Life is Entertainment
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
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today's haba is about an ayah that belongs to sorta Lanka, but it's similar Ayat occur in other places in the Quran. Sometimes in the Quran, Allah will give us a comparison between this life that we have these few years that we have to spend on this earth above the ground. And something that we can observe, like to understand life itself, he'll give us a comparison. Sometimes he'll compare it to rain and the growth of a plant. Other times we'll compare it to other things to give us some perspective. This is one of those ayat. But what's interesting about this idea is Allah did not compare life to something, he almost made it equal to something this is in the Arabic language, this
is called a DSB held belief. And what that is in simple languages, you know, you see an athlete, and you say, This guy is like a lion. You know, he's, he's like a lion on the playground, but you use the word like, right, so when someone's listening to you, they can tell you're making a comparison. But if you want to go really far, in your comparison, you just say this guy is a lion, you don't even mention the playground, because that would make someone think you're talking about an analogy, you equated this person to a lion, right? So that's a very strong form of connection between the lion and the athlete, even though literally, he's not a lion, right. So this is the kind of thing
that happens in the Quran, when two things are very closely related to each other. Or the more the more you contemplate it, the more you will learn about the first thing, the second thing will make you really understand the first thing. So what Allah says about my life and your life that we're living now, first of all, he says, my heavy hill here to dunya, the heavy is kind of Illa fi could feels from a banality sense. You could just say worldly life. But he says this worldly life, he adds the word this in the eye. And the idea of that is at the crib, what scholars of language call attrib. Meaning I want you to notice everything about this life of yours that you're experiencing
this day, this year, this decade, you know, this experience these people that are in your life, this work that you do this business that you do these friends that you have this family that you have, every part of this life is kind of being focused, a lens is being brought on to it. And it's being zoomed in on just with the word heavy. So when I had the hill here to dunya, he says, None this entire life, this worldly life, amounts to nothing more. It's all it is, is love. One One is just two things and a rough translation of loved one, whether it would be entertainment, law, who can be translated as entertainment, you can also think of it as distraction. So two words, you can think
about what the word who Allah is saying this life is nothing but entertainment or distraction. That's the first thing. And then he says, we're not in a game, or a sport, or a match. Nowadays, we call it a match. Right? That's, that's all it is. So in this ayah, Allah has made me think about entertainment. And he's made me think about distraction. And he's saying there's a really deep connection between entertained entertainment distraction, and what's going on in this life. What is entertainment, at the end of the day, somebody had a busy day at work, they're mentally exhausted, they're tired, they get home, they're like, I just need to sit back and just watch some, I don't
know, some highlights, some sports highlights on YouTube or play some video games or watch a TV show or something, just need to let loose a little bit entertain themselves, or tell kids want to be entertained. Tell me a story, right? Kids want to be told a story or they want you to sing a song for them or something like that. And of course, when people get older, they're just have the more adult version of the same thing. It's either the music industry or the movie industry or the you know, the Netflix's and the Amazons, and all of that stuff, right? It's at the end of the day, it's still the same thing that we want that as a child, you just want the advanced version of it as an
adult. But when we're doing that, and somebody says What are you doing? And you say, let me just relax. Okay, I had a long day. Let me just can I just breathe a little this is just my take. This is me taking a mental break. Right? This is me taking a mental break. You're not somebody else's doing the work. And by the way, the difference between Lahu and that is if you're doing the work, you're kicking the ball, you're taking the shot, you know, but in law who you're just sitting back and somebody else is doing the entertaining for you. You're just watching and enjoying or listening and things like that.
