Channel: Hamza Yusuf
Bismillah R Rahman Rahim
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All praise is due to a loss of animals Anna, settle madico, Moroccan for law, peace be upon all of you. I want to say that I feel the spirit here this year, was much higher than last year. And I think that partly that is because we are overcoming some of the traumas that we've experienced as a community in this country. And that's why tonight, I would like to speak to you, in essence as
Americans and as Muslims. And the reason I want to do that is because I believe that the challenge for this community in the United States is to reconcile between these two aspects of our identity. I am a convert to Islam, but I was also born in this country. And I come from a long line of people in this country that go back many, many generations. And when I embraced Islam at the age of 18,
I had a serious breach. With my identity. As somebody who was from this country, I went to the Muslim world.
And I immersed myself in another world for many, many years, and gained immense insight. And also
a modicum of knowledge of this religion. And I've continued to struggle with that learning and acquiring more knowledge. And as time has passed, I have realized
that wherever Islam went,
it did not divorce the people
from their land, from their culture, and their traditions, but rather it purified those people. It purified them and made them realize their own inherent genius. And this is one of the greatest strengths of this religion is that wherever it went, it enhanced the natural genius of the people, whether it went to India, whether it went to Africa, to Turkey, to Asia, even to Europe when it was in Spain, and in East Europe, in Hungary, in Albania, it brought out the inherent genius of those people. And some of the greatest human contributions in our history
have been from the Muslims, diverse contributions from Persia, from Muslim China, from Spain. And these contributions have infused Western civilization, with gifts that they have yet, in these countries in both Europe and the United States, the majority of people have yet to recognize an immense debt is owed to this religion and ultimately to the founder, and to the profit of this religion, sallallahu alayhi wasallam because he is the source.
Allah made him the source of those blessings. So I want to speak to you tonight about a very important topic that I feel is absolutely necessary that I speak about because I would not be true
to what I am feeling inside. In
A group of people
took hostage, a school filled with children.
And that resulted in the deaths
of several 100 people including around 175 children.
And this atrocity, unfortunately was done.
Once again, in the name of our religion.
And I feel that
we as Muslims
are suffering all over because of the acts of a handful of people.
And we must in one voice, condemn and completely
reject the concept of indiscriminate killing in this religion, it is neither from the religion
nor is it sanctioned by the religion in any reading of our pre modern tradition.
It is a modern phenomenon.
And unfortunately, those practicing it have learned it
from the nihilistic elements within Western tradition, who innovated it from Marxism
and from Asian philosophies that have a concept of the Kamikaze.
This is not our tradition, and we must recognize that it is doing untold damage to Islam because we cannot be so short sighted
that we do not see the eyes of history looking upon us as a community. And I feel that what happened in that school
is more heinous than the destruction of the Church of the simple occur that occurred under the insane fault the mid ruler, a hacking the umbrella and we suffer. The fact that that is recorded in the history books a blemish
on the Muslim peoples. As long as people read history, there are things occurring today
that are a blemish upon this religion. We have distorted
this pristine clarity that our Prophet gave us later how Canady ha, it's night is equal to its day in its clarity and in its light. And that is why we have to reject it whether it's an Israeli child, a Russian child, an Iraqi child, an American child, a Chinese child, it doesn't matter who it is, we must reject indiscriminate violence against innocence.
Because blood is too precious, and it is our lore that sanctified the blood of Benny Adam minesh nee that he got cut up Nana Benny is right in men Katana sanbi. Right enough's enough Poseidon for Raka Anima Katara NASA Jamie and, and for that reason the sanctity of life, we decreed upon Benny's raw eel and by extension upon the Muslims, that anyone who kills a soul without just cause or brigand DRI in the earth terrorism that it is, is if they have killed all of humanity. And this is what has happened. We do not count numbers. We do not say they killed 30,000 of us or 3000.
We do not count numbers. Every soul is sacred, and this has to be reestablished on the earth. Once again. The teaching of Abraham is a synonym, the Abrahamic faiths share the sanctity of life and the Muslims must assert their Abrahamic truth. We have to reassert to the Abrahamic peoples that we are the last extension of the Abrahamic truth, that there is a God and that he communicates with his creation, and he calls them to his unity and he calls them to the highest morality known to humankind, because the naysayers who attack religion are attacking the best of humanity. And it is only the absence of religion in religious people. That means to these type of atrocities in the
names of religion, it is not religion itself. It is the misuse the abuse, and the assault on religion, in the name of religion that leads to a hatred in the hearts of other people unjustly towards the highest truth that we as human beings hold and that is why our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam warned us, Yahoo and Hulu, with Dean for in
public home, and Hulu 15. Beware of extremism in religion in religion, because it is extremism and religion that destroyed the people's before you. He did not warn if it was not a real and serious threat to the Muslim community. And so we this is the issue of the age. This is the issue that the Republican Party is basing their entire platform on basing an entire political platform in the most powerful military nation on the earth. It is based on the idea that Islamic fanatics are
threat to the security of this country. And this must be condemned.
