Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
MakeSpace presented Meaning In the Mundane with speaker, Yasmin Mogahed on Saturday, December 9th at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.
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I want to begin by thanking you all for coming. It seems that I bring a lot of snow to the DC area.
It is actually history of this of the last time I can remember speaking in DC, it was
Valentine's Day 2014 and there was a blizzard.
So subpanel Ah, here we are, again the first snow of the year. But I want to thank you for still coming. And I some people told me came up and said they'd come from all the way from Delaware. And I just love him for making that effort.
Yeah, so I just want to begin by by saying that I'm very happy to be here. And although my time is short here, I hope controller that a local blessing in it and that we can shall communicate in a way that is beneficial for everyone. My name is Shakeology mismanagement of AHIMA, salatu salam ala rasulillah via a socket, you may not be sure if you're somebody who is certainly already walking up to them and designing a portfolio. And there's a very beautiful quote, by email client. And this is a quote that I've really related to for many years of my life. And that's because I believe that we all go through struggle in life. And oftentimes, we can't fully or properly diagnose the reason why
we struggle so much, and the reason why we are suffering. And from personal experience, I have learned that sometimes we we continue to go through cycles or sort of repeated patterns in our struggles. And we can't necessarily break those patterns until we can understand them diagnose the problem properly. And when you diagnose the problem properly, only then can you start to solve it. And so that's the reason why I love this quote, I'm just going to read it.
It says truly in the heart, there is a void that cannot be removed except with the company of God. And in there is a sadness that cannot be removed, except with the happiness of knowing God and being true to him.
And in there is an emptiness that cannot be filled, except with the love for him. And by turning to him and remembering him often. And if a person were given all of the world and everything in it, it would not fill this emptiness.
Now, that's basically the theme of what I want to speak about today. We go through a lot of struggle in life. Everyone has their jobs, their families, their friends, their school, I know there are many students, we have a lot of ups and downs in life, both, you know, emotionally, financially, relationship, you know, health issues, and it becomes sometimes very difficult to navigate these storms. You know, as I say to many of my audiences, we can't control the weather, right? Not even Trump can tell it to stop snowing or raining, right? He might be cold right now, but he can't do anything about it in terms of making it any warmer. We can't control the weather no matter who we
are, no matter how much power money we have. But what can we do right now we see people wearing coats and jackets and gloves and, and boots. I wasn't actually prepared for this weather. So I was freezing my legs off. But that's because I wasn't prepared. I can't change the weather. But I can change how I respond. I can where I can I can protect myself, I can be in the shelter. As soon as I walked into this building, it was like life saving, right? Because there was heat. And so in life, we can't necessarily control all the things that come our way. We can't control the weather or the storms. But what we can do is we can control what kind of shelter we have. We can control what we're
wearing when the weather comes. Does that make sense? Now what is that shelter and the reason why I'm this is the point I want to stress. The reason why we get destroyed by the storms of our lives. The reason why we get destroyed by the weather why it knocks us out why it debilitates us is because we don't have proper shelter. And that's the reason and that's the root cause it isn't because well I just have more hardships. The reality is everyone is struggling with something everyone but our hardships differ right our struggles different one you know, you you're
struggles are different than the struggles of those who are sitting next to you. But believe me, there isn't a person in the world who doesn't have struggles, they just come in different forms. And so the reality is that when we become debilitated by our struggles, it isn't because of the struggle than itself. It's because we don't have proper shelter. It's because we don't have proper clothing, as I didn't today. And so what we have to do is we have to make sure that we have that proper shelter, and that proper protection, and that is the way to be able to handle whatever whether life gives you, whatever weather life gives you, it will not destroy you, if you have proper shelter. It
might, it can, it can, it can shake, you can make you a little cold, but it will not destroy you if you have proper shelter. And so what I want to talk about today is what is that proper shelter? What is it that I can do every single day of my life that's going to create a fortress around my heart, and around my soul and around my life that can allow me to have that resilience in life. That's all it that's what I want to talk about.
The prophets ally send them tells us in a very profound idea. Now, a lot of times when people speak about a stem, and a lot of the narratives that we hear about STEM for a long time, growing up, and maybe sometimes in our Sunday Schools has focused most of the time, a lot of the time on the rules of Islam, right, you have the heart all the things that are forbidden, and you have the Highlander things that are allowed. And it has sort of been minimized to just the list, Islam has been minimized to just the list of do's and don'ts of things we can eat things we can't things we can wear things we can, things we can do things we kept. Now while these things are important, these
things are necessary. However, we've minimized them to just this. There's a Hadith of the prophets, I send them in when she tells us something very interesting. And some of you may have heard this hedgies. And and what I was amazed about is that I knew this already. But I knew it in a fragmented way. I learned it in a fragmented way. And I'll explain to you what I mean, the beginning of the Hadji talks about Helen and yeah, the beginning of the Hadith, the prophet, so I sent him says that what is forbidden is clear and what is allowed. And what is Helen is clear, and between them are doubtful matters. And then the profit goes on. So it's going to tell us that whoever stays away from
the doubtful matters will be protected from falling into the things that are forbidden. And it gives us the example of a of a shepherd and his flock, that you don't take your flock close to an area you don't want them to be if you don't want them to fall into everybody follow up. So the beginning of this heading is about rules, essentially, right? It's about him and Helen. But typically, the discussion or the understanding that I had, at least for most of my life, is that that's where the discussion ends, that we should stay away from doubtful matters, Everybody with me. But what's very interesting is that the head, it doesn't end there. The head it continues, and it continues to say
