Sacred Text Messages S02 E02 – The Mystery of Diversity

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Hamza Yusuf

Channel: Hamza Yusuf

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Episode Notes

The vast diversity we see all around us constantly reminds us of God’s greatness. This week’s Sacred Text Messages podcast discusses the Qur’anic imperative to respect the diversity of human beings in our races, religions, and tribes. In a time where hate and division have risen to new heights, this lesson serves as a much needed reminder to practice prophetic benevolence and reason over rage and violence.

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ ثَمَرَاتٍ مُخْتَلِفًا أَلْوَانُهَا ۚ وَمِنَ الْجِبَالِ جُدَدٌ بِيضٌ وَحُمْرٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهَا وَغَرَابِيبُ سُودٌ

See you not that Allâh sends down water (rain) from the sky, and We produce therewith fruits of varying colours, and among the mountains are streaks white and red, of varying colours and (others) very black

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَٱلدَّوَآبِّ وَٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَٰنُهُۥ كَذَٰلِكَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى ٱللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ٱلْعُلَمَـٰٓؤُا۟ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

And likewise of men and Ad-Dawâbb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and cattle, are of various colours. It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving.

(Qur’an 35:27-28)

Episode Transcript

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Bismillah R Rahman Rahim masala and I see that Mohammed while early will serve me or send them to steamer 100 in Europe the honor mean a lot and I see the Mohammed

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early he will Sam you will sell them to Sleeman kathira a ceremonial Coen brothers and sisters landed from all over the world apparently. And it's remarkable that we can communicate in this way, the Prophet sallallahu Sallam indicated

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that towards the latter days people would tell lies, May Allah not make us from those people, but he said people would tell lies. And he said they we would immediately reach the horizons of the earth, you take element Mars orbit, Kedah via global alpha. In fact, there is for takiab without a something that follows immediately without any hesitation. So he said it would reach the horizons immediately. And so now this medium of mass communication which has created incredible problems, but on the other hand, this is the other side of it is that we can use it to for good and to spread knowledge and to help people understand better the book of Allah and the Hadees of our beloved

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Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. So today, I wanted to look at a text message from the Koran, which is from Sora tell an arm, which is one of the larger chapters of the Koran.

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And it's the the verses which are from 104 to 111. It's quite extensive. But it's important because the context of what I'd like to talk about, is embedded within a larger

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set of verses, and they're all important to understanding this.

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This topic that I'd like to talk about, and so

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one of the important elements in our tradition is that the origin it speaks to both the Muslims and the non Muslims but it also speaks to Muslims in their relations with people's other face, or lack thereof. And so in this verse, Allah subhana wa tada says, other jobs are combust urine mill Rob become an absorber of NFC on an army of La her alma and it can be happy. So in this first 100, and fourth verse in Surah, an arm it says that there have have come to you bisaya from your Lord Messiah is the plural of ball Sierra. And the ball Sierra is the light of the heart. According to the Morpheus, your own basura is also in Arabic can mean a hedger proof. And so proofs have come from

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your Lord, but also these, this ability to see. So the line and mogera, which is your actual physical eye, has what's called bizarre, which is sight or vision. The inner eye has what's called boss era. So human beings have an inner eye, that inner eye can be blinded, or like a child that doesn't yet can't focus in when when your infant when you're first born, your vision is actually extremely limited. We know this, the child cannot see very far and this is basically spiritually most people are in an infantile stage, so they actually can't see. And, and, and some of them are embryonic spiritually, so they're still in the womb where they're completely blind. But the

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potential to actualize inner eye is always there for human beings. And Allah says that it's not the hearts that go blind.

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It's not the eyes that go blind, right?

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It's the hearts in the breast of men that go blind. And so this, and that, and so then it says, femen Apsara. Funny enough, see, so those Messiah, are the lights with which you see, and that's why immediately it follows that whoever sees with these beside or with these lights of the heart, so who's ever whoever has had their heart illumined with these trues it's for their own souls.

