Channel: Hamza Yusuf
If you look on the verse
41, just about the prayer, I think this really interesting, it's on page 1020
it says, See us now not that it is Allah who praises
whose praise whose praises all beings in the heavens, I, I have problem with these kind of translation. I'm just going to do my own here, haven't you seen that it is a law that all beings are praising, from the birds in the heavens and the earth.
Well, Pharaoh saw fat and even the birds in flying, and everything knows its prayer, how the animal salata who could learn other animals salata who, what has to be howhow, every creature knows his prayer, and his praise.
So this is really interesting in the idea that every creature is in an act of worship, and it knows how to do that. The bird knows how it's supposed to praise, right? And so for the Muslims, when they look at creatures, they really see that these creatures are all glorifying God and have a prayer that they're doing. So you know, the praying mantis has its prayer, the cat has its prayer, and you can see the cat in a state of meditation, you know, when it's there just purring away. And doing I mean, it goes into a really interesting state. And in fact, Zen Buddhists, you know, traditionally talk about the cat, and it's meditative state, if you know that you can learn Zen from a cat, do you
want to learn how to do size in you watch a cat, and then that,
that the human being is somebody who does, does does not by nature, know his prayer, that the prayer is something that is taught, and this relates because the The human being is a creature that has intellect that has consciousness, that it is not inspired, or there's not an intuitive, although many people will feel some type of desire to pray, and will pray. And many people, even outside of traditions in this culture, at some time in their life, will attempt to pray for the Muslim point of view, you know, there is a way of praying and that way involves the body.
And there's an importance of the idea of being in the body when one prays, because the Muslims have always really avoided a type of Cartesian dualism of mind body, and we believe in the bodily resurrection, although we do see that the soul is is connected the body and the soul does disengage from the body. And in fact, the Muslims believe according to the Quran, that the soul even disengages during sleep, that there is a disengagement that takes place. But there is an idea that the body is also part you know, that we should not deny our bodies. In fact, the body is part of our being and does represent a very important aspect of our nature. And so the prayer is a physical
prayer as well as being a spiritual prayer, that the body itself is being used as an act of worship. And so there is a standing, and then there's a bowing,
and then a return and then a prostration. And each of the limbs is participating in that veg, the seven limbs, Hakeem talked about that the seven limbs, and then there's an idea of putting the forehead, right and the nose onto the ground, literally onto the ground. And the act of of this
eye, there's a symbolic act,
which is elevating the heart, over the intellect,
that there is an idea that, that in the act of worship, that we are, we are submitting the intellect. And we are elevating the heart, because the heart according to the Muslims is the organ of cognition. And what it is what what what it was created to do was to come to know God, it was to come to know God so that this is just um, this is something some of the scholars have mentioned. It's not really it's just a symbolic type of.
the prayer that I didn't mention here was the afternoon prayer at the point that the Sun
reaches a point where the shadow will cast the light of a thing, plus
Whatever the shadow at the meridian point was. So most people, if you measure your, your height to your feet, the vast majority people what they call the, you know, two standard deviations, right 95% of people are going to come between six and a half to seven feet of their height if you have normal foot size to your height. So if you if you literally lie down and put a quarter at the tip of your head, and something at your feet, and then you go use C and measure it, and you go 123, you'll find that your height will generally be about seven feet. And so for the Muslim, the traditional Muslims measured the sun with their body, which is again using the body as an act of worship, because
measuring the sun shadow is considered an act of worship, it's part of remembrance of God. And so you would go out if you knew, for instance, like right now, from for me, the meridian that the whole prayer is my, my shadow is about two feet. So I would add to that seven. So when my shadow reaches nine feet, answer time has come in this prayer. So I go out at about five o'clock, and I measure it, and I'll find it's nine feet, that means I can pray. Awesome. Alright, so that's the that that is the afternoon prayer. So those are the five prayers, the sunset, the evening prayer, which is called the Isha.
The dawn prayer, which is called fudger, which literally means dawn,
and then the post meridian prayer, which is called the hole.
So those are the prayers, that's the first pillar, what you will do, or the second pillar, not including the Shahada, what you will do is, you will five times a day, stop everything.
in Muslim countries, traditionally, people left their shops, and this is less so now because Muslims are being secularized like everybody else. But traditionally, and you can still find this in some countries, Muslims will leave their shops, oftentimes they didn't lock them, they would literally put drapes because for somebody to steal while somebody was praying, even a thief had a sense of honor there. Right? That that was not a good thing to do. And it's interesting that traditionally, many, many court cases were decided, based on what's called a oath, where the judge would say, Do you swear by God, that you're telling the truth or lying? Many, many historically, many court cases
were solved, because people were quite literally afraid of bearing false witness or lying in that. And they would say, I can't say that. And that would literally end the trial. Many, many cases like that historically. So traditionally, people did have a sense, you know, that there were certain things even the thief had honor. There's a famous story of Mr. Mel has daddy, great theologian and scholar, who studied in he's from both in Persia, and it studied in one of the great Persian cities. And he had spent two years transcribing all these books by hand because this people you know, they weren't printing presses, you wanted books, you had to write them out. He went to the library spent
two years doing that. And on the way back a they were there, their caravan was attacked by Britons. And they were taking his books and out of his out his bag, this chief of the thieves don't you can't take all my knowledge and he and the thief laughed and he said, what kind of knowledge Do you have when somebody like me can steal it? And Allah has that he said that he realized that God had made him say that, to tell to let him know and to remind him that true knowledge was not in books.
Yeah, that's what's
the fifth prayer? Let's see, you would have McRib Asia fudger. The whore? and answer is the last prayer. Awesome.
And that means the afternoon prayer.
just to let you know what the Muslims are encouraged to congregate for the prayer, but they don't have to. It's very highly encouraged to congregate. Women can can go to the mosque and congregate if they like or if they don't, that it's, it's not encouraged for them. The house is actually where the women generally pray in most Muslim cultures. And I will just make mention of certain phenomena that you relate. Traditionally there was no barrier between the men and the women praying
That is a later innovation, it was not the tradition of the Prophet Prophet did not have a barrier between the men and the women that came later in many Muslim countries, you still do not have that barrier, for instance, African countries, North Africa, you do not have that barrier in the Middle East, in the indo Pak cultures, you will tend to find barriers. So, that is more of a cultural phenomenon, it is not a religious is not part of the religious tradition. Even this what they call the measure of via in the mosque here, which is this latticed woodwork between the men and the women, that is not traditional that is, was traditional in terms of Muslim culture, but it is not
from the religion the religion does not say that, that is something that people introduced as a cultural phenomenon. So, and that's important to remember. And there are some countries that, you know, I think, a few where there's an extreme patriarchy there and, you know, women, it's really hard for them to pray in the mosque, and that again, is a cultural phenomenon, because the Prophet prohibited that he said do not prohibit women from going to the mosques. And it's a sound Howdy.
I think probably on the Arabian Peninsula, you will find in some of the mosque in the villages in Mecca and Medina definitely not there are women praying there Mecca, you'll look here, the black are deaf, generally the women in the pictures if you see a mecca, the Kaaba, when you see big black groupings, those are generally the women and the white are the men, right? Because in that country, they tend to wear black and white, the men wear white, the women wear black in Algeria, the women wear white. So that, again, is a cultural thing of color in West Africa, where Dr. Yang is from women very, they're like cockatoos, you know, they're very, very colorful, lots of color in their,
their hijab. And
Morocco, the it's pretty much almost like a basic kind of unisex type. They were a gelada. And the differences would be in the colors, but the actual gelato is very similar. The women wear the same dress as the men do, except the colors distinguish. So
to do this gender separation, do they think of it and explain it as being as long? I think? I think mostly they do. I think most of them do. You know, and you get,
you know, I mean, patriarchy is a phenomenon worldwide. And and we're as we are susceptible to it as any other culture, I think there's been a lot of artificial mechanisms at trying to break it down. But nonetheless, that, you know, there's still a lot of remnants, I'll give you some examples in Muslim law, and requires going to talk about this, but in Muslim law, a woman does not have to serve her husband in her house. And she cannot be forced to, if she refuses to cook, the man has to provide somebody who will cook or he has to cook himself, she is highly encouraged to do that. But it is literally within the Islamic law that she has a right to say I don't want to cook.
