Hamza Yusuf – Islamic Social Values

Hamza Yusuf
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AI: Transcript ©
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Thank you for being with us again. Last time we enjoyed having you.

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we showed your interview

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somewhere in the middle of

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the serum, lot of people wrote to us and Mashallah, I got positive feedback about that as well. And I think some people became Muslim as a result of that.

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So I think what I was told, I think at least we're doing something right.

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Now, you have been traveling and teaching, you're teaching Arabic, I do an Arabic course in England. I've been doing it last three years.

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And it's a month long intensive course designed to to basically give people basic grammatical skills with Quranic Arabic.

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So why did why do you have to go to England to do it for me, in our back part part reasons because the English you know, how there's a group that's organized it, and

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each one of us can only do what we can do, and and people in the United States? You know, haven't

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nobody came and presented the idea to me, people in England did, it was very successful. And so I've continued to go back. Okay. And, you know, I think it's, it's very interesting that

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there's so many people that that wonder why things don't happen. But the thing is, things happen when those very people wondering why they don't happen, make them happen. That's quite interesting.

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Arabic, or teaching or learning of Arabic,

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Muslims in America are rethinking, and looking at their educational systems to

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vote, we're in deep crisis. Why do you say that, because of, I mean, just what's going on around around this country,

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the escalation of violence in schools, escalation of violence, and sports is very interesting, you know, the escalation of violence in sports, the escalation of violence, in

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rate, what they call road rage, all of these type things, people are very, you know, exhausted in this country, and part of it is that they have not been taught skills of learning to deal with themselves, which is part of what education is about. It's not simply being fed, spoon fed information for 18 years, and then let out into the world, to to do something productive. Education is literally about nurturing the soul. And because that has been so grossly neglected in this country, we're suffering now the consequences of it, because we're dealing with people that are coming of age in this country that have no social skills. So the civility within the society is

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rapidly diminishing. But why do you fault the society only because I mean, look at our societies in the Muslim world.

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We have our own set of problems, which, you know, if you look though, traditionally, I mean, yeah, this this is true. And and part of it is our own educational crisis in the Muslim world, there's a deep educational crisis. On the other hand, if you still look at a large part of the Muslim world, the violence in the Muslim world tends to be group violence, and is, is individual violence is still quite unusual in the Muslim world. And it still does bring about some, some surprise and shock and concern within a community. Whereas that's not the case in the United States. You know, I think Muslims still, although there's, you know, we have very serious shortcomings within the Muslim

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communities abroad. And here. At the same time, I think there's there's, there's still some basic,

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some basic human understandings there that that the Muslims have, that I think are lost in a lot of ways that what we have in the West is there's more of a group civility, the savagery tends to be at the individual level. I think with the Muslims, it tends to be quite the opposite. You know, the Muslims have not learned to work together as a group as an organizational factor. But yet when you meet the Muslims at individual levels, it's often quite impressive actually, is but if you compare the, the so called Western values with Islamic values, the fears that we have some very positive things like the family values, our families are intact. Our women can go out safely on the streets,

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people can take a walk at midnight and not be killed.

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Whereas you come to to this part of the globe, you have a total disruption in that

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But she he was saying that our the kind of problems we have, in terms of

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conflicts within us have a different basis. Would you sort of elaborate that a little bit?

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I think that we do. I mean, our problem, our problem, our trouble in the Muslim world, definitely relates to social construction, we have not been able to create a functioning society, in the Muslim world, for some time. Now, I think there have been, but the Muslim world generally is in a type of just a massive post traumatic stress still, from the impact of colonization, from the impact of the loss of sovereignty, and also from the yoke of disruption despotic governments for several centuries, I mean, that definitely has an impact. And, and unfortunately, many of our families have modeled the family structure on the despotic tyrant, model. So we have a father, an authoritarian

