Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
RIT MSA Summit 2019, The Footsteps of the Final Messenger (SAW)
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I was going to check on the regimes Bananarama hemos salatu salam ala rasulillah who Allah Allah savage Mayan rubbish raha sadri when you're certainly unrewarding Dr. Millis any of Gokhale. So this topic, you know, the idea here is that we we like to
almost deify are heroes, we were obsessed with being superheroes and having superpowers. But so what we've done is we've taken our heroes, our real heroes, not the fake fictional ones. But we've taken our real heroes, and we've tried to do the same thing to them, we've tried to turn them into superhuman, we don't want to accept our own humanity. And so what we want to do is, if someone is a hero to us, we want to somehow make them superhuman, we can't accept that someone can be a human being, and still be our hero, and be someone who is of utmost, you know, excellent character. And so there's this tendency that I've seen in our community, to almost try to take the Prophet Muhammad
Sallallahu sallam, and turn him into something superhuman. And I think this is a flaw that we have as human beings. And it's not, it's not only, it's not only us that do this, but in fact, you know, from the beginning of, we were told, in the end, that the people in the past used to do this, too. They used to say to their profits, but you're only human, right? It was like this idea that, so long as they were human, like them, they couldn't be prophets, there was this idea that to be a prophet, you have to be super human, you have to be an angel. And so there was this, they have trouble accepting these prophets, peace be upon them all. Why? Because they walked like them, they talked
like them, they ate like them, they married like them, they couldn't accept that, that someone could be a prophet and still be a human being. And so I think it's so important that we understand, and this is actually very interesting, because we also do this to our leaders, we also do this, even to our, you know, our,
our shoe, we do this to our teachers, is that in a sense, we put them up on a pedestal and make them superhuman, we, we can't think that they would have flaws, we almost think of them as, and this is something that we find is that we don't think that they have human lives, you know, they have, they have flaws they have, they will make mistakes, it's like, again, this idea of putting someone that we respect and someone that we admire, we tend to try to put them at a higher level or like a pedestal. And this can be very dangerous. This was something were warned about in the core n, that this is what we should not do to the prophets, I send them as some others did in the past with their
profits. And so what I want to begin with is, how is it that we should view the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam? And how is it that we can connect to him? So I was thinking about what what parts of his life really, really inspire me and really inspire me from from from a human level. And so I thought of two things, and I want to just share those two with you. And, and, and, and the reason is that it is it's such a beautiful example of how someone can live in this life, and yet still be with Allah subhanaw taala. Because this is one of the hardest things that we find, right? When someone wants to be very spiritual, for example, often we see that if someone wants to be very spiritual,
there is sort of like a practice of, you know, moving away from the world, right? Going off the idea of being
an aesthetic and the idea of what does it mean to detach oneself from dunya does detaching oneself from this life mean that I pull off, you know, and I live in a cave, I don't get involved with the community, I don't get married. And so it's very, it's very important because Islam came with this balance, it gave us the opportunity to live in dunya, to to be involved in dunya, to be involved in the mundane and still be with Allah subhanaw taala. And the epitome of this example is in the Prophet Mohammed sighs, Selim. So the two examples that that came to me that are very, very special to me. One is the example of what happened when I shuttle the lion who was being accused. And we
know the story of when I showed the lion who was being accused of being on chest and then how it was such a trial, you know, for the profits, I sentiment for the family. And these two examples that I'm going to give are two
of the most difficult times in the life of the Prophet sly send them. And, and so this is when his wife is being accused. And at this point it was before the revelation had come exonerating her right, approving her innocence. And what really struck me is what was his response? Okay, if you can imagine yourself in this position, and and what would your response be if people are accusing your spouse of something like this, but look at what his response was, his response was, he went to her and he said, that if you are innocent, it will be proven. And if you have committed this, then and this is the part I want you to focus on, if you have committed this, meaning you have actually done
this, look what his focus was, his focus wasn't, how could you do this, to me, his focus was, you're such a terrible person, if you did this, your his focus wasn't, you know, to shame her or to attack her, you know what his focus was, if you did this, then repent to Allah. So his focus for her wasn't his own ego, it wasn't his own rights that she would have, you know, if somebody does that to their spouse, they are overstepping the rights of the spouse. But that wasn't his focus. His focus wasn't his own rights, his own ego, his pride, his his focus was her relationship with God, her relationship with her creator, if even if you did do this, then just, you know, make it right with
God. And so his his his biggest concern, right then, when he didn't know, was her relationship with her creator. And I just, I found that amazing. I found that absolutely amazing that the prophets I send them loved her in such a pure way that it was about wasn't about him. And, and, and, and how he appeared, you know, like, a lot of us put in that situation.
