Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
A talk and book signing with Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed
April 29, 2017 at Northwest Indiana Islamic Center
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I would have let him in a shaytani r rajim Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah. While any savage mine rubbish, aki sadri we are certainly Omri wahala. locked at a mill is any of gold holy?
So when when I was asked about the topic, what topic I wanted to speak about, I suggested the following topic, and I'll explain why before I begin. And that is how to stay positive in a negative world. And the reason why I chose this topic is because there's a lot going on right now. And there's a lot going on in the media, there's a lot going on for us as Muslims, collectively, and there's also a lot going on, obviously, for us up in a personal level. And it becomes very, very difficult sometimes to stay positive. What I want to do is I want to just go through a few steps, a few tips, things that I, I personally have seen the effect of, and use that as sort of a way to help
us stay afloat, because the reality is about life, in general. And this is something that Allah has told us again and again, in the quarter end that Allah and His Messenger have told us that we are always going to be faced with different kinds of weather, as you can see right now, it's raining right now. And no one no matter who they are, no matter how much money they have, no matter how much power they have, can stop the rain. Right? If we go to Trump right now and ask him Yo, Trump, you know, you're the president of the United States. So could you kindly Make it stop raining here in Indiana? There's absolutely nothing he can do. Right? And that's because this is not something that
anyone has any power over. But as you see, is anyone in this room getting wet? Is anyone right now getting wet? No. Why aren't we getting what I just said, we can't stop the rain, right? But we're not getting wet either. Why? And that's because we're inside of a shelter. And so the reality is that we don't control certain things about life. That's, that's just the fact. But what we can control is where we are, when that weather hits, what we can control is, so if it's cold outside, I can't make it warm, right? We don't control the sun. But what I can do is put on a coat, I can put on gloves, I can put on a hat. And so what I've done is I found a way to cope, I found a way to
survive the weather. Even though I can't control the weather. Does that make sense? I found a way to stay dry, even when it's raining outside. That is what faith gives us. Faith gives us a way to stay inside a shelter to stay dry even when it's wet outside. And even when there are storms. So what kind of storms do we have here? We have tornadoes right? Now, even if there was a tornado, even if I had severe weather outside, there is a way to protect myself, I can go into a basement. And so the reality is that even when we have storms hit us in life, if we learn certain skills, if we learn how to be inside of the proper shelter, we won't get destroyed. And so weather will come weather will go
hardships will come hardships will go fitten tests will come and tests will go. But we will survive. Does that make sense? And to survive a storm requires certain things that you have to do to survive the weather that comes in your life, there are certain skills. And the reality is that if we are in the habit of staying within shelter, then we will be able to survive our storms. The question becomes how do I stay within shelter? And moreover, how do I build a shelter? Okay, I like to use this example because we all know the story and we all i think it's it's very illustrative. How many of you have remember the story of the three little pigs?
Okay, so like three of you, that's fine. I'll remind you. So the story of the three little pigs goes like this. Yeah, there are three little pigs one is really lazy. And one is sort of lazy and one is is not lazy. He works hard. Okay, so the lazy one builds a very weak shelter. The lazy one builds a shelter out of something like straw or something. And so this house is not very strong. Then you have the next pig and this pig is not quite as lazy so he builds his house out of twigs or something like that.
Okay, and then you have the third pay. The third pig is, is working hard so the third pig builds a strong shelter puts in the time to make that shelter out of brick. Alright, so now what happens is you have the big bad wolf come here. And now the big bad wolf. Does everyone know what he does?
He Huff's any. You know, there's teachers in the room when you know exactly what the big bad wolf does, right? So he Huff's and he puffs, and he blows the first house down. And the reason why is because it was very weak. And then the next next house he Huff's and he puffs and he blows that one down, because it was also weak. But what happens with the third shelter, the one made of brick, the third shelter he Huff's, and he puffs, but he can't blow it down. Why?
