Channel: Mirza Yawar Baig
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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu salam O Allah Shruthi lambay will mousseline Muhammad Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa salatu salam to Steven Kaziranga Sierra
Nevada Oh, my dear brothers and sisters,
we are going to talk today about the car the whole issue of character building.
We usually like to talk about this and we like to have such topics and we say how do we build character in our children.
But I remind myself, I knew that resocialize salons method or character building was with adults was not with children, the sorcerer never ran a primary school, you never ran a crush, you never learned,
you know, a
school for little children. There were small children who were around the Prophet sallallahu sallam.
that was not his focus. His focus was the adults, his focus was the was the youth and people who are older people who had children of their of their own. And they then trained their own children.
Now, the benefit and wisdom of that is that by doing that, you create a whole, you actually create two generations, because you create, you're working with a generation, which is current, and you're working then also with the generation to come ahead.
And so therefore, that's a double benefit of this whole thing. Now,
I want to try to condense I mean, obviously,
attempting to condense something, which is a subject of lifelong learning into any kind of brief format, and I am keeping about 30 minutes as my cut off point, because after that, we'll we like to have some questions on so forth.
But so therefore, I'm going to try and keep it
brief and to try to condense it in just two points, two principles of character building, which I believe that if we follow,
then inshallah, we will be able to create an impact and create an impact within a
within a reasonable timeframe. I mean, that's the other part of the story. That's the other part of the challenge, which is that, can we create an impact and how long does it take to create this impact,
because if it takes too long, then the
the benefit of the impact is lost.
And also sustainability, whether we can keep our efforts going for that long. I mean, this, especially the current generation is not known for its ability to
you know, forage attention span and its ability to stay focused for too long.
Anyone we anyway, we are not talking about people with the attention span of goldfish, so don't even think about 10 minutes and whatnot. But
for anyone, it's good to have
something which shows a reasonably quick results. Now there are two basic fundamental principles of character building.
And I'm sure this is not news to any of you and that's a good thing.
Which are, number one is accountability to Allah subhanho wa Taala. His sense of deep accountability to Allah subhanho wa Taala. And the second one is a sense of a sense of and the understanding of the value of following the Sunnah of Muhammad Rasulullah sallallahu sallam.
Now, if you look at our world, as it is today, whether we look at our world, from a global perspective of countries,
what's happening in different countries, how these countries are being run by the leaders, by the rulers, or if we look at the world,
in in in much more
concrete and much more personal terms, and I would strongly recommend we that we do that.
not worry so much about rulers and national leaders because we are not among them, and we are
Besides being by myself, we are not in a position to influence them. So let us look at ourselves and say, What about me, as an individual? What is it that I can do
to make myself effective, and to make myself capable of
building character in those who are, who I have been entrusted with. Now, this may be my children, it may be, if I'm a teacher, it might be the children who come to my school.
If I'm, when I'm working, it would be my colleagues. It would be all my friends, whoever I can influence. So it's not just a matter of looking at it from a parenting perspective, or a teaching and school perspective, but it's a matter of looking at it from
from any position that we have in our lives and say, How can I influence those who I have the power to influence?
As I said, the first principle is accountability to Allah subhanho wa Taala. Now,
how do you bring that about? And what is the benefit of accountability? To look at the benefit of accountability? Let us look at what we have today. And what is happening in the world today and ask one very simple question. What is happening in the world today is in one
word is, or other one phrase is mass destruction. We have a destruction of ethics and values, we have a destruction of life, human life, we have a destruction of life of all other kinds of animals and birds and fish and, and insects and all other forms of life. We have the mass cutting down of rain forests, and therefore in negative impact on the environment, on the climate, and so on and so forth.
You name any area, and we are looking at destruction in one form or the other.
I'm not saying there is no progress. I'm not saying there is no development, of course there is there is progress, there is development, people are going to the moon, Elon Musk made the God Himself now the most valuable company in the world, which is Tesla.
He is, you know, sending rockets into into space. We have the International Space Station and people going back and forth between it. We have medical research, and so on and so forth, which we claim is at the peak, and its apex. Of course, let's not even talk about the fact that we haven't come to terms with COVID. And we have no clue what is happening with COVID. But maybe it will take more time. Yeah, we have we have definitely we have developments and we have
something positive look at. But by and large, if you look at it, if you say what is what about global poverty, what about sickness, what about, you know, food, access to food, access to
clean drinking water education. Again, looking at it today from compared to the past, we are by and large, better off.
For example, if you look at the 1930s 1940s, you look at the 1960s you can if you look at I mean from 1960s, late 50s 60s onwards is part of my personal life experience, time as well. So I can vouch for this that we are today.
In for many of us, and especially those of us who have access to iPhones and iPads and, and zoom and whatnot. Now we tend to look at life from our perspective, try and look at it from other perspective as well. So for us, things are definitely better. I mean, no doubt about that, from what we had in the 60s to what we are today. They are better in a materialistic sense, we have more material we have more. Or at least until the markets crash. We have more disposable incomes, we had more spending cash we had we have now. And again, as I'm speaking I'm very conscious of the fact that today we are living in an environment where things are changing as we speak. But given that we have
more access to education, we have more options as far as careers and so on are concerned and so on. So all of this is the positive side of the negative side of it also is that thanks to the huge increase in population from 1960 to 2020. Globally speaking, there has been a huge spike in poverty there's been a huge a huge spike in in access to food access to clean drinking water.
access to primary health care, access to basic fundamental education and so on and so forth. So, these things have moved
simultaneously is like paradoxical one is going up, one is going down. But this is also what has happened since the, from the 16th, to the 2020s. So, we are looking at a period of about 16 years. Now,
if I want to narrow it all down to one point and say, why is this happening, I can say quite clearly it is because of a lack of accountability. It is because those who have access to resources, feel that they are not accountable to anyone about what they do with that resources. And that's the reason why, for the first time
in men looking at it now, in the recent past, we have this completely insane situation where eight billionaires have more assets than 50% of the world's population.
Now, please tell me by any religion, by any system, Is this right?
Is this right?
And I'm not talking about the kings and the and the queens and so on and so forth, who got wealth as inheritance, I'm not talking about countries, you know, where we who have mineral wealth, I'm talking about business people, businessman, a businessman, and not a single woman, among them, incidentally, a businessman have more wealth than 50% of the global population.
And those eight people consider themselves and of course, not as that is not restricted only to those eight people, it's that that is many more people in that, but they feel completely and totally free to do whatever they want, without anybody questioning them.
There is no sense of accountability whatsoever.
Now, tell me
my stretch of the imagination, is that
justified Is that correct?
But we live in a in a society which is so completely and totally materialistic, that we are not even willing to look at this question and say is what is happening is it right?
Now, I am submitting to you that it is not right and therefore, we before we go to what should be done, let us see why did it happen and happen because of no accountability?
no accountability, if you translate it as being accountable to the IRS or to the income tax department or to the police or to the government of any country, all of this kind of accountability can and is very easily bypassed it can be your actions can be masked in many cases, they are masked in many countries, it is routine, for example,
for business people to have two sets of accounts, one to show the government and the other one is the real account of the business. That is how so called black money and this is black money is Incidentally, one of the
one of the
shows that English is a racist language. One of the black money this is the reason how black money
economies happen, how there is a there's a parallel economy in a country, which is not shown and not accounted anywhere. This is also why many many countries bring in trying to bring in taxation, they bring in more more restrictive taxation, because they want to capture this so called black one in all of this happening because people feel that
they can circumvent authority, they can circumvent those who are supposed to be the overseers of things, and they try and do that and they are successful. This is how also corruption happens because if you can't mask it, then you know, shut the eyes of the one who's who's seeing by shining
you know, gold and silver in his eyes so that he then shuts his mouth and you are allowed to do what you want.
Islam, on the other hand, produces and shows us a system which is based on accountability to the one from whom Nothing can be hidden. accountability to Allah subhanho wa Taala geladeira who was Samuel Mercier who alleman with that
Do the one who is who sees all who hears or and who knows what is in the hearts. There is no hiding from Allah Subhana Allah, Allah is not an accountant, Allah subhanho wa Taala you cannot show Allah subhanaw taala to different books of accounts, and you can't bribe Allah subhanaw taala. Right, this is one of the distinctive features of Islam, that you don't go and give anything to God, you don't make offerings, which is what happens in every other religion, offering to temples, offerings to churches, offerings to different places of worship, and to different
religious heads and leaders to Greece, and so on. All of which are there to propitiate the gods, but Islam, there are no gods, there is no loss of animal fat and there is no propitiating there is no
there is no bribing, there is no giving to Allah Subhana Allah calls to give Allah does not call to take. I still remember I many of you must have heard this incident for me. I was in marches another Sheriff once many years ago. And I sent a message to a couple of friends of mine saying I'm here in masa, NaVi and I'm making dua for you. And by mistake I sent this message also to a Hindu friend of mine in India, in Jaipur. I sent it to many Muslim friends, none of whom replied. But this Hindu friend of mine, he immediately he sent me a text saying you have a right please,
please, make an offering on my behalf to Lord Allah. So this is this one is now obviously, you know, he's coming coming to it from his perspective of being a Hindu. So he's talking about you know, like Lord Krishna Lord Rama. So therefore,
the point I want to make
only one who
and also the fact that it was anonymous.
But also the fact that you know, he said, Please make an offering Curatola. So I sent him a message saying Allah calls to give a lot is not called to take. And so we come to become to ask Allah to give us we don't have to give anything to make the offer is that inshallah so the point is that accountability to the one who needs nothing, who was SAVAK? Let me live while I'm
the one who is
who is Medusa harati a lot. First
of all, I like Alicia de la ilaha illa avec la semana tele a controlled everything knows everything owns everything, and sees everything was Samuel Mercier, hawala, Alamo, Misaki, Sulu, he knows what's in the heart, he sees and hears everything real time. As we are talking here, as you are listening Allah subhanaw taala is seeing and hearing this and we ask Allah subhanaw taala to be pleased with all of us and to count this among his Vicar. And we ask Allah subhanaw taala to
to reward you in keeping with his majesty and grace for making his Vicar because Allah said, Ronnie as Coco, you may buy the Quran, I will make your secret We ask Allah We ask Allah to put this awareness in our hearts that Allah subhanho wa Taala is, is making our second Allah subhanaw taala is mentioning us in his, in his in his gathering, which is in keeping with his majesty and grace, the nature of that Allah knows best. Now the point I'm making is that first thing in character building is to build his awareness of accountability to Allah Subhana Allah. How do you do that? by two things. One is by talking about the greatness and glory and magnificence of Allah subhanho wa
So much and so normally, that it becomes a part of our seeing a part of our hearing and a part of our understanding in our hearts, that anything we see anything we look at anything that we
we observe, we see the glory and magnificence of Allah subhanho data in there. Now for example, as I'm talking to you behind me, is this inlet of the of Long Island Sound. So that's the sea it's a small inlet of the sea. So there are big clouds, big
you know, waves and so on in it. You have the various fishing boats which are going back and forth.
There are some river turns which are on that little, there is a little spot
there on the, on the island, if I can point you to that and see that little white thing just above my finger, that is a floating boy in the water and there are two rivertowns which are sitting on it and they are having a big argument. So you know, I can hear them screeching. Now when I see all this essence of Hannah law, who will be handy as well. This is my general, these are the ayat of Iraq general and I say Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah. Allah, Allah subhanaw taala has given me the understanding to see His signs in his creation, Allah gave you that understanding as well. So how do you bring about a sense of accountability by consciously talking about the greatness and glory and
magnificence of Allah, and consciously seeing that in everything that we have around us?
It is right there for us to see it doesn't take rocket, it's not rocket science, it doesn't make a great effort. It just needs thoughtfulness, it just needs for us to think about that and say, What is it I'm looking at, I'm not just looking at some thing.
I'm not just a tree, or a flower or a bird, I'm seeing the sign of a loss of nanotechnology. Number one, number two is to learn to make sugar.
Now in that, let me quickly teach you also some exercises that you can do with with each other with your children, students, friends, family, and so on.
The exercises are based on one
very important and critical fact and slightly tragic fact you asked me, which is that we are usually not conscious of a blessing until we lose it. So you want to know the value of sight as somebody who is blind, you want to know the value of being able to run 100 meters in 12 seconds, then you ask somebody
like me and my age, I can't do that. But there was a time when I could do it. I could run 100 meters in I think it was 14 or 15 seconds.
So my point is that today, you know, there's no way I can do that. So today, I am suddenly aware there was a time when I could do it. Now my point is that this is the tragedy of the human race, that is we are aware of blessings only after they have been taken away from us. May Allah subhanaw taala
enable us to be conscious of blessings while we still have them. And we thank Allah. Now how can we do that? How can we thank Allah while we still have the blessings, we can do that by simulating losing that blessing. So let me teach you a couple of exercises. I do these in my leadership courses, when we work with corporate leaders, but these work very well with anybody in the first one is
find a partner. You can do that with just two people or you can do it in large groups. And by dividing people into by into pairs. Find a partner, take a blindfold and blindfold yourself right across your eyes. And don't cheat, make sure that it's a properly tight blindfold and you absolutely cannot see anything. Then let the partner take you on a tour. Now this tool can be inside your apartment, it can be inside your house, it can be in the garden, it can be in a park somewhere. It can be anywhere. Obviously, take precautions, don't just you know put a blindfold on your eyes and cross the road.
We want you to go to gender but not just up. So
get a get a get a partner and let the partner take you on a tour. So now you've got this blindfold, you're blinded and your partner is holding your hand and your partner is leading you on this tour. Let the partner then describe for you what he or she is seeing.
Let the partner be your eyes. And also for the part be conscious of the fact that the person cannot see. So if you just hold his hand or hold her hand and you just drag them along. They are not they are going to trip and fall if you if you go downstairs and you don't tell them the look there are stairs here to stairs. Be careful now this is the first put your foot down until you touch the stairs. Then put your weight on the foot until you give these good detailed directions. your partner's going to fall down and
become toothless. So it is very important for the partner who's leading this blind person blindfolded person to be very conscious of the fact that they can see and this is a very, very powerful exercise. Do that
You will understand the value of site one of the, one of the aspects of the value of site is not even the full value of site, one of the aspects of the value of site, you will understand if you do the success, which is blindfold yourself, have a partner, let the partner lead you, and take you on a tour. Right. So, do that do this as an exercise. And then, obviously, switch partners, you let the partner be blindfolded and you take the partner on a tour, you will realize the way in which we take site for granted.
It's not just about looking at scenery and saying, Oh, beautiful scenery. No, it is a lot more than that. It's a huge amount more than just looking at scenery.
But you will not realize that until you lose access to this exercise. second exercise, I can tell you many where I'll just keep it to two. second exercise is to make a map and say I want to go from point A to point B and then try and do that without any resources. Don't use your money, don't use your credit card, don't use your cell phone, keep the money and the credit card with a cell phone in your pocket. No problem. Don't use them.
And see how will I get from point A to point once again, follow all the rules of safety and so on. Don't just thumb rides and you know, get yourself into trouble and things like that. But just think about that and see if you can do that safely. Don't do it. But I'm saying this is also another thing which is to say that if I don't have those resources, which I take for granted on a daily basis, how can I survive still and succeed?
So the first fundamental principle of
character building is to build in accountability to Allah subhanaw taala. The second principle, and this is very brief. As I told you, I'm going to finish in 30 minutes, we are on 27 minutes and this can be done. And the reason it can be done is not because what I have to say is not important, it is very important, but we have a formula which if I mentioned that is sufficient for us to understand the whole of it and that formula is called the Sunnah of Muhammad Rasulullah sallallahu sallam, how can I build accountability to Allah subhanho wa Taala in my heart, how can I live my life, conscious of the Presence of Allah subhanaw taala my life of consciousness which will give me huge confidence
because Allah is with me, as well as it is a shield against no protection against all sin and all evil because I am aware that Allah subhanaw taala is with me is watching me. What is that formula? that formula is the Sunnah of Mohamed Salah. So what must we do is read the Sierra, We are so fortunate we are so lucky that we have and under the law those who love Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam who preserved his life who wrote down and who collected and who wrote down and recorded every little aspect of his life. There is truly no life of anyone in the world, which is as closely and as beautifully and as comprehensively recorded as the life of Muhammad Rasul Allah His analyzer.
So what must we do? Read the Syrah study the Syrah and practice it in our lives, how much we do that every single day in our homes, in our schools, and so on and so forth. There's no need to be apologetic about Islam or apology or to be apologetic about Bob mamasan seller. We take the examples of so many things we like for example, take take the people who are who take Stephen Covey's seven habits of highly successful people as a course, and then they run that as a course in their organizations. And they carry those seven habits books in their pockets. And what's the problem with doing that to Mohammed Salah Salah.
What is the problem with doing that with Mohammed sallallahu wasallam you will do it with Stephen Covey. But you don't want to do it with Mohammed Mustafa sallallahu Sallam what kind of Muslim what kind of Islam is this? This is what we need to do. We need to present Islam in a confident way unapologetically to the world not by talking about it, but by practicing it ourselves.
That is the meaning of the Sunnah of Mohammed Rasul Allah is Allah.
How can we bring that into our lives into every single minute aspect of our lives?
If we can do that, inshallah, we will be hugely successful.
Let me end my
my speech at this point in time
and then invite you to ask me any questions that you have. Quick
quick recap. two fundamental principles, bring in the accountability of Allah subhanho wa Taala into our hearts and lives and to his follow the Sunnah amongst ourselves, how to bring in the accountability of Allah in my life, is by reflecting on the glory and majesty of Allah, and on reflecting on his blessings that I have for which I give thanks for which I make sure. So, these are the two ways in which I become conscious of the Presence of Allah subhanaw taala and my life and I become conscious of the fact that I am accountable to Allah. And what is the overall formula of doing that and being successful? That is the thing which is called the Sunnah of Mohammed Salah just
like you would say, a dolla
dolla Dolla Sign and the nebulae Salam also is above the examples we give him, give about him. But guess like you would say to somebody follow Stephen Covey Covey's seven habits, right? So say that to somebody follow the Sunnah of Mahatma salah and say that to yourself before you say to anybody else, because the most powerful form of Dawa is to practice and live Islam was gonna be recording while he was with
me. Let me open this now for questions. Please ask your questions.