But as you're doing that, you're what happens sometimes is people get so lost in that, that they miss an appointment, or they get so lost and that they forget to do the groceries or and the stores already closed now, meaning the idea the Arabs associated entertainment with distraction, because it's always taking you away from something that's more important. Something needed your attention, something needed my attention. And I lost track of time. And before I know it, you know, there's the you know, the time for it is over, right. So the same thing happens, for example, some of you students here you have an exam coming up, or something, now there's a break, but before the break,
you had an exam coming up, and you're studying for extending further, like, I need a break. I know the exam is in four hours, let me just turn on the PlayStation for a little bit. And just let my you know, relax my mind. And before you know it, you're beating the final boss in the game and you beat the entire game and you're 20 minutes late for class and you'd have you know, you forget the review, you almost missed the entire exam. I travel a lot, I've actually seen people miss their flights, because they were they had their headphones on. And they were just watching something. And then they get look up and the there's a different city that's bored and they're like,
wasn't just going to Dallas No, that that flight already left, this is going to Miami now, you know,
the idea of LA who is distraction, something that gets my attention and more important things that had a limited time schedule, they passed me by the opportunity pass me by well Allah is saying that life is full of this. In other words, in a 24 hour day between waking up and going to sleep the conscious hours that I have, and you have there are priorities, there are things we have to get done, every one of us has a to do list that we need to get done. And what happens is we get distracted, and that To Do List barely gets touched, we get one or two things done, then the mind gets distracted, we do something else and the things that you really had to do didn't get done and
that's just one day. But then sometimes you're like this year I'm gonna learn some Arabic or this year I'm going to memorize a couple more students are this year I'm going to do this and you have these people are you know in the in the modern world now people have all these new year's resolutions, right? We Muslims have Ramadan resolutions or whatever. So we have these resolutions and like, I'm just gonna do this. And then next Ramadan comes, it's getting close. And you're like, Yeah, I didn't. Yeah, so sad man I've been, I've been making this commitment for 10 Ramadan's now, and I just haven't gotten around to, you know, this surah, or this ayah. Or this, this this
commitment that I made or reading this book, or learning more about the seal of the prophets like Selim or something, you made this commitment, you keep putting it off, putting it off, something else distracts something else calls your attention, what the problem, the problem with that is our inability to balance our inability to say, Okay, this much time allotted for breathing room, but not enough, not so much that it takes away from important tasks, this needs, some things need to get done, they cannot be compromised, they have to be addressed. Right. So Allah says, most people, for most of our lives, we look back and we say I wasted a lot of years, or I wasted a lot of time, or I
could have done so much more with my years, I could have done so much more with that time. And then life later on, you get you know, physically you you're less capable, financially, you're more strained, you're more responsible, they're people depending on you, you don't have the kind of free time you used to have. And now you look back and you're like I wasted my college years, I wasted my early, you know, pre married life and all of that stuff I wasted all that time. And now when you have your children, and they're hanging out, like you used to hang out, they're like, don't do what I did. Don't Don't waste your time. Actually, you were a bigger waste of time in your years. But
that guilt has piled up on you and you're slapping it onto your next generation. Right? So this is what Lahu does. But more interestingly, Allah didn't just compare this life to who he also compared it to learn, to sport to games to a match. That's a really interesting comparison. Because a match is about competition, you're trying to defeat an opponent, you're literally inside of that square, if it's a basketball court, or it's a football field, right? Or it's a soccer field or something, you're at war with your opponent for those for those 90 minutes, or for those four quarters, or for that, you know, in that time, the only focus you have is I have to defeat this enemy. That's all we
have to do. We have to crush this enemy, right? So our life is actually filled with a number of matches. You have some a challenge in front of you and you're going at it, you're focused on it. And while that match is happening, nothing else matters. You're just this is all that matters. But the thing with that is, you know both teams, especially when things get very serious both teams that have athletes that have prepared their entire life to be able to play that match. They to get to the professional level to reach the finals or what
Right, but only one team is going to win, they can't both win. So all of that work is going to look like it was completely gone to waste, after all of that effort, because nobody's going to clap for you for great effort, thanks so much, nobody, that they'll just put the camera on you because they want to see you cry. And then they'll turn the camera to the winner. Right? And everybody's cheering the winner. And this is, this is what this life is, it doesn't matter how hard you try to study for an exam. If you failed, nobody's gonna say great effort, you know, they're gonna say you failed you all that matters is you failed all those 1000s of hours of study and preparation, and all of that.
