The Reality of this Life

Yasmin Mogahed


Channel: Yasmin Mogahed

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Get our guest of honors and Egyptian American and an international speaker and author. Two of her books. reclaim your heart and love and happiness are her most famous. She is the most she is the first female instructor and Muslim Institute. I would like to welcome to the stage Saturday as men will get hit.

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Santa Monica.

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I will let him in a shaytani r rajim Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah while Elio savage mine, rubbish rally sadri westerly Omri wahana. Locked Emily's any of going holy.

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It's, it's an honor to be here with you today. I've never been to Arkansas before. And so far, I've witnessed so much hospitality. And and I actually this is one of the reasons I I really like the South. And I recently moved to the south sort of North Carolina, from California because I love the the southern hospitality and the the way that the community is very welcoming. My topic today is

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about the prosperous future of Muslim millennials. And I was thinking a lot about how to approach this topic. And I also wanted to include the concept of education because we are here supporting an educational institution, an Islamic educational institution. And so I was thinking about how is it that I want to approach this topic. And what I decided was I wanted to talk about what actually is the true or one of the main goals of Islamic education because we're here supporting a school, we're here talking about this particular school and why Islamic education is so important. So I wanted to just reflect on what is one of the essential goals of Islamic education. And I came up with two and

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it's not only these two, but I came up with two. And the first one is that the purpose of Islamic education or the goal of Islamic education, and this is also a litmus test to let us know if we've succeeded, I believe, and that is to give us a greater purpose. See, one of the things that all people at some point in their life ask is What am I doing here? What's my purpose? Why am I here? And there's a lot of different answers to this question. But what is that greater purpose? Now if we look at the end, and we look at what is it that Allah says, what is it that God gives us as our highest purpose? Now, each and every one of you have a purpose? I'll call this the, the lowercase p

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purpose, right? We all have purposes that we live for in life, right? We have a lot of doctors I heard, yeah, we have teachers, we have lawyers, we have mothers fathers, there's a lot of different roles that we play. But that's not what I'm asking. Just for a moment. I'm asking what is the purpose capital P? Why am I actually here? And to answer this question, actually, God is very clear in the end, when malloc to general ends, allele algodon. So Allah subhanaw taala has actually given us the answer to this question very clearly, in the end, when malloc to general in salmon stop for a second

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in the hood, and actually the the comedian that came before me, gave a little bit of an introduction with Lalalala. But this construction of lat ilaha illAllah. It's a it's a construction in Arabic, where it begins with a negation. In other words, you negate and any other purpose. So you're, it's almost like taking a slate and wiping it clean. Alright, so for example, La Ilaha, Illa, la linguistically, is actually saying, there is no ILA there is no object of worship, or as as the brother said, God, small letter G. There is none. So you begin with a negation. And so you have a clean slate. Why does this construction? Why is this construction used? The reason is to give

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exclusivity, do you guys understand what I'm saying? So that you say there is no other purpose, or there is no other God in order to say Illa and then you add except now what that does in the Arabic language is it tells you that this is the exclusive answer to the question. So in this case, La ilaha illa Allah is that there's nothing worthy of worship. And if you stop there, that's atheism. Isn't it? Right. There's no God. Let allow the first half is atheism. There's no ILA. There's no god but

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Slam is to add the second half, which is very important in Lola except for God. So in other words, there is nothing worthy of being my object of worship. And a laugh in the Arabic language is a very deep concept. By the way. Illa isn't just something you pray to. Allah isn't just like a stone idol, and Illa. And I'm going to, I'm going to tell you this, even an atheist has any left, you're gonna be like what, even an atheist hasn't. Even an agnostic hasn't.

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Even someone who says I don't believe in God has an Illa, meaning they have something that they worship, something that they put at the center of their existence, something that they put at the center of their hearts, something that put the center of their lives, something they live for, and something they're willing to die for. That's anila. And so what makes a Muslim is to say that there's nothing worthy of being at that position, except for God. It is pure monotheism, pure in Arabic to hate. So that's La ilaha illa Allah. But now where does the other AR come in? Why malloc to general ins This is the A about purpose, capital P. Again, each and every one of us have lesser

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purposes. But this is ultimate purpose. Allah subhanaw taala says, We have not created jinn and human beings for any other purpose in parentheses, while malloc to general ins we have not created them for any other purpose. elac. Again, you hear that elac except, so this is that exclusivity of purpose ilaria boon except now, here's another very deep concept, hobo dia, the concept of hobo dia, which means loosely translated worship.

