These Words Changed My Life

Lauren Booth


Channel: Lauren Booth

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so I'm gonna calm and welcome to the series of videos we're doing for the public crime campaign where we talk about verses of the Koran and how they've affected us and what significance to have in our lives. So today, we're, I'm interviewing Lauren booth, who is a journalist, broadcaster, and activist and author of the memoir, finding peace in the Holy Land about accepting Islam in the modern Western context. In 2019, this was adapted into accidentally Muslim, a one woman show she performed at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, her course find your voice on teachable, brings practical and prophetic speaking skills together. So

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without going further into this, we can jump straight in and we ask you about, have you chosen a few verses or a verse that has had some specific significance or in love, and you can tell us a bit about it. This one are from Anna Rahim Al Hamdulillah. It's so good to see you again, brother. And thanks to you and your family for this wonderful idea. And this great opportunity to discuss the book that shapes our lives. Hamdulillah you know, when you first contacted me, and when I almost did the default opt out, but it's all perfect, and it's all amazing. And then actually, when you sit down and you reflect for a moment, there's always either that swim through the consciousness and

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say, No, this one, this one, this one. And so I knew immediately actually, that there were three that continue to to always affect me in that in a certain way. But at a certain time had a really powerful effect on the course of my life and the way that I see the world Subhanallah and, and my place in it as a human being and as a believer, so I'm going to share those today inshallah. So the first is Surah Baqarah, verse eight. And the first time I read this verse was in around 2007, I wasn't Muslim, but I had been given a Quran in the streets of Jerusalem outputs by a young Palestinian Shabaab.

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With the promise please don't forget us when you leave Palestine. So I decided one day when my children were going to school, after they were out, I thought, let me looked at look at that book of the Muslims because you know what, they're nice people that I wonder if there isn't something really good in it that I need. So I opened up the Holy Quran, and I read Surah

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Fatiha and it was very similar to what I'd understood of the Bible. You know, God is one, ask him for help, you know, like, supply my daily bread. Okay, I got that. Don't go off the street past. Okay, that was reasonable. But then I hit this worse, and it terrified me. Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim. And of the people are some who say, we believe in Allah and the Last Day, but they are not believers.

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They seek to deceive Allah and the believers, yet they only deceive themselves, but they fail to perceive it. There is a sickness in their hearts. And Allah only lets their sickness increase, they will suffer a painful punishment for their lives. This was like being punched in the solar plexus. All of the breath left my body because I suddenly realized that a 1400 year old book was speaking directly to my condition. I would say to people routinely, with a glass in my hand and a cigarette in very lonely places. Yeah, I believe in God. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, God is great. Yeah, God is great. And yet everything that I did one on everything, but all of my personal habits that had become

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traits over the years, completely conflicted with that opinion. And I thought, oh my god, if I believe in God, then He has expectations of me. And I think that's what this verse does. It's so early on in the Quran. And you know, it's not airy fairy you know, there there is there is like this movement to make Islam this out. Oh, God is love and he forgives everything and you don't have to do anything. Allah is all merciful. Yes. Allies are a human yes are a hain? Yes. But we have demands made on us. Subhanallah and this told me I was in a really bad state. So I remember closing the Koran and going Wow, nice book. Nice people scary book. That was I actually wrote that quote down.

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How are they so nice when they read the scary stuff every day? But what I didn't know of course is that when you come to that as well

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Either you say Allah protect me and never let me be in that state, once or again. And please forgive those who are in that state and protect us. And it's a very different reading. But if you read those lines in a disbelieving or or hypocritical state, that is that that to me, is the epitome of terror.

