A Way Beyond the Rainbow

#22 - On Adam and Eve, Temptation and Repentance (Part II)

August 28, 2020 Hashim and Waheed Jensen Season 2 Episode 10
A Way Beyond the Rainbow
#22 - On Adam and Eve, Temptation and Repentance (Part II)
Chapters
0:38
Episode Introduction
1:19
Using Allah's Provisions to Get Back to Him SWT
6:19
On Remembrance and Prayer
26:15
"Do not despair of the mercy of Allah"
37:09
On Submission to Allah SWT
51:09
On "Identity" vs. Submission
1:01:23
We Are All Adam (PBUH)
1:05:01
Ending Remarks
A Way Beyond the Rainbow
#22 - On Adam and Eve, Temptation and Repentance (Part II)
Aug 28, 2020 Season 2 Episode 10
Hashim and Waheed Jensen

This is a 2-episode series where my friend Hashim and I dissect the story of Adam and Eve, peace be upon them, as well as temptation and repentance and offer many reflections on how this story is relevant to us as men and women experiencing SSA.

In part II of this series, we talk about how to use Allah's provisions to repent and go back to Him, starting with remembrance and prayer, the importance of never losing hope or giving in to despair or shame and of reflecting on the mercy and love that Allah SWT bestows upon His creation. In addition, we discuss what may keep us from experiencing true submission to Him SWT on our individual journeys.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This is a 2-episode series where my friend Hashim and I dissect the story of Adam and Eve, peace be upon them, as well as temptation and repentance and offer many reflections on how this story is relevant to us as men and women experiencing SSA.

In part II of this series, we talk about how to use Allah's provisions to repent and go back to Him, starting with remembrance and prayer, the importance of never losing hope or giving in to despair or shame and of reflecting on the mercy and love that Allah SWT bestows upon His creation. In addition, we discuss what may keep us from experiencing true submission to Him SWT on our individual journeys.

Waheed  00:38
Assalamu alaikom wa rahmatullahi ta'ala wa barakatuh, and welcome to a brand new episode of "A Way Beyond the Rainbow", this podcast series dedicated to Muslims experiencing same-sex attractions who want to live a life true to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and Islam. I'm your host, Waheed Jensen, thank you so much for joining me in today's episode. This episode is a continuation of the previous episode, it's part two of a discussion on Adam and Eve, temptation and repentance. And joining me again is my friend Hashim as a co-host, and we will continue our discussion from where we left off last time, inshaAllah. 

Waheed  01:11
We are reminded by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to use the provisions that Allah has given us to kind of improve our own conditions. So, as we know, in Surat Taha, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says, “Peace comes to those who follow the guidance” (والسلام على من اتبع الهدى) [Surat Ta Ha 20:47]. So, if we are drowning in sin, or if we have, you know, engaged in a lot of things that we shouldn't have done, whatever it is, we are asked by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to make every effort to stop doing that. We are reminded of the story of Adam (PBUH) when Allah said, "but he forgot; and We found not in him determination” (20:115). What is the cure for this particular case? It is remembrance, and it is having the determination to actually do something about this. So we do everything that we can to be aware of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, to go back to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, right? So how do we become aware of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala? By remembering Him, by calling on to Him. In Surat Al-'Ankabut, “remembrance is the greatest [deed]” (ولَذكرُ الله أكبر -- al-‘Ankabut 29:45). In the same verse of the Surah, Allah says, “Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do” (29:45). So, in a sense, we can always start with remembrance, and I remember that at some point, subhan Allah, in my life, I was in a very dark place, and then I just came across a saying that said, "Moisten your tongue with the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala." I was like, "Okay, well this is what I actually need," because my heart was really hard at that point. And I was just stuck in a place where I couldn't move out of that. And I started doing a lot of thikr [remembrance], and indeed, subhan Allah, like it really softened the heart, in addition to moistening the tongue in a sense of like being closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. And there are verses in the Qur'an that tell us about what happens if we don't remember Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, if we forget remembrance.In Surat Taha, Allah says, “And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a miserable life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind" (Taha 20:124). So this state of blindness, and that is very scary, right? Like having a miserable life and being resurrected on the Day of Judgment as someone who is blind, someone who is not capable of seeing. And in another verse in Surat Ar-Ra'd, Allah says “Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Indeed, by the remembrance of Allah are hearts assured" (13:28). So this is the exact contrast: Our hearts are assured, there is no fear, there is no misery, right? The hearts are very tranquil and peaceful. And this is what we all strive for at the end of the day, right? 

Hashim  04:17
I'm taken to that interview that you did with brother Sinan, when he had this kind of experience, this "revelation" where he was talking to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and kind of handing his SSA back to Him. He said, "This is something You gave me, I'm giving it back to You." This vacuum that was in his heart, he's filled that now with with Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. You can hear it in his voice, if you go back and listen to the podcast, this state of peace that he went through after having gone through that, because he is now just filled with the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, that Allah has filled that need, that emptiness within him. Even though, fine, yeah, he may, on occasion, you know, still have the attraction and whatever, but that kind of sense of peace that's come over him and huge reduction in the sexualization of men that he was having from this experience shows us that his heart, like the verse said, his heart was assured.  