It's in it's based on the Hadees. And based on
the scholars interpretation, but this is literally 1400 years ago, and this was these judgments were being pronounced.
You know that women,
the money is there. If a woman earns money, she can actually go to a pot, if the husband takes the money from her, she has a right to go to a party. And because it's a crime, it's not his money, any money that comes into hers is hers. Whereas the money that the man earns a portion of it has to go to the woman, by by by law. So there it's very interesting. You know, I think that you know, the phenomenon of
the abuse of certain characteristics that the man is certainly physical, which is changing in this country. But generally, in most societies, men tend to be physically stronger and have been able to coerce women physically to do things. And there's a very interesting verse in the Quran, which is about Asya, the wife of Pharaoh, Pharaoh, when she says, oh, God saved me from my husband, the tyrant. And I just find that really fascinating that that's a do I, you know, so it's a, it's a prayer in the Koran, from a woman about her husband, who's a tyrant being asked to be saved from and I just wonder historically, you know, how many women that that has been a type of, you know,
sustenance for that type, you know, in this culture as well. I mean, we have we still have very serious problems with domestic violence, we, we tend to really look at the the public space and not so much
We forget about the private space about, you know, a lot of mental cruelty a lot. It's all still going on. But there's a type of openness that has emerged in the culture where these things, you know, people can talk about them. Mauritania, where shehab dollars from, you know, we are talking about this about domestic violence and things like that. And it's interesting that in Mauritania, it's impossible for a man to hit a woman is literally impossible. One because of tribe.
In other words,
marital relationships are very, you know, they're very related to the family. And so for, for there to be any injustice is towards the woman, it's going to affect very heavily on relationships in her family relationships and things like that. And the women generally tend to be very educated from his group, particularly, and know their rights. And they're quite, they're strong women. There's also no polygamy in that culture at all. Because the women put a condition in their marriage contracts. I don't want a second wife. And they know that's a right that they have. Right, they can stipulate that in a contract. And they do that. That's absolutely.
It. It's from again, it's it's from the scholars understanding and interpretation that the end, there are early community instances where that was from the companions, where that was established, and somebody asked a question
of Lucian. Okay, good point about the prayer, there's a water cleansing ablution I hate that word. I know, I think I don't know where that comes from ablution. ritual ablutions is that it's a Latin word, but I just don't don't like it. Is it's Catholic, do you think
it's used in the Catholic Church? It is, isn't it? Yeah, I think that's where they got I just always bothered me that we're I just don't like the way it sounds. So like something bad ablution.
Brother do your ablutions.
The the the, the there is a water purification or ritual purification with water before you pray, you should use a small amount of water, it's not meant to wastewater, it's actually encouraged to use a small amount. And it's a it's basically a washing of the face, the arms up to the elbows, a wiping of the head, not a washing, just a light wiping, and then cleansing of the feet. And the idea is to enter into a ritual state, you know, I mean, all religious traditions have this idea of Ents, entering into a ritual state of purity, before you go into the divine space. And that that's the idea there. And if there's an end, the proof that it is ritual, and not related to actual physical
type, although it does have physical qualities is that that you can use earth to do it in the absence of water. So you use the earth the Prophet Muhammad said that the Earth was the earth was given to my community as a place of worship the entire Earth, that we can worship anywhere on the earth, and as a purification that the earth is seen as a source of purification. And the Prophet Muhammad peace, Vaughn said, in in a tradition related by Iran, he said, beware of your mother the earth, that you should transgress or oppress her, because she will bear witness against all of those who who have transgressed against her. And there is an idea in the Islamic tradition, literally, the
Prophet Muhammad said that the entire Earth is raised up on the animal pm on the Day of Judgment, and will bear witness and the Prophet Muhammad said that rocks will bear witness that trees will bear witness that rivers will bear witness against those who did harm to them without just cause.
there is, like in the Jewish tradition, yeah, that a woman is considered ritually impure during the menstrual cycle, and she does not pray during that period. But that because that is a cleansing time. She does not pray during that period. She's absolved from the prayer and there's nothing there's no stigma related to, in fact, the Prophet Muhammad, because in like in the some of the Orthodox Jews tradition, the woman is you know, that the man stays away. Yes, she's separate. The Prophet knew because there were Jews living in Medina, and he wanted to break that tradition. And it's recorded that he recited the Quran while on the lap of his wife Ayesha while she was
menstruating. And he was letting people know that there's nothing wrong with the woman during that time. It's it's just a period of personal purification and it does not extend beyond her she can cook like she's allowed to cook during that time she's allowed to, in fact, even foreplay is allowed during that time between a male and a female but the Prophet said, avoid what is between the belly button and the knee. In other words, don't because that's a time was prohibited for actual sexual intercourse, but
The Prophet said that is a time when male and female could have, like foreplay, sexual foreplay, with the exclusion of intercourse only.
So, any questions now just about all that's transpired? Was there a number of times repetitions for the evolution?
Good, yeah, three is encouraged. One is what's obligatory, and three is encouraged. No more than three.
It would be discouraged after, is there anything to the notion that certain sects wash the hands from the elbow and others, you know, one way there's one way to do it, which is down like that.
And pretty much all the schools are the same on the will do and the prayer, the prayer, there's some difference like Maliki school prays with the hands at the side, and also the Shia pray with their hands and side, the other schools pray with the hands here or here, some up here. So you're going to get slight variations, but the basic movements are the same. And some will move their finger to concentrate in the last part of the prayer, and some won't.
right hand always right to left in the Muslim tradition left, you know, it's cosmological left I mean, in Latin sinister as is left, right, there's always this idea that left is kind of sinister, it's the bad side, in the Muslim tradition is not It's not like that there's not a stigma like that about left hand. Like in Europe, there was a stigma related to being left handed. And people I mean, my mother was she went to Catholic schools, she was left handed, she got the ruler until she learned to write with a right hand which now we know is actually damages. That's, you know, one of the things that some people think are resulting in learning disabilities and things like that, because
there's a there's a confusion that takes place in the in the body as a result of that. But in the Muslim tradition, there's nothing there's no stigmatism really like I'm left handed Omar than a hapa was that he wrote with his left hand, there's no stigmatism attached to that. But people are supposed to eat with the right hand, the left hand is used for cleaning, like the urine and cleaning the feces, right? So the right hand is you That's why you would never shake with your left hand, you would always shake with your right hand. So in Muslim cultures, the right hand is very important. And one of the reasons that the thief loses the right hand is it's when they break the you know,
there's a deep breach of the social contract, when a human being steals from another human being. And there is a literally a severing, from the society that takes place. So to lose the right hand is a very traumatic experience in the Muslim culture.
the word white and the word long.
Absolutely, yeah. Right. Yeah, mean, means, you know, it's like an oath is called swearing a yameen. Right, I swear that this is true, you're swearing with the right.
And also human is a good omen, and Sham which is related to the left is a bad omen. So there is a cosmology involved in it. And also the idea in classical cosmology, which is indo European as well as Chinese. You know, the Chinese in the Chinese cosmology, the South is young, which is over and the the North is Yin, which is under the same and the Indic, the dravidian culture and the Indic cultures, that the the word for South is in Sanskrit relates to over or above and the word for North is under. And classically, maps were generally put the south on the top. And you will notice out there that Allah de sees map puts Africa on the top and Europe on the bottom, there was a switch
with the European cartographers, when they kind of realized that there's some philosophical implications here, being under or inferior as opposed to being over and superior. And they literally switched the maps around. But the book that a lot of European cartography was based upon was the book of Roger, which was done by all idrisi for the Sicilian king of Sicily, Roger and he had his maps with the south on the top, which is related to facing the
East in the morning. So, the back is called the powerboard. The unknown which is West, the east is called the measureup or facing the radiance of the sun. The South is called the right like Yemen means the right it's also the southern most places in the Arabian Peninsula. And Shama is from North which is from Shima, which means left. So north is considered left to the to the human body in terms of this is cosmological in terms of cosmology. So the the North would be under
The South and the Muslims traditionally did their astrolabes with the South. As as the it was, the the projection was from the south looking up
to the sky.
