Justice And Islam

Yasmin Mogahed


Channel: Yasmin Mogahed

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Santa Monica.

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I always smile when I hear that, that BIOS like seven years old, but that's I would rely upon Elysium smilla rahmanir rahim wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah while Annie was at the edge mine of a shrine in Saudi Arabia, Emily looked at me lissoni of cocconi.

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It's a pleasure to be here with you, this is my first time at Western media. And I, you guys are so important to me that I literally came straight from the airport. So I just got out of the Uber, some of you who saw me at the door, saw my luggage with me. So I'm the lead this is, this is a very important cause. And that is the reason why, why I'm here, I want to tell you that I really believe in this cause. And I'm going to tell you why I believe in this cause. And I'm going to explain it to you in a different way than you usually hear when people try to appeal for funds. Typically, when people try to appeal for funds, they tell you how you're going to help others, right? Yes. And while

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that is all very true, you are going to help others, I'm going to appeal to you in a different way, I'm going to appeal to you using

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what we know of human nature. And what we know of human nature is there's basically something we all have in common. And that is we all want happiness, every single human being regardless of faith, regardless of gender, regardless of where they were born or raised. We all agree on one thing and that is that we want happiness, this is a this is an innate human motivation is to be happy. And we we are motivated towards that which will bring happiness. So recently, there's been a lot of research about happiness, right? So I as many some of you know, I have my I studied psychology. And so my background is in psychology as well as writing. But I'm very fascinated in studying human

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motivation and human behavior, and specifically how that interacts with the semuc psychology. And one thing that I found to be very interesting is this study of happiness. So recently, there's been a lot of push in that direction with regards to psychological research. In the past May some of you who've studied psychology may know this. In the past, there's been an emphasis on something called abnormal psychology, which means people looking at what can go wrong and how to fix it. Yeah. And recently, the new wave of psychology has shifted, it's no longer focusing on what can go wrong and how to fix it. But now it's more about how can we improve the quality of our life? How can we

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improve things like, well being and happiness? And what does happiness mean? And how can we live lives that are meaningful? How can we find meaning? flourishing? This is a new concept that they talk about. And so now they're looking at these types of universal themes. Okay. Now, what I found very interesting in my own research, is that there is a big part of happiness that is indeed sort of inherited, okay, this is what they're finding. So meaning you have your parents to blame, okay?

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That there is about 40 to 50%, which has to do, which is sort of genetic or inherited. Okay, but that's the bad news, sort of bad or good, depending on your parents. But, but the good news is, the good news is that leaves about 50% that we sort of, well, not so much 10% or so they find has to do with, you know, basic human needs, your safety, and you know, everything like that, right. But then that leaves us with, what about 40%? What can we do with that? 40%? Well, that leaves you about 40%. That's totally in your control. And that's powerful. So what they've done is they've studied how, how to use that 40% to just be happier people to be people who are more at peace, people who live

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with meaning. Okay, is there anyone who doesn't want that? Raise your hand if you don't want that? Exactly, right. Everybody wants that. So how this is what's so interesting. They have found in this now I'm talking I haven't even talked about Islam yet. Right? I'm just talking secular research right now. And what they found is that one of the most reliable ways to improve your own happiness is to serve others. Isn't that powerful? That in fact, when I am serving others when I am helping someone in need, when I am aiding someone in trouble

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I am in fact, helping myself. And that is powerful. And in fact, it is one of the most powerful ways, and one of the most reliable ways to improve my own happiness to increase my own happiness, even what's even more powerful, is that it's actually one of the only ways that's powerful too. In the sense, let me explain what I mean by that. So for example, they took a study and they put people into separate groups, and they asked them to do different things. Okay, and what they did one group they had,

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and they told these people for a week, I think it was, treat yourself, right, we live in a culture that's kind of about treat yourself, right. You know, sort of take care of not not so much, it's important to take care of yourself, right. But it's like, indulge, yeah, we live in a culture that's very much about indulge yourself, all right. And when you indulge yourself, you'll be happy, right? Well, they told a group of people indulge, treat yourself, alright, for a week. And then they told another group of people help another person in need. And they gave one group to help another person, like an individual, or like something that will help an individual person. And then the third group

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was to do some sort of service that would help the community. Okay. And then there was a fourth group, which was is a control group, and they're just supposed to take take notes of what they did that week. All right. Do you know what they found in this was so powerful, they found that only the group of the Service Group, so that was the people who did things for others, either individually or collectively had an increase in their own happiness. Only that group, and this increase was so powerful that it lasted, I think, months later, think about that, just one week of helping another person. Now, that's something we should reflect on. I'm going to I'm going to step back for a second

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and ask you to think deeper.

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who designed the human being?

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Allah? Okay, you guys all got 100 on that pop quiz? Yeah. A lot. Design The human being. So Allah put this in the human being, that in fact, the the most powerful and reliable way for me to feel good, is to help another person. Why do you think Allah would do that? Why would Allah put that in the design of the human being? This is a little bit deep.

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Because he, because why?

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Think deeper, he wants you to be happy. Of course, that's our motivation.

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He wants you to help others. Yes, it's it's an intrinsic motivation. It's an intrinsic, intrinsic, meaning it's internal. It's nothing external. It's actually an inner driver put in us by who? By the designer. So what's actually divine design, that's powerful. And what it teaches us is that that's the way Allah wants us to be. So if you study the human body, for example, you're going to find that

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a lot put makes things for example, we find pleasure or satisfaction in doing things that were that the body needs to do. I'll give you examples. When it's very hot outside, the body could overheat. Yeah, it feels good to go into the air condition. It actually feels good, right? When it's very cold outside. I don't know if you guys have a lot that I grew up in Wisconsin. But when it's very cold outside, it feels good to sit in front of a fireplace, right? There's pleasure in doing what are what, what were we need to do? Does that make sense? So from a psychological perspective, is the same thing. The fact that we feel good doing these things, is part of the design of God, because

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we're supposed to be doing these things. It shows how that actually the design of humanity is that we're supposed to be helping each other. We are not supposed to be living these just individualistic lives, everyone in their own cave, not caring about others. Because if we live that way, we actually become miserable. That's the fact that if we live in such a way, where we are not connected to others, where we are not serving others, where we're only interested in serving ourselves, it actually makes us miserable. This is the design of God. So that group who was indulging themselves, the ones who were treating themselves, there was no increase in their own happiness. That's

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powerful. And in fact, they find in other studies, that one of the most effective ways to improve even symptoms of depression is to help another person in need

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That service is so powerful. And that a person who lives a life of service is actually first and foremost, helping themselves. And so what I want to do up here is make an appeal to you in a different way. And that is to tell you that when you help others, when you serve others, you're essentially helping and serving yourself before the other person. And no one ever tells you that right? Usually, the appeal is you're going to do a favor to someone else. So we all feel that we're doing someone else a favor. But I'm actually gonna sit up here and tell you doing yourself a favor. And I'll tell you all the reasons why. Okay, the first reason is just this simple, secular reason,

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which is that you feel good, I'm going to tell you guys a secret, and you don't have to admit it. But every single person who raised their hand, they felt good when they did it. And that's just a laws design. In fact, they told you that money doesn't buy happiness, right?

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Okay, they lied.

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In fact, studies show that money buys happiness.

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When it's spent on others,

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that's also powerful, that the money that I spend on other people, actually makes me happier. And they find that the money I spent on myself doesn't.

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This is, like I said, this isn't an Islamic, this isn't an Islamic thing. This is a secular study. So the reality is this, that you when you raise your hand to give, you felt happy, you felt happiness. And that's how Allah designed it, because he wants us to give, Alright, so the first thing is this, this feeling of well being this happiness, this, the easiest way for me to pull myself up, when I'm down, is to pull another person up, who's down. And that has been shown again and again and again, in research. Alright, now I'm going to tell you something else about service and about giving.

