Channel: Tarek Kareem Harris
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This is unusual, isn't it? seldom do you get something on social media that invites you to go deep beyond your everyday moments. There's plenty of good stuff out on social media, which brings you knowledge, history, facts and rules of Islam. But there's not very much that allows you to see how, in a real second by second moment to moment way, how to live your life, how to be
of faith. What that state of mind is,
I don't really care that there isn't much except, but it's just me doing what I do. After all, this is what it takes for me to reach you. And many good ways of communication came about by accident, if you're long enough to remember before smartphones,
people had text messages when text messages were just an add on, which the makers of phones never thought was actually going to take off. And yet people started using text messages. And arguably after that, the whole advent of Twitter and WhatsApp and what have you has become because of an accident,
anyway, reinvention, it's all about how you live your life. It's when you realize that we are made the way we are with our faults and strengths. Not because Allah wants us to achieve anything as such, but because he wants to see how we try. The results are not important. It's how you try that matters. It's that humble every day effort in whatever way you can.
Allah doesn't care. If you prayed five times a day, if it meant you didn't attend to the real obligations you have in Islam, to understand what the Salah is for.
What is the point of Salah, if not to remind you to be here to be a good person.
Salah is not kind of some kind of punch card clock where you go and pray and then come out of Salah unchanged and carry on with your way you are rude to people mean to people sending the way you are. Salah is meant to be a restorative experience is not like an eraser. It's more like an mot what we call an England, it's a refresher and awareness of where you should be going and a recollection of your faculties.
So you go and reflect, connect and come out closer to goodness. If you're not getting that, then or at least not intending to get that then you're not really connecting Salaam to the meaning of your life.
So let's take a step back before we go into slog and let's think about how to get closer to Allah outsides alone and how to really understand what makes a strong mind in this. Second of our deep dive.
You might say that you try to appreciate your mind, and you try to appreciate your life. But you can't somehow Some people say their situation is too difficult, or their own mind gets in the way.
How can you possibly improve yourself when you face such hostile relatives or friends or difficult work situations or such massively difficult problems with your health or poverty, or when there are so many people who are against you, and so on.
What you need to know is that those things are not the definition of you. You exist as a creation of a law separate from all of that separate even from your own mind. That's right, you are within your mind, but you are not your thoughts. The true you is is is the heart of your mind. And you have to realize actually most of the time, you're thinking or is being dominated by the knifes the emotions, the temptations, the impulses. It's a tool that it requires learning. But it isn't your only tool. The real tool you have that's above you enough is the awareness that comes from your heart. And what I mean by that is if your mind is wandering, and you're unable to pay attention to stuff or you
become distracted by worries or whatever, you could either wander along with your mind and feel that this is you that you are lost, that there's nothing else except feeling lost. Or you could look at your mind and say, Oh, my mind is wandering. I don't have to wonder along with it. I can just observe that it's wondering
if you are suffering, you could either believe that you are suffering and that your life is awful. Or you could step back and say Oh, actually it looks like my mind is telling me that I'm suffering and my emotions, my knifes
In particular, is telling me that things are terrible. But feelings are not facts.
So you can start to see that this second way, the process of standing aside and observing.
you're observing yourself with true reflection. This is what Allah keeps going on about. He wants you to reflect He wants you to see yourself pretty much as he might see you from high above,
just as a person living their life
on this small planet.
And we can help that along by doing some special forms of vigor, remembrance, mindfulness in Islam, meditation, this is all encompassed within Islam. last session, we talked about refocusing just on one or two things in Salah.
This session, we're going to look at remembering Allah directly, as you all know, as a form of mind, strengthening the
mind strengthening remembrance. And all you have to do is stay where you are.
And take a seat.
And close your eyes if you'd like.
What we're going to do is a process of breathing, and saying Alhamdulillah slowly in our minds, or under our breath,
that's all you need to do. So relax, feel your body wherever you sat. And just feel yourself connected to the ground.
And understand that we're going to do breathing, why breathing, because breathing is the way to the nuts is the way to control and understand. And
I've said before that knifes is originated from the word nervous, which means breath or movement of time Subhanallah this connection shows you that actually to get to our emotions, we have to take a moment of time, we have to take a breath.
And as you breathe slowly,
in or out.
As you breathe in, you might say Alhamdulillah
you might want to hold your breath at the top, just to help you focus or you may not. And as you breathe out, you say Alhamdulillah
you're inviting yourself to just observe.
Slowly notice your breath going up and down and say Alhamdulillah as you do
this is all you need.
And as you keep going
more you do this, the more you'll sort of feel a bit more connected to the moment.
And you might notice your mind wandering.
In fact, if you don't notice your mind wandering at some point, then there's probably nothing going on in your mind and you might not be alive. Your mind wandering is not a weakness.
Your inability to focus 100% all the time is not
a sign of something wrong with your head, don't believe anyone who tells you that it is that is exactly how the mind is meant to be. It always folds over it's a bit like the weather. It's always changing the clouds and the wind and humidity and so on. It's always going on. Okay, this is the nature of the mind, this is how we've been created, you have no need to apologize for that.
But we can bring it back we can invite our consciousness back, just by focusing back on the breath. And on Alhamdulillah we praise Allah for the state. We note Oh, my mind wandered. And when you notice is wondering, just invite back to the breathing and tell the knifes what it does best. Just keep focusing on the breathing and make a note making up my mind wondered about this or that thing. And just let it be.
Oh my mind was very worried about what my husband thinks what my wife thinks what happened yesterday, what's going to happen tomorrow. As you do so you just make these notes you find that you have taken a dip outside the surface of the water and you are now deeper inside where it can be totally calm. Only 20 feet below the surface of water. It can be totally calm.
And this is what the mind is truly like you're getting closer to your heart. Only you never knew it because you were convinced that all there was was all this chaos on the outside.
hamdulillah This is what I mean by appreciating who you really are in your depth. This is where we go with a deep dive. You are not those things on the surface. You are that sense of real depth, that foundation of calm you are that wisdom that exists regardless of what goes
On the outside, regardless of what your emotions or fears or anxieties are telling you.
And as you go forward, you can praise a lot, even for the distractions, because he comes to you, when you reflect, when you acknowledge that you're weak and you're struggling, and you still say, Well, look, I'm gonna take a moment to just breathe and accept that I don't have control.
But I can just breathe to sort of bring my knifes into some kind of conversation.
And you understand that your emotions perhaps are like an ocean, in that sometimes it can be very, very calm, almost glassy on the surface, but other times it can be tumultuous. But you can just float with it. And you don't have to be taken by what it's trying to drag you towards.
And as you go forward, you'll find that it's easier to reach out to the sense of calm, it's not about trying to shut your mind off, or to blank your mind out in Salau any other time. No, you just letting the mind do its thing. And no matter what is trying to tell, you just accept and say Alhamdulillah This is my mind it wonders. It's trying to convince me of this, it's trying to convince me of that. There have been times when it's been better, there have been times when it's been worse.
I'm just going to try and breathe for now. That's all I'm trying to do. And if I can't, if I don't, that's fine, too. There is no sense of success or non success with this exercise, you just do it. And no matter how far or how far you go or don't go, you've succeeded because you've just taken effort to reflect That's it.
Good news is that this need not be a temporary state, it's not a special state of mind. You can come out of it out of your slow breathing in and out. But you were awake going into it, and you're awake coming out of it. It's that calm that comes from paying proper attention to who you are and realizing that there is more than whatever alarms you on the surface.
It is that which the more you do it, the easier it will get and the more you will start to discover your own strengths and qualities. And the closer you will feel to Allah I guarantee you that as time goes by.
And that's how the deep dive comes. Alternatively, I know some people have said in even my brother said, you know deep dive scares me a little bit going on the water. Well, you could think of it in another way. It's as much as a deep dive. It's also like a flight. You're going above the surface of the water and then you're seeing that Oh look, I'm just a little boat. On this surface. It looks very stormy here but elsewhere.
It's very calm. I can sail my boat to that direction, whatever metaphor works for you.
Right? Do the breathing. And remember a lot because when you remember like you're doing what he said, You are actually reflecting. You're appreciating yourself and a moment spent in reflection is worth 1000 moments. Just doing things mindlessly.
Talk to you next soon. inshallah. masala