Channel: Boonaa Mohammed
In this episode Boona Mohammed hang’s out with Sh. Saad Tasleem who talks about Celebrity Dawah.
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah Monica rahmatullahi wa barakatuh Welcome to the first ever episode of this brand new series, which literally I invented an hour ago. Okay, this is a series we're titling Hangout, where I get the chance to hang out with people who I respect people who I learned from people who I think are great community leaders and important figures that should have some sort of outlet to discuss just regular issues just hanging out like regular casual people. So for today's very first episode, we have with us a guest, who I'm sure most of you know, if you don't know, he's someone right now who's doing an amazing job all around the Global Head of
spraying the Dean of lost parents, Allah, and he's a teacher with a mother Institute as MIT as well as do many other things. Outside of that, chicks ax asleep, who graduated from university, some University of Medina is with us here today in our studio, kind of a studio, I guess. Sound like, Hello, How's everything? Everything's good? We've been abusing you today. Yes. It's been a long day. Yeah, this is like your 14th hour of recording. So I think we're getting good, good usage out of you.
for joining us, actually, you have come up with this idea. Yeah, this nice little talk show format, which I think is gonna be cool. It'll kick off, it'll get very popular show. And we get to give you some of the credit for that much elbow. First question. We were actually discussing a little bit earlier, the fact that you had been active now in the you know, quote, unquote, Western dow scene for about three years, three years. So you graduated from Medina, three years ago? or four years ago? No, about two and a half, three years ago? Okay. Not three years ago. So now that you're out of school, okay. And you're actually in the the world that you were sent to kind of, you know,
participate in? Yeah. Do you find it to be much different? Do you find it isn't what you expected it to be? Well, one of the things that I did when I was in Medina is that I would come home every summer. And the purpose of that was really so that I don't lose touch with things back home. So for me, there, there are some things that I was not expecting. But I think for the most part, I kind of just fit right in, I was pretty comfortable. Just getting my feet wet. So it wasn't that big of an issue, like just settling down. So there were a couple things that like unexpected, but it's just because I was taking out a new task that I really hadn't done full time before. That's full time
down. Right. So tell me the number one thing that just shocked you like, you were like, what the heck is this? I wasn't expecting that. Well,
I'll tell you this. One of the biggest challenges that I didn't realize is going to be a big challenge is the traveling part. You know, from the outside, it seems so awesome. You get to travel things great traveling, you think you see the world? Yes, don't romanticize from the outside. But I can tell you, that's probably one of my biggest challenges is traveling. And it's not just it's it's the physical challenge of traveling. It's being away from your family. Being with my parents, just what it does to your body, just a spirit of the big and they're like physical fitness and stuff like that.
Yeah, exactly. Once you start traveling, it's just it's a whole nother ballgame. Yeah. I mean, it's funny you mentioned that because I know what you've always done like Oh, brother, you get to see this country in that country. Bolivia. I don't see anything. Yeah, I mean, either all you see the airport, you see a hotel, you see like a couple things. Yeah. And that's it. Definitely. For me, when I go to a place I'm in and out. Because if I have extra time, I'd honestly rather spend at home with my family. So they're like, check, you want to go see this number? No, I just want to teach. And
so I've been to places around the world that have like big, big landmarks that I just haven't seen. Yeah, but yeah, I went there, but I didn't really see my hotel. I lived in Egypt for a couple months and I never went to the pyramids. Yeah. Is that wrong? Well, I don't know. It's fine. Let us like but now like in the bigger context of things yeah, like you're like a celebrity. Okay, okay. I'm
tired I guess. Okay. But what do you think about this title? I mean, people say this kind of thing. Like jokingly enough you have these celebrities you have these celebrity dies who are out there you know, Mashallah, this brother is very popular this many YouTube hates as many Facebook lights Mashallah, you started looking at them if you want, right? So tell me what, what does that what does that do that title celebrity chef? What is that duty? Honestly, for me, I just, I don't feel any different. It's just, I'm actually very, like, when people come up to me and they're like, they recognize me like, I'm always surprised, like, really me, like everyone else is always awesome
people the world like really like me.
In terms of celebrity culture, I think it has its positives, and its negatives, I would say the celebrity culture. On the positive side. I think it's great that young people are looking up to humans and shifts, rather than like rappers or actors and things like that. So, from that sense, I think it's awesome. I think it's great that they have these positive role models that they look up to and they aspire to be like them.
On the negative side, the issue of intentions, I think that's where people really need to like refocus, readjust. We know and one of the themes heady the percent of that one of the things that leads to the Hellfire are a reasonable person seeks knowledge, we know that seeking knowledge leads you to agenda, I should have said whoever seeks are certainly takes the path in search of knowledge, a lot of MCs their path to paradise easy. However, another Hades parts are described three people who seek knowledge, but they'll end up in the hellfire. And one of them is a person who seeks knowledge literally across the internet to turn the faces of people towards himself. And that's for
the attention. So that's where I think we kind of need to be really careful. And I'm always when a young person comes up to me and they're like, I want to be just like you. I always asked why. Why do you want to be just like me? Is it because I'm learning Islam, I'm teaching Islam and benefiting people, or I don't like it when they say you're on stage, you get to meet people, you're famous. I'm like, Okay, this is not cool. We need to have a proper discussion, because that is the wrong intention to be seeking knowledge as a wrong intention to learn and teach us know, some that aspect. I think it's a responsibility that we have as their art scholars, not concept scholar, other
scholars, as speakers as public speakers that we are constantly re emphasizing that with especially the younger crowd that listen, it's great that you look up to us. But that's not why you should seek No, not for the attention. You know, there's one thing that kind of scares me, is when I see a lot of people like you that I would consider you a person of knowledge. But there's a lot of people who don't have a formal Islamic background in terms of knowledge. But yet they're literally out there giving futsal us you know, on Facebook, on YouTube, specifically, people who I wouldn't even ask them what time of the day it is. And I'm saying like, I wouldn't think that they're capable of
answering any really sophisticated Islamic thought whatsoever. But yet, they're out there giving advice. And I know like, do you see how people can get advice and stuff like that? That's cool. But like, where do we draw the line? And where do people actually figure it like, Look, this is not a personal knowledge, you should be talking to them. Look, I think that's one of the other problems is that for the layman, it's hard to tell because if you judge a person's knowledge or whatever, or they try to build a credibility based off of how popular they are, you're in a lot of trouble. Because being popular doesn't necessarily mean that you're knowledgeable, not say that somebody
who's knowledgeable cannot be popular. And that happens. And then that's that's happening. But the average person may not be able to tell the difference between just like just someone who gives us the electrons, an actual real deal scholar. So I usually say there's three, there's three characteristics that a person needs to have before you actually take serious knowledge from them. Like if you want effects, or serious advice. Number one, that should be someone who's trustworthy. You trust their Deen you trust the other person? Number two is that this is the issue of qualified, qualified or being qualified. They have some type of education that comes with a degree something
they spent a certain number of years studying with certain scholars. And this is not something you can really hold on to you can say, you know what, I trust this person I trust taking my deal from this person. Unless I'm someone who you have access to obviously, yeah, so yeah, you know, I think it's, it's crazy. People ask me stuff all the time. You know, guys, if you're asking me for questions, that's how I know you're misguided.
I might have started nothing. Don't ask me. There's a lot of people out there. I wonder like, you know, it's sad enough for people that might ask me a question. And I would like I have a little bit of shame. They'll tell you look, I don't know the answer you have. It makes me look dumb. I don't care. I'm not gonna tell you something wrong. Some people I just tell them, I see them like, Oh, yeah, no problem. I heard this person say this. Or even funnier. Sometimes people say like, Oh, this is the opinion of SATs asleep. Yeah. I can't tell you. I can't tell you how many times I get misquoted. That's one of my biggest pet peeves is being misquoted. So inherit something I said and
then said he said this and then it's just, I mean, even with that, we need to be let alone the issue of just giving answers. But quoting someone that has a responsibility. And you can tell I'm misguide people, you can.
I've been in situations where people say you said this, and you never said that. And I know I'm very careful about and I tell my students in class, I said, Listen, be very careful when you poke me. Because I say things that even context is very important. I remember the first time I taught the shade pod class the section study of ship on I said something, it was just a funny thing. I said it was in context of some joke. I said she had Pong loves carbs. Right. It was a joke. carbs. carbs. Yeah. Carl Rogers. Yeah. Okay. So and it was funny in the context we were talking about, you know, it wasn't obviously it wasn't a serious issue. Somebody tweeted that. At sought to sleep, hashtag
deception, whatever. And people like you trying to say carbs, hot on carbs, the food of [???]load and his kids huge issue online. And what's funny is they did misquote me with a quote out of context. Oh, man, you know, yeah, it's weird. So is it a good thing or a bad thing being a celebrity quote, unquote.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
I say it's fine. It's okay comes, it comes with the territory. For me, like I said, I'm always surprised when people think of me as a celebrity or whatever. I don't think of me as a celebrity. If I ever need to humble myself, I just go talk to my wife. She puts me up.
Why is it good for that? Let us know who we are. Exactly. Okay, here's a scenario for you. This happens to me all the time. I think it's happened to us we get together a group of sisters walked by, okay, conference, whatever.
They wanted a picture. Yeah, what do you do? Okay, so in general, I don't take pictures. And then I'm quoted on this. Oh, get the pens ready. In general, don't take pictures with sisters.
There are a few exceptions to that. Okay. Number one, if it's like an auntie or someone older, Okay, then I'll take a picture. I was gonna be like hugging yourself.
Okay, or if
there's been a case where there's a husband or wife, and they're like, you know, my children look up to you want a picture with you? And I was okay. So your husband stands next to me. And then your wife sends on the other side?
Yeah, it sounds like, but what it's like, young girls, they're like, Oh, my God, we want a picture with you. I'm like, No, I'm just I don't want to open that door. I just, I'm not comfortable with that. Do you ever get hate for that? from what? From the sisters? Like, they'll see you and be like, What? What's a good picture? And then you turn them down? And they're like, Oh, great. I hate him now. No, I mean, look, if I don't need them to like, chill to kill him. Yeah, but at the same time, on the other hand, I want to teach them what's correct as well. So I'm not going to compromise my morals. Because that goes against, I want them to like me for the morals that I have. And instead of
liking for, like me for
other than my morals other than what I view to be right, and that's not right, like me for the right reasons. So it kind of defeats the whole purpose of
a young girl. I know a lot of people who would think like, okay, I want people to think that I'm a jerk. I don't want people to think like, you know, the message that I have is now you know, they might get tainted and not listen to you in the future. So people kind of like, feel like they have to, you know, make that one concession. Look, I feel like if you listen to my talks, if you've attended my classes, you know who I am, you know what I'm like, and you know, you won't, if you're just gonna judge me based off of one action, the action like, Oh, you didn't stand right next to me and take a picture of me. And that's, that's not fair, obviously. And then you can basically take
anything that I do and, you know, Say what?
any message for the haters, no message for the haters, haters. We know you're out there. Love the haters. I don't love the haters. I know. You're supposed to love the haters. My mom said that. I don't. I don't know. My policy is ignore the haters. Never apply. Never, never don't feed the trolls. You know, that means? Yeah, don't don't give them ammunition. That's why even on my Facebook page, I have a very strict policy. We are very quick to ban and delete comments one strike in your out. Yep, definitely told my admins, any any anyone who's being idiotic. anyone's being rude. Not just to me, but to the other people are commenting, using profanity and things like that.
Immediately been delete. Yeah, no problem with that. I was telling you the story earlier that I was in Canadian tar. It's like a hardware store. And I was wearing a film and I came up with a very old man came up to me, he's like, are you transsexual? And I was like, What? He's like, well, you're wearing a dress. And I was like, Okay, so what does it if a priest wears a dress or a gown? Is he also transsexual? He was like, no crystal shop with Canadian hardware, or a Canadian Tire. And I was like, man, I wasn't having a good day. Anyways, it really started snowing. And I was like, I'm not that guy. He was like a real life troll. Usually you don't see them in real life. Yeah. And I was
just like, caught in between. Should I hit him? Should I hug him? Look, look for me. I prefer real life trolls. Because then you can actually have a face to face conversation. You can reason with a person and say listen, let's work out this issue. You have a problem with me. You don't like what I said? Let me explain it to you. But online I don't think is a place to do that. Because it just goes back and forth back and forth. And it's like it just becomes about proving the other person wrong and just that's not the place for it. So I tell people if you have a problem with anything I do anything I say an opinion I hold no problem. I did not just come up to me personally and ask me but
we'll discuss it. What about Yeah, these people they hide behind closed doors and stuff like that on it's always it's always it's always Abu A B Oh, it's it's it's a boo so and so and so and so and all those
brothers are really
either Yeah, Brother, please. You know, whatever here a lot. Things like that. Don't take it easy, man.
