Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
A segment of a whole evening with Yasmin Mogahed.
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I would like to ship
by the end
of this chapter is
How's everyone doing?
Yeah, there's an interesting difference between American English and British English.
And that is that you guys say you okay?
And if you say Are you okay? To someone in the US? They answer by saying, Yeah, why don't you think okay?
Basically, you only ask someone, are you okay? If you think there's something wrong with them?
Are you okay? Okay, awesome. So before I get into the topic, I just want to set a few ground rules. There are a bit unusual ground rules, not what you typically hear. I'm gonna ask you to do something for me as the speaker,
I have to engage in what seems like one way communication, right? I'm speaking. And you guys are listening, right? But the thing is that I don't really as Personally, I don't like one way communication. I like two way communication. I like connection. Okay. So because we can't interact verbally, I'm going to ask you to use something called non verbal communication. What am I talking about? Body language? What am I talking about? make faces.
You think, Okay, I need it. What I what I what I'm one of the most difficult things as a speaker, is when you're speaking to a crowd, who looks like this?
The entire time, because we are the speaker, I have no idea whether or not I just said something that offended you. Something that delighted you something that confused you, or you're just really hungry. So what I asked from you is show me interact with me through your expressions. Fair enough.
Some are still not convinced.
Okay, good. Okay, so that helps me to understand what I need to explain further, you don't understand how much reading the speaker has to do with the audience.
If the speaker really wants to connect with it, I have to read you. I'm actually this isn't a passive thing that I'm doing up here. I need to read you. So help me read you. Alright, some audiences.
Like, I cannot read them. We will talk about which ones but anyway, as you have known.
They were a great crowd, but they were a bit difficult to read.
Like, you guys.
Anyways, the topic that I'm speaking about today, the title is why can I get what I want?
Why can't I get what I want? This is a question a lot of people ask, what is this question mean, this question, what at a deeper level? Is this question talking about at a deeper level? This question is getting at one of the aspects of this video. And what is that? That aspect is the fact that this dunya is essentially not perfect, right? We want certain things in life and we don't get it. We don't want certain things in life. And we get it. Right. Good. You get into the habit.
Usually, like the audience, especially in the UK, is kind of like very sort of culturally passive, like we just I know.
We're very expressive, and especially because I'm Egyptian.
But see this life, we don't always get what we want. It's the very nature of dunya that it's not perfect. It's the very nature of dunya that I'm going to want things to work out a certain way. And it isn't going to always work out the way I want. This is something we're going to have to learn to understand and then accept, but I'm going to actually put something even deeper for like forward. See, it's one thing to accept. Yeah, you know what things just I didn't get what I wanted. And you know, there is a difference between sort of,
you know, when like a kid is forced to eat a vegetable that he or she doesn't like, Yeah, he might suffer down, but he's not happy or she's not happy. Okay. What but then there is like, someone eating their favorite food. Do the two look the same.
How they eat? No, they're both doing the same thing. They're both swallowing it, right? They're both swallowing it, but one is swallowing it while hating it. And one is swallowing it while being pleased. You see the difference? Okay. Now, let me just say this when something happens in life that I don't like, all right, when something happens, that hurts me or I lose something, or any kind of hardship
happens in my life, there are three different types of responses.
The first response is absolute, displeasure meaning, anger. Why me? It's not fair. God, how could you do this? To me, that type of response. That type of response is a response that we're taught that a believer shouldn't have. That type of response is, in fact, a contradiction, to stop. What's self? Self is generally translated as patience. But it also includes other things like perseverance and steadfastness. But we'll talk about
that patience, that when you respond with that first response, the response of this isn't fair. Why me? God, how could you do this to me, almost as if the slave is putting a lot on trial.
You have to say, Allah is being put on trial and allows high above ever be put on trial. But it's as if the slave things that he or she is putting a lot on trial and is questioning a lot. Right? You know, when have you ever seen like in the courtroom? How does it go when someone's being questioned by a lawyer? And they're being drills, but why? You know what I'm saying? And it's like, they're being cross examined, you know, I'm saying right now, it says, if people try to do this with a love, something Allah chose for you, a lot chose it for you. It's his will, of God gave you something a lot, something some decision in your life that he has made. And our response is, why how is not fair
yet. It's as if we're in a courtroom. And a loved one was being questioned.
