Channel: Yassir Fazaga
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Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah All praise is due to a law and made his peace and blessings be upon our beloved prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, wherever you may be Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. May the peace and blessings of God be upon you.
There is an interesting story that is mentioned in the Quran, that illustrates a beautiful concept. The story took place between our Prophet Moses Moosa as we call him in the Quran, and his people who are ill, or the children of Israel, and a doctor and says, What if call mo Salah call me He called me called Karuna Mata La, la calm and mentioned in the book, when Moses said to his people, or my people, remember the boundaries of Allah upon you, is Allah come and be our Allah, Luca, that he has appointed some of you to be prophets, and he has selected some of you to be kings. And then Moses reminds them of these blessings of God upon them. And then he reminds them of a commandment that God
gave them and the commandment is, yeah, call me call out the Naka desert and let the Kabbalah come. All my people enter the Holy Land that God has promised you.
The reaction of the people was Fallujah, Moosa, calm and Jabarin. They said, Oh, Moses, and our men who are exceedingly powerful, and so long that they are in it, meaning in this holy land, we will not interrupt. Interestingly, the Bible mentions the same story in a manner that does not contradict was what is mentioned in the Quran. However, there is an extra sentence or statement that is mentioned in the Bible. In the reaction of the people of Israel, the children of Israel, they said to Moses, or Moses in it are men who are exceedingly powerful to them, we are like grasshoppers. And they see us as we see ourselves, and that is what we will be talking about. today. They said in it
are men who are exceedingly powerful. Moreover, they said
to us, or to them, we are like grasshoppers. And they see us as we see ourselves, meaning that they have already determined a certain image about themselves. And now that image is being reflected. And this is how other people are going to see them. in psychology, this is referred to as self image psychology, how do you see yourself and it is very important because the way you see yourself is really how other people are going to see you. And that is why in the Quran, we are taught constantly, that as a Muslim, you must always have a good image of yourself, not in a boasting manner, not in an arrogant manner. But the higher you hold yourself, the better contributions you
can make as we will go on with some of the of the details, the more confidence you will have, the higher self esteem is going to be. So for example, it is highly detested, it is almost to the point of being an obligation that you have a good image of yourself. And at the same time, it is also not liked or it's it is prohibited, that you have low thoughts of yourself in the Hadees Hadees are the statements of the Prophet peace be upon him, he said, like Iran hadoken Nasser, who led not any of you belittle themselves again, the idea is not to be boasting or to be arrogant, but think highly of yourself, for the way you see yourself is how others are going to see you. And that is why many
times for example, we see that in many areas, an easier way of manipulating the masses. An easier way of controlling the people is that they are given a specific image about themselves, even though this is not the image that I hold of myself. But now I am convinced that this should be the image that I hold of myself. Give you an example. I come from this
with African Americans are constantly shown on TV. So what happens is, when you see them on TV, there is a dancing, or they are playing some sort of sport, which is true, which is the great part that is the reality of a good number of African Americans. But that is not the total image of the African Americans. So you're watching TV, and this is the image that is being presented about them, not knowing the following fact. Did you know that there are more medical doctors than there are professional athletes among the African Americans, I remember one time that I was given a similar lecture. And mostly the people that were in the gathering happened to be African Americans. And when
I told this fact, one of them started weeping, he found that he was deceived by TV. And he said, had I known that it is much easier for me as an African American, to become a medical doctor out of become a medical doctor. But the image that was presented to us about us was the fact that success means that we either become professional athletes, or that we become what so called starts with singers, or dancers, or, or what have you. And the other examples are numerous. But also when it comes, for example, let's say to the whole
concept of beauty, or what is considered to be sexy, or what is considered to be attractive. Nowadays, there is a big problem that we are facing, especially with young girls, in the West, and in the world. Generally speaking, the image that is represented to these young girls or to these women about themselves is that they have to fit a specific standards that were set by someone else. And these standards have to do with their physical appearance, which is really ashamed. Or they say, you know, if you've got it, flaunt it, if you have it, show it, what happens is that we are teaching these young girls, that they only matter, they're only important, we will only value them, if they
fit a specific criterion, a specific standard. And that standard happened to be very physical, where you have got to be about 511 512, you have to be about 120 pounds. And what happens to the girl, that it's almost impossible for her physically to meet these standards, what happens is that at that point, they start looking down upon themselves. I remember one time a personal experience, that when I was at school, one of my classmates tried to commit suicide, because she felt that she is not living up to the expectations or to the standards that were presented about her on TV when I say about her, because that is the image that she should have, because she fits in a specific age group.
