Podcast Interview – The Scholar and the Student

Ismail Kamdar


Channel: Ismail Kamdar

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Bismillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah Peace and blessings upon every one of you today here from a brand new location for the scholar and the student. I'm very excited for today's episode because the show is called the scholar and the student and for the second time we have an actual scholar with us all the way from Durban South Africa. So our first international scholar on the scholar and the student please welcome to the show, shares his smile come down a salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.

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Welcome to Botswana, albeit in the lockdown I don't know about you guys in Durban. But inshallah our lockdown is supposed to end tomorrow. And I'm a bit sad because I was hoping to go on a bit longer, and I'd stay indoors more more often and all that, but Welcome to Botswana. inshallah, we'll host you in person as well, Sunday. And yes, Chef smile, as the name implies. He is an Ireland a scholar of Islam, he has gone through a rigorous process and he'll tell you more about this. I'm actually ashamed to say that the first time I encountered him or the first time I heard of him was on an American podcast called the madman, Luke's and usually when it comes to local scholars or scholars

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from around our area, you know, be Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, I usually know of them somewhat. But it's my The first time I saw him, the first time I heard of him was on the madman, Luke's which is a bit of an anomaly. And I'm ashamed of that, Sheffield, forgive me for that as well. But share is my welcome to the show, the scholar and the student. We've got quite a lot of topics lined up for us today. But for introduction sake, would you like to introduce yourself and who you are, perhaps your life's journey as well? And also, why did you choose to study the Islamic sciences? And, you know, you've got a bit of a unique approach, I should say, compared to a lot of

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other, shall we say mainstream scholars. So tell us a bit about that as well. Okay. hamdu Lillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah. So, yeah, my life's a bit of a unique story. And I guess it's worth sharing because I think for your audience, maybe the first time they meeting me as well, again,

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want to thank you for hosting me and thank you listeners for joining in. inshallah, maybe one thing in person, again, come to Botswana, my last overseas trip for lectures, actually, to Kenya, and I really enjoyed it. So looking forward to traveling to other parts of Africa as well. We also locked down, our lockdown was supposed to be three weeks, We're now entering our seventh week, and there's no sign of it ending. I have presence. It's been a really, really long lockdown for us. And I think might go on for a few more months. So allow that. So my story.

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My story goes way back because I technically began the alim course when I was 13 years old. Right.

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So even before that, my father was murdered when I was eight years old. So I was raised by a single mother Hamdulillah, she's still with us. She's done a lot of great work for the community herself. She runs an Islamic school. And from there, she does a lot of social work because her Islamic school is in a poor area. And so she does a lot of social work for the families in that area as well. So I grew up in that kind of household, a Islamic household focused on serving the ummah. And when I entered my teenage years, you know, I don't like to

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idealize my life I give him a frank about it. When I entered my teenage years, my mother didn't want me to go to high school, she felt he was a bad environment. So she put me in the Allium course instead. So initially, studying Islam wasn't really my choice. It was initially something my mother chose for me. But it was something I fell in love with all the time. And it's something I eventually made my own. And it's something that I really dedicated my entire life to since then. So I began my online course the age of 13. Age of 1516 started doing Dawa, giving public lectures, graduated when I was 20 years old comedy when I was 21.

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After that, I did a Bachelor's in Islamic studies with the IOU under Dr. Bill Phillips. And I've actually been working for IOU for about 11 years now since 2010. We have the faculty manager, so I'm the faculty manager at IOU. I'm a freelance writer, homeschooling father, author for about 12 books Alhamdulillah. I was a radio presenter for about 10 years as well. kind of took a taken a break from that at the moment. So I'm kind of I like to do a lot of different things. My main project at the moment is Islamic self help www dot Islamic self help.com

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started this in 2015. And the purpose of the website is to give people productivity tips and advice from an Islamic perspective combining what I've studied personal development and what I've studied of Islamic Studies. So yeah, I had a very long journey in Islamic Studies. It's actually been 20 years since I began my study of Islam at the age of 13 and 100, I've never stopped studying even though I've done the alim course in a bachelor's degree. That's not the only studies I've done, I personally attended classes and the many scholars around the world from different backgrounds. I read I try my best to read about 50 to 60 books a year, so I'm always studying hamdulillah

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inshallah, I plan to keep studying till the day I die.

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Mashallah, that's quite a very beefy resume got for yourself, the chef Mashallah, Allah bless you in all your endeavors. And I love the fact that, you know, you never stopped studying because a lot of people, unfortunately, they have this misconception that once they have completed their, whether it's their online course, or whether it's a university degree, whatever it is, they feel that this is the end of the pursuit of knowledge, and that I have something now I am a knowledgeable person, quote, unquote, Alhamdulillah, you never stopped. Not only did you finish your island course. But also you went on you, you reinforced your Islamic Studies, 100 Allah, but you also studied other

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things on the side. And of course, you've implemented all that into your website, which is Islamic self help. But your journey in the Islamic fields, shall we say. And this connects to an email that chef is my asked me to send him earlier before this podcast started, about the Islamic landscape in Botswana. So he would be able to relate to our audience as well. Now, for better or for worse, the Islamic landscape in South Africa and in Botswana, and to an extent, even places like Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and these places, well, it has a certain pattern to it. And let's just say the chair is male, and you're kind of unapologetic about this, you don't always fit that mold, you don't always

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fit that pattern. So I think you are the best person since you have been in that system. You're not like some guy who's like out there who's just criticizing scholars for the sake of being critical. You are a scholar yourself, you are part of that system, you are part of what the machine has produced. But at the same time, you are able to be critical of the machine at certain points. And that's not to say that you are critical, necessarily of Islam, but you just critical of what certain practices, these certain practices that have cropped up in the landscape over here. So perhaps segwaying into that you are the best person to talk about some of the things that didn't sit right

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with you while you were studying Islam. And until today, don't don't sit right with you. And hence you take a break from that. And tell us about challenges there because I know that being an independent thinker, especially as an alien, someone who has studied Islamic sciences, that is something that will get you major backlash, sometimes you will be refuted completely. I don't know if that's what happened to you. But

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it's actually much worse for me with Lila here. So I think I need to go a bit further back into my story. To give people an idea of where I am in my journey of life and well being. I'm going to be very frank. So I'm going to be using labels of the different sex in groups so that people know exactly where I've been what I've been through and where I am today. Just for the sake of academics, not for the sake of looking down upon any group or judging them. But just so people can understand my journey, right. My RM course was done under the obon the scholars, which is I think, the dominant school of thought in your land as well. So I basically let's let's say, Okay, so the Deobandi school

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of thought which your audience should be familiar with a hanafy Indian school of thought, a very prestigious school of thought. I mean, I actually have a lot of respect for the classical Deobandi scholars the ones from 200 300 years ago. So my son and my train of teachers goes back through the classical Deobandi Allah Masha EULA a different shalya to even 100 from 150 miles berhadiah different gear to the Rasulullah Talal the assumption actually have descended on hamdulillah and that was my initial study of Islam. Now what happened was around my third or fourth year of doing the alim course, I began to interact with other groups. And for a while as a teenager, I kind of

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strayed into jihadism, or the whole origin mentality. I never actually joined the jihadi winces but I was pretty much sympathetic towards them for a couple years.

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And I became highly critical of my teachers. I went to a very, I went extreme like really, really extreme at a point. Could you give us some examples if it's okay to ask, like how extreme were you? Were you making takfiri of your teachers or something like that, calling them I never reached the point where I made the fear of anyone hamdulillah I think because I did my alim course before we went through that phase. I kind of had this drilled into me about not making up fear

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I'm not sure if you noticed, but for most of the Muslim groups, the one that's most careful of making the other deobandis. They don't like to make up fear of people. So even though I defer them anything, that's one thing I learned from them. And that stuck with me, right. So today, I don't like to make up fear of people, right? Totally even even the Shia, I actually doing a big deal to share I'm very much against that fear. So I never reached that stage. Although the people I was associated with that the people I was hanging out with didn't. And that's, that's what causes kind of why I never completely went into that group. I never completely joined the movement is I couldn't

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get on board with that fear. And that was like, the line I couldn't cross. So I graduated from annual calls in 2006. And I was kind of like, in a state of,

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you know, I didn't really know who I was, or I had a lot of doubts about about the types of Islam that was being taught to me not about Islam itself. hamdulillah I actually didn't have any doubts about Islam because of certain events that happened in my life during my teenage years. But my doubts about the type of Islam I was being taught. So I had had been a Deobandi and the jihadi vote at that point in time, and neither group had sat well with me, I didn't really mentioned yet, why did you want the school of thought didn't sit well with me, I would sum it up to three things. Number one was, I think the main point for me was enforcing Indian culture upon the world in the

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name of Islam, that just didn't sit well with me, as even as an Indian that the idea that Africans from South Africa, were converting to Islam, studying with us being taught or being taught to dress like Indians, or being forced to follow the engine, it slapped me never sat, well, it still doesn't sit well with me. That was number one. Number two. At that point in time, what I perceived to be bid out innovations for my teachers, I actually don't see them as Billa anymore. It's been a really strange journey. But at that point in time, it was like hardcore maceachern abilities and things like that. I'm actually not have that way of thinking anymore. 100, like, toned down a lot on the