We have a society now, that is facing social disintegration. We have the erosion of the middle class in this country. We have homeless people, we have joblessness, we have erosion in our schools of the standards of education, that were once the pride of this country that produced the scientists who are now imported from places like India and Pakistan.
This is the reality, we have an entire continent of Africa, that has had over 40 million deaths by AIDS. Twice as many people as died in the great plague of Europe, the black plague 40 million human beings. And yet there is no funding for research into this plague that is afflicting the women of Africa, in great numbers, that we are looking at 100 million people that are facing death by the plague of AIDS. And yet, we're spending $500 billion on a defense budget that is nine times greater than all of the defense budgets on this planet put together. That is not right. It's against every principle upon what this country was based. And this is the second extremism that I want to talk
about. I believe that this country is being hijacked by a select group of extremists themselves. Islam is not the only religion that suffers from extremism. There is an extremist agenda in this country that is not in the best interest of the United States. And it's the goodness of this people that every war that this country goes to is always done in the name of the highest ideals of this country. Because the hypocrites that use those ideals for their own advantages, know that in the hearts of the Americans is a love of truth, a love of justice, and a love of liberty. And they believe that those should be values and virtues that are promoted throughout the world. And so these
people are being abused. The hatred that is being directed towards this country is unjust, because the majority of people in this country, if they understood the issues, as they should be understood, would not only be ashamed of what's being done in their name, but they would stand up in one voice and I believe this firmly in my heart, and they would condemn it and reject it.
have never believed that presidential elections and I am not a politician, nor am I interested in politics. But I have to speak this truth. Because I have never believed in my lifetime that a presidential election had any significance. I've never seen it as a significant event. But I spent several hours with Michael Ratner, with Barbara Shan ski, in the Center for Constitutional Rights, was seeing memos from the State Department from the Department of Justice, that were warranting torture, that we're actually calling to putting these detainees in Guantanamo Bay so that they would not have any judicial review, so that they could be interrogated as they please. And this is against
the Magna Carta. This is against a medieval European document that we as Westerners pride ourselves on. This is against a medieval doctrine. We're living in the 21st century, we're living in an age in which people in the last 500 years in the West have given their blood, sweat and tears, that their progeny that their offspring might live free might breathe, the air of freedom might be free of persecution at the hands of unjust governments. And we have to reassert these ideals. Too much blood has been shed on this planet. Too much blood has been shed in order that we might have rights. And these rights are Islamic rights. They're Abrahamic rights, and they're American rights. And if we
don't stand up for them, then we will suffer the fate of those who are not worthy of the rights that they've been given as we see them taken away from us. We have to stand up for our
rights, you should know you are Americans. You have every right to be here you have every right to dissent. You have every right to speak your truth. Do not be ashamed of being Muslims do not be ashamed of being part of a religious tradition that created the civilization of mobile India that created the civilization of Andrew sia in Spain that gave the world some of the greatest treasures that we have, whether they be political, whether they be governmental, whether they be legal, whether they be philosophical, theological, and even artistic gems, even artistic gems, do not be ashamed of your Islam stand up firmly and bravely in the face of what is happening. Stand up firmly
and bravely, and speak your truth. Because each one of you is a sovereign, state unto yourself. God placed you on the earth and made you a captive. And you have every right to walk this earth, and to speak the truth and speak it even if it's bitter because our Prophet said Colin Hopwood Amora speak the truth, even when it's bitter. And so I absolutely
demand of all of us that we must reject what is happening in the Muslim world in our name, and what is happening in the current administration in our name, we have to stand up. We have to stand with the people out there who are with us. And there are many people that are with us Do not think when we were in New York, we saw people handing out pamphlets non Muslim peoples, and one of the first principles that they were saying was, do not let fear drive a wedge between Americans stand by your Muslim Americans. This is what American people were saying, because they know that the very fear the very fear that was created in Nazi Germany against the Jewish people that led to the horrific
atrocity of the Holocaust, is the same type of fear that is being used to cast the eye of suspicion upon righteous women upon virtuous women upon chaste women, who look no different than the nuns that are revered and respected in this culture. It's also the men who are attempting to live according to the highest principles of religion, growing beards in the tradition of of the prophets, every picture that you'll ever see of Jesus Christ has a man with a beard on it or of Moses, the beard is nothing to shave off out of fear. The beard is something to wear with the pride of one who is emulating the best of creation sallallahu alayhi wasallam
asserts your Islam in this day, and in this time, and I want to bring because the Arabs love danneels. And I want to bring some deals from this country to show to you that those neoconservatives whether they be secular, or from religious groups, that claim that this country is a Christian country, that it was designed by people that wanted Christianity to be the law of the land, that they are not only dishonouring, the founding fathers, they are telling a grave lie to the people of the United States of America. In the ratification of the Constitution of the United States, almost every state in this union had religious tests. In other words, in order to hold
public office, you had to take a religious test, to see whether or not you are a Christian.
