Ramadan Reset #06 Lockdown and Womens Rights – Yusuf Chambers

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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's handled org.uk delivering services to Syrians in need.

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special guest today a brother that I've known since before I was Muslim as actually really part of my journey to Islam Mashallah to Batticaloa, one of the it the premier activists for the Muslim community in the United Kingdom and by activists I mean, someone who wants the Muslims to thrive and do well, someone who is committed to seeing that the poorest are always looked after a brother who co founded the Islamic education research Academy and die He really beyond compare in the West Mashallah to radical I'm talking, of course, about brother use of chambers. I want to come out to Lauren, and to all the viewers out there. My own take on this is it is excellent for self

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development. And we've been talking about this on other shows, haven't we, you know, self development, the lockdown the whole issue of the Prophet Mohammed. So Sam, where does he get ye from? whilst he's in isolation in the cave of Hira? You know, he's, he's developing his self, in long periods of two days, three days,

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potentially weeks sitting in that cave. And now we've we've been imposed that with our family, so it's not quite the same. But it is in the sense that we're used to traveling world travel, national travel, international travel, and Alhamdulillah. You know, we, we've, we've kind of got used to it now. You know, having the so called freedom. And so this period here has been very good for us to really refocus, you know, re reconnect with the great, greater good, and Allah subhanaw taala being the greater good.

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And so it's been amazing, really hasn't been amazing. Absolutely amazing.

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Fantastic. I mean, I'm really happy that so many of our Muslim brothers and sisters do share that feeling that you know, being at home is a great thing. Of course, for many people, it's not a great thing, unfortunately, in the United Kingdom, I guess, in many places around the world, but in the UK, and us and places like that it'd be related to alcohol, domestic violence has spiked, you know, several 100%. So they're also really miserable conditions in the homes, but in Sharla, your home is everybody watching this your home is some somewhere that's really, really safe. So wonder on an individual level, then use of what have you learned from COVID? What are you going to change?

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Well, I'm going to change is

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I think the idea of spending more quality time with my family, myself, first and foremost. So not to be out there just for the sake of going out to actually have a structure. Create a structure. Yeah. Around the family around the cellar.

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Yeah, around the cellar, first and foremost, and then around the family, rather than the you know, that we've got to go out, play our wares, do our sales, do our pitchers, do our charity works on that, then just plan everything around? Number one, the Salah, and number two, the family to really grow the family with us. And then if that kind of fits in with you, because I know you've got young daughters and but not as young as they used to be. But you know, we still consider them as babies, don't we? Hmm, well, hamdulillah I mean, I'm separated for my daughter because she Alex is Salaam, Alex, if you're watching. She's She's in lockdown in the UK, and she didn't make it over to me with

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Turkey. So but thanks, Peter, Allah to Allah every day we speak for one or two hours. And it's that thing of if you're cooking, have one of the children with you in the kitchen, if you with your family, you know, his husband to make make their time for those really good conversations as quality conversations with your wife. You know, sometimes we can always be on the phone with somebody else who isn't in the room. Now I remember when mobile phones were just really awesome stores. And do you remember how for you? That's true. I wasn't gonna mention that. That's a very good point. I did I put the opposite about five years ago, about five years ago. But

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it was only five Yeah, it's only recently. Well, what brothers is what I'm talking about here is that because use of chambers is so well known. And because he tries to do so much good and does so much good that you were and maybe this is reflected in your life as well, if you're watching, right, is that you have 25 groups and those groups have 25 groups. And your friendship group is your real friendship group is small, but the group of people who want to know you is very large and so we

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end up giving minimal time I find May Allah forgive me. I've ended up being rude to as many people as I can all the time. Yes, yes. Yes, Lauren we've got to choose our priorities we've got to have a list of priorities isn't a list of people who we need to engage with near the Prophet Mohammed bin Salman was actually guilty of that once it with the the, with the abscissa abasa. What Allah that Allah subhanaw taala said he turned his back, he remonstrated with and he said, Look, don't turn your back on this person, you don't know where the hair is. So even the Prophet Muhammad has had that issue where he was talking to some leaders and plant a blind man comes to him, knocks him on

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the shoulder or was waiting behind him. And he tiny turns his back slightly saying, Look, I'm engaged in a conversation, because the Prophet Muhammad says I'm used to, you know, always engage fully, you know, head to head, shoulders shoulder, like that, you know, chest to chest. You know, that was his his way of saying that, you know, don't interrupt me, you know, because nowadays, we just interrupt his old time, I probably done it on the show three times already. Or May Allah forgive me. But you know.

