Published about a month ago in Educational

Happiness, Fun and Pleasure by Nouman Ali Khan. 2013 ICNA-MAS Convention

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ISLAM: the pursuit of happiness


assalamualaikum warahmatullahi


but honda lillahi rabbil alameen wa

sallahu wa salam ala sayyidi l-mursalin

wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajma'in some bad

flu billahi min ash-shaytani r-rajim

animo animal-hair to dunya even voila

hoon was he not on whatever foreign by

Nakamura Catherine film wali well dad

came easily - aw far Inaba - who - Maya

he jus Vitara Hamas Farah - Maya who

know who Tom waffle as karate audubon

Shadid well mafia 2 min allahi wa it one

woman higher to dunya Allah metal or

rubbish miss Audrey were silly MD worked

at a mill this any of kolya mini rabbul

aalameen if i can accomplish in the next

20 or less minutes sharing with you some

lessons from just one ayah of the quran

I think I've done my job this is an ayah

that belongs to Salutin Hadid wait hold

on he wants to go that way and he's

crying and you brought him to the stage

okay it's okay it's okay

alright what was I talking about how

many I automate auke bout just one

belongs to Surat al-hadid Solar number

57 of the Quran which is a Medini surah

which means that the predominant subject

of the surah is addressing the Muslim

community there are suitors of the Quran

that are Medini in which predominantly

the subject matter is addressing all of

humanity because it was an invitation to

all of humanity but then there are

places in the Quran especially in Medina

Quran where there the Muslim community

is the primary audience they're the ones

listening you can't hear me I'm sorry

that's all I can do okay so now in this

Medina surah what allah azzawajal gives

us is a summary of the things we run

after in life and he begins by saying

elimo you had better known you had

better know it's a commandment from

Allah for something for us to realize

but the things he says are really


but perhaps there are things that we

don't take into consideration when

living out our lives he says Adamo

animal Hayato duniya worldly life

amounts to nothing more than play I

didn't understand this ayah properly

enough until I became a father myself as

our children are growing up there are

needs and there are wants we all know

that and our children when they're born

all they have our needs they need to

drink their milk they need to poop they

need to get some sleep and the cycle

begins again but as they get a little

bit bigger a want comes into play my

child who's six months old nine months

old a year old they really want to play

they want to be held thrown up and down

tickled they can't just sit there and

eat food and go to sleep

they want a message they want to play

peek-a-boo they want to play it's a

desire naturally that comes into a child

I used to I remember like a crazy

incident that reminded me of this ayah

there's a place in America that every

sister here knows about it's almost a

religious obligation on Muslim sisters

to go once a week to target right so I

was fulfilling my religious obligation

taking my family to target and I was in

charge of our at that time you know our

first son well need or Ahmad rather I

forget names all the time now I just

call him number three number four sorry

for come here you know so anyway Ahmad

was like 2 years old at the time and you

know boys when you take them to the

grocery store they just want to knock

everything over in the aisle because

it's really entertaining for them to

watch you pick it up and put it back so

I need to keep him busy so I go to the

toy section and there's this giant ball

huge was bigger than him

so I take it out and I say you do this

son so he takes the thing he kicks it

and he goes over a little bit more and

he kicks it and he goes over a little

and he did pull off of the entire target

this way it was awesome I didn't have to

do anything I just have to follow him

around and he's getting exhausted he's

sweating the diaper is starting to smell

suspicious but he still and he kicks it

one more time and he falls to the floor

he's sitting on his bottom like this and


shirring at the ball and he's breathing

heavy like I'm coming I'm coming

you know and he gets up and he goes and

he's about to kick it again until my

wife found out and she picked him up and

she what are you doing and he he goes in

her arms passes out the second he gets

in her arms because the most important

thing to him at that point was what play

it's a phase we go through in life but

then a new problem is added to our

lifestyle Allah says Allah WA Nimal hiya

to dunya Larry 1 y la 1 and and things

that are pastimes la who is actually

used for things that aren't technically

useful but they are entertaining they're

entertaining at they get your mind off

of work that's called la who technically

our children get a little older it's not

just games it's not just you know

peekaboo and you know let's play tag or

hide-and-seek now you want to add

something more and we call that

entertainment tell me a story about hey

can i watch some kind of watch the show

can i watch Sesame Street we watch

Sesame Street it's okay I have a

football but anyway so you know can't

watch Sesame Street can we watch this

can you watch that can you tell me a

story now that's not playing what is

that That's Entertainment

so next phase it's a new desire that's

been added to the Arsenal and of course

that entertainment and game playing and

entertainment combined together is now

the new video game industry right there

are stories and there are a gameplay

that are combined together and of course

the biggest consumers of those things

are children and of course the you know

