Living a Life of Purpose

Maryam Lemu


Channel: Maryam Lemu

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I'm Brasilia, and I'm part of Muslim circle organization. And today I'll be moderating this talk. I'm really happy actually. Because when I learned about you, I was really inspired by your experiences. I think we need more women like you also to, you know, be an example and lead Muslim girls and women.

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I have the lesser, Mrs. Madame lemmo is actually a from Nigeria, as we will already mentioned, and a very experienced that I believed over 30 years of experience as a motivational speaker internationally. And right now you're the head of administration and Resources Management at the college right in Nigeria. Yes. So today we will be talking about the

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the maybe you can living a life of purpose. Yes. Living a meaningful life and Islamic perspective, I believe. Yes. Yeah. So I think I'm not gonna talk too much. I'm really interested to hear to hear about what you have to share with us. So please,

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the latches Akela Hi, Ron, thank you very much. It's truly a pleasure to be on this platform and for Muslim Central giving me the opportunity. It is an honor, may Allah bless all your activities, and inshallah it'll be a witness for you in the life to come. Thank you so much. Well, I'm talking about how to live a life of purpose. And I normally start off by talking about our realities. Some people have their life in order, some people are living their best life. And many of us sit and watch as bystanders, bystanders, you know, wishing we could be like them, wishing we had more. We sometimes reach a stage in our life where we feel we desire, some form of change, because we know we have so

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much more to give, however, our life doesn't accord us the luxuries. Or maybe that's what we think. So we start to feel dissatisfied, we feel discontent. Sometimes we start to feel this emptiness inside. And we want more better relationships, we want a closer relationship with our maker. We want more meaning more fulfillment. We want to have a greater sense of purpose. We want to feel we are growing and that we are becoming better and hopefully the best versions of ourselves. But sadly, yes, we are busy. Definitely there's no denial. But we're busy. And we find we can't achieve our goals. And our goals ended up being pushed to the sidelines. Now I'll tell you a story. This man one

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day was walking in the woods. And he came across another man who was cutting away sewing at a tree and the tree was huge. And he stood there for a while observing this guy. And he watched him. He's just busy sewing, sewing. And he noticed the guy had not even made much progress, no more than about an inch. So he decided to strike up a conversation with him. And he's like, what are you doing? He says, Oh, I'm cutting down this tree. And he says, but you don't seem to be making any progress. He said, Yeah, I know. He said, Well, why aren't you making any progress? He said, My soul is blunt.

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This guy looks at humans like, so why don't you sharpen the soul? Like, Oh, no, I'm too busy. I don't have time for that.

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Now many of us crash at the end of the day, and we wake up just to go with the flow, whatever comes our way, putting our goals on the shelf to be faced later. Unfortunately, that later seems further and further down the road. We get bogged down with routines, the daily grind long to do lists and not enough time. When the top of everybody's agenda except ours. We find ourselves at the bottom, we only get a remnant of ourselves. We find ourselves overwhelmed, burnt out. Sometimes we end up losing ourselves just because we want to make sure everybody's fine. Everybody's okay. But are you okay? Like the tree cutter, you're busy. But you're not moving forward. You're busy, but you're not

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productive. You're busy, but you're not finding fulfillment in what you do. Sometimes you're running on empty. And sometimes we end up feeling like our goals don't matter. Now, how do we go about navigating the challenges that exist in our daily lives? And how do we ensure that we are effective in not only fulfilling our roles and obligations, but feeling significant? How do we go about sharpening our swords so that we are more effective?

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We need to first recognize how important we are that we matter and that our goals matter, and they matter a lot. Now, we all had dreams once upon a time and expectations of what we thought we would be doing at this stage in our lives.

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Things we want you to achieve. But life happens and those dreams start to become blurry. And sadly for some they completely disappear. So what was your vision of what you thought you'd be doing at this stage? Are you living that dream? Do you feel you are on track? Are you content? Are you fulfilled? Are you satisfied with how your life has turned out? Are you living your best life? Or are you one of one of those who admires from a distance? what others are doing and long to do something similar? What would it mean to you to achieve your goals? Is anything holding you back? Or are you the one holding yourself back? Coming up with all sorts of excuses, while you cannot do why

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you cannot be? There is this beautiful quote that I love that says there isn't enough time to do everything in life, but there is enough time to do the most important things. Often that thing that we are so busy doing, does not bring as much fulfillment? Can you press refresh at this stage in your life and start all over? A lot of people will say No way. I can't handle that change. Okay, so if you can't press refresh and start over and do what you really love, or what brings you more satisfaction, or meaning, can you make some changes? Can you add to what you're already doing? There's a lady I met when I went to South Africa a couple of years ago in Cape Town. And after the

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talk similar to this, that I gave, she came over to me and she was shaking my hand. So happy. She said, I'm 43 years old, and I quit my job. Because I'm so passionate about writing, I decided to start writing children's stories. And it's now beginning to take hold and it's gaining traction. And she feels like she's finally living. She can't she just looked so alive. So why live a life that makes you miserable or unhappy? Often, that's the million dollar question. Why live a life that may bring you regret when you look back? And you wish you had done what you really wanted to do.

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The Prophet sallallahu Sallam said that we should live our lives with minimum regrets, not no regrets, but with minimal regrets. So how do you try and reduce your regrets? So that as you look back, you feel Alhamdulillah? That wasn't so bad? I think I did well, when we get old, many of us look back on our lives. Or we may be lying on our deathbeds. And I'd like you to ask yourself these questions that many people who lie on their deathbed or look back after they finished living, ask themselves? What have I done with my life? That's significant? What have I done that significant? What is my greatest accomplishment? What have I accomplished so far? Who have I inspired or

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influenced positively?

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What have I done that has brought me the greatest pleasure?

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And what legacy am I leaving behind? What legacy am I leaving behind? Now we do not know if we will live to see another year, another month or another day. But what's the most important thing that brings you fulfillment? Is that you know, you were on track. So that if you reflect maybe in the next 10 years on what the past decade has looked like insha Allah Allah will spare your life to that at least you will feel good that you know what I feel I'm on track, I feel I'm on the right path. My Serato was the king so to speak. So ask yourself a few more questions. In what way have you grown? If you look back in the past 10 years, and we're gonna plan for the next decade, inshallah? In what

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way? Have you grown in the past 10 years? What new skills? Have you added to what you already have? Or have you learned?

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And in what way has it been a benefit to you or to others? And what are you doing to ensure that you have started what you have started carries on long after you're gone?

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Then ask yourself is your presence felt?

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And will your absence be noticed? In what way?

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I know some people who when they enter a room, they suck the oxygen out with their negative energy? So if you asked me Will I notice that person's absence? Definitely I would and not in the way that they may be hoped for. So what's your outfit or outlook on your life? What's your disposition so so to speak? So what are your plans for the next decade? Have you made any plans or are you just going with the flow? What can you start now so that when you reflect you feel so content? Many Alhamdulillah are living their best life and I'm sure some of those words

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us today? are they living a life of purpose, they are living deliberately with plans and conscious steps on how to bring them to life. However, so many are not, some are not sure if they're actually on track, or are simply just existing. Whichever one you happen to be. I'd like to ask you a few more questions. Right now, think about that thing you are doing. Think about what you're doing right now. That thing you're sacrificing everything for that's preoccupying so much of your time. Is that really the most important thing to you? Is that what truly matters? Now the Prophet sallallahu wasallam was asked, Who is the cleverest of believers, and you know what he said,

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the one who remembers death, and is better prepared for the life after it, the one who remembers death, and is better prepared for the life after it. So I'm going to do an exercise with you. And normally, I do this during my workshops. So I get to see the faces and I asked the audience to close their eyes, and I take them on a journey. So since you're now behind the screen, I'm going to ask you to try and tune out any background noise. So if you have earphones, put them in so that you don't hear, you know, noise in the room or any distractions. And ideally, if you can close your eyes.

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It's the end of a long day, a long, tedious day at work. And you're going home.

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As you approach the front of your house, you're a little puzzled and taken aback. Because you notice that there is a crowd that has gathered in front of your home.

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And you're wondering what's going on.

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So out of excitement, you rush to try and see

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what's happening at home.

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However, you start to slow down, because you hear some unusual sounds.

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You recognize some faces, your neighbors, certain community members, people you know from the masjid.

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And this sound, sound of murmuring, whispering,

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and then you hear what makes your blood run cold

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screams and wailing.

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You rush frantically into your home to see what's going on. And you see another large crowd gathered in a congregation in the form of like a circle.

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And you realize that somebody has died?

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In Alabama, you were in a rush?

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Is it one of your parents?

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And you rush to check who amongst them has gone to their maker?

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But no.

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You see your father standing there? numb

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with a blank expression on his face.

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Okay, it's not your father. Oh, no, it's your mom.

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And you look for her frantically. And you see her in a heap on the floor crying, wailing with her siblings trying to calm her down.

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Kids, not your mom. Oh my gosh. Oh, yeah. It's not my wife. Yeah, like it's not my husband.

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And you look for your spouse.

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You move through the crowds trying to find them. And there they are.

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With this expression that you've never seen before, of deep sorrow, pain.

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Oh, yeah, guys compete my children.

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And you almost collapsed to the floor.

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You find some strength, you muster the courage to look for them, which one is it?

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And you start to count them one by one. And you see this confused look on their faces until you realize your children are complete.

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So who is it that has died?

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With this puzzled look on your face, you make your way to the center of this congregation and you see a body covered in a shroud

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and that's when it hits you.

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It is yours

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that your life has come to an end

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Life has come to an end.

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As they take your body away,

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to go to the graveyard, the Wailing, and the shouting increases.

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And you see, you see your spouse running, following them, trying to take you one more time to hug you to kiss you. But it's too late.

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As they drive off with you, you hear people murmuring?

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What are they seeing? They talking about you?

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What is it that they're saying about you?

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What are they seeing mattered the most to you? What was the most important thing in your life?

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What are they seeing about how you made them feel?

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What are they seeing, they will remember the most about you

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about how you lived? how you relate it with your neighbors, with your colleagues, with your loved ones.

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You're now about to face your maker.

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Your Life has come to an end.

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Are you ready?

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All right.

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I wish I could see your faces.

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I know for so many. This is a very emotional experience. Some have been through this before.

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But how did you feel?

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What did you feel at this time?

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And what did you hope to hear?

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Now some people who are lying on their their deathbed was surveyed. So a survey was conducted of people who are lying on their deathbed. And they were asked, What are the three most important things

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to them at that stage.

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The first, based on the survey number one was asking a lot to forgive them and their desire to be closer to him.

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That was number one. Number two, it's asking family to forgive them and their loved ones. And to be by their side at that moment that they needed them the most.

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And then the last one was leaving a lasting legacy of lives that they have touched on their greatest accomplishment,

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leaving a lasting lasting legacy.

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Now, I'd like you to assume that you had six months, six months to live a healthy life. And I know we don't have time for me to actually go through the full exercise with you. But I'm sure the video of this will come back so that you get to play it back and go through this. So this is an exercise I asked you please to do no matter what, try and do this. So if you're told you have six months to live a healthy life, and your life will come to an end, I'd like you to write down what are the three most important three things that mattered the most to you are what you care the most about? What are the three things that matter the most to you, that you care the most about?

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The second thing is that three things you would want to do before your six months expire.

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What are the three things you would want to do before your six months expired?

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And then what words or phrases? Would you want to come to people's minds when your name is mentioned?

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What words or phrases? Would you want to come to people's minds when your name is mentioned? And then the last question I have one more is what would you want to be remembered for? Long after you're gone? What would you want to be remembered for?

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Ask yourself right now.

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Right now, if you were to ask yourself, is your relationship with Allah the way you feel it should be? Are you comfortable with your relationship with Allah?

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What about your loved ones?

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What would your loved one say about you? Would they see the other ones that mattered the most to you?

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If you were to ask yourself, if I died today, what would my legacy be? What would people remember of me? Having done for them or left behind?

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Now this isn't an easy exercise. I actually did this mini inventory with my loved ones. I did it with my husband separately. And with my two boys separately. I even did it with some of my colleagues and this is what I asked them. I asked my husband, what is the most important contribution that you think

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Let me get to this relationship and to you, what's the most important contribution I've made? And in what way have I added value to the relationship?

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And I asked my children the same way. And what would you say is the most important thing to me?

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That's a tough one. Because sometimes what we think or what we wish may not be the reality. And then I also asked, What do I stand for? What do I represent?

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And then what would you remember me by

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now we're talking six months. Now, obviously, we don't know if we're going to have another year, another six months, a month, a week or even a day. But what I love about this exercise it is to help you pinpoint what really matters. Now, having a purpose gives us a sense of direction, a compass, or like my brother noodles calls it a personal Qibla. There's a quote by Zig Puppis that says, if you don't know where you're going, then any road will take you there. So if you don't have a direction, if you don't have a map, and pinpointed a destination, then it doesn't matter how your life and ends up the Prophet sallallahu Sallam give us some clues on what we should prioritize when it comes to

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how we live our lives. Those are the five before five. He asked us to take advantage of five things before five others, our youth before our old age, our health before our sickness, our wealth before our our poverty, our free time before our preoccupation and our life before our death. Now living a life of purpose requires us to be deliberate in everything we do. Yes, we are so busy. And yes, we have people who need us. We have people pulling us left, right and center for this impact. But don't forget this quote, there isn't enough time to do everything in life. However, there is enough time to do the most important things until we visit the grave. We need to make deliberate plans so that

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we feel that our life makes sense and there is this feeling of balance.

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That is when we are able to insha Allah look back with minimum regrets. So in other words, we need to sharpen our soul. Now I love this quote that I came across where Eamon ghazali described scheduling our time so perfectly. He said you should structure your time and arrange your regular devotions and assign to each functional responsibility, a set period of time during which it's given first priority, but which it does not overstep. If you abandon yourself to neglect and purposelessness as cattle do, and just do anything that may occur to you, at any time, it happens to occur to you, most of your time will be wasted. This is my favorite part. Your time is your life and

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your life is your capital. It is the basis of our transactions with God and the means to attaining everlasting Felicity in the proximity of God exalted. each breath is like a priceless jewel. And once it passes away, it never returns. I love that so much. So our daily our weekly priorities should focus on revolve around certain key areas. So in other words, we should sharpen the soul around key areas and I use the Prophet sallallahu wasallam example of five before five as a guide.

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I'm going to share with you my five that I pray to Allah if you are able to prioritize and balance all these five things and give each one a set period of time, which it does not overstep. I promise you insha Allah, you will look back on your life and say, Alhamdulillah I live the good life. May Allah make that easy for all of us. So the first one is spirituality. Growing up, my father always said I love first in everything you do. So keep a love close to you. Keeping with you when the things are going well and when they're not going well, during the good, the bad and the difficult times. Keep a lactose Allah first in everything you do. Develop a very strong spiritual immune

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system. have Taqwa be conscious of God, that is being the highest state as a Muslim in Allah eyes. That is number one, your tuckaway your consciousness of him, because if we are conscious of him, we'll be afraid of offending him, and we will do everything in our power to please Him. And how do we please Allah? We do right? We enjoin right and we forbid wrong.

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And this is where a lot of us fail. where Allah has already promised us like he's going to try us

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In surah, Al Baqarah, he says, and most certainly, and most certainly we shall try you by means of danger, hunger, loss of your worldly goods, of lives and of the fruits of your labor. Now imagine what we're going through right now. He said, and most certainly we shall try you. He's trying us right now. This danger, this diseases dangerous, this virus is dangerous, of danger of hunger, people have lost their livelihoods. People are hungry, they've lost their worldly goods, they've lost lives and the fruits of their labor. But he adds give glad tidings to those who are patient in adversity, whom when calamity befalls them, they see from him we came unto Him as our return, it is

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day upon whom descend the blessings, the rough man of their sustainer, and it is they who are on the straight path.

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So yes, there are huge trials that we are going through, some may be going through depression, a divorce, they've lost a loved one, their children are on drugs, they have a terminal illness, there are so many burdens that are very heavy on our shoulders. But remember,

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that during the darkest nights are when the stars shine the brightest. And it's during the darkest hours that we are meant to shine the brightest, because that is when Allah is closest to us. That is when Allah is closest to us. And he is closer to us than we can imagine. And all we need to do is what he said we should do call on me and I will answer and the Prophet sallallahu wasallam says, Whatever you pray for be certain that it will be responded to. So have that confidence, have that positivity. Have that optimism that he sees you he feels what you're going through, and he knows that you can handle it. And if you go Of course, just make a sincere repentance and he will forgive

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you in Shanda, but hold on tight to his rope, sharpen the spiritual soul. That's number one. There is so much more. But I'm going to go through this quickly. Number two is about you. It's all about you. Because if you have a love first, to him, we came unto Him as our return. The next is you because if you're in order, you can give the world more of yourself. So take care of your mental intellectual and physical health, your physical self, your health. Because if you're okay, it's so much easier to give the world around you what you have to offer. So develop your mind grow, learn and evolve. Never stop learning continue to read and reread and relearn. Gather broad general

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knowledge and have big dreams have big dreams because you matter know how important you are, and that your dreams matter. There is a quote I came across by Oprah Winfrey that I love. She said create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you will become what you believe. So that is something that for me I use as a guide. Having big dreams, certain dreams may seem ridiculous. But once upon a time, we thought going to the moon or going to Mars was impossible. So Dream big dream ridiculous dreams for yourself and then aim for them, work on them, set them as goals and work towards them. That gives you that sense of compass or like my brother says, a

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personal Qibla and take your mental health seriously, be kind to yourself. A lot of us are very hard on ourselves. We're very ruthless with ourselves. But be kind take a break from time to time take time out and relax. Your body has a right over you. Do things that you love. Eat right, take care of yourself and stay fit. So sharpen your physical soul, your mental and intellectual soul, take care of you.

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The third is your relationships, your social relationships, make your loved ones feel that they matter. Be kind to people, even strangers, even non Muslims. Leave them as if you're never gonna see them again, always leave people as if it's the last time you're going to see them. I love this quote that my youngest son uses a lot and he came across this but he loves it so much. He said people will forget what you say. But they will never forget how you made them feel. I love that so much they will never forget how you make them feel. So be conscious of how you make people feel. If you have children remember they didn't ask to be born. And we're gonna have to answer to Allah for how we

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raised them.

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So what kind of examples are you showing them is it Just do as I see but not what I what I do? Be conscious because they are modeling they're going to we are modeling what they're going to emulate. What they see is what they will replicate, and they tend to be at the Prophet sallallahu wasallam and a good education are the two most important things we can give our children. So what kind of morals, values and therapy are we giving them?

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And let each contact you have with people count, especially with those people who matter. Remember who you want. Most importantly, by your side, when you're lying on your deathbed, make them feel that they were important to you. So that when you need them the most, they are going to be by your sight. And remember who will pray for you long after you're gone.

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It is your children. It is the people whose lives you've touched. So sharpen the saw when it comes to your relationship. Then number four, your professional development, your professional self, develop your talent, make yourself an asset, learn new things, this is the best time to me to be alive. Because we have the world as our classroom. And it's right there on our fingertips, in our phones, on our laptops. The whole world has come together on a platform that allows us to learn and share knowledge gain knowledge gained from scholars. So develop yourself, develop your mind develop your talent, many are realizing today that they can do so many more things so much more from home,

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that is having your cake and eating it too. Be with your loved ones. But be creative in finding new things that you could do new ways of living. How can you sharpen your saw in this area? What kind of qualities do you need to upgrade or improve upon? Is it organizational skills, public speaking skills, administrative skills, leadership skills, teaching skills, anything your business skills, or a craft that you want to learn on new technology. This is the time it's there. And so many are even offering these things for free. So evolve. That's the most important part of this professional self. Do not allow yourself to come out of this lockdown the same way you went in.

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Even if you are doing something you love, improve upon it the beauty of Islam is this pushing us for excellence in everything we do. It's not so much about being the best, but doing the best. So sharpen your professional soul so that in everything you do, you stand out, you're different, you're not ordinary, we have enough of those out there.

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And then lastly, service and legacy. This is one of the best ways to attain true happiness and contentment. What you do for others the Prophet sallallahu Sallam said, the best amongst you are those who are the most useful to others. The best amongst you are those who are most useful to others, most useful to others. So how are you going to be the best excellence in what you do and the most useful plant seeds.

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plant seeds of the fruits which insha Allah you plan to reap in the hereafter? Let people continue to pray for you long after you're gone. Due to the lives you've touched, the things you did to make what you met better than the way you found it. As Khalifa as of Allah as representatives of Allah. In addition to being his vice guaranties ambassadors, the word Khalifa also means, you know, someone who passes on the baton so to speak. So we inherited and they will inherit from us. What are you handing over? Look at the state of the Muslim woman today? Is it better than it was before? And what the prophet sallallahu wasallam said in his large hotel as footbaww is that it is his hope that

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generations further and further away from those who witnessed him live his life first and hand where he demonstrated will present Islam better than those who saw it firsthand and ask yourself, Am I doing more than what the Sahaba saw? I mean, that's what Rasulullah sallallahu wasallam wants us to do. So think about that. Are you making things better?

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What kind of burdens Are you lifting? The Prophet sallallahu Sallam was asked, What actions are the most excellent and he said, to gladden the hearts of human beings, to feed the hungry, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful and to remove the suffering from the injured? So think of in what way can I be of service? Could it be something I do free? Maybe you are in a profession that you can offer free services, whatever it may be, or just I have an ability to raise funds and do things and people won't even know I was the one who did them. leave a legacy. To me leaving a legacy is to live a life longer than the time you were given. Your life may be over but your book is not closed. That

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is such a good way to picture leaving a legacy because you focus on things that were bigger than you. Your good character what you stood for. The good you started the wrong you stopped the standard of excellence you set the lives you touched on

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Your legacy and insha Allah, they will all stand as a witness for you in the life to come.

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So remember as Khalifa that we are meant to live our best life, we are the guardians of the universe. And we are passing the baton and people are copying us whether we're ready or not, they will mirror what we do. So sharpen your saw of service, and legacy. There are so many obstacles out there, and so many challenges. But there are also so many solutions if we look for them. Whatever your story may be, your story isn't unique, because we have seen people who have been through ridiculous challenges, and yet have come out victorious. If you have seen somebody who doesn't have arms and limbs, they don't have legs, they don't have hands, but they're able to still live their

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best life. They are happy they're fulfilled their content, then what excuses Do you have when you think of people in war torn countries who are still thriving in adversity? Who are patient during the hard times, and have faith and continue to strive in a less cause? Then what excuses do you have? What makes you different? We are all here for a reason. You are existing today for a reason. And your impact goes so far, Allah doesn't make mistakes. He created you for a reason to live, to make a difference to touch lives and represent him in the best possible way. So that insha Allah when we come to meet him, our book will be presented to us in our right hands. So your goals matter,

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you matter. When you accept that your actions can make a difference, and you behave accordingly. Then you are living a life of purpose. Because when you make plans and you live them deliberately, and you assigned to each function, its own period of time, and you sharpen your saw and fine tune your skills so that you are the most excellent in everything you do, then you are living a life of purpose. Don't ever forget that there isn't enough time to do everything in life, that there is enough time to do the most important things. Don't let another day go by Another week, another month or year without filling in the beautiful pages and the story of you. May Allah bless you in the best

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manner we can make your dreams meaningful to you. May you find no obstacles in your way and if you do, we you find Allah makes things easy for you For you to accomplish your greatest calling me Forgive us all in with all our shortcomings. And in this month of Ramadan, intensify your so that Allah helps you achieve those dreams. So when you lie on your deathbed, you look back and you say

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hamdulillah May Allah forgive me for where I may have third? May Allah continue to guide all of us just accom allow Iran to Muslim circle for organizing this. And thanks for the privilege of allowing me to join you on this platform as salaam aleikum.

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Wa Alaikum wa Salaam sister, thank you so much, Mashallah, it was a really great reminder. And you know, the exercise and I close my eyes and kind of the lights. Yeah, and with that you didn't see my face.

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So I thought I wouldn't be able to continue moderating and asking the questions, etc. But, Michelle, I think it's a really powerful exercise. And I completely can relate to all these things that you've said. So we're gonna lead life is very interesting. Like, you know, how all of us get closer to Allah. For me, for instance, I do martial arts. And so one

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of the days of my world championships, actually, it was like my dream, you know, like, I was like, so determined that this is something that's gonna make me super happy. And SubhanAllah. After the victory, the pleasure lasted like, maybe 10 seconds. So this was the moment when I realized that this was not the purpose of my life. So I realized that, you know, what I really need is actually a harmony, something that I can thrive for something eternal sounds like all these things that you mentioned upon Elena. So I'm really grateful that you could give us a more like a structured way step by step on how we can approach this from putting Allah subhanaw taala first and ending, like

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our, you know, role in this world as a halifa and, of course, Serbian people. So I'm pretty sure everybody's excited and have a lot of questions. So let me start with the first one.

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So what would you recommend a Muslim should have as a priority when it comes to what people should remember us for?

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Well, I think, of course, as a Muslim, first and foremost, it's Allah first, right? But when it comes to us, people,

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it's about the lives you've touched the most important

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People, your loved ones, I feel marriage is not compulsory, once you get choose to get married, then you're going to have to answer to Allah for it. So make sure you fulfill your obligations as a spouse.

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Let me go back, in fact, rewind if you're not married, your parents, your siblings, your loved ones, that is such an important one. And the Prophet sallallahu wasallam said that I have been sent to tie the bonds of kinship. So try and make sure you hold on tight to the knots that ties you with people. And sometimes your loved ones may be friends, not necessarily your blood relations, but make sure you keep that relationship strong with good people. Sometimes our loved ones are toxic. So you need to make sure that you're able to filter, give everybody their due respect, however, hold on tight to the most important relationships. And then, as I was saying, talk about your spouse, then your

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children, they didn't ask to be born, like I said, but you will answer to Allah for how you raised them. Are you so busy being busy trying to make money so that your family will be happy while they have been neglected and your children end up being raised by TV, social media folks and role models like movie stars and football stars or whatever? Are you there? Are you present? Are you a deliberate parent? So to me, those are extremely important. And I did this exercise, like I mentioned, with my family, and the most important people in my life. And I was deeply touched. And it was really very emotional. I, I cried more than anything, I broke down. And I did it recently

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with one of my sons, who's in Malaysia actually right now. And he said, mama, the one thing I know represents you is you are kind. And that's what I will remember about you. You are kind and he's extremely kind. But I was so deeply touched, because I feel that personal inventory is extremely important. They're the ones that matter. They're the ones who pray for us long after we're gone. our children, our spouses, our loved ones, the people whose lives we touched. And then going back to the service part, how did you uplift someone, now you won't believe that you gave an example of being involved in martial arts and so on, just by virtue of being a hijabi. In martial art, even though

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you weren't doing it deliberately, just probably, you know, check off something on your wish list that would have been there, done that. For you, it may not have been as fulfilling as you had expected. But inshallah, it'll also be a witness for you. Because we've seen how inspiring of female hijabi in the Olympics has, you know, had a huge impact in the lives of so many a female HIV pilot, what kind of, you know, waves and how it's inspired young Muslim girls to say, you know, I can maintain my dignity, my Deen and still be able to, you know, go to the moon. And so inshallah it's those kinds of things that truly matter. But not just people. When you talk about what's the most

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important thing like my brother, he some, my mom raised us to be very, very big on nature, and nature lovers. So this culture of planting trees has been part of us and beautifying areas with flowers. So she taught us how to build beautiful, amazing gardens. But the culture of planting trees is something my brother has really carried on. And so being conscious of even that plant that tree you planted, that this is what will send rewards to you long after you're gone that even while you're alive, any bird, any animal, anybody that enjoys from the shade, or the fruit of that tree, the shelter, you get rewarded for it. So I think when it comes to prioritizing loved ones first, but

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then extended to the people whose lives you can touch.

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Amazing answer. And I completely agree. So while moving to the next question, just a reminder to our attendees, you can ask your questions on the q&a section and also chat as well. So the second one is can one be tested in once a month, or like I feel lost and not connected to Allah? I'm sad about committing so many sins, and therefore I don't feel connected to Allah. But I'm doing my best to pray and do the can. What can I do?

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It's a beautiful question. Funny. In the next hour, I have another lecture. And it's called Muslim identity. And I give that talk because I went through a period where I mean, growing up in a home that is my father is a religious scholar. My mom has written so many books on Islam up to 27 books. They both established Islamic organizations. They established the secondary school that I'm involved with, and many other schools. And yet in spite of growing up knee deep in Islam and having all this we were raised on the or on the translation, the interpretation, the application. By the time I turned 18, and I got married at 18. I stopped praying because I was praying

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Trying to satisfy them.

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And unfortunately, because I was judged so much, by the way I dressed I wasn't Muslim enough for a lot of people and I didn't fit the bill for what they thought so and so's daughter should be. I rebelled. I was a teenager, I was stubborn and strong headed. And I went the total opposite way. And I felt the things I was praying for, I thought, allow us in answering them. So I now just simply fell to you know, what, if you don't know I exist, I'm not gonna pray to you. And I just went on strike for about five, almost six years actually. And Alhamdulillah Allah time is the best because I still slowly started to feel this emptiness inside, I felt something was missing. I know, this is

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where I always tell people don't ever say, Oh, my husband or my wife completes me. But I felt I was incomplete. I actually felt incomplete that just there's something not fully there with me. And so I think the seeds my parents planted, had started to germinate enough that something was stirring inside of me. So I then called My brother and I was like, Allah doesn't know I exist. But I've not been praying, I know I've sinned, I know I'm going to hell, not praying means I'm not a Muslim, I went through this whole emotional rollercoaster. But he told me how Allah is very merciful. And whatever sins I may have thought I have accumulated, that I only need to ask Him to forgive me. And

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he wants me to ask Him to forgive me and he is so forgiving. And as long as my the condition is that my control of my repentance is sincere. So however bad my sister You think you are, I asked you to please be kind to yourself, because Allah is very Merciful. Part of what turned me away from Islam was how growing up people say, oh, haram Haram, you're gonna burn in hell, Allah seemed very angry. But the Raheem part was not being highlighted so much. And people were very judgmental. And I was like, thank God, I've reached the stage Alhamdulillah today, I'm glad Allah is going to be my judge. And he's very merciful and very forgiving. And, you know, so slowly, I started to read and learn and

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understand and begin to have conviction. So what I would suggest is start to ask the right people questions and find people who are moderate, not fanatics, not extremists, but people who will show you the beauty, the beauty of Islam, and I would suggest you can actually reach out to Muslim circle, because these kinds of organizations have a network and they probably will be able to connect you to the right scholar, who can guide you inshallah, but sometimes, like, for me, I believe my experience happened for a reason, so I can talk about it. Because so many study that you had, were dealing with, it's not trying to, you know, struggle to practice our religion. It's we're

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losing our religion with losing our faith. That's the real Jihad today. And so we're having a Muslim identity crisis, when Muslim by name by chance, not by choice, and that is what is deeply disturbing. So yeah, I hope she's going to be able to reach out to groups that can assist me and to make it easy. I mean, yeah, I definitely can understand what you felt, I'm pretty sure that a lot of Muslim women and men pastor this moment where they had the crisis of self identification as a Muslim, were they in a Western culture, or within the Muslim community, as myself first, was born in Kazakhstan. It's considered kind of a Muslim community, but not religious at all, unfortunately. And

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when I moved to France, of course, it was completely, you know, an Islamic world. And it was really, really hard for me. So I would just share, like one of the things that helped me, I had this similar situation, what I was like, so having a lot, like, you know, I'm useless. Like, there's so many better people in the world that pray that do better things than myself, like, how do I deserve to be in general, you know, like, this is like how much I'm self criticizing myself at the moment, but Alhamdulillah what I realized is that you have to really trust Allah, I didn't trust Actually, I was, I was more relying on myself on my abilities on my self discipline. But then when I realized

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that, you know what, actually it's Allah who's like, better and perfect than anything and everything, so he can help I have to just trust him, that he will give me strength to not to do certain things or do certain things. So I guess like really trust all of us just believe. I mean, he's the greatest for a reason. So that's why like all these things that we'll learn about Allah subhanaw taala when you really understand that he's amazing and he's merciful and he has so much ability to forgive you and give you strength, this is where you will be able to slowly get closer to him inshallah. Absolutely, I would like to add to that because I think one of the best gifts Allah

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has given us as human beings is willpower. Exactly that the option to choose. Obviously shaytan has said he'll be lying in wait for us to our left or right or front to back and he said Allah will not find many of us that are grateful to him. Um, so he's waiting on that Serato master key

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You know, throw us off the path and so on. But one of my students called me recently, and he said he was having a conversation with a Christian friend of his. And he had asked him a question he couldn't answer. He said, If God is the ultimate planner, and he has full knowledge of every single second of our lives, then and he's the one planning that, then does it mean that God is the one planning for some of us to go to hell, and some of us to go to heaven? And I thought that was such a beautiful question. And I'm a student, I'm still learning. So I had my thoughts. But I thought, let me reach out to my brother nuru, and asked him, and what he said was so simple and so beautiful. He

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said, picture a teacher, you're a teacher in a classroom, and you have students. Now in your class, you can see the students who are serious and the ones who are not. And you know, the ones who are going to fail the exam at the end of the day, because they've not been reading about me doing the assignments, they're not attentive during class, he said, that's kind of like us as well, that Allah has actually given us that thing called willpower, we can choose to follow shaytan when he was with his inner ear, but we can also choose to stay on the Serato, mystic team, to the best of our ability and what Allah wants is that striving, so yes, we will earn. However, with every error we make in

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our lives, the fact that we ask for forgiveness and strive, in Allah cause insha Allah, He will continue to forgive us. But it's that ability to choose right from wrong, but he's given us as our independent will. So we have that, you know, allow me be close to us. But we have to also hold on tight to his rope. You know? Yes, yes, definitely. It's like one of them. No, man le hands lectures, I have listened on the on YouTube, actually, it was he was giving the example of a party. Like imagine agenda is like a big party of the like a circle or the universe, etc. And there is a VIP list of people that are determined to go there. And there's another list which is empty, but there's

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like dress code, if you follow you can get there. So this is how you should approach this. So I was a student at that time with college like 20. I was 20 years and I'm like, yeah, that's a cool explanation. You know, it's easy.

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Okay, so

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the next question, what tools should we use to sharpen ourselves for our productivity and fulfillment? I love that. introspect is very important. And I love doing that Jay had been laughs You know, the struggle within myself, but the personal inventory as well to see what are my flaws? What am I lacking? Where do I need to improve upon feedback is normally the easiest one, because it's the beholder that sees what we think we are presenting to them. Only Allah knows what's in our hearts. But at the end of the day, we may think we are kind, but if the people on the receiving end, don't feel that love, don't feel that kindness, then, you know, we've missed the target. So I love

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to ask people who matter, you know, in what way can I improve? So let's say like, now I do public speaking, there are some key people I asked to please tune in, I'd love your feedback, because you may be able to give me something that will make me better at what I do. And so I'm constantly trying to evolve and grow in the areas that I am not fully. I'm feeling there's room for improvement. And I think with everything in our lives, even our spirituality, even the move to continue to strive to improve, and those are people who are supposed to know, you know so much about the deen and so on. But when it comes to which areas should we sharpen, it's subjective to you as an individual, because

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we are so unique, and Allah has created us so diverse. And what I love about the diversity is if we were all doing the same thing, and all had the same gift, this world would be extremely boring, and there'd be a lot of unfinished business. So this balance is perfect, and how Allah has created us because what my strengths are most likely not going to be the same as yours. So you do need to ask yourself, you know, what are those things where I'm not feeling to comfort, confident? And then what are the things I would like to do because there are some things you want to do what you don't have the skills for. And that's where you need to do your homework, you need to take courses, and do

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research, ask those who are doing it, as coach, see what are the best practices to help you so that by the time you put together this mix, from the various sources, you will be unique and extremely good. Because you've gotten the best of everywhere. You know, that's why I say this is the best time to be alive because you don't even need to leave your home, to learn to grow to fine tune your skills, whether it's business skills, you want to get better on technical skills, IT skills, you name it, crafts, everything you can do while you're at home. So this is really a luxurious time for us. Alhamdulillah. I haven't done such a thing. So moving on. Next question question. It's about

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motivation, the key value behind spiritual and personal success. So a good example is that I find it very difficult to go out and do my daily exercise, even though I know it's good for me and I need it. So how do I help

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mobilize motivation spiritually and mentally, and why it is sometimes so difficult to master motivation for necessary and basic obligations like prayer exercise, and healthy eating, etc. Yeah, I think if you are going to live deliberately and you know, you've got your eye on the target, you're going to lie on your deathbed to look back and say, You know what, I lived a meaningful life, I lived a fulfilling life, then you need to be conscious that it does require discipline. Now, I always refer to Ramadan, this is the time when we Muslims find this superhuman strength to run on empty, you know, during the day, we may be in the hot sun, talking all day, doing our work, the

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daily grind, I think of laborers who are out in the sun picking up heavy things and building on construction sites. And yet, they're able to still, you know, they are not in the shelter in the shade, though the coolness that we have at home, but they still fasting. And that is the reality that we actually have that willpower, and to be able to sustain it for 30 days, it tells you that you can so certain bad habits like you know, not praying on time. You know, lying, cheating, stealing, or whatever the vices might be, we have the ability for 30 days not to do them. And if we can sustain it for 30 days, which means we can go beyond that. It normally based on some research

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that I did recently, it takes 66 days to develop a habit. And once you've made your habits your habits make you so once you've set it in stone, it then runs on autopilot. Subconsciously, you find yourself doing it. So like, like my son, I call him a prayer warrior. Because the moment it's time for Salah that boy, he gets irritable around you, he starts to be jumpy, and he, you know, he's like, he's not himself. He's not even fun company, if he hasn't said he's a lot. So it's one of those things like he has pre programmed in himself, and he just does it automatically.

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So I think it's that first to have your eye on the target, what do you want to look back on. So you have minimum regrets. And then like Imam ghazali said, set the goals, you know, so give each one a set period of time, which it does not overstep, and don't make it so big and so heavy that it's unrealistic, or it seems hard to attain. It's the small goals they remember the deeds love the most by Allah knows them regularly, even if they're small. So even your health, your body has a right over you, your body is going to tell Allah how you took care of it or how you didn't. So when you think about it's the minutia, so it's those small things that done regularly insha, Allah will give

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you what you are hoping to attain at the end of the day. So start small, be conscious, be deliberate, and set it in stone, write it as a goal and refer to it set reminders on your phone. It's time for this, this has to stop so that you are consciously following your routines.

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Yes. So there's a question actually to Muslim circle. Oh, about how can we get hold on the video. So actually, we're gonna put the link for the Facebook page and YouTube page, we're gonna have actual all the videos recorded there and upload it. And on Facebook, of course, as well. So just just look at our chat. So the last question for now as how can we be more useful to others?

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There are so many ways I mean, it's literally just limitless now in particular, others need you more than ever. So think about where Is there a problem? Where is there something that's bothering you, where you know, there's a need, suddenly be financially strong enough that they can afford to give to reputable charity organizations that can assist. However, you may not be that strong. Maybe you have a little bit more food in your store in your pantry, you can give that out as well, because people are actually hungry right now. However, you know, there are so many people who have been sharing things free of charge on social media platforms. And like this is one of those where you

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just make the intention that I do this for Seneca because on a good day I normally charge for the service, especially people who are in professions who want to offer a professional training course do it free of charge free civilian law. And there are so many other ways. Yes, we are asked to observe social distancing, though I know in Malaysia right now there's a bit of it's a bit relaxed, or you started to relax it one at a time. But you may be able to find how can I safely safely go out there and assist in any way possible? Where is there a need? Where they need extra hands? Is it at a food bank? Is it to prepare food you know like and then because you're good at that and be able to

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have people share it? Whatever it is, there are so many of you can get in touch with the local Masjid to ask do you need volunteers for this or that? Is there a counseling service you may be able to offer? can you offer marital counseling service

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You have a teenager's tips on how to navigate the big obstacles that they're facing during these times. I mean, if you think about it, you will, you'll come up with ideas because there's so much need, you know, there's so many people are really, really in need right now.

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So, there is actually brothers sisters sharing about the that they're struggling with a sin. So I'm doing my best to avoid it, but it's my weakness. I fall back to that sin again and again, how can I remain consistent so I can avoid that sin? Yeah, well, first recognizing that, you know, it's a sin is number one. And then the fact that it's bothering you, it means you're listening to Allah is Allah speaking to you. But at the same time, the temptation the newer to keep falling off the track is present. You need to be ruthless with yourself when it comes to these things. Alhamdulillah you're conscious? And yes, you may be asking for Toba each time. But just sincere repentance is what

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Allah wants. So be sincere, be deliberate, just like we're saying. Live your life deliberately. Stop your bad habits deliberately. by fighting it. I know one because I do marriage counseling actually. And premarital counseling amongst these other things, you know, that I do. But I know if you want, and I'm not sure which part of the world you are. But I have an audience all over the world, if you can send me an email. And I can probably be able if I'm able to hone in on exactly what I mentioned marital counseling, because a lot of people are addicted to pornography and extramarital affairs. That's like number one, those two things. It and it's the percentage is ridiculous. So I'm not sure

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you know, what exactly is the sin. But if you want to send me an anonymous mail, I swear, I will do everything in my power. If I can't answer it, I'll ask somebody to. But each time for those who might don't have the luxury of talking to if you send me an email, it's Marian [email protected]. Or you can send me via Instagram or official or Facebook Marian blame on either one DM me in chat, and I promise I'll get back to you and just refer to Muslim circle. But it's something that you first are conscious of it, that's a good thing. But you have to be ruthless, you have to be deliberate and make do are open to offer Allah to help you, you may need to even fast after Ramadan additional fast

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for this, to start a car for this. I mean, you consciously need to be very deliberate in how you handle it so that you gradually break the habit. And eventually you look back and you say you know what, Alhamdulillah This one is over.

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Yeah, Alhamdulillah I thank you very much for offering your help to our attendees. And I'm pretty sure that there's gonna be a lot of people interested in it.

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It's been only a year now that I'm married. And of course, like, you know, throughout this experience, it was something really new is a relationship and also like marriage. So inshallah I will contact you as well, to ask you certain things. Yeah, so

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I don't have any questions, but

01:03:07--> 01:03:13

let me just check quickly on. Yeah, so a lot of people are thanking you for your

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very interesting and, you know, like, explanatory answers to the questions. Alhamdulillah. And the lecture was really amazing. Thank you so much for the reminder, and this order of the things that can help us to really, you know, find a purpose in our life for those who are still looking for it.

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Come to the lab.

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Thank you so much, sister. Thank you. Thank you for your time. Assalamu alaikum