Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
Finding Certainty In An Uncertain World by Yasmin Mogahed
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hamdulillah alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Karim while he was here. Before we start with the program we are going to start with Kadima of Allah by the recitation by our beloved Hafiz Abdul Wahab.
Mimi, or fee.
Tina feeling anyone?
Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim. First and foremost, we'd like to thank you all for joining us here on behalf of Benedictine University, MSA and I CNU. Again, I want to apologize for the delay. And we thank you for being patient with us. But it's expected on Muslim organization. So it's normal.
Before we continue on few household rules,
Brian, if you want to go to the next thing, please.
So we would love we would request that everyone can please put your phones on silent, out of respect for the speaker and for everyone else in the audience. So please go ahead and do that right now. Put your phones on speaker take your lap, you know, you can take your snapchats and all that kind of stuff, whatever. But as long as everything's on silent, please. And then during the talk, if you have any q&a, any questions for the q&a session, you can go ahead and text it to that number. So we'll keep this up for a few minutes. So you guys can take that down. We will be receiving them and then we will filter them out and then shall during the q&a session, we'll answer your questions. And
Okay, so as you all know, the topic, the title of the event today is conviction breaking doubts in faith.
Before I continue on, I want a raise of hands. How many people went to the Cubs parade today? raise of hands.
For those of you who did raise your hands, may Allah reward you. And for those of you who did it, May Allah forgive you.
I actually went to it. I slept over in the city and then they heard the President of MSA she was freaking out, because I didn't show up till like about a few hours ago, but it was worth it and the rest of you, I will make it for the rest of you and inshallah guys, inshallah it will give you guys hidayah. Now, conviction, what does that mean to us? What does that mean? Not to us just as individuals but as Muslims,
especially in this day, and then a day and age of the rise of Islamophobia. The difficulty of living as a Muslim individual in America 2016 with everything going on in the political platform, having maintaining hope and faith, not only in ourselves as Muslims but an Allah subhanaw taala and in our Deen is essential for us to grow and be successful. Right. And left and right, we are going to be thrown with fits on and doubts that will that will bring our feet up and down. And so and so a lot today, sisters may move ahead. We'll talk about how do we tackle that issue and maintain that hope and faith in our hearts and in our Deen sisters means
has a very unique brand of inspirational and thought provoking talks. She has become one of the most sought after speakers in the Muslim world. After graduating with a master's in Journalism and Mass Communications, she pursued a career in writing, sr, he has been worked as a writing instructor at the cardinal Stritch University, and a contributor to the Huffington Post.
She has had great success with her debut book, reclaim your heart, which is on sale outside. And she will be doing a book signing for that after the talk.
And currently, she's also an instructor for a motive Institute. And without,
I know you guys waited long enough. And without further ado, she asked me and we'll go ahead.
So I can
see I love these kinds of podiums, where I feel tall.
Like a few days ago, sitting in a podium,
I would have learned in the shadow regimes not Rockman akima salatu salam ala rasulillah. The Edge my barber shop is so today we are simply on the north end in the city of Cali.
Something sort of personal, Chicago always feels like home to me. And the reason for that is, as some of you may know, I actually grew up around here, I grew up in Madison, she's just, you know, like two and a half hours away. And so to me, it's like, coming into my backyard, you know, not to say Chicago is the backyard of Madison. But, um, well,
you know, really, um, but But no, we used to come out here a lot when I was a kid. So it just feels like coming home. And like, I can't come to Chicago without getting my life from what I am. And, and, of course, my Italian Express. That's very important. But before I talk about, or continue talking about Italian Express, and Russell, I want to talk about faith.
So, here's the thing, right? We're all going through this journey called life, and we're all living in modern times. And we have modern day struggles. So what I want to talk about today, I mean, you guys hear a lot in your message. And you hear a lot in holocausts. What I want to try to do is just have a discussion with you, because I am not very interested in one way conversations. This is one thing about me is I just don't like one of my conversations, I like to have discussions. And since we are, I will be taking q&a at the end. But for a good portion of this. I'm the only one verbally speaking. So all I'll ask from you is just a lot of nonverbal communication. So just make faces.
And I actually mean that literally what I mean by that is if you have no idea what I'm saying look confused. Just see like,
I'm very animated.
If, if you agree, be all like
why am I saying that might sound silly. But as a speaker, I have no idea whether or not what I'm saying is being communicated because you're not speaking to me. So all we can use is your nonverbal communication. And y'all are Americans. So we we can be animated, right? I've spoken in countries were seriously. It's just like,
the entire time, and they could be loving it. But they're still I.