in the field just as the motor club. Indeed in the body, there's a lump of flesh, if that's all I have for the head just as a colo, if it is set, right, then the entire body's set, right? What either fester that and if it is corrupted, faster than just to do kulu ella heal calm. And if it is corrupted, then the entire body is corrupted. Verily it is the heart. So what has the prophets I send them them in this heavy, he has told us now one might think what's the connection, we're talking about rules at the beginning of the discussion. And then we're talking about rectifying the heart. And that connection is what a lot of us have missed. And a lot of us have missed it. Not in
our own, maybe no fault of our own, but maybe the way that we've been taught that there's been this disconnect in terms of Islam just being about rules. But what the prophets I send them taught is this unified vision of snap, where if you were the heart is the master of our actions, the heart is the master of the body, the heart, and when you work on the heart, then it rectifies the rest of the body. In other words, when you work on the heart, it rectifies the rest of our actions, and then that rectifies the rest of our lives, and then that rectifies the rest of the world. And it starts with the heart. Now the heart of course, if there's a closed loop, because our actions also affect
our heart. So one cannot just say that I only worship God in my heart, because if I am not worshiping God externally, it will also affect my heart. We are told that for example, every time we commit the sin, a black spot is put on the heart. And so these black spots, continue to cover the heart. If I'm not repenting now. Everybody commits this right
This is something we know, we're human, that's part of being human. But if I'm not repenting and doing my best to stay away, then I get my heart actually gets affected, that black spots get put on my heart. The other thing we often don't realize is that there are openings to the heart, in the body, okay, to the to the spiritual heart, now to protect the heart, because, again, I want to emphasize the heart is the master of the body, you rectify this, you've rectified everything, the actions, that the body, the actions in your life, and then the world. So there are openings to the heart. In order to keep it healthy, you have to just like, if you want to keep the body healthy, you
have to be mindful, you know, they tell you, you are what you eat. Right? What does that mean? It means that you are internally affected by what you ingest, right? It works the same thing spiritually. So you are what you eat spiritually, what you ingest, not in food, but in in, in what you see, in what you hear, in what you read, in what you are exposed to, in what you talk about. All of these things are input into the heart. All right, it's like it's like food that you're taking it but it's spiritual food. And it is either toxic or it is healthy. You know, like, they tell you if you want to be healthy, you eat like a, like an organic raw diet, right? You eat like healthy food
without pesticides and everything like that.
Now, if you really want to hurt yourself, what do you do? You sip on poison? If you sip on poison, guess what's going to happen over time? You're going to kill yourself inside, yes or no. So there is poisons for the heart as well.
And so the problem here is that now going back to my initial point, when we struggle in life, and I'm talking, not the external struggles, everyone has external struggles. I'm talking about when it kills us inside, right? Is everyone following so we have the external weather, but when that the external struggle becomes actually kills us inside, it happens for a few reasons, and it will happen for the very same reason that your body can become sick inside. Number one is that you are not watching what you eat. If you don't watch what you eat physically, you become unhealthy inside spiritually when you're not watching what you're watching.
No, God, no.
I thought it was cool. When you're not watching what you're watching, when you're not guarding the, the gateways to the heart, your heart becomes sick. So one of the main gateways to the heart is the eyes. It's what you look at. Simple as that. You know, it's very interesting because in the Quran, you know, there's a lot of things that Allah subhanaw taala gave us through the prophets I send them and there are some things he chose to give us directly through the hood and his direct words. One of the things that the prop that allows us to kind of add a God
saw was important and and crucial enough to give us in the Quran itself is the guarding of the eyes. Okay, we have a lot of things which rules which have been given to us through the prophets, I said, they're just as important. But this particular ruling was given to us in the claret in the words and the unchained it unchanged, eternal words of God. And that is the concept of guarding the eyes. Why do you think that is it is so crucial to the health of the heart that there is top there is literally poison all around us. And whenever we don't guard our eyes, we sip on poison and it affects the health of our hearts what we look at what we look at, and of course we live in a society
where it's it becomes old like NEC very very difficult to not constantly be sipping poison when it comes to the US but this is a very important struggle and a very important for anyone who cares about the health of their heart. This has to be a fight that you that you that you take on and that is guarding the eyes in the same way that you wouldn't sip up poison. Right in the same way that when you go to sleep at night. You want to you want to protect your whole right and and your family. Do you close the door? Or do you leave it wide open while you're sleeping? Does anyone leave their car door wide open when they when they did when you came here today? Did you leave your car door
open? No. Do you do leave your door open at night when you're sleeping? No, you not only do close it but what do you do? You lock it in some people get security systems. And that's because you want to guard what's inside, right? So when you're not guarding the eyes, it's like leaving the door wide open while you're sleeping and then and then you wonder why there was like vandalism and someone came in and stole everything and
Maybe burned your house down. And that's because you kept the door open. So these guards are extremely important to the health of the heart, the ears, same thing, what you listen to, and also what you speak about. So what you talk about what you engage also is input that goes to the heart. So the input that you take in Now, if you're looking at a body, now for you to I just talked about health, right? But what about just keeping the body alive? What do we have to do to keep our body alive?
what's the what's the first thing that if we're deprived of food that we will die? Oxygen, wow, okay, you don't have to be a doctor know that. Right? Oxygen. So spiritually, it's exactly the same thing. I want to emphasize something. The same creator that made the physical rules is the same creator who made the spiritual rules. God is one and God made the seen and unseen. And so the rules are the same. There's, there's there, there are parallel rules in the scene world and the unseen world, in the spiritual and the physical. So if you actually study the physical world, you learn a lot about the spiritual world. Okay? And, and part of the physical world is that you need oxygen to
stay alive, right?
Some people not that sure.
Or you're just really focused in your life. So you need oxygen yet, okay.
Same Same way, you need oxygen to keep your heart alive. And this is where we suffer. Now, there is a suffering and then there's a suffering. Okay? Let me give you guys an analogy. If a person isn't breathing, back, they won't be able to survive right? Now, if a person is at least breathing, but eating junk food, are they going to be healthy?
But are they going to be alive? Yes. So that's how it is spiritually. There are certain things spiritually that are like oxygen, okay? There's certain things that are like food. And there's certain things that are like, organic raw diet. Then there's like vitamins and minerals, right? And then there's like, poison. Everyone following. So I'm just gonna break it down. Oxygen, let's talk about that. The oxygen of the heart spiritually, is the remembrance of God. More specifically, prayer, let's just begin with that. Salaam, see, when the prophets I send them told us that that the first thing we're asked about on the Day of Judgment, is prayer. This is the oxygen of the heart, if
a person is not praying, or praying and not praying five times, at the minimum, because this is the phone, when when we've been given this obligation, it's because it's oxygen. Anything that has been given to us as an obligation, it's because we actually can't live without it. Does that make sense? If there's something that's given to us by God as just like,
extra than it means it's like, it's like vitamins and minerals. it'll, it'll be healthy for us. But obligations are oxygen. And the first obligation we're asked about is prayer. And that's because it keeps the harder life without prayer, the heart dies. And there really is no other way to explain it. The heart doesn't just become sick, it actually dies. And that's just like, the body without oxygen. So prayers, the first thing, okay.
The other type of oxygen that the body needs, is the is remembering God. Now, remembering God often is like medicine for the heart. Now, this is what it will claim is talking about. So whenever I talk to audiences, I usually leave them with a prescription. And that prescription is something that you can take home and do. Because right now we're talking about concepts. And concepts don't necessarily change people. Like I could be up here. And I could be talking to you about fitness. Right? And I could talk to you about fitness until tomorrow. Has anyone gotten fit? By just sitting and listening to me talk about fitness? I wish, right?
Yeah. Anyway, so lectures about fitness have become really popular on YouTube, you actually have to go and do something, right, you have to apply it for it to work. And it's the same thing with everything I'm saying, if you want to talk about spiritual health, if you want to talk about protecting yourself against the weather of life, you actually have to go home and do it. I can talk to you about building a home, right? But unless you go and you actually build, you're not going to have protection. So this is the prescription that you take home. And it works but only if you do it as simple as that you have to actually practice it. So three things. The first is what I've just
said, which is this the law, the prayer is the oxygen of the heart. The second part of this prescription and I give this because it is life saving, and I'm telling you from experience, it saved my life, like literally saved my life. And and what I've saved
My life, I mean, emotionally, psychologically, I mean my relationship, it's saved my relationships. And so this is something that when you do you see, and that is that you get your phone and you download an app called my drive. It's spelled NY, D, as in David, you Ah, so there's two A's my job, it's like the best 99 cents you'll ever spend. And I don't get a cut
my draw, right, so you download it. And what you do is this there, what this app is, is it's a collection of what the prophet peace be upon him used to say, throughout his day, this might seem like, you know, it's like not that important.
It's very important, and you only know it if you do it. So I'm just, you'll have to just take my word for it until you do it. And then you recognize that it is life changing. But basically, there's a few supplications in there that you can't live without, in your day, like it will become a necessity of your day. The first is the morning supplications that after you prefetch you open up your app, and there's like on the side, there's like a picture of a moon and a sun, click on that. And it'll give you the morning supplications. When you read through those, there's a lot I think about 25. So what you'll do is you'll do it once you'll spend an hour in the sand never gonna do it
again. Right? That's the reality. So right now, I'm going to prevent that from happening. shaula by telling you that there's this little thing called a star and the app at the top corner, you click on the star. And what that does is it makes your own little list and you can make it as short as you want. Because the reality is that even if you do a small amount, but you do it consistently, it has dramatic effects, spiritually. I mean, it's the same thing with a physical sense, right? If you work out for five hours at the gym one day, but then you don't go again for months. It's not gonna work. But if you go for 30 minutes consistently, it will, right.
Yeah, okay, just making sure because I don't know that much.
But the reality is that even if it's a small amount, so you start it. And then after that, when you open your app and you press your start, it'll just be your personal list. 15 minutes, 10 minutes, whatever you can do. You know, you guys do a lot of commuting, right? You spend a lot of time on public transport. Right? Mind the right city. Yeah. Okay. In California, you're you're stuck in traffic. But unfortunately, you're driving so you can't really use your phone. But if you're in public transport, you can. Yeah. So you do this in the morning. And then you do it again in the evening after or before method. Right. So let's sunset. And then before you sleep, okay, so
everybody with me? You think I'm just giving you stuff, but I'm giving you gold here. All right, I swear to you, I'm giving you gold. So you do that. And then there's little ones that you can memorize. Basically, when you leave the house, there's a small supplication, you say, and you're protected until you come back. I think that's a pretty good deal. You say something that takes two seconds, and you're protected, right? There's ones before you eat, when you finish eating little things, little ones like that. But the main ones I've just given you morning, evening, and before you sleep, Okay, the last of this prescription is the Quran. Here's the thing that God has given us
a direct connection to him. And it's his direct words.
We need to be connected to that. Even if it's just a verse a day, and you read it and you read translation and you reflect on it, it will change your life. This is all food. This is all oxygen for your heart and your soul. So what I've just given you are three things. Now what does that do? I'll tell you what that does. So how many of you guys have ever heard of the three little pigs story?
Some of you have been deprived. It's okay. I asked. I said have you heard of the three little pigs in like three people. I'm like, what kind of childhood?
