You Can Overcome

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Yasmin Mogahed

Channel: Yasmin Mogahed

Topics: Dawah

Episode Notes

Texas Dawah Convention

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Smell development. She's the author of reclaim your heart. How many people have her book?

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Can't really see her hands. I'm sure a lot of you have her book you can buy online, right? You can get it in a few days, or you're in luck because she's here today. And she's selling her book at the Texas dollar booth. And she's signing it. So what to do, right you get to meet the author, get the book signed, and read an incredible book full of amazing gems Michelle law.

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In her session, she's gonna walk us through restoration through our body, mind and so by following the path to Allah, in order to overcome our challenges,

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Who here is excited to hear the serious mean talk?

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She's traveled a long way for you guys. And I'm so excited to introduce her to the stage in sha Allah. She's a writer. She's a poet, and I am just so excited to have her come up and show love Please welcome to the stage. Sasha Yes, mean Mujahid.

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Now you hear me?

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They were so excited to have me speak. They had me come up 10 minutes early.

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I would have let him in a shaytani r rajim Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim was salatu salam ala rasulillah who Allah and you savage mine. Rubbish roughly. So today we are steadily omnova Hello, Melissa Ania Kohli. salaam aleikum everyone.

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I'm gonna live. I've been to Houston a few times. But this is my first time at this particular conference. And I'm very happy to be here. I am the type of person and the type of speaker who likes to connect with whom I'm speaking to, but hamdulillah can't really see your faces, because of all the lights. But I hope that inshallah this, this will be an opportunity for us to have a two way communication, even if yours is silent. This is a topic that everybody can relate to. When I got the title, it had the word overcoming in it. And the skill and the talent and the art of being able to overcome is something essential that everyone needs. And the reason for that is, as all of you in

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this room know this life is not perfect. See, gender is perfect, but dunya is not created to be perfect. What that means is that

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there is nothing that is entirely good, or entirely eternally good in this life. But at the same time, and this is a very important principle as well. This life is also not entirely bad, either. Why I'm emphasizing that is it is a key component of being able to overcome the reason why sometimes we fall into despair. The reason why sometimes we fall into despair is because of the way we view things because of the way we see the same reality. Two people can be looking at the exact same reality and see two very different things. It's that age old cliche, that you can take a glass and it can be half, you can fill it halfway with water. And you can ask one person and one person will

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say that it is half empty, while another will say it is half full. But you see the way in which we see our reality is extremely important in terms of how we respond to that reality. And that's why I want to emphasize this very important principle, which is that although this life is not perfectly good, it isn't perfectly bad either. No matter how hard someone's life is, no matter how much they lose, no matter how much they struggle, they also have some ease in their life. They also have goodness in their life, no one no matter how, how hard they have it

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live with only hardship and no ease it is it's just there. It's just the design of Allah subhanaw taala that he gives us both. And not only does he give us both, but Allah subhanaw taala says in my little studio and what that means is

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That along with the difficulty and difficulty in this area is singular, along with the singular difficulty is plural, many eases use. And this idea is very important because often people believe that things are either going to be all good, or they're going to be all bad. And when they go through difficulty they have, they have trouble finding the light within the darkness. And so I want to begin by speaking about the fact that there is always light, even within the darkness, just now we're in a rather dark room. It's the lights are very, very low, the the ceiling lights, but there's also a lot of light as well. And so a person can choose what they focus on. And I cannot emphasize

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enough that who you are, and, and what surrounds you has everything to do with what you choose to focus on. And this is something that has been shown again and again in studies, that it is our focus that determines our world, essentially, our reality. And I'm going to explain what I mean.

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Allah subhanaw taala says, He teaches us a very, very fundamental principle, he says, Well, I in Chicago, as he then know,

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that if you are thankful, if you are grateful, I will increase you.

