Chai Chat Interview
Channel: Abdulbary Yahya
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Amina shavon, Isla de
v. So, just to kick off, we'll warm up slowly
we're gonna do some warm up so, okay.
We'd like to know who your favorite researcher is and why.
My favorite insider
my favorite cider Schiff? Elementary. Elementary always my favorite and it's just smooth his presentation is smooth. I generally I don't like the thorough every site recitations because you know when you when you listen to
somebody of the recitations because it's just you know in prayer sometimes person will prolong this and will shorten other parts. So when you listen to especially recorded somebody like shefali Miceli
Misha we must show like this, it's my favorite I always listen to I can't listen to anybody else actually listened.
Okay, what's your favorite I and why and what's your favorite headache and why? We're warming up we'll get to the more interesting questions in a minute.
I'll start with inshallah, start with the Hadeeth.
My favorite Heidi is
a Hadeeth. That is actually the most difficult ID that I feel to apply.
And that's why it's my favorite because when you think about it, then it reminds you to be to be good and to make sure you take care of everything properly. And then Hadith says Hadith in which the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said in Arabic Allah kaha can
indeed your Lord has a right upon you. Were in
the alley Kalika. Indeed your family has a right upon you also. When ill enough psychotic happen. And also you yourself as right upon you have a right upon yourself. Equally, the Hopkin haka, so give each entity or give each that deserves a right give the right and so that's the balance in Islam. And it's something that's you know, very difficult you give you you have to give your family that their rights, you have to give yourself your rights also. And you have to give Of course, your your Lord, when it comes to do what your worship and so forth. And so I think that's
had my favorite Heidi, because because of that, because of the benefits, because just thinking about it, all of the aspects of Islam come to come to mind and you take care of your worship, take care of your family. At the same time, you also need to take care of yourself. Awesome. And so my favorite is my favorite.
my favorite soda, you can see the iron.
It's because it's beautiful.
And it's simple. And it makes sense. And when you speak to non Muslims, you need you just clarify to them. These verses and Subhanallah every everyone who I speak to who's a non Muslim, the first song that I mentioned to them, and I explained to them the oneness of Allah subhanho wa Taala because
it's innate in every person. Everyone believes in Allah and it's innate in every person. And so when you just recite,
listen to it, it's very short, but at the same time, it's so full of meaning. So follow me.
Okay, so who's your favorite Muslim personality?
Of course, it's the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. So we're always looking for role models, current, okay, let me just explain this, everyone is looking for role models. as Muslims, we don't have any role models except for the Messenger of Allah.
Because anyone whether they're alive,
if they're if they're still alive, you never know how that person is going to be. Sometimes a person changes and so forth. So you follow the, of course, the example of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu wasallam. But you know, as for
who's living right now, current Of course, you love all the scholars and all the people who have knowledge, especially the people who
Have a great influence on you. One of one of which is my teacher, my one of a very close teacher of mine, Chef, a chef, solid chef Sala Hellfires, he was, he was the one that took me in, actually he, he went to Cambodia. He went to Cambodia in the 80s. And he saw or the early 90s. And he saw the situation of the Muslims, the condition of the Muslims there, they had just come out of a civil war. And actually, they were actually still in the Civil War at that time when he went, and he went, he crossed the border from Thailand. He just told the guy said, you know, take me over to the, to the Muslim villages. And so he went there, and he saw the condition of the Muslims. And so that when the
chef saw they saw the condition of the Muslims, he wanted to take, he wanted to help them.
And so when he saw when he met me, when I first spoke to him, and he knew that I knew the language of the people in Cambodia and Vietnam. Immediately, he took me under his arms. And he we had, he taught me personally. And during that when the summertime came, he came in the summertime, he gave me money from his own pocket. He said, I want you to go to Cambodia. And Vietnam, I want you to spend, you know, your your your summer there. As a chef. I just, I've been away from my family a whole year. And the only time I have to go back to my family is this summer, you gotta tell me to go to a place that has no electricity, no bathroom.
Right? There was no electricity than the villages. And they don't even have bathrooms. They just go to the river.
