Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed’s Lecture at Boston Islamic Seminary’s Annual Fundraising Iftar
Billahi min ash shaytani r rajim Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim salatu salam ala rasulillah Juan annual savage mine abishola Saudi Arabia Siddeley Omri wa Hello, Dr. De melissani of going cloney someone's really excited about me speaking.
I stand here again in front of you, as I have many times this Ramadan between you and if thought, I'm sorry,
inshallah, to Allah in these short moments that we have together, I want to convey to you something that I feel very passionate about. And that's something that I believe this institution is really working towards, and that is creating a foundation. I think a lot of the problems that we face individually and as a community is, it's a lot like what happens to a tree that doesn't have a solid foundation. So you know, Allah subhanaw, taala nakoda, and uses the example of a tree. And he gives us the example between the goodly tree and the and the evil tree. And the difference between a tree that can withstand weather, and a tree that cannot, is the roots, Mia. So Allah subhanaw taala
describes this good tree, the solid tree, it says, a slew has a fair bit, what furrow have is a man that its foundation is, is solid, Sabbath, it's strong, it's, it's it's very deeply rooted. Where far photo FSM and this is important, Allah says, and its branches reach towards the sky. See, the taller a tree gets, the deeper its roots have to be. And that's what we have to understand as individuals developing ourselves and as a community as an omen is that in order for us to reach the sky, in order for us to grow, in order for us to to become you know, reached lofty goals, we have to have solid roots, we have to get deeper in order to get higher in order to get larger. And when you
look at the mission of the prophets, I send them you find something very interesting about the mission of the Prophet sallallahu. To send them, there is a very, very important Hadith in which I shuttle the line he says about the prophets I send them are about his mission. And she says that if the first verses to be revealed, were telling the people to leave alcohol. You know, I heard some of the statistics at the beginning, which were were very, very painful to listen to. But she said that if the first verses to be revealed, were to not drink alcohol, or to give up for an occasion, two of the things that were mentioned in the statistics, that the people would have said we will never give
up alcohol, and we will never give up for an occasion.
However, the first verses to be revealed we're not do not we're not give up alcohol and give up fornication. She explains to us that the first verses and when we look at how the mission of the prophets I send them was was was completed. The first verses were creating that bond with Allah subhanaw taala they were creating a relationship with Allah subhanaw taala deeply rooted in love and fear. Now what how do these fit together? What we have to understand is that the mistake that many of us have made, and I think a lot of
the mistake that we've made as an as an education, you know, and in in Islamic education, is that we come with the rules first. So in other words, I shut out the line that is telling us that if the first verses to be revealed, were do not commit fornication or leave alcohol, people would have said we will never leave that. But the first verses created a sense of love attachment and, and, and accountability, the first verses that were revealed, trained these people's hearts, and then they became they went on to become some of the best human beings to walk the earth. But they were Allah subhanaw taala came and trained their hearts first before he came and told them the rules.
Unfortunately, what has happened, and what I've observed is that a lot of us, we grow up seeing Islam like a list of hot almond head. Right? It's a list of do's and don'ts. And sometimes we grow up with a concept of Allah which is absolutely false and absolutely imbalanced. It's a concept of Allah subhanaw taala that goes like this.
You better not mess up. Right? You better not make any small mistake or slip. Because if and when you do a low will take you and put you in hell. It's
This concept of Allah subhanaw taala is wrath without being balanced with Allah subhanaw taala His mercy. And it's a very dangerous thing to do to teach our children about a line that way. That's not how Allah speaks about himself. Allah subhanaw taala tells us, we're taught that Allah has mercy prevails over his wrath, but the ways that we grow up learning about Allah, it's almost like we're learning about a really scary police officer, right? Like, you know what, if you are if you grow up, and your family is always telling, if you're always telling a child, you know what, you better be careful, because if you make one mistake, the police is going to come take you and put you in jail.
