Exemplars for Our Time with Michael Sugich
Channel: Hamza Yusuf
File Size: 128.84MB
greetings of peace. My name is Sofia and I oversee Publications at zaytuna. And I serve as an editor and a by show. It is my distinct honor to welcome all of you.
On behalf of zaytuna college, it's nice to see everybody once again, it's warm. It's been a long time. We've had a gathering here. So and I also want to welcome our people that are watching online as a large crowd number of people watching online so we want to make sure that we welcome them wherever they are, whatever time of day, it is where they are. Thank you for joining us.
First things first, I want to we'll begin with the Quran recitation. And
we're going to have some because they do not students doing the recitation and reading the English translation. The
selection of verses is from the chapter 10 of the Quran from Surah Yunus. And the recitation will be done by a second year master student we have in the Masters in Islamic texts. Hamza Hashmi, and the English translation will be read by a senior student fat to my elimin le mom
and once we get to get done with that I'll be right back. So to start with a crunch is it recession?
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Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim, in the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate, oh people, a teaching from your Lord has come to you.
A healing for what is in your hearts and guidance and mercy for the believers. Say, in God's grace and mercy, let them rejoice. These are better than all they accumulate, say, think about the provision. God has sat down for you, some of which you have made unlawful and some lawful, say, has God given you permission to do this? Or are you inventing lies about God?
What will those people who invent lies about him think on the Day of Resurrection, God is bound to fall towards people, but most of them do not give thanks. In whatever matter you may be engaged, and whatever part of the Koran you are reciting. Whatever work you are doing, we witness you when you are engaged in it. Not even the weight of a speck of dust, and the earth or sky escapes your Lord, nor anything lesser or greater. It is all written in a clear record. But for those who are on God's side, there is no fear nor shall they grieve for those who believe and are conscious of God. For them, there is good news and this life and then the hereafter. There is no changing the Word of God.
That is truly the supreme triumph.
Do not let what they say grieve you. Power belongs entirely to God. He hears all and knows all. Indeed, all who who are in the heavens and on the earth belong to Him. Those who call upon others beside God are not really following partner gods. They're only following assumptions and telling lies. It is He who made the night so that you can rest in it. And the daylight is
so that you can see there truly are signs in this for those who here
thank you Hamza. And thank you Fatima.
A couple of quick announcements and then we'll dive into the program. Inshallah.
I don't know if any of you saw walked into the bookstore when you came in, but we have a fantastic bookstore and Khadija Connell whose project that has been from the day it started, she's here and we'll help you, I would encourage you to go out there and check out the bookstore after the program, it will be open to at least seven o'clock or later.
The prayer area for people who want to pray after this, this downstairs when you walk out, go to your left and down the stairs, there washrooms at both sides upstairs and downstairs for men and women. So
we have to express our gratitude today also to Mecca books. They are here. Arthur is here from Mecca books and they this program has been a partnership with them to host this program tonight. So we're very grateful to them.
I want to go on to tonight's program, and I think, you know, it's obviously as you all know, it's about a
major new publication that was put together by city Haroon Skitch, and collaborating with the esteemed photographer, Peter Sanders, and having a lot of people writing about the
saints and sages of of our time. The title is exemplars for our time. And it's an interesting thing, it's not our time, it's for our time, which I think
if it was meant that way, it certainly we need it in this time. And this kind of wisdom from our sages.
And exemplars is an interesting word. I think exemplars is you know, connotes
somebody who's worthy of emulation, a role model. Somebody we can learn something from. And it also has a synonym something like a you know, a paragon people call it but you use that term as well. And it's the reason why the phrase paragons of virtue is kind of a common phrase, because these are people who are virtuous people. And we'll hear a lot more about that tonight from both our speakers.
I just wanted to let you also know that when you go out you can also order the book, the pre order the book set, pre order it, there's a QR code, I believe it's a little card, you can just put your phones on it and there's a QR code on the back and that will take you to the State in a bookstore website. You can order it
so on to the program tonight. It's a very simple program we have we have will first introduce to the Haroon soakage, Michael Savage. And after that, President Hamza Yusuf will join him up here for a conversation. And after that, Inshallah, we'll have some time left over for questions from the audience here, and also the audience online. I before I bring up chickens, I just wanted to tell you that they are both
shake comes out, and so the surrogates have been
friends and for over 40 years. And so this is a long term relationship, and we're finally
blessed to be able to hear from both of them and in conversation. I'd like to ask Sheikh Hamza to come and introduce city sewage. Please welcome President Hamza Yusuf.
Salaam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Bismillah R Rahman Rahim
masala and I say that Mohammed one earlier Samuel sent him to steam and cathedra Alhamdulillah first of all, welcome back. We haven't had any gatherings really, here. Is this the first one since the pretty much at 100. So, Allah subhanaw taala bless all of you keep you safe sound. The plagues are part of life. It's very interesting. pandemics. I don't know if we've ever had anything like that in human history. Certainly not shutting down the whole planet. It's very strange experience. But
traveling lately and
I'm just seeing how much changed because of these events. So, but insha Allah may Allah subhanaw taala continue to bless us, for those of you who've been through COVID Very interesting, I mean physically been through it. Very interesting experience. So the last time I, I saw city, Harun, few days later, I got COVID. So
what had nothing to do with him, but we were at the Bradford Literary Festival, which is a literary festival in England, run by Muslims, even though it's actually not a Muslim Literary Festival. It's it's, it's a global festival. So people come from all over. But there's so many Muslims in Bradford. So they took it on. And I said that I was delighted just to see Muslims associated with a Literature Festival. That was fantastic.
So we were there
to launch this really unusual book. One of the aspects of our tradition is something called a boycott literature, which is biographical literature as it was a very important genre. And in the United States, if you go to any good bookstore, the biography section is actually quite large, because boggers they're fascinating. And people are fascinated by the biographies of people. I mean, almost everybody, if they, if they had the literary talent could write an interesting biography, because there's no life on this planet that's not uninteresting.
There are quote unquote, ordinary lives, but they will still have elements of drama, of tragedy of comedy, of humor, of sadness, grief, joy, all of the things that humans go through each one of us will experience many of those things, if not all of them, so. So I first met CD hold on sewage 44 years ago. And
I was reading the Quran at the time. I had purchased, bizarrely, the George Salle Quran in a used bookstore, which is one, it's one of the it's the first serious translation of the Quran into the English language. I mean, there were ones before that, but it and it had very interesting notes also, but that's the one that I was reading. And the reason that that happened is because I
had read a book called The Book of certainty, I'd had a pretty serious car accident and was thinking a lot about
afterlife, and I had was studying at a college in Southern California. So I had a friend who was at UC Santa Barbara, who we'd actually gone to high school together. So
and I was telling this person about the Quran what I was reading, and she said to me, Oh, I just met these people from Mecca. And I was like, Really, that's, that's where they pray. And
she said, Yeah, in fact, I gave him my phone number and right then the phone rang. And I said, I know it's him. I know it's them. And lo and behold, it was it just was really just a strong feeling that I had that it was, and it was CT Haroon was inviting
us to an evening in Ojai, California. So he actually picked me up. And we drove to Ohio, from Santa Barbara. And we spent an evening there. And they had just published a book called
Jesus, the prophet of Islam. And I really wasn't that interested in that aspect. Because I had read, I'd actually read a book called The feather in the cap about Mithraism. And I had already come to certain conclusions in my own
life about Christianity. So I met him and
I was 18 years old. And he was a young man. Now we're both old men. But it was a very interesting experience. Because
the the first thing that happened was, you know, the the men went into one room, the women, it's another room, which was, that was obviously new for me being from California. And
we start talking and then the time for prayer came, and he said, Do you want to pray with us? And I said, Sure, I'd love to. And so I went out and did wudu for the first time, under a really beautiful October sky
in Ojai, and
we prayed and I pretty much knew I was Muslim. At that point, I'd already decided
I wanted to become Muslim. But I didn't say anything. Because I didn't know there was some kind of formulaic thing that you had to do. So we went to LA and we were I was spending a lot of time with him during that time. And one day, he said to me,
do you want to become Muslim? And I said, I thought I already have what do I have to do? He said, Well, you have to say, Shahada. And so he had me go up and do a hustle. And then, and then we said, Shahada. And actually, I realized later that it wasn't a valid shahada, because there was only 111 and a half witnesses.
So I had to redo that, but
hamdulillah and, and we, we live together.
in Monterey, we had a really beautiful place did a lot of vicar and study. And then I went to England. And and then I came back and we spent again, we met up in Tucson, Arizona, and different places. So over over time, Haroon was married to a wonderful woman from Mecca, Yamaha Shadia.
And who passed away and she
was the other witness for my Shahada. But we've we've just kept,
you know, this relationship over the years. And it's, I think, one of the really profound aspects of Islam. I think one of the most interesting things to me about the Prophet salatu salam, I mean, there, everything is interesting about him. But one of the most interesting things to me is that all the people that were with him at the beginning were with him at the end. And it's a testimony to who he was because false teachers always lose people is just, there's always going to be people that break off that are disgruntled, that are dissatisfied. But all the stalwarts that were there from the beginning, were there at the end. And, and so it's a great blessing to have companions in your
life because saga, and it's another thing that I love about our prophesy, Sam is he didn't have disciples, you know, he didn't have movies or to bat, he had companions. They were his companions. And when people came in, they didn't even know which one was the prophet because they were all luminous from his light. But he had companion they were his companions, the Sahaba and Sahaba yet, and, and,
and he treated him like that. He never treated them. He didn't. He used to. He used to say
tocado Well, hello verhalen melodica walk ahead of me, he would always walk behind them.
He didn't even allow them to follow them. He said I like the angels to be at my back.