You know, it feels like How could you do this to me and my reputation? Right? How could you dishonor me? A lot of us naturally, we think of ourselves, right? We think of what it meant for me what it meant for how people are gonna look at us and and what are people gonna say, right? What are people going to say about my wife, what are gonna you've dishonored the family, right? This type of thinking, whether you know, it's the daughter, or it's the wife, but he's not even thinking like that he is asking, he's telling her just make it right with God, because his concern was about her hereafter. His concern wasn't about what people are going to say, and the fact that he was going to
be dishonored. And so I just found that so inspiring. The other example, was a time when the prophet SAW Selim was at his most difficult, painful period of his entire life. And this came after the death of his beloved wife. And then shortly, and you know, within the same time period, he also lost his uncle.
And these were two of the most beloved people to the Prophet, Mohammed sigh, send them. And not only were they,
among the most beloved, but they were also among his greatest supporters. So two of his greatest supporters were taken at, like, around the same time. And that's why this year was called almond hosting, it was the year of sadness, where he lost Khadija of the line Hmm. And his uncle in the same period. Now, after going through this tragic loss, he goes to life. And when he goes to law, if he's going there to get support, he's going there, you know, to be during a time, which is very difficult looking for someone who will support him. And when he gets there, as you know, the story, he was treated so badly, and he was thrown out of the city, and he was pelted with stones, to the
extent that he was made to bleed. And the profits I sell them with this type of treatment was given to him at a time when he was already grieving. So if you can imagine what where he was at this point, and then he left. And this is what I want you to focus on. So this is a man who has just lost his beloved wife, and has just lost his beloved uncle who raised him and took care of him and protected him and supported him. And now he's been treated in this way, where he came to this, this this he came with in peace to these people, and this is how they treated him. So at this point, he makes a really profound to Allah subhanaw taala. And I advise everyone to look up this draw the draw
of life, it's so powerful, but there's a couple reflections I just want to make about this dot very inspiring. First of all,
At this point, what was the Prophet Mohammed sighs hellums reaction? See, a lot of times when we're put in a situation where things you know when they say, when it rains, it pours Has that ever happened to you in your life? A point in your life where it's like one thing goes wrong, but then everything goes wrong and it feels like everything just keeps on going wrong. One loss after another. So at this point, it's one thing after another, how does he respond? Is he angry?
Is he angry at the people? Is he angry at Allah? subhanaw taala? Well, you're gonna see, first he calls out to Allah subhanaw taala. And listen to what he says. He complains. And I want to I want to emphasize this here. Usually when things go tough for us, we complain about that which is causing it right. Sometimes we even go to the extent of blaming God, how could you do this to me? Why me? It's not fair. Right? Sometimes we react this way. And we ask Allah subhanaw taala for protection from that type of reaction. But the prophets I send them at this point, he says, I complain to you, who's he complaining about? He says, I complain to you about my own weakness, about my own inability. In
other words, he's complaining to a lot about the fact that he's only human. And the fact that he is at his own inabilities. He's not complaining about Allah. He's turning to Allah about himself. He's humbling himself. And then and this is the other part I really want to focus on. He calls out to Allah subhanaw taala at this point, and he says, that if you are not angry with me, then I don't mind.
He says if you are not angry with me, then I don't mind. So you see again his focus and the reason I brought up these stories is because I want you to understand and reflect on the focus of the Prophet sighs Ellen's heart, right.
With is shuttled in on her his the focus of his heart was what Allah and her relationship with Allah Spano Tata, it wasn't the people wasn't what are they going to say? Wasn't how is this going to appear? on me? How is this going to look on me?
And then hear his focus again, is on Allah. He says, if you are not angry with me, even though he had been through so much trial at this point, right. In fact, later on, when he was asked, what was the hardest part in your what was the hardest time in your life? He said it was that time, the time.
So this was a man who was tested again and again and again, he went through torture that his people were tortured, they were starved, they were boycotted, and that he's saying this was the hardest time in his life. So you have to understand where he's at, psychologically and emotionally. And yet His focus is still is Allah pleased with him?
He said, If you are not displeased with me, then I don't mind.
And now the angel comes to him. And the angel asks him,
Just say the word. And we will take these two mountains and destroy these people who have just treated you in this way. He's a prophet.
And he says to that Angel, so now look, again, he didn't have anger towards a law. In fact, his concern was just is Allah angry with me? As long as Allah is not displeased with me, then I don't mind.
