Channel: Abdul Nasir Jangda
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah where Allah Allah He was Army and Marine. salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
So the topic of the lecture is the diversity within Islam, and also the role of culture within Islam.
This is a topic that's extremely important for us to talk about today. First of all, because you know, the the theme that you guys have going here for this week's events, is Islamic Awareness Week. So you want to bring attention to Islam and inform the greater student population about Islam. And in doing so, one thing that's very important to highlight is the diversity that we find within Muslims, the diversity that Islam embraces, and I'm going to talk a little bit about that diversity in just a minute. But then, part of the topic of today's session is also the role of culture within Islam. And the reason why I feel that's extremely important for us to talk about is a lot of the
discourse that's going on there within the media or within mainstream American society. In regards to Islam, extremist Islamophobia, and all of these different elements is really important that we talk about how Islam views culture. All right, so we're going to talk real briefly about these two different concepts. I wanted to start off by talking about the diversity that Islam not only has that we find within Islam, but rather it embraces because there's a difference between dealing with diversity and tolerating it, or understanding that this is a this comes with the time's right? And there's a embracing diversity is a whole different issue altogether. And diversity is of many
different types. You have ethnic diversity, you have economic or financial diversity, all right. But then at the same time, you also have ideological and religious diversity. And I wanted to touch on all of these different items. The first and the foremost is ethnic diversity. That's something that obviously Islam embraces, and that's something that many different world religions, many different cultures, great civilizations across human history have also embraced. And Islam is no different than them Islam has embraced ethnic diversity. There's verses of the Quran that we can quote that we can look at now we can study where he talks about this issue. There is an ayah of the Quran where
Allah subhanaw taala says, certain gerat with it, which is a suit of the Quran, which focuses on the construct of a society in a community.
And in that suit, our last part of what Allah says, Yeah, you Hannah's in a holla panakam in the Korean War, with Allah come Sure. obon Raka elita foo. So God Almighty himself in this verse in this sutra, he in this chapter, he says that Oh, humanity, oh, human beings, there is no doubt about the fact most definitely, we have created all of you, from one man and one woman. So regardless, in spite of all of your variety of colors, and languages, and backgrounds, and ethnicities, you have all come from one singular source. So there is a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, greater brotherhood, greater sisterhood at a human level, there is a sense of fraternity at a greater human
level. All right, which I'm sure obon will talk about a little. However, that doesn't change the reality that we are different colors. We speak different languages. We come from different backgrounds, and we have very, very different
you know, personalities and even origins from each other. So we are very different and very varied. All right, there is diversity that's found. So even though God is saying that we created you from a singular source, why do we still find diversity? What's the purpose of diversity? So Allah says, we see we split you up into different tribes and into different segments and different groups and different families, why Lita araku, so that you will be able to distinguish and identify with each other. It gives you variety, which allows you to greater appreciate one another. But by no means was this meant to divide you. This is you are still coming from one singular source. And you need to
embrace your greater unity, and work through and overlook these little differences that you have rather appreciate your differences. You know, I always tell people, we use the word tolerance a lot, right? I personally don't like the word tolerance, right? Because of how we use it in our modern lingo. In our contemporary languages. I'm tolerating you right now. Right? So it's not a real friendly word. Rather appreciating embracing each other's differences is what the Quran tells us. So that's ethnic diversity. And the Quran is saying Islam is saying that there is absolutely no place for differing for being present.
Practicing prejudice or bias against one another, based on differences that we might have with each other, in terms of ethnicity, family, language or color. So that's the first thing. So Islam embraces this diversity that we find within the human race. The second type of diversity that we find within any society in any group of human beings is a diversity of religion, a diversity of religion, faith, belief systems. All right. So how does Islam exactly view this? How does Islam embrace this? So for this purpose, again, we have to go back to the sacred sources of Islam. All right, there's a lot of observations that we can make about how maybe Muslims have conducted
themselves have handled themselves in today in modern contemporary society. But we'll go to Islam sacred sources, and in Islam's sacred sources. The Quran itself is telling us it's laid out very clearly to us, that human that all human beings are to be respected. sanctity of life holds a very prestigious place within the Islamic code of ethics. harming humanity is something that goes directly against the fundamental principles of Islam. All right, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him the Prophet Muhammad, right, who is another sacred source of the Islamic religion.