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figure within the family that becomes like a dead spot, and and literally imparts those very models to his children to his wife, and they become the oppressed within the social structure. And they move on to create their own families, and again, repeat the patterns. And these have, they have very serious repercussions. But you see, the thing is that we, at least in the so called Muslim world, the model of our societies and our government, have always been that tribal. I've always been more or less monarchies or feudal. I mean, these are lighter, I don't think so. I don't know. I'll tell you why. I think what happens when we read history, is we tend to see history in broad strokes. And

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we really don't have access to the actual communities that were thriving in those. I mean, if we look at if we read about America, in terms of, we're going to read about all the horrific statistics and all the the terrible things and all the problems, because generally what history focuses on, but when you actually begin to go into communities, you get quite a different experience of say what time or Newsweek gives you, right? So you're gonna have some incongruencies, within experience. And I think that within the Muslim world, because it was a decentralized environment, you had thriving communities. And why do you say it was decentralized, I mean, in what sense was a decentralized,

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decentralized in the sense that, for instance, in the vast majority of the Muslim world, and this is still true, you can still go to areas, for instance, in Pakistan, in, in Morocco, in other places, where there are communities that are still reasonably organic communities that have not been greatly impacted on the, you know, the dominant state structure. And there's still it's neighborhoods, it's families that have known each other for centuries. There's human relationships that are they are functioning and they are working and and this is part of human society, it is an integral part well, that that that is true, and going back to say, Evan Calderon, the

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whole theory of Azadi and

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you you try to, to, to make some sense of the core, right, the society. But if you look at history, despite all the things that you pointed out, that they were, there was a flourishing society around a central despotic government. That is that has died. Yeah. And I just because I don't think the the impact of the government was as great as we see it in the history books. What I'm saying is, is that I really think that, that that people were were living in societies that were actually that they were actually quite liberal, in their own ways. That that's my take, just because my own experience being in certain areas of the Muslim world, where the reach of government now in which the tools of

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centralization are so much greater than they were, traditionally, we can still see some basic,

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some basic autonomy within communities. And I think that was much greater than we imagined it to know. But I thought our reading of his Yeah, no, but I'm saying the same thing. I think that

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autonomy or those enable there to be a flourish meant of society and those autonomous you know, and those autonomous units were structured on basis of tribes or on some other constructs. I think we tend to

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Think Islam was really it was the RCB of the Muslim world by and large. I really do. I think that, that, and we see it because our scholars were roaming the world. We have people like even Hayden, who was born in an entity and family, who becomes a minister and endicia. He then has traveled at the court, he goes to Morocco, it completely different society, he becomes a minister in the courts in Morocco, he goes to Tunisia, he studied in Tunisia, he ends up spending the rest of his life in Egypt, very different culture from North African culture. And one of the things that was noted about him was he he maintained his North African dress the whole time he lived in Egypt, which was part of

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his identity, but the fact that he could live in that culture, he was a father, he was a judge working at high levels, he was teaching in the universities. That I mean, it shows you that there was a basic solidarity there that transcended tribe, class and culture. The same is true. Even Monique is a scholar who went from NDC and spent the rest of his life in Syria. Yeah, the same can be said of Indian scholars who ended up living their lives out in the hijas, many, many great scholars from from India had disowned and things that would go and live and they would teach the rest of the oma. And this was part of our tradition, we were bonded by, by a religion, but also by a

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language because the intellectual language of the Muslim world was Arabic in the same way that English now and Persia to a great extent meant many people knew Persian, Portugal, in the eastern part of the Muslim world, India, and now Pakistan, and Turkey, as well, and Horus on. But that that was the

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I mean, in India, and Turkey and all of these areas where Persian became

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the court language, although the sacred language or the wire was Arabic.

