My Story – Making Space for Those With Special Needs

Saad Tasleem


Channel: Saad Tasleem

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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah while early he was so happy woman wala Allahu Allah Iman are now in NEMA Lambton are in NACA until animal became Allahumma eliminar mon Pharaoh no one fat and Abby my limp Anna was in that era but I mean Allah Medina creativa worrying about de la valle de la was a Canadian Abba was Salam aleykum Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.

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First of all, I just want to say thank you for welcoming me and obviously, Marcin in your community, I believe it's the first time I'm coming here. Very impressive so far. I mean, I've just seen the building and I've met a few people so far, it's very impressive. hamdulillah one of the most impressive things about your community, to me at least, is that you're Merson certified. That's awesome. 111 I, there's a lot of communities, I travel across North America and other parts as well. And I can tell you that one of the signs of a flourishing community, for me, at least from what I can see is how inclusive the community is, how welcoming the community is. And there's a story that

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I've shared during the drama hotbed today, because I was thinking about my relationship with the masajid. And I thought about how I thought about the first time I took my

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oldest son to the masjid as my first child. And I was very aware of the first impression that a masjid can leave on a child. And not only children, by the way, just anyone the first time they step into a masjid, whatever happens that first day can have a lasting effect on that individual. And it can actually mold their perception of what this community and what this mission is like. And I've heard plenty of horror stories, I've heard stories of people coming up and saying things or whatever, or people being rude, people being impatient with, especially with children, and so on, so forth. So my son, I was like, I gotta make sure that the first time he comes to the mission, it's

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got to be like a perfect experience. Because that in my mind, I'm like, you know, that's gonna set the stage for the rest of his life, in terms of how he views the mesh? Did, does he have a positive association with the mission? Or does he feel like he's gonna go to Mesh and just get yelled out? Right, and that's gonna, and then he's gonna associate those feelings Subhanallah with the deen of Allah, with the house of Allah who's panela to Allah. And yes, that is the responsibility of the community and the community members. But as his father, I took it as my responsibility. Like, I gotta shield him, I gotta protect him. And obviously, first child, you want to protect them from

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everything bad in the world, right? And so I remember walking into the mission with him, I held his hand, I'm like, stay close to me. And every time someone come up, I'd be like, hold up. And they'd be like, says, I don't want it. Alright, go ahead. Like, what are you gonna say, you know, when he's prayed next semester, you know, pray right next to me. Because I know, sometimes when kids pray, somebody will come in and be like, What are you doing in the middle of the row, go to this side, your kid, you're not supposed to be here, whatever. I didn't want to, I didn't want him to have that experience. And I can say, hamdulillah Hera, he had a pretty good experience. But I thought about my

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son, and what I want for him. And then it is important that as Muslims, we think about all of our children, all of our brothers and sisters and their children. So if we want that for our child, that I'm sure many of you can relate to this. If you want that your child has a pleasant and good experience that is associated with this house of worship, then that is something that we owe to all of our community members. Right. I remember Subhanallah I'll share with you how my relationship with Marcin started. I was like many people were I had no idea my son even existed. I was at a convention. I was walking through the bizarre I was trying to get to my lecture on the way I saw a

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big banner that said, My son, and sister juvie some of you may know her. She she called me over and I didn't know her. She didn't know me, or I guess she knew me. She called me said, Come here, come here. Let me tell you about my son. And I'm like, sure, I got a couple of minutes I'll talk to you. And she started to explain to me that Merson wants to serve a section of our community that is completely neglected a section of our community that we turned a blind eye to that we don't think about, and you know, out of sight out of mind, because we don't see we may not see them in the masjid. We feel like they don't exist, right? Like if we don't have access to them, doesn't exist,

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like other sections of our community as well, that can be underrepresented in the mission. We feel like if they're not in the mission, they must not exist in the community. But the reality is that just because we're not aware, doesn't mean they don't exist. And so I've had a love for some reason as she was and she was like pouring her heart out to me, and she really wanted my support. And she wanted me to and I said I said what do you want? She's She's I just want you to know, I just want you to know about my sin and the work that we're doing and support us in whatever way you can. And for some reason, she was pouring her heart out to me and I

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Hold are something that I had never mentioned publicly before. And it's something that I don't really talk about. And I hadn't talked about until that moment. I told her I said, and and you know, just as she's sharing the stories of these children and the members of our communities who have special needs, I said, you know, something that I

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almost blocked out of my memory, something that try not to think about is just like, I have to recall. And that is that when I was growing up, when I was a child,