Waheed  05:30
Absolutely! Beautiful comparison, mashaAllah, God bless you for actually tying this together. It's such a powerful story, Sinan's story, and it actually goes back to show that, you know, that connection with Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala that we strive for, and He is always there, as you said, He is always near to us, He is always close to us. All we have to do is just strive as much as we can, given our own individual abilities, towards Him. And in previous episodes, we said that the concept of sabr or patience is not just sitting still and doing nothing and just enduring everything that we're given, and like "sweating it out", but it's actually a constant striving and trying our best with whatever we can to move towards Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, even if things don't get better immediately or right away, or like in a month or two, or in a couple of years, it's all according to Allah's plan eventually, 

Hashim  06:19
In these verses that we read about like, in the story of Satan and Adam in the Garden and coming to Earth, every single word has a meaning and something that we can take away from it. You just discussed like how, the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is the greatest and what brings our heart assurance, it brings our heart rest, right? And, in a way, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, just like He taught Adam the way to come back to Him, through the stories in the Qur'an about Satan and Adam, He teaches us the way to achieve this state. of remembrance, right? And in the story where Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala describes Satan, He says in Surat Al-A'raf, he was “not of those who prostrated” (7:11). And, you know, like the whole theme of this podcast today is about reflecting on those who move themselves into a state of Allah's anger or move themselves into a state of being astray, and to warn us not to be like them. So, this idea of prostrating to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is something that we should do, so that we're not like Satan, right? And it kind of brings us to this idea of prayer and the Salah, because it is the foundation of our faith, it's the number one thing that we do, it defines us as Muslims. I remember a dear brother, we would have discussions at length and we would go deep into sort of psychology and family history and these sorts of things, and he used to keep reminding me, "Hashim, start by praying, start by reading the Qur'an, everything will fall into place. Everything will fall into place." He's like, "Start with that." If we're not praying or we're missing our prayers, then we have to start. This is our connection, this is our bridge to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. This is our bridge to remembrance, this is our bridge to giving us the rest and reassurance that our hearts are looking for, right? This is our first step to getting closer to Him. And, you know, it's hard, I know it's hard. I know a lot of people who have come into Islam - I was born to a family that was practicing, but I know a lot of brothers who come from families who weren't practicing, and prayer is a difficult thing to start doing. You know, especially as an adult,  you have to do these actions, you've got to learn these words in Arabic, you got to learn what they mean, you've got to concentrate, take time out of your day. It's not something that people are used to doing. But, like with anything, start small, start with baby steps, right? You know, just start with the actions. If you're not praying, just start with the action. And if you don't know the actions, get a YouTube video. Put it on your phone, put it on a prayer mat, and just watch the person doing it and just copy the actions. And that's the beginning. And then think about what each of the positions in the actions. So let's not even talk about the Surahs that we read and the du'aas that we read during the Salah, but even the actions themselves, this Salah is a journey, life-death-resurrection in one action that we do several times a day. I speak for myself, like there are many times where I don't walk away from Salah feeling like that, I'm just like: up, down, up, down, up, down, done. Let's go back to work. And that's sad, it's so sad, isn't it?

Waheed  10:09
Exactly. I think all of us can attest to that also. It takes a lot of effort, it takes a lot of mindfulness. And I hope that we can all go back to like the true meaning of Salah, the true connection with Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. When we actually go back to how the Prophet (PBUH) used to say, like it's something that gives him relief, and he looks forward to Salat, and looks forward to reconnecting with Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. So the station that we strive for is a station where "I cannot wait until my Salat with Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, because I need to forget everyone and everything and just be with Him in that moment. Forget all about the Dunya." May Allah make us among those people, inshaAllah, but that's just something to strive for.

Hashim  10:52
Yeah, it's like, you know if we are lovers of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, then we should look forward to that moment, we should be counting down the minutes to that moment, because our Salah in a small way is a small taste of our return to Him at the end. Every position that we go through, every position that we are in in the Salah means something, and even if we don't know the words of the Surahs, even if we don't know the words or the du'aas, we can think about what these positions mean. We go into rukoo' (bowing) for example, think back to - Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says in Surat al-A‘raf, referring to the covenant He took from all of us, “And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants and made them testify against themselves, [saying to them], ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yes, we have testified.’ [This] lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, ‘Indeed, of this we were unaware’” (7:172). So this is our sort of covenant with Allah, our agreement with Him that He is our Lord. And so this rukoo' that we do is kind of our acknowledgement of that fact that we acknowledge that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is our Lord. And, you know, as part of this covenant, this discussion that our souls have had with Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, in Surat Yasin, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says, “Did I not enjoin upon you, O children of Adam, that you not worship Satan - [for] indeed, he is to you a clear enemy” (36:60). So, not only is this the warning He gave Adam in the Garden, but this is the warning that He has given all of us as souls before we came to Earth. This narrative that we're reading now, the story about Adam in the Garden, you can even extract the positions of the prayer from this narrative. That's how beautiful and multi-layered this Qur'an is. Like, we read already in Surat Al-A'raf, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says, "[Allah] said, 'Descend, being to one another enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time.' He said, 'In it shall you live, and in it shall you die, and from it shall you be brought forth'" (7:24-25). So, think of these words and think of the actions in the prayer. So, "descend": this is where we go from standing into sajdah (prostration). That's one step. "And for you on earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time" for a short time, "In it you shall live, in it you shall die" - so think about our sajdahs: we go from standing into sajdah, we sit up, and then we go back down into sajdah, that is the short time of our lives. "In it you shall live" we sit up, and "In it you shall die" we can put our heads back down on the ground, and then "From it you shall be brought forth" then we return, we start our subsequent rak'aah (unit of prayer), we stand up again from sajdah. This is a whole prayer being described to us in the story of Adam, which doesn't even mention rak'aas, rukoo', sajdah, etc. But this is a whole journey described to us. Imagine if we prayed, we were like, "Right, this is my soul. I took my covenant, stand up, we say, 'God hears those who sing His praise'", that's the last piece of advice He gives us before we descend to Earth, just like the last piece of advice He gave Adam, right? And we go into sajdah, and then we sit up, we live for a short time, then we die, we go back down, we stand up again, standing up then on the Day of Judgment. Imagine if this is the experience that we have, in each rak'aa, we do remind ourselves of this journey. Nothing could touch us, right? Nothing could harm us. No hurt, no whatever. Because you're like "I understand the bigger picture of why I'm here. The bigger picture of what my soul is doing on this planet for this short time." This, ideally, is what the prayer should be invoking in us. You know, people say sometimes, "We pray to Allah and it hasn't made a difference," or "We prayed and it hasn't changed our lives," that's not the prayer's fault, right? This is our fault for not engaging in this prayer. So many times, we rush through it and we think that we've done God a favor by giving Him a few moments of our day. It's not like that, this is His gift to us, in order for us to connect back to Him, right? Imagine how much you get just from thinking about the actions, from what we've been through. Imagine how much more we would get if we actually understood the words, reflected on the words and we were doing this five times a day. Each time we waver off from the Straight Path, a few hours later, we come back and we remember, it reinforces a realization of our reality, over and over again. Like Surat Al-Thariyat says, “And remind, for truly, the reminder benefits the believers” (51:55). We don't just pray once, and that's it, we pray five times a day, even the prophets, even the most elevated people are constantly, constantly praying, because we always need this reminder. A dear brother used to remind me about the Arabic word for "mankind". Its root is that we are forgetful, right?

