Channel: Muslim Life Hackers
Series: Muslim Life Hackers - Season 2
Maheen talks to lyricist and vocalist Khalil Ismail about the work he does with the homeless and victims of domestic violence as well as his creative process and thoughts on self awareness and personal development.
Highlights from the show:
-“Could you tell us a bit about what has inspired you to do what you do” (4:47 – Maheen)
– “It is always important to have a plan and then know that it is being disrupted…the problem when you just go without a plan is that often times you forget where you started, and you can’t grow without measuring your progress” (8:09 – Khalil)
– “Could you tell us a bit about the creative process that goes on being your work?” (9:40 – Maheen)
– “You have to look at the reality of the culture that you are in and provide solutions for it, in every way, not just music and art but in every way, but I just so happen to be in music and art…right now that the most powerful thing the West has is the media, we can’t shun it, it is just not reality, you would have to live in a cave!” (12:20 – Khalil)
– “What advice would you give to the average person to open up their awareness as to what is going on in the community” (19:35 – Maheen)
– “I think what happens is that you often have a lot of mismatches…I do think that everyone can help, but the first job is to understand who you are first, and when you can understand this then you can find out how to find how to help best” (28:19 – Khalil)
– “Your relationship with Allah will give you an ability and insight into yourself…bottom line, you are not going to be asked about anyone but yourself, so Allah is saying pay attention to yourself first” (33:12 – Khalil)
-“You are working with various artists, collaborating, community projects…how do you manage it all?” (34:49 – Maheen)
-“Some people would call it ADD, but I just say I have an active brain”(35:30 – Khalil)
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Season Two, episode eight.
Welcome to the Muslim life hackers podcast, the weekly podcast providing you the knowledge, tools and connections to help you get ahead in life. And now, your hosts, Murph and mahane, Malik
Assalamu alaikum Muslim life hackers and thanks for joining me for another episode of the show this year host here Mohit Malik bring you another awesome interview with people doing remarkable things. In today's interview, I have a conversation with the super chill super cool Hello, Israel. You may know him from his machines and music and learn from collaborations with other artists like fame bigger brother Ali, maybe Dean plus many, many more, has toured all over the world performing in places like Germany, France, Holland, South Africa, Australia, I can say that in a patriotic voice. And the UK has also done extensive work in the field of social justice and is currently an active
service in predicts unfolding the homeless and victims of domestic violence. As you can find more information on this episode all the dates plus more on our site, just go to Muslim life hackers.com it's all there for you guys. So in this episode, I touched base with Julio on his work with victims of domestic violence and homelessness plus we really get into his the creative process, how it is that he manages his time while doing so much Masha Allah and His thoughts and the skills that you need to have to be doing the work that he is doing. This interview was actually super fun to record a must listen if you want to hear about what goes on behind the scenes. Plus, it also talks about
different personal skills and personalities, and how to recognize what work would be best suited for you. And as a little added bonus, if you stay tuned till the end, we actually have a small snippet of a behind the scenes conversation with Julio, usually, when we get guests on the show another really super fun, awesome platform before I die. My case is when we get to have a really great conversation slash brain picking learning session with our guests after we finished recording, just really getting to chat with them about what what are burning questions for us. Just you know, like for our own personal selfish, once you know Fine, I'll put it out there 100 love but before I
decided to share part of the conversation with you, just because we found what Phil had to say, quite profound and inspiring. And with that being said, let's get into the conversation. Assalamu alaikum Muslim life hackers and welcome back to another episode of the show, in today's interview, have actually got Julio Ismail on the line. Hello, thanks for joining us, and welcome to the show. Thank you.
So Julio, for our listeners who don't know much about you. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself in what is it that you do? Alright, so I am My name is clueless my as you just said,
I do so much that it's hard to always remember all of it. But, Man, I wish I wish I could say the same. Yeah, I'm not sure like, you know, um, but mainly when I think mainly, I do.
I do music. And she, as well. And I do. And then I run a run operations for a Muslim woman shelter. And then I and then I do marketing and consulting for a do background marketing consultant for certain
figures in terms of just strategizing on how to help people increase their online presence and web presence and things like that. So I do some behind the scenes work with people and I produce also I produce music and things like that for people. So I do some behind the scenes work as well. Oh, awesome. So you said that you've been a women's shelter? Where is that?
in bulk is in my hometown, Baltimore, Maryland.