It's just the culture. So anyways,
what I want to talk about today is some of the so as I said, we're on a journey, right? And the prophets I send them told us that, in fact, we should consider this entire life like a journey. He said confit dunya can that can really be in this life, like a tribe, like a stranger or a traveler. And one thing that you'll realize about travel, any met, every single person in this room has traveled somewhere, even if it hasn't been outside of the country. you've traveled somewhere. You know what it's like to be a traveler. And one of the things that happens when you're a traveler, is you're in this sort of unsettled state where you don't get too attached to the place you're in. And
you will always think about home, right? No matter how much is going on. In the place that you're in. You always realize, well, I'm not I don't fully belong here. Right? When you go to you know, Florida or any other state, you might enjoy yourself that you realize that you don't belong there. You know what your real home is. And the prophets I send them is reminding us that that's the case with this life, that although we are traveling, we're spending time in this life, but it's it's a passing through in another Hadeeth he said that I'm like a traveler
who stops in the shade of a tree for a while and then continues. And if you think about this life, like the shade of a tree, it's very, very different. And the way that we perceive this life is very, very different than if I believe that I'm at, I'm home, right? So it's a reminder to you and to myself, that this isn't home yet. But we have glimpses of home. So there's lots of things in this life, to remind us of home, Allah subhanaw taala doesn't make this life old dark. He doesn't make it all dark, but he doesn't make it all perfect either. So in this life, we have a mix we have, we have difficulty, but we also have ease. And it comes at the same time as the difficulty. And what are
some of the barriers on this journey? So what I want to talk about is a few of the barriers that come in our path when we're journeying back home, so we've all agreed we're all on a journey, right? But what's our final destination? Gentlemen, in sha Allah, Allah subhanaw taala, ultimately, right?
And so as long as we keep that in perspective, then inshallah we won't get lost. But there's a couple rules we have to keep in mind. And there's a couple barriers that we have to realize are barriers so that we can break through them. Okay. Fair enough. I'm not see I'm seeing sort of blank faces. Okay, awesome. So we know that that there is a there are these, these barriers? And what are these barriers? One of the biggest barriers on our path to Allah subhanaw taala is the barrier of doubt, is the barrier of uncertainty. One of the things that Allah subhanaw taala repeats again and again, and again, is this concept called your theme. Your theme doesn't even know what that means.
certainty, right? Your theme is to have absolute certainty.
We live in a culture right now we live in a time right now, where you're it's almost uncool to be certain. You know what I'm saying? That's your university. You know what I'm saying, right? It's almost uncool to be certain, like you're supposed to say, I don't know about everything. You're supposed to say, well, maybe you know what I mean, like, everything's a theory, right? And everything's plausible, but nothing certain. Am I making sense. So it actually becomes very difficult to find a certainty in a time of uncertainty where everything is up for discussion, and everything is up for debate. Almost as if nothing is sacred. You can't. It's like, nothing is off
limits, except, of course, criticizing America, that's off limits. But other than that, really, I'm making a point here, that we it's like, we live in a culture where it's like, very fewer and fewer things have become sacred, fewer and fewer things are considered off limits. Really, no, you just can't go there. Right. And religion is something people mock religion is is and that's that's been off the sacred, you know, a long time ago. But we as believers, we have to somehow live in this world and take this journey and find certainty within this, this world that teaches us uncertainty. But how can we do that? I'm going to tell you guys, in this sense, I'm going to use an analogy.
The thing is about this journey is that there is one part of this journey that's essential. There is one main part of this journey that's essential. The prophets I send them told us and I had these very important headings, which every probably everyone in this room has learned this Hadeeth at some point in their life, probably in Sunday school, Saturday school growing up, how many of you have heard the Hadith about what is prohibited is clear and what is what is lawful is clear what is unlawful is clear anyone? Most people have heard this right? And then between them are these doubtful matters. Most of us have learned this heading. And the prophets I sent him goes on to tell
us that if we want to avoid falling into the haoran, then we should avoid the doubtful matters everybody following but what's very interesting about this head even even me personally, I I read this, like, it was like at some point in life in my late adult life that I realized something profound and amazing. And that is that this has he doesn't end there. Like I always kind of thought of this Hadeeth as talking about heroin, heroin, which sounds very familiar, right?