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Yeah. So knowing that list of priorities, you know, of in terms of people that we need to engage with, and what's the benefits, what's the overall benefits, we only have a very limited time in this world, Lord, right, as you know, and we none of us know, when it will end. This is the problem. So we have to now think about maximizing the benefits with a las panatela for all the people we go and meet and we discuss things with, you know, having a political discussion might seem good to us today. Yeah. But isn't it better that we spend now time with a court and for example, that's your, you know, your two sort of options, right? There's a political discussion going on, and you've

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wasted your time not engaging with the court. And in the last 10 days, for example, you know, so, again, I definitely think we need to learn that stress that skill as a skill, isn't it? You're good at that. I'm getting better. I i've always, I've always been somebody who because I grew up in a drama household. We're always people who want face to face conversations. So I've always been quite intolerant of the somebody speaking going, Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's like, No, that is not a conversation. It's not respectful. It's not pleasant. You know, if you're in a shop, right, you go into a shop. And the girl goes, Yeah, all right, I'll be with you in a minute. It's like no real

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person here. Deal with the real person, right? How many times have we all said, Put the phone down. But we need to be speaking to ourselves about that, like put the phone down. And say, either say, I'll be back to you in a minute. And I think probably I've learned as you have use of this lockdown period is, is put things down and put them in the right place. Tip number one them really brothers and sisters, brother use of is putting forward is engaging with our families that that sense of quality time that we're going to take away from this? Well, you know, unfortunately, the way the society has functioned, as you've always got to have the other, you've got to have a group that will

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be authorized.

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Why is that? Because there's no moral compass. Right now, no moral compass. We don't talk about morality in schools anymore. And it's just me, myself and I. So whichever the strongest group is, whether they're right or wrong, they tend to push the prevailing

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you know, the other ideation. So right now, it's other organization of Muslims, and that that's still going to go on after COVID, you're going to see that's probably going to rise, they're going to start talking about how Muslims started it or how the mosques stayed open too late. Long, and therefore, because they did some of them, unfortunately, not not that there's other things to blame, you know, other people to blame as well. So, you know, you know, at the end of the day, you know, the Chinese situation, that's going to go on anyway, because the world leaders

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are of course, other rising them now, aren't they? We've got Mr. Particularly Trump going out with very, you know, xenophobic opinions and, and a lot of people supporting him as well in that so that's not going to go away Is it because you've got to have a group that you're otherwise in this society, to divide people and then rule them. And that's, that's essentially it. Whereas in a true Islamic State, a true Islamic State,

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you know, that people are encouraged to get along. But there's a, there's a foundational statement that there's only one God worthy of worship, and we all agree on that. And actually, most people agree on that. It's only in the

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In these later years, and there's lots of years where we've had a massive race of, you know, people being labeled as agnel now and saying that they're agnostic, they don't understand what who God is. And agnosticism is probably the number one faith, really, you know, in the West, isn't it? And I think this, this then almost creates a platform for people to say, well, we need a belief system. belief system is part of our mantra, we need something to believe in. So what do we believe in? Well, I'll ask you, what do we believe in if we don't believe in an ultimate? You know, God? Well, here's the thing, here's the collapse of civilizations use if it is that people have made the free

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market, their god, this idea of as long as the market is working, we're going to be okay, I can get my little bit as long as the traders are allowed to trade and the banks are allowed to bank and the realtors are allowed to sell their real estate, we're all going to be fine. But But relying on them when things go wrong. Yeah, you know, wipes out any sense of personal wealth, and by personal wealth, I mean, in a wealth, the wealth that is communities, the wealth, that is the connection with Allah to Allah, the wealth, that means it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, there's a purpose for being alive. And so I think people are collapsing, because if they've made the free market their God,

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yeah, I was just thinking, as soon as you said that, I wrote reach for the phone to find a statement in sort of ankle boots, ankle booties, the the the, of course, the spider, ankle boot, the spider.

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And it's within the surah of Angkor Wat, the there's a description of the spiders house being something which is incredibly sort of beautiful and technical, and so on, so forth, and appears to be very strong. But within a few seconds, it's gone. And this kind of COVID situations reminded me of that, you know, the dollar ankle boots or the basal ankle boots, the house of the spider is something which is extremely,

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you know, it looks beautiful, it looks quite strong, probably to the miser, but unfortunately, it's extremely weak. And that is what Allah subhanaw taala likens anything else that we worship,

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to, you know, in that there's a sort of power, there's a an analogy of the house of the spider when you worship other than Allah, it's like, you rely upon that data anchor buoy, that baitul ankle boots, and when somebody puts their hand fluid, it finished.

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And literally, within a few seconds, oil prices plummeted to $30. And it's it actually went negative at one point. So they wanted to give it away, they actually went negative, it wasn't valueless, suddenly, suddenly, you don't if you think about it, you know, money itself, you know, you know, fiat currencies, pieces of paper, promissory notes, they absolutely have no value whatsoever, if suddenly, there's chaos ensues. It's not quite chaos at the moment. But if there was, if it was to be read, get ramped up, and there's a wave two, and suddenly, everyone stops believing in what the government is saying, When that's quite easy to find out, you know, to believe in, in Britain, with

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Boris Johnson, so on so forth, or Trump, you know, then suddenly, data and the house of the spine disappears. It is a bit. The interesting thing, of course, like you touched upon brother Yousef, is that to the spider? those wonderful threads are so strong and actually scientists have studied is that the strength per I don't know, millimeter of power of those. And they're like, the same strength proportionally as those that hold up the seven bridge or a bridge bridge in California. They're that strong for what they do. And yet the reality of the situation is that in the universe around the spider, the meaningless, worthless and can be broken in a second. Yeah, I mean, you know,

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I sometimes I don't if you guys have ants in your kitchen in the summer, yeah, we're in a hot country. So we have that. And you just see how easily when you brush them away, they've had their little plans, they were on their record to go and get some food and it's,

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it's, but they're incredibly strong, if you not want to, and we've unfortunately done that. We don't have the power to speak to an Stewie so we have to kind of deal with him. They actually fall and you know, they fall in the equivalent of falling off the Empire State Building as a human and then it's like they just crawl off. So it's incredible the design of our last panel, Adela, all of these things if you start to reflect on them, but certainly that

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Horrible or that analogy of the house is so incredible. It really is. I mean, the car and it's just amazing. It's just a wash with all of these different things, which will, anyone who's thinking, anyone's who've got the ability to think about their situation right now. And they read the code, and they read that they will understand COVID-19. There it is. Right? It's happening. Yeah. so incredible. That's why we need to re engage with the court. And in the month of Ramadan, I'm sure you've been doing I know, you have Lauren. And

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we need to do a lot more of that. second bit is there's a lot of women out there who are extremely abused, oppressed,

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and extremely,

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in need of some form of support.

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It's a spiritual support they need but they also need the community. And we're talking about the community, they need community to get much more involved, what we're very good at sending money abroad, and just putting in a black hole. But there's 1000s of women, and every I'm sorry that they are terribly oppressed. I've heard so many bad stories recently.

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And literally, it's almost slavery, modern day slavery,

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and being beaten, abused, sexually, and otherwise, otherwise terrible things. And you know, and they don't feel that they've got an outlet to talk about it. Now, the oma and the Prophet Mohammed. So someone's way, of course, was to

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elevate the status of women from being nothing animals. Actually, there were animals at the time, they were considered as not human.