That first response is, is an absolute contradiction to serve. And it's a response that we as believers should always avoid.
It is the response that indicates there's a problem internally. It's an indication that there's a problem internally, and I need to, I need to go inside, I need to fix up some stuff. I need to clean up inside. Make sense? Now, some of you might think OMG,
like, like that, we get scared? Because some of us might be Oh, no. I responded like that in whatever situation, or maybe I'm feeling that way right now. What? Oh, no, like, almost like a panic.
But to that, I want to say this.
Everyone in this room is still breathing, right? Hopefully,
everyone in this room, His heart is still beating, right?
Everyone in this room, his soul is still in the body, right?
Therefore, it's never too late.
Is he one of the biggest mistakes we make is that we despair.
You make a mistake. You're not perfect. You fall short. And then you despair. And you think you know what? I messed up. So now I should just give up. There is that whisper that comes into our minds into our hearts that tell us to just give up? Right? You mess up. So now you should just give up? You know, that whisper that says, you might as well take off your return. Why do people feel that way? Why do people get to a point where now they feel like let me just give up? Let me throw in the towel. Why? It comes from an avenue of despair. It's a feeling of I'm not good enough.
Right? And sometimes we actually put that on others. You know, that whole rhetoric of? Oh, did you see what that sister did? Did you see what that sister You know who that sister was with or whatever. You know what she might as well take off her hijab.
You get it? That kind of rhetoric is from the door of despair and
Guess who's the king of despair? Anyone?
No, not Trump, who
is the king of despair? One of his favorite tools and his little shaitana toolbox is the tool called despair. And so he will use that tool on us as much as he can. You know, you look at you look at you.
You think you're so pious, you're so good at this. Hey, Jeff, you know, going on. You go to the masjid, you know, you're you're trying to be all realist. But you know what, you're actually really bad. Because you did this. And you did that. And you fall short here, you get it. And he uses those flaws, not to make us run to the mercy and forgiveness have a love not to make us run into forgiveness. And it's all about like, Allah tells us to do what we're supposed to do when we make a mistake. What does the law say? and His Messenger when we make a mistake, or when we fall short? Repent, simple as that. Oh, lots of how to how to talk in the Quran countless times about when we
fall short. And how the believers Yeah, the believers, the people of a Sam, like the best of the best are those who, you know why? You know, what describes them in one place?
Like, if they committed a fashion, you're a package that is as like a really, really shameful, like,
okay, it's like shameful, shameful sin.
And he's describing who here he's not describing the profile. He's not describing the disbelievers not describing the atheist. He's not described, he's actually describing the good guys. He's describing the the believers, the people who will entertain, etc, right? And how does he describe it, that when they commit if they commit a fair shot?
Or they walk their own souls? How do we run ourselves through
that when they do if they do, they remember our love, and they seek forgiveness. That's actually how the good people are described. But you know, that might shock us. Because we are sort of taught to think that the good guys never commit mistakes. They never make mistakes, that the good guys never commit sins are especially for Blackfish. Right?
But you see what a lot of saying is, if you do this, if you do commit this sin, what should you do? You should run to the mercy of Allah, you should you should seek forgiveness, you should repent, you should remember or what is it? It's a message of hope? It's a message of it's never too late until the day you die. I asked you guys a question. Are you still alive? And it wasn't a difficult question. Y'all are still alive, you still breathing, your heart still beating your soul still in your body? Therefore, then it's never too late. While you're still alive. Therefore, there is hope. There is hope. So a lot of times God and His Messenger say to us that when we make a mistake, we
should run to the forgiveness of Allah. That's it. But what does tripod do? Check on says when you make a mistake, or even when you see others make a mistake. shaitan will say you might as well give up.
You might as well take off your hijab, you might as well stop praying, you might have just stopped going to the masjid. Because you know why? Because you're too bad. Because you're not good enough. You understand? So many, so many sisters.