Let me just let me just do like a parentheses for a second. A lot of our discussions in our epistemic circles, whether they are our messages or our Sunday schools or Islamic schools or Holocaust revolve around home and Helen and Adams there are discussions are about what's allowed and what's not allowed. Our discussions are about rules. Our discussions are about how long the pants should be how long the beard should be. What counts
have, you know dress? What kind of
what kind of you have? You know, I'm saying we don't have it as much in this country, but dude, there are I won't mention them by name, the UK
it's gotten deep, you know, like it's gotten deep. It's not. It's not enough to just say that we have Hillel. But there's like different brands of which I don't remember the acronyms for them. But there's like, they've gone real deep in this discussion. Okay. My point is this. My point is that we've become we've we've sort of we've we've taken a slam and everything that Islam is, and we boiled it down, narrowed it down to just a list, like a list that you that you put up on your wall, or that you read. And it's about rules. It's about this is how long and this is Hillel. This is what's allowed. This is what you wear. This is what this is the technicality. All right.
What has happened as a result of that, I'll tell you what has happened as a result of that. Do we need rules? Yes, of course, we need rules. But what has happened is we've taken the soul out of a spin. And well, it's like taking a body and taking out the soul. What happens if you take a body and separate the soul? Take out the soul? What do you end up with? Just an empty shell, you just end up with a soulless body right? Now when a person when we do this to Islam, when we take out the spirit and essence and, and intent, the soul of Islam and all we have left is the rules. It's like having a soulless body and what do you get as a result, you think I'll tell you what you get. You get what we
got right now, a lot of uncertainty and a lot of apathy. And I was just speaking with one of the youth directors and he was talking about the fact just just now, the fact that this is the problem that he's seeing is this epidemic of apathy, where people just, they're not bothered, you know, I'm saying they just don't care. And what has happened is that we've grown up so much, where Islam is about how long Islam is about if you do this, how long you're gonna go to gentlemen. And we teach children about the concept of Hellfire before they can even like say the word ramen, or Rahim, or even understand the concept of mercy or even understand the concept of love, but they already know
all the details of hellfire. You haven't seen and they and it's like the first word that they're taught in school and in their academic lesson is home. You know what I mean? When you first day you send your kids and they come home and they're just so what did you learn today? And all of a sudden, it's like they become the foreign police.
It's really like, like, it's like a little hat on.
We have completely lost focus. We have completely lost focus. What's the problem here? The problem here is we've taken the soul out of the body and all we have left is the rules now. The prophets I send them when he was speaking in this heady about the haraam and the head, and the doubtful matters. He actually he didn't stop there, the discussion didn't end there. The discussion continued, and he says in the field just said the multiple indeed in the body, there's a lump of flesh, if a solid have solid, hell just Solukhumbu. If it's set, right, then the entire body is separate. What if that faster that faster than just
an hour he'll call up and then if it's corrupted, then the entire body is corrupted? Indeed, it is the heart.
What is the prophets, I send them teaching us we'll see, we up we just spoke about the fact that it begins with rules. The Hadith begins with heroin and heroin. But then the Hadees goes to what seems like an unrelated topic, which is the heart. But it's not unrelated. It's not unrelated, because what the prophets I sent him is teaching us is how is it that we can follow these rules? And what is it that's going to that's going to lead us what is the master of the body, and he tells us, it's the heart. So if a person changes their heart, if a person works on their heart, if a person has a heart that is healthy, a heart that is alive, a heart that is purified, then it becomes easier to follow
the rules. Make sense? Because now you have a body that has a soul. You're not having a soulless body, but you're talking now about a heart all body that's alive. You see, when you teach, so we we spoke about how it is that we teach our children right? But if if instead of focusing only on the rules, and only on the external, how, you know, the mechanics of salon, so many of us work on but not the meaning. So many of us learn
To read quote on at like lightning speed, right? But we don't know anything about the meaning. It says if the goal is just to get through it. And we've missed the essence, what's the actual point of the poor and why was the poor and reveal the Quran was revealed to change lives that was released was revealed to transform hearts. That's why it was revealed Ford more than 1400 years ago. And that's why we have this timeless message. It's not just supposed to be something that's read, it's not supposed to be just something that's decorates our walls, or that we were on a necklace, you understand what I'm saying. But it's intended to be something that we live, and it's something that
transforms us, transforms us individually, and then transforms us as families, and then transforms us as societies and then transforms the world. That's the intent of these letters that Allah subhanaw taala revealed. But you see, unless we teach that unless we teach that core, then what happens is we become you know, like a tree,
a tree that has no roots, a tree that has no roots, what happens if you have a tree that has no roots?
Any not even forget a storm, any wind, any wind will come and it will knock it down.
Let me just like, we call this real talk, right? We as a community are being faced with a lot of storms. Yeah, some of them are called Trump.
When you have a tree, that tree has, you know, when you see these solid Oaks, when you see these massive, by the way, I don't know how much you guys know about trees, but basically the age of a tree.
Okay, I love trees.
