Yasir Qadhi – Special Q&A Mental Health & Depression

Yasir Qadhi
AI: Summary © The speakers emphasize the importance of mental health as a reflection of reality and the misunderstandings of clinical depression and mental health. They stress the need for counseling and therapy for individuals with mental health issues, particularly in schools and families. The importance of instilling happiness and purpose in children, particularly in schools, is also emphasized. The conversation includes a brief recap of the first quarter results.
AI: Transcript ©
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Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. Alhamdulillah. Wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah. While early he will be here, woman wala, my bad,

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today's q&a will be a special one. And it will deal with the tragic incident that took place here in Dallas yesterday was discovered. For those of you that are not aware, this is an incident that is shaking our entire city of Dallas, where a very sad tragedy occurred of a murder suicide, an entire family of six individuals.

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They were killed by two of their own family members who were suffering from years of depression and suicide and one of them left a note in which he explained and he it was his final if you like no to the world, and it's a very troubling note. And this community has understandably

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rattled all of us it has shaken us all to the core. And there has been a lot of speculation and a lot of questions and the community is looking for looking for some type of explanation, some type of answers. So today shallow to Allah, we're going to just discuss some of the things not not specific to this particular case only rather to extrapolate from this so that inshallah Tada we can prevent any such thing to the best of our ability from ever happening again.

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So we begin by asking Allah's help us a very, very sensitive topic, and I am cognizant of the fact that the wounds are still fresh. This was only discovered yesterday. And it's a very senseless tragedy in Nigeria, he went in daily here on your own. Indeed, these are times when faith brings us solace and comfort in the law, he we're in a layer on your own, all of us belong to Allah subhanho wa taala. And all of us shall return to Allah subhanho wa taala. We send our sincerest condolences to the family and to the Friends of all six who are deceased, our do as our prayers, we ask Allah to give those that are alive amongst their family and friends suburb. And we also make dua for all

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those who have passed away. At some level, they are all victims, it's not our role to judge their fate in the hereafter. Here I refer to those who perpetrated the actual crimes, it's not our role to assign to them. Any blame or not that is in the courts of Allah subhanaw taala in the Hereafter, not to justify or to minimize, but rather, this is a plea to act sensibly in the aftermath of a horrible of a horrific tragedy. That is something that is so senseless, I mean, our hearts yearn for each and every person, you know, that has lost his or her life.

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three children, two adults, one grandparent six family members, all of them, their their their lives came to a a tragic end. And this is not the time nor is there anything to be gained by passing judgments on specific individuals. The goal really is to discuss topics that are relevant to all of us based upon this one incident, yes, but relevant to much broader communities. And so that insha Allah to Allah, we can try our best to minimize perhaps even to prevent any such incident or tragedy from ever happening again. So we're going to elaborate and extract some of the the points that have come to to my mind and I ask Allah for to fill in her heyday and ask Allah as well for forgiveness

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if I overlook certain things, or if certain things come out, incorrectly. It's a very sensitive topic. And frankly, no matter what one says, just just cannot be done. And no matter which words one uses, you're going to have people who are not satisfied on either side, and this is not so my goal is not really to

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my goal is really to make sure that we try our best that this type of tragedy is spotted to the greatest extent possible and prevent it. That's really what it's all about. But I wanted to begin by moving a little bit theological, that it's a times like these, when belief in Kadar brings about a sense of solace. Belief in Canada helps us grapple because, you know, we try to rationalize why is this happening? And what is the wisdom and in the end of the day, even if we don't understand the wisdom, we do understand that no one can escape the color of Allah subhana wa Tada. We are all bound by

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What is decreed and at some level even if we do not understand we must accept other and in that acceptance there is an element of consolation and there is an element of relegating the affairs to Allah subhana wa Tala Colin, you'll see a banner in Kitab Allahu Allah Now who am I to learn? Nothing is going to happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us. He is our protector, he is our protector. So in Allah let those who put their trust put their trust, so nothing will happen except what Allah has decreed. And Allah says in the Quran, in particular about death, in particular about death, in the Battle of offered, some of the hypocrites criticize the Muslims and they said,

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Oh, if you had only done such and such, nobody would have died. If you had only listened to us they wouldn't have died. And Allah subhana wa Tada revealed in the Quran, that those whose debts had been predestined those whose debts had been predicted by ALLAH SubhanA wa Taala even if they had stayed at home, they would have gone out of their houses and they would have met their debts at the time and the place and the manner that ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada had decreed for them when Maka that innocent anti motor in there be even in LA he Kitab and more Agila, no soul can die except with the isn't of Allah. It is in a book that is hilarious, it is done. Kitab and what agenda it is not inscribed in

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the book, no one controls the destiny of their own death. Allah azza wa jal has decreed it and Allah says in the Quran, when their time of death comes, They can neither move it forward nor push it back. They cannot change it. Ly you're stuck at the moon and who said it and when I started the moon, they can't even push it an hour on bring it back and our our debts are predetermined and pre decreed by Allah subhana wa Tada the time of our death, the manner of our death, and even the location of our death. As Allah says in the Quran, that will attend the universe will be a out of the intermode no soul knows in which land even they will pass away And subhanAllah the tragedy, the

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grandmother who lost her life, she was actually visiting her daughter, she didn't even live in Dallas, she was just visiting for a period of time, and she was going to return to her family elsewhere. And Allah's father was that she would meet her death here. So we asked Allah that all of the you know the parents and the grandparents and the child, we ask that they're granted the death of a shaheed. So we begin by reminding ourselves of clutter, why, because in Kadar, we find comfort for the past and I have said multiple times, other is used belief in predestination is used to find comfort in past events. We do not use other to justify the future, we use other to comfort ourselves

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for anything that has already happened. And we say to ourselves, nothing we could have done can change the past it was Allah's other we benefit we learn, this is not a justification. It is a constellation that what happened happened, I couldn't have changed it, but we still learn and we try to make sure that we don't fall into the same if there are any mistakes and if there any wisdoms to learn from we try to learn from them so that they are not repeated in the in the future. Now, obviously, the big elephant in the room, in this entire incident. And of course it is for this particular reason that I wanted to discuss this issue in some detail is the issue of mental health.

