Shariah Law The Myth And Reality Of Islam In America
Channel: Abdul Nasir Jangda
File Size: 49.77MB
My name is Salma Gilani and I'm part of the UK MSA. I would like to begin tonight's events with a recitation of the Holy Quran the first chapter so talk to her, the opening hour, recite it and then I'll translate it
Cana or Moodle,
Dino seal, stuffing,
And the chapter begins Bismillahirrahmanirrahim In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, all praises and thanks to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the most benefit, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,
the only Owner of the Day of Judgment, you alone, we worship, and in you alone, we seek help guide us to the straight path, the path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, and not those who have earned your anger and those who have gone astray. So the full law name and now I would like to invite brother Hamza Qureshi, the president of the UK MSA to come up. Thank you.
Welcome, and welcome. Thank you all for coming to this very important event. The MSA has worked extremely hard to put this together along with the Islamic Society of Central Kentucky. Sharia is something that is talked about a lot in the news, but it's not really understood fully by either non Muslims or Muslims. Sharia is basically the way Muslims tried to live their life and unfortunately, because of the lack of education on this subject, there has been a big anti Sharia movement in America. There are currently four states that implement a Sharia law ban and 18 other states considering a similar ban. And that is according to a 2011 study by care Chicago. Recently, a
similar bill was introduced to the Kentucky State Legislature from a representative from harrodsburg. We aim tonight to clarify the misconceptions about this concept and educate the public as a whole by way of our four main objectives. One what is Sharia? And do Muslims want to implement implement Sharia law in America? Is Sharia law oppressive to women? Is Sharia law inhumane? And finally, how can Muslims and non Muslims respond to Islamophobic sentiment in general? With that being said, I want to welcome our vice president Kasim Abdullah to the stage to introduce our first speaker. Thank you.
Salam Alaikum and welcome. My name is Kasim Abdullah and I am the Vice President of the UK Muslim Student Association. And I would like to introduce our first speaker Dr. Bagby, Dr. Bagby obtained his PhD from the University of Michigan in Near Eastern Studies in 1986, with specialty in a cinnamic in Islamic law. His research for the first for the last 10 years has focused on Muslims in America. In 2001, he published the results of the first comprehensive study of mosques in America entitled the mosques in America a National Portrait. And recently in 2011, he published another work entitled The American mosque. Dr. Bagby is currently professor of Islamic Studies here at UK. And
not only is Dr. Bagby, an accomplished professional, he is integral to the success of the MSA because of the support and help and guidance he gives us as our faculty advisor. And please help me welcome Dr. Becker to the stage.
Since everybody's saying Assalamu alaykum everybody must know that right? So let me say assalamu aleikum. May God's peace and blessings be upon you and I begin in the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, The Merciful. And I send prayers and blessings on our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. I welcome you. And I really thank the MSA boy, let's give a hand and MSA for putting this together.
It's such a wonderful crowd. I have to speak just for a few minutes to give context to our main subject, which is Sharia law. But we're talking about innocence, the issue of Sharia in America. So who is the American Muslim community. And so in 25 words, or less, I'm going to give you you know, 100 year history, right? To give you a sense of what this American Muslim community is, and what they're all about. me just start by saying that Islam is actually old here in America, Islam has been here since the very beginning.
At least 10% of all Africans enslaved and brought to this country were Muslim, largely from the cynic Gambia area. And their legacy is actually felt very much the banjo is from senegambia. The Blues is from senegambia writes the technology of rice cultivation. That's why they were brought here, by the way, because rice growers wanted people who knew the culture of cultivated rice I could keep on that's a whole lecture by itself. So they were very much a part of the American story. By the third generation, though, they had converted, so by the third generation, the Islamic part of their identity disappears, and Islam disappears for a time. At the turn of the century. Of course,
now I have to think analyse, I'm old, right to the century, mid 1900s, not 2000, right at the middle idiom. So at the turn of the century, the 1900s, the 20th century,
immigrants started coming here from the Muslim world. And they continued up until about the 20s. You know, in 1924, the America, American government passed a law that basically stopped all immigration from kind of non white areas of the world, the doors of immigration, were open to Eastern Europeans only, and so that immigration from the Muslim world basically stopped in mid 1920s. And again, by about the third generation of those immigrants that came over, Islam had been largely lost.
People had assimilated, people had converted, and the effect of Islam was minimal.
Now, what happens in the 60s is really tied to our story, because the doors of immigration were reopened in America in 1965.
And also, the newly independent Muslim states started to send over students to study here, and they're still here, by the way. So the two things immigration, and also students started
Coming in large numbers starting in the 60s, and then exponentially increasing every decade.
The other thing that happened was that African Americans started converting to Islam 50s. But definitely by the 60s, in large numbers, and in the 70s, in large numbers, African Americans were drawn to the emphasis in Islam on uplift of the individual uplift of people, the moral and discipline that was ingrained in Islam, and also the social justice message of Islam, this appeal to a lot of African Americans, and they converted. And so Islam in America is unique. One because we have immigration from all over the Muslim world. But the second is that, in America, unlike European countries, unlike any other western country, we have a large percentage of indigenous people, people
who you know, are from the land who have converted.
And so the numbers of Muslims really grows from the 60s, there are about 100 Mosque in America in about 1960. When I counted the mosque in 1990, there was about 900, in 2000, I counted 1200, in
just this patch, 20 2010, I counted 2100. So you can see, then the numbers of mosque indication of the size of the community has grown greatly
about the 1980s
the Muslim community here in America,
embrace the idea that they were going to be wholly Muslim, and wholly American, at the same time, that they would embrace that dual identity. They did not want to embrace an assimilation, his understanding of Islam, whereby Islam will be modified so it might fit into America. The Muslims that, you know, came, did not want to give up their Islam, they wanted to live out their Islam, and by the 80s. This idea developed it that we Yes, we're going to strongly hold on to Islam, but at the same time,
we're going to embrace embrace this identity of being American.
And so the idea of being an American Muslim, have been loyal to both kind of develops, really, you can see the development in the 80s. And it really has now become the kind of the culture of Islam in America.
A man named James Hunter, who is a noted scholar, University of Virginia. He wrote a book on culture wars as the title of his book culture wars.
And he argued in an article not so long ago, and I think he was thinking of Muslims. When he made this argument. He said, new immigrants to America, new groups of ethnic new ethnic groups, new religions that come to America, go through four different phases, hopefully for but four phases. One is in visibility. America does not see.
And for Muslims, Muslims have largely been invisible. You know, definitely up to the 80s. Muslims are basically invisible. Americans didn't know about the American Muslim population. Even America became aware of Islam, especially starting in 1979. With the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Muslim I mean, the Americans started becoming aware of Islam, but they were not aware of that, you know, there is in America, Islam.
It's really not until the 90s that things start to change and that's his, his second stage after invisibility is recognition. And what that means is simply that, okay, there's a presence and Okay, that's okay. You know, they're there.
No value put to it. Just a sense that Okay, we have
amongst us, these people, and they're not a part of us, right, a recognition of an other in our presence. He said, The third phase is negotiation, or contestation.
And that's when the ethnic group or religious group starts desiring a seat at the table
starts wanting to appropriate the identity of the larger society. So and that's what happened, the American Muslim society start saying, We are American, you need to accept us, accept us as we are, we're not going to change, we're, but we are going to embrace the ideals of America, and what it means to be American.
And so starting in the 90s, you start to see this, you start to see this contest station of Okay, are you really American, and we're in this phase right now. And, of course, since 911, the pace and the fervor
and the debate is as hot as ever. We, you know, I've been Muslim since you know, 1969, I've never seen in America,
such an atmosphere of hate directed at Muslims.
Partly, again, because we were invisible.