Right? And he said, No, you have to go. He said, this is the money, he gave me the money. And he said, Okay, I'll give you two weeks at home. Stay home for two weeks. And after that two weeks, and then the rest of the summer, go there. Just go see the Muslims. And then you'll see, I won't need to tell you anything about it, you just go. And so I stayed one week in Seattle. And then I bought the ticket and they went and they came back. So I only say two weeks in Seattle, but first week, and the last week of my summer. And so I went to him to learn, I saw the Muslims and I saw the need, I saw that the Muslims needed, you know, people who have knowledge because they had killed all the
scholars. And so you can go from the different villages and the person, the person who would memorize the most core and probably knew less than one juice, nobody in the whole country at that time. And memorize the Quran. And so after that, from that time on, he told me after you graduate, then you go so what, what why did it affect me so much? Because
he's from Saudi Arabia?
Why? What does he have to do with those people?
But he's thinking about them. I should be the one thinking about them, right? And he's thinking about them. And he tells me he's speaking to me says, You know, I can go teach them I know they need this. I know they need knowledge. They need somebody to go teach them their Deen. But if I go there, by the time I learned language, I'll be in the grave. It will take me 25 years to learn the language. And by that time, I'd be dead, wouldn't be able to speak you already know the language you have to go.
from, you know, from from that
mentality, and that sacrifice, you start to learn and you say Subhana Allah, this is something that is
this is how Muslims should be like,
can you tell us a phrase or something from Vietnamese culture?
first when I went to this is amongst non Muslims by Muslim Muslims. The first time when I went to Vietnam, when I went back to Vietnam, I was born in Vietnam, of course, but I came as a baby to the United States. And so
I don't remember anything, pretty much I don't remember much in my childhood. So when I first went back,
I would sit down with the elders.
And every time I was invited to a house or anywhere I would go, they would say, this one phrase to me, they would say, of the body, it's okay. You can sit like that.
And I'm looking at everybody. And they are sitting the same way. I'm sitting, like, I'm just, you know, you when you sit on the ground, you sit cross legged, right? They're sitting cross legged, I'm sitting cross legged, but every single time they look at me and they say, of the body, it's okay, you can sit like that. So I go to another house, and they keep this totally different people. And they say, their body, you can sit like that. It's okay.
I'm thinking of course I can't.
Like I'm sitting like you guys. Like go to the masjid and I'm sitting in front of the house.
It's okay, you can sit like that. The like,
isn't that course I can sit like this? What's wrong? Why are you telling me? Why are you telling me this? I never asked them. But this is what I'm thinking in my mind. Finally, there was a, there was a, a, an elder
from Seattle also he went to visit Vietnam also. And so I asked him, I said, Why are these people every single time you say like this?
What is this? What does it mean? And so he looked at me, he said, I've been very rude.
when you sit in front of elders, you don't sit cross legged. To them, that's very rude.
To them this like almost spitting in their face, no type of respect for them. And so they are giving you an excuse because you're from America, Americans have no manners.
That sort of thing. We excuse you. You're from America, you have no manners. It's okay. You continue setting like that. So that's what they were saying to me. I didn't know not know. So if you go to Vietnam and somebody the elders in front of you, how are you? How are you supposed to sit? When you say like gibberish, you know, when the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam with both your knees towards them. But if you're younger, you should never sit cross legged fun, because they, it's it's very considered very, very rude. very rude. very disrespectful. I didn't know I grew up in America, you know?
Interested? Okay, what do you do for fun? But before you answer that question, please have someone you know was supposed to reply to time.
So what do you do for fun?
play with my kids.
I shall I I love I love to be with them. And
I just sit still. And they use me as a slide as a jungle gym. So they jump on me and my shoulders. And so when they see me, and as I'm sliding, so the slide off of this off my back. And so I like to be the jungle gym,
on the playground. So that's something that I really like to do. And they like it too. I like it too. Sometimes it hurts though, because they start jumping on you, literally.
And I know like, well rounded and it's nice to jump on me. You know, they bounce off easily and when they fall down. It doesn't hurt so much.
But it's fun. That's fun. Okay, you you've come here from Seattle.
How many people in the audience know where Seattle is? Besides America? What state is Seattle in? Anybody know? Raise your hand.
Washington State Mashallah, you guys are very good. Can you can you tell us more about your city where you where you grew up? Seattle is actually the most beautiful city in the United States. I'm not saying that because I'm from there. Yeah, right.
It's real. It's the truth. That's the truth. If you don't believe me, you can go yourself, okay. It's very beautiful. Some people don't like Seattle because of the rain. They say it rains a lot. It rains in the winter. Yes, it rains a lot. I guess. Similar to you guys here. Same similar to the weather here. It's very green. The Eastern Sierras in Washington State is called the Evergreen State. So our grass we don't usually water our grass. We don't need to, except we had a drought. Except right now we have a drop at this time. It's been a month without rain.
over a month, if it continues two or three more days, it will be a record.
A record I'm talking about it's this never goes a whole month without rain. So we have a drought right now. And when I came out, I saw my lawn my grass was turning brown and that never happens
in Seattle, but the thing is, it rains a lot but I love the rain.
Do you know why I love the rain.
Because when you when it rains your do eyes except
when it rains, your door is accepted. So every time it rains make dua to Allah subhanaw taala is a miracle. You know, every raindrop the there's an angel that's bringing that raindrop down.
So I love the rain and I love
I love it. I love the mild weather. It's never it never gets too hot. Nor is it too cold in the winters because we're close to the ocean and I love seafood. I'm on a seafood diet. Right? And so literally and also, I'm on a seafood diet so e food, seafood eat food.
What's the most famous for besides being known as Evergreen State, Seattle. A lot of things in there. A lot of things in Seattle. Boing Boing started off in Seattle. And most of the Boeing planes are
also on Starbucks started off there also. Yeah, so the first Starbucks is in Seattle. And
Microsoft is a computer, but that's in the area also. Yeah, we have computers here. Yeah, you guys have computers.
American football. Oh, what's the difference between American football and real football?
As you guys call it soccer.
What's the difference? And which one in your Let me tell you the difference, okay? American football or real football. Men play that.
The other football guys like here, you know, like manchester united and so forth. Let me tell you every time you watch these guys, like somebody touches someone, they're like flipping upside down. Come on, like, and then all of a sudden, right? When he gets down here, he jumps off right away. And he starts playing again. He's about it. It looks like he's about to die. You know, in American football. If you don't play hurt. You can't play delicious shoulder pads. Right? Yeah, they were shoulder pads. Yes. Shoulder Pads. Well, you have to wear shoulder pads or you'd be dead.
The thing is, but then when we get hurt, trust me. I played American football. And just because you have shoulder pads, it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Because you can they hit heart. I mean, you did.
You can you start seeing stars and things like that. So have you come across rugby? rugby. Yeah, that's the real man sport. Yeah, but everybody's running one direction. They're not like hitting each other. And see if the guy doesn't have the ball. You can't hit him.
Right and American fullbacks plus anybody, they come by and just tell him? That's real stuff right there. Right? No kid gets you. How many of you guys agree that American football is a real thing? I guess I'm
You from America.
He just wants to ask me good questions next time.
Okay, from your experiences traveling around the world and your experiences as chef, do you have any funny stories that you'd like to share with us? funny stories? Oh, you know,
when you go to different countries, and you'll
meet different people, who
have you have when they have different cultures? Yeah, there are certain things that are rude to you. You consider it rude to them. It's not rude. And vice versa. Also, wherever you go, like, for example, if you go to France, if somebody sat in front of you eating and they're burping in front of you, what do you
what did the British think of that person?
That's rude, right? But to them. I mean, if you're burping in front, that means you're in front of somebody, if you're a guest, it's recommended that you burp. Why? Because it's like complimenting the food. Right?
Like so you know, the food is good.
Neighbors, right? It's across the channel. Well, in Southeast Asia and Cambodia and Vietnam,
I sit down.
And there are people in front of me. They are digging their nose.
And they're having tea with you.
And then they just flick it.
And I like
to That's so rude.
I can't stand it. Like imagine. But to them. It's like somebody's just scratching themselves. You understand? You know, you have an itch. You're like scratching yourself. I mean, hey, you need a scratch? Well, for them, it's the same thing, just the scratches up their nose.
They understand. So they don't think that that is that's rude. So I'm sitting in front of them, and
I can't even look.
Right. And then when you start looking away, they think you're rude.
Somebody was picking their nose. So but the thing is, that's their culture, they consider that acceptable, just like how we used to sit when we had the way we sit, they considered us very rude when we're sitting, you know, just cross legged in front of them. And there are other things also, like, you know, like in the West, generally, if you're sitting in front of your father, you have an ottoman in front of you and you stretch your leg out, and that's your grandfather. And if you're a daisy where you get slapped upside down if you did that, right.
If you straighten your leg in front of your father or somebody who is an elder, I mean, that's as different cultures. So that's something that some culture shocks and so forth. Yeah. Okay. How about from your experience?
hedge group leader, oh, hard stories.
Well, a couple of years back, I was able to bring a couple of actually 250 pilgrims
250 from Cambodia and Vietnam. And so I was able to take them.
And of course, the people there.
They are very simple and they're not used to. In fact, they don't even have toilets, like we have, they just go to the river, okay. And so they're not used to some of the things. It's like the first time in the hotel, the first time on the plane. And
I was staying with
three, two elderly,
two elderly moms, because I took the mounts from each of the village and so forth. So these were two older people.
I go out, and I see the bathroom is open, and he's in the bathroom, and he leaves the door open.
After he leaves, I come back, right? And I see there's water all over the floor.
There's water all over the floor.
You know what he just did?
First of all, he went to the bathroom.
And he, he wanted to take a shower.
And so I asked him, I said, Why is there water over the all over the floor? He said, because I used this and the you know, it was next to the toilet that the the thing that you clean yourself, right? So he used that to take. And I said why don't you use the bathtub here?
And he says, I can't use the bath over there. The water is too hot.
He doesn't know that there's hot and cold water. So you turn on the hot water. And he says How can you use that water? I can't do it. So I this is the only cold water at. Right. But that's later on. But before that, you know what I saw him doing?
This before I saw him making oldal the first time he was in the bathroom.
He was making Lulu. And you know where he made his will loot from
After I tell well the first time he came in, first of all, they don't have faucets and so forth, right? They don't have running water, they just go to the river. And if they're at home, they have buckets of water.
So this man, he comes into the bathroom he wants to make look for also prayer. What's the closest thing to a bucket of water.
So that's why that he made when he was renting his mouth from that.
Like I said, I'll tell you when we first got on the plane. Okay, when I first got on the plane
I wanted to get in last right? Because I want to make sure that everyone got in some leading them.
When I get in the plane, there's chaos.
There's chaos in the plane.
Because the guys who came in, they went to first class.
And they sat on the chair. And so the stewardess comes to me and says, You got to tell you people to take their seats, and nobody's taken the right seats. Everyone is taken close to their friends. They don't know the numbers, they just take and see. And so I went to the guys the first time I saw him on the back, they said I got him first.
And the seats are bigger. They said No, we didn't pay for the CDs. He said no. That's not fair. Those guys came later.
And you know what they ended up doing? With the exception of first class. The whole because everyone who came in with the seat number, they found somebody in their seats already, like the people who are not in my group. And so imagine 250 people in the wrong seats. How are you going to get everyone in the right seat? No way as the plane don't take off on time.
Right. So finally they just made an announcement to the other people, right? Because they can't take everyone out. They said Okay, listen, we have a special arrangement today. Just find any seat and sit them to see because we can't get people in the right seats. You can't get 250 people yes. And these people have never been on the plane before. And they're like in the front in the village. They're coming from the village and I took them from the village at least the majority of them almost all of them from the village.
What a story the bathroom one got me. I can't get that, by the way is the
what's the rule you gotta shake it?
Is that will do is valid or not. Next.
Put your hands up if you know the answer.
Someone wants to say the answer.
No one brave. Go ahead. Is this window valid or not?
He because he didn't know Okay, water is dirty and it's emptier. I don't know that same period so that means it's valid for me.
Okay, now that is not valid because by default that areas and not just lets them know that this is from the toilet. So please don't try it.
Don't rinse your mouth with it.
Okay, here's a question for you. Okay. What's the wildest thing that you've ever done? While this thing that I've ever done? You putting me on the spot?
I think it's too well to mention here.
Before we close with the final story, we just want your feedback as to how things have been how you know you've met the brothers, this is your first time at a conference here at grill and mustard. How do you feel about things? What are you looking forward to? So Mashallah hamdulillah
I've been to a lot of conferences all over the United States, Canada and other places around the world also. But the organization here that greenlight Massoud, Mashallah you guys, set the bar when it comes to taking care of people in hospitality and organizations. So, may Allah subhanho wa Taala reward everyone, for the for the work and increase it in sha Allah. Can Can we say PS TV ichihara, PS T, PS TV, they're pretty good too.
Okay, we'd like to close with a famous story that you've narrated in other lectures with regards to your father and inshallah we'll close with
my father, may Allah Subhana, Allah have mercy upon him, he was
here, he was very nice. It's very kind. He never, he never hit any one of us. He never even raised his voice. But if you told us to do something, we would do it. But he was very, very.
He wasn't like strict. But we had rules in the house. And so for example, nobody are the lights, the lights in our house were out. at nine o'clock.
Nine o'clock, the lights were out, even in the summer, in the summer, and we haven't played the shot yet. But the lights are going to be off. And when it's time when a shot comes. Then you wake up. When you get up to pray, we go to the masjid and come back. The lights. Remember, the lights are never on after nine o'clock.
And my cousin's always had problem with it. Because they, when they come to nine o'clock, come on the weekends.
Because he's gonna come, he's gonna come. So now I don't want to stay, I want you to come visit me instead. I can't do anything after nine o'clock. So but that was the type of person that he was. And hamdulillah. He took care of us when we were young. And he taught us and
he was also the type of person that used to he didn't want any attention. He used to clean the mustard all the time. Every single day, he would clean the mustard, but he would clean the masjid at a time where there's nobody there. So people didn't know who actually cleaned the mustard. But the mustard was always clean. He would go to the masjid before going to work.
And he would clean the bathrooms with vacuum. While nobody was at nine o'clock in the morning, nobody's everyone's going to work. Before he goes to work. He cleans the machine. And that's what he did. And at nighttime, sometimes when everyone leaves, he would do the same thing. And so that happened that one day that he was the last person out there. This was
after 911 there's a lot of tension and so on and so forth. And they had like, you know, police officers
in the area of the masjid and so forth. But
I was I went in the house, we used to live next to the machine and I was in the house. And
it was a it was a gunshot.
But I thought it was I thought it was some someone
using fireworks. So I'm playing with fireworks because we had fireworks always across the park. And it was close enough to the Independence Day where people had fireworks and sometimes the Vietnamese also they had their temples and sometimes they would have fireworks also that's what I just thought it was fireworks.
Somebody just lit like and they call them m ad. And I didn't know anything. I didn't I didn't expect anything. Expect to be a concert or anything like that. And then then I heard
a voice It was my father's voice.
He said, the body had been shot. Somebody shot.
So I went to him.
And he looked at me. And he said, Shadow Allah, Allahu Allahu I shadowed him.
And when he said those words, I said, Father, don't say anything else.
Let those be your final words. And so he kept quiet. And he had been shot in the abdomen.
So we called the police we call the ambulance. And so the police officers and investigators, detectives and so forth, they came. And they started asking me, asking me questions about the masjid, and so forth. And, and just normal questions like anyone would ask. The next next day.
The police officer spoke spoke to a friend of mine, and the investigator spoke to a friend of mine. And he said, Who was that person?
And he said, That's his son. So they've never seen somebody so calm when his father had just passed when his father had just been shot. I've been in hundreds of murder scenes, hundreds of but I've never seen anybody come.
he said, You know, my friend who told me said you made great Tao. I said, I didn't speak to Islam to him at all whatsoever. And so the my friend told me Actually, he said, because,
you know, that's how we Muslims are a Muslim. Muslims are strong. So that's why he told them, but actually the reason I was calm
Of course, I missed my father. And I saw what he was going through bone, he said, la la, la la, when I realized that those were his last words, the first thing that came to my mind
was that Father, I wish that was me.
Can I wish you got what I want?
I want to be my last words to be la la, la la. But I don't know if I'm going to die with La ilaha illAllah on my lips. But you got what I want. So I was saddened because what happened to him, but that's also what I want. And I don't even know if I'm going to get that or not. And that's the only reason that kept me calm. Because I was thinking, I was thinking that's what I want for myself,
to be able to say la ilaha illAllah to be able to have my last words, be La la la. And so what we don't know.
So he passed away that night, may Allah Subhana have mercy upon
Allah Subhana Allah have mercy on your father and allow all of us to have a good death with Lola heilala being the final words escaping our lips