But he didn't even have anger towards the people. He was given an opportunity for just justice, really, just revenge. And he was given that opportunity. And he would have been fair, because he's a prophet, this is an angel. And the angel said, I can take these two, Just say the word and I will crush these people can be obliterated, bring the two mountains together. And you know what he said? He said, No, because even if they don't believe there may come from their progeny of people who will believe and that's exactly what happened. And now we have in thought, if Muslims there that is indeed what happened, and it was because the prophet SAW Selim, his focus was on Allah subhanaw
taala. And because of that, he didn't get consumed with his own, you know, this human feeling of I want revenge, or these these things that we get caught up in, in terms of our ego. Now, we might look at that and say, that's the prophets I send them. But what is it about the prophets lie Selim that we're supposed to ask?
relate, and what is it that we can learn from this? How can we apply this in our own lives? That's really the question. And that's the take home. And really, here's what it comes down to.
The heart is a thing that whatever you focus on, whatever your heart focuses on, grows in your life. So if you're a person who focuses on your image, how you appear in front of people, your ego, your pride, then that becomes the most important thing it will grow. If you're a person who focuses on what other people think, what are other people saying about me? What are other people, you know, doing? And how are other people perceiving me? Am I being approved of Am I being, if that becomes your focus, and your your obsession is on what other people think and what other people say, then that's going to become more and more significant in your life.
What you focus on grows. And here's the thing about human beings. And the way that the heart works, is that
whatever we love most in our lives, so just take a moment, think about, okay, what do I love most? Everyone loves something. But what do we love most. And if you look deep into your heart, and you find that thing that you love most? That same thing, whatever it happens to be, is also your master. So what does that mean? It means in other words, everyone worships something. Everyone worships something. So you might say, Well, what about an atheist, an atheist doesn't worship anything and atheism and you believe in God. And I will tell you that even an atheist worships something. It's just not God. It's something else. But everyone worships something. What is worship mean? worship at
its essence, is ultimate love.
I'm gonna repeat that worship, at its essence, is ultimate love. It doesn't have to be through prayer. It doesn't have to be through, you know, supplication. But it's the thing that you ultimately love the most. That's why we have people who worship money.
It's not because they've made an idol out of money.
It's because money is the most significant thing to that person, that person loves money more than any other thing. And so that person is a mass is a slave to money. So the question here is, what is it that you love most? What is in your heart, at the core of your heart, and that thing is what becomes your master? Now, why this is so essential, is that as we go through life?
Many people have trouble answering this question. But every single person is driven by that which they love most. So the question now is asking yourself, what is that thing for those people who have in their hearts and this is, unfortunately, we live now, in a, in a society, where we were starting to become more and more obsessed over fame, and image? How do I appear? See, now with the boom of social media, what's happened is, you and I have found a platform where our egos can be on display. Does that make sense? We were basically the center where the where the star? Have you ever guys like, you know, when you're little growing up? You're watching like a sitcom. And there's like,
there's a star of the show. Right? And, and maybe going up, you're like, man, why can't I be it? You know, the star of a show? Now everyone gets to be the star of the show of their life. Right? And it's like, everything is put on display. For an audience, right? everything, even down to what you ate today. Don't lie. You took a picture of it.
You know, I'm saying, everyone see, it's like, you're always being watched. You're always being watched.
There's how many 1000s of people know what you ate today? Yesterday, the day before, right? every moment, every movement that we make, we take a photo of it. And we post it for the world to see right. So there's an always an audience.
Even if it's as significant as I got a haircut, right?
My burger had lettuce today. Right? These are important enough to tell the world. Now that might seem like what's the big deal, but I'm talking about something deeper here. What's happening is
we've started to focus on the wrong things. We've started to focus on our image
We started to focus on how do I appear, we've started to focus on
status. You know, there was this this questionnaire, they asked millennials, what their goals were.
And the vast majority of them said, to be famous,
to be famous. And then after that it was to be rich.
So this is actually the art becomes it's become such a goal, that it's consumed our lives. Now what why is that relevant to what we're talking about with regards to the profit center? The reason it's relevant, is that whatever you take in your heart, and you love most if that thing is fame, if that thing is image, if that thing is money, if that thing is what other people think, then that's going to be the master that dictates how you live your life. What you do, what you don't do, what you say, What You don't say. So you're no longer living your life for God. You're living your life for people, you're living your life so that people will say,
or, or you're living your life, so people won't say,
Can we just be real for a second? How many
women and maybe men are in extremely dysfunctional marriages, and or even abusive marriages? And they are told, just stay, because what are people going to say? What are people going to say about you? If you leave a dysfunction, they're going to say this, this or that. We've become so obsessed with what people are going to say that we're even willing to have our own children, our own Sr. Remain in a dysfunctional, even abusive situation, just so people won't say, this is a type of worship. This is what happens when we have the wrong focus. The prophets I said lamps focus was on Allah subhanaw taala. And so his actions were for his pleasure. They weren't for the pleasure of
people and they weren't about image and they weren't about even seeking revenge. How many of us find it? extremely difficult to forgive?
