Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
Why bad things spoil good things – Yasmin Mogahed
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Allah subhanaw taala tells us in Surah Ibrahim, a very, very important and relevant and life changing verse. But before I talk about that verse later on in sort of two Brahim, I want to give some context for the verse suta. Ibrahim itself when it was revealed, was revealed in a specific context. And the context of the revelation of sort of the Brahim along with some other verses, or other other group of verses was during a time when the Prophet sallallahu wasallam. And the companions were going through some of the hardest trials of their lives. This was towards the last portion of the meccan period. And this was a time when they were going through that very, very
turbulent time they were being tried very, very severely at this time. And during this time, Allah subhanaw taala revealed that these verses, Allah tells the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, at the beginning of this chapter, he tells him, the reason why the Quran was revealed. And he says this reason and it's it's the essential reason why Allah subhanaw taala sent messengers, he says that it was revealed and the reason why he sends messengers is to take people out of darkness into light. And this was the mission of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam. And those were with him. But then he later on goes, and he says there was someone else who had that mission too. He tells us about
another person who had that mission, and that was musala his salon. And so later on Allah subhanaw taala now brings up the story of Musa alayhis salaam, and he's telling the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and those who are with him, because this is the thing about the stories in the end. The stories in the Quran are not just stories, we don't just tell our children these stories to help them go to sleep. These are not bedtime stories, but these are powerful, timeless lessons. So here, Allah subhanaw taala is telling the Prophet actually comforting the prophet and those who are with the Prophet sallallahu wasallam by bringing up the story of Musa alayhis salaam, why because Musa
alayhis salaam and Benny Israel were going through trials that were trials that we can't even wrap our minds around. These, these were these were a group of slaves that lived under the worst tire and to walk the earth, we think Trump is bad, right?
This was the worst try Tyron to walk the earth. And he had a policy where he killed babies. This was a policy. It wasn't just one or two, this was his actual policy. This is what these people were dealing with. That is the trial that they were going through. And so Allah subhanaw taala is comforting the prophets I send them by bringing up a story of someone who went through great trial. Now, this brings us to the next point. What is it that musala is Salam now says to his people, because what is happening in these areas, what's happening is Allah is telling us what musala is Sallam said to his people while they were going through trial. And not just like, kind of like, you
know, a little bit of trial, but a massive trial that was so massive that Allah subhanaw taala called it massive. He said, he tried them hard. It was a very, very difficult trial. And Allah is telling us what Mussolini's Sallam said, to help bring his people from the darkness to light. Now when we talk about darkness and light, darkness, and light can mean misguidance. And light has guidance, right? But darkness and light can also talk about difficulty and ease. So he's actually telling us how Mussolini's Sallam was able to help comfort his people. What does Mussolini Sallam say at this point? Now, you'd think that when a person is going through trial, what do you say to
them typically, you typically say Be patient, right? You typically say have sub. But what's very interesting is that in these verses musala salaam is not telling us people to have patience. He's not telling his people about sub, he's saying something completely different. In fact, he is saying something we wouldn't expect.
Where if the SNR of Buccola in Shakur Toma as Eden netcom.
Now this is very powerful Allah subhanaw taala is saying, what Allah insha Allah subhanaw taala now is announcing something this is really big. And what is it that Allah is announcing weather in Chicago, as either naccho that if you are, if you show gratitude, I will increase you
Why is this so mind blowing because the Prophet Musa here alayhis salam isn't talking to a people who are being tried and telling them to be patient, he is telling a people who are being shaken in a way, we can't even imagine that these are people he's speaking to whose children have been murdered, whose babies have been killed. And he's talking about gratitude.
That's revolutionary. He is saying something we wouldn't expect. But there is a principle in this that every single one of us can benefit from, why is he telling them about gratitude? First of all, look at the area for a second. What if SNR or bukem left in Chicago to now live in Chicago, when you look at the the grammatical. If you look at this set this this area grammatically, you'll find that what it's talking about is it's talking about a previous it's past tense of gratitude. And it's talking about even if you were just thankful, once a lesson that is not asking for us to be perfect, you know, perfect.
