, I spent a total of 40 days at home last year. And the rest of the time I was either away on tour abroad or in a performing or filming or just generally like absurdly busy, which I really enjoy. But, you know, it is important to take a step back and you know, thank you creator for all these incredible opportunities, like I get to live this incredible Alhamdulillah So, you know, take a second to say Alhamdulillah and maybe there's some benefit in

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getting some distance from all of these things this year and inshallah maybe you'll make me appreciate it a little bit more when I get to have it again, inshallah next year

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Mashallah, that's a that's actually a beautiful reminder here. So as well brothers and sisters watching this is that artists have very abnormal lives. They make the abnormal normal, and in a way that that often impacts the the psychology of the person. So in a way, you know, this is such an incredible enforced structure on us that what matters, who am I, we've all had to look ourselves in the mirror and say, without the tool without the praise, without the bookings once again, who am I? Wow, ECOWAS, anybody else felt that? Um, I think it's been just exactly our brother. I've said it's been very, very humbling to be able to take a step back and really think about exactly what's

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happening with life. What is your purpose in life and, and it's easy to get distracted in the dunya. It's easy to get distracted in anything that we do. And I think besides that,

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Being Ramadan and being able to have that time to be able to sit down reflect for being in lockdown itself for even a longer period of before even after. Again, it gives us the opportunity to sit down and reflect a lot

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of other artists on that point of abnormal lives.

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Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's kind of that's just the the force majeure of any kind of performer is you don't get you don't have a nine to five, you don't live your life to any kind of routine. Trying to impose any kind of routine in your life can be it can be detrimental, if anything, you've got a plan day by day or week by week.

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And it's it is a big challenge. But I landed on finding more of a routine in this scenario, oddly enough, and it is some days I enjoy other days, I really miss being out there. It's difficult because my favorite I mean, I've had the privilege of Reno working on TV programs and films I've been seen by Alhamdulillah millions of people. And, you know, that's very, very cool. But my favorite thing in the world is just to be

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you know, entertaining, it's a live crowd, like being in front of a live audience, and getting that instant, you know, gratification from that audience. So, I, I find it difficult, but along the line, you know, is a good chance to just take a step back, and it is just the little obviously, it's a very difficult time for the world, but it is a little positive about the environment becoming more healthy and, you know, pollution levels dropping and, you know, certain services gathered, having a breathe in obviously, overwhelmingly difficult time. But, you know, there's little reminders from Allah that his mercy is always with us. Perhaps you can talk now about the the meaning of, of

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charity, but in your own life, or why why it's so important in Islamic scholar. I mean, a huge part of the particularly Ramadan, you know, just thinking about, as we say, people who are less fortunate, people who don't have the privileges that we do, and you know, sharing some of that privilege, because every bit of wealth that we have, every every kind of blessing that we have the blessing of Allah, right. And it's almost your duty, but it is your duty to look after those who are less fortunate, if that is Allah has given it to you, you could have given it to them, he decided to give it to you, so that you can you can share that blessing. And, you know, every year and Ramadan

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because I usually this is the first year I haven't spent time, sort of publicly fundraising. Because I'm staying at my parents home at the moment. They're, they're in the high risk group. So I don't want to risk anything. But usually every year I'll do kind of extensive fundraising for one or two causes that I'll pick out. And it blows my mind every year, how people will go out of their way to give money to charity, like they'll live in saving up for something very, very specific. And they'll make this incredible, this really touching this moving donation at great sacrifice to themselves. And you really it makes you feel really emotional. You know, a couple of days ago, I saw a clip of a

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brother who was saving for hygiene, say 5000 pounds for Hajj. And he said, Well look, I'm obviously not going to go on Hajj anymore. I was thinking about doing up my my garden or something I've needed to do something before the you know what, I'm going to give this 5000 pounds to you and let you know

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except and it made the the presenter who was on screen who was I think it was hosting the fundraiser is very emotional about it. And you understand that because, you know, it's not the easiest thing in the world to engage with initially, especially when you feel like you've had something taken away from you this is a beautiful opportunity to go for Hajj. But to have that faith and think you know what, you know, Allah knows what's best for me. Allah will give me another opportunity in the future inshallah Let me help his people now. And that I mean that was just incredible. Just incredible. Mashallah, I was on the live show once when

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a father was really emotional, and he said his children had just been watching about children in refugee camps. And it said, Daddy, we don't want to go to Disneyland, give those children our trip. And he said, I have been saving for years. They begged me to do this. And tonight they're begging me not to take them to Disneyland because it's not important. And the young will teach the old Subhana Allah so that that purity is something that really you know, Ramadan clears off in our hearts it's like it's like all the dirt around it is gone and it's so easy to see things clearly now, it's so easy to see how Allah to Allah has made a system with enough in it enough on the planet, if the just

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the Muslims or give us a cat on time, in the right way to be no poverty. Subhana Allah Allahu Akbar Allah Baba asam. I remember hearing a long time ago

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of somebody in in a very similar circumstance of war struck countries. People are living in unfortunate circumstances. And they asked somebody in the UK I came away it was from somebody in the UK, about the means of getting water. And they actually mentioned about just putting it up.