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The issue of depression, the issue of especially teenage depression, and the issue of suicide. You see, the problem is dear Muslims is that we, the Muslim community, we have a serious problem within our own ranks. And especially our specific cultures, whether they're out of or Buxton, Indian, urban Gali, whatever they might be, they are almost universal in our particular cultures. And that is that mental health is not really viewed as a real problem. Many people think it is imaginary, they don't believe it actually exists. A lot of people also think that it is just a spiritual problem. It's a religious problem, that if they only had Iman, then they wouldn't be, you know, sick, they wouldn't

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be ill. And this is, I think, one of the biggest tragedies that we need to and that that is why I am stopping my regular q&a. And I'm dedicating this entire lecture today, this entire q&a to this one issue, not because I want to bring attention to that one issue. It's very sad. It's a tragedy. You know, we ask Allah for forgiveness for all but because we want to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. And we're using this to shed light on a very, very awkward topic, and that is the very real existence of mental illnesses within our own ranks. And the fact that there is

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An almost sinister cover up by almost sinister cover up. What I mean is that there is a refusal to acknowledge that there's something called mental depression. There's a refusal to acknowledge that people are struggling with mental issues, people have suicidal thoughts, they are embarrassed themselves to come out and tell people and when they tell their family and friends they are rejected, rebuffed, they're told to to to man up or take it deal with it. I did worse when I was in your age, and I had to deal with this night and I didn't go through depression. And what happens is this compounds and again, I'm not speaking about that one incident, please, nobody read in. I don't

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know that family. And I don't know all the details. We're only know snippets. But what we do know very clearly is that both of those children were diagnosed with depression, both of those were clinically on medication, both of those, they attempted to get help. And it is clear that they didn't get the type of help that is that is needed. Both of those had attempted suicide multiple times, multiple times they had attempted suicide. And that's something that we need to have a very, very frank discussion about my dear brothers and sisters, mental health is a real issue, mental problems that people face are just as real, just as tangible as physical problems. And you know,

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again, it's time for all of us to acknowledge our own mistakes. And I have said this before, that I myself was guilty of this misconception of this incorrect perception. And I'll be honest with you, and I'm not passing the buck on to anybody else. But it is true that many clergy, many respected ruler, Ma, they don't understand clinical depression, they don't understand psychiatry. And so they say statements based upon misunderstandings of versus misunderstandings of a hadith. And those statements are then propagated within the scholarly class. And unfortunately, they are then transferred to the public. And this results in a backlash it results in the problem exacerbating or

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worsening. What do I mean here? I mean, here the notion that mental depression is a spiritual issue, right? This is something that I myself was taught, and I heard with my own two ears respected Allah ma say to me, while I was studying overseas and the blessing city of Medina, in the city of the prophets of Allah, who I knew he was setting him multiple times in different phrases with different languages in holtzberg in lectures, the notion was said to us by multiple people, that if you are a good believer, if your iman is strong, if you have faith in Allah subhanho wa taala, then you cannot be depressed. We were taught to this. And we were even quoted verses of the Quran, Allah basically

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Allah He taught my Indian guru verily in the vicar of Allah to the hearts find tranquility from an Adela and decree for India. Lahoma, Isha Tonka, whoever turns away from my remembrance, Allah says, he shall live a miserable life. And so we were told, and this is an incorrect misunderstanding, as I will explain to you, we were taught. And this is very common amongst a lot of not all, but a lot of the, you know, the people who studied Islamic sciences, many of them they preached this, that mental illness is a spiritual disease of iman. And if you had Iman, if you had faith in Allah azza wa jal, you wouldn't be depressed. And I will confess to you that when I returned back to this country,

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seven 616 17 years ago, that I too, said this in a lecture or two of mine, and I thank Allah that there was a psychiatrist in the audience who I knew from my days back in university when I was at University of Houston, and she had gone on and done psychiatry, and she was now a licensed therapist and career counselor and whatnot. And she, you know, very gracefully pulled me aside and said, you know,

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you know, I knew her from back in the college days, so, I trusted her and she said to me, you need to study this, you cannot say this anymore, because I said quite explicitly that if you have Iman and Allah you cannot be depressed. I said this on stage, it has called us forgiveness, you know, and I did not know any better and I parroted what I was taught, like I was, a good student should do, but a good student should also be a critical thinker. But the point is that at that time, I did not know any better and I started reading and studying more. And of course, it is very clear that mental issues that depression that suicidal thoughts are not always based upon the lack of spirituality.

