How to develop better Habits

Tom Facchine

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Channel: Tom Facchine

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A lot of the talks and including my talks had to do with Palestine, of course, but Osteen, may Allah grant victory and free our brothers and sisters there and make it easy for them.

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In addition to sort of how to navigate what we're going through, so if you were at Massena, maybe drop a line, drop a comment. Let me know, what was your favorite part of the convention? What was your favorite part of the weekend? I have three talks that I had to give. One of them was with Yaqeen Institute, and Dr. Whitmer. And Jim talking about sort of lessons from the people of Gaza. And we talked about the inspiring figures or some of the inspiring figures that have all come into our consciousness

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since the escalation in Palestine, in October, such as I will yet call it an upon, such as tacy it and such as default, such as other people. So, you know, we tried to derive lessons of courage and lessons of steadfastness and resilience and faith and one of the things that I brought up was the martyrdom of tastier you know, in his last dying moments in raising his finger to the sky and making sure how to, and then prostrating before, before passing away and returning to a loss of power to otter very, very powerful and something that is inspiring to all of us. I also had another talk on sort of the importance for the youth and it was one that was targeted intended for youth on speaking

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out, and I shared some of my own experiences right now. We are in a situation.

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welcome very much. We got Yemen in the house. We got Malaysia, Pittsburgh, hey, welcome, everybody, Virginia.

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My own experiences speaking out even long before I was a Muslim, how oppression always sort of relies upon silence. And this is something we've talked about on this program for several weeks on end. And the silence will the bullying tactics and the silencing tactics will never end until we stand up to them and actually put an end to them.

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So if you were there, modeling from Michigan welcome and I'm certain watermelon also from Michigan that Patterson, Melissa from Patterson in the house Uganda Mashallah. We always have quite the the international crew. Welcome, everybody. And if you were at if you happen to be at massacre this year, let me know what your favorite program was. I also had a lot of good time. When it came to

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sort of the sideline conversations, I was able to spend some nice time with Sammy Hamdi, which is always a good treat and many Michela many days, and other people were able to swap notes and sort of strategize for the future. Welcome everybody. MashAllah Nimra from Canada, Debbie from Chicago. Lots of people Rochester awesome. from Rochester. Mashallah, I wonder if you're the Austin that I know from Manchester. The other thing that's been happening in this past week, very, very important to talk about is even further escalation in, in Palestine and the region beyond Israel has violated the sovereignty of two nations, Lebanon, and Iran, conducting strikes, and each of them has killed has

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conducted targeted killings of, of individuals in Lebanon and bombed more indiscriminately in Iran. Now, several important things have have come about that are important to reflect upon one of these things. The one particular attack that happened in Lebanon, it only killed two people. And this is something that they were sort of bragging about, or gloating about saying about how they used such precision, and there were no collateral damage. But they didn't realize that this was actually incriminating for their behavior in Gaza, that if they had been able to use such precision strikes all up through this time, then clearly what they've been doing in the Gaza is completely

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intentional, which everybody pretty much knew. Anyway. The other thing is to see how these strikes have been framed. In the media, which paying attention and media literacy is very, very important. Noticing the ways in which things are framed, are essential to detect bias and to make sure that people are being fair. So one of the things that was happening was the newspapers were talking about, there was a precision strike in a Hezbollah stronghold, right. This is the way in which they chose to frame the issue. And this is the same tactic that they had used in Gaza, when they were talking about the Hamas supported hospitals, and the, you know, to use it as a justification for

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striking that particular target. Now, a lot of individuals have come forward since then, and said, This is not some sort of occupied territory by any military force. This is a residential neighborhood. And many people have relative relatives, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents that live in this neighborhood. So to set it up, and this is actually going to set up our discussion later for a book that I that I recently completed reading

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that

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To set it up as Hezbollah controlled neighborhood is something that is done deliberately in order to justify the violence that takes place and if there happened to be anybody

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if there happened to be any collateral damage

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why they come to Sudan Mohammed from Malaysia settlement the tongue dunya from Yemen I'm a southern why they come with Saddam, Ariana looks like Ben Bangladesh in the house. We've got DECA from Australia. Well, Allahu Akbar. It's always impressive to see, to see all the nations that we have represented here. And of course, we say the nations for clarification, but we know that we're all one of them. Now, why would Israel here's here's the question that has that has come about why would Israel go and violate two nations sovereignty and escalate at this particular juncture? What are they trying to accomplish?

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Many analysts have pointed out that this is not a coincidence that this is happening at the exact time where charges have been brought against Israel in the International Criminal Court for actual genocide, South Africa's the nation that introduced sort of the court proceedings, and we're all ashamed and embarrassed that it was not a Muslim nation that introduced these court proceedings, but at least Alhamdulillah. Malaysia soon joined and after props to Malaysia, Michel Tabata cola. And after that, I believe I read a report that the O IC also signed on to it as well, which is not insignificant if it's true.

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But part of the reason perhaps, and many Turkey Okay, Zack is telling us that Turkey has also joined, which would be major news.

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So the escalation of the conflict and the lashing out at other people. Middle clubs is why they come so down thought I mean, no clothes. Yeah, Saddam,

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exactly as sitting on a mountain just pointed out that Israel is terribly afraid that the US will abandon it. And we've pointed out that the US is the enabling factor here, the United States government, against the will of its own people, is the enabling factor in all of this, that if they were to stop or pull out their support, that there would be no support and very, very soon everything would end. So

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the tide is turning so much against Israel, both internationally, the government's it's becoming more and more costly to support Israel, that perhaps and many analysts have pointed this out, perhaps, that Israel is attempting to escalate the situation, provoke a response, drag the United States into a more a more violent and regional conflict, which was sort of solidify their lines.

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So we asked Allah subhanaw taala Elizabeth from Mexico bienvenido are they gonna sit down and I thought we had to

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We ask Allah Spano to offer assistance. These are very difficult days things are moving very, very fast. And we ask Allah is bound to audit for patience for what is to come.

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You have to hear Eunice Ma sha Allah

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probably why they come sit down.

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Excellent.

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Very good. So we'll see how things are going but in for those of us in this part of the world, and this is something that was one of the main

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points and takeaways from mass acna. And especially from the talks of Sheikh Omar so they men and Sami Hamdi and others like them, that us in the United States have a particular responsibility. They have a particular responsibility to stop the violence. Netanyahu has said that they he relies upon the United States for munitions, and if that dries up, then the Israel will be sort of left stranded so inshallah we hope very, very soon that we'll be able to get the political will to stop that support here, inshallah Tada and to help our brothers and sisters in Gaza. Let's see we have why they come sit down, not Allah Aisha from Somaliland. Welcome RMB tempo Inc, Christian bus support

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Palestine. Excellent. Welcome to the program.

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Excellent.

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In our next segment, so we're going to transition from that and talking about current events, we're going to move on to something that I would like to share with all of you. And this is something that is going to be a running segment. Okay? So we're going to be able to if you're able to follow along, whether it's live, or if you can't then catch up with the recordings. We're going to go through some books together, right? Because this is actually a very, very beneficial thing. We'll be able to learn together I'll be able to review and reflect on some things. So I've got a book that I picked out. I was thinking, Okay, what's a useful book? That's not too

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Long that we can kind of zoom through that would be beneficial for everybody and I picked this one book which is basically it has to do with your, your daily habits. Okay? It's got, you know, a long flowery title, but

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the it's a minute OLALIA Phoebe Anna Sunon, a le OMYA. Okay, which is part of the genre, okay, this this type of book is part of a genre that has to do with sort of your daily habits. And it's not just about your daily habits, it's about taking your daily habits from the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sunnah, that part of when I said I want to set up that I am a sonata Hola, Mina, from Malaysia. Welcome everybody, that if we want to be right, and this is not unrelated to our sort of political discussion when it comes to trying to do what we can to help our brothers and sisters in the OMA across the world, that our ability to act often comes down to our discipline, it comes down

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to our sincerity and it comes down to our

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the toe feet and the bulk of that we have from Allah subhanaw taala. Basically, that means the success that Allah gives us, right, the blessing that Allah puts in our time. And we can't necessarily,

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we can't necessarily have an expectation that we're going to have a lot of blessing in our time. If we don't have a schedule. If we don't approach our day in a systematic way, where we are organizing ourselves if we kind of just laze around, or if we don't have any plans, and time just sort of slips and slips and slips, then this is something where we're not going to be maximizing what we can do, we're not going to be

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building that discipline that we need. Okay, so it's extremely important to have a scheduled period. And it's extremely important to have good habits in general, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that the most beloved type of action to Allah is that which is

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constant and consistent, even if it's small. Right? This is something that's very Fitri. Like a lot of people recognize this, one of the books that like atomic habits was a book that became very, very popular because there's a recognition that if you even were to just read one page a day,

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okay, on the solar calendar, you get through 365 pages a day, that's a book or too

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many of us, unfortunately, in the age of social media, and the age of sort of online and phone culture, we don't read books anymore, right? You read articles, you check the news, you check what's going on, on on Twitter, or on Instagram. And then a whole year goes by, right. Some people notice, okay, 2024 is in it's not that it's the Hijri calendar, but it's something that is like a reminder, okay, to, to mark time and to think about our goals. How many books did you read in 2023? Maybe you can share that in the chat. People without you know, trying to have the intention of bragging or anything like that. Just share just to give everybody a sense. How many books did you read in 2023?

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Yet you mean? Atomic habits is not the book that we're going to be going through is another book that I referenced.

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I'm going to show the book again. This is this is it right here?

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Yeah, so tada. Mashallah, very honest, zero.

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Okay, other people coming in with one, okay, my shot, we're all in this together, right? We're not trying to shame name and shame, anybody. We're trying to just be very real about where we're at. Because when you take honest account of where you're at, now, you can be like, Okay, I'm gonna set a goal. If last year, if 2023 was zero, your goal for 2024 can be one. If 2023, you read three books, then your goal for 2024 can be can be five, right? It's not about a competition, you're only in competition with yourself. Right? That's what I want to get across here. Okay. And so, let's make a habit, let's make an intention to get through some books together, Inshallah, or at least to be an

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inspiration for that. And to, to benefit from each other both in the types of books and also to get into good habits. How are you going to get through books if you don't have a structure to your day, and a certain organization of your time? So that's important. auslin, right. That's important, just to have any structure or any schedule, let alone let alone to have a structure or habits that come from the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam, the best of creation. Okay. You can look at other people, right? You can look at I know there's like some Marines on social media. They say how to maximize your time, here's the schedule you need to have. Okay, that's great. But wouldn't it be even better

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if we got our daily habits and our daily schedule from the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam Lena as asking about English language translation of the book, I don't know

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leave there is.

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So I'm going to be your translator. And we're not going to go through every single page, we're just going to take the highlights because sometimes he goes into something because sometimes he goes into some Hadith and differences of opinion stuff like that. That's not our concern. Our concern is the Zopa. Our concern is to grab the essence of the book to try to develop or get some ideas about how to structure our day. Okay? So, if we start with a book, okay, the book begins by top buy it organize it according to time Okay, so it's imagine like, it's like 24 hours in the life of the prophet Mohammed sigh setup. Now, what do you think I'm gonna throw this to the floor? Everybody

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watching? I want to see your answers in the comments. What do you think is the first thing that this book starts with?

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What do you think is the first thing

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what time of day does it start with? You know, with breakfast, and start with dinner time? Let's start with what do you think it starts with?

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Exactly Tala creme de la creme

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Margaret Margareth good gas watermelon. 786 not true. Definitely fetcher. Debbie says fetcher other people's salah. Okay, very good.

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Okay. Just measure.

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It actually starts before

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the time before measure and the night prayer. Allah. The book starts with the time before fetcher. Because one of the most important things in your life. And I'm talking to myself first don't think that I've got it all figured out or I'm some sort of saint

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is

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the night prayer.

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The night prayer to hedge it exactly. It's a flower and emerald exactly starts with the hedging. Okay. The night prayer is probably the most significant thing in your life. If you're doing it, and it's probably the most significant thing that you could add to you your life if you're not doing it.

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Okay, you know, the Shafi Rahim Allah He said, if you ask for something like you ask Allah for something, do whatever, but you're not praying at night for it.

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You're not serious. You don't really want it. If you really wanted it, then you would be up at night, praying for it before fetcher.

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Of course, we know there's we could go on all day about the merits of the MLL at praying at night. It's the fast track to enter Jannah. Okay, we know about the special time before fetcher, the last third of the night where Allah subhanaw taala descends to, to forgive our sins and to grant us whatever we want. Okay, that's all

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that's all well known. But what were some of the other things how the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam approach this practice, that's so so important. Let's see, when you see that the first thing that he did all day, so that's

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when he woke up is to, to brush his teeth.

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And he started with the Solak. Of course, this wax a little tooth stick, you know, they cut it from the root of the tree. It's very nice and refreshing. But things that can replace, replace that these days or brush your teeth. Now, there's a couple things. There's a couple things here. I want to point out why this is significant. One of them is the importance of hygiene and cleanliness. Okay? How does your breath smell when you just wake up first thing in the morning?

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Not so great. Right? Now imagine if your normal schedule, you you wake up, you roll out of bed, okay, it's late. You catch the tail on the fetcher, you have to go to work or you have to go to school. Okay. And you don't have time you didn't build into your time, so you didn't brush your teeth. And now, what's the first impression that you're going to make? Either to your spouse or your kids, or to your classmates or to your coworkers? Probably not a very good one, the probably some of the first thing he did where he would, he would brush his teeth upon waking. The second thing, the reason the second reason why that's significant. Is that what did he not do? He didn't look at his

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phone.

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He said,

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Of course, he didn't have the opportunity. But I want to I want to demonstrate to you what probably the majority of us do. And if you guys want to make each other feel better, you can all admit in the chat. If you look at your phone first thing in the morning, I can admit that probably I probably look at my phone first thing in the morning, and I'm going to stop that. Inshallah we have mutual accountability between you and me right now. Right. Salahuddin says he does for sure. Right? Okay, everybody's laughing. I'm guessing that this is something that's very common. Okay, so let's all Yeah, there we go. Morning reboot. Okay, we're all in the same boat. Trying not to

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Lena Yeah, us too. So Let's all make the intention right now, a small thing. We're not going to look at our phones first thing. Now I read somebody, it's very hard. It's very hard.

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Somebody pointed out on social media. And I think that it's a good point that what they've done is they found a different way to wake themselves up for me, I have my alarm clock on my phone. And that's very difficult, because as soon as you go and turn your alarm off, your phone is already in your hand. So what are you going to do? You're going to check your messages. Okay? So somebody said they actually bought just like an alarm clock, or they use some other sort of method of waking up.

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I'm saying I'm going to try that. I'm going to try to use an actual alarm clock to wake up without without the phone, Debbie, Mashallah. She leaves her phone on a different floor entirely. Allahu Akbar. That's what I do throughout the day. We'll talk about this later. Like I leave it on, because I work from home. Mostly, I leave it like with my laptop and workstation, right? And then when I'm down or somewhere else, like I try to leave it off. Right? Yes. And all of us know that we've definitely been using our phones a lot more since everything that's been happening in Gaza. And we don't want to necessarily stop anybody from doing

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from doing good work or from sharing things that need to or from raising people's education information. But

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there's also too much right and there's also bad habits. There's other things that we could be doing instead, especially the very, very first thing that we do dunya uses the living room prayer clock. That's that's pretty nice. Yeah, I need to get one of those at least one that goes on for PM. Okay, excellent. So, the first thing he did all he says to them was brush his teeth. He didn't. Of course he didn't look at his phone, but you and I shouldn't either. Okay, and he took care of something with his hygiene. Then he already started to Sadam said a DUA, or vicar, whatever you want to call it, which sets the stage for the entire day. And this is one that probably that probably most of you

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know. He said. He said that Saddam Alhamdulillah Hillary Ariana bad. Turn our era in the show.

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He said praise is for Allah, the one who brought us back to life after he had caused us to die, and to Him as the return very, very well known. Dua or liquor. Okay. Why is it important that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said this particular thing, he could have said a lot of things, right? There's a lot of different things that he could have said.

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Why did he say this particular thing? And what significance does it have? One of the things to realize is that this phrase, or this prayer, or this part of vicar, it starts off with gratitude. You start off your day with gratitude. Alhamdulillah okay, you're starting off praising Allah. What are you praising him for? Allah, the IANA burden a matter is that he's the one who brought us back to life after he had made us die. Now, they say even in English, they say that sleep is the cousin of death. And it's a sign for us a sign of Allah's power that He has made us such that we actually go to sleep at night, and we're not conscious, like someone will poke you with a stick, right? Draw

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funny faces on you with a sharpie, you're not going to necessarily wake up your unconscious and that that is a it's a sign that then Allah subhanaw taala can bring you back from that. He can put you into that state where you can't feel anything, can't hear anything, and then actually bring you back from that state every single day.

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It says if Allah subhanaw taala is saying, If I can do that for you every single day, then don't you think I can bring you back after you actually die? Right, say sleep is sort of like a microcosm. It's a set of motor city, as Selma says, it's like a little tiny taste of what's to come. And I suppose if we wake up remembering that Allah subhanaw taala auto brings us back from this little death. Then it will instill in us the confidence and the surety and the certainty and the certitude that he's going to bring us back from the big death once we die at the end of our lives. Well, you lay him on the shore, and so a lot of ties it into that and he says And to Allah is the return. Now,

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this is how you start your day. Okay? You start your day, thinking about your death.

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You start your day thinking about your afterlife, not just that it's going to happen. Okay, which is important because that provides motivation and urgency, right? You feel like being lazy and sometimes hey, you need a day to recharge. I came back from Chicago after a massacre and boy, I was just like, absolutely shot like I needed a day to recover.

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But as a daily thing, nobody can live that way every day, right? We have to have urgency, we have to have a shot, right like energy, we have to feel the need to, to work, right to get to work, we have things to do important things to do.

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And so remembering the shortness of your life is actually a really, really important component to that. Remember that I just woke up from being dead.

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One day, I'm going to really die.

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And there is no coming back except for the resurrection.

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And the second part of that is that

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the prophesy said, I'm reminded us that our resurrection is to Allah our gathering is to Allah. Meaning that everything we're about to do

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everything we're about to do for the entire day, we should keep our in our minds, that we're going to have to meet Allah with that action. Okay, before you go to spread gossip about somebody, before you harm somebody before you say something mean to somebody before you do something that Allah wouldn't like, while you lay in the shore, that you are going to have to meet a law with it. So we see the way that we start off our day is extremely important. Okay, if we just wake up and roll out of bed and jump in the shower and you know, sing some sort of whatever pop song is on the radio, that sets us up for a completely different future that sets us up for a completely different day

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than well if we start in the way that the prophets of Allah Holliday said I'm started

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Shaimaa now both Yes, I did. I was not in the main hall. I was in the parallel sessions.

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hamdulillah

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so that's how the province I said, I'm gonna start his day a couple little things and then we'll we'll end the segment. So after he said that I made so lots of stuff. He would wipe the sleep from his face. Okay, maybe we could say that's another part of hygiene. Okay, and the Prophet sallallahu de Sena, it is well known that he would look in the mirror looking in the mirror is something from the Sunnah because your appearance, person, another writer, or having a good appearance when you meet other people is part of your athletic that's part of your character as part of etiquette.

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And after he would wipe his face that you set out to sit down,

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he would look up to the sky.

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And there's Hadith about this. I'm gonna skip over the references but they're all sahih Hadith from Sahih Bukhari and Muslim. He will look up to the sky Okay, so that's that. Now I want to hear from somebody in the chat.

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Why would he look up to the sky? It's dark out there's no sun you can't see the birds

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it seems like a strange thing to do.

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He would look up into the sky are they gonna sit down from Brazil?

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So dodges

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to remember Allah.

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How is he going to remember a law by looking up into the sky? What's in the sky at night before fetcher that's going to remind him of Allah

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whatever it is, if it's the moon, if it's the stars, if it's just the miracle of the night being so dark, like Sheila says, if it's just a thought of saying the stars, the insane the moon,

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even just the vastness of laws create creation. Like Sheila says,

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it is something that tie you ties you to allow science. Okay, a loss of panel Tata created the earth in a way that everything in it is a sign.

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Okay? And it's a tragedy of our modern lives that we spend a lot of times a lot of times completely cut off from a lot of signs. Think about the prophesy centum wakes up. He looks at the sky, maybe he sees the moon, maybe he sees the stars, he definitely sees the darkness of night. Right? pitchblack

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he goes about his day, he sees palm trees, dates. He sees the sun, he sees fields. He sees the earth under his feet, the mountains. These sorts of things, right? Allah talks about all these things in the Quran.

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And he uses these as examples for Allah's creative ability and his

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creative power, how he's created things in such a beautiful, intricate, complex way that that's supposed to bring you to think about him. That's supposed to be something that ties you to faith. Now imagine the opposite scenario. Okay. You wake up and you're shrouded with artificial light.

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From these lights that you have, you look outside, and you can't see the night sky because of the streetlights. And you leave your house and you walk on the concrete. You go from your air conditioned car to your air conditioned office, or whatever. You can actually go a long time in modern life without touching or seeing or experiencing any of Allah's signs.

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And think about what that does to your relationship with the Koran. Allah is talking about these things in the Koran, while Shem see what the HA HA welcome Rita Tala. Right, one know how to either Gela and all the other sort of things a loss spinal data, brings up these signs in the creation.

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Because the signs are meant, they're put there for you to remember Allah to remember his favor upon you how he's made the earth beautiful, a lot didn't have to make everything beautiful. Allah could have made you and me with the ability to eat and drink and oxygen. But he didn't have to make a beautiful, right. He could have made us like, you know, eat little pills for our food. Like in the Jetsons. If you saw the Jetsons growing up, instead of instead of having like, pomegranates and dates and beautiful things, beautiful colors, right? Everything could have been Gray, if Allah wanted to, right, but that's not how Allah made it, Allah made everything as a sign.

00:31:24--> 00:31:56

And so the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam, one of the first things that he did, was looking up to the sky. And having that connection with a lot of science. And so if we're talking about habits, and we're talking about, we're all going to try to not look at our phones first things in the morning, we're all going to try to wake up before Fajr sure, even if it's two records of night prayers, right before he starts, we're all going to try to do that. Okay, let's also try to set aside

00:31:58--> 00:32:08

a little time, even if it's like 30 seconds in the morning to actually connect with a lot of signs, whether it's a tree, whether it's

00:32:09--> 00:32:45

the moon, the stars, the sky, right, whatever it is to try to connect with a lot of signs. The next thing that he did sell a lot away. So I'm going to close this segment here, because it's going to take longer to cover these, this part. But the next thing he does have alojado is to recite the last 10 verses of Al Imran Surah Al Imran, from the Quran. And those 10 verses are extremely important, and they have a lot of lessons in them, but it will take some time. So we'll go over just those 10 verses next week inshallah. But I think we've come up we've come across from some

00:32:48--> 00:33:33

shame or what we'll talk about to hedge it. You don't it's better to recite more than Soros and Fatiha Soros and Fatiha is the worst job you have to recite Surah Fatiha given that if you know no extenuating circumstances, you're not a convert. You don't you know, don't know any of the Koran, something like that, but at least at least to recite sorts of data and it's much much better and you should if you can recite more than just an fatsia but we'll cover that in a future in a future segment inshallah. As for that we've got our homework or homework, no phone for saying, okay, brushing teeth, making the liquor and trying to connect with with a lot of signs. I'm going to try

00:33:33--> 00:33:37

to implement it. We'll meet back in a week and see how we did inshallah.

00:33:40--> 00:33:44

Yeah, he animations I also learned, I learned things every time. That's why learning is important.

00:33:46--> 00:33:53

Either hit the shaitan FIRFER to cache and if you memorize something, then you've definitely missed other things too. So we all learn.

00:33:55--> 00:34:31

The next thing so we'll have I think maybe two more segments for today. Okay, the next segment that we're gonna get into is a book that I completed recently, and I spaced I forgot to bring the book with me to the to the studio, unfortunately, but that's okay, because I took notes on it. And so we'll be running through it over the course of the next few weeks. It's a book that I highly recommend. It's called the myth of religious violence. by William T. Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh spelled CAVANA, ug H. William T. Cavanaugh.

00:34:33--> 00:34:47

And it's a book that is very, very timely, especially with what's going on in Palestine. And the, let's say, the double standards that we continue to see

00:34:48--> 00:35:00

with the media coverage with how Palestinians are treated compared with Palestinian lives, compared to the lives of Israelis. And it just

00:35:00--> 00:35:01

has a lot of

00:35:03--> 00:35:11

it has a lot of really important lessons. And it's not too difficult. Some of the books that I read, unfortunately are very, very difficult reads like they're not for the average person.

00:35:12--> 00:35:43

But this book is very is fairly simple to read. And it's sort of there's enough space in it, that I think that if you can read it, then I definitely recommend doing so. But we're going to be going through sort of the highlights and the main points of it for the next few weeks. Paula asks, How do you recommend connecting with Allah signs? And I would answer that spending time in nature, spending as much time in nature as possible. If it's a post Federer walk, right? If there's a park by you,

00:35:44--> 00:35:57

or you know, even from your balcony or from your house, if you're able to look up just to notice the stars, right? If if you're able to do that not every some of us live in major cities where we can't even see the stars at night. SubhanAllah.

00:35:58--> 00:36:24

It could be a piece of fruit. That sounds strange, but it's true. That's a sign from Allah to Allah mentions fruit in the Quran, to see how it was made with its colors and its textures, right to think about Allah creating this thing in the way that he did. Right? That's how I would recommend could be birds chirping. That's one of my favorites, right? The chirping of birds or the noises that animals make. That's also a sign from Allah subhanaw taala.

00:36:25--> 00:36:39

So we'll talk about we'll just get into this book a little bit. And then we'll take any sort of final thoughts and questions, and then we'll wrap it up for tonight. Yes, we will definitely make dua for the Muslims of Ethiopia. May Allah make it easy for you.

00:36:43--> 00:36:47

So today, we'll go through the intro and the first chapter. Okay.

00:36:51--> 00:37:02

If it's expensive Debbie, then hum. Did you get this for free? You'll get the you'll get the summary for free Cliff's Notes, or I guess I don't know who cliff is Tom's notes for free.

00:37:04--> 00:37:06

So what's the point of this book?

00:37:07--> 00:37:26

The point of this book is that we've reached a day and age where there are a lot of prejudices and biases against religion, and religious people. Okay, that if you are religious, you are looked at as a threat

00:37:28--> 00:37:43

much, much more easily than if you're not religious. Okay, we've seen these things in the comments section of YouTube or elsewhere on social media, right, or in conversation with co workers or classmates, especially if you live in the West. People say

00:37:45--> 00:38:01

religions always caused violence. Religions are responsible for most of the wars throughout history and most of the bloodshed, right? All these sorts of things. So this author is going to go into what he calls this myth. Okay.

00:38:04--> 00:38:12

And the sorry, I was distracted, Arianna that's really nice. Or Jana goes to her rooftop in the morning. That's, that's great if you're able to do that, and that's wonderful.

00:38:14--> 00:38:36

And so the point of this book is to address this myth, and he calls it a myth. And it's very significant that he calls it a myth, because when he calls it a myth, he's trying to say two things. First of all, that it's not true. It's not true. Empirically, that means like, by observation, that religious people are more violent than non religious people,

00:38:37--> 00:38:47

or that religions cause violence more than other things that aren't religions. Okay. So that's the very, very, very first thing.

