TEARS OF A CLOWN ADOPTING CUSTOMS OR COSTUMES
Channel: Abdurraheem Green
File Size: 58.46MB
Episode Transcript ©
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Salam o li comarca to Llahi where I care to welcome again, back on another weekend. And you have the two of us starting with my illustrious brother over there. Who is this is abdur-rahim Green. And the one over there sitting next to me is well virtually, is of course, Abdullah Hank Baker.
role? I can't even speak English anymore. But yeah, the Esteem doctor.
And this is, this is piece piece cake, the piece cake podcast, piece of cake piece piece out, as they say. So
how are you? It's good. It's good to see you. hamdulillah it's my
I'm heading back to UK tomorrow in Charlotte. So after my stint a month in Portugal, it's been. But yeah, we've got a really interesting discussion today. And obviously, when I when I saw Tears of a Clown, you have to think of old Smokey Robinson. Yeah. And his classic song, right? The Tears of a Clown, which is really a like a ballad. Isn't it amazing smiling on the outside. And he's crying on the inside, you know?
And, you know, although he seems so happy, he's really suffering. And I guess that's a little bit what we want to talk about, we're sort of sticking to that topic of, you know, men, right?
What it means to be a man, right, and the things we have to cope with, that you have
gone, yes, there's some stuff that you wanted to talk about as well.
Also, not not necessarily sticking with men, but also putting up that appearance and, and women and expectations of us.
Customs, as we said, customs or costumes. So we saw what we spoke about mental health over the last few weeks, we spoke about being a man who spoke about toxic femininity, toxic masculinity. And the question comes all the time. Are we being true to ourselves? Are we being who we want to be? Or are we adhering to customs customs that have been imposed, or are now normalized in society, and many of us who don't agree with those customs are in in actuality, in reality, wearing costumes, because we have to fit in. And this comes to the point I was going to mention to you is like I've been reading as we always do.
Jonathan brown his book slavery in Islam, and it's not to do with slavery, per se, but you mean, the professor? Yeah. Yes. Professor Brown. Excellent, excellent. And he says, Do we really think that all cultures in every time and place should just be like the modern west or the US? He asked that question. And you and me know we learn about the Earth, customs of the people. Okay. And that's just been put to the side of the rain because as you've said, Smokey Robinson's tune, if you look at my face, you'll be able to trace the tracks of my tears. Okay. Many of us spend that time and attention and walaikum salam to all of you have joined us Malahat and all of those IPS Islam Good to see you
join us back here again Mashallah. Octavia walaikum salam in French martial arts of our color I'm sure other Hanes French is much better than mine, which is next to nothing, masala
training so, what we're looking at is so many layers and, and we're not advocating music, those who don't listen to music, those who do listen to music, that before we were Muslim, the Smokey Robinson toon is a classic from the 60s I believe, 70s he is of a clown. And I think that so many of us are not living
aspects of reality that we are comfortable with, for fear of breaking that mask. And we're not talking about the the latest mask that we're having to wear that's been imposed upon us from COVID. We're talking about that societal mask
to fit in. Okay, and so this is a profound subject to carry on about and how this contributes to mental health issues. Because we're not
something very fascinating I have to raise it is that I was randomly came up, you know, when you're on your, your Instagram page sometimes, like, you know, you get suggestions of anyway, so I came across this someone had posted something about a sister there was a sister from obviously from the US originally Syrian. And I think she's studying psychology or something like that, right. And she posted this
comment, something she'd heard from her professor, which was about basically abuse, right. Which was, obviously it was a valid point. But what went on from that, what she was saying was, I thought was really, really dangerous. Yeah, because it went down that whole avenue of, it seemed to me to be dangerous to go down the avenue of, you know, see, the problem is, is that it was really about, you know, you're given choices, and then you're not really actually given choices, you're told what to do. And when you're told what to do, you don't even know anymore what you actually genuinely like anymore, right? Which was, I suppose it's a point, right? And this is this is our whole discussion,
right? So when you keep being told what to do, and told what to do, and though although you want something else, you don't have that opportunity to express that in your life. And then eventually, ultimately, you internalize this narrative, you know, like the Stockholm, the Helsinki syndrome, isn't it? You know, you become like, you become, you know, you start believing what your captor has believed,
has indoctrinated you with, right. So I get all of that. Right. But my first reaction was not that my first reaction was, you know, and she invited comments, right? So normally, I wouldn't I'd never comment on something like that. But someone said you she said, What do you think? So I thought, Okay, nice. Let's open discussion here. So I put my comments, right, which were, basically I think this is really dangerous, because from my point of view, it sort of seems to fly in the face of everything Islam tells us, right? Is that basically, we submit to a lot. And it's not about what you want. And it's not about what you like, right? It's about doing what is pleasing to Allah. And it is
an even by the way, from the point of view of being a wife, right? You're going to do things you don't like, and from the point of view of being a husband, right, how many things that we given up to be good fathers and to be good husbands. Right? So we've talked about this before, bro. Right? And so that and this whole thing of Oh, you'll never know your authentic self. I actually don't think there is such a thing as as an authentic self. I don't I just think that's a made up concept. I think it's a Western cause I'm not quite I want to be demolished here. By the way. I think it's a wet way. It's a made up woke Western, modern idea, right? That is rooted in the whole
individualistic paradigm that we live in the moment that you have to live your true authentic life and be your true authentic self. I don't think there is such a thing is true, authentic, you whatever, right. And at the end of the day, this sounds just like a program to follow your knifes to dismantle patriarchy. And ultimately, you know, you won't even believe in religion if you take this to its ultimate logical conclusion, right? Because why should I submit myself and surrender myself to anything anyone or anything? I should be my authentic self. If I feel gay, I'll be gay if I feel
stuck for a lot of what if I feel like raping someone or killing someone? Not that I'm comparing the two things but you know, I just do whatever I feel like I have an issue with that I may have this completely wrong. And I That of course, there is a balance in it. What do you think, bro? Did it did I go? I actually deleted my comics. I got so much flack for him.