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It's not always the case. And here is where again, we need to be very explicit here. And I speak as somebody you know, trained in Medina, amongst the Islamic sciences, that dear Muslims, religious clergy are indeed the inheritors of the prophets, respect them and give them the rights but at the same time, do not extrapolate to their knowledge to areas that they are not specialists in

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To go to Roma for halal and haram go to Roma for the deceit of the Quran go to cinema for the CEO of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, but Rula ma are not resorted to for financial advice rule Emma are not resorted to for the equations of

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engineering and of figuring out architecture or a llama are not resorted to for medicine unless they're trained in medicine. Similarly, you do not go to Rhoda MA for psychiatric issues, you don't go to Rhoda Ma, for teens that are thinking about suicide, you need to go to train therapists. Now I'm not saying don't go to them at all. I'm saying go to them for the spiritual reasons fine, but don't go to them for the clinical reasons for the therapy for the counseling that is needed. It is a separate science of mankind altogether. We are not taught when we go through our training, we are not taught how to cancel how to counsel drug addicts. We are not taught what to say when somebody

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comes in and is thinking of suicide. That's not in our training. Now you can say it should be. And I say well, that's a good idea. And maybe one day sha Allah Allah seminaries will start doing that. But the way that it stands right now that the famous seminaries of the world, they deal with the classical sciences, they don't deal with the human side of psychiatry, they don't deal with the pastoral side. And, you know, the fact of the matter is that many seminaries of other faith traditions, they do emphasize this pastoral element, they emphasize counseling and therapy to a certain degree, they train their counselors or their ministers who are going to be in particularly

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in particular positions of power and authority. They train them to recognize, you know, when there's depression, and when there's, you know, danger, signs of suicide and whatnot. And that's, that's very good. We need to do something equivalent in our communities, as of yet that is not done. And somebody who has extensive training from us or from Medina, from Islam, about from Malaysia, in and of itself, the trainings that we receive in Madeira says and in the classical Islamic seminaries do not involve psychiatry at all. They don't involve therapy and counseling whatsoever. Now, I know some people have returned back and they've done degrees Alhamdulillah, excellent. Otherwise, if a

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share has not done a degree, or has not spent time in therapy and counseling, then the default is you don't go to that person for that which is needed in terms of therapy, in terms of counseling, you wouldn't come to me for medical advice. I'm not a medical doctor. So why would you go to a chef to deal with an issue of mental health when the chef has not been trained to deal with mental health? Now, the misunderstanding arises from the fact that there is something called spiritual happiness and spiritual emptiness, there's no question about that. And the Quran describes spiritual happiness as happening when you believe in Allah and you worship Allah and you know what, we all

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know this we feel good. When we're religious, we feel bad. When we're not religious, we feel good when we give charity when we pray, when we Quran, we feel an internal happiness, likewise, or I should say, the flip side is that we feel an emptiness when we're away from Allah subhanho wa taala. When we commit a sin, and that is a spiritual sadness, a spiritual emptiness. And so the verses of the Quran the Hadith talk about this subject, they talk about spiritual happiness and sadness, spiritual fulfillment and emptiness. However, mental happiness and mental problems, they are not the same as spiritual happiness and, and spiritual problems. There is an overlap, ie, you know, somebody

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who's mentally sane and spiritually happy and Hamdulillah. That's the overlap you want to be in. However, it's like two Venn diagram, the circles, they are overlapping with the middle area, but there's also separate on each side. And what this means is the following, you can be spiritually fulfilled, and yet mentally unhappy. This is the key point, the two circles are not completely overlapping. You can be spiritually doing your stuff, believing in Allah, praying, regularly doing checking all the boxes, but there is a mental illness, there is a mental struggle that is outside of the sphere outside of the circle of the spiritual struggle, and therefore no matter what you keep on

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putting in the spiritual box, it's not going to solve that which is happening in the mental illness side. And that's something that our AMA, and our psychiatrists need to understand. Both of these boxes need to be filled up, no question about it. It's good to have Iman and Allah azza wa jal, and it's good to be, you know, mentally balanced and whatnot, but the two are somewhat independent of one another. And that is why we need to understand that there are areas of specialities and expertise and you go to the experts of each field, depression, mental illness, this is a diagnosis

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possible medical issue. You can't just snap out of it, you know, our elders say to us that, hey, I dealt with worse, you know, when I came to this land, I had to struggle with three jobs and I had to walk 10 miles to get to my bottle of water and this and that, what you have it easy what so we have to understand, you know, do your parents and your elders, we have to understand such language and such shutting down of these types of of

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current of these types of pleas for help. What it does is it makes the situation worse, you cannot just snap out of a spiritual illness, you cannot just make yourself feel that, oh, I'm going to be fine. If I just rethink my things. If I understand how difficult life was for you, then it's going to be easier for me. And you cannot just pray and make dua and it will miraculously go away unless Allah wills it as a miracle. I mean, let me ask you, if somebody had cancer, if somebody had cancer, would you just say, just pray and make dua and that's it? Or would you say, well, let's go to the doctor, let's get, you know, radiation therapy, let's get all of the chemotherapy done. And along

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with that, make dua to Allah, what would you say? So once we understand that mental illness is just as much of a diagnosable problem as a physical illness and ailment that we should understand that we should not shut people off, we should not just tell them to you know, deal with it and grow up and snap out of it and make dua it does not work that way. We have to be empathetic, not just sympathetic, genuine empathy, we need to open up about this sensitive topic and understand that there's nothing to be ashamed of, it's nothing to be embarrassed about. And you know, if you read the note from the from this brother, the long note that he wrote, he mentioned multiple times

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feeling let down, he mentioned that no one helped him that all the people that he turned to eventually abandon him except for his family. And I'm not blaming anybody. I'm not saying that. It's something we need to think about the future let's not concentrate on the past and this particular incident, it's not to to to you know, castigate it's to learn and to make sure that we try our best to not repeat those mistakes again. As for those struggling with depression, those struggling with these types of thoughts, really, all of us need to recognize the signs and symptoms, all of us need to recognize and monitor in our family and friends. What is going on, which is very, very

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terrifying, is that the closest family members and the friends of this particular family, even though they knew that something was wrong, none of them, none of them were in any way fashion or form prepared for this reality. None of them knew it was this bad, none of them. And this means we need to educate ourselves to recognize these symptoms and signs. Apparently, this young man had given such symptoms and signs multiple times, having done things that would have sent warning bells off in the immediate, you know, circle, but again, we're not trained to monitor them. And so again, I'm not an expert, I'm just going to list for you certain things that are found in the national