So many sisters. It's like you hear this rhetoric again and again and again. What is it that keeps them from wanting to do so many people sustained scripts? It's because I'm not good enough yet. It's like, it's like, I'm not. I'm not enough yet. Right? I'm not there yet. And if you have to first become perfect, and then you put on future,
as if you have to first transform into an angel and then put on the future. But here's the newsflash right, the newsflash is no one's an angel. That you can see we will angels are sitting with us unless it is messenger tell us that when you remember a lot in a gathering angels sit with you. These gatherings are blessed We ask Allah Subhana Allah to bless it
Who wears hijab is an angel, we are all slide, and you're never gonna get to a point where you're perfect. And this whole idea of let me get there first, and then I'll do XYZ is actually a logical fallacy. I'll tell you what,
okay, if I'm driving in my car, and I look at the the gasps, like meter, and it says that it's empty, meaning I have no gas, right?
What would you say about a person who says, You don't want just let me get to London? And then I'll fill up?
From that simple example, what's the problem?
How do you even get to London?
If you don't
get to London first and then
So people have this logical fallacy when it comes to religion. Yeah, let me get religious. Let me get spiritual first, and then I'll put on any job. Let me get spiritual first and then I'll start praying five times a day.
How you gonna get spiritual? It's not through these practices. Does that make sense? You see hijabs
fasting, charity, vision, all of these are the fuel that take us to London filming all of these things together. All of these things together are part part of the fuel that takes us to be spiritual. And being close to Allah, you get it. So it's just part of the path. It isn't a destination. Never ever think that something like hijab is a destination. Okay, when I've become perfect. And and, and I'm just so holy, that I'm floating. Right? There. I'll put on the hijab.
And just so you know, just so you know, everyone who looks any better? No, that I'm perfect because they have this long. No, it doesn't work like that. We are human, all of us. But part of the fuel that takes us to Allah subhanaw taala is obedience. Really, that's all it really comes down to. It's that it's part of our obedience. And it's our obedience that that serves as the fuel that takes us to a muscle that makes it make sense. Simple as that. It's as simple as that. So if you're sitting here and you're thinking, Man, I think like I am, I am not responding as I should. I said that when you face hardships, there's three responses, right? And I said, the first one we shouldn't do. But
even if we have an even if we are currently feeling that way, feeling almost resentful at almost decision. angry, at love seeking, it's not fair. Why me? Why does that person have this an idol? Right? This is a human weakness. But it's an indication not for you to despair, not for you to despair and say, Oh, let me just give up then. But it's an indication that you got to do some internal work, internal cleaning.
But there's always hope. Because like I said, your heart still beating, you're still breathing and your soul still in your body. It's only when all of that is not the case that we can't go back and fix it. So the first response we have to as believers avoid and we asked the last panel data to make it easy for us to never respond in that way to the decision of the law. Fair enough.
The second response to it when I don't get what I want essentially, or any kind of thing I don't like
is the response of the response of patients.
Now, the responsive the responsive patience or some sometimes at the very lowest level is something in Arabic called sub boy.
Okay, or basically means to struggle to the patient mental suffering is that if somebody and this is a heavy that is someone struggles to be patient, you know, the kid eating the vegetables, even though it's like really hard and swallowing it, but he's trying
that it's someone struggles to be patient. Have you set a low meet a patient that understand the meaning
that you're trying? Yeah, that kid is trying
To eat vegetables,
if you just keep trying and pushing yourself and restraining yourself from complaint,
from complaint, what is complaint? Do you guys know the difference between a complaint against a law and a complaint to Allah?
Anyone know the difference? It sounds very similar, but it's actually worlds apart. Very different.
a complaint against a lot is the first category.
a complaint against Allah? Is this is unfair. How could you do this to me? Why me? Why does this person have I don't have you fill me
a complaint against a law is this reaction, but a complaint to Allah?
Is that a contradiction of self? The complaint to Allah is nothing very different. complaining to Allah means turning to Allah, not saying I'm displeased, or I don't accept, but just saying this is hard.
You see the difference? Just say, My Lord. Yeah, a lot. This is hard.
And because it's hard, and because I'm only human, and I'm only I believe, by, you know, human nature, please help me.
See the difference? You're not saying y'all I don't I don't except you're not saying it's not fair. Not saying Why me? You're just saying it's hard. So please help me
understand the difference. This is a very, very significant difference. You know why?
Because I said, The first category is something that a believer should never do. But you know what the second category is, even the complete to Allah. prophets did that.
prophets did that?
How do you know? It's a different
color. What's his story is good, use it. He's good, he loses his son.
And he's so sad that he cries until he goes blind.
And yet, he has a suburban journey of beautiful patience. So you have this prophet who has beautiful patient, not just patience, beautiful patience.
And that is crying. Whoa, immediately. This looks like a contradiction to a lot of people's definition of self.
How many people have seen for example, a grieving widow crying at a funeral and say to her sister, have patience,
or be strong?
are confused. When in the world did it say or where in the world that is say that crying means either you're not being patient?
Or that you're not being strong?
You see our definitions?
Does this is like video, his videos, his motivational videos that they have on like Facebook and stuff?
Oh, God, I keep seeing these videos. So annoying. It's like
what I've learned and says, I have learned to be strong. Even when I want to cry.
You get it? You get the problem. But most people read that.
What's the problem? They're
there, they're assuming there's a contradiction between being strong and crying.
Can I just shatter that myth please? Yeah, who
cried until you went blind? Are you calling him weak?
Are you saying he wasn't strong? You understand? He's, in fact so strong, that he is his, his patience is being mentioned in the Quran as someone who
is not as patient as like epitome of patience.
But he cried until he went blind. So this is the first thing is that in the second response of patients,
it doesn't mean that you can cry. It doesn't even mean that you can't feel sadness, the prophets I send them felt sadness. Yahoo
felt sadness. And in fact, that's where we get that mention of complaining to Allah. He said I only complain a lot. I only complain to
A lot of my sadness.
So number one that's showing us like, he felt sadness. What are you saying that prophets were human?
They weren't these like, angels in human form or robots. He was human beings. A lot of times subhanaw taala chose to give, you know, a lot of send angels with the message, by the way, right? A lot would have sent angels with the books, simple, but a lot chose to send human beings for a reason why? Because we are human beings, and and we can relate to another human being.
Please, we have to stop this this weird kind of like superhuman of humanizing of our
leaders, not just our problems do we do with our shoes? We do with our public figures. We What do you mean, they're human? What they go to the bathroom? Like, when they get married and divorced, what you get, like, what are they supposed to be like floating around like with links
that you ever seen, right? It's this idea that No, no, those religious people, right, the almost like we make a clergy. Now, we're not that that's not Islam. There's this like, you know, the elite religious, they're not supposed to be human like us. They're not supposed to be human like us. That's completely wrong. And it's not the design of Allah. Allah could have made the messengers angels, but unless his wisdom made them human beings, get it, they're supposed to be human. They're human, and it's supposed to be that way.
Okay, so this idea, again, we have to understand that, that humanity is part of the design of Allah subhanaw taala. So your whole body has to learn sadness. And he complained to Allah not about the law. You
have beautiful, perfect patience. He wasn't complaining. Why the hell would you take my son to take his son? No. But he felt sadness because he's a human being.
And he complained to Allah of his sadness.
The prophets I sent him when he lost his son and he was crying. What did he say the famous thing that the eyes shed tears, and the heart feels sense of the tongue does not stay except what is pleasing to Allah. He's teaching us this balance, this balance that we are human beings and to feel emotion Does it mean that you don't have enough event? To feel emotion doesn't mean you don't have enough stuff?
to tell people Oh, and if you have eaten you'll never feel sad.
How many? Come on Be honest. How many times have you heard that?
Exactly? How many times have you seen these leaves? And these various video going around? I used to just write a book of
You know, like a believer should never feel sad, sadness.
Sadness has no purpose sex. Whoo. It's like, so extreme. It's not. It's not balanced. It's not correct. I can tell you a million reasons why it's not correct. But let me just tell you a few.
Yeah, he felt sad. The prophets I send it went through a year of
sadness. Why? Because that's how humans react to do the things they love.
Or you say that it has enough event?
Or were they just human beings, you understand my point? So we have to be very balanced here and understanding what what does it mean to really have patience? Doesn't mean I don't feel sadness. Does it mean I can't cry? Doesn't mean I can't complain to Allah. And the answer obviously, is no to all those three things. Why? Because the prophets did these things. The prophets peace be upon them all. They felt sadness, sometimes.