And if you are there, then you have got to look this way. So what happens now people are having a poor image of themselves, because they're not able to meet a certain criteria that was put by someone God knows who that person is, or where they are,
are one in every four children. one in every four girls, fourth graders in the States, they have some sort of an eating disorder, B bulimia with anorexia, but the idea is I've got to be slim. As I am shown on TV. I've got to be sport prefigure like as TV is telling me, not knowing that our bodies should not be used to make statements about ourselves. I do not want my body to speak on my behalf. I want to do the talking on my behalf. All bodies are not supposed to be used in such a fashion. They're supposed to be used for the sake of pleasure. They're supposed to be used for mastering skills, and that is where it ends. However, the sad reality is that now people have poor image of
themselves simply because of the way that they look. as Muslims, we do admire beauty, we are asked to seek it in the most natural ways. And also our Prophet peace be upon him has said that in the law. jameela Hempel, Jamal, Allah is beautiful, and Allah loves beauty. However, beauty is more than just a physical appearance, or the outer garments that we that we were, there are other forms of beauty, such as the beauty of character, the cleansiness of your heart, the purity of your soul, and these are all things because they are so unseen. What happens is that we are investing in our appearance and the physical garments that that we wear. Interestingly, they say that there are three
things, there is our personality, there is our character, and there is our reputation. reputation is what people think of us and most people invest
In the reputation symbol, because there is not much commitment, there is not much work, they're less investment. And the reward happens to be very quick. So people would
invest a lot in their reputation, take a picture here, take a picture there, especially it's done with politicians or people who are seeking high offices, because that is the image that they want to present about themselves. And then there is our personality, our personality is what we seem to be. And again, people would invest in that simply because it helps in enhancing their reputation. However, there is our character as well, our character is who we really are, yet less people invest of their character, simply because the reward is not very immediate, and also the investment requires a lot of work, not knowing that not being aware, that if you invest in your character, that
has word carry, you know, naturally, your personality will be accepted, your reputation will be good, however, this takes commitment, and it takes time as well. So, that is why people do not necessarily invest in it as much. So, now, we have got this where we are told constantly, that your reputation matters most, your reputation will have to lose your physical appearance, or the other outer things that you do. So again, people are having a poor image of themselves, it was said beautifully, that we should watch our thoughts, whatever kind of thoughts they are, for our thoughts become our words, we should watch our words, because our words become our actions, our actions will
become our habits, our habits will become our character, and our character will become our destiny. So, the issue now is really what is most important is the destiny. But wherever that is talent from is the fact that what kind of thoughts do we have about ourselves? And like they say, whether you think you can or you think you cannot, you are probably right, which one is it going to be? Whether you think you can, whether you think you cannot, you are probably right. So, the kind of thought that you hold the kind of thought that you have really determines the next step. And that is why it is very important that you have a good perception, a good thought about yourself again, not in a
boasting manner, or in an arrogant manner. Rather, it should be in a manner that is healthy, a manner that is positive. Now in Islam, the belief is that our self image must be from two things. Number one was our relationship with our Creator, the thing that really matters most is not what people think of me. Rather, it is what my creative thinks of me. And like they say, if your self esteem if your pride does not come from your relationship with the Almighty, you are in big trouble. Because as we see nowadays, it's it mostly has to do with physical appearance, position, or possession, or reputation. And all these things, unfortunately, are very temporary. So today, I look
good, what happens tomorrow, if I have an accident, what happens tomorrow and I lose my looks, I do not feel good about myself, I have a poor image of myself, I have money, and that's why I'm feeling good about myself. Tomorrow, I may lose the money. So what happens to me, again, I have a poor image of myself, I may be of high status of a high position this time, what happens tomorrow, when that vanishes, and goes away, I start having a poor image of myself. Now the idea is the good image, the healthy image we believe in Islam comes from our relationship with Almighty Creator. And that is why there is this invitation in Islam and Islam it is not enough that we just believe in the existence
of a creator. To believe in the existence of a creator is not of much consequences. You must get to know that court that creator and have a personal relationship with Him or relationship that should impact your life positively. So the more you know of him, the more personal relationship you develop with him, the closer there is that feeling towards the Creator, the better thought you're going to have about yourself, simply because you have a closer tie, who's your Creator, in a very inviting fashion. Our Prophet peace be upon him would tell us the following in the Hadees. Again, these are the prophetic statements of the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him. He said, Is it that
God Almighty has said, There is nothing more beloved to me, through which a servant of mine may came closer to me than that which I have made an obligation upon my servant, my servant would see closeness to me to the point where I become his site by which he sees his ears by which he hears
His hand by which he grasps and if my servant asks for anything, it will be granted. And if my servant seeks refuge in me, he'll be granted a safe haven, also an understatement. The Prophet peace be upon him has said this beautiful following statement. He said, whenever you mentioned, you make a mention of God, in an assembly, God will make a mention of you in a better assembly. Whenever you make a mention of God, and yourself, God will make a mention of you in himself. And that is such a great, great, great position to be at, that you are remembered by the Almighty, be it in an assembly, or the fact that the Almighty is remembering you, in the same fashion that you are
remembering him. So in Islam, the idea of having a very personal relationship with God is an extremely, extremely important aspect of this whole concept of, of self image. Because the bigger you are, through your deeds and actions, as we will see in the eyes of the Almighty, that makes you feel good about yourself, simply because pride is to be taken in the kind of choices that we make, not necessarily in things that we had nothing to do with, such as the color of my skin, such as my ethnic background, such as my race, simply because these are not things of my choice. I was not consulted, whether I wanted to be a man or a woman consulted, whether I want to be black or white
consulted, whether I want it to be tall or short, big or small. And these are all irrelevant. So for anyone to take pride in this, an Islamic is considered jalahalli ignorance. And equally, so is also when you condemn other people for things that they did not choose. So to discriminate against others because the color of their skin, or their ethnic background, or their race, or their gender, again, in Islam, that is not that is really looked down, upon coming back again. So number one is our relationship was the Almighty. The second point, or the second factor from where we get our self esteem, or the healthy image of ourselves, is our contribution to humanity. Because there are two
elements of pride work, you know, not not arrogance, or not boasting. The two elements of pride is that number one, you see yourself as a holder of rights. Number two, as a holder of rights, you see yourself as worthy of making a positive contribution to mankind. So it's not only the rights that you're asking for, but you also want and know and have the confidence that you have a contribution to make a contribution to society that is very positive. And there is only one you that can make that contribution, and you and only you not by trying to be someone else, not by fitting in someone else's imagination, or fitting someone else's standards, it's only you that is able to make this
contribution. So you make that contribution, you have got to be unique, you have got to be yourself in the process, and not try and fit someone else, our definition of,
of goodness, or having a poor self image of yourself. And it is so beautiful. Because again, the idea is that the way masses are manipulated, the way the public is controlled is by presenting you with a poor image of yourself to the point where you are debased the whole idea is not to put shackles around you, so that you do not meet your potentials so that you do not grow so that there is no development in you as an individual, as well as a community or a nation, or what have you. Because the main purpose of shackles is to keep you where you are. And to keep you down. One of these shackles is me presenting you with a poor self image telling you that you're not good enough
to do this. You're not beautiful enough in the case of commercial surrogacy or in the case of
a woman that we talked about earlier. But the idea is now it is not what they think of you. It what is more important is what do you think of yourself. There was a slave that was brought to the North America. Back in the 1800s. He was born there, his parents were brought in as a slave. His name is Frederick Douglass, an absolutely beautiful personality. As he was talking once he said, the soul within me, no one can degrade. Now you can say what you want. You can call me all the names that you want. But it is not what you think of me that is important. Rather, it is what I think of myself. And that's why he said the soul within me, no one can degrade. Similarly, a beautiful statement was
also said by the great American author
Helen Keller. Now for those of you who do not know Helen Keller, Helen Keller was he was deaf, she was mute. And she was blind. She was one of the most incredible writers of the English language. What does she say? She said, self pity is our worst enemy. And if we will to it, we will never be able to accomplish anything wise in the world. self pity, that's when you look down upon yourself is our worst enemy. Because they say that the hardest enemy to fight is the enemy that has outposts in your own head, how do you find such an enemy. And if you have such low self esteem, or such low self image of yourself, then it is going to be catastrophic, it is going to be disastrous. And that is
why Eleanor Roosevelt used to say, no one can make you feel inferior. without your consent, I may be feeling inferior, I may not be feeling good of myself. But these are these feelings, no one can really determine how we feel. We choose our reaction, people say things, but we make the choice of how to react. So she said, no one can make you feel inferior, that is looked down upon yourself. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. So again, to recap, what you think of yourself, determines how you are going to present yourself. It determines how people are going to see you. It determines what kind of contributions you may make. An also determines what kind of contributions
you are deprived of making, knowing that your self image comes from your relationship with the Almighty and from the type of contributions that you make to humanity. The more you give, the better you feel about yourself, whether it be in the form of charity, whether it be in the form of having said something good to some people have it be in the form of the volunteering that we have done. But it is a known fact, that when we do acts of goodness, when we do acts of kindness, act of compassion, when other people have benefited from it. By the time we go home, there is this great feeling, there is a sense of accomplishment. There is a sense of satisfaction, there is a sense of
contentment, I have accomplished today, I have done something good today, something that is making me feel good about myself. And that is why Islam encourages the actions and the deeds of that are righteous. For example, throughout the Quran, there is this constant reminder that there is a positive relationship, a very direct relationship between faith and good deeds. Whenever you see faith in the mentioned in the Book of Allah, the Quran, that is we believe the Holy Book of the Muslims, along with your faith are the actions that attest to the faith that you claim to have.