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websites of this country and other countries about what to what to monitor for. And I encourage all of you in all communities, to have workshops, to raise public awareness to talk about symptoms to talk about issues pertaining to depression and mental health, but of the symptoms that indicate that someone is struggling with depression, is to constantly be thinking about the meaning of life, the uselessness of life, that there's no point living. And again, if you look at this brothers manifesto, if anybody reads it, it is full of references to just there's no point there's no point doing this right, the point of feeling helpless, the point of feeling futile, what's the purpose of

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it all you're struggling to get meaning out of life, this is a warning sign also constantly thinking of death not so that we are productive look, we are told in our shittier to remember death, but the purpose is that we will remember death not to be morbid, but to say let me live my best life right? So we use that as a motivational factor. However, if a person thinks of death as a de motivational factor, if they think of death and and they just sitting and lounging all this, what's the point I'm going to die. That's not the point that you're supposed to be thinking of death about. We're supposed to think of the death to motivate us into action, not to motivate us into doing nothing,

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and also not just to think of death, but to start thinking of causing one's own death. This is really when the warning signs become complete Red Alert, this is like stage 10 of the emergency. If a person is constantly thinking about how one should take one's own life, reading articles about this maybe even googling or something of this nature, then that person has gone beyond the yellow zone. This is now extremely dangerous zone.

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And to feel that one's life just isn't worth living. And again, if you read this brother's letter, this is a constant theme of the entire letter. He just didn't see the point of it all he seemed he kept on saying, what's the point, you know, life is just useless. He didn't find happiness in anything that he had. And also other symptoms are given extreme change of eating or drinking habits not wanting to be with their friends or used to to be with change in sleep, and mood. All of these things are given as symptoms that are just should send some warning bells off anybody who has such symptoms, or you see them and your family and friends, you know, you should talk to them to approach

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them see what can be done about this. And of course, it needs to be said here that faith can give help. And again, to be very explicit here so that nobody misunderstands me. Remember, I said that the area of faith and the area of psychiatry, they are two different circles that have an overlap in the middle? Okay, there are two separate circles and there is an overlap in the middle. But there's also unique things about each one. And so faith can be helpful, but it is not always a cure to all problems of depression. There is no doubt that stronger Eman helps but sometimes Eman is independent of the root cause of the problem. And sometimes the problem has nothing to do with iman, let me just

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put it to another way, having stronger Eman is never going to be a problem is it right, having stronger Iman is not going to be a negative. So it's never going to be detrimental. It's always good to have a better relationship with Allah subhana wa Tada. And so for some people, that relationship with a lot will motivate them and over allow them to overcome their depression and their suicidal thoughts. For others, it will require more than just Iman, it will require therapy. And you know, there's another aspect that we do have to talk about, but not in detail in today's lecture.

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And that is the issue of those that are battling with mental trauma, those who are battling with issues that have affected them, maybe when they were children, something happened to them. And they haven't come to terms with it, maybe they had a very difficult childhood, maybe some type of physical or worst type of trauma in their childhood. And you know, now that they're young adults or whatnot, so that is an unlocked if you like box in their lives. And no matter how much amount or faith you have, that's not going to to to deal with the core of the problem here. And that's why you need trained counselors, you need therapists to unpack and unravel that, that knotted box, if you

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like that trauma from the from the you know, the childhood that might have taken place, you need somebody that is trained. And then that's where therapy comes in. And of course, as well, sometimes it's not even just psycho, psychological, sometimes it is medical, there might actually be a chemical imbalance as well. So we, you know, we move on to this point and say that we need to learn the symptoms of depression, we need to monitor them in ourselves and other people, and we need to try our best to basically be there for them. And yes, as we say, from a religious perspective, we bring up religion, but we understand that religion is a tool. It's not the end all and be all when

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it comes to this this this topic. It is a useful tool, and we should use it. We should not shy away from using it. We should remind our young brothers and sisters we should remind our communities that indeed Allah is Rockman and Allah is Rahim. And Allah azza wa jal has said in the Quran, while telko to do and full circle in the law, how can I become Rahima? Don't kill yourselves. Allah is Rahim towards you notice in the verse that prohibits suicide, Allah mentions his compassionate nature. Allah says, Don't kill yourselves, I am compassionate, I am merciful towards you. So Allah is reminding you that no one loves you more than Allah subhanho wa Taala we remind our young brothers

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and sisters who are struggling who are going through these thoughts that Allah says in the Quran, well, Hera to hydrogeochemical, Allah that the future is going to be better for you than the past. What's going to happen is better for you than what has happened. You don't know. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow is going to be a better day. And that's a Quranic reality. And we also need to say, unequivocally, every one of us we need to say to our family and friends to all those that are suffering alone and away from our eyes, even if they're physically with us. We need to say we are here for you. I don't know if you yourself are suffering, but know that I am here

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for you. We need to say this to our family and friends. They should feel this love and this warmth from us that even if we don't know a particular person is struggling. That person should understand that if he needs help you are there for him, your family, your friends, your close associates. That should be the VI

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that you give them the comfort that you give them. And if the person says to you, oh, you will never understand you don't know what I'm going through, the response is very clear. Maybe you're right. Why don't you explain it to me, I'm not going to say I understand your pain, I maybe will not understand your pain. Maybe your pain is beyond my understanding. But you know what Allah understands. And Allah is Rahman, and Allah is Rahim. And also we say to this brother or sister, that no matter what pain you are in, or what you are suffering, that the one who puts you here knows you can pass the test. And that's why he puts you here. As Allah says, In the Quran, no soul is