You know, we say I've got your back. Imagine somebody who has the angels
has his back. So
how Cydia Haroon also introduced me to the whole concept of the the Olia you know, this idea that there are people.
You know, when I got into my car accident, my older sister, who was very interested in Sufism,
I stayed with her in New Mexico, and she was kind of in the fourth way and doing some things down there. But she told me that people she said, Oh, you've had a, you've had a
she said nothing in your sleep. She said, because people are asleep. And she said the only people that are awake are that most of them are in North Africa. And she told me how she came up with that. But that's what she told me. She said, like, like Morocco. And so, see, the heroine introduced me to those people. He was the first person to really introduce me, to those people. And he and I have been blessed greatly in knowing a lot of these people because
the exemplars I mean the real exemplars are, they're just they're, they're,
they're very rare. And the Prophet saw I saw him said that people are like 10,000 camels. You'll be lucky to find one that's really really worth writing. And this is just a reality of life. So we all have to come to terms with our own mediocrity at some point in our lives. And the best thing we can do is recognize the Great's of the past, honor them and recognize as better
If we can, the people of our time because they are always there, these people, and they're often hidden.
They're not always scholars,
if they are scholars and many of them have been, if they are scholars, they're certainly not pedantic type of scholars. And they're not people that their scholarship leads to a kind of arrogance, or sense of superiority.
But they are,
they are always there because when they go, the world goes with them.
And that's simply a fact.
They're the ones if you can imagine
how we came into the world, we had to have,
you know, only a certain amount actually get to the egg.
They're all headed towards the egg, but only a certain amount.
Get to the neck. And when they get to there, they start latching on and they start trying to get into the egg, but only one and rarely to get actually into that egg. And that creates this massive explosion. Some actually go the opposite direction is very interesting. In the act of creation, some of the semen actually goes in the opposite direction. And these are the people that turn away from the goal. So
those those are the hydrophone. They're the ones that that reached the goal. But we should all keep our eyes on the prize. So I'd like to introduce my my brother.
I'm not as as
eloquent as my as my brother Sheikh Hamza, I always feel out of my depth when I'm beside him, even though I'm older.
So please, excuse me, I'm going to read this presentation.
It's better for me,
and probably for you as well, if I go off off script.
In earlier ages, the saints of Islam were the benchmark for what a human being could be. The village sage could have been a local Imam, a jurist, a saintly woman, a shoemaker, tailor, or Tanner, or a wealthy merchant. In the cities, there were sages that were well known and sometimes celebrated. Scholars saints with many 1000s of disciples, and there were those entirely hidden. Many had great formal knowledge and others were completely illiterate, but illuminated from within.
They populated the mosques and madrassas, they took to the roads traveling from town to town and country to country. They were master craftsmen who led the guilds. They were manual laborers, farmers, traders, shopkeepers and school teachers. They were grandmothers who taught the Holy Quran.
The aim of producing exemplars for our time, a series of nine illustrated books, eight of which are biographies of contemporary Muslim sages, is to revive awareness of these people who still exist by telling the stories of their lives.
There is a rich tradition of Muslim biography, the tubba cut literature which inspired and educated Muslims from the earliest period of Islam, at this powerful teaching tradition has been all but lost to young people today. This is to a great extent because the notion of sainthood has not been sufficiently contemporized. And the spiritual sciences that produce these saintly men and women, and that were intrinsic to the practice of Islam have been marginalized over the last century or two.
The first volume in the series is a general orientation to sainthood in Islam, explaining who these remarkable people are, and why they're so hard to find these days. The luminous virtues of the sages of Islam describes the the attributes human and spiritual, of a saint in Islam, the nature of spiritual authority and ways of identifying a truly qualified spiritual guide in Islam which is
a burning issue among young people today.
This volume also addresses the question of why women sages and saints seems so few and far between. Whereas in reality there are as many women's saints in the world at any given time, as there are men.
There is no question that the sages profiled in this series were neither supernatural
nor infallible. Our aim in fact is to present these beautiful human beings and all their humanity without romanticizing or mythologizing them. However, being human does not mean surrendering to immorality and evil. The suggestion in the academic field of exemplar studies that every exemplar must necessarily have an underside does not apply here. The whiskey priest, or tartufi, and lecher do not exist in the particular universe we're exploring. The exemplars we're profiling are men and women who have subdued their lower natures, and extinguished their egos through purification, and by the grace of God.
The life stories of these remarkable people are told against the turbulent backdrop of the 20th century. These sages were born in a world where Muslim societies had been subdued and subjugated by European colonial powers. They lived through the degradations of colonialism, world wars, revolutions, imprisonment, exile, and they witnessed the decentralization of their societies and deterioration of traditional values. Yet, in spite of all that, each has left a lasting legacy of wisdom and teaching. Sorry, that continues to inspire generations of believers seeking a sane, balanced, tolerant and compassionate way to live in a challenging world.
Sheikh Mohammed Al hajj who passed away in 2018 at the age of 106, was a Mauritanian ascetic scholar saint, who would almost certainly have lived out his life in complete obscurity in the remote deserts of Mauritania. Were had not for a young Muslim convert from California, who was guided in a dream to visit him, live in his tent with him
and learn at his feet.
The young we all know that the young man was Hamza Yusuf Hansen, Sheikh Hamza use of his brought his close relationship and years of study with the sheikh to Baron and immaculately crafted and moving biography of one of the hidden treasures of our time, illustrated with the unique photography of Peter Sanders.
Habib Ahmed matura her dad was a renowned Hitomi scholars sage, who emigrated to East Africa from South Yemen. During this period while earning a living as a trader. He would venture out into the jungles of East Africa, calling aboriginal tribes to Islam, and building schools, mosques and clinics for these new Muslim communities he ministered to hundreds of 1000s entered Islam through his teaching and influence, and in his lifetime, he was considered to be one of the greatest saints of Islam.
The author Dr. Mustafa Al Abadi has dedicated his life to translating and interpreting the teachings of his spiritual guide and his ancestor, Imam Abdullah Eman alluvial had died and the sages of the barley way.
Say the Fatma Yosh ruteere was the spiritual heir of her father said, adding nurudeen earlier Shruti who was born in 1791
and died in 1899 at the age of 100, and aid. She was taught by her father in her father's Zarya and aka Palestine, imbibing the spiritual teachings of her father and his closest followers until his death. After the 1948 War, say the Fatima became a refugee, ending up in Beirut where she resided for most of the remainder of her life. The Yashraj T of Akka reconstituted themselves there, with the help of its well established
adherence in the Zoe's of Lebanon in Syria. This led to a spiritual renaissance in the order, aided and abetted by the remarkable books that were penned by, say the Fatma. Her biography, illustrated with rare photographs from private collections is authored by Dr. Kareem Lahab, whose family has held a deep and abiding connection to say the Fatima and her father's teaching for generations.
Said Omar Abdullah muine Baraka was born in 1918 and passed away in 1988. He was a highly influential East African educator, and diplomat and a charismatic interpreter in multiple languages.
Of the tolerance and beauty of Islam.
A towering figure in education in East Africa, he was the first educator to successfully synthesize traditional Islamic teaching with secular education and had a profound influence on many leaders of post independence East Africa, including his student, Dr. Ali muine, the second president of Tanzania. He was a galvanic orator, and spiritual guide who elicited
who elicited love wherever he was.
Musa for Ozark affendi was more than 1916 and died in 1985. He was the 19th Grand shake of the Helvetic jurati Jura he order of Dervishes, who revived this spiritual tradition, after the long suppression of Sufi orders in secular Turkey, and was the first spiritual leader to bring its practice. To the west, a colorful and charismatic teacher was after affendi nurtured his students with lively conversation in his bookstore, in cafes and restaurants throughout Turkey, on the streets and in his Durga, orange or dervish lodge, a deeply traditional scholar he ventured out into America to introduce young seekers to the beauty of the way of Islam and the practice of Islamic
spirituality and left a vibrant legacy from North America to Europe, and the Middle East. The biography is written by Shams Friedlaender, who was his close disciple and Khalifa and features unique photographs by the author, who, by the way, is a truly great photographer. One of the best I've ever seen.
Sheikh Saudi or Jaffery, was born in 1910. Passed away in 1979. He was the Imam of Al Azhar mosque in Cairo, Egypt, and lived in a small chamber within the mosque for over 30 years, never venturing out except to make the pilgrimage to Makkah, or to visit the tombs of saints in Egypt, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, born into the spiritual tradition of the great 18th century Moroccan Saint Sidi Ahmed ibn Idris. Sheikh Salim was a preternaturally gifted teacher who became a legend in his own time in his own lifetime. For his galvanic discourses, held every Friday in the courtyard of allows her mosque, attracting huge crowds of people from all walks of life. The Biography has been
written by Dr. Sommer de journee, who was a student of the sheiks son, Sheikh Abdullah Rani Ibn Saudi and Jaffery.
Sufi Abdullah Hassan was born in 1923 and passed away in 2015. He arrived in the city of Birmingham in the United Kingdom in 1962. With a mission, he had been charged by his spiritual master to emigrate from his native Pakistan to bring a spiritual path to the 1000s of Pakistani immigrants who had come to England from material gain, but who were losing their faith and religion in the process. The 39 year old retired soldier from humble origins, left his family and everything he'd known up to that point, and started a new life in a foreign land purely for the sake of God and His Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, whereas his compatriots had emigrated to Britain to make money Sufi,
Sufi Abdullah had come to rescue them from
Life without meaning. By the time he returned to his homeland in the Punjab for a visit seven years later, wearing the same blue suit he'd worn the first time he arrived in England, he had single handedly, by the force of his personality, and against all odds, established a vibrant spiritual path laid the foundations for a strong, Orthodox and spiritually oriented Muslim community in the industrial heartland of Britain.