huge consumers within the Muslim

community are children that are buying

video games that are way below way above

their age level so nc-17 video game your

8 year old is coming to you and telling

you mama I really need to get Grand

Theft Auto for ade and if you just get

me this one video game lacunae na minha

saliheen we will be among the righteous

if you just get this one game for me I

promise I'll fast every day etc etc so

now there was games and there was

entertainment Allah adds a third

dimension was inna tone and

beautification beauty itself does yean

surely means beautification zina means

beauty itself Beauty itself becomes an

obsession you know what that means that

means puberty hits that means you become

a teenager that means you start seeing

become really obsessed with how you look

when you were 10 years old 9 years old

you didn't care if your shoes didn't

match you didn't care how you got

dressed you didn't care how anybody else

dressed but now that you're 13 years old

sister you spend 45 minutes in front of

a mirror fixing your hijab and one side

of your head job is higher than the

other and you're slapping your head as

hard as you can and it's not going down

and your mother's knocking on the door

saying is that meeting okay yes mom it's

okay etc and then on the other side you

have guys they can't grow facial hair

but they really think they can so

they're staring really hard in the

mirror it's coming it's coming I see one

right and then there's the guys that

have the whole beard but they want to

make the perfect pencil you see those

things so work of art it's so fine work

of engineering and they'll spend a lot

of time doing that even the guy that's

like shaved as head and he's bald is

checking himself out in the mirror going

like this I've seen young men walk to

the Masjid they're walking to the mushes

four Jawara and they stop and check

themselves out in every cars reflection

it is so entertaining especially if

you're sitting in the car and they don't

know it's really a lot of fun but anyway

xena beautification it becomes an

obsession you just want you want to look

beautiful you want you're attracted to

others that are beautiful you want to be

in a beautiful looking car you don't

invite people to your house if you don't

think it looks beautiful if your dad

drives one of these old busted Chevy's

or something you ask him to drop you off

three blocks before the high school you

would rather lock it rather than be seen

in that thing

right because you're obsessed with

beauty with fashion with clothes with

interior design you start decorating

your room at that age you start it you

know you want to get a car you want to

get a nice looking

you don't care if it's functioning well

or not you want a nice looking phone and

then you want a nice cover on it too

this is Xena it's an age you go through

and then this passes to because if you

see a point comes you become college

students high school age passes your

college students now you'll notice

college students look like homeless

people a lot of times right the hairs

all over the place they don't brush

their teeth I show up to class just

sitting there and t-shirt and pajamas or

whatever there's a roll out of bed and

go to class they don't care all they

care about is graduating really serious

students all they care about is the GPA

you know and that you know the

internship or whatever else right and

why do they care about that because a

new desire has now taken place and I'm

not saying that the previous desires

disappear what were the previous desires

in order can you tell me what was number

one playing what was number two

entertainment what was number three

beauty here's number four showing off to

each other what a forum by now Chrome

you want to be able to tell someone you

mean something so you go somebody comes

over to you and they're asking you for

directions to the convention and you're

like yeah and I study at NYU I just need

to know where the Convention Center is

med school actually voting is you just

get your job you get your first job and

they offer you a you know a job ID like

you maybe your job you got to have a

prestigious company I don't know Walmart

or something but you know you get your

job and they give you your badge and you

stick it out you make sure you stick it

out so people see oh you work there oh

yeah yeah they give me give me a parking

lot parking spot in the parking lot I

took a picture of it here check it out

you know there's a pride you want to

show people what you've accomplished

when people graduate what do they get

they get a diploma and what do they do

with their diploma they stick it in a

drawer somewhere where nobody will see

it what do they do and put it up on the

wall so people walk in and they see it

it's your pride you want to show people

what you've done people take a picture

with a famous person and they want to

show others hey look look look at that

like that i honest to god I feel like a

statue sometimes

at this convention people come over

brother come here I need a picture with


the guy doesn't even see Salaam man a

picture with you

and I get scared okay don't hurt me yell

you can take a picture but anyhow so now

we're at the point where your desire is

to show people what school you go to how

where you graduated from what job you

have your first apartment your first car

a car is about showing people what you

got right you want you have that innate

desire and Allah put that in us there's

something in us and people want to

especially young people they're coming

out of the cocoon they're not under

their family anymore

so now they want to show the fact that

they're grown adults and they're living