The Constitution refused to ratify these ideas, and an amendment was not placed in the Constitution. When the ratification of the Constitution the states was debated. This was one of the major arguments. And I would just like to read from Governor Johnson,
when somebody in North Carolina in 1788, said that if we do not have a religious test, Muslims will one day possibly hold the highest public office in this country, the Office of the President of the United States. This is what governor Johnson said. It is apprehended that Jews mohammedans and pagans may one day hold office under the government of the United States. Those who are Mohammedan or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion can never be elected to the office of president or any other high office, save under two cases. First, the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether
and what that is
telling you is that if the Muslims choose a Muslim government or a Muslim president in our Muslim land, they have the democratic right to do that. And so the question is not whether Islam can embrace democracy. The question is, can democracy embrace Islam? That is the question.
He said it may happen. This was the vision of these men. He said, it may happen that the Americans do throw lay aside Christianity, if unfortunately it did, the people will choose men such as they think like them. In other words, they will choose the rulers that they want, and that is their God given right because government is only valid based on the consent of the governed. And then he said that the second possible reason for choosing those people
wouldn't be that if somebody
another case is if if any persons of such description should, not withstanding their religion. In other words, even though they were Muslims acquire the confidence and esteem of the people of America by their good conduct and practice of virtue, they may be elected, even to the office of President of the United States. In other words, if Americans wish to elect a Muslim, then the founding fathers said they have every right to do that. And we should, we should feel proud to be in a country that we, in 2004 were in the minds of those men, because Thomas Jefferson said, in the Virginia bill to establish religious freedom, Jefferson wrote, it was repurposed, it was proposed
that the words holy author of our religion be changed to our Lord Jesus Christ. But the proposal was rejected by a great majority. This is in Virginia in the legislature, the proposal to replace God with our Lord Jesus Christ was rejected by a great majority,
in proof that they meant to include within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindu and infidel of every denomination, and that is the basis of this country. You are lawful citizens in this country. locomobi hadn't better what answer hinami hurdle ballad? I swear an oath by this land, and you are a lawful citizen in this land. The Muslims are here to stay. And Pat Buchanan said in a very profound essay, if this government thinks they can wage war on Islam, like we waged war on fascism or communism, or any other ideology, they have another thing coming, because Islam has been here for 1400 years and proved itself indestructible.
Islam is indestructible.
Islam is indestructible. And that is what pat buchanan had to say. I respected Republican, Islam is indestructible. So I want all of you to recognize that this country has great ideals. These ideals are rooted in Islamic ideals, and toleration is an Islamic gift to the west. And this can be historically proven because the first Edict of toleration was the Edict of Buddha, and it was done under the severity of the Ottoman Empire by a Unitarian Transylvanian Prince. We also have evidence clear evidence that john Locke, one of the greatest political theorists in western history, was influenced by Edward poco, who just happened to be the professor of Islamic and Arabic studies at
Cambridge University. He convinced john Locke to abandon his trinitarianism and embrace unitarianism to embrace the unity of God. And so we must see that Islam has given too much and tonight is about giving. The Muslims have given too much to civilization for them to be accused or abused by those people that wish nothing but harm for this country. That is what they want. And I will end on this note that I sincerely
Believe, until the Palestinian issue is recognized as the festering sore on the body of this planet until the United States of America rises up to her responsibility in addressing a grave crime against a people for over 50 years, who have been suffering in humiliation in abject poverty
and have suffered at the hands of the current government that can be called nothing less but a fascist government, nothing less but a fascist government.
That Palestine is the issue. And while I hold no energy in my heart for Jewish people, I hold no energy in my heart for the children of profits for the children of Jacob because I know that their father would only wish them well, and I wish what their father wishes for them. But I call on the Jewish people of this country to rise up and condemn the oppression that they see with their own eyes. We as Muslims must abandon tribalism, we must abandon tribalism, we must reject the concept of collective guilt, we must reject the concept of Benny Islam. I did not join a tribe, I joined what I believe is a religion of truth. And wherever that religion tells me to stand, I will stand with it,
whether it's with the Muslims or against them. We cannot fall victim to tribal mentalities. We have to reject in our hearts vengeance, revenge for the sake of pride, we have to reject us in our hearts and begin to read the Koran as it was clearly intended by the author who we believe is the Lord of the worlds when he said, in the Koran again and again, woman I found
out a lot of people viewing this email came to me while I am sabato hieronder sabreen, that yes, you can indeed redress wrongs as you choose. But if you show patience, if you're forbearing that is better to you, if you forgive, that is better to you. And I was with the parents of Rachel Corrie, who lost their beautiful daughter in Palestine, run over and crushed by a caterpillar, a Caterpillar Tractor built in the United States of America and given as aid to Israel, and used as a weapon of destruction against a Palestinian pharmacist who had nothing to do with any violence against the state of Israel, but was being punished for collective guilt, which is a crime against every legal
system on this planet. The idea that one holds the sins of another is alien to the Abrahamic tradition. The Quran says, and it's reiterated in the Bible in its Old and New Testament forms, letters, you know, as era to wizard Ohara. No soul bears the burden of another soul, the sins of those Palestinians who are having their trees uprooted, who are having their houses destroyed, has nothing to do with anything other than gross injustice. And we rejected just as we reject innocent Jews that are killed in the name of Islam. I rejected I want to stand by the truth. That's where I want to be. I want to stand by the truth. And I want all of you to stand by the truth and look into
your heart's stuff the callback one off token nest, take a photo from your own heart, even if people give you what you ask your own heart what our prophets Allah ladies said and would do, would he kill children, we only have 500 Hadees that are absolutely of the status of the Quran. And one of them says now to pseudo lice a lot. He said a man that you will know that the prophet of God forbade the killing of women and children. The prophet of God forbade the killing of women and children. The prophet of God forbade the killing of women and children. We cannot see his name vilified. We will not allow his religion to be vilified for crimes that have nothing to do with his religion. And we
should say like he said, When hottie beat him even when he killed those prisoners on justly Allahumma anybody Omi masala Hadith? I am innocent of what Holly did. I am innocent of what Holly did. This is what he cried, and this is what we must cry. Islam is innocent of what's being done in its name. We rejected in the same way that the Christians now reject the gross intolerance, the crusades, the children's crusades, and every other pre modern crime that was
done in the name of Christianity, the modern Christians reject it. And we too must reject what is being done in the name of our religion, really, with one voice and our own Ummah have an immense burden. And I believe that our own Ummah have failed to address this critical issue. And I want them to address it, because it must be seen for the crime that it is it has to be seen for the crime that it is.
And I want to say,
Daniel pipes, put a test out on the internet, how to determine whether somebody is a good Muslim or a bad Muslim.
And I took that test and I failed.
And I want to say to all of you, I hope you fail that test too.
And I hope that you don't want to be a good Muslim in the eyes have Daniel pipes. And for anybody here who's representing him, I wish all the best for that man. I hope he's guided I hope he looks into his heart, and really reassesses what he's been doing. But I really want to say that I want to be a good Muslim in the eyes of God. And being a good Muslim in the eyes of God often means being condemned in the eyes of people. And so don't be ashamed. Jesus Christ told his followers, you will be persecuted in my name. Jesus Christ told his followers, the people of the world will hate you, and they will persecute you, because people of truth are often hated and despised by people of
falsehood. So do not be afraid of being hated and despise. May God strengthen this organization may strengthen our organizations, may you go back to your communities with a renewed spirit to strive even harder. And I would say
bodek Ramadan, when he is refused, or not refuse when his visa is revoked, it's time to change administration's.
And I want to say,
if the republicans are closer to the truth, I'm with them. If the democrats are closer to the truth, I'm with them. But in this case, anything but bush
because this country has to send a message. This country has to send a message to the rest of the world that the last four years were a mistake. Abu Ghraib was a mistake. Abu Ghraib does not represent the good people of the United States. And Abu Ghraib goes right to the top. And just like Truman said, The buck stops here.
For more lectures by Hamza Yusuf and other traditional scholars, please contact Alhambra productions toll free at 1-877-888-8273 and on the Internet at WWW dot Alhambra. productions.com. For more information on traditional Islam in America, please contact zaytuna Institute at 510-582-1979 and on the [email protected] say tuna Institute is a nonprofit nonpolitical, nonpartisan institution. The views and opinions expressed by the teachers and in the writings, statements and other audio visual resources displayed on or linked to its website do not necessarily represent the views or positions held by zaytuna Institute.