He's very clearly quoted as having said that, whether they be Christian or Jewish, or even, fire worshipping Zoroastrian people should be allowed to exist within even a majority Muslim society, they should be allowed to have their places of worship, they, their their property, their life, their families, their ability to make money and earn, all of this is sacred and must be protected. Just like those rights of a Muslim would be protected the rights of a Christian or a Jew or a fire worship or as a Rastafarian, an idol worshipper, within a majority, Muslim society must also be protected. That's what Islam is telling us about embracing diversity in terms of religion, faith,
belief, this doesn't take away the fact that we will all hold our own personal views. I am a Muslim. So in my own personal view, I will find Islam to be the the best way to practice religion, and the most appropriate way to believe in God, that's fine, I can have my own personal belief, but I cannot impose my belief on anyone else. And I cannot
sacrifice I cannot violate the sanctity of somebody else's life, their freedom, and their personal financial and communal freedoms, just because they differ with me. There's a sacred verse, there's a verse of the Quran itself, that in this verse follows after the verse, which talks about the greatness of God, there is a very beautiful verse called the the verse of the throne, I had to go to see, this is a verse that every Muslim child is familiar with, because it's a very, very beautiful, elaborate verse, which talks about the magnificence the glory of God. All right, and it, it paints such a beautiful picture about who God is, and how great and how magnificent and breathtaking he is,
and why we should believe in him. And the verse that immediately follows after that verse, because after he tells you about how magnificent God is, and why you should believe in Him, there could be someone that gets a little overexcited by reading this verse by listening to this verse, and goes out there and says, why doesn't everybody believe in God? Everybody needs to believe in God exactly as his verses telling us to write. So the verse that immediately follows after that, God himself in the following verse says, After introducing himself to us, he says, law 15, there is no compulsion within religion. There is no compulsion within religion. And when you analyze the grammar, the
linguistics, and when you read all the classical interpretations, Islamic scholarly interpretations of this verse, what this means there is absolutely positively no compulsion under any circumstances within religion. What that means is you cannot compel anyone to ever believe in any type of religion, even if that be your own personal religion, and in our case, a religion of Islam. And in a hypothetical society's case, which could be Islam. So when you find instances and situations and circumstances within places like Afghanistan, where today, you might find in a Muslim dominated society, and in tribal practices, they might find people who are not practicing Islam, they are not
Muslims by faith by religion. Then they imprison these people, or the oppressed these people or they compel these people to choose Islam as their way of life. This directly contradicts what the Quran tells us. The Quran is a sacred source and this is something I don't want to delve into. I don't want to go off into 10
Right, because I have a really bad habit of doing that. But we need a real brief introduction as to what the Quran is, understand something, no particular Muslim subset, a subset of Muslim society or Muslim community, their actions and their practices are not legislative, within the religion of Islam. It has absolutely no significance and no value, and we have no problem as Muslims. And as somebody qualified within Islamic law and Islamic jurisprudence, right? I personally have no problem condemning the practices of any given Muslim community or society, if it directly contradicts what the Quran says the Quran for us is the direct, infallible Word of God, we believe it to be God
speaking to us, and instructing us. So we're in the Quran when God says there's absolutely no compulsion under any circumstances within religion, you cannot force your belief system upon anyone else. And that is a direct instruction in the Quran, in the Word of God to Muslims, then that means any given society, any community, any group of Muslims, that practices compulsion within religion, is directly contradicting the Koran. So that's the first thing so Islam embraces even faith based diversity. All right, it does not have a problem with it. The third type of diversity, and this talks about within the Muslim community. So this is going to be more specific to Muslims. But I want
non Muslims to even understand and appreciate this about the Islamic framework, that within Islam, just like within Christianity, or Judaism, or any other religion, you have ideological differences. You have methods, a difference of method, methodology, and a difference of ideology. There are different approaches, different scholarly interpretations and different approaches within any given religion or any given faith based community on what is the best way to practice that faith. Islam is no different than that. So you find ideological differences in differences within methodology within the Muslim community. Somebody says, I think it's better to pray in this particular manner. Somebody
says, No, no, no, I think it's better to pray in this particular manner. Somebody says, I think this is the interpretation of this verse. Somebody says, No, I think the interpretation of this verse is a little bit more like this. So we also have those differences within our greater community. Again, Islam embraces those differences of opinion. It does not distinguish between them, it does not differentiate between them. And this again, we can take it back to Islam, sacred sources, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him who is a sacred source of religion, a sacred source of Islam, for us, all right.
He taught, for example, the Muslim prayer, the Muslim prayer, when you see Muslims doing, you know, funky things on the ground where they put their face on the ground, and they're doing all this weird stuff. That's the Muslim prayer. All right, within the Muslim prayer, just one example. There is a supplication, the Muslim prayer, if you've ever observed it, you've seen it, there's a standing position, there's a bowing position, then there's a prostrating position. When we put our face on the ground, we put our head on the ground. Alright, then there's a position, the final position where we sit, where we sit. All right, and that's the final position of the prayer. And that's where
we offer some very, very important, but at the same time, very beautiful supplications. All right, the Prophet Muhammad taught five different members of his community, his congregation, five different forms of that application.