They complain to Allah.
These lie, they asked for help. They asked for help.
know, if you really
Want to understand just how much you can learn from just studying the two hours, the secretions of profits that are mentioned in
one of these doors is the door, I have a few buddies to them. As you know, the story of a man is that he was tested after test after test after test, right? He is losing, you know, he was wealthy, he was healthy, had children, a family and all these things. And one by one, they were taken away.
And finally, he gets to a point he's patient, he gets to a point where he makes this daughter.
Study describe this,
in just a couple words, summarizes the response that a believer should have in trial.
And he misses any of those
calamity where adversity has befallen me.
So let's look at the first half for a second. Is he in denial
about his pain
is he like,
I just got a gunshot wound but everything's fine.
That denial, that suppression, like when something's wrong, when you've been when you've been wounded, or you're in pain.
And people tell you people teach you that the solution is to just put your happy face on.
And all that happy face. That's all over Facebook.
And Instagram, because there's so many happy filters,
and Snapchat, stuff like that you can be a HAPPY BUNNY you can. There's so many ways you guys are feeling what I'm saying. There's so many ways to put on masks. And there's so many layers of masks.
But that's what we're told that the solution is just sweep it under the rug and put on your happy face. Photoshop photoshopping. And that's all you can show to the world in that old everything's perfect. Didn't you notice I'm perfect? You're perfect. That was perfect.
Right? You're not going and talking about the things that the flaws that you have or the pain you're going to No, no, don't be talking about how awesome Your wife is, right? And how perfect everything is, and how amazing Your husband is.
Right? What are you putting on Facebook?
You know, how can that great? Why are you asking for it like
that. It's like our need to
display and show off. It's almost more important to us than just protecting our blessings.
You know what I'm saying? This is the advice of the prophets. I said, you know, protect your blessings by keeping it on the DL. Like you don't have to announce every blessing that you have. Because that's just not wise. You feel me. But the idea is that we have to show the world that we are perfect and our life is perfect. And our skin is perfect and got the filters
and our house is perfect and our children are pregnant when you have two children that have their pictures. And they did they're called Mashallah houses. Why are you anyways? I'm sorry. Every time I was on like,
you're just getting so much envy. Like why?
Just why young?
Great move on like, do do not need to advertise it. Like you don't. But but there's a very deep urge to show the world and prove to the world I got these things. And I'm great. And I'm happy. altar allowed to be as happy by the way ever. You know what I mean? Happy British Muslims. They gotta always be happy. Don't ever not be happy. You know, think like there's this push that the only thing that you can do is happy at all times. Perfect, right? flawless.
There's so much pressure. There's so much pressure.
How do you even get away from that?
Look, it's not realistic that you're just going to have no connection to social media. It's not realistic. You're going to be on Instagram. You're going to be on Facebook, you're going to be on Snapchat, right? But I will just say this as a side thing. There are ways
To manage these outlets so that they can do more good than harm. Can I just tell you a secret? There's this button on Facebook that says, unfollow.
Do you know what this?
Click, no one has no
friends who'll be their friend this day they post a different selfie every day and what they're what they're having their burger at that particular moment. And that's important stuff, but maybe you could unfollow.
Why am I saying that? Because you become affected by everything you look at everything you read, everything you listen to, you see, these constant inputs that we're bombarded with, don't think they don't have an effect. Every time you look at a new picture on Instagram of the Kardashians, or whoever, or whichever new
makeup slash, tutorial slash fashion needs. So there's so many. Yeah, that's fine. But if that's all that you're like, bombarded with, guess what, once you focus on grows, what do I mean by that? It's going to be all that matters to you. And it becomes more and more important to you. You know, the problem with that is
that now you've actually forgotten about what does really matter. Because we are so focused on these things. And it's like, I've never, we're living in an age where there's such an obsession with appearance, I just, it boggles my mind. Such an obsessive, we're such an appearance, obsessed culture, and world. And it is because of this constant bombardment with your gotta be perfect. And there's this perfect picture. And then there's this, you know, filter, and it's just like,
we can't even be real anymore. We can't even be real anymore.
