Tuesday Halaqa Series Like the Teeth of a Comb Supporting Our Black Brothers and Sisters

share this pageShare Page
Haifaa Younis

Channel: Haifaa Younis

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


00:00:02--> 00:00:05

Bismillah your Walkman you're walking

00:00:14--> 00:00:41

on the floor what occurred to smilla Al Hamdulillah salat wa salam ala rasulillah Ali he was happy woman. Melinda Miam foul now on fana vema alum center in Nicosia, Mian moody Buddha. Welcome back. Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen. We are now in the month of shawal. Oman is done. And now you just don't make a lot except from all of us and hamdulillah by His grace, we are back to our Tuesday Hello, series and welcome back. And my Lord, everyone who is showing us

00:00:42--> 00:00:45

It has been an extremely

00:00:46--> 00:01:30

pleasant last week as we all are living and still living. It's very sad, what is happening, what's happened and what's happening. And we thought agenda Institute that's probably it's the time to discuss this topic as Muslims. What should we do when we see what's happening around us? The injustice, the reactions? Should we do something should we not and how do we do with and I found the first person to talk about this is not myself actually is one of my dear friends and one of the human beings who are lost pantalla gave me the honor and the pleasure to host her as a guest in my house few months ago with her family. And it was one of the most beautiful days we spent together.

00:01:30--> 00:02:15

100 later on, I learned a lot from her and from the beautiful children. May Allah Subhana Allah accept from her from everything she she does. Honestly there is no need to introduce her but I'm just going to give a cook line and then I will give it to her to share her wisdom and gems with us. That is the person I'm referring to is my dear friend Sheikh Hasina Bhansali. She joins us today from Knoxville, Tennessee. She's actually a resident scholar at tastier seminary. She is extremely involved in the work of Hamas pantalla spread the knowledge on different levels local national, involved with the youth involved with the interfaith and of course involved in teaching I personally

00:02:15--> 00:02:24

enjoy listening to her and I'm not going to say anything more other than I would love to hear you welcome my beautiful dear friend she has enough.

00:02:25--> 00:03:05

Thank you so much [???], I hate that doctor hate that. So now I'm on a call with Allahu taala but I care too. I pray that you are in the best of health and spirits. I want to thank Shaffer doctor Hey fat and Jenna Institute for hosting tonight's helaba I pray that everybody is doing well. It's an honor to be here with the honor to spend time with Schaffer. Hey fat, when I was in St. Louis back in the fall, and I apologize for being a few minutes behind. I know that she has I hate that Michelle was always always punctual but I unfortunately we had some meetings in our community that just kept going over so please forgive me. And I'm so happy to welcome all of the sisters that are

00:03:05--> 00:03:12

joining us. So I do have some slides but inshallah I will leave it up to Agenda Institute.

00:03:14--> 00:04:07

Tech Support inshallah, to see if we can get those up. hamdulillah my internet has not been the most cooperative lately. But let's go ahead and begin with the proper invocations and sha Allah to Allah. So we begin with Bismillah R. Rahman r Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu salam wa Tim with to seen Allah say the MDR, even more studying Muhammad wa ala alihi wa sahbihi Ashima ame. So I begin In the Name of Allah, the Lord of mercy, the giver of mercy. And may Allah Subhana Allah shower, his his peace and blessings upon Prophet Muhammad, and his family, his companions and all those who follow them mean and we ask Allah Subhana Allah to teach us that which benefits us and to

00:04:07--> 00:04:30

benefit us through that which he teaches us and to increase us in knowledge. So my reflections for tonight as Shea fat noted are really coming out of a difficult trying time, we are in a time of crisis, as a country as a nation as a community. And

00:04:31--> 00:04:46

even though I'm not able to, to see the sisters here, I'm going to assume if I may be permitted to assume that our audience might be diverse. Some of you perhaps may have been born and raised in this country. You might be your children

00:04:48--> 00:05:00

may have been born in this country and you're and you're raising them up in this country so they ever kind of struggling different cultures. Some of you might be Converse Islam indigenous to this country or

00:05:00--> 00:05:04

community, Masha Allah, one of the many strengths of our community is its diversity.

00:05:05--> 00:05:06

But as we

00:05:08--> 00:05:11

reach, I think beyond, you know,

00:05:12--> 00:05:38

the confines, if you will of the Muslim community and ponder what is happening in the larger society. We like the vast majority of Americans of people living in this country, we find ourselves confused, perplexed, anxious, worried, frightened, angry, right? Sad, there are probably there are probably a number of different emotions,

00:05:40--> 00:05:48

sort of coursing through our, our minds and our hearts. And this is a time of great

00:05:50--> 00:06:14

turmoil for this country. In fact, some people who are observers of the history, the United States have said that perhaps there are some parallels between what we're seeing right now in 2020. What happened, say, in 1992, in Los Angeles in the wake of the Rodney King verdict, if you'll remember that case, or some people have taken us back even further to say that

00:06:15--> 00:06:36

there are echoes of 1968 when the country when the country was basically convulsed by protests that became violent protests and riots. And tanks and the National Guard they were called out and tanks patrolled the streets. So there naturally there there have been efforts for