So three little pigs is like there's a really lazy pig doesn't want to do anything. So he makes his house out of straw, very weak. And then there's another one who's a little bit lazy, but a little more able to put in work. He makes his house out of tweets, right? And then there's the third little pig who's willing to put in the work, a little extra work and he makes his house out of brick. So what happens?
The Big Bad Wolf comes, yeah, he Huff's and he puffs and he blows the first house down. Why does it blow down?
Because it was weak. You fill me the second one he Huff's.
And he puffs and he blows that house up. Okay. Now what happens to the third house? He Huff's and he pumps and he cannot slow it down. All right, what am I talking about? Is I'm talking about life's gonna send you big battles.
Sometimes they're political. Sometimes they're in office. Yeah. Sometimes Sometimes they are financial big battles. Sometimes they're spiritual. Sometimes they're psychological, sometimes emotional, sometimes relationship, health, all different kinds of things will come and huff and puff.
But whether or not you become destroyed is based on how strong your houses and how strong your house is based on the work you put in.
So the people who put in the work to make a home out of brick, the huffing and puffing doesn't destroy that.
What I've given you, I told you guys, three things, right? I told you the salaah, I told you the god mica, and I told you for an every time you do these things, you're putting a brick in your home, a brick, not straw, not twig, but bricks. And so what happens is when life happens, and it hops in it puffs, it doesn't destroy you. Because you're inside of a brick hole. That makes sense.
The other part of it has to do with not ingesting poison. And I explained that that has to do with guarding the eyes, guarding the ears, and guarding the tongue.
I want to just emphasize to you why it is that the heart is so important. See, we go through this life. And it's temporary, right? We all know it's temporary and eventually we end up with God.
there's a there's a very powerful verse in the hotel
in which Ibrahim alayhis salaam in an extended he asks God, well, that looks really yummy.
And do not disgrace me on the day when everyone is brought back. Yo Malayan foul men whenever noon in lemon Attila the COVID, setting, the day when nothing will benefit anyone of wealth or children. See in this life, there are certain things that get us ahead, right. There's certain there's like status symbols, there's things that that that give us success. And they are wealth essentially and power. Well, children in this era are a symbol of power Yeoman, a young farmer and whenever they see when this life is passed, none of those things are going to benefit anyone. Wealth is not going to benefit you and your power is not going to benefit you what will benefit you Illa men at a law habit
clinical setting, except for the one who comes back to God with a heart that is sound.
With a heart that is sound, and nothing else is going to matter. You just like absorb that. And the reason why it's important absorb that is this is ultimate success or ultimate failure. It's not like one exam you took in school and you failed, right? It's not that it's ultimate capital you. It's the one that you can't go back on, you know what I mean? So ultimate success is based on the condition of your heart. ultimate failure is based on the condition of your heart. So 11 Atala had the Golden City, except for the one who returns back to God with a heart that is sound, a heart that is healthy. And that what is that? What is publicity? What does that even mean?
You know what the best way that I can conceive of this concept is that political selling is a heart that has no competitor with God.
That's what that's what Calvin cinemas it's a heart with La ilaha illAllah at the core. And what is that 11 Lola means there's no competitor with God. But you know, a lot of people might be like, well, I only believe in one God. But that's not all it means. That's not all it means. No competitor with God means no competitor in love, means no competitor. In dependence. It means no competitor in obedience means no competitor in in where I put my hope and my trust, because the reality is that many people only believe in one God. In fact, we live in a, you know, majority monotheistic society. But there are a lot of people who worship money.
There are a lot of people who worship status or power, even though they only believe in one God. And so the point here is that clinical setting isn't just about believing in one God or one creator. That's part of it. But it's also about what do you worship? and worship doesn't just mean prayer. Worship is what you put at the center of your life. Everyone worship something, even atheists. Everyone does. Everyone has to
Something they put at the center, right? But it just differs for each person. Some people they take their, their, their desires and put that at the center. What does that look like? It looks like,
you know, Allah subhanaw taala says, Do you see the one who takes his hella as his ILA? What does it mean to take your helmet as your elab? It means you've taken your own inclinations, your own opinions, your own desires, and you've made it your God, your Lord, your center. In other words, you've made it your master.
Does that sound familiar? It's, it's if you feel it, do it. Right? If it feels good, go for it, regardless of right and wrong, regardless of who it hurts, regardless of morality. But if you have an desire for something, you obey it. Do you guys understand what I'm saying? That is worship of the desire that is actually taking your desire and making it God?
Because the reality is that what we live for and what we what we do and what we don't do for that's a master. And so we have to actually go back and realize, what am I worshiping? What is the core of my heart, called when setting a heart that sound and healthy is a heart that may love lots of things, but nothing competes with the love of God?
Nothing competes not your money, not your power, not your own inclination, sometimes you might feel something, you might want something, but it's not moral. So what do you do?
Well, we live in a society that says, do it anyways, because you feel it. And then the question becomes, well, where does morality come from? And that's part of that the law that there's that morality is comes from God. Because otherwise, if you give it to people, it changes with each decade, or it changes, changes, you know, you go to another country, it's different. You go to another decade, it's different. It just constantly changes. But there is a there is an morality that's given by God, that doesn't change. And that morality has to be above what I think what I want, what I desire.
So to summarize, and then I want to have time for discussion, inshallah, and open it up.
To summarize, the heart, like the body has to be healthy, in order to continue to stay alive. We need oxygen, we said that was the prayer. I gave you a three part prescription, it was the prayer, the app was what, Oh, my God. And the third was the foot and just having a connection with the foot. It's not about how much you read. But it's more about the influence that it has on you and that it's consistent. Again, consistency is more important than having it be a lot the prophets I send them said God loves the actions that are consistent, when they will apply even if they're small. So consistency, so there's prayer, there's my law of God, and then there's the footer, and then
preventing the body from from the the, the, the outlets that pour poison into it. And that was the eyes, the ears and the tongue. Now, finally, and I'll just end with this. What would happen if a person said,
I don't? I don't have to take a shower today? Because I did that last February.