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also spoke about having to

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walk down the road to a shop. And they said in response to you know, you live in Jannah

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hit me so hard. And to this day, he always resonates with myself that we don't really appreciate what we have, even in isolation and lockdown as we know, as dire the circumstances off ourselves. We still humbler every single day, we still have food, we still have sustenance, we save even to be able to eat to our heart's content, even when we shouldn't, but we still have the ability to do it. And really looking at

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these people who are constantly struggling, we have the opportunity to help our brothers and sisters and I think one of the key things about being a Muslim is really to establish and understand that the reason why they quote brothers and sisters, to ourselves, Muslim brothers and sisters, because we are one family.

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When you think about organizations you can trust it's based on making a real difference to the people that they're meant to serve. I support with tan UK because their programs lift Syrians out of misery, they've just constructed two new villages for internally displaced people in Kapha jealous which is an ad lib sub district, these new camps, they have schools, clinics, decent accommodation, real sanitation, and educational opportunities for internally displaced children and adults you can support the continued running of these services right now by going to what tan.org.uk May Allah bless you.

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We look after each other and I think with the opportunity that we are being given by Allah one of our to be able to help our family here. I think it's it's something that we can clump by both hands.

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That's really hit me hard in the in the chest, that idea that we've got a piece of Jana, you know, the fact that Allah Allah mentions water. So in such an epic way in the holy quarter, and you know, when people of course, the desert people who are receiving the revelation, the prophets, peace and blessings be upon them. But that 1400 years later, we see we are taking water for granted. And we're just now seeing a little bit of are we running out other resources finite, Allah to Allah can stop these resources. But still, you are me. And those of us tonight on the stream in the West, we're going to turn on the tap. Be careful with water brothers and sisters. All right, if you're in one

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household, we've all got the same login anyway, right? And blue in the water. But just taking these Namah these blessing so seriously, that we don't throw it away. Like, you know, my daughter said to me recently when I was I said, I'm not sure about this meat. She said do you know an animal literally died for that you either eat you either eat it tomorrow, or you eat it now. And because she's vegan, she was a bit rough to be honest. But I forgive her because because she's she's taught me something. It's like, gosh, when did we start throwing away living things and saying your sacrifices mean anything to me, I don't really want it. So all of us here as well as giving us that

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cat let's make changes inshallah, to Allah, brother at if the situation for our brothers and sisters in Syria has been ongoing. And an issue can be that the hearts get hardened to it? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, just because you don't see something all the time.

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Doesn't mean it stopped happening. Like there was a time six, seven years ago, where the British media, excuse me.

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It's, you know, they're reported on it extensively, and you'd see it on television, you'd see all the news you'd see on in newspapers, you'd see viral videos, you'd see it kind of all over the place. And, you know,

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you will always even if you will be coming desensitizing Allah forgive us, but even if you're becoming desensitized to, to the scenario, aware that it was ongoing, but you know, the press and the media kind of moves on, and they start focusing on whatever the next thing is, or whatever else it is, that's going to help you sell papers or, you know, increased television ratings and things like that. And, you know, you forget, because they're just not showing it. But that doesn't mean that calm, like has ended, it doesn't mean that that land is safer, it doesn't mean that those people's lives have gotten any better. You know, I'm really grateful to some of the great charities

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and some of the great you know, philanthropists out there that keep reminding us of the struggle, our brothers and sisters in Syria face, so we can do our very best to, to help to not just make the wall for them, but to do you know, to make contributions to that cause. My brother asked him, remembering the blessings that we have in relation to those who are refugees.

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I mean, some of these refugees, we don't really we haven't seen

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Sometimes we only see the physical side of things that may be on a, for example, on a Facebook feed, where we just keep sliding up, we look we drop a like, for a few moments, we feel like okay, we've done something we've, we feel it in our hearts. But if the opportunity here, we have to be able to do something about it, to talk to you all to help those those people in those dire circumstances, again, just echoing the words, as mentioned before, is something that we have to

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to be able to help those in need in this lesson month. And I think another thing we fail to really understand isn't just the physical side of things, but the mental side of things as well. These people have faced war, you know, with everything, literally everything taken away from them, and all they have left is their faith. And just like you mentioned early on the that the war could be answered through you imagine being that person to be able to have your answer for Allah subhanaw taala to grant that blessing through yourself. So hon Allah I think that's one of the blessings behind that, especially in this month.