But yeah, I mean, obviously I can see the other point. But that's the sort of angle I was coming from the I would I would flip it I would come from the other angle, from the perspective that you can be your authentic self and what actually
we're not. And I'm trying to I don't know what this this, this individual meant. But I'm talking about being true to yourself and being your authentic self means that you have to be upon your fitrah. And being upon your fitrah means worshipping Allah and then we have examples of that when we look at prophets who lay man for example, and making dua to Allah that Allah gives bestows upon him a kingdom and the likes of which nobody else had before. We see that the different MBR will be stones with different gifts Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam the only prophet and messenger Salam who was sent for mankind and jinn all over mankind. All of the other MPR was sent to particular
tribes and nations, we see particular gifts that were given to them. We
See their marriages, we look at the sahaba. We look at the sahaba. Yet, we look at some of the great people of Islam. And we see such authentic characteristics and personalities, but they were all framed within the context of being slaves of Allah servants of Allah. And they then epitomize what authenticity and individualism, these words that are being used are within a slaves of Allah. So if we're talking within that particular context, then I would say yes, that we're talking away from Tawheed, being a slave of Allah, then I reject it outright. So for me, being your authentic self means being a Muslim, and embracing all that Allah has enabled us to grow and become, and perfect
ourselves grow as close to perfection as possible, as human beings. That for me is the authentic self. And he told us in the Quran that he sent the Prophet salaallah, salam to perfect character. So for me, I look at it from that particular ParaType dime, and anyone who does not have that fundamental mental aspect of submission to the Creator, in Islam, they can never become an authentic self. What they're doing, as you said, is fitting into a made up construct, in which there's a liberalism and liberal extremism, where everything and anything goes. And that's the epitome of confusion is the epitome of misguidance is the epitome of what shaytan is calling to in Surah Israa.
In 74, where he says to Allah, I will call the men to slit the ears of cattle and disfigured their creation. So that's that extreme context, which is without guidance. Yeah. I mean, bro, just love her for that. And like, of course, I don't disagree with that at all. And I mean, that was the point that I was making in my comment in that sisters thing as well. That if we mean by the authentic self, obviously, if we mean, our fitrah, no one would dispute with that. But I would say that look, the thing is, bro, is that I think we have to be really, really careful. And I guess my whole approach was an approach of being cautious. And it's like, I don't want people to be misled. And I
know that when this term authentic self is used, it means something that, you know, it's used to mean something, and it's used within, you know, the context of a certain way of thinking. Right, right. Understand. So you understand, it's like, I guess in, you know, the whole realm of cassava, you know, they use certain terms, like for now, or, you know,
oh, Mo those terms now. Right. But, you know, they have certain meanings, right. And some of those things, we would just say, no, that's just outright dangerous, right? Although we could say, okay, yeah, those guys back then, right. I'll do a call there. Oh, Jelani didn't mean that when he said it, right, but the problem is, when these terms are used, 1000 years later, they've taken on a turf, totally different meanings. So I think like, that's what I'm saying, we have to be careful, because I think as people who are have that responsibility, we need to be a little bit careful that we are not pandering. Yeah, to a very, very dangerous way of thinking and sort of confirming in people's
minds. Oh, yeah, yeah, I need to find my authentic self. And I think, by the way, especially a lot of teenagers, right. I mean, I don't know if your sons and daughters, you've seen them go through this, right. But I've seen it with my some of my sons and daughters. And, you know, this so called search for my authentic self, right, was really just an excuse for them to be free from their parental control from the influence of their home and their parents and to flip in, do all sorts of haram things, right? Yes. Because it's like, I need to find my authentic self. And like, all this talk about your Fitzroy and your nature, it's just like, it's, it's, you know, like, you might as
well talk to a brick wall. Right.