Because it was solid, it was strong. Now here in life, we have all types of Big Bad wolves. Okay, we have some that look like Trump, we have some that look like financial problems, we have some that look like different kinds of trials. So what we have in life, as we have different things that come and huff and puff at us and try to do what, blow our house down, blow our house down, to break us down, to make us to basically destroy us or to make us weak. And the reality is, we can't stop the wind. We can't, we can't actually stop a wolf from doing what wolves do, what wolves do, they have a path. But what we can do is build a strong shelter, you understand what I'm saying? So now the
question I get to or the point that I'm getting to is how do we build a strong shelter in life? How do we, we can't be,
you know, delusional and think that the sun is always going to be out in life, right? We can't be delusional say, well, in my life, there will just never rain. Because if we are that way, it's like, I read this quote recently, and it said that if a person only travels, when the sun is out, they won't ever end up at their destination. And the truth is that we suck, we have to keep going in life, even when it's not perfect, when life is not perfect, when things are difficult. So the question becomes, how do we build that strong shelter? made a brick? Yeah, and, and be able to handle the weather of life? Fair enough. So this is the reason why I chose this topic. So what I'm
going to do is, I'm actually going to just give you guys four pieces of advice. All right. And within those four pieces of advice, there's going to be some advice. Cool. So to begin with, I want to tell you this, and that is there is something within our power, that has a very profound effect on our life, on our
psychological state, and on our spiritual state and on our emotional state. And that is something called Focus, focus. And, and this is something I emphasize a lot, and I will emphasize, again, what you focus on grows. So whatever you focus on in your life is going to actually start to grow. And when it grows, it starts to become bigger, and it also starts to surround you. Okay, so let me give you an example. There are some people and their habit is that they focus on problems. They and and sometimes it's not for any bad intent, but it's because that's just the way they're, they're designed it they are, they are problem focused. And sometimes ironically, it's because they're
problem solvers. He hasn't said what I mean. So some people are very problem solve their their orientation is problem solving. Now, a problem solving orientation sometimes tends to then look for the problem in any situation. So as to what solve it. These are the people who then you might later on say, oh, they're they're so critical. But the reality is, they're looking for the problem so they can solve it. Do you guys understand what I mean? Now, what happens with this, and this is the subtle issue. Yeah. Is that is that when you focus on problems in a situation? See, there's no situation that's ever going to be perfect? Is there? Are you ever going to have a perfect situation
in this life? No, it goes against the definition of dunya dunya, by definition is imperfect everyone with me? So there's always going to be a problem. There's never going to be a perfect situation. So but if you focus on the problem in every situation, here's what happens to it. It starts to look bigger than it is and it will actually start to consume you. Everything that you
talk about will be
problem, everything that you think about will be that problem. Everything that maybe you post about will be about that problem. Everything you read about will be about that problem do you understand? And and this actually becomes a pitfall that sometimes happens even to Islamic workers. So for example, an activist, an activist, Mashallah is working for a cause. And that's, that's amazing work. But an activist has to also be careful, because for example, I'll give you an example an activist who is fighting against December phobia. All right, so their work is extremely important, right. But if an activist who's fighting against the xenophobia only is reading about Islamophobia,
only is talking about Islamophobia only is posting about a semi phobia only is discussing, you understand what happens, do you know what happens to that person, it will start to affect them. And the reason will start to affect them is because everywhere they're looking everywhere, they're thinking everywhere, it's it's actually focal, the focal point is a problem. Because it's Emma, phobia is a problem, right? And, and racism is these are problems. But what happens is, if that becomes the focal point, the only focal point in that person's life, it will actually start to affect their emotional, spiritual and psychological state. Because what happens is, it will change
the way you you view the world. You'll notice, okay, put aside activism for one second. And and let me re emphasize this is extremely important work. This isn't to say that this isn't something that's, that's necessary it is. But right now, what I'm saying is something subtle, and that is that we have to be mindful, regardless of our work of what our focuses, okay, our focus, we have to be mindful of what is our actual focal point. But putting that aside for a second activism, just think for a moment about just a regular person, not necessarily an activist, but their entire conversations, like, for example, every time something bad happens, or there's some sort of fitness
and some sort of like, calamity we're dealing with, or even as a community, and all of a sudden, every single conversation is just about that problem. Right? That's all they have on their newsfeed. That's all they talk about. That's all they're posting about. Does anyone know? How does that person start to feel? Or maybe it's you how do you start to feel what ends up happening is you actually start to feel weighed down. And what will happen is almost
a person like who who's only having that as their as surrounding them, will start to easily fall into despair. And moreover, moreover, it changes the way you view the world. So now, if if the only thing you're reading about is hate crimes, okay, that's it. That's day and night, you're reading about hate crimes, day and night, you're talking about hate crimes day and night you're posting about, what you're gonna do is almost like you're seeing the world in a negative way. And so you will, you will maybe act, and that you'll, you'll feel that people are more
antagonistic towards Muslims than they actually are. And that's because it skews the way you view your reality. So then, what's the balance? Because you might say, Well, okay, well, what are we supposed to do? Are we just supposed to dig our heads and under, you know, like, into the sand and pretend that this isn't happening? And the answer is no, absolutely. We don't dig our heads into the sand and pretend this isn't happening. But again, and I emphasize this, it's about your focal point. Yes, we should be aware, yes, we should be active. But make sure that your focal point is not the problem itself. That's your focal point. And I'll give you an example of what I mean, when Messiah
has sent me standing in front of the Red Sea, right? And he has an army behind him, and he's got a very serious problem. Okay. He's got a giant body of water in front of him. And he's got an army behind him and he looks trapped. But what was his focal point in that moment?
Allah, do you see the difference? It's not that he was in denial of his reality. His reality was that he's got an army behind him, and he's got a red sea in front of him. But he was his focus was not on the Red Sea, and his focus was not on the army. And in fact, you see the contrast between him and Benny astroid because Benny is thrown in we're focused on the army falam Mathura al Gemini, and he called us hava Moosa in Alamo. dracoon. That when the armies the group size each other so you have Benny Israel in the people, children of Israel, seeing the army when they saw each other, the people of Musa alayhis salaam, Benny through it, what do they say? What's their response? Because
Focus, their focus is on their army. Right? We're, we're doomed. And that was their response in nella mudra code, indeed, we will be overtaken, they fell into despair. And the reason they fell into despair, it was because of their focus. Make sense? In llamo dracoon, they said, and then Allah says, tells us what musala is lm says, color can let you see like a complete contrast. Color Kela? He said, No. And color in Arabic is a very emphatic, no way. Absolutely not. It's all of that in just one word, color. In my era, big indeed, my Lord is with me, and He will guide me through Musa alayhis salam wasn't looking at the problem. He was aware of the problem, folks, he's not like in
denial. He's aware of the problem. But his focus wasn't the problem. His focus was Allah, do you see the difference? His focus was Allah. And he said, in an IRA, as a dean, indeed, my Lord is with me, and He will guide me through this, he will get me through this. So no matter how dark it gets outside, or no matter how much we feel like things are closing in on us, if our focus is if our focal point is Allah, then we don't feel despair. Do you see the difference? It's because you know, just like moose had his son and knew that Allah was with him. And if Allah is with you, it means what he'll get you through. And that was the European and the tawakkol, and the trust of musala his
salon. But believe me, it cannot happen, unless you have the right focus. If he were to focus instead, on how big the Red Sea is, just that he's not gonna, he's gonna be like, have the exact same reaction as many, especially if his focal point was on how powerful Pharaoh is. He wouldn't be able to have that reaction, but musala salaam was trained, his heart was focused on Allah Kela, in the mire of this idea, indeed, my Lord is with me, and He will guide me through this. And Allah did exactly that Allah told him strike the sea, and the law open the sea for him. This is a lesson for us. This is a timeless lesson for us that if your focus is a law, he can get you out of every
situation, he will save you. But it has to be. It's really about us about what is where is our trust? Where do we place our trust? Where See, tell what good teleco this concept of relying on Allah, it can't happen unless we have the right focus, right? You can't have trust in Allah, if your focus is on other than the law. Simple as that. But if your focus is on Allah, subhanaw taala, then no matter what situation you're in, and you're aware of it, but you're not afraid, because what did I say at the beginning? What you focus on those what
what you focus on grows. There's a reason Allah told us to pray not once or twice, or even three times, but five times a day, what is that doing? It's making us focus on a lot. It's, it's shifting our focus away from whatever work we happen to be doing at the moment. Whatever problem we happen to be in, you see, no matter what your situation is, you still need to turn and pray. You know what that means? Do you know what that does? It means that you're at work, you leave your work, and you focus on Allah, it means you're, you're you're at the mall, you leave that, you know that that sale and you focus on Allah, you're on your laptop, you're on your phone, you leave that phone, you leave
that laptop, you leave that Facebook, you leave that meeting, you leave that class, whatever it is, and you focus on Allah, Allah is training us to focus on him, and not on whatever it is that we're doing in the dunya. It's to shift our focus to him. And this is training, this is training us this is what musala is lm. He went through this training, right? And because he had that training, he was when he was down faced with a problem. Now he's faced with a problem. What are we going to do when we're faced with a problem? And he was able to put his full reliance on a lot Why? Because he was focused on on color color in my ear, A, B, C, and D. Okay, so we talked about focus. Now, the second
thing I want to say well before I move on, so So in terms of focus, how do I have the right focus? How can I have the right focus number one, is what I expose myself to Okay.
Let me just say this, let me give you an idea.
Example. You know, how many of you have ever been to the Kaaba?
Okay, when you're in the Kaaba, you learn that the Sunnah. Is that for the entire last part of the of the talk? What are you supposed to say?
abana attina with dunya hasenhuttl Felicity acid, it has an atom okay? Neither not all Allah give us in this life good, and give us in the hereafter good and protect us from the hellfire. Do you notice in this dog, there's three parts? There's three parts? Yeah. Now out of those three parts, how many are about dunia?
One, right, Rebecca adds enough in dunya. You don't forget it, you have it there. You have the first part about doing it. But then the second part is about the hereafter. And what's the third part about
the hereafter? Where's Johanna, in the hereafter? So you notice that even in this draft, where's the focus? The focus is more on Africa than it is on dunya. Right? So the reality is that a lot doesn't tell us to forget about dunya completely, but Allah is showing us where are our primary focus should be our more our bigger focus is on aligning hereafter. Okay, so if I do that, if I expose myself to see it has to do with what am i exposing myself to? I'll tell you something, just practical Facebook, okay, Facebook is nothing more than a tool, just like the internet, just like a phone, it can be used for good or it can be used for evil face fair enough. Same with the internet, like, you
know what I mean, all these Islamic lectures there on the internet, there's also a lot of feel for the internet, too, right? So the idea is that these are tools, these are tools, Facebook has a tool. One thing I'll tell you that I've learned is that and look at your newsfeed once in a while.
Look at your newsfeed. But the content of your newsfeed actually says a lot. And it affects you. I'll tell you why. Because the reality is we we use social media, we're on our social media. And when we're on our social media, you have a news feed for you have a feed for Facebook and your feed for Instagram and for Twitter, etc. If you just look at the content, it'll give you an idea of what you're ingesting. Make sense. For example, you want to know what you're eating, maybe open up your fridge, right? It's gonna show you the quality of what you're eating. You want to know what you know, look at look at look at your plate before you eat. That's what's going in. Yeah. Now if that
food is covered in mold, no, you open the fridge and all the food is rotten, or the food on your plate is rotten. And then you eat it. What's going to happen to you inside.