That's fine. I mean, I tell you this like I remember Mashallah, when I first met you, I think I mentioned first time in Toronto, at a festival bus. Yeah, in Toronto. 2011 I think
it is now. But I remember people were like, man, Mashallah. He's gonna be the next big thing. It was a lot of hype around it. Do you ever feel like there's a lot of pressure on you to perform and to be that person? A lot of people might think, oh, he's young. So he's the youth guy. Yeah, he's the guy that we'll send our kids to when they're messing
Look, I just I try to be honest to who I am. As a person. I know people portray me in different lights.
I was initially I think I was it was made out to be that I'm this like super outgoing like into like, extreme sports and all this kind of stuff GoPro on your head. And anyone who knows me knows that I'm actually quite an introvert. Like in my daily life, I'm very quiet I keep to myself. Yeah, I ride a motorcycle. But what people don't realize is that that's a very introverted thing to do. Because you're by yourself. I never thought about it, there's Yeah, there's no one else there just it's you got the wind in your in your hair in your face, and it's just rotting you and your thoughts. And that's what I love about writing is just that personal, peaceful time. So in general,
I just try to be honest, I try to be open try to be who I am in my public and private life. I try to keep even and so like, people know, for example, that I like comic books, I like comic book characters. And that is just not I mean, I understand first shift, it's like really odd that a shift would be into like, Batman or whatever, things like that, almost. And that's why I am. And that's, and that's, and if I'm not real, I just, I'm not going to be on either way. I'm not going to try to be more religious, more religious. Now what I am not going to try to be more cool than when I am. Because I've always believed that when you try to be cool, that's when you're not cool.
That's a tweet right there. And you try and be cool. You are not cool. That's an official status. But you kind of had a crazy past. I mean, you had a little bit of a jazzy, I guess you could say, yeah, me, I'm still living a jacket. So I guess I'm still out there. But you have like, you know, I mean, everyone talks about the story used to be in a punk rock band and used to be like, a musician and used to be, you know, tell us a little bit about that. I know, he probably told the story a bazillion times, I don't want to tell the whole story. But I just want to pinpoint, you know, a moment, while you were in that state that really made you reflect and ponder upon the fact that, you
know, this is not the life I should be living like, was there a specific moment or a gem that you derived from that party, there was a moment, there's actually, I mean, I've tell the story, but it's telling me, I was actually at a concert, I was out of that I was at a music concert. And then basically, the lead singer of the band was playing, he comes out he goes, you know, we're all gonna have fun tonight, you guys know how to have fun. And immediately, I thought to myself, and I kind of had, I don't want to say out of body experience, you don't want to go in that territory. But I kind of felt like, I could look down on myself and the crowd of people and stage. And the question I was
asking was, is this what life is about? Is this all that life is about just trying to have as much fun as possible? Am I gonna go from day to day, just trying to have more fun? Is that it that has to be more to life than that. And for me, my life really changed. When I started asking myself, the big and uncomfortable questions, questions, like,
what happens after you die? Right? And being real with yourself in terms of you don't know when you're gonna die?
You don't know what's gonna happen, you don't know how you're gonna go? And will you be okay with the life that you've lived? And so a lot of times, we just go from day to day, day to day just living life, you know, one day to another one day to another. And I often say ask young people especially Listen, when you're sitting on your deathbed, if you get that chance, and you look back at your life, are you gonna say like, that was a very fulfilling life. And now I'm comfortable passing on going into the asset, or are you going to be like, Huh, I just spent my life chasing something that isn't actually real. And that is something I couldn't live with, with the band and
music and all that stuff. And it was fun. It was great. microstate was a fun life. But I just knew I just could not I know that. I don't want to die that way. I don't want to die knowing that's my sort of my life doing. Do people from Jay Z ever reached out to you? People see you now. Like, I used to know this guy. That was like, I used to be with this. Now. He's all religious and stuff like that people like to change. Yeah, I mean, I got that when I first started practicing. When I first started practicing stem, like, I consider myself accepting some actually, but I caught that and people like what happened to you all of a sudden, like I thought a lot. But now I think even the
people who saw me change, if they don't understand exactly why I changed or what happened, they at least respect the fact that I've devoted my life to like a cause. And something which is important to me. So I think what happy Muslims or non Muslim actually, all my friends, before I start practicing, I didn't have any Muslim friends, my friends were all non Muslim. And it's peddle a lot of my non Muslim friends, they actually respect what I'm doing. And that's something that I always give them credit for. And I still have access to them still in touch with a couple of my friends
from Gen Z, and we're fine you know, over time give them any doubt. Always Always. There's direct outward this indirect datawalk tried both. Initially, I started practicing trying to give like super direct our like Archie was today.
And I was like, I was I was to paddle that happen in my class. I would take that. iPhone six, please don't take it away. Yeah, so um, you know that then obviously, when you mature you realize that sometimes it's not that's, you know, that's not always gonna work. That's not the right approach. Sometimes you just need to take time. They need to see who you are.
Be a positive influence in your life. What's coming up for us that this week? What things do you have done the pipeline? What can we expect now, new classes without motive? Definitely job market is probably my main area of focus. There's a couple other things I can't really share right now. But I have a couple other projects and couple things on the way jello data. Best thing I would say, watch out for my YouTube channel, I've started to pay a lot more attention to my YouTube channel. So that's one of my goals to really build the channel. So if you're watching, you haven't subscribed yet, go subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, kind of not really had it with Facebook these days. with Facebook, there's just a lot of a lot of haters then a lot of I don't know, I just feel like they just appear more on Facebook, the more I just didn't know what I think. I think there's a lot of people who are getting exposed to my page who normally would not be exposed to it and so you have people from all over the world and they don't understand who I am and I use it too much because that's what I don't know. I don't know what it is. But it's just there's there's a lot of negativity on Facebook these I don't know like there's a lot of people just I don't know, it was really chilled out Instagram. I
love Instagram. Instagram is awesome like my Instagram crowd I love them. My Twitter crowd I love I adore my space. My Space yes definitely gotcha Yeah. Go check out my space blackplanet anybody like that? No. Never heard of no okay. It was it was a thing at one time it was it was pretty pretty poppin Okay, so will we ever see you settle down company ma'am anywhere that's what I want to know.
These are Muslim she you Mashallah to travel and like to teach, but it's a lot different being like any man, like your community leader, like embedded within one city not being able to travel, that's something you would ever take on down the line. A lot. It's possible in the future. I don't see myself doing it at the in the immediate future. But it's very possible. I think eventually, I need to settle down. I'm just traveling. It's already it's getting to me. So I don't know how long I'll be traveling. It's like your passport and you have no choice. Yeah.
That happens and I always tell people listen, the fact that most of the consensus instructors out like take advantage of it. Because you don't know how long it's gonna happen. I know. I don't want to say particular instructors, but you know, not a lot all these trucks are going to be teaching forever. Yeah, so when a class comes to your, your city, man, take it I know for myself, I'm not gonna be doing this forever. I'm not gonna be traveling forever. Eventually, I'm gonna have to settle down being my city and just giving down my city a lot of emails and all the truth even that I look at now I'm like, analog, like, a couple years ago, they were very active traveling and other
dislike, you know, rather just stay locally. So could happen to you. You never know that it could. I mean, just gonna have to happen at some point. You don't have to sell them. Sharla We hope you have a long career. You know, maybe they we know that these planes that travel superduper fast. They get to like from London to New York and like 20 minutes, so maybe you won't have jet lag anymore. You know, I get the craziest, craziest jet lag. There's a you know, Bucky? Yeah, he has this thing. I don't know how it happened to him. He claims that he does not get jet lag. There's people like that. I wish I had that. You know who else doesn't get jet lag? From what I recall what I remember she
kept her bra he used to tell me a trick I think from I remember he used to tell me that. It's like you have to sleep at the time zone where you're going to do something like I tried everything I've tried everything is a technique. If you sleep and you eat at a certain time, then your body thinks it's at where it's going. So you can actually manipulate yourself into staying awake. I've never worked for me ever again. Like nothing I need to go to my places like Australia like a day and a half early Mali if you're familiar Yeah, me too. Yeah.
Definitely. Because I can't function Yeah, even in the UK, which is fine but like power difference are problems teaching about West Coast Cali and these places. Yeah, that's three hours. Not too bad. But the thing is, you gain three hours and you go to Cali so that's that's that's good. Kelly's so beautiful. It doesn't have Kelly's nice, cool place to go.
first ever hang out. Hope you guys enjoyed it in Charlotte. You'll see more from us. Make sure you stay tuned and follow all the programs here on Sakina. TV inshallah you see more of us coming very soon. Zack Lafayette for watching Santa Monica likey on Bobcat