Waheed  16:30
Mhm, "Insan", yes. 

Hashim  16:33
This prayer is what kind of brings us back right? Forgetful, look! Forgetful again. Just like Adam forgot and had no determination. Mankind - the root word for "mankind" is to forget. What's the cure for forgetfulness? To remind them. So, prayer is our key to remembering Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. And after prayer, obviously, it's His Quran, this is His message to us. It's our connection with Him, right? So we need to always be reflecting on the Qur'an on a regular basis. Do like one page after each prayer, but do something every day and use that as our kind of rope that we hold on to, and our reminder to bring us back to reality of what we're doing here, that we need to grow and we need to improve, right? These are His gifts to us. And in a sense, when we read in the story of Adam (PBUH) about how after they had their clothes stripped off of them after they had approached the tree, in Surat Taha, He says, “their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to sew together over themselves from the leaves of the Garden” (20:121). And this reminds us that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala not only has He given us prayer and Qur'an to help us connect with Him, but He has given us provision in this world, right? You know, Surat Luqman says, "Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, [both] apparent and unapparent?" (31:20). And there are things that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has put in this world in order for us to help ourselves grow and improve and go towards Him. A simple example would be, if we're hungry, when we pray to God and say, "Look, I'm hungry," our prayer isn't that "Oh, please, make some food magically appear on my dining table." It doesn't work like that, right? We do our sajdah, we ask Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, "Give me the means to earn a livelihood, so then I can then go out and then feed myself and my family," right? We do our sajdah, and then we get up and then we go out and look for work, and go out and try and get an education, and go out and try and do things. Doing those things, taking those steps isn't taking gods besides Allah, it's not doing shirk (associating gods with Allah), but it's using God's provisions that He has put on Earth and accessing them to try and get benefit for ourselves, but in a God-centric way. So, we identify what the problem is, and then use whatever God has created for us, made available to us to help make amends. So you know, we start in a prayer and we read Qur'an and we do thikr (remembrance). But then further than that, we use things like self-reflection, we use things like self-improvements, we use our communities, healthy relationships within our communities with other brothers and sisters. We use therapy, for example, where it's needed, and support groups, healing, books... And even medication, a simple example medication, right? We're ill, yes we pray to God and we know that, for example, Ibrahim (PBUH)'s prayer in the Qur'an, "And when I am sick, it is He who cures me" (26:80). That's true, but we take medication, because medication comes from plants, and plants come from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, and He has put healing in the things that He's created on Earth for us, right? So there's nothing wrong in self-help, there's nothing wrong in using therapy. Therapy is a science that shines a light on our souls. Who created our souls? Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala created our souls, and it shines a light on how delicate our souls are, it shines a light on how our souls can be traumatized and how our souls can be damaged, and how our souls can sometimes reach out for things in a futile way to numb the pain, right? Therapy isn't putting God to one side, therapy is just like any other observation, any other science that shines a light on Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala's creation and how it works and how delicate and how balanced it is, and how easily it can become unbalanced, right? Let's use these things, let's use these investigations or kind of mirrors that are around us to help us understand when things aren't going right. Because only when we realize things aren't going right that we can actually start doing something about them. We always start with asking Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to help us and He does help us. He helps us in the best way. He helps us according to His wisdom, not according to ours. Remember, He was the One that knew the secrets of the Heavens and the earth, not us, right? And He helps us on His timescale, not on our timescale. So many people, we hear the stories, "I prayed to God to take away SSA, He didn't take it away. He didn't take it away. See, I tried my best." That's not the right prayer, right? You know, our prayer should be, "God, give me whatever is good for me. Give me whatever is good for me, and do it according to Your wisdom and Your timescale." And yeah, maybe for some people, it will happen straight away, you know, but maybe for some other people, it'll happen later, or maybe He will give us something different. Maybe that's not our destiny. Maybe it's not my destiny to be married with children. Maybe I have a different destiny. It's different for different people. And sometimes He gives us something different that's even better than what we've asked for. You know, sometimes we can ask for things, I'm like, "Oh, Allah make me rich, make me beautiful!" How do I know that that's not going to land me into even more trouble? People ask me sometimes about certain things I have to do in my whole life and in my home life, and I kind of say, "You know what, if it keeps me out of trouble, maybe that's a good thing!" Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows best, what's best for us, He knows what it's going to take for our soul to find Him. Like you were saying in your example about how you felt that you had a hard heart and how you moistened your tongue with the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. I've worked with you for a number of years, and Br. Waheed, you are the sort of person who embodies deep compassion for people, deep, deep compassion. I'm such a prescriptive person, I'm like, "Oh, this is wrong. Okay, step one, step two, step three." You are, "Hold on for a second. Hold on, let me hold your hand. Let's talk about what you're going through. Let's see this pain. Let's look at this pain. Let's acknowledge that it's not okay and it does hurt, and bad things have happened," and in a way, maybe not physically but emotionally you kind of hold people. And I wonder sometimes, and it's beautiful, I'm touched by the way you approach things, and I'm like, "I wonder if he would be half the person he is now, unless he had been through what he had been through." And maybe Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows something, maybe He knows that you have a gift to offer people, that you could have only developed by going through what you're going through, right?