Just always thankful. But he's actually saying that even if you once in the past showed gratitude and thankfulness, then we will surely now the second part is letting letting his as he then know that he will increase you but the but the emphasis here is very powerful. He is saying surely, surely we will increase you, if you just show a little bit of gratitude. Now, why is this so powerful? Because what is happening here is a lot of times when we go through trial,
it's very difficult not to focus on what we don't have. See, as human beings, we're kind of it's, it's, we're conditioned to focus on what's missing, we're conditioned to focus on problems, you know, there was this meme.
And it like at the top, it has a picture of this kid who's looking at a slice of cake. And he's just beaming, he's so happy.
And then there's another kid underneath who's looking at an entire cake that's missing that one slice. And he's really sad. And the reason why he's really sad is because he's looking at the piece that's missing, he's not looking at what he has, he's looking at what he does not have. And because of that, even though he has more than the kid on the top, he's actually sad.
See, there's this principle about life, that the more you focus on something, the bigger it looks in your eyes. And whatever you focus on, will grow. If you focus on what you don't have, it will look bigger and bigger in your eyes, until it consumes you until you don't see anything outside of it. But there's this very powerful phenomenon that when you focus on what, whatever you focus on will grow. So if you focus on what you have, it will also grow.
And you know, Subhan Allah, there's, there's this, there's this principle that Allah teaches us that a lot of us don't realize, you know, when you hear the A, in namale, or through your throat, a lot of times we hear this verse and we think, okay, after the hardship will come ease, as if life is about all bad, and all good, right? We think that life is like, Okay, I'm going through a hardship right now, many of you are being tried in a very, very severe hardship right now, as you're sitting here. And a lot of times, we're thinking, you know, when this passes, then I will have ease, once this is over, right? Once a lot takes me out of this situation. And once he relieves me from this
trial, then I will have ease. But that's not actually what Allah says, Allah says in my little studio, Sarah, meaning that with the, with the one trial, Allah gives you many eases. And it's actually at the same time, honestly, this concept totally changed my life.
Because I was like, the type of person who
kind of like, the kid on the top, know, the kid at the bottom,
where you focus, you know, it's just, it's natural, you know, you don't have one thing, you have 5 million things, but you don't have one thing and you're looking at that one thing that you don't have. And the other thing, the tendency that I have, which a lot of us have,
is that we believe it's like when you're in a specific moment and you and there's something upsetting you or there's something that's hurting you or there's some sort of pain that you're dealing with. You focus on it so much until it's all you see, and you cannot see outside of it. But what's very powerful here is that Allah is saying that at every single moment, no matter how hard your trial is right now, these people
babies were killed. Right? How can I know what you know, the trial that they were dealing with doesn't compare to our trials. And yet they are being spoken to about gratitude? Why are they being spoken to about gratitude, because at every single moment, no matter how much you're being tried a lot at the same time has given you many eases in that model or three years from now, there is another very powerful principle. And that is this, the Prophet sallallahu wasallam tells us our job only Omron moment, this is a very like, whoa. This is by the way, if we understand this principle, it will absolutely change our lives. And that is this that the matter of a believer, a strange,
ombre, who could know where all of his matters or her matters are good. So Whoa, what does that mean? It means that even within the trial that you're dealing with right now, there is good in it for the believer. And along with the good in it for the believer, there is ease and there isn't just one ease, there is ease upon ease upon ease. Allah never ever gives you the hardship without giving you numerous eases.
And a lot of times what happens is, we don't see things properly, I'm going to give you an example.
One time I was sitting in an airplane,
as I sometimes do, and I have to sit on the window. So you know, you look out the window, and you start like reflecting right? So I'm reflecting about this phenomenon that I observed in life, which is that a lot of times you see people that when something really good happens in their life, you know, like something that you'd consider a really awesome life event, they're getting married, they have a child, you know, just something really positive, that at the same time as that really positive thing. a tragedy happens in their family, or something really difficult happens. And for a moment I was sitting in reflecting about I wonder why that is? I wonder why is it that that happens
and a lot of times they come together, like someone's getting married. And and I've seen this many times, like someone's getting married, and at the same time they have like a parent who passes away or, or is in the hospital, you know what I'm talking about, right? And so these things tend to I felt like they they tended to sort of come in and sort of spoil the good thing.
