Unlocking the Heart

Nouman Ali Khan


Channel: Nouman Ali Khan

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I'd like to share today's football with you that has to do with a fundamental demand of the Quran that it makes from all people, and particularly ourselves, the believers, and that is in English translation roughly said, reflecting or contemplating on the Quran. And I'm sure you've heard about this concept many times before. And I pray that we're able to refresh our commitment to this demand of the Quran, myself and all of you because this is something that is one of the fundamental rights of Allah's book on us this gift that Allah has given us, it has rights on us. And one of its rights is that we contemplate and reflect on what Allah is saying.

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So for starters, I want to remind myself that just because somebody has knowledge, or they understand the Arabic language, or they understand the Hadith of the Prophet salallahu alayhi salam or they understand the context of the Sierra, and the surrounding knowledge of the Quran, having knowledge of the Quran and having knowledge of the deen is not the same as contemplating the deen. In fact, when these ayat were revealed, they were revealed in Medina, and its audience are people that are very familiar with the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam, because they see him every day. They understand the language better than you and I can ever understand the Arabic language. They

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understand the events of the CLR better because they're not reading about them. They're living in them. They're experiencing them. They're not hearing a Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam through a narration. They're hearing the prophets own voice. They're not reading about when the surah was revealed. They're experiencing the surah being revealed. They're in it live, this is happening with them live and for them, Allah asked the question of Allah Tada Brunel Khurana, Allah KHUDOBIN Agatha elucha, don't take them contemplate deeply on the Quran. Or is it that some hearts have their own locks on them. There's a strange phrase that Allah placed at the end of this ayah.

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But the first thing I want you to know is I don't want you to think and I don't want myself to think that this is just about learning, if you learned more than you can, the requirement of contemplation or the requirement of the bar is met. The other interesting thing here is we think of thinking about something or contemplating something, as an intellectual exercise, it's something that I have to think about a lot. But yet in this ayah, Allah, Allah associated to the bar on the Quran, with the Kulu, with the hearts. So this is actually a spiritual exercise. And this is a really important distinction. My goal today in this combine the few moments that I have with you is two things, I

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hope I can accomplish both of them. But the first of my goals is to go further back and ask myself and ask all of you the same, I try to answer the same question how do you what is what are some prerequisites? What are some requirements, conditions that I have to meet before I can successfully contemplate the Quran meet this condition of the Buddha on the Quran? And the other is about this particular ayah. The second objective is in in this Surah Surah. Mohammed, when Allah revealed this is what's going on in this surah. And in what context did Allah say, and make a demand to reflect on this idea? So if we get time, hopefully within the timeframe that we can get to that second part,

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too, but let's start with the first.

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I read a long time ago, a really beautiful work by a scholar

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by the name of Amin, Aksana slahi, who wrote about the prerequisites of contemplating the Quran about the doubling Quran, and I want to share some of his findings with you today that I think are really beneficial, timeless, really, you should I should I for myself, I feel like I should go over those things every now and again, because it refreshes me. So I think it will be a benefit to you also. So the first thing he says is there are two different kinds of prerequisites. Like you know, when you're taking a course in university, or you're taking or you're in school, then if you're going to be in class

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Three mathematics, then you have to know at least class two level mathematics prerequisites. If you're going to take biology two, you have to know some things about biology one first, if you have to go into a master's program, you have to finish your bachelor's degree first. So there are prerequisites before you get in. And those are called academic prerequisites, right there, their intellectual prerequisites. And, of course, the study of Tafseer, the study of the Quran, it also has prerequisites you have to study and try and master the Arabic language, you have to study context and history, you have to, there are multiple sciences that may be involved. Those are