So I think that's why I find a little bit, you know, maybe problematic, although I totally agree with you. Obviously, I agree with you. People have been commenting as well. How can you even know what your authentic self if you don't know Allah? And you don't know what your real nature of yourself is? What are you even talking about? You're right. And I think what you're saying what you said is a very good caution for for all of us who are listening, because I immediately jumped to the explanation that I know, but not everyone, as you said, the younger generation, some of our children, they're not going to jump to that at all. And what they're going to do is used that excuse
and but what I think we need to do is not claim ownership of it, but we need to be able to put a context to it to say authentic self has to be upon the fitrah
That's it. That's the starting point. Okay. Anything that discusses authentic self away from that? It's a non starter, we won't even get into a discussion around that. Because it's exactly what you said. It's exactly that the person didn't have to hear that someone just posted that, ask yourself these questions. Who are you? What were you, before society told you what to be? And that is really profound. And I remember, you know, when I used to take kids around the London central mosque, this is one of the sort of deep questions I used to get them to think about, is that how much of what you believe is really, you know, just indoctrinated into you. Like when you talk about what you think is
right, and what you think is wrong, and what you think is good and evil and how you should be and how you shouldn't be, which is our topic, right? It's like, adopting costumes, right? That's what it's really about adopting this persona, right? So how much of what you adopt as a persona, think about it? Where did I get I mean, this is interesting, bro. When you think about it, where did I get this from? I was confronted with this when I was becoming, you know, transitioning into Islam. Yeah. When I was becoming Muslim, right. So I was reading the Quran and there were some things that I found very challenging. One of the things I found very challenging was when Allah says in the Quran,
about essentially he said that they didn't kill him, and they didn't crucify him. Yeah. And I thought, Look,
if there's one thing I know about Jesus, He died on the cross, right? But I was so convinced that the Quran was from Allah, right? I just thought everything is telling me this book is from Allah. So then I thought to myself, wait a minute, how do I really know that? How do I really know that Jesus died on the cross? And then I started thinking, Okay, so I've seen lots of crucifixes hung up in places that doesn't really prove it. Yeah.
And I was told it by people. And when I started digging and digging, I started realizing, actually, and I started actually looking historically into it, I began to realize that she wasn't that much evidence, it's just something that became so widely accepted as a belief that you almost can't believe that it's not the case, right? But when you look at how things how people believe things like that, right, and how people believe lies, people believe lies, and they believe lies incredibly easily. And on a mass scale, people are duped on a massive scale. It's crazy. You would never imagine how many human beings can be fooled by something. But there really, really can be. Yeah. And
so I, you know, I did that asking, you know, like, I'm just saying, it's a really good way of saying, thinking to yourself, Wait a minute, how much of what I think I know, about women's rights about how men should be how women should be how marriage should be, you know, how about morality? What's it really based on? What where do I really get this information? It's?
And that question is important, because in one of the things I was reading from Jonathan Brown, he brings the example of
senator who was chastised a few years ago for having a relationship with a 15 year old child, okay. And he asked a particular question, he said, okay, but if that child, for example, hypothetically speaking, had been given permission, by the parents, the parents have consented to a 15 year old child, or underage child marry, and this is in 27 states in the US marrying someone of 25 above or whatever, then it's allowed by the law in those 27 states. Yeah, I think
that if there's an affair now, and there is no Pyrantel consent, then it's illegal. Now, that's a custom that is a Western construct, it's in the US, it's there, it exists now. Now, if you then change that, no one's founded upon that in the US. parents consent into the underage under 16 year old Marian, once they're given consent, but when you then look in a different society, like Yemen, for example, and exactly the same scenario was placed that someone who's maybe 25 3040 even marry and a 15 year old child, and the whole family has agreed because of economic reasons and traditional reasons and everything like that, then it's frowned upon, backward, disgusting, pedophilia, and
don't get me wrong, I'm not gonna go down that road and like some people are saying pedophilia in the western understanding of the contract is permissible. I'm not going down that row, but the construct of custom now, yeah, who is the one who decides that and imposes it up from society through society? So what you're mentioning
And there is a very, very key point. And that comes to another area of their home. How many of us are wearing more than one costume? Okay, how many?
How many of us are with when I was a non Muslim, and I was perceived by society as a danger by virtue of being young and black, and walking down the street, seeing people cross over the road, would always offend and hurt me and everything like that, because they didn't see the costume that I was wearing. They placed a costume upon me, okay, a societal stereotypical thing that I was black potential, thug, robot murderer, or whatever. And so it wasn't the costume I was wearing. But my question comes again, how many of us are wearing different costumes to fit in you and I know when we used to give dower in the universities, we had Pakistani young ladies and other South Asian
leaders leaving home wearing hijab wearing a buyer or some outer covering. And then when in university or in college, the hijab was taken off, the buyer was gone. And they were miniskirts. And we saw that after he knew and yeah, that was,
by the way. Oh, yeah. No.
You couldn't wear hijab from Muslim households who are allowed to wear hijab by their parents. Yes, so good. So those two costumes,
this was happening, we saw this, we saw a men, I remember seeing individuals, I'd be going out with my non Muslim family members and my wife, who was Muslim to a meal on the Hello meal. And we would see, I would see individuals bat, we'll see them in the mosque Friday. And they were sitting in a table a tool where they'd walk in thought really embarrassment, CME. And they were walking in and it was not their wife, it was very clearly not their wife, and how she, and you can see the embarrassment, now, not for us to expose, and then and throw the first stone and everything like that. But the point of the matter is, we do continue to wear different costumes, because we want to
fit in to various social circles, environments. And the point of this is abdur-rahim, are we truly happy doing this?