The age of the tree is proportional to how big how, like fat it is. Okay? How many rings are in the, in the trunk? Okay. So when you see these trees are massive, right? That are massive. Do you know that as much as they grow this way. And as much as they grow this way, they have to grow which way, this way internally, like they have to, that's the thing about a tree is that as it gets larger, as it gets larger. And as it gets taller, it also has to get deeper. And its roots have to reach deeper and deeper into the birth. Because there has to be that solid foundation or it can't withstand because its weight is getting bigger, right? It's getting bigger. And so it has to be able to
withstand more. And so when the wind comes, it doesn't knock it down. This is a very powerful analogy. Because we as a community, there's a lot of wind, there's a lot of wind, I told you what some of it's called.
There's a lot of storms.
But how are we going to respond? How is the community? How are we going to respond? When we talk about this idea of uncertainty? What does it mean to be uncertain, it means that I don't have strong roots, it means that my foundation isn't strong, it means that my heart remember the prophets I send them said that in the body, there is a lump of flesh, it means that lump of flesh is not set, right? It has not been set, right? It hasn't been taken care of it hasn't been fed, it's not healthy. And if that heart is not healthy, then any wind will come and knock us down. Unfortunately, we as a community when we're not firm enough, we're not firm enough. And the problem is when you're not firm
enough, any wind will take us this way and that way. There's a very, very, very profound Hadith where the prophets I send them more than 1400 days, 14 days if I wish 1400 years ago
1400 years ago. Predicted
prophesized literally what is happening today. And in this idea, he said
that there will soon come a time when your enemies will gather together. And they will call one another those summon one another to attack you. Like people call one another to share from their food, their dish. They'll actually call one another you know, you have a big dish of food especially like back home or when you go for home ring is a dishes of rice and meat and stuff and everybody's kind of eating from the same fish. And he's saying that your enemies will do this, they'll call one another to attack you. Meaning you'll be fair that you'll be easy game. You know what I'm saying? It'll be easy to attack you and it'll actually become cool. It'll become cool. Does that sound
Nowadays you actually win the election by attacking us.
Let's be real. That's a problem that we've become in such a weak position.
Then it's not only accepted to attack us, but it gets you ahead. It's going to get you ahead if you attack us. And one of the biggest insults they could give someone, do you remember what they said about Obama? Obama's on Listen,
you feel me that that was the biggest insult they could give. You get it because everyone's because this is the everyone's scared. And this is something that has become so,
so easy to attack. And then actually, it's profitable to attack, it's profitable to attack. And the worst thing you can do is to somehow associate someone with this group. That's how they would lose. This is the position we're in. And so the prophets I send them goes on to say
that you will be like the frost on the ocean, you know, the little but the little like, scum on the ocean, just like the bubbles on the waves. If even if you go to Lake Lake Michigan, you see that when when the water moves or sees little bubbles, they have no weight, they have no, you know, self determination, what do they do? They go where the tide takes them. Do you understand this, Heidi has very, very deep. And so he's saying that you as an owner will become like that, you become like that little you know those bubbles on the on the waves.
And the love will remove the fear from the hearts of your enemy for you. So the fear of you and will put in your hearts will happen.
And when they asked what what happened is he said hobbit dunya or Cara here to note, it is the love of dunya and the hatred of death.
Wow, you know why this headache is something we have to study today. Because it's describing our situation, and then it's diagnosing the problem. See the beginning of this heading. And that's why I don't like political discussions that don't have anything to do with the internal, because it means that we're missing the point. Because this this Hadees is a political it starts out as a political discussion, isn't it? The Hadith is saying that your enemies will attack you. And this is a political discussion, right? We're talking about a political situation. But when he goes and he gives the diagnosis, he's talking about a spiritual situation. He's saying there's a disease in your
hearts. And that disease, it's in your hearts is what's causing your political weakness.
So what is that disease? What is that disease, and if you study that disease, you'll find every other disease comes out of that disease.
So we want to talk about the disease of uncertainty, we go back to even a deeper root, which is hope in dunya, the love of doing it.