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That's very, very interesting. I know this, it's an important verse and people talk about

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you know, how the Quran the beginning of the Quran is an answer, because it's this is the Book of guidance and the Fatiha starts with a prayer for guidance. So the Fed has is that guidance, so it's kind of puts you on track. And clearly that had a big impact on not putting you on track, so to speak. So you had you said you have a couple more is that yeah. Okay, so the second one is verse 41. Sorry, Surah 41 is 53. And

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this one I read, it made me cry so much, that I thought I needed to rehydrate. It was one of those really massive, instantaneous cries, because it directly reflected something I'd experienced, and that I think all humans experience at some point in their lives. And it happened to me, I was in Tehran in 2010. And I had a spiritual experience or I hate that wishy washy, I felt a belief in Allah, okay, and want them to do the spirituality that felt a belief in Allah in a mosque. And I was sitting at 6am in outside Teheran airport, watching the sun come up.

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And I thought, I don't want to get on that plane without being knowing what it is to be a believer, because if the plane comes down, and I'm not Muslim, I've wasted my life. And what really, really floored me that morning, was the beauty of the sunrise.

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I mean, just get outside and watch the miracle of the sun coming up. And think that Allah to Allah has made that for us, has made it for living things has made the world subservient to our, to our this to our needs, not designed to our needs. And it's so beautiful. And this is the verse and I it was like my first sunrise and I, I've been blessed in my life to see many. I've slept outside for months at a time I've been a backpacker and a traveler, but this one was a new door. It was a new dorm, not to paraphrase Tony Blair, Busan, you don't miss Miller man Rahim.

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We will show them Our signs

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in the horizons and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord, that He is over all things or witness

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the impact

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of having signs in ourselves and there's many readings of this brother, I mean, I know that people that there's some, there's some readings that, that that include looking at the miracle of the arteries, or the human eye, I mean, you know, we cannot replicate the other, you know, if you hold out and they do this all the time, you hold up your iPhone, like this is so gorgeous, and you look at the picture and it's rubbish, and what the eye is seeing is so full of depth, and movement and life and a phone, no 4k 5k will ever catch what the what the human eye can do. And so the signs are within ourselves, and then the horizons until we should just think timings really I think this this

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just as a as a sagittal doesn't really

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Yes, I'm thinking about this versus it's it's kind of the two ways where our knowledge is limited. And when we look to the furthest horizons, which is one way it's like, that's beyond what we know. And therefore, it's it brings us a sense of humility. And I think that's, that's fundamental to believers perspective on life, as you know that your knowledge is limited and when you start looking at the limits of your knowledge, that's when you appreciate your own state within creation. So and of course, as humans beings we, you know, why do we crave going to the beach, it's not to get the sand or you know, that we then have to later wash off and shake our towels and it makes a mess. It's

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to actually stand on the shore of eternity and, and to consider ourselves a grain of sand.

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on a beach and yet one that is so precious, so precious to the Creator of all things. Okay, so you said you had you had a third one you wanted to mention? Okay so

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the third one is is similar I really

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am in awe of Allah's creation more and more

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I've started to grow little things gardens seedlings, tomatoes,

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old machines, just my little effort to really reconnect with the with the process of where our food comes from. And that that takes you outside and you know part of Islamic

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improvement and deepening knowledge is to reflect reflect on the creation of a line its perfection. And I don't know if I'm gonna be able to get through through this even in English I have to learn how to say it in an Arabic inshallah to Allah but there's something in it that just that just floors me every every single time. It's about the perfection. The perfection around us 67 Three Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim. It is He Who has created seven heavens one above the other. You can see no floor in the creation of the benefits of God.

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Look again can you see faults?

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It's that they look at the sky. And then look again it's a challenge. Go on. Have a look. And think if man can do better than this it's really trying to imagine something better than the sky something that the rain comes down and the rays give us light and the moon is up there at night. It's and and the oxygen that is in there. And the miracles we can't even see beyond that. And there's no floor in it. And you just did a Wow.

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Well, thank you very much. It's been a pleasure. Listening to your your reflections about verses in the Quran inshallah

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we'll follow this series and have more people and more reflections and hopefully the inspirations to whoever watches the videos and in sha Allah. Allah give us Baraka in this effort. Does

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I mean I love bless you