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And what's so powerful about this, is that what I was showing us is that if you and I choose to focus on what we have, rather than focusing on what we don't have, what we have will increase. And when I say what we have will increase, not only will we be given more of these good blessings, but psychologically, those blessings grow in our minds. In our minds, we feel full, we feel contented when we choose to focus on the things that we have, when we choose to focus on the light, when we choose to focus on positivity, it actually grows within us and we become filled with it. But see, there's another dangerous

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tendency that we have, we have this tendency as human beings, and we have this tendency as a community. And that is that we like to complain. We like to complain about how bad it is. We'd like to complain about the things that are going wrong. Now, one thing I warn you against is this, I, I believe very, very strongly that we have taken to extremes in how we deal with difficulty, we've taken to extremes and how we deal with pain and hardship. And when something wounds us or something harms us or hurts us, we've taken two extremes. One extreme is the extreme of suppression. We have a lot of cultures, especially which teach suppression, suppression of emotion, suppression of pain. If

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you go through something difficult. Just put your happy face on and pretend it didn't happen. That if you have a wound, whether it's from your childhood or from your past, that the way to deal with it is to just suppress it, and to cover it up. And definitely don't let the world know that you're imperfect. And that's actually a very, very, very dangerous trend. Because what that's like is like a person who gets shot. And what they do with their gunshot wound is they cover it with a band aid. When you cover a gunshot wound with a band aid, what happens to it? Well, you might say, Time heals all wounds. But what's going to happen to your gunshot wound,

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it's going to actually become worse, it's going to get infected and pretending that it's not there doesn't make it go away, and it doesn't heal it and time will not heal that wound because it was not cleaned. It was not actually treated. And therefore time is not going to heal a wound that's never treated or address. You have to address the one and then you can talk about healing. So there's this extreme of just suppression, pretend you're perfect. Pretend everything is perfect. Put your put your mask on. And and and there's a very, very strong push in our culture to be perfect. have perfect skin. That's why we have so many filters on the left.

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Have a perfect body. That's what we have Photoshop hamdullah

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have a perfect life, perfect children, perfect spouse. Everything has to be perfect. And if it isn't perfect, put a filter both physically and metaphorically to make it look perfect. Right. And we have this all over our social media people photoshopping their lives to make it look what it is not because there's so much pressure to be perfect. Nobody wants to see your

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Your flaws, nobody wants to see that no one wants to know that you have wrinkles or stretch marks, no one wants to know that you don't have perfect skin, or you don't have a perfect life, or a perfect finger. And there's so much pressure. And this is actually causing a lot of mental a lot of depression and a lot of anxiety, all this pressure to compete and to be perfect. It's very, very dangerous, in fact, and spiritually, it's very dangerous because it turns us into fake people. And when we become fake people, a fake person cannot connect to their Creator. If you're fake, you can't connect to a law, you have to be real, to be able to connect to your Creator, you cannot put a mask

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on and think you're going to connect to the one who made you. So actually, it's very dangerous, both socially but also spiritually, it's very dangerous to put on this mask and become fake.

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But see, we have another extreme on the other end in dealing with wounds and in dealing with pain and struggle and hardship.

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And that is what I'll call coddling your wounds. This is like a person who has a wound and hamdulillah they have dealt with it and and hamdulillah it has healed but they keep picking the scab.

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Now what is this light, this is a person who becomes stuck in their past, a person who cannot let go of what has happened from the past or cannot let go, for example, someone has hurt them.

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They never let it go. They will never forgive. They'll keep replaying it in their mind. They'll hold grudges to the grave.

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And that is equally dangerous. Because that also does not allow you to heal. It's just like the the wound that you keep on picking it's healed but you keep picking it and you're actually making it you're stunting that process, you're making that process have to start over again. Because you're not allowing yourself to heal. When you hold on to grudges, you're actually harming yourself. I heard once someone say that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

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You understand, you hurt yourself. When you hold a grudge, you're not hurting the other person because you yourself are the one staying wounded. You're choosing to stay wounded, you're choosing not to heal. And that's a choice that you have made for yourself by holding on to anger by holding on to what people have done to you or what has happened to you. And then you replay it in your mind and realize that this is a tool of shaitan one of his favorite tools is to remind you and actually replay like a broken record anything and everything that ever hurt you from your life. And the reason why he does this is he knows that if you get stuck in your past, you won't be able to move to

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your future. You just get stuck.

