Saad Tasleem – We Need Each Other!

Saad Tasleem
AI: Summary © The conversation is about the importance of representation in the community and how it can help with one's faith. It is essential for individuals to have a strong faith in their communities and be present in their faith. It is also important for individuals to be present in their faith and not just be a fan of their community.
AI: Transcript ©
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah what an early he will be here on my way up. So Michael, what happens a lot what occurred to to everyone, I guess the one of the main takeaways for me was the fact that we are facing some very real and extremely significant and now it's extremely harsh challenges as a community as Muslims, regardless of where we live, and tonight, you know, we're talking about community building, and really, what what the community actually means to us, and why the community is actually important. And so, one of the things that I want to start with is the very fact that it is not really possible for us to lead fulfilled lives, without a

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community, without people without a social life. And I say that because you know, a lot this kind of data has created us with different needs, some needs are very obvious and clear to us, they need to eat and drink, okay, we all we all understand, understand that. But one of those needs that Allah has created created us with a natural need that all human beings have art social needs, right? So we need to exist we need to live with amongst, and in harmony with other people in order to truly feel fulfilled. And as Muslims just as a side note, we understand that allies also created us with spiritual needs. And that's why Allah has given us guidance when it comes to our spirituality. But

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tonight we're talking about our social needs, living in a community living with with other people. And so, that is part of that is part of, of who we are. And the reality is, you know, whether we like it or not, we need each other. And if anything, you know, this last a year or so, or you know, maybe less than a year with the Coronavirus and quarantines and lockdowns and you know, people being at home and even now, like you're at home and I'm at home and, and all of that. One of the things that we've come to realize is how much we need social contact, like how much we need to connect with other people. And we really now you know, we're beginning to see how much we're missing out on and

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how much we needed and even, you know, you know, I personally I identify as an introvert, and you know, for me, like when the lockdown started and you know, Coronavirus in the quarantine started. I was like, okay, you know, there's not too bad for me. Like I'm an introvert. Like, this is cool being at home. And yeah, sure enough, like, I think I'm a lot more comfortable than a lot of people. But even introverts, you know, when when you're coming on to, you know, almost now, you know, nine months or you know, at a certain point, even introverts begin to realize that, yeah, we don't need as much social contact, connection and contact as extroverts. But even an introvert needs some type

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of social connection, that's just part of who we are as human beings. So the reality is, whether you like it or not, whether we admit it or not, we need each other. We are just we are social beings. And not only that community is a part a very significant part of our faith.

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Is there a very significant significant part of Islam and that is why if you look at our Deen if you look at our faith, there's there's so much of our Deen that is related to the community. It is related to congregation it is related to being with other people. And there's some very obvious examples, the Juma prayer, right? We don't pray Juma at home by ourselves even though you know Yeah, rules can change during quarantine. You know, when your life is at risk, that's another matter. But, you know, in regular circumstances Juma is not prayed at home Juma is prayed with other people in congregation, the aid prayer is prayed together. The word email, you know, we invite people, we feed

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people, everyone is together. Hi, those of you who've had the opportunity to make hij

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you know, for me, the first time I made hedge, it was a really big lesson in breaking out of my comfort zone, especially, you know, as I said, I identify as an introvert, so to break out of that comfort zone and have to be and be, you know, be around so many people as how to love that was that it was a it was a it was a big lesson for me. And it really helped me understand that a lot intends for us to be amongst each other, to deal with one another, to work with one another to put up with each other's you know, shortcomings because you know, the reality is we all have flaws. And so we have to learn to deal with each other's flaws, and in turn, and in doing that, not only do we become

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better Muslims, not only do we become better worshipers of Allah better worshipers of God, we become better human beings. And that is why one of the country's

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threads You see, amongst all the profits of a lot is that they were communal people, right? They were part of the community, and the Can They were recognized by the community. And the best example is the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu, ala he was sending them before he ever received the message of Islam before he received Nevada prophets I send them was a well known people knew him. They knew what his character was like, they knew how he dealt with other people, they knew that he was he was kind, he was he was generous, some Allahu Allah, he was sending them, they knew that he was truthful, they knew that he was trustworthy, they were amongst the people. And this is why less

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polite to Allah says, My son namira, soudan, in Lebanese, any old me You haven't sent a single messenger, except by with the tongue of their people, meaning they were sent to engage with their people, they spoke the same language, they were known amongst their people. So once again, community communities a very important part of our faith. And you know, a few years ago, and I know this, this, you know, what I'm about to say, may sound a little bit controversial, but those of you who know me, you know, I like to keep it keep it real, right? Hashtag real talk. But a couple years ago, there was, you know, especially online, there's this thing that that became kind of, I don't wanna