00:06:37--> 00:06:51

there have been efforts from experts and commentators and observers to help all of us kind of process this. But what I'm what I was invited to do by Shayla, hey fat is to be able to offer an Islamic perspective,

00:06:53--> 00:07:04

an Islamic lens through which to view this. And Sharla hopefully, you all, you all are able to see the slides. They're not extensive, but I just really wanted to begin

00:07:05--> 00:07:08

by first of all, and

00:07:09--> 00:07:37

offering some Well, actually this this right here, the title, I think of the presentation is one thing that I wanted to, to mention panela right at that as Muslims, naturally right. If someone were to ask us, how should we look at this? How should we process this? What do we how do we think Islam should address issues of racial justice, of equality of inequality, discrimination?

00:07:39--> 00:07:41

How does Islam build white supremacy, right?

00:07:42--> 00:07:51

Many of us might sort of naturally appeal to the egalitarian teachings of the faith, right? One of the

00:07:52--> 00:08:33

ahaadeeth that I remember hearing growing up, is this headache. And this is why I titled My presentation with this, like the teeth of a comb, right? This is actually one of the sayings that attributed the Prophet salallahu, alayhi wasallam, right, that people are equal, like, like the teeth of a comb. And so it's, this is a Hadeeth, that, interestingly enough, actually got quoted some years back and a movie, the only epic film that was made about the life of the Prophet alayhi salaatu wa Salaam, called the message, I believe that one of the characters in the film quotes this. So again, those of us who grew up

00:08:34--> 00:09:16

with the background of having converted to Islam, that we probably heard this headies you know, I come from on my mother's side, my mother converted to Islam in the 1970s. And my my father, were actually both my parents. So let me kind of backtrack a little bit. Although I speak from both the perspective of an African American and a family, you know, and someone whose family also immigrated to this country. What's interesting is that both my parents converted to Islam share that he thought no, something of my personal story. And of course, I think the personal is always relevant. So my mother became Muslim. My mother was African American from Detroit became Muslim in the 1970s. And

00:09:16--> 00:09:19

then my dad whose background is Lebanese,

00:09:21--> 00:09:43

and his grandfather immigrated when live on two was a ladder Sham, and Lebanon is part of Syria, and this was in the 1890s. So my dad's family immigrated are Christians, and my dad became Muslim in the 1970s. After my mom, so again, I was raised in a household that were my, my own parents marriage,

00:09:44--> 00:09:59

epitomize the egalitarian expression of the quality of the different races and backgrounds ethnicities within Islam. Right. And again, this is the idea that if you've even asked me as a child, what can I quote about Islam and equality, I probably would have thought

00:10:00--> 00:10:02

This Hadeeth this idea that people

00:10:03--> 00:10:13

are equal, right, like the like that, like the teeth of a comb. But one of the things that that struck me as I was thinking about this, this Hadeeth, right is that

00:10:15--> 00:10:30

there's the, there's the ideal, right, we have the Hadeeth, we have the Quranic Agha, which I'm going to share in a in just a second part of the presentation. So we have these beautiful ideals in our religion. But then we also have the reality.

00:10:31--> 00:10:33

We have the reality of,

00:10:35--> 00:11:01

well, we have the reality of human society. Right? We have the the reality, the realities of legal constructs, we have the reality of culture, we have the reality of, sadly, of ethnocentrism and racism, right? These are all things that again, you know, and then we, then we see a bit of a collision between that ideal and the reality.

00:11:03--> 00:11:11

To the extent that we are having this conversation today about how can we actually support our African American brothers and sisters, because,

00:11:12--> 00:11:23

you know, so much as you had many people Mashallah flocking to Islam, when my parents became Muslim in the 1970s, perhaps people would read The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

00:11:25--> 00:12:05

You know, you and even to this day martial law, I began many people coming into the faith, that there were people that that found this rehab, they encountered a certain reality Muslim community. And they saw that even within the Muslim community that sometimes people harbored certain ideas or assumptions, or or suppositions or even biases, that came sometimes from the larger from the wider society, or sometimes things that people imported into Islam from different cultures. Right. So my my, my advice to my dear sisters tonight is that

00:12:06--> 00:12:27

I think the first piece of advice is that we, especially those, those of you who might not be black American, or African American, or identify as such, that, that there's a responsibility be able to translate these egalitarian teachings of Islam into reality. So that if

00:12:29--> 00:12:31

an African American

00:12:32--> 00:13:01

Muslim, you know, comes into the masjid, right, obviously speaking, we are all of course, in our massages, right? But that if somebody comes into the masjid, that their first experience is an experience of being received warmly and embraced, right? That they don't feel that somehow they've they've stepped into a club that is Egyptian or Palestinian or Syrian, or Pakistani, or Indonesian, or what have you.