Any other questions? Oh, you said earlier that cultures is difficult for Muslims to be reflective about their religion.
Numerator some of the reasons why?
Well, because I think people in the Muslim culture is just a given that you're right. You know, like, it used to be that way in this culture, you know, it was just given Christianity was true, everything else is false, that that's just a given of any culture that has a dominant religious teaching that still has power and influence. And certainly Islam is still in that position in the Muslim world, where to question or to really think, why am I a Muslim? You know, other than the fact that I was born here, that most people won't come to that there will be, there will be social stigma for one. But see, I don't even think that that should negate even if there was, it's still important
to reflect and think, you know, I mean, you have always had people within cultures that have have question thing. I mean, there were, there will always be one in the Christian tradition that remain Christians, but they could still challenge the culture. Sometimes they were burnt at the stake. Other times they weren't. But the point is that there were people that would say, you know, is this right, our is what we're doing? Right? I mean, that's an important human question. And this is just a lot of non reflective people. And then I think there's a lot of encouragement for for the absence of reflection for social political reasons. You know, I mean, in this country, you know, we're a
country of entertainment, people know, massive things about sports and basketball, and baseball, and football and adults that can give you brilliant analyses of, you know, why this team is going to make it to the Super Bowl and have all their stats at hand, and they don't have a clue about the national debt, or why we're paying over 50% of our tax dollar two interest, our national debt, or why our schools are, are literally crumbling before our eyes, why there's children killing children, what, you know, really, there's just not a lot of emphasis on analyzing on thinking on so I, you know, we're as much I think, you know, we, Americans, we, you know, we tend to delude ourselves,
often, I mean, you're all educated people. So, that's probably not the case. But there are certainly a lot of people out there that really haven't given a lot of thought that they're, they're much more obsessed with, you know, the latest entertainment, they're, what the latest movie is out there. You know, the Romans controlled their societies with bread and circus, right? Bread, bread and circus, it's very common political way of maintaining a specific rationale behind
a pork. Okay,
rationale, there are two things in the shediac that are understood by the Muslims. One is that there are some things that, that we know why. And there are other things that we don't, the things that we know why with absolute certainty are those things that were told in the Quran or in the Hadith, that that's why it was prohibited. For instance, in the Quran, it says, do not go near sexual perversions, because they are found us and they lead down a terrible road. So illicit sexual relations, the idea is that they will lead down a terrible road, there's a Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, that perversity will never manifest into people except they're afflicted with diseases and
illnesses that were unknown to previous generations. So the Muslims would see that, you know, that breaching sexual laws that that are given by God from the Muslim perspective, result, there are consequences in other words, that the moral realm has laws that impact us at the biological at the psychosocial level, just as there are physical laws of cause and effect and, and things like that. Right. So So Muslims see that morality is not this arbitrary thing, that there is a reason, right. And and this is the way the Muslims view it. And I think a lot of Christians have that feeling, too. I mean, a lot of Christians point out that if you are monogamous,
you will not you know, if two people who are both virgins enter into a marital situation and do not breach those boundaries, they do not they're not susceptible to venereal diseases, it is a simple fact of biology. Right? So that that's at one level. Now, the other level is that there are things that we don't know why God has said Don't do this. And the reason that the scholars say is that there are some things that he has not told us is because it's
On a test, that will you do it even though your intellect is not fully capable of comprehending the wisdom behind it, and to that it's an aspect of submission again, now, the scholars have always encouraged seeking reasons wisdoms to increase people's faith, but never to say as an absolute This is why concerning pig, generally pig has been considered an unclean animal. It eats unclean things. Its form is is it's an unclean form. And, you know, some modern Jews like reformed Jewish tradition, some of them who've gone to very liberal positions have pointed out, you know, this was really for chicken osis and diseases that related but now that we know scientifically, and they would actually
consider it acceptable to eat pig, the Muslims would never go to that. Uh huh.
shellfish, shellfish is discouraged, according to Imam Abu hanifa. But it the reason that it is not prohibited is because there's a Hadith of the Prophet Mohammed, that what comes out of the sea is pure and halau for you. And that's where it comes from. But But I did consider it my crew to eat shellfish that it because it ate unclean things. And that was the reason that that he gave. So that is a position, but it's not a dominant position. And again, one of the things that the Quran mentions is part of the prophets message was to lighten the load of the previous dispensations. So that there are actually some lightening of loads concerning what was binding on the on the Jews
tradition, because they, from the point that it people were getting weaker at maintaining the guidelines of God. And so there was kind of making it easier for people for this last stage of human existence because people do not have the same spiritual capacities as the ancients did. So there's that idea as well. Any other questions about this? So we'll go on to the next. The next pillar which is zakat.
The word cat means it comes from a root word, which means to purify. And the idea is that it is purification of your wealth.
Everybody in accruing wealth, will have some either clearly doubtful or even really doubtful, you know, aspects to the recruitment of wealth.
So the idea is that Zakat is a way of purifying your wealth, and the Prophet Muhammad was prohibited the taking of Zakat for his own family. They cannot be recipients of Zakat, then he Hashem.
The reason is, is that he said that Zakat is like the feces of wealth. In other words,
the body needs to let go of its impurities in order to maintain its purity. And Zakat is seen as a letting go of one's wealth in order to purify and make the the the wealth that it has grow, literally.
How do they then turn around?
recipient who receives the wealth? for the for the person it is a purification for the one receiving the wealth? It is a right? It's seen as a right and so it changes perspective, there's a shift in perspective. In other words, the one receiving it is not receiving anything filthy. Right? It's a right and it's encouraged when you give Zakat to somebody to not tell them exactly what so that they don't feel to give it as a gift. So that they don't feel because some people have a pride. They don't want to feel like they're like a welfare type state that I'm I need that is encouraging. You don't have to tell them it's caught you it's also encouraged to give it smiling with a you know as
seeing that it's an honor. So the person giving it these are in the books of filk related to giving Zakat that you're supposed to give it in humility, not in arrogance, that you give it to the person literally feeling like you're honored to do that thing. And the problem is and one of the signs of the end of time is people will consider that caught like a fine.
You know, in other words, they wouldn't see it as an honor but rather as like taxes nowadays, right? have to pay it.
Both parties evolvable says know kind of what's going on. I mean, don't have an understanding of I mean, like say I've given zakaat many times
Wish the people had no idea that it was a cat? Absolutely. Many times? How, like, Is there any example that you can give? Like, well, Muslims Muslim, I think you'd be really surprised at, you know, the generosity of Muslims that are practicing to other Muslims. They're, they're very generous. If within a community like in my community, for instance, we had a man who recently lost his job. And, and I found out about it, and I knew that he was in hard condition, I contacted a few people. And in one day, we raised $4,000. And I gave that to that person, right, just to help him for the next couple months until he could get a job again. And I didn't tell him, I said this, this
a gift, you know, now there were people that gave it as a cop, but I didn't, you know, I don't have to tell him it's caught.
There are times when you will find things on your doorstep, that's true, you may find that a rack of lamb you may find an envelope with money. And you don't know, very common in the Muslim community, there's definitely, I think Muslims do still have a sense of taking care, like things like homelessness in the Muslim world.