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What do you anticipate urbanization now in all of our cities, it's going to do because that's obviously happening. So at that time, there was a massive problem. Yes. So I think a lot of populations, a lot of these density, high density populations with that comes, I mean, you know, so much research has been done in this country about high density populations, it's very clear that, that all of the social ills can be, you know, statistically, again, and again, shown to be directly related to high density populations, that the greater the density, the increase in the social ills. And in particular, things like promiscuity, violence,

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breakdowns of families, divorce rates, in fact, now, there's been really interesting research about volume, about the sound levels and problems, that the cities that have very high sound levels like traffic and these types of noise pollution, that there's much greater mental distress and, and domestic violence and things like this. And really, people are the people we're we are our nature, is

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either the way that we've been created and our nature is that we're beings that need some tranquility, we need what you know what the Quran term Sakina, right. And the home is a place of Sakina at the mosque is a place of Sakina. But when you're living in environments in which there is no Sakina, there's no tranquility, there's no,

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there's no space, in which to enable that tranquility and that Sakina to descend,

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you really create environments in which human beings can't, they cannot exist without literally becoming very seriously deranged, and you, but you see that those problems that are showing up here with the pollution, noise, pollution, all kinds of pollution, social pollution, if you might call it

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those are escalating here, but if you look at our societies, as I'm reflecting on those now with you,

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there is

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one fact is that we have stunted economic development, unstable political systems, and a number of issues of unemployment and all of that lack of opportunity. And these people from from their lands or whatever in the in the villages are moving in, in cities, and they have nothing to go for. So, crisis. Yes, this is what it's going to have. I mean, we're breeding fields Killing Fields. You know, we're breeding, we're breeding environments hotbeds of serious social disruption.

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And disorder and

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it's it's it's not good. Yeah. The future does not look, it doesn't look good. And it doesn't look good for the man on the street in Cairo doesn't look good for the man on the street and Palestine for the man on the street and Baghdad, and for the men on the street in Karachi. The future does not look bright. Yes, I mean, I think this is what I want to read, reflect with you.

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And also, for the men on the street in Washington, DC,

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or in Los Angeles or any of our major urban centers. So so then this is a global crisis. We're in a global crisis. Yeah, we're in a global crisis. And millennial fever, certainly in the West, not so much in in the Muslim world. And nor in the Confucian world is Huntington, we have it. But millennial fever, I think, is a serious concern in the West, because of the awareness of it, but are part of sense something something's going on. I think even in the West, people sense it's interesting that the Christian Broadcasting emphasizes focuses so much on the end of time on the Armageddon, the doom and gloom scenario, that there's there's a real serious focus and incident and

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many people are tuned into this. Oh, yeah, that is their consistent theme. So they've done that for a long time. Many people feel that people live in Palestine feel that they feel like these are these are major times these are, you know, these are these are, these are serious times. Yes. However, in reflecting on the Muslim Omar at large,

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where is the solution going to be? Where? Where are we failing to, to connect with our faith? And with the reality of this world?

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Where are we failing? Right with our faith and the reality of this world? I think this is probably the, the fundamental crises of, of the Muslim is how is it that I can relate my personal piety, my personal beliefs, to a world in which everything is in congruence with them? And what what is the vehicle by which I can transform this personal piety into a social reality where it's experienced not simply at the personal level, but at the societal level, and to fulfill the khalifah

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mission. And I think that this, we're in the historical process. And this is the inevitability of the Divine historical process. Because we've been told in the Hadith in which is the sound Hadith that the Shiva according to the nature of prophecy would last 30 years. And historically, we see that Hudson Valley died six months after he took the FDA and that completed the 30 years and then the professor license that it would move into a kingship and we saw that and then he said and then after that it would move to dictators, Jab, Jab, Euro, which literally Jabara is a dictator, it's a tyrant, and we are in the tyrannical phase right now and then he said, and then it would return to

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the philosopher according to the prophetic tradition. Now, traditionally, that was interpreted to be the when the melody in the Islamic ethos comes that there would be rise up from amongst the Muslim peoples, a leader and I think that,

