Podcast

The Muslim Community Working With Mental Health – Some Thoughts Pt. 1

The Conference title is: The Many Faces of Mental Health: “Demons” in Faith Doctrines

The panel questions were:

 

  • How is Mental Health addressed in the primary holy book for your faith/theology?

 

This is a difficult question to ask in that the very term, “mental health”, has no singular or apparent authoritative definition.

 

  • Demons seems to be in every holy book readings.

 

This question seems to either beg a question or is trying to assert an unarticulated assumption, asserting the falsity that demons, or devils, do exist.

 

  • What drives the “demon” references in the holy book of your faith.

 

Devils are a part of existence, a “creation” alongside men.

 

  • How might/should we interpret the concept of “being possessed” and “demons” in the light of modern understanding of mental health.

 

Again, is this a push to advocate for exegesis or eisegesis? Meaning, we’re going to now interpret out of the text a meaning that renders all mentioning of devils as some kind of metaphor for mental health, or reading into the text.

 

  • What is the role of faith leaders in educating congregants on modern mental health principles and services in relation to the scripture teaching on “Demons” and Mental Health.

 

 

Podcast

Divine Inspiration Leads To Social Empathy

وَأَوحىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذي مِنَ الجِبالِ بُيوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمّا يَعرِشونَ
ثُمَّ كُلي مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَراتِ فَاسلُكي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلًا ۚ يَخرُجُ مِن بُطونِها شَرابٌ مُختَلِفٌ أَلوانُهُ فيهِ شِفاءٌ لِلنّاسِ ۗ إِنَّ في ذٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَومٍ يَتَفَكَّرونَ

“Your Lord revealed to the bees: ‘Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.’ From inside them comes a drink of varying colors, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect.”Qur’an 16: 68-69

إنَّما بعثتُ لأتمِّمَ مَكارِمَ الأخلاقِ

“I was only sent to perfect noble character.”Ibn Rajab from Lata’if al-Ma’arif

أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّينِ

فَذَلِكَ الَّذِي يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ

وَلا يَحُضُّ عَلىٰ طَعامِ المِسكينِ

“Haven’t you seen the one who slanders The Way of Life? That’s the one who’s contemptuous of orphans.”Qur’an 107: 1-3

مَا خَطَبَنَا نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهم عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِلا قَالَ: لا إِيمَانَ لِمَنْ لا أَمَانَةَ لَهُ وَلا دِينَ لِمَنْ لا عَهْدَ لَهُ

Podcast

The Moral Bankruptcy of Self-Deprecation

In this episode, Imam Marc discusses the tendency for some Muslims to turn to self-deprecation in times of stress and how this is ultimately to our own demise.

اللَّهُ نورُ السَّماواتِ وَالأَرضِ ۚ مَثَلُ نورِهِ كَمِشكاةٍ فيها مِصباحٌ ۖ المِصباحُ في زُجاجَةٍ ۖ الزُّجاجَةُ كَأَنَّها كَوكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُبارَكَةٍ زَيتونَةٍ لا شَرقِيَّةٍ وَلا غَربِيَّةٍ يَكادُ زَيتُها يُضيءُ وَلَو لَم تَمسَسهُ نارٌ ۚ نورٌ عَلىٰ نورٍ ۗ يَهدِي اللَّهُ لِنورِهِ مَن يَشاءُ ۚ وَيَضرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمثالَ لِلنّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيءٍ عَليمٌ

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His Light is that of a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon Light. Allah guides to His Light whoever He wills and Allah makes metaphors for mankind and Allah has knowledge of all things. — Qur’an, 24: 35

Podcast

Inspiration – Genius Is Found In Community

Do we associate “labor” with religion and “leisure” with the profane?

Examples of how the opposite is true.

وَأَوحىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذي مِنَ الجِبالِ بُيوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمّا يَعرِشونَ

“Your Lord revealed to the bees: ‘Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect.”Qur’an 16: 68

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقاتِهِ وَلا تَموتُنَّ إِلّا وَأَنتُم مُسلِمونَ

وَاعتَصِموا بِحَبلِ اللَّهِ جَميعًا وَلا تَفَرَّقوا ۚ وَاذكُروا نِعمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيكُم إِذ كُنتُم أَعداءً فَأَلَّفَ بَينَ قُلوبِكُم فَأَصبَحتُم بِنِعمَتِهِ إِخوانًا وَكُنتُم عَلىٰ شَفا حُفرَةٍ مِنَ النّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِنها ۗ كَذٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُم آياتِهِ لَعَلَّكُم تَهتَدونَ

“You who have iman! have taqwa of Allah with the taqwa due to Him and do not die except as Muslims. Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together, and do not separate. Remember Allah’s blessing to you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts together so that you became brothers by His blessing. You were on the very brink of a pit of the Fire and He rescued you from it. In this way Allah makes His Signs clear to you, so that hopefully you will be guided.”Qur’an 16: 68

Podcast

Forging Ahead Through Prioritizing God

فَإِنَّ مَعَ العُسرِ يُسرًا

إِنَّ مَعَ العُسرِ يُسرًا

فَإِذا فَرَغتَ فَانصَب

وَإِلىٰ رَبِّكَ فَارغَب

“For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease. So when you have finished, work on, and make your Lord your goal!”Qur’an 94: 5-8

Many of us would simply like to wake up in the morning, have our coffee made for us. Have our driver take us to work – better yet, someone else does our work for us, and then come home, bushed, as if we put in some great effort. We want a gym body without going to the gym.