Right? That'd be problematic. And no one would want to sit next to this room. There'd be like a
lot of empty seats, right? What would be the problem with that? Is that yes, maybe that person took a shower in February. But the thing about dirt is that it is constantly needs to be cleaned, right? It's not something you do once and it happens spiritually as well. Our hearts get covered with dirt. And you know what causes that are sins. Because we are human, we're sitting all the time. Sometimes we don't mean to even but we are human, right? And so we have to constantly clean that. A person who isn't consistently cleaning themselves of sin is like a person who is inconsistently taking a bath or a shower. What cleans the heart of sin, its repentance is a thought. And so it's the thought is
also something that is essential to keeping the body the heart healthy, and it has to be consistent. Because at the end of the day, you have to consistently clean and refresh the heart in order for it to stay clean for it in order for it to stay healthy. When you call you have to suffer a lot. He will come in novels, nobody subclinical, they have their children that he led him to and stuff that require too late. I want to leave a good time.
A lot of time for discussion. So if you have any questions, feel free to just raise your hand.
I think they're bringing your mind.
Okay, well, we'll take her first interview while he comes to them.
What to do?
pushing and pushing pushing?
Okay, well, that's a great question.
So, first principle to sort of establish is that in Nicoletta, have you been asked when I can ally, how do you make a chef, then indeed, you do not guide whom you love, but God guides when he wills. So the first thing is to realize that essentially, guidance comes from God. And it's not, I don't guide anyone. Now, having said that, I'm still held responsible for doing my best. And my children have a right upon me that I teach them. That's their right. Okay. Now, what's the best way? This goes? Now back to I think what we've maybe done wrong, is that we have, as I said, earlier, we've we've we've minimized Islam to a list of rules. And a lot of the way that we've taught Islam across
this is how long this is allowed. This is how long this is home. This is how long, right? And this is how long. And if you do these haram things, the moment you do them, God's gonna take you and put you in hell, right. So the idea is, it's a very rule oriented focus. And it's also very wrath focused, like, the way that we teach about God is as if God is just waiting for us to make one slip, and then put us in, in in help. And that is like telling a kid growing up, every single day there, watch yourself, if you messed up, the police is gonna come and take you and put you in jail. And then the next day better watch yourself better watch yourself, you better watch yourself, if you're
always telling your kid. Okay, some of it might be true. But if you're if you're always telling your kid that as soon as they mess up, the police is going to come and and harm them. How they going to feel about the police, once they get older.
They're just going to want to stay away, right? Are they going to want to be buddy buddy with the police, they can see the police and be like, hey, let's go be friends know, they're going to actually have an avoidance type of relationship with the police. And that's what happens to a lot of youth or people growing up is that they start to just want to avoid religion, just avoid it, because they've been taught in such a way that it was just like, as soon as I mess up, I'm going to be punished. So there's like a feeling of I just want to avoid God, I want to stay away from God, or I want to stay away from religion completely. And that's because and i and i think that you mentioned
this, you said how can we try to raise people that will be internally motivated? Not like I have to keep telling them, you know, like external, how do you make it internal? And I think the answer to that is, is is very beautifully said, You know, I shall move on. He says the wife of the prophets I said and she said in a Hadith, that if the first verses to be revealed, were stay away from alcohol, people would have said we're never going to leave alcohol. If the first verses in the Quran work, do not commit fornication or external relations outside of marriage, people would have said we're never going to give that up. But the first verses warn about those rules. The first verses were about
building a deep love and connection and attachment to God and a fear of displeasing him out of that connection and that that love and that attachment. So the core the foundation has to be love of God. attachment to God, you have to make a relationship with Allah. And when you have a relationship with Allah, then the rules become easier. Remember the Hadith where the prophets I sent him said in the body, there's a lot more
flesh. See, if you rectify the heart and the hearts relationship with God, then it becomes when when the rules came. So guess what happened. So the first verses weren't give up alcohol, give up interest, give up, put on hijab, you know, don't don't commit fornication, that didn't come at the beginning.
It came later on, after the people had already built that love, and that attachment with their Creator, then those rules came later. And guess what the response was? Somehow No, altana we hear and we obey. You know, when you love someone, they say jump, you say how high
when you love someone, but when you don't, when you don't even know them? Okay, a complete stranger comes and says, jump.
Right? Or someone that you actually really just been like, like the police? You know, the point is, What's your relationship with the person saying jump? Do you get what I'm saying? If your relationship with the person saying jump is a deep love, and a deep attachment, then they say jump, you say how high?
But if you don't have a relationship with them in their complete stranger, see why? What should I write, and that's a lot of people's feeling about religion. Like why? Why? Well, because it's like a stranger telling them God, God is a stranger. God is either a stranger, or you know, drill sergeant or our the villa, or like the police is just waiting for them to mess up so they could throw them in jail. But that's not who God actually is. And so it's really about going back and knowing who Allah is, and building that connection to him and teaching your children that a really good way to do that is through gratitude. of teaching, like showing your children are basically for us to, to realize
all that God has given us and how much he loves us and how much mercy he has. And, and the practice of gratitude is one of the best ways to build that bond. You know, just just like with a human being, the more you are grateful, the more you're gonna feel closer to that person, the more you appreciate them. So that that's very, very important. So you have that foundation, and then it becomes more internally motivated, following the rules. Because you, you actually have your own personal relationship with God, it's not my mom told me, I'm a Muslim, because it's on my passport, you know, but it's that you yourself have built that relationship. And relationships don't get
Overnight, they get built by the daily things that you do. And it's interestingly enough, you'll notice that it's the small consistent things just like with human relationships, in human relationships, you'll find that it's the small, the small, consistent things that build a bot, as the same thing with God. It's those small things that you're doing every single day that I mentioned, already, that build that bond.