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That's why they would bury the children, the unwanted female children alive because it was a disgrace. If you had children who were will girls. And interestingly, people we don't often think of Mecca at the time. If we transpose Mecca at the time to today, the women were going topless around the Kaaba, the average state of a woman was to be semi naked at all times, and excessive. Do you think they weren't abused in the street? Do you think they weren't manhandled? It was just taken as normal. You either belong to one man or a group of men, and you have bought and sold between them. And then Islam comes and says, cover up and gives that Yeah. And the men must have been furious. I

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mean, you know, it's like, you know, men, men in the West going, hang on, you mean, she won't be wearing the crop to crop top and the short, short shorts, if she comes to Islam, That's rubbish. You know, Lauren, there's one side of it is yes. The other side of it is that they haven't got this issue of having to deal with women as though they're an embarrassment anymore. So and they've got their women in their household, their mothers, their daughters, their, how are they dealing with that? So Islam lab, Islam, manifestly, you know, stops that oppression, and actually gives them a status, which is actually higher than the men, in many respects, in many respects, is high,

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considering where they were, you know, from down here somewhere. And, you know, suddenly it's like that, isn't it. And the woman, the man then has to give half his earnings to her and she's allowed to have all her own earnings. She has property rights, she has inheritance rights, unfortunately, that is not manifest within our community at the moment is still not good enough. And

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there's other issues, there's issues of, you know, there's so many women that because they've had one child, or they've they've all sees, they can't get married.

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Literally, no one cares, you know, I'm very, I'm very disappointed actually with is we need to have a like a monitor moratorium on this world discussion group. This is a forum to say, look, what can we do to elevate the status of particularly divorcees, divorces with children, you know, they need they need to have a special pot that they can gain access to, to educate in education, to empower themselves and their children. And even, you know, a sort of pool resource of people that are prepared to marry divorcees, because I see that as being a major disaster and arguments.

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A lot of them will end up either hating Islam hating the Muslim community, or encouraging encouraging the children. And then that has a knock on effect that there's a whole bunch of

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sororities, that term ex Muslims, you know, and they go out there and peddle their horror stories about, you know, what Muslims in Islam did to them. So yeah, do you get that Lauren? Do you think being a woman of course, you can talk more about Ah, well, I, of course, divorcees get get either ignored, or offered dodgy second marriages. And by dodgy second marriages, I mean, not we've got one not with men who are suitable for first marriage, much less a second marriage. So that that really is an unpleasant state of affairs. I'm really aware we've got about seven minutes of your time. I want to, I want us to share something positive now. Yeah, we're going? Are we going back to small

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communities?

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The Muslim community is better able than most to weather the storm? Do you agree?

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Um,

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unfortunately, we're going but you want it to be positive? I mean, we're going back to the tribes at the moment. I'm sorry to tell you, but I, I live in Leicester. It's very tribal. I mean, maybe it's just because I've got I'm Leicester centric at the moment. But what I do see is that

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they do live according to you know, that community of such, but it's not the Islamic communities model that I want and you want, which is inclusivity. invite everyone, not just the people who are blood related, or related to the blood related? Yeah, you know, the concentric circles should be that the Prophet said, you know, you, then you and your family, then you and your neighbors, and then you and the wider community 40 neighbors either side. So, you know, I think that that, essentially, we need to get back to that if we are going to be a lot more robust as as a community that can handle things coming at us right now. But I think these difficult times have definitely,

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definitely good galvanize communities. So this is really one very amazing positive thing. And the Muslims have been there at the forefront of helping communities. So they Yes, in that sense, their Deen tells them you have to go out and help your neighbors, you have to go and help them the needy in the poor, the elderly, the frontline workers in the NHS, because they are they're oppressed, in a sense, you know, by not having peepee and not being supported. So we've been going out there and doing that. Yes. So the Muslim community have come to the fore in that regard. But I'm a bit worried and hyper skeptical about this whole issue of them getting now very tribal, again, which is what the

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prophet Muhammad says.

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You can just take away tribalism.

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So we've got a comment here from fly light. It's not tribal, tribal, where I live in Durham, having said that, it's a small Muslim population. I know some places in Wales they have they have nice kind of mixed communities as well. And it seems like when you go into when you go into a Masjid, remember that guys panela the more mix the community, the more beautiful pull it feels when you go in. That's how I've always felt, but then of course I did. My community is Islam. My community is the oma. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So it's positive. I'm just saying how can we improve? I think that I should have said that really, how should we really improve, improve hamdulillah and that is by

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following the model of the Prophet Mohammed, sir Sam, and seeing how he was able to galvanize all the different tribal

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factions and bring them into one, they bring them under that one banner of dough heat, of understanding of essentially their fitrah and living their fifth route, which is beautiful Islam, to submit to Allah subhanho wa Taala

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in the understanding of the earliest generations, and that's what it's really all about. Just a color here. Thank you so much for the use of your on somewhere else at six.