None of that matters now, because the only thing that matters now is that you didn't pass. That's all that matters. And this life is about a series of tests, where we either pass or fail, pass or fail, pass or fail constantly, on and off the field. Whether it's at school, whether it's at work, whether it's in our relationships, whether it's literally on a playground, it's all of these events over and over again. And by comparison, what Allah has given us is something so beautiful. In the same vein, Allah says, Lisa live in sunny la masa, and Surah najem. He says human beings will have nothing except their efforts. He didn't say human beings will have nothing except their
accomplishments. He said their efforts. So unlike this life, where the only thing that matters is winning the game, that's the only thing that matters. with Allah, the only thing that matters is the effort. That's what celebrated because what is the Quran teaches winning and losing actually comes not from people, it comes from Allah. And the only thing that actually comes from people is effort. So the only thing you get credit for is effort. You don't get credit for the victory. If Agia Nasrallah it's attributed to Allah, when the victory from the aid from Allah of Allah, and the victory came, right. So the same way they'll call a Yamanaka, we do have a nurse when Muslims
suffered a defeat in our hood, Allah said, These are days we flipped between people, we flipped between people, it's not Muslims lost and the kofod one, Allah allowed them to have victory, just like Allah allowed the Muslims to have victory and whether it's the victory and losses coming from Allah, the effort is the only thing that is going to be commented on in 60 or so I Arthur there in Salah, Talia and Ron commenting on the loss of or hood. And all Allah is talking about is what effort could have been made better? What were the gaps in the effort? And what did we learn from that? And how is it going to modify our efforts. Another important thing about sports and this
analogy of a game, is that games are just another kind of entertainment. But you get so serious inside of a game, you know, it's just, you've just got a controller in your hand, you're smashing some buttons, and there's a virtual thing that's responding to it. You're not dying, you're I mean, the boss is slicing away at you with his giant sword, but you're not the one who's dying. But you could see pain on your face, like, ah, oh, my God, and there's your, your, your you're projecting yourself onto the character, and their loss becomes your loss. And you're slamming things, and oh my god, Mom, why did you call me You distracted me. And, you know, Pete, some kids play online games.
And it's like, they're actually in warfare when they're playing warfare. You know, it's really passionate and similar to sports fans that are watching a game, especially, you know, with the with the Football World Cup, people are watching a game, and they're so riled up. And if their team wins, there's going to be a riot. And if they lose, it's also going to be a riot. You know, there are there are cities that are sports cities, you know what they do, when they know there's a Friday night game, the restaurants and the homes and everybody goes home early and boards up their windows, because they know windows are gonna get broken, and cars are gonna get damaged, because there's a
big game on Friday night. So what happens? It was just a game, but it got taken way too seriously. You took it way you made it a matter of life and death. If you took it too far. What do we do in this life? Sometimes things are just small. They're not that big of a deal. But we zoom in on them and we make them so important. We make them into life and death. And we do so much damage. Because we made something small into something big. We lose our sense of proportion. Allah says this life is just like sports. It's just like games. So there's a sense of proportion and something remarkable that we learn from from this analogy of Allah comparing life to Sports. Is that in a match, like I
said, one team can win one team can lose Right? Or is even a singles like a tennis match or something when athletes
going to win what athletes going to lose? Fine. This athlete has a championship cup in their hands, they get the applause, they won the match. They're the winner. But it could be true that in their personal life, they're losing in their marriage, they're losing with their kids, they're losing with their parents, they're losing to depression. They're losing all these other matches. But the only match they won is the one on the field. And it could be the guy that lost really badly is winning in every other match. Some of that one coach I was talking to, because I was trying to understand this, I am contemplated better. So I spoke to some coaches, some some sports coaches, and one of them told
me that in my career coaching for 3040 years now, some of the biggest losers I ever met are winners. And some of the biggest winners I ever met are losers. so remarkable. In other words, Allah is telling us something incredible about life, it looks like someone's winning. It looks like they have money, they got fame, they have looks, they have popularity, they have everything, you will have charm, they have everything you want. If I had that life would be good. But actually, that's just one box. And outside of that box, they may be the biggest loser. Some of you might not know that Abu Lahab for example, which everybody knows Abu Lahab is like one of the ultimate villains in the seal
of the prophets liason was a really good looking charming man, they were, they were the celebrity couple, you know, he was actually, you know, his, he was, you know, colored here tall, you know, brilliant skin tone, people used to compare, you know, to talk about his physical beauty, and things like that. And hint was considered a beautiful word. These were these are the winners of that society by any standard. If you if you don't look at the Quran, and you look at ancient Egypt, people still go there to take pictures at the marvel of what these that civilization created. The pharaohs were winners in the world, they left their mark on the world. And we know from Quran point
of view, they're some of the biggest losers in history, if not the biggest losers in history, right. So the idea is that that concept is still alive today. Just because someone is winning in one arena, doesn't make them a winner. And someone just because you're losing in one arena, doesn't make you a loser, that that's that stamp doesn't stay on you. And you know, if you if you look at real athletes, after they lose a game, they don't call themselves a loser. They're like, I'm going to train harder next year. And I'm going to come back again. And I'm going to come back again, meaning a loss to them is just learning. That's all it is. I learned what we did wrong, the Analyze, because
if athletes, the ones that do play sports, if they started listening to the commentaries of their fans, they listen to everybody's criticism and commentary. And if they took that defeat to heart, they would not be athletes anymore. You can't. It's not just about physical toughness, you have to have a mental toughness to be able to be good at something. In this life, Allah created this requirement of subber. If you're going to do anything in life, you have to be ready for mostly defeat. Mostly we're going to lose, and there are going to be pockets of victory. You can't win every time. In fact, you can't win most of the time. Most of the battles in our life are challenges
looked at halacha in Santa Fe covered in overwhelming burden to Allah create the human being. Finally going back to LA who something interesting that some of our scholars have said contemplating on this idea is very beautiful. One of the ancient ways that people used to entertain each other is they used to perform plays. So in the ancient Chinese civilization, Arab civilization, others, they used to have like, even puppet shows, or somebody would dress up like the king and the other one would dress up like the Joker, or two warriors, they pretend to be warriors, and they've got like these, these wooden swords, and they're pretending to die and somebody throws leaves up to make it
look like it's blood and stuff. And people are like, they get really into it. This was all this were ancient special effects. By the way. This was ancient CGI. But now it's it's a modern version of the same thing, isn't it? It's all we're doing is we're watching a story. But at the end of that play, the king wasn't the king.
And the beggar wasn't a beggar and the victim was in the victim. And the killer was in the killer. A lot of actors that play villains and serial killers and things like that. They have a hard time because people started cursing them out when they go to grocery stores. Like murderer. No, no, that was just to show. That's not the real me. I'm actually a nice guy. But people get so they look at this role this person is playing and they assume this is who they really are. You understand in this life. Allah has given people different roles. Some people are presidents of countries. Some people are generals of a military. Some people are billionaires. Some people are athletes. Some people are
popular. Some people are no
Nobody, nobody knows them. They're not famous. They're nothing. But you know what this life is like a play on a stage. And one day the curtains are going to pull, and the costumes will come up. What's Dr. Maha welcome? Allah says, you left behind all the wrappings I put your put on you. And then the king might be a beggar on Judgment Day and the beggar might be a king on Judgment Day, because this was just a facade. This was just a distraction from the reality of things. While I'm here to dunya Illa Allah one, when they were in the DA Hara, la Hill, Hiawatha, no can we are the moon and the final life, that is actually the ultimate life had the any knowledge, if only they had known, we
have to become people that, you know, contemplate Allah's book, and look at our life in that way, so that when you see someone succeeding, instead of becoming like, why can't I have that? Why can't I do, it may be that they look like they're succeeding. And maybe you not having that is a gift from Allah to you. That may be the case that Allah is want wants you to not feel in the way that they might be failing. And so don't fall into that facade. Don't look at something on the outside and assume this is what success looks like. This is the powerful message that this idea has given us. And boy, are we in need of this message today. Because we are now in the age of filtered, you know,
fake Presentation of Self. And everybody the new currency is no longer money, the new currency is social media following an interaction. And in order to stay relevant, you have to keep putting things up that make you interesting, or make people want to hear what you have to say, or make, you know, just entertain the world and entertain the world. And so you're becoming the puppet. You know, and the public has become your puppeteer. This these people you've never met, they're your puppeteer, oh my god, I I kind of post a new video, the engagement is going down, oh, I got to do this. Otherwise, I'm not gonna get the following. Now the algorithm has become a new god. You know,
because we got to follow the algorithm if we're going to have growth of how to love and in that in this new, you know, virtual landscape that we find ourselves in, we have to step back and really contemplate what Allah is saying to gain some perspective and to not be distracted by something that is taking us away from something much more important Allah azza wa jal to make us all people that contemplate Allah's book and understand it in a way that betters our lives and bring light to ourselves our own hearts and to those around us. BarakAllahu li Walakum Al Quran and Hakeem when a family er can be protected Hakeem.
