Channel: Saad Tasleem
What does Ramadan mean for you?
June 9, 2016
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mean, a summary.
So those of you who have ever attended a talk or seminar or class before, you know that I try to make what I talk about as relevant as possible. And I kind of I like to think of myself as a realist, and I know some people take me as a pessimist. But there is a very clear difference. And there is a difference between pessimism and realism. So I consider myself a real realist in terms of when we're going to talk about, we're going to, we're going to talk about the problem we're facing and our character, and this is not a whatever topic you take, from religion, and spirituality, these topics have to be relevant. And one of the ways that I try to make these topics relevant is by
connecting my life and my life experiences and what I've been through what I'm talking about. So that being said, I want to start off with a story, something that happened to me when I was in college, or what y'all call university, I was going to senior level classes, before I went to go study in Medina. And this class is beginning of the semester, I was looking at the schedule, and I realized that this class is going to be I think, like an hour and a half or two hours long. And so I realized that most of the prayer is going to come right in the middle of that class. And so first day of the semester, I go to the teacher, the instructor, the professor, and I'm like, Hey, listen,
I know, but I'm listening. And you know, we pray five times a day, etc, etc. And my point being, right in the middle of your class is the sunset prayer. And, you know, we don't have a lot of time to pray it. So do you mind if I step out for like, five minutes, pray and come back? And he was pretty cool about it. He was like, yeah, of course, you know, fine. And then he said to me, he goes, however, that seems really petty to me. I'm like, What?
Because I don't know, I just, you know, I don't believe in God, you know, I don't follow any religion. So for me, like when I think of God, and I think of God, the way you're describing to me.
And I'm like, What do you mean? Because while you're telling me that God needs you to pray this specific prayer, a specific time, and if you don't pray during that specific time, you can be sinful?
I'm like, Well, yeah, that is a requirement of my being that the requirement of my religion, because anyway, go ahead and pray that that's, that's between you and that you're free to design, whatever. But how much is left that that nugget of thought? And you know, that's not going to linger with me for a long time. And till till a lot I have a lot of people come to me, and they have a similar, similar question like, why do we need to? Like, why do we have to do these very specific things? Like why does God care? Whether I pray two hours or four hours?
Whether I am praying at this specific time or not? If God is so great, then why would he need our prayer? And a doctor studying and learning stuff that actually realize the answer? And the answer is quite amazing, actually. Because that question itself is a wrong question. Because it was kind of Giada doesn't need us to pray, let alone at a specific time in a specific moment, etc, etc. We pray. And once it has made it obligatory, for us to pray Our five daily prayers, not for what kind of God, whether we pray, or we don't pray, whether we worship alarm or not, it makes no difference, of course, but it
was too great for any of that. However, a law has legislated these matters, for our benefit for us, because a lot created us. And a lot gave us life and a love knows us better than we know ourselves, obviously. And so it was out. I know that as human beings, we have spiritual needs. But just like we have other needs that need to eat and drink, and they need to be social beings, need for entertainment, by the way, I can get into that right now. But that to me, we as human beings, we need these things in order to lead a balanced and fulfilling life. And so we have spiritual needs. So what Allah has given us these actions, these deeds that fulfill the very basics, the very minimal
requirement of our spirituality. So our five daily prayers, that's the absolute bare minimum requirement, because that is the bare minimum that we need to feel spiritually fulfilled and then everything after that is some notes and then Noah, fill in the pmma, etc. all those other acts of worship, they make us feel spiritually closer to a lot. Yes.
pairs are the bare minimum. And that is the same with all of our religious obligations. So we look at the passing of the multiple bond. Sometimes I know we may feel a bond being a burden. And we're like, it's difficult and you know, I have to do it.
The day is not for a loss
doesn't need us to pass. It is for us. It is for us, because we need that bare minimum of spirituality. And this is what was said, yeah.
come up with public life?
Those of you who believe all of y'all,
fasting has been prescribed upon you, meaning it's been made obligatory upon you, just like it was made obligatory on the people who came before you may every to every generation every nation has, why they love the devil, so that perhaps you may attain piety, perhaps you may rebuild your spirituality, perhaps, you know, maybe we've been slacking, I don't know, 11 months out of the year. And we need this one month, that perhaps in this month, we will get close to what's in this month, this is the bare minimum we need. And so for us, that is what
it's not about. And I have a lot more things that I've noticed when I started practicing Islam. And before I was talking to Sam, one of the things that would would kind of bothered me about Islam, those of you know, my history, you know, that I was, I grew up, I grew up in a Muslim household, my parents weren't like a practicing family, like literally practices that accompany my family, like culturally sound like many people. And one of the problems that I used to have with what I perceived as slavery, and what people have as well, is that it just feels like a set of motions, and things and rituals that you go through.
And sometimes that's all that's all we think of it sounds like that's what it sounds like, you got to pray, you got to fast, you got to do this, you got to get carried like this is some rituals. But it's not. It's not meant to be just a bunch of rituals. Islam is supposed to bring this culture to Allah. And that is what Armand is about, that in this month, we try our hardest to get close to the boss.
Jim, that came up to me once. And he asked me a question that I get very often, he said to me, he said, you know, summer has started. And because summer started, people are wearing less clothes. I said, you know, the fitness is too much. I can't handle it. I'm not married, like I'm in college right now. I can't get ready to do like, it's crazy. I get this question a lot, by the way, please, like, What do I do? And I looked him in the eye. And I said, you should fast.
And as I said,
I saw the disappointment in his eyes. Like I said, like he's hoping for like some answer. And I was like, you should pass. And he's like,
and I'm like, what's the problem? Because Yeah, I know, like, I've heard it before. Like, I could tell you something else. Like you have any other tips? Do you have any other hacks? Give me the hacks to you know, control my conditions and lower my keys. And like, I just can't handle like fasting, like, yeah, I've tried, it doesn't work.
I'm like, Listen, you want me to tell you something like that I came up with in place of what the prophets I send them said, like, I'm sorry, but I can't do that. I'm not going to leave the words in front sediments, in my opinion, right, the best thing to do is to do X, Y, and Z. When the prophets I sent them told us that a person
a person was able to get married, they should get married, when they're ready this year, the person is not able to meet your spouse.
And so my question to him, the thing that sets him apart, that was not okay, let's try something else. And fasting is not working for you. What I said to him was, how are you fasting, because how we felt, and what the best does to us can make a world of a difference. If we're fasting, we're just going through the motions. Like we're just hungry and thirsty for 14 or 16 hours. And that's all fasting is like our life hasn't changed in any other way. And yet, it's not going to be that beneficial for you. Because fasting is supposed to be is supposed to Transformers is supposed to train our nuts. For 11 months out of the years, we're might not be training it as I said, but this
is the month where we don't give up. We don't give up things that are extra. We give up the bare necessities, food and drink, right? food and water. Those are bare necessities. So what we're saying ourselves and what we're training our nurse to do is hey, if I can give up food and water for this
extended period of time, then I can give up some of my other things, some of the things that are not good for me, some of the things I'm having problems with, if I have trained my nurse to do that, and certainly I can handle with other challenges as well. And so I said to him, I said, the fasting is not, you're not going to fast one day, and
you're never gonna have any temptation ever again, you'll be able to control your gaze, and you know, you're not
going to happen. But what happens is, and this is what it means here is that as you fast, you slowly, gradually train yourself to have control over your nuts, things that you thought you didn't have control over. I know a lot of young people will come to me and say, I simply can't control myself. Like it's impossible. We're living in a non Muslim country, and nobody dresses properly bla bla bla, like just blaming everyone else, but themselves.
Like, I just can't do it.
It takes time, it takes effort, it takes a spiritual revolution in your heart, but it can be done. That is what fasting is about to be. And that is why the participant he told us very simple things about control, like that control over our nuts, changes lives.
The person who guarantees for me two things, two things, I guarantee for them paradise, like if you can guarantee that you can control two things.
I guarantee that you will enter Paradise, sunset monumentally ba ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba ba is?
The person who guarantees for me that they can protect what is between their jobs in their tongue, and what is between their legs?
Then I guaranteed for the paradise. Why? Why is that the case? Is it really that simple? Because I've heard people hear anything like Okay, great. So from my tongue, and I control my sexual desires. And one way ticket the agenda like I'm on my way to go. But if you really look at this issue, you realize that so many of our sins and problems come from those two places. Our total?
How much harm do we do to ourselves and to others, simply because of this, take the example of I don't know, backbiting, gossiping, rumor mongering, things like that, how many families have been destroyed, because somebody couldn't control their,
how many communities how many relationships have been destroyed, how many marriages have been destroyed, because there was gossiping going on in the community? How many relationships blood relations have been destroyed. Because we're living in a community where everyone talks about everybody, and we just spread the word, we hear something and pass it on and so on so forth. The President told us that it is enough of a lie for a person to to convey what they hear, without knowing if it's true or not. A lot like if I hear something, and I'm not sure if it can be true or false, but I conveyed anyway, I think that that is like lying. Because you have not you've not made
sure that why is that protection there? Give us that spice because of the use of our tongue. And backbiting and rumor mongering and gossiping and talking about other people. It's just one of the issues. It was telling yesterday, I was speaking to a brother, a friend of mine.
And he said, Hey, listen, we're just talking about some stuff that I mentioned some personal things. And they said, Hey, listen, if you don't want me to tell this to anyone, let me know. And I was like, No, bro. That's not how it works. In Islam, that works the other way around. Meaning the default setting is we don't tell stuff to other people. And the we if we want you to tell somebody, someone we let you know, I was known as,
like the responsibility of the gathering. There's something you said in the gathering, you don't say it, unless someone says, You know what, I allow you to say this and this and that. And in our time, like the way we work, it's the other way around. It's like we can say we heard something, tell anybody and everybody, unless someone says, Hey, make sure you don't tell this to someone. And the fact that we have to say that kind of let you know, anyone who has been backbiting anyone who has been slandered anyone who hasn't been talked trash about, you know how tiring it is to live your life constantly saying, Hey, this is my personal business. Don't share this with anyone. That's my
personal business. Don't shut up. And don't tell anyone don't tell it.
You can't live like that. And that is why communities get destroyed and founders get destroyed how it gets through the month of Ramadan teaches us to hold our code.
And that is what I send them, you know, amazing.
It puts everything into perspective.
He said about Ramadan, Muslim near the outlet zone. Well, I'm a big fan of it.
President says a person who doesn't hold doesn't stop themselves doesn't leave false speech he will speak this is lying and rumor mongering and backbiting.
A person who doesn't believe that and acting upon that those types of actions actually sinful actions, the law is not in need that the person leaves their food and their drinks. If that's all we're getting out of just hungry for 16 hours. And that's not very spiritually transformative visit, because this trauma bond is supposed to train us. And look, I'm not saying that you have to become perfect in the month. That's not what I'm saying.
All I'm saying is we have to try. We have to make a sincere effort to better ourselves, we have to make this sincere effort to make realistic changes in our lives that can leave us that can stay with us until after the month of Ramadan. And I'll leave you with one final piece of advice.
What I want you to do today,
or tonight at some point, is just do a little bit of an assessment of your life. and identify where you need to make improvement where we need to make improvements in our lives. And write down realistic goals for yourself that you could go about changing, not just staying hungry like this, not just being thirsty, but this Hold on. I want to change my life in this way in that way so that you can make realistic and positive changes to this month. And what kind of Allah knows best payoff for Sarah Marie