But I see see, my my, my my proposition here would be is that there's nothing wrong with that. And that's just a normal part of being a human being and living amongst, you know, other human beings. In a sense, you have to wear these masks in these costumes. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Because, in a sense, that's exactly what being civilized actually means. In reality, that's what being civilized means. And every society, right, every society is, is built around this tension. And it's a tension between individual freedom. Yeah, and, you know, public benefit. And there's always that tension between those two things. How, when
does an individual stop being free? In order to protect the public? Right? And when does the public have, you know, the right to demand that the, the, the individual, you know, so, like, in many ways, that's what society is, right? So for example,
you know, it's just normal bro, we, you know, I was born with the same when in Rome do as the Romans do, right? It was in the point was, the point was that when you're, when you're amongst the people, they have a certain culture, and though that culture that they have defines what is good manners and what is civil. So let me take an example. Right? In England, as you know, bro, punctuality right is considered to be an essential part of polite behavior and consideration for your fellow human being, right? British people do not like it when you're late. And they consider it extremely rude. And uncivilized. And a sign of lack of discipline, right? Yet there's many people from Southeast Asia
from Arab countries, actually, probably every single Muslim Muslim culture, right? takes this issue of being on time.
What can I say? They don't even think it's an issue. They don't even consider it to be something that is even important. So when you say I'm going to when you say to someone, yeah, I'll be there at this time. And you know, you turn up an hour later or you don't even turn up at all and it's you don't think that's anything but that person considers extremely rude.
If you can't I don't think it's right to say oh I'm being my authentic self
I'm saying yeah that's just the authentic me you know yeah happy go lucky doesn't matter inshallah book Roma eyelash. Yeah. The Muslim IBM Yeah, no international business business Missy machines in Sharla, Booker Milosh. You know, so like, bro, this is not this is not civilized This is not like okay, I guess it could be in some circumstances. So I think we have to be very careful
to say that
somebody's putting on a mask? Are you a clown? Are you are you not being your authentic self because you are respecting people's customs and manners and you're being polite and civilized by their standards, and we're not talking about anything haram here. This is a good thing in Islam, even you could say yeah, punctuality. Yeah, what is
what you're speaking to there, I think is important. In where now we're talking about wearing different masks. Okay.
is are we mistaken? not mistaken? Are we obscuring that we have an interpersonal skills, different etiquettes? Cultural etiquettes? And ethics? That's okay. What we're saying what I'm saying here is, yes, there's you've got an informal self, you've got a formal self, you've got a semi formal self, you interact with friends and everyone different to how you interact with work colleagues. And for example, I'm not talking about that, in that instance, I'm talking about portraying yourself
differently to who you really are, and having different costumes in doing that. Because you don't want to reveal
who you really are. Or vulnerable or
a question, bro.
I'm gonna give you a bit rough. Do you think all of this stuff? Yeah. Where we used to dress up in Gallup, you know, in
in phobes. Yeah. And, and wear turbans and topis. And, you know, and basically all dressed like Arabs, or even sometimes not just Arabs in general, but specifically Saudis wearing Alcatra. Yeah.
In England. Yeah. And Brixton mosque being a place that was full of people dressing like that. What was that about? Bravo? Was that a very deep and authentic was that bro? I mean, for me, good question. Inclusion, there's nothing authentic about it at all. Right? If you're from that part of the world, and you want to keep wearing that handler, good for you. That's authentic. That's being authentic. But for us, talking about Tears of a Clown bro, talking about wearing a costume and putting on an act? Yeah.
Yeah, I agree. I agree. And I'll tell you why I agree. But I'm going to put a caveat. Your 100% Why, and this is one of the reasons I wanted to talk about this today. That was done in many of our formative stages, thinking that this costume was an adaptation of Islamic, religious custom. And it wasn't. And you know what the sad thing was, that those who we were looking to, who were more knowledgeable, whether they came from the east or the west, or wherever they came from, and even from those of our Coke brothers, co religionists who went and studied, no one said,
This is not reflective of who you are. This is a dress and a cut a costume. And you are adopting a custom as well as a faith when you've only been obliged or obligated or chosen to choose and adhere to a faith. So you're absolutely right abdur-rahim. And in unpacking that that's what was going on. There wasn't a
bad thing is the sad thing is
there are those today who still hold that to be that custom, that alien custom, and some will say, Oh, he's talking against religion. No, I'm not talking against religion, that alien custom, they still hold that to be reflective of your level of religiosity or not. We know of the Muslim sisters, who with the niqab, the blacker buyers who frowned upon sisters who wore a more colorful dress or didn't wear the niqab. We know of brothers, we were amongst them at some point who saw others who were not wearing Phob or were not wearing the right type of foam. And we're not 100 not dressing as we sort of being Islamic as being less religious. And all of that was under the prism of
understanding that this was a level of religiosity and Islam when it was absolutely nothing to do with that whatsoever. So that was a costume that is still being worn today. thinking something that they're adhering to a religious edict, when in fact
they're adhering to custom. But I'm not gonna throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Some would refer to other sort of forms of dress, some have gone back to South Asian dress, some have gone back to African dress. Some, some Moroccans and others are going back to Arab dress, which is resembles the Middle East in that instance, if they're doing that, because they feel more comfortable in doing that, from a cultural perspective, from a religious religious perspective, from an identity perspective, and it's from in here, that's fine. But if they're doing it thinking, it makes them more authentic, as a religious adherent to Islam, and its customer costume in that instance, then they've got problems that run inherently deep. In that instance, I used to come back
to the UK after I first started living in Saudi, and I start questioning my own community. Why are you wearing the black wire? Why are you dressing like that? And they say, oh, it's dangerous talk. I've been why is it dangerous talk? I'm just asking the question. Because now abdur-rahim, I've moved away from the abstract understanding of my faith, living in the West, to an actualized practicable understanding and context of Islam. And many of us go through that you don't have to come to a Muslim country to do that. It's as you grow as you develop, as you reflect on your understanding, I've studied that in my PhD, as you know, so I'm glad you've raised that. And so we
saw individuals wearing uniforms, the folds in the way they will be worn particular way they will be worn. Yes, some say adhering to the Sunnah. But there are other ways of adhering to the Sunnah. The sisters, the black uniform, as it had become four sisters. And there was no other variation. In that instance there. It became a uniform, it became a costume.