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I mean, it leaves the poet silent for words.

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That's beautiful. Brothers and sisters, that cat, why why is it one of the five pillars because it's the way that Allah to Allah has given us to shape the world to shape our community. In the UK and Western cultures, we have tax, okay, and tax is something we resent taxes up to 30% of our wealth of our income. Okay, it hits you right there. You feel it all the time. It's something that you've earned that you're giving away. But there's a cat number one, it was never ours because we as Muslims know everything comes from Allah. And when we give it back, his reward is greater. And the rule the world is a cat is with Allah to Allah Subhana Allah, the promises us. It's like, an ear of

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corn that you plant a seed and then the corn is growing, growing, growing, Allahu Akbar. So why is it only 2.5% we should be laughing. We have to laugh at the generosity of Allah to Allah that has made us so great in number that we only need to give 2.5% of our wealth to save the world to save a brother and sister to tell a child that the oma cares for me, it's the psychology of care. Because I have sat with refugees on the rubble of burning, you know, the still heated rubble of their homes. And they've said, Oh Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah, let the oma care for us. Allah, Allah, let them make it you know, you hear our prayers, but let our brothers and sisters know about us. Don't let

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them forget us Allah. And then the one that really breaks you is Oh Allah. Bless our brothers and sisters, and we care for them. And don't judge them if they forget us. brother asked him when we're talking about how our homes have changed. For me right now with this Ramadan, brothers and sisters. With EEG coming up, I'm missing two people very specifically, my Mum, I haven't seen her in almost two months. And my daughter, I've come over to Turkey, where where I live, and work in Turkey handler. And my daughter didn't make it over in time. So she's with a separate family in the UK. So I know, you know, a tiny taste of what it is to miss people. But I find it really interesting that

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Allah to Allah, those who made it out to the camps, they travel in groups because they love their families. So while we are not getting to do turn away in groups, they are because they can't socially separate. So they're getting the risk, but they're also getting the hair. So Pamela, is we really take things for granted. So for me to even myself, to to think about that, whether it's even going to the toilet or going going for a shower. I can't imagine not being able to stay in a state of cleanliness. And as we know how important cleanliness is in Islam and to be able to want to for example, pray your Salah and to feel as if you're not in that state of being able to stand in front

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of your Lord, Allah workwear. Can you imagine the benefit of you being able to give by giving your soccer giving you're giving giving some wealth of yours towards such a worthy cause and tool to help with those blessings allow occur we don't we we feel as if we can be sometimes a burden to be able to give money, but again from the rewards that we get from behind it are unbelievable, rather than just the physical aspects of having to feed somebody or curial to help someone with a mental state to say there is hope to be able to give that positivity and love just like her sola sola is yourself. And again with with what we're mentioning with with regards the hygiene aspect for be able

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to keep someone in

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state of cleanliness. So hannula you can imagine the spiritual benefits of someone being able to priests allow someone to be able to, to be able to be in that state alone.

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I think one thing, especially nowadays, we're hearing a lot more about mental therapy, mental health, and be able to devote strive on and to fine tune every single day within our lives.

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I cannot begin to understand the mental state of these people who die every single day here,

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or the struggle between themselves so be able to offer for example, one thing that hits me morth, more than anything else is for a man to be able to stand strong, or for mother to be able to stand strong for her child or for their family, and not be able to show it to bury everything inside their head, and not be able to express themselves

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just to be able to hold face and still have that strength with themselves. And I think with, with these sort of things that we're providing through Watson, I think it's such a beautiful thing to again, to to give that dignity to all to give that sense of relief and hope for themselves. Another thing you take for granted is good internet connections. Yeah, my dad is downstairs streaming, some, some kind of recitation, and my mother is also streaming a recitation. And, like my sister is also doing so. I mean, they're all everybody's doing stuff here. And my parents, this is my first time I just spent Ramadan, my parents at about six years. So I'm certainly not in any position to tell them

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to, you know, jump off the bat, like I need some bandwidth right now. Bless you. I mean, that is that is so beautiful to know that we're spending time with our family hamdulillah I love being

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under Allah suddenly take over because I'm sorry, that's just hit me.

