Who is Allah?

Mohammad Elshinawy

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Channel: Mohammad Elshinawy

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ICNA-MAS Convention 2022 #1

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Oh

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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah Allah and he was a huge Marine, we begin the name of Allah All Praise and Glory be to Allah and mais find his peace and blessings be upon His messenger Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and his family and his companions and all those who tried his path.

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So they asked me to speak on Who is Allah? And obviously, if this was like an Islam one on one for a non Muslim audience, the answer would be very different. And so I'm not really going to speak about introducing new information to you about Allah new data, right? As much as I wish to probe the issue of how much depth do we have in our knowledge about Allah on an experience level?

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You know, to specialists in the psychic space, Dr. Osman homology and Dr. Hassan Alwan, who are directors and researchers at the Athena Institute, for the last eight or 10 years and publications are forthcoming in sha Allah, even before Yaqeen actually was founded. They've been working specifically on what are known in the psych space as god image studies. And so God image studies are really about like how you perceive that spiritual being the almighty the Supreme Being. And they found that there could even be among Muslims, we're talking about some pathology here, like one out of every five Muslims, roughly speaking,

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has an unhealthy spiritual perception of Allah azza wa jal

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and those who don't have it on a pathological level, like a very debilitating level, many of them have a very dangerous imbalance at leats at least in how they see a lot of Arakawa Allah. So for instance, the way they see him at heart right, creates for them what they call anxious attachment and anxious attachment to Allah azza wa jal that's, that's correlated, either caused by or causes or a little bit of both right? Low self esteem, the sense of shamefulness, the sense of not being lovable.

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And I experienced this on an anecdotal level all the time in the data space, and I'm sure many can relate that are involved in this line of work. In fact, there's a screenshot that I cyclically read year after year of a sister who said that her spiritual anxieties reached to such a point that when she got to the kava for the first time in her life, she had so much she wanted to say to Allah, but she couldn't just stop crying in front of the cabin saying, Are you still mad at me? Please love me. Right. And it's very heart wrenching. But let us not use the most you know, extreme examples, though they exist. Maybe one out of five of us could be experiencing this. You can actually see this

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yourself. You need not trust us. The preachers and the educators, Dr. Osmond himself actually one of the co researchers on the god image studies. He says I have a palapa that I teach of preteen girls seven of them, I asked each of them to write down the three top words that come to mind when I say Allah.

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And so they wrote 21 qualities of Allah azza wa jal, mighty, all seeing everywhere mysterious. None of them mentioned love, right? None of them mentioned mercy.

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And so if you ask any Muslim, this is the point of the depth of your knowledge of Allah, how deep and how balanced and how aligned is it with the way Allah introduces himself to us which is the way Allah wants you to perceive him? No Muslim that you asked is gonna give you any terrible descriptions of Allah azza wa jal, but the proportionality many people they see Allah, if I can use the term in the police image, right? Just hovering, enforcing, and nothing more. Very few too few of us at least, see Allah azza wa jal in the protective caretaking, nourishing, loving, defending supreme being. And you can't really test this with others because it's hard to flesh it out on many

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levels, even for a researcher. But we should all constantly be asking ourselves how much security do I feel out of my belief in Allah?

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How much do I trust him? How much do I trust his plans? How much do I trust His laws? You know, without knowing the name of the person flying that plane, or the boat, you ride

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chips, right? You sort of trust the process they're driving is fine. They must be authorized certified. Right? So how can our lives anxiety and stressors are normal and a part of it than a means of elevation if used correctly, but how many of our lives are riddled with anxieties and insecurities? Despite the fact that we know Allah is driving? Allah, he's in charge of our lives. Subhana wa Tada. Do we find this profound empowerment from IT and security in it? You know, I often think about, say them the job aid, who was not just arrested, he was ultimately executed while her judge and her judge basically told him you're still like being lippy here. Like you're still being

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braising executioners on his weight, my life your life is in my hands, he told him and society the majority, you know, is a great amount of its evergreen, but many of us have. He said, If I actually believed that, if I believed that my life was in your hands

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matter has to Elahi rock. I wouldn't worship anybody but you like hey, don't get it twisted. You're not my God. Don't get confused because I certainly am not right. Even though he was executed. He said Allahumma India Celica husana vani Big Cartel, CUDA Laker hustler. Vani Big O Allah even in this final moment and grant me good assumptions of you always and proper reliance on you always such empowerment such fearlessness, regardless of what what life throws at you. You know, it didn't say me or him Allah, for example, he says

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what can my enemies ever do to me? When my garden isn't held within my chests? You can't access my inner peace. You can't rob me of it. Wherever I go. It's with me. He said, You kill me. It's a martyr. You throw me in prison. I have some privacy with Allah. So I got to get basically right. Finally get some seclusion.

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He says you exile me. It is a devotional journey, like had just a little bit inconveniencing for Allah's pleasure. I'll take it. In other words, joke's on you, you can't hurt me. Because I have Allah and my sense of security is grounded in him. Like do we find this? Like you know, the, the wife of Mr. Aveda and a beautiful story that time will not allow for me to tell actually,

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Omar Radi Allahu ancestor, her la Su and Nikki, you're going to be sorry for what you did. He thought that she was sort of like materialistic Shopaholic and was pressing her husband Apple obey that one of his hand promises Jana to use his governorship to get some sort of concessions, right? To see it as a privilege, not a responsibility. So he came, and he told her you're going to be sorry for what you've been doing.

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And so she said, You will not be able to make me sorry.

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And so her husband steps in and says no, no, no, no, no, he can't. Because if someone can't make you sorry, then who's going to be able to make you sorry, especially when I'm going to leave for now he could do it before he was even listening. He can make people sorry. And she says he will never be able to make me sorry. And then she explained why. She said Can He stripped my Islam from me and toss it aside? So her husband said no, she said then he can't do anything to me. I don't care what he does after that, so long as I'm a servant of Allah, I'm unbreakable. That's what gives me value. That's what gives me security. That's what gives me empowerment, you know, to walk flashing that

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passport. Some people love to flash the US passport, they feel secure from it. Because the government, this government across the ocean has a strong military force and it will ask about me, right? The believer in Allah flashes that I'm the servant of God. So how much does a person feel a sense of security, certain sense of trust, a sense of empowerment from their belief? That's what we want to ask about.

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Let me ask you another question. How much do you feel once again experience Allah's closeness? His nearness, his forgiveness or his care? His love subhanho wa Taala for you?

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Like do you feel I know you know it, but do you feel what either so I like everybody and me. Allah initiates. And when My servants ask you about me I am near he's the one initiating it.

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Do you feel when Allah says Men ideally when he and Ivan to who will harm whomever you know shows animosity towards those close to me and every believer on some level is at least close to Allah or else he wouldn't have given you faith, he wouldn't have given you belief. Whoever shows animosity, enmity to those close to me, I've declared war on that person. Allah declares war in defensive view. You know, actually the the end of that very famous Hadith says when Mata are dead to fish a in nfra do and I Allah never regret anything I do.

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The way I regret pulling my believing servants soul who hates death, and I hate to hurt them. You know, Allah doesn't hesitate. The way we hesitate. Allah is not like us. We hesitate because we're not sure of the outcomes. But sometimes also we hesitate because we're sure of the outcome.

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But we wish the medicine wasn't a sour, right? So Allah is saying I'm not indifferent about like whether it hurts you or not you sink or you swim or No, no, Allah is saying the only thing I hesitated about is putting my servant through death because I don't like it's a hesitation from this like, but for the greater wisdom he does it he puts you to death to give you a better world. But just notice that that he hesitates, even putting us to that, putting us through hardship, because he hates to harm you hates to annoy you.

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And there are so many Ayad that you think Where did all this goal in my experience with Allah, you know, speaking of indifference, Allah azza wa jal says also many if Allah will be either become what would Allah do with punishing you? It's not like it's all on you. You do it or you don't know Allah has a preference he has a preference not to punish. He prefers to forgive, he loves to, to overlook he loves to pardon he loves to rescue and save subhanho wa Taala

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are the last I will cite in this regard. You know about experiencing his love of feeling his care his concern for you? Subhana Allah Allah is the very famous area which many scholars call like the most hope filled ayah in the Quran, Collier evadne alladhina Surah for Allah and fusi him let up not on the Rahmatullah say to them, I want them to know say to them, oh, Mohammed, oh, my servants who have crossed every limit.