It's the fact that we we think this whole YOLO concept, this idea that, yeah, you only live once. And that idea, even if, as believers, we don't actually believe it, we know that there's another life. Right? But we know it back here. You know what I'm saying? We know it in the back of our mind. But what are we working with in the front of our mind? You know, the frontal lobe, the thing we're actually using and working with and focusing on is all this life? What do we mean by that? I mean that the things that we care about are all revolving around this life. The things that we talk about are all revolving around this life. The things that we worry about are all revolving around this
life, the things that we're afraid of, are all revolving around this life. So what happens is, whatever you focus on grows, whatever you focus on grows. And so if we become a people who only focus on hoping to just this life, we only care about money, and status. And what are people saying about us? And what are people not saying about us? You understand? Who's who's
how many people liking my status, how people aren't you don't I'm saying that this idea of focus, focus on the creation or focus on this life, to the extent that nothing else we don't, we don't see anything else. And because of that focus, we've become very weak. And that's the reason why we're in the situation that we're in, that the prophets I send them is describing at the beginning of that heavy that we become, like the froth in the ocean, and that our enemies have come and summon one another to attack us. When we when we look at our situation right now.
I'm going to just take another second to just be real about it. And then I'm going to say something else. And that is this if we look at our situation right now, we can pick any country Actually, I was watching this video, and it was like going to like random Americans and asking them Do you happen to know which country
trees we are currently bombing.
And nobody knew. Nobody knew how many and what they were. Okay? And so this person goes on to like, Listen, well, basically every single as a Muslim country, okay, that's my point. My point here now is that however you look at it, whether it's being attacked financially, physically or you know that the land being attacked, or being attacked through a xenophobia being attacked verbally being attacked by, by by the things that are being said. But basically wherever we turn, let's be real. Okay, this is happening, this is happening. All right, that sounds kind of dark. Let me tell you something else. Whatever you focus on grows, whatever you focus on grows. So while I wanted to begin
by being real, I also want to tell you this, it isn't all dark. And as a community, what we have to do is we have to focus on what is going well, we have to focus on the light, because when you focus on the light, it also grows, it expands. One thing that we can never ever do as believers, because you'll find if you study history, if you study the lives of the prophets, if you study the companions, you'll find that they had it hard. Every single one had it hard. That's following.
Everyone had it hard, but one thing that they all had in common is they never lost hope. We are not a people of despair. We're not a people who sit and focus on the dark. Make sense? We're always a people of positivity. And, and, and honestly, this is the reason why we have to be positive. Because Because Allah subhanaw taala has told us that the believers if you're a believer, you will always win. So we have that promise from Allah subhanaw taala we have absolutely no reason to ever despair. Unless title data tells us in the court system and attend to Hello, gentlemen. Well, am I tickle methodology? No Holloman? komikko do you think that you will enter Paradise without going through
what those who went before you went through? A lot of asking us this must settle that sad when the law was on Zillow. They went through adversity, hardship and they were shaken. They were shaken Zuzu knows like the same word in Arabic, same root as the word for earthquake, which is exam. So Allah is saying that his people were so shaken. Have they akula Rasulullah, Lena and Omar who matano sama, until even the messengers and those will the messengers are asking when will the help of
even the messengers and those with the messengers are asking that.
So unless the panel is telling us that day, that this whatever hardship we're going through, is to be expected. All right. However, how does the loss upon upon end this area that he tells us he's actually reassuring us by telling us that this is part of the past agenda is some struggle. But But what does he say at the end? He says hackday akula Rasulullah Vina and Omar who Mata nos La La nanosilver, Karim, that when these messengers and the people with them asked when will the help of a locum. But then Allah says, indeed the health of allies near?
Look, the help of Allah is a guarantee. But it's a guarantee when and it's a guarantee for whom? It's a guarantee. But we got to do some stuff. We have to do some things and what is it that we have to do? Allah tells us, Allah tells us the formula for change. What is the formula for change?
In the law law, you remember, Coleman happened to him. Indeed, a law does not change the condition of the people until they change what's inside themselves. I think that you and I agree, there's some things about our condition. We'd like to change. Yeah, agreed, or blank faces. Agreed. There's some things about our condition. We'd like to change whether it's personally or it's collectively I think we agree. But how will that change happened? I'll tell you how it's going to happen. We have to stop blaming others.
We have to stop blaming others. It's actually not Trump's fault. I know. It stinks. We can't blame him. He's he's a he's a
united us. Yeah, no, no, but this is very true. But what I wanted, I wanted, I want us to dig deeper. Guys, I want us to dig deeper. He's a symptom. He's not he's a symptom. He there. There's a deeper issue. And even deeper than all the racism even deeper than all that
Want us to get deep spiritually? I have to change. Simple as that. We have to change individually, before we start talking about my spouse needs to change. My brother needs to change my sister needs to change. And oh, do I want to tell so and so about what yes mean? said no. Like, sometimes our brain does that right? Oh, I can't wait to tell. I can't wait to you know, tell my spouse or tell my sister tell me you know what I mean? I told you so I need to change the first person we need to look at is ourselves. And when we start to change ourselves, that's how the world changes. How do I know? Because I've said so in the Lucha Libre, you met the Coleman hack who may be enforcing him. If we
want to be able to have these solid roots, this certainty in a law and in the hereafter and in what and in what we're doing here and not be shaken by every wind, we have to work on this internal lump of flesh, we have to work on our hearts. And we have to be able to not lose hope. We cannot allow. See, because right now, I want to give you guys this analogy right now. We got lights on, right? But what happens if all of a sudden the lights are out? Like the electricity goes?