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academic intellectual prerequisites. But that's not what this discussion is about. Those are there. We're very familiar with a normal Quran. And I've seen that the sciences exist. And we're familiar with that. These are the other prerequisites. These are prerequisites for my heart. These are prerequisites that are psychological. Like what mindset am I supposed to be in some of you that are university students, some of your professors, they don't just tell you, we're gonna study this book, we're gonna go over this material, they tried to prepare you mentally, for what's coming. And some professors do a really great job of destroying your confidence, right? On the first day of the

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class, they say most of you are going to fail, I just want to let you know. Right? So they set you up for failure from the beginning, or other professors will come in and say, I think all of you are going to get an A,

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you know, except for those of you who don't want it, but pretty much I'm ready to give everyone here today. So it's a different mindset, isn't it and your your perception of your teacher, your professor, the course you're going to do, all of that changes because of the first words. So let's think about some of these prerequisites. The first of them that I want to put in front of you

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is that we I have to remind myself that the Quran is perfect.

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But my mind, and my ability to understand is imperfect.

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And there's a big difference between the wisdom in the Quran. And this computer, that Allah gave me that has a limited processor that can only handle so much. And so the Quran and its infinite wisdom, I may never be able to fully understand.

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Now what happens when you read another book, somebody says, Oh, I love this book, please read it. Some other book, you read it, the first paragraph didn't make sense to you say, Ah, this book is nonsense. It doesn't make any sense. It's talking about one thing that he's talking about something else. It's not coherent. It's not even logical. I don't like this book. And you go on Amazon, or wherever you give it one star and a bad review. Because it did not meet your expectations. You came to it looking to be impressed. And you thought that it wasn't that perfect. And so you gave it a bad review. This is what we do with everything we do. We give reviews to restaurants, we give reviews to

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books, we give reviews to articles, we give reviews to movies, we give reviews to documentaries, we give reviews to everything we critique we're in a culture of critique. So our minds are now programmed to critique everything.

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There's, there's there's not a there's not a meal you eat. There's not a video you watch, you know, under every video on social media, there's commentary critique. I love this. I hate this. This was a waste of my time, I just lost 120 seconds of my life, etc, etc. Right? It's constant criticism. So we've now become programmed with criticism, consciously and subconsciously. So what happens to a Muslim? What's the danger to a Muslim that wants to contemplate the word of Allah? Subconscious even though consciously you know, the Quran is perfect, but subconsciously, you can forget your heart can forget your mind can remember your heart can forget that the Quran is perfect. And you're reading

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the Quran, you're like, how does that make any sense? I don't I don't get it. What's going on over here? How do you even understand that? And you know, why? Why is it like this? Why are these ayat together? They don't even seem to be connected to each other. And you start coming up with, dare I say criticisms in your mind. Right? And it doesn't help that when you start, you know, because the internet is a free marketplace of ideas. There are millions, if not hundreds of millions of videos, articles, posts, criticizing the Quran.

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You know, contradictions in the Quran makes mistakes in the Quran, this or that. And people send me this stuff all the time here. Have you seen this criticism? Have you seen this video? They're showing that there's mistakes in the Quran, etc, etc. What is all of that mindset because we are in a critical mindset. The moment you're approaching the Quran, the way you approach anything else, the way you approach the pizza, you're about to eat and say I give it three stars. The way you're approaching a book or a movie or something else, then your ability to contemplate the word of Allah is already gone. You failed before you even started I feel before I even started I have to come to

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it with a heart with a with an aware heart that this is perfect. And when something doesn't make sense to me, that's because my understanding and my ability to grasp the word of Allah is imperfect. In

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fact in a way, the first large Surah of the Quran the Fatiha after the Fatiha Al Baqarah Allah give us an orientation he starts with Alif Lam Meem anybody reading Alif Lam? Meem will know. I don't know what that means. I can't understand what this means. Why is this here? The previous law said, We ask Allah for guidance. Yes. When you ask Allah for guidance now, everything he says should make sense to me so I can follow it. And the first thing we read in the Quran after that, in the most half orders, I left La Mina will start making any sense to me. This is orientation. First of all, humble yourself. You don't know everything. Until that becomes settled in your mind. You're not

