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Rediscovering the Essence of Islam

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Yasmin Mogahed

Channel: Yasmin Mogahed

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Out of Lahaina shaytani r rajim Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah vida le usafa Jemaine. Additionally, sadri were silly Omri wanna lock them in listening of Coco Kohli.

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The topic that I'm speaking about today is about the essence of Islam, about coming back to the essence of Islam. And I think this topic fits in perfectly with the theme of this entire conference. That theme is revival.

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We, as we as an oma need a revival, we need to come back to the essence, we need to come back to our roots.

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To go back to that very important and powerful example, when you think about a massive tree, in order for that tree to be strong. In order for that tree to grow, you know, the taller that a tree grows, the deeper the roots have to sink into the earth. And so you need to have those that strong foundation, if you're going to be a strong tree. And it's those trees that have the strong foundation and the strong roots that can withstand the test of time, and the struggles and the storms and the wind that hit that tree.

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But you have to be able to have those roots. And that's what I want to talk about today. This is what we need to come back to this is what we need to develop within ourselves and then teach to our children, and then give to our communities is we have to come back to that strong foundation and come back to the essence of Islam.

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Now, first of all, I want to clarify that Islam is not a new religion.

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Islam is not a new religion, it did not begin with the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. In fact, Islam itself, the meaning of the word Islam is submission, loving submission. And what's interesting is, every human being submits to something.

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Even an atheist submits to something. Even an agnostic submits to something. The problem is, it isn't god, it's something else. And many times that which that person submits to his or her own desires, his or her own self.

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Sometimes people they submit to wealth, they submit to power, that these become what they live for.

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So it is incorrect to think that we as Muslims are the only ones who submit everyone submits you and I we will always submit to something the question is what are we going to choose to submit to Islam is not a new religion. In fact, Allah subhanho data tells us in the Quran that every prophets peace be upon them all came to their people saying the same thing. Yeah COVID marabu la la la comin la enviro

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yeah call me all my people are abodo la give your a bad to Allah alone. Now the reason I haven't translated a bad that is I want to talk at length about the meaning of the word a bad that and then they say man knuckle min la enviro you have no Illa but him

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a lot of times when we translate these words, we minimize the meaning of it.

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Now first thing I want to clarify, is that the meaning of the word a Bader has been limited.

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For many of us, a bad day is usually translated as just as as worship.

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And the way in which we understand worship has tended to be ritualistic worship. So I am doing a battle only when I am praying, or I am engaged in a battle only when I'm fasting or I'm in the masjid or I'm an active calf, but that the rest of my life is not or cannot be a bad but actually a bad that is a combination of two things.

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It is anything that is, is in obedience to Allah subhanaw taala. So that means it includes how I deal with my own family. It includes how I deal with my co workers, it includes my studies, it includes all of the things that I do in my life that are in obedience to Allah subhanaw taala. But there is a very key aspect of a betta, which has been lost.

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You know, we have this certain way about us in which we teach Islam. And we've kind of minimized Islam to be a list, it's a list of haraam. And Helen, it's a list of what you have to do it's do's and don'ts, and then we we kind of inherit this understanding of Islam, and then we give it to our children as well.

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And that is that, you know, Islam is just about what we can do and what we can do. And oftentimes, we teach our children about the punishments of Allah subhanaw taala, before we teach them about the love of Allah subhanaw taala. And the reason why that's a problem is because we are not understanding the psychology of the human being. See, the psychology of the human being is, if I were to ask you to bring to mind, that person in your life that you love the most.

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Everyone loves something.

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Even the most evil person loves something, maybe for them, it's wealth, maybe it's power, but we all love something. So when you bring to mind, that person who you love most, and then you think to yourself,

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what would you do, if that person

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asked you to do something, they requested something from you.

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Now, the more that you love that person, the more likely you are to drop everything to do exactly what they want.

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And especially if it would make that person very, very happy. If it would please that person, then you would go out of your way to try to do it. Why is it that a mother

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is willing to sacrifice her sleep, and basically her entire life for the sake of her children. Even a disbelieving mother does this. And it's because of one thing, no one is paying her. When you compare the job of a nurse and the job of a mother, you find that,

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you know, they both maybe doing similar jobs, you know, they stay up, they care for a sick child. But when it's your own child, imagine if the nurse if the boss came to the nurse, and said, You know what, we can't pay you anymore.

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You won't be able to get any more paychecks. What is he or she gonna do? They're gonna say see you right? They're not gonna continue doing that job. But for a mother, does she get paid?

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She doesn't get paid. And yet she continues to do that job. And father's the same. What is it that motivates them? It is the strongest motivator out there. And that is the motivator of love. It is the motivator of love, you are willing to give anything for the sake of what you love. This is the nature and psychology of the human being. This is how Allah designed the human being. That whatever we fill our hearts with whoever is the master of our hearts, becomes our master. In other words, and this is something really keep in mind if there's anything you take home with you from this specific lecture, let it be this is that you become a slave to whatever you love most.

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You become a slave to whatever you love most. You know what our problem is, as believers and as Muslims and as people in general, is that that thing that we love most is not a lot. That's our problem. You want to go to the root of the problem that is the root of the problem. Yes, we may love Allah, even as believers, we all of you in this room we are believers, I asked you, what do you love most? We all know the correct answer, right? Allah and His messenger.

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But, but the truth is, there are other things which we love more.

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See, we can love Allah subhanaw taala but we will always be controlled and want to sacrifice for what we love most and that is why

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many of us

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have not taken

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Can the advice of these prophets peace be upon them? Yeah COVID me abodo la hemella comin Isla enviro give your full, loving submission to Allah alone. You have no elaborate him. See our problem is we have made Islam ritualistic I pray with my body to Allah. I fast I give zeca I talk about Tom and Helen, maybe I'm even part of the Hutton police.

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Y'all have that here. So I may be doing all of those things. But in my hearts the thing which I love most is something other than Allah. It's actually my money

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or it's actually my job. Or it's actually my, my image in front of people, my status

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maybe my own children, maybe my spouse.

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And we take these things as Allah subhanaw taala warns us in the end

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we made a nasty manga document. Allah He and dad and you have buena home caffeic villa. Well levena Amano a shadowhawk Bella. Allah is telling us about a people and warning us that from among people, there are those who take rivals with Allah. Now when you think about rivals with Allah, when you think about the concept of shirk. Usually we think about someone who's praying to other than Allah. But in this area, it is saying it's not talking about praying. It's not talking about da, you hit buena home Casa Bella, they love them, as they should only love Allah.

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And you know what the problem with that is, you will become a slave to whatever you love most. And so when you take rivals with Allah and you love them, as you should only love Allah, you become a slave to that thing, not to Allah. And even if you're praying, and even if you're fasting, and even if you're giving a cat, but your real ILA is something other than Allah,

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your real Illa can be status. What do people think of me? You know, here's the sad thing.

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You want to know what you love most. So now I'm talking to you about a concept about love about what you love most. But none of us can like go into our hearts and split it open, and then look at our hearts and say, Okay, I love this most. There's no there's no blood test.

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How are you gonna know? How does a person know what they love most?

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You want to know what you love most. You just have to look and and observe your own mental, state and your own behavior. I'll give you an example.

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bring to mind what happens when a person is in love.

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You know, when you had that friend who was like in love, and they couldn't talk about anything else, they couldn't think about anything else.

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And it was like, if that person says jump, they say how high

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there is an obedience that comes with love. And there is an obsession of the mind.

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You know what's so interesting the way Allah subhanaw taala describes the believers in the Quran. He describes them, look how to love caphyon they remembered a law a lot. You see, this is the this is the design of the human heart. Whatever fills my heart fills my mind.

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simple way to understand what do I love most is to ask yourself, What do I think about most? What am I most preoccupied preoccupied by?

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And the truth is, for many of us, it really has nothing to do with Allah. Even if we're praying, even if we're fasting, even if we're giving a cat, but what is occupying our minds and our hearts is typically our money, our business, our houses, our cars, and the people in our lives. What are they going to say about me tomorrow? What did they already say about me? What are they saying now? What are they thinking about me? What are they going to think about me? And what did they think about me in the past? Right? This is what we obsess with?

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We obsessed with our status.

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Oh, but they insulted my ego. And these are the things that keep us up at night. I'm going to lose my status in front of people. I'm going to lose money in my business.

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What are people going to say?

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You know this concept of what are people going to say? When you live your life? Based on what are people going to say? And then you teach your children to live that way to know you can do X, Y, Z? Because what are people going to say?

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what's your teaching your children is worship the people

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worship what the people think of you, because you're gonna adjust your behavior based on the people. This is worship.

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This is worship, because when I live my life, for the sake of something, and it becomes my obsession, and it's all I think about, and it's all I strive for, and it becomes the end result, it becomes the end of my endeavors and my and my hard work. That's my goal. That's my, that's what I'm trying to get. That's worship. That's a better when you when you look at the meaning of the word Isla. Isla is not just something you make dua to and you pray to. And he laughs is something that you put at the center of your existence. Everyone has an ILA.

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Everyone, even an atheist, even an atheist has an Illa. But many of them, they take their own selves as their Illa. Allah describes the people in the Quran, who take their own desires as their ILA.

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That means that whatever makes me happy, right? It's the concept of, you know, obey your thirst, right.

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It's interesting, when you look at ads, you know, the ads that they have, for example, for sprite, it's obey your thirst. You know, if you feel an urge, just obey it, that's worship. Whatever I feel I do, and there's no concept of right and wrong, you just act. And you know, they teach you this kind of this idea that like, if it makes you happy, then do it. And they say things like, follow your heart. Well, it's very interesting to say, follow your hearts. Because most of the time, when people are saying, follow your heart, they mean, follow your neffs. Follow your desires. Because in order for us to be able to follow our hearts, we have to clean the heart first. If the heart is not

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clean, then it's neffs. It's it's our lower desires.

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So this concept of worship needs to change, we need to come back to making a law our actual ILA not our money, not what people think not our families, not our jobs, not our careers, not our status.

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And this is the message that all the prophets brought peace be upon them all. From the beginning, until the end, from the first prophet till the last yakko Marabou la hemella coming ILA in Iraq, it was this powerful concept of true to hate, that it is only a law that I love most. And when I have to make a decision, and when I have to sacrifice, I choose Allah. This is the lesson. This is the this is the beauty of the sacrifice of Ibrahim alayhis salam, what do you think this is about? When Allah tells Ibrahim alayhis salam, or shows him in the dream that he's slaughtering and sacrificing his son? What is that about? You think Allah wants him to kill his son? That wasn't the point,

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obviously, because he didn't.

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This was, you know, when you look at Ibrahim alayhis salaam,

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Ibrahim alayhis salam is the, you know, this is he, he was the father of the of, of this of the prophets. And he was he was the

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his focus was still hate. And yet there was something in his life that he loved most, that of the creation of all of the creation that he loved most. It would be

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among those would be his son. And so it was that which he was told to sacrifice. Why would that be? Because when he agreed, and when he submitted and when his son is made submitted, I didn't want to sell him. What were they saying to Allah?

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They were saying Yeah, Allah We love you most.

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He was saying Yeah, Allah I love you more. Even though he loved his smiling Salaam and even though it's mine, Alison and loved, you know to be to stay alive.

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I mean, yet he said they were they were saying that we love you more.

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Now do we have to make decisions will not like that when that had happened. But we also have to make decisions. You know when Allah subhanaw taala comes to us and we love to be fashionable.

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We want to be beautiful. But then a law comes and says, this is how you need to dress. You need to sacrifice what society says is beautiful. For the sake of what Allah says is beautiful. What do you choose?

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Why this becomes such a struggle for us, is when we love something more.

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And so this becomes a struggle when I love my money most.

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And then I am told that a river is prohibited.

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Right? I love my business, I love to make more money, I love to have more property, but then I am tested because I'm told that Riba is not allowed. And I really want that big house. And I don't just want like a kind of a big house I want like, over the top so that people can come and say, Look at that house.

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Then the question becomes, what do I love most? These are real decisions that we're making. We sit and we talk about, like, we tell the story of Ibrahim alayhis salaam to our children, we think it's really cool.

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But we don't realize that we're also tested every single day in our own decisions. What do we choose? When you're put in a situation where there's a person that you love?

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and pleasing them, would displease Allah? What do we choose?

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having a relationship with them?

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Maybe displeasing to Allah? What do you choose?

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We are always faced with these decisions.

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Now snam came to teach us to give us a blueprint to give us a prescription of how to live these words. Yeah, call me Abdullah. hemella comin Illa.

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I've talked to you now about the concept about the concept of taking a law as our only a law that we live our lives with only a law at the center, and nothing else, not our money, not our children, not our jobs, not what people think of us.

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But now practically, Allah and His Messenger, give us a prescription of how to live, let ilaha illa Allah.

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A way to conceive of this concept of what our existence in this life is, is think about a child. As soon as the child is born, they have a doctor that looks over who takes care of the child looks after the child. When the child is sick, the doctor gives the child medicine, the doctor gives advice of how to live of what to eat, what not to eat. And throughout the child's life, they are being taken care of by this doctor. And sometimes in this child's life, they are going to have to go through treatment that causes them pain.

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Sometimes they're going to have to take shots, sometimes they're going to have to undergo surgery, when they have a really, really deep disease, then the treatment sometimes is more intensive.

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We,

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in this life are like that child. And Allah is our doctor and allows high above any analogy. This is an analogy, a lot like our doctor, he gives us that prescription

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of how to live and he treats us and sometimes he treats us through our hardships. Our hardships are given to us, to cure us. And to bring us back to him. But our problem is we don't respond correctly. What we do is we take the prescription of the doctor, we put it in the drawer, we close the drawer, and then we wonder why we're sick.

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We aren't actually taking the prescription, and then we're wondering why we're sick. We aren't following the prescription that was given to us. And we don't understand why Allah does what he does with us. And we're not responding properly.

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Something else happens when we are born. I want you to imagine that as soon as you are born, you are given two things.

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First, you are given a house to live in.

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And second, you are given a bag and this bag is full of tools.

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So you're given two things. You're given a whole

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house to live in, and a bag full of tools. Now there's something unique about this house, this house is deteriorating slowly.

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Every day, a brick is falling out of that house, every day, it is falling apart little by little. And this is a reality that you cannot stop or change, or delay.

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And then what is inside this bag of tools,

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inside this bag of tools is all of these hammers and nails,

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and materials to build a new house with.

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So you follow me, you're given a house to live in for now. But it's deteriorating, it's breaking every single day. And at the same time, you are given a bag of tools, and you are given a limited amount of time to use that bag of tools to build another house that you will move into.

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And these are all realities that you cannot change.

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Now what is the tragedy of our existence is that here's what we do.

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Here's what we are doing. We are using all of our efforts to decorate our deteriorating house. We're spending all of our money, we're putting in all this effort. We're getting contractors, and all of our focus is on decorating the deteriorating house, the house that is falling apart, and we put all of our effort into decorating it taking care of it. And we have not built another house, we're not using our time to build the other house. In fact, what we are doing is we take that bag of tools, and we open it up. And you know what we do? We take out the hammer, and we fall in love with it. We take out the nails, and we fall in love with it and we never use it. What am I talking about? When

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we are born, Allah subhanaw taala gives us a house he gives us our body deteriorating body he gives us dunya the home of this dunya it is deteriorating, it is falling apart day by day, we cannot change that.

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But he gives us something else. He gives us his favours his Nam, he gives us eyesight, he gives us hearing, he gives us our children, he gives us our spouse.

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He gives us our intellect. He gives us our hearts.

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He gives us everything that we have our money. You know what that is, you know what all those things are? Those are tools. Those are all the tools inside of the bag. But our problem is we just fall in love with the tools. And we never use them.

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So we get attached to these things. We get attached to these gifts, but we never use them. We get attached to our money. But we don't use it to build our home agenda.

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We get attached to the people in our lives. But we don't use those relationships to build our home agenda.

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We just become in love with the tool, but we never use it.

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It's like a person who gets into a car. And that car is intended to take them somewhere. But they get in the car. And they just are so impressed by the leather seats, and the steering wheel. And they just fall in love with the steering wheel. And they never turned on the car. They don't go anywhere. this dunya is that car. You see every one of us we're given these things. And we're all given a chance. We're all given a bag of tools. And by the way, your tools will be different than my tools. But don't ever think that your tools or my tools are better.

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A law gives each person based on what he knows of them, and what they can use it for. And then you can look for low enough scintilla was a law never burdens any person beyond what they can bear. What the people in Gaza can bear is different than what I can bear. And what I can bear is different than what my neighbor can bear. A lot does not give me haphazardly a lot knows exactly what I can bear. I talked about the doctor, the doctor knows exactly what he's doing. And Allah is high above that analogy. Allah made the doctor a lot more Alok made the medicine Allah created everything does he not know and so whatever circumstances Allah gave you don't think it was a mistake.

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It was intended for you for a specific purpose. And that purpose is, so you can use it to build your home agenda. It's very simple. This is what we have to come back to. This is the vision of Islam we have to come back to, we're all on a journey. And that journey is about giving our hearts to Allah subhanaw taala. And in doing that we build our home in genda.

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But many of us are so distracted with the deteriorating house, the house is falling apart. And we think that the more we decorate it, then it's going to slow down the deterioration. We think if we decorate it enough that it won't, it won't break us as quickly. Why do you think there's people addicted to cosmetic surgery? Right? We have this huge industry of trying to make us live forever. Right? We don't we want ageless creams. We don't want to grow old. Because we're so attached to this deteriorating house, and we don't realize that there is a better house.

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That's our problem. Why? Because we haven't built it.

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But that is a better house in every sense of the word.

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bento sirona and Hyatt and dunya. Well Alfredo to hirundo appa Allah says, Do you prefer the life of this world when the Hereafter is better and more lasting?

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upca See, that's the thing. That's the difference between the two houses.

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One house is better and more lasting. You see in this life, no matter how good it gets, is it ever perfect.

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And even if it's good for a moment doesn't last.

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It never lasts. And Allah gives us signs again and again of this reality. You know what Allah does? A lot shows us the sign of a garden, the sign of a flower.

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You see that flower when it's in its peak when it's in its bloom.

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And it's breathtaking. But what happens? What happens to the trees,

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their leaves fall they crumble. This is a lesson for us that no matter how beautiful this life is, it is passing away. There's a very powerful area and sort of hot headed about this reality.

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Allahu Allah manhyia to dunya Allah I don't wanna when was he not on waterfowl from beynac omata Catherine, Phil and Wiley when our lads

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know that the life of this world

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is play amusement

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adornment

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in

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mutual boasting and then competing

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in wealth and children. You know, what's interesting about this area is it basically tells you the lifeline of the human being. You see, at every different moment in your life, there was something that was most important to you. And it changes when you're a child. What do children care about of dunia?

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What, what is dunya? For a child, their whole world is about what

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it's about play. If you want to give that child a gift, you give them a toy. They're not going to be impressed with an Armani suit. They don't care. You give them a rattle. They're happy. But you'll give them a $500 Armani suit. They couldn't care less.

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Live on wha hoo. And then you get a little older and it's all about amusement. It's about entertainment law.

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And then you get a little bit older and you know you're in high school. And all that matters is what you wearing, right? How you look adornment, Xena

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and then you get older and it's about proving yourself to falsehood on Bay netcom

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boasting between one another

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what's a castle on Phil and Wiley when once you settle down, you know, and you get married and you have kids and you have a house and you have a you know, car. Now what is it about? It's about competing with one another in wealth and children. But Allah tells us a very important lesson about all of these things that we run after

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that all of these things he says, can fit life in our job, our co founder and about to samaya he drew for almost fallen through my akuna hakama that it's like a farmer No, it's like a heavy rain that comes and you know when heavy rain comes and it makes the garden beautiful.

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But what happens to that garden, Allah says that the farmer becomes the

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lighted with the garden for a little bit, but then what happens to the garden? it crumbles, it wilts, it crumbles, it becomes yellow, and then it just becomes debris. This is the, this is the life of this world. This is the metaphor. This is the the example Allah is giving us that all of these things we run after our house and our status and our beauty, it will not last forever. And no matter how much you decorate that deteriorating house, it doesn't keep it from falling apart.

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And then lastly,

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falling in love with the tool.

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When we fall in love with the gifts of Allah,

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and we love them more than the giver, then we have a very serious problem. Our problem is that we take the gifts. So imagine for a moment that I give you a gift. And I'm giving you this gift I give you you know, a purse, or

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a book, and I'm giving you this gift because I love you.

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But now imagine that you take that gift, and you start to love the gift more than me.

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You start to love the gift more than the giver. This is what we do with Allah.

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When Allah gives us gifts, he gives us our health and our beauty and our money and our children and our spouses. These are all gifts, but we start to love the gift more than the giver. And that is why we are not willing to sacrifice.

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That is why we can't give up ribba that's why we can't give up ribba because I love the gift of money more than the giver.

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That's why it's so hard for me to dress modestly and to wear hijab because I love to be beautiful. I love the gift that Allah has given me more than the giver. This is very dangerous.

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Finally,

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one way to look at this life

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is the example of an ocean.

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We're all on this journey to cross this ocean. And we're all going to the same place. We begin with Allah and we end with Allah. But the problem is this.

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How do we get across this ocean without drowning?

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We're all going to the same destination but some of us will drown in the ocean of dunya Allah and His Messenger give us a prescription of how to cross this dunya without drowning in it a pony pony had was stuffed for a lot he went back home in our photo Rahim. subhanak Hello B ham deca Chateau La Ilaha Illa and a circle a tuple a lake. It's been a pleasure. Your community

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has been so welcoming and inshallah I really hope to return very soon set Mr. A comb rahmatullah wa barakato