It doesn't take a doctor, y'all are gonna get sick, right? Because why? Because the quality of your food is bad. You actually ingesting toxins, you're ingesting poison. mold is poisonous, it will act it will harm you internally. It's the same thing with your feed with your news feed with your Facebook newsfeed with the articles you're reading with the posts, you're looking at your Instagram, who you follow on Instagram. It's like looking at your plate before you eat it. How's the quality because that stuff is being ingested. It's being ingested in a different way. It's going through your eyes, and then it's going into your heart and your mind. So what you're actually doing is
you're feeding your soul. And that's actually more important than even your body. Because the the food that you put into your soul, it stays there, the food you put into your body goes into the toilet, okay? The food that you're taking into your soul affects your soul. Your soul is something that that's like eternal, you understand? It's something that's going to go and live forever, eventually, right? You go from this life, you go into the grave, and then from the grave, you go into Hellfire, or you go into paradise. So this soul is actually staying with you. You understand. And so the quality of the food that you're giving your soul is pretty important. And that's what it
is. It's what you read. It's what you look at. It's what you look at on TV, on billboards, on magazines, on your Facebook, on your Instagram, all of that is food. Think of that as food. Look at the quality of it and ask yourself, Is this healthy food? Is this organic and raw and all that stuff? Or is it covered in poison? Is it mold, okay? And when you start to clean up your food, it cleans up your soul. That's just practical advice. You know what, uh, one thing that I've learned is that you can make your news feed x
Healthy, you know that you can. There's this thing called unfollow folks. Yeah, there's something called unfollow. They don't have to know.
You know what I mean? You don't have to unfriend them
unless you want to. But you can unfollow and nobody knows. If if somebody is posting garbage, or just like they ate a burger, and then they ate a different kind of burger and then and that's it. And that's it. That's okay. So there's, there's ranges of different kinds of food, okay, there's absolute poison, I get it. And then there's amazing healthy food. And then there's something in between, which is just useless. And I'll tell you this, even overeating, useless food, or even if it's neutral, but to overeat, and you're just going to get, you're still going to get unhealthy. So my point is this. You can make your social media healthy for you where it's actually growing your
head and your mind. And it's, it's helping your heart. Or you can just make it useless. Like, what did you know Kim Kardashian where today? You know, see, Instagram is one of these things where you have a whole range of things you can follow, you know, you don't have to say, if you start out by cleaning up your Instagram, just clean it up, meaning look at who you're following, and just clean it up. Maybe instead of following just useless things and and I'm just going to now, put aside for a second. The blatant like fashion, I'm just gonna put aside like haraam stuff for a second. Because I mean, it's obvious, okay, let me just tell you this, whatever you take into your eyes, it's, it's
gonna affect your heart. It's the same thing as drinking poison. It's gonna affect your body. That's just the fact. So I'm put aside hold on for a second and now I'm just going to look at uselessness. Just complete useless. info. Okay, useless.
Like, input. All right. Now, this seems innocent. Am I okay? Every single person you're following is a fashionista. Awesome. Okay. But the problem with that is that becomes your focal point. And then you know what, that becomes what you care about most? And that's actually dangerous. The reason why so this might Okay, so why so there? But there. It's just, it's not at all. Okay. But the problem is, what is our concern? What is our greatest concern in life? One of the issues I've found is that depending on especially now with like, social media blowing up, yeah, what's happened is now even more than before, we are obsessed with appearances, obsessed with appearances. What does that mean?
means that like, how I look, how I dress, how I appear becomes of utmost importance, more than anything else, and that in and of itself isn't healthy. Okay? Because what it's done is it's skewed. What's really important. And now it's how I look, you know, I mean, it's like, everything is like,
you got to look perfect. You got to you got to pretend you're perfect. There's this now there's an obsession with perfection. You know what I mean? If you have anything that's imperfect about you put a filter on it, right? And, and there's like filters, but then there's also like, filters, you know, like, even in life, we're just all wearing masks. We're just pretending. And this is a very unhealthy because what we've done is we've completely missed the point of what really matters. We've missed the point. And that's not innocent. That's that's actually killing our hearts. One of the things that you'll find is that there's, there's a few things that can kill the heart. There's a few
things that can kill the heart. One of them is sins. That's clear. Okay. But there's something else that can kill the heart. And that is something called Koffler. Zippy, no offense,
was just heedlessness, it means that okay, I might not be involved in sin. I might not be clubbing and drinking and all this, but I am completely I've missed the plot, like, All I care about is fashion. What this person's wearing, what that person's saying, what this person, you know, I'm going to this party Are you going to like, it's just I've, I've actually killed my heart because not not necessarily through outright sin. But because all I care about is superficial things. I've, I've, I'm not, I'm missing what really matters. And that's just as dangerous. That's just as dangerous. Because think of a person. See there's two ways to die.
Or, or basically, you can eat poison and die, right? We already talked about poison, but I can also just starve and that will also kill me right? If I say
starve, also dire. So when a person isn't getting the remembrance of Allah, and instead, the only thing that they're taking in is dunya, dunya, dunya dunya. Like, you know,
things about that have to do with money and fashion and status and celebrities and blah, blah, blah, right? All that's it. So then what's happening is, it's like I'm starving my soul, get it, because I'm not giving my soul its actual food, which is the remembrance of Allah makes sense. And as a result, I may not be dying from poison, but I'm dying from starvation. And that's an awful awful is the person who, who is heedless, and so they're not taking in what they need to be to have for your soul to be healthy and alive. It's like a person deprived of oxygen, okay, because the oxygen of the heart and the soul is the remembrance of Allah. And I don't, I don't have that in my life, because
I'm so full with fashion, I'm just full, I don't got no space, you know, I'm, that's, that's it, that's what fills my head. That's what fills my heart, or money, or status, or power, or whatever it is that I'm obsessed with. And because that's, that's all I'm full with, I don't actually have space to take in oxygen and actual food. So if that makes sense, that's very, very important, what we ingest, just think of it as food, okay, food or oxygen. The other thing that I want to emphasize is managing thoughts, managing thoughts, one of the things that we have to realize is we have an EFS. And EFS is our lower self, right, and we have shaitan, and the neffs, whispers and shaitan whispers,
and so not everything that occurs to our brain is healthy. And some some of it's just garbage. Just complete garbage. So we have to be very careful about our thoughts, managing the thoughts. If you don't manage the thoughts, it's sort of like, you're in your house. And you're just like, you know, it's nighttime and you're gonna, you're getting ready to, to go to sleep, you have your family, you have value belt, you know, valuable things in the house, but you leave the door, the front door wide open, you leave the windows wide open. And then robbers come in. And you're like, wait, what happened? Well, what, whose fault is it,
you left the front door open, you left the windows open. So a robber came in and took stuff that you care about. This is the problem with our mind, if we don't put like we don't, we don't guard our mind, our thoughts and we don't guard our heart, then what happens is we're leaving it open to all these different suggestions, suggestions of shaitan suggestions of the next. And this, this will have a very
poisonous impact on our on the condition of our hearts. And the condition of our minds. Because shutdowns is they're pouring filth in our mind. And he will put lots of negative thoughts in our head. If we entertain these thoughts. It's like, so the robber comes in, because you left the door open and then guess what you say, Hey, have a seat. Have a seat, have some food, you know, I'm saying stay for a while. That's pretty insane, right? But that's what we do these shaitana thoughts, negative thoughts, thoughts about Allah, thoughts of even negative thoughts about yourself, don't think that you're holy because you you're hating on yourself. That's not that's not righteousness to
have self hate. Self hate is actually from shaitan I'm gonna repeat that self hate is from shaitan these deprecating thoughts about yourself that's not from Allah, that's actually shut down because shaitan knows that if you hate yourself, then you're not even going to have the energy to want to worship Allah or repent or anything. Because hating on yourself is like beating yourself. If someone's beat up where it's gonna be their energy to do anything, this is going to they're going to become totally you know, paralyzed and so self hate this like these deprecate these thoughts these bad thoughts about yourself they're also shaytani u that also needs to be blocked those those things
need to be don't allow those in and then once they come in you know you give you give it a place that you're it gives it these thoughts you engage them you feed you even feed them that's like taking a robber and feeding him you know, like here has some food get stronger. Stay a while have oh here here's the room here's a guest room go ahead and stay stable stay the night. No, you don't let these things in you block these thoughts. A thought that is that is self hating or or a negative thought about Allah or about any of these negative thoughts. Do not entertain them at all they will administrate energy, replace them with positive thoughts. Do not feed negative thoughts realize that
your brain your
Mind your thoughts your your your the the suggestions that go into your heart garden like you guard your house garden. You know what I mean? Keep it clean in there don't don't allow a robber come throw filth inside your house. Okay? So that's very, very important in staying positive. It's extremely important, what you think about what you see what you read what you end up. So so far, what have I said? I've said, What's your just like with your body what you eat? Yeah, same thing, what's your ingesting of data, things that you're reading things that you're seeing things that you're listening to manage these things just like you manage. If you want to be healthy, you manage
what you eat, okay? Same thing, and you don't starve, don't don't only be looking at things that are useless, okay? Because then you're not feeding your your soul, the food that's keeping it alive. And that's through the remembrance of Allah subhanaw taala. So make sure that your diet is good, what you're ingesting what you're taking in is good. And also make sure that you're not letting in these, these poisonous thoughts. guard your house, your heart and your mind. All right. Number two is this. Number two is this. There's going to be fear, there's going to be things you're afraid of. And I'm just going to make this one really simple. Turn your fear into Doha. Turn your anxieties into daura,
meaning I'm scared of something. I'm terrified that XYZ is going to happen. Everyone has fears right? Now, how do we typically deal with fear? what we typically do with fears we feed it? How do we feed that fear by just thinking about it, and then all these scenarios come, right? I'm afraid of something happening to someone I love. So what I do is I think of all the different possible ways that something could happen to someone I love, I think of this scenario in that scenario, all I've done is I'm feeding the fear, I haven't actually solved anything. Instead of feeding fear. Turn it into that thing that you're afraid of. Make do about it simple as that. Immediately. Stop it, stop
the thought. And then stop the thought and then turn and focus that feeling of fear and anxiety into making. ask Allah for protection. And then after you've done that, put your trust in Allah subhanaw taala, I've given it to a long, and don't keep feeding that fear. Make sense? Okay, number three,
take your pain. So the things that happen in your life that hurt you, things that happen that disappoint you, and turn it into growth. So use those things that happen, take the lessons from them, and grow and continue to become a better person. And let it make you more compassionate. See, the thing is about if you look at all the prophets, peace be upon them all. They all went through challenges in life. And you know, one of the things that these challenges do for people is it increases their empathy. It increases their compassion for others, that when you've been through something tough, you feel for others. Yeah, and you feel more mercy and compassion for others. Let
it make you a better person. Don't let it harden you let it soften you that when you go through difficulty, let your pain soften you not harden you. And one thing I want to remind you of is this there's a hadith in which the prophets I send them says, I genuinely angry woman the matter of a believer strange, ombre blue hair, that all of his or her matters are good. If there's something that you want, is you you grateful is good for you. Something you don't want something that hurts you, your patient is good for you. And this is only the case for a believer. To know this hadith means it means that no matter what happens to you in your life, as long as you respond with either
gratitude or patience is good for you. So you never lose, actually never lose as long as you had faith. And as long as you read you respond in the right way. So take your pain and turn it into growth and compassion and and let it let it let it make you a better person. One other thing is, be mindful about this focus on your painful pasts on your painful past.
As they say the past is a place of reference, not a place of residence, a place of reference. You look back at your past to learn from it. But you do not become consumed by your past. Okay, you learn from it but you don't become consumed. And then finally my last piece of advice number four is protect yourself. Have a shield of protection. And that shield of protection is through your through your remembrance of Allah subhanaw taala I told
That liquid is food. The kid is Food for the Soul.
It's also protection. When you look at the,
the the collection of Dora, what is it called? fortress of a Muslim. It's called hustlin Muslim. It's a collection of glass that protects you. It's a it's a fortress. So three things in the thicket that I'm going to say. Number one is the salon. The salon has to be something that you don't compromise on. It's breathing oxygen, right? Number two is the F chord. The F chord is something you can download apps onto your phone for
my daughter is one example of a really great app. And what you can do is after every morning, fetch in prayer, open your app and read the morning supplications. Then after us open your app and read the evening supplications. And before you sleep, read the sleep, the ones for sleep, okay? these drivers will absolutely revolutionize your state revolutionize how you react to the world how you live, it becomes a protection for you. As I mentioned, there's West West all the time from shaitan and from the neffs. This becomes a shield these of God. And then the last part is Quran. Make sure you have a consistent relationship with the Quran. And this will be you know, part of the shield
that protects you. Now all these four things, I'm just going to recap. Be careful what you focus on and what you focus on gross. Make sure and what you focus on is affected by what you ingest. Okay, by what you entertain by your thoughts and which kinds of thoughts you you allow in feed you know, entertain. Number two, turn your fear into dA number three turn your pain into growth. And number four, protect yourself through the Vicodin the escort the remembrance of Allah subhanaw taala politically Heather was tougher lady welcome in Nova funan Rahim subhanak Hello behind a shadow Allah Allah Allah and stuff are required to Bulik I believe we have a few minutes inshallah for q&a.
And yes, anyone have any questions?
I just I guess I just explained everything just so perfectly. Okay, go ahead.
From the from the lows. Okay, great question. I'll repeat her question. So all of these things. They they're easy when you're when you're high right in your mn when you're in a mn high. But what happens when you're in an mn low because obviously Eman rises and falls we know this from the Hadith of the Prophet SAW Selim, where Abu Bakr, Dylan and another companion comes to him and says, we've become hypocrites. And he says Why? It says because when we're with you, we see our Eman is so high with it's as if we see Jenna and Johanna with our eyes. But when we go their families, our demand is different. And then it goes down. And the prophet SAW Selim said if your Eman was the same all the
time, as it was, when you're with me, the angels would shake hands with you in the streets. And so he teaches even them, right, these are the best people. And yet their amount goes up and down to and if and this is part of what being human. So what he teaches us is how to handle the lows. And this is how you handle the lows. Everything that I said in these four, like I gave you a prescription of four things write, make sure that you hold on to those things high or low. If you hold on to your Salah, no matter how you're feeling, if you hold on to your scarf, no matter how low you're feeling, it just becomes like, like, I have a question for you. When you're when you're feeling depressed. Do
you stop breathing? when you're when you're, you know, you're having a bad day do you stop, you know, oh, I haven't brushed my teeth for a month, you know, or I haven't taken a shower for five months. Like, we don't do these things. Why? Regardless of how high or how low I am, I have to keep breathing to stay alive. And I have to keep taking a shower and I have to keep you know brushing my teeth. I have to still keep eating and drinking water. These are just bare minimums to stay alive. And so this spiritual. This spiritual prescription that I gave is just like that. It's like oxygen, water food. It just keeps you alive. And what happens if you stick to these things is especially
To tell you this, everything I've given you, these are all like, do donate poison. If you don't want to die, you know, keep eating, if you want to sit, that's all necessary. But Salah is like oxygen, meaning you give up, Salah is like immediate death, you get it. You might like be able to hobble around, as long as you have oxygen if you're not eating healthy or whatever. But without oxygen, don't even talk to me about anything because you're going to be dead. So I was like, that makes sense. Fair enough. Just think of it like that. So when you're in an Amen low, don't give up your salon. Get it? You just think of salon, even if you feel like oh, but my quality of my salon is
awful right now. But you know, what? Have you ever been to Cairo? The quality of the oxygen there is pretty awful. But you have to still,
you know what I'm saying? The quality is so polluted. Yeah. But you can't say, Well, you know what, right now I'm in Cairo. And the quality of the air is just not perfect. So I'm just going to breathe next month, when I'm back in wherever this isn't working, or next year, or whatever I'm leaving, you know, I mean, so the idea is that, yes, we might not be having a perfect salon at that moment. We may not, we may not be at the top of our game game, but you have to stay alive anyways. And what happens eventually is you'll go back up, as long as you don't let go have the bare minimum. And the bare minimum is oxygen sister, you know, it's like, it's oxygen, it's food, it's water. And then
you'll get you'll be able to go back up eventually. But here's the problem. The problem comes that when you're at your low, and you say, you know what, I might as well just stop praying.
Because you know what shaitan comes, it says,
you're just like, your Salah is terrible, you're you're committing this sin, you're committing mass, and you're just the hypocrite, you're gonna go pray. So just stop praying. Oh, and while you're at it, you might as well take off your hijab too, because you just you're just such a terrible person. And then when you start to give into those thoughts, that's what happens is you just start going lower and lower and lower. And that's the whole objective, isn't it? I mean, that's his objective is to make make you go into despair.
