Ramadan Reset #05 Emerging Pure – Fatima Barkatulla

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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 tan.org.uk delivering services to Syrians in need. I'm going to be talking today to a very special friend of mine, someone who really I feel is a mentor and a guide Mashallah. And she is a sister, who is one of the scholars in the United Kingdom inspiring others with her scholastic knowledge and, and her wit I have to say and her ability to to make the dean understandable to a new generation, she is also an author and a podcaster. Somali Cobra hotelier Bearcat

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with a lower better captain, for a lot of us were already in lockdown and getting used to the new routine, and then or trying to establish a routine I would say, and then Ramadan has come. And Subhana Allah in a way, you know, people usually, in the last 10 days of Ramadan, they, a lot of people they do tick off, which is where you seclude yourself in the masjid, in the mosque, for the last 10 days or for whatever period you can, and you just devote that time. For the sake of Allah, you know, you stay away from other distractions from worldly distractions. And I think for a lot of us, it's almost as if Allah Subhana Allah has put us in a kind of forced state of the gaff, right,

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where we're having to kind of change, and, I guess, reassess our freedoms, you know, like the things that we usually take for granted. I know certainly in my household, we've had much simpler food, this Ramadan, you know, much simpler, routine. And just really been trying to focus on

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being at home and making the most of the opportunity in a way. I don't know if you've been experiencing lockdown, as an opportunity, Lauren, but Pamela I have to say shefter that the incredible and you know what brothers are so just want to say I do know, sister Fatima, we're both kind of financially North funds and girls, although some gorgeous green or Hampstead you can be financially it's an it's an apple joke

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that I want to honor

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share her with her title, because what I have found very often is that we will confer chef on brothers who may be well meaning but actually are not people to go to for ill were assisted you can genuinely go to with your questions on fick and and deep meanings and, you know, scholastic resonances, we did we just call her Jenny from the block. So I, you know, I really just want to highlight that so i hope i know i don't need to, and I do that you don't ask me to, but I like to honor our, our, our women of esteem, who have who have, we're working for this D Mashallah to better color. So,

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I found sister I want to have this year, I just did it again, sister chef, I want to know, if you found that people around you are enjoying it, you said you're enjoying it. I'm loving it. I hate the impact. I hate that, you know, we may have have have we annoyed Allah to Allah so much, that our mosques are clothes that are that are that, that we're not worthy to go into them? You know, all of these things are playing on our mind, half of our our society so impacted with volume, that that that we're going to be oppressed and forced to change by plagues. These are quest real questions. And within that, do we find solace in our homes? And for Muslims? And finding the answer? Yes,

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definitely. There's some good in it, there's something for us to learn from it. And

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I think in life in general, sometimes some of the hardest times in our lives or times when we've been restricted and our freedoms have been restricted. Later on, when we reflect on those times, we reflect and we realize all the things that we learn from that experience, you know, so

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I would like to think of this of course, I know that there are loved ones who have passed away.

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Even in that even in the passing away of loved ones, we know that in sha Allah, they are martyrs, you know, and a lot of Allah give them the greatest status in Jannah in sha Allah

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even in that there is we have hosted I mean, we have positive what's

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I think that's the way take stock, you know, over

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state because, you know, as Muslims, we know that Allah Subhana Allah

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requires of us our own individual reform, you know, now there's this idea in society, everyone wants to reform and change and protest and change society, the change, the real change starts at the individual level, doesn't it? And so I think, sometimes when we have these kind of quiet times, and often we don't allow ourselves to have these quiet times, you know, to reflect self reflection, and taking sort of like an inventory of where we are, where we've been, where we've been heading

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and our sins you know, the sins that we've been accumulating over the years now this is this is actually something that should be an essential practice of a believer you know, taking stock of your sins.

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There's this Arabic poem Mashallah that goes something like

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Khalid the Nova sorry raha what can be your aha that took off? was knocking mashing folk are the shoki Yeah, hello, Myra.