Waheed  24:31
No doubt. Subhan Allah, exactly. 

Hashim  24:33
So many people say, you know, "This journey, I see it as a blessing now, because it's enabled me to develop this relationship with God, it's enabled me to do this." So God always answers in the best way. Surat Ghafir says, “And your Lord says: ‘Call upon Me, and I will answer you’” (40:60). Just because we don't hear the answer doesn't mean He hasn't answered us, it means that we lack the ability to hear His answer. It doesn't mean the answer hasn't come. In Surat Al-Baqarah, He says, “And when My servants ask you about Me, surely I am near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be led aright” (2:186). So, He is saying He answers our prayers, He responds to us. But the conditions are that we have to respond to Him and believe in Him so that we can then be led aright. So many times people are praying for things, but they're not making an effort to take steps to make changes in their life. You know, hunger is not going to vanish like that, we've got to go out and earn a living. SSA as well, it's not going to vanish like that, we've got to put some work into it, we have got to respond to God and start stepping away from the things He has told us to keep away from, or at least make an effort to step away from the things that He has told us to keep away from, so that, and like the verse says in Surat Al-Baqarah, "So that they may be led aright." So first respond and believe, and then we are led towards His peace and guidance. 

Waheed  26:14
You know, we all know that sometimes we are overpowered by our desires and the shahawat (desires), and we lose our compass in life. And as a result, we feel that our hearts darken, and we lose sight of the Light. As a result, things would not be as they used to be, we're kind of drenched in shame. Or after, you know, being hit so hard, we fall prey to our own temptations and we feel powerless. Sometimes we give up. You know, most of us have been through this, right? Allah knows this already. He knows our condition, He knows our weaknesses. He created us, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. So this is, in general, the human condition. But when we talk about SSA in particular, we know that, deep down, SSA, our attractions are a legitimate need for pure love, so to speak. And so, let us start with the search for the ultimate love. If we are going to search for love, let us look for the ultimate love. And Allah says in Surat Al-Baqarah, “Surely God loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves” (2:222). And in another verse in Surat Ali-'Imran, Allah says, “Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (3:31). So how does all of this tie together? As we said, Allah knows us, He knows our conditions, He knows our search for love, and He knows our faults, and He doesn't expect perfection, right? We humans are fallible, we're not perfect, and if He did expect us to be perfect, or if we were perfect, then how would His quality of forgiveness manifest itself? Because we are not perfect, because we are fallible, we are able to see the quality in Him that He is Forgiving, because we have our own faults, right? And He always tells us in the Qur'an, in multiple verses, that His love for us comes as a result of us having slipped and then turning back to Him. So, it is taken for granted that we will slip, but turning back to Him is a choice that we have. And Allah loves it when we do that. And in earlier episodes, we've touched upon His mercy and His love for us and His forgiveness and all of these wonderful qualities. And Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is, as we remember in Surat Al-Fatiha, "Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem," The Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, The Kind, Compassionate and All-Caring. So, He subhanahu wa ta'ala says in Surat Az-Zumar, for example, and this is one of my favorite verses in the Qur'an. Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful’” (39:53). Allahs says, "O My servants," not "O you who have transgressed," right? "MY servants," you're still "MY servants," and we're still feeling that connection with Him. Subhan Allah, that's so heartwarming. I mean, we cannot even describe it, subhan Allah, like, look at the mercy even when people have transgressed, He calls them back to Him. And He calls them "My servants," like this is such a huge honor, subhan Allah, when we actually delve deep into the meanings behind the words. We can never really fathom the boundaries of His mercy, because it's infinite mercy, subhan Allah. And even if we look at the hadiths, there are tons of ahadeeth that talk about the mercy and love of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, and Him loving to forgive His servants. One hadith that is reported by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven then you ask for my forgiveness, I will forgive you. O son of Adam, if you come to Me with an earth-load of sins but meet Me associating nothing with Me, I will match it with an earth-load of forgiveness.’” It always gives me shivers when I actually read or listen to this hadith, because it's like, subhan Allah! He loves to forgive, and He loves us and He wants what's best for us, as long as we try our best to kind of reach out to Him and be with Him. Even if we keep on sinning and falling. I mean, what's important is to get back up after we fall and to keep striving towards Him, and that's what's most important. And in a hadith Qudsi, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says, “I am as My servant thinks of Me and I am with him as he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, then I will remember him in Myself. If he mentions Me in a gathering, then I will mention him in a greater gathering. If he draws near to Me a handspan, I will draw near to him a cubit. If he draws near to Me a cubit, I will draw near him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I will come to him running.” So, this is just a point to us that if we reach out to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, He will return this even more. This is part of us having good thoughts of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, a lot of us, unfortunately, fall into despair, and we will talk about this later, that this is one of the traps of Shaytan. If we sin, or if we do anything wrong, or if we fall into our bad habits or whatever happens to us, we kind of feel that, "Oh, the mercy of Allah is beyond me, I'm not going to be forgiven. I'm a hopeless case..." Whatever negative self-talk that we engage in, which is all based on shame, shame, shame, all the time. But Allah always reminds us, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah." This is an order, "Do NOT despair of the mercy of Allah." Never despair of the mercy of Allah, no matter what you have done. Just keep going back to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, and He has promised that He will reach out to you much more than you have done towards Him. Just do that, don't despair and just keep on moving towards Him, and that's just, subhan Allah! I really cannot describe it. 

Hashim  32:32
It's almost like this idea of "We take one step, and He comes running," it's a reaction to the first movement that we've made, but because of His infinite greatness, His response is always so much more, isn't it? When we talk about justice, we kind of think of justice of Allah. We think in terms of punishment and things going wrong in our lives, that we've done the wrong thing. But actually, justice always works in a positive aspect as well. The good things that we do, the steps we take towards Him, it feeds just as well in terms of us moving out of His Shade, feeds just as well in terms of us moving into His Shade as well, and responding in equal but even greater way, because of His mercy, which extends to His justice as well.  

Waheed  33:27
Absolutely. Hundred percent. And so the idea is that, if we slip, we get back up, we dust ourselves off and we try again. And if we slip again, we do the same, and we try again. And that's why He is Oft-Forgiving. He always describes Himself as Oft-Forgiving and Merciful, because He wants us to get back up and keep going, and not to give up and despair, because He knows that we are fallible, He knows that we will make mistakes, no matter how much we try to be "perfect", this is not attainable in this life. So we will fall, but then we get right back up. And He wants us to do that, He wants us to get back up, continuously, because that's the only way we can grow. And like you said earlier in this episode, Adam (PBUH), he wasn't able to develop resilience, he wasn't able to grow, because he wasn't tested at the beginning in Paradise. And so the whole reason why this temptation and desire and the whole test came about is because that is the only way that we can grow, right? The only way we can develop thick skin and we can actually, you know, endure and become stronger spiritually, mentally and physically, is when we get challenged in different ways. And so this is the only way we can grow. Children, when they start walking, they will fall over. But it's not the reason to give up on trying to walk ever again. They fall over, they might hurt themselves, but then they get back up, and they continue to try to learn to walk, and then they will fall back again, and then the same happens until they perfect their own walk. And you can give tons of examples from life. There is too much to lose if we don't try and if we don't get back up. And it's not about "Do it until you get it right for the first time," It's about, "Keep doing it until you can't get it wrong anymore." And this is something that you always used to say, right? You might be able to reach a point where you don't do it wrong anymore, or maybe not. But the whole idea is for you to try. Try as much as you can, with whatever Allah has given you of a capacity, and that's what's most important. And each time we slip, each time we fall, each time we do something that we're not proud of, and we go back to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, we develop this awareness of Satan and develop an awareness of our own weaknesses. And then we learn from all of this, and we try to fortify ourselves and to grow even stronger and closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala each time. And what is the result of all of this? If we ask anyone around us, what are they looking for in life? They will tell you that they're looking to be happy, to find peace. And so, you know, we realize, as Muslims, as believers, as people who have been through a lot of pain, and we kept on stumbling and falling, that the only way that we can achieve true happiness is through being conscious of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, and being with Him, because true happiness is always with Him. As we remember, as we said earlier, in Surat Taha, Allah says, “then whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery" (20:123). If we are away from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, no matter what, true happiness is never going to be attained. Whereas if we are with Him, no matter what happens in life, we will find happiness, we will find peace, inshaAllah. 

Hashim  37:08
And I think the idea that you've brought up, if you slip and fall, you know, get back up, dust yourself off and try again, this is kind of, you know, after we've slipped, the way we make amends from that, the way we move forward from that experience, instead of just sitting there and feeling sorry for ourselves and feeling like there's no point continuing. The way we move on from that is shown to us by Adam (PBUH) in the story. He is now exposed, he's now naked, because he's gone towards the tree, because he's given in to these temptations. His response is, like we said before, you know, using the leaves of the Garden to cover himself. And this idea of bringing ourselves back into the obedience of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, that's what gives us our protection again. And even Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, He uses this idea of clothing being a physical thing, for Adam, that's something that was stripped and his shame or his private parts were exposed. Even Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala takes that idea of clothing to the next level, and He says in Surat Al-A'raf, just after the story of the narration about Adam (PBUH), He says, "But the clothing of righteousness - that is best" (7:26). So this idea of putting our clothes back on when we've been stripped of them, for whatever reason, this righteousness, this consciousness of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. This consciousness ideally should lead to us wanting to live within His boundaries, in His realm. When we understand that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala loves us, understand that He is the Source of all knowledge, He knows the secrets of the Heavens and the earth, He knows what we reveal, He knows what we conceal, that He knows what it is that's going to make us successful. In life, you know, things go wrong. When you're ill, you go to a doctor, because you value their knowledge and their experience in a certain area. Or you're in business, you know, you're following blogs of Warren Buffett and all these other people, you know, you go towards knowledge, you go towards wisdom, because you appreciate that that's where experience and safety can come for you, by following that advice. Allah's advice is the best advice to follow, He is the Source of all knowledge, right? Right at the beginning of the story, when Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala speaks to the angels, He is telling them that He knows the secrets of the Heavens and the earth. Well then, great! That's where we need to be looking for what it means to be safe and what it means to have security, away from ignorance, away from lack of understanding, away from darkness. And this idea of seeking safety in Allah, this consciousness of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, the clothing of righteousness that is the best, this consciousness of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is us seeking refuge in Allah. This idea of "أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم" - we seek safety in Allah, refuge in Allah away from the Shaytan, because we seek safety in Allah's knowledge, away from Shaytan's ego, away from Shaytan's whisperings, away from Shaytan's ignorance or lack of knowledge of the reality of who God is. And then that leads to our sort of safety, once we bring ourselves into that realm. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says in Surat Al-'Israa, talking to Satan, “Indeed, over My [believing] servants you [Satan] have no authority. And sufficient is your [O Muhammad] Lord as a Disposer of affairs” (17:65). So for us to bring ourselves into servitude of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is a protection. And this idea of, you know, trust in God and rely on that Source of infinite wisdom as being enough to take care of things for us. "Sufficient is your Lord as a Disposer of affairs." Ibrahim PBUH has been thrown into the fire, and he's at complete peace, because he's like, it doesn't matter, I'm doing the right thing, it does not matter. Nothing matters. However difficult life gets, you know, always remember, as long as you do the right thing, everything will be okay. Everything will be okay. The whole idea of the Qur'an is to teach us. Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult, right? Sometimes doing the right thing means that we may end up alone, we may end up not having the things that are promised to us by the Dunya. But that's not the point. That's not the point of why we're here. So this idea of, you know, taking safety in Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and being very careful if we ever overstep His boundaries and break His rules - remember, His rules have been extended from His mercy, wisdom, love and for our safety. As soon as we walk out of that, it's a slippery slope, right? It's just like you said before, this idea of taking a step towards Allah, He runs towards us. Because we live in a cause and effect world, the same thing works in reverse - if we take a step away from Him, if we walk outside His boundary, then things start spiraling downwards. It's hard to read this, but Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala  says in Surat Al-A'raf, "We have made the devils allies/friends of those who do not believe" (7:27). It's a natural reaction in this world of cause and effect. We have to see cause and effect in order to recognize good and to recognize evil, but you know, the more we disobey, the farther away the devil leads us, and the deeper and deeper into sin that we go. It's all like a fulfillment of his promise, like the devil promises in Surat Al-'Israa, "I will surely destroy his descendants (referring to Adam), except for a few" (17:62). And we have responsibilities, right? So, we're tested and we live in a world of cause and effect, and we have responsibilities for ourselves to love ourselves in the sense to bring ourselves into submission, to bring ourselves into humbleness, and to not kind of sell cheap, and to not take the worse instead of the better. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says in Surat Al-Kahf, “Then will you take him (Satan) and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange” (18:50). In this sense, we swapped Allah, the Source of love, wisdom, knowledge, everything, for this devil who refuses to bow, who thinks he's better, he's full of arrogance and is debased, and all these negative things, and we've swapped the better for the worse. So we have to be responsible for ourselves in our actions and the choices that we make, try every day to make better choices. The Qur'an talks about exchange or swapping the better for the worse in the sense that this Deen is sort of like a life transaction, right? And this idea that the price for our soul is supposed to be Paradise. It's not supposed to be this world, it's supposed to be Paradise. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says in Surat At-Tawba, “Truly, God has purchased from the believers their souls [anfusahum -- i.e., their nafs] and their wealth in exchange for the Garden (of Paradise) being theirs” (9:111). So we weren't made for this world, we were made for Paradise, we were made for that Garden. Remember how Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala describes the Garden to Adam, about how it's displayed so everything is taken care of for us, all our needs are fulfilled, we are in complete peace, ideally, and this is the gift that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala offers us, he is offering to purchase from us our souls for the price of Jannah (Heaven). You can't sell cheap. You wouldn't sell cheap in any other thing that you did in life. If someone offered us a paltry price for something valuable we'd say "No!" we know it's worth too much, it would be the wrong thing to do, we should do the same for our souls. Our souls have been created by God, we are infinite, we're supposed to live forever inshaAllah in the Garden, it's too high of a price to pay to not allow that potential to be realized. There's too much to lose. So then, you know, we go back to the story of Adam and Eve and you know, that they leave Heaven, and they decent to Earth. And this idea that the descent isn't a descent of degradation, but more of a dignified descent, in order to start that trial, to start that journey coming back to God. So when Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says, "Get down all of you," He is not just looking to Adam and Eve, but also, according to some scholars, he's referring to Adam, Eve and all of Adam's descendants, you know, mankind as a whole. We all kind of come down to Earth. We don't belong here. This is a temporary place, we are just like we described in the prayer, this descent into the first sajdah, and then sit up, go back in sajdah, and then come back up again. We belong into the Hereafter, where our destiny is either Heaven, inshaAllah, or it's Hell. This time on Earth is a short thing. If we put the whole experience that they went through, it's a lesson and it demonstrated the existence of free will. But the fact that their free will can be interfered with by Satan, can be whispered to by Satan, if they're not careful, if we are forgetful and have no determination, then we have weakened ourselves in a way that Satan can now find a way in. They also needed to understand the consequences of sinning, to see that in order to realize this is what happens when we don't take Allah's advice, we don't obey His commands. That whole period, it's a whole university  in one story, and at the end, this idea of mercy and forgiveness of God, to remind Adam of this important lesson, that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is forgiving, and it's not something that we should ever despair or lose hope in. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows everything, He knew that they would eat from the tree, He knew that Satan would stripped away their innocence, He knew that he would expose to them their nakedness. Even though Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows the outcome of events before they happen, He allows them. He has not forced us to act in one way or another. Adam had free will and bore the consequences of his deeds. The same is for us, we have free will, to obey or to disobey, to be grateful and to be ungrateful, as the Qur'an says. There are consequences, and we need to be aware of that. So, yes, Allah forgives, but even though He forgives, there are consequences of some of the decisions that we make, consequences maybe to society, other people, ourselves, to our bodies, etc. God is just trying to keep us safe. That's why He praises those who obey His commands and promises them rewards. And that's why, as we read in the Qur'an, there is condemnation for those who disobey Him and warnings, because it's a result of walking that dangerous path or walking in that realm of what is unwise and not safe and ignorant and dangerous for us. 