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I had a speech impediment, I used to stutter. And it was very serious, and Subhanallah, it affected my confidence, it affected my relationships, making friends, and so on and so forth. I don't really have the time to get into how it can affect a person in many different ways. But then I was blessed to have a mom who's a psychologist, and she took me to speech therapist, and she worked, she worked with me and got me counseling, and so on and so forth. And I think back at that, and I think of how blessed and how merciful Allah subhanaw taala was with me, that I was able to get the help that I needed, that there was someone there who understood, and someone knew that I have needs that are

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different than than other children. And if it wasn't for that, obviously, after Allah who has Panama to Allah, and because of Allah, who was planning to Allah, but if it wasn't for that help, and that assistance, and that fulfillment of my needs, I can honestly say I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing right now. And sometimes Subhanallah I don't even I try not to think about my, that the fact that I stutter, because like the memories start coming back, and I gotta like, block it out. And I still have remnants of it today. But it hadn't been enough. You know, the fact that I had the support. I had people there to encourage me, my mom, actually, she encouraged me, one of the things she told me

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to do is join the debate team. And I'm like, Mom, like I can't even speak to like one person. You want me to speak to like a roomful of people, like how am I gonna do that? And hamdulillah she had the insight and the foresight, she said, You know what, it's actually going to help you so till today. On a personal level, I identify as an introvert, but I'm not like a big people person, put me in front of a huge room to give a talk, I have no problem kind of in my zone, I do my thing I can connect to a large group of people put me in a room with three people that I don't know, I wouldn't be the most awkward person ever. Right? But 100 Allah, right, the fact that that was one of the the

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coping mechanisms that I had, and, and it actually worked out to my favor and the law now I can do what I do, once again, because of the help that I got. And that's why when I spoke to sister Judy, not moment, and I made it personal. I made it about me. Because oftentimes we have this tendency, when we hear about a problem. We have this tendency to otherwise it, right, we think of well, it's someone else who has this problem. It's other people and once again, I talked about how if we're not exposed to it, then we feel like the problem doesn't exist. But it is very important that we personalize these issues. Because this personalization of the plight of our brothers and sisters is

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a core aspect of our deen. This is what is known as empathy. You know, sometimes people think that our Dean preaches sympathy. And as a matter of fact, we all talked about, you know, compassion and mercy and yes, absolutely. But sympathy, when we attach it to Mercy, it's very different than empathy. Sympathy is when you look at someone and you feel bad for them. Simply put, right you look at someone's situation, you're like, yeah, that's, that's not great. I feel bad. I feel sorry. But the problem with sympathy is that it creates separation between us and the person or the people that we are sympathizing with empathy, on the other hand, is when we put ourselves in their position. We

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try to walk in their shoes, and what empathy does is that empathy brings people together, because we try to now connect with the individual, right? Can I feel what you are feeling? And that brings people together and that togetherness is another one of the core aspects of our deen what is known as Gemma our congregation. We are a dean of congregation if you've ever heard the term and Asuna Gemma, what does that mean? It means we are the people of the Sunnah, meaning we identify with the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu send them we we attribute ourselves to the Sunnah of the Prophet I send them and we congregate. We come together upon the Sunnah of the Prophet Sall, Allahu Allah, he

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was sending them. It's part of our identity. It is part of us knowing and understanding that the prophets I send them urged us, he said, I lay Campbell Jamara he said, I urge you to stick to the congregation. What yuck and we'll call and I warn you to be by yourself, be alone. Why? Well, because the congregation is integral to our faith on a spiritual level, on a communal level on

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Social love on every level. And once again, as someone who identifies as an introvert, you know, I remember when the pandemic started. Everyone's like, Ah, it's so hard staying at home and not having contact with people, whatever. I was having a great time. I'm like, it's great. Don't even talk to people. And then eventually sad. I remember something that my mom told me. I remember when I was in high school, she said, I told her, I said, Mom, you know, I can, I think I could just live by myself for the rest of my life. You know, and she said, I don't think you could, even though like you're an introvert, or whatever social needs. Yeah, introverts have a different type of social needs, but

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they still have social need, they may look a little bit different, and so on and so forth. But they still have social needs. And I learned that during the pandemic, because initially, I was having a great time. But then I began to realize that forget my personal life or my social life, my spiritual life is tied into the congregation. And this is something that I'm sure many of you noticed. And you realize, when you felt separated from the mission, when you felt separated from your brothers and sisters, something that we took for granted, coming to the masjid on Juma. I'm praying with the congregation. And sometimes we may view it as a burden. You know, I got a gym, I gotta make it to

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the masjid, I gotta go back to work, I got things to do. Like do I have to go pray, and so on and so forth. We realize the blessing of it, when it was taken away from us, we realize how important the congregation is to our faith, and that we need this congregation. And that is why the masjid is an integral part of our faith. You know, a couple of years ago, there was this whole movement. And those of you who know me, you know, I like to keep it real. I don't like to shy away from talking about certain things. But there's a whole there's this thing called unmasked, and if you guys saw it, right, and it was like a expose a documentary type thing about all the bad stuff, or all the

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problems with our misogyny, right, they're not welcoming and this and that, and people were rude and whatever else, right? The sister side is too small always. And they don't have access to certain things that men have access to, or reverts don't feel welcome, like all those problems, right. And to be honest, a lot of those problems are real problems. And I was actually I was like, you know, I'm glad that we're talking about this, my issue was with the solution, because for some people, the solution was, you know, what, we don't need the mission. Let's go find another place where we're going to make our own space, where we can welcome one another. And I'm like that is problematic,

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because the masjid cannot be taken out of our faith the most, it is an integral part of our faith. There are aspects of our worship, that can only be performed through the mission, there's certain rewards that we get, that are only attached to the mission as to how you get admission to that truck as we pray when we enter the message. You don't get that anywhere, but the message of Allah subhanaw taala, the reward of walking to the masjid, you only get that in the Messenger of Allah, who's penalty Allah,

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so on and so forth. So many of our acts of worship are tied into the Masjid. So I was like, look, it's good. We're talking about these problems. Now, let's try and reform our misogyny. Let's work on them and have real discussions about these are the problems. And to me,

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making space and opening our doors and being welcoming, and fulfilling the needs of Muslims who have special needs is part of that conversation. Because we may think, once again, it's if we sympathize with Muslims with special needs, we'll otherwise them, right, well think of them as someone else. We need to empathize. We need to think to ourselves, how would I feel? If there wasn't a space for me in the mission? How would I feel if I came to the mission, they said, Well, you know what, for one reason, or the other, you cannot attend to the gym or football today, or you cannot attend this lecture, you cannot attend this talk or you cannot attend this activity that is happening in the

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mission. We don't we don't have the facility, or facilities for you. The reality is my brothers and sisters, that we all have needs, and someone is fulfilling our needs. The fact that you're sitting here right now means someone fulfilled your needs somebody and I don't know who it is Miller Ward, the brother, sister put these chairs out here, someone arranged for this room to be available, someone arranged for the microphone setup, and so on and so forth. All of these needs are being met and they're being fulfilled, we may not be aware of it. And we may take it for granted. But once again, if we're going to empathize, we have to ask ourselves, how would we care? What would we How

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much would we care if we were to not be included in things that are activities that we take for granted? And my brothers and sisters, the job that my son is doing, by the way, is something that has failed to keep failure.

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Meeting the needs of those who are neglected and underserved those who have special needs. This is a communal obligation, meaning if they're not doing it, if nobody is doing it, may Allah protect us, we're all sinful. Alright, so

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Oh, the fact that they have taken on this responsibility. And that's why when sister Judy from Maxon said to me like, this is what our organization is, I was like, Thank you, Zach. Good luck here because you know what? It's worrisome to think about this section of our community that was just not being served, that was being neglected that was being ignored as being put aside, and the fact that you have taken the initiative, it is now upon every Muslim to say, How can I help you, or let me help you with whatever I have available to myself?

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My brothers and sisters, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa send them understood the importance of those members of our community that may be cast aside or put aside.

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If we're talking about special needs. Subhanallah were the weak or the vulnerable. That time 1514 1500 years ago, Islam was at the forefront of meeting the needs of those with special needs. 14 1500 years ago, if there was someone in this in society or community with with a disability, they would be cast aside. They would be put aside from the community. Islam came the prophets I send them came, and not only did Islam come and say, You know what, we have to make space for them. Islam came and said, We have to create opportunities for them. Because if we offer them opportunities, we may find that they are the best amongst us. And if we don't create opportunities for them, we don't make

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space for them, then perhaps we may be held accountable. This is why the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he said about Huni dot alpha accom. He said, Bring to me, the weak, the vulnerable amongst you.

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He said, Sal, Allahu Allah who sent him for intercom in namah

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Corona with Rafa. He said you are only in nama article of exclusivity, I won't get into details of Arabic grammar, but you are only given victory, you're only provided for it, you're only given sustenance because of the vulnerable amongst you. Why, how? One reason is because we know the vulnerable amongst us those who deal with hardships and difficult difficulties, that they are special people with Allah who is penalized to Allah anyone who goes through a difficulty and they're tried and tested by Allah and this person recognizes that this is a test from Allah. This is a person that inshallah Allah is beloved to Allah who's Pamela Tiana. And as the prophets of Allah who

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I named send them, he said in the law, either a humpback omen epistola, whom that if Allah loves people, he tries and test them to raise their status. First amongst them the prophets, when the prophecies send them was asked, Who is tested the most severely, who goes through the most difficulty, the process send them said, um, via the prophets, all of the prophets went through trials and difficulties. And then person them said, some an unsettled and uncertain then the most like them, and the most like them, meaning the closer we are to the profits, the likewise our trials will be severe as well. So by having these people in our community, those who deal with tests and

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trials, we are having, we have with us, the Beloved of Allah who's Panwar to Allah. So closeness to the Beloved of Allah, who's paranoid to Allah, likewise, brings us close to Allah Who Subhan Allah to Allah. And this is why, you know, talking about empathy, if you were to ask the question, how do you build empathy? Well, one of the ways one of the main ways to build empathy, empathy is through connection. You know, studies have found that simply sitting in the same room with another individual increases our level of empathy. And they did these studies where they, you know, took two individuals who didn't know each other. And they tried to, you know, judge their empathy and that

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very little empathy because they don't you know, someone, someone you don't know, you don't know anything about them. It's hard to empathize, right? Then they took those people and they put them in a room together. And they gave them another test on empathy and their empathy went went up, even though they didn't have a single conversation. They didn't talk about anything. They were just in the room together, their empathy went up. Then they had those two people talk about something, have a discussion, and their empathy went up. And then they had those two people do a task together. And as they completed the task together, their empathy went up. And so we learned once again, this is

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found in our deen congregation. GEMA why do we congregate obviously, to fulfill the command from Allah subhanaw taala it's part of our deen but the wisdom there the wisdom there is how are we going to have empathy with our brothers and sisters if we are not with them?

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What happens in the month of Ramadan during tunnel we're

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well we're now shoulder to shoulder praying with our brothers and sisters. Possibly something that we don't

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Do throughout the rest of the year. And that's is that those times that we start to notice these little things that bother us? I don't know it's ever happened to I'm not going to ask you to raise your hand if it's ever happened to you. But sometimes there's a brother praying next to you and maybe you know, like his foot is just like stomping on your foot like his eyes like our brother foot to foot but like you got your foot on my foot, right? Or the pakora burps y'all know about that? Don't you don't have to say yes, it's okay. Or whatever they had for for for a spot, those burps and whatever else. And some people when they recite, they recite like it's quiet, but it's loud, right?

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any like, Come on, man, I can't concentrate, like it's got all of those little things that bother us.

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That's good. Because that teaches us how to be patient with our brothers and sisters how to live and coexist with our brothers and sisters because that is our ummah. Right How to be with one another. And we can live in our own homes and worship Allah in our own homes. And we'll be fine for a while. But as you saw during the pandemic, it's not great for our faith. It's not great for our iman to be separated from our brothers and sisters. And so those difficulties that we put up with, we are the We Are the benefactors of that we benefit from that, in the long term and lessons that when we contemplate on the issue, issues we see there's a reason why it is important to connect with our

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brothers and sisters. When we take care of the weak and well vulnerable in our communities. We get rewarded by Allah Allah subhanho wa Taala it is, as the Prophet sallallahu Sallam told us that the dua of the weak and the vulnerable amongst us who helped that helps us as the prophets of Allah I sent them said in my use of Allah who had the Luma be the if

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we did our to him masala tea him workflow see him, he said so I sent them Allah supports this OMA because of their dua because of their prayer because of their floss because of their sincerity. And so when the Companions, they would go out, and they would take a party out to battle.