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But the concept of the day in Islam is not just praying, and fasting. Worship is not just what you do in the mosque. But worship can also be time that you spend with your family. Worship can also be time that you give to your community. Worship can be teaching, worship can be even even that that intimacy between a husband and wife is actually an act of worship, as the prophets I seldom said. So worship is very, it's a it's a comprehensive concept in Islam. But what is God telling us? He's telling us that the only purpose that we were created for, and there's no other is to worship God? Now, what does it mean to truly worship God, it means essentially, to put a law or God, you know,

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one of the funny things is, I remember like, a long time ago, there was like this award ceremony. And this celebrity stands up and was like, be trying to be really like open and inclusive. So he goes,

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whether you believe in God or Allah,

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that's the point is they think it's two different things. God is Allah. When we say, when we say that ilaha illa Allah, we're not saying that our God is the only God or our Muslim God, we're saying, the God of all people, is the only thing worthy of our ultimate love, and worship. And so when we give purpose to the next generation, see, because the problem is we live in a society right now, that worships a lot of other things. We worship a lot of things in our society. And in fact, we are bombarded with things to worship, and I'm not talking here about Jesus, I'm not talking about religion, I'm talking about materialism, I'm telling you that we are actually living in a society

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that teaches us and and it actually bombards us with the worship of money, with the worship of status, with the worship of power, these are the things we actually worship, we don't worship, you know, these religious symbols anymore. This is actually what what our children are in us are dealing with that this is the type of worship that we're being told to, you know, to be involved in. And that is that take your money as your Lord, or take your status as your Lord or take power. There are a lot of people who worship power. If you look at the crimes that are being committed,

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at the highest level, to the lowest level in the world, and you look at why you'll find that that's what it's about. It's about the worship of power and the worship of money. And so these are objects of worship. Now, how do we come back to our ultimate purpose, our ultimate purpose is to realize that our

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That that our being created was for this one purpose, and that is to know, love worship God. And I think that this is the first goal that I see. And as a litmus test, are we doing our job right in Islamic education? Have we given that higher purpose? It isn't only about learning how Tom and Helen See, the problem is, I think that a lot of Islamic education across the board kind of goes wrong in this department, is that we tend when we come to Islamic Studies, we tend to teach a slam as a list of harms and highlights, right, as a list of do's and don'ts. It's haram to eat this, it's halal to eat this haram to wear this, and it's healthy to wear this. And that's sort of what Islam becomes

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boiled down to. And that's a big problem. Because ultimately, we have to be able to teach our children a higher purpose to to give them perspective, what are they doing here? And then how are they going to be able to live in this materialistic society? Without worshipping materialism? Without worshipping that money? Yes, be doctors. Yes, be lawyers. Yes, be teachers be have your have your endeavors in this life, but be careful not to worship it. Because the moment that you worship it, that's when you drown in it. You know, there's this really beautiful analogy I write about it in, in my book, reclaim your heart. There's a really beautiful analogy that one of the scholars gave

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about dunia. Now, what is dunya? And this brings me to my second point of one of the goals of Islamic education. And I think that one of the goals of Islamic education needs to be giving children the tools to master the dunya to master the dunya how people see the matrix, like to people, Okay, anyway,

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basically, mastering the dunya is realizing that this life knowing it for what it is, and not allowing it to own you. This is very important. And so the analogy that he gives is that this life is like an ocean. If you think about an ocean, what's the purpose of an ocean? Well, if you think if you're traveling on the ocean, what are you going to use to travel on the ocean?

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A boat, great, okay, you guys are awake, right?

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You use a boat, right? So you use a boat to get to travel from point A to point B on an ocean. So he gives the analogy that this life dunia is like an ocean. Now the thing about an ocean is it's really beautiful from the shore, right? We can appreciate an ocean. It's really beautiful from the boat. Right? Yes. But what happens when you allow the ocean to enter the boat?

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Anyone heard of the Titanic?

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At sinks. Brilliant. So what he explains is that the believer or the human being in fact, in this life, is like a person. It's like a boat in the ocean. And the boat is like the heart. So the heart, in the in, in this life is like that boat in the ocean. The problem is, as long as you keep the water outside of the boat, it stays afloat, you feel me, you will be able to survive the ocean, and even use the ocean, right we get food from the ocean, we use the ocean for travel. But the ocean can also swallow you up cannon. If you allow the ocean to enter your boat, in this analogy, it's the heart. If you allow the ocean to enter the boat, that's when it owns the boat. And that's when it

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breaks the boat. And that's when it can consume the boat and drown the boat. And this is what happens to a human being who allows this life dounia materialism to enter their hearts and take over. So the problem is not having things in the dunya The problem isn't having money. The problem isn't having power. The problem isn't having status. The problem is when we start to worship these things. The problem is when these things take over our hearts. And when a person allows money, for example, to take over their hearts. It's like a boat that allows the ocean water to enter it.

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And we all know as many of you said what happened to the Titanic, right? It was supposed to be the unsinkable ship. It was supposed to be the greatest ship of its of its kind of its time right? And what happened to it. It went down in history as the ship that got owned by the ocean.

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And round. And that's exactly what happens to us when we don't have the right relationship with dunya. When we allow the dunya, to enter our hearts and take over, and when we lose our love for dunya is so intense, that we actually become slaves to the dunya. So there's a very famous saying, of one of the companions.

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And what he said is

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Zoho, Zoho, it is a concept of, of detachment not being too attached to this life. He said that detachment is not that you do not own anything. It is that nothing owns you.

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So you may, and there were many companions that were very wealthy, that had money. But as the scholars say, their money was in their hands, not in their hearts. The problem is, when money is in the heart, it poisons the heart, just like the water of the ocean poisons the ship. And so these are concepts that we have to teach our children because yes, we live in a society that tells us to worship money, that tells us to worship status to worship materialism. Now I want to leave you with an a, a really powerful area, where Allah subhanaw taala tells us in Surah, Al Hadith, and this is verse 20. Allah gives us a very, very powerful analogy of what this life is. And I want you guys to

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pay attention to this. Because it actually if you look at this area, is really amazing. If you look at this area, it's

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it's sort of like a chronology of human life on this earth, in one area, Alamo animal hyah to dunia lion. So first, Allah subhanaw taala says, know that the life of this world is play. Now, I'll tell you from experience, and I'm sure many of you who've had children, what is the most important thing to a child? So a human being who first enters this life? What is the most important thing to that to that human being?

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Play Thank you play, right? You want to get a gift for a child, they're not going to appreciate an Armani suit, they're not going to care, right? But if you get them a toy, they'll appreciate it. You could spend 99 cents on a toy, and they'll appreciate it more than $1,000 am I right? Because for a child, the most important thing is live life is play.

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Then when a child gets a little older, what becomes important. So I'm talking now middle school age, any teachers of middle school or parents of middle school aged children, raise your hand.

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All right, can anyone tell me? What's the most common phrase that comes out of their mouth? Anyone?

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On board? There it is. Everyone always gets it is on board. And the reason for this is at that age, you want to be entertained. It's like they want constant stimulation. You know what I'm saying? They're not playing with rattles anymore. But now it's the video games. I want constant stimulation. Right? And now we have Netflix. Right? So it's like constant with their phones. You can't they can't sit for one moment without being stimulated. And it's that concept of I want amusement you know what that's called in the hood Ed Lau. So Allah subhanaw taala says livan will allow right after play. Allah says low and low means amusement entertainment. So a lot here is saying know that the life of

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this world first he says play then he says, amusement, or entertainment. Live on while I was in. So now we get into high school. All right, what happens in high school? Well, what happens in high school is you're not playing with rattles anymore. Maybe you may or may not still be obsessed with video games. That's that's a point of contention. But what becomes very important when you're a teenager, especially for girls, is how you look, it becomes more and more important how you appear. And this is why if you look statistically, at when do you see a lot of eating disorders, it's usually during the adolescent age. And that is because the way you look becomes of utmost

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importance. So what is the lesson next in this a lie? Boom, voila, who was Xena? Xena is adornment, to decorate to adorn and Allah subhanaw taala says this number three in this day. Now as you get older and now you're getting into college, and you're taking the MCAT and the L SATs and the AC T's and the AC T's and it's a lot about proving yourself, isn't it? So what is the let's say next live on well ah when was he not on waterfowl, Romania come next he says that the

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life of this world is a lot of showing off. It's boasting, it's like, Yeah, what was your score? You know what I got? Or you know what school I got into What school do you get into, or our parents like to, you know, to fail home Bay netcom This is the showing off. And now hamdulillah we have a platform for it called social media. Right? It's a platform for de facto a knuckle it's showing off boasting between one another right we have any kind of accomplishment that we have in our, in our lives or in our children's lives. We have to put it up on social media. Why? Well, so that everybody can see that, hey, I have this accomplishment. How about you? And there's a lot of comparisons, yes

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or no? Come on, guys.

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Thank you, boasting between one another. Allah is saying this in the hora de fer home Bay Neko, this showing off between one another? What's the factor on Bay? netcom? What tech Catherine fill em, well, you will Oh, lad. And then Allah says finally. And then this like this, like competition sort of gaining in money in wealth and children.

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Look at the timeline. What happens after you graduate, and then you get a job and you get married and you settle down, and then you have children is now your focus is let me make more money. And it's about your children. So now, what are we focused on? We're focused on? How are we now going to compete with our kids? Right?

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Right. How are we going to compete with our kids? Well, your cousin, you know, so there's that competition now with money and children? And you know, what kind of house you have? What kind of car do you drive? This is the nature of dunya. Right? This is what Allah is saying. And he says it in chronological order. But you know, what's what we have to like, reflect on about this area? Is that the things that matter most to you at any point in time? Right, we said play first right? At there was a time in your life where all you cared about was a rattle. And you thought the rattle was the end of the world? What happens if you take a rattle away from a baby?

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Anyone? The end of the world. So for that human being, it's the end of the world to take away a rattle. What happens if you keep a middle schooler from playing his video games? Or her video games? It's the end of the world you feel me? What happens when you get older? And you know, you're just you have you have a breakout or something? Right? Do you understand what I'm saying? Or what happens when you get a bad grade at some point in your life? Every single one of you probably thought at one point the world was over because you got a bad grade. You all it all happened? It happened to some, but now, five years, 10 years, 20 years, 40 years later, does it matter anymore?

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Does it matter anymore? Anyone? That exam actually didn't end your life? Right? Losing that rattle losing that video game, it actually didn't end your life that breakout, it didn't end your life, even that breakup, to mend your life. Right? And so the idea is, and this is what I was teaching us, is that these things, and I'm going to tell you in a moment, the rest of the A A explains it. These things, we believe, we believe it's like everything, but then it passes it fades, right? And then five years later, 10 years later, it doesn't even matter anymore, can mess early life in Agia belco foreigner battle, then Allah says it's like a farmer who gets really excited with this heavy rain.

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Why? Because of the Tibet that comes from it because of the vegetation that will come from heavy rain. But then Allah says what happens to that vegetation? Can methylene life and agile co founder and about to sumaiya he drove Apollo homes for but that same vegetation eventually dries up and becomes yellow.

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So matakohe and that photo and then you see it, that

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that same vegetation, it will dry up, it'll become yellow. And then it just becomes like debris. You know, if you take like if you take a rose, and it's really beautiful for a moment, a day to maybe if you're lucky a week, but what happens after a month or two that rose No one's ever seen a rose.

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It dries up thank you. It dries up comes brown, yellow Brown. And then what would happen if you crumble it in the wind just becomes debris. It just goes it becomes nothing. It used to be a beautiful roads, right? This is a sign of Allah subhanaw taala. And what Allah is telling us is that this metaphor that he's giving us, is the metaphor of what this life is of what do

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is it's something that we get very worked up about for a while, and then it passes. Right and then we get worked up about something else. And then it passes. And then we get worked up and then it passes until eventually the whole thing passes until the whole thing passes. And this is what Allah is telling us. Can methylene whites and agile co founder and about to throw me a huge aforethought almost for for my akuna to Toma, and it just becomes like debris. And then Allah says we'll fill an era T. And then Allah is saying that in the ACA in the Hereafter, there's basically one of two outcomes. Either there is punishment, or there is mafara forgiveness, and mercy from God. Woman

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higher to dunya in lemme tell horror, and what is the life of this world? But channel of deception? What is the point of this? What is the lesson behind this as the lesson is this there are things in this life that Allah subhanaw taala gives us metab By the way, the word metab in the Arabic language mahtab it's translated as pleasure. But literally can also mean a tool, a tool, just like the ocean is a tool, right? It's not about hating dunya. It's about using dunya. Does that make sense? It's about using it, because every single thing in dunya Yes, you can enjoy it. But essentially, it's meant to take you to a better place. And actually, if you look at the meaning of the word dunya Does

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anyone know what's the what's the literal meaning?

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Something lower. So hyak, dunia literally means the lower life is not deep. anyone think that's deep. That's deep, the lower life and you see even in the hood n when Allah subhanaw taala talks about sort of that room, he says Ethel or she says ethnologue mean the lowest land value, but a room fee and an odd one allows actually describing something that was going to happen in the future. He was saying and describing is it was going to happen and he said when it was going to happen, and he said in the lowest land, ethanol or the word dounia means lower, and it is higher to dunia because guess what? We have a higher life, we have a better life. And this particular one is the lower life.

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It's not all bad, but it's not all good either. Do you feel me? It's not all bad, but it's not all good either. It's not perfect. Anyone have a perfect life? Raise your hand.

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Anyone have a perfect life? Guess what? No one has a perfect life. No matter how much money you have, no matter how much power just look at Trump, right? No matter what you have of dunia, it will never be perfect. And that is the nature of dunya. And yet the human being is a little foolish. Right? Can I tell you why? Ben thirunal highest adonia will ask Sarah to hire me that we still prefer this life. Even though the next life is better and longer lasting. a holding company, however, was stuck for too long. You welcome in our funan Rahim, subhanak Elohim, deca shadow, nyla. Hill and istockphoto Aqua to blue lake. I don't want to keep you too long because it's late. But I

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want to say this.

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Everything I've said is a reminder to myself first. And I also want to let you know, I do have a few limited copies of I have two books. One of them is called reclaim your heart, I'll just tell you a little bit about it. And the other one is called love and happiness. Reclaim Your heart is a book I wrote

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literally through blood, sweat and tears my own life. As I went through my life, I learned a couple things, I made a lot of mistakes. And so I wrote about it. I wrote about the things that I was going through. And I wrote about, about what I was learning along the way. And essentially, the concept of Reclaim Your heart is about the fact that we come into this life and we give our hearts away. We give our hearts to a lot of things. We give our hearts away to mother money. We give our hearts away to people we give our hearts away to, you know our careers, there's a lot of things that we give our hearts to that don't deserve to have our hearts. Essentially, the concept is that the heart belongs

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to God. And so it's about how to take your heart back and give it to God. And what does that actually mean? And it and the fact that it doesn't mean you become a monk, it doesn't mean you don't get married and have kids It doesn't mean you don't have a career. You know, I have I have all those things that hamdulillah but it was about my own journey of understanding how to live in this life without drowning in it. Right that concept of the dunya. And then love and happiness also. It was it was a book I wrote as I was in a different stage of my life, and about the fact that there are difficulties in life but there's also a lot of beauty in life. And the fact that dunia is really

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it's a little bit of everything Allah subhanaw taala says in my last video

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and this is a very

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Deep concept because a lot doesn't say, in this area if I ask most people to translate this, in my last video, most people will say, after hardship disease,

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most people, but in this area Allah doesn't seem bad in another area. Yes, in this area, Allah says the word MA in Arabic means with along with. And that's a very important concept. Because sometimes we think, Okay, I'm going through a hardship. And right now it's all dark. I'm going through a difficulty. And right now it's all bad. That's actually incorrect. It's never all dark. And it's never all bad at any point in time ever. Nobody has it all dark, and nobody has it all bad, because Allah says that with the hardship is ease plural, by the way. So Grace is singular. So one single hardship that you have is accompanied with many eases or blessings. What it means is that at every

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point in time, no matter how hard your life gets a lot at the same time, gives you a lot of blessings. And it's always at the same time. I'm so amazed at how many times and you guys will probably notice this in life, too. How many times I've heard about people who have a very happy occasion in their life, they just got married, they just had a child, and that almost at the same time, someone they love dice. Anyone almost at the same time, I've heard this over and over and over. And a lot of people might look at that and say, why did that? Why did they have to ruin it? Right? I just, you know what, I just got married? Why? Why did my father have to die? Or? or Why did

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my sister have to, you know, they feel that it ruined it. I know, someone just had twins. Two weeks later the mother dies? Why did it have to ruin it? But you know what, that's not what I was saying. Unless telling us in my last video, let me show you a different way to look at it with the hardship is the ease is plural, meaning that Allah gave you those children.

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A lot gave you that spouse in order to help you cope with the hardship that was written for you. Does that make sense? And it's a completely different way of looking at it. But this is what Allah is saying. He's saying that with the hardship is ease and it's plural. So Allah is actually giving us blessings at the same time as our hardships to make it easier for us out of his Rama out of his mercy. So this is what I write about, and inshallah it's going to just we're going to have them available outside. I also wanted to make another announcement and I feel that this is very important as a as an issue that we're dealing with in our community.

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We're going through difficulties. Everyone has their personal difficulties. People have, you know, we have collective communal difficulties. And a lot of us we have an issue in our community, especially in the Muslim community, is we don't know how to ask for help. And there is a sort of a taboo about asking for help. When you're having trouble in your marriage, for example, there is a taboo of going and getting counseling. When you're having trouble when you have when you're suffering. You know, personally, there's a taboo about going and getting a therapist. And I think it's very, very important that we realize that we have to remove this taboo, and we have to seek

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help. And I'll tell you why. Because islamically the prophet SAW Selim told us

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how water can tie your camel and put your trust in Allah. This is a concept in our Deen, which means that we're supposed to seek help. Or we're supposed to make an effort. That's the time the cam, the whole story goes like this. There was a companion. He wasn't tying his camel. So then the prophet SAW Selim asked him, Why is he not tying his camel? He said, because I have my trust in God.

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So the prophets, I seldom taught him this timeless lesson. And I'll tell you what TOEIC can tie your camel and put your trust in God. At the same time. Doing your effort is part of worship. This is very important. When you're sick, going to the doctor can be an act of worship. When you're sick, going to the doctor can be an act of worship. As long as you know that the true one who heals is God. But we have tools in this life. Doctors are a tool. therapists are a tool counselors are a tool. So I just wanted to mention that because both me and my husband we are very passionate about this area. And my husband provides coaching for couples and also for individual men because this is

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a place where honestly there is a vacuum and it's

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Especially I found, you know, and he's found there's a trend in our community and I'm just going to be honest with you for a second. Especially men do not ask for help. And they don't ask for help until it's too late sometimes, whether they are suffering themselves with depression or or there's a lot of issues, for example, with addiction, pornography, different things like that. But also within the marriages, my husband's always getting messages. I am I have a problem in my marriage. Okay, sister, can we get you know, can we have some couples counseling, some coaching? Yeah, but my husband doesn't want it. And this is a trend is that there's an issue where the sisters want and the

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men don't and, and, and, and part of what we have to do is remove that taboo, remove that that barrier that we have, that it's not okay to ask for help because honestly, this is something in our religion is to ask for help. And when the prophets I send him said if you see something wrong, try to fix it. Try to fix it with your hand and if you cannot with your tongue, and if you cannot then at least hate it in your heart and this is the week as the faith we're supposed to be a people who take action in trying to solve our problems, who nikoli Heather was stuck for a while you welcome in our funa Rahim subhanak Hello byham deca Chateau, La Ilaha, Illa and istockphoto to Blake inshallah

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I will have a table right outside the door. If you're interested in signing up for coaching or couples coaching or whether it's individual and also my books will be available just second located on Santa Monica.