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that whether or not we adhere or scribe to that, to that view, the important thing is, is that the understanding necessitates an awareness that there must be leadership, there has to be human beings are guided by people, they are not guidance does not simply spontaneous, spontaneously emerge in a culture guidance comes through the emergence of people who are guides who that and this is the prophets, Allah Islam, this is his first and foremost function as, as a prophet to guide human beings. And from amongst his community, there has to be people who emerged to fulfill that role. And traditionally those people were the people that were transmitting and maintain this tradition. We

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have had a massive break, and the break has come in the absolute loss of educational systems that will produce this type of leadership. That is not simply

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Focusing on the social ills, we have one group of people over here. atomized focused on economics, we have another group focusing on sociological problems, we have another group focusing on these problems. And then we have

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what in India and Pakistan would be, you know, the type movie syndrome, where we have somebody who's completely disengaged from the historical context, and is completely incapable of inspiring and transmitting some type of serious social transformation. We've been talking about,

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you know, the upheavals in our own society at large, either here or there, and necessary social reforms, and what should we be doing? Obviously, it's a loaded question, and you're not going to solving all the problems were basically, here is a group of people who are the so called leaders, and here are the masses, and their agendas are totally different.

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Yes, we have the glue, which is Islam. But how effectively is it penetrating into our lives, this is basically

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where we are going again, I think we have to go back to this fundamental crisis, which relates to producing

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people who can guide and who can lead, we have we've we failed to do that we have not done that. We have to have people that are deeply rooted and connected with the tradition, and yet at the same time, able to function and able to deal with the realities at large because we do have pragmatic concerns we do have,

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you know, one of the things and and I deal with this in my own self is is, is the idea of is our the mythology of Islam, which is very powerful. And I don't mean mythology in you know, as a fabrication, I mean, mythology, you know, at the archetypal level when we talk about almost almost a mythological figure, you know,

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not that he did exist, and he did do the things that we we talked about that he did, but it's it's at that level of mythos. It's something so awesome and so powerful.

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And and what happens is, we rely so much on our mythological tradition, that it obscures the fact that we are not doing what we're supposed to be doing now. And, and so what happens is, is we, we tell stories

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about the past. And the Persian poet, he said, don't be content with the midst of those who went before you go out and create your own mess, you know, so that people can tell the midst of this period of the people that lived in this time, and people that come after that there has to be that, that continuity, there has to be the continual resurgence, and reinvigoration of the tradition. And we're not doing that. We're failing at that radically. And, and, and what has to happen, I think, at the level here in the United States, the Muslim community one, we have to recognize the importance of neighborhood, we have to recognize the importance of creating environments in which Muslims live

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together, that we're not atomized, we're not

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all separate, so that when we come together, the few times of the year that we come together, it becomes like the family reunion. It becomes like everybody's living their own separate lives. And we come together. And there's it's the family photograph. But it's a lie, there isn't a family. The only time there's a families in America is at Christmas time, or at Thanksgiving time. So we take the family photograph, and each one of us takes our copy home and put it on the mantel. But that that reality doesn't exist. It's really any illusion in the photograph. And I think what's happened in in in our communities is that that we have either for the immigrant it becomes the photograph

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from back home.

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The the experience of Islam the ease that they remembered back home, and then it becomes this nostalgic type. It's not like back home. And for the the the first generation and for the Convert in this country. It becomes those few occasions where there is some sense of Muslim presence, like the conferences that people go to, or the prayers in the in the local communities. And other than that, there's a deep sense of lack of community. So what sort of value do you assigned to these huge conventions and conferences? Are we getting anything out of this?