on their own so it somehow comes up that

they have their own apartment even if

nobody asked it just comes up because

they're really proud of the fact that

they're living on their own all they're

really proud of the fact that they're

least their first car or something and

it just kind of slips up and it comes up

even though nobody's interested right

that so now this stuff our my nakum is

added to the mix you still really like


you still like entertainment you still

have a sense of beautifying yourself and

being attracted to beauty but now add to

that you want to sell show yourself to

others and then even that age passes you

stop can you get married you have kids

and once you have how many people here

have kids okay now you know what I'm

talking about all you can think about is

what the kids it's all you can think

about what they need do we have

groceries enough for breakfast tomorrow

is are their uniforms ready for school

what is the some you know when is summer

vacations starting where we can't live

in this apartment anymore we need to

move into a house because there's too

many kids now and we don't have space

anymore the bills you know the clothes

the changing shoe sizes constantly the

hand-me-downs aren't working anymore you

know because your son is refusing to

wear the pink sneakers his older sister

wore once you know etc so you have to

buy new ones now but now there's a

mutually shared concern about making

money and stabilizing your wealth for

yourself and your children so you're

constantly checking

bank account you have the mobile app and

you log in every few hours and check it

still there let me check again it's

still there okay all right it's still

there way it went down a little bit oh

my god automatically the gas company

took out the money and it burns every

time you see that - ha ha

you know Allah says what a Kathryn Phil

I'm Wiley well hola then a mutually

shared urge to have stability in money

and stability in children now so far and

by the way as you get to that age when

you worry about money so much in a house

and savings and retirement account and

all this other or college savings for

your kids young people that are still in

the earlier stages of desire earlier

stages are what clean entertainment you

talk to them about savings amount about

savings are you talking about I'll never

be like my parents I don't care about a

house I don't care about this or that

and talk to me in 20 years you will go

through the same cycle that so many

thousands and millions before you have

gone generation after generation after

generation allah summarizes the things

we run after that we think will make us

happy that we think will make us happy

here's all of it a child thinks they'll

be happy when they play a little older

when they can entertain a little older

when they feel beautiful and they get

something beautiful and now around them

things are beautiful a little older than

when they can show off that they've

accomplished something and a little

older when they feel like they have

financial stability people around the

world doesn't matter what religion they

have when they buy a house they look

back and they say I've accomplished

something and if they haven't bought a

house you ask them what do you want man

I wish I owned the property I wish I

hope you know they drive by they live in

an apartment they're driving by a nice

house even a small house and their eyes

can't help but go and the mind wander

wanders man if I was I had a place like

that that'd be nice oh they'll be pretty

nice you know you can't help yourself

but go to real estate websites and check

out houses you know you're thinking

about moving to another city you've got

three four years before

even move but you're already looking at

houses and pictures and you're calling

the Whiteman saying hey look at this one

look at the bedrooms in this one wow

look at the outside of this one and you

can't help yourself you're in that

there's something a lot put inside you

now this is half the ayah which is good

because I have reached half my time this

is half the ayah in this half Allah just

describes what are the things you and I

are running after that we share in the

second half

Allah compares it to something and I

hope you can pay close attention I know

the sound systems got a lot of echo I

hope you can pay attention to the second

part because this is where the guidance

is from Allah Azza WA JAL on these

pursuits of happiness this is where the

guidance is he says come Anthony -

jamele Kafar Inaba - who it is like

heavy rain now the word for arabic in

arabic for rain is mother mother is rain

life means perfect rain it's not so much

that the land would flood and it's not

so little that the plants won't grow it

is perfect in quantity that kind of rain

is called life that is why when we ask

Allah for rain

we made the Salafist ilaha is the author

why because we're asking not just for

any kind of rain we're asking for -

we're asking for the right kind of rain

because the wrong kind of ring can be

dead it can be a flood it can kill you

it could rain unlucky and rain five

stones from the sky - you want a life

rain that brings life so Allah says the

example of the things you run after is

like perfect rain Japan who fallen about

- who

the farmer who planted the seed in the

ground is so happy because of the

produce of that rain now there's an

image here the farmer in this ayah is

called or the farmers are called COFA

now you know what Kafar means in your

general vocabulary what does cafard mean

unbeliever disbeliever not in this ayah

in this ayah of certain hadid Kafar are

the people who berry seeds in the ground

that's what the literal meaning of Kafar

is people who berry seeds in the ground