So I'm going to, I'm going to say that a little bit more clearly, he taught different members of his community, different followers of his different members of his congregation, different versions of this application.
All right. Now, you could ask the question, why would you do that? Why wouldn't you create uniformity in your community? Why would you introduce an element that could create problems?
You know, could cause differences could cause even confrontation within your community? Why would you do that? Well, it was done simply for one reason, because, again, within the greater framework of the Islamic principles, all right, so I'm not talking about practices of Muslim talking about the actual Islamic principles, the principles upon which the religion is based. One of the key principles there is to learn to appreciate and live together in spite of differences. So he would teach his followers different supplications training them to understand to appreciate and to live with each other in spite of differences, so they would pray differently. They would say different
supplications and still learn to live together and not differ with each other and not fight with each other.
Even though they had different applications, so this again, going back to the sacred source, this shows you how Islam embraces diversity at an ethnic level, at a religious or faith based level, and even at an ideological or even at the level of methodology. Islam embraces differences
and diversity. The next issue, the next little topic here in the lecture today is the role of culture within Islam. All right, because there's a more modern phenomena, you know, this is a university environment. So this will be something hopefully, I'll be able to appreciate, you know, anthropology, anthropology, traditionally speaking, didn't refer to culture quite in the way we talk about it today. Culture in the element that it is today in the way that it functions today, and the level of importance that it has today. And in kind of an in the institution, that's what what I'm looking for, the institution that culture has become today is more of a modern phenomenon. All
right, it is more of a modern phenomenon. There's always been an element of culture, it just wasn't under viewed as it is today. All right, it wasn't such a robust institution as it is today. All right. So culture is a very, very interesting thing. So it's a it's a great part of our discourse today, in modern day society. All right. And so culture is is a very interesting dynamic of any given society in any given community. Now, part of the discussion that's going on, that connects culture to Islam. Is that both on both sides, both the opposite ends of the spectrum, on both extremes, alright, look at how culture and Islam is being viewed. One extreme is the, the militants,
right, the the people who are extremely militant in their view of not just Islam, but world politics, foreign policy, they have an extremely militant view, violent view of things. So violent extremism, right, that exists within the Muslim world. They view culture to be an evil entity. And by the way, this is something that I always, you know, I always try to make, you know, people within America understand I'm an American, myself born and raised here. But so this is something that I try to make, you know, fellow Americans understand one thing, and that is violent, extremist, right, in the Muslim world, they view culture as a, an evil entity. But you know,
they don't, they don't just have this level of animosity or hatred for American culture, or Western culture. They even say the modern day culture that exists within the Muslim culture within Muslim societies, within Muslim countries, they view that to be just as evil as a view of American culture. So modern day, current day culture within Pakistan, within Egypt, within Syria, within even Saudi Arabia, like emerging, you know, young youth culture that you even find in the Arab world, places like Saudi Arabia that are very, very conservative in their practices, violent extremist, view, Pakistani, Egyptian, Syrian, Yemeni, Moroccan Algerian culture to be just as evil as American or
British culture as French or as Canadian culture. They really do not distinguish between the two them culture is just an evil entity that exists in the world today that needs to stop existing.
All right, that's, that's one thing. So this is why talking about culture, and its role within Islam is an extremely relevant and important discussion, and a dialogue we need to have. All right, so that's the first thing. So one side, one up one side of the of the spectrum, one extreme angle, which is the violent extremists within the Muslim world, the people within extremely militant view of the world, they view culture to be evil. On the other end of the spectrum, the other side of extremism, which are people that paint a very bleak picture of the world, which are people that would like to group all Muslims together into one group. All right, and I'm not going to get into
specific names of political parties and things like that, because that's not the golden that's not the objective here. Having a narrow view of the world is something that again, is it doesn't, you know, you'll find it in every segment, you'll find it, you know, like, I forget what the exact quote is, but, you know, the only thing that's not prejudiced about prejudice or racist about racism, or something like that, is that it you find in every spectrum all over the place all over the world. So what's really, really surprising it's even today, in the Western world in America, there is a segment of the population that has just a narrow view of the world as those violent extremists in
the Muslim world do. All right.
They would like to group common average Muslims, regular everyday American Muslims into the same group as those violent extremist. And they they spew rhetoric, while the violent extremists in the Muslim world have certain rhetoric rhetoric that they spew. These type of narrow minded people also spew this type of rhetoric that they are against our way of life. Islam is against our way of life. Islam wants to end our way of life. And so that's why I want to talk a little bit about the role of culture within Islam, how Islam views culture, and diversity within culture.
The first thing you need to understand about that is I'm again going to start at the sacred sources. I'm going to quote directly from the Quran. In the Quran.
You're also talking a little bit about the Islamic framework, Islamic theology, what Muslims believe. So sacred sources of religion, like I told you is, first of all, it's scripture, like the Koran, direct, infallible Word of God, God speaking and communicating to us. The second, the second, sacred, sacred source of Islam, of our religion, our prophets, messengers, their teachings, their traditions, what they've told us, their experiences, their practices, their lifestyle, basically, the way they live, their life also becomes a sacred source of religion for us. They're role models, they practically implement the teachings of the Scripture. And that's why we're able to look up to
them and look to them for guidance. All right. In the Quran, in the scripture itself, God introduces prophets and messengers to us, he introduces them to us. What's very interesting is how he introduces these messengers in these prophets. One of the primary ways that he introduces them is God tells us that in the Quran, Allah tells us in the Quran,
where Allah I didn't call him Buddha. There was a tribe there was a nation that came before us. And in Arabic the name of that tribal nation was odd. The the people of God Alright, so Allah tells us in the Quran, God tells us in Scripture, that to the people of God, he sent them their brother, who'd as a messenger.
Alright, so the exact word for word translation of the verse is that to the people of God, God sent as a messenger their brother, who'd
the following passage to the people of the mood, the people of the mood, Gods sent as a messenger, their brother
Sania. All right, the following passage. Again, it says to the people of Medina, God sent as a messenger, their brother, Shockwave,
and on and on and on. What's very interesting, what I want to point out about that is it specifically, even though there doesn't seem an apparent need to mention it, it specifically clearly explicitly mentions the fact that he got them just send a messenger to these people, but he was their brother. And in Arabic, that's a figure of speech saying that he is their brother, or she is their sister. That is, what that implies is that he was from amongst them, he was a part of their community, a part of their society, a part of their culture.
she belonged to their culture, that's it's a figure of speech, that that's what it means. So God isn't just saying, I sent him who does a messenger the odd and I sent solly, as a messenger to the people of some mood. And I sent shockwaves as a messenger to the people of Medina. But he says he was one of them. He belonged to their community. He lived in their culture and their society, he was one of them. He was no different than them. He grew up with them. He had those same experiences they did growing up, in fact, one verse of the Quran, there's one particular ayah, one verse of the Quran of the Scripture, that very clearly kind of gives an overview of this entire issue and says, Well,
my own Santa Mira suelen, elaborates on
that. God basically says in first person in this verse, that I did not send,
I did not send to any people, a messenger, except that he was from the culture of his people.
I never sent I never, God says, I never send any messenger to any people except, or unless that he is from the culture of his people. Now the word that's used here in the verse is the word lease. And if you literally translate the word lease, and it means tongue,
so you might think that that's referring to language, right? You can make that connection it's talking about language. However, Arabic is an extremely classical Arabic, ancient Arabic is an extremely nuanced language. Right? The word for language in the Arabic language is a word
Nova. Nova means language. The word using this versus Lisa. Because the Arabs, Luca means language. That's tongue what we call you know we in English we say mother tongue, your native tongue, right? For us tongue means language, right? But not for the Arabs, for Arabs, they had another word for language. But when they said tongue, that would mean that you understood every little thing about the culture of the people, you spoke the lingo of the people, you understood the experiences of the people, what we in today would call in today's language, we would call culture.
You were from the culture of the people, you understood the culture of the people, because just because you speak the same language doesn't equate culture does it? We speak English. So to Australia, Australians, right? They speak English too. So do South Africans. Right? I had friends from Trinidad. I have I have a couple of friends from I till today. I can't understand what they say. We have to communicate like in slow motion, like what did you say? Right? Because I don't understand what they say. And they you know, the first time I met him, I remember three brothers. They they had just moved to the States. I remember the first time I met him actually on a basketball
court. And I when I first met them, they talk about being American. Right. So the first time I met them was on a basketball court, not at the mosque. Right. So, but I met them on a basketball court. And I remember they started talking and I was like, what would what did you just say? And I ended up asking them I? Seriously remember I was about 16 years old. I remember asking them what language do you speak? And I said English, right? But I didn't understand them. So just because you speak the similar language doesn't mean you understand each other's culture. English, British, right? South African, Australian, you know, West,
West Indian, right? All of the you know, even in southern southern parts of India, there are pockets of India, where their mother tongue, their native language is English. Their first language is English. That's their language, that's their tongue. That's what they speak. But you obviously can tell there's a huge cultural gap there, right? I mean, call for IT support. And you'll know what a huge cultural gap there is, right? So
language doesn't equate culture. So this, again, was a little bit of a tangent. So with the verse of the Quran, with the scripture to Muslims is basically telling us what God Almighty himself to us as Muslims is communicating, that whenever a messenger or prophet was sent to bring guidance, to bring enlightenment to bring teachings to his people, he was sent from the culture of his own people. What that tells you is that if prophets were meant to be role models, are sacred sources of the religion within Islam. And then God Himself is saying, by the way, every messenger that came was from the culture of his people. That tells you that Islam has no beef with culture. It has absolutely no beef
with culture, the prophets were sent from their culture, they embrace their culture. Now, there will be certain things within culture which might directly conflict with some certain teachings within the Islamic principles. And at that time, certain personal preferences can be made. Alright, for instance,
All right, even though today growingly, increasingly, and it's a good thing, smoking is starting to become more and more culturally unacceptable. All right, even in our culture here, even in our society here. However, let's just say we're talking about 30 years ago, all right, where smoking was, you know, a cultural, it was just a staple of the culture, great cultural icons we're seeing on screen and we're seeing in pictures and in movies, right? Smoking, and it was seen as a part of the culture, right, you would see the president sitting in the Oval Office smoking, right? So it was okay. It was a part of the culture. Islam doesn't prohibit smoking for us. It tells us not to smoke.
So at that point in time, all right, smoking is a part of the culture, my personal faith and religion, my way of life is telling me smoking is not good. You shouldn't smoke, don't smoke. So at that time, I can make a personal decision to not smoke personally. But at the same time, Islam doesn't allow me to decide to wage war on this culture and on this country. Why? Because people smoke. All right. And the same thing could go You could say that make the same argument for a number of different things. All right. If I'm going to talk about something that, you know, might be a little bit more touchy, all right, literally, all right, premarital sex. All right, something that
is culturally acceptable. Islam doesn't allow us to do so. It tells us to abstain until we're married. Alright, so again, that's something that the culture has my religion is teaching me something a little different. I can make a personal choice at that time. But it's still telling me to be considered responsible and sensible enough to not decide to wage war on a people on a society.
beyond a culture because they have a different way of life than I do. To that to each his own Lacan, Dino kumala. Dean, there's actually a verse within the Koran that actually talks about this difference, that what happens when there is a difference, when there is a conflict between what your faith is teaching what your religion is teaching you, and what your cultural practices are, right? There's a, there's a, there's a sutra that actually talks about, there's a chapter that talks about, and he concludes by saying, for you, is your way of life and for me is my way of life.
basically learn to coexist.
Alright, learn to coexist, because you're never going to human beings. There, you know, just by looking at our creation, if we philosophically talk about this, within the Islamic framework within a religious framework, excuse me, even a general religious framework, if we have a philosophical discussion, right, we can even philosophically talk about the fact that God created us in different shapes in unique ways, right? Everybody has such distinct features.
Everybody looks different than each other. Right? And then even more biologically speaking, from the retina of our eye, to our fingerprints, etc, etc, right? There's so much diversity and difference between us that you can draw from this, that philosophically speaking, human beings are meant to be different. You're never ever going to find a place in society. any situation where human beings are going to be completely on the same page altogether. It's just not going to happen. And Islam is Islam deals with that reality. And it teaches us to live with that reality in mind.
Now wanted to talk about a few very, very brief incidents, from the actual life of the Prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him because again, for us, he's a sacred source of religion, right, and how we embrace diversity within culture. And he actually taught his followers and he taught even the current day, the modern day Muslim, to not get hung up on cultural differences and to embrace culture wherever and whenever you might find it. All right.
During the actual lifetime of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, you know, within the mosque. Now, the Mosque, the Masjid is a place of worship for it's it's a sacred place. It's a sacred institution. Right? There were some Africans from Eastern Africa, there were there was a tribe of Africans who had actually become Muslim dad accepted Islam. And they came to Arabia, they came to the city of Medina, to come there to visit the other Muslims to visit with the prophet to learn something directly from him, and spend some time there. So this entire tribe of Africans was there visiting, living in their homes as guests and things like that. Now, while they were there,
one of the holidays, one of the festive occasion for the Muslims arrived, alright, it's a day of celebration. So when that day of celebration arrived, these Africans, what they started doing was one of the things in their culture that the way they would celebrate is they would have like demonstrations, they would have little demonstrations of skill of art, where they would play drums and they would dance and they would practice archery, they would basically do archery tricks, right, like hitting targets and shooting things off of people's heads or whatever. So they had these, they had this entire practice of where they would, this was a form of their celebration. So because this
was a day of celebration, they went out into the courtyard, right outside of the mosque. And they started, you know, playing their drums and dancing around and they started doing their little, you know, archery tricks and their physical, you know, display of skill. And they started doing all of this,
one of the companions of the Prophet, which basically is a technical term that we Muslims use for the earliest of Muslims. So one of the earliest Muslims who actually later on became a key leaf, right, he became head of state, he became head of state after the Prophet had passed. He was the second head of state after the passing of the Prophet, a successor of the Prophet. His name is Omar Roma. All right, so he objected to this entire display. He felt that maybe there was something a liberal and Islamic about this. Because he was not familiar with this. This wasn't a part of his culture. He had never seen it. So he automatically assumed there's got to be something fishy about
this. Something's got to be wrong about this situation. So he goes to the Prophet, he actually first he actually goes up to those people. All right, the African tribe, he goes up to them and tells him Can y'all kind of cut this out? Can y'all stop? Please, I'm not comfortable with this. I don't think this is right. And the Prophet sees Omar Omar interrupting them. So he actually says tells him to stop, he goes, leave them alone, leave them be, let them continue to do what they do. These people are from Africa. And this is a part of their culture. This is a part of their culture. This is how they celebrate. There's nothing wrong with it. And in fact, what's really
really profound. And this is what happens when people don't have a thorough study of their own religion. I'm not I'm not even picking on on Muslims. I'm not saying why you people don't know our religion. Why? Because we don't know our own religion. Muslims don't even know these things. There's there's actually a version, there's an aeration, where the Prophet actually after they were done with their entire celebration and their display, the prophet actually went to them, and told them that continue doing this.
That basically, just because you've converted to Islam, you've accepted Islam, you've chosen Islam as your faith as your way of life. Do not stop celebrating in this way, continuing practicing your culture, he said, so that other people of other faiths can know about the latitude within our religion.
They can come to be they can become familiar with the diversity of our religion,
the accommodating nature of our religion, right, so that's coming directly from the horse's mouth that's coming directly from the source. There's another situation where
the Prophet again comes into his house, his wife is sitting there, and she was actually there with some acquaintances, some friends of hers. All right, now one thing you have to understand about the Prophet, the cultural dynamic there, that the Prophet was born and raised in the city of Mecca. All right, he migrated later to the city of Medina. Now that distance is about probably about about 400, some odd miles.
So that's a different distance between these two locations. That might not seem like a really big deal to us. Right? That might not seem like 400 miles might not seem like a big deal. But in olden times, that's a huge thing. Right? Those were those would be two different tribes, to different cultures. So the people of Makkah had a different culture than the people of Medina. All right. So when they arrived in Medina, again, it's a day of celebration. All right, the prophets in his house, his wife is there, who's also from Mecca. But she's got some friends, she has acquaintances that are from the city of Medina. All right, other female friends that are from the city of Medina. And
again, because it's a day of celebration there, they're kind of playing a drum and they're singing songs, right?
Well, the prophets best friend who also happens to be his father in law, his wife's father, he walks into the house, and he hears, you know, drums playing and girls singing, and he's the profits in the house. And again, because he's from Makkah, too, and this isn't a part of their culture. He automatically thinks that there's probably something inappropriate about the situation. So he tells his daughter, he says, Stop, stop, what are you doing? Tell your friends to stop all this nonsense. The prophets here in the house is probably inappropriate. Yeah. And the Prophet again says, Well, wait a second back off, well, why you why you stopped them. And he said, because, you know, we, I
mean, we don't do this stuff. We, we've never seen anything like this before. And so yeah, but it's a part of the culture of the people of Medina. Let them practice their culture. There's even another situation where the Prophet there's there was a marriage, there's a wedding, in the city of Medina, in you know, between a young boy and a young girl of Medina. And the Prophet actually tells his wife, they want you to gather up all your other friends, right? That are Medina natives, right. And once you go over there, and you don't play drums, sing some songs, have some festivities, because this is a part of the culture of the people of Medina, they like doing this when marriage is when
So it's really, really interesting, how he's approving of different culture and different cultural practice not condemning it, not trying to create a monolith of society and culture. Right, there isn't some super standard Muslim culture, then must prevail and dominate. Right? No, no, no, no, this is, again, anybody that says that does not have a thorough enough study of the sacred sources of religion to text itself. So I wanted to talk about what the Quran says and what the practice of the Prophet was, because for us that sacred source of religion, now I wanted to end here with just a little bit of an insight into Islamic law. Now, I'm going to say the word of the day, right, the
scary word of the day. It used to be jihad. Right, we've evolved now now we have a more complicated word, a word that's even more difficult for Americans to pronounce. And that word is Sharia. All right. So we're evolving All right. So and and and I guess the people who like to inspire paranoia, and xenophobia and Islamophobia they're apparently progressing and evolving as well. Right? So they're using a more complicated word and that is [???]ty. Alright, what is shady shady are basically refers to, I'm not getting in. I'm not going to get into a whole linguistic discussion about where the word shady originates from. All right. But the word Shetty are basically refers to Islamic law.
Right Islamic law the Islamic lifestyle the rules and guidelines that govern a Muslims life.
is called Sharia Islamic law. So Islamic law, just like any other framework of law has certain pioneers or certain scholars that are in authority within that science or within that discipline. All right. When we talk about the Constitution, or constitutional law, you end up talking about Thomas Jefferson, right, his name will come up a lot in the discussion, right, because he's an authority within that discipline within that science. So when we talk about Islamic law, there are also certain authorities, certain voices that are viewed as you know, authority authoritative within that discipline or science. Some of those individuals are scholars by the name of qaddafi, seroxat,
Shotley v. These are great, great scholars from Islamic history. And they were authorities within Islamic law, they all have direct quotes. They all even have works, you know, actual written work, where they've talked about the role of culture within the religion, and they've talked about how Islam does not come to supersede to impose itself on any given culture. But Islam rather embraces culture. You know what Rafi even goes as far as saying that any scholar, and I put this in quotation marks because I even doubt the scholarly credentials, and the scholarship of an individual that would say such a thing. But he says, any scholar that comes and gives verdicts and gives rulings and
preaches to people that Islam is at odds with their cultural lifestyle and their cultural practices, is somebody that is not well versed within a religion, it is somebody that is not responsible in his preaching, and teaching and verdict giving, and it's somebody that should not be taken, you should basically not take your religion from this person. This is advice that he's imparting to other Muslims, do not take your religion from people who tell you that Islam is at odds with culture, because that person has obviously not understood Islam properly. And then that person doesn't even understand people properly, human beings, there is even a precedent within Islamic law, that some
that you should only take Islamic rulings. Right. And when I when I talk about Islamic rulings, I'm talking about things that do not contradict the law of the land. I'm not talking about again, you know, waging war against, you know, any given law or any given government, none of that I'm talking about like things even as intricate or as personal last prayer, purification, right? Even hygiene, in the Islamic line, the Muslim lifestyle, there's even certain code about hygiene, right? So there's a precedent, there is an established rule, within Islamic law within Sharia, they, you should not go for Islamic advice to somebody that is not familiar with your culture. So somebody
less than for example, hypothetically, there is someone who is extremely well versed in the Koran knows the Quran inside out, this person is extremely well versed in the life of the Prophet, Islamic law, etc, etc, a scholar of the religion, right, a scholar of the religion, any man who we what we would call a scholar of the religion, and this person is cool, they're easygoing, they have a family, they, they exist in society, they have a personal life, a business life, a professional life, everything's all good. This is in extremists that we're talking about not by any not by any means. But that person was born and raised halfway across the world,
then a person that is from this culture should not solely depend on the advice of that person. And on the guidance of that person in the direction of that person, in a responsible scholar, who is of a different culture, and doesn't really grasp your culture. If you go to him for advice on Islam, or on on a particular Muslim issue. If that person is responsible, that person will be the first to tell you look, I'm not really qualified to be giving you an answer on this. Why? Because I'm not familiar with what you're talking about. I never went to college here. So if you got a question about being a Muslim on campus, I really can't answer that question for you because I was never a
Muslim on an American campus. I don't know.
That's what a responsible scholar will tell you. And that's a precedent that is an established ground rule within Sharia within Islamic law. And then the last thing here I wanted to talk about is two principles of Shetty. The scary word two principles of Islamic law. I wanted to share with you the first of them which is a key one of the Maxim's of Islamic law is allowed to Mahatma
Allah either to Mahatma that's an Arabic word that basically means is that
the cultural practice of a people
is authoritative within the religion.
The cultural practice of the people must be taken into consideration when giving out Islamic rulings, and it holds a very sacred and prominent place within Islamic law as well.
So any given peoples, any given people's cultural practice, has a very, very well established place within Islamic law. The second thing that I wanted to mention here is
Orpheus, that which is commonly practiced or commonly known within any society in any community. And oath, again, is something within Islam, which is recognized, which is identified and which is respected. The key word I want to use here is respected. The commonplace practice of a people of a society and a community is respected within Islam.
And that's something that anybody that is even
intermediately knowledgeable about Islamic law, they cannot argue this. They will not argue this, because it's understood. If they read a single textbook on Islamic law, they'll be the first to tell you that yes, this is an established principle within Islam. So the conclusion here for us, let's talk about us now. All right, Islam in America, Muslim Americans, right? Americans dealing with Muslims, whatever you want to look at it. Because there are multiple perspectives here. There's just a common perspective of how do we view Islam in America? How do these two coexist? Can Islam in America coexist? Right? Then you have the issue of a Muslim American, right? A person that is
American, by birth, by culture, by identity, but he's also a Muslim by faith and by practice, right? And then you have the issue of Americans living with Muslims. So you have these three different perspectives here. How do we reconcile this? How can we figure all this out? Based on our entire discussion here there, this should, hopefully, at least at a very basic level, because I won't lie this
45 minute, this 45 minute discussion is not by any means going to solve the problem. We need a much, much greater dialogue and discussion, we need discussion and dialogue going back and forth from both sides. For us to be really be able to figure this out and come to terms with this issue. Just simply because there are extreme voices speaking, there's an extreme voice on one side, the violent extreme voice within the Muslim world. And then there is also another extreme voice speaking, and that is a xenophobic, Islamophobic, narrow minded voice that is also spewing extremist rhetoric. Anytime you tell one human being to aid another human being that is the definition of extremism, that's hatred.
That's hatred. All right, that's extremism. So we have extremism on both sides of the spectrum. And then you have the media caught up in all all of this as well, which only further complicates matters. So we're really going to have to figure this out. But in the meantime, that this little discussion, I hope, I hope, I hope it helps to reconcile these issues. And it at least, at least, at a very basic level, brings to light the simple fact that yes, Islam in America can coexist. They must coexist.
Right? They were there were individuals during the life of the Prophet. They were followers, companions of the Prophet, who were from different parts of the world, they were from different cultures. There was a Persian, and you know, what it used to be called, in that community in that society. salmaan al Farsi
salmaan, the Persian, they didn't say, oh, my goodness, you're a Muslim brother. You're not a Persian anymore. Some of the Muslim. They didn't say nothing ridiculous. I know. They call them salamander Persian, because he was a Persian, and there's nothing wrong with being a Persian. Right? There was another individual who was a Roman suhaib, or Rumi. And when they would talk to him, when they would talk about him, they will call him So hey, the Roman not so hey, the Muslim, right, so have the Roman and the examples go on and on. Right. So there is nothing wrong, Islam in America can not only coexist, but it must coexist. We got to figure that out. All right. Muslims, who are also
Americans need to understand that they should not feel conflicted about these two different parts of their identity, but they are part and parcel of their existence. It's a part of their existence, they are Muslims, and they are Americans. And there ain't nothing wrong with that. They don't have to feel conflicted. And and they should also not be guilted into having to explain how it's possible for them to be both. I said there's there was a lecture that we had at one of the Islamic centers here in Dallas, where it was it was on the same topic about being Muslim and being American. Right. And is that something that is at odds, and I got a little bit emotional, and I basically said that,
you know, I personally find it extremely insulting to have to explain how I can be an American and how I can
Be a Muslim at the same time, or I have to prove about how American I am. That's insulting to me. That's like me having to prove that that is my child. I don't believe you prove it, what Get out of here, get on my face. That's what that would be my response. And my sentiments are exactly the same when somebody wants me to prove how American I am.
Right, because that's, that's a part of who I am. I actually studied overseas, I lived in a Muslim country. For a good number of years, I was studying there, I went there to study Arabic and Islamic Studies and Islamic sciences. I went there to go study the religion, right. And I remember being there never feeling like I fit in. And it's actually the country where my parents are from, but I never felt like I fit in, I never felt at home.
But the second, I would get off the airplane here in Dallas, I knew I was home. So this is so a Muslim American needs to come to terms with that fact, and should not be guilted by other people of society and community into having to explain themselves. And now finally, Americans that have to live with other Muslims, and might feel conflicted about their might feel confused, or even threatened or scared by that. They also need to understand that there's no need for that. Right? There are books written, there's research that's out there readily available, you can search it online. But you know, today Muslims are a more visible part of American society. But they've always
been around. They've always been around Islam is something that's always been familiar to certain segments of American society. Sure, the familiarity might be more might be more today, and it might be more of a popular issue today. But we have coexisted, we will continue to coexist. And there's no issue or no problem with that. And that goes back again, to what I was quoting directly from the scripture initially, that Oh, humanity.
God himself says to us to Muslims, and to all of humanity is a message to all of humanity, but it's coming through the Quran is some sacred source that we've created all of you from one man and one woman, one male and one female, Adam and Eve. And yes, you do have differences amongst you. But that's only so you can identify and appreciate each other. That's the only purpose of your differences. And we really have to come to terms with that. And hopefully, we can continue through education through dialogue, we can gain maturity about this topic, and we can come to a more sensible conclusion and the one we find being reported on today.
Xochimilco, thank you very much.
What I was quoting directly from the scripture initially, that Oh, humanity,
God himself says to us to Muslims, and to all of humanity is a message to all of humanity, but it's coming through the Quran is some sacred source that we've created all of you from one man and one woman, one male and one female, Adam and Eve. And yes, you do have differences amongst you. But that's only so you can identify and appreciate each other. That's the only purpose of your differences. And we really have to come to terms with that. And hopefully, we can continue through education through dialogue. We can gain maturity about this topic, and we can come to a more sensible conclusion and the one we find being purported or on today.
Zakouma Thank you very much.