Now, the Muslim community is not invisible. And there are people coming out of the Woodworks
who won because they feel that Muslims are not part of the tradition of this country, and therefore have no place in this country. Some people don't feel that Muslims are the right color, and therefore have no place in this country. Some people feel that Muslims believe in a faith
that contradicts the religion of this country, and therefore have no place in this country. And there are some people who believe that if Muslims become an influential voice in America, it will change foreign policy. And they don't want that to happen. So therefore, the Muslim community has to be continually marginalize so that they have no influence whatsoever that nobody hears their voice. And so anti muslim, anti Islamic rhetoric and attacks have increased greatly, especially since 911. And I must say, just very quickly, that, you know, 911 was a wake up call to everybody,
to Muslims, that there are hateful people who call themselves Muslims and embrace Islam that do terrible things. Here in this country.
Muslim Muslims started their organizations that would try to interface with American society in the 90s.
The all the organizations that we know, like Muslims know, these names, like care Council on American Islamic Relations, Muslim,
Political Action Council, and all those things, they are all started in the 90s. And when 911 happened, they were all new organizations, and nobody listened to them. In fact, every American Muslim organization in this country, you know, condemned the attacks of 911. But our community was still relatively, you know, unknown, invisible, and therefore, nobody heard that, you know, our community. And that's changing now. But the point is simply that our community, the Muslim community has come under such great attack. And I don't really want to go into all the details, but one of the avenues of attack is Sharia law. And that gives me a chance to get off the stage and hand it over to
the next video to hand the baton to the next person. Thank you.
So like, I'm everyone, I'm a mom crashy and I'm the IC k Rep. I've got to thank Dr. bag before that, and I just had a couple of things to say before dinner. I would like to remind everyone that all the food is Hello thanks to Ali Baba and UK dining. And to make this a little easier. We're going to have the front half of the room
get food first and then we'll dismiss the second. the back half soon. And I hope everyone enjoys the food
in association here at UK How's everyone doing tonight?
Good Alhamdulillah I see a couple of nods. I see some concentration on your food, which is good. It was just Good. I'm glad you guys like the dinner. If you're wondering, and I'm sure you are the UK MSA right now is doing fantastic Alhamdulillah because and it's almost entirely because of our next speaker shape of the master Jenga. Let me
talk about him a little bit before he comes up here. He was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 10. He went to Karachi Pakistan to memorize the Quran. There he managed to commit the entire Quran to memory in less than one year. He completed a Ba and Ma in Arabic from Karachi University and also obtained a master's in Islamic studies from the University of sin. He taught Arabic at the University of Texas Arlington from 2005 to 2007, and has served as an instructor and advisor to various Islamic schools. He is currently an instructor with the Vienna Institute in Colombian student which both you guys can find online if you're interested. And he does all of this while
traveling the country and being the incredibly awesome speaker that he has, Mashallah. I'd like to remind you guys that we do have note cards in the middle of all of your tables, please take advantage of this opportunity to ask any questions that you may have pertaining to Islam. You guys have a wonderful, credible source here and who knows a lot about this topic. We'll be coming around midway throughout the talk picking them up. So go ahead and start asking your questions on the note cards. Also another favor if you guys could give him your utmost attention. So to the point where he goes back to Dallas knowing that the University of Kentucky as the best that he's ever visited,
which guys, let's be honest, we're pretty great, right? So it won't be too hard. So with that, please give a warm welcome and a round of applause to Shaykh Abdul Nasir Junga Thank you.
Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah. While Allah He was so happy.
I began by praising God Almighty and sending His peace and blessings upon his chosen and select messengers ending with the finality of prophethood Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him.
The topic today is Sharia. And Sharia law has been the topic of conversation over the past even couple of years, quite intensively. And you know what? Dr. Bagby, which again, you know, I just wanted to
mention what a great resource Dr. Bagby is. I was really excited to come here to UK because I knew that I would get the opportunity to meet him and hear from him. And it was really profound what he was sharing with us before dinner.
When Dr. Bagby talked about the different phases that a community goes through, it's very, very accurate and this topic is a demonstration of that same
theory playing out the invisibility. Moving on to recognition
And then contestation and negotiation, we see exactly that. There was a time in America where forget about Sharia just like as Dr. Bagby mentioned about Islam and Muslims were invisible here. And so the topic of *tier was a non topic. And I remember where the word was just like any other Arabic word.
And then eventually, we had some recognition of exactly, or maybe just a term in and of itself. And now we're at the table having a discussion about the implications of this word, and the implications of it, determine what it represents, and what it presents and what the outcome or the possibilities are, because of this word, so I don't want to get into too much detail. And one thing that needs to be said here is, and I'd like to define the word and then I'll explain a little bit about the concept itself. The word Shetty, in its linguistic roots comes from the root word, which means a beginning or an opening of something. And it's used different derivatives, the Arabic language, I
try to explain to students in seminars and classes that I teach. The Arabic language is a very interesting and beautiful language. In the Arabic language, every single word has a root. And that root has a meaning has an implication. And what happens from there is that the Arabic language is a language of patterns, you have various different patterns, and you take that route, and you mold it and stretch it and bend it and flex it, and make it fit onto or into these different patterns. And depending on what pattern you put it onto, it'll develop a subtle, it'll develop a subtlety, you know, the best example I can give to you is, if you have red colored playdough, it doesn't matter if
it's a square, it's a circle, or it's a triangle, it'll be in different shapes. But at the end of the day, it's still going to be the color red, I have a five year old and a three year old. That's why my example is playdough. All right, I realize it's a university in academic institution, right, but my example is playdough. All right, because I probably have playdough in my pockets right now somewhere. But that's what happens when you have babies at home. So that's how the Arabic language works. And so the root of this word, it means the beginning of something, or the opening and opening that is very broad. And from there, we have a lot of very interesting derivatives. The word for a
street, or a path or road comes from the same word shatta Shahada,
the word for the
the word for the opening of a watering station, or a watering hole, what they would call in the olden days, right what was also called Mashallah something that leads to water. So when you would kind of veer off the path and you would stop over like at a rest area, which is a very appropriate example a rest area that comes from the same route and the same word as well. And there are so many other derivatives that come from this, but the term for legislating something putting something down in law, providing structure, legal structure, and governance to something also comes from this word, the shinier
and and so what's very interesting then is from the Arabic linguistic classical the Adam illogical perspective, the etymology of this word Shetty is that in its essence, it basically refers to something that that leads to the fulfillment of the needs of people.
Something that leads to the fulfillment of the basic needs of a people of a society of a community, of a civilization. And that's what it refers to. This word was adopted in the Sacred Scripture that Muslims hold very sacred lead up on which we believe to be the exact word of God.
And in that God talked about the prophetic tradition and realize that a lot of times as Muslims when we talk about a prophetic tradition, as Muslims, we have to be cautious and careful, or at least mindful of this. And for non Muslims, it might interest them to know that the Quran when we say the prophetic tradition, we're not only just talking about the Prophet Muhammad, but Allah subhanaw taala God Almighty in the Quran, he says, schutter Allah kamina Dyneema wasabi, he knew
that God has ordained has put down a structure has provided a system within which you can meet your needs and you can live a meaningful existence, the same type of structure that was provided to the Prophet Noah
sharada kamina Dyneema wasapi no one will know the o hanaa e lake. And it is the same exact structure that we have divinely inspired to you.
What what what are the ohana in a coma was say NaVi Ibrahima? Well musawah Isa, and it is the same exact type of structure, way of life structure to one's existence that was granted that the Prophet Abraham, the Prophet Moses, and the Prophet, Isa peace and blessings be upon them. And the Medina why not, it's a photocopy, that you established his way of life that God has ordained for you. And you do not differ and break away from one another. But so one of the one of the points that I wanted to make here specifically is that it is our belief in perspective, that every single Prophet came with a Sharia.
