Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
Many times when we are afflicted with a trial, we don’t know how to react, we aren’t sure where to turn, and we feel at a loss of words and hope. But know that there is hope!
Sr. Yasmin Mogahed addresses a crowd of 300+ people in Teaneck, NJ on this very pertinent subject.
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la ilaha illallah wa de la sharika. What a shadow and now Mohammed Abu arasu rubbish Rafi surgery, we acidity on the Washington office. I'm in the San Diego County.
I want to begin by saying how actually honored I am to be able to join you guys today. I go to 100 a lot of different communities. But there's definitely something special I feel about adult this community male last panel down a lesser community and increase you
realize it's nice to see so many people here and
the topic today is about hardship, and the path to the Most Merciful. And the reason why I like that topic title is because a lot of times we connect hardship, to punishment, we connect hardship or to to a wrathful or you know, punishing type, person or thing. We think of hardship always as a negative thing. And we're sort of programmed to think that way. We're programmed to think that ease,
ease is a good thing. And hardship is by definition, a bad thing. But the reason why I like this statement is because it says hardship and the path to the Most Merciful. Because in fact Allah Subhana Allah is the Most Merciful. And yet Allah Subhana Allah does send us hardship, is that right? every single human being on earth will go through hardship. So the question we have to ask ourselves is why? Why do we go through hardship? And what is the mercy behind hardship?
Allah subhana wa eila tells us in the end
that I wouldn't be like him in a Shavasana regime. m hasip Tom and Tad Hello jen netta Well, am I a typical method levena Holloman complete mess set who will back sir what the raw was doing zero hat die akula Rasulullah Deena ma boo Mehta na sama Allah in Nasrallah here
this is so powerful, because this area is saying,
and this is a a 214 of Susan bajo. And Allah subhanaw taala. Here is saying,
or do you think that you shall enter Jenna that shall enter Paradise without such trials, as came to those who passed before you must set who will best set what the law they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken was Zuzu. You know, I'm in California from California, and in California, we have what's our net natural disaster in California, earthquakes, the word for earthquake in Arabic is Zed. Hear this word is was Zuzu. From the same room, they were shaking, they were so shaken in spirit that even the messengers, and those who had faced with them cried out, when will the help of Allah come? And then Allah subhanaw taala ends this area by saying, giving us hope,
and saying Allah in nanoscale logic corrib indeed, verily, the health of Allah subhanaw taala is near. So the beginning of this area, is making us realize that we are not the first people to ever be tested. We are not the first people to ever suffer. You know, sometimes when you're going through something difficult. You feel like you're the only person in the world who had who feels that way. You're the only one in the world who's going through what you're going through. And although everyone experiences things differently, but are we the only ones in the world who suffer? That what what happens sometimes by feeling that way is we become isolated, because we feel that I'm alone in
my pain, or I'm alone in my hardship. But this isn't true. First of all, we are not the first to be punished to be to be tested to to suffer and we are not the last and while we are going through our hardship, others are also going through hardships and this is something
I'll go on to talk about Allah Subhana. Allah talks about, also inserted elegant, wrong. And then after telling us this, that we are not the first it's not unique, what we're going through, it's not unique that we are going through hardship. But that even before us, there were people who were so tested. And they were so shaken, that even the messengers, and those who believe were the messengers cried out in the same way that we sometimes cry out when things are really hard. Metal. So love, we you know, we have our heart is asking metta Nostromo, where is the help? When is the help of Allah subhanaw taala coming? And then Allah here is answering that that question and saying, Allah
international law, you're correct, Indeed, indeed, the help of Allah subhanaw taala is here. So this not only comforts us because it tells us that we're not alone. We're not the first and we're not the last to go through hardship. But it also comforts us because it assures us that allows help is near. You know what, there's something amazing about this life.