I'm going to conclude my introduction with a reading of excerpts from two of the biographies beginning with the biography of Sidney Muhammad Abdul Habib.
In the Moroccan city of McNair salon Boulevard, they'll have all which curves along the edge of the old Medina. A nondescript entryway gives out onto a long inclined weatherbeaten, whitewashed passageway, open to the sky. The passage leads up to a double door, opening onto a stark cavernous room covered in hasira mats and striped carpets. There was nothing ever physically or architecturally remarkable about the plain rendered brick and stone structure, or the utilitarian interior decor you had in 1971. crossing the threshold of this empty space was to walk into a parallel universe, an intensely radiant world, concealed by the daily rigors of worship, learning
and surface service and revealed in circles of invocation in remembrance of God carried out within its walls. The light that saturated this unprepossessing edifice emanated from a single centenarian saint and his illuminated followers. This was the Zarya, the Sufi lodge of the teaching che CD Muhammad ibn Al Habib
in 1971. This venerable scholar Saint presided over his Alia, as he had since 1936, when it was first established as a place for learning and the practices leading to the purification of the heart and the knowledge of God. He was 65 years old when he opened his area, the age when most men retire, he had now reached his centenary, and this would be his final year on Earth. The Habibi Azaria served as the home of the sheikh. At the Center for instruction and discipline of aspirants. on the spiritual path of Islam. Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Habib brought the full force of 19th century Sufism, in all its rigor and purity into the 20th century, and then over a period of 60 years,
guided generations of sincere seekers to the knowledge of God.
That year, a handful of Westerners joined the gathering. Most were new to Islam, or were novices. Few had ever laid eyes on a saint, or, for that matter had any idea what a saint was. Suddenly they were sitting in the presence of one of the greatest living saints of the age, and surrounded by other men who had attained stations of sainthood. Under his guidance.
Imam shazzy Lee, the 13th century Sufi master was once asked why he did not write books, he replied, My Companions are my books. The sheer number of illuminated souls gathered that spring, who claimed Shaykh Ibn and Habib as their guide, and their collective incandescence was testament to the majesty of the spiritual master, the power of the light from these men, its penetrating clarity, and the discipline and self denial that produced it, by the grace and mercy of God could be almost unbearable for the self absorbed novice, accustomed to the endless distractions and self gratifications of the modern world. Here was a pre modern world, where the ego was the enemy, and
God was the friend, and according to the wisdom of the path, the only way the enemy could be defeated, was to be occupied by remembrance and love of the friend
relentless sync, single minded intensity, the sincere disciples of even a hobby turned away from the ego. And by remembering God, at all times, aspired to lose themselves in the love of God.
In the words of God enunciated by His Messenger, my servant never ceases drawing nearer to me by supererogatory works, until I love him. And when I love him, I become the hearing by which he hears the sight by which he sees the hand by which he grasps and the foot by which he walks. Were he to ask of me, I would surely give to him, and were he to seek refuge with me, I would surely give him refuge.
And now a final remark from Sheikh Hamza use of eloquent biography of his master Sheikh Warahmatullah Hajj.
Morabito al Hajj would appear to many in modern society to be a primitive, a simple Bedouin living in a tent. Yet his spiritual, emotional and intellectual development should compel us to question our assumptions and see the shortcomings of our own civilization when compared to the desert culture that produced him. For this simple man was a grammarian, logician, rhetorician, theologian, jurist, Judge, leader of a clan, father, husband, traveler, Mystic, and a profound and pious human being. He may seem an anachronism in an age racing towards transhumanism and meta versus though not metaphysics. In today's technology driven societies in which computers mediate everything, our
reality and our relationships, our financial transactions and our consumer choices, our memory and our history, and even our pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, we would do well to remind ourselves of what can be achieved without modern technology. Moreover, tanhaji lived an unmediated life, governed by the sacred monotony of diurnal existence, telling time with shadows on the ground, or celestial clockworks in the night sky. He learned, preserved and transmitted ancient knowledge to others, and contemplating and contemplated the meaning of being a fully realized human being in complete submission to his creator.
Morabito Hodge was a simple and sagacious man of immense wisdom. And anomalously learned gnomad content in grateful for the gift of life, who used his time on Earth to occupy himself with what concerned him and to share the gift of His vast knowledge to edify those around him. He had penetrated the mysteries of the world, and its temporality and set his sights on a far greater form far more interesting arena of our inner world.
May God sanctify his soul.
And here enhance my introduction. Thank you
I wanted to ask you something. Go ahead.
I don't think I could have spent three days in to a market the way you spent so much time. What sort of what effect did it have on you? I mean, did you did you react? I mean, it's it's almost inconceivable to me that you one could come away with that without being completely disoriented, even.
Yeah, I, you know, I was I lived with the Mauritanians in the Emirates for
four years. And
I just got used to their lifestyle because they take it wherever they are. They share how three when he was here, we brought one of the more attending scholars here and he lived here via Jover humorous story about him just to let you know who he is.
He visited a court
Record sushi chef here. And, and the sous chef said to him, Oh, it's so nice to see fellow sushi. And Chef Khatri said our own villa.
I said, I'm not a sushi. And then he said, Are you happy? He said, That was a bit.
He said within your soul, he said, he said, he said in my country also via somebody who doesn't have even Adams weight of the dunya in his heart. And he said, I'm an old man in America, that's the biggest proof in my heart.
But anyway, when he came here, he used to move with the sun in the room, because the more Italians move with the sun, so they never, they're always away from the sun. So when it rises in the east, because they the tents are always east to west, so when it rises in the east or in the West, and as it moves across the sky, they move to the other side of the tent. So he did that in his apartment.
Yeah, it was just, they, wherever they go, they they pretty much take their, their, their way of living. And I think the thing that I the biggest one of the biggest gifts that I got from them, is that you don't need anything to survive in this world. I mean, the homeless prove it every day. You know, but but they really are people completely divested of dunya. In everything they own is usually in a chest that they put on a donkey or a camel, we moved three times when I was there, because they don't they're not nomadic anymore. Right. So but during that time, one morning, everybody was just packing. And I said, What what's happening? And they said, Mark that had said, we're moving today.
And that's the way it was because of the water tables. So they're they're an extraordinary people. I think they're an ominously, they're the only
really educated Bedouin in the world. I don't know of any other Aboriginal peoples that are educated. And you know, I remember once models that had was teaching about, you know, there's this whole concept of animism and in Kalam
and he was explaining what they call the Joe 140, which is the indivisible atom. It's the Greek atom. It's not the modern atom, which can be divided, but it's the Greek atom the this idea that it's the undivided, of animal cousin. And he was trying to explain to this young man who was studying and he was he just didn't understand it. So he he picked up some dust and there was a ray of light. And he blew it into the ray of light, and you could see all the moats in the light. He said, If the veils were lifted, you'd see the whole world like this.
That was such an amazing demonstration. Yeah, Ibn Habib uses that same imagery, if you want. Exactly. Well, the modes are very interesting, and they are used hubba. And the Quran says that in the end of time, everything will be haram and for war, it would just be motes just spread everywhere.
When you when you went back to the web, I mean, what I was very disoriented when I came back, they came to me because I went, you know, I left I mean, you know, I, I went from California to England first and then I went to the UAE and then I went to West to North Africa. First I was in Morocco, and Algeria was studying there. And then I went to Mauritania. And the whole time period was about 10 years. So when I came back, I
it was just very strange to be back and to and I actually never plan on coming back. I mean, my, I made Hegira like i My intention was not to come back but but I ended up coming back and
you know, life has its own. You just follow your, you know, Amazon, rocky said seldomly Selma
rise with data. What's the hurry? Yeah, hello, Kadri Siarhei Sasara surrender to Selma and go where she goes, and except the winds of destiny and let them take you where they take you. Did you feel that you had to come back to the west or will you? I didn't I mean, I just yeah, I didn't.
Yeah, I came back. I mean, my original intention was actually to study medicine go back to mortality, because there was so much medical need there. And that's actually was my intention. So I came back. And I worked with Hashem see that too? I think you knew. Yeah. So I studied with him for a couple of years and then and then he asked told me to go to nursing school.
So that was my original intention. But then there was, you know, one thing led to another here, right? So yeah,
I've heard stories from people, not necessarily those who went to Toy Murad, but who went into intense studies in Yemen and Syria and places. And when they came back, they were shaken by the power of this culture, this kind of huge Western culture, and didn't feel that they could sustain
themselves as Muslims. I mean, I've heard stories about that. You view
it said Nokia, but I TAs who? Have you met him? So okay, in the people? Yes. Yes. So, I mean, we knew him from back in the 70s. Yeah, yes. He because he came to anyway.
So I, you know, I started reading his things in like, 7879. So he had a big influence on my understanding, but And I'm, I'm currently reading in the book club, his secularism and Islam, but one of the things that he says he differentiates between secularism and secularization, and he makes his argument that secularization is an ongoing process. And that the Western civilization is a civilization that has it has an inevitability of complete what he calls terrestrial isolation of man
to take away the celestial, you know, desire in, in, in Latin x to the means of the stars, you know, it's it's human desire, the arrows is an impulse for the celestial, it's not the terrestrial. You know, and, and you see that even in in man's desire to penetrate the heavens with material power. Yeah. You know, the space traveler to go to Mars. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that, that destruction of that inner pursuit is is really what secular secularization is about. And so this this culture,
there's, I think it's so difficult for young people because there's just so much against them, there's so much there's so many issues that are opposing them. However, the Quran makes it very clearly clear that
I mean, one of the fascinating elements in the Quran to me is that it's always one person up against a mob.
It's it's, there's no right the guided group in the Quran.
They're always individuals and and the prophets companions were actually the only group that really is given conferred that honor of being this Oma. And so I think the prophets Isom told us that Islam began strange, and it will return an essence I am awesome.
