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Serenity – Depression Anxiety Marital Problems Yassir Fazaga

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Yasmin Mogahed

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Assalamu alaikum This is Yasmin Mujahid and you're listening to serenity streaming live on one legacy radio. Today we are talking about a very important and very serious issue. And Alhamdulillah, we are blessed to have an expert in Sharla. To discuss this issue with us. We are speaking today about the topic of depression, anxiety and marital problems. Specifically, when we talk about, um, depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, within our community, there is a sort of this is sort of a taboo topic. It's something that, you know, if a person has a problem with their heart, or a perfect person has a problem with their kidneys, or their arm or their leg, it's okay to go to a doctor. But

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when someone has a problem emotionally, or someone has, has a mental health, sort of issue, or, or any kind of psychological problem, it's considered a sort of taboo to go and seek help. And unfortunately, especially within our community, as Muslims, we have a lack of resources, I get countless messages every day, you know, from people from all over the world who don't have these resources in their own communities, and they're just, you know, they're looking for a place to get help. And this is something we need to talk about, it's something that we need to, you know, we need to redefine a lot of the understanding that we've had thus far about these topics of mental health

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and depression and anxiety. And I think, one of those myths, if you will, which which inshallah we will be speaking with the issue of cancer about, is this idea that if a person is depressed, or is going through, you know, the this this type of, you know, this is struggling with depression or anxiety, that it's, it's their own fault, or that it's not necessarily a consequence of low men, or it's, it's, it's a problem with a person's faith, and therefore they're feeling this, this sadness or this depression. And, and this is something that, you know, we will find that if you look at the examples that we have, in the end, and the stories of the prophets themselves, peace be upon them,

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they also felt sadness, that sadness is, is something that is, is not necessarily only, you know, an emotion that those who are, who are far from Allah subhanaw taala experience, it's not just necessarily a consequence of low Amen, but this is, you know, the, for example, the prophets I send them tells us, that there is a, there's an expiation of our sins, for those who are patient, when they when they, you know, undergo sadness and, and worry, even if it's just the prick of a thorn. And in this Hadeeth, it, what's mentioned in this Hadeeth is actually the prophesy centum says, if a believer is, you know, a believer goes through these things than they are, removes their sins, like

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leaves falling from a tree. So we notice from this Hadith, that the Prophet peace be upon him, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is saying that a believer is also going to go through these things, a believer also feel sadness, a believer also feels anxiety, that this is not something just saved for those without faith are those who are weak in faith. But this is one of the trials of this life, and we need to see it as such, that it isn't, it doesn't say something about you as, as being more or less strong or or being a weak person, or maybe not grateful enough. And this is one of the sort of common, I think the one of the most common comments that people who do suffer from from, you know,

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depression, or, or these types of struggles is that, you know, you just need to be more grateful, you know, at least you're not,

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you know, like those people starving across the world. And, and while gratitude for sure has been found, to to, you know, across the board to increase your level of, of even just baseline happiness, this is very, very true that gratitude is very powerful, in terms of, of making, you know, even increasing the baseline, you know, people have a baseline and this is true, however, and I think it's dangerous to connect the the two in the sense of, if one is feeling that that sense of depression or sadness, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's because they are an ungrateful person. It is true that gratitude and focusing on what Allah subhanaw taala has given us and being grateful

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can definitely

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help to combat those feelings of sadness and those feelings of hopelessness and, and depression. However, it is, it should

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To not be used as a weapon, and sort of as something to beat a person down, and make them feel that you're, you're an ungrateful person, but rather, it can be a tool. And for sure, gratitude is a tool. You know, I, and this is something we teach to our children, that, you know, you can look at this concept of looking at the glass, and how do you look at it, it is very powerful. There are some people who, when they see, you know, some water that's missing from a glass, instead of seeing it as being half full, they do see it as half empty. And this is, of course, you know, this is a common cliche you hear, but it is very indicative of how people see the world of the world view, when we

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look at a door that has just closed, sometimes we become so focused on the door that's closed, that we miss, the hundreds of doors that are open, and the hundreds of doors that have opened for us, we, you know, part of

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Part of the reason why we become overwhelmed, perhaps with sadness, or, or, or with depression, or hopelessness has, has sometimes to do with our focus, what is it that our heart is focused on. And of course, there is a definite spectrum, when it comes to matters of mental health, there's definitely a spectrum when it comes to depression for for example, and not all types of depression or sadness can be cured simply through spiritual methods. However, there is there is definitely a quite a bit of tools that we have in our tradition, that can help a person who is struggling with this when with these emotions, again, it isn't to say that, that the that the that the sadness or