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burdened with more than what it can bear. We need to remind our young brothers and sisters, we need to remind those struggling with depression with suicidal thoughts, that, hey, if the world thinks you're a failure, Allah knows you're not a failure. And Allah knows you're going to pass this test. And Allah put you in this test with the full knowledge and who is more and more knowledgeable than Allah, Allah put you through this test, knowing you have the tools and the patience and the perseverance and the fortitude to pass through that test. If he knew you would fail, you wouldn't be in this test. So the very fact that you're being tested, shows that Allah knows you have it in you

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to pass that test. Simple as that it's in the Quran. There's no two ways about it. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it. You are not going to be tested more than what you can bear. And you know, you're right. I don't understand your problems. You're right. I haven't walked in your shoes. You're right. I don't know everything going on about you. But I'll tell you one thing. You're definitely definitely there are people that are tested worse than you and they are better than me and you you know who they are. They are the prophets of Allah. The prophets of Allah are tested more than any of us look at our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, I don't want to go into a mini Sierra lecture

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here. But thrice orphan his mother died his father died his grandfather died born into poverty raised in the most extenuating circumstances, rejected by his own people, accused of every single evil under the sky, every single accusation a madman, possessed, etc, thrown out by his own tribe, multiple assassination attempts SubhanAllah. And yet throughout all of this, exuding faith and dignity, inspiring others with courage, so don't take me or your family or friends as role models take the prophets of Allah as role models, study their history, read about them, and their trials, because Wallah, he their trials are more than mine and yours I'm not saying they're the same, maybe

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your specific trial is different. I'm not comparing the the the actual trial, but I'm comparing the overall the sufferings of the prophets are at a different level all together. And what they had to undergo is much more than any of us even though they are better than any of us. And so don't translate your suffering into the notion that Allah does not like you. On the contrary, in our faith, we turn it around to your brother and sister and we say if you are tested, then know that Allah loves you. Our prophets have said this, this isn't me speaking, Allah Prophet sallallahu sallam said, memorize this hadith, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, when Allah loves

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his servant, He tests him. And the more he loves him, the more he tests him so that his ranks are raised higher and higher and higher. So as you're being tested, and you're struggling to understand the wisdom in these tests, you know what your brother and sister the wisdom is very clear, and that is, Allah wants to raise your ranks. And the way that that is done in this world, the way that that is done is by passing one test after another. And you know, how you pass the test. You now you pass the test, by not doing something foolish by not cheating by not

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re changing the rules. And I really do believe that suicide is a type of cheating suicide is changing the rules. We don't do that we do not do that. We are patient, we persevere. We turn to Allah, we ask Allah for our patients, and we live day by day with the full certainty that a day will come that will be better than yesterday, and slowly but surely our lives will become better. And you know, dear brother and sister, however you're feeling, don't keep it bottled up. Do not keep it bottled up, go find people who love you will love you. There are people who love and care about you. If one person says no, if one person rejects you, if one person doesn't understand, don't give up on

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the rest of humanity. Talk to somebody, talk to your close friend, talk to your cousin or somebody who cares about you. If one person doesn't understand, find somebody who does trust me, your friends would rather talk to you than pray over your janazah your friends would rather talk to you listen to you cry, give you their shoulder to cry on, then to come to your janazah and pray over your body. So these are the two alternatives, find somebody to talk to and don't even think about the other alternative. Also, another aspect of this tragedy that I feel the need to comment on is that the left

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This brother wrote Subhanallah it really, it really demonstrates the shallowness of this dunya you know, the brother writes that he had everything, successful education, he's in college, you know, he's popular with his friends, he even mentioned May Allah forgive, you had a girlfriend, everything he had all of that, he goes, everybody would think that I will be the happiest but inside he was empty. And you know what that shows? It does show that this dunya is not the ultimate abode of happiness. Now, again, I don't know the specific family and brother whatnot, we're speaking generics we need to extrapolate. Subhanallah depression is on the rise. The World Health Organization has

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released a report last year, in which it said that globally globally, the reports of depression are at an all time high in every single continent in every single country. And Millennials are the highest in human history. Millennials, those that are born 2000 And after are the highest in human history. Now, I am not a millennial, I was born in the 70s. And I'm speaking now to the adults that have children, especially those that have teenage children, dear adults, you need to stop stop extrapolating your childhood onto their childhood. You know, we don't understand what is happening with the modern world, we don't understand the damage that has been done with the internet and with

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satellite stations. And with social media, we're still studying the effects of the damage of social media, on toddlers and on children. We don't know what is going on the world is aghast. Psychiatrists across the across the globe are just shocked at the rise in teenage suicide and depression at the rise in having to prescribe medication to teenagers. And we think we're still living in the 80s. And sometimes even I feel this way, like I tell my children, hey, I had it worse than you. But you know, I don't understand they're in a different world. There's it's not their fault. It's not their fault. They were born in a different time in a different place. And we don't

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understand why it is going on. We don't nobody has definitively answered what is going on? Is it just because of social media? Is it the narcissism? Is it the overload of entertainment? Is it the emptiness of spirituality? Is it the breakdown of family? Is it that, you know, they're not interacting with one another, you know, we would go out and play I would literally get dirty in the streets playing with my friends. And you know, my kids don't do that anymore, right? We don't know what is going on. But something something across the globe has affected our next generation. It's altered their minds, it's making them think and act in ways that we did not act. And we don't