Those are still real shocking, like the other day we saw a man in and I was with Sheldon, he didn't have a shirt on. And he asked me first if he was crazy, because in their country, you would never not wear a shirt in public. It would literally be for them. It's a sign somebody was mad. And, and the same was shorts. That's like, that's something he hasn't, I don't think he's quite grasped it yet, just because their culture is still very, very modest. But we tell him that he's probably homeless. And he said, what does that mean? And, you know, he did literally didn't know what it meant. Because in that country, you could build a, they just build like a,
they take tree limbs, and the women will sew like burlap sacks together and make a little house and you don't have to pay property tax, and you don't have to you just set up shop, and he didn't have a concept of like being homeless? And, and then he just said to me with all of this, like, there's so much here, you know, because he's going to a place where there's nothing. And he said, how is it that like somebody could be without a place to sleep with all like he just, it was something that I don't think his intellect really could quite grasp. Right? Very kind of interesting, really interesting book to read about this is winners and losers in the new world order by Jacques Attali,
right, he talks about this phenomenon of increasingly, you know, people becoming accustomed to planetary boat people. That's what he calls them, planetary boat people, where you'll go to the ATM and the bums there, and we just become inured to it because
it just becomes more and more difficult for people to deal with. How is the zoom?
relationship with the receivers?
The receiver? That's a good question, let me tell you just and I'm going to get to that. Let me tell you, basically, that cot is a local tax, it is not meant to go outside of the community. The Prophet said those closest to you are most worthy of your help. So the idea of acting locally is really important that you know, if if you're if you're fighting for the rights of the Tibetans, you know, and your own community, there's people oppressed, the Muslims would see that as a kind of disconnection doesn't mean that you're not sympathetic with something happening over there. But the thing is, you begin at home, you begin cleaning up your own home, so is that cod goes back to the
wealth of the local community. If there was no one in that community that is impoverished or needs Zakat, then it will go outside of the community, and you first give to your relatives who are in need before you would give to strangers.
Now the recipients of Zakat, there are eight categories mentioned in the Quran itself, and those are the considered the only recipients of zakat. One of the only non Muslim group are what are called ellevet kulu kulu. Han, which are people who are very close to Islam. They're they're very interested in Islam, they're close to Islam, those people it's permissible to give them Zakat money. If they're not Muslim, then you can you can donate money to them, but you cannot give zakat. Zakat is the right of poor Muslims. In other words, the idea that you take care of your own before you go outside, but traditionally the Muslims in in the early 19th century were during a famine in France,
the Bay of Tunis and Algeria sent
We eat to to Europe to help relieve the famine. So traditionally, the Muslims did have a concept of helping other peoples if they had a surplus, but first you help the people within your community. And then also Jewish, there's a beautiful story of satana Omar, because Jewish and Christian and non Muslim peoples like Buddhists and others pay a tax to live under the Muslims. And
Omar saw a Jewish man begging an old man and he said, why is this man begging, and he said he doesn't have any money. And he said, we took money from him when he was young, so we should take care of him in his old age. And so he demanded that all Christian and Jews and other people if they had no one within their community to take care of them, then there should be money taken out of the what's called the beta male or the collective bank of the Muslim government to help those people. And it's interesting that during the time of Omar, that disease in Damascus, the government actually paid for and supplied people, not dogs, but people to take care of blind people as an employment,
right, which is mentioned in the books.
Good question. The the percentage is there are two There are three types of zakat.
Income tax is prohibited in Islam. You cannot tax people for income that they're using to live by. You can only tax them according to standing wealth that one year has accumulated. So if a year has passed, and you still have the wealth, that's what you pay zakat on. You don't pay zakat based on what you made that year. So if I made $50,000, but at the end of the year, I have zero, which is the case of a lot of people in this country, right. And they actually have to borrow to pay the IRS that that you do not pay and he's that caught you pays that card at the end of the lunar year. You pay zakat on what you have that a year has transpired with
and that and you pay 140 2.5%?
No, of the entire thing. So if I had $40, I would pay $1.
After the whole year, yes. Yeah, it's not a big, big amount. But if
you only need, let's say, you know, a $6,000 car to get around.
Right? I mean, you
only need let's say, you know, a $6,000 car to get around. But you buy $100,000 one, okay. Herb asked, I think a good question. Where does want and need come into this? In other words, if I'm a wealthy person, I buy a car for $100,000. And I'm a poor person I buy one for $500
is there Can I just spend my money on that? Yes, wealthy people, their money is discretionary. It is highly discouraged to waste and it is actually prohibited to be grossly extravagant. But the Prophet Muhammad said Allah loves to see the traces of his blessings on his creatures. And so it's encouraged for a wealthy person to dress not extravagantly, he should wear things in order to show the blessing on him. And it's you know, it's there's a beautiful book about called envy towards us social theory, fascinating book about the the disruptive aspects of envy and a culture. And
the one of the worst things in Islam is envy. It's literally considered one of the worst things, it's one of the sadly, seven deadly sins in the, in the Christian Catholic Church, and my father was Catholic. And he said that he's
he's unfortunately familiar with about four of them. And his friend told him ones enough to kill you.
But envy is one of the seven deadly sins right in our, in our Western tradition, in the Islamic tradition is also one of the real bad thing. And and so the idea is that poor people should not envy rich people. It's really considered a bad thing to envy rich people. Poor people should thank God. In fact, the prophet Mohammed said, in terms of your worldly condition, always look to people below you. And in terms of your other worldly condition, always look at people better than you. So in terms of righteousness, piety, look at people that are superior to you, that you might never become diluted about yourself and you always want to improve then in terms of the material world, look at
people worse off than you so that you feel grateful for what you have.
Yeah, it's called envy towards a social theory. And it's, it's a German author and I can't remember his name right now, I actually just got the book a couple months ago. So I don't have the author's name.
There's no one can Cass
it's like a capital gains tax more, you know, it's like capital at the end of the year, okay. It is
satisfying fulfill the needs of the poor is it therefore, there is a scholar in popper who has proven that if Zakat was paid in the Muslim world, there would be a gross surplus of wealth today. It's very interesting, because there's also that kind of agriculture and livestock. So agriculture has one fifth, now the World Bank estimated that if 2% of the world's agricultural of the world's agricultural crops were taxed, 2%, that there would be no hunger anywhere. Now Islam says 5% for irrigation that you did yourself 10% for agricultural based on natural irrigation, like rain and things like that. So if you didn't work, you pay more, if you did irrigation, you pay less.
So 10% of wheat, corn,
barley, all these grains is taxed, and it's supposed to be given and distributed to the poor. Also livestock. So for every five camels one sheep is given like that, right? 3030 cows, a calf 40. Question. You were talking about the livestock or just thinking about?
All these people come make sacrifices, right? Are they do they, they can them and they send them around to poor people around the world.
That's what they do. Now. The the meat that sacrificed during the Hajj, and no, like I didn't sacrifice you don't have to sacrifice if you made a there's three ways of making Hajj. And I made it the way that the prophets Eliza made it where you it's not obligatory to sacrifice, you can if you want to, I did not sacrifice.
But if you do sacrifice, the meat can either be eaten there, it's encouraged to distribute it amongst the poor. And he The reason that's encouraged to sacrifice during the eat traditionally was the poor people generally did not eat meat very often. And so the idea was on the E, that was a time when you brought me to the poor people to give them meat. Now meat is becoming more increasingly cheaper. And so you're finding people are meat eaters all over. said now Omar said beware of meat, because it has the addiction of wine. And he also said to one man who used to eat meat every day, every time you desire meat, you buy it? And he said yes. And he said, I'm afraid you're going to be
from the people who lose all their good deeds in this world. In other words, that you enjoy the world so much that you can't show the right right gratitude. So it was not encouraged to eat meat all the time. And now Muslims have become heavy meat eaters. But traditionally, most Muslim cultures were really more semi vegetarian cultures. It's kind of more of a recent phenomenon, the heavy meat. And beef is very new in the Muslim world. Traditionally, Muslims were not beef eaters. They weren't goat and sheep.
In Muslim cultures were to
Well, how is that?
Is it causing problems? That's a really good point. Yeah, there is a lot of problems. There's a lot of resentment, there's a lot of envy, things like that. But technically, buried wealth. There's different opinions about it. Most of the scholars say that it goes to the Muslim collective bank, what's called the beta man, and it should be used to develop the Muslim communities to help the poor to build schools to do these things should not be personal wealth. Some say that no 20% it should be taxed 20%. And then the land of the people that it was founded on, they're the ones that benefit from it. So there are some differences of opinion. But there's definitely in many of the countries
where there's been Natural Resources discovered and the Muslims do have a lot of natural resources in the Muslim communities. There's just been a gross
expropriation of the wealth and exploitation of it was very unfortunate. And there's also been a lot of outside influences. I mean, we know when Masada who was the Prime Minister of Iran wanted to nationalize the oil.