What ABA is the feeling or state of being in the world when you know, it's this is not your place where we're where we're actually from, and that is the celestial pole. And depression, you know, he doesn't mean, in the verses I was thinking about
the verses that were read, you know, that, you know, they allow you to have an idea of what else is unknown. You know, the law says that the LDS are the ones that
they don't, they don't grieve and they don't fear. And in the commentaries, they say, grief is of the past and fears expectation of the future refuge. So they're in the present, and they're in the hub. And so I think the beauty of what you're doing with this is, these people are there and they're there to guide. They're living guides, because the prophetic legacy is always inherited. And they're living guides, and that and that's what you see with them. They're in the hub, they're there. And they're not in that, you know, what they both use called the Wheel of Fortune. They're not in that
fear and hope and anxiety. Yeah, they're there. They're in a different space with a law. So I think it's very difficult. But
you know, we have these challenges, and this is the beauty of community and and just having people Saba, you know, and the importance of finding good companionship. Yeah, this came up in Bradford. And you address that very beautifully with the fact that each of the rows, sincere companions that you that you develop over a period of time may not be completed in some way but they
may have a portion of something that they've they've
attained through their company with people who are more completed. So it's not a zero sum game right where you, you have, you know, the great shake, and he people think that they solve all your problems. And it doesn't it doesn't work that way. Right. Yeah. But I mean, when you came, you know, I was thinking about Sofia Abdullah, and you when you We both met him? Yes, yeah. He was a remarkable man. He was very tall and had a life bigger than life, this great, warm personality. And he would do that i Dicker with him all night once. And I was literally falling down. I was staggering out and he was on his way to I don't know what go to work or whatever. Yeah, they went to
work in the factory. Yeah, he worked in a factory. And he worked. He worked 12 hours a day in a factory and spent the rest of his life. But he had this great sort of swaggering, you know, great, he was such a such a great character.
And I was thinking about when we were working on his biography, one of the things that I had no idea I mean, he really came with nothing, and, and was working men. And the only thing he did was he had a little room in a house full of other
Punjabi workers. And he decided that they weren't interested. They didn't know the Qibla they had forgotten the prayer. They, they weren't doing anything. So he would just get up and do all the other hands. And may, you know, he made his mosque the prayer and he just kept doing that for year after year after year, and working 12 hours a day. And just doing that he left his family he didn't see his son till he son was seven years old. So the the
immense sacrifice he made and you know, I had no idea but I saw him when he was you know, they would the communities would come and they'd be having
a banner. And you point you mentioned in Bradford, he was always feeding feeding constant. And in fact, his Sheikh assigned him to go every year on Hajj and feed people in Hajj. But I was thinking you, you when you came back and you started zaytuna way, way back, it must have been a similar kind of experience. It must have been a little bit lonely. Because when when we entered Islam, and it's interesting, because I realized this this now right now, it's 50 years, it was my first Ramadan 50 years ago in Berkeley.
there was nothing. I mean, there were no books. I mean, there were the loo Zack books, the Braille books, or the books. Yeah, there were there was not much to read. And there were no real communities that you could sort of attach yourself to or learn from. So I mean, it must have been very difficult. I think a lot of people here just had their there were to be fair, there were Deobandi scholars here, but they were very isolated, and kind of doing their own thing. And I think the majority community didn't know about it. So when I started
talking about traditional Islam, and by traditional following a madhhab, following one of the sound Creed's of Islam, and then a belief in to show off with the caveat, because I never promoted like total or any of those things but but a recognition that tough soul is a core part of the religion like this idea that it's not that it's an innovation is a very modern concept. I mean, nobody in the history of Islam ever said that. The critics of Tulsa Wolf are some of the biggest Sufis in the history of Islam. So I mean,
Imam Al Ghazali has a small it's really significant little
resolve that he wrote, which is called
at cashfloat would have been
I feel horrible or harpy asthma in elucidating, and illuminating the fact that all of of humanity is diluted. And so he goes through each group and shows all their delusions.
And then the last group he deals with out of the Sufis, and when he gets to them, he says, Well, my album
is only group he says that about, he said, these are the most diluted of all the groups. And then he talks about their thinking they've reached some Hapa. Yeah, there's a great Zen story where, you know, this Zen master goes to this
doctor clear, he told me the story, where he goes to this monastery and, and they've all heard about this. And this is a place where supposedly they're all enlightened. But he goes in and his lecture was just, there's no such thing as enlightenment. And they all leave, except one. And he said, Why are you sticking around? And he said,
I've been here for years thinking I was enlightened. I'm wondering if it's just early senility setting in, you know, and I think that, you know, that lesson of just that the real people have to solve, or the furthest from claims. Yeah. And that's why share Fibonacci abuse says in the Deewan, in * that taught here on mini Shirky, with
the claim if you want to be free of any claims, you know, so and that's something we saw in people like see Fedora Houari when he was given it then from Shaffer metal heavy, but he told me, he said, Who am I to do this? So I think coming back was just seeing a kind of impoverished Islam.
That's how I perceived it, that it was because once you go into these works, even non Muslims spend their whole life studying these PDFs, I mean, literally, like, because they're so fascinating, like, they might not ever end up becoming Muslim, but they spend a lifetime reading their works, because there's, they're just so incredible
what we what we've been trying to do with with this series is to reintroduce this the awareness of these people, but also to encourage others to take up this, this the this aspect of the teaching, through through storytelling. And one of the frustrations that we had, or that I in particular had,
in the course of
doing this project, was finding people who could actually write stories. And I was, I was really, the main I mean, I'm kind of anti, you know, I'm kind of reclusive. So I don't go out and meet lots of people, but I really couldn't find that many people who, who could actually tell a story and, and write a biography. And I'm just wondering if, am I just am I missing something? Or are there
are there people out there that I missed? Or
are we in trouble? Yeah, I think we are in trouble in that I think our community does not recognize the centrality of language it's been a STEM community for a long time at which is important I mean, engineering and medicine and these things are important but but the the other side of the equation is the side that nourishes the soul. You know, medicine treats, the body engineering just makes bridges and builds buildings and things like that, which again, they're important and they're not to diminish the weight of those people.
It's interesting in even sitting and the Mohandas Gandhi and updates in his book on dreams he said if you see him well hundreds in your dream, it means the destruction of the world.
He said horrible, I'm Bronwyn Bronner Hara, the destruction of civilization and the civilization of destruction. That was interesting. But so we Yeah, writers, it's a craft, as you know, I mean, you've spent a lot of time writing and it's a craft, it takes a lot of time.
And a real commitment to to, to writing. And great writers are not born, you know, they, there are people that are obviously talented more than others with language, but real really, truly great writing is is is learned, like, like music is learned through practice and through real dedication. Yeah, so unfortunately, we don't have a lot of people that write well, we have a big problem with renovar to I mean,
severe who's does a lot of the editing, and he's a fantastic editor. But
we get these articles that are just really poorly written. And they're academics. They, you know, they have PhDs but they they haven't ever learned how to write. So that's a big problem. Telling stories is really important. And that's why I think
What you've done is is such an important
because these are real people we met them we saw them the most of the people that you showed on those We both met the majority of them and, and they they one of the things about them is they live transparent lives. So that idea of the shadow, you know, young had this whole concept that the shadow develops alongside the other self but these people are people that lived manof that had his tent was open 24/7 You know, there was no there was no shadow self there right there was just
you know, a wise human beings living a daily like I could know, wherever I was anywhere in the world if I knew what time it wasn't in Mauritania I would know exactly what he was doing. The regularity of his life really, really struck me Yeah. Because
the thing about these pupils they have a consistent practice their spiritual practices just it's like Shahab love and Bay and no matter where he goes, he's, he's one of the few people I know that works out air, he always does it according to the prayer because he wants to do the minimum amount of prayers in the air. So he always you know, schedules his flights based on the prayer times. But he he will always wherever he is, between us and and Asia. It's just it's that time is just dedicated to his practice. And then between before Fajr until Sherlock it's just consistent wherever he goes no matter where and all them what I've done are like that the more Italian aroma they all
practice that it's something that really struck me about them they're so consistent in that practice. And that's why I like that term sacred monotony because it you know, the the word in Arabic for monotony is Hara tab, which is where we get right. Yeah.
Yeah, it's that consistent thing. And then the other thing that I think is consistent, I know you had this experience as well, is that they're very real. And, and Allah, Allah says in the Quran in Toba, he says, Yeah, you know, but Topo Allah will coulomb outside the pain, have Taqwa have this pious awareness of Allah, this conscientiousness, reverence for God, and be with the truthful ones. And, and that sit, which is, I mean, the closest person to the Prophet size and was called Cydia. Like, that's the quality after the prophets, the city opponent or the next group, that are mentioned in in that in that hierarchy, and so sick is
that's what you you get from them is that there's just that real sincerity that you it's palpable. And the Prophet said Len was a cannula had, you know, we don't make any claims about you know, who's
but but we, we, you know, we have these beliefs about them. And and then they're, Hey, Sam was with Allah subhanaw taala. But they have these consistent things that are very interesting, even though they come from Malaysia and Morocco. It's amazing that cultures are completely different. And yet, there's these qualities that are constant. This is what struck me in putting together the books, the eight, eight biographies. And in fact, we we, we commissioned more than that we were intending to publish 12 And I'm kind of glad we didn't do it because it was so heavy, the books as you would have physically heavy. Three more would have made it really difficult, but
they the the similarities between these very different people with different backgrounds, but there was so many similarities. I mean, one one constant was the sort of awareness of death and the experience that you had, I had an experience like this when I was about 16 allotted, not an accident or anything, but just this awareness, awareness of death. And
it really struck me in reading your biography of Robert Hodge, and also a middle Habib's
He became terrified when he was young of death and try and you know, ended up
really taking a spiritual path because of that, even though he was on the path of knowledge and and fecon formal knowledge
because it's kind of one of the reasons that we
compose box sets, I mean, we could have actually published the single sure heavy volume of the of the all all the books together, but we wanted people to take each thing, each story individually, but then read everything because they're very easy to read, right? So that they get a, it's a world it's
it's we're entering a world of, of sanctity and beauty. And yet it's very, it's very real.