You better be careful, better watch yourself, because the police is, you know, what I mean? How is this person going to feel about the police as they grow up? And and moreover, what type of relationship is this person going to want to have with the police? Really, it's going to be in a relationship of avoidance. And a lot of young people grow up, and that's the relationship they have with religion in general. And Islam in particular, it's this relationship of, you know, what everything's held on. And, and it's just, it's this deep seated fear, this deep seated feeling of no matter what I do, I'm always gonna mess up, and it will never be good enough. So let me just stay
away from that completely. And a lot of that is our fault. And that's because of the way we use religion. Unfortunately, what I've seen is that we use religion to control our children, or we think to control our children. Right? How wrong we I mean, we have children growing up, they don't even they're like, they can't say their name, but the only thing that they learn is the word hot. All right, how long is this? It's the first thing we teach, but I settled on has telling us the opposite. She's saying that that's not the way the prophets I send them taught. He didn't come with the rules. God, Allah Subhana didn't come with the rules first, what was the methodology of the
prophets? I send them in a very important Hadees that begins by talking about rules, right? How many of you know of this Howdy, you probably all learned growing up, that what is lawful is clear and what is unlawful is clear, everyone and between them are the doubtful matters, right? And we're told to stay away from the doubtful matters to protect us from falling into the hot arm or the unlawful
Now, what's interesting about this heady is that much of the discussion of this headset ends there. At least that's what I thought for like a long time. Right? But my mind was blown. When I realized that the Hadith doesn't end there. That discussion of the prophets I send them it doesn't end that rules. It doesn't end at haraam Hillel and Natasha behead right? The the lawful and the unlawful nd and the and the disagreed about or rather the the, those things that we don't know exactly about the doubtful matters. It doesn't end there. The prophets I sent him goes on in this discussion to say enough ingesta de matar indeed, in the body, there's a lump of flesh. And this is where he gives us
the secret, right? He gives us that, that that tool, that key, and he says enough ingesta, the Moto is a solid hatzolah algester dokolo, that indeed, in the body, there's a lump of flesh, if it's set, right? Then the entire body is set, right? What is the faster that faster than just Sudoku? And if it's corrupted, the entire body is corrupted. And we're here. Indeed, it's the heart.
The discussion here has to be around how are we building the foundation? How are we building people's hearts? And how are we connecting people to Allah subhanaw taala at a root level, this type of institution is so essential, because it teaches people how to get close to Allah subhanaw taala at a foundational level, how to build the heart The Prophet,
Ibrahim alayhis salam in his very beautiful extended
wallet to Xena Yama, Yama zone. He says to Allah subhanaw taala do not disgrace me on the day when everyone is brought back. Yo mela again foul Manuela by noon inland and Attila the Caribbean selling on the day when nothing is going to benefit anyone of wealth or children. So in other words, power isn't going to benefit you all the power you had in this world all the wealth you had in this world won't benefit you in them and at aloha Bitcoin even selling except for the one who returns back to Allah with a heart that sound with a heart that's healthy. It goes back to the heart because the heart is the master of the body.
The heart is where you connect to Allah subhanaw taala. And then the prophets I send him saying, if you get the heart, then you've got the whole body. And what does that mean? It means that actions follow from that. I mentioned in the previous Hadees, that the Hadith begins by talking essentially about filk. Right? Right. But what's what's lawful is clear what's unlawful is clear in between them are doubtful matters. This is, this is a discussion about rules, right? This is a discussion about how Tom and halen, but look at how the prophets I send them links it to the heart. He says that, if you want it for us to be able to follow the haraam, I mean, the the the rules about heroin and
heroin, for us to be able to stay away from the heroin.
And for us to be able to stay upon the obligatory action, we have to train our hearts. And that's how we will be able to do that, that Allah subhanaw taala tells us, it's by training the heart. Now, in terms of how I was listening to the brother talk about some of the struggles that we face, in, in college and in school, and in the workplace, really, and what, what came, what kept going through my mind, and you were mentioning how we go to these conferences, and we get these spiritual highs, but then we go back, and we have to struggle. And what came to my mind is the fact that sometimes we forget that the heart is just like the body, and the heart has to be taken care of just like the
body does. See, if you have a human being who eats, you know, once a month,
what's gonna happen to that person, or worse yet, one month out of the year,
right? Someone only eats one month out of the year, what's gonna happen to that person?
I know you're hungry, but you know, right? You're gonna die, right? That person will starve, they will become first the body will become very weak, and then that person will eventually die, they will eventually starve to death. And that's what we do spiritually, unfortunately. So even when we talk about, okay, we go to these, these conferences, or we go to these talks every once in a while when we have access, and we get a spiritual high, but then what it's like a person who's eating and then doesn't eat for a month, or even doesn't eat for a week, what would look what happens since we don't eat for a few hours, right? Y'all are feeling it. That's, that's what happens to the body when
it starts to be deprived of its necessary food. And the heart is exactly the same way. That the one who designed the the physical self also designed the spiritual self, Allah subhanaw, taala, created both the spiritual world and the physical world. So the same way that we maintain the body, we have to also maintain the heart. The heart also needs food. What happens to a person who says, you know what I'm not. I'm not going to breathe today, because I have an exam. Let me keep that for tomorrow after the exam, because I'm busy. I mean, what would happen to someone crazy enough to do that? Again, guys
will suffocate to death. Yeah, you won't, you will die. Why? Because you're deprived of oxygen. It's the same thing with the heart. See what happens, the reason why the heart becomes weak. The reason why our airmen becomes weak is the same exact reason that the body becomes weak. If you're not feeding it, or you're not breathing, it's exactly the same. But what happens to us is that we are very, very careful about feeding the body. You know, we would never miss a breath. Right? It doesn't matter how busy you are, doesn't matter what exam you're studying for. Doesn't matter what airport you're at, you feel me, you're not going to miss a breath.
But it's easy for us to miss a lot. For example, it's easy for us to pray outside of the time or maybe just miss Salah altogether. But Salah is oxygen, Salah is the oxygen of the heart. So when we find ourselves emotionally, spiritually and psychologically becoming weak, it we have to go and see how's my oxygen, just like you do with the body, you go to a doctor and the doctor sees that your your body is weak, your body is sick. They're gonna say okay, are you eating? Are you drinking enough water? Are you breathing? You're gonna check your oxygen level right? And and if your oxygen level is loving, say you know what your body's weak because your oxygen is low.
Or or you're not eating, you know what the last time you ate was last week. Right? Where you're not drinking water and if this is exactly what we do to our hearts. And so what happens is when we are faced with challenges as we will be in life, you know, when it's when you're faced with a challenge
You are weak.
It's just like a body. You go up and and now, okay, you haven't been eating, you're not breathing properly, you're not drinking and now you're going to run a marathon. What's gonna happen?
Good, okay, you're awake, right? You're gonna collapse, you're gonna fail. You can't finish the marathon. How can you ask a person to run a marathon? Who isn't even breathing? That's insane. Right? Or, or isn't eating or isn't drinking. And this is exactly what happens in our life. We have to face MIT, we have to run marathons. Right? The things that we face in this society, and really every society in the world is like running a marathon. We have challenges. We have personal challenges, we have family challenges, we have financial challenges, we have health challenges, there isn't a human being in the world that isn't facing some challenge, right? We face many
challenges. This life is a marathon. This life is a marathon. There's no way around it. We all just have different challenges, right? Some people their their challenges in his in their health. Millis pathetic, give us all good health, my own and just actually just passed away on Wednesday, from a long battle with cancer, please make dua for her. Allah subhanaw taala Have mercy on her. We have we have sometimes health challenges. Sometimes we have financial challenges. Sometimes we have mental health challenges, psychological challenges, emotional challenges, relationship challenges, these this is just reality.
So we have to run this marathon, we can't stop. If you stop you die, you have to keep going. You know, they say that you don't drown. by falling into the ocean, you drown by staying there.
You understand very deep. It's not about the, you know, the difficulties in our lives or the slips even. It's about what do you do after that? How do you respond? You understand? Everybody false? Sometimes everybody has challenges. But the but what's going to distinguish those who are successful and those who are not? is how do you respond? When you fall? How do you respond when you fell in the ocean? You fell? You fell into the sea? What did you do? Did you stay there? Or did you try to get up?
We all face these challenges. But the question is, how do we respond? Are we able to get back up and keep going. But the reality is, we cannot do it. If if we're not healthy internally, right? Just like you can't possibly run a marathon. If you aren't eating, drinking or breathing, there's no way that you can handle the marathon of life, if you're not taking care if you're not feeding your heart, if your heart isn't getting its oxygen. So what we have to start to institute, right, and that's why these institutions are so important is we have to create a daily routine. It just isn't going to work. If we're eating once a month, we can go to a lecture once a month, and that's going
to be enough. That's like saying, I'm going to breathe once a month and I'm going to be good, right? You have to institute a consistent daily routine, just like you eat, and you drink and you breathe, have to take care of your heart. And the first and foremost part of that is the Salah. See, I always feel like I haven't done justice to any talk about anything spirituality, psychology, relationships, anything if I don't talk about the salon, because honestly, I feel it's kind of like someone goes to a doctor and the doctor doesn't even mention they have to breathe. You know, I mean, talks to you about organic food, right raw nuts, but doesn't tell you that you have to breathe. Yeah, so you're
like, Okay, I'll I'll eat my organic I'll eat my I'll drink my green juice, but I won't brief. It is the it is the essence of what keeps us alive is our oxygen. It's the oxygen of the heart. This is why the profits I sell them in his mission. It was the it was the establishment of this attachment to Allah that we began with, because that's the roots that's a slew has said that that's where the root is solid. Because now when a tree has solid roots, the wind comes it doesn't. It doesn't knock it down. But if you have a tree that does not have solid roots, and unfortunately, as an oma
in some cases we don't have those solid roots sometimes, and when the wind comes and blows
And we have these trials of life we have these challenges of life, they can knock us down. And it has everything to do with the how solid our roots are. And so the first thing is the Salah, we have to establish, you know, when Allah subhanaw taala talks about Salah in the Quran, he doesn't just say that they pray,
you know, Allah says uses a very important word it calm is solo. It calm as salam means the establishment of sola. Because it can't just be something we do in Ramadan, or something we do when it's convenient. That's like saying, we breathe in Ramadan or we breathe when it's convenient. It has to be something you establish right? Is there anyone in this room who has not established breathing?
not that hungry, right?
No one, we have to establish breathing, just like we have to establish Salah. And then second, and this is part of a prescription that is absolutely necessary to be able to get through this marathon of life. And that is we have to have victory in our life. What do I mean by Vicar? This is simply the remembrance of God, the remembrance of Allah, it has to be daily. When you look at the life of the Prophet size salon.
When you look at his life, you you're it's amazing to see that he had a draw for every single motion of life. Everything he did, there was a draw for it.
If we look at his you know, if you pick up a book, like fortress of a Muslim, or you get the app, my dog with two A's, okay, great app, it's just fortress of a Muslim. I recommend everyone downloading this app, I do not get a cut, but it is the best 99 cents you'll ever spend.
And when you get this, when you look at this, you see that the prophets I send them, he had a supplication for every single walk of life, everything he did before he ate when he finished eating, entering the bathroom, leaving the bathroom, leaving his house coming into the home driving or, you know, go ahead and transportation. Right. Even before intimacy, there was a dot, what is the prophets I send them training us to do? He is training us to constantly be oxygenating the heart. This is the food of the heart. This is how a person becomes strong. Do you know when a person has to do to be able you don't just wake up and say I'm going to run a marathon? Has anyone ever run a
Okay, how much training? How long does it take months of training beforehand, right? Right. You can't just get up out of bed and take Today's the day I'm gonna run a marathon, you have to actually train. And that's because the body cannot get to that point unless you train the body. And it's the same thing with the heart. You have to train the heart to be able to handle the marathon of life and life is gonna send you storms.
The difference between people who get destroyed by their storms and the people who not only survive storms there are people who can thrive inside storms. That's that's a skill. That can only happen when you're trained spiritually
to be able to thrive even when the storm hits. That's what our profits were peace be upon them.
But they were those who remembered Allah standing considering and on their sites. This is the formula that Allah subhanaw taala gives us and levena yas Quran Allah pm and walk Odin, wala Joon obey Him that they are those who remember Allah standing and sitting in on their sides. They remember a law when things go their way. And they remember a law and things don't go their way. You know, sometimes we're fair weather servants of Allah. You know, I'm saying, You ever heard of a Fairweather friend? Yeah, we sometimes are Fairweather slaves, which is weird.
But we we don't we know. It's like conditional. The Allah as long as you do this for me, but you know what? You didn't do this for me. So right? Like you didn't answer this door in the way I wanted. So you know, I'm not gonna breathe today. Watch that. Take that. Which is really weird. Because when you don't breathe, are you hurting the doctor or yourself?
Right? If you don't take the medicine, or you're hurting the doctor yourself? Well, you're hurting yourself. And so when we are depriving our hearts of the remembrance of Allah are turning away from Allah. Trust me, we're not hurting Allah. Because Allah is Allah honey. Allah is completely self sufficient and has no absolute need. We're the ones who are caught off which means we are the ones who are poor for Allah subhanaw taala. We are the ones in need. And so when we deprive our hearts, we are the ones being deprived. We have to go back to having this foundation and when we have a strong foundation, it's really
like building a fortress. And even when storms come storms are going to come challenges are going to come. They're going to face us individually collectively family, as we see.
But that's what allows us to be resilient a holding colony. Heather was doctrinally welcome in our photo Rahim. subhanak Hello behind Dhaka shadow Nayla Helen says Dr. Rocha tulelake