Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
A Journey To Allah by Yasmin Mogahed
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I was really happy when I got this topic, because I think it's something that everybody can relate to. And I, I prefer to speak about things that we can all relate to.
The fact is that all of us are on a journey together, we're all on the same journey, in fact. And while each of us come from different backgrounds, we have different experiences. But every single human being is on the same life journey. And that journey is a journey where we began with Allah, and we're returning back to a wall, what happens? What What is the statement that we saved when a calamity befalls us?
in a lab needs that we belong to alone, we started with a look
at every single person, and every single thing is returning back to us. So it's a journey, every single one of us right now who in this room are at the part of the journey called Julia. And so there throughout time, every single person who's gone through that part of the journey is going to go through similar experiences, there's going to be you know, that that's the thing about the human experience is that there are similarities. That's why a person from a completely different background can pick up, you know, for example, reclaim your heart, which is it? Well, it happens to be my book.
And it's also a bit a lot of time.
Now, but seriously, not listen to people who have a completely different background can pick it up. And I can say that they relate it to something. And the reason why is that I'm talking about a human experience. And what I'm doing is and what I'm trying to do is and what we all are trying to do is give meaning to that experience. But essentially, it's a shared experience, it's a human experience. And one of those shared human experiences is this concept of hardship, and this concept of pain, and the concept of loss. And so the idea, or the
the formula for being able to weather storms, easily formula that everyone can relate to. And it's a formula that everyone needs to understand. Because at the end of the day, no matter where you live, right, so at the moment, I am located, I live in Southern California. Now, a lot of times people say if I tell people I live in Southern California, or I moved to Southern California, they think like, like, like they want to like high five, right.
Anyway, so um, but but but they have trouble understand well, okay, actually, for me, it was very hard to move to California because I had to leave Raleigh, which is a giant forest. But the idea is that even in the place where you might go for vacation and the place where you might be, you know, it's the paradise on earth, right? Which, in my opinion, is New Zealand. But the idea is that even in those places, right? Even no matter where you go, no matter how beautiful it is, you still have weather, you still have natural disasters, and California has its earthquakes. And then you go to the Midwest, and they have their tornadoes, and then you go somewhere else, and they have these
schools and they have their hurricanes, etc. The idea is that no matter how perfect the places, right, no matter how nice, you can vacation there, there's always going to be weather, right? And you can't control the weather. You can't control the rain. No matter how much money you have, no matter how much power you have, no matter how much fame you have. You can't control when and how much it rains. Nobody can right. No, not not the most powerful king or the most powerful president can control something as tiny as when and how much it rains. Right. So the weather is something we can control. Now, can we say that it will never read? Well,
obviously, you know that you can't say well never read. Is it really true nine months out of the year or something?
I've heard that it doesn't rain hard, but it rains like like drizzles a lot, right? So you can never say that in this place. You know, I'm going to live here on my street. I just never want it to rain. You do not have that control and it will never happen. weather will always come. So then what do you do about it? That's the question. You have to have a strategy right? Because you can't control the weather. But what can you do? Anyone
can control couple things. Number one once you were so
All you get you get cold, you get rain, you get a job get snow, sometimes, okay? I grew up in Scotland we are snow. So snow, right? It gets cold, sometimes it was negative zero was below zero. I can't control the full. I can't control the rain. I can't control the snow. But what I can control is what I wear. I can put on a coat, I can put on gloves, I can put on a hat, I can be in shelter. So what I can do when it's raining is I can I can have an umbrella. I can have a rain jacket, and I can be under a roof. What am I saying? What I'm saying is that things are gonna happen in life. hardships are gonna happen, storms are gonna happen. Sometimes they're gonna be like,
wipe you down tsunamis, right? Yes, anyone lived here longer long enough to know this, right? Everyone in this room has. So the idea is that weather is going to add? Well, I forgot to tell you it's the top.
So the only requests I have as the speaker up here is the person talking to here is for you to have facial expressions.
Okay, so just don't do this.
Because then I have no idea if you get me. So just all I ask is leadership versa.
We are very animated. You just watch me or my sister. Like if anyone who's taking pictures would really look crazy. But yeah, we're very animated. But anyways, so had facial expression because I know you've got me. Alright, so weather happens. And sometimes it's very severe weather. I can't control that. But what I can control is where I'm at when the weather comes. You know, with a tornado, for example, we cannot control where it goes, you cannot control what a tornado does. But the only thing you can do is you can get shelter. And as long as you go it with regards to a tornado, it's about getting underground, it's about getting low, right. That's why you have to have
basements in the Midwest, etc. Because you have to have a place to go. When when the tornado comes. Now, as long as you are in shelter, then you won't be destroyed by the storm. So the question becomes, am I in shelter when the storm comes? Do I have? Do I have provision? Do I have protection when the when the storm comes? You know, the three little pigs, right? Yeah, see, it's that it's those
three little pigs, right. Okay. All right. This isn't like the tech school. And I have this thing. Like, I noticed that when I speak to like, I don't know, when I was like, I won't name names, but sometimes engineering schools.
expression, but yeah, you guys, you guys, you guys are better.
The three little pigs is the story of what it's about three little pigs, who put in different who have different type of shelter, right? They have different they put in different types of effort into building their homes. I see some places do you guys read this one.
This is a very important story, almost as important as frozen.
But anyways, we'll talk about frozen later, maybe
the three little pigs so you have one pig that made his house out of like, sticks or frog. Okay. And then the other one, it was out of sticks. And then the third one was out of bricks. All right. So what's what am I talking about here? What I'm saying here is that we each have different type of shelter. And now what's going to happen in our life is we're going to be faced with the big bad wolf. Who's the Big Bad Wolf? Well, it's all different versions. Trump is one of them. Yes.
But there are lots of different forms of Big Bad Wolf, what are what is that it's the trials that we face in life. And these are all kinds of trials, financial trials, emotional trials, relationship trials, political trials, health trials, that it's gonna huff and puff and try to blow your house down. Right. But the question is going to be how, how strong is your shelter? Because you can't control the bed. Look, he's gonna come and he's gonna do what he does. And by the way, obviously, Shawn is also in there. And Shawn doesn't have anything else to do. Nothing else. Can you imagine? Someone's got nothing else to do? Like you and I got so many different things we're concerned about,
right? I mean, Instagram and Facebook.
There's so much so much right? our jobs are fast.
In our money, or we've got so many different various pursuits. Yeah. shaitan just got one. Can you know what you're up against? You're up against someone who loves?
What's it loves? I mean, really? No, it's a singular focus. And his singular focus is to help
me suppose that, simply put, is to do whatever he needs to do. To help me this was that was what he, he very clearly stated, at the beginning, before we were all brought here that that's his goal. So he's only got one thing to do, and he doesn't.
He doesn't take time off. He doesn't take time off, and he ends and he's got armies working with him. All right. So the idea is, unless we become more serious about our shelter, and about our own focus, we we get destroyed, our house gets destroyed, and then we get destroyed. Now the question becomes, well, how can we build this shelter? What is that shelter? And how can I build a shelter that's made out of bricks, so that when this when it's not about, if it will come, it's about when and how it comes? Because for sure, it will come? Unless it tells us this again, and again. Right and, and, and and just living in life, even if you never read the for anything, oh, this
whatever, the shape, and I hope you will join me when I was in Milan to see what someone else would want in a minute. And why. So first you have a lot of times is telling us definitely you will be tested. And how will you be tested, you'll be tested with something of fear. So first, Allah is telling us what to expect in this life. You know, like,
if you have a kid, and it's their first day at school, so it's like kindergarten. So what you're going to do, if you really care about that kid is you're going to it, you're going to prepare that child for what they're going to face. All right, you're gonna have to do this, then you're gonna have to do mind face ability, and you might end this month. And so you're, you're preparing that child, why out of mercy and mercy, you're preparing that child for what they're going to face. Why, so that they don't get heart. So Allah subhanaw taala is more merciful, that even the most merciful mother is to her tribe. And Allah is preparing us when unemployed, that surely we will test you when
and when that will be shaken without hope. When jewelry will not visit in a while you will receive a summer. So you are going to be tested have something of fear, and hunger and loss. So fear, we understand we live in a world where it's like, so many reasons to be afraid, so many reasons to be anxious. And that's part of life. It's like you can't avoid you can go through your life never feeling fear. It's part of the idea. And part of the Astra rabbit part of how Allah subhanaw taala describes jedna is what
anyone love, hopefully,
that there is no fear on them, nor shall they agree. So one of the one of the rewards repeated again and again about Jana is that there's no fear and there's no real there's no SAR, fear and sorrow. If you look at what is the most common,
like in terms of mental disorders, or in terms of the types of struggles that we deal with, psychologically, you'll find that the majority of them fall into one of two categories, anxiety disorders, and depressive disorders, this is what plagues us in this life generally, is fear and sadness. And those two things which are less complex as there is not in the, in the Euro in German show.
So here we are told that in this life, we will be tested with something of fear and hunger. Now hunger, we can understand it as the obvious meaning of not having enough food, right?
But if you look at hunger in a more general sense, right?
You can basically hunger for thing, any kind of hunger essentially, essentially, is to is to need something or desire or want something that you don't have or don't have enough. So yes, people can have hunger for acceptance, hunger for respect, hunger for love these things which there's a shortage of, so that person remains hungry. So there's different kinds of hunger that we will face in this life and then nots, the loss, loss of what loss of wealth, lots of people, unforced the people in our lives and then loss of, of the fruits of our toil. So we put in effort from time to time
Like, have you guys ever studied really, really hard for an exam? And did very, very badly? Has it ever happened? Yes. Never Never.
So it's happened to us where we put in effort, right? And we see knots we see this loss in summer rot. Now former US literally is like the, it's the fruits of your toil, so you can have a farmer and have them around. But you don't have to be a farmer to relate to this. Because this is any kind of any kind of effort that you put in, and you expect a certain result. That's the fruits of your toil. Now, do you always get it? Absolutely not. Right, you guys know this from just from experience, sometimes you try really hard at something, it doesn't work out, you tried studying it, you didn't do? Well, you try for a job, you didn't get the job, you tried for a specific marriage didn't work
out, etc. So there's a lot of times when you put in effort into something, and it doesn't work, this is part of the tests of dunya is that you have lost in results. You know, sometimes you plan an event, those of you who are
assignment workers, you plan an event, then, you know, nobody shows up for it, you know, there's no volunteers or whatever it doesn't, you don't get the result that you wanted, even though you put in a lot of effort. This is again, part of the test. So now after seeing all of this, now we know that this is going to happen. And you've been told ahead of time, after saying all of this over set,
give glad tidings to the patient ones, to a slogan.
First of all, I want to point out that it's unusual to go to someone who has just had a calamity, or has just lost something, or it has who is hungry? or What did we talk about? We talked about fear, we talked about loss, we talked about hunger, and then talk to them and be like, congratulations.
Right? Like someone just lost their home or just lost their job. And you walk to them and say good news. Like, you don't usually do that, right? You usually give you usually get Bushra to someone who just had a baby or someone just got married, you know? Anyway, so
you just got married, at some just buy a house. But when someone has a calamity, you don't go up to them and usually say congratulations, or good news to you. But it was kind of it stayed with him. He's giving glad tidings to these people. People who have gone through these storms are Who? Why?
What is it that makes us say, well, that should have slavery, what is so powerful and special about having soap in these calamities, or in these storms that would make us say, give us clarity, give those people guidelines. First, who are those people
that who see
in a loving way.
Those people who when a calamity strikes them, they respond with indeed we belong to a love and to a lower return.
This statement, this statement is
it's a way of seeing the world. It's a way of responding to the world because you understand the law owns everything. And you understand that everything was returned and told us about that. So in any language in the electrons our own isn't just a segment of the body, it's actually a way to see the world and a way to respond to the world.
When people respond in this way, that almost tells them what their what their, what their reward is.
And those people have a reward that you can't buy with everything.
And that reward that Allah gives after that is His mercy, his his blessings and his guidance.
Now the question becomes, how, how do we build this shelter? So we agree that we need the shelter, but the question now becomes how, when a storm hits, there are different ways to respond. When you're faced with a calamity, there are different ways to respond. I'm just going to talk briefly about the different ways to respond and talk about the wrong ways to respond. The good ways to respond and the best ways to respond. First of all, one of the biggest mistakes that we made.
One of the biggest mistakes that we made when we face a store is actually a response even very practicing people will have even a response to a believer might have
And that is the response of toughening up.
You know, I'm talking about, so the storm is coming. And you say, Okay, I will that I'm being tested, because Allah told me I'm gonna be tested for and I know I learned in Sunday school, and I know, I'm being tested. But the problem is the response to the test sometimes is wrong. Sometimes the response to the test is
to actually toughen up, to harden up and to say, I got this.
You guys understand what I'm saying? I got this, you know, this attitude of,
I don't know, the rocky attitude, maybe. It's like, I'm so tough, right? I can, I can handle anything.
This, by the way, is very, very dangerous to have that attitude. I'm tough. my iMac is so strong, I can handle anything. So it's kind of like, sometimes these people their responses. I bought this, bring it on.
I got this, bring it on. Why is that so dangerous? Well, number one, you don't got nothing.
You You, we all of us don't got nothing. Do you know what? Whatever, whatever 1111. Anybody
means there is no change in state, what are called workaway strength, strength or power. La hawla. Wala quwata 11. That means that there's changes, and there is no strength or power in like the next like firewall.
Meeting, meeting equals, I got nothing. I can't take the store. I can't handle anything, in fact, and that all power and all strength is only a lot. So the subtle mistake that we make is that instead of depending on law attorney to a lot and say, y'all, I don't got this, y'all help me. Instead, we say we we say I got this and we depend on ourselves. Is that making sense? We depend on me, we think my Eman is gonna get me through this, my strength is going to get me through this I face a problem, my mind is going to figure it out. Right? I'm going to figure out the solution. If I just stay up, right? If I just stay up enough nights, I'm gonna figure out a way out of this. Who's
gonna figure it out? Me? Who's gonna figure out Me? Me. I love this. This is the wrong answer. This is the wrong answer to the test. When we say that Allah tests us understand what what does that even mean?
