How to study history

Ismail Kamdar

Channel: Ismail Kamdar

Topics: History

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Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Now who want to stay in stock? You know, when when you hear the workaholic dementia rule young kusina we see it Mr. Miyagi Guillaume Palermo de la familia de Luca la hora de la ma.

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inshallah next week, hoping to deliver the football on the topic of Karbala, just to clarify a god authentic narrations on that incident, and build some lessons upon it. So, this week's football will be introduction to the topic. Because before we dive into any incident in history, specifically, the more controversial incidents that have occurred in our history, I think it's important that we first establish the correct approach towards study history.

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Because very often, when it comes to these topics, we tend to approach it either from a fantasy, you know, perfection type of perspective, or we approach it from a perspective of hiding the fact that we don't like to yell, or we get overly emotional. And, you know, it drives us to hatred or it drives us to sectarianism. So, by establishing some of the ground rules for studying history and the correct approach of studying history, hopefully that will help us to inshallah, build upon that with any future discussions we have on controversial aspects of our history, starting with Karbala next week in sha Allah. So today's topic, will focus primarily on some of the problems in how we approach

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history. And what is the correct way to study history. I want to begin by saying that when we look at all of the sciences of Islam, right, we have a Tina Fey,

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the tafsir Hades diary, when it comes to all of the sciences, I think the one that is most neglected, amongst English speaking Muslims, is the history of Islam.

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And I say this, because when you go out there, and if you ask people about history,

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you know, the most of the average wisdom able to narrate is from the life of Rasulullah, sallAllahu, Alayhi, wasallam, and maybe polavaram.

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And that is our foundation, that is the most important part of history. And that is the part of history that everybody is supposed to know. Right? But why does our knowledge stop there? when we when we try to when we ask about questions about things like the omega is the Abbas's the Ottomans,

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there'll be a smaller amount of people who know what we're talking about. Then if you go towards Islamic Spain, detail, the Sultanate of India, the Mughal empire of India,

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the Malawi to an empire of North Africa, people don't know what we're talking about. They've never heard of these things in their life.

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So what does this tell us? This tells us that we have a huge gap in our knowledge base, that we have the life of Rasulullah sallallahu wasallam, we have the writing of Allah rushing in, and then we have this blank page all the way up to our times.

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And we need to fill in those blanks. We need to know our history. Because you cannot understand where you are if you don't understand how you reach

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and we are negligent on our history and all sides. Now as Indian Muslims, who many of us are, we don't know the history of the Delhi Sultanate. We don't know the history of the Mohali Empire. We don't know how India you know transformed from a mohale Empire Muslim Empire to a British Empire many of us don't know how or when that happens. We are ignorant about history

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you know as a global oma, if you ask people about the mom looks about a UBS about the boss, it's very few know. So this is the first problem that we stop at the first generation. We study the life of Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam he studied Allah Rashidi, as soon as Ali rollingstone. He comes to an end, we close the books and we don't discuss history any further. This is a problem. But there's just one problem. There's two other problems in how we approach history.

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The second problem with how we approach history is that we tend to focus on the memorization of facts. And this is specifically a problem in our schools and mattresses, that when we study history, we want people to memorize what date this battle happened, who was killed in that battle? who converted to Islam In which year, we become so obsessed with the past, we forget about what's more important to take lessons from that story and apply to our lives. As we get caught up in only looking at history from one perspective. We only want to know what happened. And we forget to ask ourselves, what can I learn from it?

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The the correct approach to history is number one, get the authentic facts but number two

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asked what can I learn from it? How can this apply to my life? How can this make me a better person? Here's the thing, any incident in human history, not only Muslim history, any incident in human history you can derive this from it is just the nature of humanity. Anything that someone has done before when it is good or evil, you can look at it and you can learn a lesson from it. You can learn what to do, you can learn what not to do. So that needs to be our approach to history, that we do not study history, just to learn facts, just to memorize facts, but to derive lessons for anyone you have to teach your children. You know, whether you're teaching in a madrasa or in a school, use an

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alternative way to teach the children history, and so have the exams where you ask them you're on which date? Was this the hobby kill? Or which day is this battle take place? Ask them instead? What lessons did you learn from the story of backup?

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What characteristic or smile or dilemma Can you know copy in your life? Ask them questions like this. So from a young age, they begin to think about history as a source of deriving lessons and not just memorization of facts. The third problem with how we approach history, and this is the biggest problem, and the most controversial problem.

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And the one that leads to the most problems that stem from it. And this is, if we do study history. And if we do study beyond the time of the prophets, lawyers, too often, we hide any details that are controversial. We hide any details we don't worry about we hide any incidents and that we are ashamed of, and we study a very sanitized history. We actually study in fiction, we study in fantasy, we study our made up understanding of what your Muslim history.

