Esselamu Aleykum Ve Rahmetullahi Ve Berekatuhu
It was really long and painful introduction (laughter)
At the beginning of this talk I would like to give you an admonition; i did not have much sleep last night and this flight to over here from, I can’t remember where it is from.(laughter) I am little loopy right now, inshallah, if my talk doesn`t have much sense I apologise. I will try to be (…)as organized as I can be. The topic..and before I get to the topic i might as well rant, so the first rant i want to share with you is about MSAs. I love MSAs; I was part of the MSAs. I was inspired to do whatever I do in life, and career path i choose direction I picked my life to go, and as a result the friends, the teachers, the scholars the insightful ideas I received in the setting of the MSA . It is just a fantastic institution and I don’t think it should be undermined. You know, sometimes there are students, there are different kinds of students at the MSA , you`ve got a lot off variety, and you have students that are extremely serious and don’t think MSA is serious enough..then you have students that are totally different from the social experience that think it is to serious `Why are they always having khalakat .Why are they always having study- circles. Or whatever. They are just too uptight. So all these different people but the fact that they can actually survive this thing and live through it. People who graduate from school they reflect and miss those days from MSA . they think back and say:”Man, I had so many great friends and there were so much opportunity at that time,I wish I benefited from it even more, now I don’t have that opportunity because as a matter of fact I can tell you ,having graduated and moved out from MSA about half century ago, you know there is a social void after college . There was really cool brotherhood and sisterhood, that happens on campus, conferences like this one, there is really nice sense of belonging. And all of a sudden after you graduate and go the Berkley’s there is like sense of loneliness and its really hard to find sense of belonging after that immediately, and sometimes some masjid are able to do that ,sometimes masjid is not able to fill that space , because our masjid has not evolved to that extent yet. So, I do advise you to take full advantage of this experience and to not underestimate the value even the social interaction, even the hangouts and barbecues. I don’t even underestimate the value of that one. As a matter of fact , to me, I think back and I say probably the most life altering experiences in my MSA days are trips to the conference . I never attended any session. I don’t even know what are you people doing here . I attended the sessions to sleep. Like that guy over there (laughter). That was me,ok . it was just the conversations with brother just getting out of your goal, you are not in your normal scene anymore, you are getting out, get to talk and open up , travel with people , learn more about them ,get more annoyed by them than you have ever been before..this all just part of growing ..this when I made friendships even though we don’t live anywhere near each other those old friends but they are still really the people I consider my genuine friends, the ones I spend those kind of times with and I made dua that Allah gives you those kind of friends in your days in college insha’Allah. So let’s talk about success .like I said I will do my best to organize my thoughts on this issue inshallah .the first thing I want to talk about is success is something every human being vies for. its not something only exclusive for Muslims , or Christians or Jews, it’s not even a religious thing. It’s something every human being generally has aspirations for , and actually there are some people who have psychological sort of problem when they are not motivated to do anything and that’s actually sort of disorder, when they are not motivated to get up out of bed, go to work or find a job, go to college or do well in school, and things like that. They are actually considered to have some sort of disorder because the natural disposition of human beings is to want accomplish things and this is something that is put inside our very nature by Allah, its put inside of us, the want to accomplish, the want to do, in the religious sense and in worldly sense we are predisposed to do and accomplish like for instance the people that go through very difficult transition and depression are retired folks, you know, they were working their entire lives, they feel like they were productive and all of a sudden, it’s not like you would think “ I can’t wait to retire”, actually they get very depressed because they felt like they were so productive all the time and not just sitting around , they wanna do something, wanna be involved in something, you know..And this is something that is healthy aspiration, healthy sentiments that admit all of us are supposed to have inside of us. But beyond success, or thinking about success from Islamic point of view ,, you ll have to take step back sort of,right, and look at grander picture . That’s what I ll try to present to you guys first. And before even success comes survival .and survival is something that all creation, animals share with us. We have instinct wanting to survive..the bird goes out of it nest and wants to go get food for its young , wants to bring it back, and wants to build itself a nest that it can protect from predators , is high enough, secure from wind, and things like that. Ants make