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And when you get stuck in pain, you can't move on. It's like a person who's driving. And we have a couple you know mirrors in the car, right? When you're driving. You have the the front where you're looking forward, but then you have the rearview mirror. And the rearview mirror has a very specific function. The rearview mirror is supposed to be something that you look at to give you an idea of what's behind you.

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But it's not intended. Let me ask you this. If when you're driving,

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you stay too long looking at the rearview mirror. You understand? So instead of looking forward, you just get fixated on the mirror the rearview mirror, you get fixated on what's behind you.

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What's going to happen.

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You crash, why do you crash, you crash because you're not looking forward. But the mirror is there I put the mirror is not intended for you to be fixated on the rear view mirror is only supposed to be for your reference for you to reference what's behind you and then move forward and look back forward because forward is where you're moving. But people do this in their lives, they get stuck on the rearview mirror, they get stuck on their past. They get so stuck in whatever has passed them whatever is behind them that they crash because they're not looking forward and they're actually able to move forward. This is a very, very well practiced tool of the shaitan is to make you stuck

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on what is behind you. And there's many ways in which he does this many ways. One is by keeping you angry at at whatever happened. Keeping you holding a grudge keeping you holding on to that anger. Someone hurt me so and so did this to my family. This person didn't you know, whatever it was that they did to you. Sometimes he might try to keep you angry at Allah subhanaw taala

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Oh, look what I did to you. Right This is the worst Chi Look what

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Did you look what Allah took from you? You didn't deserve that, that wasn't fair. This is the type of poisonous Westwater that you will put. And when you start to feed when you start to, to allow that and it grows within you, it's like poison.

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So it will, it will replay these things in order to keep you internally very negative. And when you're internally negative, it's like it's like poison going through your through your veins, you won't be able to move forward. So what's the solution? I've talked about two extremes. I've talked about the first which is the suppression that the fake attitude right, the the I'm perfect, let me put a bandaid on all my problems and not actually deal with them. As we said, That's not going to solve anything, you can't put a bandaid on a gunshot wound and expect it to heal. You're in fact, it's in fact going to get infected and you're going to end up having to amputate or even die from

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the infection. The other extreme, were those who just stay stuck, who caught all the wounds who's who who take off the scab, who get fixated on the rearview mirror. And that also is going to make you crush. So then what's the solution? How can we deal with hardship? How can we be genuine and authentic and not fake? But at the same time, not get stuck in that quicksand. right in that mud that doesn't allow us to move forward?

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And I believe that the answer is this. The answer is that we need to be honest about our reality. We need to be real about our reality. For example, when you walk outside, and it's nighttime, it's night. Is it dark at night? Yes. Thank you. No one's saying no. It's actually really late. Because that's called that's called denial, right? So if you walk outside and it's dark, it's night.

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It would be it would be denial to say actually, the sun is upright just now.

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So you can step outside when it's night and say yes, it's dark right now. Yes, I'm in pain right now. Yes, things are hard right now. Yes, Trump is going to be taking office right now. That's true. However,

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however, the dangerous thing is allowing that darkness to consume you is allowing that negativity and that fear.

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Because you see, when we allow fear to own us, we become like slaves we become, it's just like being chained. Chained Up, you can't actually move when you allow fear to consume you. So what is the proper way to deal with it, the proper way is to realize and to acknowledge, yes, it's night right now, however, I believe, and I know that tomorrow, the sun will rise, it is the ability to still have hope. See, it's the death of hope that kills a person.

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Think about it this way.

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If there's one thing I read, and it says that

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a person doesn't drown by falling into the water, you only drowned by staying there.

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Make sense? You don't drown because you you just got dropped into the water, but you will drown. If you stay there, you have to move, you have to be able to move out of that situation and not stay stuck in order to survive. But why I'm saying this is because there's a lot of challenges we are dealing with both personally and collectively as a community. Obviously, there are hardships. Obviously, these things are real. Obviously, these challenges are real.

