Podcast Difficult Questions about History

Ismail Kamdar

Channel: Ismail Kamdar

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All right, so mid, low better character. What's up guys? Saracen sound episode two. This time I have a very special guest I found on Twitter, I'm pretty sure that a lot of you guys know him as well. He's the he's an author and specialist in the CNN history. He's a research manager at European institutes and founder of Islamic self help.

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This is brothers, Malcolm DAR. Welcome, brother. How are you? Sir? I'm Malika on the line. Well, how are you? I'm great. So tell us. Tell us a bit about your about your background. What made you want to teach Islam Islamic history?

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So Hamdulillah I think my whole life has been Islamic Studies. Right? So

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my father was murdered when I was eight years old, raised by a single mom, very pious, single mom, Abdullah. And she was wanted me to study Islam. So at the age of 13, I went full time into Islam extents. And I graduated from Ali Ali media program at the age of 20. And then I did a bachelor's degree in Islamic studies as well. So this has been my whole life. I started doing Dawa, when I was 14, I wrote my first book when I was 22. My first football when I was like 16. So my whole life has just been Islamic studies that have the law. But it's been a journey, because like, I did my Alinea program with Deobandi Obama, and I did my bachelor's degree with some of the older Ma. And I'm

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neither now because when you study across a variety of groups, you you tend to not get boxed into one group, right? Because

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so I purposely chose to study with actually study, we almost pull up my phone almost every month, across the past 20 years.

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Right? Yeah, it seems that you've, you've bounced around quite a bit. And you there's something very common, actually, that I noticed within those who actually produced many great work is that they never actually stayed with one group their entire lives, you know, many people have this, this misconception that, you know, you have to specialize and, and, you know, really just dig your way for, I guess, 2030 years on in one same place, which, you know, inadvertently places you in this bubble. But you know, you've actually experienced firsthand what, you know, all these different what the different schools of thought and what different people are like when it comes to the study of

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Islam.

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Yeah, that's true. So like I've been to, I've been like, I think every possible group that I spent a year at university studying with the modernists, liberal types.

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Yeah, they failed me because the green with them. And then I have literally went and attended Sufi holla cards and the speaker sessions. I've sat with some Shaolin Monastery over there to say, Oh, yeah. And just just to see, okay, because I went through a phase where, like, in my late teens, I reached a phase where I was convinced Islam was the truth. But I wasn't sure which version of Yes, yes, I've actually started everyone. I didn't start with the jihadi Salafi. So you know, I've sat with the likes of Abdullah Al Faisal a community, I've actually sat with him and had a one on one conversation with the bad people. So I've been with every group and said, seeing the good and bad

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data, I think it helped shape my understanding of Islam.

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Yes, very good. Um, you know, all the way that most of you know, the people I've spoken to who know you, they know you through your Islamic history course, which is, by the way, everyone watching very amazing course, I think should go and get it, I'm going to link it in the description. So really, it's you go into really just the right amount of detail. And you know, the way your approach your actual teaching approaches, you know, even your setting aside the how great the actual content is, you know, you don't, but you don't bother everyone, with all in you know, model everything with dates and names, and you know, the different events. And actually, you would do you don't follow

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this extremely strict timeline. But rather you take the approach and you're telling you as you're telling a story to really as if you're telling the story to a group of growing children who need to learn their own history, which I think is, is really the situation that a lot of us are in, you know, there's a saying that our you know, He who doesn't learn history will forever remain a child. Instead, I think that's the way most of us are in the situation that most of us are in now. You know, we're in this perpetual state of childhood where, you know, we're, we're no, we're rattling off about different political matters different stuff, like we already had, we reorganize that we do

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this. We know they don't know extremely basic things about our history, which really can prove detrimental as they go on. And these are, you know, full grown adults that are that are falling prey to this, you know, guys in their 30s and 40s. So, tell me, oh, okay, can you get into it? Or can you get a bit into your philosophy, your approach to studying and teaching history?

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Okay, I think I need to go back with this. So, history has always been a passion of mine, like one of my earliest memories of reading, was reading books about the Sierra when I was six years old. That's like my first memory of actually having a book. What was the Sierra book and reading the life of the Sahaba as a child, so even when I was a teenager, one of the things that frustrated me about the Alameda program is they don't teach history.

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It was the way they taught history.

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We're so weak that actually had by teachers would actually ask me like class like who just happy with this with this hobby that that because even the age of 1414, I was no like the only person who knew all the Sahaba stories. So history was always a passion of mine, I loved history. And

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what irritated me was it was either not taught, or restricted to one face are taught in the most boring way possible, right? You know, you have the exam, and it's just on what date does this person die, list the names of the people who died in that battle. And, you know, it's like things that's not going to affect your life. So a few years ago, I was the Islamic history teacher at the, at the University IOU doctor for the university. And I found that the students really enjoyed my approach to history. And I think I taught history there for about five years, and Hamdulillah, the method that people really enjoyed. And since I left, like,

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I want to do something like what I was teaching in the university, but for the masses. And along the way, I wrote my book on Omar Abdulaziz, right. And the introduction chapter of that book is actually my philosophy of history. So often I tell people to just buy the book Introduction, because it's the introduction itself, just it's, it changes your entire approach to history, I like basically spelled out my entire philosophy of history in the introduction chapter of that book. And based on that chapter is entire course came about this course actually came about during the lockdown. You know, we all had a lot of time, our hands a lot. So I would just sit in front of my computer and record

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videos. And honestly, I spent 10 months recording this course thinking about 10 or 20, people end up watching it, that was what was in my head, recording this course, maybe 10 or 20, people are going to watch it, these people benefit.

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I put this out less than a year ago and right now over 700 people have have joined. So

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I think this is baraka from Allah subhanaw taala, I will never cross my mind as many people will join up. So the philosophy itself is I bring it down to three main points. Number one, you must be honest, history. I feel like we sugarcoat things too much we create this, this fantasy picture of odia. You know, like, everyone's just ODR to World War One. And that sets up everybody for failure. Because what happens the kid growing up thinking that everyone was only everyone was pious, everything was perfect. A lot of them actually end up doubting Islam, and they come across stories from the earliest history, it literally breaks in my teaching and university students told me that

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what I was teaching them was traumatizing. They, they were expecting all happy stories. And when we came to things like Karbala, and you know, what have what have to go get Ebola, the name now that the next event that happened, you know, when judgment Medina, Medina, even before that dinner, where the RBZ was raping woman and stuff that you're talking about that event, but we're not agile teachers and university automation to a Muslim woman, they were traumatized. They like, how can it happen in the era of the Dow being like, yeah, and no one prepares you psychologically, to deal with these aspects of Yeah, and then I was discussing this with my brother in law, actually, a few days

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ago, there was another event, you know, many hundreds of years later, how, you know, time and time or lane, and he who was a, who was a Sunni Muslim, and he went to war with Basie. And in a lot of people, they can't, they can't really, you know, handle like the shock of knowing that one Muslim leader literally held captive, another Muslim leader in a big palanquin cage from the roof, and basically had him as his own prisoner. Like, this is completely insane to people who grew up with this fantasy like, you know, study of Islam, where it's like, every Muslim leader where they were, you know, they're all friends and you know, they never had conflict with so everyone was only

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against the Safari, for example, it just completely on so one of the things that really helped me was when I was studying at university. In the first lecture, our teacher told us don't call this Islamic history calling Muslim history. He said, Because Islamic means we learning Islam.

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And we learn Islam from the lives of the prophets and the philosopher Rashi. Whatever happens after that is normal people, you know, they they had the test from Allah, they could be good, they could be righteous, it could be anything in between, they could be good at some point in their life and, and sinful the other points in their life, they could, they could pass some tests of life, a few other tests of life.

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So we have to approach history, understanding that these are normal people like us, put into very difficult situations, and

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they're not always going to make the right choice. Sometimes they're going to make very wrong choices. But they were muslims at the end of the day, so we don't curse them, even if they did some really bad things. And we have to be brutally honest. We have to accept that this is not where we take our religion from is really important because a lot of modernists take the early trip of history, you know, like they'll say that oh, a certain kind.

