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Lessons From A Bird

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Nouman Ali Khan

Channel: Nouman Ali Khan

Episode Notes

Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan shares with us some reflections from two places in the Quran. One of them is Surah An-Naml, the 27th Surah of the Quran and the other is Surah Al-Qasas, the 28th Surah of the Quran. 

There are different kinds of proofs and different kinds of manifestations of Taqwa. Taqwa means recognition of Allah’s presence, which means it changes our behavior.  Taqwa is also manifest on our conscience and consciousness of Allah is also manifest in how we interact with each other. How humble, how respectful, how courteous we are towards each other is also a sign of what kind of Taqwa we have of Allah SWT.

We learn from the Ayat of Sulayman AS and the stories that are mentioned in the Quran. They are about the bird that was called Hud Hud. Who asked for the bird? When did he ask for it? What position is he in and why would he have to worry about a bird?  What transpired in this story? What lesson can be imbibed from this?

Sulayman AS is the leader of an army. So he does show anger as recorded in Surah An Naml.

“I’m going to punish that bird, I’m going to come at it if it’s late. Where, why don’t I see it?”

What is he doing that for?

Now the bird does show up late and he needs to hear an explanation. “ What were you doing?”.

The bird shows up, and it says, “I have come across knowledge that you don’t have”. 

But Sulaiman AS is a prophet. What’s his reaction going to be? What’s he going to say?

Listen to the mesmerizing lecture that makes us ponder over the story.

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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were in Nakula desert invada Hakuna Matata Hakuna Matata

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yopu subhana wa tada fakie Tabitha curry, bandana Buddha rubella humiliation, a condo regime. What a sacado sakala Mallya Otto Hood Hood, I'm kinda mean a lot even rubbish actually. Sorry, we are silly. Emily Wagner orchidectomy lissoni of Coco de la masa Bittner in del monte de la ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Medina, Amina Xena, Abu Saleh, whatever So Bill Huck, whatever so the southern minneola behind me in shadow tala. Today I want to share with you some reflections from two places in the Quran. One of them is similar to number, the 27th sort of the Quran and the other social causes the 28th Ceylon Quran and Allah azza wa jal organizes lessons in his book in very unique

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ways. And there are lots of parallels between these two beautiful sutras they talk extensively, for example, both of them about Musa alayhis salam, and one fills in details that the other doesn't have. But what I wanted to highlight today is something relevant to our appreciation of the month of Ramadan, and how we take from this book that we're supposed to be so attached to in this month. A lot of times when we think of the concept of taqwa because the fasting of this month was given to us Landa contacta. Cool, so that you can be grateful. And the first cognisance that we're supposed to have this month is that we're supposed to get closer and closer to the Quran for nakara, who after

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we read it more nakaba we try to memorize it as much as we can. We try to listen to its recitation, of course, we spend longer times in prayer, listening to the recitation of the Quran every night also, more people show up to for Joel Salatin this month than they usually do in the entire year. So it is a time that we try to get closer and closer and closer to the Quran. And as a result become more and more cautious and aware of Allah. And that's what taqwa is. But there are different kinds of proofs and different kinds of manifestations of taqwa. taqwa means you're in recognition of a lost presence, which means that changes your behavior, to make it very straightforward and simple.

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If you are working, and you're used to working with your boss is never in the office, he's always gone somewhere flying somewhere else, and you're kind of doing your own thing. After one month, when your boss shows up. And he sits right next to you, the way you're going to behave is going to be different. You're going to be aware of this person who you have to report to. And he's sitting there. So the next time you're about to just kind of take your email casually, you're gonna stop yourself and say, No, he's still sitting there, when he goes for a coffee break, maybe then I'll go check my email, you're going to be cautious. It's going to change your behavior. It's going to

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change the way you make jokes. It's going to change the way you casually speak because you are in the presence of a higher authority. Children do that with their parents, sometimes, students do that with a Teacher Teacher walks in and they behave differently. You guys have all some experience with dakhla when you're driving a little bit over the speed limit and you see a police officer on the side and everybody just kind

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recognizes the authority and slows down. That's really you're trying to protect yourself from getting in trouble. we acquire the original. The origin of the word taqwa is to try his protection. It is to protect yourself. So you're trying to watch out because you know a higher power is there. That's what dakhla is. And usually when we think of taqwa, we think of our attitude towards Allah azza wa jal, and matters of halal and haram. But what I wanted to highlight today is an aspect of taqwa that has to do with our dealings with each other.