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Happy runner Sophie Ratan in LG Bella. Mina. Lhasa means it means, you know,

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that leave off sins, big and small, so big and small sins, stop, stop doing them. And then the poet says, and walk on this earth, like a person who is walking on a path of forms, being very, very careful, every step that they take, right? And then he says,

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you know, don't ignore the small sense. Don't belittle or think that small sins are nothing, because even mountains are made up of small pebbles, right? mountains are made up of small pebbles. So there's this idea that, you know, when we get accustomed to committing small sins, when we send me small things, meaning ones that are not considered major sins with where Allah, Allah has mentioned, a punishment for them, you know, and look around on the Sunnah.

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When we get accustomed to small sin, the small aggressions and micro aggressions if you want to call them that against Allah, then you know and against our fellow man, then what happens is we become complacent, we become desensitized, and slowly but surely, we fall into the greatest sins. So, as an example, you know,

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Allah Subhana, Allah has forbidden, intimate relations between,

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you know, men and women who are not married right?

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Now, how it might seem like a major sin, that something's very far away, something that we would never come close to, okay, if you're a practicing Muslim, however, you know, Allah subhanaw, taala, has not just forbidden that, he's also forbidden the things that could lead to that. And the reason for that is that, you know, people don't fall into major sins overnight. They don't just suddenly become major sinners, you know,

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we human beings tend to, it tends to be a slippery slope, you know, human beings, they relax their their standards, maybe in one area, or another area, and then slowly but surely, you know, they fall into greater and greater distances. And before we know it, we can't recognize ourselves anymore. We can't believe that we fell into x, y or Zed sin, right? And the effect that those sins have, is the effect of harming ourselves, right? harming our spiritual state.

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You know, we know that we don't just believe in a physical heart, we believe that we have a spiritual heart as well, right. And that spiritual heart can get diseased, just as the physical part can get diseased. And so and then the thing that diseases the spiritual heart is since but lost power that has given us something that allows us to restore the spiritual heart to its gleaming, pure self. And that is repentance. You know, that gift is repentance or tober.

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So I really wanted to kind of highlight to everybody that you know, one of the ways to him

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nudge from Ramadan, pure and strong, you know, he is to take stock of all of our sins, I mean, I'm I'm talking to a very detailed level here, I will go so far as to write down, maybe not in very clear terms, you know, because you don't want anyone to read it.

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But in some coded way to literally list and take stock of just as you would say, if you were taking stock of your finances, right? Every single item, you'd you'd literally be like, Okay, what have I been spending on? Where is my money been going, you know, and you'd be like, Okay, I've got that subscription, and I've got that money falling out there, and, etc, etc, you take stock of everything. In a similar way, I would say take stock of your sense and become sensitive, because sometimes we become insensitive we so panela, you know, like, I've recently started at a new environment, which is a university and, you know, there is quite a mixed environment, men and women

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intermingling. And, and I can see that it's very easy for me, having come from quite a religious kind of environment of seminary, to go into that environment and start relaxing my standards, you know, and start, for example, having casual relationships with people in an inappropriate way, it's very easy to fall into that because, you know, as human beings we are, we tend to kind of be affected by our environment as Muslims, we, it's natural, the people who are closest to us physically, you know, they do have a right over us, right, just as we, you know, we know that the neighbors have rights over us. So similarly, our locality, our country, the place that we reside in,

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obviously, it's just natural that human beings should and will care about their local community and their country, you know, first and foremost,

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simply because actually, your community is what you have an influence over, right? You don't necessarily have influence over something that's happening 1000s of miles away in another country. So I think it is important for us to focus on our circles of influence our own families, our own neighborhoods, communities, you know, making sure that people are okay, making sure that people are abiding by the rules. Yeah, check it just to let you know, you froze there for a second.

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Yes, I was saying, you know, some

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generation, that they've understood what's going on, because sometimes they, we assume that they've understood the news or whatever the latest advice is, but haven't So, of course, as Muslims, we do feel connected, and we care about the wider Oh, man, I've seen so many Muslims, raising money raising funds, and, you know, charities working abroad. But I think it's also important and the, it's actually natural and more could be said to be more important to take care of your own neighborhoods, right. About a neighborhood. So yes, we should care about what's going on in the nh s, you know, the NHS is

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something that it's an institution that a lot of Muslims work in, a lot of Muslims are involved in.