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have had a boyfriend. So homosexuality is fine. It doesn't work like that. You have a certain caliber Jack, alcoholism doesn't make alcohol fine, right? So you can't take Islam from history, you have to separate the two.

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And the third thing that I always focus on with history is you cannot judge history by modern culture. A lot of things we take for granted today are just modern culture. Like the age of people getting married, or the fact that there's no slavery in the world. There's no expansion of empires, this is a very recent phenomena less than 100 years old. So you can't judge all of history by by things that only happened in less than 100 years. You know, it's it's unfair to the people who live before that to judge them by my watch normally in our times. Yeah, it's completely insane. You know, that one of the biggest debates about that was last last time when No, You know, between you know,

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Muslim and non Muslim people, you know, the people discussed history was this whole issue of you know, was your warlords was he was waging these you know, unjust wars against people and now it's like how historically illiterate do you have to be to not realize that war was literally that was literally the political language of the time where you know, it's like it's you're basically telling them oh, you know, you Muslims should have just stayed put and allowed the Byzantines in Persians to swallow your whole once they realized that they were formidable power, the way the way I put it is, I tell them that the way the world was until World War One was conquered or be conquered exam that

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was the way of the world. So if there was no jihadi problem, if there was no jihad, offensive, jihad, Muslims would have been annihilated, they would have been wiped out.

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At the most or, you know, the, perhaps the best thing that could have happened if there was no Jihad at all, would have been that the Persians or the Romans absorbed the Muslim world. And they became like, watered down, Muslims were like, kind of more inclined to do the rulers, right, because everyone follows the rulers. But, you know, Allah subhanaw taala is divine wisdom, knowing the way of the world and knowing what's best for the Ummah, he made the first generation of Muslims, the likes of Khalid, Walid and Aboriginal

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people who were able to face the Roman Empire and face the assassinate Empire, and take over their lands. And that was actually the best thing to happen to those lands historically. If we look at even for the non Muslims in the in those lands, it was in their favor that Muslims became their rulers. Absolutely, you know, they'll look back at leaders like that, or even, you know, the, the first few, in the Ottoman Sultans, and you know, they'll go describe an absolute horror, you know, how harsh they were. And you have to realize like that, those times were so tumultuous and unstable, that you require that kind of harshness to keep everyone together. It was, you know, you had, for

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example, the very first Ottomans, you know, it's like you had the the Crusaders from one end and the, the Mongols from the other, you know, what are you going to do you have, you have to do just have to be like that. And

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our people these days, you know, a lot of people who, who, who criticize Western politicians historically, are people who live very comfortable, soft lives today. Exactly, we have no idea what it's like to be in a situation where you have to choose between murdering your brother, or allowing 1000 other people to be murdered. We have never been in a situation like that. And may Allah protect us being in it. But these are actual cases that people in the past have had to face like, you know, do I kill my brother? Or do I allow him to call the Civil War? You know, do I?

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Do I, you know, burn down an entire city or do I, you know, let them invade us overnight and kill us. You know, these are situations that are beyond our imagination, but historically, these are things leaders had to face in the past. And they say you can't clean a pigsty without getting your hands dirty. And true. Politics is the dirtiest dirtiest game in the world.

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When you get involved in politics, you can't do it without getting your hands dirty, reminds me offer. Abdul Malik giving Marwan the famous Viet Calif he was moved in Medina, a very righteous booty in Medina. And when he heard that his father died, and it's his turn to be the Caliph, he closed the Quran. And he said, I don't think I'm gonna get transferred to you again. And he just transformed overnight from an ally to an ally

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that he went from one of the old Mr. Medina to somebody waging war against Abdullah in Serbia. And when you look at it, his war against Abdullah even debate it certified the Ummah under one ruler, he invented the first Muslim coins, the first Muslim flag, he made Arabic official language, he actually turned the digital world into an empire by the same time he did some bad things to get. So it's it's very it's very complex. You can't just take you know, you can't just put people into boxes of black and white good and evil.

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Yeah, this leads to my next question about you know, the whole issue of Caliphate succession and you know, I remember you mentioned this during your course you know, the, you know, that there there was a hadith or maybe multiple Hadith that there were the Prophet size and then said that the the

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as his successor had to be from the tribe of Quraysh, or had to be an Arab, and you know, a lot of people took this very literally no, I had this discussion with somebody quite recently where they said, you know, the, for example, the Ottoman caliphate wasn't really a caliphate because they weren't Arab, for example, you know, they were just Muslim rulers, they don't really count. And that seems very strange to me. And it's like, if you look at it in a modern context, obviously, we don't have any existing caliphates today. And if we do in the future, we have no guarantee that they won't be controlled or puppeteer, the same way dictatorships today are, you know, may Allah protect us

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from that. But, you know, you get into that, and you and you realize it's not that clear cuts, you know, for example, there's a lot of a lot of the monarchies in the Middle East today, where their families claimed descendants from, you know, the original tribes that prophets a lesson on which, you know, you just know, I don't think there's any way to, you know, to see if that's authentic or not, that seems way too convenient to me. But, you know, in the future, you know, is this something that we should really count on, as you know, maybe perhaps, you know, the next big ruler of the Muslims is going to be from that be of that lineage? Or should we? Or should we depend more on the

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fact that whoever comes up in the future will come about because of, say, the mandate to rule that they will earn through, you know, force or whichever which way?

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Yeah, so the Hadith itself, which states that the ruler must be from the Quraysh, there has historically been two interpretations of the studies, right. There are those who took it very literally. And you notice with almost any Hadith, right, you have those who take it literally and politically, contextually and, and generally of the camp that I look at these contextual, right, I think it's more than that, I tend to be more annoyed my approach, or at least. So my understanding of this, and this is understanding of many, many all of our throughout history, is that at that point in time, the Arabs were a very tribal society. And they would not have obeyed anyone who has

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an operation, right. At the death of Rasulullah Salallahu Salam, they were choosing between one of the answer and one of the Qureshi, the next caliph, and they went to the college based of the studies. And the answer become the holy vials righteous as they were, the average Arab tribe, because of this experiment followed, simply because of the tribalism that had not been killed off yet in their hearts. And so this this was a contextual statement for the time based on the realities of the political world at that time. It wasn't meant to be divine instruction to be followed to the end of time, rather the same prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam told us as He also said, obey your

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caliph, even if these are African, alright, even if

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he didn't say Qureshi in Addis. He said, wherever your calories will be. Right? And he said African specifically because again, that community was a bit racist. So so he gave him the example that will make him realize, listen, get rid of your racism, whoever your caliph is, you obey, right. And so, that brings us to the to the Ottoman Empire and the Ottomans did not initially call themselves camps. When the Ottomans first came about they were shorthanded and devout groups had the caliphate

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or rather the mob looks at the caliphate through a puppet Abbas it was

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and it was only 200 or 300 years later, when the Ottoman tallow Salim the groom, or Sudan Salim the ground, defeated the Mamluks and took over Makkah Medina and Jerusalem the holy lands, he was only at that point that that he claimed to be the collector Khalifa.

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Right. And that for me that that shows historically, that people looked at the Khalifa as the people who control the holy lands.

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Right, because as long as the Ottoman Empire was everywhere else besides the Holy Land, they were looked upon as the Sudan it's like the like the Blue House and the daily peaceful Donna, then everybody else even even believers, is always throughout history, the Khalifa always controlled with the three columns,

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as we call them today. So the Khalifa in the future can can remind you can be anybody. And my analysis of history is that this firstly, I believe, history always repeats itself, we go through cycles. So we had the rise of the Arab Muslim empire, the creation was a magnifier. And that lasted 600 years, and it collapsed. Then there was like 100 years of instability. Then we had the rise of the Turkish Muslim empire that lasted for 600 years, and it collapsed. And now we are in the middle of 100 years of political instability. If history repeats itself, a third caliphate should come about during our lifetime. And you can come from a different part of the world altogether. I don't

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know that of Allah. Yeah, it's all it's all fair game. And now I want to ask you a couple of questions about the Ottomans, which I think for most people who study Islamic history, they find the Ottoman period most fascinating to them.

