Excess Baggage – Mufti Menk Many times we end up complaining about people and we promise that we don’t want to be like them, and we end up becoming worse than them without realizing it. Because we’re pointing fingers not knowing that the way to change is actually to begin with yourself.
(QS. Ar-Ra’d: 11) (…إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ…) “Allah will not change the condition of a nation until and unless they don’t change themselves.
” Each individual needs to change himself. And I’ve come across many people who don’t believe in that verse. They don’t. They say, “Well, there’s a problem there. Why should I change myself?” Well, that’s Allah, your Maker telling you, “You have to adjust yourself.
” When there’s an issue and a problem, it might be that that person is harassing you, troubling you, making your life difficult, but you need to at the same time look at how you’re reacting, how you are.
.. Perhaps you might have caused a situation, and now you’re sitting with it, and you’re just blaming everyone else because they’ve become worse than you. They’ve become worse than you as a result of what you triggered off.
And this is why it’s important for us to know that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) keeps reminding us about ourselves. You know if you have to adjust yourself, you have to become more conscious of yourself, you have to develop yourself, and so on.
It’s the beginning point. It might not solve the whole problem, but the minimum is it’s going to make you look at matters from a different light. It’s going to make you look at things from different light.
I’m in a situation for example, I love my spouse, but I’m having an issue with the broader family. Well, I can tell you I’m going to have to live with that to a certain degree. And what that degree is differs, from situation to situation, and perhaps will also differ based on how I deal with it.
So, If I deal with it in a proper way, perhaps I will be able to minimize the issue, and I will be able to look at it with a broad heart. You know, when you hold everything in your heart, you become a person filled with hatred.
Filled with so much of negativity because you’re holding to much. You don’t need to hold so much, you need to learn to let go of things. It’s like when you arrive at the airport, and you’re told you only allowed one piece 20 kilos.
Have you heard that? Nowadays, they may allow you 2 pieces, 23 kilos each. If one of them is more than 23, you have a problem. And if both are more than 46, you’re going to have to shed some of it. Now, those of you who visited India and Pakistan, perhaps even Bangladesh.
Those of you who visited folks who live in some of those countries. Don’t you notice that sometimes out of their love. They give you things that you don’t know how you’re gonna take back. Subhanallah.
.. And then you start packing things into your bag and you were promising before the journey that I, “I’m not going to be a typical traveler where my bags are more than my own weight.” Subhanallah… But guess what happens, you end up picking up things and you bring them to the airport and you say, “Insha Allah it will go.
” And you smile at the people trying to look at it and then when they tell you there is a problem, “You have to remove 5 kilos.” And then you say, “Well, maybe I’ll take it in my hand.” What are you doing? You have excess baggage.
That’s what it is. We have excess baggage in our relationships. We have to make a plan, shed something. You have to shed it whether, you like it or not. Or you have to take it in your hand luggage. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) forgive us.
You have to release certain things. It’s a weight. It’s a burden. Just like when you’ve arrived there, and you need to now get rid of 10 kilos for example, or 5. You open your bags and you start thinking right, “These peanuts, we don’t need them.
We get them back in England.” “These pistachios we get them back in England.” I have a policy. Anyone of my relatives gives me pistachios, peanuts, etcetera. Things that I can get at my destination. I tell them, “Listen, I’m giving it away.
I’ll carry nothing.” “And when I go there I’ll purchase whatever you’ve given me, the equivalent of it and give it.” It’s cheaper and better for me two ways. One is weight wise and even monetary wise.
Subhanallah… I gave someone else a gift and then when I got home. I bought a similar gift and gave it because you could get it there. The same applies in our relationships. Wallahi my brothers and sisters, I have learned from it myself, if you want to lead a positive life.
You need to be prepared to let go of petties. Let go. Don’t hold it against the people. We all have weaknesses, myself included. Some of them are big weaknesses. So, as much as you can let go, let it go.
It will help you. It will really help you. And think of the good of people. Go out of your way to think of the good. What goodness does this person have and I don’t know. If you’re being oppressed, when I talk of oppression here, I’m talking of you really are struggling with your mind.
You’re really… you’ve try to forgive as much as you can, and you’re struggling so much. It becomes much more difficult to actually live with such people. So, we need to promise. We are going to become the best to those whom we live with, whoever they are.
You go home, make sure you know, and you understand that you have pledged that you’re going to make life good and easy, and facilitate it for those whom you live with because charity definitely begins at home.
The Prophet (ﷺ) says, “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, their family members.” So, that’s what happens. It’s not going to be easy. That’s why you’re consider the best because you’re different.
People are going to think differently. But if I’m thinking how to make life easy for you, and you’re thinking how to make life easy for me, then subhanallah, we have a brilliant relationship. It’s going to be beautiful.