Is this true?
We can't it, the only thing we can do is put on the Photoshop filtered image to the world. And everywhere, you can sort of, you can actually control that by controlling your intake. I'm not telling you get off Facebook, get off Instagram, Snapchat, and just sit in the masjid and report on all day. Because obviously, that's not realistic. And even though he didn't tell us that we're supposed to just sit in the
real true spirituality is happens while you're living in the world. And while you are involved with these roles, while your mother while while you're a teacher, while you're in school, while your father you get it
while you're involved with with what's happening in social media, etc, what's happening. But there is a way to make it so that it's more beneficial. And it does more good than harm. You know what I mean? Be conscious of what you're following. Simple as that if you just one small change you can make in your life practice, I'm just talking real here. One small change you can make in your life, that if you actually do that today,
and you look at the effect it has, after a few weeks, you'll be amazed. It will actually change the way you see the world, the way you feel about yourself.
The way you the way you view everything. And that's just one small thing. Adjust your newsfeed
you guys see what I'm saying? just adjust your newsfeed, your Instagram newsfeed and your Facebook newsfeed adjust what it is that's coming on your feed? Is it all just a bunch of well, and it could be different things? Is it all just a bunch of like, fashion stuff selfies food? And that's it.
Right? Or? Or is it a bunch of really bad news over and over and over that will affect how you see the world.
You can actually use social media to inspire you.
You can use it social media is a tool. You use it how you want to use it. You can adjust your newsfeed so that it's giving you things that are empowering you that are that are inspiring you things beyond just what's the new thing and fashion, or what Trump has said or whatever.
And we have to be mindful of what we're about.
obsess obsessing over or what we are focusing on. Yeah, get it you got to be involved, you got to know what's going to find, but but be mindful of what you're focusing on. Be mindful the quality of what you're in taking the quality of what you're looking at. Every single day, you're on Instagram every day, you're on Snapchat every day, you're on Facebook, every so alive. I mean, this is this is design life. So you have to be mindful, this is something you're, it's like food, right? The food you're eating every single day, if it's if it's horrible quality, is gonna have an effect over time. Right?
Right. That's why we have this whole movement of eating organic and right and avoiding preservatives.
Much, much better off than the US. But anyway, it's a different story. We have poison and all of our food, like processed food.
I picked up a bag of chips in the UK. And I'm shocked. It didn't have any preservatives. It didn't have any MSG. I didn't have any artificial colors. I was like what this is insane. Like, it's almost like they have a competition how much they can pack into one bag with artificial colors, and preservatives and MSG. But it's a it's a business. But that's a different story. The point is that, what's your eating, because it's something you're doing every day, it's very important, and it does have an effect on you over time. That's why there's such a movement about healthy eating. Right? We understand this with our bodies, we get it, you're not going to eat molded food, are you
you're not you're not, you're not going to eat good food, because it's gonna poison you inside. It's toxic.
There is so much mold and stuff out there on social media. It's just garbage. It's useless. It's useless. And it's actually not just useless and harmful. I'm trying to tell you that it does have an effect. At the very minimum, if the only thing that you're following is just stuff that has to do with fashion. And that's it. It doesn't take a genius to tell you that you're going to be obsessed with appearances.
And guess what? You're gonna feel horrible about yourself all the time. Because you're never going to be good enough.
Yes or no? Absolutely true. It doesn't take a genius.
Once you once you in input becomes what you are and what you see and how you see the world.
You have, you can My point is that you have control over that. You have control over your media, more so than ever before. Really, you choose, you have so much choices. So just be mindful of that need be mindful of that. So when we talked about this,
he began by acknowledging he's not pretending. He say and we must say that. Indeed, hardship collaborative adversity has befallen me. He's not pretending everything's okay and pulling on, you know, a mask. He's being real with a lot. Make sense.
But here is the point I want to make. I said earlier that I'm really upset about this video, and noisy every time it comes to me because I was so excited about it. But it's basically saying that sadness and he uses the word sadness and that's my problem is the word sadness.
a different word should have been used. You know what it is? disappear.
You know, there's a difference. You know, there's a difference, hopelessness