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But also we,

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at some point in our lives, may need, you know, to do to seek help from so. I think, you know, it's it's amazing the work that people in the NHS are doing, you know, I know, chaplains, for example, Muslim chaplains who are really working hard, you know, and it's such a difficult time because people are passing away in the hospital, and they're not allowed to have the usual kind of setup, you know, they can't have visitors they can't have

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even their funerals are not being conducted in the normal way. Right. So he has a difficult time.

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And I think it's really important that we support people locally as much as we can. And then from that, of course, we care about the wider community and then the wider Muslim oma as well. Of course.

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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

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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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Yeah, so I wanted to like make sure that I've covered at least, how to make Toba? You know, because I think the first step, as I mentioned, is to make an inventory taken inventory of all of our sins, you know, which areas of our life have we become slack in which areas? Are we falling short in? Or have we fallen short in and really analyze your actions and your behaviors? You know, in that way? Once we've done that, it's really important, you know, the scholars of Islam, they say, there are certain steps that a person needs to take in order to, to make a sincere toolbar, right. And those steps are

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to route to give up that sin, right? So if you're immersed in that,

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now, what's doing that

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you want to regret. So the element of toebox Toba means to return back right.

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And to to feel sorrow as well, part of it is to feel sorrow and to regret having done that thing. And then the third thing is to resolve not to go back to doing that thing, right. So find a new way. If it's something you're finding difficult, you know, make a new resolution.

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And that has to be sincere, because a person can't just be asking Allah to forgive them. But knowing at the back of their mind that next week, they're going to go back to doing that thing, right. So those three things are very important. And then

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going through our sins, and really repenting to Allah subhanaw taala, we don't have a system of confession, right? have this idea that you're supposed to go to another Muslim, or a priest or somebody even a shear and pour all our sins out? in front of them, right. And in fact, we're encouraged. If people don't know about our sense not to tell people out since right, we're encouraged not to disclose our sins to people. If Allah has given us the cover, then we should, if he's covered our sins, we should keep them covered. And instead focus on repentance. Because nothing is secret from Allah, right. So

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in that way, we end up having a very strong relationship and very direct relationship with Allah, there's no human being that we need as an intermediary, right? between us and God. And so you talk to a lie, tell Allah, you acknowledge your sins,

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one by one, and of course, there are sins that we commit that we don't perceive, right? So we also make a statement such as you know, and Allah forgive us for the sins that we know about and the sins that we don't know about that we commit, you know, and by doing that, and asking Allah for sincere forgiveness, resolving not to go back to that sin,

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having that regret in our heart, and actually articulating that, okay, directly to Allah. So that could be, you know, sitting and making blocks could be in your such that, you know, when you endure such that during taraweeh, for example,

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in any state that you're in, you know, the profits or loss are limited he used to make, he used to seek forgiveness, you know, 100 times, right.

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I believe it was 100 times, yeah, 100 times a day. So panela. So,

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what does that mean, when the greatest man, the man who, you know, Subhan, Allah, Allah had protected from sins, used to seek forgiveness that many times what does that mean for us? It means that one of the ways to seek Allah's mercy, and his favor, is to keep repenting and repentance is something that's going to go on throughout our lives, right. But what you'll feel once you've repented, is an immense sense of lightness, you know, a real sense of lightness. And if you make it a practice that you do regularly, you know, so taking stock of your sins, as I think saying of honor, you know,

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the second Caleb, he said, you know, bring yourself to account before your walk to account, right? Because we're all going to be brought to account, we're going to be standing in front of Allah one day, without any translator between us, right? One to One with Allah. And on that day, you know, they should imagine that there'll be like a video reel right of our life available that's going to be played.