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So I'm going to let you go and say jacala you'll be back with us in another week anyway. And may Allah Allah bless you stay blessed and salaams to your wife MERS while he comes down to LA he will take care so not only

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Okay, so I'm gonna stay on for a bit brothers and sisters, and they'll take your comments and I've got some things I want to say on a, on a positive note some some thoughts that I've been having about the meaning of community. So Mohammed Zakaria, thank you. He says, Thank you both for this live and all that we do in the field of dour which believe me is not enough but we try being there let me I'll accept it. And you saw the ShareFile khanduri Guided through the Quran series do go and watch that series if you haven't seen it yet. I'm glad everybody's enjoying it in the timeline Jazakallah rumoured says I feel we Muslims need to educate all the community and let go of cultural

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beliefs and follow Islam. So there is there's always there's always hair and Allah to Allah situations that I've been thinking about this. I've always lived in mega cities. Well, I grew up in one anyway in London has like, I don't know 18 19 million now. And

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we I lived in a suburb so what a suburb suburbs, or small villages. So actually, I've always been attached to a big city but always chosen being guided to enable to live in the suburbs. Because and that's given me It's given me a glimpse of how difficult it is to interact in a super city. These structures don't work they dehumanize us, Desmond Morris, who was a famous anthropologist, anthropologist, sociologist, anywhere he studied communities. He wrote the human ape interesting book, not something we'd necessarily buy into, but you anyway, it's still an interesting book in the 1970s 60s 70s. And he said that they were finding that emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, you

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can only realistically the human being between 50 people a day, and maybe 60, can they make eye contact with that knowledge? Okay, so you know, hello, how are you? Hello, how are you? So if you think of yourself going on the train, maybe you see somebody you know, and then you acknowledge the person who takes your ticket in a day in a city. It's actually way way over that. And you end up by the end of the day, ignoring anybody it's it's that situation where the first mega that comes over, you're like, so Pamela, here you go. Second beggar I'll try that by the third or fourth, we get fatigue, you know, the human condition is you just can't deal with it. And if it's rush, rush, rush

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all the time, we end up pushing away the good, don't we? We ended up pushing away the good, what do you think about that? I'm thinking that because of Corona Bismillah, to Allah, that those choices are being outside have been taken away. We're really looking now at choosing who's in our lives. And we're really aware that, for me personally, all of the other

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discussions and groups and things that maybe we're feeding into a cell sense of self importance are not important at all, that they become background noise. And that then, every time we have to ignore one of those WhatsApp groups, or somebody who's calling, you know, you get a text you go Oh, not now. And you flick it. Right? What are we doing that? Isn't that the equivalent of actually slamming the door in somebody's face? Only they don't know it?

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What does that actually do to our hearts? That's what I'm asking myself. This Ramadan because of the seclusion? Who am I to just casually flick who can get in touch with me and who can't?

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It makes us It makes us feel arrogant, like this control of our universe because we control who has access to us. This is our priceless PA, our personal assistant. And we're constantly saying not them, not them. Yeah, okay, let them in for two minutes.

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We've got too many people that we're in touch with too many meaningless interactions. And maybe Allah to Allah wants us to review that. And as Muslims make everything meaningful. I was trying to say to Brother use of earlier that

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in my family because we're come from an acting family we always tend to speak face to face my mum used to say to me she because she'd be cooking I say, look at me when I'm speaking show to do with drama, you will but actually paying attention looking in somebody's eyes when they're talking.

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You know, look up from the plate when somebody you know, actually I know that Muslims don't like to speak and eat Is that right? Like to eat then speak? Think that I think that you can text me if that's right. Let me know is that correct? But generally speaking, we're we're dividing our attention all the time. Allahu Akbar. With the outside

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World our inner thoughts and then the people who who are really trying to get hold of us. So bringing myself to account this this lockdown this this Coronavirus reassessment.

