Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
Inner Peace | Yasmin Mogahed | Islamic Institute of Toronto
I would never let him in a shape on Allah James Miller had rahmanir rahim wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah violet anusara pH main rubbish. raha sundry, westerly. Omri Wyler, Dr. Missoni of okoli. How is everyone?
It's an honor to be with you tonight. It's my last day in Toronto, and hamdulillah. It's It's a beautiful
cause it's a beautiful room. And the topic that I'm speaking about today is one that I think is extremely important. And that is inner peace. Why is this such an important topic? First of all, it's something that every single human being, regardless of their background, regardless of their religion, regardless of what part of the world they live in, every single human being wants one thing. And that is happiness, ultimately, happiness. It's something we all seek. Now, the problem is, everyone has a different definition of how you get it. And in the society that we live in right now.
In the modern time we live in now, we are told that in order to find happiness, you need to get stuff. You need to be have power, or money, or status. In fact, they did a study in which they asked millennials, what is your number one goal? What's your number one goal? And
the majority of them said, their number one goal was to make money. And then just after that thing was 80%, or something, and then just after that, the answer was to be famous. Now there is a reason why this is the number one goal. The reason is that the belief internally is that this is where happiness is, that's where I will find happiness. Now, I want to talk about that for a moment. What is happiness, because for me to get somewhere, I have to know where I'm going, right? If I'm going in the car, and I'm gonna drive, and I have to put something into my GPS, but I'm not really sure what the address is, I'm not going to end up there, right? So I have to be clear about where it is I
want to end up if I'm going to get there. What is true happiness?
And the answer is this. There are different types of happiness, okay, I'm going to put it in two categories, there is what I'm going to call physical happiness. And then there is inner happiness. Physical happiness, is the happiness that even an animal can have physical pleasure is when you For example, eat a really great chocolate piece, you know, a piece of chocolate cake, that's physically that gives you pleasure, okay? Physical happiness is something that is at the level that we can even share with animals. But the human being Yes, there is physical pleasure that exists and unless panel to Allah has made some of it halen and some of it head on. So as long as it isn't within the halen,
there's nothing wrong with that.
But the human being has given has been given the capacity to reach a higher level happiness, a higher level than just the physical, a higher level than just what an animal can feel, or what an animal can experience. Because an animal eats, sleeps and reproduces, and that's its happiness, but a human being, has a higher way to live. And that is the happiness of the heart and the soul. That's the inner happiness, or the inner peace. And it's that happiness that people are ultimately seeking, when they try to find it in just physical happiness. But it is it's that's the end goal that they aren't able to get to.
Because they don't know where to find it, or what it looks like. There are there are so many people who have those things that the millennials were saying that's their goal, right wealth and fame. Let's look at the people who have wealth and fame. The people who have wealth and fame, why are many of them committing suicide? Why are many of them
addicted to alcohol and drugs? What is it that they're missing? If they have the wealth and the fame? What emptiness is it that they're trying to fill? The reason that happens is because there's some
Inside of every human being, that has to be filled, and it cannot be filled with wealth and fame. In fact, as it mccallion says, it can't be filled with anything other than the nearness to Allah subhanaw taala. So there is a compartment inside of us, there is a need inside of us. And I'm not just saying us as in the people in this room, I'm not just saying us as Muslims, I mean human beings, there is a need inside of every human being, that can't be filled, except in the remembrance of Allah, except in being close to Allah, Allah basically let him do that, indeed, it's in the remembrance of God, that the hearts find true inner peace, that inner peace and tranquility.