No one Wow. Okay, only like one person.
Okay, so some people are being honest. Thank you. One person raised their hand. How many of you find it very difficult to forgive?
All right. Okay. So let's talk about that. You know, when I shut off the line, Hmm, I was accused. And again, before the area was revealed.
There was a lot of rumors being spread, you hear, you know, you hear a rumor, and then what do you do is spread it without verifying you spread it. So that's what people did. Well, her father eberbach found out
that one of the people who was spreading this rumor about his own daughter was a relative. And not only was he a relative, but he was a relative, that ebook for the line was financially supporting. Can you imagine that? That one of your relatives who you're helping them out is slandering or it's spreading slander about your daughter.
And so whenever Baka lon found this out,
all he did, he didn't go for revenge.
All he did was stop the financial support. Like that's the least we would do, right? We do a little more probably.
All he did was stopped the financial support. And Allah subhanaw taala revealed an area for this incident.
And in this area, Allah subhanaw taala says something that we all have to reflect on.
And that is he says,
Let them pardon and overlook
Allah tohei boonah and jacc federal law halochem this is what's being presented to apo box on the line. Look at the way their hearts worked. I just want you to see how their hearts worked. A lie saying to him, pardon and overlook why. And now this comes to the question of but so and so doesn't deserve my forgiveness, right. Have you ever felt that way?
No. Have you ever felt that way? You know, how we keep track.
We know what someone did to us on February 1 2003. We know what they did at three o'clock, right and two minutes. And we it's almost like we keep a diary. We don't let it go. We keep track of everything that someone's done wrong to us. And then we don't forgive because they don't deserve our forgiveness. Maybe they never apologized. Maybe they never even regretted it. This is very difficult to forgive right?
Look at what's happening here.
Abu Bakar the line is being told to pardon and overlook to forgive. But why is it because this man deserved it? is Allah saying because he apologized? What is Allah saying?
Allah to Habana and York Federal law hola comm it's a completely different focus. Allah says, Do you not love for Allah to forgive you?
You see, it's a completely it's a paradigm shift, where it's not really about Abu Bakar Dylan and that relative, it's about Abu Bakar done and Allah it's actually about his own relationship with Allah subhanaw taala. And, and the end, the question is, do you not love for Allah to forgive you?
Do you see the shift? The focus wasn't on the other person. It was on his relationship with Allah.
And so, because Abu Bakar indeed wanted the forgiveness of Allah. And these were people who were like, far beyond us. Because he wanted the forgiveness of Allah. Not only did he continue that financial support, he increased it.
Why? Because this transaction was between him and Allah subhanaw taala. Again, it's about focus. Because if you look at it, when you forgive someone who's wronged you, you get something in return. That is priceless. You get the forgiveness of Allah.
Does that make sense? Let me give you guys an example. And then inshallah we'll wrap up and I'll give you a chance, inshallah, to ask questions.
How many of you, are you aware of Black Friday deals? Like Black Friday, right? Okay. What happens during Black Friday sales? Well, people are crazy. Okay? What happens during Black Friday sales is that something that maybe a laptop, that's normally 1500 will be on sale for, say 500 or something. And they'll just be like two of them. And best best buy just wants to bring you into the door with this sale, but is only two of them. And so then you'll buy something else. That's the idea. But my point is, what do people do to get a good deal? Well, they do a lot of things. In fact, a lot of times during Black Friday sales, people end up dying. Do you know this? They actually there's been
cases where this lady she's at Walmart. And she's got mace.
Because she wants to get the video game first. I'm not kidding. Another case also happened at Walmart actually.
was and it was in New York, I think, is a few years back, that one of the employees of Walmart actually got trampled. Because the people needed to get their deal. Like this is the behavior that people that human beings have to get a good deal. All right, people will stand in line in the freezing cold weather, right? People will do to hedge Jude and pm at the mall. Right? Because
because now it's like 2am. Like we will never forget sleep, all of a sudden, we don't need a sleep. You know what I mean? Like, if it was like, if someone told you to wake up and pray at that time, it would be hard. But you're at the mall at that time.
So why do we act that way? Why does human beings act that way? It's because we as human beings, we like a good deal. We like we like a good deal. So look at the deal, Ally's making look at the deal God makes here.
If we forgive this person who harmed us,
in exchange for that, we get something infinite.