So really, my advice is just stay alive, stay alive spiritually. And you'll like us, like the Prophet Sam said, Amen. rises and falls, you will go back up everything in life, there's nothing stays the same. But if you stop breathing, when you're low, then that's the problem. That's when a person drowns. Yeah, that's just hold on to your life jacket. And you'll be okay. You'll go back.
Any other? Yes? So how do you translate that in your daily lives,
which is great talk
on how to improve yourself responds.
But at the same time,
people with live events
going on, in our society and TV in the country in the world. So how do we deal with that? Because one thing is to purify yourself in our responses at the same time, you know, we need
you know, extraneous factors affecting your life.
So what he's saying is, how do you deal with everyday life challenges? Okay, these are all like important principles. But what do we do about this stuff is bombarding us negative news, this is everything I said, is absolutely connected to that. So what I'm saying is, someone might listen to this and say, okay, that's all great. That's stuff you do in the message. But then what do I do about this? But that's my whole point. Everything that I said right now is absolutely intimately connected to how I'm dealing with all that. See, the prophets I send them when he said, Let me give you an example, when he said, that the people will soon come together to attack you, like people
call one another to eat from their dish. And he added in the companions asked, Is it because we will be small in number? And he said, No, you will not be small in number. But what will happen is that alone will take the fear of you out of your, the hearts of your enemy, and in your heart will be something what called warhead. And he said that you will also be like the frost on the ocean you don't want in the ocean is just these little like bubbles. It has no power, no determination. It just goes where the ever the tide takes it. And he defined he said this disease that's in the hearts of the
People, that's what's gonna make them weak politically, because he says your enemies are gonna attack you. That's a political situation, right? That's a political circumstance. And it's external. But he's linking it to the internal. He's linking it to this disease called warhead. And what does he define it as hobbit dunya, Akira hands on mouth, it's the love of dunya and the hatred of death. So we can actually separate these things that our condition outside is connected to our condition inside. In the law yoga, you remember, Coleman have to remember and force him a lot doesn't change the condition of a people until they change what's inside themselves. I'm not talking that we don't,
we don't work or we don't do activism or we don't get involved. Of course, we do, we do. But we cannot neglect the internal work because all the external work in the world will not be effective if we're not working inside. That's what that's what the A m means. In the law. You know, maybe Coleman had delayed or maybe enforcing a law doesn't change the condition of a people, we can do all the activism and political work that we want, we can bang our head against every wall, and we can try to be involved in every campaign. And absolutely nothing will change until we change ourselves. And that's my point. I'm not saying we only do one. I'm not saying we only read Quran in the masjid and
do our ottokar. That's not a that's not what I'm saying. But I'm saying without that, we're never going to see change. And it is not enough to just do activism. And it is not enough to just be involved in that campaign. And this, it's not going to change our condition until I change inside. And so we have to do both, we actually have to do both. There has to be people working at different levels. But every single individual This is a photo of the eye, the father dying, the individual thought of that obligation is the internal work. Yes, there's going to be people working external, this person's doing this. We all have different rules. But the rule that every single one of us has
a father dying, like an individual thought is too internal, the teskey of the purification and feeding of the heart and the soul is something every single person needs to do. And when we start to change and purify ourselves inside, our entire condition will change unless penalty promises. But it won't happen until we do that. And if we continue to neglect
what's happening to us inside these diseases that are taking over our hearts, we're never going to see change and is not going to matter how many how many political groups we're part of, or how many campaigns we work, it's not going to actually change our condition.
Yes, yeah. So I work with a lot of people my age, and as people were younger than me even. And they like we will, we will cancel cheese they come and it's something that I'm noticing is becoming like a bigger issue is just like how to actually accept the negative or that like bad things happen to them and how you think.
Okay, so to repeat her question, just saying that a lot of people having faith crisis, because they don't understand how this question of why do bad things happen to good people, and they can't. Like they can't reconcile it, they and it makes them lose their faith. Or they say things like God doesn't love me and they just lose their faith.
First of all, the reason why I quoted that Hadith is because the Hadith that I quoted, the Honorable Leon, the moment, the matter of a believer is strange. That Hadith teaches us that bad things never happen to good people. That in fact, whatever happens to a believer is good for him or her. And it has everything to do with my response. Okay, but that's a different way of looking at the world. See, if I, if I see everything that happens to me as a way to get closer to Allah, then everything becomes good for me, even if it's painful. Make sense? So
when you get a shot, when you get a shot, suppose you're sick, and you you need a shot of medicine.
And this medicine is going to actually save your life, but it has to be through a shot. What are you going to what are you going to say? Okay, right. Yes, there's some temporary pain, but it's curing me. The needle is actually has medicine that's curing me. That's a different way of understanding versus a child who doesn't understand. They're just going to look at that needle and just scream and cry and just be angry. Right? Because they don't understand that it's medicine. So it has to do with number one. It has to do
with understanding that Allah, Allah, everything Allah gives us, as the believer is good for us, even when it comes through a needle, even if it comes and I don't understand it. Another example is if you if we go outside now and your mom is picking you up, she's picking you up, she's driving, and you asked her, where are we going? And she says, Just wait and see. Are you gonna phone the police? Because you're really scared?
Are you gonna like be like, Yo, 911 I'm being taken somewhere. I don't know where it is. Why aren't you gonna call the police?
You because You trust your mom. That's it. But if it was a stranger that you didn't trust, you'd call the police? Do you understand? So the reality is that sometimes Allah does things in our life, and we don't understand. We don't understand. He's taking us somewhere we don't know where. But if you trust the law, then you're not going to be scared. You're not going to be anxious and worried. You may not know like, in this example, you don't know your mom's taking you but you trust your mom completely. You're not worried that she's gonna hurt you. But we don't have enough trust in Allah. This is the problem. So a lot of it has to do with getting to know Allah. Really, like the answer to
your question is, these people these youth is it's about getting to know who Allah is. Because the more we know Allah, the more we put our trust in Him. If we know first of all, Allah is on ramen and Rahim Allah is he is he has so much mercy for us even more than a mother for her child. If we knew that, if we really knew that, then we wouldn't be worried. You understand? Husqvarna Bella what's Husqvarna Binda, it means just like Remember, you said you're not scared of your mom. Why? Because you know, she, she has your best interests in mind, you're not worried she's gonna take you throw you in addition leave you, you have a good opinion of your mom, see, has learned the lemons, you
have a good opinion of Allah, you know that whatever was doing with you is for your own good. That's, that's part of knowing Allah. And when you know who Allah is that he has your best interests in mind that he's not going to hurt you, then it becomes easier to cope if you even when you don't understand, even when you have to take a noodle even when you don't know exactly where you're going. But you have a full hope and trust in Allah, that he has your best interests in mind. So I mean, that's really what it what it is, it has to do with knowing who Allah is, and, and then putting your trust in Him and knowing that he he's not gonna, he's not going to make you get lost or hurt you.
Everything Allah does is for all good.
As a matter of a believer strange, everything is good for them.
Any last question?
A lot of things you said I thought were really inspiring in terms of
our connection to a loss of our data. And our spirituality is very central. But what I also feel like is, I have a question is that you can do that, and live kind of a very individualistic life. You're kind of Yeah, I'm paying myself. But I'm also kind of on myself. Yeah, I'm doing my God. But I'm not really connecting with my family members of people in my community, especially in places like Northwest Indiana, where we're not we don't have a huge Muslim community, like in Chicago or other places. So it's I think, my question kind of relates to like, when you feel that when you feel that type of separating, separating us from
what then becomes like, what, what is the role of like community without this? Right, so it seems that that seems to be like a really necessary aspects. Feeling grounded, feeling positive? How do we actually go about doing that when we're forced to be separated? Okay, great question. So, to repeat his question, a lot of what we spoke about right now was individualistic. How does community fit? Okay, especially in his saying in this situation, you guys are somewhat you have a small community, it's not that easy to be connected to the community, where does community fit in? That's a whole, you know, discussion in and of itself. A lot of times I give this talk, and one of the take home
messages that I that I try to impart to others is this to sort of summarize, if you study the, the A, that the Quran and the Hadith and Sunnah, you'll find that there's one theme again and again and again throughout the text. And that's this.
Treat that the way we treat the creation is how we should expect the creator to treat us. You're going to find this theme again and again, how we are with people, and it isn't only people but even animals like it, you'll see this theme, how we treat the creation is how the creative
will treat us and I give you example after example, the prophets I said and said, Have mercy on the people have mercy on those who are on the earth and the one in the heavens will have mercy on you. So mercy and then the other side to the one who does not have are shown mercy will not be shown mercy by God. Again, that connection that parallel, were told, for example, in a Hadith, that if we help another person in need, Allah will help us when we're in need, that if we say, you know, if a person is in a difficult situation, and we help them out of that difficult situation, Allah will help us on the Day of Judgment. And and if we shield the flaws of another person, Allah will shield
our flaws. And again, and again, these parallels so much. So to point out, you know, the extent of this, the prophet SAW Selim says in this Sahih Hadith, that he said that I prefer to walk with my brother slash sister in their time of need, than to be in Atticus in this Masjid. And he's pointing at this which
must be the nether we, okay, it's not even just talking about this semester, you know, may Allah bless your mustard but we're talking about, we're talking about the mesh of the nebula in Medina, where one prayer is equivalent to 1000. In another question, he's saying that I prefer to help my brother in need in his walk with my brother in their time of need, then to be an auntie calf in this semester, for a certain period of time, not just one night. So this shows us the the extent of our relationships with one another how important that is, with regards to our relationship to Allah. And one of the things that you'll find is sometimes the fastest way to for example, get the forgiveness
of Allah is to forgive someone who's wronged you.
You know how I know that because, in the end, in the time when, when Abu Bakar Dylan, he found out that one of the people accusing his daughter, or spreading the rumor about Ayesha delana was a relative and a relative who he was financially supporting. Right. And Allah reveals a verse about this, because when he when Abu Bakar found out about this, he All he did was stop the financial support. He didn't like go looking for revenge or try to harm this man. He just he was he was financially supporting this man. All he does is withhold what would we do? That's all he does withhold the financial support, unless panatela reveals in a about this incident at this time, and
Allah says let them part in an overlook, enter to Habana and young Pharaoh Maha loco is what Allah says, Let them part in an overlook. Do you not love for Allah to forgive you? So you see the connection that's made here is Allah is saying that us forgiving this person who wronged us is parallel to Allah forgiving us. So let's product Allah and His Messenger make these parallels all the time how we are with people is how we should expect to learn to be with us. Very important. You cannot separate the community from the individual. Okay, so we have Dr. shawanda, Illa, Allah and Dr. For today.