You had a question?
On lifestyle, versus traveling.
Like I commute, for hours to get to my graduate school and, and also listen to things like lab or school or to lectures,
or prayer. Okay. So when it comes to prayer, and like less, right, I travel a lot as well. And one thing that I've learned from experience is that this cliche, where there's a will there's a way is very true. Okay? And if you make try, if you make prayer, a non negotiable, you'll find a way. And that's without a shadow of a doubt. Now, what are the rulings? Well, when you're traveling majority say that you can combine prayers and shorten, okay, depending on which school you follow, but majority so you can combine and shorten, some say you can just shorten and not combine. But if you can combine, then that gives you a bigger window. And there really is no reason that you can't pray.
If you're taking an exam, and you need to go to the bathroom. It could be the MCAT You know, it could be the outset it could be anything but the reality is that it's just like there's that's a non negotiable I'm sorry, like you're in a you're in a meeting. You're in a you're in a lecture you're in the professor might get annoyed, but guess what? She don't really care because you need to do that. Do you understand what I'm saying? If you're sleeping and it's 5am
sounding like you get what I'm saying? It's 5am In other words, pleasure time, and you really need to go to the bathroom. Are you gonna get out of bed?
Yeah, you are right. You're not going to take care of your business in bed since you were five or however hopefully. And because you're just lazy or because or
Because you're just tired, you could be you could have, you could have just slept, you could be so exhausted, you could be so comfortable, but you're still going to get up and you're going to use the bathroom. So the reality is that we already understand this concept of where there's a will there's a way when it comes to physical needs.
Simply Simple as that. Um, I think we can take a few more. Yes, you can speak loudly. Oh, you mentioned before the telethon heart.
But what if you have like a desire to pursue your passion? Where do you draw the line between doing whatever you have to do to passion and like? Having like, a lot of?
Yes, I'll repeat your question. And then yes, I always say so she's saying that I said that a sound part is one that doesn't have a competitor with God. But what about if like you want to pursue your passion? And like in a career, for example, and you want to do whatever you need to do to get that to get there? Where do you draw the line? Okay, great question. So again, it comes down to, it comes down to what's number one, all right? If you can, you can have God as number one and still pursue your passion, as long as at no point does it contradict?
When you get to a crossroads where there's a contradiction now, right? pursuing your passion involves doing something huddle, for example, whatever that happens to be.
That's where you have to make a choice. And you will always choose what you love most. That's where the thing that that that's actually your NF is going to take precedence. Does that make sense? And so what it means is it doesn't mean you can't love things, it doesn't you can't pursue things, it just means that when there is did you get to a point where there's a there's a conflict? Or when it comes to what is number one? Does that make sense? And there's gonna be times where there's conflict. And that's really the essence of tests, isn't it? We were told that we're going to be tested. What does that mean? These are the this is the example of, of a test where you're going to
be you're going to face a conflict, okay? In order to to get this thing in my career, I'm being asked to do something immoral. And that's when you go back and you have to ask, you have to go back to your principles.
to be consistent. Okay. Consistency, yes.
When you lose something,
and then you fall off the wagon and get Yeah, so she's saying she's asking about how to stay consistent, because sometimes you go through phases, where you're like, you know, you're on a spiritual high, and then you go down. Okay, great question. There's actually a chapter in Reclaim Your heart about this. It's called awakening, and it's about the spiritual high. And then how do you avoid this, like roller coaster? Okay. So upset, like these ups and downs in faith are normal. And that's something people have to realize. The prophets I send them said that Amen. Or faith rises and falls, it rises and falls. And, and what happened was actually the incident was that ebook, and
another companion came to the prophets, I send them and they were really, like, disturbed, and they said, we've become hypocrites. And the Prophet asked him, so I said to him, why are you saying this? And the reason is, they said, because when we're with you, in your presence, we feel our demand is so high. It's as if we see heaven and hell in our eyes. But then when we go back to our families, it's not the same. Okay, so they're having that that concern? Do you know what the prophet system says to them? He says, if you have the same level of faith, as all the time is when you're with me, and when you're not, then the angels would shake hands with you in the streets.
Meaning you wouldn't be human, he would be an angel. So he explains that he men rises and falls. Now how can you navigate that? That's the question. So there's a certain level of rising and falling of Amen. That's, that's part of being human. But
there's a difference between this.
And this, you don't say, crash and burn. So there so what you can do is you can you can't prevent, right, like slight rises and falls because it's part of it. Sorry, I'm just so animated. It's part of being human. But you can prevent it, you can prevent crash and burn
this thing where I'm, I'm at the top of the world, and then I'm just like, down, down, down, down and it just doesn't stop going down. Right. I'll tell you how to prevent that. It is by picking your battles in a sense. Basically, you
Pick non negotiables, non negotiables. Meaning I do this like I do like I grieve, regardless of how I'm feeling, regardless of where I am, regardless of what's happened, regardless of how upset I am, how poor I am, how rich I am, there has to be certain non negotiables as human beings, does anyone say I'm having a bad day, so I'll breathe tomorrow.
Or I'm really busy studying for an exam. So I'll do I'll breathe next week.
Why do we not do that as human basic things we have to do, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what kind of day you're having, you're gonna breathe, it doesn't matter how much money you have that day, you're gonna breathe, it doesn't matter who you got in a fight way that doesn't matter who you're what you're studying for. You just have to breathe. And so what it is, is that you have to within yourself, make these non negotiables, I'm not telling you, you're going to read just a day, every single day. Like, I'm not telling you, you even need to do that to stay alive. But there are things you have to do to stay alive. And I gave you them. I actually gave them to you. They are your soul.
Like prayer, and I'm not up here saying it out of a concept. I'll tell you my life is like insane.
Like capital I, it's actually insane. Like, if I told you about my life, you'd be like, no, that's not real. Okay, but the only way I can survive my life, right? Like, you know what crazy stuff comes my way. I'm just just just in various different reasons, okay. But the only way I can survive is that these are like, no matter how I'm feeling no matter what's been thrown at me, I have to be consistent these things. And that's what kept me alive. That's it. That's it. So really, what it is, is that consistency is about picking, being able to sift through and say these things, no non negotiable. And that's what I've tried to do today is give them to you. Like here guys, in a in a
platter here. I narrowed it down, I boiled it down after like a lot of trial and error from from my own life. And alike. Here it is. This is it. And and it doesn't take that long. It's not actually a lot of work. Because I'm I'm not a very, I'm pretty lazy myself, be honest. I'll look and even in school, like I'm a Maximizer. So here's what I would do, right? Like my mom has complete different personality, she will just like, work and read every single thing and like put in a million, zillion hours, me I'll look for the quickest way to just to just get it done and to do the best I can. But I will always look for the shortcut in everything to have the least amount of effort to get the most
result. That's just how I that's how I think about everything. So I'm a very like, that's the type of person I am. So I'm that's what I've done for you right now. I'm Chad, trust me, I've narrowed it down and doesn't take that long, to pray five times a day. And to do the three things I said, literally, if you add it all up together, probably the entire day, take less will probably take like 40 minutes of your day, to pray five times a day plus do the math God. That's like 40 minutes out the entire day. So it's actually not a lot. But I'm telling you that the effect is a lot. Does that make sense? And if you make it a non negotiable regardless of what's happening in your life, then
you'll prevent that crash and burn from happening. Yes, you might have ups and downs, but it won't be the abyss, it actually becomes like a protection from going into the abyss.
yeah. And so that information can be both negative,
etc, whatever articles.
But you also see information or see images that are also
the state of refugees here just like
this one day, I came to be an Israelite and in this, in this case, that takes me somewhere else that I have. A lot of times you don't have to do that.
So what is it that you do with this reality that you are your heart's constantly being unsettled? Yeah. Even in one day, okay. Yeah, great question. Okay. I'm glad you bring that up.
Here's the situation we live in right now. I believe that we live in a sort of unnatural
place where we have an unnatural access to information.
Like, see at the time of the prophets, I send them they would only know about maybe what's happening down the street across the desert, but we live now.
In a time that if someone falls off of a balcony in, I don't know Chad in Africa, well, we can know about it. We have access to everything. Anytime I think it's too much, okay, it's actually too much for the human being to process. So you actually have to manage it.
Really, if we open ourselves up to every horrible thing that is happening in the world, at any point in time
is too much, honestly, it's just actually more than the human psyche can cope with. So part of it is really being mindful of what can I do? Like, Because? Because also all of this that comes at us, it isn't necessarily, it isn't actually doing good necessarily. It may just paralyzing us, right? I mean, there's a certain amount that like an activist needs to know, because they're taking out you know, what I'm saying, but we have to really be conscious of is this, like, what can I do? And is this healthy, and just managing it, managing it, I mean, I talk about one other like, tool that I find to be very, very helpful is managing our feeds, because we're on social media a lot. And if you
manage your feed, it manages a lot of the intake that you have. So it's kind of like managing your, your fridge or your cabinet, because that's what you're going to eat. And so your news feed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever, if you can manage it a little bit, and, and make it more healthy, that will help a lot. And when I say healthy, there's a few things. I mean, one is that it enriches you, it doesn't it's not all negative, like negativity, like if it's if you're just bombarded by negativity, negative, negative, negative, you start to see the world as dark. And it changes how you interact with the world. And it will actually change how much you can practice. I'll
give you an example. If every single possible, hate crime that ever happened anywhere in the world, is on your newsfeed. Guess what you're gonna want to do, basically, take off your hijab, because you're scared. And you're scared, because there's a disproportionate amount of exposure to negative thing. So you start to actually think the world is really much worse than it is. And that it's like the percentage might be small, but the amount of exposure you have makes it look much bigger. Does that make any sense? See, in psychology, what you focus on grows, and you can start to have like a skewed reality, like a skewed vision of reality, if you're only focusing on one type of thing, and
if it's negative, you're going to start to see the world is more negative, and then it's going to affect you. And you're going to feel a lot more afraid and maybe a lot less able to be sort of vocal or maybe external about your about your DNA, you're just gonna be it's gonna affect you. So that the reality is you have to manage that. And I'm glad you said that, if you can just manage your newsfeed it goes a long way to make it to you know, it's it's cool that someone's eating a burger. But maybe there's other things that could be more enriching on you that you're looking at every single day. Like, you know what I'm, you get what I'm saying. And there's this, this little thing, this amazing
thing on social media called unfollow. And no one needs to know. And it's helpful sometimes. Because guess what, like, it's cool, like,
You don't need to know what everyone's eating and then see a photo of it and then see, like, every angle of the selfie, it's okay. It's okay. So it's sometimes and, and what Kim Kardashian is doing and wearing and all of these things are like, okay, but how healthy are they in terms of enriching you? Just think about it. When you before you eat something you ask how healthy is this? Yeah, and this is what you're eating every single day is what you're following. You don't mean it's like, and how much time do we spend on like, a lot more than the 40 minutes that I mentioned? You know, per day. So just think about it. Yeah, I think I have time for one more question.
Okay, yeah. Okay, so I can take a few questions. Who has the questions? You did? And then it was someone else.
Was it you? And you? So three, is there three talk. Okay. So I'll hear all your questions, and then I'll answer them together and then we'll do the books Chela. Yes.
So by mentioning how to be like the Punisher to God, and to make your heart more healthier. So this is one that I see from the personal side like that is also
like the people we send out that they say like you are the average of the people, but he said, what you surround yourself with, I found it really difficult to be honest with you, as I came from India.
So I found it, it's really difficult. So one part which is likely to be surrounded with people really good people. So in order to have a mentor, so in order to have a one ask about your lifestyle, it was the right thing or not. This is one part of our life that helped me influence like, if you have like 40 people have to represent your religion in a good way. So what do you suggest for something like that? So finding the company? Yeah, I really, I really understand like, when I do my, my vibrator when Google mornings it for the reception. And also before sleeping bag when I go, this is the this affects me very well. Inside so good. But also outside the house, we
deal with people. Yeah, we need that all this stuff. What do you suggest? Okay, that's very good point.
So I'll take the other questions. And then I'll just ask him. Who else had a question? Yes. My question is.
My question is, throughout my, my personal day to day dealings with people, like, I run into a lot of good people, wealthy people, people that have good hearts, but they don't really know why they do what they do. They don't have a sense of purpose. direction, they don't have something that they want to put their life into that can be, I guess, a greater service to themselves and other people. And I think what you talked about was great as far as how to cultivate a good heart. But then what is the next step as far as like channeling that into a purpose that you can use the survivors? Okay, perfect. And the third one,
Hi. So I have a question about, I know you're talking about the environment, and a lot of times we take in a lot of the negative whether it's listening to something or walking something as well. But what exactly would you do in a situation where it might even be your job or a family member or? Right.
Okay, so let's
hello, I just wanted to ask if there's a clear distinction between spiritual and mental health.
Okay, well, that's that's a whole seminar.
But I'm, okay, I'll do my best to spin. So there was a couple two questions about about environment and about company. That's a very, very important aspect. And typically, I include that in my formula. And that is, the prophet SAW, Selim said that, for example, and one watt of unicellular, that person is on the same Deen the same way as their closest friend, we actually become like those people closest to us, we actually morph into them. And you'll find this with like spouses and like siblings, and you actually become very similar to the person who's who you're closest to. So you have to be very mindful who you take as your closest friend, it has to be someone who's going to
make you a better person, because you're going to become like them. Okay, that's number one. And there's another heavy square it says that that good company is like entering a perfume shop. And even if you don't lead with perfume, you come out smelling good, right? You go into the bath and Bodyworks you come out with all the samples, you know, you smell good, even if you didn't buy anything. And then a bad company is like going into a blacksmith shop. If If you don't get burned, you come out with smoke and see like to smell that coming up. And so your company definitely affects your heart. For sure. Now, the question is what do you do when you can't necessarily get good
company? All right. Number one is you make do offer it this is one of the things that the profits used to make what has to be the slaughter hate, like the prophets used to ask for good company? So what about us, you know what I'm saying it should be something we make dua for they asked for Well, for good company, righteous, righteous companionship, you know, like righteous spouse and we asked for that in the end, is it going to happen and I mean, as far as you know, the reaction or kurata are they asking for to make your spouse's the coolness of the eyes, your good company, something asked a lot. That's a gift given by law asking for it. The other thing is to do your best to try
As much as is in your power to leave that company and to be in good company as much as you can, while also asking God, okay, the third thing is, if it's absolutely impossible, and until and by the way, nothing's permanent in this life. So eventually we'll change. But for the time being of when you can't say find good company, or you can't avoid that company, by the way, it's better to be alone than in Bad Company.
Yeah, it's better to be alone. It's better not to drink anything than to drink poison. Okay, but say that, like you said, it's your livelihood, your whatever reason, you can just say you can't avoid it. The prescription I gave you will help protect you from this effect. So say a person who has to work
in a in a plant where there's radiation, what do they do? If they can avoid it? So what do they do they put on gear they put on protection. And so that's kind of what it is decoded itself, the car itself is a shield, and it will help protect you from the effects of that radiation of being in Bad Company. Okay, you asked about directing that into into like, helping others and serving others. How can you direct you know, say you're up individually, like maybe you're good, you're practicing these things, spiritually, but how do you then direct it to help society and help others? I'm a big advocate of that. That's something also that I spent a lot of time talking about service and how
Islam is about service essentially, in the prophets I said and said that one of the most beloved that the book most beloved action to God is to help others to serve others to aid others He even said that I prefer to go to help my brother or sister to help someone in need than to be an advocate is seclusion in this nested for a month and he's pointing at message and Nebo he right in Medina. So this is a huge part of our deep question is how I'm also the advocate of instacart instacart isn't just something that you pray the night before your wedding, but it's the product is is like this amazing gift that God gave us we need to use it for career choices we need to use it for choosing
our major we need to use it for you know you're making a decision of where to move is to color is asking it's a gift. So asking God to direct you in the best way. And in previous talks about how can I serve? How can I serve God through serving people in the best way? That's something you should ask a lot. When you call me Have I put a lot of effort in order for us to fanatical over ham duck shivananda ancestors political ads or will they just come alongside them? I actually have to leave for the airport in about 15 minutes so I'll quickly inshallah do books does that elusive and keep me and my family and your boss and I