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But I will tell you what will make all the difference, there will be a group of people who are going to focus on the problem, there will be a group of people, there always will be a group of people who will who will continue to focus on everything that's going wrong. And that's going to be all they talk about. And that's going to be all they read about. And that's going to be all they think about. But what happens when you do that when you focus on the problem is that it grows, it will grow and it will consume you and you actually start to become paralyzed by it. Have you ever done that? Where you just watch too much negative news for a while? How does your How do you feel after that? What

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happens to your state? When you consume yourself with negative news and that's it? Does it make you more empowered, be honest or doesn't make you despair? It doesn't empower you to focus on negativity, what empowers you is to focus on hope to focus on what you can do.

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do about it to focus on how you can make it better, you understand the difference. And there will be another group of people who will focus on on the positivity on what it is that we can do to make a change, see if I am chained up. And all I do is focused on my chains, then I got a lot changed just now. I got a lot of them. And I just sit and describe the chains. I tell you how heavy they are, I tell you exactly their shape their color. And that's it. And that's all I talk about. And maybe I post about it. And then I call my friends and all I'm talking about his chains, you guys following?

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And that's it. But I haven't actually taken any steps to break those chains. I haven't I haven't focused on how can I get out of that situation? or How can I improve my situation, if all these lights got turned off just now, all of them. See, we could sit and we could talk one another between one another about how dark it is in the room. We could sit and we could complain and lament. And then everyone take out their phone and write a status about it. Maybe take a photo of how dark it is,

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you know, get a lot of comments, have a big discussion, cry and scream. Well, what have you done about the darkness, no one has gone and gotten a lamp. No one has gone and gotten a candle. No one has turned on a light switch Do you understand. And this is the essential problem when we get consumed with everything that's going wrong.

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What happens when you do that is that you haven't actually taken steps to change it. So I warn you and myself against becoming consumed with the negativity, I warn you and myself from becoming consumed with everything that's going wrong, and only problems because I promise you while the problems are real, the goodness is also real. There's also goodness Allah has promised that in Nirmala, Allah has promised that along with the hardship comes ease is the plural of ease. It's never ever going to be only dark. It is always going to be goodness, but it's going to, but it's up to me. And it's up to you. What it is that we're going to focus on. Whatever you focus on grows,

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whatever you focus on grows. And that is why the practice of gratitude is so powerful. And the practice of gratitude is something that that, you know, psychologists have found across the board, this very principle that Allah subhanaw taala tells us in the court and whether in Chicago to levy the nickel, that if you are grateful, I will increase you. They have actually found in studies that one of the one of the most effective ways to treat depression is simply to keep a gratitude journal, to have a journal where every single day you write, what you're grateful for five things you're grateful for is actually found that it can treat depression. Why is that because this is the way

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Allah has wired us. When we focus on what we have, when we focus on what's positive, and what we can do about it, we actually become more content, and we become happier people. So I urge you to take this middle route, this middle route of acknowledging the problems but not focusing on them. As they say, you should let go of your past but hold on to the lessons.

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The rearview mirror is intended just as a plate as a reference. Your past I once read your past should be a place of reference, not a place of residence. You're not supposed to be living in the past. What you're supposed to be doing is learning from it, take the lesson, but let it go. And similarly, with the challenges that we're dealing with today. Every single one of us have personal challenges. Every single one of us have collective challenges. As a community, we are facing very, very real challenges.

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But I'm going to end with this story. Many of you have heard me share it. I feel that it is so relevant today. And that's the story of Musa Islam when he was with his people in front of the Red Sea. When Musa alayhis salaam stood in front of the Red Sea, he was in a very impossible looking situation. He had this giant body of water in front of him and he had an army behind him. And this was Pharaoh. He was a superpower. He was a superpower who killed babies as a policy, cut off people's limbs and stuff.

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And now he's with a group of slaves stuck.

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But the question is, what was his response? And what was the response of the people who were with him? Find a method or a gym and call it a problem.

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nl mo dracoon when they saw each other the group so musala sthalam, his people saw the armies, you know what the people of Musa said, in Morocco and they had this attitude which many of us had the day after the elections especially,

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we will be overtaken.

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That's it for us. You know what I'm saying?