And, you know, it's been going, you know, open now for about six, six years.
Yeah. And the executive director, her name is Asma Hanif. She's the one who founded it, and then you know, I heard about it, and I started volunteering and then and then not and then from there, we I started working directly with them. Fantastic. That's really cool. Like, you know, you're hearing more about like these projects that are coming up, and then it's just amazing how like the community binds together, especially with women's shelters and things like that. It's such a needed needed component of our, for the communities. Definitely. So, um, could you tell us like you're doing just so much like you just mentioned marketing consulting, plus, volunteering at a women's shelter, plus
music on the side, which is about one thing that's inspired you to do most of what you do. I think it's all
100 I think I'm very fortunate that Allah blessed me with finding, finding something that fit my personality. And my personality ever since I was little was that I always, I always was a person who reflected, and was introspective on life and how to help people. You know, I, you know, I always just thought about the underdog ever since I can remember. And, yeah, I didn't know necessarily how I was going to do it when I was younger.
But I knew I wanted to do something very much in that field. And so, as I got older, everything pretty much sprung from that everything, even from the music on the way to the shelter, and everything, everything sprung from that. So it reflects in the content of what i what i want to sing about, as well, as you know, obviously, what I do. Yeah. Do you think that, um, you know, in life, where are you meant to do one thing? Or is it like, you know, you just said that you think about the underdog. So, how is it able to focus on so much? And why not one stream? And like, you know, putting all your efforts there? Well, I think, again, it's my personality. I'm a, I'm just a person
who, I've always been interested in a lot of things, a lot of different things. So I think that different people work differently, it would work different for different people, I don't think it's for everyone. I think, some for some people and some things, it's better for people to focus on one particular thing. And even for myself, there are things that i would i would say are primary, and then things that are secondary. And I think we always have to prioritize at any given time in our lives, you know, on what, you know, I literally go from week to week prioritizing on what will be my primary focus, and then will be my secondary focus. So even for me, at any given time, I have to
organize myself that way. But I think, again, it's just really personality, you know, some people, really, there's only one thing that ever wanted to do. Yeah. And that's what they end up focusing on. And I think that's great. That's just not necessarily me. Yeah, yeah, there's definitely a lot about personality there. And like, what kind of works for you like morning person, that person, I always have this argument with people. But I have to prove a bit more on your primary slash secondary focus. How do you know what to prioritize in that week? Is that reflective of what you do previously? How does it work? Well, I mean, it's, it's a little bit of planning and organizing, I do
in my mind first, and then some things that I write right out, there's always goals that I'm trying to achieve, and always work where I have this goal, and I have that goal. And I think about what's important. And then what happens is that life happens and a lot kind of moves things around in such a way where there's always something that comes up and that ends up probably being your focus, because like, for example, if some something happens in the organization and needs to attend meet needs tending to that, obviously, that becomes the primary focus. So oftentimes, even though I plan, a lot of times, what happens is, something happens that makes me move my attention to that
particular thing. And and I have to, I have to attend to that until it's finished, and then go back to what I planned in the first place. But it's always important to have a plan, and then know that that plan is going to be disrupted. Hmm, yeah, well, Allah subhanaw taala is the best of planners and I like what you said, how, you know, it's always good to have a plan, and then like, let it be disrupted, because then you have people on the other side who are like, you know, don't plan you know, just go with the flow kind of thing. And, you know, whatever happens is meant to happen.
