Sarah Sultan – IlmFest – Why Do Bad Things Happen to Me

Sarah Sultan
AI: Summary © The speaker discusses the struggles people experience when they experience loss, including loss of dreams, struggles with anxiety, and negative thoughts. They suggest that people should avoid these struggles and try to avoid them. The sh cycle process is designed to protect against attacks and steal connections to electronic data, and hardships can lead to negative experiences, including negative reactions to past experiences and negative consequences. The speaker emphasizes the importance of showing love and gratitude towards the person they are speaking to, even if they may not be able to solve the situation.
AI: Transcript ©
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Bismillah salat wa salam ala Rasulillah and he was Sofia human Willa and my bad Santa Monica Mara how to live better get to everybody

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does Aquila hit on for the honor of being here at I'm festive handle. I've been telling all of the volunteers that I grew up in New York. And so I'm part of almost the original copy that labor crew. And I remember being a volunteer for I'm fest. So many, I won't tell you how many years ago, but the last time that I'm Fest was in New York. And and it was it was amazing SubhanAllah. And now to be on the receiving end of the hospitality of the volunteers here is wonderful. So please keep the volunteers in your diet, because the efforts that they have to put forth to make this a reality is really intense. It took hours upon hours, weeks upon weeks, months, and so keep them in your email

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list has to reward them for every single bit of their effort. I mean,

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I'm also really honored to speak about this particular topic, it's very near and dear to my heart.

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Which is why do bad things happen to me.

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I work as a mental health therapist, and Hamdulillah. And when clients walk into my office, they're often at some of the darkest lowest points in their lives, and they're really struggling.

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So some of them might be struggling with miscarriage, for example, having lost a pregnancy, having lost a child they hope they would have, some of them may have been dealing with ABUSE from people that they should have been able to trust. Some are dealing with debilitating anxiety with debilitating depression. And what happens with every struggle that we undergo in our lives, is that every single struggle is a form of loss. There are times when loss can be tangible, right? The loss of a pregnancy, for example, failing an exam, right? Something tangible, but then every single struggle we go through also has a different type of loss associated with it. And that loss is the

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loss of what you thought your life would look like, if you still had it,

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that suddenly the dream that you've had nurtured for so long, is no longer a reality. And that's what's really difficult for people to bear that loss.

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And in the grief that we go through as we endure it.

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Sometimes what happens is that doubts arise, or thoughts come into our minds that are really negative about the world about the people in it, and sometimes even Allah's past data and our relationship with Him.

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So thoughts that we're going to try to address today

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are things like,

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if I'm struggling with these thoughts, then that must mean I have weak amen?

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If I'm struggling with these thoughts, then there's something wrong with me I must be a bad person.

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These thoughts mean that I am doubtful of Allah subhanho data of his power.

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Why would Allah subhanaw taala punish me in this way?

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If Allah subhana, Allah loved me, then he would give me good he wouldn't be giving me these punishments.

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And it seems like whatever I do, however much I try, however much I pray, nothing is going right. What's the point anymore, I'm feeling hopeless.

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So a lot of my clients come in, and they struggle with these thoughts. And a lot of you sitting here, probably struggle with them as well.

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And then they're probably some of you who are sitting here and you're thinking to yourself stuff, but Allah, I don't know how anybody could think these things, right? So let me just say, for those of you who are struggling with these thoughts, you're not alone and struggling with them. And we're gonna break them down Insha Allah, and for those of you who are not struggling with these thoughts,

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thank Allah subhanaw taala for that, pray, that that's not going to be one of the struggles that you endure. But also, keep in mind that these thoughts or the lack of these thoughts do not indicate whether a person is good or bad whether a person's Eman is high or low. Okay. And that's the first misconception that we're going to address that if I'm experiencing these thoughts, then I must be weak in my faith,

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that there must be something wrong in my connection with Allah subhana data.

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And so, in response to that, I asked you a question. If that were true, then wouldn't that mean that no one righteous has ever experienced these types?

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Some thoughts

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that nobody righteous has ever struggled in their connection with illustrata has ever struggled with negative thoughts. Okay.