I actually, you know, I'm convinced somebody would do really well, if they published all these great masterpieces in in like that sections because they were all serialized when they you know, just ask all his books were serialized, you know, Dickens, it's all serialized in magazines. And so people would read segments. Now you get this giant, you know, 800 Page tome. No, nobody wants to open it.
Which is why I actually read the Quran with the ages that for the very same reason, because I, when I was saw you last time, you were doing that, I thought, that's, that's what I need to get. Yeah. Because it's just it's really nice to finish something. Yeah. People love. Yeah, it's, it's why cleaning a room is so
you know, it's, it's just because most things in life take years, right? It's really accomplished. But you can do certain things you get done in one day, it's really not the hardest thing I have is the one this
ratable I mean, is the consistency. And I don't know, I'm, I'm pretty disheveled in a certain way. And disorganized. But I have a real hard time with that. And I imagine that most people from our background, may have because we're so used to doing, you know, having something different all the time, and let's go out and watch a movie or let's take a vacation or something. And these people never, never really well, that thinks like that. Yeah, and that was Pascal's the, you know, the
problem in the world is that people can't sit alone with themselves in a room. You know, and I think the worst thing about the
this technology is it doesn't allow for downtime, people are constantly going to it for entertainment, and, you know, that, that it's and it's very, you know, it's very addictive and, and it can be also very fascinating. So it's, it's very seductive.
And I think increasingly one of the real challenges for people is going to, to be able to fight the distractions. I mean, one of the, if there was one word that really summed up the time we're living in, I think it's distractibility.
And what's interesting is that in the in the Catholic tradition, in archery, we call it Afula, heedlessness, right. And in the in the Catholic Church, they call it a CEDIA, which is sloth. And it's, it's, it's the disease of our time. And it's very interesting because it was it was called the noonday devil and the monks, you know, they talked about this, the monk who's supposed to be praying in his cell. And then he'd go to the window to look to see if anybody was passing by that, that that was the distraction. And so I think, setting aside time every day, is really important, even if it's 10 minutes, just that time to read some Quran to do some vicar and also some time to study. I mean,
there's too, you know, there's a beautiful Hadith the Prophet sighs I was sorry that Audrey asked him, men,
men, a shadow NASA and jasola Who are the people of the greatest tribulation? And he said an MBA. And then he said, Therma men, and then who? And he said Allama and he said some and he said a solid home. And so that hierarchy of tribulation is very interesting. So the prophets have at the worst and then their own OMA and when the Prophet use that word, it wouldn't have meant what it means today like scholastic theologians, it really meant the RT phone, you know, the people that
that that new reality and then the Saudi hone in the Hadith where the prophets Allah I sent him said
is a dunya MeLuna tune? Well we're, we're MeLuna mafia Illa the Corolla who wanna Allah, Oh, Andaman Amata Andaman. So so the whole world is cursed, except, and everything in it, except the remembrance of God and whatever facilitates it. And then a scholar, a teach somebody who's learned and somebody who's learning. And so those two paths that the Prophet gave his community that devotional path, and the path of scholarship, those are two paths. They're not mutually exclusive, it exclusive in that one needs something of the other. So you can't be a student of knowledge without having some portion for, you know, the spiritual practice of devotion, even though that study is devotion. And the
Prophet made that very clear. So the lightest and but the, the, the, the corrosiveness of the world is the distractibility and that's why, except for what aids you in remembering God, so it's not that the world's cursed, it's the distractive nature of the world, because it takes people away from God. And then life is over. And we're here. I mean, we know we were young people, yeah, not that long ago. And, you know, the young people in here, they're gonna see it's, it's does go, it goes fast. It goes fast. It's fast, slow. I mean, there is an element to it, where
it seems like a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away when we first met, you know, so there is that, that element too, but but but it does when you look back and think about what you know, and then and then the time the movement of time, and the you know, tomorrow tomorrow, tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace, it's just, it's it's really is these adding up? You know, Eliot measured it in coffee spoons, coffee, sweat. For me, it's the Jews. Yeah, I kind of like what I'm on June 27. You know, it's like, what happened to the month?
It's amazing. Yeah. Well, my one of my teachers, Willie Hashim, at who, of course,
he said to me, he said, do whatever you like, but you will regret every instant you have not remembered God. And you know, I think about that, and I get chills thinking that's the only remorse in paradise. Oh, yeah. The only thing that there's there's no remorse in paradise, except for an hour, that past moment, really sad means a moment of the past, without remembrance.
And, and I remember in, in, in, in the period that I was describing in the biography of Admiral Habib in the 70s, when we came into the presence of these people, I went gray in about 15 days, people said, Oh, my God, you've worked where I was traumatized by these people, because I was so used to thinking about myself all the time. And I noticed actually, in talking to young people, this is everything, it's about themselves. My I feel this, I feel that. And these people, the self was really not very poor, amazing, their selves were not very important. They were only interested in the Corolla, and in a bad. Yeah, that, that was very, very difficult for me to sort of get my head
around and accept. So I ended up sleeping a lot during that period. And the took pictures of me asleep, they had a slideshow back in England. So there'd be a picture of one of the owl
completely asleep, but it was the only way I could sort of,
you know, sort of keep my balance.
But it's, it's when we No, no, no, you
I apologize. We were I was in in with mom. And of course, she Yeah, it was just
the first time we went there, you know, he
this person, this old person comes out and washes our hands and brings us food and, and there were a couple of people sitting with us. And then I said, when's the chef coming out? That that was him? Yes. You know, he was he was me. We cook and do. And I remember the second time I visited him.
I said to him, you know
I came here once before, and he looked at me and he just started laughing. And I kind of realized I hadn't come there before.
That was somebody completely different. Yeah. So and then we when we left I just had this incredible is amazing. He was like air.
He was something. And again, he was someone people tried to make him into something. He refused. Like a che who
else here? I had a rule. I don't know if you were the juice, how long did you stay with him? Just a few days? Oh, a few days. That was That's good. Because he they had a rule at one point where you could only say they had a lot of trouble from the because of the government. And that was true of wherever you went at that time. But Well, it's interesting, because I heard from one of the ministers in Morocco that the word dark power still gives like chills to some people in Yeah. And that's one of the things I think the myths about the these people is that they were kind of quietus you know that they didn't but when I mean these were the people that fought the French Did you did
you go to city Saudi? Did you ever go there? Yes, I stayed there. It was. He was an extraordinary man. And I will never been to a place like that, that
it was a tense the tents and we came in and they did a wizard that lasted three hours. I think it was a bull Quran tent, which was 24/7 Yeah. And then they had the delight of Herat turn. So we went we turned up unannounced. And
they looked at it and I had everyone you know, make the prayer of greeting, you know, the mosque. And I when I got up, I glanced over and the old men were all going there, okay, because they you know, follow the sun. And then we waited for for for a long period in like, two hours or something. I thought, Well, are they gonna let us see invite us to stay on? Or do we? Are we gonna have to go down the hill again and find the plan? Where are they going to feed us or what's happening? And then they took us around the city Solly and city Salim was here. The only image I have is Orson Welles in the Black Rose. You know, he was this magnificent figure with beautiful eyes. And I said, we've come
to learn the Emerald, the Hydra, which was that they famously did, this uncredited was like rock and rock this double bounce.
And as soon as I said that he went.
And they all started. And Huson Barrett, I hope he's here. But he's Is he here? Awesome.
He saved my life and Timbuktu. I know. I know. But Hudson was a young boy at that time. And there were all these children, you know, in the back now if their heads were shaved.
Look, but it was an amazing experience. Well, they did every month, they went up into the High Atlas with the tents, because they were originally nomads, right. But they had the furusiyya Do you ever see that when we wanted to? That was one of the things we were supposed to be guys. We stayed up. I stayed almost a month up there. Really? Yeah. It was incredible. Yeah. Yeah, they.
But they showed us where they were shot by, you know, they had hats with bullet holes in them and from the French, you know, so they, I mean, they fought, you know, people forget that, like that whole North African region. They fought but, you know, they characterize these these battles in I had to do some reading on this as tribal.
You know, the tribes were up
against the French, right.
But they were all they were all in to root. Yeah, they were all Yeah, absolutely. And they fought and they really fought hard. But they weren't they didn't have this concept of terrorism or like once they lost, they they submitted to the thing and then they pray that Allah would just get rid of them. Yeah, they didn't have this idea of subversion like that you you could, you know, do these kinds of terrorist activities. And I remember when I met him that he had on Murali, I asked him why was shifted and heavy put on the list of traders. By the way,
By the, you know, the kind of,
you know, political the psalmist. And he said then who Kenny Andorra venuti lab because he could see what the light of God Yeah. And he knew who the real traders were. So it was just kind of a,
it was a very interesting one, I heard a story that he was actually instructed by the shoe you because he went out. And this was something that it took a lot of back and forth research about him because there there are very few records that are you know,
I mean, they're, they're, they're scattered all over the place and villages and individuals but and he,
he, he went out alone to join the the jihad. He had no skills at all. And he hired a soldier to train him and how to swim, how to ride a horse. How to, you know, wield a sword, and so on. But he when he, he went to my name and the great, you know, these great, his shed was actually a Mauritania. Yes, yeah. shams. Yeah, he was from the Gulf here. Yeah. So he, he knew all these people. They knew him and they knew that he was a man of deep knowledge. And this was the story that apparently he told someone was that he was sent back by these people to go back to Fez, because the French were on the verge in 1912. They actually occupied furs. And they wanted him to be there to
you know, protect the dean. Yeah. And then Molly, Molly Abdullah Hatfield. I mean, he, he accepted there. You know, that came under the French protectorate. So then they were told to stop. Yes. Yeah. And that's why they follow the, you know, and Molly Abdullah Hatfield was a scholar, he the king at the time, he was a real scholar. I mean, I have his edition of the, the, the motha, that badges, commentary and the motha. I have the original edition, which I got in Medina. I used to go to this bookstore every day. And I didn't have enough money when I was living in Medina of studying in with the Mauritanians. And I used to go to this bookstore to read this book, every day, after ASA. And
finally, this the book dealer is are you going to buy that book? Is it because
I said I can't afford it. He said, Bismillah. Just gave it to me. expensive book. It was printed in 1914. In Morocco,
at Big Island water?