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I've taken myself off a lot of groups have you.

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I've just backed off and said, because I'm ignoring you all the time. It makes me feel you're lesser.

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And that's really, really dangerous. I wouldn't be lemon or shade on a regime. Because every person is priceless. Everybody matters. Each interaction, if we can make it meaningful, will count for us on the day of Jamar cayambe.

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And if we, if we ignore people, or we have so many people that we feel we have to keep in touch with I just, I felt love. I just felt rude to everybody all the time. Like, I can only give you two minutes of my time. You'd never say that. It's like yeah, yeah, yeah, gotta go. You know, when somebody says, got to go to you, and you're like, Alright, see you then don't bother. Seriously, don't bother you so busy. Who do you think you are? So Pamela. So I pray that the first lesson that we may get is engagement, engage with those who matter. So panela engage with those who matter give our time, freely and meaningfully, allow Akhbar. And secondly, and this was the point that brother

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Yusuf made, and it's not necessarily in this order,

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engaging with the court and in a way that actually affects how we behave. So I love that brother use of chambers tonight, he brought the sore ankle boot about the spider, and about how everything we've built around us, our homes, investments, have you got those lucky you?

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car, work, ever, all these things that connect us. They seem really, really powerful for a bit I've worked really hard, they're really meaningful, but to the to the significance of the universe. And to Allah's plan, they can be washed away in a second or rebuilt if it's up to him. And we aren't this huge monopoly, this huge power in ourselves, we are not the center of the universe. Allahu Akbar. I've got some comments. Would this be part of your Muslim Central podcast? Sister Lauren? That's a nice idea. Thanks, Mamadou. That's a nice idea. So I've got a podcast on Muslim Central. And I haven't updated it for a couple of years actually. But maybe we can draw down some of the some

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of the audio from this. And and do that and might I'll consider that just accola rumor says friends and family and people who care important so we should engage with those who matter most. And really give that time really give that time. Even if we have five or six people. And we're blessed. Let's be honest. Because there may be you may you may be watching this now and I've been in a situation in my life. And you think I have nobody that's never true, by the way, because you always have Allah but there's always people who want to be close. But have we pushed them away and ignored the signs or been open disassociating ourselves somehow because of our own issues? Don't do that. Don't do

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that seek out good inshallah.

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Juliana says nobody should eat with their mouth full personally. I think it impolite. Okay, so I guess that's just my family then we eat and talk.

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But no, since coming to the Muslim community, I've definitely noticed that there's eating time. And then there's relaxed with tea chatting time so I'm Thank you. I'm going to try and implement that in my life. Okay, because I'm always trying to get my husband's suits me

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over there for the sun eating. And then he'll speak later. So maybe he's trying to trying to give me a little less than that. Less than a dab there. Okay, right. I'm taking away a lot from this today. Thanks, guys.

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Khalid says Pon Allah May Allah bless you really enjoyed listening to myself and brother usages Zack on the higher end. Remember, brothers, sisters, we're all in this together, because we're all in.

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We're all interconnected. Every time we make Salah, somebody just down the road is also making salah and 100 miles away, they're about to make salah and an hour away, they're just going into solitude and two hours away. They're they're just starting their Salah. So it's a constant 24 seven of worship around the world. We're all interconnected.

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We're not alone. That energy that power

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subpanel of the words of Allah to Allah that we say late at night. So panic Allah will be handing lay the headline to subpoena kainic conterminous alameen The hola wala quwata illa Billah. These are the the so many powerful, powerful phrases

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out there that we can be using the beauty of slowing down, of course, it's going to feel a bit itchy and worrying at first. But if we honestly if we know where our next meal is coming from, and if we have a roof over our heads, and we have a Quran either in our heart so when we can look at we're not in a place of war. We have all the world. We have all the world already with us the panela the and we can teach others who think the reliance is on getting the next pair of trainers that doesn't matter anymore, does it? How little did it matter anyway? So Pamela, I'll leave it there for today. samedi colorama. Today, we're back at it. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please take a moment to

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visit what ten.org.uk to support Syrians in need.