00:13:02--> 00:13:38

And sisters, again, please understand where I'm coming from a place of sincere Nessie have as an observer of the American Muslim scene as a student of American Muslim history, again, as the daughter of converts, but also someone who has, again, both African American and kind of an immigrant origins, that when I think of my own parents journey to Islam, you know, I think of the idea that this that they found in Islam, an antidote to so many of the ills of this society. So for example, my mother who,

00:13:40--> 00:13:51

who grew up in, in Detroit, right remembers that even though she grew up, for example, in the north, right, wasn't the segregate itself, it was in the north. But still, even though

00:13:53--> 00:14:02

discrimination was not sure it was more de facto, it wasn't necessarily encoded into the law, the way it wasn't myself, right? Under Jim Crow.

00:14:04--> 00:14:17

This whole idea of of separate but equal, which was never equal. And the North it was more de facto, right, in other words, not encoded into the law. But it was basically the reality on the ground, because

00:14:19--> 00:14:21

the structures of white supremacy

00:14:23--> 00:14:30

made it so that those Eastern European immigrants, for example, that my mother grew up around,

00:14:31--> 00:14:37

wanted the privileges of being white. And that meant that even though they weren't

00:14:38--> 00:14:59

the ideal white immigrants, so to speak, ie they weren't from Northern England or Germany or what have you, or Scandinavia, know that they came from other parts of Europe. They understood when they came to this country, that there was a hierarchy. They saw that in order to sort of access the

00:15:00--> 00:15:19

Benefits of whiteness and white privilege that there were certain ideas and mentalities that they had to, they felt that they had to, to adopt. So for example, one of the stories that my mother remembers from her childhood is walking down

00:15:20--> 00:15:28

the street is as important let's let's look at the aim shall look like walking on the street as a young child going to school.

00:15:29--> 00:15:40

And there was a neighbor at Eastern European or whatever, there was a neighbor that would come out on his porch, and actually brandish a shotgun.

00:15:41--> 00:16:02

Because African American children are walking past his house. So what I want my dear sisters to understand is that the tragedy that took place in Minneapolis last Monday, on Memorial Day, and the killing of George Floyd, the unlawful taking of human life by law enforcement, that the

00:16:03--> 00:16:31

devaluing of black life in this country, the the this, this, this mentality, this pernicious attitude of white supremacy, sadly, has a long history in his contract and can take us all the way back to the time of slavery or even before that, right. But time doesn't allow us to do that. So but I want you to understand it here. My mother is growing up in Detroit, right in the north, supposedly a more kind of progressive sort of

00:16:32--> 00:17:20

environment. And she on her way to school, as a black child, had to worry about walking past the house of a neighbor, where the man thought it was okay to brandish a shotgun. And my mother recounts how much she and her sisters went home and told my grandmother, my grandmother was a very brave woman Mashallah. And even though she was very, very petite, my mother just typically remembers my grandmother marching to his house and telling him, she actually lifted him up and pinned him against the wall of his house or whatever, and told him he better never threatened her children again. And him Did not he never threatened them again. So when my mom said, Imagine, fast forward, now she's,

00:17:21--> 00:17:30

you know, let's fast forward, I don't know about maybe 15 years or so, you know, after this, and it is now.

00:17:31--> 00:17:33

You know, some kind of lights now it's known,

00:17:35--> 00:17:40

let's say maybe more like 12 years or so fast forward, you know, and it's now 1968.

00:17:42--> 00:17:43

And

00:17:45--> 00:17:50

so candlelight breaks down 1968 and the country is being

00:17:52--> 00:18:05

convulsed by riots, right. The the National Guard has called out their tanks patrolling the streets, urban neighborhoods feel, they feel like they're under siege, right? from their

00:18:07--> 00:18:51

own government, right? This is the climate in which she, in what she what she came up, right. So these are the the memories that really shaped her childhood and, and young adulthood, right. And, of course, in 1968, what happened in 1968, you know, again, a very painful and traumatic period in the history of this country, right? We're talking about the era of the Vietnam War, agitation against the war. More specifically, we're talking about assassinations that happened that year, the assassin the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, actually right here and in Tennessee, where I am on the other end of the state of Memphis, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in California, it was a

00:18:51--> 00:19:17

time that really plunged this country to turmoil and again it these experiences really kind of set my inspired by mother to kind of go off on a quest to spiritual search and she found Islam and that's where I want to share that idea with you, right? So imagine coming from you know, that experience of that, that turmoil and and witnessing oppression and injustice. And you know, sort of

00:19:18--> 00:19:19

you know, this

00:19:20--> 00:19:54

inequality right and to see that the champion of equality for for African Americans and be for all people as being was assassinated when Dr. King was assassinated, and she finds a slum, and she reads this beautiful area, right that you see her on the slide in front of you. Right, and this is the idea that I'm sure all of us could could quote for verbatim. This is Chapter 49. Verse 13, out to be not even a shade body of law, Jean. Yeah, uh, you had NASA in NASA Nakhon in Harlequin. Aquaman decadent What was your I'm not sure Ah, that

00:19:55--> 00:19:59

was Jana Shara. dhammapada elita arasu in academic

00:20:00--> 00:20:13

command the light at Arkham in Allah and even heavier, right so we have this beautiful idea here, oh humanity or mankind, indeed, we have created you from right a male and a female. And we've made you into