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Amongst them, were those who could not actually physically go out in the battle. Right. Amongst them were those who would get wounded in the battle amongst them, or those who would be with the party. But they're not actually out in the battlefield fighting even Ibis or the Allah anima. He mentioned that on one occasion, the prophets I send them was distributing the spoils of war and present them distributed to those as well, those who weren't actually physically fighting in the battle. And the prophets I send them was asked, how, how can they get the spoils of war, when they didn't physically fight? And the prophets I send them he said, Huntington said, Oh, no. Hakuna in Nebuta. He said, Do

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you think that your victory came that this sustenance, that you're getting this wealth that you're getting came except through the weak and the vulnerable amongst you,

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except through what they contributed? And this shows us that the contribution of every individual is different. You know, we live in a society that judges a person's worth, by their physicality, right? And oftentimes, that translates into well, physically, what can you contribute, and therefore, therefore, a person's value we begin to think lies in what they can physically contribute to our community, the prophesy centum is changing the paradigm here, the person that I'm in saying that it's not just about physical contribution, think about the sincerity in the dua of an individual who is dealing with difficulties and trials and light. Y'all know this, those moments in your life when

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you went through difficulties, and you're you you knew that no one can help you except Allah who is Panama to you truly felt it, it is in those moments, that your DUA was possibly the most sincere that then it's ever been.

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And once again, one of the reasons Allah puts us through trials is to bring us closer to him. And imagine our brothers and sisters that have to deal with these difficulties, these hardships on a daily basis. how sincere is there? Are we not in need? Of there there are what is our what is our community without the dua of the vulnerable amongst us? The proxies send them said a hadith I'm sure many of you have heard in Allah Allah young guru, Elijah decom. Allah does not look at your bodies. We're not either Saudi come and Allah does not look at your faces. What can young little inner Kuru become rather Allah looks at your hearts. And our deen teaches us the very opposite of the norm of

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the society today. Like I said, we live in a very, we live in a a world that judges people's value based on what we can see. And it's not even even what we see is an is an often real you talking about social media, Instagram and Tiktok and so on and so forth. We judge people's

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values based off of what like a one minute video.

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Right? Like, that's it, we think this person is so amazing because it's something because of a character that they put on or an image that they crafted for themselves. And this is what they that's how And subhanAllah. Our Deen once again teaches us that people's value is not just physical, it's not just from the outside, rather it is about their hearts. And so when we take care of our brothers and sisters and our children with special needs, we are telling the world we are telling the society that we live in that the Muslims are different, that we don't just look at people's physical traits or the physical features or their status or their wealth or their cars or their

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money, whatever and and value people based off that know our community, values people, for their goodness for their tech or for their god consciousness for the potential that they have. And for what for the unique

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abilities that they may have that we don't know about for their unique qualities that they may have that other people don't know about. Can we say that our Masjid here out of all of the other places of worship, out of all of the other faiths out there, our Masjid can we say like the prices eiendom was at the forefront of making opportunities for those with special needs. Can we say that about our community. And why this is not to put anybody down or to say like, you know, we're not doing great. The point is that we have a lot of work to do. And that's why I started with saying 100 Y'all took the first step silver, silver, right silver cert certified silver 100. And now, that's the first

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step. What would be amazing is that I come visit you again

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in a year or a couple of years. And then you come and you tell me or you tell anybody who's visiting your community. That forget tell they can see visually, they can see that this is a community that serves not just allows or not just helps not just assist, they they serve those with special needs, that they raise them up, they give them a special place because that was the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and honestly, there are many, many stories of the companions, who had special needs and who the proxies send them not just allowed them to take part in the community. The presses, send them, put them in leadership positions, the presses, send them put them in positions

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where they can flourish and shine and serve the Mohamed salah they send them. I'll give you one example. in Mattoon, Abdullah bin Maktoum you may or may not have heard this name, but you most likely recited the verses in which he is referred to as the Allahu Anhu Allah Who in the Quran, Abdullah even Maktoum was a companion of the process and I'm one of the first converts to Islam were the first people to accept Islam in Mecca. His mom, Attica, Lee Allahu anha. She was a woman who was given the title Maktoum, the mother of the concealed one because her child was born blind. And so she was known as Mattoon and this child was Abdullah, even Mattoon.

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This was the companion who accepted Islam very early. And he had this quality of being very eager in his faith, he wanted to learn as much as he can, who wanted to learn the Quran and want to memorize the Quran to the point that he would try to follow apart the process and around and ask him questions tell him to recite the Quran for him. He would say What did Allah subhanaw taala reveal recited to me, What did Allah reveal recited to me, and there was a time where the prophet send them. One of the strategies, the person I'm employed, was to reach out to the, to the to the Chiefs or the chieftains in the Quraysh, which is a totally valid strategy, right? You reach out to the

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leaders, people would influence and obviously people would influence if they accept Islam, and how many hundreds and 1000s so on and so forth, other people will be influenced by them, and they can accept Islam as well. And so on one occasion the President sent them was giving our to some of these chieftains and present them is trying to get their attention trying to explain to them and I'm delighted in Mattoon, he, he comes to the process.

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And he says, Oh Messenger of Allah, Ya rasool Allah, teach me from what Allah has taught you, meaning Look at me, give me your attention. Right and the person sent them even though he he loved at Allah. But right now he's said I'm just doing a job right? And I often think about my son and I'm not gonna I'm not gonna say his name. He's like, Dad, you gotta stop saying my name your lectures. Like you give me a bad name right? Nameless son of mine.

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He does this thing with me where sometimes like I'm working on something and he'll comments or those of your children you know about this right?

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like dead, dead dead. Let me like, Listen, man, like I value you. I want to listen to you. Not right now, because this is really important what I'm doing. Right Subhanallah I think about that. And I think about what happened with the person send them. Of course, what Abdullah McDonough was asking for I sent him is totally valid. But right now is not the time. This is how the press send them felt. Right like just just hold on like the president like just just just wait, right? To turn his attention away. I'm delighted.

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And then the press has

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tried to give to our, to the leaders, the chieftains amongst the Quraysh. And the narration say that after he was done talking to them, we saw the effects of the revelation descend upon the person sending them right sometimes rustling would feel like he's getting very, very heavy, right, his head would pound and so on and so forth, you would feel you could feel the effects of the revelation. And what was the revelation that the person that was receiving? Versus that we all know, I bust out with Elena, Allah who was penalized to Allah says He frowned and turned away. Now this is the this is Allah, who's penalty Allah speaking directly to the Prophet, so I send them telling the person about

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what just happened. I bust out the window

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when the one who was blind came to him, right, and I just told you what what happened? Well, now you did ICA, what are you doing? And

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Allah is saying, How would you know? Or could you know? Or would you know, can you perceive Can you can you tell that perhaps he might be purified? Meaning what you're trying to do with these chieftains, which we said is completely valid? Perhaps this person, he may be the one who could benefit the most? Oh, yes, 00. Or he may be reminded, and the remembrance would benefit him. Because the reality is, we all hear reminders all the time. But not all of us benefit from the reminders, and that is truly with Allah who we don't know. So right now, if we were do like the equivalent of this, we would invite like the mayor, and so on and so forth. And we would say, You know what,

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forget the community, we're just going to talk to the politicians. But their guidance is not in our hands guidance comes from Allah who's panel at the Ayana. And we don't know what someone's true value is, it may be members of our community that we don't think about, that we have neglected, we think they have nothing to offer to the community and they're in actuality, by the knowledge and will of Allah who satellite to Allah, they are of most value to our community. But perhaps we cannot perceive that. And then Allah who's to Allah says, A madman is sterner as for the person who thinks that they are self sufficient. And this was the attitude of the Cornish right? They're like, we

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don't need Islam. We don't need this Deen of yours, like you have nothing to offer to us. So that's those people. And then I beloved OMA to him who is saying, oh, Messenger of Allah, give to me, I need what you have. And see the difference between the two. There are people who feel like we don't need Islam, we don't need what you have to offer. The religion of our forefathers is better than what you are preaching to us. And then Allah who's panela to Allah says, Allah who just to him to that person, the one who thinks that they're self sufficient, that is the person that you gave your attention to? Why am I like Elias? Zeca? When the reality is there, Islam is not in your hands. You

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cannot make someone be guided you cannot make someone be purified. It is once again Allah who's petawatt to Allah, Who Controls someone's purification, someone's Islam. What a man Mangia, okay. Yes, sir. As for the one who came to you, desperately seeking your attention, desperately seeking what you have to offer? Well, who Ayesha and he is the one who has the idea of Allah who's kind of like to Allah, He is the one who is conscious and fearful of Allah has power data, meaning his level of spirituality is very, very high. This is the person Allah who has power to Allah is telling her send them who you turn your face away from the Undine Huhtala and you turn your distracted by the

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chieftains of the Kurdish Canada in the heart of Kim. No indeed, these are reminders, these verses of Allah subhanaw taala, this Quran, this revelation, this is a reminder from Allah who's paranoid to Allah from insha, Allah, Cara, and whoever wills will remember.

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And so what do we see here? We see here, a lesson that was taught to the process and by Allah subhanaw taala that the value of people the true value of people we don't know. And so we cannot think one person does not deserve it, because of certain traits that they may have. And this other person, they deserve it. Who gets to decide which Muslim in our community deserves to listen to a lecture.

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Well, you may say, Well, I don't I know I'm not I

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I'm not, you know, I'm not excluding everyone. Well, exclusion doesn't always happen consciously. Exclusion sometimes happens when we just don't care. Exclusion sometimes happens because of neglect, because we have neglected to create opportunities and spaces for people with special needs, we ended up excluding them. And that is the conversation that we're having today. That's what we're talking about today. And I'm not here to and I don't think any of you any of my brothers or sisters, I don't think bad of any of you. I know that as believers, the fact that we're here today means you have goodness in your heart and shallow data allows a Kiala

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there's goodness in you. And that is why it is important for us to understand that once we begin to empathize. Once we begin to think of our brothers and sisters as our own once we begin to say, how would I want to be treated? If I had special needs? How would I want my children to be treated if they had special needs, once we begin to personalize the message, it will become very, very different. And the story of Abdullah bin Maktoum he went on to be this great companion. He was one of the two individuals of our send them picked to send to Medina to give Tao over there. We'll start with narrow mail. And I'm delighted to the two companions. And we'll start with Norman was a young

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person he's got his own story amazing. Two people that we would never think of to make leaders or send them put them in charge of teaching the Quran teaching the message of Islam to the people of Medina. emissaries of the prophets, I send them ones that young person in his teens, some narrations, they, they're interesting, the young person, you know, we look at our young people, and we're like, you know what, just move aside. Right? What do you have to offer? The second was a companion Abdullah Maktoum, who was blind. We may look at that and say, Well, you know, they may be restricted and so on and so forth. Can they really can they really do what others can do? And so no,

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I sent him knew the potential that he had personally, I knew the merit that he had sort of knew the goodness that was found in Abdullah Al Maktoum. And Allah evidences as I said, this is one story. I could be here for hours mentioning companion after companion companion, who we may look at. And often think about this kind of life, a companion walked into our masjid. And we didn't know they were a companion, how do we treat them? You know, one thing I was studying somehow there's a class I teach called Trends. It deals with the flick of like clothing, and so on and so forth, dressing, clothing and all of that. And I began to research, like, what the Companions look like, and how they

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dressed, and so on and so forth. And one of the things we learned about the model the Hola.

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And I know, this is a weird thing, right? But I'm just gonna say it anyway. Or model the low on many of the narrations about him mentioned that he was balding. And we think of our own model, the Allah on in our minds is amazing personality, this amazing individual, right? How many of us would I would think that he is someone who was balding.

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Right? Because in our society anarchy, once again, we live in a very visual society, where what people's worth is based on how they look and, and you know, are they considered, you know, good looking, and so on, so forth. And even when we pick politicians, and so on, so forth, trumping the exception, anyway, other than that, right? We tend to pick people and there's studies on this, that, you know, if someone is better looking, they have more chances of being elected, and so on and so forth. Right. But this is something that is how I think about this, that if our model the Allah and walked into our mission today, would we be in awe of him if we didn't know anything, if we didn't

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know it was him and some of the other companions Janae be even and so many of the other companions, all these different physical traits, but you never in the books and in our minds, these are giants, why not because of their physical traits because of their Eman because of their Taqwa because of what they accomplished in the faith. And they accomplish that because the prophets Allah Salam made room allowed for them to flourish, he gave them opportunities to flourish if the President did not

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create opportunities. For people with special needs. We would have so many of our companions that we wouldn't eat, we would not hear about them today. Abdullah bin Maktoum was also by the way, one of the two ovens with Bilal Radi Allahu Allah. Abdullah bin Maktoum, the one who was blind was also the one who the person would leave to lead the prayer in Medina when presented with travel, and so on and so forth. There are so many merits of these companions, brothers and sisters, I want to end in Charlottetown up with what I started with, and that is empathy. Empathy means once again, to look at an individual to see what someone is going through and ask yourself how would I want to be treated

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if I was in this situation? And as I said, this is a core aspect of our deen a hadith that even young children learn law you know, I

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Do competitor you hit by the FAA, may you head boldly enough see that none of you truly believes until you love for your brother, what you love for yourself?

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Do we think about this when it comes to our brothers and sisters with special needs? Do we think about this when we see our brothers and sisters who are being neglected and we're not being served in our communities? And here the President said, Now you may know, you don't believe meaning there's something lacking in your faith. There's something lacking your Eman. If you look at another brother or sister, and you don't ask yourself the question, how would I want to be what would I love for myself.

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And that is really problematic if we if we don't have that, that mindset with our brothers and sisters. And that applies to everyone. You know, there's a hadith that often gets

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quoted when we're talking about our brothers and sisters overseas. And that is the Hadith of the human being one body, that if there's a if, if one part of the body feels some pain, the rest of the body feels some pain, we all know this hadith. And yes, it should be applied to our brothers and sisters who are going through difficulty and trials overseas. But it equally applies to our brothers and sisters who are dealing with trials here with us. And we can even argue An argument can be made and Allah is trying to add those best, the fact that they are closer to us in proximity, the fact that we have the ability to help them more means that they have a higher, we have a higher

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obligation upon us to help them. Because that is something that we can actually change, we can actually make a difference. So I'm gonna leave you in sha Allah, Allah, but a couple things that you can do. So what can be done? Number one, what you shouldn't do

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is think to yourself, yeah, this is a problem. Hopefully you guys understand this is there is a need, what we shouldn't be doing is saying this is a problem, and they need to solve it. And they can be anyone they can be the Imam needs to solve it. The Masjid board needs to solve it, you know what the volunteers need to solve it. Because that's, that's, that's a way for us to escape responsibility. And it makes us feel good, right? Sometimes when we criticize others, we feel like we're actually doing something, when we're actually not doing anything at all, we can actually be causing more detriment to the cause when all we do is criticize. So we have to get out of the

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mindset of they them like they have to solve this problem. They gotta, they got to do it. And this is a problem, and so on so forth. It's got to be us. It's got to be me. So we have to ask ourselves, What can I do? So number one,

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obviously, donate. Right? Put your money where your mouth is, if someone says, you know, I can do nothing else, give whatever you can, number two, educate yourself, educate yourself, and educate others as well. When sister Judy asked me and she said, Do you want to help? I said, Yeah, I was like, okay, what can I do? She said, just talk to people about it. Right? Just go talk this talk, educate yourself and just talk to people about it. Because the reality is, we don't know, or people in our community just don't know, we feel like this problem doesn't exist, once again, because we're not exposed to it. And you as an individual amongst your friends, amongst your family amongst your

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your social circle, all you have to do is say, look, guess what, guess what I found out in the mission today, there's an organization called Meissen. They are serving our brothers and sisters with special needs, right? And there is a need, and so on and so forth. Number three, identify the people

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that need help. And I don't mean hey, you know, we have to do a survey, and so on and so forth. Reach out to people, people that you may not see in the masjid, and ask them what they need. And oftentimes people with special needs, people with disabilities, people with you know, mental health, so on and so forth. We oftentimes talk about them, and we exclude them from the conversation. And so it's very important that we make them part of the conversation and ask them what they need and 100 Like I said, My son has done all this work, right? They just need our support, and hamdulillah encourage them to come to the masjid. I cannot tell you the amount of people that I have met in

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these last 10 years or so since I've been lecturing publicly and so on and so forth. I graduate from Medina, in 2011, more than 10 years of Hala decade, I can't tell you the amount of people that have come up to me at one of my seminars, because our seminars are generally held not in the masjid. And they are kind of marketed to like a younger audience. And they they give the impression that they're more open and welcoming, and so on and so forth. So I got a lot of people come to me, and they're like, you know, I want to be a better Muslim and so on and so forth. What do I do? And I say one of the things I tell them is, you know, you got to you got to be a part of your community. And they're

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like, Yeah, but you know what, this happened to me in the community. And that happened to me in the community. And you know, I tried to go to the masjid, but I experienced this and experienced that and y'all know the stories right like nail polish, and this and this and

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Right and that's not right, all this stuff. And so there is a lot of negativity around our masajid. So we need to be the people who reach out to others and say, You know what, I will be your companion. I will be with you. I want to just like I did with my son, because when I brought my son to the mission, I knew the mission is not perfect. I know the mission has got issues, but one thing that I had faith in after Allah subhanaw taala is that I can protect him. If something bad happens he has a bad experience I'm there to tell him you know what? This is just this one person or this is a bad situation whatever it may be, so that I am a correct I'm a good representative for this deen

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and Allah who's penalty I don't know as best Subhanak hola como we handpick a shadow and now in stock Furukawa to a lake which is a como la Hara was Saramonic and welcome to light obrigada