But then I realized I was looking at it wrong. Right? I'm sitting here thinking, Okay, why does this bad thing have to happen to spoil the good thing? But let's turn it around. Why don't we see it this way, there was something very difficult written for that person. And it was going to happen at that time. And out of a loss mercy, he gave them that ease to make it easier for that person. You see the different way to see it. So this person's father was going to die. And actually I know someone who this happened. Her father died while she was on her honeymoon.
She came home to to his funeral, literally. So you think about that. And you think this person Allah subhanaw taala had written that her father was going to die at that time. And and out of his mercy, he gave her her husband just before that to help her deal with that trial. And so Allah subhanaw taala isn't spoiling our good things. Allah is helping us in our trials. And this is a completely different way to look at things. This is to focus on what you have and to realize in Allah's mercy, yes, Allah gives you difficulty. Yes, Allah gives us cold weather. Allah gives us storms a lot gives us hunger, but a lot also gives us shelter and a lot also gives us food. He gives us the ability to
cope with those trials. He'll give you a really hard trial, but he'll give you those people who will help you in that trial. He will give you the aid in that trial and that's out of Allah's mercy. And Allah subhanaw taala says that if you focus on that which you have, he will increase you while are in Chicago tonight as he then nachum stop focusing on on what you don't have stop focusing on what's difficult and focus on all that Allah subhanaw taala has given you to help you in whatever is difficult. Yes, Allah gives us trials. But Allah never ever leaves us in our trials. A lot doesn't just give us trials. He gives us trials in a package with ease and not one ease but many many eases
weather in Chicago Toma as he then naccho in Los Rios, they come together and so a line is Mercy is saying that if you are grateful, even just a little bit grateful like that's the grammar of the A A even just a little bit grateful
I will increase, you know, here, you find that it's like General, he doesn't say, I'll increase you in such and such. He doesn't say I'll increase you in wealth, or I'll increase you in, you know, in children or whatever. But he says, I will increase you. And then he doesn't say anything after it's general. Why does Allah do that, because he's left it open, he has not limited it, he will increase you in many things. And in, in it throughout your life in in, in in different aspects, and it's unlimited, the increase.
Now, I'm going to tell you guys something.
First, I'm going to say this.
Every single discipline that talks about the human condition that talks about psychology, that talks about anything that has to do with personal development, or self help, everyone has agreed to this.
One of the most powerful treatments for depression is gratitude, the practice of gratitude that they have actually found in studies, that if a person keeps something as simple as a gratitude journal, that it becomes so effective in treating even depression.
And something else that they found, every single person, they felt they have this theory that people have like a baseline happiness, and that things will happen in their lives, that you know, good things will happen, they'll kind of peak but eventually go back to their baseline. And really bad things will happen, it will go down, but eventually go back to their baseline. And so they studied Okay, well, how do we increase the baseline everyone wants to be happy, like, you know, for like extended periods of time stable happiness, or we'll call it well being.
And what they found is it's very, very, very difficult to increase your baseline happiness, that most people just kind of have that baseline throughout their life. Except they found that there are two things that can increase your baseline happiness, one is giving to others, it is service, it is helping other people.
And to it's the practice of gratitude. And so it is very, very appropriate that musala his salon, when he is speaking to people who are being tried and shaken and and going through the greatest pain of their life, he is talking to them about gratitude. He is giving them a way out, he is telling them focus on the light, and the darkness will get less and focus on the light and the light will get bigger. This is what he's teaching us. Now I want to end with kind of like a personal story. Some of you have heard me tell this story. But I want to I want to tell you something that many of you have not heard.
Some of you know that I have a friend.
Okay, I have a couple friends.
I have a friend
named Paya who has
a few children, for children.