00:20:14--> 00:21:08

nations and tribes, right communities and tribes that you may know one another, indeed the most noble of you. And the sight of Allah in the sight of God is the most righteous of you. And indeed Allah to Allah is Knowing and aware and acquainted, right? I can look at this beautiful ideal. And this has to inform the way we understand this issue because right now this is a very polarizing time for our nation. But we have to understand is that Allah Subhana, Allah is reminding us that all of us share, all of us share this common essence, and this common ancestry. And that the thing that is so pernicious about white supremacy, about this idea of creating a hierarchy on the basis of race

00:21:08--> 00:21:43

and ethnicity, and assigning benefits and privileges to people to people on that basis, it It runs counter to what Allah Subhana Allah is telling us here, right? There is no criterion for distinction except right in that gamma command, the law he is POC on, on the basis of your piety right on the basis of cuppla of your awareness of Allah subhanho wa Taala. So again, our responsibility first and foremost is to be able to translate these beautiful teachings into reality, the realities of how we interact with

00:21:45--> 00:22:28

Muslims of different backgrounds, different ethnicities coming to the masjid, right, being part of the community, the making our spaces and institutions more inclusive, right, this is something that absolutely has to happen, and then also making sure that we are applying that to the larger society, right? Because we can't wall ourselves off from the larger society. We're part of this. We are part of this country. So here is the farewell sermon of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that he needs to be upon him delivered during the Hajj, right The only time he made this was his only Hajj. So the love of Allah He was the limit was in year 10. He was from not Ottawa where he made the

00:22:28--> 00:23:12

hospital without the farewell sermon, excuse me. And in addition to reminding the the people who had gathered there about the importance of say, of taking care of women about the importance of not engaging in Nova and usurious transactions, about the importance of maintaining our prayer, about the importance of adhering to the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah, right, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam reminded the people all of humanity's from Adam and Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non Arab, nor a non Arab has any superiority over an Arab also a white person has no superiority over a black nor a black person has any superiority over a white

00:23:12--> 00:23:37

person except by piety and good action. Right? learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim, and that the Muslims constitute one oma one community. Allah when I read this, I just my heart breaks I just want to cry imagine what a prophet it is legislation that say that are conditioned to be so powerful that nothing surely legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly do not therefore do injustice to yourself.

00:23:38--> 00:24:22

So this is again like the the parting wisdom and advice of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi Salaam to the community. And there are a couple things I want to say about this, right? First of all, we have to we can add layers to this, because what we need to understand is at the time of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam terms like black and white, they didn't mean the, they didn't mean what they would come to mean in the context of the United States of America, right? These words had their own connotations, and were relative to the way that the Arabs would have understood them. Right? And my messy hat, especially to my my sisters of, of, of our heritage, and I say this as someone who

00:24:22--> 00:24:33

comes from a Lebanese and Syrian family and my dad's side, my, my, my thoughts on reading this, right and the advice I want to share is that Subhan Allah there

00:24:35--> 00:25:00

if you took the hours of the time of the Prophet, right, so Allah Holly, I decided he was sending them from a just from josina to the peninsula, right? And you transplanted them into this context here in this country in the world of the Atlantic world as it came to be known through the slave trade, and you put them in this context they would be seen as people of color. Let's just all be you know, 100% agreed on that.

00:25:00--> 00:25:01

Okay.

00:25:02--> 00:25:40

So but as I mentioned, giving you all that example of my mother and the neighborhood in which she grew up, right, one of the things that, that that people who immigrate to the shores pick up on and understand is that there are there's a certain hierarchy, right? And there are certain structures and of white privilege and benefits that people want to access. And what you know, and for so many immigrants, right, whatever the background, whether we're talking to people from Europe, or people from parts of Asia, or the Middle East, or what have you, even from parts of Africa, they find their sisters that will come in here, that

00:25:43--> 00:26:31

is a Pamela that, that the quickest way to kind of like access those, those benefits and those those privileges is to often kind of make, which is the word to make claims to, to make claims to whiteness, right? As opposed to finding common cause making common cause with the marginalized, the oppressed with communities of color, right? There's this idea of kind of wanting to lay claim to whiteness, and we have to understand as Muslims is that this is not really you know, that that we have we have Pamela there's an Amana right, there's a man of that comes from, from from from being in this country. And and and and, and the fact that Mashallah so many transnational immigrant

00:26:31--> 00:26:39

Muslims have a level of affluence and comfort and education and resources and whatnot, there's an Amana a responsibility that comes with that.

00:26:40--> 00:26:44

And that, Amanda is to be able to be real with ourselves, right?

00:26:47--> 00:27:11

You know, that's point number two. Point number one is, you know, translating from ideals to realities, or point number two is to be real with ourselves. And to be honest, and to be candid, and to be able to begin to educate ourselves. So it's so so that we can understand how we have perhaps, knowingly or unknowingly bought into the system, how we have

00:27:12--> 00:27:41

supported or upheld the system of, of white supremacy, how in kind of laying claim to the privileges of whiteness that we have participated in the marginalization of the African American community is the very important conversation to have. And again, no speaking for my own kind of familial experience with this to where, and my father's Lebanese family, you know, in Massachusetts in the

00:27:43--> 00:28:29

probably in the 1950s, or so I'd have to double check that right, where my own grandfather was actually petitioning that for the Lebanese community to be identified as not Asian but to be identified as white, right? That this is not, you know, a history that we can kind of like so easily can like, shrug our shoulders and dismiss this because it meant that we as immigrants, right, and many of those immigrants from the Middle East, of course, being Muslim, that there was a certain worldview that we were buying into, when we kind of sought to access the benefits, the benefits of of whiteness. So inshallah is what I'll do to begin completing the presentation as inshallah, there

00:28:29--> 00:29:12

are some resources I want to share with all of you will, just to kind of give you something practical, but that that's point number two. So again, point number one was, we have to translate from these ideals, these beautiful ideals of a religion to the reality to the reality and to bridge between that and number two, to be honest with ourselves, right? What does it mean, when we're able to live in certain communities to access certain resources to choose to be in certain neighborhoods, you know, when we have access to certain, you know, to a certain level of livelihood, a certain type of education? Right, the opportunities that that gives that a forced immigrant and transnational

00:29:12--> 00:29:13

Muslims

00:29:14--> 00:29:23

as compared to their black American counterparts. Right, this is very important. And then, you know, my third point is

00:29:26--> 00:29:36

we need to center the voices and the concerns. And this is what I mean about supporting our African American brothers and sisters. We need to be able to center

00:29:38--> 00:29:55

the voices and the concerns of the African American Muslim community. Right. You know, again, one of the things that we sometimes overlook when we think when we when we talk about the history of Islam in this country, we think, Oh, you know, Islam in this country started in 1965

00:29:57--> 00:30:00

or whatever. 1970 You know, it started with

00:30:00--> 00:30:34

I don't know that people came in here and set up the first MSA or It started with isma, or Aigner or whatever it didn't, right. As important as these efforts, we're not trying to dismiss anyone's work or anyone sacrifices. All of us need to understand we need to raise our children with the understanding that Islam came to the shores a long, long time ago. Right. There there is there are some people who have a theory about even about African Muslims possibly coming to the shores before Christopher Columbus, Allah right. There's some interesting evidence, I think,

00:30:36--> 00:30:41

surrounding that, but we know, right, it's, it's been documented

00:30:42--> 00:31:02

that that, that certainly, African Muslim presence on the shores dates back to the voyages of Christopher Columbus himself. And soon after that, when you when you had people that were more than likely, of North African

00:31:04--> 00:31:08

descent, and then Sub Saharan African descent in this country, right,

00:31:10--> 00:31:21

usually, usually as enslaved people. And then after that show, if you just give me a second, I actually want to show you again, I'm still working on my, my presentation here.

00:31:23--> 00:31:30

So please forgive me for getting up. But this is one resource I didn't have a chance to include, right. But this is,

00:31:31--> 00:31:42

yeah, if you all can see this. This is the New York Times 16, The New York Times Magazine, the 1619 project, right came out,

00:31:43--> 00:31:44

it came out

00:31:46--> 00:31:52

how like came out recently, or just last year, August 2019, the

00:31:53--> 00:32:40

anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved West Africans to the shores. This is our history. This is the history of all of us. All the Muslims in this country, right? This is when Islam began, when these men and women were brought from West Africa, many of those regions being Muslim regions of West Africa. And they were brought to this country through what became known as the, the the Middle Passage, and they endured just what they would so many cars. And they found themselves in this country, so far away from family and home and community and everything that was familiar to them. Right. So this is a, this is when this is when Islam actually began. Right and kind of and

00:32:40--> 00:32:44

connecting it to the present day. Right?

00:32:45--> 00:32:54

We have done ourselves, I think our entire community a disservice by I think being disconnected from

00:32:55--> 00:33:05

those black American voices and perspectives. This is the time to center those voices and perspectives. This is the time to listen the time to learn

00:33:07--> 00:33:15

to understand that there are deeper underlying causes. And, and and sort of explanations as to

00:33:18--> 00:33:19

why

00:33:21--> 00:33:25

this tragedy took place in in Minneapolis, the way it did

00:33:26--> 00:33:35

write that there is that that that the history of police brutality against communities of color, unfortunately goes back a long time

00:33:36--> 00:34:13

that this D valuing of black life, it goes back a long time that the criminalization of the public presence of black peoples that especially black men, has a very long and sordid and painful history. If for it, if any of you have read anything about the history of the South, right, you know what I'm talking about. So we need to really begin to to, to, again, to center the voices of African Americans and to make sure that we are pushing back against

00:34:14--> 00:34:16

what I believe is the

00:34:18--> 00:34:58

the, the eraser of the African, the the African American Muslim narrative, right? This is not the time for us as immigrant or transnational Muslims, that that's our background to be sort of setting the agenda, right. This is the time to be reaching out. And to be asking our African American brothers and sisters to lead the way, right to ask them, What can we do for them? What do they need from us? How can we listen and learn and be better friends and supporters and allies and brothers and sisters

00:35:00--> 00:35:13

Now I am by no means an expert on this topic. But Scheffer. Hey fat asked me to speak. And I really I wanted to to honor her request. You know, I, I also want to say that

00:35:15--> 00:35:28

all of us have a responsibility to care about what happened in Minneapolis. Right? Black Lives Matter is not just a, an issue of young black millennials.

00:35:29--> 00:35:39

This is an issue of humanity and human rights, which concern all of us. That we have to be

00:35:40--> 00:35:43

that community that is described in the Quran

00:35:44--> 00:36:01

as contemplado are met in offleash, at linas, tetamu level model for 10, Helena and amonkar. What took me no nevena that you are the best community that was raised from humanity, you enjoying what is right, and you forbid what is wrong, and you believe in God?

00:36:02--> 00:36:24

So we can't just sort of sit by passively and shrug our shoulders and say, Okay, look at those people protesting and writing, you know, the focus, of course, we don't naturally let me say this is a disclaimer, right? We don't we don't endorse any or condone any unlawful activity. But our emphasis should be on

00:36:25--> 00:36:26

the

00:36:27--> 00:36:30

militarization of law enforcement.

00:36:31--> 00:36:31

Right?

00:36:35--> 00:36:42

A centuries long history of the dehumanization of African Americans, right, this idea that,

00:36:46--> 00:37:43

that that white supremacy, right has become, this is what we need to be able to kind of understand here, that the ideology of white supremacy is so pervasive and so pernicious that a police officer in Minneapolis thought that he had the right to pin his neck, his knee rather into the neck of a fellow human being, until that human being could no longer breathe, because he didn't see George Floyd as his equal. As a fellow human being. He saw him as somebody that he could oppress, and someone whose rights that he could take away there's an arrogance, a shake balik arrogance at the center of white supremacy, and is it is up to us as Muslims to call this out. And to counter it and

00:37:43--> 00:38:28

to dismantle it. And sha Allah to Allah, I would like to conclude with sharing some of the resources in the slides if our dear sister Can, can pull those up for our audience. So for example, centering black narrative is a very important reminder, this is a book written by Imam Dawood whinnied, who studied in West Africa. And he's an Imam, and activist. And in this book, right, black Muslim nobles amongst the early pious Muslims, right, he gives us a story beyond saying that often, when you ask Muslims about this theater, they'll say we'll say Nebula, and then it kind of starts and stops there, right? It doesn't stop there. He gives us a history of prominent black Muslims in early

00:38:28--> 00:38:35

Islamic history, so this is a really great resource, again, called centering black narrative, the next one that I want to share.

00:38:36--> 00:38:55

And this is kind of more for those who are interested in southern history called Negro phobia. Right? Um, you know, a race right in Atlanta in 1906. Although I think the term race right is a euphemism. Because a race right, to me kind of implies this idea of members of, you know, different races kind of

00:38:57--> 00:39:10

out there sort of equally threatening the other, you know, members of the other race that really wasn't it, what happened in Atlanta in 1906. And again, the parallels but, you know, again, there are parallels even between that time and today is that

00:39:11--> 00:39:54

accusations were made against a black man that he committed a crime against a white woman. And that incited unfortunately, members of you know, of the white community kind of aided and abetted by law enforcement in many cases in the south to, to target African Americans. This is a history that's repeated itself, time and time again, in many cities in the south and also in other parts of the country. Alright, let's keep on going. shall be the next one. You know, again, these are not this is not an easy read, right? This is called trouble in mind. Black southerners in the age of Jim Crow, again, if you're interested in the historical roots of what we think is a modern problem. This is a

00:39:54--> 00:40:00

book that you might want to look at, and again, as Muslims, especially if we are actually

00:40:00--> 00:40:02

Coming here, right? If we are actually

00:40:03--> 00:40:15

coming to the United States to escape injustice and oppression, we need to actually read about the history of injury, injustice and oppression directly against African Americans in this country. Alright, let's keep on going.

00:40:17--> 00:40:55

Um, yeah, again, the title again, I'm not responsible for the title of this book, it is what it is right? How to be less stupid about race. You know, again, I just because I have a book here doesn't mean I endorse all the positions of the author, but I think it's a book that might be worthwhile to take a look at, let's go to the next one. The next one is a New York Times bestseller by either an X Kendi and how to be an anti racist, I definitely recommend this book again, it gives you practical strategies for number one, being able to identify any kind of biases and assumptions that we might hold without even realizing that these are actually kind of racist assumptions. And then beyond

00:40:55--> 00:41:07

that, right how to actually, you know, kind of proactively counter and, and, and work to mitigate anti black racism. Okay, we can keep on going.

00:41:09--> 00:41:51

So this was a piece that I thought Donna Austin is an African American, Muslim scholar and activist, and she recently just completed her dissertation. And that she wrote this as some of your some years back it was about it was in reference to the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin. But I think it's really relevant in that she kind of examines the silence of the American Muslim community on this issue. So go ahead and look this up, you know, you can if you just Google the title, and you'll be able to find this article. All right, next piece, Muslim arc, right, this is the Muslim anti racism. I think that's how I can't read arc. Is it cooperative, or collaborative, and it just, it'll come

00:41:51--> 00:41:58

back to me just a second. I have my glasses to see that, right. But Muslim arc, I think is a really good if you, for example, are,

00:41:59--> 00:42:43

you know, you work in a Masjid or an organization or a school, and you want to be able to maybe organize a workshop to be able to kind of like effectively empower members of the Muslim community to work towards racial equality, this is a really good resource for you. All right. And it's and then this one, yes, I think I just added this one. This says this came out recently, this is the family youth Institute, they have a really nice black Muslim youth toolkit, which I recommend, you know, not just for for parents, and mentors of black Muslim youth, but really for for anyone in our community that just wants to understand the unique concerns and needs of African American Muslims.

00:42:44--> 00:42:49

Alright. Alright, so does that come along here? So this is my presentation.

00:42:51--> 00:42:53

conclude by saying that

00:42:56--> 00:42:58

as difficult and

00:43:00--> 00:43:24

anxiety inducing, you know, as as as the circumstances of today are between COVID-19 and what we're kind of witnessing on the level of our society being convulsed by these protests. At the end of the day, I don't want any of us to lose hope. Right? We have to understand this that Allah to Allah's mercy outstrips His wrath. And it is the responsibility of the believer to look at our circumstances, right? To Be patient.

00:43:26--> 00:44:07

And to be thankful to Allah subhanaw taala to understand that Sloboda does not mean that we shrug our shoulders and say, Oh, well, but it means that we strive and struggle our utmost to begin to address the situation, and as much as possible ameliorate the the suffering of those around us, so please pardon me for any shortcomings in my presentation. subpanel I've been, you know, working with different groups to address this issue, so please pardon me, again, I'm still trying to connect to many of my thoughts and I pray there is some benefit in this presentation, any mistakes, any mistakes were solely from me, anything of good that I said was from Allah Subhana Allah, barnacle or

00:44:07--> 00:44:11

fecal Joseph from La Jolla. Solomonic Welcome to light Allah but I get to

00:44:12--> 00:44:25

unlawful delay Wanaka got to do is echo a lot of hate on Milady. Or do you? I learned personally a lot. And I actually, I don't know if you noticed I was taking notes. Because honestly, the reason I'm saying this, because this subject,

00:44:27--> 00:44:59

when you look at when we go to the big conferences, forget COVID and forget what is happening in our usual really you see this? I wouldn't say it's not mentioned, but it is not a subject that interests us. Let's be very honest. You know, it's like, if you look at people, there's this lecture about the Muslim, the black Muslim community in the States or the black Muslims in the world versus poor. Right? Or youth and the social media. What is the number of people in this room in the other room Subhan Allah and Allah

00:45:00--> 00:45:56

Tyler always send us things to remind us that we are here on this earth and IQ and I said this this morning, Paula to a patient of mine actually was yesterday I had this beautiful long discussion, then amazing African American patient, she's so dear to me. And grew up in the projects of st close. Right issues telling me history is this is human being is this is not to hear it on the news. Literally I was in the visit was 15 minutes to 45 minutes. Because I could not stop her it was an eye opener to us. And I think we as Muslims, we complain from being discriminated against. We do. Right. And and whether it is obvious whether it is hidden, but we feel it, right. I wonder, I wonder

00:45:57--> 00:46:37

if if I was and I this is what I was saying to her if I was five years old, and she was telling me something similar to your your grandmother, mother and grandmother story. Exactly. And she said her father was the strong one. Same thing the neighbor was doing to him or to her. And he went out and he actually lifted the neighbor and says, You touched my children, and see what I will do to you. And she kept saying there's no reason other than my skin color. And she was saying it, we had the beautiful discussion. I think we as Muslims, and I always refer to people because that's the discussion. She said, How do you identify yourself?

00:46:38--> 00:46:43

And I'm gonna say this to everyone see, watching us, I said, I identify myself as a Muslim.

00:46:45--> 00:47:02

happen to be born in that part of the earth of a loss. pantalla happened to have this skin color, or this accent, but I identify myself as a Muslim, and I loved what's an eye some of the notes I took is what is my responsibility as a Muslim?

00:47:03--> 00:47:49

Seeing injustice, I mean, what we saw is injustice, right? He was not a Muslim, but doesn't matter. Right? He was a human being. I will even add if you allow me she, she has a It doesn't matter what color of the skin he had, if it was the other way around. And I asked this to myself many times, I couldn't watch the video to be honest with you. I just I couldn't it's too much brutality for me. I just heard little bits on the news, especially the famous now we all are hearing it is I can to breathe. And I'm a physician and I see this, it just too much. It's too much. But I was wondering if it was the other way around, we should have responded the same. Because it's injustice. It's

00:47:49--> 00:48:41

injustice, it's brutality. It's a human beings life that is absolutely valuable in the sight of Allah. The reason we are bringing this up because the equation is absolutely unequal meaning we are seeing this picture that we are seeing again and again and again. It's happened two weeks ago with the Ahmad right that he was a Joe a person who is exercising outside because of the color of his skin. And no one no one denied it. So as a Muslim now What should I do? I think number one, as we see any injustice or haram or unlawful, internally I have to rejected that's number one. That's what Allah is going to ask me. Yes, maybe I can do literally physically things, but I have my heart muram

00:48:41--> 00:49:18

in kumoko on the famous Hadith, you know what you whoever see something injustice or something not accepted by Allah, what should we do? Right, three steps, change it with your hand, you can't with your tongue, you can with your heart. So number one, we as Muslims in general, regardless of the color of our skin, or origin, is we should not accept this. And this should be in our discussion in the home with the children, with the family, in my workplace that I don't accept this is not because he is this or his that if this was a Muslim, I would have responded the same.

00:49:20--> 00:49:45

That's how it shouldn't be then I am a person who really, really appreciate the most valuable thing Allah Subhana Allah gave us and that's life. The five things Stan came to protect. Number one is life. So here I am, as a Muslim, I should absolutely not accept number two, and you alluded to it. And I love you that Allah has seen this. And Allah allowed it to happen.

00:49:46--> 00:49:50

And we always have to remember this and I said, this is the same when we went through the COVID

00:49:51--> 00:49:59

and there is a hikma there's a wisdom and Allah is Allah. Allah is that just, I'm not seeing it. It's very hard to see. That's where my

00:50:00--> 00:50:12

Human and faith comes in and I need to turn to Allah says Allah show me Show me the wisdom in this show me what you want me to do and absolutely the least I can do as a Muslim is that

00:50:13--> 00:50:43

your Allah bring justice to your earth the least I can do and guide those who are going out in the streets out of frustration and I can easily feel it right guide them to do the right thing protect them this is the least you and me can do this doesn't take anything I can be in my house alone in quarantine on my sajida in my masala that's what I should do your Allah

00:50:44--> 00:50:48

sent him Let us live with peace because this is a

00:50:50--> 00:51:35

it's like a fire extinguisher it is not yet out but it's it's the fire is very close to lose peace. We lost the unset we lived in the answers Trinity we had peace but uncertainty. We don't want to have uncertainty and lack of peace. So this is why I asked actually here fuzziness. I am not that background. And how much I want to feel it. It's not like when you feel it. When you grew up, I can imagine what's your mother, I can put the picture but I didn't live it. I didn't walk in a street and people looked at me I am less simply because of the skin of my color panela we feel it maybe because the way we dress but it's not the same. It is not the same Subhan Allah so this is what we

00:51:35--> 00:52:28

all have to do my beautiful sisters and various brothers walking us. We cannot just sit. Allah is gonna ask us. Allah is gonna ask what did you do, and I'm gonna say y'all Allah, I didn't have my, my tools that I can change physically. But I had my heart to rejected, I had my tongue to make a door. And I had my tongue to speak, to teach those around me that we as Muslim community should never accept it. And I'm going to end up with this. I loved what you say an hour massage. Which is so true. So true. It's so hard for us. Even whether we came from back home, or we grew up here and we we, we gave this to our children is like when we come to the masjid, there is only one hat, we

00:52:28--> 00:52:57

should be wearing only one and that's the heart of Islam. Only one. And this is extremely important. I personally, my main love to Islam is the fact that when I stand up in Makkah Insider, the person next to me could have nothing and could doesn't know what I what language I speak and the person on the left could be completely the opposite. But we are all still

00:52:58--> 00:53:28

we are all in the same line and be equal. That's what is still still mean you're all no one is in front of the other hand Allah and no one is in the back. We're all in one line. That's how we are going to be standing in front of Allah pantalla de shakeela hi and I would love to sit and listen to you for hours and have this discussion. And the last thing we can say y'all Allah into Santa Monica Santa, how you know banaba Santa, you're a lawyer.

00:53:29--> 00:54:21

I love this da Aloma antecedent This is a drought we say after Salah, yo Allah you are the peace, meaning the owner of the peace and the giver of the peace and the one who takes away the peace and to Salaam oming kasara peace originate from you hanging out have been apstra let us live in PCR Allah May Allah subhana wa Taala remove this L heckard. That the ill feeling inside the hearts of any human being and remove the feeling of I am better or I am less because I was brought up as this lets us all y'all up be I mean bring us to feel we are kukuli Adam or Adam for all of you were created from Adam and Adam basically was created from dust. I mean your ob Subhana Coloma behind the

00:54:21--> 00:54:21

cache doing

00:54:22--> 00:54:38

stuff Furukawa to Willie Sutton law Allah savior Mohammed Ali was hired with esteem and kathira Jackie Java and lovely seeing you we are on be I mean we'll meet each other soon in person in Tennessee in St. Louis or even better in Makkah, that's what I tell all my friends

00:54:40--> 00:54:44

Yeah, don't be I said I'm Ali Khan. Rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh you want to say anything?

00:54:45--> 00:54:59

Just just I pray my Allah to Allah preserve our theorists Dr. Schatz I hate that I love the work of john the institute May Allah Allah just bless all of you will protect all of you guide our community, keep us safe, and preserve the amen of our youth, adding it up

00:55:00--> 00:55:06

Without them you know don't be I mean your ob me Does that mean well he said I'm it could run with lava cat it comes down to like