their place to survive, holes in the ground etc. so you have this instinct of survival that even precedes the want of success, but of course human beings are unique creatures , we don’t just want survival, not only to survive, by the way, if we just had desire to survive you would not see the cities, the civilization and the infrastructure around us that you see. This is all product of, what? Human want of more . Human desire to accomplish more. Because animal, if we were just like them, we d only have motivation to survive, then none of this would be the case.. we don’t need technology to survive, contrary to popular opinion. We had been surviving before technology too. We don’t need cars to survive . al of these things we see around us , you know, you don’t need the extensive warderobe that you have inside your colset to survive, there are people who are surviving without that too. And when we, as a matter of fact, see in the world people that are at the level of survival ,because there are some people, right, they are just barely surviving, that’s what they are doing. We look at them and say :”man, that life is tough, they have got a difficult life, they are barely surviving” ,o r just living at that bare minimum sustenance level, that all they living at . “How can they live like that”. Because you `ve accustomed yourself to certain luxuries, you know, higher standards of life, what we call, (07:18)and there are in some part what people success is considered..And again, this is something not limited to Islam, this is sort of general thing. There is Survival and of course that what we all want, success. Now, what is that success mean? What that success means for masses of people , most people, not all, but most people. It means that they have certain hopes for themselves and they are hoping to accomplish them in a given deadline.” So by the time I am 3o I hope I ll own a house, by the time I am 40 I hope to have this much savings , I wanna have children, I wanna have this”.. You may have different list of wants that you have..” by the time I am 25 Id like to get married or even sooner, by the time this happens, this happens…. “ You have financial goals, educational goals, career goals, and even if you haven’t written those out and time lined them , something is in your head about “ yeah, I d love to live over there”. I d like to have that kind of car”. You know you guys are walking and car drives by and you don’t have to say it but by the fact that you waited until it disappeared from the street ,and your eyes just wouldn’t get off of it , you know, the car that you really like, that means that you have an aspiration to have that car. You are driving by nice neighborhood, you see house by the beach, you see lot of those in your town, and for few second you imagine yourself living there . it just happens. Why? Because these are part of human aspiration and most people have that. Most people have at least the aspiration to attain certain worldly things , to acquire them in life and they are working towards it. Like you guys are going to school so obviously you have aspiration to graduate on time, or early, you have aspiration to go continue your studies perhaps, you have aspiration to get internships to get your feet wet to get into the workforce etc. You have some worries about job market being tough nowadays, you have those things, you have those concerns. And you are working to meet every standard and landmark in milestone of success that there is . if you are Desi your life is particularly difficult, because no matter what you accomplish you ll be a failure in the eyes of your parents . (laughs) Sorry. You know, I think to myself , Salman Khan , not the actor, but the guy from Khan academy . is Salman Khan from Khan academy? (laughs)I imagined his parents telling him :”Why couldn’t you just get a real job?” totally Desi thing to say. So, anyhow, this is most people, then there are some people- this is level2 now-step above, there are people who say” Yeah, I wanna accomplish some things for myself, but actually, I wanna do something for my neighborhood, I`d like to do something for my community. I see a problem In my town or my vicinity, I see there is one area I am concerned about it , bothers me, and I wanna work towards it and I wanna help that cause, and that may be environmental cause , that may be you wanna put “stop”sign in that street, you think its dangerous, to become activist for that, or you wanna improve the school district.. people are activist, you noticed that,. People come..you may not go to to town hearings , or attend board meetings at the district or municipality but there are people who do that, who go there, and participate. “ we wanna neighborhood washed , we want this, we want the other. For our communities and they are keeping an eye on the city, and children safety ,and all this sort of stuff, people become activist for a cause . Now, to them, success is not limited to themselves, they see success as some sort of improvement in the society even in a limited framework, but it is more than themselves,they live for something more than themselves and they find satisfaction in that. And by the way, accomplishing those things doesn’t make them any richer.it doesn’t make them any higher status socially speaking, but there is a sense of fulfillment in doing some things for others. And this is not most people,by the way, this is minority of people see themselves as wanting to participate and doing something beyond themselves , they are not just consumers for themselves, they want to be contributors to society. And then there is this probably the most ,minute group of people . this is the third grop of people, so I am dividing people into three groups in this talk, in the beginning.
So I was talking about three groups o people: people who aspire to do something for themselves, people who aspire to do something for community,and there is the third and probably the smallest minority of people, people who belive in an idea,people who believe that spreading of an idea would make the word better. People who belive that idea is so powerful that if people are inspired by that idea, it would manifest itself in ways they themselves cant even imagine. There are people who believe in that power of an idea like justice. If people become beliver in , for example, concept of justice , that if they do become believers , they would become activists in their own way, I don’t have to dictate how they would become activist, it ll manifest itself in its own way ,this idea is powerful enough to make a world better place,one step at a time. I MAY NOT SEE ANY CHANGE in the world as a result of the spreading of this idea, but doesn’t matter. Its like putting the seed in the ground , and you are watering it. You don’t see anything. For a while, but you know something is happening under the ground , and when the tree does come out ,i it will be far more powerful than twig or blade of grass, it will be a tree, something substantial. And substantial trees take a while to develop roots before they come out and really become strong so they understand that they will live by this idea even if they don’t see its manifestation, they understand this journey is long. And they understand that the gage of the success is not what they see with their eyes. Its not gonna be what they see with their eyes. This is the smallest minority of people and I ll give you the case study of these people.These are Prophets of Allah (a.w.s.w.s.). they were inspired with the Idea, with the knowledge that God is One, La Ilaha illallah, and that that Iman is supposed to lead people to hold themselves to a higher ethical character and they were ready to deliver this message to as many people as possible in their lifetime,and even if they don’t see any change,. If you are ,for example t ask..you know in sales, they have sales report,I was in CEO organization, I know what sales reports are like, or progress reports, matrix and marketing and things like that,. So you have three months marker six month marker, a year marker, “how are we moving? “There is a charter of growth. If you were to have sales report for Nuh a.s. , year after year. How many people became Muslims? Nine hundred and fifty years he was working at these people ,how many are they made Muslim. It’s a flat line . There is a little bump over there, then it goes flat line again for another hundred years . It’s really bad sales report. There is no progress at all. If you look at the Prophet`s own life, s.a.w.s.Muhammeden Resoolalllah ,s.a.w.s. and you look at the first ten years, (15:26)twelve years of his work, in Mecca ,you can possibly argue as from a visible standpoint ,there was what? Hundred people? People you can count easily. And what progress has been made? Things have gotten worse and worse for Muslims as the years go by . but you know what it is, these Prophets were inspired and committed to idea of spreading something they know will bring good , even if it is a seed buried into the ground and they are ready to give themselves for that idea . And they know that all other…and what are the two other aspects of success I was talking about ? It was for yourselves,right, and it was for your community. They understood that if you instill this idea, that people will have right definition of what it means to success for themselves, and they would have right definition of what it means to have success for your community and it is the right idea that would shape all other areas of success ,and people would really become successful then, and they would really understand how to see the world properly . It is beautiful thing, this mission of the prophets, it is such a difficult thing though. It is so difficult. Because the idea they came with is not simple philosophy .it is not just set of ideas you can accept and say “ I accept these ideas, they make sense to me, and that’s it, that’s end of it. It is not like that. These ideas are, and I don’t like to use the word radical ,but they are they demand huge transformation on behalf of person, not just in how they think, but in how they rather plan their life, how they are going to live their life the idea here is the ultimate success , the ultimate success for you is to make your Creator , your Master, the One Who loves you more than anyone else can love you, the One Who cares for you more than anyone else could care for you, to make Him happy with you is the ultimate success ,AND EVERY OTHER SUCCESS YOU VIE FOR IN THIS WORLD BETTER SUBMIT TO THAT IDEA,so your career goals should submit to that idea. “Would my Mater be happy with this, would He be happy with this want this for me ,and even if I want some things for myself ,and I am not a person who does not want something for myself , and you are not person who does not want something for yourselves, we all want some things for ourselves. I want things for myself, I want things for my children , I want things for my parents, I want those things for them, but whatever I want for them ,it’s like I go back and say well“ If want this for them, how can I make sure that they understand that this thing I want, . Like I want to buy my child a toy , or I wanna buy my parents a house , or something like that. How can I make sure that they never see that the house itself is a success, that’s not success, the house is just a means by which they can live comfortably so that they can serve Allah well. Because none of the things we have here are the reason for which we are here, there are just a means to a larger end, and larger end is pleasure of Allah. This is a very powerful concept, I know it sounds:”,yeah easy I want to please Allah” that’s it, oh no no no,its quite transformational, that actually means that if you are going to become , and some of you are going to Med school , so you guys aren’t just gonna become physicians, you should be CEOs of hospital s, why not..you should be running things, you should have like networks of clinics that you are in charge of, , you gonna get there, and when you get there, you won’t say “I accomplished a lot,no, but I accomplished this so I can do something for Allah, I accomplished this, this is not a success ,this is just what I wanted enable, to give myself more capability so that I can put it to work for Allah, I didn’t become this way for my own sake. There are people,as a interesting example, and this is something that Muslim world is facing, and suffering from, and we are not alone in this but I d like to beat up on ourselves first . we have extreme problem of selfishness and selfabsorbsion . I am Pakistani from descent, I know something about Pakistani society like ,just to give you an example : if somebody is like upcoming ,if somebody is becoming successful, then people around him want nothing more than for his success to disappear , they can’t wait for him to be torn down , that’s the thing, it’s just a cultural thing. In successful societies they take failures and they keep encouraging them till they become successes ,and what some do in Muslim societies is they take successes and they keep tearing them down until they become failures , they cant see other people coming up,why,because there is one thing, if I can’t have it, why can he, everybody is out for themselves, politicians in the muslim world , business people in Muslim world cheating the money of people, corruption and rampant levels and all because of what, because if there is some good coming , it better come, which way?,my way. And if it comes my way, it’s not because I would do something else with it, it’s for myself,I will amass so much wealth stealing from the taxes, stealing from the money of the poor, and I would make so many mansions, I would buy entire islands, I would do that, not because, even if I spend ten minutes in every room I my own, I wouldn’t be able see all the rooms that I own, all the properties that I own, but that does not matter, I just here for me, and compare that sentiment of some others who care about their nations. Im really inspired by this story, under Mongol rule, India was ruled by Mongols, and one of the Mongol rulers, his son got extremely ill. And this is Muslim ruler that lived in abundant wealth and he is trying to get physicians to help out his son ad he can’t find anyone, can’t find anybody, so he actually calls for a physicians from England . Physician is imported from England , chubby guy, treats his son, after couple of weeks his son is improving , so the ruler is so happy with the physician he says , physician is kind of chunky guy :“Weigh him and give him his weight in gold” that was how hes gonna pay the physician and the physician turns on..and says : I don’t want that gold..”How about this, how about you open the ports of your nations , sea ports, for trade with my country, if you could do that for me, I am happy, “ so this, which Muslim would do that..” Let me help my people” instead “making some money for myself”. You see, this is the difference. Somebody is thinking about somebody higher than themselves, and that physician was a patriot, he loves his nation, he wants his nation to prosper and engage in more trade and that’s his agenda. But for us, our agenda is serving Allah. It s even higher than allegiance to people and through serving Allah we just want what is good for people. What does Islam really wants? And how are we gonna give Islam this powerful idea to the world . that’s what I want to share with you today. If we can instill this idea if only you can own this idea, I am confident that you are gonna be successful people inshaallah we taalla. So here what it is , the Messenger of Allah,s.a.w.s., received revelation at what age?40,at the age of forty. Before that age was he involved in his community? Yes, he was helping the needy wherever he could he was helping the oppressed wherever he could, he was resolving some of the biggest conflicts that were happening in Mecca because people saw him as honest ,neutral party that he will judge matters in fair way so people came to him when they had dispute . so he was considered the model citizen of his society for forty years. And if there is one thing that Prophet s.a.w.s. had before he even being titled the Messenger, he had this incredible reputation based on his character alone, not in his speeches, not based on talks and lectures ,because he wasn’t doing those, he was actually considered to be very shy person, but based on his work ethic, based on his concerns for other people, based on his mercy to others, courtesy to others, and btw , is he surrounded by society where these sentiments were common? No, so he is surrounded by very corrupt society and he himself is , you can think, one of very few, if not only nice guy. He is that in his society. People like that still around him think these people like him are naïve. “Why don’t you be like everybody else, why are you so naïve. You think world is good place. People that do good, they don’t accomplish anything” people tell them. And that’s our messenger for how many? Forty years. And after forty years Allah decides to make him a Messenger . When Allah made him a Messenger something interesting, Allah in an ayah of the Qur`an Allah swears that by the fact that Prophet s.a.w.s. is committed. “ committed to incredible character”. You know what are we learning, the validity of the message of Islam was routed, base of it was the character of the Prophet s.a.w.s.,his credibility, his character, his ethical standards, that were already there even before he became Messenger and Allah quotes the first forty years in one of his earliest revelations (25:07 minute), so is not talking about last years , he was talking about entire life and he is saying “ Look how amazing your character is” and with that credibility he is calling to an idea, he is calling to something powerful, he is calling to “La Ilaha illallah” . I argue today for Muslims, we talk about dawa all the time, we wanna make dawa, but we don’t talk about credibility. we don’t talk about right ethical standards, on which we are supposed to stand without opening our mouth, so even before people say anything what we Muslim believe , which directions we are praying, what are their dietary restrictions, what’s with their dress code, before asking any of those questions, anybody who knows Muslim first thing he should be saying is “sadiq el-emin” those are titles for Prophet s.a.w.s. not after he became the Messenger, “truthful and honest”, those are titles not after he became Messenger, but before he became Messenger. Those two titles mean that he has credibility when he presents message of Islam. You guys, the young, are responsible to present message of Islam to the world but you are not going to be able to do so until we are standing on the footing of what , credibility, of truthfulness and honesty. When you hold yourself to higher standards. The world is corrupt, the industries you are going to join have corruption, the medical industry has corruption, the engineering industry has corruption, the corporal environment has corruption. There are deals that are made , you know if you are in the tech industry , there are people that are contractors and they get $ 500 an hour contracts and they know they can be doing this contract for the third of the price and tenth of the time, but since there is big corporation signing off on the contract they inflate the hours and you are in that company , you just got your masters , you its gonna be paid with that money , now this is legal but it is not ethical, and because you are Muslim you can’t just sit by and look that happening , you can’t do it. You are going to work in finance , you are going to work in insurance company and you are going to see the way loopholes are found to deny people their claims. You are going to see that and you won’t stand by it , you will not, you will fight against it. In your industry, why? Because you are Muslim, you have to hold yourself to higher ethical standards , yourself and others. This is where people will see what Islam is. The talks , the lectures, the videos, that wil just be back and forth, back and forth ,the one thing nobody can deny , one thing that nobody could discredit from our Prophet s.a.w.s. is his ethics, his character, and one thing I can argue safely that the Ummah, the Muslims are almost entirely missing is ethical foundation. Character foundation. We don’t have ethical behavior in our MSA meetings, we don’t have in our mesjid working(…)(28:25) ,we don’t have it in our households, we don’t even have ethical interactions when we are dealing with marriage proposals. we don’t even have ethical interactions in marriage proposals. Boy`s family would lie about the boy and how he is good, and they know he has drinking problems, and they still lie about it, its highly unethical , and because they think marrying the right girl would fix all his problems, no. you are just going to ruin her life. That’s what you are going to do. That’s what is happening. This is the reality of Muslims; we are in a sad state when it comes to this. And when I say we are going on a campaign to instill success into the Muslim youth. I want all of you to be successful. To have success, to build this tree, you ve got to plant that seed ,and that seed, and before we become people of La Ilaha illallah we have to become decent human beings. Common human decency , it needs to be revived , courtesy needs to be revived . it is at the heart of Islam, what Allah azza wa jal tells us in the Qur`an about the Islamic laws, I have said this in multiple talks now, but I think it’s an idea worth of spreading , it’s important for you all to understand. When somebody sees, st. Barbara probably does not have big Muslim population, you see unusual number let’s just say exotic people today on campus , so when somebody else sees one of you and says, “(29:46 Muslim or something” when they see that , what do they see, what is it about you that makes them think you are Muslim. Dress perhaps? Maybe your prayer, your salaam? They see these obvious things, clothing, maybe you work with somebody so dietary restriction, and prayer breaks, so this is a Muslim. These are obvious indication that somebody is Muslim, but the interesting thing is the prayer, as we pray five times a day , was revealed few years later, alcohol prohibition was revealed10, 12,13 years later when Prophet moved to Medina, and final prohibition (31:12)15,16 years . Hijjab, fifteen years after prophet became Messenger was revealed, clothing guidelines –fifteen, sixteen years later, dietary restrictions at least a decade after Islam started being revealed. What I am trying to say things we see obvious markers of Muslims, like obvious indication that somebody is Muslim, they were not there for almost a decade or more, and among the Companions, these are the strongest Muslims, right, but immediately, from the very beginning of that message the Muslim in Mecca are totally different from non-Muslims in Mecca , not because of how they dress, not because of their food restriction, not because they don’t drink alcohol, not because any of these things that make us different today, not because of that reason. So, one has to ask themselves the greatest companions of the Prophet ,r.a., best of the best, why, how were they different from the rest of Mecca. o, once this idea came inside of them,what is that idea? La Ilaha illallah, what is that idea muhammeden resulullah. It changed something about how they see success , it changed something about what they wanna do in life , what they love and what they hate. What they wanna accomplish, what they wanna live for,what they wanna die for, what they will stand by,(32:36) , what they will not tolerate. It made them different people they saw the world differently and f you d spend just two minutes with them you would say this person looks at the world differently than I do. Their worldview is entirely different, their definition of success and failure are entirely different, they are working toward something much different from what I am working towards to. I was hanging out with a Muslim teenager yesterday, at the breakfast table, just me and him talking, and I said to him “Hey, why are you alive” I know it a awkward question, but I like those. Why are you alive? He goes “What?” of course he said What. But “Why do you exist? What’s your purpose, what’s the purpose of why you exist”..”I don’t know, like, live”. That was what he said. “what do you want to accomplish in your life? Be number one at Call of duty, that was his life purpose.” I want to be able to do hundred push-ups in a row “. Cool. Pretty awesome goal, but you know what, that’s not just one teenager, there are people that are in their 50s and their greatest goal to see before them is to get promotion, the greatest goal before them is an estate, that’s all they see. Nothing more. Why are you alive, just to live, party, eat , sleep, poop, and die. hats it, that’s all you are here for. But these Muslim, these guys at Mecca,, I don’t know, they lived for some idea, and t hey wanted people to aspire to higher things. And they don’t just want to live for themselves, they want to hold themselves to a higher standard, they are not like us anymore. ”they have become weird”. What happened today is Islam defined by the visible markers of Islam, and the original definition of Islam was an ethical worldview, moral worldview and then the laws of Islam, the hijjab, halal and the haram,Sharia of Islam, beautify that worldview. Now what we are left is an emphasis on the laws with the de-emphasis on the foundation on which those laws are built, the ethical foundations, this is just gone or very little of it remains. And this is what your role is going to be .your role is going to be to hold yourself to a higher standard and therefore ask the world to hold themselves to higher standard. That’s what you are going to do. And the way every one of you will be warrior in his own way, activist in your own cause, in your own fields, that’s how its gonna happen. At the end of all this I just want to share with you how Allah lets us remain to be successful, how He keeps us. Because sometimes you can lose focus, right. Sometimes for example, you guy join the MSA ,in the beginning you have this lofty goals of what you are going to, in about a year and you don’t know anymore what you are doing here, it’s just mechanical. When you first started praying, it was spiritual experience, now it’s just become cardio-vascular exercise you do something for a while, and you don’t even know why are you doing it anymore, you lose sense of purpose, and when you lose sense of purpose, you need something like a convention, you need something like get together and say ”Lets remind ourselves of doing this, you need to pick me up”and that “pick me up” originally is actually the Salat . Salat forces the believer to stand in front of Allah and remind himself that one day his success or failure is going to be judged : “Guide us to the straight path” guide us because that day is coming when I don’t want to be “Magdub ‘alejhim” I don’t want to be” ed-dallun ” . I know You are “Maliki yawmi’d-din”, I know I am heading that way, I want to path, I want to journey , I realized that and then you recite the , portion of the Qur`an that suppose to give you purpose . That is what it supposes to do, that is what prayer is supposed to do. I personally see in Islam, I don’t think it is oversimplification, is the revival of prayer. A real revival of prayer, in your personal life, and really engaging with the Quran as you should, you are guaranteed a success. Prayer itself doesn’t guarantee success, but real prayer, real prayer, o, man, you are guaranteed success. (37:09)He didn’t say in Qur`an “True believers have already attained success, ,” no, He say” True believers that have already attained success are those who when it comes to their prayer, are incredibly humbled, overwhelmed, overpowered by the Message that they themselves are reciting , what they are saying from Allah`s words overwhelms them. They are standing in front of Allah talking to Him, reciting His words, and it moves them, makes them think, inspires them, and that’s is what you have to do for your personal self. Your salat is good, everything will be good. Your salat is not good, it will show in everything else. Fix you salat. Nobody else can fix it for you. You have to fix it for yourself. That is the seed of success. And btw the rest of the ayat, the rest of the passage, I won’t explain the passage to you, I am wrapping up, I want to show you what it does. I am arguing that salat, because it connects you to the Qur`an, gives you higher purpose. That’s what I am arguing .What does Allah say right after that :“ Stay away from useless activities”. Why would someone stay away from useless activities , because they found themselves sense of purpose. You have exam tomorrow, you have purpose, you have project to finish, are you just going to sit around, no, you are going to be working . your friend will “hey, you wanna go get some pizza,””No, I have got an exam””You wanna go play some ball””NO;I have project to finish”. You won’t because you have got purpose in front of you. Salat gives you purpose which leaves you not to be able wasting your time. O why am I talking to youth about wasting time, they don’t waste time.”Efficiancy.com. you are example of efficiency. He says if the prayer is fixed, what is the first thing that is going to happen, “you will find yourself not wasting your time anymore”. “then they are constantly working on cleansing themselves”. When you stop wasting your time you realize what you are doing, something you are doing are not good so you have to refine your behavior, and so start working on refining your schedule, refining your activities and become more and more productive.(39:22)”and they guard their privates “which actually means they guard their shame, because when you work for Islam and have sense of purpose, there is one thing you cannot un- distract yourself from and that is temptation. That is attraction to the opposite gender. It’s impossible for you to undo that. So Allah says “they take extra precaution to be decent and moral, mindful and protective of their own dignity when they engage in the work “.MSA student, when you engage in MSA work, mind yourself, don’t be too chummy-chummy with the brothers, don’t be too friendly with them, don’t do that. You have a higher purpose. You are distracting yourself. That is not right. She is somebody`s future wife “What about me “well, how many you are going to say that about? Every ten minutes, that one could work. You also, stop making small talks. Have a sense of purpose. Islam doesn’t let you to become like this. It doesn’t let you to have frivolous interactions. Not because in themselves they are evil, and lead to evil, that’s true, but because you have something much more important to do. You haven’t got time for that. You know, there are school (40:55)where boys and girls are , in America, where there is no dating, not Muslim`, there is no dating, you know why, because academic standard is so high and they keep them so busy that they don’t even have time. They are so stressed with their studies. They don’t have time for that stuff. They don’t take off for valentine’s day. They do not do that stuff. The fact that you are engaged in something like that, or you spend little too much time looking at pictures on facebook, or becoming somebody`s friend, commenting this or that, you know what that means, you haven’t just found purpose yet, that’s what it means. Forget halal and haram, I am not here to talk to you about that, I am here to talk to you about, that you are on a mission, you are forgetting you are on a mission,(41:40) “these are the people that, when it comes to …they are entrusted with something , promises they make, they watch over them. They are ethical people in their dealings. What did this whole transformation “they don’t waste their time, they are not frivolous with opposite gender, they keep their promises and they mind their trust when entrusted with something, they really hold on to that, where did this all begin, what was the thing that started this off, what refreshes them to constantly stay on point, its salat. (42:17) “those are the people that, when it comes to their prayers, they guard them, because prayers leads to everything else in success, so they go out of their way to make sure that I can compromise this meeting, I can compromise that game, I can compromise anything but I can’t compromise my prayer, because I know what it means for my success. “These are the people that inherit paradise, the highest level of paradise, these are the successful people. There are thousands of dollars paid to seminars that are about success, “Self help seminars”, ”Success seminars”, ”Entrepreneurs seminars” , where somebody says “I made million dollars in two months, let me tell you how you can do it if you pay me $3000 and come attend my “Success seminar” where they will tell you there is “I have been selling success seminar “ and that is my success. But, anyway, people go there, pay lots of money to listen how they have become successful and at the end of the day you know what he is saying “I need you to get up in the morning, I want you to pay attention, and I want you to focus, not waste your time, stay on point, he will just tell you this that you mind your time, don’t waste your time, stay on target, everything you has to have purpose, etc. Allah has already told us that and you don’t need seminar, you just need salat to remind you, to refresh you, but if salat is real. If your salat is a joke then (43:54), none of this begins, this process doesn’t even begin. These are successful people, you Inshallah ta’ala will be successful people if you make prayer a priority, if with that mindset you read these ayats of Surat Al-Mu’minūn because these ayats of Surat Al-Mu’minūn are really blueprint for success . as I leave you, I will leave you with a rant again, this one is a silly rant, but that’s ok, its MSA, you guy can take it. So I have been involved with MSA for many,many years ,and MSA conference whether in Midwest , whether in US, east coast of US or west coast, doesn’t even matter, there is one common thing, so they make this elaborate programs ,for the speakers, they make this funky titles for the talks, like “Blueprint from the Divine “, they have these titles like that. Do you talk like that to each other (laughter).like”hey bro, how’s the blueprint from Divine”. “I don’t know, it was pretty good” and they write like eight paragraph description of the talk and they then sent that to the speakers, different speakers. This is the talk you are giving, it is called “Blueprint from the Divine”. And if the speaker was to come up and just read the description, their time would be over, they write entire speech for them. What’s funny is that for the last 20 years I don’t know a single speaker who actually reads that stuff. We just come and do whatever we want. It’s been like that. So my thing is, its humble suggestion, you don’t have to take. You can continue to write “Blueprint from the Divine”, or, I can’t even remember some of those titles, but they were really good, sometimes write them down to say to my kids, to see what the will say. “What does that means?” “I don’t know. Is that English?” that’s what they say but you can keep things going the way they are, it’s totally fine, because speaker will continue to come and do their own thing , that’s totally fine, or you can actually start to put normal titles like “How do we become successful “or “Islam stuff with bother Nouman” , you know keep it simple (laughter). Something about marriage or something, its ok , just use title that people actually use in life instead of these elaborate overly descriptive literary masterpieces that you write . you don’t have to analyze them in literature class. So you don’t have to do that Inshaallah. I am not dissing the efforts of person who wrote the description, hey, dont feel bad , it’s been going on for 2o years it is not going to stop any time soon . by the time you have board meeting to address this issue , you will graduate, and the next will come and do all over again, but it’s ok, inshaalah. I hope you guy were able to take in some ideas that I tried to present today, Inshallah ta’ala, but as just summing it up , you guys, there is huge expectation from you. Let me tell you something, American Muslim youth specifically American Muslim youth, recently I have started traveling internationally. One of my first targets was UK and I saw maybe in one trip ,In five day I saw maybe five thousand Muslims in UK, I spoke in London, I spoke in Birmingham, I went to even (47:50)in Scotland , that was pretty awesome, but anyway, I met lots of Muslims, let me tell you something, we are in a unique position in US, the entrepreneurial opportunities, the educational opportunities , nima, blessings that Allah has given you and opportunities Allah has given you are unparalleled anywhere in the world. And as a matter of fact, eyes of Muslim youth are on you, all over the world, what will you accomplish, you are not just living for yourselves. I know we are living in ultimate consumer society , we are living in Amazon.com, Wallmart society, that’s where we are living. But you know what, you have to internalize that you are living for more than yourselves. That Allah has given you more than so many other who are much more intelligent than you, much more talented than you but Allah did not give them opportunities He gave you because He expects great things from you. Not just for your own career. But for His deen. For the world. You are going to be the entrepreneurs, you know. You are going to bring reform to so many things, you are going to make world better in so many ways. And all of that inspired by the prayer you do every day, that’s what you are going to do and you really have to ask yourselves how are you going to accomplish that, what are you going to give the world. What Allah is going to do through you , every one of you has to have that introspection. You are not the kind of people that go to guidance counselors in your junior years , in college and say ”I don’t know what to graduate, I am not sure”. Not you, you have purpose. You have had purpose since 8th grade . you are driven, that is what you are. Because you are the people of La Ilaha illallah may Allah Azza wa jal make you exceed the expectation that I and so many have of you ,may Allah make you the pride of Islam and through you show the world what Islam really looks like and how it can beautify this world.