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the depression itself is because of a lack of spirituality, but rather within our tradition of spirituality, there are tools in order to enable us to come out of that, and and to help us It doesn't necessarily cure all types of depression, it may not work for all people, however, it is something that we have and Allah subhanaw taala has given us these different means and it's it's okay to use these means, you know, as we, we we are depending on Allah subhanaw taala to cure us, but it is okay, of course, to still seek the means. And knowing that if I go to a doctor, the doctor himself or herself is not the one who's curing me, if I take medication, it's not the medication

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itself, that's killing me. But of course, Allah subhanaw taala is the one who cures and Allah is the one in control. But But that doesn't mean that I don't seek those means I seek I seek the means while knowing who really controls the means and who really is the one from which everything comes, it's important to have that balance and to have that focus and understand Allah subhanaw taala is the one who can cure anything, Allah subhanaw taala is in charge and in control of everything. And yet I seek the means I I go and I and I look into the spiritual tradition, how do I how can I you know, what are some methods that that are according to the Sunnah of the Prophet, so I said lemon,

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and lessons from those who came before us that can help with the struggles, as well as seeking, you know, the, the means from the dunya as well. And and it's important that that we don't limit ourselves and we understand that one method may work for one, one person and it may not work for another and inshallah we We ask Allah subhanaw taala to make it easy on all those who are struggling with, with these with these tests, and and we need to really begin to see it in that way. It is not, we sometimes we feel that these things may be an indication of there's something there's something weak in me or there's something wrong with me, or maybe I'm being punished. And we have to really

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completely redefine how we view these struggles. Allah subhanaw taala tests people in different ways. And for some people, they their test is that they don't have a lot of money. For other people, their test is that they don't have health. And for other people, maybe their test is this emotional struggle that they that they go through. This is part of, you know, part of dunya is the fact that we are tested and we do struggle, but Allah subhanaw taala gives us the tools and Allah subhanaw taala is there and Allah subhanaw taala can lift us out of this, it isn't something that we have to just, you know, because it's it's a test we don't have to just you know, passively give up. In fact,

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we should not passively give up but we should continue to seek Allah subhanaw taala to lift us out of it. And there are different ways, again, that that one can do that. But but but what we really I really, really want to emphasize and inshallah when we speak with shifty acid, he too will emphasize it.

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This is something that that we need to remove the stigma from,

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you know that this is this is not an indication of something's wrong with this person or they have weak, amen, or they, you know, they must be just an ungrateful person, but it's, again, it's a test like all other tests, you don't look at a person who, who is is not very well off and say, well, it's just because they don't work hard enough, right? People don't, you don't, you don't say that you don't look at a poor person who's struggling to make ends meet or is homeless and say, Well, you know, it's just because they didn't, they didn't work hard enough, or they're just lazy. And it's very similar to say that a person who's struggling with depression, it's because they're just,

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they're an ungrateful person, or they don't have strong enough men. Because Allah subhanaw taala tests people in different ways. And perhaps this is that, that person's testing that and that person struggle, we need to enable people and not cut them down. It's very important that we don't, we don't see, you know, these things as as handicaps but but these are struggles, and these are tests and, and our job as a community is to provide services to help each other out. We provide services for those people who are not able to feed themselves and their families, we also need to provide services for those who are more struggling from depression and anxiety and, and and it's it's just

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another form of, of like a, you know, a struggle that they that they go through another sort of imprisonment, and we want to help each other out. So inshallah, you know, it's, it's a lesson for all of us to really to be to be more empathetic towards one another. We, we always, sometimes we see the world through our own lens, of course, and whatever we feel, and whatever we experience affects how we view others, and how we view the motivation of others. But we have to start to be able to like step outside of that a little bit, and realize that what other people experience is not like what I experience and how I experience that, you know, one event is not going to be the same way

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that another person experiences the very same event. We are all different. And so we have to start to be more tolerant, and more empathetic and understanding of what other people are going through. And not to say, well, we'll look at that person, why are they so upset about this little thing because you have not walked in that person's shoes and you don't know what it feels like to be that person and to experience it in the way that that person is. So we should be very careful I think about you know, the judgment and and just, you know, imposing our own experience and our own worldview and our own paradigm on other people. Because everybody experiences the world differently.

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And what we should be doing again is helping each other out inshallah not cutting each other down. I will take a short break now and when I return I'll open it up for some questions. And then we will speak with Shaq. Yes inshallah.

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settimane calm This is Yasmin Mujahid and you're listening to serenity streaming live on one legacy radio.