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So if that were true, then consider this hadith where the Companions, a little Selim, they came to him. And they said, we find in ourselves thoughts that are too terrible to speak of. And he said, Do you really experience this? And they said, Yes. And what did he respond? did he respond, you know, stuff that Allah make will do will go pray to rock cars, and things like that? No. Instead, he said, Verily, this is a sign of clear faith.

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If our righteous predecessors, some of the best people to ever walk on Earth, experience, thoughts that were so bad, that they couldn't speak of them out loud, then why do we expect that we're better and we won't experience them?

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We question

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when the one that also says Selim says that this is a sign of clear faith, we question how could that be a possibility? Right?

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You know, I feel further from Allah Subhana Allah when I experienced these doubts when I experienced these thoughts. So how can this be a sign of clear faith?

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Even I'm a no, no, we are Hamdulillah. In his commentary about this hadith, he said, that the fact that you hate these thoughts, the fact that your heart recoils against these thoughts, the fact that you feel guilty about these thoughts, that's the sign of clear faith. You don't want them. You don't want these thoughts, and they are a trick of shaitan. If you've ever heard the term West WESA the whispering of shaitan. These thoughts come from that.

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And it is one of his attempts to deteriorate and weaken our connection with Allah subhana data? And who does he try to tempt in that way? Does he bother with the people who don't do anything to worship? Allah subhanaw taala? No, he comes at the people who are close to Allah Subhana Allah, because those are the connections he wants to weekend. Those are the victories for him. Right. And so that's why when we dislike them, and we fight against them, that is a mark of clear faith.

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Another thing that we might struggle with with these thoughts, is the idea that if I'm having these thoughts, there's something wrong with me, it means I'm a bad person. It means that because I have these thoughts, these thoughts determine who I am.

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Shaitan mission in life is to break our connection with Allah's data. So imagine him, he's trying to steal your connection with Allah in the same way that in your home, you likely pay for Wi Fi service, right. And imagine if your neighbor next door started to steal it, he's just like, I'm not gonna pay, there's plenty of Wi Fi here for everybody to share, he tries to take some of your Wi Fi service. And then you suddenly notice that your download and upload speeds are not quite as quick as they used to be.

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And you realize that in that, that he's stealing your Wi Fi service. So in the same way shaitan is trying to steal our connection to electronic data.

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And so when we try to protect ourselves against the shaitan, it's the same way that we try to protect our Wi Fi against people who are going to try and steal it, we password protected. That also as I said, I'm one of a man came to him and he said, O Messenger of Allah, I think thoughts to myself, which I would rather be burnt to Ascender than speak of them. And then also Salem responded, Praise be to Allah, who has reduced all of shaitan plots to mere whispers.

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In response to a man saying he struggled with these thoughts, that also says salam said Praise to Allah.

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And so

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the power of our thoughts are what we choose them to be. Our thoughts don't determine who we are, they don't determine our choices. We have the power to choose how to respond to those thoughts. And we can choose to reduce them to mere whispers as little suicide, Selim says.

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Just like we can allow somebody to steal our Wi Fi and whine about it, right. Or we can password protect our Wi Fi, we can password protect our hearts and our minds against shaitan as well.

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And so the way that we empower ourselves to disempower shaitan is by doing the exact opposite of what he strives to push us toward. He strives to disconnect us from electronic data. So we try to connect with him during our struggles is when the shaitan is going to come and he's going to tell us

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this is this is an example of why Allah subhanaw taala doesn't love you. Do you see how Allah doesn't care for you? Do you see he doesn't give you what you need? Because that's when you're at your most vulnerable and that's when he's going to try excuse me to get you right

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but we refuse to submit to shaitan. And instead, we choose to submit to alas path data.

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So let's explore approaches and questions we can ask ourselves to build up these internal passwords to protect ourselves against pythons whispers.

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So something that people might think is that these thoughts, if I'm having these doubtful thoughts, then that means that I doubt Allah. But not necessarily, right? Passing thoughts don't determine, like we said, who we are, right? They're just thoughts. And just like anything else that causes us to struggle, that causes us discomfort, there's an opportunity to get closer to us past data, and there's an opportunity to gain rewards. So they don't mean anything unless we choose to give them meaning.

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Consider the story of Prophet Ibrahim Ali said in the Quran, he says that Ibrahim on Islam says My Lord, show me how you give life to the dead.

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And Allah times that I says, Have you not believed? Are you doubting me? And he says, he says, I have believed Yes, but I asked only so that my heart might be satisfied that I might strengthen my faith until Allah subhanaw taala tells him to take four birds to slaughter them to put them on different hills, call them to him and then they come back flying. And then all the times that it ends and he says and know that Allah subhanaw taala is Exalted in Might Allah disease. And why's al Hakim

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the process alum with regards to these this area, he says that we're more likely to doubt than Ibrahim alayhis salam, and even Hajj in his commentary about this hadith he says that meaning if doubt could have possibly approached Ibrahim bin we are a lot more susceptible to it. But realize that Ibrahim on a Saddam was a prophet of Allah Subhana Allah, questions coming through our mind seeking answers does not mean that we doubt Allah subhanaw taala.

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And so now that we've established that struggling with these thoughts is a lot more common than people tend to expect.

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And that they're not an indication of our level of demand or connection with all this data, then how do we respond to them? Unless pensado responded to Ibrahim on a system by giving him the evidence he asked for, but then he gives us something at the end of these as to nurture our hearts and our minds, where he reminds us

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that and know that Allah subhanaw taala is Li Z's and Hakim

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analyzes the Almighty, the one Exalted in Might, the one who has complete mastery over all creation, the one who overcomes everything, the one who is incomparable and unparalleled, the one who is cherished and a source of all strength and power, and Al Hakim, the most wise, the one who is most knowing the one who has perfect wisdom, the one who acts with perfect knowledge and comprehension of everything that's apparent and hidden knowledge without end knowledge of what you are going through at this moment what you are feeling at this moment, the one who does the proper thing at the proper time, in the proper place and in the proper way.

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That is Allah's path data.

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And so let's explore through all those paths out as might and His wisdom, further evidence to alleviate any doubt we might have when we're experiencing struggles.

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The idea that a lot of people hold is that good and bad, comes to those who are deserving of reward and punishment, meaning good and bad in this life comes to those who are deserving of reward and punishment, that every time something bad happens, it means that you did something bad and that's why you got it, right.

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When bad things happen to us, as human beings, we have a natural tendency to search for meaning. We want to understand why things are happening.

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We pick interpretations that fit into our view of what the world is like, what we expect from the world.

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But the problem is that when we're going through a struggle, especially something that's traumatic, our brains change in a way that shifts our lens to be a lot more negative, a lot more unrealistic, a lot more fearful and pessimistic. And this lens can even go so far as to impact our view of the world, the people and even Allah subhanaw taala and our relationship with Him. And so suddenly, these thoughts like I must be a bad person to be experiencing what I'm experiencing right now can come to mind

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when things don't turn out the way we want them to we always think if only right and that also Selim says that this this phrase if only opens the door to shaitan because you think if only I had done this or if only my life was like this then I would

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have a happier ending. And so it's tempting to assume that our lives are based on cause and effect, that there's a direct cause and there's a direct effect, and that you're going to see that direct consequence for your actions.

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So we have this assumption that Allah's pancetta gives good to those who do good in this world, and only gives hardships to those who deserve to suffer, right? But in reality, what does all this path data tell us, he tells us that he tests those who he loves. And he tells us that times of good and ease and times of hardship and trials are both tests, and they're both have their own blessings within them. Allah Subhana Allah says, that and as for man when his Lord tries him, and is generous to him and favors him, meaning that when we are tested with ease, right,

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then the person says, My Lord has honored me. But when he tries him, meaning he tests him, and he restricts His provision, meaning he takes away something, he tests him in, in a difficult way, then the person will say, My Lord has humiliated me. So when something good happens, we feel honored by Allah when something bad happens, we feel humiliated by Allah. And immediately following this ayah, Allah subhana, Allah says, Kela No, he's saying that our rationale is not correct in this situation. So instead, let's view it through the lens of Allah as an ICS. That hacking through his mind and his wisdom, that part of Allah is pans out of being a disease is that he's also el mais meaning the one

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who grants is the one who grants honor, dignity, Power Strength,

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which is the opposite of humiliation.

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So sometimes when we're going through hardships, we feel humiliated because we feel weak and vulnerable. But what if these hardships are actually a way and a means for ally Z's to provide us with isaa, to provide us with strength to provide us with honor to provide us with dignity.

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And one of the reasons that I love the work that I do so much, is because my clients, some of them have just suffered the

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they've survived the in survivable, Subhan Allah. And they come through after dealing with so much hardship, and so much hopelessness they come through with degrees of qualities that you don't see anywhere else. Their compassion, their empathy, their strength, their patience, they're all of these amazing qualities. Somebody who's led a life of only ease,

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can't fathom how much these people experience and the qualities that they then have. And it comes definitely at a price. But it is such an honor to work with them and to witness it. Subhan Allah.

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And so we imagine that ALLAH SubhanA, Allah is punishing us when we go through hardships, right?

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The electrons out of once, once ill for us, these are the things shaytaan whispers into, into our minds into our ears, that we've worshipped him for years, and we haven't gotten what we wanted. We've been denied it over and over.

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And that all we're getting is pain. But what we forget is that literally within our lives, there are examples simple examples of when pain equals game, right? When you exercise, and you deal with the pain of exercise and you yield a healthier body and mind. When you study for an exam painfully, and you feel prepared and you're sick and you're successful at your exam.

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Hardships differentiate us, they help us to grow, they help us to progress, they help us to move forward. Sometimes we see this progression in the dunya and sometimes we see it in the ACA. But regardless, ask yourself, if Allah subhana wa Tada truly wanted to harm you through these struggles, then why would there be such an tremendous reward for what you're going through? For example, if you've lost somebody that also says salam talks about how I have note that Allah Subhana Allah tells us that I have no reward except for Jana, for a believing slave of mine who shows patients and anticipates my reward after the death of somebody that they love.

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Somebody suffers a miscarriage, and that child will drag their parents away from the Hellfire toward Jenna, because of the pain that they've suffered. If you feel like somebody has treated you treated you with injustice or you've been oppressed. Remember the little hillside Selim says that the supplication of three people are responded to and never turned away. And one of those is somebody who is oppressed, where Allah subhanaw taala raises it above the clouds. The gates of heaven are open

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for it, and Allah's path that says, by my mind, I will help you in due time,

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that no fatigue nor disease nor sorrow nor nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick of a thorn, but that Allah is trying to relieve some of his sins from him. Muscle through suicide seldom said that almost Pat, Allah has promised that he's going to give good tidings to the patient, through their tests, as we bear our tests.

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They don't really sound like punishments, right?

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With hardships, the reward that comes it doesn't sound like all this pans out is punishing us.

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The last thought that we talked about was the idea that I try, I pray I do everything and still I'm not getting what I'm asking for. It's hopeless. And we know the Hadees that also says salam, that diag can be accepted in three different ways. Right, the alleged pancetta can prevent something worse something from from happening to you that that Allah pancetta grants you what you want, or that he saves it for you in the ephedra

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but I want to delve into it a little bit more. Where people sometimes feel betrayed by Allah's past data, right? That I've sought this, and I haven't gotten it. I've done everything you asked me and it's not happening, right? And so people feel betrayed that, or somebody who's gone through hardships with somebody in their life, that they've been hurt that they've been abused, that they that they have been humiliated by someone. And they ask, Why didn't Allah subhanaw taala Stop it, I feel betrayed by Allah.

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It can be really hard at those points to wrap our minds around the Promise of Allah data that fit in the Molosser Euro. That indeed, with hardship, comes ease.

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And one of the pitfalls that we often fall into is that instead of being angry at the situation, which we're allowed to be, we're allowed to be angry when things happen, right? When somebody's unjust toward us.

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Instead of being angry at the situation, or at a person who's hurt us, instead, we transfer that anger to all of us Pat data, a lot of times it feels a lot safer, right? Somebody's hurting you bullying you, abusing you. It's not that safe to show anger toward them.

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But the problem with this is that it creates this barrier, this shield between us and all US Pat data during the time when we need him most. Right when we need the comfort of our deen when we need the comfort and nurturance of Allah's pantalla now we have this barrier of anger that we can no longer get that from him. Right.

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But recognizing anger at a situation, right? That it's difficult, that it's hurtful. It allows ourself to experience the difficult emotions, discharge them right, without blocking ourselves from the comfort of Allah's pathauto.

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It wasn't Allah Subhana Allah who betrayed you, it was a person who betrayed you. And this is part and parcel of being a human being, that Allah Subhana Allah grants each of us free will, that we have the freewill to do good or to do bad to make choices that hurt people or to make choices that help people. And if Allah subhana, Allah had bound us to only good choices, then we wouldn't be free. It would not be free will. Right? And so with this free will comes the pain and comes the hurt. And comes the fact that sometimes good people get hurt.

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And because Allah subhanaw taala doesn't stop, it doesn't mean that he approves of it that he likes it.

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Of course not right? Because if that were the case, then there wouldn't be judgment on judgment day.

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When the day of judgment comes, if every if Allah subhanaw taala approved of everything, then would we be facing judgment would be would we be risking the displeasure of Alice patata. Right.

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We tend to jump to conclusions about why certain tests were sent our way. But in this process, we unintentionally try to think that we're capable of knowing what Alice Pat is actually thinking. But remember that one of the facets of illustrations of His Names that we discussed a disease is that he's beyond comparison, that he is unparalleled.

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That we can't compare our rationale to that of electronic data, and that he's al Hakim, the one who has perfect knowledge who acts with perfect knowledge and comprehension of everything. If any of you have ever tried to bake a cake with a recipe, right?

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There are times that it comes out fine. And then there are times that it just doesn't work.

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I'm you have the recipe and are we have a recipe in our hands. So if we can't even with a piece of paper giving us direct instructions, yield a perfect cake with a recipe in our hands, then why do we expect that we're going to have this infinite perfect Master on an understanding of every facet of the universe or even every facet of ourselves, right?

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Abu Bakr, Radi Allahu on us he used to say, Oh Allah you know me more than I know myself. The difference between Allah's knowledge and human knowledge is that we have to acquire our knowledge, we acquire it based on learning on experience on books, right? Unless patata doesn't need to do that his knowledge is infinite. It has no beginning and no end. It's not based on trial and error. We're Allah's pancetta says in the Quran, and with him are the keys of the unseen, none knows them except him. And he knows what is on land and in the sea, not a leaf falls, but that he knows it. And no grain is there within darknesses of the earth no moist or dry thing, but that it is written in a

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clear record.

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If unless patata the All Knowing the Almighty, the wise tells us that both times of good and times of hardships are tests and each of them have their their blessings. Then why would we think that our rationale about it is better than his? So in conclusion,

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we focus on the potential answers to the question Why do bad things happen to me, which can equip us to fight shaitan temptations his attempt to break our connection with Allah subhanaw taala. But one of the most powerful passwords that we can possess, you know, the kind that the website suggests where you have all the weird symbols and numbers, the you know, all the capital letters and things like that those really strong passwords, one of the strongest passwords that we can possess to protect our minds and our hearts from shaytans. West WESA is shifting our question from Why do bad things happen to me? Why did this happen to me to now that it's happened? How will I move forward?

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Our responses, not the circumstances dictate our lives and how we choose to nurture our relationship with Allah subhanaw taala.

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Remember when little salsa Salam was driven out of Mecca by the Quran,

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he accepted the fact that this was happening. And then he did his part, to make an effort to move away where he he went out in the evening time he had Ali or the lime, take his place as a decoy in his bed, right. And then when he and evil buck, were in a cave hiding from flourish, he did his part to to overcome the struggle and Allah Subhana Allah says in the Quran, if you do not aid the Prophet, Allah has already aided him when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, do not grieve indeed Allah is with us. And Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and supported him with angels. And then Allah Subhana Allah end this by saying an Allah is Allah Aziz be exalted in mind,

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and Al Hakim, the wise.

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So when it seems like the world is filled with darkness and fears, remember what Allah subhanaw taala tells us here, he tells us that he will aid us even if the world does not that he's with us, even when we feel alone. And that through his mind and his wisdom, we'll find our strength, our clarity, our honor, and our certainty Inshallah, just second law played on the panic alarm thing that should wander ilaha illa and myself could have also said I want

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