I think we do need some focus in life. So we actually know that when something isn't going, as it's meant to be going, and then kind of refocus. What do you think about that? Absolutely. It's all about balance, life is all about balance. And, and it's absolutely important. I mean, if you don't the problem with good doing the thing where you just okay, you don't have a plan, and you just go flow in life, is that when life disrupts, you know, whatever you're, wherever you're floating to you forget what you started, you don't know where you started and where you're going. And it's important to, you know, organizations and things that often grow, they grow. And the reason why they're able
to grow is because you're able to measure your progress. And you can't measure your progress. If you don't have a plan. If you don't write it out, you don't realize what you're doing. You can only say, Okay, I did this, but I'm not quite sure why. Or, you know, how this worked. It just worked. And you can you can do things that way. It's just that, you know, it's very hard to focus when you do that things that way I have found. So I slowly what, I find that really interesting. And I'm just just to like kind of, I want to talk a bit more about your creative process and like the work that you do with Could you tell us about like how, what goes into the process when you produce your work? what's
what's the creative process there? Well, I mean, I think I'm a writer. Yeah, you know, so what happens is, is that things come into my mind inspirations come into my mind based on what's happened either in my life or, or how I've been inspired or
you know, basically in
spired by other things that happen in other people's lives, and I'm a person who I'm also I'm an observer of people and of, of things. And so I observed little things. And it, you know, it just what happens is it comes to my head, and I'm just like, okay, you know, I need to write this out. And so it just happens that music is the thing that I tend to happen to be talented. And so that's how it comes out. But it's, you know, basically, it's, it's a, it's a form of writing and expressing, I have to ask, do you write in a journal? How do you record your thoughts?
Well, I used to write in more and more of a journal. Now I just type it out. I mean, yeah, and I'm a, I'm a tech person. So what happens is I like, you know, as soon as the phones came out, it was a greatest thing, because I can, you know, get everything.
Right. Right. Right, exactly. So before that, you know, I would, you know, sometimes I would just type it, you know, or I would jot it down on some pad. And then when I get to a place where I could type it out, I type it out, I write on a notepad or something. So any any medium, I don't have a particular process when it comes to that, yeah, as a matter of fact, sometimes I need to figure out what I want to do, because I have things all over the place that I've just written out, now I have to consolidate it. Okay, I'm gonna let my like tech side come through, but to use a particular app or anything like that, to note down your thoughts. Well, actually, all I use is Notepad. Right now.
I mean, I just use a notepad on my iPhone, really, and, and I do that, but now that you speak of it, I probably should just actually get an app that actually organizes it better. But lately, what I'll do is I'll title it and on a notepad and then make the notepad write it out. And then so I can search for it later. So that's what I've been doing lately. I've seen what I have to suggest you should get Evernote is the best organizing system out there ever
committed to everyone and you can like tag it and organize it and put it in notebooks. And it's just amazing. Okay, all right, Evernote, okay, I want to do a little like plug for our listeners there. Alright, so I'm like, recently, I was just scrolling down your Facebook feed. And I'll tell you some amazing, good amazing stuff on there. And like, you know, really promoting different causes. And I'm bringing awareness to different subjects. And I saw a lot about brainwashing the media and like replacing it with good. Could you tell us what does this look like? Just take us a bit further into what this is all about? Well, I mean, I've always been of the opinion that you have to deal with the
culture that you're dealing with, I mean, that you are, you have to look at the reality of the culture that you're in, and provide solutions for it. And in every way, not just you know, music or art, but in every way. But you know, I happen to be in music and art. And I think that right now the most powerful thing that the Western media particularly has his it's his, it's music, it's movies, it's media. And I think that a lot of people go about it the way of just saying, Okay, well, you know what, you know, the way you do this, it's just, you know, shun it all, you know, put it all away, and don't listen to it, don't look at it and everything, but that's just not reality. Yeah.
Yes, it's not realistic to do. And if you did, you'd have to live in a cave somewhere in order to really, actually. So how are you gonna take notes in your cave?
It's just, you know, you can't help it. So I understand that. So for me, like the I found that, you know, I'm a solutions oriented person, you know, and so for me, I feel like, the most logical thing to do is to replace that thing, replace it with something better, and it's no different than what I have seen as the some of those, you know, of the URL of even the earliest Muslims. Obviously, their form was poetry. And, you know, we all know that the prophet SAW Southern commissioned poets, believing poets to actually go against the poets who were speaking bad about him.
And, and the truth is, he didn't have to, like he, the prophet SAW someone had the car, and he was a walking car. And he, he had a revelation. And he still and yet and still, he understood the need to speak to the culture of that time use what they are using. Right, right, right. Right. Right. And I and I, and I think that that's the best way. And I think that the way that doesn't work is when you act kind of like a parent who just says, No, no, no, no, no, no. Yeah, all the kid is gonna do is just gonna just gonna go behind your back. And I don't know, I don't think that's good. So, yeah, definitely, it's not the right way to communicate about a habit as well. Like, even even when we're
talking about psychology, they say the best way to change like something like a behavior is to replace it with something else, not try and like, cut it out completely. And I feel like we like how you mentioned that the poetry is all I think it just puts everything in a different perspective. And, and it's so true, we need to look at the reality of our situation instead of you know, you know, it's it's different to what it is, you know, the weapon, the kind of influence of today is the media like our music, our videos.