You know, there was the CIA coup that that ousted him. So there's hands outside that are also impacting very seriously how the wealth is being used. People if you know about Petro dollars, then you know, the fact that the vast majority of Petro wealth is literally being supplanted and and invested in western banks, and the western banks in turn, are using that to finance a lot of the projects in the in the, quote unquote, third world, which ended up causing major problems, because of interest payment and things like that. So very complicated world conditions, but but I think they're really worthwhile bringing up to your students, you know, because we have to as communities,
we just have to start thinking about this stuff, you know, we're just, we're so marginalized from, from these dialogues, and I think just normal people should, should be participating in trying to understand what's going on why, you know, why, why are countries like Mexico, you know, paying these massive interest to, you know, there's more interest now coming out of the third world than there is aid going into it. So there's a lot of very serious contradictions going on. And then a lot of the massive projects that are being developed the World Bank and the IMF encouraging these gross project, the dam now in China and, and Brazil, and these type of things that really, if you read
somebody like Suzanne, George, really worth reading fate worse than dead, Ill fers the land, how the other side dies,
she worked for the World Bank and and then kind of Rene gagged, and realized that she felt that they were doing a lot more harm than good. And she's written some really, really worthwhile critiques. And not from a kind of conspiratorial type, just really kind of analyzing the thing. I think, Suzanne, George, she, she's she works now, I think she's supported by the Catholic Church, actually, one of their organizations,
Poor people, by definition, there are two types of poor people. One is called miskeen. And the other is called faqeer. And the poor on the miskeen is the one who doesn't even have a day's worth of, of their livelihood, the poor one is who have somebody who does not have a year's supply, they do not have enough money to get through a year. And they are accepted as a recipient. For for.
Yeah, that's a good point. If the person is known to use things like if they're alcoholic or known to do things, then yeah, you should not support people that you know the money is going to go. And there are more worthy people for it, that that is encouraged to look for the more worthy people, and then you have the people who collect it. So there is a portion of it taken out to employ the Zakat collectors.
And then you have indebted people, people who are in debt. And that is a type of debt as long as it was not accrued through wrong actions like gambling.
And it is a debt in which they're in serious trouble. The debt has reached a level where the socially they're, they're really being jeopardized.
And then you have the
and also indentured servants, people who bonds people, because in Islam traditional, although this doesn't exist anymore in the Muslim world, traditionally, there were people who were bonds people that were under the yoke of somebody, and those people in Sharia, if they desire to be freed from that yoke, then they have a right to Zakat to pay off their whatever their worth is, right. And so that's a group and then also the, so that's five, and then you have
What do you mean?
And then you have people that even Serbian, who is somebody who's traveling, and this is also pre ATM, because he can be a wealthy person as well. So it's somebody who's traveling and they were robbed, and they're far away from their home and they don't have access, and it still happens because ATM isn't, right 80% of the world still doesn't have telephones, by the way, right? So here, we forget about that. Right? But it's for somebody who was traveling and they lost their wealth, those people are asked, you know, they're permitted to get the to receive this packet. And then for people who are called elephants palooka home, which are either near Islam or they have just come
into Islam, and you can give them exactly
As a way of binding their hearts to the community. And then the last group is ccbt law, which are people who are defending the homelands. So anybody who is, is defending like jihad, like the Bosnians, when they were fighting, many people sent their cat to Bosnia, or Afghanistan, for instance. Right. And there are many people, I think that's that support the Palestinians, you know, viewing that as a valid, you know, struggle, things like that. So that that's basically the those are the recipients according to the forum.
I would think that the answer to this would be no, but you're an American Muslim, and you're paying 35% income tax, you also pay 2.5%? Well, that's absolutely, in fact, more. So some of the scholars have said, if you're giving 35% to, you know, the American government, which is using a lot of it for things that,
that you should probably give 35, another 35%, just to just to counterbalance, and then pay zakat. On top of that.
A lot of Muslims have a lot of cognitive dissonance about taxes in this country, particularly immigrants who, you know, their, their countries are, you know, there's just a lot of problems going on. And, and they feel just, there's a lot of cognitive dissonance there, you know, because of such a huge portion of our taxes, go to military, you know, I think what 54% is still allotted to defense and military budgets and things like that. I mean, what are we what's education 17% is that even not? What 17% it's about 17%. Right? So
But again, it's if you're in a country, you have to follow the laws of the land. So it's actually prohibited to if you come into a country by Sharia, even though the laws are against Islam, you either have to make hedra, or you have to follow those laws, it is prohibited, like it would be prohibited for a Muslim, to cheat on the income tax. Given that as a law in this country, they would either have to leave or they would have to pay it because the conditions of coming into the country, one of the conditions is that you'll obey the laws of land. And the Prophet said, the Quran says that fulfill the trust that you have given to its people. So when a person comes into this country
with a, you know, a visa or a green card, or and it says you're expected to obey the laws of the land, then you are expected to so it's actually a breach of Islam not to. And that is something Unfortunately, some Muslims aren't aware of, you know,
that it cannot be any other.
Know, it can't be for your own family, if it's like a trick. In other words, I give my wife Maya cat, she gives me hers icon. No, it's to your family. If they're poor and worthy, then they should be the first recipients. Now the government does have the right if there was a valid Islamic government, they do have the right to collect a card that is a right of the government and the government would distribute it in the absence of government
gathering of Zakat, then it is an individual responsibility on the Muslims
to determine what is a valid?
Well, any government that has that has the authority is is considered, you know, valid if there's like, it's prohibited to, to go out against the government like revolution is actually prohibited in Islam. In the Sunni tradition, not in the Shia tradition, they do have a difference. I mean, that is an important distinction. The Sunni tradition believes that they have a right to fight and oppose and unjust government. Whereas the soon, the Shia, the Sunni tradition says that the people should be patient and ask God to change the conditions and rectify themselves, but they should not actually physically bear arms, because that would be to a greater tribulation than the actual injustice,
which is bloodshed amongst people. So in the Sunni tradition, it's actually like what's happening in Algeria, for instance, that is that's prohibited by Islamic law to do that. And that is the classical Islamic view. And the group that goes out are called Hello adage, which are the cedars and you can find them historically, there's always been groups that have said that but the traditional Sunni position is that you cannot go against the the ruler.
Any other questions?
has its ultimate law. Absolutely. I mean, that's the ideal. But even if they're not implementing the Quran, and they don't openly say that they don't believe in it, they're still considered the legitimate government.
So they would then have the right to collect. Yes. And, and this could be in lieu of a welder.
zakaat. That's the whole point of zakaat. Yeah, it's to, it's to help the poor people, it's a right of the poor view. And it's histories of the Prophet said, Take the your, from your wealthy the Zakat and return it to the poor people. So it's almost like, you know, people get rich off poor people, because the vast majority of the world's population is poor. And we forget that, you know, we really do have a very high living standard, but the vast majority of the world's population are poor people. And the wealth even America's wealth is largely dependent on a lot of, you know, of wealth from other countries. You know, we have very cheap oil in this country. I mean, for example, for a
liter of Coke is about how much I don't buy Coke, but what are you paying their
you know, you're paying more for sugar and water than you are for a liter of oil.
Right? And sugar and water are pretty much inexhaustible resources relative I know, there's some problems now with water and things like that. Whereas oil, you know, you're dealing with an exhaustible resource, it's grossly underpriced. Oil is grossly underpriced. I mean, we, you know, we're paying $1 40, for a gallon of gas, it'll take you 30 miles, 40 miles, and you pay, you know, relatively the same amount for a bottle of sugar water that's going to rot your teeth and give you diabetes, you know. So it's really interesting that that oil is so cheap. And I mean, oil should probably be around.