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understand. Just because we don't understand it does not diminish the severity of it. I don't understand why they seem to have everything. But maybe because they have everything maybe because to a certain extent, they have been spoiled and pampered but it's not their fault. It's the fault of technology in the world that they find themselves in, but there is an emptiness in their lives. And you know, our fathers and grandfathers they say we don't get in, we came to this country wanting to give you guys a better life. You have it all. We gave it to you. It's on a silver platter. Why don't you appreciate it. But you know, our fathers had to struggle to get what they had. And our children

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that are born into that luxury. Our parents and our grandparents, they had to work hard to get a little bit of that happiness. And our children, they don't even know how to get happiness. They're surrounded by this false happiness. And therefore when they experience it, then internally, they're yearning for a higher purpose. And they feel an internal vacuum. And this brothers manifesto, again, if you read it, it is screaming for internal help. He keeps on saying, What's the point of it, I'm not happy, I hide everything. Everybody thinks I should be happy. But I'm not happy. He had his degree on his way. He had everything. He has been getting good grades, and a top university. But

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still, there's not a sense of fulfillment. And of course, again, I don't know this particular brother, so I'm not prescribing what should have happened, but I'm speaking to the future. And I'm speaking to us right now that we can learn from this. The importance of instilling in our children, that the ultimate happiness and the ultimate purpose is not a degree. It's not education. It's not getting good grades. It's not getting married in a house. No, the ultimate happiness is the happiness of the Acura. It is the pleasure of Allah subhana wa Tada. It is having a connection with our Creator. And again, I am not saying that religion is going to solve every problem, but it's

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never going to harm anything. Is it right, having more religion is always useful. And I would say that one of the things as a community that we need to do especially

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As financially we rise the the avenue of success. And our wealth, you know, is accrue generation from generation and where I speak now, My children are third generation now, you know, and SubhanAllah. Again on a personal anecdote my father came here in the early 60s, and he keeps on telling me and reminding me that his first job was, I think, 90 cents an hour, you know, he would he would have to work my kids, if they were to get a job at minimum wage, they would balk, say, I'm not going to work at you know, $6 an hour, would I? Why would I do that in three generations, right? From 90 cents to whatever it is, it's a different era now. And I don't blame them. That's the way

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that they are. What is then the alternative? It's not their fault. You know, their grandfather was successful, then shallow, their parents were successful. Now they have financially a modicum of success. Guess what, then we need to emphasize finances and degrees and education. They're all secondary. What is most important is our Islamic identity. That's a Tobia that needs to be done. And again, to be clear, I am not saying it wasn't done in the family, I'm not saying you would have solved the problem. I'm simply saying it is one of the things we need to do as a faith based community. And that is to emphasize we have a higher purpose, this particular brother, he did not

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discover a higher purpose in life. I don't know why. What was he not a believer? Was he not really? I don't know. We don't know. But what we do know is that in the manifesto, it is patently clear, he kept on saying, What is the purpose of it all? What's the purpose of working and gaining money? And to which if we had somebody like that come to me, I would say, That's not your purpose. You're right, what is the purpose of working 50 years and then dying? What is that's not the purpose. The purpose is you leave a positive legacy. The purpose is you bring happiness to orphan children around the world, the purpose is you gain some money, and you distribute it to the full Cara, the purpose

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is you bring a smile to the face of refugees in your community, the purpose is you. So you bring something positive, and you'll bring a higher value to your life than money, and then entertainment, and then you know, getting a good degree, because a lot of our young brothers and sisters, a lot of them, they're getting all of this for free. They have all the education they want. They have all the entertainment they want. And they're still not happy. Unless we tell them, that's not your goal. Because you see, let's be brutally honest here. For many of our ancestors, for our first generation. That was the goal. The goal was worth what I need a large house. That's the goal. That's why I left

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my homeland. We were struggling. We were in the lower socio economic class, I need to get to upper middle class, guess what our donation got there, by and large Alhamdulillah. By and large, I'm being stereotypical by and large, we got there, okay. Now our children, they're not they didn't get there. They were born into it. And they're seeing through the shallowness of all of this. And they're wondering what what is it all for, and that's where religion does have a huge role to play. Again, not the only role, but a huge role. And that's why it is even more important, especially those parents do your parents who are not the into the religion that much free realize, for the sake of

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your mental sanity, it will help you and your children to have a good and healthy relationship with stable religion. You know, too many of us we emphasize a better tomorrow via education, and via good grades, and we neglect the better our era via tarbiyah. And via spirituality, more important than tomorrow is the era. Tomorrow we'll go everyday you're going to have that the Ophira will never go away. And that is why your brothers and sisters instilling in your children, a genuine love of Allah subhanho wa Taala and a genuine purpose of life. It is so so important reading this letter, as he himself said nothing made him happy. And I'm going to quote you one aspect he goes it's not fair. I

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did everything right. Every little curse word thing, right? And I'm still apathetic, it's not fair how everyone can be so content while I can't even fathom being happy, no matter what I do, I just can't be happy and court. He is saying he's tried everything. And again, I don't know that family or that Brother, we need to make sure our children don't give up on religion. Happiness is not going to be found in what the list is here which is education and friends and this and that and haram things that he has no happiness ultimate happiness, yes, the spiritual side. What are we here to do? What will make us feel noble? What is a higher purpose? It's definitely not degrees is definitely not

00:44:27 --> 00:44:59

education, that secondary you can be happy and you're not educated in the technical sense, right? You think the only way to be happy is by getting a bachelor's and a PhD SubhanAllah. How elitist is that? No, happiness is internal happiness is a connection with Allah surrounded by loving family and friends. That is happiness, right? Education is not an indication of happiness, but unfortunately too many amongst us emphasize the worldly side and we neglect the the religious side. So again, make sure that we do this because the brothers letter really