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You know, they're obviously incredible military history, which at one point was one of the greatest

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Pretty much the greatest superpower of the East, you know, they ruled vast swaths of you know, southern and central Europe. You know, they they devalued the arts and Icelandic culture and all this. But so at some point after Saddam had the magnificence reign, the Empire began to slow with devastating decline. Personally, I think the the client started the very minute he married him. But you know, I appreciate your own views on that. And one of the main one of the main culprits I think this was the most significant was the rejection of the printing press. I'm not sure if you read the I think the main article that pops up, I think it's the Muslim matters article about the printing

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press that came out. Yeah. And, you know, we know how catastrophic that was, in retrospect, but, you know, I wanted to ask you, like, what are your thoughts on the Why do you think it was rejected in the first place? Because it just seems completely absurd? You know, I've heard that it was some of the different scholars at the time, or that there were different parties or factions who just hated it. You know, I heard that the calligraphers at the time, who we know pretty much had a whole monopoly on the writing of books just hated the printing press, because, you know, pretty much destroyed their business. But tell me, what do you think?

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Okay, there's so many angles to analyze this from, but just just to give the listeners a quantity. So what happened was, the Muslims were the global superpower for a long period of time. And they always were technologically ahead of the rest of the world. Until, you know, the one point where it seems to change is when, when the West invented the printing press, because at that point, the Muslim world did not get did not adapt the printing press until 200 years later. And during those 200 years, the Europeans printed, you know, I don't even know what number of books, right? Like, they began to mass produce knowledge in a way that could not be done by hand. And the Renaissance

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took place, and all of this took place, and the whole European world completely changed. And after that, from that point onwards, the rest of Ottoman history, they are playing catch up with Europe. And the and they could never catch up. I mean, honestly, I think if they won World War One, they would have caught up because they were able to love a revival at that time. But it was called the rollout that was the last World War One. But really, this is the beginning of the downfall. So what happens

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is, again, many theories. But just to put in context of what we see in the Muslim world today, we do have amongst some segments of the most in the world today, people who are averse to technologies to new technologies. And whenever a new technology is invented, they declare it

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right.

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during my lifetime, I have seen it. So actually, when I was a child, I remember everybody said video Sahara.

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And the same Allama, who used to say videos around have their own TV show. So they have lectures on TV. And we are playing catch up when it comes to media, because for 50 years, we debated whether TV is haram, instead of starting our own TV studios from day one is the same with the radio. Same with the Internet. Whenever new technology is invented, we spend 50 to 100 years arguing over whether it's haram or not and before behind. Yeah, absolutely. And also, there was a brother recently passed away, Brother Mohammed Sharif, he was the founder of a motor Institute. Yes, yes, I had no idea who this guy was. But you know, I saw yesterday's video video where I you know, gave a hotter and talks

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a lot about who he was. And when I saw that, you know, it was pretty much exactly this, you know, he was somebody who studied in Medina, and he had this vision that, you know, there was a way to modernize, you know, the education of Islam. And you know, bring it over to the west. And you know, there was so much criticism and pushback from it. And you know, those exact people that criticize them are pretty much doing the same exact things now that he was teaching their students exactly so you know it because you were like probably two or three years old when he started right so that's what you don't realize what what what is the world was like back then. But honestly, most of what we

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see today for educational methods in the West like how we talk, how we design our programs, the way we use technology, he was the first guy and he faced a lot of criticism right now we take it for granted 20 years later but somebody but but he was the first one to do have the mela accepted from him actually had intention to have to fly up to Dubai and meeting later this year because we had never met in person like I literally was with one of his friends in Istanbul three weeks ago and he was telling me about you know the journey the two of them had together like two months ago and I told him you know, I haven't met him you need to go to Dubai and he said inshallah school later this

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year.

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Scholar Allah,

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Allah have mercy on him

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on me, but you know, this is again, you go back there and you were voices like that at that time. But what what happened with the Ottoman Empire people aren't aware of this, but the Ottoman Empire in the late two years, HD had actually became illegal.

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Right? It was actually illegal to do HDR to to the level that if you study the last 100 years

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As of the Ottoman Empire, they were actually secret societies.

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And if they were found out, they would be arrested and sent to jail.

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So it at that point the OMA has hit a level of stagnation acknowledge where it was just blindly following, like just complete following like, you cannot come up with a new idea at all, like the OMA had completely stagnated intellectually. Now, what led to that there are many theories. I think it's a many, many different events. It's just the fact that the Ummah was over 1000 years old. And nothing said nobody says a talk forever, right? Everyone goes through the decline period. It took longer for Muslims or anybody else, Allahu Taala kind of empires. But eventually the decline happened and the intellectual decline, I really believe it was linked to closing the doors of HDR,

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and right to today, we have these arguments. So for example, I live in a community of village strict candidates who believe that if the laws which they had are so close, and they are unable to deal with contemporary issues, because they are not trained in each jihad, they declare everything you are haram. They don't know how to handle modern technology. And he had not only is it is it, something that's important, in our time is necessary, because new things are invented every day. New circumstances are invented every day. How do we, how do we make fatwas for something completely new that never existed? 50 years ago, if we don't have a choice amongst us? Yeah, this is this, this is

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really what happened with the Ottoman Empire. And we still seeing the ripple effects of that today.

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Yeah, and and this, my next question about the Ottomans, actually has to do a lot more with the military aspect of the the Janissaries. You know, for most of the rule, there were, you know, there were a warrior slave class of some of the most brutal elite soldiers ever seen at the time, you know, we know of our of their prowess or ourselves, and you know, how just how effective they were, but you know, even if, when you read the Christian historians of the time, and you know, they write an absolute horror, what it was like to see the Janissaries poring over the walls of Constantinople, you know, when the second conquered it, and you really, they really, were the most elite,

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efficient band of words at the time, and one of the most exemplary, you know, examples of warrior culture in Islamic history. But then, you know, you zoom ahead, like 300 400 years later, and they turn into this slovenly silliness, like political class of elites, who, that who maintain their positions, not through their masculine virtue and battle, but through their pensions, and through, you know, their their political influence. And, you know, I'm sure we all know about the, you know, the Janissary revolts are and, you know, when, when the Fed, the Fed tried to cut off their pensions, and you know, when they were when they were overthrowing Lily, oh, literally overthrowing

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the fed the Fed saying you're the fed the Fed standing up, put his cousin or his nephew there instead. Yeah. So I wanted to ask about that as well, you know, how is it such a decline happened, what made them so inferior and useless later when they were this magnificent force just a few 100 years prior? So I think one of the things that we can learn from this, we must recognize on this is that every idea has a lifecycle. Right? Anything that's a good idea at one point in time becomes outdated. And at that point in time. And what happened with the, with the Janissaries, is that it was a good idea in the beginning. But, you know, I think around the time of Soleimani, back, the

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person desperately should have ended it, that's what you okay, we don't need janissaries anymore, let's come up with a new system. But I think they stuck with the system for too long, until it was completely outdated. You know, it reached a point where,

00:28:41--> 00:29:24

like, I mean, when a genocide is first started, and for those who don't know who the Janissaries were, so basically what the early Ottomans would do is they would take boys for Christian colleges as slaves and raise them in the Ottoman palaces as the as Muslims. And these slave Muslims would be 100% loyal to the artists, they had no other coins. They had no tribal loyalties. They had no family loyalties. All they know is the ultimate palace and and this lifestyle didn't raise it. So this was the army, there was like 100% loyal to its owner. Right. And at that time, that was a revolutionary idea. Because the main cause of empires breaking around that point in history, was the fact that

00:29:24--> 00:29:29

everybody had their own political aspirations. Everybody had their own

00:29:30--> 00:29:59

allegiances and tribal allegiances. So you'd have like, like, if if you hired an army, and that army was like a different tribal race, they may try to overthrow you so they could be out. So the ultimate idea was, don't put all of the society we raising our army for but but these guys are trained for one purpose only, and that's to serve the kid. And so they were the most loyal of armies. They were the most powerful of armies at that time. I mean, prior to today, the Janissaries are known historically as

00:30:00--> 00:30:11

As this amazing AMI, like when I played the video game civilization, I like to use the magnificence because he's Janissary corpse in that game I like Opie like, oh, yeah,

00:30:12--> 00:30:15

they did watch into a city that cities it's over. Yeah.

00:30:17--> 00:30:18

And because

00:30:19--> 00:30:54

they have go on because that's how they will write did they didn't historically yes how the way it's the same Age of Empires when you use the Turks and you have your your Genesis gensini corpse they were like way overpowered. But now you fast forward a few 100 years, and many things that happen number one are the Janissaries are have a very luxurious lifestyle. And you know, this is a point I mentioned a lot that, you know, sometimes great software, I mentioned this throughout history, this happens with the Janissaries later on as well that they get too comfortable in their positions, and they start taking it for granted. And as you say they become lazy. But there's also another thing

00:30:54--> 00:31:19

that happens. The the Western world at that point, had come up with new ideas for armies, the idea of of paid soldiers of a of a trained military, you know, like nowadays, we take it for granted that every country has this military, like, you can go and have a career in the military and you can apply for a job tip to salary. But this was a very recent thing history started.

00:31:20--> 00:31:38

Yeah, for the bulk of history, military were made up of like, you know, again, every country was different. But for some countries, you will literally be like if a city is under attack all the men that go and fight, right? Or you hire a gang of mercenaries. So this is what he has he used to. He used to hire gangs of mercenaries. That's why his army was so barbaric.

00:31:39--> 00:31:47

You know, and and it wasn't until like, maybe 400 or 500 years ago, that Europe really developed a very

00:31:50--> 00:31:50

What's the word for

00:31:51--> 00:32:29

the develop the army was very motivated, financial, and at the same time, very disciplined. And they attracted a lot of strong individuals into the military system. And their military system that the European countries had developed at that time, was superior to the Janissary. system. So the ultimate, instead of saying, okay, a new system has been invented, that's better, that's adapted Islam. Is it? Like, no, this is what we've been doing forever. This is what we want to keep doing? Double Down. Right? Exactly. And that led to modern aliens that were problems, it led to 100 years of civil war, by the time they came up with idea, okay, let's give them the chance records to have a

00:32:29--> 00:32:31

paid army, the 200 years behind,

00:32:33--> 00:33:07

and then catch up with the rest of the world. Yeah, in every part of the Ottoman Empire, whether we talking about the printing press, or the army, or the Islamic studies of whatever it is, you'll see, the same story happens in every part of the Ottoman Empire. Yeah, I knew this thing you mentioned earlier about how you know that there were slaves who are detached from really any any semblance of, let's say, a family or, or their former religion and such, this was something I actually realized quite a few days ago, when I was thinking about this exact thing, which is, you know, when you take a child out of that environment, you know, they're not, they're not, they're not growing up in a

00:33:07--> 00:33:41

loving family home with a mother and a father was working, where they can they get to witness this normal life. And, you know, it's not like today where, you know, a kid has a rapid regular life and says, you know, I'm going to join the military, and it becomes like a jobs program, you know, for the, for the Janissaries. You know, this might be an extreme comparison. But you know, you there's a, there's something that happens when you take a child out of there, and I'm kind of getting to the psychology of it, is that you remove any semblance of not just different loyalties, but any semblance of restraint. You know, there's, there's a certain mercy that you develop, when you grew

00:33:41--> 00:34:07

up in a loving home, that's like, you know, I'm going to follow orders, but I'm not going to go as far as that far, you know, I'm not going to do the unimaginable. But the Janissaries were able to do the unimaginable, because they didn't, they no longer remember what it was like to live normally, their entire lives, if I can use like a pop culture analogy, or a good idea for beauty, culture analogies, but like, the way I look at it, it's like Superman, if you look at general salt,

00:34:08--> 00:34:42

like they were raised from birth, to do to be military dividuals. And you know, when you watch the movie, generals, all he's like, I don't know how to do anything else. All I know, is fighting for my people and defending my people even massacre the entire country. That's what I was raised to do. You know that he says this. And when you think about it, the Janissaries had a very similar upbringing, from the time that the child then raised for one purpose only that this is your empire to fight for them to die for gaming to whatever it is putting these they don't know any other life. I mean, it's sad, but it is what it is historically worked at a time. Yeah, I also read the, you know, they

00:34:42--> 00:34:59

weren't even allowed to have hobbies growing up, you know, they'd see if a child was playing with a toilet slipped out of his hands like no, you know, your only purpose is to sorts. It when you talk about things like this historically, we're not saying it's Islamic. We're not saying it's right. We're just saying, historically, this is what

00:35:00--> 00:35:05

happened and for the time worked? Exactly. So whether it's right or wrong, there was a discussion for the whole amount of that time.

00:35:07--> 00:35:10

Yeah, that leads that leads into a whole discussion that's beyond the scope of this.

00:35:11--> 00:35:42

You know, this talk of, you know, what, what, what makes a good soldier and how you can you can reorganize the military, in the modern world with what exists today to actually have that kind of discipline. But you know, that's, that's far beyond what we need to talk about, you know, and one of my favorite, no, my next question will be my favorite part of your approach to, you know, to teaching history is your absolute refusal. And you mentioned this, you know, refusal to gloss away from the distasteful bits of our history. And among those is, you know, the issue of slavery, you know, just as a case for the majority of human history, that people have to criticize the Muslims

00:35:42--> 00:36:08

for what they what they did, but you know, pretty much everyone else at the time, the lowest case was not, you know, just the worker who you know, will pay who gave who gave your sheriff's crops was was, was the lord of his house or whatever? No, it was actually much worse. They used to have slaves who had pretty much no autonomy over themselves, or, or their children or, you know, their ability to marry, and so on and so forth. And there's a book I was reading recently called, by Thomas Sol,

00:36:10--> 00:36:45

it was, it was called Black rednecks and white liberals. And he described he just went over the entire history of slavery throughout, not just in the United States, but also in the Muslim world and in Asia. And, you know, he destroyed a lot of misconceptions, but he also went over and, you know, he makes this claim, and I wanted to see whether you agree with that, or whether you disagree, was that the Muslim world did not let go of slavery, which, you know, in comparison, and everyone knows this, slavery in Islamic world was nowhere near as horrific as it was, as the transatlantic slavery was unique in the United States, you know, you know, a few decades before the American Civil

00:36:45--> 00:36:45

War.

00:36:47--> 00:37:15

But, you know, he makes the claim that you know, what, it was only when they were coerced by Western powers that, for example, that the British were threatening the Ottomans and saying, you know, if you if you don't abolish slavery, then we're gonna sink your ships in the Mediterranean. And it was only then that the Ottomans cited. Okay, fine. Well, we'll get rid of instance, extreme, there's, like extremely recent in the late 1800s. So I want to ask you, and your thoughts, your thoughts about that annual extreme shift. And you know, whether it was really bad because, in my view, it seems that, you know, it didn't require what the United States required, you know, this this

00:37:15--> 00:37:45

gigantic war that killed however, however many 1000s of people I think, is almost still to this day, the American American civil wars and all those devastating wars in American history. You know, the Muslim world didn't require that. I mean, I did read a few revolts. But I don't think it was anything that serious. So what are your thoughts on that? Okay, so the first thing I'm gonna do is recommend a book, right? You're slavery and Islam by Dr. Jonathan Brown? Yes, I'm looking Institute. This is the best book I've read on this topic. It's like, I think 500 or 600 pages. And he just goes into, like,

00:37:47--> 00:38:26

all the details to show how different was right. He gives a lot of historical reports of exactly what life was like for slaves in the Western world. I found the book amazing. I love that book. I read it more than once. And I'd recommend it to anyone who's who's struggling with this topic. So let's this topic would be a whole podcast, somebody is trying to get into a few key points, right. I know that the topic of slavery is a very touchy topic for wisdoms, especially in the USA. Right? Because you're growing up in a culture where the heat the slavery history of that country is the worst in human history.