How useful? Would it be for me to just stand up here, and you and everyone in this room to just sit in our seats? And just talk for the next two hours about the fact that it's dark?
Just talk about let's talk about it. Nice.
Let's talk about it. Let's post about it. Again. Let's let us you know discuss about it. Let's talk about it some more. It's really dark. Did you see how dark it but did you see how do you see how dark it is in that corner?
You guys understand my analogy?
Holy moly, like the amount of discussion that we have about all the terrible things, all the terrible things? But have we actually brought any light to the room by talking about it?
defensive? can I explain what that means? When I say it's defensive? I mean, we focus so much on saying who we aren't. We aren't terrorists. Got it?
You feel me? But what are you? Well, wait, we didn't really spend any time talking about that. Because we're so busy saying we're not terrorists? Can I tell you a secret? I'm gonna tell you secret, no matter how loud, no matter how many times you scream at the top of your lungs, that you condemned terrorism, they're still not going to hear you. And it's never going to be enough. So let me tell you a secret, change the narrative? Why do you have to keep apologizing for something you didn't do? Why? And when are you going to stop? And the irony is just apologize till you lose your breath. They're still gonna say, Why are Muslims not condemning terrorism, they're still gonna say
that, because there's a certain narrative, and it's gonna stay. So we have to change that narrative. And we have to stop being defensive. And start being positive, stop, start talking about who we are. And not just talk about it, show it, show who you are, just be who you are. Because if you become a source of light, that's automatically going to take care of the darkness Make sense? But if we just sit and talk about how dark it is, and how I didn't do it, you know, I'm saying, like, everyone in this room, it's like, it's like kids, right? When when there's something that goes wrong, and the kids just want to focus on it and do it. Okay, I'm not concerned with who did or didn't do it. Let's
solve it. Let's let's do something positive. So instead of us just sitting and talking about what we did or didn't do, okay, there is no reason for us to be apologizing, we have to stop being
we have to stop apologizing, we have to stop being apologetic. And instead, let's contribute, let's contribute and let's be like, how can we then be a source of light? In terms of talking about these roots? How do we then see cuz I'm telling you about the fruits right now, the fruits and the branches and all this is like this, this this that we can contribute? We can't do it unless we have solid roots. How do we build those solid roots? So let me just quickly talk about some practical things. I cannot emphasize enough that you are what you eat. And I don't just mean that physically. So you are what you eat. If you eat healthy food, you're going to be healthy, right? If you eat
rotten poisonous food, you're going to be sick, right? We all agree. Similarly, watch what you take in. Watch your media watch your intake and when I say intake a unit
Everything that goes into your eyes, I mean, everything that goes into your ears, I mean, everything that goes into your head. This is all food that's going to your heart. Is that making sense? So I'm actually asking you to not only watch what you read, watch the chain, look at what what you listen to garden. Be mindful. All right. But also watch what you think your thoughts are so powerful. Your thoughts are so powerful. Anytime you have a negative thought, start to be conscious of it and replace it with a positive thought, shift your focus, you don't understand how important this is, your entire state is determined by your thoughts, your entire state, and what you focus on grows. So
if we're a people who focus only on problems, have you ever met a person who's so focused on problems?
Anyone? All right?
What happens to that person?
Okay, I'll tell you what happens to that person. They get very, very anxious. Okay, a person who's always focused on what could go wrong, or what various scenarios and permutations of what could go wrong. And that's how they are they're very worried right there. They're always focused on problems on barriers on negativity, they also become very anxious, they become very, very anxious, it's very difficult for them to just relax. Is that making any sense to you? Okay, so what has happened is that they are focusing on the wrong thing. It's like a person
who's Well, let me actually give you this analogy. I love this analogy. How many of you have heard me talk about this? Probably anyone who's heard me talk to me talk about this. One of my favorite stories, anyone?
Oh, no, it's not frozen. But Good. Good. Good guess. It's, um, who sat in front of the Red Sea ice.
Right? moose on a sidenote further ado, why don't why don't I let me just tell you something very, very interesting about this story. In this story, Allah subhanaw taala shows us two different reactions. He showed us he shows us two different worldviews based on simply what are they focused on?