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What do I mean by this, for example, some Muslims have this idea that this oma was perfect, from the time of the Prophet slaughter them right to the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. It was just the land of pious people. And only when the Ottoman Empire fell, then sinners came about.

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This is a ridiculous take, because from the time of the Prophet sallallaahu, salam, the oma was made up of saints and sinners, was made up of every type of person. And from the time of the Sahaba, bad things happen. Very often, we hide these bad things. So people may ask me, what's the problem with hiding these bad things? I know that this actually happened a few years ago, I was in Kenya, in a Masjid delivering a lecture about the civil war that took place between the Sahaba. And after the lecture, one, one lady came up to me and she said, She's very worried, why did I bring up the topic because a lot of children in the audience actually didn't want the children knowing that the Civil

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War took place between the Sahaba. So I want you to understand better Where did this question come from, as to her background, and she said that she was born a Shia Muslim, and later on, she converted to Sunni Islam. And she doesn't want her children to know about those stories, because, you know, she learned the sheer version of those stories. And by the end of bringing this up, to create any sectarian divides, just, you know, exactly. I want to narrate the story exactly as it happened to you understand her perspective. So I explained to her that children need to know the Sunni events, the Sunni version of events. Why? Because if we hide from them the true stories, when

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they hear it from somewhere else, they're not going to hear the facts. They're not going to be prepared for for what they hear. And it's going to mess up the EMR. They rather hear it from us, discuss it with us, understand it from us today Get the facts straight, and it doesn't affect the imagined future. And so I can continue to with the topic. And I have we have we went further into the discussion about the the civil war that took place. Now, this didn't just happen once this happens very, very often. You know, a few years ago at university, I was teaching Islamic history for adults. And when we got to the story about the civil unrest that took place in the time of the

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Sahaba, some of the adults were starting to meet people in their 20s. And 30s told me it's affecting the mind. It's giving them doubts about Islam, because they didn't know any of this. We just thought it was perfect. We're all perfect people and studying history is going to be nice and rosy stories, you know, 1400 years worth of nice and rosy stories, and studying all the civil wars and protests and riots and looting and murders. It's depressing. And I realized that before teaching history, we have to teach how to understand history. because too many of us go into this topic with the wrong understanding and the wrong expectation. So what's wrong with this? What's wrong with just focusing

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on the nice stories and avoiding the details? Well, honestly, we lived 500 years ago, 600 years ago, I would say nothing wrong with that. But today, our youth are exposed to every controversial detail about Muslim history on the internet.

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being promoted by people who have wrong intentions, people who want them to doubt their religion, people who want them

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To be ashamed of their religion, and if we don't discuss those stories with them first, if we don't show them the proper perspective of the stories, how to understand the stories in the context, when they are exposed to it on the internet, when they are exposed to it in university, when they are exposed to other sources, it will create doubts in their hearts about Islam. And so, I believe there are four main problems that stem from this problem of the following I see there's three problems with how we approach history. Number one, we stopped at

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number two, we focus on memorization. Number three, we hide the stories that are controversial, from the third point hiding the stories that are controversial in other four problems. Problem number one, when you hide controversial stories, and create this false image of perfect people under felipa, you build the road towards extremism.

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What do I mean by the road towards extremism? Almost any extremists I've ever met. And by extremists, I mean, someone who thinks that Islam is all about establishing a free lab with true jihad. Right. And by the way, jihad is part of our religion, and the falafel is part of our religion. But these guys take it to an extreme, right, they take it to a very, very extreme where they will kill innocent people in the name of establishing the Philippines. But when you meet people who are driven by that movement, and you ask them why, and you should actually sit down and talk to them, one of the first thing you will notice is they have a very strange understanding of Muslim

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history. Right? They have the understanding of everybody and the the philosophy being perfect. Then when you have the felipa it solves all your problems that we just established, a feel awkward, everything will come right. This is the understanding they have Why? I believe because they were never taught Islam properly. They were taught history problem. Because if you had taught history properly, you will know even in the time of the Holocaust rushing in, during problems, even in the best of periods, they were problems, having a feel awkward, never created a perfect world. Having the law could never create a world of problems because Allah created his world to test us and every

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generation will be tested, including the best of generations. So Abu Bakar regular and who had to deal with people who had apostates from Islam, and there was a war of Apostasy in the reign of Abu Bakar. Just a few months after the death of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam Omar regular one who was killed in the masjid, why leading up to the project. This is the best of times Osman rajadamnern, who had to deal with protests that turned into riots that turned into his body.

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Right

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to deal with a civil war between the Sahaba and this is the Golden Age. This is a full of hogwash. So this idea that if we have a philosophy we'll have no problems. This is a fantasy is a fantasy the Philippines will solve some problems. For sure it will solve some problems. It will create the central stability the oma it will create a central community the oma it will give the oma someone to, to to unite around protected from external enemies, it will end some of the oppression the oma, but you're not going to solve everything. No, some people have this misunderstanding that if you have a philosophy that enormous enough, there'll be no more Muslims drinking alcohol, there'll be no

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more, you know, a major sense. Well, no sorry to burst your bubble, but every generation of Islam defeat all of these major sins. Every generation, you will find stories of every type of majors and taking place. Just the language not going to solve personal self is going to create, it's only going to solve the broader political problems. And it is an important topic. But when you approach it with an extremist mindset, then it leads to an extremist mentality in how you tried to establish it. So that's the first problem that comes from the wrong approach to history. The second problem that comes is that people have no role models of how to deal with certain because if we hide the stories

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of these of the sins that Sahaba committed, and that the early Muslims committed, then when somebody truly falls into sin, they look back in the thinking of the Sahaba were so perfect. The early Muslims are so perfect, I'm useless, I'm rubbish, I can't be like them. Nobody will stop practicing Islam. They don't have the role model of repentance. When you teach your teenager stories about the Sahabi, who kissed a woman, and she felt ashamed of it. And you went to ask the prophets also for advice and the prophets wives told him to pray to rockets of salah and to make Toba do not have a role model. He now have a way of dealing with the sin, a way of coming back to Allah after

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committing a sin AB back instead of hiding the story, use it to show people the way forward. Number three, when we have the wrong understanding of history, we have wrong expectations for this. We have unrealistic expectations for this. What do I mean by that? people who think that Muslims throughout history were perfect. They expect perfection from everybody around them today. So they look around and they see Muslims who are sinners, and they begin to feel this wound by useless and it's almost ridiculous and it's over. It's never going to get Allah's help, and they begin to hate everybody else in it. And again, this this leads to the extremism By the way, always starts with the hatred.

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have others that's where extremism from comes from. But why do people have unrealistic expectations for the homeowner, because they believed that before us it was all pious people and our generation are the only generation of sinners. While in reality, every generation of Muslims had pious people, Ensign as well, and everything in between. And when you know that you have a more realistic expectation for the oma, you're able to deal with people as human beings, you're able to see past distance and see the good in them and help them to be over help them to help them to get back onto the straight path.

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And number four, the final problem that comes with having a wrong approach towards this topic is that I mentioned at the beginning, it opens the doors to doubting Islam. It opens the doors to doubting Islam. Because if you hide me be very frank about some of the stories that are created. When we hide it from our children, it creates doubt in their mind when they hear about it on the internet or university. When you hide, for example, the ages at which the Sahaba got married, and they hear about it from a non Muslim. It creates doubt when you hide the fact that slavery was normally in the Muslim world. And it's a very different form of slavery from what they imagine,

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right? And you just hide this topic completely. And then the year of outing from a different source, it creates doubt in their mind. When when you hide the fact that there were civil wars and civil unrest, and rude looting and pillaging and all of these things in the early generations. Then, when they hear these stories, it creates doubts in their minds about Islam or at least about Sunni Islam.

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So, how do we prevent the doubts? Remember, prevention is better than cure? How do you prevent the doubt? Talk to your children? Teach them history as it was, discuss the difficult topics with them.

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Answer the questions your children will ask you know, Sahaba 40 gender Why? Why do you think this happened? discuss it with you know this, your children may ask, you know, when

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they were slaves in the Muslim world, what does that mean? you're discussing with educate yourself. First, there are many resources out there to educate ourselves and inshallah, I will cover some of these topics in the future, because these are the issues that are creating doubts in the minds of many young people today. So to summarize today's football opponent and we'll close off with this point, inshallah, before we study any topic of history, we need to have the right approach to history. So inshallah next week, we will discuss the incident of Karbala, and hopefully we will approach it from the correct mindset. And we said, there are three problems in how we approach

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history. Number one, we stop at the full version, and we don't go any further. Number two, we hide those facts that are controversial, and we only focus on the nice things that happen. And number three, we are focused on memorization and not on the writing lessons. And I said that some of the problems that come from this extremism, extremism comes from a perfect understanding of of history, your understanding, everybody was perfect before us. It creates unrealistic expectations for yourself. And it blocks us from from role models of repentance, because we all know about the people of the past who sinned and repented. How do we have role models of repentance. And finally, we

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opened the doors of doubting Islam. Because if we hide our history, and the youngsters learn about it from other people, then it can create doubt in their minds about Islam. So to prevent all of this, we need to improve our approach towards history. And we need to make sure that we educate ourselves and the younger generation about the history of Islam. Subhana Rafi is at the mercy foon pasilla anniversary 100 in Africa

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in Alhambra, Lila Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam O Allah, Allah, Allah.

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Allah,

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Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, Mashallah

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with

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it.

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So, over the years, I've developed a very simple approach towards teaching history, and inshallah, I'm going to apply that approach to next week's football Karbala, as well as any future goodbyes that I speak about history. And that approach is to is 14, there's four things you need to keep in mind before studying history. Number one, is that we must be honest about the facts. If something happened, it happened. Don't try to change history. Don't try to, you know, do to ignore history. Don't try to hide your history, accept it as it was. Right? Number two. Understand that when you're studying history, you're studying the lives of human beings. So this is the point that gets lost on

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many of us. Many of us have this idea, only studying history. Well, these are the only these are the role models of how to be a good Muslim. That's not really true. I'll be beyond the Sahaba

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I after the sahabas time onwards, these are human beings, right? It's about we're also human beings.

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Allah gave him a special status, right? But especially with the younger generation of Sahaba onwards, the dobbyn onwards, human beings been tested by Allah. Sometimes they pass the test. Sometimes they fail the test. Sometimes they fall into temptation. Sometimes they overcame the patient. Some committed, Mohsen. Some commented, more good deeds. Yes, we have pious people like personal mastery and Omar Abdulaziz. But we also had soon as entitlements as well. So when you understand that history is human, you have more reasonable expectations about history. And that's point number three, study history with reasonable expectations. expect to hear about what am I

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expect to hear about the glory the glory days of Islam, expect to hear about you know, the the Olia but also expect to hear the other side of history as well expect to hear that there was civil unrest, he was looting, there was violence, there was

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political intrigue, there was coups, they were murders, they will all of these things they happen. This happens in every empire that happens in every nation. Why? Because people are human beings. Now, the way I like to put it is put yourself in their shoes. Imagine if you were born in a royal family, in the height of the Muslim glory 700 years ago, would you automatically be pious? Would that automatically just make you a pious person? When you have access to all of the wealth in the world and all of the power in the world? Would you automatically be a pious person? No, I actually think it will be harder to be pious in that situation than our current situation. Right? And when

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you understand that humanity and your they have realistic expectations. Now when you study the historical stories, they make more sense. Right? You understand, okay? They committed suicide. They did good deeds as well. You know, and this gives you better hope for yourself to hold on. People of the past who receive Rahim Allah, Allah have mercy on him, that we hope Allah has forgiven him. You have done a lot worse things that we have done. And Allah can forgive them in sha Allah can forgive me and they can make Toba issue I can make Toba and this gives us more realistic realistic expectations for ourself as well. And the final point, when studying history is to focus on what

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lessons can I derive from it? For any story you study in history, ask yourself, what can I learn from this? How can I take this and make myself a better person? If you learn about somebody of the past, a crime or the person asked you yourself, how can I avoid committing the same crime? If you learn about somebody of the past who did some great good deeds? Ask yourself How can I emulate the good deeds, focus on how you can take something from their life and apply it to your own lives? This will create a lot more benefit in how we study history. inshallah, next week, when we discuss Karbala, I will discuss it with these four things in mind. Number one, keep in mind that these are

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human beings, we will be talking about the descendants of a phonological loop baby like for saying rhodiola?

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Who, upon his parents, and upon his entire family? We'll be talking about him. Are we talking about the other side? Yes, he and his family understand you're talking about human beings. So have reasonable expectations and how they deal with civil unrest. Don't expect superheroes don't expect legendary stories. Don't expect God nice things. Right? So understand the human being have reasonable expectations. And number three, I'm going to be very honest about what happened. I'm going to give the honest perspective based on the Sunni history books, so that we understand what happened because in our community, they a lot of Legends being thrown around about what happened.

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And legends on both sides. There's one side that glorifies eat, and the other side, that 3g machine, we're going to go for this for the facts and the facts like very squarely in the middle slightly towards the sinful side, right. But we want to go for the facts. We want to demonize someone but we don't want to glorify the person either. We want to look at the facts and be honest when discussing history. And number four, we focus on lessons we focus on what can we learn from the instance of Karbala, that can affect our lives? What can we take from it and apply it to our own lives? And I think that is what is most important and most relevant to us. So inshallah we'll discuss that next

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week. Now last month to allow us to understand our history properly, to be proud to be Muslim to be able to derive lessons from anything that happens anywhere in the world, and to make us from the people of the Quran, and to make us for the people of Iran. Probably not enough to fulfill after you and your husband are working as a banaban Allah he's now in the center of Robin.

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Robin, who have been

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working on our hub Dr. Madonna consumed alchemy Kathleen shuba. Hannah Robin is at the MRC foon wasallam hamdulillahi Rabbil aalameen