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But before I go there, I want to talk about another concept, which this specific organization serves. Now, there are many charities out there, right. So there are many different places we can serve. Yeah, I'm not going to deny that that's an absolute fact, there are many different places we can give our charity, and we can feel happy and we can have meaning. But why is this type of work so important? And that's the other point that I want to make now. And I'm going to tell you why. I don't even have enough time to tell you how many references Allah and His Messenger have about justice. I can't I don't actually have enough time, but I'm just going to try just to read a couple

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of them. In the Quran. Allah subhanaw taala says, we sent our messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the book and the measure. Why listen to this, in order to establish justice among the people, that this is so important of a concept in our Deen that Allah is saying that that's the reason he sent down the messengers with the signs to establish justice. This is how important justice is to Allah subhanaw taala a lot in another and that was chapter 57, verse 25. In another chapter, Allah says what's translated as a law commands, justice and fair dealings. And that's chapter 16, verse 19, what does that mean? allies commanding it, meaning it's fourth, it's

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obligatory, you must he is commanding, that we deal with justice, that this is an obligation upon every single one of us. In another area, he says, Oh, you who believe, be upright for a law and be bears of witness with justice. And that's verse that's chapter five, verse eight. But one of the most powerful areas that always strikes me and you guys have probably heard this, I want you to reflect on it. Unless final, Tyler says in chapter 16, he says,

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He tells us that we should stand up Oh, you who believe Actually, this is chapter four. Listen to this all you who believe stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to Allah, even if it is against yourselves, your parents and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor. Do you understand how important justice is? As a principle in our Deen that Allah is saying, even if it's against your own parents, even if it's against your own self,

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even if it's against family, you must be just okay. Now do you understand? That's what's that talking about? That

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Talking about these issues that we have within families, when sometimes there is an injustice, and we stay quiet, that that is a contradiction to this command by Allah subhanaw taala. That if you see injustice, even if it's your own mother doing it against, for example, your own wife. Yeah, that you have to Allah is saying here that you have to stand up and be just, it doesn't mean be unkind, that it doesn't say unkind. The Ayah doesn't say harsh, right? The ayah says be just, and specifies that even if it is against your own mother, your own parents, your own self, if you have done wrong, that you stand up and be just, and you be fair and say I did wrong, and I will correct it. We have this

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is what Islam teaches us. Allah subhanaw taala is repeated, and His Messenger has repeated this concept of justice, over and over and over and one of the Hadith. So as you could see,

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where Allah says, All my slaves, I have forbidden justice, I have forbidden injustice would for myself, and I forbid it, also for you.

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Allah saying, I have forbidden it for myself, and I have also forbidden it for you. So avoid being unjust to one another. Another Hadith tells us that there's only there are seven types of people who are going to have the shade of a law on a day when there's no shade.

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We're going to need that shade. And he says that one of those seven categories is adjust leader.

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Adjust leader, why adjust leader, because when you have power, you can kind of do whatever you want, right? And so it's when you have power and you continue to be just that it's such a high reward that you are among the seven who have that shade on the Day of Judgment. Now, what is this talking about? Is it only talking about the leader like like, like Trump? Is it only talking about the the president? Well, no, because guess what, there are leaders of the family. Yeah, sounding familiar, that there are people there are leaders within a community, there are leaders within a Masjid, you might be a leader within your school, you might be a leader within your company, even a leader

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within your home. But when you are just that this becomes such a high reward that Allah subhanaw taala says that you will be among the seven who when there's no other shape.

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You know, the thing is about

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justice. I want to tell you something very interesting about this concept of justice. Yeah. And the opposite of it, which is called the womb. It's very interesting to note that when Allah subhanaw taala talks, for example, about schicke What's schicke?

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to associate partners with Allah, yeah, we all know this is the worst sin, right? Yes.

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When a lot talks about *can the Quran and sort of look men, he says in the ship color blue NaVi. He says that schilke associating a partner How does he describe ship? He says that ship is a great injustice. You see how he's describing ship? That it's actually an injustice. It's little remember that word villain? This is how much Allah hates them. This is how much he's saying that shift the way he describes associating partners with a law is that it is the it is a great verb, and injustice, and injustice against whom?

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and injustice. Well, let's talk about shift. For example, when I associate a partner with Allah subhanaw taala. May Allah protect us all?

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Who am I being unjust to?

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Well, first and foremost, Allah subhanaw taala. Because it's only Allah Who has the right to be worshipped alone.

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And when I worship other than Him, I have done injustice because only Allah has that right? Make sense? When I think someone else for the gifts that Allah gave me, that's injustice, suppose I give you a very generous gift. I give you a new Ferrari as a gift, and you go and you think someone else, you're doing injustice because the other person didn't give you it? Right? And so

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isn't it is a volume against Allah subhanaw taala but it's also a womb against someone else. Does anyone know? Your own self? When Allah Subhana Allah talks about sin?

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Do you know how Allah describes sin in the Quran, of volume against oneself? That's deep.

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That when I commit a sin, I am actually doing injustice to myself.

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Myself, even if I never heard another person, even if my my sin is between me and Allah Subhana Allah, it does not involve the rights of another person. And yet Allah says that it is a boon against my own self. These are all the worst thing that a look at the worst things Allah describes them as evil. This is how important justice is as a principle. Now, that brings me to this cause this cause is about trying to establish justice, and trying to fight against the injustice. And for us to support that cause is extremely, extremely Noble. And honestly, when he was talking about funds, you know, obligation, it is part of our obligation to be a part of that establishment of

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justice. And of course, we're living in a time right now, where there is a lot of injustice against Muslims. We have to be active in supporting these causes that fight against injustice. Now, I'm going to tell you guys something else I told you, I'm going to give you many evidences to prove to you that when you help another person, you're actually helping yourself, right, I didn't forget. Okay, so I'm going to come back to that.

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You know, there's one, like, common theme that you find across the text, Hadith, and Quran, across the text, many, many a hadith and that theme is this, that however I am with the creation, is how Allah will be with me. You see, that seem? That's a very powerful lesson. And it's a powerful theme. However I am with the creation is how Allah will be with me.

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You want me to prove it to you?

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Had if the prophets I send them says that show mercy to those on the earth? And what will happen? A law will show mercy to you. Do you see the parallel and another Hadith he or she who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy by Allah. Again, the parallel, right? You know, there's a hadith that says

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that, anytime you help another person in need, Allah will help you in need, when you are a person who helps others in need. Allah will help you when you're in need. And it even says that Allah will continue. It's like a very interesting phrase. Basically, it's saying Allah will continue to be at the back. So you might be like, what does that mean? You know, this phrase like, Oh, no, she's got my back. Yeah, Allah is like saying this alesse saying you will continue to have your back, you will continue to have your back as long as you continue to have the backs of the other people of the of the believers. So you are lies promising to continue to have our backs to continue to support us so

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long as we continue to help others and be in the service of others. But

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if there's if there's any reason, right, if everything I said, isn't enough, if there's any reason to be in the service of others, it would be this one. And that is that Allah subhanaw taala tells us that

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when we help someone you need in this life,

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when we're standing on the day of judgment in front of Allah subhanaw taala you know, the day when we're going to be desperate, right? The day Allah tells us that people be so desperate, that they're willing to ransom their own children to protect themselves. I'm sorry, children, to tell you this. But this is and May Allah protect us from that that is the wrongdoers. But this is the intensity of how frightened we would be on that day. How frightening that day is that a woman who is nursing her baby will throw her baby,

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that people will say, No, no, no, leave me take my child instead. Can you imagine that? This, this, this mother, this father who protected you in this life, but because of the terror of that life of that day that they're willing to ransom you and your people saying, take my spouse, right, take my spouse, take my child

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and and this is the terror so when we stand in front of Allah subhanaw taala on that day, we're going to be desperate, desperate for for his mercy. You understand?

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Allah says that when I help a person in need in this life, when I stand on the Day of Judgment alone will help me that I helped that person in that time of need. So when I call in my time of need, and this is the, this is the peak of our time of need, is on the Day of Judgment, Allah will help us when we stand there. And I think if there's no other reason, it would be that, that we're and so at the end of the day when I am helping, you know, this cause what is this cause helping, it's helping people who are in a state in a state of injustice, who can't protect themselves who can't defend themselves, and you're coming in and defending for them, you're coming in and helping them. And when

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you do things like that, then allows got your back. And that's the reality is that when I'm going out and helping another person, when they're vulnerable, guess what? It's going to come back to me. And you guys understand the different way I'm talking about this now, it's going to actually come back to me. So at the end of the day, we all are ultimately self interested. You understand? We are Yes, we care about others, but we care about ourselves. All right, that's part of being human. We, I mean, even when Allah tells us to, to obey Him, and to stay away from sin, He gives us motivation. He says, you'll go to Jenna, right? You'll get good deeds, you you're protecting yourself from

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health. This is human nature. We are we are self interested, we want what will make us happy, and we want to stay away from what will make us suffer. And that's why I'm telling you this Subhanallah when you give, you're ultimately giving to yourself first and foremost.

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You know, there was a time when

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there was a time when the prophet SAW Selim came back and he found that I Isha, while the lion had given, she told him that she had given some of this animal for charity. She said to him, I've given this part of the animal for charity, but I've kept your favorite part, right? She's a loving, sweet wife. Okay. And so panela a teaching moment here, you know what he says to her? He says, actually,

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you have given that portion. Yeah, sorry, you have kept that portion. And you have given my favorite part, I don't know if you understand, I'm gonna explain. She had held on to his favorite part of the animal. And she had given the rest for charity. But what he explained is that the part you gave for charity is the part we kept.

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That's so powerful. What it tells us is this, any cent that we give for the sake of a law, and not just in money, by the way, in our efforts, in our time, in our concern, anything we give of our of ourselves, for the sake of Allah, we are never losing that. It's not lost, it is kept for us. And I will tell you something a step further, which is very powerful.

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So I told you, anything you give for the sake of Allah is not lost, right? I'm going to take it a step further and tell you something else. Only what you give for the sake of Allah is not lost, and everything else is lost. That's also very powerful. Because the reality of life is that kulu Manali has said, everything is passing away,

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way up towards Europe, because EU generally will Ekrem only the countenance of a law remains. That means that all these things we're holding on to, is actually passing away our money that we're afraid to give. It's passing away

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our time, our ability, our cells, everything we have, is actually fading. Everything and the only thing that will remain, ours is those things we gave for Allah that is not lost, we will see it again. We will see it again but only that we will see the time we will see the money, we will see the efforts we will see the deeds but only those we did for the sake of Allah, everything else is lost. You know how they tell you you can't take your money to your grave.

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Right? Yes or no?

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That's also not true.

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So you're thinking I'm like crazy. I lost my mind on the airplane.

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The prophets I send them said

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that all the deeds and when you enter your grave,

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except for three

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except for three and you know what one of them is sadhaka jatiya. So what is that

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That means it's any kind of charity that continues to benefit others, it continues to benefit others, even after you pass away, that that will continue to benefit you and your grave. In other words, all of your money will stay behind.

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Right? All of your money will stay behind. And the only money that will go with you to your grave is the one you gave for the sake of Allah.

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To see, do you see how we have things upside down? We're thinking No, I'm going to hold on to it. And that means I'm going to keep it. No. Actually holding it means you're going to lose it. And giving it means you're going to keep it because sadaqa jatiya is it is any kind of charity which continues to benefit people, establishing and supporting organizations like this, that even after I pass, it's going to continue to help people inshallah, and any money I gave will help to continue to benefit others. Any knowledge that you give, that continues to benefit others also comes back to you in your grave. So Subhanallah at the end of the day, here is the reality, every single one of us is

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desperate for the mercy of Allah subhanaw taala. Desperate, I'm going to tell you guys a story before I wrap up. You guys probably know this story. But maybe you didn't look at it from this angle. And that's the story of Ayesha Nadella. And you all know that there was a time when she was accused of being on chest. And at this time, her father, Abu Bakar, the line found out that one of the people spreading the slander was a relative of his.

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And he's not just the relative, but he's a relative that he's financially supporting. Can you imagine that? Well, how would we react? Right? This is slandering your own daughter, and someone you're helping out and a relative, you know, and look at what Abu Bakar Dylan does, he doesn't go out looking for revenge. He doesn't like hire a hitman or anything like that. He simply stops the financial support. That's all he does. That's it. And a low reveals an area about this. When you're when you're allowed to have boonah and your federal law, let them pardon and overlook. Now, this is deep. Because now ebook below the line is being told to pardon and overlook. But why? You know,

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sometimes what keeps us from forgiving others or being merciful to others, as we say, they don't deserve my forgiveness. Ever feel that way? Why should I forgive so until they don't deserve my forgiveness? Why should I forgive them? They didn't apologize. They didn't make up for they don't deserve it. But Subhan Allah, Allah teaches us a powerful lesson in this area. He teaches us that it's actually take the person out of the equation. He says Allah to help buena and your fellow who let him do you not love for what for a lot to forgive you. So Whoa, it's not even about the relative. You guys get it? It's about you and Allah. Allah is saying, essentially, it was making a

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deal with us a deal. I mean, forget Black Friday deals, right? This is like a deal, capital D A L, that Allah saying, You forgive this person and all forgive you.

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That's a steal. Man. Do you understand how deep that is? Because the forgiveness of a lot is priceless. The forgiveness of luck cannot be quantified. That's, I mean everything in the heavens and the earth. We would give everything in the heavens and the earth to just be forgiven on the Day of Judgment. You know, I'm saying and unless saying, I'll give you this priceless thing, which is my forgiveness, My Mercy. And all you have to do is forgive this other person. Right? Forgive this other person, be merciful to this other person. And I will forgive you and I will give you mercy. So it's it's kind of like, you know, you go and you see one of these giant mansions. I think you'll

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have giant mansions here in this area somewhere. Yeah, I've Yeah, I think I think so. Yeah. So you see this giant mansion? And it's like, I don't know, worth $10 million. Okay.

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And then you realize the builder or the or the owner says, but but it's on sale today. It's on sale for a cent. one cent. Right? So it's worth 10 million. And you're gonna get it for a cent would you feel like you got a deal?

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Not so much. You guys. People stand outside in the freezing cold to save 50 bucks at Best Buy a Black Friday. Yeah, there. Honestly, people do crazy things for a deal. And you all know it. Don't pretend you don't know. Everyone's just like I don't know what they're talking about.

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Talking about people do crazy things. Actually, every year almost someone gets killed at like Walmart because because because they're so crazy about getting a deal. You guys, this is true. I'm not making this up. There's like a lady she was like spraying maize so she could get the thing first another time. And one of the one of the this is really tragic. Like, there was a stampede, like, and the dude couldn't open the door fast enough who was working at Walmart, he got he got killed. This is how serious people people psychotic about a deal. Human beings are like that. And you know what I was making a deal with you. But see, it's not a million dollars for a set. It's infinity for

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forgiveness of another person. So what what's happening here, Ally's making is telling us do these things for others, and I will do this for you. But when Allah gives, he doesn't give like humans give because Allah is infinite. And unless kingdom is infinite, you know, every single person on earth had he said not on Earth, sorry, from the beginning of time till the end of time, if every single person came together and made a dua to Allah, Allah gave every single person what they asked for, it would not decrease Allah's kingdom, any more than if you put a needle in an ocean, it would decrease the water. That's a Heidi. So this is a less kingdom. Allah is generous. And Katie, you

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know, he is not, he's he'll give infinitely, but we just have to do something small. So this analogy I gave you about the house, it's not sufficient. Because the reality is, it's not a cent to $10 million. It's something finite for something infinite. Make sense? When I give to others, I am essentially giving to myself. There's this Hadith, so powerful. Now I'm going to end with this inshallah.

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I want you guys for a moment just to call to mind, a person who is very religious. What do they look like in your head? What are they act like wear a cap? What is the image of a person who is beloved to Allah, I want you to just take a couple seconds and think about that.

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You guys did it? Yes, yes. No? Yes. Okay. So probably you brought to mind a person who spends much of their time in the masjid. Yeah. Someone who has a certain look, right, certain demeanor, prays a lot faster, right? Naturally, you want to hear something really amazing. There's a Hadith of the prophets, I send them where he says so he had it. The prophet SAW Selim says,

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the most beloved people to Allah are those who help and benefit others the most.

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And the most beloved actions to Allah is pleasure and happiness that you cause to enter the heart of a Muslim, That's intense.

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Or, he says, or to solve one of his or her problems. So now we're talking now about the most beloved actions to a lot and he's saying, the ones who help others the most, someone who puts happiness in the hearts of others and who helps solve their problems

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or to pay off his or her debt, or to prevent him or her from being hungry.

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Now this is the part I really want to leave you with. The prophet SAW Selim says that working to help my Muslim brother or sister is more beloved to me than doing a T calf. What's the i t calf, seclusion in domestic, you know, seclusion in the masjid? Like where you stay days, maybe the whole 10 days of maybe the whole month. He said that helping another Muslim brother or sister in need is more beloved to me than doing a T calf in this semester for a month.

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And you guys let me just put this into context. Which mustard is he standing in?

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Is he standing in this mustard mustard medicine? No. He's standing in mustard that never we in Medina you know the mustard that we spend our our entire life saving up for just to go visit once. That message, the message where one prayer is equal to 1000 or better in any other message that message he said that helping another person is more

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