Let me tell you why. Because Allah says ffilm, ma, todo el djem. Any color of how you sir in londra
when they saw the armies approaching, so what did the people have to focus on?
The armies see the people who are trying to get away from Pharaoh, right? Pharaoh has an army, Pharaoh was a superpower. You understand it a sound familiar? Pharaohs, a superpower Pharaoh has an army. And so what's happened here is that many of the people have children of Israel, who are witnesses and are focused on the army. And because they're focused on the army, in other words, they're focused on the problem. Please follow this is really important. They're focused on the problem.
Okay, they're focused on the problem. I'm not going to say Trump, they're focused on the problem. All right. Now, because they're focused on the problem, whether whatever that problem is a sudden phobia, or whatever form you want to say, okay, because they're so focused on the problem itself, their response to the situation is eating nylon motorhome,
we are going to be overtaken,
you get it. Their response comes directly from what they're focused on. And because they're focused on the army, and because they're focused on the problem itself, their natural reaction is, oh, it's like, it's like the equivalent of OMG, right? We're gonna be overtaken, they freak out. They panic. They're very anxious. They're scared in nanodrop code, in other words, now they're disappearing. They are, they are losing hope they are in a state of despair, right? Because they're saying that's it for us. We're going to be overtaken we're going to be killed in a level drunken felon. Now for all ljm it calms us how to lose fat in the broken when we saw the Army's approaching, because that's
their focus, they said we will indeed be overtaken. So then what happens?
Call akella then musar insulin comes in and it's so beautiful and so simple. He says, nope.
Paula Keller, and it can lead us It isn't just that it's not just No, but it's a very emphatic way to say no it's like absolutely positively no way
all in one word.
Can you guys like go homes I learned a new word Canada is it can lead to
your brother says you know can you make Can you make my bed for me killer? No, but um
That is a very powerful word kinky, like, absolutely not No. kennela. Why?
In America Oh,
look at that. What is he saying? He has a different focus. He's not focused on the RV. And he's not focused on the problem. And he's not focused on the Pharaoh. He's focused on a law. He says, nope, Telenor, in Mario de sala de indeed, my Lord is with me. So you see what His focus is. And he says he will get me through this. His reaction is a reaction of hope, and not despair, but only because of what His focus is. Because his focus is not the problem. His focus is not the army, His focus is alone. And he says, because of that, he has no doubt that he will be get carried through this clinic Keller in my era visa deal. Indeed, my Lord is with me, and he will get me through He will guide you
You know what this is like, beyond awesome. Because I want you guys to just imagine the situation.
He's in front of the right see, and he has an army behind him. How can you possibly imagine to get out of this situation? There is no logical way, right? How was he going to fly him in his people? Like, what's he gonna do? And yet he still isn't afraid. And yet he still doesn't doubt the health of a lot. Do you understand what that is? That is your team. That is what you're feeling is that what certainty mean? But your pain and certainty will never happen? If you're focused on the wrong stuff.
The only way that you can have your key is if your focus is on law. And it's not the problems and it's not the the armies and it's not all the people that are trying to attack us, literally attack us, right. They have people trying to attack them to it wasn't a superpower army, and they were tracks. You understand. All they had in front of them was a sea and while they had behind them was an army, but musala has said and look at his attitude.
And that's because his focus was Ulla color teller in the mire of bcit. And now look what happens. Look what happens. Allah subhanaw taala, as you know, opens the Red Sea.
You guys, I don't I don't want anyone going home thinking this is just a story. It's not. And a lot after telling us this story sort of a Shahada. He says that in this is a sign. He actually says that in this is a sign. But most people don't realize it. Most people don't know. So I'm telling you what a lot of saying, which is that this is actually a sign. It's not just a cool story. It is a cool story. It's not just the story of your life that you love the most. Anyone else? Everyone has someone in your brain. Yes. blank faces, y'all.
I'm gonna call you out if you have blue faces.
So that person that you love, hoping that you have you have somebody in your head right?
Now imagine for a moment that that person
comes to you one day and says, I want to have anything to do with you ever, ever, ever again.
I'm gone, I'm leaving. And I'm never going to talk to you again. What
does that bring inside?
sadness. The idea of that person leaving or dying or
fear folks does not make you scared.
Not so much.
See, here's the thing about when you love something naturally fear of losing it.
If you love something, you naturally become afraid of losing it. The truth is that let me ask you this question. If you do it the other way around. And if you think about what is it that you fear most in life? It's always linked to something you love. Yes or no? Because if you didn't love it, you wouldn't care. Okay. So what I'm trying to say is that fear and love are things. If we love Allah, if we want a law, then we will fear his decision.