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ready for guidance yet. You're not ready for contemplation yet I'm not ready for it yet. We're putting our place in a sense, we're put we're oriented to humility, with just the first few words before you even begin. And so this perfection of the Quran is really important to to internalize and when you do and I do come up I've been trying to study Quran for 20 some years, I come across cross places in the Quran, I don't understand them. How even happens done reading multiples of us here discussing them with Allah and I'm still scratching my head, what is going on here? And what is supposed to be my attitude. My attitude is supposed to be Allah, your wisdom is infinite. And

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there's some fault in me that I'm not able to see. I'm not able to grasp the beauty, the wisdom, the miracle, the perfection of what you're saying, open up my heart. Open up my mind. Give me a fat from that can only come from you because I can't see it yet. Because this is a treasure that I am. I have to acknowledge I am not worthy of it. And I've been given access to it anyway.

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I'm nothing and that Allah would give me this look at Manila who are the meaning is Bertha fee him Rasul Allah minimum that will allow him to hear, right Allah, Allah reminds us of the fever that he's done to us that he appointed a messenger that recites Allah's idea. That's not a small thing. So that's the first prerequisite this mindset. Another prerequisite that maybe we should be thinking about, I want to keep track of time

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is that we have to make a distinction between two words easy words to remember, folks, knowledge and guidance. There's two two different things.

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knowledge increases for a human being when you're a child, you know very little, when you're too you know, very little when you're three you should know a little bit more when you're four, you know a little bit more. When you're 40. You know more when you're 41. You know more when you're 70. You know more when you're 75 you know even more, your knowledge is constantly increasing. As your experience is increasing. As your reading is increasing, your knowledge is increasing. Knowledge doesn't go down it only goes up.

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But guidance. Guidance doesn't. It's not an upward chart. Guidance is up one day down the next day up one day falls off a cliff the next day is heading in a really bad direction one day is held its kids making some progress in Ramadan and after aids, something happens and there's a chart looks very unstable. When it comes to guidance. The the chart for knowledge looks pretty good. The chart for knowledge is very unstable.

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What happens with Muslims myself everybody can happen is that we forget that the Quran we don't come to the Quran first for knowledge. We come to the Quran first for guidance.

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And the thing is, we read something we've already read before. And what do we say Oh, this is about Surah Lazar, I've heard Allah said a million times man, I already know it.

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I already know it yes knowledge you already have. But the thing is, you can't say just because I already have knowledge. I already have guidance. Guidance doesn't work that way. Guidance is like water. You don't say last week I already have a glass of water. I need this again.

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Allah compares the Quran terrain to water. He does this for a reason. Because the Earth needs to be nourished again and nourished again and nourished again. So actually, the second thing that will help me contemplate the Quran is I will understand that even though I'm learning from it, I'm getting knowledge from it. Knowledge was never the goal. Actually, guidance was the goal. The knowledge is only being acquired not for interesting information. I'm not learning the Arab of the Quran, or studying Bulava or studying different emphases. And I'm not learning the technicalities and the Khilafah the differences of the amorphous city on a on a Surah or an IRA or the different

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crops. I'm not learning all of that for interesting information that I can quote. Or I can say I read this book and this book and this book and this book, know that all of that is just a step to the real goal. I want guidance from Allah. That's why this book was sent. Not because of the information but because what that information leads to it leads to guidance, and my heart has to always be aware when I'm studying anything. What is the guy

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I didn't hear from Allah. What does Allah want from me here? What is the goal because everything Allah says has a purpose has an objective and that objective number one is my own guidance. So this is a second prerequisite that will help me contemplate the Quran.

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Another prerequisite on top of that now I'm going to compare it to the next. It's related to this second one

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is thirst. I compared it to water, right? Water is not a luxury. It's not like oh, you don't want to get time. Once in a month, like I drink some water. You don't do that. Everybody says Get up, drink something.