I agree with, you know, like talking about this costume. Right, let's go back to where we started. Yeah, and let's talk about let's talk about masculinity again.
Let's, let's go back to let's go back to Smokey Robinson song. Right.
So bro, you know, like, I mean, again, like this is a recurrent theme in our conversations that we keep having broke, right. And I think it's very important. And especially we're talking about mental health. And I know that a lot of our Muslim brothers young brothers as well. They feel very drawn to certain personalities like, what's his name? Peterson? Is it? What's the kind remember his name now? You know that that American?
whatever his name is, Muhammad hijab did an interview with him? Yeah.
And so this whole issue, bro, do you think that, again, that we put on this mask we put on this show? I mean, is that a problem? So someone mentioned earlier on in the comments right at the beginning, he said the Chinese say that they're, you know, we have three cells that we you know, the three in a sense, three faces, right? The face that we show to people, the generality of people,
the face that we show to our family, right, and the face that we show to ourselves, right?
So again, I mean, is it a problem, bro? Like, I mean, I guess sometimes it is, isn't it? Sometimes it is if you're putting on a mask and you to the extent that you you don't allow yourself to express emotions, you don't allow, you know, in a sense, I guess the problem is, bro, it's like that dress that you put on, right? With that dress can sometimes come a you know, a persona. And so like, in a sense that the way you dress does, influences you, right, doesn't it? So if I walk around, you know, dressed in military fatigues and a combat jacket and boots, you know, and like ammunition belts, guess what, I probably will behave in a very sort of militant type way, right? If I dress in
flamboyant colors, and you know, Lacy things and you know, whatever, I'll probably start behaving in a sort of what we might call an effeminate way. Right? So I think it's just inevitable that the way that you dress is going to ultimately affect you emotionally and affect your behavior. And isn't it the same then with that mask that you put on? Right?
that you put on this emotional mask? And that's also going to affect how you really are bro so I mean, what do you what's your experience of that bro?
Cuz you you've been an Amir, you've been a dad, you've been a you've you've had to wear many masks in your life, bro. Has it affected you? Has it affected
your authentic self. Do you think for example, when you were a Brixton, you couldn't be
very good at it.
You know what?
When I was me when I was me, and going according to judgments that I believed needed to be done in representing the community,
it caused problems. They caused a lot of problems. And but the question has to come to this abdur-rahim About the masks that we're wearing. Why are we wearing them? And this is the thing, what are we hiding? Who are we hiding it from? And why are we hiding it in that way? Now, we can't reveal our sins. So there's an aspect where we know what we do, and only Allah will know what we're doing in that instance, okay. And we're not allowed to expose, we shouldn't expose essence that's between us and Allah in that instance. So there's a mask, we're in there, because on the Day of Judgment, abdur-rahim, as we've been told, we will be standing barefoot, naked, in different levels of sweat.
Okay, we're told that when we stand before a lot, the scrolls will be laid bare and rolled out, and the smaller sins that we thought no one see will be revealed. And that's a day where we are going to be feeling immense fear and shame. We don't want people to be seen, particularly aspects of what we've done, or even thought or desires that are wrong in that instance. So there is an element of mask wearing in that area that you don't demand. And I just ask your question, bro, right.
Or just like not, I suppose it is a question, because I want you to comment on it. I would just say that maybe. Here the thought that I had when you said that is I of course totally agree with you. I'm not disagreeing with you at all right. But back to the mosque issue. There's a difference between confessing your sins, which we don't do. We don't confess our sins, right. But on the other hand, right, we don't pretend that we're not sinners, bro. No, that's right.
The thing is, when people start behaving like the saints, like they're super pious, right, that they have no sins holier than thou, I am super righteous, right? And stuff for like, even going to the extent of looking down upon others, right? Even though that person that individual may be doing way worse sins than other people, right? So there's a difference isn't there between not confessing your sins which we don't do, right obviously, we don't talk about our sins but yeah, at the same time don't behave as if you're a person without sin and that you have faults and Yeah, but there's Mohit has made a very important point, then again, I come back to why are we wearing the masks? The one
who wears the least amount of masks is the least insecure. They're the ones who are most has come up with three or four profound statements this
makitas profound disaster like him as our number of
participants, Marcel law, but my thing is this. Again, it does come to that why are we wearing
Yeah, it is it is insecurity. It is uncertainty. It is fear, it is wanting to conform, okay, because if we don't conform, then we become
exposed as being oddities as being of those who are different. And remember what we said last week, there's nothing wrong with being different, okay. But it has to be within a paradigm and within a conduct context, a wide context in which others can understand or should go to a towards understanding and engaging with that difference. So wearing that mask is very, very heavy for all of those who are wearing it. Because we know it's not our true self abdur-rahim that the three is as you said, with family, yes, we're going to be different with with family that's understandable. And men are going to be different. Some men are going to be softer in the home with their family, some
are going to be really cool in the home with their family. My middle name is profound. Okay, mochi.
Thank you for that. But my thing,
bro, martial law, law, welcome.
So my thing is that we've got to ask ourselves the question, first, how many masks am I wearing?
Why am I wearing those masks? If I shed one of those masks, which one would it be? Which one would I retain? And why? What is the insecurity that I'm protecting? Because you're right, we all do wear masks. We do wear masks, okay, we're not I wear a mask right? I do. Honestly try to be
Actually me as possible, but sometimes I don't think it's gonna give you an example sometimes I don't think it's an it's appropriate. Yeah. And there's some, there's some things that I'll be honest, I don't think it's a big problem for some for me to do it or for someone to do it. Yeah. And I'm not trying to promote sin or whatever. I just don't think it's a massive issue, right. However, I would never do those things publicly, I would never do certain things publicly simply because I don't want people. And it's not about me, I don't really care about myself. Right. But it is. No, I suppose it is. At the end of the day, I don't want people to say, Oh,
I guess it's because you have a level of responsibility, you feel you have a level of responsibility, I guess, for example, if you are an ambassador, right, you are an actual ambassador. Right? There may be things that is just perfectly harmless for you to do. Right. And I remember this happened. Do you remember when there was the Falklands crisis? Yeah. Yeah. And so basically, my, my parents knew that Argentinian ambassadors family really well. And so did the British ambassador, they were good friends with the Argentinian before this thing kicked off. They were good friends in Cairo. In Egypt, they knew each other. They were good friends, right? They would go to parties
together and whatever. When the Falkland crisis kicked off, my mom said, Oh, we can't meet them anymore. Right. And I thought, why not that your friends? Well, no, because it's not appropriate. And of course, at the time, I thought, That's just stupid, right? But I did sort of get it. I did get it. Because at the end of the day, as an ambassador, you are a representative right of something. You're not just representing yourself anymore, right? And that's the problem. When you take what is not that you take on that mantle, you know that that mantle has been given to you. And with that mantle comes a type of responsibility, right. And part of that responsibility is a mask
that you have to wear, you can't just do whatever you like, even if you think that thing is not really a big issue. But it's just not. How can I say it's just not appropriate? Yes.
You should encourage others to behave in that. No, I get that. And I think as I said, there are particular codes of conduct and ethics that we need to deploy, depending on our work positions. And I want to talk about because this is another comment. Nilofer mela bless her.
And my thing again, now, when I spoke,
my daughters when I spoken to sisters, when I spoken to ex girlfriends before I was Muslim, of course, about makeup, because and they're not wearing it because you know, men will think, oh, they were in it for us. No, that's a lot of women wear it because they want to feel good about themselves. And they want to cover some of the insecurities that they have within themselves. And that's interest. And this is a whole nother other topic. And again, I'm talking from obviously from a man's perspective. And I know that women will have a lot to say about this subject. And maybe one day they should speak about the mask of makeup and why they wear makeup and why some women why some
men dress a particular way, as you said, if you just in army greens, or your dress more effeminate, ly, all of this abdur-rahim, we've got to look at those. Because when those the people we're engaging with, and who aren't engaging with us all know that we're wearing masks, should we not deal with each other? And I fell in this a lot, okay? A lot should I say occasionally, should we not deal with each other a lot more conscientiously, when I meet you in public, you and I are very close, and we share a lot together. And I know sometimes that you may have something going on, and you may want to remove that mask to share it with me. Knowing that you can share that mark, you can remove that
mask and share it with me and I can step into that real space of yours and you'll feel secure. But let's say you don't feel like that. You will come to us in 21st century UK society that we don't give each other enough space and understanding knowing that each other's wearing a mask. And if you think about it, we're not giving each other that space and wearing a mask. No matter how many layers or different costumes were wearing is suffocating. Wearing a mask makeup, different personas fitting into different customs you as a convert into an Arab or South Asian community and having to comply because you think it's the right thing to do. That is suffocating. And then we do an example bro you
know I used to start
I'd one of the things I would say is that, you know, I'll feel that things are on the right. This sounds gonna sound weird. Yeah, but if I can walk into a masjid with a T shirt, obviously, I'm not talking about a tight t shirt. I'm talking about a baggy t shirt and shorts, but obviously shorts that go down, you know, below my, to the right appropriate thing. But if I can walk into a masjid with a T shirt and a pair of shorts, yeah. And I'm my hours covered. Yeah, everything is like, whatever. And no one's going to look at me like, What is this guy doing here? Dressed in that weird way? That's not the way to dress in the masjid. Yeah, that's the sort of thing you know, I always
used to sort of wrestle with that, like, what are my our is covered? Yeah. And my stuff is baggy. Why is it a problem for anyone that I'm dressed like that? It's interesting that, you know, for example, in Canada, in the US, no one's really bothered by that type of stuff. It's like, it's particularly here, but that, bro, you know what you said Subhan. Allah was, was really, really interesting, you know,
about lifting that mask and about insecurity. I want to go back to that bro. And I want to go back to the fact that I want us to look at the type of society that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam has outlined for us in terms of our personal interaction, and you talked about the suffocation of the mask, how masks suffocate us. And why do we wear those masks? If you live in a society that is full of slander, backbiting, bad chatting, tale caring, maliciousness, right. Joking sniggering laughing at people behind their backs, making fun of people, right? Doggy Dog society, one climb over the other to see how high you can get up in the company or society, wherever. That's
what you're going to get.
And by every single one of those things, no one listening today should think that Backbiting is a small thing, that slander is a small thing that tell caring is a small thing. Right? That not loving for your brother and sister what you love yourself, failing to do that is a small thing. Because these are the very essence of what makes society beautiful and pleasant to live in. And when people can be their authentic selves, people can be who they really are, because they're not worried that if I slip up, someone's going to make fun of me, someone's going to think the worst about me. Someone's you know, you think the opposite. They will cover my thoughts, they will make excuses for
me, right? That's how it should be. And so that that's why people we have to wear these masks, bro. Because unfortunately, society is vicious. You just need to look at the gossip columns, the the rubbish and
the rubbish they talk about people. No, you're right upbringing
with within the Muslim context, as well. And I know sometimes we we as Converse can be quite direct when we're speaking about South Asian and Arab communities. But we're seeing as well, that many of the brothers, I saw a post recently of a brother, and the sad was suffered from depression and committed suicide, Pakistani brother, and that's just recently been circulating on I didn't know him. But I looked at that. And we've got to look at this that our brothers and sisters who are from these particular backgrounds, and living in an altogether different societal environment and context and their parents and grandparents. They're having to wear masks themselves to fit in with the
customs and traditions.
And I'm going to bring some of them some of that might be arranged marriages that and forced marriages in those instances we've got from the Somali community and Africa, from the African continent FGM in those instance, so we've got our brothers and sisters, even in the Arab world, in the Middle East, we've got them following customs and traditions. They are living in a different
environmental climate, now, a second, third, fourth generation. So they're wearing these masks to fit in with customs that are remote from them, that are detached from because they're no longer living. And we need to speak and be voices for these brothers and sisters as well. Because when they speak or if they have a breakdown, or if they do something that is seen and perceived to be extreme, and they may go to the other extreme, some may leave Islam and some have left Islam and they get that support from the societal governmental network that is anti anti
aesthetical to anything to do with Islam. And they equate though that the government and the societal dictates then equate that culture that stifling custom and culture with the religion, and the individual who comes from those backgrounds equates the religion with those customs and traditions, believing them to be one in the same, and then not. So I think that as converts abdur-rahim, we have a responsibility to be voices for those brothers and sisters, who are coming from these cultural claims, and having to wear these masks, because the customs dictate that or else they are ostracized from their entire community. And that can be a psychological brain freeze, if
you like for one of a better phrase, more than any one of us can actually comprehend. Because we'd never come from those communities. So coming back to the mosque now, Abdur Rahim, when we look,
and you're walking down the street, I used to see this a lot in the UK. You've mentioned this a few months ago as well, when we spoken. When you look into the faces of everyone who will before the lockdown rush into work, you're on the underground, you're on the buses, you're driving the cars and everything, and you look into their faces, you don't see tears, but you see a blankness, you see an unwillingness to engage. When you see something happens, maybe there's a noise on the tube or someone breaks out into an argument. Now people pull out their mobile phones, very few will get involved to assist or dispel the situation, you'll see that look in their faces that I can't do with
this. I don't want anything to do with this. Even though a person may be being harmed in that instance, there have been cases abdur-rahim of women being raped on the road site in public view. And people have walked past, they've kept their mask of formality and protecting themselves on despite atrocities taking place in plain view. This is the extent to which the masks have become caked onto our faces have become suffocating until we're in our own safe environment. And then we remove it. And do you know how many people and I don't know the answer to is how many people must have got home and wept or shaken, or those who drink alcohol, drink, drink, drink, taken a stiff
drink, because of their inability, cowardice, fear, lack of courage
to intervene in that problem, because their mask was so tightly clasped onto themselves, that they cannot let that mask remove and say that vulnerable pit bull person, I have to say one vulnerability, I need to get involved. That's how bad we've become with wearing the mask. But yet, when you look into the eyes of the people, and those of you who travel around, look around and see that emptiness, see that fear, you won't see the Tears of a Clown, but you'll see an emptiness of vacant vacancy in their views in their looks.
I think it comes back to what I was mentioning before bro, it's like it's, it's really a lot to do with, it's a lot to do with
I guess the way you're brought up, it's a lot to do with your morals, your manners, the things that you are, you know, that are imbibed with you about that or that are important. Like if you're just born.
You don't like people being treated badly without failing to intervene. Right, that you have that
you have agency as well. I think a lot of the time to be honest, it's interesting. You know, I didn't really want to mention this by mentioning it anyway.
But you know, that particular instance that you it's been studied, right, this issue of why is it that these horrific things happen in situations where there are so many people around and no one does anything. And so it's been the study, it's been something that a lot of psychologists and studies have studied. And it seems that what really happens is that people look to others for cues as to how they should behave. Right? So if everyone is looking around and seeing no one is doing anything, they think, well, if they're not doing anything, what why should I do something? What is my you know, it's like, this is just normal for human beings, right? We just we defer a lot so many
of our decisions, we actually defer them
to seeing what other people are doing, right? And that's just like, because it's just, it's just a normal process in our brain to save us energy. So you think back in the days when I guess we were hunter gatherers, we were, like most of us didn't know to read the seasons. But you look at these old people, they've been around for 30 years, and oh, look, they're packing their tent up, and they're getting ready to move. Let me there's time to do the same thing. Right. I don't know why, but they know what they're doing. Right? So there is that a lot? There is a lot of that it's not really necessarily that these people are bad. Yeah. And it's not that they wouldn't do something.
It's just that they're almost paralyzed by the fact that no one else is doing it, how am I going to do something who am I to put my, you know, to put myself forward? And by the way, just for anyone's information, they say that if this situation happens to you, yeah, brother, and this could be brothers and sisters, the best thing to do is look at somebody and actually ask an individual person to help you don't just say, Help, Help help look at someone identify someone and say, you you, you know, you actually because then that person is singled out, right? For individual agency, right. And they, they find it much harder, therefore, to dissipate that responsibility. So sometimes it's not,
it's not that it's not necessarily that people are bad. And the crazy thing is, the more there are of us, the worse it gets. Yeah. You know, so like, it may be that if, if this happened in front of five or six people, then those five or six people would stop it happening. But when there's hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people, you think you'd be even safer. It's not because everyone's just saying, Oh, no one's doing anything and this and that. But you know, again, I do think it comes down to you know, yeah, you're right, bro. busy lives walking around like zombies. Yeah, not feeling connected with people not feeling connected with the world around you not feeling connected to
individuals, having that dissipating this responsibility, right? And it's something Subhanallah again, we look at Islam, what it teaches about I'm gonna build my roof on the henna monka if you see an evil changing with your hand, if you can't change it with your hand, then change it with your mouth. And if you can't change it with your mouth, at least hate it in your heart and that is the weakest of faith and so many other you know, you must enjoy what is right and forbid what is wrong or else Allah will send upon you a calamity. Yeah, and you will make dua and it will not be accepted and so on and so forth. And many ayat and Hadith, you know, that tell us about how important it is
to stand up against wrongdoing and oppression, injustice, and to stand up for what is true and to stand up for what is right. You know, and not to be silent in the face of wrongdoing. But again, bro, this is tarbiyah the same thing about not backbiting and not slandering and not tail caring? It's tarbiyah it's training. It's it's, these are the essential qualities of our Islamic civilization. Right. And
yeah, that's right. Absolutely. And what Rosina saying here, I think is important, but also are very much drawn to a conclusion to support what you're saying there. One of the things we've got to differentiate between, okay? Today, when you're looking around you, again, we're coming back to the masks. Be careful of not wearing the same mask that everybody else is wearing the example we just gave with everyone. They're not all bad people, but everyone is moving in the same way. And if you remember the movie abdur-rahim For those who know of this movie V for Vendetta, and we see these days in protests, sometimes they were that, that master, that caricature mask when they're in
protest, and everything like this, and everyone wearing the same mask, everyone, therefore feeling safe, that everyone else is looking the same. And the reality that that is not the case. And instead, as Muslims and those who are not Muslims who are listening, I really hope that they take something from what we've say today and what's been said now, we should not be wearing masks, okay, in the sense of the descriptions that we have given today, what we should be doing
for each other as partners with our husbands and wives and whatever is we should be garments, what we should be, that's for our families, what we should be for each other.
I like the structure of a building, protective, beautifying, solidifying, what we should be is like armor, like a shield for each other for ourselves individually.
And that's different to wearing a mask.
Okay, we're not I'm not frowning on masks abdur-rahim, because we've agreed that there are different if you want to call it that interpersonal skills, personal, semi professional, professional, all of these descriptions in where we are in different environments. But we should be looking to shed
the number of masks were wearing, thereby removing levels of insecurity that we may have, we need to keep some, but we should not be looking to add to those masks, not as Muslims, we should not be adding to the masks that we're already wearing, we should be looking to be putting on the garment. The protection, protection protection story that Islam affords us, and how it's described, as empowering, as in allowing us to be in the Islamic term, our authentic self by returning to our fitrah. That's what we need to be aiming at. And again, I put out that those who know of brothers, sisters, Muslims, non Muslims, who are wearing costumes, to fit into customs that are stifling them
that are suffocating them, we need to be there for them. We need to be there for each other. We need to communicate this is the reason why we're doing these programs, these shows these these live streams, because communication enables us to see the relatability that we actually have with each other. That humanity that exists, we need to communicate, we need to show that warmth.
In as abdur-rahim You said out there, we're just showing a veneer, a protect protective shield from everyone and anyone and sometimes we do have our own families. We put that shield around us, we wear that mask we go to sleep with that mask. And remember, the mask is never more beautiful than our true actual self. A mask is just an impression. And it can never be more beautiful than our true self.
Zappala Cerebro and with those final words
the most stifling mask of the age.
So yeah, bro. Lightness aside, it's been a fascinating conversation, bro. As always just Sokoloff Albro it's been such a pleasure listening to your insights and likewise when such interesting things to the table and mashallah Alhamdulillah the comments have been so fantastic and some great contributions from the audience today at home that is absolutely it's been a pleasure, bro. I'm looking forward to next come up with a great title like this. This is a great one. So inshallah as always, bro, it's been a pleasure. It's been likewise this is your brother Abdul Rahim green. And over there next to me is your brother Abdullah Baker. And this has been a piece of cake a piece of
cake. Until next time, said I want a camera to live with the kids while he Cancellara to La he rebroadcast too.