So in other words, it's not a 15 $100 laptop that's for 500. It's imagine that there's a house, and it's like on the beach, and it's worth $10 billion.
And it's your lucky day. Today, it's on sale for a cent.
Would you feel like you got a deal?
Not so much. Yeah, you'd feel like you got a deal, right?
It's kind of like that, except that the house isn't worth 10 billion. It's infinite. So in exchange for something finite, okay, I forgive my, my cousin or my friend or my parents or whoever it is my, my neighbor, my relative, it's usually a relative, by the way.
I forgive that person. And in exchange, I get something infinite.
So I've gotten something the
value of which isn't $10 billion. It's infinity. And I've gotten it for a cent something finite. Okay, I forgive. Now, what does it mean to forgive? Just to clarify, because oftentimes I get this question.
Sometimes people think that forgiveness means that you continue to allow that person to abuse you. That's not what forgiveness means. Forgiveness means that in your heart,
you forgive. But externally, you take action to stop that abuse. Does that make sense? externally, we are a people of action. I never want to talk about forgiveness and have someone go home and think that it means being a victim. It doesn't, it doesn't mean turning the other cheek. That's not what it means. Because turning the other cheek means you've abused me, and I'm going to let you keep doing it. But that's not Islamic. The prophets I sell him sell. If you see something wrong, try to change it with your hand. And if you cannot, then with your tongue, this is speaking out against it. And if you cannot, then at least hate it in your heart, and this is the weakest of faith.
So it's an active religion. It's not passive. But at the same time while I am taking action against that injustice, and making sure to the best of my ability that it does not happen again. Internally, I am forgiving.
Who nikoli Heather was stopped for a lolly welcome in Nova funa Rahim subhanak. Hello, byham Dhaka shadow en la jolla Hill and istockphoto quwata to blue lake. We have a few minutes now for questions. Okay. Yes.
Is there a mic? Or should I?
Say, Sam, I come? from Sam, we talked about like forgiving others. But when it comes to forgiving yourself, how do you go about that journey? Thank you for asking that.
That is that is that is such an important question. on that, I'm going to say this.
Oftentimes, we are so hard on ourselves way harder than we are in others. And that's a problem. And the reason that, and this is what I want to point out, every human being is created imperfect. This wasn't a flaw in the, in the divine design. It wasn't it wasn't a mistake, Allah subhanaw taala doesn't make mistakes. So the fact that Allah made the human being,
you know, fallible and imperfect, is by design. So that's the first thing I want to establish, we make the mistake. And this brings me full circle to my first point, we make the mistake of thinking that for something to be good, it has to be flawless. And I repeat that because this is deep. We think that for something to be good, it has to be flawless, or for something to be good, it has to be perfect. And that's a that's actually a myth. And it becomes a it becomes self sabotaging. Because we think that, and this is why we turn our heroes into superhuman, because we say if they're good, they must have been superhuman. If they're good, they must be perfect. You know, we select, we
turn our leaders into celebrities. And we think that they're perfect, right? We don't want to look at them as human, because we have this idea that to be good means to be perfect, right? religious people, we think that religious people to be religious, you have to be perfect.
To be religious, you have to be perfect. That's why we have all these myths, for example.
I'm not going to put on hijab until first, I become an angel.
You know, I'm saying, I'm not ready to start praying until first I reached this state of, I don't know Nirvana or something. You know, like I have to, I have to first be perfect. And then I can start to practice or then I can start being a good Muslim. But first, I have to be an angel. There's this idea that to be a good Muslim, you have to become an angel. I'll tell you right now, no one transformed into an angel first, and then the next day put on hijab. The hijab is not a crown that says, By the way, last night. Yep, I got wings. That's not what hijab means. And this is this is a problem. So we, you know, hijab is simply one of many acts of worship saying, I'm trying.
I'm trying, and I'm doing my best. And y'all Allah, I'm trying. And that's what Allah wants from us. In fact, that
Do I that were taught by the prophet Mohammed? So I sell them. It's called say your dualistic father, which means it's the best Dora the master of the supplications for repentance, and you know what it says? When it says Aloma Antara de la ilaha illa and talaq? teneo and adequan, Allah, deca, deca mosta. Todd, you're saying to Allah, I'm doing my best. Like, I'm, I'm on your covenant, I'm doing the best I can as much as I can. You're not coming to learn saying, I became perfect. Yeah, Allah. So reward me now. You're not doing that you're admitting to Allah, Abu laka. Like, it's all just you admitting that you're imperfect?
So what? How does that bring me to the fact that we can't forgive ourselves? It's because we don't give ourselves permission to be human.