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say went viral, but it became popular. And that was the unmasked movement, which is basically, you know, if you don't know about it, like, I don't want you to go back and research this stuff. But But what that the essence of it, the crux of it was really, you know, people, a lot of people were complaining about all the problems that are massage and have all the problems that our missions have, right? So instead, I go to this mosque, and there's this problem and that problem, and, you know, there is a list of problems and reasons why people felt on mosque, they felt like the mosque. That mission wasn't for them, they didn't feel welcomed in the mission. And like, all these problems

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with it with the mission, and you know, what, if we're keeping it real, a lot of those issues were true. Right? We are, we are facing a lot of challenges. There's a lot of things keeping us away from the mission. There's a lot of there's a lot of things, keeping us away from congregating with our brothers and sisters. And and up till that point, by the way, with that, you know, I was with all the people that are complaining, I'm like, Okay, I got you, right, like you're talking about this is wrong, and that's wrong. And this is a problem. That's problem. I'm like, okay, cool, I'm with you. They lost me when they talked about the alternative, or the solute that quote unquote, solution.

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Because a lot of times the solution that was presented to that was, you know what, we just need to move away from the masjid. We need a different space we need somewhere else, we just do our own thing, you know, get away from the mission. And I'm like, that is where you lost me. Because the reality is, yes, we have problems with our massages, but the masjid cannot be taken out of his snack. The Masjid you know, which is a big, big, you know,

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big sign right for us of congregation of community, right? That is where we congregate the message. Right? The message cannot be divorced from Islam, the message cannot be taken out taken away from Islam. If we do that, we lose an aspect of our fate certain things, by the way, cannot be done except in the mission. There's certain certain types of reward that we get from a law that will not be found anywhere except the mission. Just give you a couple examples. There's a practice known as to here to the masjid, which is the Sunnah prayer when you enter the masjid you pray to the cause of prayer, there's something percent them did regularly and he told the companions to do as well. When

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a companion would enter the masjid person would say before you sit down, pray to the cause of prayer to hate the machine. This cannot be performed the reward, the reward for that cannot be gained anywhere except the masjid. So we get rid of that place in congregation get rid of the masjid Well, we lose that reward.

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The reward of walking to the to, to the masjid, that cannot be gained anywhere but the mission, simply the reward of praying in congregation praying in the mission, you know, 25 and one narration 27 times that reward of, of, you know, praying by yourself. Where does that happen? Well, that happens in the mission. And so many of our tickets during the month of Ramadan. According to many, if not most of our scholars are at the conference to be done in the masjid. Or to cough is to be done in the like, you don't make it it's kind of in your house. Right? You don't make it up at work. You know, I'm going to work for six hours, eight hours, I'm just gonna make a cap that no, I think

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cap is to be made in the message. And this is just a sampling of the aspects of our faith the aspects of a snap that are that are attached to them.

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Did you cannot get rid of that? So what do we do? Right? And so for me that whole like unmarked situation, it was a perfect opportunity for reform, it was a perfect opportunity to be honest with the problems that we're having, and then saying to ourselves, how do we go about solving these problems? How do we go about bettering? Our places of congregation? What do we do? And so I feel like just sidestepping the whole thing to sidestep that whole problem, right? The reality is, the mission, as I said, is is an integral part of our faith. But we have to now be real with ourselves and say, Look, these are the problems that we are facing. What do we do? How do we go about solving

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those problems? What how, like, how do we make sure like someone had a bad experience with the mission? And I know a lot of people have bad have had bad experience as at the mission, what do how do I contribute to someone else doesn't have a bad experience. And I'll share just one example with you. One of the one of the experiences or bad experiences that someone may have in the mission.

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I certainly have faces myself, I'm sure some of you have faces as well. You go to a mission for the first time, let's say you go to a different city, you go to a different community, and you go to Michigan, you don't know anybody there you walk in to go pray. And you know, you kind of get the cold shoulder. And look, this is not every mission, some methods, this is what happened, you get the cold shoulder,

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you know, and you know, everyone's doing their own thing, you might find that the mission is click ish, or Everyone has their little click, you know, people hear people there, everyone's doing their own thing. And you just walk in, and you're like, Okay, you know, I'm supposed to, like the mesh is supposed to be a place where we feel at home, like, regardless of what city you're in, regardless of what country you're in. These are the people who have

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these are the people of these are your brothers and sisters. Right? Regardless of their culture, regardless of their ethnicity, regardless, right? None of that matters. And these are bonuses. So when you walk into a Masjid, you're supposed to feel like, you know, your home, right? This is like, these are your people, right? Like, what? So that's one of the expectations that I you know, have,

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which I haven't, like, got that expectation, guys still expect that, right? But someone may walk into the mission and not have that experience. So if that happened to you, and it happened to me, one of the things that I did is I said, Look, I'm gonna make sure that it doesn't happen to someone else on my watch, right? What I mean by my watch, not that I'm running the machine, and I have to run the machine to make a difference, right? I got to be on the board. I got to be this I got to know, as a community member. And I don't even mean somebody who pays like community dues. But literally somebody who walks in the mission and prays in that community.

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Can you be that person who when you see someone that you don't recognize, you give them set items, and you say, welcome, it's good to have you? Do you need anything, you know, where everything is? Can I help you? Right? So you be you, you be that change that you're looking for, you can't control everybody else, right. And there's a lot of problems you cannot control the board you cannot control the MLM you cannot control this, you cannot even even finances you cannot control the finances of the ministry. But what you can do is you can control your finances, and you can contribute you can do your part to help that to help the domestic because well, I we we need this we need this as what

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all of the problems and the issues that that we're dealing in one of the sources of our strength is congregation one of the sources of our strength is community. And this is why the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam it had mentioned something good maybe he actually warned us of this. He said I leave can be Gemma, he said I urge you, I urge you to stick to the congregation. What yuck and what he said and I warn you of being by yourself. Right? Meaning I warn you it's dangerous, a dangerous thing to be by yourself. We we need one another. And I've had a lot when it comes to you know so many aspects of our life. We need the help and support we need this congregation. And even on a

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spiritual level. We know that when our spirituality gets attacked when our faith gets attacked, let's say from the Shia fun. We know the Shia been

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he attacks people who are away from people who can support them right. In another Hadees mentioned in a Timothy had Ethan jab at him and I didn't know the alarm. He said that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said in a Shia panna cotta, yeah, he said, boo saloon. He said the Chapin right, has given up hope that the most saloon will worship him meaning the people who pray will worship the chiffon and what this means is and there's a few different ways of looking at this but in general, what this means is that if you worship a lot than the chiffon knows you don't worship other than a lot if you're praying it

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And the follow here is is a is indicative of all other worship, right? Because he was one of the main aspect main types of worship, right? So if you're praying right, then the ship has given he's given up hoping He's like, man, he's not going to worship other than he's not certainly not gonna worship the shield but

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but what happens. So the chef bot has given up hope that if you pray that you will worship other than that Allah, but President said, Well, I can be dead, he may know. So what is the ship on do, he resorts to causing problems, causing animosity amongst people.

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And this is so telling, because the chiffon knows that if you're praying, you're not gonna, it's gonna be hard for you to obey the shell button. But if you are away from the congregation, if you have problems with people, then there's a chance that he can get through to you. Because there's strength and non like we know this old adage right there, there's strength in numbers, right numbers gives us strength, when we are together, when we are united, when we are with one another, we can withstand so much more than when we are within when we're alone. And the ship, and that's one of his goals is to get us away from the mission, they get us away from congregate to get us away from

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people who can help our man be stronger. You can help us, you know, get closer to a line sometimes, you know, and one of the questions I get a lot is, you know, my email and is suffering and my email is weak. Or I feel like my email is kind of dipped down, like what do I do? How do I increase my email. And one of the pieces of advice that I give is, look, you need to spend time with people who are worshipping a lot of people who are have submitted to a lot of people who are pious people, just and I'm not saying like you just go spend time with them. And I'm sure you you've experienced this sometimes just being around people who are good, inspires you to be good. People who are God

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conscious people who have tech walk, simply just being in the in, they're sitting there gathering is inspirational for us can can can help our men, sometimes when we're feeling low, we just need people who are there to help us and support us. And that is why this tactic of the shift is so powerful because he's like, Look, if I see a father's thinking, like, if I go tell me if I go to people directly and say don't go to the mission, they're gonna be like, Yeah, whatever. Right? Of course, I'm gonna go to the mission, why would I go to the mission? So how am I going to get people to stay away from the mission? Well, I'm gonna cause problems. I'm gonna cause fighting, backbiting,

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slander, misdeed, politics, all those issues to heti strike problems, animosity, and that is how people are going to stay away from the mission. And I bring this up. Because if we're waiting for our community to be perfect, to contribute to the community to be part of the community, then I'm sorry to break this to you. It's never going to happen. And I say never. Because we're dealing with imperfect people, right? None of us are perfect. None of us are flawless. None of us are free of sin. None of us are, are someone who can say, you know, I've never made a mistake. And I've never wronged anybody in my life. I've never made a mistake in my life. The reality is, we all make

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mistakes, we all commit sins, couldn't have any Adam hapa all of the children of Adam, they said they make mistakes, right? This is this is how we it's natural, it's normal. So if we're waiting for a perfect place, and ain't never going to happen, right. And some had a lot, you know, just keeping it real. Once again, I used to be one of those people, and I, you know, I just admit this, you know, to you today,

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but I used to be one of the people that used to be like, you know, this is kind of avoid that message at a particular time in my life. And for me, it was it was it was really, it was really two things. Number one was, you know, like I said earlier, I just had a lot of bad experiences at the masjid. And, you know, I had this feeling of, you know, the machine supposed to bring me closer to a law. It's supposed to be a spiritual place. But you know, every time I go there, people are so judgmental, and listen, that whatever, so like, mess. It's not for me, it's number one. Number two, is, you know, the feeling of do I even really need a community? Right? And so to answer number one,

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the more I learned my faith, the more I understood my faith, the more I realized that I need the mission, even though I may feel like I don't need the mission, right? That even though it's imperfect? The answer isn't to leave it. The answer is to improve it is to play an active role in improving the mission. That's one of the things that actually led me to go study a snap was I was like, yo, we have a lot of problems. And I want to help fix these problems. And I can't do without knowledge. I need to know my faith. I need to understand my faith. And so for me, that was what I could contribute to the challenges and the problems.

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limbs and issues that we're dealing with, as Muslims as as, as a community. And then do I even really need the community. Once again, as I learned about Islam, the more I realized I desperately need the community. And not only that, another thing, which is a big wake up call for me, and I think it is for a lot of people was when I had kids, right, and the parents who may be listening to this, I think, as you know, if you're single, you know, you don't have kids or whatever, you may be able to get away with not not, you know, not, not belonging to a community or not being part of the congregation or whatever. But when you begin to have kids, you realize how important it is for them

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to have a place that they can go to that they can, they can experience Islam, because one thing to talk to your kids, and say, you know, Stan tells you this, and tells you this and do this. And, you know, this is what Stan teaches us, this is our faith, and this is what you're supposed to do, and other all kinds of great, but kids need to see it, they need to live it, they need to experience Islam, for them to really understand what it is. and living in a in a in a in a country where Muslims are the Arab minority, I would say they need it even more, because they don't see it in their daily life. They may not see it in school, they don't they don't see it, you know, in when

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they go to the park, or this is that what like, it's, you know, they don't see it. So they need a place where they can say, you know, okay, this is, this is this is it's not being being practiced, and especially at a young at a tender age, when they're developing, we need to give them confidence in their faith. And, you know, it's it's hard to, like, it's hard, like, I, I grew up in America, and you know, it's, it's hard growing up as a Muslim when you're a minority and everyone else, and you just feel different. Right? And it's hard. And, and if you're already dealing like, like you already having problems in your face, and then you're made to feel like you're you're alienated.

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And, you know, Chef, nobody talks about otherwise ation. And in all that you dealing with all that stuff. And you know, you don't have anybody around you like it is rough, as opposed to someone who can has as a place to congregate and say, Okay, these are my brothers and sisters, and they're facing what I'm facing. And they know, their values are my values, their obligations are my obligations, you know, they, they, they're living their life in a way that, you know, I want to live my life, and that is a source of strength. So, so having kids, you know, I really began to reevaluate my relationship with the community. Because I'm like, maybe I can get behind with not

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being part of a community, but my kids, they need it, right? They need a place. And so my, my next step after that was, well, our communities aren't perfect. So do I want to send my kid to a place where they may see things that are done in the name of Islam, they're not not part of Islam, and therefore, they may get the wrong impression of Islam, which was, you know, just keeping it real. Once again, hashtag real talk, that was a fear of mine, right? Like, I don't want my kid to face some bad experiences at the mission, then they're turned off from the mission. And so how did like, so once again, that was that was something was holding me back? And then I realized, it's a very

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simple answer to that. The answer to that is, you be the change that you want to see in your community. Right, you have to play an active role, because it's very easy to sit back, and, and to criticize and not. And that's just not to take away from the criticism, a lot of these criticisms that I hear are valid criticisms. But it's easy to sit back and say, This is wrong. And that's wrong. And this is it. But it's another thing to take personal responsibility and to say, Look, how do I make positive changes in my, in my community, right. And as I said, that is that is that that is the source of our strength, especially in these challenges in with these challenges in this

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challenging time, that that we're dealing with, I'm going to leave you with four things that you can do,

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or four things that you can that you can implement, to build your community, and to become a part of your community and to contribute to your community. At number one, I'll say this, representation is important is very important. I've heard a lot of people say, Look, my needs are not being met at the masjid. And sometimes it's not. It's not that somebody is on purpose, not fulfilling your needs are not looking out for your needs. It's just that they don't understand your needs, or they are they are ignorant of your needs. Right. And I'll give you once again, just keeping it real.

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Sisters, right, I've heard sister say, look, you know, our prayer space is terrible compared to the brothers is terrible, you know, the facilities for sisters are not like the facilities for brothers. And, and, and sometimes it's not an issue of like the board doesn't care. It's just that they don't know and they don't understand the challenges that you have. And so it's important to get representation in the message and I know this may rub some people the wrong way, but it means that sisters need to be actively involved in the message.

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To get to a place in the mission where they are part of the decision making process, at least their counsel is sought, when decisions are made in the method that may affect them. Likewise, I hear from from from converts that say, you know, it's like, this is a DC machine, or this is an admission, this is somebody mentioned or whatever, like, as a convert, like, I don't feel like my needs are met like nobody, like there's issues that I have that you know, I just don't feel represented. So once again, you need representation. And that starts with being an active, taking an active role in the mission and not making that your goal. So make it your goal that you want to be a representative for

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people who are facing the same challenges that that you are. So that's, that's number one. So once again, I want to reiterate that that means taking an active an active role in your community, that means taking some discomfort, so that the people who come after you can find some comfort that came about through your efforts. Number two, find your passion, and use that to help. And I say this, because we're all different. We all have different strengths. And we have different weaknesses as well. We all enjoy different things.

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I'm not saying that everyone has to and I want to be very not, not everyone has to do the exact same thing in the mission, right? You can be an asset to the Muslim community, based off of who you are what makes you special. And I believe we are all special in some way or the other. And I just some people have found what makes them special. And some people are maybe still searching. Some people have found their strengths. But we're all we're all alive made has given us all different strengths, they may be different, but different does not mean worse. Different can mean at all times it means good, better, right? So what makes you different, what makes you special, find your passion and use

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that to once again, take an active role in your community. Number three, I want to say that one of the ways to ship on defeats us is thinking that we will never be able to to accomplish any real change, that our deeds are too insignificant, they're not, they're not going to make a difference. And so point number three is remind yourself that no deed is too small. No deed is too little. Because the true value of our deeds. A lot is the judge of that we are not the judge of that even our peers in our community might not be the judge of that because there may be a deed that we have done that you mean we may not get recognition for it to be honest, right? A lot of times we I've

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heard people say like you know, I've worked in my community for so long and like nobody cares. But as a believer we understand that even if nobody in the world recognizes us that our reward looks kinda like to Allah is secure. And this is why the prophets of Allah Allah, he was sending them he said he he said no matter who he said never be little anything from goodness what oh and teleca Huckabee watch him play. He said even if it's you meeting your brother with a cheerful face I mean that's something that you would say like what's the big deal of like smiling at someone like is that really like when it comes to you know your spirituality when it comes to like prayer and fasting in

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this and that knows pm when a new exciting the poor are like what is smiling is really that significant? percentage said never be little anything from goodness, even if it is smiling in the face of your of your brother or your sister. And why? Because it's something that people be little, the true reward is that a lost count out and I don't have to remind us panel I'm sure many of you've heard the story of the woman who led a sinful life but a lot granted her Jenna because she gave water to a thirsty dog. Right? We will look at that example. And if we were the judge would say big deal, right? You did all these sins, like who cares if you gave water to a dog, but for loves kind

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of a dialogue that was significant, because of her sincerity, that deep love forgave her sins, and a love granted her paradise for that seemingly small deed. So never look at your contribution and say it's too late, whatever you can do, do it. And that leads me to my last point that since nothing is too small help in any way you can. And if there's nothing else you can think of anything else, something that we should all be doing. And this is last but it's definitely not least is donate is give and give something and I always say this, when I'm put in a position to encourage people to donate or someone asked me to donate I think about this a lot is do something whatever you're

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capable of, right because a lot knows that the the true value of your donation whatever you give, even if it's $1 we don't know how significant that dollar could be. But last night that we don't know how much Baraka lucky putting that dollar and how far that dollar could go to help the cause that we are contributing to words so nothing is too small. How

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Well Lakota, Allah, Allah Subhana Allah Allah will be Hambrick a shadow and that still could go to a lake which is Akuma la Hara was set on one acre working with Allah. He will

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