Now, what are some of the stumbling blocks? What are some of the things that keep us from getting inner peace, true inner peace? Well, there's a few things to begin with. We live in a world of destruction. Everywhere we turn or being distracted, we live in a world that makes us focus on the wrong things, essentially. And those things tend to be that which we can see that which we can feel that which we can touch. So we live in a world that basically makes you focused on the physical world, and forget about the unseen world. But unless we can be a people who believe in the unseen, and a people who, who actually see the unseen, as more real than the scene, then we can't find true
happiness. And what what do I mean by that? See, as believers, as believers, if you look at the prescription that we're given by Allah and His Messenger, so every single day, we're told to do certain things. If you follow that prescription, what does it do for you, if you follow the prescription of some law five times a day, if you follow the prescription of the earth, God, saying, the remembrance in the morning and the evening and before you sleep, if you follow the prescription of quota, and if you stay away from what Allah has forbidden us from going to and only do that which Allah has commanded? What does that do internally? Well, what it does, first of all, is it makes us
focus on the unseen, until the unseen becomes real to us. Until because you see when you're praying, can you see even the Kaaba that you're facing? No, not unless you're there. When you're praying, can you see Allah subhanaw? taala? No. Can you see the angels that are around? You know, right now we're sitting in a gathering of Vic, meaning we're remembering a law. And we're told that anytime you sit in a gathering where you're remembering a law, the angels come down and sit with you, and they fill the area between the heavens and the earth, can anyone see them?
I'd be concerned about you if you thought you could.
No, you can't. Right. So what what we have to come back to doing is training our hearts to focus on the unseen. Allah subhanaw taala tells us in certain Bukhara that when he describes Alif Lam mean Valley Kalki tabula rasa fi hodan macduffie. That he's saying that this book is, is a it's a guidance for those who have Taqwa. Who are they and levena human life. The first description of these people who are going to benefit from this revelation is they must believe in the unseen. We cannot be a people who only believe and only care about the physical world, about the money I have, the status I have, the power I have, the way I look, the way my house looks, the way my car looks.
If that's all we care about. We will not ever find that inner peace.
So when you follow this prescription, it brings us back to that remembrance of what really matters. And those are things that we cannot see. Can anyone see Jenna and Johanna? No, these are all unseen things. But can you see the mall?
Come on guys. It's not a trick question. You can see them all right, but you can't see Jen then you can't see Johanna. And so what happens is we we become distracted by what we can see and we forget about what we can't see.
The other reason why we sometimes stumble in this in this pursuit of inner peace, is that we face storms in life, right weather happens
And we can't always control that weather. And some people become very shaken by the storms in their lives. And sometimes the storms in our lives, they can destroy a person.
And so part of being successful in this path to inner peace is being able to navigate our storms, being able to be resilient in our storms. Allah subhanaw taala talks in the Quran about a solid tree. And when he describes this solid tree, he says, a slew has sabot will further I will have to cement that it's its foundation is firm, and its branches reach towards the sky.
This is what a believer must be in order to survive this life. We have to be firmly rooted. Because weather happens, right? You can't make it stop snowing, if any of you decided right now. You know what? I'm tired of the snow. I don't want it to snow anymore. So stop. Can you do that? No, you have no control over the weather. Not even Trump can control the weather, right? And you can have all the power in the world and all the money in the world and you can tell people what to do. But you can't make it rain. Right? You can't make it stop raining. You can't control these things. These are things are only in the hands of Allah subhanaw taala. So then what should we do? Right? So my
question to you? Does your life stop every time it snows? I grew up in Wisconsin, I understand how it is. Does your life stop every time it snows? No, you're here today. We had a conference Rs. It was snowing the whole weekend? Life doesn't stop. Tell me how. How can we can survive the snow?
Because we dress warm. Because we have shelter. Because we have coats you understand. And so what this is, is this is the ability to be resilient. The ability to put stuff on to be able to handle the weather when it hits, right. We don't become our life doesn't stop. As soon as things are not perfect. As soon as the sun is out. You know, some people it's like, if the sun is out there, okay? But then if the sun goes away, is their life gonna stop? We can't be that way or we won't survive this life. So part of seeking or rather reaching that inner peace is being able to create a shelter on the inside.
Because you know what, we can't control always the outside, can we? We can't control what happens outside. But what we can do is we can create an inner shelter. What am I talking about? What I'm talking about is that prescription that was given to us by Allah and His messenger is actually building an inner shelter. The problem is that we don't follow that prescription. And that's the reason why we become destroyed by our storms.
It's like a tree. Think about a tree that doesn't have solid roots. A tree that isn't deeply rooted what happens when the wind comes, especially if it's a strong wind, what happens to the tree,
it'll knock it down, oh snap.