Waheed  50:58
Hundred percent, yes. Earlier in the episode, we also touched upon the stark contrast between the behavior of Adam (PBUH) and that of Satan himself. So we said that Adam fell into sin, but he was faithful and he went back immediately to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, whereas Satan, his response was to challenge God's wisdom and His authority for commanding him to bow down to Adam. And, you know, his "construction" is of using kind of his own self-identity as a justification for not following Allah's orders. This is a demonstration of why he was termed as a "disbeliever," despite the fact that he knew that Allah is a Creator. It's obvious that he recognized Allah as his Creator and the Creator of Adam and everything. But he was still deemed as a disbeliever by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, because he did not obey Allah's orders. This is also a lesson to us, between parentheses, that Islam is more than just believing; true belief is what leads us to sincere efforts and sustained efforts to actually submit to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. So Allah reminds us in Surat Al-A'raf, He says, “[Allah] said, ‘What prevented you [Satan] from prostrating when I commanded you?’ He [Satan] said, ‘I am better than he; You created me from fire and created him from clay” (7:12). So this identity, right? And then in Surat Al-Israa', in another verse, Satan also asks Allah, “Should I prostrate to one You created from clay?” (17:61). Like I'm much better than him, what are You asking me to do? So, if we actually take a pause for a moment, and we consider this notion of constructing an identity. Does it ring any bells when we say, "You made me this way, therefore I am justified in acting the way I see fit in order to be true to myself"? I'm pretty sure we've all heard of this, one way or another, right? Does it have any similarities to anything that we see nowadays? Especially, you know, when this identity construction actually leads us to directly refuse to obey God's commands. If this happens, then it brings up the question, "Are we making our 'self' (nafs) into a god that we worship beside Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala?" Is this what's happening? And is this actually why Satan was branded a disbeliever upon doing such a thing? This begs the question. We can think of it that way. A lot of us, unfortunately, see this nowadays with "Me, myself and I," this is the new god that is being worshipped, right? That's the center of attention. That's the point of reference. "Whatever makes me happy, whatever makes me comfortable. I'm not hurting anyone or anything. I'm just doing it because I want to." So yeah, I mean, this is not okay. And in Surat Al-Baqarah, Allah says “He refused [to submit to God’s command] and was arrogant and became one of the disbelievers” (2:34). Again, we are reminded of arrogance, the ego, "Me, me, me, me, me!" 

Hashim  54:43
I mean, even this idea of turning our nafs/self into a god that we worship or we obey first, rather than Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala Himself has warned us, He knew that this would happen. He knew that this is something that we could all fall into. In Surat al-Furqan, He says, “Have you considered the one who takes his caprice as his god? Would you [O Muhammad] be a guardian over him? / Or do you suppose that most of them hear or understand? Truly they are but as cattle; nay, they are further astray from the way” (25:43-44). So this idea of worshipping our selves instead of worshiping God. He's described them as cattle, but no, even worse than cattle. Sometimes the things that we lead ourselves into are worse than sometimes what the animals do, right? Sometimes some of the things that you see, the way people engage with each other, when they're kind of caught up in this, if we look at ourselves objectively, "What are you doing? Seriously, what are we doing?" This is what every one of us, me first, the times that I'm not conscious of God, and then I look back, "What have I done? How have I let myself down so badly by doing this?" 

Waheed  56:27
Exactly. And yeah, we can actually see this a lot of times with people who claim to be "reconciling" their faith with their own sexuality. A lot of them are doing the same thing. You know, the "faith" is that they recognize Allah as the Creator. But on the other hand, their "sexuality" is kind of a cover for them, wishing not to submit to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, and instead to kind of submit to themselves, that is their self, their "nafs". And that is taken as a god besides Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. A lot of times, when we hear the notions of, "Be true to yourself, and love yourself..." We're not talking about the proper self-love where you treat yourself like someone you love, we're talking about self-indulgence that is bordering on narcissism and arrogance. Again, going back to the arrogance of Satan, this is what we're talking about here, obviously. So being true to yourself, taking yourself as a frame of reference, whatever works for you, regardless of whether that's halal or haram. And if we actually look at this, it may be a bitter pill to swallow, but sometimes we need to ask ourselves, "If I am falling into this line of thinking, am I any different from Satan, if I take this approach to life?" And again, Islam is about believing in Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, so recognizing Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, and because of that recognition, we take an extra step, which is to strive to be true to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala above everyone and everything, including our limited selves. And this is what Satan failed to do. He did recognize Allah as a Creator, but he did not favor Allah over his own self. 

Hashim  58:22
And this idea that we live in a world of cause and effect, right? So by going along this line of thinking, where we put our selves as a god instead of Allah, it has an effect, it has a downward spiral just like other things, right? God touches on this, talking about people who have taken their nafs/self as a god, He says in Surat al-Jathiya “Have you not considered the one who takes his caprice as his god, God having led him astray knowingly and sealed his hearing and his heart and placed a cover upon his sight? Who, then, will guide him after God? Will you not then remember?” (45:23). In the verses, first, we took ourselves as our own god, then the consequences being led astray and not being able to hear, sealing one's hearing and heart, not being able to see the truth. People get so caught up in this that, sometimes, the things they say defy logic, we need to understand that we weren't supposed to live like this, this is not how people are supposed to interact with each other, you know? And then it leads people so, so far astray. Allah says, "Who, then, will guide him after God?" And then look at the answer, "Will you not then remember?" So it's, again, this idea of remembering God, to try and bring us back, making us conscious of who God is, to set things right. 

Waheed  1:00:04
Absolutely, yeah. And so, just to wrap up this section, again, the contrast between Adam and Satan. Adam fell, but then he went right back up and turned to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. So this is a reminder for us to not give up on Allah's mercy when we fall, never ever give up on Allah's mercy, whatever happens. On the other hand, again, we see Satan - actually he placed the blame on Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, he says to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, “Because You have put me in error” (بما أغويتني -- Surat al-Hijr 15:39). This is typical narcissism, right? This is typical satanic narcissism, his unwillingness to see the imperfection in himself and the need to change and grow, and he pins this and blames it on other people. So I mean, when we look at ourselves, sometimes we do have these qualities, and may Allah allow us to overcome them, inshaAllah, and purify ourselves, because this is a journey, as we said, and none of us is free from these errors, but we try our best to go to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and humble ourselves in front of Him. 

Hashim  1:01:24
Like we've been saying, these reflections on these stories of Adam, like we said at the beginning, it's not just for us to read it and go, "Okay, that's what Adam (PBUH) went through. That's fine." We are all Adam at the end of the day, we are all children of Adam. And, you know, like I was saying, every day is us walking in the Garden, undergoing the same situation where Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has blessed us but told us to keep away from certain things, and Satan is out to exploit our weaknesses and get us to go towards it, and as adults strips us and debases us. So we all go through the same test and struggle that he had with Satan, we're all children of Adam. Even Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says in the Qur'an, in Surat Al-A'raf, just after the narrative about Adam and Eve, peace be upon them, in the Garden, He says “O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from whence you see them not” (7:27). So it's the same situation. So it's presented to us, not like an "if" we're put in this situation, but it's "when" the situation happens to us, because it's going to happen to us, and we need to be awakened about that and aware of that. So we need to do it with open eyes and full awareness of his existence. Something I've heard, and it's been attributed to the French poet Charles Baudelaire, Satan's greatest trick is to convince us that he doesn't exist. But Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala - you know, we start the Qur'an with "أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم", as soon as you mention Allah's Name, "I seek safety and refuge in Allah away from Shaytan." That's supposed to wake us up. That's the first thing we say when we start our prayers and start Qur'an, first thing. Look, remember Satan is around, remember he's here, remember what he did to our parents, Adam and Eve. Remember, he's going to be doing the same thing to us. This idea of Satan and the unseen and things going on, you know, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, even in Surat Al-Baqarah, which is after the first Surah that we read when we open the Qur'an, it's advising us that part of the conditions of our belief are to believe in the unseen. I don't know if it's part of Satan's trick or just society in general these days that we've eroded this concept of talking about God, talking about Satan, talking about the Day of Judgment, or anything beyond this Dunya, this temporary life. We don't even see graveyards anymore, they're all kind of in the countryside, you don't see them in the cities, because people don't want to think about death. Someone dies, they get cremated, and it's just, you know, swept away, and that's it. Whereas previously, graveyards used to be in the middle of the city, you would be reminded every day that this is where you're going, your body has an expiry date on it, and that's coming every day, closer, closer, it's one step closer. So it's this lack of remembrance, this lack of awareness. It's all part of Satan's plan and his promise that he made, that he would mislead us and prevent us from reaching our God-given potential. 

Waheed  1:05:01
And to wrap up this episode, I would like to share a reflection that kind of brings together many of the concepts that we've been talking about today. A couple of months ago, I was told by a brother that he gets taken aback by statements from others that go like, "Thank God, I never acted on my SSA," "Alhamdulillah. Despite all of these difficulties, I never did anything haram," You know, "I've been through the darkest periods, and Allah protected me," and so on. And indeed, alhamdulillah, that's a huge blessing. But there is a tendency for those who may have acted out in the past, in whatever way that may have been, to feel inferior, ashamed, and sometimes even to despair when confronted with such statements. And what I want to say is that we all have dark pasts. Just because you acted out doesn't mean that God hates you. It doesn't mean it's over for you. We're not created on this Earth to have a clean slate and to never get it tarnished, and if it gets tarnished, then "Game over!" No, that's shame talking. And that's Shaytan talking as we've been saying. And this kind of leads to despairing of the mercy of Allah, and that's awful. And again, we've mentioned this over and over, “Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful’” (39:53). And then another idea is that, comparing our stories and our own progress with others' stories and progress is a moot point. Sure, we learn and benefit from each other, but we're never going to be the same. So judging our pasts and our current progress by comparing ourselves to others is unfair, right? We have different backgrounds, we have different upbringings, we've had different challenges. We go through different situations. And you know, the situations that have led Person X to act out in the past may have been missing in the life of Person Y, and had Person Y lived the life of Person X, he may or may not have had similar outcomes. We don't know. And frankly, we don't care. The point is, it's pointless to compare. So the question is, who should I compare myself to? Only me. I should compare me today to me from yesterday. Am I moving forward? Am I working on myself? Am I getting closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala? That's what matters. Suppose you have the darkest of pasts and you're struggling day in and day out. Get up, repent to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, resolve to rectify your situation with whatever means you have been given, and move forward. And if you fall again, get back up, repent and keep moving forward. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala continues to forgive our sins if we keep on repenting and going back to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. That's the whole point. Being sincere striving towards Him. The more we walk towards Him, the faster He runs towards us, as we saw in the hadith Qudsi earlier on. And if we sincerely repent, if we make amends and if we move forward to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, He promises us that our slates will be wiped clean, like those of them who didn't even sin. So we're back on track, inshaAllah. Hence the comparison, again, is pointless. I would like to end this episode with a famous quote by Mawlana Jalalludin Ar-Rumi who said, “Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” This has been Hashim and Waheed Jensen in "A Way Beyond the Rainbow." We look forward to talking to you next Friday inshaAllah. In the next episode, we'll be talking about the story of Prophet Lut (PBUH) and his people, and we will be dissecting this from multiple angles and offering several spiritual reflections. Until next week, stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to talking to you soon, inshaAllah. Assalamu alaikom wa rahmatullahi ta'ala wa barakatuh.

Episode Introduction
Using Allah's Provisions to Get Back to Him SWT
On Remembrance and Prayer
"Do not despair of the mercy of Allah"
On Submission to Allah SWT
On "Identity" vs. Submission
We Are All Adam (PBUH)
Ending Remarks