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If we want a lot of had Allah to forgive us and treat us like

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On the day of judgment, now is the time to repent, now is the time to make sure that we've

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made our peace with Allah Subhana data. You know, I think, I hope that that, you know, helps everybody to really,

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to really use this time to focus on that element because sometimes we focus on doing the good deeds, which is great, of course, we have to do good deeds and good deeds, help to wipe out the bad deeds, right. But

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repentance in and of itself, is something that Allah has commanded us to do, right. And it in and of itself is a good deed. it in and of itself can wipe away even major sins. And we should never feel that we've sinned so much that we can't face Allah. I met a brother at uni, who was like, he was I couldn't tell if he was if he was practicing or not. But he kind of I broached the question or the discussion came up, you know about religion about Islam, and he said that he was a Muslim. But then he said something like,

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you know, what, if you've done so many sins, that you just,

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you just don't think there's any hope for you? Right? And that is a trick of shavon. You know, Siobhan wants us human beings to think there's no hope. He wants us to feel so dirty, so impure, with the, with the things that we've done, that we will stop going back to Allah and just completely stay immersed in our sins. Because he knows that we have something very powerful that Allah has given us in that he is told by repentance, in an instant, you know, if we were to use our tobe our ability to make doba, Allah subhanaw taala, can wipe even major sins clean, and give us a fresh start. So I hope that's a message of hope for everybody, you know, to say to Allah, Subhana, Allah,

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Allah help me not to return to those sins, right? That's really important as well, because we as human beings all week, we find ourselves in situations where sometimes, you know, we just, we just think, did I really do that? You know, how did that happen? How did that word come out of my mouth? or How did action come from me? And so it's really important for us to ask Allah to help us to stay on the straight path, right? And also, if the sins that we have committed are against somebody, right? Or if we have harmed someone, or we've maybe we've, I don't know, borrowed a library book that we didn't return, you know, or something, you know, something that belonged to somebody that we

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have, we promised we would do something and we didn't fulfill that promise. All of those kinds of little things. Yeah, we need to take inventory of and.

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And then if it's if it means that it's something that was with, in a transaction with somebody else, or in dealing with somebody else, then we've got to make amends with them as well. You know, that's important to say as well, because we don't only have sins, that you know, our transgressions against God against ourselves. But if we've transgressed against another human being, we should also apologize.

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And

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that's really important, because on the Day of Judgment, there's a place called cantara Bridge, where all the scores will be settled, human beings will gather there, and people will be coming to us, asking us for our good deeds for things that we did against them in this world that we didn't resolve, you know. So this is a serious thing. You know, we don't want to have to face those things on that day. Instead, face up to things here and now in this world. resolve those things. Apologize to your parents apologize to your family members. You know it, let it go, let it go let things go and just make amends. overlook people's faults. Forgive people. You know, I think forgiveness is a

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really important theme as well.

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I heard this beautiful quote

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from one of my mentors, and he said that when you forgive someone, it doesn't mean you're condoning what they did. You know, when you forgive someone, it doesn't mean you're condoning what they did. I think people sometimes feel I find forgiving if I if I forgive that person, then I'm basically saying it was okay. What they did forgiveness is to let go of your right to rip retribution. That's what it is to letting go of your desire to have revenge or have something in return, right? You're just letting

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Go have that and by letting go of that, you end up feeling light. You know, of course you have a right to seek, you know, retribution or gender justice in some way. But if you have it in yourself to let go

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and to forgive, then in sha Allah, when we forgive people, we treat them in the way that we hope Allah will treat us on the Day of Judgment, right? If you if you want a lot to be easy with you, on Day of Judgment, be easy with people on the on in this life, right? Well, what a lovely way of thinking and love that letting go of retribution of the martial law, now to Allah bless you. So I think a closing thought would be that we use this time to, again, to take stock of where we are, where we've been, where we're going and make amends, seek forgiveness, make amends, take care of our neighbors, take care of our families, mend any rifts that exist. And since you're speaking about

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Syria, and our Syrian brothers and sisters, I think it's important for us here, especially those of us who are here in the UK, to realize that in many, many ways, we have it really easy, you know, we have it really easy compared to people in all sorts of different situations. And even in different times, you know, I was just reading about the, the Spanish influenza, which took place like about 100 years ago. And the situation that it was in at that time was, was dire, you know, even in the West so Subhanallah you know, the fact that we have the internet, we stay connected with people we have running water in our homes, we have all of them basic needs being met. That's a huge blessing,

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you know,

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and we should be cognizant of that. And in being cognizant, we should of course, spend our wealth on those who don't have it that easy. That's all we have time for today. shfm Allah, Allah bless you and protect your family and one day I'll see you again in London inshallah, come to your home be in the letter Allah. Thank you so much for sharing.

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