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Now, it's a beautiful thing. And it's something we take very, a lot of us take for granted, just being born into this, this beautiful faith and you know, to take the time to engage with it to understand this blessing, to not have to

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proactively, you know, make that make that jump in that connection with so unbelievably blessed. And, you know, particularly with Eve on the horizon, I encourage a lot of our brothers and sisters that are watching right now to to remember that a lot of reverb brothers and sisters don't have a lot of places to go when it comes to eat, because it's a family thing, right? So and particularly this year. So just to just to remember on Eve just to reach out to your brother or sister who's reverted to Islam and, you know, give them a call and make sure they feel safe that you wish them an evil, bollock because they deserve it just as much as anybody else in your family. But what really

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strikes our hearts is that we get to sit here again this year, in the last 10 days, and there are people around the world struggling and they don't even know why they're alive. They put everything into their careers and their career is gone. And the suicide rate is through the roof now in America, and we get to sit here and, and Allah to Allah has told us how to live our life and why we're here. I mean, it's such a huge number. I just worship number to Allah. Treat with kindness, your parents and kindred and orphans and those in need. Speak fair to the people. be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity. We have brothers and sisters our remit for life in these few

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succinct lines, worship number Allah we know who our Creator is, treat with kindness your parents for the attic. We didn't ask them to come off there. You know that their Wi Fi especially that when they're reciting Mashallah, but if we go against them and the Kindred widen out our hair, to the kindred, and orphans and those in need, so we're constantly reminded to go beyond our household. So Pamela, speak fair to the people we don't be don't get to be rude, who are nasty to one side and practice regular charity, that is a basis for life for the acid.

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Just following off from what you said, so annaleigh we do not appreciate being a Muslim. We do not appreciate of what the blessings that come with being a Muslim or being able to be delivered the basic rights of being a human, to be able to help people to be able to support people because again, being a Muslim brother or sister, you are a family. We all we have a community around us.

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For those who even if you recognize a Muslim by saying As salam aleikum, wa rahmatullah you know that you're sending blessing, you're sending Peace and blessings upon each other. And I think again, that's something we overlook on a day to day basis for us to be able to reach out and help our families

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our neighbors, our friends, and so forth. SubhanAllah, there's so much so much we do. But again, with with this particular cause that we have, he allows us enables us to be able to reach out to those who we may not know, those people who are going through even harder times than ourselves. And I just want to echo one very small point from what we mentioned early on, about hygiene, we talking about soap, I know the struggle that I had to be able to find hand wash in the supermarket. And just for me to know that everyone's going crazy. I cannot imagine someone in a state who doesn't have the facility to be able to go to a supermarket or go to a shop, even for the chance of having to know is

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there soap? Is there an alternative? Let alone being able to know that? Is there a water? Is there a place to be able to eat? Is there a place to save, stay safe? The blessings are so there's so so many that we cannot really understand or comprehend. So hon Allah and just seeing the list of all the different things that this package that we can provide

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for you to fall within the donation. Subhan Allah, it brings through

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loss for words. So Allah Subhana Allah brothers and sisters, we've got a couple of minutes left, I'm going to hand over to Brother attic in a second. But just a reminder, tonight, when you make your donation Bismillah to Allah, it's 100 pounds, and it will support a family of six. in a refugee camp, a displacement camp actually needed lib. There are 100 families waiting for sponsorship. And your 100 pounds will sponsor a family. We're also providing educational needs and medical needs because people don't arrive in good shape when they fled a warzone. And guess what? And what we do when we press that, when you press that button and you say pay scale hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah

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schicken Allah for disability shukran Allah Shukla for being Muslim schicken Allah for loving our brothers and sisters should call Allah for knowing the call and just to sell hamdulillah and go ahead, Brother attis. Yeah, absolutely. And just remember, you know, like it could be chose you to be in this position. Allah could have chosen us, you whomever, to be in their position in the position of need, and imagine what you would want from somebody else, if you were in the position of need. And, you know, again, as just a humble luck, all the blessings of Allah that we have, and the position that you have the ability to be able to make that choice to, to have to not be one thing

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for things to be able to turn on a tap and have access to water, to have access to the internet where you can scour and find things like hand washing, you don't have the luxury of hygiene, which other people don't have. So keep all of that in mind. People have those blessings in mind, put yourself on the other side, and do what you can inshallah fatica Luffy, final word to ask them and then and then I'll thank you and meme and we'll make it I just want to say

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to for you to be able to be in that position now, to hear this message to be in a position to be the source of an answer. The answer of somebody praise

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you you cannot understand how beautiful that is for you to be the means to be able to be able to answer those people who are suffering those people who are crying, those people who are dying inside and for you to give them that sense of hope. Believe you me this. This state of senselessness on your behalf is following in the footsteps of the righteous following the footsteps of the Sahaba the ones who are close to Allah following the footsteps of Rasulullah sallallahu himself. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please take a moment to visit what ten.org.uk to support Syrians in need.