And that what that means is
having some direction in life, knowing how to live your life, finding some direction, and guidance in your life and death by by, by means of that having purpose and meaning and fulfillment to your existence. And that's something very logical, we all understand that. We all understand that. So when we go and we look for direction, when we look for meaning and purpose in life, that is exactly what the Shetty Aspire, what the Sharia, what its purpose is within the life of Muslims, is to give us structure and to give us direction and give us meaning and purpose within our existence. And it is the manifestation or the practical realization, the daily practical realization of the actual
objective of our existence. as Muslims, we believe that the objective, the goal of our existence, the goal, and the purpose of our lives, that have This is achieved, or at least if we live our lives, in the pursuit of this, this goal, this objective, then we deem ourselves or we deem someone in that position to be successful, that person has achieved the purpose of their life, that person has lived a successful, meaningful existence. And that goal, that objective that we are in pursuit of, is the pleasure of God.
It's a relationship with Allah.
It is to understand who we were created by and to live a life that would be pleasing to Him. And that is our primary objective and goal, the daily practical manifestation and realization of that is what is called Sharia. But that is not the goal. And that needs to be understood. Many Islamic philosophers, Imam ghazali, for instance, has talked about this, any moment cuz Ali is someone that I encourage Muslims and even non Muslims to read about
that he lived at a time and he himself was a professor, probably one of the most knowledgeable people at his time when it came to shediac when it came to Islamic legal theory, and he grappled and struggled with the fact that it seemed like, the means was becoming the goal, or it was becoming the objective was becoming the end. But it was a means to an end. And the end was this, this very powerful, life altering, and this meaningful, conscious decision, the relationship with God
that would guide one through one's life. And that guidance, and that practical realization manifestation would be Sharia. And that's what it refers to.
So now to understand after, after defining what the term is, and what it means to us, even in the Islamic from the Islamic perspective, then to explain maybe what are some of the moving parts and mechanisms within shalya.
So there are Sharia is a very interesting concept to us as Muslims. And I think it would also be a very intriguing study to non Muslims as well, because Sharia is a combination of what we would call the knuckle and the
Sharia is a combination of divine or prophetic injunction combined with human intellect, social factors.
It is a combination of those two things, that we have divine injunctions, we have prophetic instruction.
And then that is formulated, and that is tempered and then that is applied through observation and human intellect. And the results the result of that the consequence of that is what is called Sharia law. That is called Sharia. And, by the way, Sharia law, I don't really quite understand the combination of the two terms.
terms understand why the MSA ta I'm not criticizing the MSA. But I'm just saying that in English, or in America or in popular discourse or in the media, the fact that these two words are combined together is really, it's irrational. It's almost somewhat redundant. Because law is a part of the Sharia, but not the entirety of it. And there is no such thing as Sharia law. There's no such thing as Sharia law, not from a Muslim perspective, there's not.
And so it's a combination of these two forces. Now, what does this Shetty encompass? What is included within the scope of *tier? What does God speak about or speak to? So Sharia, there are five? I will talk about the objectives of shediac in a second, that's a very popular discussion that I'll get to in just a second. But what does it Where does it apply? I want to talk about the application of it, because I think that's where the misunderstanding is occurring.
The application of shadia has five places five, five areas of life in which your city I would apply. Number one is what we call a Imani yard, or to call that and that basically means beliefs.
What what what an individual what a person believes the man the faith.
And that is exactly what it what it says that it is what a person chooses to believe. does a person believe in one God as Muslims, we believe in one God, we believe that our prophets of God, we believe there are angels, we believe that there were sacred scriptures that were sent down by God. We believe in an afterlife. We believe in death, we believe in life after death. And we believe in dealing with the consequences of our choices in this life in that life after death. And that is our belief system. And that is the first and foremost application or applied area of Shetty. On the second area, where should he applies his worship
and vary by that. And by extension, the Muslim concept of worship, a lot of what we could call purification, cleanliness, and that's got another area where it kind of overlaps into as well, but worship, how a person worships what you know, where they worship, how they worship, who they worship, prayer, basically, and the different manifestations of that worship. Whether it is you see a Muslim in a corner praying, facing towards the direction of Macondo praying, or whether a Muslim is fasting for 30 days in the month of Ramadan.
Or whether a Muslim is undertaking a journey halfway across the world to go and visit the Sacred House of God, make the pilgrimage go to the city of Mecca, and perform the rites of the pilgrimage the Hajj over there. This is worship. And Sharia addresses the area of worship, and it is it applies within worship.
The third area of one's life where Islam speaks to, and that is a realization or a manifestation of this would be more on melotte business dealings, interactions transactions when officially dealing with one another monetarily financially dealing with each other. Should he speaks to that? And how does it end up speaking to that, and this is where it starts to become a little bit more. It gets to the point to the root of the matter, or maybe the cause of the of the the confusion. There are two things. Number one, it does provide technicalities, it does have certain do's and don'ts that some folks might not like
that some folks might not like for instance, it talks about how usury and interest which is actually one in the same from the Islamic perspective, the Muslim tradition does not separate these two terms from one another. And this country did not separate those two terms from one another until a lot later on.
But usury or interest, which is the one in the same for us is something that Islam prohibits us from engaging in from actively taking a part in, because it sees these as advantageous to those people who already are prospering.
And in these these are tools that seeds Islam basically provides a perspective that these are financial tools to exploit those who are already struggling in any given society in any given economic system. So that could be a place of contention. Now. However, at the same time, we also have, we also have instruction on how to realize this within our you know, everyday lives.
This is not the first time throughout Muslim history that Muslims have been a minority. This is not the first time so all of this has been hashed out and has been covered and has been discussed.
And we are basically told and that's why if you go to anyone who is an expert of shediac
A scholar, a religious scholar, and you talk to them and you get a Muslim goes to them to basically get advice, saying, Look, I know interest is something we as Muslims should not engage in. However, at the same time in deezy circumstances, as a citizen of this country, it is unavoidable for me, I'll give you an example of this.
Insurance in its essence, especially the the way the industry operates today. Insurance, in its essence is a form of usury.
Based on the Islamic and the Muslim definition of usury and interest, it is a manifestation of that. And for that simple reason, the in its essence, insurance is something that would not be permissible for a Muslim.
So it's something that a Muslim would not actively willingly engage in.
But if someone was to come to a qualified Islamic scholar, a person of knowledge, and say, I am a citizen of the United States of America, in order for me to drive a car, I have to have liability insurance on my vehicle, I have to have insurance otherwise, I'm legally not allowed to drive, the instruction to that individual in that situation would be you sign up and you get insurance.
If it leads to unavoidable harm.
For instance, again, in this country, you know, the cost of medical attention is very, very,
Healthcare is crippling the cost of it. And so if someone was to inquire that Well, again, as a citizen of this country, as a member of this society, the way that the health industry operates, I would not be able to live my life, and just foot the bill every single time I had a medical expense. So what do I do in that situation? So the instruction to that person would be sign up for health insurance?
And so, yes, in financial dealings, Islam has rules and regulations. But they take into consideration the social context, and the conditions within which a person lives. It takes all of that into consideration, which, by the way, as a little bit of a side note, you know, the the strictness if that's what you want to view it as in terms of usury or interest. I think anybody who has been alive and awake, for the last four years in the United States of America should have absolutely no problem with that.
We've seen exactly what happened here in this country. And and how terrible the consequences of that have been, how crippling it has been, and how probably for the rest of our lives, we're going to be living out the consequences of those choices that were made. And so it shouldn't be a surprise, the fact that I explained what I explained about the about the insurance industry.
I mean, if there's anybody in here in this room that sells insurance for a living, I apologize. But it's it is an industry that I'm not speaking to the individuals who maybe work in that industry, but it is an industry that operates based off of the premise of praying and feeding on people.
And so you have to be able to recognize and identify some of these factors. Nevertheless, this there's a second area within how Islam and Sharia applies and manifests itself within financial dealings. And that is in terms of the ethics,
the ethics of it, morality and ethics. And that is a big part of it that Islam there is no concept within from a Muslims perspective of business being business. Businesses, business business is cutthroat, you do what you got to do. looking out for number one trying to get ahead. What other type of cliche are figures speech, you can think of? That that from an Islamic perspective, that is not okay for us. And I wanted to share with you people talk about shediac. Let's talk about some of the manifestations of Sharia, and how that will apply in our current day.
You know, right now as we speak, well, you know,
again, we are witnessing, even this generation has had the misfortune of witnessing war
and the in the consequences of war.
We see in Syria, there are 10s of 1000s of those citizens, I am shocked sometimes, I don't understand how in the world that we live in today in our civilized, modern world, how you can wake up one morning and we're talking with some of the some of the guys over here and some of the girls that you can wake up in the morning and check your Twitter feed and you find out that 500 people were massacred in one village in one town.
Last night while we were sound asleep, like, how is that still going on in the world that we live in?
You know, recently we and and this might be a sore subject for some, I'm not speaking to the politics of it, I'm just talking about the loss of life, and how tragic the loss of life is,
you know, the bombing that's going on right now in the in Gaza, that just started up a day or two ago. That just is just a pure loss of life. And how tragic that is, you know, and a lot of times, we don't realize I was looking at this morning, I was playing with my kids, I was I was just talking to them and just playing with them. And I looked at my kids, and you know, anybody who's a parent, when you when you look at your child, your heart just fills up with love. There's no feeling like looking at your children, especially when they're younger, before they start making trouble. But there's a lot of parents in you pay college tuition, so they're like, I don't know what you're talking about.
but when they're three in their five day grade to look at, right, so, and they say the most ridiculously cute stuff, right? So I'm just sitting there looking at my children talking to talking to them listening to their sweet, beautiful voices, my heart is just filled with love. And I'm sitting there but at the same time thinking there's a child, as innocent and as beautiful as this child is to me. There's a child somewhere in this world right now. Whether it be in Gaza, whether it be in Syria, whether it be in Burma, there's a child somewhere right now,
who is being killed,
who's being bombed, who's getting burned, charred body is being lifted up and carried
by the child's own father or mother. And the tears are falling on the child's dead body that is going on in the world I live in.
And part of Shetty
is that the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him.
He says in a narration
Rasulullah he one of his companions, Mr. Hussain rhodiola. One may Allah be pleased with him. This is one of his students in his companions. He says that the prophet in the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him. He forbade us. He forbade us from selling
weapons at a time of war.
Now Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and Barry Salafi Phil Fitton
he, he he said it is forbidden. He prohibited us
that it is not allowed for someone to sell weaponry
at a time of unrest, at a time of war and turbulence. It is not permissible. This is a part of our *tier code.
Part of our *ty our code look at the world that we live in, and how there is suffering. There's poverty in the world that we live in,
in the modern, sophisticated civilized world that we live in.
There's poverty and starvation and suffering, that the Prophet of Allah peace and blessings be upon him to shut. He says a jolly Boomer is open we'll move on.
That somebody who goes and gathers food items, necessity food, medicine, clothing, blankets, necessary needs of people, somebody who goes and collects necessary items for people's survival and brings them to people who are suffering or in a time of suffering or in a place or a situation or a time of tragedy. Then that person is will be fed will be blessed will be taken care of by God and all of the creation of God praise and what's good for that person.
That is a part of sherry
Ronan and someone who Lourdes price get price gorgeous. price gouging. Somebody who hoards in price gouges necessary items like food and water medication at a time at a place in a situation where people are people are suffering when Hurricane Sandy hits and people are left without water for a week when Katrina happens and people have no water to drink even. That's somebody who says this is it. This is my time to make a book. get rich quick.
Then I'm gonna load up a truck full of bottled water that I bought for a buck apiece and we'll go sell it there for 10 bucks.
make some money
that somebody who does that is cursed by God and cursed by the Messenger of God, and cursed by all the creation of God. That is a wretched, horrible, a cursed human being, that's a part of our *tier. That's something we believe in. And that we hold firm to. And these are values that admittedly, even maybe Muslims are not fully aware of. But this is exactly why we need to educate ourselves. And we need to learn. The fourth place, and I'm going to kind of move this along quickly. The fourth place that should er manifests or is applied to, is within one's personal life, private personal affairs. That means my home, my family, my marriage, my how I raise my kids, the choices I
make, what I choose to eat, what I choose not to eat, what I choose to drink, what I choose not to drink, which is basically my business and nobody else's business.
We were raised with the value of minding your own business. And that really what it boils down to so what somebody does in their own personal time in their free time, what they like to eat or drink, what they prefer to watch or not watch on the television. That is a manifestation of Sharia, and Islam provides us guidance in regards to that. That's why we don't drink alcohol, we don't eat pork. That's why those who choose to follow a another dietary restriction where meat needs to be processed or cut in a certain fashion or a certain way.
That's why maybe there are some things that I don't like to watch, or I don't like to observe, or I don't choose to listen to, but then those are personal choices.
And then the fifth and the final manifestation of the Sharia is in one's mannerisms, character, conduct manners, what we call a clock,
how you walk and how you talk, how you treat people.
And it guides us in that regard to the highest possible noble character.
So this is kind of the manifestation of shediac and how it manifests itself. So what do we basic basically end up realizing? What do we basically end up realizing what we end up realizing is that the vast overwhelming majority of what Sharia addresses
is just the daily personal, practical, everyday life of any human being.
That has no implications of government, or governance or lawmaking or law enforcement.
The there is a very, very small minor area of study that does address governance and government and lawmaking and law enforcement.
But what needs to be understood instead? And I know this was one of the points here in today's presentation, but what I basically wanted to say, you know, we were listening from Dr. Bagby. I mean, Dr. Bagby will tell you he's been studying Islam for probably 3040 years. And, you know, he can imagine somebody studying a science, a discipline, a code of law for 30 years. I went overseas, I studied actually overseas for 10 years. And I continued to study for the net for the last 10 years. And in 20 years, I mean, I'm just still exploring. I'm still learning. So obviously, I won't be able to comprehensively touch on and explain everything, you know, in this presentation this
session, but I did want to touch on some key ideas and concepts to help dispel some of the misunderstandings. Now there was a question in there about some of the governance, there are two points that I will make. When we do talk about the governmental aspect of Sharia. There are two things I will talk about the law part of Sharia, there are two things I'll say, number one, it is not part of the Muslim tradition.
It is not prescribed within the Quran. It is not found within the prophetic tradition of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him that Muslims as a minority existing as a minority wherever instructed, wherever told to become a force of rebellion within their society as a minority, and to over to try to overthrow and established government in place and replace the legal system under which they live as, as a minority to replace that system within Islamic or a Sharia system. There is no precedent, no evidence establishing that fact that for a minority that this is a goal.
For majority, yes, it is recommended that you try to implement Islam and Islamic code and Islam solutions to your problems as much as possible. And I'm not going to shy away from that fact. But as a minority, because if the question is Islam in America, and that's another clarification that I try to make
As much as possible. Well, I was, I was born and raised here in America, I live in America, I raise a family in America. This is the social context I'm familiar with. And so when I'm addressing Islam, I'm addressing it in terms of how it applies here.
That in terms of the Muslims in America, there is no religious obligation based on precedent or evidence. And those are the two things our religion is based upon. There is no religious obligation to try to establish a Sharia system. In America, there's no such thing. And anyone who claims otherwise needs to be asked for one of two things,
evidence or precedent.
And if they were to study the religion itself, they would actually find the contrary.
Mackenzie rock, a Syrah and makia makansutra which basically means the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. The period of his prophethood in the city of Mecca, is something that Muslims and non Muslims alike need to study.
Need to study one of the tragedies of our time, even in the Muslim community, I was talking with a group of Muslim educators this past week, I was telling them that one of my teachers had actually imparted this wisdom to me that one of the tragedies even within the Muslim community, is that there became an obsession, a fascination with Medina and Syrah.