What's that, say for? At least I mean, my father now that's what he's in, you know, he left teaching got in because my grandfather was in the oil business. And he got in it through when he married my mother, he,
he started working in that, and he's always going on about drives him crazy, because, you know, he said, should be around at least 50 a barrel or something like that. It's just grossly underpriced. So, but we have the luxury of having very cheap oil and the majors, they it's hard to believe that they actually maintain those, those low prices, you know, so.
And then there, the exploit exploration is countries, it's unbelievable how difficult it is to explore on this country, there are still lots of, you know, oil reserves in this country, and most of the old
oil fields of the 1930s and 40s, were very shallow, you know, they didn't have the technology to go down, you know, several miles, they just would go down very short amounts. But oil is really discouraged to explore on this country, and most of the majors are just not interested anymore. You know, that because there's, you know, they're making so much money off. It's Yeah, it's more expensive. It's much cheaper to to buy underpriced oil from the Arabian Peninsula than it is to, you know, to explore and exploit the resources here.
What is it? So Muslims in the United States would pay federal and state and city income? tax? Yeah.
In addition to that, they, they would, yes, and many of them do, and many of them don't. There are many Muslims that don't pay zakat anymore, but there are many that still do. Because now it's just it's an individual thing. There are many Muslims in my area, there are, you know, about 70,000 Muslims estimated in the greater Bay Area, maybe, from that 70,008 to 10,000 are actually praying.
So, and from that eight to 10,000 of those praying, there might not be some that are paying zakat. So it's it's now become more of an individual. I mean, do you think that's a fair estimate? So then, because you're more familiar with those type numbers than I am?
Isn't I reason it's about 10%. Generally, within any given population, do you think that's accurate?
So and Muslims often fall in very high tax brackets in this country, because there's a lot of physicians, there's a lot of engineers, so they're paying a lot of taxes
in this category,
Discuss the idea of lending at interest.
That's another I was gonna do that with the [???]ty app. But I can bring that up. Now the idea of just
yeah, let me just get through that. Go ahead.
Okay, just when it comes back, fasting is the next pillar. And that's one lunar year out of the month called Ramadan, it will change. Now, it's interesting also to note that the lunar year is basically it will make a full cycle. In other words, it will, it will go through the solar year, one time every 32 years.
So if a person average lifespan is somewhere around 65, now it's a little higher in this country, but you're going to be fasting two times in all the months of the year. So Ramadan will be in December, twice in your lifetime.
Now, it's very interesting, because that's related to a kind of justice as well, because of the different places on the earth, you will find that Ramadan. For some people, it's it's very long, at a given part of the year, and then other peoples it's incredibly short. So in England, there are periods where it will be very long. And then there are periods where it'll only be like, you know, you know, seven hours very short, fast. And then in the middle part of the world, it's actually quite reasonable, it's usually around 12 hours, if you're near the equator. So the you know, in the winter, they're very short days, in the summer, they're long days. Fasting is basically abstaining
during the lunar month of Ramadan, from food, from drink, including cigarettes.
from taking anything past the throat, you can rinse your mouth and things, but anything past the throat breaks too fast. And from sexual,
both foreplay and actual full intercourse. So during the month of Ramadan, those things that Muslim is commanded to abstain from both men and women. In my school, which is Maliki school, it's not encouraged for children to fast, it's actually discouraged. And if they get older, like around 1011, then they can fast if they want to, but it's not considered something that you should force a child to do. So
any questions fasting is pretty straightforward as any
Ramadan, even though they may have been sick, and shouldn't drink fluids, didn't Muslims, you'll generally find are pretty rigid about that. And that has to do sometimes will not fully understanding the tradition because if you're diabetic, it's actually prohibited to fast if a physician thinks that it's harmful, it is prohibited by shadia. And you would actually be doing something hot, um, in the teaching, you would be doing something prohibited, because preservation of the self is the second after preservation of religion, it is the second highest priority in the shediac.
Old people, if it's difficult for them, if they're able to, but it's hard, they have a choice.
People who are traveling, have a choice, but if it's hard, they they're encouraged to break it. And if it's extremely hard to undo, then they have to break it.
A pregnant woman, a nursing woman,
and she can either decide for herself or get a doctor's opinion and the doctor's opinion would be binding honor.
Anyone who has a physical illness, like diabetes, or they have to take medicines regularly throughout the day. Now some scholars are permitted like asthma, inhalers, inhalants, that that does not break the fast. There's a difference of opinion about that. But some of my Sheriff gave religious opinion that it did not break the fast because it went into the lungs and smoking broke the fast because it was unnecessary.
Right, which a smoker would definitely disagree with that.
Good point. Yeah, somebody who was fighting, you know, and they needed their physical strength. Now, you know, Hakeem Olajuwon
there was kind of became national news because he was fasting during the playoffs. And, you know, it would be prohibited really for him to do that to break as fast. You know, because it's a sport. That's why if it was a valid
are like it is permissible for instance if there was a harvest that had to be done and they could not do it
fasting and they would lose the crop or something like that because of that some type of situation like that then it would be actually permissible to do it.
I mean, movie fasting goes from the fudger prayer which is dawn until the sunset prayer and then you can eat sleep. Our used to sleep in the daytime anyway, but you can eat, drink and have
relations with your your husband or your wife. It's during the dot, the nighttime
for getting married.
during Ramadan, you could absolutely profit got married in Ramadan
the month predates Islam, not the fasting. But the month. The lunar months of Islam predated Islam what predates Islam is the the rights around the Kaaba during Ramadan. Know, Ramadan does not predate Islam fasting in Ramadan is second year hedger before that the Arabs did not fast. And the Quran says fasting has been prescribed upon you just as it was prescribed upon the people before you in order that you might learn discipline.
So it's actually considered a spiritual practice to discipline yourself. Now if you think about it, people who abstain from
for a whole month of not eating during the daylight hours that is it's you know, it gives the body there is a very strong discipline that goes with that. It's prohibited to backbite at any time. Whether it's a Muslim or non Muslim, you're not supposed to talk bad about people it is prohibited to
to lie. It's dis encouraged to talk a lot empty talk. In Islam, it's just not something encouraged. There's a tradition The Prophet said, carry Hola Hola, como el Pilla while hard, Allah dislikes empty gossip.
You know, the rose said that gossip was good in homeopathic doses.
And that was good question had forgotten earlier. He said if there were legitimate government, then there have to be applied.
And I know that a lot of Muslims think there is not, but there are governments that claim they are right. Have any of the current government's claim to be though some governments
started there's there's a cop there's some zakaat absolutely in in the Emirates in Arabia in different places. They do have zakaat and people can pay it through government.
No, they don't have to. Yeah, but it's perfectly fine. It was a legitimate Islamic government. It would be allowed for that guy to do it. Yes. Yeah. For no way required. No.
Could you explain
Okay, good point. Thank you. Yeah, it's, uh huh. It's Ramadan. The reason Ramadan is the month of fasting is generally it says that this Quran was revealed in in you know, a blessed time shot on Oban led only Raphael for an the month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed. Now, the Muslim belief is that the Quran came to the first Heaven, which is called semi dunya. To to a place called beta is the abode of dignity or exaltation. And then from and that happened in Ramadan, and the beginning of the revelation began on the 27th of Ramadan. And then over a 23 year period, it is being revealed to the prophet and in Ramadan, specifically, the province of Lyceum said that,
that gibreel used to go through the Quran every month with him, but in Ramadan, he used to go through it every year with him in Ramadan, the entire Koran, and then in the last Ramadan of his life, he went through it two times, and he knew that was his last year.
So that Ramadan is considered a very blessed time for Muslims and traditionally it's encouraged people to go out and see the new moon and you know, the the Muslims traditionally went out sided the new moon and you would hear a lot of shouts of joy Allah Akbar,
in the Muslim cities that go up on the rooftops and things is there therefore connection between the crescent and the star, the crescent moon interestingly
is a much later it was the the moves that actually introduced the crescent moon. And I think it actually you know, it was a symbol of some of the ancient moon calls.
It's become to be adopted as a symbol, but it's in no way an authoritative symbol of Islam.
I mean, Muslims it's like an off what they call custom. And the Prophet said, whatever the Muslim see is good, is good with Allah. So there's an idea that the crescent moon has kind of been accepted by the Muslims as but it's not from the Prophet Muhammad.
It's an interesting thing about Islam as the absence of symbols.
Like icons and things there really is you go into a mosque and calligraphy is pretty much and then you have a lot of geometric which is later. But But there is a there's a real
there's just an absence of a type of icon iconography or something like that I created so that the Shahada is
it's it's traditionally the Prophet did put it on his flag. And so, it traditionally has been like, but again, when I mean symbol, I mean more like an abstract not so much language, languages, symbols, obviously, but I mean, like a cross or the Star of David, or the the ohm symbol statues, you know, in traditions you have a lot of symbols like Hindu tradition has many, many symbols.
You know, Christians have the Stations of the Cross, in a lot of Catholic churches, you'll you'll see those type things.
So finally, Hajj. Now, just about the Pharisee, I would say that traditionally, the Muslims viewed fasting as a time of discipline, you should control your talk your speech, not talk a lot, learn to control the sexual appetite, learn to control the tongue was very important. The Prophet said in a tradition, whoever guarantees for me was between his two jaws and his two thighs, I guarantee him paradise. In other words, if you could discipline, if you could break those two desires, and really discipline yourself in those two things, then you know, and it's interesting, the symbolic relationship between the mouth and the genitals. It's, it's fascinating. There's been a lot of
traditions that have examined that the idea of the creativeness that the mouth is like a womb. And the tongue is is like, you know, is like a male organ that there's a type of language is a type of created. You know, it's an aspect of creativity. There's an impregnation that takes place with from the mind of thought that emerges in the child of speech and things like that. So there's some fascinating relationships there.
Hajj, had the pillar of Hajj is the fifth pillar and I think it's really wonderful to me that of all the Pillars of Islam, even though all of these pillars are based on ability,
Zakat, if you can't, if you're not able to pay it, you don't pay it. Fasting, if you're not able to fast you don't fast. Even the prayer if you're Nabila, pray Stan you pray, reclined nada will pray reclining you pay
just with your eyes. If you're not going to do that you pray in your in your consciousness, you're not able to do that you don't have to pray. But yet the heart is the only one in the Quran where it says
Lila here the nurse had jewel Beit luminous Popeye la subida. Allah it is incumbent upon mankind or humankind, the pilgrimage to his house for whoever is able to make the journey. Even though all the other ones are, it's the same stipulation. But in that one, the stipulation is mentioned. And I think part of that is because the vast majority of Muslims will never be able to make the Hajj. And so it's kind of like just the fact that it was mentioned in there, that there's kind of an ease with that. And this is why the example that you made about people fasting even though they don't have to they they'll still do it, you know, really, whereas the highs there is definitely a limitation there
related to wealth, physical capacity borders, even now, you know, for some people they can't like for a long time the Russian Muslims could not make pilgrimage. The Communist government would not let them make pilgrimage. So there's limitations and yet right there in the Quran, it says For whoever is able to do it. The vast majority of Muslims will never do that. If you look there's about 1 billion estimated Muslims every year the maximum I can imagine pilgrimage being is maybe 4 million people right now it reaches about 3 million. And you you are packed. You're You're like this doing some of the rights. There's so many people and it's very interesting. I you know, I've made
pilgrimage three times.
And I've made it several times. But the actual pilgrimage. I mean, first thing, it's related to the ritual of Abraham. The Muslims believe that Abraham
took his son Ishmael, to the Valley of Baca or Mecca. It's also called back in the Koran, Mecca and Becca. And he was commanded to leave his maid servant, Hagar and Ishmael in that place. It's a barren place. And then he left them. There's that what the tradition says is that hotjar, who was from she was an African woman, who was the mother Ishmael that she
began began went into a state of anxiety about the place because there was no water nothing. And she began to run between these two hills, safa and marwah. And she did that seven times, worrying about her baby and on the seventh time, the well of Zamzam emerged, and there's a well there that still to this day feeds the the pilgrims of Mecca. And she drank from the well and then some people there, who were passing through, help them and they become established and Abraham comes back when Ishmael is becoming a man and build with him the house in Mecca. This is what the tradition says, build with him the Kaaba. Now some say that the Kaaba was first built by Adam,
Adam, and some say that Adam and how I met on the plane Avada, which is the word out of our means to recognize and it's where they recognize each other after the garden on the earth, Allah and Allah knows best about those things. But the the basic idea is that the Kaaba was the first house established for the worship of one God only. And
Abraham built the house. And it's a it's a cube, very simple structure.
Nothing there. And then the rights that are related to it is you you enter into a ritual state, which is called a harem. For a woman it's taking a bath and dressing in her normal dress. Women tend to wear white on the Hajj, they don't have to, but they tend to just as a tradition,
the man enters into what's called a hat on which is two pieces of cloth, a loin cloth, and then a cloth over him, it can have no stitching, it's woven, but it cannot have stitching by hand.
Because you're supposed to complete the it's like it represents
complete impoverishment before God, and everybody has to be the same. And so it's encouraged that everybody looks the same, the rich man, the poor man, the free man, the bondsman everybody, the king, the the popper, everybody becomes the same. And that's the idea that humanity before God is equal, there's absolutely no differences. And so even in clothes, a rich man, you cannot wear rings, you cannot wear any display of worldly wealth. So somebody who normally wears jewelry, they have to take it all off. So ever, you wouldn't know you see a person you don't know if they're rich, they're poor, you don't you don't have a clue. They just look the same as you do. And so the idea is
literally that humanity completely stripped themselves of any of their social, and social status. And they go there before God equal. And the first ritual is you enter into the the place of Mecca, and you go to the house, and you do a circum ambulation, seven times, you go around the house seven times, which according to the tradition, is what Abraham did. And then the prophet SAW lies and purified and renewed it again. So after going around the house, you will kiss the black stone. The Black Stone is a stone that has been identified as a meteorite. But traditionally It was believed that, that it came from heaven. And originally it was white and became black from the wrong actions
of people that touched it. And you go and you kiss the stone and the Prophet said, the stone is the it's like the right
it's, it's like the right hand of God on the ear, in other words, is symbolic. Like you go and kiss the hand of the the king or the Pope, for the Catholics, they would kiss the ring, that there you go, and you kiss the stone as a symbol of being invited to the house of the king, and you kiss the stone, and then you pray to rockets or to prostrations at the place of Abraham. It's called Mocambo Abraham, where Abraham built the house, and there is actual place I'm upon and there are two footprints in there that are traditionally considered to be the footprints of Abraham. And then at that point, you go you drink from the well of Zamzam. And you make prayer. It's a good place to make
prayer and then you go to soften Mandala and you go between them
And there's a period where you actually do a quick run, if not, not a sprint, but like a jog, which symbolizes hedgers running through that area. And then after the seventh time you've completed that you go to Mina. And Mina is a place where you prepare for out of that. So you clean yourself again, you and then the next morning, you set out four out of that you will spend the day at autofire. It's a plane, that is considered to be a preparation for the Day of Judgment. You're literally
preparing for the day when all of humanity is before God in a nonlinear sense, no front back, right. It's not anthropomorphic, but is before God and goes naked, stripped of all of their worldly distinctions. And you ask for forgiveness. And so the prayer of out of that is to ask forgiveness of God to come. It's very powerful, because you are literally seeing humanity there. I mean, it I've, you know, I've been to the Vatican at times when there's a lot of people I, I haven't been to any of these Hindu gatherings. But
I've never seen anything like it in the sense that literally, there are Chinese people. They're Indonesians, there are Malay people. There are African people. There are black Africans, there are white Africans. There are Turkic people. They're European people. Now there are American people. There are Mongolians. They're Chinese, from different places in China. They're Cambodians. They're Thai people, Vietnamese people, Filipino people. People literally coming. It says in the Koran, they will come from every deep crevice. They will come from Every valley, and they will come to this place. And they're all there you just see the whole thing. You see sick people, you see healthy
people, you see people crawling, you see people being carried. Some people literally carry other people on their backs, you see people carrying their parents.