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is a cry for help. And again, I want to be clear here is that for Allah, I am not overlooking the horrible crime that took place not at all the stuff for the livestock for a lot. No one is condoning the brutal murder of four innocent people by two young men, no one is saying that that is justified. And if there was sanity in those who did this crime, they have to answer to Allah for one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, and that is of killing your own parents and your own sibling and toddler and your own grandmother. But if they were not saying, if they were not and we do not know, we do not know, then what is the purpose in passing judgments? What is the purpose? You know, I gave

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the Facebook post and a number of people are very angry, why didn't use harsher language? How could you overlook the crime that the person has done? To which the responses I am not overlooking but I let Allah judge or let Allah judge I don't know whether they were saying or insane, I don't know. We will leave it to Allah, the crime is brutal, and at some level will lie everybody. Everybody is tragically affected at some level, at some level, every one of them is a victim. This is not to exonerate our will. How can anybody if there was sanity, then, then Allah do with them? I can't even there's no adjectives there. What's the point? What are my objectives going to do to solve that? You

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know, so we leave the affair to Allah subhana wa Tada. Again, the goal is to take this incident and to extrapolate generically, so that we try our best that nothing like this ever, ever happens again. And you know, one point of the letter, which was actually very touching, was that the this person says that what kept him going for the longest time was the love of his brother and the love of his family. SubhanAllah. The letter says that what he would have, he said he would have killed himself a long time ago, he would have done this many, many years ago, he said, But what kept him going was love. Now, here's the point. Here's the point that I want to bring up with you that we need to ask

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ourselves next time somebody comes out to us reaches out to us. Remember this brother? What did he say? The love of the family pushed him for as long as it did. And then something else snapped. He didn't do his family didn't stop loving him, something else snapped. But for that period of so many years, he goes, what deleted was that love? He it's right, it's written right there for us. So next time we see somebody in our own extended family circle of friends or acquaintances, realize what they need is validation and love. What they need is to be sustained by that love. And Allah knows and and alternatives. You know, we don't think about what ifs you know, but we do which simply

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wonder, we don't go down the path of, of what ifs What if what would have happened in an alternative universe, but from our side, we need to realize that reaching out sympathizing empathizing, comforting, helping, just loving someone who's troubled and you know, if you listen to my Ciara, lectures and lies of the Sahaba do this all the time that you know the Sahaba would comfort one another, the process of comforting the Sahaba, Allah is comforting the prophets of Allah has an a multiple times in the Quran, I know it's difficult, I know your heart is troubled, Allah is doing this. The comfort is needed you the words of affirmation, words of support, just to say I'm here for

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you anything you need, et cetera, et cetera. Another point that he mentioned, and this needs to be mentioned explicitly, some of us need to hear this explicitly,

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is that he says that medication did help him. And I say this, because all too often many of us have this sense that medication doesn't help. But the brother himself said that medication did help. I'm not a doctor, I'm not going to argue medically here and there. I'm simply using what the brother owns. And also, by the way, I'm not a doctor, but people have come to me that are that are struggling with issues that accompany with spiritual advice. And you know, sometimes they're struggling with depression, sometimes you struggle with suicidal thoughts, or they're coming to me for religious, not for the, because I'm not a therapist, I don't do the therapy side. And they have

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told me that medication has helped them overcome some of these thoughts. So I'm no doctor. But anecdotally, clearly, sometimes this medication is helpful if it is, I guess, done properly and whatnot. But my point is that this point is merely being generic. And that is that we should not dismiss outright medication. If the doctors prescribe it, and they are experts in the field, then that is something that we should be open to. Now, another very awkward topic. I'm going to gloss over this because it's not something I'm interested to talk about too much detail, but I have been asked this multiple times in the last day or so. And that is with regards to, again, let's not talk

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about this particular case, because I don't want to be you know, it's sensitive. Still, it just happened. Let's talk generically speaking, that a lot of people are told that when somebody takes his or her own life, much less does a crime against humanity, that the community should not pray janazah

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up over that person rather, members should do this, but not the leadership, not the Imam. And you know, this is an awkward topic. I'm not talking about this particular scenario, I don't want to be insensitive, but the topic needs to be discussed generically. Once again, it is authentically reported that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam in Medina, somebody was brought to him janazah and he had taken his own life. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam himself did not offer the janazah. But he told the others to offer the janazah over that person. And from this dilemma have derived that anyone who does a type of crime like for example, a highway robber, a murder, somebody

00:50:45 --> 00:51:23

that does a crime against humanity, or even, you know, dies in this type of fashion. And they were saying a normal that they did it in their own thing, that the leadership of the community should send a message. Because you see, imagine in a tight knit community, imagine in a community where everybody knows each other, and there's great respect and love that you hear that somebody you know, is, is a murderer, and the community refuse to pray janazah only two, three people they prayed and they that it's going to cause you know, a signal to be sent to the rest of the living people, right is going to cause others to say I don't want it, I don't want it. I don't want to go down that path.

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You know, I don't want to be, you know, ashamed of that on my janazah. So the purpose is very clear in a tight knit community where everybody, you know, there's love and there's camaraderie that to do something of this nature sends a message that, hey, we are not happy at what you have done. And I remember, by the way that, you know, again, this happened in one city that a certain person had done crimes against humanity, killing a lot of people and whatnot. And the masjid basically said, we were not going to preach and as over this person to send a message that and so you're just some two, three people, they just preach and as in the graveyard, and it is to send the message that we will

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this is another issue, not not this one. Now, I have been asked about this. And I want to just say that, you know, this goes back to the pros and cons. It's not like a shattered ruling for a specific scenario. It goes back to the pros and cons. And you know, we don't know the mental state, really, of the people who did this. If they were mentally diagnosed as insane if they were really completely insane, we leave the refer to Allah subhanho wa taala. If there is a point that a message should be sent, that people are actually going to derive a message that is being sent. And again, that's a big if, you know, if people not praying janazah over a person who has done a crime will send the message

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to other people to not do that crime, then definitely, it's a part of the Sunnah. But will that be met in such an in this type of circumstance? Allahu Allah, I'm skeptical. And so I leave this matter to the local community, the old local Masjid leave it to them, and it is up to them, what is to be done?