00:38:27--> 00:39:08

And that's the only slavery history going upward. And you assume that the rest of the world was the same. This is a big problem. A lot of youngsters growing up in America, they assume just as slavery in America was. That's what was the word? That's what the Chinese will do. That's what everyone else. And that's not true. Rather, most people across the world at that time, were shocked at how very constricted slaves because that's not how the rest of the world treated. Right, they still saw them as human beings, they still had human rights and cents right? Now, one of the thing that Dr. Brown gets into in the book is that even the word slavery itself, it's very hard to define. So for

00:39:08--> 00:39:18

example, today we see slavery is abolished, right? But in my view, the American prison system where people are working for profit prisons, and the prisons are making money, but the prisoners are not.

00:39:20--> 00:39:44

I mean, it is leaving what's going on in China is slavery, right? Uighur Muslims. I think that's the essentially slaves to see that it doesn't exist today is it's naive. It's not knowing what's going on in the world. What's going on in the world today? What human trafficking is that slavery is now an underground thing where governments have no controls only the worst type of slavery happens.

00:39:46--> 00:39:59

Like in the Muslim world, if people own slaves, and if somebody slept that slave, that slave could go to the judge and the judge would give that word granted freedom. Exactly. You know, you don't have today if someone gets kidnapped and taken as a slave. Who do you go to for help?

00:40:00--> 00:40:36

Yeah, exactly, I just started to throw up also, I forgot where I read this also, but it Muslims, Muslims slavery, it was not only, you know, extremely advanced and progressive, I hate this word, but you don't have to use it here relative to say American slavery, but it was even we treat you know, Muslims at the time treated their slaves much better than surrounding civilizations in the ancient world, you know, I there was, there's gonna be travelers from let's say, Rome or Persia who would come and they would be absolutely shocked how, you know, they they felt the slaves were very arrogant, you know, they would they would go to their master and say, hey, you know, you're giving

00:40:36--> 00:41:10

me too much work or, you know, I don't like this work, you're doing me? And then the master would actually try and negotiate with him. Okay, well, would you prefer to do something else and something like this? So there's a hadith for that. Yeah. The Prophet said, they just leave your brother's, overworking CDM. From what you have when you eat clothing for what you wear. This is a Hadith. And this is and the Muslim students had these two hot yoga. First thing I'll mention is that slavery was a, you know, I like the point that Dr. Brown makes in the book that slavery went away not because of morality, but because of technology. Now, yeah, that whatever slaves used to do in the past, or

00:41:10--> 00:41:16

technology does for us today. And, you know, if this technology did not exist,

00:41:17--> 00:41:20

human beings will making all kinds of excuses on other things.

00:41:22--> 00:41:57

I just had this conversation somewhat earlier today, that a lot of these Westerners who think that slavery is in of itself evil. If they had the chance to enslave Muslims of the Western world, they will suddenly come up with water justification. Absolutely. Yes. I 100% agree with that. Yeah, they will, because they morality is very clumsy changes based on what suits them, right. Yeah. And so they would say something like, oh, we need to enslave them to keep them in your in Liberal household so they can come culture, they can overcome the barbaric nature, you know, it will be doing it for their good they'll come up with some kind of idea. I know quite a few figures too in the in the

00:41:57--> 00:42:35

media, whom I won't name, but I just know those exact types who are foaming at the mouth for that sort of thing. Yeah, exactly. So, I mean, the people who talk on these topics tend to be very hypocritical. And I don't believe that you know, when they say they find immoral, I don't. Because their idea of what's moral and immoral changes every had there to be a world war in the future. And a situation comes with that the truth. Okay, let me let me just take a step back here. Why did Muslims have slaves? When you conquer the city, full of enemies? In those days, you had three choices or fortress, right? Number one, let them go. In which case is going to come back to bite

00:42:35--> 00:42:49

you. Number two, imprison the entire city? Not practical. Right? Number four, number three, execute the entire city? Would you prefer that? Or number four, absorb them into your households as slaves?

00:42:51--> 00:43:25

Yes, we become prisoners of war. We live in your home eat from what you eat away with what you wear. You don't overwork them, and they can buy their freedom. That's the beauty. Forget that slavery, you can pry your feet, you're giving them a chance to essentially try to earn their way back to a decent life. Yeah. And it wasn't just like, you know, like, when American slavery ended, people were left for right and they were left in this very poor conditions. In the Muslim world. Because of this system. People became free when they were financially independent when they had source of income. So they weren't people the people who were becoming free were in for they were actually doing very well

00:43:25--> 00:43:33

in life before they even became free because Islam gave them you know, a way out it was dignified that took them elevated their lives.

00:43:34--> 00:43:58

You know, I had this tweet you know quite a while ago, it got quite a quite a lot of pushback. A lot of people didn't like it. I knew I say this in a bit of a joking manner. I said that you know a concubine and say of the Muslim world have many hundreds of years ago probably enjoyed a better standard of living than the little the so called independent woman who were who works a slave wage job in the city and he lives in a 500 square foot apartments. I don't know.

00:43:59--> 00:44:05

I mean, have you seen this magnificent TV TV series? I have. I have not

00:44:07--> 00:44:08

Oh,

00:44:09--> 00:44:12

are you talking about the arrow magnificent century know that the Turkish

00:44:14--> 00:44:25

vendor was essentially I wouldn't say it's very halal, but it's more about his relationship with his concubines mainly his relationship with I think it's I think it's more of a romance drama. I think a lot of

00:44:26--> 00:44:32

women when you watch that, you see just how spoiled the concubines Yeah, they're basically like,

00:44:34--> 00:44:44

like queens, you know, they had these huge luxurious rooms, the best of clothes, the best of foods, like, you know, like, these were village girls were like living in a palace.

00:44:45--> 00:44:54

Yeah, it's really Subhanallah how that turned out. Okay, my next question. I know this might feel like we're going coming back a bit.

00:44:55--> 00:45:00

You know, we talked a lot about you know how Muslims today are living in this in this horrible Dark Age, which I don't think anyone

00:45:00--> 00:45:25

I can really dispute that. But you know, when you look back in history, the way Europe escaped its dark ages. And you know, I had this debate quite a few times with people who don't buy this argument. And really, it's like, all the evidence is there, you just have to really just have to look for it was Europe was able to escape its dark age, with a lot of help from, you know, scientific and literary literary work from, you know, Islamic empires. And I think we can agree that, you know,

00:45:26--> 00:46:01

you know, I think we're already open over this, but I want to ask you a will we escape it in a similar way? But you know, from the opposite end? And, you know, I had to speculation and I don't think I generated that much discussion over so I wanted to bring it up, will when will we climb out of having borrowed from what the West accomplished in their great Ascendance over the past few 100 years, you know, should we learn from how they were able to come out of their, their horrible times, whereas all that nonsense should slowly, slowly just depend on each other and ourselves in what we can accomplish? Because, in my personal opinion, I think it's worth studying, you know, a lot of the

00:46:01--> 00:46:08

Western canon and figuring out what made them so capable, and how they, how they sadly, were able to destroy and

00:46:09--> 00:46:13

turn us back to back to rubble after so many hundreds of years.

00:46:14--> 00:46:32

And, you know, maybe, perhaps, maybe use some of that, some of that knowledge to actually, you know, in obviously, take what is halal and, you know, leave everything that's haram, and figure out how to configure for our people how to get them back to a decent standard of, you know, not not just a big political standing by just a decent standard of living.