And it's actually this truth, this reality of this life, that causes us
causes us pain sometimes. But it's also the same reality that gives us comfort. And that is the reality that nothing lasts. Nothing in this life laughs everything passes away. So sometimes that reality causes us pain, we have something we love, and then it goes away, it passes away, it ends, so we get sad. But that same reality is also a comfort, because when you're going through hardship, that also doesn't last forever. Nothing lasts forever. So not pleasure and not pain either. Similarly, Allah Subhana, Allah tells us enough, not most of us from you know, this is since we're kids, so I don't know why. But so many of us translate and understand this area incorrectly. We
usually, if I were to ask someone to translate this value for me, most of the time, they will say, after hardship comes ease, right? Well, that's incorrect. That's not what the IRS says. Nor is that the reality. It says in that man osteo, strong and not in bad, are still strong. So what that means is with the hardship, is ease with your hardship is easy, it is at the same time. So never think that when you're going through your hardship, no matter how hard it is, you still have ease, you still have something that Allah subhanaw taala has given you from his mercy to help you.
I want you guys to think for a moment about, you know, bring to mind without getting, you know, too upset about it, bring to mind a time in your life, where you were, you were going through a hardship. And when you think about that time, probably when you were in it, or maybe even looking back, you think of it as all that it was just all bad. But the truth is, if you really examine it, it was not all bad. There was some ease even within that hardship. For example, you may have had some trouble with one aspect of your life. But there was another aspect of your life that was good.
You were healthy. Maybe your family was healthy, you had a roof over your head, you still had some ease, to give you help in that hardship.
You still had that you still had your event perhaps. And if you still have a letter in Milan, you actually have everything.
Our problem is that when we go through hardship, it's very difficult for us to see that. And what we do is we focus on the problem itself.
And this is one of the main mistakes that we make when we go through a hardship when something is when we encounter something that's difficult. The first thing that usually happens is now we kind of have to brace ourselves. And we think oh man, how am I going to deal with this? Or sometimes we think, oh, boy, like, I'm going to have to take this on and all of a sudden we start to feel anxiety. And we start to feel worried, how am I going to deal with this? And we start to preoccupy ourselves with figuring out how to solve the problem with figuring out how am I going to get through it. Okay, should I do this? Should I do that and what ends up happening is that we start to become
focused on the problem itself. We start to become in fact preoccupied and obsessed with the problem itself.
Soon enough, we're even thinking about the problem in every salon.
You understand my point here. So now instead of looking to the one who can solve our problem, and seeking Him to help us, we're trying to solve the problem ourselves. So what we've done here is we have shifted our focus from the one who solves all problems, from the one who can mend anything that's broken. to that which has broken itself, we start to shift. So this is the problem, we have a problem, we have a difficulty. Now instead of my heart, focusing on a loss of Hannover, Allah, and seeking his help, and putting my trust on him, putting my trust in him, I instead shift the focus of my heart, on the issue itself. And soon enough, it actually takes over my mind and my heart. And
this is what causes anxiety. And this is what causes us to feel overwhelmed. Because I have a secret for you. You know, when a professor gives you an exam,
see, we have to unlearn the way we think about tests. The last panel data tells us in the end that he will test us, right, we know that. So as soon as some even if we're good believers, as soon as something hits us, we say okay, I'm being tested, I gotta be, I gotta be strong now, right? But the mistake we make is we think of a loss of handle data, like a professor, when a professor gives you an exam, he hands you the exam, and then he steps back and watches, he steps back to see are you going to fail? Are you going to pass? And maybe he even wants you to fail? Now, let me ask you this, when you're in an examination with a professor, are you allowed to raise your hand and ask for help?
That's called cheating.
And that's how we think about loss economy.
We think when we're given the examination, whoo, I got to do this myself a lot of testing, he's watching me, he's gonna see how I can do I got to depend on me, I got to depend on me, or I got to depend on something else of the creation. And that is our mistake. We think we can't raise our hand and ask for help. And that's actually the purpose of the test. You see, the difference of last panel gala is not a professor who gives you a test, and then steps back and sees how you're going to do. In fact, the test itself is given to you at times in order for you to raise your hand and ask for help.
In order for you to go back to him.