And that's because it doesn't have it sometimes actually can be uprooted. If the wind is strong enough. But you know that the taller a tree gets, the deeper it has to have its roots. And that's because that's what's keeping it firm, regardless of the wind. And it can handle things. You know, there's a forest in California, called the Sequoia. It's, it's it's, it's a forest of sequoias. And one thing that we're famous for in California is wildfires, you may have heard about them. They're very intense, and they spread very quickly. And one thing that's very amazing about certain types of trees, is that Allah has designed them to somewhat be resistant to fire. That's amazing. And when I
heard that, I just thought that was so amazing. Because this is the design of Allah, Allah has made the creation to be able to withstand the trials of this life. A lot created the human being in the same way. The human being is not actually that breakable.
The human being is in its fitrah in in his or her fitrah is actually very resilient. very resilient. Now this is this is very deep what I'm trying to say right now, in his or her sutra, what does that mean? It means that if we have a heart and a soul that
properly cared for, that is properly maintained, that is properly fed and oxygenated. And I'll talk about what that means that is properly cleansed, then that heart and that soul actually is very, very resilient. Like the sequoias, it can handle things you wouldn't imagine. And I will tell you two examples of people that I have witnessed with my own eyes, who to me are like those sequoias.
But what is it that we do? What is it that we have to do to feed and clean and maintain our hearts and our souls? And the answer is actually quite simple. I'm going to just simplify it. And give you guys examples. If I were to ask you the question, how do you take care of your body?
You don't have to be a doctor, actually, a five year old can tell me that in order to take care of your body, you have to breathe. Fair enough oxygen, you have to eat. And you have to have water like, sir, minimal amount to stay alive, right? Yes or no? Okay. So you need oxygen, you need food, and you need water to stay alive. What is the oxygen, food and water of the heart? And the answer is it is the remembrance of Allah. Salah is the first thing that is the oxygen of the heart. When a person neglects their Salah, it's just like a body that isn't breathing.
Or maybe the body's just breathing once in a while.
And the same thing that happens to the body, when it doesn't get oxygen happens to the heart, when it doesn't get salaah it starts to first become very weak. And this is what we call the sick heart. And then eventually it dies until it becomes a dead heart. And that person will be walking around, and they will appear to be alive. But they're actually dead.
The prophets I send them said the difference between the one who remembers Allah, and the one who does not remember Allah is like the living and the dead.
And so a person who isn't praying, internally is dead. Even though in the physical sense, they are alive, they look alive, but inside, in the true sense, they are dead. And that's because they have neglected simply because they have neglected their spiritual oxygen.
What is the food and the water of the heart and the soul, the food and the water of the heart, and the soul is in the remembrance of Allah.
Beyond the Salah, there are things that the prophets I send them have used to say. Now, I'm just going to put it this way. I see a lot of people suffering that I talked to one on one. And I believe that there is a lot of suffering right now,
individually and collectively and as a community and globally. And I believe a lot of our suffering is because we've neglected something very, very important. And that is these of God. It is something so small but so revolutionary, to the health of the heart. And that's this simply put the prophets I send them used to say certain supplications do eyes. It's a supplication he used to save them in the morning. He used to say to them in the evening used to say them before he slept. In fact, there's a supplication for every motion of life. Right, he would leave the house there was a supplication he come back in there was a supplication before bed, when he wakes up before he eats when he finishes
eating, entering the bathroom, leaving the bathroom. Even before intimacy, there's a supplication there's a supplication for every motion of life. And the more that we incorporate these applications, the healthier we're going to be. So if I were a doctor up here, and I were talking to you about physical health, I would have to tell you, folks, you got to breathe. That's a given. Right? I tell you folks, you got to eat, you got to drink. And you know what, eat healthy. Take your vitamins, right? Take your you know, eat, eat raw, organic food, right? If I'm going to tell you how to take care of yourself, that's what I will tell you, right? This is what I'm telling you. But this
is the spiritual food. This is the spiritual vitamins. And a person who takes that is not like a person who doesn't. They are not the same in terms of their spiritual health and their inner their inner health, their inner peace. So the more that you can incorporate of these supplications I'm just going to give you guys a very practical way to do that. There's this this there's this app that you can download on your phone. You don't have to do it right now.
It's called My job was to raise at the end ny DEA UAE. It's just fortress of a Muslim on an app. And what it is is it's just a collection.
of the supplications from the Quran and from the sooner that the prophets I seldom used to say, and I'm telling you that is gold, it's like the best 99 cents you'll ever spend in your life.
It's gold, you download that on your app, and you use it, especially in the morning and the evening. And before you sleep. And what I've just given you someday in sha Allah, you'll make dua for me,
because it changes your life, it absolutely changes your life.
Now, I'm just going to add a point because one of the tricks of shaitan is he tells you all or none. Okay? So when you open up the app, and you go to morning, supplications, and you see that there's like, 25 of them, and it's gonna take you an hour, you're gonna do it once and never do it again. I'm just being honest. Yeah. So what you can do on this app is you can actually have this thing called a star, you star it. And then what that does, is you can have your own collection. If you guys if you want to do you know, just a small amount, but you're consistent, it will have a very profound effect. So you just start and then you do just your list.
what else the core n, this is part of the nourishment of the heart and the soul. Now, like I said, If I were a doctor, and I only talk to you about breathing, eating, taking your vitamins, drinking, but I didn't talk about hygiene. I wouldn't be a very good doctor. Yeah. If you guys said to me, You know what I'll breeze. I'll take my vitamins all eat, all drink, but I don't need to take a shower. I did that last year.
I'm good, right? What would be the problem there? Anyone?
Come on. Now. There's this thing called dirt and sweat that builds right. And if you don't clean it, you will become sick. And it can kill you. You understand? You You understand?
It's the same thing spiritually. Okay, we have to clean the heart. And that's what is the thought is, is the thought is that bathing of the heart that shower that you regularly take, you know, you feel really dirty. If you don't take a shower every day. It's the fog is what cleans your heart. And when you're not doing it regularly, this is repentance.
And when you're not doing it regularly, it's like a person who isn't taking a shower, you're going to become your heart just becomes dirty, because we are naturally sinning. We're human. And just like you get dirt on your body, you get dirt on your heart, so you have to clean it. Okay, I just gave you guys three things. I said, the oxygen of the heart salaah. I said the off car. I said quarter end. And then that was the nourishment, and then the cleaning, which is a Stefan.
Now, I want to before I close share with you guys, two personal stories of people that I know. And the reason I want to share these stories is because a lot of what we say up here on a podium oftentimes sounds cliche, like, okay, I'll make a good quote, put it on a meme. It's good, right? But I want to just tell you these stories of people that I know we're living today, not in the olden days when you hear all these fairy tales and stuff right today. And they're real people about the power of Amen. And the resilience that one can grow from Amen. Okay, the first is a friend of mine, I met probably about five, six years ago, some of you may have heard me speak about her.
She at the time that I met her told me her story. She said that many years ago, she had a daughter. And when her daughter was around three years old, her teacher called and said,
Your daughter just stopped talking. She's She's not talking anymore, and we don't understand what's wrong. So she, you know, that was strange. So she took her to the doctor. And eventually the doctor told her that her daughter had a rare genetic disorder called MPs. Now, for those of you aren't familiar with MPs, it is a disorder that has no cure.
And what she was told this mother was told is that your daughter, who right now is perfectly healthy, is going to slowly lose all of her faculties until she dies as a child.
She's going to lose all her faculties. Slowly. You're going to watch her do that. And there is nothing we can do. There's no cure. So she will lose her ability to do anything.
And they said to her, don't expect that she will live past I think 13
and then she told me that she had another child, another daughter and this daughter was
tested. And the doctor told her that she also had MPs.
And then she had a third daughter.
And she also had MPs. And so this woman had three children, three daughters with MPs, every single one of them, she was going to have to watch them slowly die.
Literally lose the ability even to swallow. to swallow, you know, you know, our ability to swallow this is something that I never
I was never thankful for it because I never even realized it. That the ability that your ability to swallow your saliva is anathema. It's a blessing. Because these when you can't swallow your saliva you choke on it goes in your lungs, she was actually having to suction them because they couldn't swallow their own saliva properly. So it was making them choke.
Then she had a fourth child with severe autism.
Now, why do I tell this story? It isn't to tell you, you know that this is a really, really hard situation. And then just leave. The reason I tell this story, and I'm just going to tell you that I have. I've been to her home I've witnessed
how she lives. Basically, her children, her daughter's grew into their teens. And by the time I met her, the three daughters were I think they were all teenagers. And they were all completely bedridden. She had, they were on machines, she literally like didn't sleep, she was
constantly caring for them. I can her home was like a hospital, there was a section that was like a hospital. I also recently she lost two of them. One of them lived until she was 19 for 19. Some years, she took care of this child, and, and her other daughter, and now one of her daughters is still alive. Allah make it easy for them. And the reason I tell this story is because of who this woman is, I just, if I brought her here today,
you you would say she was the most.
She's always smiling upon Allah. But the thing that really hit me is that one day she said to me, I'm drowning in gratitude. that's a that's a direct quote.
Now, What amazed me is that she has a trial in her life, that I couldn't even wrap my mind around. And yet she has this trial. And she's saying she's drowning in gratitude. And to me, that's a sign of God, that the power of Amen, to allow a person to not just withstand a little bit of rain, a little bit of snow, but a tsunami, and to not be broken by it, to not be destroyed by it, to the extent that you can actually show gratitude. And one of the things that she always says to me is that she always looks at those who have less than her.
She says she's always, the thing about her is that she's always worried about the people who are suffering somewhere else worse than her. She doesn't look at her situation and say, why me, but she actually shows gratitude because she looks at those who have less than her.
When she first got the diagnosis, there was something really powerful that shook me. And that is that her husband says to her,
when he was looking at his three daughters after hearing this diagnosis, and you can imagine what that feels like as a father or as a mother. He looks at his three daughters, and he says, I feel like I'm looking at three graves.
And she said,
No, there's three doors to Jenna.
But I want to tell you this because these aren't cliches I promise you these are real life. These are people live living their real life.
And she recognized that this was her door to Jen.
But that's what happens to a heart. When it is healthy.
It is a completely different heart. And it doesn't mean that it doesn't mean you have to be a prophet or you have to be perfect No, a regular person who takes care of their heart just as it is prescribed.
can become like that, by the help of Allah subhanaw taala. And I'm going to end with this story.
So about 10 years ago, or more than 10 years ago, I used to teach at a school in Wisconsin, an Islamic school. And I had a principal at that time, one of the best principles I've ever known, an older gentleman from Thailand. And after, like a year or two, there he moved.
And fast forward a decade later. So this was just recently a few months ago, I was speaking in a community and lo and behold, he was living in that community and he was the principal of that school. So I basically reunited with my old principal after a decade.
And he was he's, he's older now. So he actually just retired this year.
But what I found out when I reunited with with with Dr. Jeff Muth
is that over the last that decade of time, a few things had happened, one his wife had gotten ill with with cancer and passed away.
May Allah have mercy on her. The other thing that I found out is that his son, who was I think about 21, he was delivering pizzas. And while he was delivering pizzas, a man slaughtered him. Just cut his neck,
just like that.
And Dr. Jeff mood is telling me that he gets a call at three o'clock in the morning saying, your son is no longer me. He's, he's past tense, he's, he's passed away. He's been he's been killed.
And now for me, I wanted to ask him, how did you cope with that? I mean, that's next level.
And he told me that, you know, he was trying to process it. And he said, he was just kind of pacing and saying in Allahu la Roger own and trying to process the shock. But what really, really stood out to me was this, he told me that shortly after that, he asked the lawyers to meet with the killer.
So I was like, Okay, why? They said, you can't, they told him, you can't you can't meet with the killer because he's in maximum security. And he spent two years just trying to meet with them. And I asked him, Why, why are you trying to meet with them? And he said,
he said, I want to meet with him because I want to forgive him.
And I want him to be in the same place with my son.
This isn't a story about a prophet. This isn't a story about one of the companions. This is these are people on Facebook.
And these are real. And and some of you may have actually, if you Google that you can find because what happened is, recently a few weeks ago, the trial happened and you finally got to meet the killer. And it's on video him hugging the killer
and forgiving him on behalf. Some of you may have seen it. forgiving the killer on behalf of his late wife and himself.
And I'm telling you that it's real. The power of a healthy heart. Allah subhanaw taala has given the healthy heart and ability That's amazing. But that heart has to be taken care of apulian Cody however, was stuck for a lot he will come in no food on Rahim subhanak album deck, I shadow Nigella Hill and Costa Rica to bootleg cinema alikum warahmatu Allahi wa barakato