a calf and berries

inside himself that's why it's called a

Garfield anyhow farmers do a lot of

things in the year but what's the first

thing they have to do plant the seed

that's the first thing then later on

they have to take care of the soil they

have to make sure it gets enough water

they have to make sure it doesn't get

invested and infected they have to do

all and make sure it gets enough Sun all

of these things but the first thing they

have to do and the hardest part of their

work is when they are go far when they

are planting the seed Alora first has

that why because that is the hardest

work and that is when you don't see any

fruits of your labor you don't know if

these seeds are good or not

you don't know if the insects will come

and eat everything or not you don't even

know if it's gonna rain or not you don't

know anything and unlike you and me I

refer to this all the time if you have a

job you get a paycheck twice a week but

maybe twice a month right twice a month

you get a paycheck or maybe weekly how

many times does a farmer get paid once a

year once in an entire year he has to

work the entire year and then he gets

the fruits of his labor maybe maybe he

has to work for sure he may or may not

get now the guy goes to sleep after

stressful weeks and weeks of planting

seeds in the ground and he goes to sleep

and he wakes up one day and he looks out

his window and it's perfect rain is he

happy he's happy huh and he's hurt he

starts seeing in a field of brown he

starts seeing little dots of green

they're not full grown plants yet when

the farm matures the stalks are so high

if they're taller than him but right now

it's just little tiny dots of green but

even that is making him super happy he's

super happy then Allah says sumaya he

jus then that plant matures when it

matures I told you is even taller than

him now when a plant matures what is the

next logical step for a farmer I know

you guys aren't farmers maybe some of

you are I don't know any people from

Ohio and Isles I don't know what do you

do wonder when the plant reaches


your crop you harvest you cut that's

what you're supposed to do but the ayah

is very strange Allah does not say that

he yelled that he cuts it he actually

says Fattah who must not run you will

watch it turn yellow you will watch it

turn yellow now this is important to

understand any farmer who is not insane

will never let his farm turn yellow he

will still cut it when it is green when

it's still fresh when it's yellow it's

already dead it's already on its way to

death and he says don't lie upon orful

pollen then it will turn into Photon

Pathan means things that are crusty on

the ground that you pay no attention to

that you walk by and you step on them

and it makes a crunchy sound and you

don't even realize you've stepped on

anything worth worth anything like

dried-up leaves if you step on a

dried-up leaf you don't think twice

about it you go oh I'm sorry you don't

do that because you don't care it's just

you know meaningless crust that's all it


Obama is literally things that are

stepped on without any consideration

Allah says in this example this is the

example for you and me to understand our

life I haven't explained the example yet

I've only walked you through its pieces

I have 58 seconds can I have five more


no fine yeah I promise it's not like

Imam said I'd watch just five minutes

listen you're not getting the mic again

so I could talk like this alright so I

have five minutes in these five minutes

what was the first desire play before a

child gets to play you took your child

to Toys R Us bad idea but you took him

you took him to Toys R Us his eyes are

looking at that Toya on the shelf he's

in the cart but his eyes are glazed and

when you change the aisle his head turns

and his arm moves out and he's already

imagining the moment when he's what he's

holding this thing and he's playing with

it and he's smashing his face into it

and all kinds of fun things he's already

played it all out in his head and he

bets you off on that one that one and so

you grab Captain America and you put him

in the cart and you go to the aisle and

you buy him Captain America but you tell

him don't take it out until we get to

the house now he's got the bag in his

hand Hey look he's sitting in the back

car seat he's looking in the back

looking in the back he takes it out mama

can I open it no I said no and now he's

in anticipation oh my god I can't wait

till Oh awesome

you have to make a video of your child

holding a toy that they haven't opened

yet and make sure you make it last

because that is the happiest few minutes

your child will have with that toy it is

like that farmer who is so nervous is it

gonna rain is it gonna rain is it gonna

rain when it rains he's super happy he

hasn't even seen the farm crop yet he

hasn't been seen in mature yet but he's

still happy cuz I can't wait this is

gonna be awesome I'm gonna get paid he's

already thinking about where he's gonna

spend the money everything so this kid

is excited and then finally he opens the

toy and he plays it with it for about

our total I'll give you three hours give

or take three hours where do you find

the toy after that under the bed where's

your toy I don't know

you gave me you never got me Iron Man I

only got Captain America I never got I

never got I wanted Iron Man in a matter

of minutes this thing that was such an

object of my child's desire is now

worthless what did Allah described as

worthless the farm you was such a big

deal to you and when you got it you

didn't read its benefits it just became

worthless to you your child asked you

for Grand Theft Auto he was crying he

was making clear almond lane he went to

the Masjid on the 27th night yeah la

anything this game I needed I promised

I'll finish it within a week I'll be all

of it I promise and he got it any beaten

and then you wake up one day and it's

under your feet in the valve in the

kitchen what does the CD doing here

didn't you buy this game yeah beat it

already was boring it's kind of the last

one was better entertainment this

happens there are people that when new

movies come out in the summer there are

people that have lines longer than the

ones for passports for hudge waiting

outside to watch the next movie I

remember back in the day there was when

Star Wars was coming out people were

dressed in Jil fits man outside dog you

know they're like in their own around

outside waiting for the gates to general

open and they go and they watch and they

come out in the leg are the special

effects were kind of cheap I didn't like

the plot it was kind of lame booooo you

desired it so much and over in no time

it became worthless to you then those of

you that wanted to get a nice car maybe

you been looking at the Acura NSX I

don't know I've been looking at the m3

or something and you get the car and it

is sweet man you drive a little extra

slow outside your school you know you go

to the car wash a little too many times

but then the next year's model came out

and the headlights went from here to

here and your car looks so ugly all of a

sudden it is so irrelevant on the road

makes you angry to be in this car now it

became worthless to you this happens to

our adults in their homes they get you

know I fifty seconds oh my god they buy

a house anybody who comes to the house

you give them a full tour you even show

them the boiler room this is our

bathroom this is our second bathroom

this is our third bathroom nobody wants

to see your bathroom unless you know

okay not anyway no one wants to see your


but you give them a full tour cuz it's a

new house you're so excited two years go

by three years go by somebody invites

you to their housewarming party it's in

a nicer neighborhood it's a bigger house

it's newer

they have nicer bathrooms too and what

starts happening oh my god your house

just turned yellow you see what I mean

I'm saying the toy turns yellow the car

turns yellow some people's marriages

turn yellow the first day you got

married how excited were you to see your

wife don't tell me it's having


calm down okay ten years go by and you

come home the day you came home and saw

your wife for the first time you went to

work for the first time and came home

and saw your wife for the first time is

a different feeling ten years later you

come home and you look at her and she

looks at you and it's beautiful just

like the first day no it's not

something's turning yellow I often tell

the story that you're walking with your

wife like the week you got married

you're walking with your wife and she

trips brand new wife she dreamed

what do you do oh are you okay

are you alright I don't want anything

ever to happen to you then ten years go

by and you're walking down the same

street and she trips again you keep on

Lockett haha you keep on going you turn

back and you say pick yourself up woman

I can't even take you in public nowadays

what is wrong with you anyway so

marriages can start turning yellow

no not that one but a lot of it tells us

that all of the things that we want so

badly will become a will start losing

interest in them and then he says in the

concluding remarks of this ayah within a

scale at the audubon Shadid will not

fail at 2 min allahi what at 1 and at

the very end is either eternal into

intense punishment that is the only

thing that won't you won't get used to

the punishment of Jahannam is not

something anybody will never get used to

the desires of this world and even the

pain of this world you can get used to

but that desire and that pain you will

not get used to and then he says well

mouth hello to Manama and forgiveness

from allah meaning that is permanent and

then finally he adds what it one and he

did not say in his eloquence he did not

say what it won't mean a lot he just

said what it 1 which means incredible

contentment you will finally be

satisfied you will not look for the next

thing in this world I don't care if it's

Superman or Iron Man or whatever movie

you want to watch you will come out of

it waiting for the next one you will not

come out satisfied sorry sorry it says

please stop in red I really gotta stop

right okay I promise I'm stop messing

this did turn out to be mom sahaja

Hodges five minutes sorry I love him too

much I got to follow in his footsteps

anyway well Montferrat don't mean Allah

he what did one that you will have

contentment you will be at peace finally

in general we will be at peace you're

not going to be at least here we're

always going to be looking for the next

thing until dirt fills our stomachs

until that happens and so Allah says

well hiya to dunya in mataró

one ayah just one eye of silikal Hadi

what is worldly life it amounts to

nothing but means by which people get

deceived people think they will find

happiness and they don't people think

they love their new big giant house when

they're 90 years old and their kids have

moved out that house is out for them

it's not a joy for them anymore young

people go to that house and say I wish I

could live here and old people living in

the house say I wish I could get rid of

this thing I don't want to be here so

how Allah Allah Azza WA JAL help us

recognize what true happiness what it

really means and may he helped us

materialize that true happiness through

real faith in him and through real

expectations from Allah so at a bar ik

allahi walakum wa-salaamu alaikum wa


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