We don't give ourselves permission to be human. We expect perfection from ourselves and from others. This is why we can't forgive others. And this is why we can't forgive ourselves. It's because I expect no, I'm not allowed to make mistakes. I have to be perfect. And then when we make a mistake, we take out the whip and we whip ourselves. And that's, it's just extremely toxic. It's extremely toxic. If Allah can forgive you, then why can't you forgive you?
Right. You know, there's this quote, it says, like a CS Lewis, quote, beautiful quote. He's one of the few people I follow on Twitter. I know he's dead. But his quotes. CS Lewis says something to the effect of when we when we refuse to forgive ourselves. We're setting up a tribunal. Even great, even higher than God's it's almost like we're putting our it's like we're putting a court that's higher than God's court. Because God forgives, Allah says that he can forgive all sins,
all sins. He says, If you come to me with sins, as high as the sky, and you are and you don't associate a partner with me, and you seek my forgiveness, I'll give you forgiveness as great as that. That's a law. But then we come and say, No, actually, my court is higher than a loss court. I won't forgive myself, you know what I mean?
And you Any other questions?
while they're giving the mic, I just want to add something to that point. And that is the negative self talk that we engage in. It's absolute poison. See this bottle right here, it has spring water in it. spring water is wonderful. But imagine that this bottle was full of poison. And I was just sipping on it. What's going to happen to me? Anyone? Any doctors in the room?
Yeah, I'm going to slowly kill myself, right?
That's what we do with our negative self talk. When we the way we talk to ourself, is like sipping poison. Sometimes, when we say things like,
you know, you're such a failure, you'll never get it right. You're always messing up your fat, you know, I'm saying, it's like, we're constantly beating ourselves up.
And that's like sipping poison, you're actually destroying yourself, it's toxic. We have to stop doing that. And we have to be more compassionate with ourselves. And we have to be able to
give ourselves permission to be human.
I was just wondering how can you build confidence within yourself as a person? That you could talk about that? Okay.
I'm going to give you a couple couple answers to that question.
I'll give you a conceptual answer, and then I'll give you a practical answer. Okay. So conceptually, you become more confident when the definition of your self worth is only linked is linked to your relationship with God.
When the definition of your self worth is linked to your relationship with God, instead of it being linked to something else, like how you look,
how you how thin you are, how powerful you are, how much money you have.
When your self worth is linked to anything other than your relationship with Allah, you'll never be able to be very confident. Because what will happen is sometimes you'll be up sometimes you'll be down depending on you know, when when people like you, maybe then you'll feel good. But as soon as they don't like you, you don't feel good anymore. Right? Maybe when you look a certain
way you feel fine. But when you don't look that way, you don't feel okay about yourself. So your self worth is being linked to something unstable. And something that isn't actually significant. So it's really about what defines your self worth. And of course, right now, our society right now defines, especially women self worth on appearances. And now that leads me to the next point, which is practical.
One thing I warn you about is the Instagram culture.
the problem with the Instagram culture is that everyone becomes obsessed with appearances. And it's all about comparing yourself to others.
And you're not comparing yourself to others in taqwa.
Right? Right. What's the valic affiliate an ephah cinematography soon? It's not. It's not that kind of competition in like, running to Allah. It's a competition and who looks better? And who's more fashionable? And who can contour better their face? Right? So the idea is, or, or, or how you wrap your hijab, or how you know, how thin you are, What size do you wear, like, How nice is your skin. And of course, there's a filter for it if it ain't nice.
So what happens is, you're constantly comparing yourself on this criteria of appearances. And that is one of the most toxic thing to self confidence. It really is, there's studies that show that the more people consume of social media, the more they get depressed, it's, it's not difficult to understand why. So practically, I'll give you guys i'll give you try and experiment.
detox from social media
for a certain period of time, and see how you feel about yourself. I'm serious. Just just that, just that. And then if you decide to come back to the Instagram world, and the whole world, change your newsfeed.
Just change it.
here's here's how I want you to think about your news feed, right? your news feed is like your fridge.
whatever's in the fridge is what you're going to eat that day.
If your fridge is full of poison, molded cheesecake, old bread, I'm sorry, but that's what you're going to eat that day. And your news feed. That's the problem, what's on your news feed, you're going to eat that that's what you're going to ingest. Whatever you look at, whatever you listen to, these are all input that's all input into the into the soul into the heart. So what you have to do is look at the quality of your fridge. What do you got in there? Is it poison? Or is it organic? Right? Is it like healthy food? So what I would say is change the contents of your news feed. Maybe it doesn't have to be following what a celebrity is eating for breakfast, or what she's wearing that
day or he's doing or he's who he's with whatever. Or or we have the Muslim versions of celebrities to we have the Muslim version. And I'm not talking about how Rahman Hillel here, I'm not up here to talk. I'm not even qualified to talk about that. I'm not saying it's hot, Amore, Hillel to be doing these like to have that be your profession, for example. That's not the point. My point is, what's your focus. And if your focus is just on how someone looks, what's in fashion, you know, if that and it's just constant images of these of just appearances, appearances. What's happening is that becomes the most important thing to
and it leads to a lot of insecurity, you you lose self confidence, because at the end of the day, guess what? You're comparing your real body to a filtered one.