So it's just a very, very overwhelming experience to to enter into that sacred space.
And the great reminder on that day, the verse that was quoted, when the Prophet made Hajj
there was a black man who, who gave the avant, and the Arabs looked down on you know, they had this racism and they, they looked down on and they said, you know, they asked why that man was giving the call to prayer.
And so the verse came down that we have created you in in peoples and tribes to get to know one another. So the idea is people come there really to to learn.
It's a little difficult, I'm just
I'm kind of getting back into that today. So just Excuse me for a second.
hard for some reason, I just have a hard time talking about because I've been there, you know, and I've had the experience and it just, they start coming back to me that experience in that place. But so just try to get over this. And the the verse just said that, you know, we have created you and peoples and tribes to know one another, and it says, the noblest in the eyes of God are the most conscientious. In other words, the end the one thing that the Prophet said, on the Hajj pilgrimage was, there is no preference over white men or black men or black men over white man.
So the idea is just to eliminate this, this
you know, this insidious aspect of human nature, which is the idea that some people are superior to others.
And when you see everybody in that same condition, you know, the, the Nomad and the sedentary, the rich and the poor, and they're all just, they're in that same basic human condition, that we are bereft and we are poor before God is very powerful. As a reminder, you know, that, beware of considering yourself above this person next to you, because of something incidental like color, or because of something like wealth, or because of something like beauty, or because of something like lineage, that in that place, all of those things disappear, and you're just like everybody else, you are a naked creature that has to eat sleep, and and defecate and urinate and menstruate and
procreate and do all these things. And there's something very basic and fundamental to your humanity. So the Hajj really does and what I've noticed with people who make the Hajj is
There is often a very powerful transformation that occurs in their life, it really is a very transformative experience, you are not the same person.
You don't look at other people the same way. And there's just a transfer rate. And traditionally a set of a person comes back worse from Hodge bad sign.
They said he either he went there with the wrong intention, or it just it wasn't accepted for whatever reason. So the idea is that Hajj is really a time when you complete it, that you
you know, it's it's your life's journey, and you're ready to die. And that really is a kind of completion. So those are the five pillars. And that's a very quick and general overview. So what time is it now?
Oh, it's quarter after 12. So I went over, we started late. Now, you can't do that when there's bells and things right.
So I'll just any quick questions. Uh huh.
The highest only lasts for four days. Yeah. And it's actually three and then there's the last.
Good, yeah, I forgot about that. There is a point where according to Abraham, the tradition Abraham was, was like, tempted by Satan or ship on, and he cast stones. And the idea I mean, the Muslims believe in an entity called a blease, which is where we get Diablo, Diablo sun, and or chiffon. And Siobhan in Arabic means first from Shabana, which means to take people away from or to distance people. And the idea is that there is an entity whose role and function is to attempt to distance people from God to separate them from God. And there are two types of sheltering there are human ones. And there are ones that are in the unseen realm. The human ones, according to the Prophet are
Right human like war mongers, people like that, you know, people that they thrive off of creating, you know, there's actually people that will want to create wars between other people, it's kind of hard to imagine, but, you know, there's people that make a lot of money doing things like that, and they get derive a lot of benefits. So and, and it's also I mean, I really consider in a lot of ways, there's a lot of people, you know, I read this thing called ad week, which is really, you know, I would really recommend if you're teaching any social studies and sociology type courses, to get your students to read that magazine, because I think it really wakes them up to the the idea of
manipulation within their culture. The fact that there are people manipulating them at very serious and psychological levels and Adweek is, is a magazine that you can't it's very hard to find, in your average store, you can get it at very good, you know, places where they have almost all the magazines. And and it's a magazine designed for people who are advertisers. It's not a consumer magazines designed for people. And the The interesting thing about the magazine is that the commodity being sold is human beings. That's what's so fascinating when they, when they put the ads out what they're trying to sell you is an audience. And they'll guarantee you a certain percentage
of sales from that audience. And they really bring really interesting thing like they had one where last last month's ad week, where they and I'm interested in just because I'm very interested in media and in I'm interested in education, I really think that the media has been very effective at educating people in a certain way.
But they had one that said that the recent study that they did, the psychologist showed that the American men that their number one fantasy, sexual fantasy was with nurses.
And what they said was that this was very useful for advertisers because they could have like a beer commercial, where a nurse comes in with a beer, and the man's in the bed, and they don't have to do anything overt. But for that group out there, that happens to think that that's would be an interesting thing to explore, there would be a type of what they call anchoring in the subconscious, right. And so there's a sexual stimulation related to that type of beer. And this is the type thing I mean, they really do this stuff, you know, this type of research. And I think to just empower young people, to let them know that really, that there are forces out there that that do try to
manipulate them for their own good and to kind of become aware of that so that they're not such victims that they kind of get a type of critical analysis. Another really useful book was a PhD dissertation done, and I can't remember her name, but it's called decoding advertisements, which is a lot about and it's not there's some real crazy type about a lot of the real, you know, sub subliminal type things that I think go a little too far. You know, they start reading things in that just aren't there. But these are more done at at you know, their their academics is a very
academic study of trying to understand really what's behind the whole ideology of advertisement. So, any other questions?
Oh, so what
I'm attempting to go off on these tangents, what you do is you pick up these stones, 21 stones, and then you throw seven stones at these three pillars. And it's a purely symbolic thing. And unfortunately, some of these hedges get a little out of hand, they start thinking that really is the devil. Right? So you get some stones. And there was a hadith in which a man was throwing big stones and the Prophet said, beware of going to extremes and your religion. Prophet actually hated extremism. He really did. He did not like he was very wary of extremes. He was very balanced person. He he he said, My way is the middle way. He did not like people that were fasting all the time. He
said, I eat and I fast. He did not like people who abstain from sexual relations. He said, I have sexual relations. He did not like people that stayed up all night. He said, I pray and I sleep. So he really was very wary, he saw one time there was a rope in the mosque tied to the wall. And he asked what it was. And he said, so and so put that for when they fell asleep, that it would keep them up. And he said, Take it down and tell them not to do that. He saw another man who swore that he would stay in the sun until such and such happen. And he would fight and the Prophet told him said, Tell him to get out of the sun, you know, and just finishes fast for the day, but not to go
into the sun. So he was very against extremes. And so you're supposed to pick up very small pebbles and literally just throw them like this is not supposed to be like, you know, so people take sandals and throw I mean, it gets a little crazy. The throwing is is actually probably the hardest part of Hajj because people do get a little out of control.
And then you're dealing with a lot of you know, unfortunately the from the Muslim world, you're getting a lot of people coming out of very ignorant backgrounds, a lot of them don't know their tradition, they haven't learned the rules of Hajj. So you have a lot of things, but it's amazing. Given the amount of people given the space given the intensity. There are very, very rarely any incidents. I mean, there's I have never heard of any violent, outright violent incidences where people actually, other than I think there were some riots that the Iranians during the whole Iranian Revolution did. But my three times on the Hajj, if somebody starts getting angry, there's all these
people around them, just tell them you know, be patient, you're on Hajj, you know, and they remind them and things like that. And, and people respond to that. And the same is true in Ramadan, you know, you're fasting, you know, just relax and calm down.
Based in the end, it symbolizes the that Abraham or they sent him that when he was told to kill his son.
What the Jewish tradition called the Akita tradition, that he, it was replaced with a ram. And there's a difference of opinion, the Muslim tradition, whether it was Isaac or Ishmael.
I think most Muslims now believe that it was Ishmael. But early on that the Prophet never said which child it was. And it's and it's not really considered important to the it's not essential to the story, the importance is the act of submission. And
you what you do is you celebrate the by sacrificing a ram preferably, or some other animal and then distribute that meat to poor people and things like that.
And other Muslims take part in that around the world. Even though the hajis are doing it. Other Muslims like in Santa Clara, people will go out and they will sacrifice on that day, many people and it's encouraged to do that.
Any other. So, I think that that ends the session on Islam and I hope that was beneficial and thanks for your attention.