The Prophet would the era of the prophet in the city of Medina, before studying without studying the Prophet hood in the city of Mecca, the Moroccan era of prophethood there is a problem, because you do not have a complete picture in front of you.
That the makan era is clear proof that you know, in the mccunn era, there was never a promise. read the Quran, study the Quran, study mccunn revelation, and you'll find that there was never a promise that there would be a majority community that would be established, as in the case of Medina, that promise was not made during the era of Mecca. As far as the Muslims was concerned, this was life. Not just a minority, but an oppressed minority.
And oppressed minority. Muslims went at the time of the Prophet were deputed by him. So he was sanctioned, and approved. And they were instructed by him to go and establish a minority community in East Africa, in Abu Samia.
And they live there as a minority under Christian rule. And never once were they given the instruction was it wasn't a part of their mandate to overthrow the government or to try to force their way or enforce a Sharia code within the society that they lived in. That was never a part of their mandate. Never Never, ever was.
And so we realized from this, the point number one being that this is not a mandate of the Muslim community in America is to establish a Sharia code. That's not a part of our mandate. That's when that conversation that I had earlier about the goal and the objective, it comes back into play, that the golden The objective is still very alive for us. And Shetty is still very alive for us. Because it's so governs me and how I walk and how I talk, how I raise my kids, how I met, how I met, how I'm raising and taking care of my family, how I conduct business, the ethics and the morality, in terms of conducting business. It's still governance and how I worship. It's so governs all of that.
So should he ever is alive and well. But when it comes to the legal aspect of it, it is not a part of our mandate here as a minority community to actually establish and enforce this code of law upon the majority that we live amongst. that's point number one. The second point is there are questions and concerns about some of the specifics in the penal code in Sharia that seem inhumane or unjust or unfair?
There are certain questions folks have
and usually the highlight the point of that very honestly, I'm going to be very straightforward with you a lot of the questions that come about women's rights and things like that, that's just due to a lack of education. It's just a lack of study very honestly of the actual sources. So I recommend you actually study the sources. But the usually the focal point of this conversation is, you know, the the specific punishments that are to be given, you know, in case in the case of intentional premeditated murder, or in the case of armed robbery, or in the case of adultery that is witnessed and established.
One thing that needs to be understood there are very severe punishments that are mentioned for this. But number one, there's a few things number one
It is very, very nuanced is a lot more nuanced than you've been told.
And again, I reopen and read the books and you'll find this to be as plain as day. It is a lot more nuanced. There are certain preconditions, there are certain things have to be preexisting.
Number one, it must be a Muslim majority place that actually enforces across the board and Islamic code of ethics and law, the Sharia number two, that even what is taken into consideration that what is the overall condition of that society? Is the morality rampant in that society. For instance, a lot of times people talk about all they want to cut off people's hands who steal?
Well, it takes a lot of things into consideration. First of all, what is the level of poverty within that community? What are the what are the economic circumstances within that society? Is there a welfare system in place?
And then there are if all of those things which by the way, if you know, a place like that in the world, please let me know, because I'd like to move there with my family. All right, we know the world that we live in, we know the world that we live in. They're just people struggling, you know, you don't have to drive very far. Even if you live and live in a nice little subdivision drive five minutes away from your house, and you'll find real struggle,
you'll find real real struggle,
where sometimes people don't even have an opportunity. So it is if there is fairness in that society, economic opportunity, a welfare system that provides the basic human needs of people in that area disenfranchisement is little to none. Those are the preexisting conditions. Then, if all of that is in place, then the second thing that is taken into consideration is then there are other things other factors, other things that have to be in place prerequisites. First of all, what is who is this person that was stealing it?
sound mind sound emotionally sound intellectually? Do they have some extenuating circumstances that would have not been taken into consideration?
Then, what were they exactly stealing? Were they stealing food, were they stealing clothing, like basic clothing, like a blanket, or a shirt to put on their back? If so, absolutely no, no punishment for this person, because we should have been taking care of that,
then there's no punishment in that situation. And let's just say, it's none of us. And all these conditions are in place, then what is the value of what they are stealing, it has to be a valuable item, then it's not something that was left out in the open, or it was unguarded, or something that was exposed, it was something that was under lock and key. So basically, it's like armed robbery, it's like breaking and entering.
When all of these conditions are being met, then finally the end result in the end consequence, and there's absolutely no shred of a doubt that this is the person who actually stole it, then that punishment would be living.
This is the type of nuance and even now I'm kind of cramming it together.
So there's a lot of nuance even in the air in these areas of discussion that have not been taken into consideration.
And so when when people outside of this nuance, without, you know, an eye or an attention to detail, or talking about these topics and issues, it literally results in it is nothing more than propaganda at that point. It is the alienation of a minority in a society, what the factors are, what the motives are of alienating a minority.
There are different ones or different factors. And for some of them, Honestly speaking, at some point that sometimes sometimes it is just illogical, irrational. I personally cannot wrap my head around it. But there is in this is an intentional alienating of a minority. And we in our country, Dr. Bagby is a lot more knowledgeable and a lot more fitted to talk about this and I am. But in this country, we have a history of the terrible things and the tragedies that can occur when you irresponsive when you behave irresponsibly, like this. When you alienate a minority, what can oftentimes be the consequence of that it is very scary.
It is very scary.
And it is I mean, the things that occur, as a consequence of that are things that we would not even think were possible.
We would not think that we were humanly capable and possible of doing this, but it has occurred and history will repeat itself if we do not learn to rise above that, if we cannot be better than that.
And so basically to come
include my presentation here. One of the things I wanted to very quickly present is, should he aspires to five primary values
should he aspires to five primary values. Number one, freedom of religion, I'm kind of rewording it, but the protection of people's faith and their right to worship but freedom of religion. Number two is protection of life. The same, it one of the values is the sanctity of life.
Number three, is the ability to
add freedom to think,
intellect, rational thought, is the third quality. The third value, number four is the protection of family. And number five, is the protection of personal property.
These are the five primary values that shadia strives should he is in place to basically accomplish these five goals.
I want you to think about the five that I basically just said, and see to what extent we disagree with them.
And the last thing, in terms of because what a something I touched on was Islamophobia. And the demonizing of Muslims and the alienation of, you know, the Muslim community.
One of the last things I wanted to present here is,
it's in today's world, it's,
let me put it this way, as a Muslim,
to visit maybe Muslim majority parts of the world, Muslim countries, Muslim majority countries,
to some people there, because just says we are being misinformed here. There is misinformation there as well, no doubt. But it can be a shocking idea for someone to be proud
to be an American and also proud to be Muslim as well.
And but that stems from a very, very specific place, I listen to you the objective objectives of the charity are, sit down and compare that we put those five points in front of you, as you read through the Constitution.
list those five points down and put them in front of you, as you read through the Bill of Rights.
And then tell me about the similarities that you're able to draw between the two. One of the very interesting things that, you know, I was kind of reading through
was that and this is a point of major contention between people who argue about separation of church and state and things like that this is disputed to quite an extent. But the one of the very interesting things I was reading was the Treaty of Tripoli, from 1796, or it was signed by the Americans actually in 1797. And article 11, of the Treaty of Tripoli, is something that is heavily disputed between these different groups that are kind of constantly debating back and forth about separation of church and state. But it's very profound and very interesting,
as to the foundations of even this country,
as the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion, as it has in itself, no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility of Muslims. And as I said, states never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mohammedan. nation, any Muslim nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. This was between a Muslim majority country and a Christian majority country, that these were the terms of their relationship with one another. These were the founding fathers, the people
who laid the foundation of this great country that we live in that we are citizens of take into consideration that if there was a minority community or a minority population, that were citizens of this country,
that were as American as anybody else.
Then what would be the attitude of the government and its people and the citizens of that country, towards those their fellow citizens?
in their vision,
according to and their foundation on whichever country is founded and based upon what would they have said about the treatment of a religious minority who were citizens of this country? What would they have said about that? And so that's something for us all to think about as Americans, that when we hear hate speech, and we're hate talking, we hear xenophobia and Islamophobia when we hear this type of Zena phobic talk. We should be intelligent enough, thoughtful enough to take this into consideration and realize that
That is an American.
That is as an American as somebody,
you know, somebody overseas in another country talking against America, that is just as unAmerican because that was not the foundation or the vision with which this country was founded and built upon. And secondly, as Muslims,
as Muslims, being American, and keeping that in mind, we also need to go back and study Islam. I'm going to air a little bit of dirty laundry here. I'm just going to say it.
All right, as Muslims, it is very, very sad, how little we know, and how uninformed we are about our own religion.
I mean, I'm not going to ask anyone to raise hands because I'm not trying to put people on the spot. But ask yourself if you've ever read through the entire Koran cover to cover translation.
As a Muslim, ask yourself that question. If you've ever read the entire translation of the Quran cover to cover.
If you at least have enough basic Arabic knowledge, to be able to understand what God is saying to you directly. Have you put in that much time or effort and energy to learn that? Ask yourself as a Muslim, ask yourself? Have you ever read the life of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him from cover to cover from beginning to end? And in how much detail Have you studied his life? how aware of you are you? Are you a Muslim history of the prophets life of the message of the book of God the book of Allah the Quran? If the answer is a little disappointing, then it's really really easy to understand why there's so much so much misinformation and mis education and misunderstanding out
there. Because we who say this is our religion know so little about it, that we don't even know what's right and wrong. So how are we expecting somebody else who does not is does not practice this religion? Does not claim this religion as their own? Why am I so upset with them when they are misinformed when they misunderstand?
So we really have to learn to be critical of ourselves. And if we want to improve our situation, then complaining is not enough.
Complaining is not enough but it's time we did something about it. Last weekend, one of our prominent leaders in the Muslim community in America, he moms aid shocking. I was with him last weekend we were having dinner together. And he always says the thing he says he always tells Muslims he says Muslims don't get angry.
He says Muslims don't get angry get even and what he means by that is do something about it. Oh they don't they don't they're they're misinterpreting the Quran. They're they're Miss translating this. They're saying lies about the prophet will with a corrected? What is the correct what is the verse actually saying? What is the actual translation of the verse? What actually did the Prophet do in this situation?
Then that's the problem.
So it's about time that we did do something. It's about time that we learned. And it's, it's it's not that difficult. It's not that hard. It just takes a little bit of effort. We're we're sitting here together, sharing a space in an academic institution, as places about learning, this place highlights the potential and the ability of people to learn, and enlighten themselves and grow.
And so let's be inspired by that. And let's continue to grow. And let's continue to learn, and let's improve ourselves, so that we not only improve ourselves as Muslims,
not only as a Muslim community, but we improve ourselves as human beings, and as citizens of this great country. And so that we can realize both the values and the principles of our religion in this country, and we can actually become a role model society for human beings worldwide. I pray and I hope God gives us the ability to practice everything that was said and heard. Thank you very much as I collected on Samadhi.
So like, I'm again, I would just like to thank Shaykh Abdullah mastering live for that amazing speech. And now it's time for our question and answer session. We'd gather all the flashcards off the tables, but we have two microphones on either side of the room, where you can come up and personally ask your question if you'd like to, to make that a little less complicated if we could just have single file lines, and then we'll get to everyone's question. So now I'd like to invite our Treasurer Samir Nasir Shaikh Abdul Nasir Junga and Dr. Bagby to the stage to get the question started thinking
My name is Samir NASA. And as the man said, I'm the treasurer for the UK MSA. We'll begin with
Question on no card that I have. The question is, how do you explain gender equality for women under Sharia law, when women's rights in the Middle East are constantly oppressed?
So one of the
one of the etiquettes, we learn as students is to show respect to our senior scholarship and more learning people.
But there's a there's a phrase in Arabic, that says
that you try to show respect and etiquette to people older and more knowledgeable than you. But when they tell you to do something, you basically got to do it. So.
So the question is about gender equality and women's rights in Islam. When we witnessed what we witnessed maybe in the Middle East or in other parts of the world, where the majority of you know, the the people there are Muslim, then then how do we reconcile that contradiction? Because that's essentially what it is.
Part of the answer of that is, well, there's two things I'll say about that. Number one is, we have to be able to differentiate Islam and its teachings in its proper form,
from the actions of people. It is unfortunate, I don't I don't like giving this answer. That's why I'm kind of hesitating a little bit. And I'm kind of stumbling here. Because as somebody who primarily works within the Muslim community, as an educator in the Muslim community, it's sad that we actually give that answer that, you know, we have to say, well, they don't really represent the teachings of Islam, and their actions are not representative of what we believe in what we actually preach. But it's sad. And the Quran speaks about how sad it is that we don't practice what we preach. But nevertheless, that is the obvious answer to that, that, that is unfortunate. That is not
correct, not something we agree with. And not something that Islam espouses. But it is the unfortunate reality. Part of empathy, which is a prophetic quality, and the quality of any decent human being, is also trying to understand where people come from realizing we're not perfect here in this society. So why are we expecting anybody else anywhere else to be perfect either.
So you know, there are problems in any given society. And there are certain political, social, economic factors that a lot of those societies have dealt with. I mean, you I mean, we've all again, if you've been keeping up with the news for last couple of years, we've been witnessing this revolution in the Middle East, the Arab Spring. And if you really study that, then you you realize that, you know, a lot of these societies have lived under
40 years that this dictator was an hour.
They were colonized. These were flourishing civilized societies, they were the pride of their era, and they had civilizations that were beautiful or flourishing, they were colonized, they were occupied, they were oppressed.
And, and after a long period of time, they climbed up from under that occupation, that colonization, only to result in dictatorship, and more oppression and more tyranny. And so there are certain factors, I'm not making excuses. If a woman is being oppressed, somewhere, she's being oppressed, and that is wrong. That has to be putting into, but what I am saying is that as groups, we have a bad habit, it's a human problem to judge people, that we have to take a lot of different factors into consideration. But the bottom line is that they do not represent the actions of Islam. Secondly, second part of that answer is also that
there there's, there's, there's a different reality to be witnessed. When you interact with common people in an actual place, when you travel to a place when you're like, let me just put it this way, I've actually traveled around the world, you would be shocked. It is bizarre how people perceive America and American people. Like you'd be shocked at the assumptions people have about us. Like, just bizarre like, like, you'd want to slap them and say, where'd you get that from? That's ridiculous. Like, seriously, that's what you think. Like, yeah, like, let me put it this way. Everybody in the Middle East, things all of America is like the Jersey Shore. All right. Pretty
much. All right. They think all of America is like the Jersey Shore. A lot of people didn't laugh. That means you haven't seen the Jersey Shore. Thank God Almighty. All right. It is a blessing of God that you have not seen the Jersey Shore. But everybody, everybody thinks that. America is like a big old jersey shore. Unfortunately.
That'd be terrible. I'd be the worst place on Earth. Right?
But that's not the reality. So same thing. What I'm basically trying to say is based off of what we're showing on media, or what we've been told through a particular outlet.
Don't assume on behalf of everyone there, there might be a lot of different circumstances once you actually go there.
Okay, so the second third question I'm going to combine. The first one is, I want to know, the place for homosexuals in Islam. The second one is there have been over 4000 executions of gays and lesbians in Iran since the revolution 1979. Does this comply with Sharia? How about the many executions in other Sharia states such as Saudi Arabia, where there were over 300 executions last year?
I guess I can't get on with this one.
The Islamic teaching.
And when we say Islamic teaching, we're talking about the two main sources, the texts of Quran and the reports the traditions of Muhammad, because peace and blessings be upon them.
These two sources make clear that homosexuality is not allowed in Islam.
It is not considered a natural way of life, it is considered a sin. And it is the sin of a lot. the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, society that was punished because of their embrace of homosexuality. So that's the basic teaching
So in other words, the understanding of Islamic law in classical times, and what I mean by classical times is basically the Islamic civilization, from the time of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them, up until kind of the modern air
that homosexuals who were caught in the act, and of course, Jacob, NASA didn't go into all of the details but to be punished for adultery.
Or for homosexuality, you have to be caught in the act by four witnesses or four witnesses have to actually witness the act. But the punishment for some scholars, not
consensus, all scholars agree was execution. Now, maybe people in Iran, they follow that? I don't I don't know. I thought I didn't know that. I didn't know that myself.
But I mean, this is an issue, an ongoing issue that Muslims have in Muslim majority countries, is how they deal with these these questions. And Jacob de nosso said, Sharia is, is a colossal humans have to apply their understanding with the context in which the historical context they live in, and, and to ultimately decide how to apply it. And the other aspect is, people as a society have to do that. So society has to decide, well, how is it that we're going to implement the law, because the law has to be implemented as a society that is an individual, no individual can say, I caught you, and therefore I'm gonna punish you. And there's no such a thing. It has to be as a society as a
system of justice, his Sharia does not call upon the justice of one person to judge, you know, somebody being the judge and jury of of any act. No, it has to be as a society. So the society has to decide, okay, what are the rules we're going to follow? So, every error, and every country really has to decide this, look at Sharia, let's understand how we want to apply it. Maybe in Iran, they've decided this is how we're going to apply it. And that's the decision other countries do other things. But of course, that has nothing to do with us in America, because we have no authority to do any of that. There are a shake up the NASA may clear
questions of punishment or anything like that cannot be applied when Muslims have no authority in the land. So I mean, those
Questions are mute for us, other than the fact that as Muslims, we
All right, thank you. Um, so has a question over there somebody please ask.
So as you may know, among politician,
you might be a question, but it is coming.
in Kentucky, there is the
mountaintop removal for coal for Corporation.
In your opinion, what do you think, for the environment? And
so, the, again, understanding what Sharia law really talks about and what it addresses and
understanding musical microphones. So it's, again, understanding that Sharia law doesn't necessarily mean like some new code of law that we're planning on or that we would end up instituting here. But Islam and its teachings, what it what it advocates, what it says about the environment, and again, looking back at Muslim majority countries is not going to be a great example of that.
But generally speaking, what Islam has to say about the environment is, it's actually a very, very important issue.
There are so many different topics within it. One thing first and foremost from a faith based perspective,
on when it introduces us to God when it tells us about who Allah is. It introduces us to him through his creation.
So the the basic, especially the early revelation within the Quran, it says, Look at the sky, look at the sun, look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the ocean, the trees, the earth, the animals, you know, it tells us look at all these different things and marvel at how beautiful, remarkable unique all of this is, and then realize that there is a creator who created all of this. So when you really think about it for us, you know, literally all the creation of God, the environment in the Quran is referred to as IOD. These are signs of God. So as we continue to destroy the world that we live in, for as a Muslim, it's very, it's very discerning because we are
destroying the signs of God. That's one thing. The other thing is then there is specific
advice within the Quran and within the prophetic tradition, such as you know, wastefulness over indulgence, electricity conservation.
It should be energy conservation, energy conservation, the prophet of Allah peace and blessings be upon him in the narration or prophetic tradition. He actually talks about he instructed his companions, the Muslims to put out the lantern before you go to bed.
Don't leave a lantern burning while you go to sleep. Why? Because why is it on?
Right? I mean, what's the point of it being on conserving energy? Don't unnecessarily you're gonna leave the lantern on you're burning, you know, or you're burning kerosene, or you're burning fuel all night long, six hours, eight hours, you didn't need to the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him talked about going to sleep, praying, the Isha prayer, the night prayer once it officially becomes dark outside and not socializing unnecessarily after that. It's like one of the ethics that he told us
think about what's one of the wisdoms in that
so that you're not wasting energy. Like everybody go to sleep now. Right? Turn off the lights and go to sleep. So no. So I mean, just think about that. And then there are so many other specifics when it comes to you know, preserving the environment, taking care of energy, harming unnecessarily plants, life trees. The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him would be very upset with people when they would harm plant life. Even animal rights were an issue. Like Aren't you all like the people that'd be like cutting like animals and stuff? No, it's a very holistic philosophy. It's a very realistic philosophy where we do consume animals, but not without need. necessity. The Prophet the prophetic
practice and Muslims need to kind of hear this. The prophetic practice was to eat meat probably once every couple of weeks.
And even well to do Muslims in the early few generations said eating meat more than once a week was excessive.
go and visit a meat like like, like a meat processing plant. It is the scariest place on earth saw ain't got nothing on like a meat processing plant. It is scary. It is terrifying. It is barbaric. It is disgusting. It is disgusting. And so that's overindulgence, that's over.
That's, that's over consuming. So all these different ethics and morals are in place that address those issues.
Thank you. We have another open question.
Hello, my name is admin hoosick. I'm a junior here at the university. And first I'd like to thank you guys for coming to speak. And I've got one question for Dr. Bagby and the other for our guest speaker. The first one for Dr. Bagby speaking on the first two steps of culture being integrated into a society, would you prefer the invisibility of Islam in the US over the attrition and negative recognition it has undergone over the past decade? So do you think that
so pretty much would you prefer? The first step where the Islam in the United States is invisible? Would you prefer that to, to the negative recognition and perception that it currently has?
Well, it's like somebody growing up, you have to go through those teenage years, right?
But you grow up and you become mature. So it's one inevitable? And two, it's the right thing is the right thing that Muslims expect and demand a seat at the table, that they be recognized as being part and parcel of this country and not marginalize, excluded? ignored? So yes, the answer a simple answer is in visibility is not desirable.
being accepted as a full member of the society, having a place at the table is desirable.
I thank you. And the second question for our guest speaker.
Well, you mentioned about a thief stealing. And my question is, even if a thief knowingly steals money, or jewelry or any other valuable possession for his own gain, is he really deserving of physical harm? And does that punishment seem harsh and outdated? Considering they're more modern remedial ways to punish somebody that might steal?
That's that? I mean, that's, that's a very good question.
And, I mean,
there's a lot of different things to take into consideration.
One thing I would definitely say is, again, I want to kind of reiterate that there's a lot of pre existing conditions and a lot of requirements that have to be met, in order for that punishment of Finally, the person to basically be fitting for that type of punishment. But even in that case, given all of that, you know, all those preconditions, your question is, does that still really seem fair at the end of the day, one of the very interesting things is that these types of punishments are meant to be deterrence. And just a known fact that they exist, or maybe even a couple of unfortunate souls, suffering through something like that is meant to be a deterrent. And, you know,
kind of cleanse society from those ills in those problems. And one thing I do have to comment on, I do have to say is, a lot of times we might see other forms of punishment, that are prevalent in the, you know, Western world or the modern world. That might seem like better alternatives. But are they truly better alternatives? Those are questions we have to seriously ask ourselves, because I don't think that we are critical and contemplated and introspective as a society as we need to be. That when we look at, you know, the the industry of incarceration in this country, that how it is a full fledged industry, we'll look at how it is
an alienation of you know, that entire population, how they are removed from or excluded from basic rights and basic treatment. Once they've undergone you know, that that experience and how it the system is almost geared in such a way in society is built in such a way so that after somebody makes a mistake, they basically become a leper social leper for the rest of their life. So
In either case are severe repercussions. And it's something that has to be reconsidered and re evaluated either way, but it is a very, very harsh punishment. But I would say two things to that. Number one, is that there are a lot of preconditions that have to exist before that is even possible. Number two, in and of itself, it's meant to serve more so as a deterrent, rather than an actual punishment that is that, that there's like an assembly line, people are just being put through the grinder. It's meant to be more of a deterrent. All right, thank you.
We have one more open question. Please ask. Good evening. My question is, you all mentioned that Sharia law is from the Quran the other prophetic meanings? My question is I've heard a term called law of abrogation. And I'm wondering how that word again, law of abrogation, abrogation, and I'm questioning how that impacts your view on Sharia law and how Sharia law is implemented with that in place, and if you get explained what that actually means.
Well, the Quran itself says that there are certain
laws that in earlier times in the life under Mohammed were abrogated for new laws. So for instance, in the very beginning,
drinking of wine was not prohibited. It was in fact, allowed. You weren't supposed to come to prayer drunk, though, right? And then later, it was prohibited. So at one point, so it's kind of an evolution.
But the first innocence rule
is abrogated. And the later rule is there. And the jurists and scholars of Islam have discussed this at no in there are not
a lot of examples of abrogation, but it is there. Thank you.
Actually, I have written the notes, but I just want to bring up my question here. Okay. Okay.
Oh, I want to I just want to first and yes or no answer, I think, are you trying to bring the blasphemy law to the United States? Because think back of just months ago, or two months ago, the Muhammad movie, which caused routing and killing all over the world, and I see Muslims holding those posters saying we had all those who in who insult Muhammad. Okay, this is my first question. Are you trying to play bring the blasphemy law to the United States? Like what they did in Pakistan or somebody? Okay. My second question is, I go and read the Hadees. And I watched the movie trailer, I find that well, the movie is a stupid one, but it's not a low quality. But the movie, The main
purpose of the movie is trying to portray Muhammad as a womanizer, as a looter or as a warlord. Okay, but I when I read the hubbies, I indeed find this most some of the facts about Mohammed, very disturbing. Okay. It's from Sahih al Bukhari. And I can name the index, let's say, some awesome children's are here. But let's say the Prophet used to go around and have sex relations with all of his wives in in one night, and he had nine wives in that time. Okay. Is this a womanizer? You hear a woman either This is from your sources. This is from Sahil Bukhari, and the index is 5068.
This is just one example. I have many other examples. Okay. Okay. So the answer to the first question about the blasphemy laws? I mean, as far as I'm concerned, no. That's not a goal. That's not an objective. No. As far as the facts that you're finding confusing, there are two things I'll tell you. Number one, I would recommend that you read, you have to understand that a legal text or a reference source is very different than a biography. It's different. So hey, because it is a Hadeeth source and a reference. What that means is, it's a reference for legal materials and legal analysis. Without proper training and understanding and background. You won't even understand how, what you're
reading what the context of it is, you won't know any of that. What I do recommend, if you want to know about the Prophet Muhammad is you read a biography.
It's called the Sierra right. And I read a biography written by a non Muslim. If a bother
As you read and biography written by anonymous and burritos, eat all
your sources. That's
Well, good for you. All right. So but but either way read a cedaw rather than a Hadeeth book because they're two different elements. But and then to specifically address the narration that you mentioned. And and I'm personally going to apologize to you because of veneration, why that is a mistranslation, okay, but I find it online and I find it Right. Right. And that's, that's part of the problem. See, and this is why I kind of challenged the Muslim folks that are here in the audience toward the end of my presentation, you know, we have a problem. And part of the problem is, we're not educated, we're not well read, and we have not contributed to the Islamic resources that
are out there. One of my ongoing projects and efforts that I'm involved in their two projects I'm involved in, number one, we are
going through the entire Quran, chapter by chapter, not just translating it, but providing an in depth, English explanation to it. So that that is there in proper English translated by somebody who understands the Arabic and English language. I'm also going through documenting the Sierra the biography of the Prophet Muhammad. And so that narration the Arabic of it is Ghana Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam a year or two for Allah, Allah beta, he feel alien, that the Prophet of Allah peace and blessings be upon him, used to go and visit all of his family members in one night. What that means is that the different homes he uses stop by and check on them. If you read the
Arabic, Adam, if you study Arabic, and I'm not saying this as a Muslim, I'm saying this as somebody who learned and studied Arabic academically, objectively.
Alan Bates, the author of Allah and obeyed means to literally visit people. For instance, in classical Arabic, that same figure of speech, that same expression is used about cats. Cats are called the rafina, ll bu t wakawaka. That cats, they kind of wander about the neighborhood. You know, like there's our neighbor's cat is like all the time in my backyard. And, and so my girls, they freak out every single time the cat comes. So you cannot catch this kind of roam around the neighborhood. So what what is said about that is that that's an expression in the Arabic language when you just kind of casually take a stroll. It's an expression in the Arabic language. So that
narration says that the Prophet used to take a stroll through the neighborhood and stop by and check on family members. But it does not literally speak about intimate relations at all. It does not well, I have children, even my mother tongue, I am a Chinese,
Chinese still saying the same thing. So I hope one day you can provide us with Absolutely.
I appreciate you doing some reading and asking intelligent questions. Thank you very much. Do we have any more Hamza? Okay.
Brother, Nasr, thank you very much for such a wonderful rendition of the Sharia. I will quote a verse from Matthew,
which I read.
About 30 years ago, I went to a Christian school, it was judged not You shall not be judged.
condemned, not you shall not be condemned.
And forgive, you shall be forgiven. Here's Matthew 17.
Then we have a constitution which says freedom of religion.
On one hand, there's a Bible. I studied it for 17 years. And there was a point I knew about Bible more than a Christian. I went to a Catholic school for 10 years. So on one hand, there's a verse of Bible, which I believe is real Bible. Judge not. And on the other hand, there's the Constitution of the United States of America. And I have been citizen for 17 years. They're both violated and ignored. When it comes to a minority religion in this country. We are being judged.
And there's no freedom of speech. What is your take on that?
I mean, I mean, my personal take on that as an American, before, you know, just even from an American perspective, or as a human being, I find that appalling. I find that unfortunate, and I don't think it's correct. I don't think it's right. I probably would ask Dr. Bagby to maybe talk about the history of
You know, this issue and discrimination and there have been other minorities I mean, it's, I would like to add Sorry to interrupt when it comes to a racial profiling
for another colored person, I am a color too. We have a
freedom of speech, we have racial profiling and everything. When it comes to Islam as a minority in America. All the rules are violated, freedom of speech is violated, Bible is violated.
So what would be your take on that? I mean, I think it's, it's incorrect. It's not right. I do think it's important for us to not succumb to a victim mentality, but try to better the situation and better, and raise the discourse and try to strive to aspire to higher values. But it is an unfortunate reality. And I mean, the truth of the matter is, we're not just the only minority that, you know, this goes on with is a human problem, and to just be very honest, and not beat about beat around the bush about it. In majority Muslim countries, there's persecution of minorities, racial, ethnic, ethnic, or even religious minorities is, there's great prejudice against them in all parts
of the world. So this is this seems to be a human problem. And we hope that through education through enlightenment, through spirituality, we can rise above this type of, you know, human problem, and we can we can actually rise to what we were meant to be.
It's hard to imagine somebody who abuses somebody in their family in the name of Sharia. It's because it's contradictory to Sharia, either. It's willing
disobedience or ignorance one of the two.
Because in any Islamic family, there can be absolutely no,
what we might consider abuse with a psychologically or physical abuse. So it's not Sharia or Islam that motivates it's the kind of human weaknesses that we have. It is our personality that leads men and women to abuse one another. If they really follow the example of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them, and the example and the teachings of Quran they will not engage in any form of abuse.
Okay, that's it for the questions.
And thank you guys, everyone for coming. It was a great event. Please give a round of applause to our great speakers, Dr. Hassan Bagby, and check out the nuts of language. Thank you, everybody, for coming.