As speech and everything like that, we need to be able to utilize it effectively. Right? Absolutely. Early on, you mentioned a bit more about the women's shelter that you're volunteering with. And you've been doing a lot of work with, like homeless support, and those who are abused in the community. Can you tell us a bit more about this? And, you know, how did you get into this area of work? Did you just hear about it? And then no cell phone tearing the capital stock? Yeah, I heard about it. When I first heard about it. I didn't even know that the problem existed.
Why do you think that is? What did I didn't know the problem exists? Because it was swept under the rug. Once I figured once I learned that it existed, I learned why why didn't know about it. And I realized that it was swept swept, a lot of it was swept under the rug.
Almost purposely, like, you know, there was there actually had been many movements before, like, basically, I got into this work about seven years ago.
And they were movements before that, to try to bring these things to light. And what happened was a lot of people didn't get funding. People said it would never work. People said that the knee wasn't that big. And the real issue was that there are a lot of people who don't, who were trying to cover up, you know, their own, you know, dirty laundry, so to speak. And in the process of that women, innocent women, children are being hurt and abused, because other people don't want people to know that something's wrong, that they're doing something wrong. And that's not right. You know, that means that you're dehumanizing. That means that you don't care about whatever this other human is
struggling struggling with, because you're worried about your image. And I and I couldn't deal with that. I couldn't deal with that. So when I realized that, you know, that, that, that this, you know, was a major problem.
You know, I Well, for one, I heard about it. And I went to the sister, I happen to see the sister who was who had started it in a mall. Yeah. And that and at that time, she was just, she had just started the idea. And she had this big Notepad. And I'll never forget it. She had this big binder, all these papers in it. She got the signatures and everything like that. And at the time, I had already been a nonprofit professional I worked with at a place called the Maryland Food Bank, helping feed the homeless. So I understood how nonprofit organizations work. So I decided to go head to limb, I served my bit my professional experience, on how to structure certain things that they
maybe didn't know about, because she was you know, she was she was all into the mission, but hadn't necessarily had experience in
running the Maryland Food Bank, and then you kind of helped her No, I was I was I was out No, no, I was a director. But I was not that I didn't run it. So I just undid I just did I directed a certain party what was going on in the background and how it all Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So I ended that experience to this particular organization. And then we started and then, you know, in about a year, we opened up the house for the sisters, and then we never stopped, we haven't stopped and what you mentioned about dehumanizing, it's, it's really incredible smile, like, you know, how we hear it a lot like, how it being de desensitize. First of all, like, sometimes things
that would have shocked us many, many years ago just doesn't anymore. And it can be used to, you know, fuel our own ignorance. And do you find that if you don't, for example, you know, you hear it a lot from people who work in community projects and things like that. And, for example, there's a project here in Sydney, where they also work with those who are homeless in the in the needy, and they're like, you don't know what how big the problem is, unless you're working in this field. Right? It's just, it's just incredible. Like, if you're not looking for it, you're never gonna find it, cuz it's just so well hidden. That's true in like most communities. Yeah, I definitely find it
that they're their service, their specific problems that we don't know about, unless we're looking for them. And I don't think that that's necessarily the fault of anybody, I don't think you walk around, I don't think regular people should walk around in their life looking for issues, you know, looking for problems. But but I do think that there are certain enough, there are enough people who know about it, who do know about it, because either they have a friend who's actually done it, you know, what I'm saying? Or, or they know someone who's done it, and they're quiet about it. Because at the end of the day, they don't really care because it's not affecting their life. And, and, and
that's, you know, that's really the problem, you know, that I found free, okay, for example, like, what, what could what can we do to kind of open us open ourselves up to, you know, be more aware of these kind of things like, what should we be? What is your advice to the average person, what should we be doing? What should we be looking out for, and what should we be aware of? Well, I mean, I think that you should just be aware in general, I mean, I don't I don't I don't I'm not one of those people who think you should go and find, you know, problems because not everyone actually is suited for or equipped to actually help a problem. You know,
In many cases, and so, I think that, you know, I think, I think there's a couple of things that there are a couple of basic human things that happen everywhere. And one is that, you know, there are homeless people, and people who don't have food or don't have enough to eat.
And then there are people who, you know, are abused. And
the homeless thing is something that I think universally everyone can help with, if they have something to help me, you know, you can, everywhere you go, there's a place where you can volunteer to help, or you can start a group that helps those people, you know, I know, I do realize that in some areas of the world, this issue is not as bad. You know, for example, in the United States, you know, we do have a, you know, a pretty big homeless problem pretty much everywhere you go. But especially in the bigger cities, but not in other places. Like I remember visiting Germany, and they were like, well, there's pretty much no homeless people there. So it's kind of like, okay,
that, you know, they don't have that problem. So, but, you know, even there that I believe that's also a relative issue, because, you know, there are a lot of people who have less to eat. And so I just think it's about, I think what happens really, is that as you live your life a lot puts things in front of you. And it's it, you know, and that materializes, and you know, okay, you know, what I should, you know, you have a decision to make as to whether, okay, you know, I can help this. So maybe I should, yeah, it's about recognizing, yeah, yeah, it's about recognizing what's in front of you, not so much, you know, going in and seeking it out, I think, I think in this day and age,
you're gonna have enough on your plate that a lot of puts on you any way from the start. And, and, you know, to worry about So, you know, don't go trying to spread yourself so thin. Because, you know, I think in this thing, especially in the social media age, everybody is just telling everybody what cause they should take up? And I'm not necessarily a fan of that. Because, yeah, are these groups like everywhere? And you're added? Yes, yeah, yeah, you can't be a champion for everything, you know. And I think what, what is really showing us is that, you know, all we can do is do the best that we can, and that we have to make sure that we just continue to pray to a lot to help the
states of people and things like that, and just do our little part when we can, you know, when we can, and you know, that like, you know, when something comes to you, and you have an ability to do it, and you don't, and you don't and you know, but there's a lot of things that it's where we You don't even know whether you should, like you don't even know what you can do, you don't even have the right information to tell you whether you should do anything. You know, there's, you know, there are cases, for example, there are many cases today, where you see on social media, somebody will bring up something about what somebody did, you know, some celebrity did or something like that, but
you don't really know what really happened. You only saw a report early, it's all like it says she says, right,
as much as we don't follow conjecture, so we, that's what I mean, when I say it's like, it really unless it really hits your plate in such a way where you know what's going on. And you know, you can help, it's not really your responsibility, your responsibility really is to yourself to make sure that you put yourself in a position to remember a lot much and then do things that he says you should do in terms of charity work, and then everything else will fall in place. And I actually think that's, that's what that's what we should, we should actually be focusing a lot more on making ourselves whole and balanced people. And, and because we often forget about ourselves, and then we,
you know, we help what we help in the wrong way as a results. Yeah, cuz when you're not hauling, you're not like independent with yourself. Obviously, you're gonna be you're gonna be lacking in other areas, you're not you're not able to fully help others. And I appreciate you mentioning that. Definitely. Um, could you tell like us, like the average listener, what, what something is happening that you've come across, that we wouldn't have recognized had we not been in the field, oftentimes, the people who who end up needing help, you know, and come from the homeless situation, they're not perpetual, they're not actually down and out. Many of them are very intelligent, many of them have
degrees, and it's just a stage in their life. I think what happens is when people are far away from this particular field, they think that the people who tend to get get to succumb to homelessness or abuse tend to be these so called helpless people who don't have any way of getting out getting away. And so they're just totally dependent on this person. But in actuality, that's not the case. Most in many cases, these are just regular people like you and I, and they got caught in a bad situation. And psychologically, it's hard for them to get out. They don't even realize that they can get out. But they don't want to because they're in a way that it's kind of like, in their mind, they think
it's the only way to go. It's the only way it's the only place they can be in. So yeah, right. So what happens is, what you don't realize is that oftentimes, you probably know someone who's in a situation where they need help in an abusive situation, but data but you don't know it, because they're not saying anything. So like I have
Because, you know, it's so much is going on around us. And it's all about being aware and you know, just just just being conscious of what's going on around, we have to what happens is, is that a lot of especially in the Muslim community, I'm, like, we have like this, this idea or ideal that we have to put on a perfect face for everyone. And what that does is that actually stopped people from getting help. And it actually helps us not see when people need help, because everyone is putting on a perfect face saying that, you know, because that's what you're supposed to do. And if you don't put on that perfect face, is somehow that people link it to your lack of faith. And that's a
problem. No. Whereas law has said that, you know, we we were born into this world and toil and struggle, you know, so we're actually all if, I mean, if you're not in toil and struggle in some type of way, which means we all need help. Yeah, then really, you're not, you're probably not human, you know what I'm saying? So thank God, right. Yeah. But Muslims, what we do is that we, you know, because we have, we have this, you know, we'd have this idea that we almost, we always must show our perfect side. There's some good in that, but what happens is, people a lot of people don't get the help that they need. Now, absolutely. It just reminds me of like, you know, even like, social media
profiles, we put on such a perfect base. But yeah, you know, like, at the end of the day, we are slaves of Allah subhanaw taala, we are always in his need. And, you know, to to do to deny that is kind of going against who we are, really just want to get more about, like, talk to you about more about like the support that you do and how you reach out. So, early on, you mentioned that not all people are equipped to be working in the fields of like helping others and being the service of others. What kind of skills do you need? And what kind of skills? Have you recognized in yourself that have helped you in the areas that you're working in? Like, how do you reach out? How do you get
support? How do you network? Well, I mean, I'll tell you what my theory is, I have a theory about it. I think that I think that everyone can help in something, but you have to figure out what suits you. Meaning like, for example, me, you asked about me, like, I happen to be a person who, who is very, you know, always made it very easy for me to understand people. So it's not, you know, like it, you know, I can look and see a situation, survey a situation and understand, you know, and see what's going on with that person very quickly. And then kind of empathize with that. So for me, being being, you know, being being around people and seeing their problems, or helping and talking
to people about their problems has always been something that's come naturally to me. But there are some people, for example, who they don't see that they don't like, literally people who are the opposite of that particular personality, where they are people who they don't see what's going on with other people. And they're always talking to them about how they should do this, and how they should do that. And they end up having the opposite effect. Because it's not their personality, maybe a person where they probably shouldn't be doing that part of things. Maybe their part should be organizing and structuring something behind the scenes, but not necessarily talking to the people
because they can't relate. It's not because they're worse, it's not because they're not as good as my personality. It's just their personality is different. And so and I think what happens is you have a lot of mismatches, where you have a person who, you know, is, you know, for example, I mean, you have the person who's given advice often doesn't relate very well to the person who they want advice to. Yeah. And, and what happens is, is that person, so the person who's getting advice, getting advice ends up coming off worse. And then the person who often has the ability to give advice better is is nowhere around, they're doing something else. So
what I'm, what I'm saying when I say that is is that I do think that everyone can help. But I think you have to understand this is what I mean, when I go back to you have to pay attention to yourself. Yeah, the first job is for you to understand who you are, when you can understand who you are, and how you and what, what good are you doing and what good what you what good do you tend to do, then you can find out how to help best. You know, I'm, for example, you know, I'm not going to be the person to necessarily go around and say, if there's a building that needs to be built, I'm not gonna I'm not I don't have the architectural tech architect mind that has the ability to let me pick up
that out, like, you know what I'm saying, we need to make the building for the people who needs to be housed. Now, I have no bit like I that's nuts. None of my mind doesn't work like that. So I have no business going over. And I said, Well, you know, you need to do that just because someone assigned me maybe to be the leader. You know what I should do? I should go and say, Okay, well, let me find someone who has this type of mind. And because this person, that person could contribute that skill and do it well. My skill is not in that field. So, you know, we're not it doesn't make us better or worse. It just makes us different. And I think that that's what we should do, instead of
just saying Okay, you know what?
You know, we have, for example, we'll have people who will come and say, you know what I want to help. I want to help the sisters in the shelter, and I want to just come talk to them. And we asked, Well, why? And they said, Well, I just want to, I just want to say, I just want I just, you know, I feel bad. Well, no, actually, what happens is, when a woman is in assistance in a shelter, she doesn't want to talk to a stranger. You know what I'm saying? We don't, like you're already showing that you don't understand. Yeah, just worship to skills.
Like, you're gonna go and make it worse. Now she's embarrassed, she didn't want you to know she was there. She said, I'm saying so unless you have a purpose, then you have someone who says, Okay, you know what I have, I want to, I'm going to teach Islamic Studies every week, and I want to do that as a volunteer, then now you have something, you have a purpose, they can get something out of it. It's not just so you see what I'm saying? interjecting yourself like, right, wherever I find that there's a gap. And part of that starts with and that all starts with reflecting on self. So would you say that that's the number one thing people need to do to kind of find out what kind of person they are
just just reflect on themselves? Well, I mean, I think that's for one, it takes experience, you can reflect on yourself. And if you don't have any experience, then there's nothing to go on. Often, like our experiences with others ends up showing us who we are. So when you get out there, and you do things, and you kind of figure it out, obviously, also, I think that I think that, you know, on keeping a regular relationship with the car, and it's a great way to do it. Because a lot always points to some things that we should look at in ourselves and what we should look at. And I think that helps us get to a certain balance when it comes to how we should view and frame ourselves and
what we do. And I think things come from there. So I think it's also a matter of, you know, it's obviously making sure that we're praying because, again, praying and things like that it has the effect of making you think about what you're doing and how you're affecting things. And I think a good way to do it is just when you do something when you're with somebody and you're you happen to be anything, ask questions, ask what they thought of what you did, ask them to critique, you know, what was good and what was bad and don't be afraid if it's bad, like, you know, sometimes our ego, egos have a problem with being corrected. But I often ponder again on the on the Sunnah of the
prophet SAW someone who again, had who again, had a lot has specifically and directly as his advisor, yet you won't find a person who asked advice more than the Prophet again, we we, when you do that, you get a fuller picture of who you are, you can get a fuller picture of how you can do things. And I think sometimes, obviously, with people you trust, because sometimes if you have people around you who you can't really trust in it, they might tell you something, that's wrong, that's really not wrong, but they're jealous. So you have to be careful with that as well. But I think it's obviously it starts with your relationship with the law. And make sure that you're you
know, you're praying regularly, and you're reading and reading what it means because it speaks to you. And it tells you a lot about you know, what's what's important with it, especially things that stand out to you might not stand out to others and rivaling that and understanding that
it's all about like experience, what experience you have the balance, and also that really, really integral. You can't live without in relationship with Allah subhanaw taala. Right, right. Right. Yeah, that's, that's definitely number one. I mean, that alone will give you just an ability and insight into yourself. And then other things as a result, just doing that, because it makes you realize, I mean, so I mean, when you think about what a lot of friends, our religion pretty much is a look, your first thing is to account for yourself. Bottom line is, at the end of the day, when you go and you leave this earth, you are not going to be asked about anyone but you so he's really
pointing it back to you. He's saying, pay attention to you first. And then and then it branches out from there. And you you will be amazed at even if you're a person who's a giver, and you want to help people, the best way to give is to do that first. Once you do that, you'll then be able to give in the right way. Because sometimes it's not just about giving. Have you ever met a person who gives you something who you don't want with that you don't want but they just want to give it and then they give themselves credit for it after they give it to you even though you didn't really want it in the first place. Yeah.
Right. Right. Right. Right. And that's, I mean, really, that's actually a selfish way to give so you can be a giver and be selfish and that's why it's very important to keep that relationship with Allah. because it teaches you how to do it in such a way that's pleasing to Him and then that and that, that helps people all the way. So absolutely, yeah, I love that. Like, you know, like, bro, we're gonna be like honest about ourselves. So sit up and recognize like who you are first and go from there and, you know, be true to yourself. And you know, like, not letting your ego get ahead of you and don't you have to, you know, just get credit for it. Love it. So, um, I just want to move on
to you know, you're doing so much Mashallah and, you know, working with like, amazing artists causes collaborating. How do you manage it all like early on you mentioned you know, prioritizing your week.
and things like that. But yeah, how does it all come together? Like you mentioned earlier on in the interview, you know, you don't just focus on one area you, you're the kind of person who likes to work on different things. Yeah. And part of that is actually just because again, like my personality, actually, some of my personality, it's just that I need to stay active, my brain needs to be constantly stimulated. And if I do it in such a way, where it's, I don't jump from one thing to the other, then back to that thing, and I probably won't be as efficient.