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We're all going into camps.

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Not the fun kinds of camps, guys. We freaked out. And understandably so.

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When we face hardships as a community, or individually, many of us have this type of response. In the record, indeed, we will be overtaken, we lose hope we fall into despair.

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And honestly, somewhat understandable. They're stuck in the front of a red sea with an army behind them. Okay, it's understandable given the situation as it is understandable, our own anxiety at this time, however, look at the response of musala his dilemma called akella. He said, Nope.

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He said, Nope. He said, Absolutely not by no means Kela. For those who understand Arabic is a very, very emphatic, no way.

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Color Kela in my era, big indeed, my robe, my Lord is with me. And He will guide me through this. You see, Mussolini's lm had the ability to stay focused on the right thing. moosari salon wasn't focused on the problem. musallam wasn't focused on the army, and he wasn't focused on the Red Sea, he was focused on a lot.

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And he knew that a lot would get him through it. He knew that Allah was greater than the Red Sea and the army combined.

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And allies greater than any candidate and a lot is greater than any leader, and a lot is greater than any catastrophe that's happening in the world.

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Quite a killer in the mire of this ad, he said, by no means will we be overtaken by no means my Lord is with me, and He will guide me through. And then what happened to him.

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A lot told him to strike the sea with his stuff. And when he did that, the sea was split in half. Now, this is not just an awesome story, it is an awesome story. But that's not it.

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After telling us this story, Allah tells us in the valley killer area that indeed in this is a sign. This is a lesson for us, it's not just a bedtime story that we tell our kids. This is not just a bedtime story, it is a lesson for us. And it's a timeless lesson that applies as much then as it does today. And it will be forever applicable that when you put your trust in Allah, He will make a way out for you. And this splitting of the Red Sea will happen and can happen for us today, just as it happened for them, not physically. We won't physically be standing in front of us see, we probably will never be put in such a situation I hope. However, Allah subhanaw taala. And many of

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you who have been in this situation, have a test that can attest to this, and can witness to this, that there are times when you feel stuck in your life. There are times when you feel powerless, and you see absolutely no way out. As it happens. Will it happen? Absolutely. And it is in those times, that if you truly put your trust in Allah and you do what you can. One thing that's very interesting about this story is that musala his salon was still told to take an action wasn't he? See when we get put in such situations? It doesn't mean we don't take action. See tawakoni Trust in a law doesn't mean you don't take action. It doesn't mean you don't take action. We are taught in our Deen

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this balance between having both at the same time both telecon and action athlete have what are called what are called tie your camel and put your trust in Allah. It doesn't say tie your camel and then put your trust in Allah. It says what? And this is simultaneous and so mu silence The lamb was completely in a state of toe up good. He said Kayla in the mire of this ad. He is not afraid of being overtaken. He is in a state of so awkward and yet still a lot asks him to take an action and his action was to strike the sea. His action was to take his staff and strike the sea. I am not telling you that we don't need to take action. We need to take action

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Both personally, collectively, and as a global community, we need to take action. When we see injustice, we need to take action. When we see people suffering, we need to try to help them relieve their suffering. When we see our situation, we need to try to change it. Allah says in the law you euroma Hoeven Hatoyama enforce him. Indeed a law does not change the condition of a people until they change what's inside themselves. So we need to take action, but it's when we take action, Allah subhanaw taala then opens the sea for us in every way, both personally, collectively as a community.

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And all over the world. I asked Allah subhanaw taala to relieve all those who are suffering all over the world, all those who are suffering in this room. And I asked Allah subhanaw taala to enable us to take that action to change ourselves internally. And for all of us upon Okada to change our condition externally, according Holly Heather was stuck for a lot you welcome innovaphone Rahim. subhanak willowby hendak shadow Allah, Allah, Allah and as the political will to bow Lake wa salam, alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

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here's the serious I mean, one thing you guys should know is that she will be outside immediately after this lecture. She's heading out right now for a book signing for her book, reclaim your heart. Keep in mind, this is a new addition where there are four additional chapters so you have her book already. Be sure to buy the new edition and saw Allah and get it signed.