00:38:48--> 00:38:51

The second purpose in calling it a myth

00:38:52--> 00:39:35

is that a myth is not just something that's not true. It's something that is widely believed, and not questioned. Right? That it has reached the level of dogma. And we are old, our old name was dogma disrupted, right. So we're going to be disrupting some dogma, even here, that this idea that religions are particularly specially violent or lead to violence, or that religious people are particularly prone to violence. This is a myth. It's not only not true, but it's widespread. And it's barely questioned by most people in society, and especially again in the western societies.

00:39:37--> 00:39:44

So he's going to tackle this myth, he is going to break it down. And he is going to explain to us

00:39:45--> 00:39:49

not only why this myth isn't true, because that's a fairly basic surface level point.

00:39:50--> 00:39:59

But also, where did this myth come from? Who invented it? Why did they invent it? And what purposes? Does it

00:40:00--> 00:40:07

serve. So in the intro, he gives us a little, a little taste of what's to come. Okay. Part of the reason why it's not true

00:40:08--> 00:40:16

is that nobody and he's this is going to be sort of a deep point that we're not going to have time to unpack today. But we'll see it in later segments

00:40:17--> 00:40:22

is that nobody can agree what religion means.

00:40:23--> 00:40:29

Meaning that the very idea, okay, of religion

00:40:31--> 00:40:46

is something that nobody can agree all of what belongs in that category. And all of what doesn't. Now you might be saying that sounds really strange because we say religion nine, okay, Islam and Christianity and, and Judaism and Buddhism, all these sorts of things. Okay.

00:40:48--> 00:40:52

But what about nationalism? Is nationalism a religion?

00:40:53--> 00:40:59

Okay, what is the definition of a religion? Religion, okay? It's some some system that believes in a higher power or God.

00:41:01--> 00:41:07

Some forms of Buddhism don't believe in a higher power or God. But we all think of Buddhism when we think about religion.

00:41:08--> 00:41:28

Okay, well, maybe your religion isn't exactly that maybe it's about encountering the sacred, maybe it's about, right. So he's gonna push this to it's fine on its endpoint, to basically show us that the idea of religion is very, very arbitrary, that it's very, very difficult to come up with a definition

00:41:29--> 00:42:08

of religion, that includes everything that we think should be there, and excludes everything that we think shouldn't be there. And from a Muslims perspective, we will go one step further, and say that much more useful than thinking about things in terms of religion, would be to think about things in terms of truth and falsehood. These are the categories that Allah subhanaw taala gives us ad hoc, well, about the things that are true, and things that are false. But we'll get there in due time. That's just one element of the book. And it's very, very interesting one, a second element of the book, is that, what does this myth do? What does it serve? Why is that? How does it function? What

00:42:08--> 00:42:09

does it create?

00:42:11--> 00:42:33

And one of the things that he says is that the idea of the myth of religious violence, it creates this kind of spooky character in the lives or in the minds, I should say, of most people, the religious fanatic, the fundamentalist, right, the extremists the terrorist,

00:42:34--> 00:42:36

that is a threat.

00:42:38--> 00:42:45

Now, we've seen this over and over and over again, both in the United States and the West, and also in Palestine.

00:42:47--> 00:43:00

The person who is assumed to be an extremist or assumed assumed to be violent, he's always a religious person. He's not considered to be a secular person, or a nationalistic person, or anything like that.

00:43:01--> 00:43:11

The myth that religious people are more violent, basically turns religious people into legitimate targets of violence. That's one of the main points of the book.

00:43:12--> 00:43:42

So to say that, Oh, this religious fanatic over here, he wants to come take your freedom, or he wants to impose his his Sharia law on you, right? Now we have to arrest now we have to spy now we have to shoot and now we have to bomb in order to stop this violence from happening. You see how that works. So this is one of the main points of the book. And it's an extremely important point. He also pushes the idea of some of the answers that people

00:43:43--> 00:44:04

are ready to give when it comes to this idea that religious people are violent. Some of those answers aren't, aren't super helpful. So some people they they respond like, well, the people who are claiming to do religious violence, it's not really religion, it's really economics or politics or things like that. The author says, that's not really a helpful response. And we're gonna see why.

00:44:05--> 00:44:30

There's other people that say, well, they're not they're misunderstanding their religion. Right? This isn't the true Christianity, or this isn't the truest now, this guy is not a Muslim. But he also says that that's not the most helpful response either. The real response, he says, is a response that responds to the myth by solving the problem that it was invented to solve.

00:44:31--> 00:44:36

If the myth is posing a problem of violence, and trying to

00:44:37--> 00:44:52

solve this problem of violence by explaining it in some sort of way, there's this violence what's what's at fault, ah, religion and religious people. Right? Then we need to solve that problem in a different way, in order to prove that the myth isn't true.

00:44:55--> 00:45:00

So the first chapter of the book that was all just in the introduction, the first chapter of the book is called

00:45:00--> 00:45:23

The anatomy of the myth, if you guys have ever done anatomy class, you split something up or dissect it and you see all the different parts that it's made up of. So he's going to go into the anatomy of this myth and what he wants to show, he talks about three different claims that make up this myth of religious violence. The first part of the myth is the idea that religion is absolutist.

00:45:24--> 00:45:31

We'll talk about that means. The second is that religion is divisive. And the third is that religion is irrational.

00:45:33--> 00:45:45

So the idea that religion is absolutist. What is meant by that he pulls a bunch of quotes from a ton of different authors, historians, etc, across time, is that absolutes,

00:45:47--> 00:46:00

absolute has to do with complete certainty, that religious people are so certain that they're right, that they can't admit that anybody else could possibly be right and therefore they're more violent. We hear this all the time.

00:46:01--> 00:46:17

Or that religion is absolutist that people are so fervently believe in what they think is true, that they only accept the blind obedience to it. We hear this a lot to blind obedience to religion. You're not a rational thinker, you're not a free thinker.

00:46:20--> 00:46:35

Now the author pushes back and he says, okay, are any of these things exclusively true about religion, and religious people? Don't we see secular nations being just as guilty with absolutism?

00:46:36--> 00:46:49

Don't we see people saying that United States of America is the best country? Right? This is a superiority? Don't we see that there is blind obedience, if you're part of the military, you're not allowed to

00:46:50--> 00:46:52

disobey orders. Right?

00:46:53--> 00:46:54

These are

00:46:56--> 00:47:01

proof that secular nations are just as guilty as being absolutist as any religion is.

00:47:02--> 00:47:23

What the author exposes is that what is being absolutist is really decided ahead of time, what people mean to say is that it's just religious people being religious. But he says that this is not something that exclusively belongs to religion, or religious people, it's found just as much with anybody.

00:47:24--> 00:47:38

The second claim that religion is divisive, okay. So here's the logic. He says, Okay. People will say, Oh, religious, religion is divisive, us, it creates this, us versus them, and therefore, that leads to violence.

00:47:39--> 00:47:58

Religion is divisive. Also, in that it's violence is symbolic, okay. It's not just about dollars and cents and resources and stuff like that. It's about truth and falsehood. It's about the right and the wrong. It's a cosmic war, even extending into the afterlife, right? Heaven and hell.

00:48:00--> 00:48:06

People also say that religion is divisive in the sense that you commit to a religion like you commit to nothing else.

00:48:08--> 00:48:34

And the author, again, pushes back and brings up examples to show that this is not something that's only true of religion, that if you go to any nation state, and I live in the United States, so we can take that in as an example. The same thing happens. And all you have to do is look at what happened after 911. And the war on terror, to see what President Bush say, you're with us or you're with the terrorists, that's us versus them.

00:48:35--> 00:48:40

The idea that it's a cosmic war, he called it a crusade, right?

00:48:41--> 00:48:42

The ultimate commitment,

00:48:44--> 00:49:29

violent language, yes, it's just as much present in secular nations as it is for religions. It's not something that's special for religions. And finally, the idea. And we'll end the segment with this, that religion is somehow irrational. And it's funny actually pull up a tweet that I saw today that I had to respond to because I thought it was hilarious. Rob Henderson, who I don't know who this person is, he he's quoting some sort of Article. I'm not sure if he's the author or not. He says, One reason for Islamists rage is their awareness of the extreme vulnerability of Islam to rational criticism. Islamists are aware of what happened to Christianity. Once the intellectual nitpickers

00:49:29--> 00:49:42

got going. They think that prevention is the only cure. Now, anybody who knows anything about Islam knows how ridiculous this sort of statement is. And I retweeted a saying laughs in Jerusalem. Right, because

00:49:43--> 00:50:00

the Islamic tradition is very, very different from the Christian tradition, in the admission of rational inquiry, rational thought, critical thinking, testing things, right searching for answers. And in my own personal experience, you know, when I grew up

00:50:00--> 00:50:15

Up in the church, people would tell me Oh, we shouldn't ask that question you just have to believe. Whereas in Islam, I was always encouraged to ask questions. And I always have asked questions. Some of those questions I've kept with me for years, and I didn't follow find a response until quite some time. But

00:50:16--> 00:50:22

yeah, that's correct morning reboot, you can take it from me who lived in Medina for five years and has a degree in Sharia.

00:50:24--> 00:50:47

It is all about trying to look at things critically. And rationally. So the idea that religion is irrational, or specifically or particularly irrational, is something that has no empirical basis. According to this sort of myth. There's an idea that that makes religious people more fanatical, more zealous, more passionate, and more fervent than non religious people.

00:50:50--> 00:51:08

And if we see, again, the author points out, and he brings up many examples, secular examples where we see the exact same behavior, so it's not something that is limited to religion. What really is going on is that people, they already have it out for religion.

00:51:10--> 00:51:19

That's a great point. Samia, never trust anybody as a red flag, somebody who calls Islamist, which is really nothing, just an invention in the first place.

00:51:22--> 00:51:29

So he is one of rational thinking brings someone to asking dangerous questions such as who questions a lot of features and location.

00:51:30--> 00:51:39

You know, there's different things in the last panel to audit points out in the Koran, that there are different types of questions. And some of those questions are rewarded and praised

00:51:41--> 00:51:45

and responded to seriously and other questions are not

00:51:47--> 00:51:52

as smart. Yes, I would recommend for that book for someone for 17 or 18. So for example, ah,

00:51:53--> 00:52:38

when the hypocrites or the people who reject Faith ask questions. What's their intent behind asking a question? Are they asking a question to discover and to learn? Or are they asking a question to avoid responsibility and to prolong their sort of being found out as being deniers? This is something that a lot discusses extensively in the Quran. For example, if you take Bani Israel, El, historically, the people who followed Moses out of Egypt, they ask questions, and they asked last questions. But their questions are not sincere questions. Their questions are merely a facade, for their Inez for their stubborn disobedience, meaning that they recognize what's true. But they're

00:52:38--> 00:52:57

trying to find excuses. And if any of you have children, you know this very well, right? You're asking your your child to do some sort of chore to clean up their room. Say, do I have to? Well, can I do it tomorrow? Right? They're asking questions, maybe. But the questions are not sincere questions. They're only meant to avoid questions of avoidance.

00:52:59--> 00:53:25

And so if that's the type of question we're talking about, then that's a question that is blameworthy because it reveals a sickness in the heart. Okay. And there's plenty of examples of that. However, there are times in the Quran where some of the prophets asked questions and those questions came from places of wanting to increase their certainty and certitude, right, cavia Kaithal Hill Mota.

00:53:26--> 00:53:30

Right, Ibrahim Alayhi. Salam asks Allah, how are you going to resurrect the dead?

00:53:31--> 00:53:43

I will, I'm talking, right? A lot of response like, Don't you believe? And Ibrahim says yeah, I believe but I just want to see it so that I increase in faith. And so then Allah shows him he doesn't reprimand him.

00:53:45--> 00:53:50

Similarly, when the last when Musa or a Salam Moses asks a lot to reveal himself.

00:53:51--> 00:54:17

And the loss of power to Allah reveals himself to a mountain and the mountain crumbles and so most of falls down prostrate, right or or unconscious. This is something that Allah responded to in the positive because of the intent of the questioner. Okay, so there are questions that lead to certainty. And there are questions that lead away from certainty. And they have a lot to do with the intention and the purity of heart of the person who was asking.

00:54:21--> 00:54:22

Mo says, I've heard

00:54:24--> 00:55:00

religious people are more violent because since God the divine commands, or it's perceived to command, then it's obeyed without question. Yes, Mo Weitz, that's exactly one of the doubts that he responds to, that would come back under the sort of device of religion as divisive and religion is absolutist. But we would push back just like the author did, and bring up secular examples that are exactly the same, that there is complete obedience to the nation state. There's complete obedience to the army. If you're in the army or you're under a military commander, you don't have

00:55:00--> 00:55:11

The freedom to disobey command. Right? And so this is something that is not exclusive to religion at all. And the people who only have it out for religion, they make it seem like it's something that is only comes from

00:55:13--> 00:55:33

Latham and Nickleby. Tada. Exactly. That makes it seem like it's something exclusive to religion. So anyway, well, and with that today, it's a lot to think about and a lot to digest. But we'll pick up from there for the for next week, when it comes to addressing this myth, the myth of religious violence is very, very important topic. And I think noting from all of you

00:55:36--> 00:55:49

it seems like something that's very, very useful, I think we come across these sorts of questions and doubts lots. So we'll use the rest of our time, before we sign off for tonight to address any sort of questions that people have

00:55:50--> 00:55:51

leftover.

00:55:54--> 00:56:07

Selma brings up an interesting point, she says she's quoting matawa. Mashallah, from Norway. Welcome. She brings up the point about don't ask about things that if they were revealed to you, would, would harm you.

00:56:08--> 00:56:14

And that is true. In a context, there's a context to that thought, I mean, welcome, W Thank you.

00:56:15--> 00:56:21

There's a context to that. And it's tied to cinema. It's tied to the result.

00:56:22--> 00:56:47

Meaning that there are things that you can ask about, that asking about them would harm you if they were revealed. And there are other things that you could ask about that aren't like that. Right? So we have to differentiate between the two. There are things that you ask about in order to increase certainty if you if you carry a doubt with you, and many of our teenagers are afflicted by this. Okay? Then

00:56:48--> 00:56:50

you have a responsibility to address that doubt.

00:56:51--> 00:57:04

If you don't meaningfully address that doubt, then it's going to fester and become a problem for you. That's a very different sort of intentionality than, you know, people sort of asking you about things unnecessarily.

00:57:06--> 00:57:06

Shame

00:57:07--> 00:57:18

as you can go live every day. I don't believe so. This program is weekly. So we'll be Wednesdays 9pm Excuse me No. 8pm Eastern time. That's New York time.

00:57:19--> 00:57:40

Morning reboots has been in the Army you could theoretically practice freewill. But it's highly discouraged societally? Well, we could say the same thing about religion, morning reboot, you can theoretically sin and disbelief, but you're going to have to face the consequences in the afterlife. So again, these things are not particular. Nadal says, How do we deal with absolutism amongst other sects within Islam?

00:57:41--> 00:58:04

That's a little bit of a different question. The scope of the book is addressing is absolutism particular to religion, or more found in religion, or exclusive to religion, compared to any sort of other, you know, secular ideologies or nationalism or things like that. And the answer is no, it's not exclusive. But if we're talking about

00:58:06--> 00:58:10

if we're talking about within Islam, there are sects there. Yeah, there are some people

00:58:11--> 00:58:25

I would hesitate to say just sects that there are people of every second flavor that could deal with some training for how to deal with difference legitimate difference within the religion.

00:58:29--> 00:58:32

Ah, how do you keep sincere intentions and good deeds?

00:58:33--> 00:58:50

Try to minimize doing them in front of people. Try to do them secretly, if you can, and try to make sure that they are the if you can't, then make sure that the deeds that you do in public are the same quality as the deeds that you do in private. Lena asks, How do we control our intentions though, sometimes I'm afraid of getting mixed up.

00:58:51--> 00:59:20

perfecting the intention is an ongoing battle that is never perfect, complete. That's why there's forgiveness. Okay. The scholars mentioned this, you there's a difference between you begin an act with an intention. You want to do your best to preserve that intention. But you don't want to let shaytaan commit Wes Wes right or to sort of have these whispers so that you're so paranoid that you never do anything in the first place, right? That will be that will be a problem. So attempt to attempt your best to

00:59:22--> 00:59:25

attempt your best to perfect your intention and it's always sort of just do the best that you can.

00:59:26--> 00:59:59

That's all the time we have for today. The recording will be up on YouTube. After it's over any other further questions. We'll try to take them and address it in another form inshallah. But we don't want to overstay our welcome. For this we'll pick up next week. And I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. And we look forward to your questions and participations May Allah reward everybody who participated in tonight's program. May Allah grant us what's best in May Allah continue to aid and support and grant victory to our brothers and sisters in Palestine and our Muslims the world

01:00:00--> 01:00:04

Over bought a coffee calm a couple Latino men calm Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh