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S7E14. The Reinvention Series Finale – A way forward, without the self-blame or guilt – Intention

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Tarek Kareem Harris

Channel: Tarek Kareem Harris

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Assalamualaikum as we reach the end of this reinvention series, I want to end off with something fun and interesting. And something that also sets us up. Well, for the next series.

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We'll talk about intention.

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The English language has a saying, which is the road to hell is paved with good intention.

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And what that saying is that, I guess many people intend to do good things, but somehow, if they don't put them into action, then they'll end up in hell.

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How does Islam view the matter?

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You could say, actually, Islam views the matter. Exactly. oppositely. In fact, in Islam, the road to Heaven is paved with good intentions, provided that those intentions were genuine and sincere. So for those of us who have an intention to do something good, and it's genuine, and we're about to do it, but for some reason or another, we're not able to get around to it or something interrupts us, we're told that we are given the blessings for having done something good, even if we haven't done it.

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And the opposite doesn't apply in that if we intend to do something bad.

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We don't get punished for it, until we actually go through with it. So notice, swaddlers is one of the signs of the mercy of Allah. But that also connects deeply to the concept of intention and why it is so important in Islam, and why there's this apparent difference or departure from, I guess, Western ways of thinking, why intention is so central. And what are the points? I guess what's relevant now? It happens to be the end of Ramadan. And we could explore why is it that we end Ramadan clients with good intentions, or we started off with good intentions, but somehow we didn't keep up with all of them. We end Ramadan with good intentions, but somehow we don't keep up with the

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intentions. Once Ramadan is over, we come we become strangers to the mosque, or we don't pray around as much. And we tend to lambaste ourselves and be hard on ourselves. Because we're somehow inadequate veiling, what gets in the way, what are we doing wrong?

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Well, there's some good news here, which is

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different to what you'll normally receive, I guess, from some of the more sort of hardline speakers on the topic. Firstly, I'd say that Ramadan exists in order to refresh us. So it's quite normal, that we decay a little bit after Amazon in our habits or intentions. In fact, if we didn't, then we would have no read from them.

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And remember what Allah says, you know, his favorite activities giving he knows full well, that you will let go for,

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for lack of not for lack of good intentions, but just because some things get in the way. And for some reason, one thing slips and you're not quite as together as you were in rooms on when it comes to the practice of Dean. What is that all there is? Certainly not look, the tendency to decay in any habit is seen throughout humanity. And one need not become obsessed by it. The way to correctly see it is as a natural process, which could do with some re energizing from time to time. And you can re energize yourself in two ways as the rod and the stick methods, right, the sorry, the carrot and the stick, so to speak, the carrot is the one that pulls you and invites you to better things in the

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stick is the fear of punishment. You can scare yourself into doing some things of Deen, if you like, but that doesn't really tend to last and probably doesn't help to create the kind of peaceful intention and graceful conduct. It's much better to sort of invite yourself to be more productive. And imagine what our profits allow, some would ask you to do would he be trying to scare you into doing things? No. He'd set an example and he probably let you do exactly what came to you so that you felt it was your decision.

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But this is where the power of intention comes in. And why I think a lot of us are not quite taught properly. Why intention is so important. We're taught Yes, you must state your intention. For example, when you're setting out to do will do, you may need to make an intention that I'm making Whoo. However,

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how come it doesn't echo as much as it should. Because really, if you put effort into the intention to really understand it, to really feeling it,

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then you

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You might do better when it comes to actually doing the act. You're not just paying lip service to saying some words. It's not all magic, you know, it's not just Voodoo and saying some words suddenly makes it all okay? No, you have to feel the intention.

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So let's look at it, to intend to do something, it's to undertake to do something, or to be a certain way.

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And intentions are better if we enrich them. And we take the process slowly.

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So look at it this way. You need to practice your intention when you're, for example, practicing, doing

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intention for Hulu, imagine preparing food mentally, and saying, I'm going to clean myself, I'm going to do with you for the sake of Allah, and say, Bismillah and imagine yourself becoming purified, slowly relaxed, imagine yourself going through the motions of Voodoo.

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And feel that because if you arrive at starting with you having done that, I guarantee you, the experience will be far more fulfilling, far deeper and far more resonant with your soul and your sense of well being than just rushing into the widow corner. And quickly, you know, rattling out a window without really thinking about what you're doing it for.

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And if you want to practice this intention, idea, more in your life, Islam already has a way, it is saying Bismillah. So try this for the next half hour, whatever you're about to do, say Bismillah before you do it, whatever you're conscious you're about to do now I'm about to

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stand up Bismillah I'm about to go over there. Miss Miller. I'm about to sit down. I'm about to breathe in, I'm about to breathe out. I'm about to eat, I'm about to sleep, say it Bismillah Bismillah. You know why? Because this brings you into contact with the nature of your intention and how they connect to your actions. You're taking the name of Allah before saying before doing anything. And you're imagining that, okay, I'm about to breathe in. Now that I've taken the name of Allah, when I'm about to breathe in, I'm going to do it.

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As if knowing that Allah is with me right now.

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I'm going to head towards my mother and say a Salaam Alaikum to her, but I'm going to say Bismillah as I head towards a why, because I want to do it. Knowing that Allah is with me now.

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I'm going to sit down and eat. But I'm going to do it by saying Bismillah first before I even head towards the table. Why? Because I want to feel it as if Allah is with me. When you do that,

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you begin to realize that virtually everything that happens, can be invested with a sense of your spiritual life. And it can be matched with your sense of purpose, with awareness that you're trying to seek a sense of joy of productivity of being helpful, of showing your better qualities of keeping your cool.

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Look, we have so many things to achieve from day to day, it's very difficult to be good across the board, right? So whatever you've done in Ramadan,

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forgive yourself and ask for forgiveness from Allah, fully expecting and hoping that he will forgive you if you've fallen short.

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That's how he wants you to see yourself. And that's how he wants you to treat yourself and do so mindfully do it. Knowing that you're human, and it's natural, to fall short.

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We can improve our chances of doing things well, if we focus on our intentions. And we're a bit more peaceful with the way we treat ourselves. If you're always going to set out to do things and be perfect, knowing that you're going to fall short of it, or being surprised when you fall short of it and then lambasted yourself that is not going to improve you.

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So perhaps at the end of this period of reinvention, we have to think about re intention, how do we examine our intentions, so that we are more likely to just improve over time rather than expect to be perfect, fail, and then be hard on ourselves and go through the same old cycle of decay and

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shaky achievement.

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Allah knows very well what we intend to do if we really want to do it and we are blessed. The moment we intend to do it sincerely.

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My intention is to understand that my Salah will be imperfect, but my intention is to bear my discomfort well and just carry on because I could not have predicted the mistakes are making Salah. I couldn't have predicted that I would lose my concentration. I will still just carry on and I'll do it slowly and gracefully. And I will hope that Allah forgives me for where I fall short because that is what he's looking for.

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He doesn't look for perfection,

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his favorite activity is to forgive. So relax. Making mistakes is a root in, not a root out.

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And we would not need them down if we could keep up with everything good all year round.

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So as we end have tried to keep your momentum buoyant, every single day, sitting out now is a fresh chance to keep yourself heading in a good direction. You might need to write things down as we talked about in earlier sessions, you might need to refresh your o'clock your ways of being you might need to examine your actions and reflect on them. Don't expect to be 100% across the board, okay? It need not depend on your motivation either. You just undertaking to do a few things every day. If you schedule them in, that might be even better. If you set alarms on your phone that okay today or tomorrow or tomorrow night, I'm going to do the reflection. Oh, and then Thursday, I worry

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a lot of Thursday, seven o'clock, will be my worry time we you mentioned we talked about worry time in an earlier session.

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Whatever you're going through, be at peace, because that's how allowed like it to be. Don't be doubly hard on yourself because you've done something wrong.

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So we reached the end of this reinvention series. Really, it's a beginning.

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These are only little bits and pieces of the teachings or learnings that I've come across that I'm sharing with you both as a scientist and as a Muslim, trying to marry the medical with the religious. And it's only a small part of the various things I write and create for the people of faith.

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You will find much more detail in my books and so on. And thank you so much if you've bought the books, or if you've donated to the Mental Health Access mission, all the money goes towards helping people who can't afford it or who don't have access to mental health. To achieve that. To get the books or donate. Remember, Amazon is nearly over, click the link in my bio or below here if this is on YouTube.

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And then just go and embrace the world with a last name Bismillah Bismillah and find your confidence renewed. Do not find yourself unable to forgive yourself or concern with punishments. No. You have been refreshed as much as you tried. You set out this thumbs down to try to refresh yourself and accept how far you've got. Embrace it.

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And keep your head up and your chin up. Because that's how Allah wishes you to treat yourself.

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See you next session amin