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I want to remind all of you that one legacy radio is a nonprofit and we are supported by listeners. So I asked you to please do support the radio station by becoming a member you can see the red button on top of the player please click on that button and support the radio station just $10 a month you know it's it's it's less than $1 a day for us but it really really goes a long way for the radio station. So I asked you to become a member and please encourage your brother you know your your sisters, your brothers, your friends, your family to also become brought to become members and to support the radio station. We want to keep shows like this on and we want to continue to support

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and grow this very important endeavor of Muslim media it's something that we complain about a lot but but there's some somebody out there is doing something about it let's support them in sha Allah please support you know the efforts that are already on the ground and in that in that way and in that support we all we are also helping ourselves because this charity is it would you know is considered a silica jatiya inshallah, charity that continues to benefit people. And the Prophet sallallahu Sallam has said that anytime, when when we when we leave this world when we pass away, all of our deeds are going to end except for three. There are three types of deeds that a person can

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do in this life while they're still alive, that continue to benefit him or her in their grave.

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One of them is the sadaqa jariya. It's a charity that we gave in this life, and it continues to benefit people even after we've passed away. And and one of the other categories that our Prophet sallallahu wasallam mentions is any knowledge that we give to people that continues to benefit people after we we pass away. So in in both of these categories giving to this to this cause in sha Allah can be counted on your scale as one of those and inshallah continue to benefit you in your grave. So please do support this effort, become a member keep these shows on on air, that's what we want to do and have this, this this service for our communities inshallah. So, I'm taking questions

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at the at the chat box, you can also send your questions to serenity at one legacy radio.com.

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So, questions?

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Let's see. Okay, so I have been struggling so long with the question whether seeking psychotherapy means failing, whether it means that you, I fail in my Amen.

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And thank you for mentioning this. And thank you for asking this question. Because this is the way that a lot of people view it, that somehow we have been taught that, you know, it's okay to seek help from a doctor, if I have a headache, it's okay to seek help from a doctor if I have pneumonia. And nobody says, Wow, you're so weak, why don't you just, you know, why don't you just let your immune system take care of it? Right? Why are you going and getting medicine for your, you know, your disease, and yet, when it comes to issues of, of mental health, or issues of emotional or psychological health, it's completely different. And the idea is that this is something we're just

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supposed to, you know, deal with on our own marital problems, again, also something, it's considered a, you know, a sign of failure, that you're seeking help. And that's that we need to really, really, completely redefine these, these things. Because the same way that you need that you seek, you seek the help of a professional, if you're sick, if your body is sick, the same way you seek the help of a professional, you know, if you if you need medicine, for for any disease that you have, we also there isn't it's not a sign of weakness, to seek help, for emotional problems, or for mental health issues or for family problems. What it means is that you are, you're doing your duty, as a believer

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of seeking the means to solve the problem. And, and of course, of course, at the be at the, you know, throughout this process, we know and this is what I emphasized before, and I want to emphasize again, we know that the solution comes from Allah subhanaw taala, that, that our salvation and our cure is from him, you know, and he's the one who feeds us, and he's the one who protects us. But we're still asked to put the food in our mouth, right? If we were to sit and say, well, Allah is the one who feeds so I don't need to eat the food, I would be held accountable because I'm not taking care of the trust that Allah gave me, in my body and my health. And, and in the same way, although

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Allah is the one who protects, I still lock my doors at night, right, I still locked my car. These are means these are things that we are told as part of our worship as part of our data, to to engage and into into us. And in the same way, when I'm struggling with something, I'm struggling with them with depression, or I'm struggling with it with a family problem, or a marital marital strife, that that is something I should also seek the means to to alleviate and to and to do what I can to help, you know to do my part, basically, just like I put the food in my mouth to feed my body, I need to take the means of knowing of course that the answer and their solution comes from a less powerful

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data and, and all, all things come from a law, I still am required to do what I can and know and so No, it is not a failure on your part. It's you admitting that Allah subhanaw you're admitting to Allah subhanaw taala first and foremost, that you need his help. And anyone who is not willing to admit that they need the help of Allah is in a lot of trouble. Because we all need the help of a line. If I'm not able to admit that then I'm in more serious trouble than the one who's admitting it. And so what we what we're doing first and foremost is we are saying like no, Holly Salim and Nima Holloman foamposite, you know, in Mohali Sallam he, he admit to Allah subhanaw taala I, I'm

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defeated. He you know, he's saying I need you to give me the victory. And this is what we ask Allah subhanaw taala we admit to a law that we can't do it on our own. We admit to Allah that we need his help. And that and that we need his his nostril. We need his his victory. His help.

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And then we take the means and and part of that is is seeking, sometimes it's seeking the help of a doctor, sometimes it's seeking help of a mediator or whatever it is given the situation. Not every situation is the same, of course. But the first step is to admit that we need the help of Allah subhanaw taala. And then take and then take the means.

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Someone says, I went through a really bad breakup a year ago and still haven't been able to get through it. I've turned to God and I know I have to have patience, but it's a struggle. What should I do to make myself patient and get through this hard time?

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May Allah make it easy for you? This is this is a struggle, and this is, um, you know, sometimes one of the hardest things is, is losing somebody that that we care about. And and, you know, it's for this reason, that that a lot of my writing actually is devoted to this question, of losing, of separation of, of, you know, what happens when you lose people that you love. I, you know, I recently published a book, and much of it is devoted to this issue. And the book is called reclaim your heart. But the idea here is that we love people, and we love to have people around us. But really, when we when we suffer is when we make the people into our focal point instead of Allah

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subhana wa Tada. And it doesn't matter who the person is, of the person could be my mother, my father, my children, my husband, my wife, any, any any person, doesn't matter who they are. But if that person becomes the focal point of my life of my existence, if that person becomes the orbit around which I, you know, revolve my life, that's when we suffer. And that's when we we tipped the balance that Allah Spano Tata has put, we go against the fitrah, the nature of Allah, that Allah subhanaw taala has given us in that nature, the natural way of the human being the fitrah that Allah has given us, is to make a lot at the center is to make our life revolve around him, and to make him

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the ultimate love in our life. And sometimes we we feel that we're turning to God, we feel like we're turning to Allah, but really, we are, sometimes we are turning to Allah to get us to another person. And it's, it's, it's like, the difference between the means and the end of the difference between the tool and you know, what our actual goal is the tool and the goal. Sometimes we turn to Allah as a tool, instead of the end, we sometimes we turn to Allah to use Allah subhanaw taala, to get me what I want. And what I want has nothing to do with Allah. For example, I want to be with a certain person, I turned to Allah, into art, perhaps, or whatever, to get me that person, maybe I

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want a certain job. So I turned to Allah to get me that job. I want a certain, you know, career. And and while of course, there's nothing wrong with asking Allah subhanaw taala for the things we want. I'm talking now about ultimate, ultimate purpose, I'm talking about ultimate goals. Of course, Allah loves for us to ask him and loves for us to make up. But the problem is, when my ultimate goal is not Allah, my ultimate goal is these things that I want and dunya and I just use a lot like a genie, you know, a genie in the bottle out of the villa, you know, I just I just make a wish. Right? And and when Allah doesn't give me my wish, I get frustrated, because this Genie isn't really working

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out for me. And this is where we, where we really mess it up. Because a lie is not the, the means alized I mean, Allah subhanaw taala is not the tool to get to dunya. But dunya is supposed to be the means and the tool to get to Allah. And everything that I asked Allah subhanaw taala for whether it's this person I want to be with, or this job or this career, you know, at the end of the day, I want those things, but why? Why do I ultimately want those things and I think it's just an issue of stepping back and just looking at, well, what am I really doing here? And what is going to last and, and what is my ultimate end. And if we put things in perspective properly, we'll find that allies

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the end that everything else passes away, and everything else is not lasting, and everything else is actually given to us in order to seek a low with it. And that's a really, really revolutionary realization that everything we have in this life is actually just a tool ultimately, a means by which we can use in order to get closer to Allah subhanaw taala now do does that mean we don't love these things? No, of course we love these things and they are gifts and they and they they are as well as as we're told in the Quran. You know, we asked what I've been a headliner, I mean as word you know, we're literally at in our kurata ion. You know, we asked in the in the DA that word that's

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mentioned in the hood n O Allah headliner, meaning

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Give us the gift, it's a it's a hover is a gift. So we're asking Allah to gift us with making our spouses and our children the coolness of our eyes. So, this is part of the the metab that the pleasure of of dunya is to have, you know, the, the, the coolness of our eyes be in those people around us, but the problem again is that the coolness of my eyes is not the same as my ultimate goal and my ultimate end, I can live with or without coolness in my eyes, but I cannot live without my ultimate goal and my ultimate end. And so, it's important that we are clear which part of this you know of this dunya is is something that is given and may be taken which part is the means, which

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part is the tools and which part is the end and what what exactly is it that's lasting and what what is my ultimate purpose. So, the reason I say this is is sometimes we know when things get taken away from us and we find ourselves unable to sort of go on or it it just completely debilitates us It may be an indication that my my center of gravity was wrong, that my my my my focal point and that which was around which I had revolved my life My orbit was was off center, instead of it being Allah subhanaw taala it was something else and it may have been another person and it may have been my job or it may have been making money, but it was something else and and and so that the pain of that

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loss is is actually an indicator to us that we need to refocus and and find that proper center which is La ilaha illa Allah that Allah subhanaw taala is the only thing that should be at the center. And Shall I will take another short break and when we return we will be with shifty acid inshallah.

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Assalamu alaikum This is Yasmin which I head and you're listening to serenity on one legacy radio out of the villa humanness. shaytani r rajim Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim wa salatu salam ala rasulillah Allah Allah He was a happy edge mine. We are very excited today to have shift yes are familiar with us shift? Yes, it is an inspiring multilingual speaker sought after from USA through Canada to the Middle East and Far East. He was born in Eritrea and moved to the United States at the age of 15. He has a Bachelor's in Islamic studies from the Institute of Islamic and Arabic sciences in Virginia. He has completed all his coursework for his master's degree in marriage and family

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counseling from the California State University of Long Beach. And he is currently undertaking his master's in theology at Loyola Marymount University of Santa Monica and shifty acid

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to you and to all the listeners out there, a belated Ramadan Mubarak to you. And it is only today. So to all your listeners as well, thank you, Chef. Yes, sir. And may you inshallah have a blessing as well. We want to begin today and you know, the topic, because you are a hamdulillah in this field, and it's I think it's a field that is very much underrepresented in the Muslim community. And you deal a lot with with family therapy and counseling, I want to ask you at the beginning, why do you think that it's something that's very important in our community, to have this type of, you know, this, this facility and this, this, this sort of, you know, service out there?

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Okay, I

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mean, I handled, I have completed my master's, I believe you said that I completed the work for my work. Yeah, I am done with this. And I was very inspired by my studies, and I'm undertaking a PhD program now in spirituality, integrated psychotherapy.

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And this is all coming from the need that I have witnessed as an Imam in our community. You know, our community is very trusting of the Imams something that we absolutely, you know, we're privileged to have and we're really honored that we have had the trust of our community members, we will call the Imams and they want to consult us about anything and everything that is out there. And in the capacity of an Imam, myself, I felt that I was very ill prepared in, in dealing with all the issues that the community was bringing to me. And honestly speaking, quoting them a verse on the floor and telling them that this is halal or haram was just not doing it. People needed a lot more than that.

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And like you said, I mean, there is

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Just so much pain out there and so many challenges that people have. And a handler. I mean, I think we're getting there, but but not as much as what is needed to be to be out there. And remember also, that there are many

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cultural taboos that come in with counseling or visiting a mental health professional. People think that it's only for insane and crazy people, or people, usually the way that they view mental illness or family issues, to be indicative of a week, a man or a week where a lot, just a weak person who's unable to do things on their, on their own. So I think that it is, it is multiple things, that that makes this topic, this issue. So very relevant to our community, and it is so badly needed, and there will never be enough people to undertake a mission, you know, does echo here, you bring up so many important points, and one of them being the need for this, this, you know, this service, and

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also the fact that it is, you know, it is a taboo, and it's something I think we do need to move beyond. And then And then finally, the very important point that you made about having these problems, you know, whether you're seeking counseling or mental health issues, or or or if you're seeking counseling for marriage or other, you know, other family issues, that it isn't, you know, this automatically an indication of wiki men and I think that is a misunderstanding, a lot of people have an attempt to lead that you that you did clarify that. Now, on that note, what what would you say, you know, from your experience, is is the most common problem that you that you're finding in

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our communities? You know, and and what, within our families what what would you say is one of the most common problems that you're that you're witnessing,

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when it comes to families. And by the way, if we can just revisit that idea of mental illness, family problems are not an indication of weak demand, especially when it comes to things like depression, or anxiety. I mean, we've got clean howdy from the Prophet peace upon him, fellow Hollywood, when you can eat meat, I mean, haven't been well, it hasn't. That nothing that afflicts a believer, the sadness, grief or depression. And here's the teacher pointing it says that believers actually do go through anxiety they have the Lord is the guru, they go through depression. And what happens is that I think people think that if you are a believer, by default, or automatically, you

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are saved from things such as depression and anxiety, and that is not true. That is absolutely false. What happens though, is that religion gives you enough tools, that even when you are depressed, you don't go into the state of desperation, or becoming becoming

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a to go into despair. So what happens is that that is that these are the tools that the religion gives you. But because you're a believer, it doesn't it doesn't really mean that you are automatically saved from depression, anxiety or any other sort of mental mental illness. You've got words such as person associated with the Apple Valley in Salem, the father abuse violence alarm went along with it, via Medina, hominin husband, that his eyes became blind due to sadness, and usually sadness does not cause blindness, but in some mental situations, in some cases, there is a spiritual or there is a mental issue that manifests itself in a physical form, or the word around is

00:33:41--> 00:34:24

associated with unit ality Salam For example, when Allah Allah says that if a woman Mattila lands and Hanukkah in a particular Barlinnie and a Jaina Amina, that unit Allah is the Nam was going through this idea of love, which is, you know, just an overwhelming sense of sadness, and the and the source of it is unknown, and so on. So, you know, for the listeners out there, I really just want to say depression simply means that the pain that you're going through is too much. And the tools that you have are not sufficient. That's really what it means. It's upon Allah, may Allah bless you, but a couple of feet, this is such an important message we need to get out there in sha

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Allah, may Allah reward you for that and and for the explanation emphasis on that on that point.

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I mean, like I said, you know, these are these are in a topic that I'm really, really passionate about simply many times when, when we get these types of clarification, I think it just makes it so much easier to go to the doctor so much easier to come to the counseling so much easier to talk about these issues with professionals who can, who can help you really appreciate a show like this, you know where to discuss issues that are very relevant. I give you an example. I mean, I every time you know I give a whole

00:35:00--> 00:35:40

So let's say on depression, and you want to leave the line of people that will just come up afterwards, my niece is attempting suicide, my mom is on Prozac, I have a cousin rule, you know, it's cutting I have, and I hear all these things. And I know that the husband is not cured. But what happens is that invalidate, it gives a lot of validation to the people who are either going through it, or the family members who are suffering from it. And they feel that the machine has got nothing to do with their suffering. And to me, that will just be a sense of betrayal to our community. I remember, for example, this last April, it was Autism Awareness Month, and I gave a whole book on

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autism. And now you would think that autism is got no place in our community. And we did a workshop on autism, we had 25, Muslim families with autistic children come into our community into that.

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And when you hide when you have these numbers, and these are people who are coming in for the very first time, they're coming to the masjid, addressing something that they go through every single day, to me, you know, I would say that, that is really what msgid is supposed to be like, and that is addressing the issues that are of relevance to the masses. So to the majority of people who are, who are out there.

00:36:23--> 00:36:47

This is, you know, this is something I've also experienced in the sense that, you know, I get a lot of messages from people who don't know where to go, you know, it's, it's this, it's this sort of common theme of, I have this problem, and a lot of people struggling with these types of issues. And they might feel ashamed to go to, you know, their community leaders or, or they don't necessarily have those resources in their communities.

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And I think, you know, this is where we really need to do a better job with the way that we equip our Islamic centers. You know, many times, I think that a lot of emphasis is given to the skeleton of the building, and not the spirit of the building. And I think that it really is about time that beats and our activities beat in the spirit of the message that we have, that our message becomes a place where everybody is welcome. In analog. I remember as in my, in my training,

00:37:20--> 00:38:05

and talent, there are many aspects in counseling, I remember the very first thing that that you as a therapist, as a counselor, you are expected to provide for your clients is not a brilliant answer is not a great arguments is not the beautiful prop dogs, it's not about inspiring them. The very first thing that you do as a counselor, as a therapist, is to provide a safe place for your clients to be something that reminds me of Mohammed Salah fighting with people who just come to the Prophet peace be upon him, and they felt so safe around him. And they felt so unbelievably accepted despite of what it is that they have done. They know that they can always go to Mohammed sallallahu alayhi wa

00:38:05--> 00:38:51

sallam, and speak to him. So the idea of just creating a safe place where people feel that they can belong, drop the mask, and just be and tell it like it is without being afraid of being judged, without afraid of being evaluated accordingly to the problem that they are sharing with you as a counselor. And as a therapist, that in itself is very therapeutic. And it is very healing. I have had people who come to me and they say, I've been suffering from this problem for the past 22 years, I am married, I have children, my parents are around, I have not spoken to my children, I have not spoken to my parents, I have not even spoken to my spouse about this year, a total stranger coming

00:38:51--> 00:39:28

into the office hamdulillah hopefully feeling safe and accepted. And they there's something that they have had in their heart for 20 years or more. And now they felt it was safe enough for them to change. Yeah, and I think that's such an important point. I think we're too much so much of you know, we think that being righteous is it means that, you know, now we can start to to point fingers and to judge others. And it's so, so important to have that space where where people do not feel judged. Now, in your research. Have you found you know, you know, from an academic point of view, as well as from the, you know, the the training that you have, what have you found to be some of the

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the best coping mechanisms? You know, I know you mentioned that depression happens when there's, there's more that someone is dealing with, then they have the tools to cope. What What have you found to be some of the best coping mechanisms? You know, and here's the thing is no coping mechanism that works for everybody. So what you're doing counseling is that somehow you tailor it, you're modified so that it is of benefit to most people who are who are out there. The one theory that I found to be

00:40:00--> 00:40:49

Very, you know, in, in parallel with the teachings of Islam, and I've actually seen this in the writings of you know, Muslim theologians, acid ethicists such as the valley and what have you, there is a theory out there called CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. And basically, the principle of that theory is that our emotions are the result of the kind of thoughts that we keep, every thought that we have is really the child, our every emotion that we have, is rather the child of a thought. So, if we are able to become more aware of our thoughts, then what happens is that we will have a better clarity, as far as what are the type of thoughts that are creating negative emotions. And if we can

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control the thoughts that are creating such type of emotions, then we can harbor better, more positive emotion. And usually, when I tell this to people, the first objection that they have is, wait a minute, I do not control what kind of thoughts come into my mind. And supposedly, in psychology, we have thought that a human being is bombarded with about 70,000 thoughts a day. And that is a lot of love.

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So now, what we say is that you are right, we do not control the thoughts that come into our mind. But we definitely control which thoughts we want to dwell in, and are like a snowball, the more time you give them, the more power they accrue, the more intense they become, the more unstoppable they be. So what happens now is that we each copying,

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the copying is skills such as thought, skills, now, pay attention to your thoughts, becoming more aware of your thoughts. So that this way you become aware of, you know, what, our emotions really, again, I cannot stress this enough, they really are the birth of our thoughts, control the thoughts, and that will generate better impulses. So panela, that it reminds me of this quote, I think, also one of one of the theologians that you mentioned, about, you know, watching the colletta, that the very first kind of the pre thought, because then it becomes a full thought, and then, you know, the thought that's not controlled, then becomes a, you know, eventually becomes a desire, and then you

00:42:28--> 00:43:12

end up becoming a, an action, and then a habit, and it's kind of those different steps, I think, you know, where you can control it towards the beginning. Yeah, and and that's precisely what you said is, yes. And it's really, it really is very beautiful, but it really is the snowball effect, and that is directed to Harvard, it's a bad thing, but you spent time on it, then it becomes a desire and you fantasize about it. And the more time you spent into it, the more of azeema and Hirata it becomes the commitment and dedication and a very strong one, and so on. But that would be like some of the things that that, that we will talk about, interestingly, also is that people are unaware of

00:43:12--> 00:43:17

the contribution of Muslim psychology into the field of psychology.

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One of my favorite classes to teach is I teach this class called Islamic psychology. And it's a weekend course, that, that I teach and in it, we discuss all the different types of contributions that Muslim psychologists have made. One of my favorites, and I think I think you'd like it hit me and I think your your listeners might as well. You've heard about a meeting, right? Yes, yes. Okay. So a meeting supposedly, it entirely started as a movement to help people who were you know, suffering with alcohol and their, you know,

00:43:54--> 00:44:16

alcohol is a challenge to them, call them alcoholics that for alcoholism. So what happens is that there was this, it actually was a movement that started by a psychologist by the name of Carl Jung, and then our religion or spirituality was integrated in in part of the a meeting that was that was.

00:44:18--> 00:44:37

And what is nice is that one of the psychologists who had the most influence on current young is actually a very senior, senior. And it was actually on the basis of him being influenced by Xena, called young came up with the a

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type of meetings in order to help people with their alcoholism. For example, the very first time that it was suggested that mental illness is no longer the result of demon possession, which was the belief throughout Europe and throughout the Christian world. If you have got mental

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donations, it meant that you would put that by the demon and increase the quantity, you know, in the Bible in the, in the, in the, the Gospels, the full gospels, Jesus takes the demons out of people in 31 different places and times. So what happens is that it became so ingrained into the minds of people, that anytime you're having these mental issues, you must be possessed by the demons. And the way that they did it is that they will drill a hole in your skull in order for the bad spirits to leave a person. Very inhumane, very painful. And of course, obviously it didn't, it didn't not work out. But then it was, you know, Islam that came in and they said, Yeah, maybe people are not until

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in Surah Nisa, when Allah Allah speaks about the concept of

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Anasazi, the symbol is of weak mind and cannot really make good judgment. And in that verse, Allah, Allah says, such a person, maybe is not fit to be in charge of financial aspects. So Allah said, well not to suffer.

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But then all of a sudden, it also made the command that you are to provide for them that you are to close them. And the most interesting that Allah said, wakulla on our land can email them alpha. And that is a speak to them with a splendid voice. So now the idea is go beyond the judgment, take care of the person. And he was asked on the basis of these verses, and the allies, that Muslim psychologist moved from, you know, the idea that this is demon possession, into looking into the idea of what people go through what they go through, can we make it better, and you just move on. And so Pamela, just a beautiful, beautiful history of the contributions that Muslims have made.

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And, you know, sometimes that's very much neglected, you know, I actually found the quote that you were referring to, and it says, You should repulse a thought if you do not do. So, it will develop into a desire, you should therefore wage war against it, if you do not do so, it will become a resolution and firm intention. If you do not repulse this, it will develop into a deed, if you do not make up for it by doing the opposite of that evil deed, it will become a habit, it will then be very difficult for you to give it up. And I think that brings us into you know, the, the concept of when you get into addictions, you know, and how to how do addictions develop? And how do these

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habits become much harder to break? Now have you dealt a lot with with this, this topic of addictions?

00:47:35--> 00:47:36

Unfortunately, I have,

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believe it or not, this mean one of the most

00:47:42--> 00:47:46

common addictions in our communities, academic addiction to pornography.

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Unfortunately, both amongst young males and females, actually, I shouldn't really be saying the word young. But it just, this is one of the most common, I mean, in society out there, supposedly 25% of the divorce rate take place, because addiction, or some sort of, it's either gambling, or addiction to porn is responsible is responsible for it.

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There is a great book out there, it's called porn land. And it speaks about the porn industry and how it impacts marriages and impact young men and women. But in my own practice, what I have seen is unfortunately, addiction to porn is very, unfortunately very common. And have you found that there are, you know, are there are there services? You know, for this, this particular issue? I I have also, you know, been contacted by people who are looking for help with this particular addiction are are are there resources for specifically Muslims dealing with this issue?

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You know, that, I guess, thank you for the, for the opportunity to advertise here at Access California. You know, as California is a Family Resource Center, where we help people who have different types of challenges, but mainly personnel and and in our, in our mental health department, people who are going through these issues, we help them by providing counseling, and we have about four counselors on our staff, myself and three other sisters who speak in different languages. We speak out of the course English, and I think we speak Farsi as well as pashtoon. And this is this is a place where people can come in. Again, everything that they share with us is very strictly

00:49:39--> 00:49:56

confidential. We have both the legal and the ethical responsibility to make sure that you know, we help them in the most respectful way of this person as well as of their confidentiality. But this would be a great place for people to to contact

00:49:57--> 00:49:58

for our services.

00:50:00--> 00:50:10

I'm sorry, could you mention where where you're located? We are in the city of Anaheim. And, you know, people can visit

00:50:11--> 00:50:12

our website

00:50:13--> 00:50:45

and find out more information at access Cal that old, that is access Cal ca l for California, that org. And we are in the heart of the city of Anaheim. And, you know, that's that's that's a beautiful place for people to begin. And and that's absolutely an necessity. And one thing that that we'll find is that many of the listeners are international as well. And would you say that there's any plans for the future? Or do you know of any

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sort of services that that they may be able to access online or remotely in any way? Unfortunately, at this point, I don't. As far as we are concerned in our capacity as counselors, we cannot we are only licensed to practice in the state of California. So for example, when people call me, I speak to them in the capacity of an Imam, and I give them all the tips that I would have given them as a therapist, but I cannot claim the credit for my hours to get my license. I see. But inshallah, what we will bring forward is that we are currently working on our website that should be up and running. It's called break the shackles

00:51:29--> 00:51:43

and break the shackles is going to be a hub a resource for people to come in at will be break the shackles calm or that org I know that it's coming up very soon. And what it would be is that it will be a hub for people to

00:51:44--> 00:51:49

to it will be a hub for people to find different types of resources

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hamdulillah And may Allah bless all your efforts. This is absolutely it's desperately needed based on you know, just the, the the experience the little experience that I've had, you know, with with people contacting me it's it's very much needed and I hope that inshallah Allah blesses your efforts and I want to thank you diseko okay for coming on and sharing your your knowledge with us and we hope inshallah to have you on again, because this is so so desperately needed, does echolocate to shift yes and Fugu. And we hope inshallah to to have him on again very soon.

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As mean and again, to the listeners out there thank you and to you and your family in sha Allah was sent to light pika