Yesterday I attended a talk by Yasmin Mogahed, which was titled “Mending Our Past: Finding Our Road Back to God”. But what I took of it was “Changing perspectives on why bad things happen to good people”.
I made some notes because I’m geeky like that. And this is what I’ve written (the bold comments).
A believer- gratitude at good times, patience at bad times.
Please see below.
Defining good and bad.
She explained on how we define good and bad things/experiences. Losing wealth, losing a loved one, winning lottery, being president of xxx, buying expensive bags, birth of a child. These are our definitions of good and bad things. But we believe the ultimate good is getting closer to Allah. And if something good happens and you are in gratitude, inshaAllah it will make you closer. And if something ‘bad’ happens and you are patient with it, inshaAllah it will make you closer. So really it is how we change our perspective on things.
The flip side is that when something good happens, we can turn arrogant and that makes us more distant from Allah. So it’s how we make of things.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. asked protection from the eyes dont shed tears.
Which means that we shouldnt be afraid to cry. We should not be in denial and just pretend it didnt happen or we’re ok with it. We need to deal with the emotions to heal and one way to do it is to shed tears. Our prophet Muhammad s.a.w himself prayed to ‘have protection from eyes that doesnt shed tears’. We’re not supposed to be ‘hard’ in our heart – we need to deal with emotions to move on.
Those fixated on past – analogy of looking at rear view all the time . This means not moving on and end up crashing because we’re not looking in front.
On other hand, after dealing with the situation and emotions, we can’t keep looking back and being fixated on it. Hence the analogy.
Last third of night and Allah comes down & Allah is looking for ppl asking.
Along with (singular) hardship comes (many) eases.
We know the ayat of ‘along with hardship comes ease’ and many including myself think of it as ease coming after the harship. But actually it comes as well as the hardship except we dont think/realise of it. And this is explained below.
We’re not focusing on the ease whenever we are suffering. Shifting the focus on ease instead of hardship. Practice on gratitude. Write 5 things you’re grateful each day- study found that this helps in depression.
On Praying istikharah : pray istikharah on anything.
And not just before getting married (which is what I did).
The prayer during istikharah:
Ya Allah, You know and I don’t know. If this thing is good for me, make it happen and make it easy for me. If its not good for me, take it away from me and take me away from it. Bring me whats good for me and make me pleased with it.
I love this and I remember praying this before getting married. Going into a inter-cultural relationship on someone from a different country than you- I was so so worried of what it would bring. Differences on how we think, cultural differences, etc. And I was worried that he wouldnt wanna go live in Brunei or he wouldnt be happy there. I was so so scared and I just prayed that Allah will make this relationship easy for me if it is indeed good for me. I remember praying it several times over the course of months because I felt like there was no SIGN — no dream, no big ‘Aha!’ moment. It then dawned on me that each time after I prayed, M would do something thoughtful that makes me all melting inside. So I thought that’s it – I should stop doubting and go with it.
Be wary of :
The sin makes someone go to Heaven (repent) and the good deed makes someone go to Hell (arrogant).
No explanation needed.
We are taught that ‘A good Muslim dont mess up ever’. Good muslims don’t commit sin – ever.
And that is how we teach our kids too. Dont do this and dont do that. Just dont. Dont.
But instead we need to train kids on what to do when they fall. This is what you do when you fall or commit sin. You’re there for them and ultimately don’t give up on Allah’s mercy.
Oxygen for heart is the remembrance of Allah – particularly solat. Remember Allah standing, sitting, on the sides.
There is a dua for everything. The prophets make dua on everything – before eating, before a journey. There is a dua for going into the toilet, going out of toilet. This proves a point that they remember Allah in everything.
I’m so bad at this – when it gets busy at work, sometimes I forgot to pray. Like lupa banar kan Allah sampai lupa solat.
Anyway that’s what I’ve learnt and I’m glad I went. Not only because Yasmin Mogahed is one cool speaker (like the female version of Nouman Ali Khan) and makes things relatable and current. But also because my heart, my iman needed it.
Take care y’all,