Podcast

Knowledge of God Equals Knowledge of Self

“The most common way in which people exercise power over others, is by withholding approval.”Nader Khan

Double Standards

وَيلٌ لِلمُطَفِّفينَ

الَّذينَ إِذَا اكتالوا عَلَى النّاسِ يَستَوفونَ

وَإِذا كالوهُم أَو وَزَنوهُم يُخسِرونَ

“Woe to the stinters! Those who, when they take a measure from people, exact full measure, but when they give them a measure or weight, hand over less than is due.”Qur’an, 83: 1-3

Double Standards: Sarriyah al-Nakhlah

After 13 years of persecution, the Prophet was finally given permission to fight. He sent ʿAbdullahi b. Jahsh, along with 8 other men, to spy on the Quraysh. It happened to take place on the last day of Rajab.

They made the mistake of attacking the Quraysh, as the Prophet only asked them to spy on them. They compromised their religion.

The Quraish wasted no time in taking full advantage of the situation, capitalising on the mistake of the Muslims. They said:

“Muhammad and his companions have breached the sanctity of the holy month! They shed blood, stole money and have taken captives!”

The public image of Islam was heavily maligned.

Podcast

Plastic Sins

What do sins and plastic have in common?

  • Many come out of a mindset of “convenience”. It’s convenient to commit sins. It takes actual thought to be either obedient or repentant.

Sins are that which make us think the Final Day is far away. It’s this mistake that creates the slippery slope into other sins because we think that Day is “far away”.

إِنَّهُم يَرَونَهُ بَعيدًا

وَنَراهُ قَريبًا

“They see it as something distant, but We see it as very close.”Qur’an 70: 6-7

  • We commit sins like we consume plastic: we often think it a good thing but in reality we’ve created a problem for ourselves as well as those around us (i.e., the environment) and like plastic, those sins just don’t go away. They have to be dealt with.

أذنب عبدي ذنباً، فقال‏:‏ اللهم اغفر لى ذنبي،

فقال الله تبارك وتعالى‏:‏ أذنب عبدى ذنبا، فعلم أن له رباً يغفر الذنب، ويأخذ بالذنب،

ثم عاد فأذنب، فقال‏:‏ أي رب اغفر لي ذنبي، فقال تبارك وتعالى‏:‏ أذنب عبدي ذنباً، فعلم أن له رباً يغفر الذنب، ويأخذ بالذنب،

ثم عاد فأذنب، فقال‏:‏ أي رب اغفر لى ذنبي، فقال، تبارك وتعالى‏:‏ أذنب عبدي ذنباً، فعلم أن له رباً يغفر الذنب، ويأخذ بالذنب،

قد غفرت لعبدى فليفعل ما شاء

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said,

“Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious said: ‘A slave committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin,’
and Allah said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then he realized that he has a Lord Who forgives the sins and punishes for the sin.’

He then again committed a sin and said: ‘My Lord, forgive my sin,’ and Allah said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then realized that he has a Lord Who forgives his sin and punishes for the sin.’

He again committed a sin and said: ‘My Lord, forgive my sin,’ and Allah said: ‘My slave has committed a sin and then realized that he has a Lord Who forgives the sin or takes him to account for sin.’

I have granted forgiveness to my slave. Let him do whatever he likes*“.

* The last sentence “let him do…” means, as long he keeps asking for forgiveness after the commission of sins, and repents, Allah will forgive him because repentance eliminates previous sins.

Podcast

Life After Ramadan and Eid

Many of us may feel that since Ramadan and the two Eids are done, “now what”? What are we to do with our time as Muslims?

إِنَّ هٰذِهِ تَذكِرَةٌ ۖ فَمَن شاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلىٰ رَبِّهِ سَبيلًا

“This (Qur’an) truly is a Reminder, so whoever wills should take the Way towards his Lord.”Qur’an 76: 29

السَّاعي على الأرملةِ والمسكينِ ، كالمُجاهدِ في سبيلِ اللَّهِ ، أو القائمِ الليلَ والصائمِ النهارِ

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “One who strives to help the widows and the poor is like the one who fights in the way of Allah, stands all night in prayer, or fasts all day.”Sahih al-Bukhari, #5353

فَإِنَّ مَعَ العُسرِ يُسرًا

إِنَّ مَعَ العُسرِ يُسرًا

“With hardship there is ease.” Qur’an 94: 5-6

So keep it up, keep training in the “off season”. Help to culminate a relationship with Allah that is based on the Truth vs. simply running to him every time you’re in crisis.

إِنَّ هٰذا كانَ لَكُم جَزاءً وَكانَ سَعيُكُم مَشكورًا

إِنّا نَحنُ نَزَّلنا عَلَيكَ القُرآنَ تَنزيلًا

فَاصبِر لِحُكمِ رَبِّكَ وَلا تُطِع مِنهُم آثِمًا أَو كَفورًا

وَاذكُرِ اسمَ رَبِّكَ بُكرَةً وَأَصيلًا

وَمِنَ اللَّيلِ فَاسجُد لَهُ وَسَبِّحهُ لَيلًا طَويلًا

إِنَّ هٰؤُلاءِ يُحِبّونَ العاجِلَةَ وَيَذَرونَ وَراءَهُم يَومًا ثَقيلًا

“With hardship there is ease.” Qur’an 94: 5-6