00:46:33--> 00:46:35

Yeah, yeah. So

00:46:36--> 00:47:13

I really don't have an answer for what it's going to take for us to get back on top. But I will say this much every civilization that is formed is built upon the backs of the civilizations that came before it. No, you can't divorce yourself entirely from from that, from that history. Right. Like, even in western civilization absorbed a lot of the political and cultural elements of the present to them and Persian empires, for sure. It wasn't like, it didn't just come up in a vacuum. Like when they conquered the Roman lands. They learned from the Romans, you know, how do you administer a country? How do you collect taxes? You know, how do you have a postal system? How do you have a

00:47:13--> 00:47:52

navy, they learned all this and they absorbed it, even though this was Roman knowledge. And this is how the Roman Empire existed. And this is something we're going to have to do is figure out from the countries that have risen up in the past 200 years. What's the good that we can take from them? And what's the evil we need to ignore? So they didn't they weren't? They are definitely things they've done that that that the Muslim world needs to replicate. For example, advancements in technology, right? I'm not whenever people ask me about Muslim countries, and you know, they say this country's to garden or, or they say, like, more than can be in something good or bad. Like if you're saying a

00:47:52--> 00:48:07

Muslim country has beautiful tall buildings, and it has great technology and great transportation systems. And I'm all for modernity when it comes to all of that. But if you're using modernity means it has feminism and it has liberalism, and it has homosexuality and

00:48:08--> 00:48:29

so this word modernity, give me two different things, right? We need modernity in terms of technology, and in terms of transportation systems and military and in all those areas. The Muslim world has to modernize to catch up and overtake the rest of the world. It's necessary. Right? And this is really, you know, what probably

00:48:30--> 00:48:42

the biggest challenge for the Muslim world today is trying to figure out which aspects of identity we are allowed to take everything the Muslim will flip flopping on the site. A good example is what's happening in Saudi at the moment, where they went from one extreme to the other.

00:48:44--> 00:49:12

To find that middle part okay, this is halal modernity. Let's take it this is haram, modernity, let's abandon it. People don't seem to be doing that and why the people just seem to take an extreme desire all horrible. Yeah, there's no such thing as as the you know, no, like middle path. There's no nuance. There's no nuance in how we handle things. And for any culture, or in the world, you can take good for me. I mean, you can learn environmentalism from the West, that's a good thing to adapt from the right.

00:49:13--> 00:49:16

You can learn I know from the Western world

00:49:18--> 00:49:53

you know, how to run a modern economy efficiently. Right, you can learn these things, and then adapt it into an Islamic worldview by like, for example, removing the rebar from the system and replacing it with something else. So you can take good from them and I think that's going to be necessary for the Ummah moving forward. Now, here's the thing. We we are at a point in history, I don't believe we are at the darkest point in history. I don't. I think there was 50 years ago, right from World War One till about 50 years ago. I think that was the dark because it was still history. If you compare the Muslim world today, 250 years ago, there are more Muslims in the world. There are more

00:49:53--> 00:50:00

practicing Muslims in the world. Islamic knowledge is more freely available is a revival of Islamic knowledge that more Islamic organized

00:50:00--> 00:50:09

as Asian for Islamic Institute, there are more Muslim countries doing well financially. The more Muslim countries that have good infrastructure and good transportation systems,

00:50:10--> 00:50:15

the OMA it has a lot of good recovery the past 15 years, this is the reality.

00:50:16--> 00:50:30

You know, like my grandmother told me when she was younger levels, you know, she passed away last year. She told me when she was young, you wouldn't find any Muslim woman who wore hijab. And she told me, we didn't even know it until you were 30. That gambling was.

00:50:31--> 00:50:32

Yeah.

00:50:33--> 00:51:08

Yeah, I know, I know, from experiences as well, you know, my mother's son, the mother, my mother's from Syria. And she told me that when she was when she was growing up when she was a teenager, you know, girls schools didn't allow them to wear the hijab. Yeah, yeah. And you're changing for the better things are changing, and we have to see the positive. And make sure that for the positive because we're in Chicago, because even if you agree to Allah will give you more. So we are grateful for all the good that happened in the past 50 years. Allah will give us more. Now what I'm seeing happening is a revival in terms of revival in terms of practicing Islam revival in terms of number

00:51:08--> 00:51:41

of Muslims, to such an extent that even non Muslims are seen by 2050. who shouldn't be the majority of people on Earth. Right. Because wisdoms are growing in number. The only thing missing, the only thing missing and this is one of the perhaps the most important thing, right, we're just probably come last. Is it political revival. That's what's missing. Yeah. You see, I think there's a reason for that, you know, you can't get a political revival unless you work on all the other things beforehand. Yeah. This is society's ready for it, it's not going to work, because we've seen what happened, for example, in Egypt, where they tried a political revival before the people were ready

00:51:41--> 00:51:48

for it. And unfortunately, you know, the coup happened. And, you know, Egypt lost his chance to be that by bastion of revival,

00:51:50--> 00:52:25

the only country today where I think there's some hope at the moment might be Turkey, but even the H, tactical. Maybe Malaysia, Indonesia, that part of the world is a hope for the revival happening yet. But what's happening is we don't have in the right discussions as to why I'm really happy to see recently, groups like the aromatics for, you know, these these groups are actually talking about politics and caliphate system, and what would it look like in the future? And how would we go about it? I think these are the conversations we need to start having now. Right? So the conversation on what would a caliphate look like in the 21st century? How would it interact with the non western

00:52:25--> 00:52:28

countries? How do you interact with the global economy? You know,

00:52:29--> 00:53:02

you know, what aspects of the Sharia would we have to adapt and which aspects will be withhold for the future? You know, once again, this is something to help people understand. Your country doesn't have to adapt 100% of the shareholders or the goal. You know, like, there are times you can say, Okay, this is part of the Sharia. But at this point in time, you know, we were not ready, or the people that are ready for it, or, you know, the harms may be more than the good. Or it's the lesser of two evils to leave it for later. Right. You have to have a very gradual revival can't go overnight, from nothing to everything. Yeah.

00:53:03--> 00:53:16

Yeah, most people are extremely impatient. When it comes to that, you know, a real a real [???]ty system, that's something that's built from the ground up. It's not something that you overshadow people with and try and crush them with which, sadly, we've seen this happen. We've seen Yeah, exactly.

00:53:17--> 00:53:55

When people try to force a hardcore extreme understanding of the Sharia on society, it never works. It never works. Society will crumble, they will rebel, there'll be looting, there'll be rioting, there'll be cause you're not going to work. It has to be organic, it has to be natural. It has to come from the younger generation, having a eternal revival of Islam. That's where it has to come from. When you have a generation of youngsters, who grew up loving Islam and growing up practicing Islam, they will vote for a president who is more Islamic. Right? And then that President may have a chance to maybe abolish democracy and and replace it with a caliphate system was something like, I

00:53:55--> 00:53:58

don't know, I'm just coming up with ideas. But yeah, the

00:53:59--> 00:54:09

bold move, but yes, you know, I've I've completely lost my faith in any sort of, you know, democracy the way it exists now. So yeah, that would be something that was something very interesting to see. But yeah,

00:54:10--> 00:54:41

you know, we actually ended up having a lot more more time than I expected, because, you know, we're, we're jumping from one topic to the other. I wanted to ask you about this because, um, yeah, I actually don't have this written down. But I just had to ask because I wrote quite a while ago, I wrote an article on like, substack about you know, the history of dueling between men you know, as a as a social practice. And you know, obviously, if I'm going to be writing or something like that one I want to find out how it was practiced in the Muslim world. But then when I when I when I looked it up and I tried to do my own research, I realized that there wasn't as much you know, of a of a

00:54:41--> 00:55:00

background to it as it was, let's say with the rest of Europe for example, where was extremely custom for say, you whenever you had a dispute with a man to challenge him to a duel, you know, this didn't even have to be a lethal duel. It could have been just first blood, for example. Yeah. And I want to ask you about that using as a you're, you're almost some historian you're the most educated of I've been able to have this kind of

00:55:00--> 00:55:37

have a one on one conversation with so far, what because really the only doing that we our most infamous case cases of doing actually happened. It was mobile resume in the time of this year. So less and less than in during wars, you know, against non Muslims. And you know that that was I think one of my favorite aspect aspects of the seal is actually reading about those. Be I want to ask you what what was the weather ever points in Islamic history where it was custom for say, to settle disputes that way? For you know, from do that? I don't think so. I don't think so. Firstly, I don't recall any point in history where it was like that. And I think the main reason why is that the

00:55:37--> 00:56:18

Sharia gave people very clear pathways in how to deal with problems. Right, right. Right. So for example, in a Muslim country, we don't have a vigilante justice system, you got a problem with someone, you go to the colleague, and he has both sides, and he comes up with a solution, you know, so and we've always encouraged Muslim interaction with each other be peaceful, and which wisdoms are brothers, you know, firstly, hoping that whole eco peace between your parents don't encourage them to shoot each other will establish faith. So even in worst case scenarios where there's a murder, the Quran, makes it very clear, the family decided the murder gets executed. But in the same verse,

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The Quran says, If you forgive your brother is better. Given in the case of a mother, Allah says, Forgive him is better. So your brother in Islam? So, you know, our whole approach is very different. Right? Our approach, we're like, preservation of life is one of the purposes of the Sharia. So we wouldn't have allowed a system where a citizen could take the life of the citizen is in something that they would have Islamically been allowed. Very soon, I thought of this, but I didn't really, I guess I didn't complete that thought process. But yeah, that's actually very, extremely interesting how, you know, I get I guess, it's just a testament to how much more clear cut and advanced, you

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know, Islamic law system was. Remember, on that point, that Muslims system had an innocent until proven guilty system, you know, we had the concept of witnesses, we had very clear punishments, the Christian will didn't have all of that the Christian Whitehead was very frustrating, and it didn't take the law into your own hands in those days, most likely nothing was gonna get done. Yeah, I mean, there's, there's a movie I should check out. It's called, it's a very old I think it was.

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I forgot what year it was made. It's a Ridley Scott movie called The duelist. And it's about these two French soldiers during the time of Napoleon, who, you know, they spent the next 1020 years of their lives dueling get out just just just completely trying to massacre each other each time. And it reaches a point where, you know, they forget the original reason why they started doing in the first place. So it just becomes this insanity rave of them trying to fight for their own honor. I think this movie was also about the jewel, right? His latest movie was the last year. Yes, the last duel, but I

00:57:53--> 00:58:21

was more his that was actually historical thought, Yes, that was a historical story. But I have my own opinions about that movie. You know, I wasn't as I wasn't as big as a fan of that, as that was a bit of, I don't really watch that much movie. But I read about all of this. Just to know what especially TV is about history. I like to read about the Jetsons know? How history is being portrayed in movies, like Ridley Scott did making them together. So I'll always be happy for that. Yes, yes. That was really one of the more incredible. Have you ever seen the 13th warrior?

00:58:22--> 00:58:53

And I don't think I've seen it. Okay. Yeah, it was that was also really great movie, which, you know, sadly, they made quite a few, you know, very weird mistakes, not with like theology, but like, it's kind of obvious. They didn't do as much research as they should. It's about they basically take the sort of what they've been called lung, the Explorer, and they make it as if, you know, he was a soldier who joined these Vikings on an expedition to save this village in Ukraine. And, you know, overall, it was a really great movie, but you know, there was just one scene which I absolutely loved. And this is going to lead to my my final question about you know, Muslim representation

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media, where he actually teaches a Viking King how to write Leila hit a lion is on language. Okay, it's very, very nice. But you know, you know, most people they don't they don't know about this movie. And actually, wait, just give me just give me one moment. Okay.

00:59:11--> 00:59:14

Okay, sounds good. We're back. Yeah, sorry for that interruption.

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Okay, something another thing I wanted to bring up you know, the my final question actually, I think we should just get to this.

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You know, I spoke to is this question to the lock and I expect this question for, for future guests as well. We talked a lot as Muslims in foreign lands about building parallel structures for ourselves, competing with other communities, securing ourselves socially and economically. As a friend told me recently another big avenue we're missing is that of entertainment and meat entertainment and media outlets. We have many different attempts that Muslim created you know, shows and movies and some good some extremely bad and you know, it's not that well done, you know, as was done recently, sadly, but also as someone who's very versed in history as yourself, what would you

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say is the most important thing was some creators like me who make you know, books are movies, TV shows that include our traditions must keep

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heart and mind as we engage in this,

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you know, because I'll actually,

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actually I just wanted to mention this also, most most of my followers know, I wrote a novel recently science fiction novel, hard science fiction. I don't, I don't, I don't get into the dumb, you know, magic stuff, you know, I really don't want to get into that. But, ya know, it's really was my first attempt at trying to, you know, put, you know, in addition to really my big message in the book, which you know, is going to come about in the sequels and so on, so forth. But I, most of the characters, you know, in that book, they're, they're Muslims, they're, they're practicing Muslims, you know, I tried to do in this in a way that was entirely different from what is portrayed today,

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you know, so I want to ask you about that, what do you think is that, you know, something we should all keep in mind, you know, as creators, as you know, people who want to engage in this avenue.

01:00:45--> 01:01:10

So, when I was in my early 20s, I wanted to get into all of this myself, right? I had to make a choice. You know, the thing of life is, you have to make choices whenever you choose something ever give something else. So I had to choose between writing Islamic books or writing novels. And I decided with that just what Allah has blessed me with, I'd say Islamic books is away from the part of me always wishes I wrote topics because I still got all these stories in my head.

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So I've always, always been a strong promoter of Muslims having their own thoughts and your own voice in in entertainment world. And I'm seeing the difference between my kids are growing up, like so when I was young, we had no Islamic media at all. And we will Oh, everything we watch with me by the kuffaar. And our generation, we're just like, head over heels about them wanting to be like them and go to wherever they do. My kids, I'm single, but more balanced here. They're watching what they make, but they also watching to rule they're also watching the whole series. They're also watching personal cartoons. They're also watching Woosnam video clips on YouTube, or Muslim comedy stock

01:01:52--> 01:02:02

shows. So what I'm seeing is my kids are growing up, were like, okay, they'll watch Batman, but they don't want to be like the kuffaar. Because they also want to roll and you know, the picking on banners from there.

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o'clock for them. And I'm seeing firsthand how Islam media, how important is in creating balance in a way that when you see Muslims on TV, you know, like, this is one of the things I love about the show, I have many criticisms of the show, as you know. But the one thing I love about the show, I've seen this in my community, a lot of people in my community who were not practicing Muslims, who had terrible manners, they watch it roll, and they learn good manners account show.

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And that, for me is amazing. Like the fact that you could just watch a show about a jihad between the Mongols and crusaders versus the Muslims, and watching that show you automatically absorbing how they eat, how they react to the wives, how they adapt, which is how they forgive people, how they treat people, you're just absorbing all of that, that shows the power of media. That's what it really shows.

01:02:54--> 01:03:00

Yeah, and I think this is amazing. It's amazing. But again, we think catcher, and everything else,

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too. 50 years behind media, we wish by now we should have our own Netflix, you know, we should have like, like a Netflix Style channel, which is Muslim shows because we should have like 100 year backlog of videos to be watching but again for 50 years, we argue that it's haram or not. And then you know, people want to kill the people who make the TV show and if you know that the guy who made the overseas he passed away will cover the you know what, activate overseas, he wanted to make more cities like that. But people actually were threatened to kill him yet easy death threats, you know, actually solve your first episodes of that. It's a very well made show. It's fairly well made. I

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actually feel like, even if you don't say to 100% Hello, I'd rather have peace of watching that. Anything else? Exactly. Yeah, I've literally seen it change people's lives. I've seen people watch that. And because of that, they actually started studying Islam because of that they actually started studying legends Sahaba and it was pushing people away the right direction or Abdullah, we don't realize, you know, again, for some of us come from very small bubbles, where we don't realize what life is like for other people. Like, I may not know what life is like for someone who's just constantly consuming non Muslim media, and for that person to be exposed to the series or the Tarun

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show. For that person, it's breaking into the world. That person may never attend the lecture. That person may never search boy for a Islamic podcast, but he's watching TV shows. And if you could somehow reach him through these TV shows, and they pull him back into our world, even if the show was not 100% halal, but the fact that he pulled him back into our world, and now you have a chance to speak to him. That's good. Right and I think sometimes we recently scared because this is murky water. When it comes to media, it's it's really hard to tell what's 100% halal or haram when it comes to media like I mean, I was reading one of the different customs books and the of the depth

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and some of the descriptions of people's sexual sexual pursuits got so graphic like this is not PG. Remember one of the great items

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The history, and he didn't seem to have a problem with it.

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Like, I mean, how do we how do we draw the line? Where do we draw the line? So compilation that's has to be ongoing. What I think needs to happen is people who are who are producing Islamic media, whether they're making movies or TV series, or novels, or comic books or anything like this, whoever is doing this needs to at least have one Islamic scholar who they are in constant contact with, to approve the content to have a advisory board. Now, even with the normal series that has shaped some of the older, beautiful Qaradawi they will take advice. Right?

01:05:38--> 01:05:47

Who else but they have maybe they were like five all about who they take advice on at the series. And that helped a lot to keep it you know, good.

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I think everyone who's doing any kind of feature, you need to have someone like okay, this this scholar, he gets me I understand him, he understands me, I trust his knowledge. I trust his ID when arriving novel, and we'll get him to do that. Get his feedback on it. Right. And what's happening today is we have a discord, the people making media, they like don't trust the older model, and the people and then the old Mr. Like it's all haram. So you want to do it. And so it is moving in opposite directions. They have to come together to find something in the middle. Now the owner might have to be willing to interact with it, like, give you the example of a stand up comedian, a Muslim

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stand up comedian. When he goes to the Mallanna or someone asks you for help you want to be like comedies horror.

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Now he's not going to stop doing stand up comedy. But now when neither is there a point is no one telling you hold on this joke is inappropriate. This joke is Cofer. That Joke is good. Because someone just told him blanket Oh, come with these bad people. And he's not learned enough to know the limits. We don't feel like everyone's done enough to build the limits. Now they everyone needs guides in their life. So that's why I'm saying if you are doing Islamic media, have a scholar in your life who you trust to review your work, because they'll help keep it keep it halal, or at least keep it as halal as possible. Yes, it's absolutely I want one or 2% agree with that. Have you ever

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seen the movie The message? The 1976? One? Yeah, watch that. When I was a child, it was actually the first the first Islamic movie, I watched it. Back then I was like a hardcore. Like, I was like really hardcore. I was like, middle of studying to be a Mowlana.

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And I like at that point believe that TV was haram. And my uncle, he just sat me down. He put that on. He said, watch this. Now I'm just looking at the screen. Like, I was amazed. I was amazed that somebody agree that I was actually pressed by the time. And in addition, my mind first I think, is it really haram? You know, is there some way? It got my mind thinking? How do I

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know that movie, I think it was responsible for so many of you speak to many Americans and converts, it's responsible for really, I think 1000s or 10s of 1000s of people accepting Islam, just from that one movie is the same of for example, with the autobiography of our complexity will be based on a lot of people that was the gateway club. That's what got me interested. So the power of media, don't underestimate it. You have, for example, someone like my hobby, someone who hobbies, you know, he's out there in Western media, people can see him adapted him, even if we don't agree with his playing. But the fact is, is people who are watching him, or people who otherwise might never have any

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exposure to Islam, and that becomes like a opening for them. Yeah, the story of Malcolm X in particular, you know, this is something that, you know, I wanted to mention as well is that about, you know, when it comes to stories about Muslims in the media is the reason the story of Malcolm X hit so hard and it caused so many people to become interested in Islam is because it's not the story of a perfect saint. It's the story of somebody who had, you know, very humble, you know, murky beginnings and who you know, wasn't a perfect guy for you know, a bit of a bit of a big part of his life, and then eventually found his way towards the end. And you know, that it's like this big

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character arc, that happens to me, you know, subhanAllah, and it's, it's because of that story that got people so enraptured, and wanting to find out about mainstream Islam. And, you know, this is something that I was aiming at with my book, my book as well, as you know, I realized that most Muslim media, it ends up being one of two things, either the slam of the characters into pico becoming this afterthought, and it just becomes something that's mentioned. And you as you see this a lot in more in Western media that has some some characters, or, you know, you have the opposite example, which, you know,

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you know, I think we witnessed a lot of this as kids, which is, you know, the very poor quality kinds of, you know, Slamet you know, kind of productions where,

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yeah, it's exactly this, it's very preachy to try and beat you're, like, Oh, this is why it's haram. And it's like, you know, the where's the story? Where's the development? Like, where's the person actually learning through experiences? I have never been able to get into those type of things. I've always felt like it's, it's too fast. It's too fake. It's too obvious. You know, it needs to be done in a more natural storytelling way. Exactly. What can with oratory, for example, I want to

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In the first episode, this is one of my criticisms of the show, even though it's extremely well made show, you know, I made this joke I said, you can see why the Turkish lira was was close to collapsing because they put so much money into that show. But you know,

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there was a scene where one of the villains I think he was one of the, one of the, I think Warlords of the region that are sort of I guess he's gonna fight with later I haven't I haven't. I don't think I've, I've had time to anyway, where he goes, Oh, yes, the Muslims are so much easier to control and they're fighting each other. And I'm like, Okay, that's a little too on the nose.

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Yeah, those kinds of things. It's better when it's subtle. It's better when people watch it. And they realize, Oh, yes, this is why it's bad, rather than someone teaching it. And that's something we Muslims, we're making the journey to learn. And I see it in almost everything, whether it's a Muslim novel, or a movie or TV show, we get to preach, we scared that people are not going to get the point. So at some point, the electorate a character just brings it to electric.

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Storytelling, it's yeah, it's basic storytelling, like you want the, the the audience to come to a lot of these conclusions themselves. Because when they do it themselves, they appreciate it way more than if you were to just shove it down their throats. And that's why we love novels and things because a novel that's life changing, it doesn't, it doesn't preach to you, but you get the message just from from thinking about the story and reflecting on this.

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And going along with the character of the journey. I mean, this is why the Lord of the Rings is so popular, right? That you connect with Samwise Gamgee, or Aragon and, and you learn with them and you grow with them. And you you learn the lessons they learn without anyone at any point stopping and you're having like a 10 page lecture explaining all the lessons of what's going on. Yep.

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And yeah, so. Okay, I think I've kept you for long enough. I know, in many minutes. It's going to be

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your time. Thank you so much for, for coming on. It's just a really fun discussion. I appreciate it. It's a pleasure.

01:12:05--> 01:12:05

Yes.

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So tell me I really stopped promote all your stuff. Tell us where can people find you?

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Daily.

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So I'm online all the time daily. Mainly, I'm most active on Twitter. So if you just search for me on Twitter, that's like, that's where I like to hang out as well. The crazy people are so it's fun.

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Facebook's got really boring. So I barely use my Facebook anymore. So the old people out.

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So yeah, you'll find that Facebook, find me on Instagram, find me on YouTube, about mostly on Twitter. My blog is Islamic self help.com where you'll find all my eBooks and my online courses. Of course, the main courses I'm promoting at the moment is the history of Islam, which is what we'll be discussing and linked to that my book productivity principles of Omar bin Abdulaziz. Those are my two main products I love to promote mainly because that's my favorite book that I wrote and my favorite courses I put together the ones that feel are the most beneficial. So you know if you're going to start anywhere on my website, start with those who would those that book and that course

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also will Yaqeen Institute and the books department there. So like if you go to Yaqeen Institute's Books page you'll find some books written by me and edited by me there.

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But and yeah, if you if you want to listen to my talks, you will find them on my YouTube channel and Muslim central right down below. I do have channel substantial. In fact, they do have a podcast channel. If you go to Google Apple, they type in a podcast channel should probably have other cheese on it as well. Yes, I'm gonna link all of these two in the description as well. Okay, thank you so much. That's it guys. See you next time stamp icon