Lots of panel data tells us in the end many is about hardship. Why Why are hardship given to people and one of the reasons Allah subhanaw taala says, is lambda in your view, so that they will come back to us a lot is actually giving the test so people will come back to him and raise their hand and ask for help. In another a, Allah Subhana, Allah says, law law whom you have been wrong.
tabula rasa is a very strong concept. To learn law, you can translate the law as humility, humble yourself, but that's not enough to really understand the intensity of the intensity, and, and, and intense need and humility involved in this state. Imagine a person in the middle of an ocean,
you're in the middle of an ocean on a boat, and you seem like you're safe, you think you're safe, and all of a sudden the storm hits. How many people have had storms hit in their life, and I'm not talking about literal storms. When the hardship hits, you know, they say when it rains it pours. You know what this means? This, this, this saying? is like, you know, when one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong, or it's so it seems it feels like
so when the storm hits in this middle of this ocean, the person begins knee jerk reaction. First thing that person does is it seeks the creation, it seeks the means for protection. What does that mean? In this case, it means they're going to call for help. They're going to call the you know, the Coast Guard. The only one that doesn't work, they look for the next means. Now they're going to look for the lifeboat. But all the lifeboats are damaged. Now they're going to look for the life jacket, but all of the life jackets are are also lost. Now they have exhausted every single means every single avenue of the creation. Now what do they do when nothing else can work?
And this is what
Do when we as soon as we are hit with a hardship? Where do we turn? First? That's a very important question to ask ourselves. Where do we go first? This is not to say we cannot seek the means. This is not to say, I'm sick, I can't go to the doctor. But it means Where do I turn first? And where is my dependence? Who do I really think is gonna save me from that store? Do I really think that a doctor can cure me? Do I really believe that the medicine is curing me, because if I do, I have been fooled, I have been deceived by the means. Those things are just tools.
The medicine is just a tool, the doctor is just a tool, the one who cures The one who saves is Allah subhanaw taala.
So when I'm in that storm, and I'm in that boat, to bring it back to Colorado, and at that point, when I have nowhere else to turn, and the illusion of all the rest of the tools has been taken away from my eyes, and then I ask Allah subhanaw taala what type of state I will be in that is totally wrong.
It is not just humility, it's absolute desperation, finally, really realizing your need for Allah subhanaw taala. So it isn't just raising your hand and asking for help. It is getting down on your hands and knees and begging for help. And that's actually the point. That's actually the point when Allah subhanaw taala sends you a hardship. The reason it feels heavy, is because we're trying to carry it ourselves.
We don't depend on Allah when we have a hardship, we might say that we depend on Allah. But the truth is, we tried every other means. We'll call our friend, or call the doctor, we'll go to our bank account, we'll go to our house, we'll try to depend on everything else
to solve our problem,
but not Allah subhanaw taala.
And sometimes Allah, out of his mercy does something amazing.
You go, you have a problem, you go to your friend.
But your friend hangs up the phone in your face, or your friend isn't there for you, your friend lets you down. Then you go to you know, you go to a doctor or you go to this and you go to that and every single place that you try to go for help, or for refuge. The door gets slammed in your face, the door closes another door closes another door closed. Do you guys feel what I'm saying? And every time you seek those other means that door closes in your face has that ever happened to you when you're at the hardest time in your life? And you know, you're like, I tried, you know, no one was there for me. Has anyone ever felt that way? No one was there for me when I needed them most. For
some reason, this is like a rule of life. Right?
When you you know when you really really need the life jacket, that's when it's not working. When you really need the lifeboat, that's when it's broken. When you really needed that friend, that's when she wasn't there for you. When you really needed that person when you really needed the doctor to pick up whatever it was when you really needed it to work. That's when it doesn't. Do you ever wonder why that happens?
One of the reasons why this happens will love Allah Allah, Allah in this way directs you towards him.
Because we are trying to put our dependence in the wrong place. We're seeking help from the wrong things.
We are not asking Allah subhanaw taala for help. And instead we seek other things for help.
Now, do you guys ever realize maybe you guys have experienced this that you may have at first, try to seek help from other things, seek other things to depend on to get you out of that problem. And when they didn't work, then what did you do?
Usually you'll find that you end up turning to Allah subhanaw taala in a way that you never would have otherwise. And you'll find that your closeness to Allah subhanaw taala is most during those hardest times of your life.
Do you know why that happens because of this concept at that place in that state of need in that state of Colorado is when we are closest to a loss of final data. So now if a law wants to bring us close
What does he do? You guys see where I'm going? If if the only way you and I, because we're so engrossed in the illusions of the creation, it's the only way we're going to turn to him is when everything else is closed.
So that's what he does.
It is not a punishment, if we respond correctly. In fact, it's a mercy. Because had that storm never come
had that storm never come, you would have never tasted that closeness to Allah subhanaw taala. Perhaps some people may, but most people, unfortunately, get very deceived by ease. And Allah tells us this in the poor and that when the storm hits in the middle of the ocean, and the waves are like mountains surrounding them, that's when they call on Allah subhanaw taala in a state of tohave. Now, that's okay, it happens. A lot brings us to towhead.
In that situation, we're no longer asking from anyone else, because no one else can help us. It's only when no one else can help us that we are able to ask a law and a law alone and really realize their hunger well, who what at 11 there is no change in state, no power, no strength, except by Allah subhanaw taala.
And sometimes it takes a storm to make us realize that, but then Allah tells us that as soon as that person is saved, and he goes to the shore, you know, now things are easy again. What do we do?
Just think about yourself, what do you do? Once that hardship Allah subhanaw taala has saved you from it? What do you do? Be honest? Are you still asking him in the same desperate, humble way?
No, in fact, we become returned away from the Allah subhanaw taala. And we become again distracted with our many distractions, am I right?
That is the way we are. So the it is within the hardship itself that we are directed to Allah subhanaw taala. But what we have to do is this, even in the east, we need to not be deceived. A lot of people think that tests only come in the form of hardships. But do you know that an even greater test perhaps than hardship, is the test of ease?
Why is that? Remember I said on shore, on shore, we're farther from Allah.
Because when when we're given ease, it's even harder. That's why it's even harder to turn completely to Allah. That's why ease can be even a harder test than hardship.
It says this, the hardship has it's like a multiple choice test. But there's only one right answer. I'm sorry, there's only one option and it's the right answer. You get what I'm saying? Because Allah gives you the hardship, and closes every other avenue of health. So basically, he's giving you a multiple choice exam with only one option, and it's a lot. So it's the right answer. Then as soon as you get into the ease, now you have lots of options in the multiple choice test. Now the question is there but the answers are many your money, your status, your spouse, girlfriend, your father, your, your, your mother,
you guys understand? And those are the things that we become distracted with. And those are the things that we begin to love more than Allah subhanaw taala
but that happens during ease often. So the test of ease is sometimes more difficult than the test of hardship.
Now in talking about some of the other reasons why Allah subhanaw taala gives us hardship. Allah subhanaw taala also speaks about something called some hints. And Allah says in one of the arguments about hardship, Leola hasta la la Vina and Mendel.
What that means is a loss of Hannah Dinah sends the hardship in order to make those who believe undergo a process called compaines. What's on his
on his, his purification?
But it's not just, you know, purification but more specifically
the Egyptian and then right
So the concept of Tom Hayes is like what happens to gold?
When you want to purify gold? What do you do to it?
What do you do to gold to purify it? melted, you heat it up?
What happens when you heat up gold?
You remove all the impurities.
Guess what happens when you heat up a believer?
Allah is doing that to the believer. He says,
when you heat up a believer, you put them through something hard, you heat them up, you're removing a lot is removing the impurities.
Because our insides are full of some good and some bad.
And what Allah wants to separate the good from the bad, he gives us hardships. And it has that same.
That same effect, that heating up gold does that countries.
So in this way, hardship purifies us.
It brings us back to a loss of final dialogue, and it humbles us.
if we respond correctly to hardships,
no hardship is a punishment for you.
If you respond correctly.
Now what is the correct response to hardship?
At the very least the minimum that a believer should have as a response is SOP.
Patience. sobre means it. It may hurt internally, but you don't complain. You don't complain. And let me explain what I mean by complain because sometimes this is misunderstood. complaining about a lot is different than complaining to Allah.
complaining about Allah is different than complaining to Allah. complaining about a law means that you are not you are complaining about the situation in that you are not that you are resentful that you are angry, that you're saying, Oh Allah, how could you do this to me? Oh Allah, Why me? Why not that person? Why me all the time. That is not salt.
We can never respond in that way.
Because if we respond in that way, we will not get the benefits of hardship, in the purification and in the humility and in the blessing and the mercy that that that can come out of it.
But complaining to Allah is what even the prophets did.
yakou Bala Salaam when he lost Yusuf Ali Salim What did he say sort of abusive?
I complain of my sadness, my sorrow, only two of us kind of that. But what's he complaining in that he was saying, Oh, well, why did you do this to me? No out of it that that's not the type of complaint. It's when you turn to Allah and you say, oh, Allah, help me I'm weak.
Oh, alive hurts. That's fine. You're complaining to Allah? Because Allah is your refuge.
Your Allah is your refuge. If you're not going to go to Allah for refuge, where are you going to go? Really? Where are you gonna go?
Even the prophets I send them after Paul is What did he say?
He complained to Allah.
That is not in gratitude. Crying does not mean you are not in a state of soul.
The Prophet sallallahu send them cried when his son died, but his heart
was patient, his heart was content with the decision of silence. But that doesn't mean you don't cry. And it doesn't mean you can't complain to Allah subhanaw taala. And it doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't hurt inside. It may hurt but you are not angry at Allah subhanaw taala you are not complaining about what Allah gave you. But you're asking for help and you're admitting your own weakness.
And then there's a huge, even higher level than some of the the fruits of sub
among many is that your sins will be erased. And we're told by the prophets I send them that when a believer goes through any kind of pain, or hardship or loss,
even the prick of a thorn, and actually I have like scars.
Yeah, well, I have roses and they have thorns and Pamela described
Actually, I still have the scar on a lot. And I remember that heavy, because it says that it removes your sins, even if it's a thorn prick, and I just specifically It was a thorn.
That it removes your sins like leaves falling from a tree.
That's if you respond with sub, but there's an even higher level of response to hardship.
And that's rhythm.
Radar is contentment.
Software is when it still hurts inside butcher, you're struggling, you're still trying to be patient, support you, you know, the prophets I send them said whoever strives to be patient, allow with less than with patience. So even if you're not able to be patient, struggle, Allah will see that and Allah will bless you with patience, inshallah.
But at higher level is when it is actually internally there's peace, no matter what circumstance you're in. And that's the highest level, that's the level of river.
You know, there's the story of Abu hanifa odilon, rockruff, Malala, he, he he was sitting, and he was teaching, and he had property. And you know,
when we talk about not being attached to this, this world, it doesn't mean that you don't own things. You know, it's like the saying that that's the the leader of the line said that zones that not you know, that detachment not being attached to this life does not mean that you do not own anything, but that nothing owns you.
It does not mean that you do not own anything, but that nothing owns you. So you own your money, but your money doesn't own you see the difference? If your money is given or your money is taken, it doesn't. It doesn't destroy or build you. It's not. It's not something that can control you. But you control the money. So Abu hanifa was teaching and he had property, he had wealth. And he had been told as he was teaching that his ships had some of his ships had sunk. So he was teaching and he stopped. He paused. And then he said Alhamdulillah, and then he continued to teach.
And then a little while later they came back to him and told him actually we made a mistake. It wasn't your ships. Your chips are fine. He stopped. He paused. He said and 100 He laughed. And then he continued teaching.
And later on they came and asked him what was that about? What what why did you do that? And he explained that the first time when they told me that my ships had sunk, I stopped, and I examined my heart. And I found that my heart was not moved. So I said it handed in that that my heart was unmoved.
And the second time when they told me that actually I didn't lose my shifts. I stopped, I examined my heart. And I found that again, my heart was unmoved. It didn't move, I said 100.
You see the lesson here is that regardless of what circumstance he was in, it did not change the state of his heart. His heart was still in rhythm, his heart was still in a state of contentment, whether he lost his wealth or he gained his wealth and that is the highest level.
And this is the level that if we respond in this way, and we ask Allah subhanaw taala to make this response easy for us. If we respond in this way, not only are the sins forgiven, but a person is elevated in stations with a loss upon ozada is elevated.
We ask Allah subhanaw taala to make us among those who have sub who have risen and who have you know the ability to respond to hardship in a way that will purify us elevate us and bring us near to Allah subhanaw taala according only have a stock for a lolly will come in the havapoo Rahim subhanak below the hem deck the shadow and there he left at the end and structural corner to LA