So, you know, it helps me with, you know, some people might call it add, I just call it, you know, I just have an active brain. So.
I don't have those labels. You know, I think that, you know, they tend to be extreme, he would just always have to try to categorize something. But yeah, you know, you know, but, um, I mean, again, again, I think for me, and I don't know, I don't think that this necessarily works for everybody. But I think it's just a matter of putting down on paper, like, one of the things I like to try to do is I try, I like to try to review what I'm going to do for the week, pretty much every week, it does not go that way.
So that's just how it is. Yeah, and that's just how it is. But what it does is that once I'm done, once the thing that distracts me finishes, I can go back to that review, and it's okay, you know, oh, yeah, I have to finish this, you know, so I'm a big fan of spreadsheets and things like that, because I can, I'll go look, and I'll relook at my spreadsheet, and it puts me back in place, and puts me back in priority. And, you know, it's interesting, because, you know, I think about, we were talking earlier about, you know, keeping your relationship with alarm, you know, reading, trying to reach a car and everyday, but that's actually in a way, that's what it does. It's like, you know, if
you have you know, there's there's things that you do that you're gonna, you're gonna go out in this world, you're gonna make mistakes, you're gonna do things wrong. And you even get off the path a little bit sometimes. But if you have a consistent thing that you go back and you look to, you can always go back to it, and that becomes your foundation. And you eventually what you realize you look up and you get everything done that way you finish, you finish. So it's not so much a matter of I think, any particular method. Yeah, you know, but it is a matter of developing a foundation. I will say that is it isn't a matter of Okay, you know, what, these are the three things, the four things
that I'm going to do. And this is things are going to work on for the next year. So now let me see, let me write this out, and then look at it. And then that will tell me when I'm falling off too much in this particular area. So let me get back to that. Let me refocus. Yeah, great advice. You know, I'm always really curious about like asking people how they organize what they do, essentially their lives. And of course, it's time for thank you so much for talking to us about, you know, spreadsheets, foundations, by yourself. And, you know, the work that you do, and it's it's very much needed. And I really do appreciate it. And thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you. No
Okay, so that ends of the interview with Julio Ismail until you learn something beneficial, and it has touched your life in a meaningful way. I really found what Selena has to say about self awareness and understanding of ourselves particularly helpful 100 of law. And also don't forget to stick around to the end of the episode to listen to the extra behind the scenes, stupid slush pile of wisdom from filial as well. As usual, you can find all the links resources from the show plus how to get in touch with filial and all that jazz on our site, just go to Muslim life hackers.com you can search it up there plus get access to our previous episodes in interviews. Finally, guys, if you
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I found what he said like really interesting, especially what you mentioned about the homeless, you know, many of them, it's just a stage in their life. And sometimes you don't even recognize it, that you're you already have this invisible script in your mind. And as you're walking by, that's the judgment that you already have in your mind. It's incredible. Yeah, yep, yep. Yeah. I remember like, there was this conversation with some sisters and like, they were like, saying, Oh, you know, they get to they get to become like, educated and get a university degree and blah, blah, blah. Because if their marriage breaks down, then they have something to come with. Right? They have something to
go and like earn and stuff and then you mentioned that
Like in the shelter, like it's not always so like there are educated sisters that come which I found quite surprising.
Yeah, I mean,
there's a person who once had me literally had, who had maids, and servants and that's that was, that was their life, you know, five years before they came in a shelter. And this person wasn't even like, you know, this person wasn't even like abusing anything, which is a situation where the all that stuff got taken away and it should and again, it's, I mean, this is the way that a lot just may try someone with that so we don't have this resource available. You know, then what what happens?
So, yeah, maybe, you know, people don't realize that, you know, it can happen, like you don't realize it can happen to you. I mean, the bottom line is, it can happen to me, it can happen to you, you know, and what happens is, is that a lot it but I'll tell you what, what happens is a lot of the sisters when they when they, when they leave, they say this was an experience that I needed, they don't look at it, you know, and the reason they say that is they say you know I you know for one, they learned to appreciate some things that they took for granted in their life. So it doesn't necessarily always have to mean the worst thing either. Because sometimes maybe a lot does that to
someone so that they can so that he can move them and raise them higher.