In other words, actually not just filtered by you're comparing yourself to a photoshopped one. It's not it's not real.
So it's like you're just setting yourself up to to constantly feel bad about yourself. And it isn't healthy and and it's really not what matters. It's just not what matters. So it's really about using these things to enrich you. I mean, you have there's everything on social media. You
can choose whatever you want you can use on. I mean, you can use the internet for a lot of good, or you can use it for a lot of harm.
So this is actually a follow up question to the first question that someone asked about forgiving yourself. So let's say if we agree that we're not perfect, and we agree that we're going to embrace ourselves and embrace our mistakes. So
we still want to get better, though we still want to not be complacent and be in constant progress, right? How can you balance between?
Yeah, between the two between becoming better and constantly improving yourself and also, at the same time, embracing your mistakes. Okay. And thank you for bringing that up. Because it allows me to clarify, as I mentioned, Allah subhanaw taala says what he says, If you come to me, associating no partners with me, even if your sins fill the area between the heavens and the earth, and you come sincerely to me, and and repent and seek my forgiveness, I will forgive you. I'll give you forgiveness as great as that. So there is an action that we have to take. Yes, you're absolutely right. But the point I was making is that the prophets I send them said in a sound, Hadith, all the
children of Adam are going to make mistakes, they're fallible, and the best of them are who,
those who repent. So it's really about, yes, constantly trying to better yourself. It's about when you stumble, you get back up, you repent, and you keep going. You you stumble again, you get back up, you repent, and you keep going. So you are constantly trying to renew yourself refreshed. You know, it's, it's a,
what it is, is it's a constant path of test. skia test camp means to purify. So you're always trying to purify and develop yourself. But the mistake is that as soon as you fall, or you falter, you just give up.
I mean, I've heard people saying things like, you know, I might as well take off my hijab.
I might as well just stop, you know, being involved with the masjid. I might as well all them people, they're just so judgmental. You know, I might as well just stop praying. these are these are tricks of, of how we deceive ourselves into just losing hope. And so that's what we have to be careful about. But yes, we have to keep trying, we have to keep better at trying to better ourselves. But that's never going to happen if we lose hope. And we despair every time we make a mistake. So it's it's really about allowing ourselves to be human, but but at the same time, we're told to strive for something called Sn. What's sn
people often translate as perfection. But perfection is only for a law. Sn is excellence. It means that you do the absolute best that you can to have beautiful conduct to have excellence in what you're doing. So yes, we are supposed to strive for excellence. But that's not the same thing as perfection
suddenly gone, and you can send them How are you?
I wanted to ask what's your advice when it comes to having good friendships with good people and breaking off friendships with people who just bring you down and have a bad influence on you? Like how do you respectfully break off with those kind of people
the importance of good friendship can't be over stated. The profits I sell them told us that and moto Allah Dini holiday, which means that a person will be on the way of life of his or her closest friend. So you actually become like your friend. When you take someone as a close companion. You start to become like each other you take on the same way the same Dean, literally the way of life. He also said that good company is like entering a perfume shop. See what happens when you enter what happens when you enter bath and Bodyworks right? You go in there. And even if you buy nothing, you come out smelling like you know perfume and Apple cucumber, you put on all the samples, right? So
you come out smelling better anytime you go into a perfume shop. Even if you don't buy anything, it still affects you in a positive way you smell better than you did when you went in. Right? So good company says it's like entering a perfume shop. Even if you don't get come out with something you'll still smell better.
And then the opposite is true Bad Company is like entering a blacksmith shop,
you either get burned, or you come out with the smell of smoke on your clothing. So it still affects you, at the very least, is just the way you smell.
We have to be very mindful who we take as our closest companions, because on the Day of Judgment,
Allah tells us in the end, that the people who are being punished are going to say, I wish I had not taken so and so as a close friend, I wish I had not taken so in so as a friend, because that person misguided me to that person took me to the wrong path, they took me away from the path, the straight path. So this is one of the biggest regrets that people have in general. So this is extremely important it and in fact, scholars of the heart say that bad company is one of the poisons of the heart. So it's it's extremely important that we, we we guard our company, I know the next question what it's going to be, but I mean, this is a whole subject is going to be well, what if we can avoid
it? Right? What if that person's in my family? What are the persons working next to me in my, you know, in at work? Well?
And the answer to that question is, you do what you can to avoid toxicity. Alright. So for example, I'm not going to go next to radiation on purpose. And if I know that there's an area where there's radiation, I'm going to stay clear of it. Yes. guys aren't don't seem Sure. Yes. engagement? Yes, yes. Okay. I should have given my body language spiel at the beginning, like, Yes, okay, you're gonna stay as far away from that radiation as you possibly can, right? You're gonna do whatever you can to stay awake. But now imagine that you have to work at a nuclear power plant. That's like, you have no choice. So then what do you do?
You wear protection? Right? Yeah.
That's the same thing spiritually. You try what you can to take toxicity out of your life. And if you can't completely take it out of your life, at least distance yourself from toxicity.
Okay? And if you can't even do that,
then at least wear your shield, your radioactive protection and what is that? It is the remembrance of Allah.
Like literally the remembrance of Allah is is like a shield. What What does it mean to remember Allah? Well, three parts that I always get talked about with the vicar, the vicar practice, daily remembrance, first is the Salah, the fact that you, you pray five times a day on time, that's the oxygen of the heart. If you're not praying, you're not breathing. And there's, there's no two ways about that. There's no way that you're going to be successful spiritually, if you're not praying, because that's like saying that someone's going to be successful, and they're not breathing. So sola, and then second is the car. How many people have heard of the book fortress of a Muslim?
So fortress of a Muslim is just a collection of supplications. From the Quran, and from the Sunnah, from the prophets, I send them incorporating that in your daily life, that is a shield. That's why it's called fortress of a Muslim. It's a shield. It protects you from all types of harm, by the way, all types of harm, including the toxicity of people,
and especially morning, supplications, evening, supplications and supplications, before you sleep there supplications, after prayer as well. And one note to keep in mind here is that something small is better than nothing. Keep that in mind, this is a principle. One spiritual principle that were taught by the prophets I send them is that Allah loves the actions that are consistent, even if they're small. So even if you can just say a couple of these applications, but you're consistent, then that will be extremely effective, even if it's small. And then third in this Vicodin, like prescription is the quarter n is being connected to the core n regularly daily, it doesn't have to
be just a day. You know, it doesn't have to be, you know, a huge amount, but even if it's a small amount, but you're doing it consistently, that will be like a shield. Okay? So that's basically what it is, is that you you try to distance yourself as much as you can, and you wear your shields Salah of God and put an end with regards to the Quran and I usually advise this this is an app that I use, it's called my da m y d
A and this is an app form of fortress of a Muslim. So you have it on your phone, you can star certain ones. And that becomes your treasure chests. You see them every single day. And they are powerful, very powerful. Before I wrap up, I just have a couple of announcements. A couple people asked me, I do have copies of both of my books I know they mentioned, reclaim your heart, I also have a new book. It's called love and happiness. And I also have the new edition of reclaim your heart. The new edition has four new chapters. And just to kind of tell you a little bit about my books,
what I wrote about in reclaim your heart, and love and happiness is that as I was kind of going through my own life, I was going through stuff, and I was learning along the way. And I was sharing that Reclaim Your heart is a book about
this concept of the fact that we give our hearts away to dunya. We give our hearts away to money, we give our hearts away to our careers, we give our hearts away to status, power, you know our egos, and it's about taking your heart back and giving it to its rightful owner, which is God. So this concept in it, and it just talks about how to live in this life.
Without kind of getting consumed by this life. A lot of people have found it especially helpful during times of loss and difficulty. But it also I think it's one of the best premarital books you can give someone because I think it gives a lot of people perspective of, of How to Have
a Healthy attachment with with with your spouse, and with the creation generally it talks about that. Also, another point I want to share is both me and my husband were both very, we we're very passionate about trying to help the community with regards to coaching. The problem that we've seen throughout our travels is that there's a lot of stigma within the Muslim community, especially when it comes to asking for help. So when people are suffering, whether they're suffering from mental health issues, or they're suffering in their marriages, a lot of times we don't feel like we can ask for help. There's a stigma people feel ashamed or maybe people don't know where to go. So if you
are, you know looking for help or you're interested in looking in getting counseling or coaching, inshallah you can speak to my husband during the book signing or myself and inshallah we can try our best to help accordingly. Hi, that was Dr. Ali. Welcome in our Hunan Rahim subhanak colloquium, Dhaka Chateau La Ilaha and istockphoto to Lake wa Salam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh