Channel: Hamza Tzortzis
welcome to Freshly grounded, come to LA We have hundreds otters in the building. slammer icumsa Lake wa salam Rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. So last time you we were here, you were like a head of IRA. Is that still the case? CEO? Yeah, hamdulillah? What's the, what's the difference between being like the head and the seal, you have your head? Well, depends what the head means. I mean, the top guy, well, the top top guy will probably be the chairman and the board so that they're my boss's board. But as the CEO, the chief executive officer, I have the responsibility of ensuring that I implement a strategy that we have the right operations in place, and the processes and procedures in place in
order for us to fulfill our charitable objects and our charitable objects is based on our vision and our vision is a world reconnected to God. And we believe that the strategic focus we must adopt for that to happen is to develop, empower, and support Muslims in achieving that aim. So we call them outreach specialists, for example. So we support them, and we've grown a hell of a lot since I saw you last. We've got full time outreach specialists in Bahrain,
Malaysia, Philippines, Mexico, Mexico, Honduras, Bolivia, America, UK, and is growing and growing. So and,
and that's a strategy that we believe in, because if you really refine the individual, the human being, you give them an Islamic shaxi and Islamic personality. They have integrity and authenticity and aroma and compassion. And they know the religion in a way that they can convey with compassion and reason, locally and abroad. That person that will be motivated enough to fulfill your vision, which is a world reconnected to God. So with the individual comes podcasts, for example,
with the individual comes other charitable organizations with the individual comes other publications and materials, with the individual comes YouTube channels with the individual comms projects, and, and outreach tables, and all of these amazing things. So instead of you doing those projects yourself, you inspire the individual to be motivated enough to have the right knowledge to go through our educational pathway, which takes a long time and has multiple levels. But once you do that, we will either hire you because you're the cream, or you're motivated and empowered enough to go out there in the world on your own to create effective change. And that's exactly what we need.
So for example, and we also do this by headhunting, certain people. So we had 15 of the leading imams in Canada, from sha Allah to check so on and so they were leading massive massages from Kitchener to Toronto, I think we covered the influential base that can access around 90% of the Muslim community in Canada alone, we paid for the flights that could have been accommodation and food. And we stuck them in the room for around nine days or so. It was like intellectual and theological, spiritual Helen back, it was amazing. It was moments of tears, moments of, you know, eureka moments with paradigm shifts, arguments, but at the end, we will hug each other and loved
each other. And they all had post education plans, in order for them to implement what they learned, which is really conveying Islam, with compassion and reason all around the world all around the world. Well, I do want to go into that, because I know that most prominently in my head, is that you recently went to Japan, and you did some iOS of the form. And I was very jealous when I saw it. Because I was like, Wow, this looks good. In some ways. We're having an amazing time. And the able to kind of do all of this. Yeah.
And kind of, you know, you know, carry on their work out there. But before we go into that, what I was gonna say when I asked you, you're the head of
the CEO, I say, Do you enjoy your job? Like, because you know, you had that you? We spoke a bit about your job last time, but we didn't say like, you know, what was it like that you enjoyed you go to work? Are you happy to go to work? Or does it feel like a job? Like, oh, it doesn't feel like a job. We try and create culture that is not a job. You don't clock in and clock out. It's part of who you are. So forgotten. We just had a new finance assistant.
It's just an idea. And basically, I just wanted to say to her look, you have a really important role, because our vision is a world reconnected to Allah, a world reconnected to God. And you when people ask you, what do you do an IRA, you should say, I am achieving the vision of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam which is a world reconnected to God. And the way I do that is by taking into account everyone in the office and in the organization to ensure our finances are in line with our ethics. Because if we're not in line with ethics and charitable objects, we're going to fail because we're not being we don't have integrity. We don't have authenticity. We don't have
transparency, and we're wasting money. So we try and create a culture and all
For example, if you bend and outreach material a booklet about God or why he deserves worship, if you bend it and it can't be reused, you're taking money from your own pocket, sir, Madam, and you're putting it in the box and giving it back to the charity because you're responsible. I mean, we got so extreme that we're worried about whether elastic bands would be poor. You know, sometimes you want an elastic band in the corner of a D corner with all dust on it. And you may find it in a Hoover. Like it got a bit crazy to the point where like, we may have to take that elastic band out, clean it and put it back into the, into the cupboard, right? Because that wasn't your money. That's
Obama's money, because this is very serious, because, you know, the famous Hadith about someone who misappropriated charitable funds or funds that came from different sources and misappropriating them that could lead to the knock the fire, right and this is huge, this is the same thing with with charitable money. So, she has a huge role. And that role is going to facilitate spiritual Baraka is going to facilitate the right processes and the right finances. So in order for us to fulfill our vision, so I want everyone within the organization to think like that and inshallah not do anyway, like they travel like crazy, like,
brother support Ahmed, Allah bless him. I mean, he's going to hudge right. And he's coming back from hygiene you know, you get Hutch flu, I don't even we don't have to be full. But once you when you come back from Allah make you 100 next year, I mean, and and give you accepted HUD shamia. You and your family. So when he's gonna come back, you get Hutch flew the day after I believe he's going to six or seven Latin America tour to take outreach specialists there from Honduras and Mexico, train them on how to go to other countries to convenience along with compassion and reason and Woodside to I'm really interested in that when they tell us Oh, do you think oh, Hamza, you go around the world.
You guys go around the world, he must be a great time. Well, you know what, the two days before I travel, I get in depressed mode. Okay, I you just don't want to travel, both the family have children. And you're in your zone at work. You're doing your policies, or you're dealing with this kind of glorified admin stuff. You don't want to travel the world. Because after a few times, bro, it's not that kind of amazing. Wow, this is amazing. It goes right. So you really have to refocus and Linkous of back to your vision and your strategy. I want a world reconnected to God. I want to convey a song with compassion and reason. You have to really internalize that then you propel
yourself in like, right, I'm gonna get on that plane. So you get on the plane. And it's very busy. You know, we went to Japan, I think we missed lunch, like, a few days in a row. I mean, it's not a big deal, of course, but it's not like, Oh, you know, you're out there having a jolly because when we go in to other countries, it's multi layered. We're not they're just giving talks that's very shallow. He's gonna go to another country just to give talks, Moses, speak to them on Skype. But you they're dealing with stakeholders, having meetings with influentials. With Muslims and non Muslims, you're you're dealing with other organizations, you don't want to sound like you're a charity from
the UK stepping on people's toes, because that's not our job. We just want to fill the gap. We want to support and empower and develop support how other organizations and stuff if it's organization, that may be the case, but usually our focus is on individuals right away. How'd you find these individuals? You have meetings? Who all these interviews, you get them involved in your processing and your campaigns? Like, for example, let me take Japan as an example. We went to Japan, what did we do? We fed about 500 homeless people, right? We had meetings with various masajid. with various we gave talks at various masajid and ism organizations. We did a dour training course. Right. Okay,
outreach training course on how to convey a song with compassion and reason. We had meetings with influential leaders.
We translated material, about making sense of God in the Japanese language, it was very hard to do. By the way, Japanese language was like four different levels of Japanese, you know. So we translated that material, we distributed it. And all of these amazing things that we do. So we had a meeting with one brother could salmaan Sugimoto. He's a revert to Islam did a Masters has traveled the Muslim world as well has been traded by other organizers from other organized by other organizations to articulate Islam. He's been involved in some of our projects. Previously, he had good references from other key leading members of Japan. So what we said to ourselves was, you know, this is this is
someone that we may want to hire as an outreach specialists. So we had a meeting with him, you know, took him through the, you know, that took him through the process. And then now he is our full time RV specialist in Japan. We did speak about your book last time, the divine reality, and we will say this available on Amazon. But since then, I think it wasn't available as a ebook then was it? Yeah, it is on Kindle. It's also on you can get it from Book Depository and you can get it from wordery and other outlets where you have
We just got Revised Edition. Okay, so the Revised Edition is currently only available in Book Depository and wordery, which they have online outlets that you can order from Amazon are still going through some of the old stock, I believe, but I think it should be ready in the next few weeks on Amazon as well. The Kindle Revised Edition is already ready. So I spent a lot of time in Ramadan and just before just to get a revised edition, which is, you know, adding a few more contentions, clarifying sound arguments, fixing this infrastructure, some of the typos
and fixing some of the, the way I explained some of the points, so I'm really happy with it now. So I'm going to go and do you have a really big marketing campaign in the next couple of weeks? And I'm going to use some of your services as
well, yeah. What kind of things that you're going to be doing? Well, I'm gonna go on a book tour was the quote is a quote defeat source, oh, feed source.
Source. Also, I'm different feet. So I'm going to do videos, okay. I'm also going to basically do a lot of like snippets on Facebook, maybe some Facebook Lives, and we'll do some readings. And there's going to keep on promoting it, because it's still a book of its kind. And I'm not saying in an arrogant way, there's a gap in our articulation of Islam, there isn't, there isn't a book on that level that articulates, you know, why a lot deserves to be worshipped. the truthfulness of the Prophet sallallahu, Alayhi, wasallam, and the existence of God and all these other amazing things.
In the English language, we still don't have one. So I think I feel it's an ethical duty. And not just that it's a duty, from the point of view of worshiping Allah that, you know, we want to articulate assignment, a compassionate and rational way. And, for me, I spent years writing this book, and my marketing has been awful. I've done nothing about it really, I just like it to be quite organic. But since doing the revised version, I'm much more happy with it. And I'm thinking you know what, it's it's not about me, it's about you know, the the masses, because there's a lot of youth bro, they still have a lot of doubts, intellectual spiritual doubts. We still have challenges from
other worldviews. And I think this book does the job. Have you consider doing an audio book version of it? I have, yeah, it would take me 16 days to do. So it's tough to find full 16 days a week, just just 60 days in a row. Not really. But assumingly will take you a day a chapter. Now why do I say a day a chapter it takes you about an hour or half an hour to read a chapter. But reading over it, sometimes you did some mistakes, clearly reading clear reading clearly. So I'm going to do audiobook control. That was part of the plan. Yeah, you have to make. So your call through the book right now. You're writing code through the book, and it's called the failed, failed hypothesis about what was a
failed hypothesis is a bunch of essays written by myself and support Ahmed, on things to do with the Darwinian mechanism, things to do with the philosophy of science, things to do with first principles, and what is the Islamic metaphysical view of the world, which is in line with the Quran and Sunnah. So the concept of the fitrah the fact that we have primary knowledge within us already, and that we just have to awaken the truth within, you know, what is this concept? Why'd you awaken the truth within, you know, what is the concept of certainty in Islam, you know, sometimes we adopt a kind of alien philosophical, philosophical view on certainty, as if certainty is going to be this
this algorithm. And all of a sudden, you have EMA and you have faith, you know, a plus b. Therefore, c, this is blameworthy. Even Allah bizarrely, he was known for his philosophical writings. You know, he was known for his book, to have that philosopher the incoherence of the philosophers. He even said, eemaan faith is not based on some kind of deductive argument. And all of a sudden, you have this kind of spiritual, intellectual certainty. He even called that a beta. He called it a innovation. There's something in what's going on, and there are levels of certainty. So what does certainty mean in Islam? You know, do we start with a form of knowledge? Or is it a blank slate,
Allah didn't create you in a blank slate, bro, He created you with a fitrah with an innate disposition with primary knowledge, to acknowledge his divine power and wisdom and therefore to praise Him and to worship Him. That gets clouded over time for the Hadith of the prophets of Solomon Sahih Muslim, how do you uncover that to awaken the truth within having that metaphysic makes you understand doubts in the correct way makes you understand yourself and others in the correct way that no one's intrinsically an enemy anymore. Everyone has this purity within them that your job is to help awaken. That is the role of the Muslim role, not to refute and to hate on but to awaken
something within that person that they already have, which is knowledge of Allah and the fact that he deserves worship. That's the role of the Muslim. That's how we should interact with our brothers and sisters in humanity to help them awaken the truth within and that's how the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was. So you know, so those things, and we talked about the Darwinian mechanism, we would get so much confusion about Darwinism. Can we believe in it from a scientific point of view? Can we take into arcada? Can we not? We're saying, we'll just learn about the philosophy of science. The Darwinian mechanism is based on pad p ad. It's based on a probabilistic framework because it's
scientific. You may have a future observation that can contradict previous conclusions. It's not certain in an absolute way.
has its own assumptions, philosophical assumptions. For example, the assumption of gradualism read the works of Professor Eliot, sober and many, many others and microbrews atheist themselves. Darwinian mechanism has assumptions that you can't prove that he needs to start with in the first place in order to move forward, and it has its own disputes. Don't get me wrong, it's the best thing so far human beings have come up with to explain the data, we can't really deny that we don't want to look stupid, and we're not stupid. But are you going to take into an arcade? No, of course not. Because it's not based on that type of certainty. So you transcend the debate.
Do you see my point is not a big deal. And that is all about knowing what the philosophy of science is about, right? The food of science if you like, yeah, we're going to consciousness because my specialism is on the philosophy of the mind. Now, you know, consciousness is a massive thing, bro, neuroscience claims that you could explain consciousness out No, it cannot in any way, shape, or form. Because neuroscience is based on a false metaphysical assumption of physicalism, that everything can be reduced to physical things. But when we go into that philosophy, and we discuss it, we're like, hey, there's a big issue. And that's like consciousness is going to be a huge
recalcitrant fact, to the kind of atheistic naturalist, which basically means the one that believes that there's no divine, no supernatural, and everything can be reduced a physical process, I'll go into that in a lot of detail.
And so many other different essays are going to be useful for people on ice oxborough people at university because they come with these questions. And we're addressing some of these fundamental questions like what is certainty? What is the fitrah? Had you awaken the truth within? You know, what is the Darwinian mechanism? Is it absolutely true? How do we reconcile it? Do we have to recreate it in the first place? You know, consciousness, this, that and the other so there's quite a we even go through Islamic history and how it promoted science as well. You know, the likes of Eben and Haytham, who was seen as one of the first key scientists though, was about you know, you know,
experimentation and testing. And he was a practicing Muslim, and all of these things. So it was a really, really interesting topic. So while we've been going through the topic of the so called scientific miracles in the Quran, and we say that you shouldn't really try and do that because actually, it's epistemologically forced to do that in the first place. You've misunderstood what sciences in the first place even misunderstood the Quran as well. And the role of AI add the role of verses that tell you to ponder about man life and the universal within yourself. So we give them a better model, which is based on the classical tradition which is which what we call a multi layered
multi leveled model, which is the Quran uses a word to describe a natural phenomenon not in any detailed way, but to point to a direction with the assumption that there is a divine power and wisdom behind it. And and when you ponder upon that natural phenomenon, in your primitive way, or intellectual way, in any way you want, and you could be totally wrong about it, the conclusion would always be that Allah deserves worship. And the interesting thing about the Quran that you would use words that can address a primitive mindset seventh century, or even a more of a modern mindset doesn't give you any details, no miraculousness behind it, but what the miracle is, from that point
of view, that the Quran has the ability to use words to refer to natural phenomena
that can be understood and reflected upon timelessly that's the power but is that not something that you would discuss in the past the the miraculous
I never really used not read anything. I didn't make it once or twice by then I did a big YouTube, okay, because it was it was a forced methodology is of course, something that we we will do we grow as we, so it's gonna be really powerful. So where does that go? By the winter? Okay, ready by winter, inshallah, hardcopy and hyperopia. Soft, and this was going to be free from Sorry, I meant physical copy and ebook, because it's gonna be free forever. Oh, wow. free from the law. We were going to discuss or not, we were going to discuss that we, you know, we mean, you spoke over WhatsApp. And there was some points that we looked at.
You sent me some, some cool stuff that's kind of going on, that's been going on since we last spoke. But however, a lot of them
I just don't understand them. A lot. A lot of stuff about a lot of stuff about, for example, your new finance systems and your risk management systems. I'm not gonna lie.
I have no idea. When it goes, Oh, basically, that's very simple that we've developed bespoke, fine AI, IT systems for finance and risk management within the organization. And because we went to get software from the outside world, get another supplier. But when we did our assessment and analysis of what's out there in the world, it wasn't good enough. So what we did, we said would develop it ourselves. And we basically hired a company
to do that, for us those relatively cheap, and we have amazing finance systems for charity and amazing risk management system for charity, risk management, database and software. And what we're going to now do the next phases is that we're going to start
Maybe giving that for free to some select charities. And then after maybe selling it so we could get charitable charitable money back.
And it's an it's just to show that with, we're also becoming operationally innovative now. And we want to give best practice back to the charity sector. So for example, we were mentioned by third sector, which is the leading not for profit publication, because we launched the IRA charity management series, we did one on GDPR, you might know about GDPR. It was basically the general data protection regulation from the EU, okay, and his new data protection stuff. So we had to basically realign the whole organization to be in line with this new law. Of course, yeah, gave that webinar and you know, Muslim and non Muslim charities attended and benefit along, we get them free
templates and, and policies. And we want to, we want to offer that two people. Recently, I just didn't want to risk management. So we have a lot of Trustees of charities attended. And you could still go on these podcasts and webinars Anyway, you can follow the podcast, the IRA charity management series. So we didn't want to risk management, which is very important for charities, a statutory requirement. So we want to, if we implement something properly, we want to give it back to the world for free. It's good for PR, I'm not gonna lie, it's also a PR move, because, you know, we want to show that, you know, we're robust and as a Muslim charitable organization, we are raising
the bar. Yeah. And we're in line with the Charity Commission best practice guidance, what are these amazing things, but also genuinely, we want to help other charities, Muslim and non Muslim. And I think that's very powerful. So the next one's going to be on safeguarding against extremism, which is a it's actually a statutory requirement, especially for charities. And then the one after that might be dignity at work policy, the one after that might be I'd have to come to one of the seminars, myself. It's a webinar. So let me go to the IRA charity management series and find it so if you go on the website, or if you're going to, I think iTunes and you type in IRA charity
management series, you could download the audio as fast as I could.