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One final point, and I was wondering whether I should do this or not. But you know, it's in the note of the brother and it needs to be there for I mean, I just don't see the point of leaving it out. And that is, the Israel is relevant only to us here in America. And that is the damning section in his own letter, about the laxity of our own gun laws. I quote, and this is from his letter, I would say the only hard part of the plan was getting the guns but that would be a lie. My fourth and final point, gun control in the US is a joke. All my brother had to do was to go to the gun shop, say something about wanting a gun for home defense, sign some forms. And that was it. There was a

00:53:39 --> 00:54:26

question asking if he had any mental illness, but get this he lied. Both of them were diagnosed as mentally ill. Both of them were diagnosed as suicidal. Both of them were on medication. Okay, he literally walked in. The guy asked him, Are you mentally ill? He goes, No. And that's it. He literally just said no, I go back to his letter. They didn't ask for proof. Or if he was just or if he was taking any medication. He was just a yes or no question. Literally, anyone can get a gun if they haven't been officially diagnosed. Thanks for making the process so easy. And quote, both of these brothers. Both of these brothers were taking medication for mental illness. They had been

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diagnosed with mental illness, they had been diagnosed as suicidal. And yet, he himself says, gun control in the US is a joke. This is a damning indictment of our own country's lacks gun laws, where a diagnosed mentally ill depressed suicidal person could just waltz in and buy two guns without even a rudimentary background check. You know, I don't want to make this, you know, political and to those who say

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We shouldn't politicize gun control following a tragedy, I say, and what else should we do? When the one who himself realizes he shouldn't have a gun? When he himself leads you a suicide note saying, Why did I even get this gun? I shouldn't even be able to get this gun. And then you tell me I shouldn't politicize a tragedy after six lives have been taken for how long are we going to ignore the elephant in the room, this country of ours, the United States of America, it has the highest rate of death by guns in all of the liberal Western democracies of the world. By far, the only countries that beat us, they are the countries in which there are drug cartels. That's it. Even the

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Middle East, we are higher than the Middle East itself, and they call the Middle East and other Muslim countries barbaric. And yet the number of deaths that are caused by guns, we are by far the number one in the Western liberal democracies. And the reason for this isn't because those that are born in this part side of the world has some different DNA. It's quite straightforward. Why are there no mass shootings in the Nordic countries? Why are there no killers roaming the streets in Canada, and in Australia and whatnot, why? It's one major factor that separates our land from all the other lands, and that is the ease of getting weapons, and also especially of assault rifles, and

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pretty much almost like submachine guns, we just walked in, and we walked in, and we get it, And subhanAllah it's just a sad reality of the world that we live in. And no matter what happens yet, the gun lobbies of this country remain powerful and strong. And it shows you the shallowness of our politics, where what counts is Who finances what and the power is behind lobbying, and not actual statistics, and not actual realities will log on with Stein. In any case, to conclude all of this, your brothers and sisters?

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Yes, there was a lot of commentary on the specifics, no doubt about that. But it wasn't about the specific incident here in Dallas. You know what terrifies me? What really terrifies me. In all likelihood, every one of you knows somebody who's potentially thinking of suicide. Every one of you, without exception, is directly in the immediate circle of another potential one of these maybe not even the house killing or what not just himself or herself, but we don't know. We don't know. Because we're not monitoring the size or even worse, we do know, but we don't care. Like he himself said every friend of his and I'm not blaming, I don't know, but that's what he himself says every

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friend of his abandoned him. That's what he himself says. So the question is not about the past. The question is about the future, that what are we going to do about battling mental illness, depression, suicidal thoughts in the next generation, it's not their fault. I understand. We I don't understand, well, like, I don't understand why I don't understand these kids seem to have everything that we would have only dreamed about when I was growing up in the 80s. And yet still, they're empty, and they're searching for meaning. And and and I don't understand why, but it is what it is. And what I don't want to see is our own children, our own youth going down this this road, I don't

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want to and you know, in the course of the last few years, stuff that Allah but in our all of our communities, in every single you know, Masjid community, this is happening now. Our teens are turning to suicide every few months. We here have one in our own local this one was especially tragic because it was a murder suicide. But just in terms of suicides, it is a normal statistic or with a biller. And in terms of depression, it is a mainstream statistic mainstream. I don't know off the top my head, but I was reading somewhere 25% or something of you know, Belinda, I mean, that's an obscene percentage, one out of four is struggling with depression. And then you know, a

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percentage of that struggling with suicidal thoughts. So, it's time that you know, we stop pretending that this trouble doesn't exist. It's time that we forget our taboos and lo GanGan. What will people say? Forget other people, it's your own kid. It's your own son, your own daughter, Forget what others are going to say. When they come to you love them, when they come to you open up your hand and heart to them. This is the future. These are our futures. If we're not going to protect them, then who will we have to stop worrying about our previous you know, cultures and whatnot. This is the future of our faith. It's the future of who we are. There's nothing more

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precious to us after our faith than our children. So this incident should be an eye opener for all of us that we just want to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. And we have to try our best to work actively for reducing mental illness, depression, and especially suicide. We ask Allah subhana wa Taala for Alfia We ask Allah azza wa jal for his protection, we ask Allah to help guide us and to guide others through us and with that insha Allah Allah Allah, Allah

01:00:00 --> 01:00:06

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