hamdu Lillahi wa wa Salatu was Salam ala everybody Hilah Dino Stouffer Susana Allah after the Muharram in the beginning, Muhammad in El Amin rather early he was a huge marine called Allah azza wa jal fie Kitab al Karim by the Buddha or the builder him in a Shetland regime in Allahu wa Mala Quetta who you saw Luna Island, maybe you handed in Amman or Salalah he was a limitless Lima Allahumma Salli ala Muhammad Ali Muhammad gamma Selita Allah Brahim for him fun I mean, in the calamity Majid Allahumma barik ala Muhammad Ali Muhammad gamma Baraka Allah Ibrahim Ibrahim I feel Allah mean in Mohammed Majeed ribat Allah Rahim Allah, Allah, Allah and Allah and we'll be glad to
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would like to take the shahada and
Why don't you sit relax, young man. Sit, sit. Don't be nervous.
It's okay pretend this isn't in your hand. What's your name? Woman? Hold it like this. Well, how old are you? I'm 50 Mashallah, how did you hear about Islam? Um, well,
I've, like always known about it. Okay. I grew up Catholic, and had Catholic beliefs for most of my life up up until, like, two years ago. Like, when I, whenever I started, like actually thinking about the Catholic beliefs, it just didn't like correlate with my way of being and my way of thinking. And so I started looking more and more into like, other religions, and then I came up on like Islam, and like, the red lines and the boundaries that it has. And it just fits so well with like, my way of being in my way of thinking that it's like, it just feels like the right like step to take. That's incredible because what you're saying is something Allah says that what you felt
inside that it connects with your way of being, it's called your fitrah it's your nature. And Allah made that nature. And Allah gave us this religion that fits with that nature. So when people hear it, they say, I already knew this, this feels like this fit this this is something familiar to me, right? So when hamdulillah Allah guided you to this religion, and in a way he already guided you before officially becoming a muslim right so this is something also that was said in no condemn and commonly he Muslim in people that came into contact with the Prophet. They heard the Quran they said, it's, we were actually Muslim already. We were already feeling this. It's just confirming what
we had, you know, so I'm gonna say some bit by bit, I'll say it in Arabic, and you will repeat it after me. Okay. So let's begin ash hairdo en la ilaha illa Illa, Allah illallah wa wa, Ash huddle, a severe, anna muhammadan, Mohammed Abdullah, who to wa wa rasuluh. Who I testify, I testify that there is no one that there's no one worthy of worship worthy of worship, or complete obedience or complete obedience except Allah except Allah. And I testify and I testify that Muhammad that Muhammad is his slave is a slave and His messenger and His Messenger of Hamdulillah. Now you're a Muslim. And
the request I have from you, is that a few things?
The first of them is when someone accepts Islam, that's like, coming back to Allah. That's called doba. It's coming back to Allah. And when you come back to Allah, Allah says, He took all of your bad deeds, and he turned them into good deeds. So you at this point, no human being here is doing better with Allah than you are. You're doing better than all of us right now. So we would request all of us we would request that you pray for us. And, and the other thing I want you to know is that, you know, now that you've been welcomed by the community, there's a large community here, people are going to congratulate you lots of conversations and things. Don't feel overwhelmed. Take
it slow. Allah doesn't want you to turn into super Muslim in 24 hours. You can take your time, and you can learn one step at a time Inshallah, there's a lot to learn, but that's okay. Allah is not interested in quantity. He's interested in quality, right? So just your effort is what is most valuable like you heard today, right? So just make consistent, solid efforts and don't overwhelm yourself and Inshallah, before you know it, you'll know you'll know so much you'll surprise yourself. Inshallah. Betina. So you looks like you have some wonderful friends with you to Mashallah. So that's great. Alhamdulillah hamdulillah very happy to see that. Congratulations to
you. Good luck. Good luck.