One of the purposes of the test, see, and I and I know why would like this, right? Because you see in school, when you're tested by a professor? Are you allowed to raise your hand and say, yo, Professor, I have no idea what I'm doing. Can you help me?
Because I'm gonna fail this without your help. Are you allowed to do that? That's called cheating.
Yeah. So we think it was like the professor.
Is this making sense? He's testing us. And we think we're not allowed to raise our hands and ask for help. We got to do it ourselves. We got to figure it out. I got to figure this out. It's all on me. It's all on me to figure it out. It's all I need to find a solution. It's all I need to carry it. And then I put it all on me to actually to actually solve everyone else's problems to not only my own, everything's on me. And we wonder why we can sleep at night. Yeah, we wonder why we have to take something so we can sleep. We wonder why we have anxiety that doesn't go I wonder why we have trouble breathing. Right? panic attacks. The idea here is that I am actually taking upon myself
something that I was never supposed to take upon myself, unless it gives us tests. So that we raise our hand and ask for that's actually one of the purposes of the test. You're supposed to say Allah. I need your help. Yeah, I got this.
And NEMA Lu foamposite. And team have moved on from person who said that? No.
He was a prophet. He said, I am defeated. I overtaken so give me victory. This was the response of prophets. Don't think for a second, that having strong human needs that you got this and you're depending on yourself. They were the greatest. They were the greatest of all human beings. They have the strongest
argument. It's not compared to the
And then, and when you see them in their hardships, they never claimed, never claimed that they got this, they always claim the opposite, every single one, even even use of it.
You know, it's very interesting about use about a celebrity story. Sometimes we don't notice this. But when he resisted the temptation of the of the woman who was who was trying to tempt him, he didn't say that I resisted it, because I'm so holy. He didn't say I resisted it, because I'm so righteous. He said, had it not been for my Lord, I would have given it has actually said, you see what that is? That is realizing that everything comes from Allah, that the strength to get up and refresh it is not because you're it's not because you're awesome. I'm sorry to say,
it isn't. It's not because you're awesomer than the person across the street. It's simply because Allah has gifted you. That's why we're able to get up and pray. And and so this idea that arrogance that comes in us, when we're able to do something, is it is a deception, because our ability to do absolutely anything is only by law is not by ourselves. And so the right answer when you're in a storm, is not to toughen up. But it's to soften is the opposite of what a lot of us think the right answer is to soften is to humble is to raise your hand and say I wrote about this, I have no idea what I'm doing, and I need your help. And we move on from that I am overtaken, so give me victory,
when when everybody suddenly slipped, his response was humility.
He, his response was to seek forgiveness.
Right, and his response was completely opposite of in peace.
And so what we have to do is to build that shelter, we have to rely on the lesson.
And we have to be in a place where we, when the weather is good work on getting clothes off, when the weather when things are easy. And this becomes the test of ease, isn't it? Because the test of ease is that's when we're, you know, it's like the, the the pig that wanted to play didn't want to build, because there was no big bad wolf at that point. So he didn't want to put in the effort. But what we have to realize that this effort needs to be consistent while the sun is out, we're working on building the shelter. And that shelter is in our near this whole our relationship with Allah, our spiritual work, which I'm sure you had lots of lectures about. But that spiritual work needs to
happen. When the weather is good. When things are easy. When things are going the way you want. That's when you need to be building that home. And that way, when when the weather comes, when the storm hits, you will be inside of a strong shelter. It doesn't destroy you. It doesn't destroy your life if you had no shelter.
So remembering that when when you get stuck with a calamity, immediately as soon as you possibly can. Humble yourself turned to a lot asked a lesson apologia for assistance. Because here's what you have to keep in mind.
If the purpose of a story is to make me go to shelter, is to make me humble myself is to make me rely on a lot.
And the storm comes in I'm not doing it. I'm still saying I got this and I tried to stand up straight. I tried too hard enough. Well, what's gonna make me humble myself, more store. And sometimes this is what happens when you don't have the proper response. When I'm not humbling myself, when I'm not relying on a lot, the hardship gets harder. The burden gets heavier. And this isn't this facade of mercy. The reason why is that Allah subhanaw taala is, is like okay, well, we didn't get you know, we're not getting it. We're still relying on me. I'm still relying on so I still think I got this. Well, sometimes it takes so much because we're stubborn and a little slow
sometimes. And and so it takes so much for me to finally say I don't have this yet. I'm done. But why does it have to take so much we should we should go sooner, we should go easier. It's like there's two ways to go to Ola. You can go walkie or you can go on your feet. You can go crawling on your face, right or or drive, but why not go walking. So So don't wait until until you know it just keeps getting more and more. So realize that we need to humble ourselves and turn to all of us and depend on him.
Stop for a while he will let you know he will have