Simple as that it's natural. Just like I am
Fear my mother been displeased with me. I would fear displeasing, someone that I love. Because of that, well, even if they didn't lay a hand on me, but I'm just not wanting to displease them. I just stopped wanting them to disconnect to discard me. We're afraid of losing things that I love. And anytime, anytime you, you look at your fear in life, and trace it back, it always is rooted in love.
You're only afraid of losing your mind because you love your money. Okay? You're only afraid of losing your friend or spouse because you love them. And if you didn't love them, you wouldn't be afraid of losing them so fiercely to love. If we all wanted to find out a bit more also figure out what
to say about that.
Have you ever heard Dr. Clark from above? See you?
Next question. Can you give us practical examples
in our daily lives of students and parents on how to focus on positive things rather than the negative things? Yes, so so practical examples. I emphasize this emphasizes again, be mindful of what you intake. Never Be mindful of your food, your your your spiritual food, what you read what you speak about what she really wants, you look at what she watched if she listened to, and when she talks about the mindful the conversations you're having. I can't emphasize that enough. Be mindful of your thoughts. When you start to guard these things, you'll find a huge change in the state. When you guard what she watched me guard when she looked at me guard, what she listened to me tell
yourself, I'm not going to take in toxicity. Just like you garden should be right? If something is in front of you. And it's covered in mold, or you're going to eat it.
Absolutely not. You don't take into that kind of stuff. Because it's it's poisonous, toxic. So I need you to be the same way about what she what she allow it to go into your consciousness. All right, garbage is garbage. All right, whenever you're watching it, it's garbage. It's the same as eating garbage. It's the same, it's going to affect your heart, it's going to affect your state, it's going to affect your inside, it's just like eating garbage is going to affect your health. So just don't think that it's not going to matter. You know what I need? What you are, just remember this who already eats. And in this case, spiritually you are what you ingest, you are exposed
yourself to you will become like that. Whenever you expose yourself to a lot, you become like it. All right? So if you're exposing yourself to constant garbage, they affect you inside. One thing I will say one thing I will say is this pop culture right now.
Pop Culture right now is teaching us a few things. There's a few like, main lessons in pop culture right now. One of them is the absolute positive obsession with appearance, like, of session, you know, the Instagram culture and all is like, all the various ways to have a perfect picture. And so what happens is, what happens is there's a lot of pressure to be perfect. A lot of pressure. And if you guys feel me, and it isn't only the girls anymore, it isn't. It isn't how almost like equal opportunity. Yeah, we're objectifying everybody.
In our objectified event to me, Oh, gosh.
I mean, it's just
You guys know what I'm saying? Right? Like that, that that this, we've we've become such an obsessed culture with appearance. And when we become so focused on one thing that we miss out on the essence, so one of the thing I will tell you is just be mindful of what you just why am I saying this? Because it's just practical, how much time we spend on Facebook, how much time we spend on Instagram and Snapchat, all that stuff. So I'm not here telling you get off all social media. I'm not saying I'm saying use your social media to make you healthier. Don't let it use you. Like Don't let it Don't let it turn you
games to a person who only thinks about talks about looks at works towards like, something that has to do with fashion and appearances. And it's cool, like you want to be fashionable, it's cool that there's like, a tutorial for everything is cool. But if that's it, you got to understand what I'm saying. If that's it, if that's it, the mouse is horrible. If it was only about that, if that's the only thing that you're looking at, if that's the only thing that you're looking at every single day, may see why am I saying that because you can use your social media however you want, right? your social media, your Instagram can be a bunch of quotes and trees like mine.
I'm not saying all of you have to have a bunch of courses, but I'm giving you an example your Instagram, it can be whatever you make it, it doesn't have to be just pictures of the Kardashians, it can be something actually, that can help you that can that can inspire you. So now when you go to check your Instagram, it's something that's going to make you lead with something, you know what I mean, as opposed to just more obsession with what someone's wearing, and what someone's done with their hair and their makeup for today, they all look the same. I can't even believe it, they all look the same. You know, my point is that that's not good for the heart that's just not good for the
soul. So you change and then I say like change your newsfeed what I'm eating is that Facebook, you can actually affect your newsfeed on this. I'm gonna tell you a secret.
You can unfollow people not knowing
you can unfollow people without them knowing. Use it.
Use it. I'm serious. Because it's not. I mean, it's awesome that they're eating a burger today. And tomorrow and the next day, whatever. But maybe you could have in your newsfeed be just a little bit more enriching. And that actually will make a difference over time, trust me. So that's just one possible thing you can do but I can't emphasize how important it is just because of how much time we spend on these things.