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So you've crossed every bound, you've broken the laws and then broken your promises to not break the laws and you've done it over and over who've crossed every bound

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you're still my servants. I haven't disowned you yet. He still says yeah, a birdie Oh, my servants.

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And then he says, who have crossed all limits against themselves. He's trying to tell you not trying. It's inappropriate term with Allah maybe. Right? He wants you to know that by the way, you didn't hurt me. I let I'm forcing him. You've hurt yourself. Don't worry. He didn't hurt me. You're still my servant. And you didn't hurt me. Let Rahmatullah let the one thing you do? correctly, be that you never lose hope and my mercy and my forgiveness. Allah forgives it all. He's forgiving. He is merciful the eye ends by saying so. How much of that? What's the proportion of that in our experience? experiential knowledge with Allah Tabata, Kota Allah?

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How much time do I have, by the way? Where's the organizers? 10 minutes. Okay, cool.

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So,

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I want to mention two major points really.

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In these 10 minutes, focusing on what Psychology Today called our god image is something inherently Islamic. Right? It's thinking about how you think about God, right? It's something inherently Islamic didn't didn't the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam say and that Allah said Anna in the one app dB, I am what my servant thinks of me.

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So you have to consider how you think of him.

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Like how do you see Allah? Not just the theoretical? Of course like Lantau Rebecca Mata Mata we have to always put that disclaimer out there. You will never see your Lord visually eyesight wise until you die, it's clear Prosser sallam said that no one should ever doubt this. Right?

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But seeing his image, right? Meaning with your heart with your insight, not your eyesight. This is something very possible that you need to see it has to be a real visual. I'm not saying it has any one form. I don't want to turn this into like a theological discussion that has to get crude and austere. But when the Prophet alayhi salatu salam said, or a to rob beefy, abhor, Surah that I was permitted to see my lord in the most marvelous image. That doesn't mean the true image, the great image that you know, the believers get to see that's reserved for the believers on the day of judgment, but he shows you an image of himself, right? You perceive him a certain way.

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And there's so many examples of this. I mean, it is reported Imam Muhammad Rahim Allah, Allah and Rosa and so many others who say I see I saw Allah in my sleep. I believe it wasn't a member of Zarya Rahim Allah, He said, I saw my lord in my sleep. And I said to him, Yara, let me die upon Islam. And so he said to me, and the Sunnah, say and the Sunnah, Islam and the right mark within Islam, the way of the Prophet alayhi salatu salam, and he went through his ordeal is to say he's seen his Lord, time and time again in his sleep, and that's what got him through it. And so seeing your LORD with your heart, is something we should be thinking about. And thinking about how to build it, not just

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oh man, I guess I'm one of those people who has like an unhealthy perception of Allah. No, no, no. You know, when the god image studies come out, they're very prominent, by the way in Christian psych literature.

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But

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the two researchers I started to talk speaking about, they actually have have used what the Dean taught us and tried it in their practices. And it has been extremely therapeutic for people. You know, basically, you can even self treat yourself on some level, like, how do I build it? Right? How do I customize? What is my, like, deficiency? And how do I balance that out? Because it could be different for different people. Got you. I remember in Charlotte froms,

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even though he stole the minutes from me, but who's counting?

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I'm joking, I'm joking, you're fine.

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And so it comes from two places, keep that in mind. It comes Yes, through the data through the information. And that's a big deal. Because there's so much information that will ruin your god image when you live in a society that is anti religious, or if US preachers aren't doing the best job in the world, and we're speaking too negatively or too much of the Haram, too much law, not enough love. That could be an imbalance, even a little flame complaint of this imbalance in preachers 1000 years ago, so we could were human, we could fall into it. We are a product of culture as well, right.

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And so more of the do's and don'ts than the actual like fruitful, invigorating doctrines of the dean, this is a problem anyway, so the information you got to adjust it, but also your experiences, you need some closure on them. Why do I feel this way? Like many times these researchers found that sometimes it is a negative self image that you develop for whatever reasons, sometimes it's also a trust issue that you have with parents, that you then project it on Allah azza wa jal, or low self esteem for whatever other reason you have, and you say, oh, yeah, I'm unworthy of being forgiven. Well, Allah never said that you saw yourself that way. And then you projected it on Allah. And so

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the information and the experiences, that combination is what creates your god image. And so you need to be careful with that, and build it accordingly. Because it is the lens through which you're going to process everything else. You know, I'll give you a quick example.

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If, if people don't trust a very, you know, for example, trust Allah whatsoever, he's not really God, or he's not really there. He's not, he doesn't really know. If you don't believe that he knows or knows the wisdom, you will not go looking for the wisdom, right? Everything else will be like, Hey, let me figure out another explanation. So why do we have organs that we don't know the function?

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Allah knows best if I can't set sit with Allah knows best, I don't have that kind of confidence in him, then I'll look for another explanation. Oh, the evolution thing must have been true, right. By the way, there was a huge list of organs that were left over from the evolutionary days about 100 years ago. And the list continues to shrink at the vanishing proofs of evolution, it continues to by the way, and people's confidence in that theory continues to be rattled, but we don't need to wait for that. And people's lifetimes aren't long enough for that. Develop your knowledge of Allah, because it is your greatest treasure, to stay on faith here and, and survive in the hereafter. But

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also not just the greatest treasure for the akhira your knowledge of Allah is your greatest source of pleasure in this world. You know, even Mubarak or him alone, he used to say, my Sakeena who dunya these he's sympathizing like these poor people that are obsessed with the material world and material pleasures. Like they live such shallow lives. He says they waste their life without tasting the most pleasurable thing, most delicious thing in life. They said what's that? Oh, Imam. He said Maddie for to Allah being acquainted with Allah subhanho wa taala.

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And, and, you know, being acquainted with Allah, I have three minutes left is the objective.

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It's so important. It's the objective of the universe. Like can you imagine? Allah says He created the seven heavens the last verses of the Pollak seven heavens and seven Earths and sends His commands down between them all that why, what's the whole point of the universe, Lita, Alamo and Allah so that you may know about Allah, xy and z. So be thoughtful about his universe, see His names and his attributes develop that skill through his universe? As one of those two researchers, Dr. Hassel, Allah, Allah and once said to us in a beautiful reminder, if I pulled out of this piece of wood, I don't know if it's real wood or not. But if this piece of wood, I pulled out of it an apple,

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would you be blown away or not? You'd be blown away. So it's a miracle, or a magic trick or something? So why don't we consider it a magic trick or a miracle when apples come out of the wooden branch? Because we're just not being thoughtful, right? You're not trying to see that you're not looking for that. That was the point of the universe. So don't be heedless about that. And last but not least,

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and there's no time to explain it. If we do this, we prioritize and invest in reintroducing Allah to ourselves, the way he said the way he wants. One of the greatest signs of this is that it will generate love above all

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love for Allah above all else. Because think about it if your purpose in life is a bad, a bad that the word a bad, there are 60 words in the Arabic language by the way, for love for loving degrees of loving something or someone the highest of them is called a bad and so if you were created to love, then Allah sent for you a Quran and described himself to you in a way that would bring you there above all else bring you to loving him subhanho wa Taala like well, who will have a full will will do he is the forgiving the loving the sister began with right, anybody else you wrong?

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Or if someone wrongs you, and they're close, you know, to you, the betrayal is very hard to forgive. And then if you years later have that amazing ability to forgive them, you're still going to be like, but I can't really love them like before. Yet Allah is saying the moment you make amends with him, every person on earth no matter what they do, not only will I forgive them, I will love them even more than before. Should a God like that not beloved Subhana horadada and the examples are many but just look out for it. It should generate love above all, that should be the balance. It's not like 20% love and 20% Fear and 20% Hope and no the dominant emotion we should have for Allah, Quran

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centric narrative

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is that love may Allah fill our hearts with His love, say I mean, and the love of all that he loves and the love of every action that will bring us closer to his love hola Mami Baraka low FICO masala salovaara kind of Vienna, Muhammad Ali Ali was a visionary