How was the Quran Preserved

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Adnan Rashid

Channel: Adnan Rashid

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Welcome back to epistemic on today's show I have brother Adnan Rashid, Islamic brothers known how you, salam wa Taala. So, first and foremost, congratulations on your graduation. You recently got your masters was a specific subject that you have written history. Yes. It's something you've been working towards, for quite a while is yes, it's been a struggle 100 less than I am now looking forward to achieving the next step, which is PhD, Julian brilliant. Mashallah, May May, May God make it successful you come in? Just tell us before we get into the whole discussion of this topic, why did you find it? Why are we interested in studying history?

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a number of reasons I was as a child interested in historic monuments. I was into reading history. Even as a teenager, I used to collect coins, I'm still at numismatist. Yeah, I still collect coins to this day. And that got me involved in history. And my family has a history as well. So I was deeply interested in that history. So a number of things collectively drove me to study history formally, okay, brilliant. And obviously now with your studies in history, that sort of ties in with your

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expertise, when in when it comes to the preservation of the Quran is a historical process of the preservation of the Quran, you've looked into it. That's a great extent, you've debated about the subject.

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And that's what we're talking about in this particular show, which is a sort of more of an in depth look at the preservation of the Quran. And if we get time, so to juxtapose it and compare it to the preservation of the Bible, because I know you've had debates with many Christians over the years, and many of those debates have been on the topic of the preservation of the Bible and the preservation of the Quran. That's right. So let's be go right to the beginning, you know, when we speak, you know, when we share the message of Islam, when we talk about the Quran to non Muslims, and probably many individuals that are watching this right now, the natural question that comes to

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their mind is okay, you're saying this book is from God, you've shown me some good evidences and miracles of the Quran, which Okay, there's something special about this book. But how do I know it's preserved? How do I know it's exactly the same book that was revealed at the time 1400 years ago that's made it to us today.

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There are a number of ways to know that number one is textual preservation which can be found in manuscripts around the world. There is no added or subtracted verse in the Quran. Firstly, how do we define the Quran number on is the text or a reading, transmitted by the prophet to his companions, his disciples, his followers? Yeah. People who believed in Him, they took the Koran directly from the Prophet. And the Prophet clearly explained the boundaries of the Quran, he explained to them as to what the Quran means. And then they took that text or that reading, and they're transmitted it to their followers, the students. And since then the Quran has been transmitted

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via an uninterrupted chain of transmission. So every single sentence, in the Quran, comes directly from the prophet of Islam, and from a lot by extension, okay, because we believe God exists. We affirm believe that God exists, this universe didn't pop into existence, existence by an accident. Therefore, God exists. Someone created it, someone planned it, someone placed it, someone sustains it. And that creator sent down revelations in the Quran is one of those revelations, it is the final revelation. And there are other reasons as to why we believe the Quran is the word of Allah, the word of the Creator. So the creator said not the Quran, to this man called Mohammed salatu salam,

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peace be upon him. And

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he has transmitted the Quran

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through his companions. So that's one way oral transmission, right, reading it verbally to your followers and teaching them how to read it. The content as well as the pronunciation. Right. Okay. And then we have the manuscripts before we go there. Yeah, let me let me let me sort of press you a bit on that particular point. Okay. Okay. So we know you've mentioned this oral transmission of the Quran, which is the primary which was the way the Prophet peace be upon him. Yeah, communicated it to the companions, and then they communicated it to others.

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What if someone, again, from a lay perspective, you know, people say things all the time, and when other people listen to what people say, and they pass it on to somebody else, they normally distort the information to an extent right, you know, so how do we know that? What was special about the Arabs at the time that would would would prevent them from making those mistakes in transmission? How would you address that point?

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They wouldn't make those mistakes is because

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is because they were already memorizing the poetry, they would memorize their poetry impeccably, the memory was very strong, not that other people didn't have strong memories, but because the Arabs didn't have

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a written literary tradition. For that reason, they had to memorize information by heart. They had memorized genealogies, the new names, or the new incidents, the new poetry, the new points, and sometimes the poetry we're talking about was memorized. Possibly 1000s of verses memorized one after another by these elves. So they had this

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tradition of memorizing information. Okay, unlike other civilizations in the world, and the Quran was revealed to these people, according to a plan, I believe this was planned by God Almighty, He sent down the Quran to

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people who didn't have a literary tradition as such, because the Quran was going to be memorized. And when it came down, when it was read publicly, within the life of the Prophet, it was immediately memorized, and also penned down by those who could read and write. Okay, so not everyone could read and write. That's why the Quran came as a reading. Yeah, as an oral tradition. Right. And it was spread like that. Yeah. But then there were individuals who who knew how to write. And there were very few number. Yes. So they started to write the Quran down. And they were over 60 scribes of the poem, this was at the time of the Prophet peace be upon. People were writing down the Quran. Yes,

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during the lifetime of the product, sometimes some, you know, I've heard this claim made by some atheists, maybe some orientalist as well, that there was nothing pinned down to off to the Prophet.

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A lot of these claims are either outrightly ignorant, or they are malicious. Because if anyone who's claiming this has studied the history of Islam, he or she is either a liar or completely didn't read it properly, you know, because audition is full of reports were up whereby we read that the progress a lot of Salaam had a number of scribes, every time their religion came down, they would come with the parchments with the writing materials, would they import with the with the with the pens made of twigs and sticks, and they would start writing whatever methods they had to write. So they were not expert scribes, no doubt, they were not like the Byzantines or even the Persians or even the Indians

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and the rest of the civilizations we know, in human history. But they had developed this system of writing and they used that primitive system, albeit primitive, so write down the Quran, and they knew exactly what they were writing. Yes, because it was the language. They understood it quite well. They knew exactly what they were writing. And it wasn't writing in isolation, was it? No, because with other civilizations, maybe the case was written and that's primary. Yes. Hey, like you discuss that the primary mode was reciting oral recitation of the Quran was only transmitted via written manuscripts, then we would be in big problem. Right? Right. But there was another tradition

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side by side. And the Arabs relied mostly on the memories, okay. And it's not one person's memory. It is a number of people who had memorized the Quran entirely, entirely. Most of them had memorized Quran partially Yes. And there were a few people who had memorized the Quran entirely. So and they used to read the Quran in front of them. Yeah, each other, you know that it was not a secret society where people are reading the Quran in a small room, like the Bible was locked away for most over 1000 years for the Christians. And it had to be opened up during the reformation, when the Christians started to look into scripture.

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And clergy lost a monopoly over the scripture always interpretation. The Quran wasn't like that the Quran was read publicly.

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As soon as it was revealed it would become public business. Right? Right. It was read publicly in front of the odd the the followers of the Prophet salallahu salam, those who came to the mosque to pray behind him, they would hear it straight away, and then they would memorize it. Right? And it was it would be memorized as the Word of God. Imagine if, if they were memorizing human poetry? Yes. Poetry said by the point and they were good at writing. And they were good at doing that. Yeah. How do you think they felt about the word? That's an interesting point. So what you're saying is, yeah, if they recognize this to be the Word of God, yeah, immediately recognize the importance and

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significance of ensuring the memory of this text is perfect. It was paramount importance. to them. The Word of God took precedence over all the points. So they memorize the diligently Yeah, just a quick point on this. This is before we go on to the written because we've started to talk about so to quickly summarize, you go to the next question. So we have two parallel traditions.

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Was oral Yes, memorization, okay, word by word taught by teachers to the students. And the other one was a scribal tradition. The Quran was inscribed within the life of the prophets, Allah salons on both of these traditions go in parallel, you know, they were forwarded or they were transmitted in parallel. So brilliant. Okay, so go just quickly touch because I think we need to really want to end this point, because I know there's people that watch this, and especially in the 21st century, they think memorizing a book the size of the Quran, how is that even possible? Because we're not used to this today in today's day and age if Can you like is any examples today in the world? Because I've

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heard stories from Mauritania, that is people that can memorize volumes even today. Yes, it just, you know, it may seem bizarre to people in the West, but it still happens today. Absolutely. I mean, we have met many people who have memorized the Quran entirely. Yes, there are 1000s Yeah, possibly hundreds of 1000s we have nearly 2 billion Muslims in the world, even if you were to accept 1.5 billion as the as the mark.

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We have hundreds of 1000s of people from Morocco to Bangladesh, who have memorized the Quran entirely. Even children memorizing the Quran in the Muslim world is a normal is not an extraordinary thing. Yeah, there are people you can easily find in every single neighborhood who have memorized the Quran. On top of that, we have people who have memorized collections of prophetic tradition. Hadees okay. I have met people who have memorized for example, Bukhari and Muslim. Okay. Completely with the chains those more difficult. Yeah, no chunky.

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Look around. Yeah, yeah, we might have.

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Yeah, let me just get it. Yeah, buddy. Yeah, this al Bukhari, that's the if you pick pick up that one. Yeah. Yeah. That's that's English. Translation. Yeah. So this is Muslim. Is this a bridge to is this, this is this is this is. Now this is full translation of a Muslim. So the translation is in four volumes, so you guys can see how dense the Arabic text would probably be two volumes. And people have memorized this kind of stuff. Well, so we have people throughout Islamic history, who have memorized chunky volumes, memorizing the Quran was an ordinary thing. Yes.

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Especially in the past, and it was cross corroborated? because like you said, it was a public phenomenon. Everyone was reciting all the time. Yes. So there was there could be no secret verses added or taken out, like what happened with the Bible. So okay, because the Bible was the business of the scribes. And the clergy. And verses could be added and taken out Advil. And there was no oral tradition with the Bible to preserve it to protect it, so that people could know people could

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assess any inclusions or subtractions. When you're talking about Bible, you're talking about the New Testament, I'm talking about the new as well as the old Old Testament, right? Okay. So okay, so so if we, if we go back to this, back to this point, as we started to talk about the Quran was written down in the lifetime of the Prophet peace be upon himself was the entire Qur'an, although they'd be in a book form. Yeah, that was the entire code and pen down in the life of the Prophet peace be upon Absolutely, yes. Okay. And when How was the process of it being compiled down to a book? Where did the when did that take place? The codification? Yes, I call it codification. codification is like

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this is a Codex. Okay. This is what I mean. This is a Codex, like a book between two covers, is a Codex.

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The codification of the Quran took place after the death of the Prophet sallallahu Sallam which occurred in 630. To see approximately and that was because the Quran was still coming down. The Quran was still being received by the prophet that's why Quran was compiled randomly, randomly on different materials like some scribes chose to write on bones, others chose to write on tree skins. Some are some are using leather, you know, crude leather. So they had by for their own convenience, used different materials to write down this con, but again, to emphasize the point they relied heavily on their memory, and not one person's memory. There were a number of people multiple

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individuals who had memorized the Quran entirely. So it was impossible for one to

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forget the Koran and lose the text because others had memorized the entire text. Right? So the qualification took place after the Prophet had passed away. And then the companions like Omar Annabelle Walker had a discussion.

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I will Walker was adamant that I wouldn't do it because the Prophet didn't do it. So we will continue reading the Quran as we do today. But Omar said now we have his companions who had memorized the Quran entirely

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having taught by him, and they are dying in wars, because there were many wars after the demise of the Prophet was between the

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Arabs and the Persians and the Romans as well, were involved so many. And wars within the Arabian Peninsula, there were many people who had taken the Koran directly from the Prophet were dying. So to preserve the Quran for posterity, Omar argued that we should put it down in a Codex between two covers, which we should put it down as a book and preserve it.

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So it was so if we were to lose individuals who had memorized the Quran directly from the Prophet, then we don't lose the text. And our Walker agreed, and the Quran for the first time was put down

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in a Codex form immediately after the profits death, because our worker died two years later, right. So, this happened within two years after the profits

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passing away and even even as far as I remember, even during the process of qualification, yeah. Again, bringing the point that the met the memory of the companions was relied upon heavily, because it was cross check them and to ensure that absolutely, because we have we have reports on incidents where if one of them was to make a mistake, the others would immediately get involved. And they were they would correct the person they would say, Okay, hold on, you made a mistake, this verse or this word is not read like that, rather, it is read like that. And then it would be confirmed by other curar other readers or recitals. Yes. So we have plenty of reports to that effect, okay, where

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someone made an error in reading the Quran, others would immediately correct him because the word of god yes, it is sacred text, right. Even today, when we read poetry from a number of different points from let's say, the subcontinent we have evolved, we have evolved, we have made and people read the poetry, right. And when someone makes a mistake, in one of the verses, others immediately get involved on a ball set it like that, or it is written like that, and is the one and is published the one so you can't read it like that, you changing the poetry. So imagine the Word of God, yeah, it is impossible to change it right. So when someone would make a mistake immediately as, as a form of

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worship, as a as a virtue, people would get involved, and they would correct the mistake straightaway. So so the process was very diligent. It was very, very delicate. And

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the companions the disciples of Prophet Mohammed Salah Salaam took maximum care in preserving the Koran. So we've we up to the point, okay, fine. So at the time of aboubaker, you know, the Quran was codified. What's the next step in the history of the preservation of the next step? Because in this codification, the purpose was only to gather the Quran in one Codex.

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We know there were certain flexibilities in the text, different tribes read the Quran in, in their own dialects, because the Arabs spoke different dialects. Yes, so this flexibility was actually allowed by a law.

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So now this flexibility started to cause problems because some companions are reading in one particular style, others reading the same text, same content in another style. And these styles are then transmitted to new Muslims who had embraced Islam in let's say, Egypt, for example. And another group has embraced Islam in Iraq, and they are far apart from each other. And they are being taught by two different companions. So they thought their reading was the Quran, right? So when they got together during these wars, against the Persians, and the Byzantines, they started to read the Quran in their own styles. And then they started to argue with each other and, and arguments escalated to

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a level where the companions of the Prophet realized that if they don't do something about this problem immediately, it may become something big. So that's why one of the companions who they've been your man went to the third Caliph of Islam of man been a fan and he advised him to

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standardize the text of the Quran, as well as his room. and by extension, the reading of the Quran, right? So, remove that flexibility and narrow the Quran, Quranic text down to one particular dialect, which is the Qureshi dialect, yes. Which was the language of the Prophet. Okay. So the Quran primarily was revealed for the first time in the Qureshi dialect because that's the dialect the Prophet spoke. Okay, so was man appointed a committee of companions of the Prophet of Islam salatu salam, for people in particular. And they came together and they were advised to render the Quran in the Qureshi dialect. And that's exactly what they did, and where the differed with Zaid bin

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Tabata was the main scribes. Okay, who had done the earlier release the creation qualification in the time of a walker. He was also part of the committee, but he was not a Qureshi. He was on Medina. Right. So, Othman had commanded that if you differ with Zaid on an issue, then prefer the Qureshi dialect, which was

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Again revealed directly by Allah, Allah upon the professor salam, he's okay. So, other dialects were minused.

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When I say minus, I mean, they were basically

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the Qureshi dialect was given precedence over other styles of reading Okay, so the Qureshi style was chosen and the Coronavirus style was written down from the from from the very from from scratch again, they'd been thought of it was a supervisor, and a number of copies are made. These copies are sent to different centers, Islamic centers or Islamic centers of power. sharada Kufa, Basra, Egypt, for example, Iraq, okay, Yemen, so these copies were spread around the Muslim world and they were like master copies. So as man has had commanded that if you have the Koran written, which was in in a loose text, in the sense that people could choose their own Spelling's yeah for their convenience.

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Rather, you understand like, for if someone writes a particular verse in a certain spelling,

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those Spelling's were not necessarily standardized by a committee of qualified companions of the Prophet Allah Salaam. So different scribes had written the Quran in their own styles for their convenience and their own Spelling's because that is that it was an oral tradition. Exactly, exactly. It was an oral tradition, it was written down, it was being written down exactly, exactly. For now, it had been standardized when it comes to the written written traditionally, and the written form was the same. There was no there were no changes in the order. Yes, it was the standardization of the writing of it, okay. And to write it, they use the Qureshi style of speaking,

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right? Okay. And that style was transmitted into the writing, or was translated into the writing. And this standardized spelling spelling was sent all over the the Muslim world, and people were told to make copies from those master copies, and get rid of the own copies and copies are sent with teachers as well. Yes, absolutely to the teachers would teach how to read that particular style. And that standardization of the text or alphabets, for example, or spellings, for that matter. And the previous copies were either destroyed completely if they were written on cheap material. And it will if it was written on parchment, or leather, then what they did was they used water to wash away the

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old text, so that they could write the new text on top of on top of those parts, because apartments are very expensive. Yes, right. parchment is skin.

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And each page came from a goat. So to get one page of skin Yeah, you would have to say how we use paper today vase. Exactly. paper is like you can do I mean, we have we have this example is as worthless as toilet papers. Right? But it wasn't like that. In those days. paper is like, especially the high fuel. Exactly. Just throw away your call. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. parchments were very, very expensive. So they washed away the pot parchments. They washed and clean. And then they wrote the new standardized text with new spellings on those pots. Brilliant. Okay. And that's how we have the Quran today. Absolutely. In the in the oldest copies we have today. Yes, we have that particular

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version, which was standardized by Othman for the long run, and his committee and collectively other companies because all the companions agreed with that particular action except one, Abdullah bin Masood, he had agreements that you didn't get me involved. Yeah, I memorize the Quran directly from the Prophet 70 chapters of the Quran, were directly supervised by the prophet

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to me, okay, and why didn't you consult me in this compilation? And I was memorizing the Quran when they didn't have it. Who was the manager? Who was the supervisor of that particular committee? When he was he was a child. Yeah. Or maybe he said he wasn't even born. So he had this grievance, which was clarified later that you know, you were in Iraq, yes. And it was an urgent task.

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What that shows us is the is the, the how valuable they held the memorization of the Quran and what they had memorized. That's correct. So if anything is supports the claim and the understanding that you know, the companions took the memorization or very seriously, it was a joke. Absolutely, that it wasn't something just that Yeah, we have reports that have man

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commanded the scribes to spell certain words in a certain way. He actually instruct even words, let alone sentences and chapters words with that, that took that took so much care in spelling certain words, to ensure that the reading is as convenient as possible for those who will be who will be reading in the future. Because every written tradition has a style has a particular style has a particular way. Okay. And this committee

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He had standardized the text. This is how you write the Quran. These are the spellings you use. And now according to the consensus of the scholars of Islam, it is absolutely prohibited or forbidden to write the Quran in another style or in other spelling, it is very easy for me to pick up the Quran today and read it in the Arabic language and transliterated in the English language. But scholars believe that absolutely not allowed the scholars of the Quran they believe it is not allowed to do that because you will be breaking the consensus of the companions of the Prophet. And the consensus of the companions of the Prophet is as good as Sharia.

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Absolutely, thank you. Thank you. I think that's been, you know, really, really beneficial. You know, I wanted to do this as an introductory episode to the preservation of the Quran the specific topics I want to go into with you in future episodes, okay, like the different dialects, for example, and so on and so forth. But we'll I think that's enough food for thought for people watching. So if you've found this beneficial, make sure to comment below leave your suggestions below too. If you have any questions for non please leave them below. I will share them with him and he will be able to give us some response. One thing we didn't mention, but what he did is give me a

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list of some reading of books that you recommend. I'll put in the description box, okay for our audiences, and until next time, take care