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Your body doesn't let you rest until it's nourished with water. It's a fundamental need for your existence for my existence.

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The Quran is nourishment from my heart.

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And that heart just like your body needs to be replenished with water and cannot survive. I have to recognize that the engaging in the contemplation of the Quran seeking guidance from the Quran is not a luxury. It's not a spare time activity. It's not when I get time. If I just develop this mindset that this is a need, like water is a need. I need this. One of the beautiful ways I can think about this for myself even is Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam wasn't just praying the five prayers, even the tahajjud and much more prayer than we do. And in every single raka Allah has commanded him to recite what we recite at na Salado. Mr. Kim de Fatiha in every regard. Why is the one who is

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guiding all of humanity

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sallallahu alayhi wa sallam Why is he begging Allah for guidance so many times every single day,

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every few minutes, every few hours, not even a few I don't even think few hours within every hour, constantly the most calm constant request from Allah's Messenger to Allah salAllahu Alaihe. Salam is guide me guidance, guidance, guidance, and that includes him.

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So if our messenger is in such desperate need for Allah's guidance, then where do I stand? How can I think I already got it? 100 of people say things like, you know, I used to be really lost. And then Allah guided me Alhamdulillah I have guidance. Now where do you have it in your pocket? Where do you have it? You can't hold on to guidance, you can hold on to money. You can hold on to knowledge, you can have knowledge, you could have learned something last year, you still know it. You can't have guidance from last year and you still have it this year. You can't keep it. The only way to get it back is to get replenish yourself, I have to replenish myself again. Go back to Quran again, and get

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it again and get it again and get it again. And so the thirst has to be there for if I'm really going to contemplate Quran that I have to have that thirst. And I pray Allah gives all of us that deep genuine thirst in our heart, that we come to Allah with that humility, come to his word with that humility.

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Then finally, just one quick and dangerous requirement

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is that the word of Allah is beautiful. And the word of Allah has a lot of wisdom and the word of Allah will make you feel in awe of his the power of His words. But at the same time, the word of Allah demands changes from me.

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You're when I when I actually contemplate the word of Allah, I might find that the Quran is telling me to be here, what I'm all the way down here. When I really think about myself, I'm not where the Quran wants me to be.

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So I need to make a Hijra to where where Allah wants me to be right. And it's we're not perfect. You can't change overnight, you're not going to get here in the next day. You know, you can make the intention and start making changes and start improving. Maybe you have really bad sleeping habits and you haven't been waking up for Fudger. Maybe that's the case. Okay, you tried the next day you failed the day after that, then you tried the next day, you failed the day after that. Okay, now you're starting to get up and maybe seven, maybe he was working towards six, you're getting in the habit of sleeping earlier and early. You're making changes good progress, right? It doesn't happen

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overnight. But when you start making these little little changes, you might find that things are getting really difficult. First of all, making changes is hard anyway, it's inside of you. There's forces inside of you like laziness, like shape ons, vice versa, like your own desires, like your own, you know, habits that say, Come on, we'll have to go that much. You don't have to be so extreme. Take it easy on yourself. It's too much. You're doing too much. Allah knows you're human. It's okay. You can make your excuses to yourself. You know, and so you're I love that you're only human. You're only human is Shetlands, number one line is very good sales pitch. You're only human.

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Okay? You don't know Allah. You're not an angel. Don't worry about it. So I tell myself it's not I don't have to make these changes, right. But even if I find myself

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If I conquer myself and I still start making those changes, then my family comes, hey, what's happening to you? Are you becoming so extreme?

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You're only human. First you were telling yourself now your family, you're only human. What do you think you are? Or you want to be? You want to be an extremist? What's happening to you? What does your face look like that? What do you girls is getting told? What are you putting on your head there, what's going on with you?

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You know, I'm worried about you. Your family starts worrying about you, because you're becoming too Islamic.

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You're coming, you're trying to get closer to what Allah says. And your family's worried. First, you have to fight yourself. Now you have to feel like your family is at war with you, then your friends are like you're weird. Now, I don't want to hang out with you.

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Or you don't want to hang out with them. Because hanging out with them was what's taking you away from Allah to begin with, right? So you're basically what I'm saying is, the more changes you make, the more isolated you become.

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The more changes you make, the more uncomfortable life gets. And at every step, you're like, Man, I could just turn back and life will become comfortable again, I could just take it easy. Why am I doing all of this? Right? The people who can fight that discomfort, fight through it. This is sub actually, this is what summer is. If people can fight through it, they will taste something that nobody else ever tastes. When when you come in below here you can be who whoever really has faith in Allah. Allah guides their heart, they feel emaan in their heart, they feel the sweetness of it. You have to go through some pain to feel its sweetness. You can't just read about it and feel it. You

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can't just hear a speech about it and feel you have to experience some pains and graduate past some obstacles. And then you can taste something. And once you have that taste the struggle becomes easier. When Latina Jaha do fina, Vietnam sabudana when Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Medina, middle mursaleen, so that becomes easier, fine. But that's one and I pray that Allah makes us those kinds of people that can fight through the obstacles that are inside ourselves, with the people around us, with society with all these pressures just push through. You know, sometimes young men come to me and say,

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I don't know how can you can live his life as a Muslim life in a Muslim and in America is really hard in England. It's really hard a lot. Why is it hard is harder than maca harder than Quraysh it's actually a lot easier they didn't have Hello restaurants. They didn't have lots of massages they didn't like What's so hard I don't understand what's so hard no so much fit now really fitting that just came happened now the back then there was no fitna

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there was those were easy times these are hard times it's easier to be honest. Now even though you tell you this is again Chapin You're only human it's so hard now look at all of their all the social media so much fitness really just delete the app bro. It's easy. Problem solved. problem solves, you know. So we tell ourselves it's too hard. Another group of people, there's one group of people, they fight through the change. Another group of people says I want to change I do when I read the Quran and I find that it wants me to be here and I'm down here I feel really bad man. I even cry when the Salah is happening. I cry wonder what is happening? Because I could see how far I am from where

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Allah wants me to be. I'm really messed up I know I just can't do it. But I feel really bad. That counts for something right? Claire a femur

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and we tell ourselves you know, then then you go to someone said brother mashallah just make dua that Allah gives me Tofik I don't have to have you know, some people are able to pray five times I'm just not able to do it. You know, just make them is just a big dog for me. Because, you know, some people Allah gives superpowers I'm just human.

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Allah, I didn't I don't have it. You know, I heard this though feet line so many times. I was like, Who's this guy? Tofik everybody's looking for that once they meet him, everything's gonna be fine. As if Allah didn't make you capable. Allah would not have put anything on you. If you weren't capable. You can leave Allah Hoon of cellulose. This is a lie. We tell ourselves. This is a lie. I tell myself you tell us I can't do it. It's too much to ask. It's not too much to ask. If it was ALLAH wouldn't have given it or it's too hard. No, actually, the goal of Allah giving me guidance is to make life easier, not harder. You read Allah Julio coffee for uncle, Mahalia Collins Sangha. But

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the last warning that I want to leave you with, we didn't get time to discuss the other things, but that's okay. The last warning I want to leave myself with a new is it's not people who make the changes and fight the obstacles. And it's also not the people who make excuses and say, It's too hard. I feel bad, but I can't do it. But there's a third category that's the most dangerous of all, you know what they are, they engage with the Quran. They study the Quran, they recite the

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Quran and even recited beautifully. they memorize it. They're listening to it in the car all the time.

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But they're not interested in any of its changes. They're interested in, it's that weed. They're interested in, it's the seed. They're interested in it's Bulava. They're interested in its miracles. They're interested in its interesting facts. They're interested in comparative religion they're interested in, you know, this or that or the other. They're interested in gathering a lot of information about it. They're interested in calligraphy, they're doing a lot with the Quran. Right? But what they do is they say, Martin Well, my relationship with the Quran, I'll pick one, my relationship with the Quran has to do with the TGV.

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I'm going to perfect my theory is going to be so good, and did you read as important, but that's all it is now.

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Now, I'm a person of the Quran because I remember highridge are beautiful, and I'm restarting. I'm getting a jazz out from a che and all of it. But the real, what I'm really doing is at least I do this, right. So I don't have to do the changes thing. inside of myself. I've told myself I have restricted my relationship with the Quran to within my comfort zone, please listen to that carefully. I came up with a comfort zone. And I impose that on the Quran. And I told the Quran listen, I like how you sound. I love memorizing you. I even love listening to lectures about you. I love reading about you. I love reading translation and thinking about it. But this whole change

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business, this is where I draw the line. That's my life. Let let it be.

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I'll give you a memorize a couple of years soon as though and so now we're dictating terms and what the relationship between mice ourselves and what the word of Allah should be. And all of those things that we do with the Quran are part of the Quran rights, but they come second to the first one, the real reason the Quran came. And the reason that is that only gets enforced proper recitation of the Quran reinforces the reminder of the Quran. The study of the Quran reinforces the reminder and the guidance of the Quran. All of those other things are amazing only because of the first purpose. That is I need to bring changes in myself as Allah demands, though. And this This is

00:32:13--> 00:32:35

the real thing. This is actually contemplating the Quran. It's a daring activity. And so since I'm out of time, I'm not able to share with you at least this time, what is happening in spirit, Muhammad, because actually, the real call insert Muhammad was a call to change. There were people that were being asked to go to war for the first time they weren't used to it. Like what is this? Why do we have to go to war?

00:32:37--> 00:33:16

And Allah posed a question to them, of Allah, the Bruna Quran, haven't even contemplated Quran. These Ayat did not come in the context of the skies in the earth, they did not come in the context of past nations. Those are all subjects in the Quran. Why is that here? Because now this newly formed community in Medina is being asked to do something that is very drastic in the name of Allah. And they're like reluctant to do it. And Allah is saying the only reason you're reluctant is because you haven't fulfilled the rights of contemplating the Quran, because some hearts have their own kinds of locks on them. So maybe in sha Allah at another point, we can discuss these locks and the

00:33:16--> 00:33:51

these these obstacles to really truly contemplating the word of Allah. I pray that Allah azza wa jal gives me you and every believer in loving, genuine relationship with the Quran that continues to unlock our hearts, and I pray that Allah azza wa jal accepts our faulty relationship, our broken relationship with his word, and his gift gives us the strength to improve it, as every day goes by, and really gives us the ultimate gift, a thirst, a real thirst for contemplating the word of Allah BarakAllahu li Walakum Quran Al Hakim on a funny way er can be layered.

00:33:55--> 00:34:39

hamdu Lillahi wa wa salatu salam ala everybody Hilda Mustafa, Allah of Bali him Maha Tamina begin Mohamed El Amin while early he was happy ah Marin, Allah azza wa jal vikita We have Karim Bada and the villa Homina shaytani R rajim. In Allahu la mala Iike who you Soluna Allen maybe you handed in Salalah he was a limiter sliema Allahumma Salli ala Muhammad Ali Mohammed Kemosabe to Allah Ibrahim Ali Ibrahim Al Al Amin indica Hamidah Majeed Allahumma barik ala Muhammad wa ala Ali Mohamed Kamal, Dr. Anna Ibrahim are an early Rahima Phil Alameen indica Hamid Majeed about Allah Rahima Kamala it took Allah and Allah will be sent later it will call back when an infection you will mooncup

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