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Woman amiya follow her and whoever is blind to them, it's against their own souls. Woman it can be Haffield and this is very important because the Prophet

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being told to let us know that he is not the one that can do this. All he can do is show us the way we have to take the way. He's the one that brought the light. But we have to follow the light. So if you choose to follow Him, and it is a choice, then he will illuminate your path for you. He'll show you at each stage in your move towards Allah, he'll show you what to do. So the law it was it was sadhana. And, and but he is not responsible. He's not a guardian. He can't. He can't do the work for us. He's telling us to do the work help.

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He says, help me help you. Because on the day of judgment when he is trying to get his people across the sirop he actually says help me get you across the Sahara and asked him how and he said, do at least some extra prayers at night, do some night work. This is going to make my job easier. So that's what he was letting us know. But and then and then it says what what kinetica no sarnafil iottie Wali, a coup de Rasta.

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And they will say you studied well no, but you know who the Omen yatala Moon and and we will make this clear to people who know a Tibetan Lama or here in a commune Robic follow that which has been revealed to you from your Lord. You know in law who there is no god except who who? him God. There's no god except he was an abandoned machine. He can't turn away from those who associate with other than Allah. What OSHA Allahumma a shadow and had God not willed it they would have never associated with him while Madhya Anna went up more magic unaka la him halophila and we did not make you a guardian over them. Alma anta lamb were killed, nor are you over killed somebody who is put in

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charge of others affairs, that's the wiki.

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And then and this is the the, the really the at the heart of what I wanted to talk about. Was that a sub bullet in a drone I mean dooney La Jolla Subala add one the radar in do not curse or do not.

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do see Bab which is like Lana do not curse those who call on other than Allah.

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And then this fair here is because they

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face Subala This is called a suburbia. And there's basically

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there's different reasons why you get this. And so one of them is when you have a knee. So if there's a prohibition and then it's followed by a fire that follows often as a suburbia, it will be a suburbia, in other words is a causative factor. So this in turn will cause them that's what the FAS F or feha Subala and that's why it's

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there the noon is removed because it's in a nice condition so it's on so when for the those utterances in the grammar of via Subala add one berated and they will in turn, curse Allah add one out of aggression or animosity behavior in without any knowledge. They will do it unknowingly.

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Because that is a yen equally on met and I'm at home and like that we have deemed good. You know Xeon is to to make something Zayn to make it look good or nice. We have made it look good to every oma their actions amerihome Thumma it out of be him Margit home for you in a bit home, be my can, we are Malone, and to your Lord will be your return your motto, Jad, the place you return your returning place, that you have been a home Bhima Kanu Yap, Malone and he will at that place, inform you about what they were doing. Like Allah is letting us know he's going to explain what they were doing. So if you look at this, these verses are very important. In fact, in the in the Maliki

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madhhab, there's something called Sud devaraya which is cutting off pre texters pre tax. So So for instance,

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there are certain things that in and of themselves are not held on but because they lead to the haraam. They

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can have the hokum of haraam, so it will settle to it at haraam sometimes as mohalla Rama I mean not always it depends is something difficult how work out but the point is is that said the idea is to prevent something happening that's how I'm so in this case in this verse it's we're being told, do not curse the idols and this is what our manifest your own say images A l Kelby and his famous work at UCLA he says that the those who call on other than Allah subhanho wa Taala are the idols he actually says that they are the idol so it's not the machete keen themselves don't curse the machine is saying, Don't curse their idols.

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And that that is what they how they explain it. So

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well that to superlinear, their owner mindu nila a lawyer to sue Allie hetta, home, the corner with Erica suburban Leanna Subala because you will make it a cause for them cursing Allah, so you've actually caused it. And even Josie says a stradella and Medicare to be heard at a set devaraya. So this is the idea that they prove. In fact, somebody back in 2001 One of the things I said about burning flags was that we should not burn that Muslims should not burn. Like sometime they take the American flag and stomp on it or burn the American flag that they shouldn't do these sayings. Because it's Minh Bab said devaraya. And then I used this idea. And somebody who didn't understand

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also that feck said, Oh, he's saying they consider the flag an idol. And that wasn't my point. My point was, is that this is min Bab said devaraya you know, so these are unfortunate. I mean, it's very, it's it's a tough time to speak, because there's so many geniuses out there and and, and they just understand things that you don't understand. And so they end up I mean, it's it's really a tough time to there's an argument for just not speaking anymore. And and I've been tempted by that I keep getting