Very, very special children. And what she told me when I met her, was her a little bit about her story. Now the thing about her story that that just absolutely shakes me, is a lot of times when we go through trials, it's it's sort of like, you see a person, you know, who's like really suffering. And a lot of times it's like, yeah, like hamdulillah but you know, they're hungry. That is and and that's that's beautiful that a person is struggling, you know, to be grateful. But what is so powerful about this woman is I see this woman who is she is like, you see her and she's she's smiling. And and what I found out about her life, is that her children, she had a daughter, and
around the time her daughter was I think around three years old, she stops talking the the teachers tell her
you know your daughter isn't speaking we don't know what happened just suddenly stopped and she took she takes her to the doctor. And the doctor does tests on her and she tells her that your daughter has a rare genetic disorder. Some of you may have heard of called MPs. Now the thing about MPs is MPs attacks this just this one particular part of the nervous system, which makes the child
eventually lose all their faculties until they die.
This is what this mother is being told. Your child has this rare rare genetic disorder which which means Although you are looking now at a perfectly normal child, but over the years you will watch her deteriorate and she will lose all her faculties she will lose her ability to do anything for herself.
Her ability to speak her ability to walk her ability to eat
to do anything and you're and then
Don't expect her to live, you know, into her teens. Can you imagine someone is being told this about their child.
Now when she had a second child, and when this child was was young,
she took that child to also be tested. And the doctors said, Your second child also has MPs.
And then she had a third daughter. And she was told that her third daughter also had MPs. So now she has three children with this genetic disorder where they will lose all their faculties.
And then she has a fourth child with severe autism. I'm not making this up.
Now, why am I telling you this story? I'm not telling you the story to talk about people's trials, actually. Because people have trials. And I have learned this in the people that I meet throughout the world, people have trials.
But the reason I'm telling you this story is because there's something very, very powerful that I learned from her, and every single one of us can learn from her.
One day, this was like, hurt her children were in their teens at this point, by the time I met her, and I visited her. And this woman, like literally, she doesn't sleep. She is up 24 seven caring for her children. She doesn't leave the house. I am not I'm not kidding. Caring for her children. Because they're in wheelchairs, they're on oxygen, they can't do anything for themselves.
And one day, she says to me, I'm drowning in gratitude.
No joke, though, that was that was a direct quote.
How in the world can a woman in this situation say she's drowning in gratitude, there is something that she is doing.
There is something very powerful that she has learned to allow her to not only be able to get through her life's challenges, but to be able to actually be grateful within those storms. She is using something called gratitude.
And Subhanallah you know, recently on Facebook, I saw something, you know this, you know, this phrase, when you're given lemons make lemonade. She's like a walking talking example of that. Do you know what the fit you know what the post was? I swear it made me cry. She had a picture of her child, her her daughter in the wheelchair. And her and her husband were like at the hospital. And she wrote
she wrote something about they made it a date and they even got Dunkin Donuts coffee.
And I'm thinking, I don't even know what to say to that. Like, they're taking a child in a wheelchair at the hospital this and she's, I'm serious. And she's saying that's what they did. They made it into a date and they got Dunkin Donuts, coffee, she's, she's happy about Dunkin Donuts, coffee.
Ah, this is real.
You know, I'm telling you stories about Musashi Salaam. But this is real. These are real people. These are real people. And this is how they cope. And this is not only how they cope, but this is how they thrive. Gratitude is very powerful. Allah subhanaw taala will never give you more than you can handle. And Allah will always he'll give you when he gives you the hunger he also gives you the food he will give you the shelter to be able to handle your trials. Focus on the gifts of Allah subhanaw taala because yes, a lot tried you but a lot also gave you the help. Allah sent people to help you. When you were lost, he sent people to save you. Focus on that and be grateful and that
will increase you and you know what it will do? It'll make your life filled with light because when you focus on the light, it increases. When you focus on what you have. It increases weather in Chicago Tom as he didn't know Coca Cola cola was stuck for the lollywood outcome in our funan Rahim subhanak Elohim samdech eyeshadow La ilaha illa Anta sakurako to bolick was Salam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh