Reforming the Self #24
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 45.53MB
Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim
Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen
wa salatu salam, ala Ashraful MBI were more serene, being our footwashing and Muhammad Ali, he, of course, Salah us, let us lean in on Lahoma Island, that'd be Megan foreigner on fattener, the map I limped in, was even an element out of that on me. So then money from
everybody, welcome, Sunday night, capping off your weekend with performing the self as an ER ulama carry machete
by Arroyo also handy.
And we're going to be talking about why they kind of sit down, we're going to be talking about a chapter that we started last time but did not complete. And so going back over it just a little bit. And actually I reviewed myself this chapter and I added more things to it because I had some of you message me or had even asked in the class about
trying to get more specific into examples of these things that we see that our author and guide Ragosa, Jaime's pointing out when it comes to the obstacles in our way, and the pitfalls to avoid. Right, and so we're only in the first third of the book on all of us. Rouhani has kept it fairly theoretical.
And he'll get into vice and the interior anatomy of vice later in the book, however, is beneficial, you know, to talk about those sorts of things in as much detail as possible. So
Inshallah, we will have a little bit more detail regarding that tonight. This chapter is about what he terms steep a sense, or
the highest possible reaches that you could advance to. And at the same time that dizzying the sense
the pitfalls, the setbacks,
the opposite that can happen. And this is a little bit different from what he was talking about before. What he was talking about before,
was largely obstacles that prevent somebody from even beginning to walk this path, right? If you imagine most of the people may be that you see on the street or in the store or you know, buying groceries or whatever, are kind of half asleep.
Asleep in the sense that their lives are simply produce, consume.
Right? Entertainment, work, my nine to five, bring money in, spend money, entertain, take my mind off things. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. And then one day, it's all going to be over, they're going to die. And, you know, the worth of their life was kind of how much did they maximize
grass hawks day?
I'm not sure I get the connection, the Groundhog's Day.
deal to explain that to me.
I trust you. I'll say yes, but I'm not sure.
Was that a movie? Are you referring to the movie? Or?
The movie the movie? Okay. Okay. Because I was, you know, some of your children I have then Sunday school and they were taught, you know, recently we had the actual Groundhog Day. Right. And so we talked about how there's no sort of causal relationship between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the weather or the climate and things like that. So I was taking you literally for a second. Yes, exactly. So this kind of repetition, right, this cycle, the hamster wheel, right, if we want to make another analogy, and a great many people are stuck on that wheel.
And they don't even realize that there's life outside of that wheel. Right? And so before also, Hani, he was talking about how to see that there's more to life than the wheel.
How to get off the wheel, and realize that there is a whole world out there of building virtue of satisfaction in building that virtue in serving others in serving your Lord and being this steward this walking representative of all that Allah loves and wants to see in the creation. That's the pinnacle of what's outside of the hamster wheel. And that's something that's achievable and desirable for everybody.
So when he was talking about obstacles and pitfalls, those that's the kind of level that he was that he was talking about before, what he's talking about. Now, when it comes to, once you've gotten off the wheel, once you've realized that, wow, there's this whole other sort of part of existence that goes beyond getting what I want, essentially.
And it's somewhat complicated and it's not easy. And there's, you know, there's triumphs and setbacks and etc, etc.
Once you're off the wheel, once you're in the world, you're swimming in the world of virtue or trying to get virtue.
there's a ladder to success.
And there are pitfalls that can lead to disaster
in the process, of trying to obtain these virtues and inculcate and cultivate these characteristics that we want.
So what we had said last time, and he sets the stage by quoting some heirs of the Koran was said or 11 Phillips, female rugby come virginity and Abdullah has some hours while others are interested in Malta Tino, Allah says in surah Al Imran, about how Allah wants you to ascend that ladder, okay, he doesn't want you to be
if contentment is praiseworthy, and we're going to get back to contentment in a second, there's a certain type of contentment that's not praiseworthy. Okay? And that's a kind of
lazy contentment. A maybe we can say defeatist or fatalistic
which doesn't push oneself to be better, right? Oh, that's just the way I am. Oh, my parents were the same way. Oh, I just you know, I get angry and so I you know, I say things I regret when I'm angry or I curse or I do this whatever. Right? We have our excuses ready for ourselves always.
So what he's saying is that Allah doesn't want you to stay still, that type of contentment is not okay. That's not contentment at all, rather that is resigned or resentment
that is defeated Enos.
And so he quotes is from the Koran to demonstrate to us that
Allah wants us to have the complete opposite orientation. He wants us to strive. He wants us to better to self improve, to take stock and to move, no matter how slow no matter how small to incrementally inch forward forward, forward progress. Allah wants progress for us. What law says was Sadie or race literally said to race from study, which we have those in the beginning Arabic class study, I think we covered meaning fast. Sadie Oh means race each other.
In a melted a team to Allah's forgiveness,
and Paradise, the width of which is that of the heavens and the earth prepared for the pious and looked up to those who are aware of Allah and fear him.
Aesthetic will hierarchy Allah says in Surah Al Baqarah. So be first, seek to be first at the forefront in Hyatts. All that is good.
This is a lesson for us and how we we live our lives, in our local communities.
Put yourself first strive to be the first and everything that is good.
When it comes to Yes, the ritual acts of worship we all know and love prayer, fasting, charity, of course.
But also when it comes to
being helpful, being agreeable, being supportive, being a good friend, being there for people in their time of need, not just when you need them for something.
Right? Allah wants us to try to be first and all of these sorts of things.
The Prophet saw a Salam he said in the Lucha Katha but if Santa Ana Khalid Sheikh that Allah subhanaw taala has prescribed,
said excellence in everything. A Muslim is somebody who tries to excel in everything at least as much as possible.
So, Rob will also honey he wants to paint the picture of the ladder for you. Where does this end? what's the end game?
What are the stages are the rungs along the way, if we're going to persist, we've gotten off of the hamster wheel. We know now that the game is about trying to
accumulate or cultivate virtue. We want to change ourselves. We've gotten the motivation all up until this point, the author has tried to give you the motivation to show you that it's not just something that is way over there unattainable only the companions and the saints. No, this is the destiny of every believer.
This is what's hoped for for everybody.
So after all this motivation,
what is it going to look like? What's the view going to be from every rung that you climb?
He says the first rung or the first level
The first step and the first stage is the stage of repentance. That's what the view looks like from the first level.
Repentance is made up of several discrete skills, and realisations.
It's predicated first upon
stopping sin. Okay, this is the this is the the impetus, what's the what's the motivation to repent? We had said last week that if you imagine that your spiritual life is rolling along and a vote, then sin
is like a hole in the boat. And your, you know, your your group of sins that you're committing are like many holes on the boat, it doesn't matter how hard you're rowing.
If you've got holes in the boat, you're taking on water, you're not going to be able to get to the islands, the other side, wherever it is that you're rowing. So your first task as a person of faith and a person of virtue is to stop up those holes to stop the bleeding, if you will.
And to do that, that requires several skills and realizations. One of those is education. It takes a certain level of education to understand what is sin?
And what isn't. Yes, some things are very obvious, right? The big things, burglary, right, and, you know, murder and these things are very, very obvious what they are.
But there's other sins that are much more subtle.
When does something cross over into mockery?
Or when does something cross over into
talking about someone behind their back backbiting? Akiva, and the minima when the something become slandered, right? There are gray areas in some of these things, you might start with something
in your speech that's permissible, trying to warn somebody about something and then end up doing something that is a sin. Because you didn't know when to stop, you couldn't cross the line.
As many of the scholars have said,
it's different if you're speaking from something that happened to you, but how quickly that becomes kind of an analysis of somebody else's intentions.
You've just crossed over the border, instead of describing what happened to you, this person took my rights.
They did this thing to me
from saying, well, she thinks that she's better than everybody else. She's always the one to be doing this sort of thing. She'll never change.
You've crossed over into sin.
So these sorts of things require education.
And they require a certain level of if the out and whatnot, which is, you know, like caution,
right. The Prophet SAW I said, um, he said that
will have romance, the things that he has forbidden. It's like a sacred pasture.
Right. And every one of us, it's like, we're a shepherd, and we have our flock of sheep.
Now, if someone's going to graze their flock of sheep right up along that fence
of the sacred pasture,
are you really going to be able to control the sheep from getting over to the other side? Taking a little nibble here, a little nibble there? One sheep gets out, you know, crosses the fence. No, you're not. So
every single one of us has to leave a boundary
has to leave a buffer zone.
Right to make sure that we're not crossing over into sin.
It also takes regret.
Repentance requires regret. without regret, there is no such thing as repentance.
Is it possible to say that you're sorry for something and we think about your lives, you know, think about your spouses, think about, you know, the people who are dear to you. If you've done something,
if you've done something wrong,
and it upsets your spouse, or an upset somebody that is dear to you, and you apologize.
But you don't really feel sorry, you are still in self defense mode, you think that what you did was completely justified.
Nine times out of 10,
the other person is going to realize it. And they're going to get even more mad at you. Right?
And those of us who are more honest, maybe will say, Well, I'm sorry, you feel that way?
Or, I'm sorry, that's how you interpreted my actions.
You better not say anything at all, and wait until you're actually sorry, right? Because you're basically saying or admitting that you're not really sorry for what you did.
So then, how would we have that sort of
relationship with a law where we're trying to say that we're sorry, but we're not really really regretful about the juicy gossip that we just shared that WhatsApp story, that's probably false, that we just hit forward and send on
you know, the fake whatever news about the 5g towers or the you know, the COVID vaccine or whatever, whatever was going around the WhatsApp these days, or whatever else it is, right? There's, there's, there's many different types of sin and all of us definitely have our share of it.
So the this, one of the first steps is to regret. Okay, how do we regret? What if we find ourselves defending ourselves?
And we don't feel our regret? How do we just kind of we can't manufacture it out of nowhere?
How do we, how do we build a regretful heart
with something that we don't think that we should apologize for? We don't feel that we have to say that we're sorry, for.
This requires to double.
This requires contemplation.
Contemplating the laws law has shut er
and playing out the consequences in your head and applying it to different people, the thing that you're doing to other people, imagine if it was done to you, it requires some sort of empathy.
Because if there's a sin, that we're not regretting or registering as a sin,
what's really going on is that we're not seeing reality for what it is.
We're seeing some sort of alternate reality. There's a story that elucidates this. There was a man that came to the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam.
And it seemed like he had someone that he was very he was lusting after.
And he asked, I mean, it's a remarkably honest thing to do the Prophet he asked the Prophet alayhi salam, to permit him to commit Zina.
Apparently he had it all lined up and ready to go.
But he had enough shame, or he had enough knowledge to know that it was a sin.
And so he had the decency at least to ask the prophesy Saddam to permit him to give him a rasa
to commit this evil act.
How did the Prophet SAW Selim respond?
Still through law? Oh, like you're caught them Allahu Akbar. epilobium. Like there.
Does anybody know the Hadith? What did he say? What did he tell them?
His response is extremely educational.
The prophesy son.
Yes, exactly. He's he turns the tables.
He says What if it was your mother
instead of this woman that you're less lusting after? What if someone was lusting after your mother like that?
I think it keeps on going down his female relatives. What if someone was lusting after your sister when would you like it for them?
So the prophesy centum he's building this out
empathy. He's trying to pull the veil off of his heart. Because the devil has beautified this thing to him, he's not, he's not in a place where he's going to feel regret.
He thinks that this he really wants this thing.
Because the devil has beautified it has made him forget that this woman is a perhaps a mother is a sister is a daughter has all of these family relations exists within a context
isn't just this
And so that there's consequences to this sort of action. And so he's playing out, he's basically implying, think about the consequences of this sort of thing.
And apply it to other people.
The promise is showing him without telling him
that he's not being consistent. And that if he were consistent, and we were to apply this sort of
permissibility, to everyone in his situation, then everybody would be
in a very, very bad spot.
And so he was able to calm the man down and make him see reality for what it really was see the reality of the sin so that he could regret or at least not want to do it.
Before registering that reality, regret is impossible. Feeling sorry, or feeling shame about something is impossible.
It also requires
regrets. Also, recruit or excuse me, requires knowing the players in the game. Okay. And this is something that is very scary in our time.
Because a lot of the messages that come through media, and advertisement and entertainment.
worst desires seem like the most natural and essential part of ourselves.
Trying to make our worst desires, themes seem like the most essential and authentic and original part of yourself, such that if you do not indulge that desire, if you do not live and express that desire, you are denying yourself. They're going to be bottled up and kind of living in this cognitive dissonance. You're not being true to yourself a heresy, according to our society.
So part of reality TV part of regret.
Part of seeing the reality
is knowing the players in the game, knowing that yourself and your desires are two different things. First of all, yourself is much more than your desires.
And that should be evidenced by the fact that you didn't always have the desires that you have.
Let's say that today you want wealth, you really really want to have a sum of money, or you really want fame or you really want position, there was a time in your life where you didn't want that sort of thing. Even if you have to go all the way back to your childhood, that should be enough to tell us that our desires grow and change over time.
They can be suggested to us and planted within us by the suggestions.
They can be beautified to us so they grow and grow and grow and become dominance and domineering and controlling.
So in order to regrets or in order to repent, we have to realize that this is not just about us. We're not the only force at play here. There's our self
and part of ourselves Yes, there are desires and then there are are there is the devil
who is attempting to suggest certain desires to us beautify the ones that we already have make them grow until they get more and more power and control over us.
Many people don't realize that there's this other party this other actor is other force. And so everything that that occurs to them to feel they think is them they think is actually them.
One of the first steps to the path of repentance is realizing it's not you're not the only one in the room.
But there are other forces at play.
Another aspect of repentance is recognizing the sin when you see it.
that that's you, when you're wrong, this is crossing over from theoretical knowledge to practical knowledge. You might be able to give a hook about backbiting about gossip.
And then you do the same thing. But you say, No, this is different.
There's a muscle Aha, there's
there's an interest involved here. No, this is because of this. No, he knows I'm just joking.
Or one of my favorites. Someone told me once I say this to his face, it's no problem.
As if you know you Okay, so you insult him to your face and you insult him behind his back great job. Mashallah.
So recognizing a practical knowledge of recognizing and feeling when it's
when it's actually occurring in your life.
Two last ingredients to regret successful regrets is to know a lot. This is something that makes the rounds on social media, it's a very well known principle that if we can't, or I should say, complimentary to registering the reality of the sin, that you're either in the habit of committing, or you desire to commit,
registering the gravity of this obeying, or I should say, ret, registering the greatness of the one of whom you are disobey
is part of repentance.
For some people, it's not enough.
Right people, you know, in liberal philosophy, we deal with the the harm principle, right? And so, we there are certain sins that only maybe harm the self. And so people will say, well, what's the harm, it's there on business, don't worry about it.
This is a lack of understanding who Allah is about that. And a lack of caring about disobeying Allah. If it happens from a Muslim, obviously, other people who aren't Muslims, they need to believe in Allah first. But for us, if we find ourselves in this scenario, there's a sin that we do.
Maybe I smoke, but you know, I'm careful, I don't smoke around the kids, I go outside and do it.
Or I look at things I shouldn't be looking at. But I make sure that you know, it's after the kids go to bed or something like this.
You think it's only hurting you, even if we imagine for a second, it's usually not very, very, very few sins only hurt you. Whether you realize it or not, most of them affect the people around you. But even if we submit for the sake of argument that it only hurts you.
You're showing a woeful ignorance of the one whom you're disobeying.
And in gratitude to him, for all of the blessings that He gave you,
his might his ability, His power, His mercy, His love for you, his constant attention to your needs.
And you're going to go ahead and do this thing.
It shows that you're not registering who it is, that a lot is.
So knowing who Allah is, is a key ingredient to repentance. And then finally, remembering death.
Right? If nothing else works, than going to the graveyard and looking at the Muslims in the grave, and contemplating the fact that you will be there very soon.
Attending the funerals very important.
As much as you can,
to remind yourself that the time is ticking, and you don't know how much time you're going to have.
At the very least it should create a sense of urgency that my time could be spent in a better way than engaging in the sort of sin that I engage in.
The last main ingredient to repentance is to resolve to change.
Now, how do we resolve this change? Once we have regrets once we're aware of the sin, we see it and recognize it in our lives. We regret it. We feel bad about it. We say we're sorry. We want to change. How do we change?
Part of it has to do with keeping ourselves busy with good we say in English that idle hands make for the devil's work and that's very true. Another part of that is being around people who are righteous. There is
is the sort of momentum thing when it comes to who your friends are?
Yeah, definitely start by stopping.
But typically, people are going to be sharing activities with those whom are in their close circle, right? If all of your friends drink coffee, probably sooner or later, you're going to drink coffee. If all of your friends love to gossip, sooner or later, you're going to get into that, and so on and so forth. So,
having company with righteous people, is very important to being able to resolve and to follow through.
On change, that was all the first level, the first level of this sort of ladder
of piety was repentance, stopping up those holes, stopping cutting your losses. The second was righteousness. And what Robert also had he meant by this was, now you're starting to actually not just stop the losses, but you're starting to add the gains, you're starting to get into the black, you're starting to accumulate good deeds and goodness.
You're expending your energy,
and your efforts in worship.
And the key ingredients to reaching this level
include living for a higher purpose than yourself.
Right, you realize that
this religion, it spreads goodness, wherever it goes, it's not just about you anymore. It's about your children. It's about leaving behind a legacy. It's about how setting the trajectory of your Lauria, your descendants. You want your descendants to be better and more pious and more successful than you.
So it's not just about you, and whether you want to do this thing or not anymore. No, you're going to start to want to accumulate good to try to influence and successfully guide and steer the next generation
and your community.
Another key ingredient of righteousness, similar to
repentance is registering the reality of the afterlife. The afterlife is not just a story. It's not just a an interesting, fantastic we think about the signs and the job and all these sorts of things. And we're kind of in awe
of this, you know, the strangeness of the events of the hour. And sometimes that can actually distract us
from what's the lesson we're supposed to take away from that.
Which is hastening to accumulate goodness, right to put away for tomorrow.
by exerting ourselves today.
That was the second level of accumulating righteousness. The third level was the level of the martyrs, when he says he uses an analogy here, between the martyrs, those who
are engaged in some sort of struggle, right. And the struggle here, he says, is against the neffs.
So if the first part was repentance,
and the second part was accumulating good.
The third part
is realizing that you're your own worst enemy.
Right? that the enemy is within
the thing that keeps opening up new holes in the boat, the thing that stops you from accumulating goodness, in an optimal way, is no one else but you.
So it's about taking account of your taking responsibility and having accountability with yourself.
Not blaming other people,
not saying well, if only I had had better parents or a better upbringing, or this or that or the other, you take responsibility for yourself and you say, okay, maybe I didn't have the best child. And maybe I didn't start out with the easiest situation. But tomorrow, I'm going to be better than I am today.
And next week, I'm going to be better than I am this week.
And you keep marching.
This also requires that you see
the all the players in the game as we said before, but not just in the sense that
yourself is not the same thing as your desires, but that even people
in your life might from time to time, be
doing the bidding, or the work of the devil.
This happens we have influences in our lives. We have people that even our acquaintances sometimes or even family members, that they mean well and we love them but but
they always end up dragging you down into some sort of sin and habit.
And so now at this level, the level of the fighter, the warrior, whatever we want to call it, the martyr,
you're now playing chess, not checkers, you realize all of the forces that are against you, and you realize all the people that are on your side, those companions in your life and your your brothers and sisters and faith that, you know, we love to be around them, and they remind you of a law and they inspire you to be better. And you realize, like, okay, these are the people who are on my side. And these are the people that I'm kind of up against, not necessarily like, you know, in a struggle, but I have to manage carefully
my relationship with this person, so that it doesn't end up affecting me in a way that I don't want it to affect me.
At this level, you also feel a duty to those around you, not just your Ria, not just your,
your descendants, but the entire community. You start to feel responsible, not just for the Muslim community, but for in our situation, Utica, for everybody around you, you realize that the implementation of Islam in your life and the betterment of your individual self is going to make everybody
it's going to raise the level of the lake which brings all the boats higher.
And so now you have a sense of duty and a sense of mission and it's not just about you anymore. Then finally along with Asani says the final level is that of river the Cydia he compares it to the the truthful, the one who bears witness to the truth and he says the distinguishing thing about this level is everything that came before and add on top of that riddle ah contentment, the good type of contentment, not the resigned the defeated Oh, I'm just going to, you know, I'll always be this way. You can't teach old dogs new tricks and it's harder for me and you know, no contentment meaning that after you've strived after you've tried your hardest, you have submitted to what Allah has decreed
the good and the bad, the triumphs and the setbacks.
And what enables you to do that is your permanent awareness of Allah.
Hardly a moment goes by, but you realize Allah's hand in it. You realize it as part of Allah's plan for you individually tailored for what you need, not what you want.
And you are aware of Allah through His names, right? Because Allah sometimes is too abstract.
We don't have a very concrete grounding and who Allah is sometimes without knowing and experiencing Him through His names. He is lol dude Rakeem ramen.
He is Al Hakim and Aziz a have and will have all these sorts of things. They don't leave your awareness or at least they start leaving your awareness less and less frequently. Right? As you're progressing as you're marching forward,
they are more and more constantly in your awareness.
And the last ingredient is that with this particular type of contentment is that you realize the ultimate worthlessness of this dunya. The Prophet saw I saw them he said everything in this dunya is cursed. Yeah, he said that, except for Allah.
Excuse me, except for what reminds one about Allah, and knowledge, right.
So that's a very bold statement.
And it's a very dramatic statement.
Someone who reaches the level of law of contentment, they realize that all of this thing, it's just money, it comes in and goes out, houses, cars, jobs, careers, everything. It comes in and out.
It's being doled out and assigned by Allah's power to order and you're the same person, whether it comes in the same person whether it goes
and this is an extremely
lofty station to reach. But Allah wants us to have high aspirations.
Quickly now the four levels now for here are the pitfalls along the way.
The pitfalls along the way the first of them, because he's not now we've decided, yes, we're going to improve ourselves.
He's going to say okay, the first obstacle that we have to look out for is laziness.
Laziness to achieve
one of the tricks to fix this is something we said before, remembering death,
attending the funeral prayer, going to the cemetery, spending time with the deceased Muslims, making the art for them
to make everything kind of crystallize
and make us realize the nature of reality.
Another ingredient too late or a cure for laziness is to have a proper schedule. This is something nuts and bolts. Regretfully the Muslim community these days, many of us we stay up late,
swell well in the morning, oh, in Medina, it was horrible. The normal culture of people in Medina, the average person, not the student of knowledge or the chef,
stay up almost all night. Pray Fajr Insha Allah, sleep after February until maybe though,
you can't. You can't function like that. That's not the schedule the Prophet Muhammad SAW.
The Prophet Muhammad slay Salam said that there's Baraka in the morning. There's blessing in the morning.
And he was somebody who, yes, he was up at night praying, but he was up early. And taking advantage of the daylight hours. Obviously, this excludes people who work at night and things like that. But having a proper schedule and proper sleep, proper food can go a long way to helping us not be lazy. And the third one is good companionship.
Good companionship helps us not be lazy. Because we are naturally going to compare ourselves to those around us. And if everybody around you is doing less than you, then you're going to feel like ah, I can take my foot off the gas. I can relax, I'm doing good. Right? I'm the most pious person I know.
Whereas if you spend your time with people who are a little bit above you, not too far, where it's discouraging, but just a little bit.
You say you know what, they do this and I shouldn't really I can do that. That's not that hard. I can go out and volunteer and do this and do that and etc.
The second obstacle is stupidity. And what we mean or what a dog would ask us for honey means by stupidity isn't a inborn lack of knowledge. No, it's a contempt
or revulsion, for thinking things through and analyzing them. Right?
Somebody doesn't want to be bothered to think about
sin and the afterlife, and what's going to happen to me, you know, man, just, I don't want to talk about that.
One of the cures for this sort of attitude is, and this is something that's a community wide project, but it starts with the individual, having a culture that respects knowledge, having a culture that respects education, and this is different, though not incompatible, but different than having a culture that respects achievements. In that sense of individual achievement that we mentioned in the hookah last week. Two very different things. In the Muslim community, we have a very strong culture of praising achievements. But we could do a little bit better, with a culture that praises and respects knowledge for the sake of knowledge, and for the good that it can do to
It also requires confidence. It requires confidence to go against the grain to swim upstream, when everybody around you in society, all of your classmates, all of your co workers are, you know, hey, what you're watching, you're gonna have a Netflix binge, or whatever. And I've said this before, no offense to Netflix binges. But you know, there are people that do this every day, every weekend. And that's all they do. That's what I'm talking about. Right?
Like, are they like, you know, going to the bar or whatever else that they're doing? They're kind of life of entertainment.
It takes confidence to go against the grain. It takes confidence to say, No, I don't really do that sort of thing.
And in America, or Hamdulillah. And in North America in general.
It's so easy
to have a counterculture. You look at different type of musical genres. Everybody has their own counterculture.
Meaning that they dress a certain way. They have a certain lingo, they have a sort of ethic that they follow, and nobody gives them any problems. It's expected. Everybody knows what to expect from them.
When we were in high school, right, you have like the punks and you have the Goths and you have like the hip hop guys, and you have these different like cliques, each of them with a different kind of uniform, a different way of speaking, and different expectations among them. There's no reason why as Muslims we can't have a
Our own clique, our own counterculture, our own thing, and everybody knows what we're about. And it's not the same as being like, I'm not saying being unassimilated or separate from the culture, but just having a slightly different level of expectations.
People are going to know that we don't drink alcohol, people are going to know that we have to pray at certain times, people are going to know that we fast during Ramadan, these sorts of things, public and proud. Some groups have parades, we don't need a parade. But there's a lesson to learn and the type of confidence that some of these groups exude and practice.
And we're way over time. But I'll say it just you know, to list it the the third level, the third pitfall to look out for is misguidance. This happens when we see reality as the opposite of what it is seeing the false as true. Seeing the truth as false, this hardens the heart.
And some of the remedies for this are companionship and mentorship, and also sometimes just living or seeing the harmful consequences of things. Right. Some people believe, you know, love is love and explore your sexuality and do all these sorts of things. But then there's other people who have close friends, close family members that have lived negative consequences of that type of lifestyle.
And so you get people that actually inclined to Islam, because they've seen that sort of stuff in their life, people who have been up in the party scene and drinking and doing substances and stuff like that they've lived life in the quote unquote, fast lane.
And then, you know, their close relatives, their close friends and family, they know that they're like that, and they've seen the negative consequences. And so it kind of snaps them out of it.
And then finally, the last level, the worst Pitfall, and the worst thing that can happen to somebody who attempts this whole project of self reform is to fall into delusion, which is worse than misguidance. This is talking about attachment and love for what's false, being a a militant and
for falsehood, and for filth, and for these sorts of harmful evil things. You hate to see purity you hate to see these sorts of things going on people refraining from gambling, people refraining from alcohol, and you seek to try to undermine and corrupted This is as far as somebody can go.
And when somebody reaches that point, it's very, very difficult to have a cure. But Allah is capable of guiding whoever He wills. The main point I'll close with this is that a lot of Allah so honey wants us to understand that momentum is a thing.
And that being proactive is important. And that we shouldn't be complacent in our lives, we shouldn't think that I'm a Muslim, I pray, I'm good. What do I have to do? What do I have left to accomplish? He wants us to get that in order to be a Halifa of Allah in order to be a representative of Allah and what Allah loves on Earth. We have to keep pushing ourselves, we have to want progress. And we have to look at ourselves with an eye to detail to see the things in our lives that could stand to be improved, and taking advantage of those things when they occur to us.
And we are let's let's weigh over time, but we've finished the chapter home with us we can move on next time. Anybody any questions, thoughts, reflections, comments
I mean, well, yeah.
Okay, I've taken up too much of your time already. But if anybody has any remaining thoughts, you can message me,
email or otherwise. And I hope you all have a great night and I'll see you soon in sha Allah to Allah as Salaam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh