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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Sacred Conversation by Yasmin Mogahed

Auzubillahi minas syaitanir rajim Bismillahirrahmanirrahim... Assalamualaikum...

Last weekend I have to opportunity to hear Yasmin Mogahed Lecture titled Umbrella of Darkness (in writing the summary of what I hear).

I can't go the second day of speech, of her which is title A Sacred Conversation, but kindly enough a  good friend of mine shared the summary which she got from someone sharing it. May Allah reward all of you with kindness.

So I will just shared the summary here to, may it can bring help and benefit to all of us who read in the sake of Allah In Sha Allah. 

A Sacred Conversation


We have to be very careful of what we love most e.g. what we unconsciously love could be status or what other people think of us or money. Because then you become a slave to those things. This is a type of worship.

In the Quran - he and his messengers will war against those who do riba and will not give up riba
For example, when we worship what people say, the reality is that we can become enslaved to this without us realizing it.

Ubudiyah - is bigger than just rituals. It is the essence why I live, how I live and how I act and why I act that way.

Allah did not create us to be rich and worship Allah, or have a certain status and worship Allah. We are created for one single purpose and that is to worship Allah.

A lot of us say la ila ha ilallah but we take other things as ‘ila’. Its not that we are praying to it but we take it as the centre of our life. It is loved as we should only love Allah. And those who believe are most intense about loving Allah.

An ‘ila’ is what I put at the centre of my life, most terrified of loosing.

What happens when we love other than Allah e.g. our children. When you love in the wrong way, it will cause the most damage humanly possible to you and others. Our greatest pain is not from lost but from loving something as we should only love Allah. And when those things are taken away, that is what causes the worse of human sufferings.

For example, when Allah gives us power, money, status, it becomes a test for us because we love it as we should only love Allah. What happens is we loose ourselves. When we love our children as we love Allah, we feel we’re not allowed to have your own time and you would feel guilty about that. Because we believe our identity is only as a mother and therefore our life revolves only around your children. As it should be in the way with your relationship is with Allah e.g. soccer practice is at the time of salah, so your children are your focal point and not Allah. When you loose balance in this way, your marriage suffers as well. The foundation of the family is not the children, it is the marriage. If you make the foundation of the family your children, you become roommates to you husband and parents. Once the children move out, you get separated etc. The children will feel more safe when you have a strong bond with your husband. The more secure you are in the marriage the happier your children will be in the family.

Every problem in society has a root cause. For example, a mother has a son and makes him the Sun and her life revolves around him. And now her entire existence is all about him. You’ll raise a narcissist that thinks the world revolves around him. You’re not doing him a favour. What are you doing to yourself? Your centre should never be a human being. One of the signs of Qiama is that a mother will give birth to her master. You’re stunting his growth not develop properly into a man. When you raise a momma’s boy that does not have a backbone, he will not standup for the truth. When he gets married, you will not let go and that’s when the problem happens with in laws. Therefore, that which you love as you should only love Allah becomes the greatest pain in your life.

There is no centre that I revolve around except Allah at the centre. La ila ha ilallah. There is no ila except Allah and it teaches me how to put everything in its proper place.

Because this kind of injustice brings very dangerous consequences. We have to come back to balance and give everyone their rights to your children and husband and others and it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice.  If something is not right, we should correct it not sacrifice yourself for the sake of everyone around you. You can’t be a good mother, daughter, wife unless you are healthy (healthy meaning having a healthy relationship with Allah). You may be able to go for so long, but there will come a time where you’ll snap. You have to take care of yourself.

What does it mean to say la ila ha ilallah? These are the questions we have to ask ourselves and recalibrate our lives. We all makes mistakes and loose sight of the destination but we can recalibrate and realign our lives.

Questions & Answers 1:

 1. Modern idea of gender roles is an extreme when we say there is no difference in the role?
 How do we recalibrate to that. It is Islam and we should not revolve our life around family or career etc. What we do to build a solid foundation with Allah. Only with a solid relationship with Allah can we have a stable relationship with our family, work, etc

 2. We need to have Allah in the centre but also should not take garbage in our life. 
 Allah swt does not approve of zalim. One of the rights in a marriage is to be faithful. If husband is being unfaithful, we should not accept it.

 Our hearts are like a gas tank in our car. Its like a vessel and was created to be filled with one type of thing. At the core of the vessel, there is a core compartment of your heart and that compartment saved for your Ila. That core centre of the heart must be reserved for Allah. 

 What happens if you put something else in that core compartment of your heart. Its like pouring orange juice into the tank of the heart and destroys it.

 When we put something else in the heart, that is why we experience a greater level kind of sufferings. 

 Often time in our journey, we put other things in our heart where only Allah should be. And we blame Allah but its like blaming the car manufacturer for the damage when we pour orange juice into the tank.

 There is a compartment for children, family, husband, money, work but when these things are at the core of your heart then it destroys you. What ever you love most becomes your master. People can control you because what they think defines you. 

E.g. We don’t put on social media our real lives, we only put the photoshopped flawless pictures, as we want to show that our life is perfect, as the core of our hearts is attached to people and what people think.

Social media:

 We use social media to fill a void in our life. The need to get approval from other people. The problem is everything is fake and we are obsessed with appearances. Shift our focus to what really matters. The problem is when it becomes your focal in your life. What we are taking in into our hearts and into our minds effects us.

 For example, look at our newsfeed. Ask yourself what’s on there. Food, make up tutorials, etc. What you take in, is what you become! When that’s what you’re seeing, reading, it is focus on every single day. What it does is that it shifts your focus to these things into what matters to you in your life. 

 What you focus on Grows!!

 Impact of social media on ourselves:

 A. Feeling of inferiority, inadequate, not good enough

 B. Misaligned idea of what matters most - skews our focus to dunya
When your entire world is just about e.g. appearances than that becomes what matters most. When all we strive for is dunya..that is very dangerous as we loose sight of what really matters, our main purpose in life. And we compare our life to someone else’s photoshopped life and we will become dissatisfied with your own life. But they’re life is not real..perfected on Social media etc

 C. Prophet saw says we should be discreet about our blessings - why? Is it because people are evil? It is about human nature. When other may be desperately wanting what you have, it’s natural to feel jealous not because they are evil. Its human nature to feel bad.

 D. And they are also real evil people out there - surah An Nas : evil people who would seek to harm us e.g. evil eye, sihir etc

Celebrity Culture:

Sometimes people become popular for benefitting others e.g. dai’ etc. We may put a person on a higher plane in terms of their stature etc. It doesn’t mean they are superhuman. Any benefit from the person is from Allah, they are just a medium/ just a reflector. They are not the source of light, they are only the mirror or reflector of the light of Allah to you and that is why u benefit. The light doesn’t change if the mirror is cracked.

Questions & Answers 2;

 1. Marriage is not a destination..it is part of the journey to Allah. It is a powerful enabler but its meant to get closer to Allah not to replace the process of getting closer to Allah. Nothing should come before worship to Allah.

 2. How can we improve kusyuk in salah?

What do we want to focus on is Allah in Salah but we have troubles at times to do it. So what are we really focusing in salah..chances are we are focusing on the same thing we are focusing on outside of salah e.g. career, job etc. What’s in our hearts fills our mind. If you want to know what’s filling your heart just look at your thoughts. E.g. thinking about work because that’s what we’re thinking off outside salah.

We need to look inward and understand our deepest motivations.

 3. How do we deal with so many negative news?

Caution on constant bombardment of negative news! It impacts the way you are thinking as the news always has an agenda.

 4. Challenges at work, how do we deal with it?

Ask Allah for ease and ask for help from Allah and seek inspiration and strength from our prophets in the past when we are struggling. We should look at how they dealt with for us to get inspiration. For example, Nabi Nuh as suffered for 950 years and he supplicated to Allah to give him victory. Most repeated dua of prophet saw - ‘do not leave me, even for a blink of an eye’ but we have to be patient but ask for help.

Asking for ease is not asking for perfection, it is asking for ability to be able to cope and be at ease inside regardless of what happens outside and asking Allah not to test you with all the difficult tests. 

Sacred Conversation with Allah: building the roots to Allah

 1. SALAH - we always makes it less a priority taking care of our soul as opposed to our bodies. We neglect the needs of our hearts and focus on the needs of our bodies. For example, when we miss sahur in ramadhan..its like the end of the work but when we miss fajr prayers, its ok.. we’re worried about missing one meal for sahur for a body which will will and decompose when we die but we’re starving your soul that live forever. If I completely starve or corrupted my soul, it will be forever and will be stuck with it for eternity. Ultimate success is to support the soul.

 2. ADZKAR - Sunnah that has been neglected and the cause of so much sufferings today and there is duas for everything. 

 Dua jewels that is so critical for SURVIVAL: 

 A. Morning Supplications - be consistent even if it’s a few after fajr prayer as close to the morning as possible

 B. Evening Supplications - say it between asar and maghrib

 C. Sleep supplication - one of the tricks of syaitan is to do all or nothing..this is a trick. Allah loves consistent effort even if its small

 D. Istighfar - prophet saw used to do 100 x a day. Allah 
 • Opens away from every difficulty 
 • Save from anxiety
 • Give provision from sources you can never imagine and find a solution 

 E. La haula wala quwata illa billah - it is a cure and. An opener. When you have a big problem, say this a lot and it will oen the door to the solution 

 F. Salawat Prophet - Allah suffices you..kifayah

 3. Read the QURAN 

When you are consistent with these 3 things is it will fill your heart with the right stuff. When your heart is healthy, your life, your relationship will be ok too. In Sha Allah.

Terima kasih, Thank You, Syukran, Arigato, Shieh Shieh, Rumba Nandri, Kamsahamnida for reading this entry. Please do come again.

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