Yes. I was just thinking of if anybody wants to, you want to take some questions. And then because I'm back and forth enough.
You know, we could go on listening to both of you for a long time for conversation stories.
Spending time with Sheikh obviously,
learn something beautiful, Mashallah. Thank you for that. I'd like to open it up for questions for people, I think what we're going to take, there's a microphone here, if people in the room can come this way into the microphone. And then we'll take some questions online as well, but kind of rotate if you can. And I'll say anybody with questions can come up here, but I'll take my privilege to maybe start with a question for both of you.
One of the things you all mentioned, which I have is about kind of the daily practices and you talked about distractibility. You talked about rituals, you talked about the monotony and discipline.
I'm curious, what do you think are the biggest impediments to
you know, spiritual growth? What should we for the rest of us? What kind of advice would you do you think we should have what you've learned from the sages, yourself and just help us with
two or three things? What What should we be worried about? What should we be vigilant about? But well, I one thing, I think is that people are
we're, we're also customed to
entertaining ourselves and making ourselves happy all the time. And I think that's, that's, especially in this society where there's so many opportunities to be distracted and to self indulge all the time. And I think that's a real that's a real problem now for people because they just don't want to give up. I remember
When you started when you were young, you went to someone. Like, I can't remember who it was, you came back and said, I, you know, I told him about Islam and he agreed with everything. And I said, Well, that's that's i That's not the problem. The problem is, he doesn't want to give up his tennis or you know, his lifestyle. Right. And I, I think that that's still the case, people.
In fact, if I was sent a young woman in AUC, she was visiting Egypt or a student or something. And she was interested in Islam, but she said she was in her 20s. She said, Yes, but I still want to have fun. You know, and I couldn't figure out what that what exactly she meant. Yeah, it's interesting. My dad used to always say that the old English word fun is defined as the activity of fools.
So I remember one * chef Abdullah bin via his son, because he sees people all day long that have problems. And one of the things in the month Hara, it says that if you don't have problems, then your role is to help other people resolve their problems. And if you don't do that, Allah will bring you problems. And so
his son said to him, can we just have one day without problems?
And Sheikh Abdullah said, a zillion Kubrick men can back get that arrogance out of your heart. He said, Do you think the prophets ever had a day without trouble?
And that's, again gets back to that, that the people of the greatest tribulation are the people that are closest to Allah. And that's the nature of the abode. And and one of the biggest problems for human beings is not recognizing the nature of the abode.
If an author ADA he says that the Alpha part, yeah, yeah, everything that calamities and tribulations are the needs of the people that know God, because they know that that's the nature of the abode. So they they take them as opportunities and the prophesy Sam said that none of us believe will be complete until he sees tribulations as blessings and blessings as tribulations and that's very hard for people to get their heads around because people want everything to be nice and and that's not the Abode we're in that's that's the next vote and shot lot if you acted accordingly here so I think the biggest problem that we all have is our knifes you know that the prophets I said um,
said your worst enemy is that the knifes that resides between your two sides, and we have the seven the spiritual path is a progressive path, knifes Allah Amara NAFSA lawanna NAFSA Mohammed NAFSA Mahatma in NAFSA Rodya Nuff said Marthy. And then Nuff said Kameelah. And the people we met, we saw that we saw some of them that arguably had reached that. So it is possible and I remember Murata has taught me something when when I was reading in Azure with him, and it said, you certainly are but uniminuto Halaby mahkamah, Talia Kane, that he struggles with his soul for the sake of Allah. And, and and, and He adorns himself with the stations of certainty. When we got to that line, I said,
What if you're like, you struggle and then you just keep falling back? And he said, That's the struggle.
Yeah, like that's, that's what you have to do. And I was with shadowbet Mia, we were in Kuwait and an airport and this soccer team, one of the professional soccer teams came in, and one of the soccer players came up to he saw he was dressed and looked very, you know, sagely. And he came up, he said, Chef, I'm gonna set up, you know, can I ask a question? He said, Go ahead. And
he said, You know, I have Iman, but I keep doing things. And then I stuff it Allah, I ask Allah for forgiveness. And then and then I go back and I do him. And then I asked a lot forgiveness. And what do I do? And then Shacklewell just said his stomach. Keep going, keep going. Yeah. And I think that's one of the things even on Monica data, who was the great teacher of Monica Leilani is one of the great folk of Medina. He said, I fought with myself for 50 years until it finally surrendered. And I think that's, you know, one of the things the Dow is say, the reason the Daoists are so obsessed with health, you know, they they do a lot of like all these Chi Gong and things to
cultivate health is they say you owe it to your soul to live at least seven years.
80 years, because that's how long it takes to get ready to go to the next. So this is an opportunity, right? You know, and and it's a Carpe Diem opportunity, you know, it's it. If if, if we don't see it as that and just recognize in the end, the best thing that you can do is prayer on time. You know, I mean, that is the single best thing, you know, and try to have more presence in the prayer to try to focus as best possible to make it better. It's, you know, people, a great musician or a great writer or what they just practice. I mean, when you see drafts, you know, like Brian Garner says, His, the books he writes go through about 80 drafts. Yeah. And these great
musicians that show up in I mean, they just practice and practice till they get to that point where they can play it flawlessly. Well, that we forget that, that these daily rituals that we do their practice and their practice, yes. It's, it's to get better at it. So every day is just another day to try to hone our presence more, though, so I think those and then there's a baseline everybody has a baseline of practice. And then you build on that so the the most basic baseline is just belief in a law the five prayers and avoiding the haram. Yeah, and then you just build on that. I mean, there's a hadith whoever prays for of NAFTA before the hot and for after, the fire will never touch
them. You know, so that's a worthwhile practice. And, and people that do those constantly. They're gonna or the one I really adhere to, is the prophesy. centum said, Whoever recites AYATUL kursi after every form of prayer, there's nothing between him and Paradise except death.
And so just like that's a practice, you just doing it. If you don't do anything else just doing I go to see, you know, one of my teachers,
Schiff, Hamid, Ahmed Ali, who I lived with, in a beautiful mosque in a line. He said to me if you leave everything except the five prayers, don't leave early to be kidding me today. Tamati Michel Rima Bismillah De Lisle Domus museum for Abu whatever semi or semi random three times in the morning three times in the evening, he said, Just don't lose that one. And the prophesy Psalm, he was constant is remembrance of Allah. And one of the things we're doing for
the Molad, we're calling the mindful messenger, because this, you know, mindfulness is this big buzzword. But mindfulness came from a Sanskrit term Sati sorry, it's a Pali term, the Sati term is Schmidty. But this the Sanskrit term was translated by this Professor Davis, David's from England, in 1881, from Buddhist tradition as mindfulness so that's where it came. It came from Buddhism, but the original meaning was to remember the Scripture.
So it was the hiccup. There was Lika. And so the the one of the things about the prophet that is amazing to me, and I think it's one of his great miracles. He had a prayer for every single human activity. And that's a path like if you do the baseline of those prayers every day, just coming I mean going into the bathroom.
I'll give it to him. And hopefully we're going in with your left foot. That's mindfulness. And then coming out after you you know, you're you free yourself of that those toxins.
Oh, for Annika Alhamdulillah, the Raza Penny led to have Jacoba Barnea who prays be the one who gave me the delight of it's the pleasure of its taste. retained in me its benefits, its power, its Cola, and then removed from its harm. And what a perfect dua you know, and Murata has told us the first thing he told me he taught me that do and then he said, Sit. Allah says about Satan and know that he was ABSHER core. He was always grateful. And a sow he Mater has mentioned me that sow he says that he always thanked Allah every time he urinated or defecate it. Like that was his constant gratitude. And just people don't think about these things. But you know, there's all these blessings. Exactly.
I mean, in terms of the interaction you have with the teachers we've been, we've been talking about this is this is how they address issues they give you something from the Koran, something from Hadith, a dua of
rustle they don't it's not some sort of magical transaction where they pass their hands over you and everything. They you have a problem they give you something to deal with it because the we know, it's what they did you meet the city Mohammed sir Saharawi from Baddiel. Yeah. I mean, he's got a picture of him doing and there was a picture. Yeah, he was blind. He was blind. Yeah. He's amazing. He was an amazing man. The way he sat, yeah, he was upright and very, very strong. And he has this massive Tasbeeh you know, it's unbelievable. He had over 100 chefs. Over 100 Yeah, he was when I met him, he was he was over 100. I know. Yes, he was, I knew that. But he said this amazing thing. He
said, the sickness of the human heart is what shall I do? Right? And that, you know, if you if one thinks about it, we know every what to do if we go back to the Quran and the Sunnah.
But anyway, that's good advice. Thank you. Oh, we have a question or here, I think. Go ahead.
So Monica, thank you so much for illuminating our hearts and really watering the drought that we're in both physically and metaphysically.
My question is about a word that we I heard in sha Allah, Masha, Allah, a lot of talk about sincerity.
And really the new buzzword that's out there is authenticity, and people living their authentic lives. And I really find it like a fascinating word. Because growing up,
we were taught to be sincere.
And that's kind of a dying word right now.
And Michelle lovies, Olia, they seem to live their quote unquote, US lives, right. They're the best versions of themselves. And my question is,
as Muslims, what's our approach to living an authentic life versus a sincere life? Where
authenticity with authenticity, our actions flow from our feelings.
But with sincerity, our feelings flow from our actions, and this shift that we're having socially, towards living authentically, versus what sincerity? And I hope that makes sense.
I don't see the difference. Yeah. And authenticity, it means exactly the same thing. Yeah.
Maybe I'm not understanding.
The question. No, I mean, I agree. I think
you really can't be authentic without being sincere. Right? Well, yeah, and I don't I think if it's real, you're not thinking about these things. I mean, I think it's, it's just,
you know, Imam Malik was asked about a man who sets out for the masjid sincerely. But then on the way he hoped somebody sees him.
And he said, I hope he gets the NEA that he has started with. Yes, yeah. You know, so I mean, I just, I think, if you're thinking about being sincere, you're in trouble. And, and if you're thinking about being authentic, I think you're in trouble.
But, you know, there's also a principal operating in turn in terms of a bad vicar and the practice is that you're not automatically going to be sincere, every in every prayer and every you go through it, because you have to do it. And
I've read even not a lot of talks about that kid, which is, when you're asking Allah for something, and suddenly you're talking to Allah, you're speaking. And he said, he wrote that this is more important than getting what you're asking for is to have that direct conversation with Allah subhanaw taala. So he actually thought, I mean, he he's goes against the majority of scholars about this, but he actually thought do I was merely to, to display a basement before Allah that it was not to get any answer. Yeah. So I thought that that was the practice. Yeah, yeah. So that's way more important. Yeah. And I think,
you know, we talked about this before imamo Rosae, who was a great one of them, he had this mud hub, and which kind of faded away because it was so
I'm strict and difficult. And one of the things that I was told was that he that if you if you had to have at least one moment of her show of one, just one in a prayer, but if you didn't, but that's, that's hard. That's yeah, if you didn't have you had to do it again, you had to do your prayer again. So it's this idea of you do it and until something sinks in, and you it becomes the you have a moment of interact some of because you are supposed to have at least one moment of an Amazon says, try to make it at the outset of the prayer, like to really bring God's all before you so that when you open with the taxpayer, at least you had a moment of presence with Allah. Yeah, yeah. We'll try
and get a question from online. Throw. Thank you. I will try to get two quick questions in at least from online. The first is, are there any invocations to ask to meet the sage and righteous people in our regions? And also, how do we fix the problem of the lack of intellectual minds in present times? Thank you.
Marilla Arabiya, Darko is said that man, allah sallallahu, Urbina, Yeoman say Allah, Manuel Sidhu it Allah, what else are the NESARA and he wrote that 250 years ago, he said, whoever is sincere for a law for 40 days straight, he will find the one that will guide him to God even if he's in the land of the Christians.
So again, it gets back to just sincerity and then also, there's a tradition that the only are called the brides of God. Ara is Walla Walla, Iran. Ara is
an Mahara moon, you know, the, the only people that are allowed to see the bride are people that are related to the bride. And so Imam Al Ghazali says, the lowest station of Wilaya every believer is a worldly, by the way, and that should be an assumption. Because there's degrees of we lie, but Allah is William Medina, um, and also every believer has We lie. But there's when I am and we lie a hasa. And so the, the, the, the, the Wilaya. Hazza is something that Allah has hidden in his slaves, but we see people and we, we have a good opinion of them like these people. In the end, only God can judge people's hearts, because even the devil doesn't have access to the heart. He can whisper to
the heart but he doesn't know what's in the heart. The angels don't know what's in the heart only Allah the angels only record actions. Only Allah knows the human heart and that that's God's domain and it belongs to nobody. Except God so but sincerity is just that really is the key and although we'll get a minute out of it, he says that God woke up at a summer what what are the heavens the earth stood up in, in fear when they heard Allah say, well, not when we react with Allah Muhammad is in Allahu Deen, they were only commanded to worship Allah with sincerity and making the religion solely for Allah. So it's, you know, it's a real challenge, but we have a lifetime to try to get
I had a question I prayed. Awesome. So do you do you travel? Yeah. So if people want to go on, I'm fine. I just need to go
to let's, let's keep going as long Okay. Anybody have questions here?
I'll do my best, like a set icon. So when he comes back last year, I have a question about biographies. Yes. I was just wondering what constitutes a good biography?
Could you? Well, I think one of the things that characterizes great biography is deep research. I mean, really profound research. And unfortunately, in modern times, this, this whole idea has been lost. And people we Muslims don't. And we found this with, with the subjects that we were that we were chronically chronicling. I mean, these are very small books. And they are by design that way so that people can read them easily. But
it would be very, very difficult to do a full biography of most of, of the, the, the people that we that we profiled, because there isn't research you know, there the the, the the documents and manuscripts and things like that are
scattered all over the place that would take an enormous amount of time. Having said that, Dr. Mustafa, by the way, has written a complete biography of Habiba Hammond much shorter than her dad. And, and he very graciously agreed to, you know, take some some of that research and,
and contributed a biography or a small biography for us.
But you need deep research, and you need to be able to tell a story, because people's lives have a meaning. And
if you and there's a drama in everyone's life, it's just that people don't know how to they don't know how to relate that drama. And it's what we had to reject five, five texts for different audio because they just the scholars didn't know how to tell the story. You need to make people want to read you know, what's going to happen next in their lives. It's it's not flat, factual factuality, it's a story. And it begins with birth, the birth, even before birth. So you need to do a lot of research and have that have that and doing like in the in the West. biographers are some of the highest paid writers, because they,
when a biography of an eminent person in is is written, it becomes a standard text. And it stays on the shelves for years and years and years and years. But it also takes an enormous amount of time to actually create a biography from, from the research you have to spend years in, in libraries. I can't remember his name, but the author of the two Pulitzer Prize winning biographies of
Lyndon Johnson, I can't imagine spending so much time thinking about that guy. But anyway.
He's he spent something like 20 years studying his life, going into libraries, ferreting out all kinds of interesting information. So that's really very, very important. But I would really encourage any aspiring writer to look at biography and think about it. We need writers as Muslims, and and we need storytellers there, we don't have enough. And it's very important because this is what people become engaged by this. If you only have
scholarly texts that you that you
read only things like that, it unless you're a scholar, you give it up eventually, because it's you. We there's something in us that wants, that's our entertainment, it should this should be our entertainment, not watching
TV shows and movies and all that kind of thing. You know, so I hope I answered your question. Yes, you did. Thank you very much. I think it's a good point you said about research that eventually leads you to be able to tell stories based on that. Yes, and find the meaning. What's fascinating is that each life has had every life every single person's life has meaning. And to be able to look at the arc of life and see where we're at word word began where it ended, is very is just breathtaking. And this is true, even just even ordinary people. Everybody has an amazing story.
Let's get another quick question from online Haroon if I haven't, thank you.
Are the saints the happiest of people? If yes, how do we reconcile that with the Hadith that the closest people to God are tested the most? And I think related to that, is this question, what criteria and references were followed to choose the exemplars in these volumes? Thank you.
Okay, that's too close to your questions area.
Maybe you can start with with the one about what COVID saved me.
You can you can address the question of what process you use to arrive at these nine
process? Well, first of all, we had to when we had to find
individuals who were that we knew we would be able to find at least
a minimum of information on their lives. Because most of these people, they there's the there's, there's no no
records cap of these people. And it I mean, like, we know everything there is possible to know about Shakespeare, that, you know that and not very much was known. But there are volumes and volumes of material written about Shakespeare in the time that he lived in and so on. We don't have that with people like this. And they didn't want to be known.
Moody Hashem, Bill. Haiti's father is an incredible man. And I asked money, Hashem I said, I'd like to do a monograph on your father. You said, No, he didn't want to be known. He just did not. He doesn't want that he refused.
So, yeah, that was one of the criteria we had to. And we also dependent so much on the authors. Without the author's we couldn't have done anything. As I said, I had to reject five texts, because they were were not.
They were not they weren't interesting. They were some eminent scholars who were sincere, understood the brief. And just they just couldn't write, you know, they could they wrote it academic style language, there was no drama, there was no, no no trajectory of their life. No, you know, no insights and into anything. So that was the second thing. The other thing that was very critical is that these were books that were visual and literary. And Peter and I spent a lot of time working through Matt, the images, matching the images with the text as much as we possibly could. And so we we, in the in the case of Sheikh Abdullah humare, who was in a really interesting, interesting
shape. And I think you must you met him, I didn't meet. I met Hassan and Omari and I actually meet Abdullah Yeah.
You know, he passed away. Well, there was Abdul Aziz as well. Yeah. I met Sheikh Mohammed, briefly. And he, he wasn't very friendly, I have to say at the time, for some reason, but I stayed with Sheikh Hassan at one point, but
we didn't we couldn't find enough material, visual material we had we had his story.
It was it was thoroughly researched. But there were no pictures. We couldn't I mean, there were a few terrible snapshots and Polaroids and things like that which were unpublishable. So that was the that was a very important. Third criteria. And the other thing that we mentioned is that they all had to have passed away. We didn't want to, to give the appearance that we were canonizing people while they were alive. It's tricky to do that. Right. So I think that was basically it was having the material, the and also we knew that these some of these people were they had communities that knew them,
and would have been interested in reading about, about the, the one interesting thing that that took place in the research on Sofia Abdullah was that his family was very helpful. They they gave us all the inline detailed information about his life and his children, you know, the children and, and the way his lifestyle and what he did during the day and everything, but they couldn't account for 22 years of his life, in which he was a soldier, a military. He was in the military, and they didn't know anything about it. And he they knew that he was a prisoner of war and World War Two. And he was in a German concentrate or POWs. Starlog. But they didn't know anything else. And they had these
strange, you know, stories that they they related, which didn't make any sense. And luckily, I became friends with a retired Pakistani General,
who was also you know, a man
Out of the path. And
he shaped general use of ferreted out he found his entire military record from 1940 to 1962.
In detail, you know, you know, he said it was like finding a needle in a haystack because he entered the British Indian Army at the age of 17. As a seat Boy, that's, you know, it would have been very easy to lose all of those files. And he found every single, that's amazing. Yeah, one day, he said, I'm having, it's gonna take some time and so on. And then one day, I got one document after another after another after another, and was able to reconstruct his entire military career, which was significant, because this is where he met his shake his teacher who inspired him. And the teacher, the sheikh, was the the lead a unit that was that made the uniforms for the his regiment. And
anyway, there's great stories related to that. And that was all from from general use of
research, and I couldn't we that was the pandemic, we couldn't we couldn't move around, or go anywhere. So anyway, those are the main
things, elements that we had to sort of
cope with, and that we make them run late. So I'm going to make this the last question.
Just that Comala here for providing this resources for us. Because for Hamilton as well, the exemplars that we know about like, who are famous or have been humbled lib and Tamia.
Very old days, but today when Sheikh Hamza mentioned that the Sheikh Abdullah bin baya
books, his flights based on the prayer times, it's, it's nice for us to know about these people of the current time and read about them. However, my question is,
are there any plans for us to find these books and other books of Sheikh Hamza on Audible,
and other resources? I know a lot of videos of Sheikh Hamza and on YouTube.
But sometimes, they're in parts and some parts are missing. So it will be very nice if we have it on Audible and some online form, so we can listen to them while we are commuting or at any time. Thank you.
Yeah, I actually never listened to an audible book i. Yeah, I probably should, because a lot of people do them. And it used to be the way people read books. I mean, before television, people or the family would gather around and somebody would read from very common practice. So I think it's probably something worth reviving but I would rather see it done like that where somebody like I somebody
a group, just
Shema, il and
Sadie and Zane up and her husband, they drove to Chicago from Michigan, and they read No, keep it off bosses book on the way one person read it. Wow. Yeah. And so that's the heavy stuff. I know.
But but it's nice to do that. So I think that public readings, I actually really enjoyed your reading, by the way. I mean, I found it was very moving. I mean, not, you know, I, I hadn't
that, that the first one. I mean, I wrote the second one, but I really enjoyed it. And and I think it's, it's something that needs to be revived, you know, public readings. I mean, they used to, you know, you know, 19th century. I mean, Dickens used to come to America and like, give public readings, and it was sold out.
And I think people surprisingly enjoy these things when they actually experience them because they're so much more interesting. I mean, I always give the example of, you know, people would rather listen to a lousy GarageBand than play records, because there's just something about live Yes, just being there. And so I think that's really important. I don't
we're doing a
studio, please pray for its completion because we have this really brilliant Carpenter, but he's only one man and it's actually a really complicated.
I had this lady she's a brilliant Persian architect, and she designed a very complicated ceiling. It's going to be
running when it's finished, but it's just really taken a long time. So that's one of the plans when we have the studio down, is to we're going to be doing online courses and also, hopefully have a recording studio for doing things like audio books. And
doing that we plan on publishing re re issuing Doctor queries. Quran, which is one of my favorite translations is quite stunning. So one thing I was approached about doing audible, but one of the books that I've written as an audible book, so I had two fold friends from my past life as an actor. And these guys are still in the business. And to both of them
are well known for reading reading novels. And, and so I contacted one of my friends and I said, Look, how long does it take you to record a book of about 350 pages? And I thought he was gonna say, well, it takes about a week or something, you know, he said, Well,
takes me about one day. And if I have to do voices or accents, then maybe a day and a half and like, I can't go more than like, I can't record more than, like a half an hour before my book voice starts to break or, you know, I just get too tired or distracted. So it's it's it's not an easy thing to do it but I think it would be great
for us, among our young people, for some someone to really learn that craft. Is it Yeah, it's very and a really good reader is.
Ken Burns has those great narrators in his theater documentaries, heater coil coyote is one of them. They're terrific. It's an art form. We'll also enunciation has been lost. Yeah. Just because I mean, you had to learn when you in just studying acting. Yeah. You know, the marbles in the mouth. I mean, the Shakespearean actors, the pencils and marbles and analysis, breathing, breathing. So supposedly, but people don't enunciation used to be part of education. But also, we I mean, we still have fish weed, which really interesting, which is proper enunciation of the Quran. We are a teacher actually in Egypt of touch we touch weed, who said if you don't make the correct tweet, it's not recognizable
That was his Yeah. True teacher of Tajweed. Right. Yeah, really.
But, but Chris Blofeld, other CD Abdurrahman, he was he has, he's plugged into a younger generation. He said,
people don't read anymore. And he said, We need to then we need to have audible books because everyone's on the on the freeway or driving around all the time. And he he came up with some statistic, I don't know, where he got it, but that only something like 16% of young Muslims read. You know, they read 60s pretty high. The I'm glad to hear that. Yeah.
I mean, that's, that's not bad. Yeah. Yeah. Students are part of that. I mean, I I've been overwhelmed with the book club. Just because people are reading the books. I've been really impressed just with the the book club we've been doing. And I get on average, like 250 300 people on the on the live sessions and that they have comments, have great questions. I've just been really, it's been fun.
And it's been viewed, I think, several 1000 Just the recorded ones on it. So reading it, Cara, I called the first command club. I mean, it
is and then the most interesting thing to me about reading is you can take a book, like I just before I came here, I was reading celiac, Mazhar rocks, colitis.
then I've been reading that book for 2530 years, you know, it's just, it's incredible. It's an it's an just but it's like, he puts so much into that book. And then you've got all that it's all there for you. And one of the great gifts and it really bothers me. We really have to restore the of the Aloha unwhole because a lot of these people we had a quote unquote Colloquium. And I just noticed the students weren't like saying what I'll do.
It's really important to to, to pray for the people that gave us so much
Much of their lives, yes. Because these are people that sacrifice. I mean, they were up all night they were, they spent years studying, thinking contemplating, and then their spiritual practice. And then they gave us what they gave us. Yes. You know, I mean that Deewan have shifted, we're not happy it was a masterpiece. Yeah. So just praying for them is really important like, that has, you know, just to pray for their souls, because they're elevated with those prayers, you know, and one of the things
it's a very poignant part of the Purgatorio is all the people on Mount purgatorial, they kept saying, to, to pray for us and tell the people to pray for us when you go back, you know, it is not, and and
one of the beauties of our religions, we are probably the last community that that does that that says that he will lie when we mentioned people's names, who have passed, you know, all the law and who Salalah and they were, and it was either his son and like it is,
you know, I called my I have this friend of mine, he's a, he's a Christian pastor, he has like this mega church in Texas, okay. And so I called them. And I asked him about a verse in Genesis, and he knew it. He's really good with the Bible. And he said, though, the verse about blessing Abraham, I said, Yeah, God says, We will bless the nation that blesses Abraham. And so I said to him, Pastor Bob, have you ever blessed Abraham in your life?
And he said,
I can't say that I have. And I said, God, bless him five times a day.
Yeah, and so maybe you're in the wrong religion.
I just want to pick up on my chickens I said earlier about the book club and invite all of those who are not part of the book club. All you have to do is become a monthly donor if you're not already a monthly donor to zetonna and the total and strong program and you can join the book club. The minute you join, you can start the book club and read some books and discuss them when it comes.
I think before wrapping up my last check, I'm going to kind of close it out with
this winner Bismillah we'll just prayer short prayer
first of all, may Allah bless you and your work, and may Allah accept it and may these stories inspire our young people to set out on their own paths to the truth and may Allah subhana wa Tada inshallah elevate all these people that we've been talking about tonight, give them light in their graves, increase them, make them intercessors for us on that day when the debts fall due and may Allah subhanaw taala unite us in our dreams and in our waking states with the righteous and the Saudi hen. Now Allah subhana wa tarnish Allah bless all the people that attended this online and in present May Allah return you all to your home Saudi me and it mean, Hunter with Talon Shala continue
to bless CD, heroin and all his work and give him a healing and give him
light in his heart and in his eyes and shall and may Allah subhanaw taala bless him Sanders, for the amazing work that he did to bring the images of these people to our eyes that we might delight in their faces and may Allah subhanahu wa Donna, bless our prophets a lot is to make him smile when he sees us much better and it may take us by our hands may we get a drink from the health from his Sharifa may we always honor the people of his family may will always honor the Saudi hen and the righteous May Allah give us with the old and the old Ummah and the righteous people wherever they are, and may He always put in our hearts humility, and we might never look at his creation with
contempt. May Allah subhana wa Tada inshallah
plus a tuna and the five minute money and I'll make it easy for people in this time Yeah, Allah we ask you Inshallah, to to make it easy. Bring peace, where there's war, bring healing, where there's suffering, bring joy, where there's sorrow, we ask you to inshallah make us people that do those things, make us amongst the righteous, and make us those who die with La ilaha illallah, Muhammad Rasool Allah and their tongues raised up in the presence of the prophets. I said, I'm behind him as our email on the Day of Judgment, passing swiftly across the Shirat entering into his hold and drinking a drink that will have no thirst after. And may Allah subhanho wa Taala shall unite us all
and Jen with all of these righteous people. So behind all of the current benefits
Sit down my Aussie phone was set on 100 I held it on me