Toxic Religiosity

Ammar Alshukry

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Channel: Ammar Alshukry

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Okay, so I want to make sure to leave some a good amount of time for the q&a. So sha Allah Tala, I'll be brief. But when we're talking about

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toxic religiosity, many times the image that comes to people's mind is somebody who's just very, very critical of them. Someone who seems to wield the Quran and Sunnah as a weapon over their head, someone who may even declare that going against whatever it is, is haram, of course, or even destined to the Hellfire if a person crosses this line or what have you.

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And it's given this concept called the Haram police a bad rap, I think I'm sure you guys are all familiar with the Haram police or the bidet police or what have you, when we see something wrong? Are we supposed to communicate that that's wrong? Yes or no?

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Yes. In fact, the province of the lightest and it says in this hadith as reported by Muslim that whoever if you cease an evil, then let them change it with their hand. And if they can't, then change it with their tongue, and if they can't let them, change it with their tongue, and that's the lowest level of Eman. The lowest level is Iman is if I see something wrong, that I at least dislike it.

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So then the question becomes, how do I engage in a way that is positive? Because engaging is actually one of the pillars of Islam? We've got a beautiful word for it hon model for Nihan monka, commanding my roof, and forbidding mooncup. And it's generally translated as good, commanding good and forbidding evil, but my roof actually doesn't mean good. That would be a llama who will care but it's my roof. And what does my roof mean? My Arabic speakers with this, when you say something is milder, what does that mean? It's something that's known. It's something that's familiar. It's something that's recognizable. It's something that's mainstream and what does Moncada mean? Gotta

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mean something that's unknown. You know, in Arabic grammar one on one you learn Nikita and mighty ha, well, Nicola is that which is indefinite that which is unknown. And the meaning here is that we as a community are supposed to engage that which is positive, so that it is always something that's familiar, it's always something that's known. And we are supposed to work together to suffocate that which is evil, so that it is always unknown. It's never allowed to bubble to the surface. But if you don't do that, if that societal engagement is not there, then guess what, within five years or 10 years that which was previously unknown, will become known. And I think we've all experienced that,

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where things that were very, very, very clearly wrong and haram 1015 20 years ago, are now considered to be known and welcomed and celebrated. That is what happens when the monka becomes Malouf. In any case, how do I engage because Allah subhanaw taala actually says that we're the best Ummah, because we command the good command the metal roof, and forbid the evil contemplado meeting of the deadliness that Morona been model for tahona Animoca Tomino. Nebula Allah says you are the best online derived from mankind. Why? Because we're from here or there, we're from Chicago. Why are we the best whom Allah says because you command the good and forbid the evil and you believe in

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Allah.

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We're the OMA that hasn't seen a prophet in 1400 years, every other OMA has had prophet after prophet after prophet, we haven't seen a prophet in 1400 years. Allah says we're the best Ummah, because we're the ones who do the work of Prophets. We do it by committee, we do it all together, we command the good and we forbid the evil. So then, what are some of the responses that we get from people when we try to engage? I try to connect somebody's behavior.

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You'll hear things like

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Worry about yourself.

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Just worry about yourself.

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Why you worried about meto Worry about yourself? Okay.

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I have to worry about you though.

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Because the province cellulitis and obsess whoever of you sees an evil and let them change it with their hand, so I have to worry about you.

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And Allah subhanaw taala, he says, Lutheran, they were cursed those from Al Kitab, from Benny Islam in upon the tongue of Jesus Christ and on the tongue of dilute or that wouldn't Jesus Christ, can you lay it and I hope I'm calling for Allah, they used to never refrain from criticizing an evil that was done, person would do evil and they would High Five them and still hug them and still hang out with them and do all of these types of things. And so Allah says, they were cursed because of that on the tongue of Jesus Christ among the tongue of that wood. So I have to engage. But then the question becomes, how do I engage?

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We'll talk about that, but but the responsibility is there. In fact, a walk God upon the member, as the Khalifa and he said, oh people, you are all reciting this verse. And you are getting

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get wrong you're misunderstanding it. Allah Subhana Allah Allah says yeah you know I they come full circle lie adoro command Bala ADA today to O people, O you who believe upon you, you got to worry about yourself, you will not be harmed by those who are misguided if you are guided. So if I'm reading this verse it is it looks like as long as I prefer, it doesn't matter who doesn't prefer it as long as I stay high that it doesn't matter who's doing out on but Abu Bakr said, No, you're misunderstanding this verse, I heard the prophets of Allah de centum say that if people witness evil and they don't engage in changing it, Allah subhanaw taala may punish them all.

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So I can't just worry about myself. In fact, I worry about you as part of worrying about myself because we're all in this boat together. Literally. Another argument that people give is,

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don't judge me.

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Don't judge me.

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Okay?

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Number one, I'm not judging you.

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A person can commit a sin and they can be closer to Allah subhana data and then me possibly, I don't know what your journey is going to take you or where your journey is going to take you. But I am required to judge this particular action and I'm not even I'm not even the one judging it. Allah subhanaw taala judged Allah made drinking haram, what do you want me to do?

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Allah Subhana Allah, Allah made smoking marijuana haram the province of Allah it is and then made it what do you want me to do? If you do a sin publicly, then it is my responsibility to judge it? And then at the same time, do we really carry that attitude in every other aspect of my life? When I submit an assignment to my professor, and he gives me back a c plus two, I say to him, how dare you judge me? You can't judge me if I go to propose to a family. I say to the father of the girl, don't judge me. I have no career. I have no focus. I have no this. But don't you dare judge me? No, we all judge people in different aspects of our lives. In fact, we need to we need to make judgments about

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people a lot of times in our interactions. But when it comes to the religious realm, we're so afraid of this judgment. And at the same time, we don't even carry that judgment. Judgment is for Allah subhana data. You know,

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of the light misfields One time great companion of the Prophet spotlight is said no, there was a person who had drank alcohol. And some of the companions have been much older, being very aggressive with him. In fact, they were even beating the guy up and I stopped them. And they said it'd been miserable. They said, Don't you hate him? And he said, No.

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He said, If he fell into a well, wouldn't you pull him out? He's your brother said I only hate the sin. But if he repents, then he's my brother. That's the goal. And so the idea of judgment is one that I believe is weaponized, actually, against those who tried to do is lie those who tried to do correction for our brothers and sisters. And then number three, under this is that we're all at different levels of email, a person might ask and say, we're all at different levels of email, like you're talking to me about this, I'm not where you're at.

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And that's a very, very correct statement, we are all at different levels of ima.

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And what that means is, that requires from me to change the tools that I use for my toolbox. But it doesn't abdicate me from the responsibility of correction. And what I mean by that is that I won't talk to somebody who knows better. Like someone who doesn't know better, I'm not going to act and talk to somebody who I have incredible rapport with someone's like my little brother, or someone who is a family member, or someone who I've known for years.

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And I have a lot of rapport with them, I'm not going to speak to them, I might speak to them with a little bit more severity than if I speak to somebody who I don't know, for that person, I might use tweezers for my brother, I might use a hammer. And my brother will accept that from me because I have incredible currency with them. And a lot of people unfortunately, they don't get that right. And so they'll be speaking to somebody who they don't know, online. And they're telling them that they're doing to this and they're doing to this and they're doing to this and meanwhile, they're like Avatar is you know, some anime character and like, it's like, who are you?

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Who are you? Why are you talking to them like this? You have zero rapport with this individual. And so, you know, Abdullah bin, I give you a quick example. Also, Abdullah, no, I'm delighted the amount of this time I've told him that I had a friend of mine who attended one of these like, really harsh conferences where they kind of just, they, they they charge their battery with, you need to go out into this world and you need to correct people correct people correctly. And we were both like,

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I want to say like, right after college, so like, early 20s. And he went to this conference and he came back to the masjid. And he was like, he was like, we need to go in advance.

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As the people,

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and then he gave me a quote that he heard at that conference, you know, that Abdullah live and I remember one time a person came to him and he said to him, I love you for the sake of Allah. And I'm delighted. I'm gonna say to him, I hate you for the sake of Allah.

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And the guy was like, Why do why? And he said, Because you make the idea. I like the idea of singing. Like, you just kind of go off on your little notes, and you just make it like weird, basically. So he said, I hate you for the saying, Well, look, I believe him. When he said to him, I hate you were this evil. I said, Listen, I'm delighted. I remember when he said that. Number one, what was his age? What was his role? What was his status, he was an elderly companion. In fact, he was he was considered at that point, one of the main teachers of the OMA like, I want you to imagine the most scholarly senior figure, and you love so much. And you would accept that from him. But if

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me and you 20 something years old, go outside and start telling people in the masjid, I hate you, for the sake of Allah, they're gonna say to you will come hate me outside.

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Come outside and tell me how much you hate me.

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You're not going to get the result. It's about the result you want. The goal should always be that you benefit this person. You know, one of the questions that I get a lot is when people are trying to correct their parents.

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And they say, you know, my mom does this, or my dad does this, what should I do? I keep telling them, and they don't listen to me. I'm like, Hey, Baby, what parents has ever listened to their child.

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When your parents when when you talk to your parents, I don't care what degree you have, they are seeing a baby talking. They're seeing that same baby from 25 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, even then they're still they're just seeing you. So if my goal is to benefit them, then one of the things which is a manifestation of sincerity, is that I have to remove myself. Because my goal is not to be the one to teach them anything. My goal is not to be the one who benefits anyone from almost anything, my goal is for them to be benefited. So whether that happens through me talking to them, that's great. Whether it comes through somebody else me sharing a video of their favorite

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chef, I send that to them, and I let them listen because they enjoy it. Or I have somebody else talk to them. The goal is for them to benefit. And so if a person has that sincerity, that's the the most important ingredients when you are trying to reach and benefit people. I have had people in my life growing up were very, very strict Muslims very strict. If I made a single slip, they were on me like that. But the thing that allowed me to accept from them is because I always knew that they were coming not from a place of ego, but they were coming from a place of love and wanting good for me. And that will make up for a lot of the defaults in approach. A lot of the defaults in a lot of those

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mess. A lot of the defaults, defects and method as well. I'll end here in Charlotte, North Carolina license