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as as they say, you know, every time you try to get out, they pull you back in. So

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you know, but you know, the people around me say no, you have to

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keep teaching and doing these things. So May Allah forgive us for any of the mistakes because I've certainly made some mistakes. But our hope is that we never make big mistakes, major mistakes, we're always going to make some mistakes just by being human. And the more you talk, the more likely you are to to make mistakes. So the point here though, is that the,

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the this, these, these eyes are really about the machete keen that we're being told essentially, that Allah subhanaw taala

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allows them to do their ship and tells us not to curse their idols and tells us that it's actually a law who has made this appear good to them. It's because very often the parent says Xena, it's it's put in the the passive. But here a law could have put it in the passive tense xuyen ella homearama home he could have said that. But he clearly says cathartic as a urinal equally on mutton, we have made every nation

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deem their own actions good. And this is why it's very difficult for people to understand how, for instance, in the United States, there are many things that we our country does that are horrific and wrong. But most Americans actually say, they think oh, no, we always have good intentions. So collateral damage is unfortunate, but we don't. We don't mean to do that. It's just an unfortunate externality of it. These are types of things, but every nation thinks that what they're doing is good. This is the way Allah has made it. And that's why most people are actually diluted. And so self delusional states are part of human psychology. And this is why it's quite terrifying. Because

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you don't want to be amongst those Allah is telling us Do not be diluted. There are many verses in the Quran warning us about falling into delusional states about thinking that you really understand things we all have blind spots, there's even a physical blind spot in your eye. And doctors will actually test your your blind spot like when an ophthalmologist but there are physical blind spots and every human being has blind spots. And that's why your brothers and your sisters are very often the best sources to help you understand your own

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Self, because the prophets will lie to you it was seldom said and won't mean or mirror art or movement. The believer is the mirror of the believer. Well, what do we use a mirror for? there's basically two things that mirrors are used for fundamentally, for vain and narcissistic people, they're used to admire themselves. But for healthy people, they're used to rectify their actual physical state. So in other words, before you go out, you look in the mirror to make sure that you don't look ridiculous, like your hair might be sticking up. And the prophet SAW I saw him himself who could have never looked

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other than perfect, but the province Eliasson, him used to look in a mirror before he went out. And I asked him about that, because she she didn't understand. He said, The My Lord commanded me to do this. In other words, to present yourself and this why traditional Muslims always dressed well, the Prophet did not like disheveled hair, he actually took good care of his hair, he used oil in it. In fact, they said that his color was like the color of a, somebody who worked in oil, because there was always he used olive oil in his hair. In some, like in South Asia, they use ghee in the hair, but he took care of his hair, and, and combed it. So the lady said, he did not like disheveled hair,

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and one time a man came in with from the nest with very disheveled hair. And he said, and he didn't call him out personally. But he said, Do people come into my images looking like a demon. So that's something like demons don't take care of themselves. But the point is, is that the the mirror is, is to rectify yourself. And so the believer helps his brother or sister see their faults. And that's why your companion if like your spouse, or whoever it is, they should point those things out to you in the best way. And if you have the spiritual fortitude, you'll actually take that and be thankful to that person. Like if somebody tells you,

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you know, I think that was arrogant what you said, or I think that was, that's something that's a good friend, you know, they say, I saw the ACMA duck, your friend is the one who's honest with you, and people that are obsequious or people that flatter you, those aren't your friends. And very often behind your back, it'll be quite different. So, so that's really an important

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thing to remember that, you know, we can fall into delusional states very easily. And this is why when you look at people, you have to see everybody is on a path, there's, there's an evolution, you can see a person in their 20s. I mean, sometimes your own children, you'll have, you know, your son or your daughter, and they can think they know everything at the age of 18, or 20, or they've gone to university now, and suddenly, they're debating with you about this, that or the other, and they have their own opinions, you have to be patient with them. Because at if you're 50, or 60, or 70, and you're talking to somebody who's 20 or 25, you have a life experience that that person cannot

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even imagine. They cannot imagine. But they're full of life. And there's something very beautiful also about just how new The world is to somebody at that age. And they can be excited about things that you are no longer excited about. So you have to be patient with people and see them on a path. Every human being you know, the some of the the people of the South in our tradition said there are many, there are as many paths to God as there are souls of men. In other words, the meaning of that is everybody is on a path to God. In in LA, we're in La Jolla, and we're all going back to Allah subhanaw taala. And so every human being that you see is on their way to their Lord, one in Arabic

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and monta and to your Lord is your month to her, that's your end. And so everybody's on that path. And and so when you see somebody just know that they are on a path to their Lord, and wherever they are in that evolution. It's not for you to judge. And there are things you could try to explain to them or tried to tell them, they might be ready, but they might not be ready for it. I will soufiane it took him over 20 years to realize that the Prophet slicin was a messenger of Allah, but he finally did. In fact, I recently somebody told me about somebody who had left Islam for several years, and then they came back to Islam. And I was really happy about that. But there are actually

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Sahaba that that were considered Sahaba and then

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They left Islam. And then they lost their status as Sahaba. And they're now they're considered Tabby green, because they came back to Islam after the prophesize m died. I mean, that actually happened. And so even somebody can lose faith for a period of time. Don't let that mean that you give up hope on them, especially if it's your child, or if it's somebody you love or somebody close to you, they could actually lose their faith. And, and, and, and you should pray for them, and hope that they get it back because they can before they die, as marlim. You heard here, as long as the soul have haven't reached the hell comb, it hasn't reached the the trachea and moving out of the body. A

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person can make Toba to Allah subhana wa Tada. So we never lose hope in any human being. Every human being is potentially

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open to the truth at any given time in their life. And sometimes Allah will create massive ruptures in people's lives in order to let the light of the truth

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come into their heart. So that's something really important to note. So when you see somebody who is is an eye doctor or a mushrik, or somebody who's a disbeliever, you have to be patient with them, like our prophets, Elijah, he was patient with them. Now here's the point. One of the tragedies of the current situation is that we have a lot of problems in India. And and India is one of the great spiritual powerhouses of this planet. I mean, Indian people are some of the most spiritual human beings on the planet, they always have been. It's a deep, whatever, whatever is in India, it is a deep spiritual place in the world. And they're profoundly devotional people, whether they're Jain or

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Hindu or Christian, or Muslim, or Buddhist, you will find some of the most devoted people on the planet come out of the Indian subcontinent, which includes Pakistan. And I'm not I'm not including Pakistan in India there because as the partition happened, but once that was all considered one region, it's Hynde basically hindon sinned.

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So so but that's, that's really important to note these are profoundly spiritual people. And and Hinduism, which is a very ancient tradition. And I came I, I grew to appreciate Hinduism a lot more after I studied at, because my undergraduate degree was in comparative religion. And Hinduism is is a is a is a deep religion, it runs very deep. And that's why many Hindus never converted to Islam, like like Christians also in the in the Muslim world.

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But we as Muslims tend to look on it as a polytheistic religion. And so some Muslims have always kind of had a kind of contemptible attitude, you know, they feel a type of contempt because of the polytheistic. Nature if you get into and I don't want to do this now, but if you get into Vedic scriptures, and also what the Brahmins understand about the Godhead near Ghana, and Sierra Ghana, we could get into the actual theology of Hinduism, but I don't want to but what I do want to say is that many Hindus have become Muslim, many of the Indians in in India and those in Pakistan, their ancestors were Hindus.

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But but there are still the majority of people in India are Hindus.

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Many of them are very decent people. They're good people. Unfortunately, like we have our fanatics they too have their fanatics. And unfortunately, because of the current Zeitgeist, there's been a lot more fanaticism, but we cannot allow this to create this kind of animosity, where we either mark or curse or attack their religion, we have to have a basic respect for people's sanctities the things that they hold sacred. And this verse is telling us Do not curse their idols, because they in turn will curse God. In other words, you have caused it. So you have caused your Lord to be cursed. And this is what the prophet is warning us about. So I'll give an example. I saw a somebody sent me

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a video of some ladies from the golf who there was a there's an elephant

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idol that that is you'll find them a lot in Hindu restaurants called Ganesh. And this is for them. It's it's the God of

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abundance and that of prosperity. And this is why you'll see it in a lot of Hindu

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shops and things like that, because it's like they they believe that, you know, they're going to get prosperity by honoring this. So for us, I mean, obviously, that's very difficult. But the image showed these two ladies literally take these idols in a store in the Gulf and smash them and saying Allahu Akbar. Now, I understand the sentiment in their hearts. But because of the, because of the Arabian Peninsula, and this is obviously what the prophet slicin did when he went into Mecca. But let us remember that Mecca was a sanctuary that was established by Abraham and his son is Mayan, and

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either him or Sarah. And it was it was a house that was set up for the one true living God. So those who, who brought the idols to Mecca, they were desecrating the Kaaba, the prophet was not desecrating those idols, he was purifying the house, from what had been done to it by these other people. Now for those other religions, like for instance, the Christians have, what a lot of Muslim think are idols and obviously the Christians are not idol worshipers, but they have images in their mosques in their churches. And we actually believe in the in the deca log, which one of them is do not make graven images of anything, we're not supposed to make graven images of anything, which

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means that it casts a shadow. And so we're told not to do that. And this is why the iconoclastic movement, in in, in the eighth century, they actually destroyed the, the, all of the Christian iconography and, and the idols in what they saw as idols. These were Christians who were destroying from within the Byzantine tradition. In fact, amazingly enough, the only preserved icons of that period are in the churches where the the Muslims were because the Muslims protected those churches, from these iconic class who were going into the Christian churches, and destroying all these icons. So the Muslims actually protected these icons. This is a historical fact. So so we should never

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speak ill of the Hindu beliefs or weak we can just like they can criticize our religion. intellectually, they can write their books on why they're not a Muslim, that's perfectly acceptable for somebody to do that in America. And either mockery is something that I would hope people would not do, because that's what ignorant people do, but having intellectual differences about things, that's something that we have to recognize as part of being alive in the world. But But

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we should not we can we can write things of why we believe in Islam, of why we don't allow graven images and things like this, but we should not curse This is the commandment in the Quran, is do not curse those who worship other than Allah subhanho wa Taala. In other words, do not curse their idols. So it's really important, because somebody in India will see the image of Muslims in the golf, smashing their sacred

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beliefs and then they'll go into a mosque and desecrate a mosque, or or attack Muslims out of anger. This is exactly what Allah is warning us against. And he tells us, he is going to explain all of this to us on the Day of Judgment. Now, this principle is very important. And this is why the prophet SAW I said, I'm said in a Hadith, which is a Sahih Hadith, and there's there's a couple of different versions of it, but one of them is from Abdullah bin Ahmed ibn Al Al Saud or the law and who, who said that the prophets of licen him said, min Ed kabaya, shut more. Raj Ali. Why did they he from amongst the greatest sins is to abuse one's parents. Odoo Yasuda Allah O Messenger of Allah.

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Well, yes to more rajguru worry they would somebody ever cursed their parents.

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And he sets a lice and bada nom. How do they do that? Yes, Sue Arbor Rajamouli. They are super avow, he curses his father and so he in turn curses his father. We as Sue oma, whoa, fire subo Omaha or he curses his mother and then that person in turn curses his mother. So you have caused it and that's how the prophets framing it. So when you see people that attack mosques, if you're attacking their church,

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Churches, if you're attacking their synagogue, if you're attacking their Hindu temples, you don't think they're going to attack. So Allah is actually saying that you're causing it.

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So if they're cursing, a stuffed alive, they're cursing, the sacred things that we believe in.

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Well, if we're doing it to them, why should we expect that they would hold their tongues on us? And this is what Allah is demanding of us. It's a very high thing is that you have to be the teachers. You have to show what dignity is your the oma that I brought forth for humanity. The NASS quantum Hira, omitted. Or rejet Lynette he didn't say Leon Phu Kham. He didn't say Linda masumi He didn't say Linda McMahon, he said Lynn NASS. Right, why taught morona been Morrow? Because you are commanded to good How can you command to good if you're not doing it yourself? What 10 hona Allen Mancha. How can you prohibit vice, if you yourself are not avoiding vice? What taught me not to be

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there and you believe in Allah subhanaw taala. This has given you the Hera this has given you this status amongst nations. And and this was the challenge that God gave to the Jews, they were that they were chosen to be exemplars. And according to the Quran, they failed. And the province of Assam said you will follow them. And so now you see Muslims everywhere, failing to live up to these expectations that Allah put upon us. And this in the end, it's it disgraces our prophets allies to them, that we are the cause of people having bad opinions of our Prophet because of our behavior. And this is exactly what Allah is telling us not to do. He's telling us don't do that. Just like you

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don't want your parents curse, don't curse other people's parents. This is essentially the golden rule. It's not it's not a hard concept. Do unto others as you have them do unto you. And again, these are people for whatever reasons, this is their religion, and their, their their sociological reasons for anthropology, anthropological reasons for it. You know, there's historical reasons for it. All these can can be understood by our social scientists. But in the end, we have to recognize how Allah wanted he would have made us all one oma, he would have made everybody Muslims. But for some reason, Allah has left people to follow what they believe.

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I like crafted then there's no coercion in the religion, let people do what they're doing. Mecca and Medina are different because these are legit, like the Vatican does not allow a Hindu temple or a mosque inside the Vatican in the hijas. It's the province of ICM purified it from any other religion

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because it's the place of monotheism. So this is something I want really people to think about. Because I think, you know, unfortunately, in places like India, there's a lot of conflict Kashmir also, may Allah make it easy for our brothers and sisters. in Kashmir, which one I would love to go to Kashmir is one of the beautiful places on the planet. And unfortunately, they're, they're also in a place of incredible natural resource. And so they they have the water of India and Pakistan. So whoever controls Kashmir has immense power over both India and Pakistan. And so these people were born in a place that has immense geopolitical significance and so they're suffering from that fact.

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But, but we don't we don't want to see collectivization, because some Hindus are doing evil things. We should not hate all Hindus, because some Muslims are doing evil things. We certainly shouldn't think that this is Islam and and and that's where, how did Gandhi and our column as ad work together, Abul Kalam Azad, who Gandhi said his peers were Socrates and Plato and Aristotle of a Kalam Azad knew over 10 languages by heart, he was born in Mecca, he was he translated he was a half as of Oran, he was a scholar. He was a brilliant man, and they honored him in in, in India. He's at the heart of the of the Indian independence movement. And to this day, they still celebrate his

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birthday in November as a national holiday. There are many other calamities add streets in India. He was a devout Muslim. And, and so it's very important for us to understand

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That the Hindus and the Muslims historically, they work together against their their enemy. So they had a, they had a collective enemy, which at the time were the English. And so that's important to remember that doesn't have this doesn't have to be the reality of our world that we have many things, Hindus and Muslims have many. They have a shared a profoundly deep, deeply shared history. And they also have worked together many times. Unfortunately, there are some sad periods in Indian history

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with the Muslims, Visa V, the Hindus, but there are also some incredibly beautiful periods, and the Muslims protected the Hindus. So I think it's really important that we think deeply about this, and I and I really hope that people hold their tongues, in speaking ill of other people, whether it's Christianity, whether it's Judaism, whether it's Hinduism, or Buddhism, these are all things that people hold profoundly dear to their hearts. And we've been gifted with a pure monotheism, and we have to feel in profoundly grateful, but we also should look on these other religions, as you know, with with, with understanding and also with sincere desire for for the guidance of those people

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towards

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a pure monotheism. Because it's, this is this, we believe this is true, and it's a great gift to know the one true living God, Creator of the heavens and the earth Sustainer of all things living Sustainer of the animate and inanimate, resurrector of the dead, the judge on the day of judgment that will judge all of us for our actions, this is our Lord and we're blessed and we're blessed to have the Prophet sighs Amazon messenger and we should feel blessed for that reason, but we should also look on others with the eye in a chef, Arab say with with an eye of concern and compassion and, and and a desire for their guidance. So shala May Allah make us amongst those people and

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inshallah have a very interesting story that I'll share with you next week inshallah, about, about this subtle money from labor