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Why I think there's something's happening right? This is

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There's definitely something happening. But is it what we want to happen? And is there an alternative? I mean, this is these are serious questions and concerns. Yeah. The, what I become very deeply wary of is when we start getting into the know the 90th annual convention 100 and 10th annual convention, where's it going to hear the Quran asks a fundamental human question sign it has have gone, where are you going? We have to have vision, we have to have agenda. We had the province of Iceland was not somebody that was moving in the dark, he was on a path. And he knew exactly where he was going. He knew where he was going in this world, which is which was to sovereignty, and he knew

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where he was going in the next world, which was the agenda. And he maintained that absolute

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Focus, focus and conviction and absolute intention and purpose throughout his life and never wavered, never waver. And we can see that that was inculcated in the people around him because they maintained it. And there's a natural, you know, dilution of that phenomenon as as as time passes on, that, that always has to be at the forefront of I think any any serious, committed Muslim, that we have to recognize there's a vision in this beam. That is what you see, all of us all the so called leaders are saying the same thing that we must have a vision. Every organization has a vision and goes back to the same sources that you and I will cite here. But yet in terms of organization ology,

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though, in order to achieve vision,

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palo frary, the South American

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teacher said that

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if you have methodological flaws, there are ultimately flaws at the ideological level. In other words, you have to

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stop right there. That is the basic criticism that has been offered about Islam itself by some of the scholars in the West. Right, that it hasn't worked. Now. Well, I mean, that's, that's the Yeah, I wouldn't agree with that. It has worked, it's worked at the individual level, in that it has enabled millions and, and really billions of people to, to have spiritually enrich lives, and also to be spiritually productive people, not simply consumers, not simply animals that eat, drink, sleep and procreate. But literally, as spiritual animals that created spiritual civilization that created art that created literature, they created all these things are founded in their, in their Islam. And

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the same is true of Western civilization, what they glorify, is really as a result of their own foundation in their book, which is the Bible, right? And in the Islamic civilization is a result of the Quran, it's that is the foundation. So you know, I would say, That's definitely not true on the individual level, at the at the desire to level Islam has had its periods, there's no doubt and we can witness and recognize them. And probably the last great one was mengden fotios phenomenon in northern Nigeria, in which the, there was an Islamic governance and or the Jihad of xiety in Algeria, going back to the point where

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we were discussing that the the role of conventions and how the organizations here are working, you were saying sometimes, yeah, I think that that part of the problem, the fundamental problem with organization is that, you know, what's known as the unspoken rule of organization, which is that whatever the mission statement of an organization is, there's always an ulterior statement, which is self preservation. And so what happens is that it's the institutionalization of any idea or any, and I don't like to use the word idea in relation to Islam, but of any

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vision. The what happens when it becomes institutionalized, is the vision itself becomes institutionalized, and it becomes secondary to the institution itself. And, and it's, I think it was really worth studying is the, the Alcoholics Anonymous, because they have, they have a 12 steps thing, but they have another thing, which a lot of people don't know about, which is the 12 principles. And in it, one of the things they state is that their organization is a non organization, and they talk about the importance of not allowing the organization to become the primary focus that it has to be the people that are being served by the organization. And and this

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Since the crisis, how, how does an organization fulfill its functions as a service provider, as a facilitator for social,

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for social

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events to force something to happen within a society? How does it facilitate that, and not get in its own way, by becoming the organization. You mean without the hierarchy. And without the sort of territory Animal Farm, all animals are created equal, and then one day, but some animals are more equal than others, right? So what happens is, is that you have this beautiful, wonderful vision. But suddenly, we're dealing with people whose jobs now are at stake with people who want to maintain the status quo, that people become comfortable within you. And this is a problem with any type of organization, that that is providing social services. This is this what's happening, the welfare

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state in America, and social workers are notoriously burnt out. Right, it becomes very hard for them to sustain that original, many of them, the reason they went into social work was to help people. But after working within the institution, they become hardened and burnt out and become cynical. And this happens within organizations, there's a type of burnout that occurs, because they begin to see the dirty politics of maintain structures. You know, I mean, the Democratic Party, you know, the Vice President calling up people to get fundraising, this is the type of cynical

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you know, aspects of any major institutional organization. And the thing about Islam is based on purity of intention, without purity of intention, there's nothing, we have nothing that is the foundation, and to maintain that you must maintain an Islamic understanding throughout. And once you begin to compromise those basic Islamic principles, I think you really go into very murky water. And I think that's one of the major problems with with the organizations. But you see, you talk to two or three things, and you every time you come back with a reply, it's so loaded, that I wanted to chop it up in different sections. Now, you talk to

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animals farm sort of model. And so you think that

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our own organizations are infiltrated with this Orwellian, you know,

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functionality, or I may call it why I think that happens, it's it's one of the pitfalls and unfortunately, human beings are human beings, they're susceptible to it. And part of, I think, part of the way, I personally am very wary of organizational work in this because I can see what happens, you know, and I and I, the prophets all Isom, the way that I envision, what he was doing was, there was there was a deep vision, but there was a type of spontaneous spontaneity that was constant. In his in his presence, there was this, this sense that revelation is about to come, it's going to give us direction. And so I think a wonderful Quranic example of this is mu Sally's when he sees the

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fire, he tells his family, I'm going to go to the fire and get some fire to bring back and maybe I'll get some news. But he goes there. And suddenly, God wants to talk to him. Now, I think a lot of organizational people would say, I don't have time I'm busy getting the fire. In other words, because we become so encumbered by these structures, forget what the purpose of this whole thing is. And this is the tragedy, Moosa was able to say, Here's something infinitely more important than what my original intention was. And I have to be able to let go of that original intention in order for us to allow something to happen. And the nature of human societies is that we are organic creatures

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and your physician, you know, you can see the body is not working, according to structuralist, mechanistic. It's very sophisticated. And there's spontaneity happening within the body. Stress is a spontaneous introduction that disturbs the body and there are spontaneous reactions to this new thing. If we're always focused on this structural model, and America is a wonderful example of that. Yes, it does function. It does work, but at a very serious cost at a very serious cost. And you lose humanity, we lose the humanity. So in other words, to restate your, your I know that you're promoting organized anarchy, in a sense

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and I know that it's

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For some people, it just seems so

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does is

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in looking at

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the end of the millennium and the need for reforms, we've been talking about it.

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The West is now talking of Islamic resurgence. And do you see any evidence or data at all?

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Well, I think there's no doubt that something is happening. And I don't think it's just within the Islamic world. There's a book called The Revenge of God,

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which chronicled the rise of religious spirit all over the world, it's not only happening within the Muslim ranks, it's happening within the Jewish traditions have moved in the Hindu tradition is happening within the Christian tradition itself. There is a basic attempt, people are recognizing that there's very serious imbalances in the world. And a lot of people are attempting to, to grab on to something that that gives them a sense of security. Now, a man in Arabic is related to the word, Amman, which means secure, people feel secure with him, and it's part of the human nature. So I think that because of the incredible insecurity that we're having, in our, in our societies, right

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now, there is a sense that I want something that's going to give me security. And I think this is part of the fitrah the human being, I mean, this is the way we've been created. And so there is a return to religion, part of the trouble is, is that religion now has,

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there are so many filters, that what what is this? What What, what is Islam? I mean, there's, I think a lot of Muslims really don't have a strong understanding of what our tradition is. Now, talking of just religion, as per se. Now we'll be talking about return to religion at the end of this millennia.

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Mankind looking for something

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mean, if you look at any religion, I suppose you you would look at, look at it in in

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these three dimensions, at least I do. One is the intellectual part of vectors is rationalism, and the other one is the your super rational, right? The spiritual part? And then the third is the is the behaviorism, or the ritual? The result? Is that the rituals

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if you see the Muslims all over the world, and if you look at these three dimensions,

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at least I find that we are totally off balance, or am I wrong? I know I agree wholeheartedly. I mean, we religion in the Muslim world that has been ritualized to the degree that the the spirit of the teaching is really gets gets lost. And I think part of the problem is, is because we're living in societies that

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there is a great deal of social anarchy, and people feel it within their lives.

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That ritual is something that gives us a sense of order.

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You know, within

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some of the communities in the United States, you're finding that that people are going to ritualistic practice of Islam, because it does give people a sense of order. The truck The trouble is, is that the Quran says it's not righteousness that you turn to the east or the west. In other words, righteousness is not ritual, ritual is a vehicle through which righteousness can can be carried. And it's an essential part of the human condition, we must have ritual, and and Islam is is, according to our understanding is the purest form of that ritual. It's freed from all of its social, you know, it's these things that accrue over centuries, that if that ritual, it becomes

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devoid of the Spirit, for which it was created in the first place, then what what you have is a hollow shell, which which I like to call religion. I mean, religion to me really is, it's a hollow shell. And I think most many Western people have abandoned religion for that very reason. But again, it becomes throwing the baby out with the bathwater you

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that aspect of religion is very pleasing to many people. And and the Islam, I think, doesn't see itself as a religion in that way. It is not though I mean, it qualifies. I mean, the word Dean has a different, very different connotation. It really does. And,

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and part of this, again, is the loss of the spiritual tradition within the Muslim world. Sufism, which traditionally carried that that banner, in many parts of the Muslim world became very corrupted and, and it fell into its own types of institutional traps, and so many people reacted

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against that type of, you know, the peer type phenomena, you have got the cult type situation that you find where people lose, you know, their, their their own

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identities and awarenesses within, you know, as a subgroup that that is becomes alienated from the greater social body. And then you get into the ask them type in group out group, right. And they believe wholeheartedly that their salvation is through this intercessor process. Right, it is totally against the spirit of Islam in

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how do we? Or do you assign any importance to the fact that a lack of understanding of Islam is due to the fact that majority of us do not understand Arabic?

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Yeah, that's very tricky question.

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I think

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what what Arabic does is it enables somebody, I think there's no doubt that, that the cosmology of Islam is deeply embedded in the Arabic language. And that what the Arabic language does is it enables you to, to really delve deeply into some very fundamental understandings about nature, about the human condition. And this is in the Quranic language itself. I would qualify that by saying that the Arabs don't have access to that either.

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Arabic, Quranic Arabic and the Arabic, that that, that really does articulate the Islamic world view, the vast majority of modern Arabs don't have access to it unless they take you know, study it and take it seriously. I mean, they're closer than the eye Jimmy than the non Arab, because they do have some access to to it through their dialects,

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and through some of their educational background, but I would say that what Arabic is the language of Islam,

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in the same way that not in the same way. But traditionally, Latin was the language of the Western church. And it was through Latin that the church's teachings were taught and understood it was through Latin that the intellectual is communicated in the Muslim world.

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It was it was literally democratized in the sense that Arabic was a language that if you did not study it deeply, you at least had a deep rooting in its script. And in its recitation, so you literally had Arabic being read all of the Muslim world, irrespective of the ethnic, or the linguistic background of its people, and the script tied them to the every so Persian, or do all the Turkish, all the traditional scripts of the Muslim languages were tied to the Arabic know the importance of language for for a non Arab like me, I think I, I sometimes find myself frustrated, because during prayers, we are, we are reciting Arabic sutras and prayer is the means of

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communication with Allah subhanaw, taala and firming up our bond, if you don't get that charge. So, I mean, if I will see, I mean, I think, yeah, that you're making a really good point. But

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I know for a fact that it means that are in a much deeper state state of contemplation and presence in their prayer than many, many Arabs who, who, who understood can understand the Quran, but they're thinking about their checkbook, they're thinking about their, you know, their bank account they're thinking about, in other words, what we're doing what we're dealing with their transcends language, and it moves into the realm of the heart. And the preoccupation of the heart is, is a crisis that I think transcends language because we, you and I can cannot understand the same language. And yet we can be communicating at the level of the heart. And then this happens. And I've had this experience

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in my own life. So I know it's true. How do you say that when I did, that, I've been with people who I did not understand their language. And yet, I know that we were communicating, I know that there was there was something happening at a much deeper level, a level that transcends the tongue and moves into the realm of the heart. And I think for the average of me, that that is accessible in prayer and that is accessible to any Muslim irrespective of whether they know Arabic or not. What the Arabic does is facilitate the process, right because language is the way that Allah has given human beings to communicate, and it is the way that that he chose to communicate through his

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creation through language.

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But the language is not limited to linguistic symbols, it's also the signs in itself. And in the horizon, the whole of creation is called an eye, which means a sign and sign a symbol. And so there's symbol everywhere and Arabic is there, there are the symbols through which the Quran was communicated, but the substantive matter that is being communicated. Right, is beyond language. I agree, I mean, the reality of of God or what ever the reality is, could never be contained in any biblical

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language or anything, however, but since these ritual prayers are ordain, how do we maximize? Yeah, I like that I say it in

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our relationship, I think any devout Muslim should be committed to learning the language of Koran. And I personally, I really believe this, I personally believe that the language is accessible. And it's easy. The language of Koran is easy. And I know, personally, that people are capable of learning it, if they give serious study in two months.

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The vocabulary acquisition takes longer, but they're capable of learning the basic grammatical structures through which language communicated, and with a good dictionary can begin to open up the means of the forum for themselves, that's completely possible. And I'm not exaggerating, I think a person of you know, sound, sound intellect can do that. They don't have to be a genius, they don't have to be that they can do that. And people do have access to that. And for me, it's been probably one of the most enriching things that I've ever done in my life. Because I know that the Arabic language has enriched.

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You know, it really has enriched my understanding of Islam. And

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once you see if this is a major issue for our youngsters here, growing up or anywhere, for those who are not adults, we're teaching them how to pray. But beyond that, and it's very sad, because I think, given that we have 12 years, if we look at just, you know, education in this country, there are some schools within 12 years, we should have people that are fluent in Arabic. I mean, you can do it in much less than that. But the fact that you have all that time, and I think it's really sad that we don't focus more, and part of it is one, we have to get away from this. You know,

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I mean, the racism that is inherent in the Muslim community, because this brings,

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but what I mean is that what happens is Arabic begins to be perceived as a type of hegemony of the Arabs over the iGEM linguists, and in parallel the linguistic event, and we have to get beyond that, because the Arab, the Arabic transcends the Arabs, Arabic is the language of Koran. It goes beyond the Arabs. And if we if we see the language, as Oh, that's the language of the Arabs. No, that is not the language of the Arabs. That is the language that a lot chose to, to speak. And that's an honor for the Arabs, that he chose their language that is an honor. for them. It's not vice versa. And therefore the IGP has to see that this is not about the error. This is about understanding the

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Quran through the vehicle of Arabic. And so what happens in some of our Muslim schools is that somebody may from the subcontinent culture or some other culture is, you know, I want them to learn or do right, or I want to why are they learning Arabic? See, we have to get beyond that this is not about all of the, you know, this is not about the Indian subcontinent or about the Arab. This is about the language of our tradition, the language of our religion, the language that our lot We believe that Allah spoke to us in and if we can transcend that, something really interesting can happen because one, if you allow Arabic to become our language, as as as a tradition, then there a

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deep, deep type of also via occurs. You see the transcends, and the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sallam. He came to obliterate the idea of lineage as being what made a person Arab. Arab is not through lineage according to Islam. Arab is through language. And he said whoever speaks Arabic is an Arab. So he was removing an ethnic. The vast majority of Arabs who exist now are not originally ethnically Arab. They don't like to admit that. But the truth is, many of them are from Turkey, from Persian, from Berber, from Coptic

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For many other as bad, they speak Arabic because that was the language of the of the first Muslims who brought them their tradition and they absorbed it and they took it on. Well, we enjoyed having you as usual. And hopefully we'll get back and start the Arabic lessons as well. Thank you for

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