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The acquire is also manifest our cautious consciousness of allies also manifest in how we interact with each other. how humble how respectful. How courteous we are towards each other is also a sign of what kind of taqwa we have of Allah as origin. You know, the ayah, in which Allah azza wa jal told us that he created all of us from one man and one woman. Yeah, you handed us a photo of Baku, under the hood of akumina sinuata. ohana kamin has began with taqwa the idea of pseudo Nyssa begins with taqwa. And immediately Danny talks about how we come from one origin we're supposed to be, you know, treated equally even, even in the eye in which in NA chroma COVID en de la jolla taco, and so

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forth. The most noble among you are the ones that have more taqwa is the iron which we're supposed to all treat each other equally. And the idea is if people have Taqwa, they will treat each other with respect. And people don't have Taqwa, they will not treat each other with respect. The I I read to you from Susan lemon in the beginning, very strange part of the Quran. It is the story of Solomon alayhis salam. And so the man was given many gifts, and expansive kingdom, perhaps even pretty much the entire known world, the entire civil civilized world was under the radar at one point of Solomon under his expansive power you're talking about, you know, we talk now without nowadays in the media,

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we talk about how the President of the United States may be the most powerful man in the world that compares nothing to the era of Solomon at a salon. And on top of that, Allah has given him extensive knowledge. Not only is he the, you know, from the lineage of prophets, meaning he's from the hood at a salon, but also on top of that, Allah gave him the ability to speak with animals and to control jinn. So he has massive armies in the world of human beings, obviously, but he has entire armies of birds, entire armies of horses entire heart, and he doesn't have to the horse don't have to have horsemen for him to control them, he can talk to the horses directly, he can command the birds

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directly. So you know, you can imagine he has an endless, endless, endless army. And in any military, there are assemblies, you have to, you know, the military gathers, they stand in front of the general, there's a parade of they stand, you know, in salutation in front of the general, and he kind of inspects the army. But you cannot imagine that one general can keep track of everyone. So a general has to have have commanders and lieutenants, and battalion leaders, and there's a hierarchy, there's a chain of command, right? So you could have, you could have a small battalion of five or six soldiers, and they have their commander over them, or they have their battalion leader over

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them, but and he knows about them, and he knows their personalities, and he knows their names. But the general doesn't know their names, the generals too big. And let's not even talk about the military, because that's one of the biggest organizations even today. Even in your company. If you work at your company, and you have 500 employees at your company, the CEO doesn't know your name. Unless you're like the Senior VP, or something, if you're like the guy at the door, or you just got one of 500 cubicles, he doesn't know your name. But you know what we learned in this ayah. So they might either his son in the position that he's in, is inspecting the armies, and one bird is

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missing. One bird is missing

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of all the armies. And he says but Allah says

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now if the odd in Arabic means to miss something, to miss something tougher code is to feel sharply to immediately get the sense and to make that when you miss something and it hurts you. This is tough, awkward. This is Seattle mobile Allah.

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And Allah says that he felt the pain of the bird missing one bird, and he it's not like he was doing a count. Okay, there's 50,000 birds is 49,999 ones missing. I'm pretty upset about that. Actually. He says Allah azza wa jal quotes in the ayah. For Takata Takata pain for color body, what is wrong with me Something must be wrong with me. And this is interesting. He didn't say something's wrong with the army. He said something must be wrong with me. He's in that position where the first thing a person in authority does is blamed the following. But he says maybe I'm counting wrong. Maybe I didn't get it right. So he begins with money. That's the most incredible example of humility, that

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he's in this position and he's saying something must be wrong with me now.

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I don't see

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Under the Hood Hood, that's the name of the bird. And there's an L on it, which means he knows this bird personally. He knows every one of them personally. And he said, I don't see that one. And I miss it. So hard Allah, the leadership of this man, if you're running a business, and you have five employees, and you can't remember their names, and you know, you don't care how they're doing, or whatever, there's a problem. You and I have a problem, then, if you're the manager, and you don't care, when you walk into a building, and there's a security guard, you don't even make eye contact. So what if he's not Muslim? So what if he's not? Wasn't? You don't even make eye contact? Hey, how's

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it going? How's your day? How are you doing? Just dignify the person. When you're going to the you know, you're at the drive thru in a restaurant or something, or you're pulling up in the cashier? How do we treat these people? We don't even look make eye contact with them. Like they're just, they're basically machines to us. They're just service. They're not people, the people at a cash register, the person at the counter at the, you know, at the bank or at the post office? How do we treat these people? You know? And then how do we treat people that are massage the people that are standing next to you. And this is more even about the art and the hottie? bundala? Because people

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come and ask questions. People want to come and say Salaam afterwards. How do we treat those people? How did Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam treat those people? I mean, it's serious, it's serious. And then when you are in a position of authority, and some some of us even if you're not the boss, and you're not the CEO of 50 employees, you're at least in charge in your home, right? You're at least the oldest brother, You're the eldest sister, you're the father, you have a family under you, you have people you're responsible for. And this, even if this is even true of people that are serving the massage, people that are in the boards of massages, they're the servants of the people, they

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chose to be in this position out of the qualla, they decided they're going to spend time the time they could have been using for their families. And time they could have been using the making money, they decide they're going to go attend really boring, long machine meetings, they're going to sit there and try to work on the construction project or this or that or the other. But if they have taken that position, they understand that they are now more answerable to Allah, they have almost every single person that they know, or they don't know, that walks through the doors of that machine. They're in service to them. That's an attitude change. This is what we're learning from the

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ATO. So they might either hit on these stories that are mentioned in the Quran. They're not just for our entertainment. They're not just interesting history, or there was a bird It was called hood, who asked for the bird? When did he ask for it? And what position is he in? And why would he have to worry about a bird?

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Why would he have who's gonna ask him about that? Why would he even have to care. But this is humility at its best. This is humility at its best, and it gets even better. The word showed up late when an employee shows up late.

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It's not a matter of arrogance. If the employee shows up late, you're supposed to be angry. You're supposed to be upset, you're supposed to take disciplinary action. Why? Because if you're okay with one being late and the second one being late and the third being late, you can't have an organization anymore. And the strongest kind of organization in the world as the military. There is no tougher organization. Right? So you have to have serious ramifications for messing up the discipline of a military. Why is the discipline of a military so tough? It's so tough because when they go into the battlefield, and the commander says go and you're two seconds late, it might cost

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people their life. Other soldiers might die you might lose the entire war because of one soldier. Discipline is everything to an army. soleimani other his Salaam is the leader of an army. So he does show anger. Oh,

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Sharma I'm gonna punish that bird. I'm going to come out if it's late. Wait, why don't I see it? What is he doing that for? Not because of arrogance, because he wants to make sure nobody else thinks about being late. And you guys have responsibility. Now the bird does show up late.

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And he needs to hear an explanation.

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What were you doing? And one of the words I won't give you the entire dialogue but I want to just highlight some things from this incredible dialogue. The bird shows up Subhanallah and it says I hope to be Muslim to be I have come across knowledge that you don't have

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the bird says to set a man on a Salaam I know something you don't know. Actually, you're before you get mad at me. Let me tell you, you don't even know what's going on.

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And talk about this bird is going to be delicious lunch. You know, like there's no this This bird is talking back it's chirping back. And so they might have a slide and saying Hold on a second before you get mad. I got something you don't even know.

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Now you tell me the general of an army that has human soldiers that has

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Animal soldiers that has gene soldiers that gather all of that intelligence and report back to him. And one bird is late and this bird is speaking to him in front of who? Everybody. Everybody the bird is speaking back to him and says, I know something you don't

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know. I'm gonna tell you,

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Sinhala. So how can you know? Does your employee talk back to you like that? What do you do? Your child talks back to you, Dad, I know something you don't know.

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Let me tell you some You don't even know what's going on? Oh, really? I don't know what's going on. Here. Let me let me teach you a lesson. First. Let me tell you what's going on first, and then we'll talk later. Who's gonna talk to an authority like that? Who's going to talk to a judge like that?

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Before judge judges the case, the the guy standing on trial says, Hey, by the way, you don't know everything. Let me tell you what's going on. The judge is gonna throw you up against the throw you in jail for disrespecting the position, you know? And so the man Alayhi Salam isn't just a king isn't just a halifa. He's a prophet. So you're apparently disrespecting a prophet? What's his reaction going to be? What's he going to say? He said, let's see. Let's see what you have to say. Maybe you're telling the truth. Maybe you're not? I don't know. But I'm not going to punish you yet. Let me find out. And it turns out it was telling the truth. So we see no more angry language towards

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the bird is gone. The anger was Why are you late? It's a legitimate anger. He's supposed to have that anger because he's a disciplinary. But when the bird talks back, he says, let's just see, let's verify your story. Because you know, somebody who comes late may have a lame excuse. So, you know, in Islam, we give benefit of the doubt, right? We give benefit of the doubt, but not when you're an authority. When you're an authority, you're supposed to verify that's part of the, the organizational principles of, you know, see, that's what you have to have excuses with, you know, when when children miss school, or come late, they have to have a slip, they have to have, you know,

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some doctor's note or something. Even in a disarming school, the kid can say, hey, teacher, this is Sonic school, because no one, you know, I don't have a doctor's note. No, no, no, no, no, no, it doesn't work like that. Our personal dealings or something else, organizational principles or something else. We're learning both of them from Solomon, I think he's set up. That's on the one hand, that's on the one hand, and this is something very powerful. It's proof of taqwa, what your reaction is going to be when you hear things from people that are beneath you.

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There are that you don't think are at your level.

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And they say something to you. That is news to you. You didn't know and they said it in front of everybody makes it feel like they undermined your authority. How dare you speak to me this way.

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But we have to maintain our composure. So it's an incredible balance between you because you know, if you're, if you're just too humble, then you can't run an organization.

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But if you're too arrogant, then you can't run an organization, you're not going to have a following that loves you and follows you

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know, little sudwala some quick, quick example, even the entire football could have been about asuma himself from a lot more eyes when it comes to this issue.

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lm is talking to a leader of courage and a blind Sahabi shows up you know the story.

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And the blinds are happy shows up to him and he interrupts the Prophet, and he settles on interruption.

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Now he's blind, but he's not deaf.

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Which means he and by the way, blind people have extra sensitive hearing.

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So when he walked up to the lawsuit of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he very well knew there's a conversation going on. He knew that.

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We knew. And he knew that he's interrupting a conversation. So from the story, we already know that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is not at fault. It is the person who interrupts the conversation. They're at fault. They're being rude. I'm talking to somebody, somebody just jumps in in the middle and starts talking to them, and ignores me completely. It's rude. It's not acceptable. But Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam could have told us a hobby. Listen, I'm in a conversation, right? And you could have told him softly. I'm in a conversation right now. Just wait. Just give me a minute. I'll get to you in a second. And I'll give you all the time you need. Let me

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finish this one conversation though. Those who couldn't have done that for the lahardee but he refused to do that because he thought that might be too harsh. That might be too mean. I'm the Lebanon look to my dad really sad if I save even nicely to him. Just wait. He might think I'm not that important. The Prophet told me to wait. I can't believe I I must have made him you know, I must have offended him. All these feelings are gonna go on and his head. So he says I'm not even going to say anything. But he's frustrated because he's trying to talk to someone and he's getting keeps getting interrupted. So the the forehead bulged like this, like the bulges on the forehead, just a

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little bit of a bulge that's just called the others in Arabic habits. And his face turned a little like this. When you get frustrated, your face turns a little bit

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like not even a sound

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Just a foot round and a little turning of the face, and the IR came down. So what he found and he turned away, and da, da da da blind when the blind one came to him,

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Well, my Eureka Allah who is a coward, who do you have, he might want to cleanse himself. What is a love doing? Allah is teaching the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that he has to be, even though he's so humble and so courteous, he has to hold up to even a higher standard of humility. And if he has to hold up to that, where do you stand? He was also someone has a right to teach the Sahaba discipline, he has that right, but alleges of humility instead.

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And the other thing you have to wonder is this hobby is blind. So how will we know that the Prophet frowned? How will he know that the Prophet turned his face a little bit? He won't know. There's no way for this a hobby to feel that even he can't even see it. It's not like the Prophet made a sound. Well.

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You know, let me tell you why. He didn't say Oh, nothing, he just round. And even then Allah said, No, you need to be even more humble to the blind Sahabi and let him call it Java Who? He says your whole

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life for Allah subhanho wa Taala. Allah azza wa jal made him known. That person is important. He gets a number

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of the blind one can you know and by the way, the leader maybe nobody knows this blind guy, but the leader of course, everybody knows the famous person. Allah says, Mr. Minister, not even under this cabinet minister gonna. The other guy who thinks he doesn't need this message. He doesn't even dignify we're making him proper. He's like, it's indefinite, we say unknown.

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The whoever he was, who thinks he's a big deal on the law. This is a law is that what you're teaching humility even to the Rasul Allah Hema salatu salam, and this is in the most casual dealings This is such a small gesture, just showing frustration and turning your face. And what we're This is recorded in the Quran for a reason. I wanted to highlight the story of Solomon Salaam to you on the one hand, and on the other hand, the opposite I wanted to highlight to you because it's the same subject. It's been completed in the next era and social causes. At the end of physical causes. We read about qarun

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Kaoru, who was a very wealthy man at the time of bunny's law, he living under the rule of Pharaoh and he was basically a snitch. He used to snitch on the Israelites to the Egyptians, and the government used to pay him a lot of money. So all the Israelites are bankrupt. They're all slaves. And he's the only one that's got like, brand name horse. He's got a big old car. It's like he's the only one a rich guy in a poor neighborhood. The only rich guy and a lot of religion. Look at the other side. On the one hand, a bird is telling us all unabie selling unabie I know something you don't know. And on the other guy other hand, this guy who is completely ignorant of the deen and is

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arrogant. He says in de la Hootie hoo hoo, Allah nd I got all this wealth because of knowledge that I have. I'm a pretty good expert. I'm pretty smart. I'm pretty good at business. I have a pretty impressive resume. That's why I have my job. I'm pretty pretty lean, mean investor. That's why my business is so successful. That's why it was open to open up five shops and the six ones coming up. That's why I saved a million dollars in a year cuz I'm pretty smart. He said that. Now not that's offensive enough. That's offensive enough. But a lot of it takes it a step further. And I just wanted to highlight how he had on what Allah does that how he puts people in their place. And the

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punishment usually that Allah describes in the Quran. In the Quran, Allah usually does not describe punishments for individual people

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allow you in this dunya anyway, that's not the case. Usually Allah describes punishments for entire nations. entire nations are drowned. entire nations suffer an earthquake, entire nations get hurricanes and tornadoes. entire nations get fire raining on them from the sky. That's entire nations. But this guy's attitude was so bad. He was so bad. And Allah describes what made it so bad for him. Raja Allah told me he zenity he, he came out into his people, he came to hang out and drive his car through the neighborhood through the village. Back in the day, his horse decked out. Like I mean, if if you could put rims on his horse he would have is what he said what I'm saying, you know,

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he's blasting the stereo system when he's kind of slowing the car down, making sure everybody takes a good look, roll down the tents, you know, that's what he's doing. And the law says and he was definitely purposely doing that in a neighborhood where he knows everybody's poor.

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And I was so angry at him

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for herself now be he will be daddy.

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Allah bury him into the ground along with his house.

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Cuz his house was nice. His house was nice. He used to be really proud of his house. Right? Now we learned one thing he said, I know, I already know, Bro, I don't need to know, I already got all the knowledge I need to be successful. That was his attitude. That attitude was offensive to Allah. And second on top of that, when he the way he exposed himself in society, the way he dealt with people in society, he even if he didn't open his mouth, he made people feel like they don't have anything and he has everything.

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He liked to do showy things. He liked to be a show off. He liked to flaunt his money. You know, when he liked doing that a lot as I was I taught him a lesson in this world. He buried him into the ground. The same people the day before that said, Oh, if I only wish I had what

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if I was only given If only I was given what was given Man, I wish I had a house like that. That's nice. You ever do that drive by a nice house? And oh, wow, that is nice. And then even if you don't say it in your mind, it goes, I wish I had I was like that. That's, that's beautiful. Look at drive with Oh, my God, look at that finish. That's your backyard. Oh, that's crazy. That's a sick house man.

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And you just get overwhelmed by the beauty of the house. People used to say that about his place, about his ride about his money about his car, you can say nowadays, but the next day when people are driving by that house, you ever drive by a house that's been hit by a tornado, by a hurricane by an earthquake. And people look at that in their own neighborhood. So all the homes are intact, one home went down. tornado touched down on one house earthquake came to one house in the neighborhood. People are like, oh, we're so lucky. That didn't happen to us.

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Well, we got we got saved. Poof, that was a close one.

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Thank God, what happened to him didn't happen to us the same surah same surah. Same people. They're looking at that and say, Oh my God, thank God, I didn't live in that house. Thank God, I didn't go over to his house that day. Look at what happened to it. A lot of talk him and the people around him a lesson. This is at the end of certain process, I urge you to read the ayah to yourself. But the thing I wanted to leave you with as we enter these last 10 days of Ramadan, as we entered this beautiful time, I want yourself and myself to remember that we have to try to get closer and closer to a law. But getting closer to a law also means that our attitudes towards people have to be

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different. The way we the way we lose our temper has to change. The way we talk back to people or the way we look at people has to change. You know, the way we if we say hurtful things, we have to try to stop ourselves, we have to become more conscious of that. And all of us have improvements to do I'm not above you in that. And my employees will testify to that. You know, as a lot of improvement needed all of us all around. This is a reminder for myself first before it is to any of you. But this is important, folks, this is really, really important. And it extends even those of you that have friends, a lot of times, guys, I see a lot of young guys here, when you have friends

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and you hang out with each other, you hurt the other friends feeling or 234 of you gang up on one and you really take them to town. I'm guilty of that quite often myself.

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Make sure that you squared things away with your friends for jokes aside, if they have something in their heart, and they're holding it against you. And they never told you because they didn't want to make this situation tense. Believe me on Judgement Day, they will open their mouth and say yeah, I was holding back. But right now I need your good deeds. He used to make fun of me. He used to call me fatty or shorty. They used to call me stupid. And I used to laugh at the time, but I was actually really insulted. So I'm just going to take all that you know, you caught. You caught a little clutter, that Ramadan, I'll take the credit for that. Because when you your good deeds will be given

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to those you offended. They'll just take them away. So don't let your friends rob you and judgment day. fix that today. fix that now. This is the time to make the calls to people that you've been mean to. This is the time to go be nicer to people that you haven't been nice to. This is the time to forgive people that you haven't been able to forgive, to let your temper go to apologize. It takes a lot of humility to apologize. And you have to put yourself down when you have to apologize. But when you recognize a loss of power, then you feel weak enough and it's easier for you to apologize. When you're not conscious of that it's going to be hard to apologize a lot so we can make

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us truly and people have dukla and make us of those who are good to each other and say good words to each other and melasma will soften our hearts so that we can give forgiveness to others and others can give forgiveness to us. mata collodi. Welcome, Anil Hakim when a fire Anyway, it was