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topic. And the third thing for me that that kind of pushed me away. And something which I really consider very important to me was the issue of the bleed, of just following the must have no matter what. And what I realized from

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my own independent studies, was that

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even though I was,

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you know, it was really from only independent studies at that time, was that a lot of the things were being taught as part of the Hanafi madhhab actually came from Indian Allah, but were not part of the Hanafi muscle, right? They were opinions from 200 or 300 years ago, which somehow became known as the Hanafi Mata. But I won't even ever held these opinions, neither the students, so that didn't sit well with me that we are just following these opinions as if they are from Allah, even though they were just popped up 200 or 300 years ago. So I kind of drifted away from the school of thought while doing Mahajan course I completed anyway, because we didn't really have options back

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there. Back then the only options were becoming a Alamos, either Deobandi over a viola, those are the only two options. It's Africa. So between the two, the deobandis was to meet a better school of thought, still is, right. Allah knows best. What happened after that in 2007, I met Dr. Bilal Philips. And that's when I think the Salafi stage of my life began. So I can say from 2007 to about 2010 or 2011. I was like my hardcore Salafi period, we are kind of just went like, completely into self Fie Islam in that I used to spend all day reading even taymiyah, Muhammad, even Abdullah hubbs books and just completely immersing myself into this selfie culture. And that's when I go into a lot

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of trouble with my community.

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So I can imagine so you actually you physically met chef bill Phillips? Yeah, it wasn't on me. I met him in person. We actually lived together in India for a few months back in 2009. He did, he opened up a school in India and I was teaching there so we actually living the simple things our way like one apartment away, living in the same building, going to school together and working together for a few months. So I actually know Dr. Pillai, very, very personally, I've been in contact with him since 2017. Working for him since about 2008. I still work for him right till today. Even though I don't really ascribe to the label setup anymore. He and I still have a close relationship that

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they'd love for each other and I still work for him. So part of his university. I just don't associate with labels anymore. Just over time I grew to dislike labels. So yeah, I went to that hardcore Salafi phase during that phase I was a school teacher in South Africa and kind of got in trouble for telling students you don't have to record that you can reassure them as the jeweler got in trouble for and that blew up and before I knew it, the school received a letter from the Jami tala joint letter from all the Jammie Jolla, Muslims, Africa or in some other group stating that if you don't find a Salafi teacher, then we will start boycotting your school and pulling out children

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from the school. So

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The school find me. Every other school in Africa refused to hire me every machine refused to hire me got banned from the lecture circuit, right? Or today, by the way, this is it today, it still applies. I try to do the way I live in South Africa. There's no machine that will give me a platform. It recently, even the Salafi must stop calling me I'm not sure why, but they still call me, you know, not solid enough for them. But essentially, I kind of became completely ostracized by my community. During that time. That's when I went to India. I lived to Dr. Billa. For a few months, they work for him. But then he opened up the Islamic online university and they gave me an

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opportunity to move back home to live in South Africa with my family and to work online for him. And I've been doing that since 2010. So I kind of I live in Durban, South Africa, but I kind of live online. So like lockdown isn't really very different. For me. This is actually my life for the past 10 years, over the past 10 years of working from home teaching online writing books, doing podcasts, doing radio interviews, doing YouTube videos, launching online courses. It's just basically been all online for me. It's only in the past year, I've actually started to build a following of students here in South Africa and now planning inshallah, I'm launching my own online course in South Africa

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as well in the near future. I was actually planning on doing it this year, but the whole lockdown kind of delayed those plans for the rollout and Shall I launch it in time for you to launch? But

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it has been my journey so I kind of went through different phases Deobandi jihadi Salafi, nomadic phase where I don't really hold any labels. I'm just a Muslim, a Sunni Muslim.

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I kind of like kind of, like you see, I'm kind of in between Deobandi and sort of the globe with a vote of demeanor. In that I do follow the principles of the Hanafi madhhab. But I don't meet up lead of the 100 female hub. And the feed I follow I consider the Akita of the early canopies, you know, they are key to how we, even as the canopy, I can even talk to him about honey pentacle, Akbar, which is really, it's very close to the cell of Yaki not what most 100 years old to today. So I kind of like to believe I'm following classical 100 Islam.

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It's been a very, very hectic journey. For me, it has been easy. A lot of ups and downs, a lot of actually haven't spoken about this for a long time. And I've kind of like put all of that in the past and just focus on self help and personal development. And it's actually after a very long time opening up about my early years. It hasn't been easy at all right to today, kind of still have that in many parts of my community where guys look at me as the Salafi guy or the trader who left our group and yeah, that it's I still I can't give lectures a Masters I'm just not i'm not invited to any much to give lectures here. For panel on, what about your mother? How did you take it when you

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started doing all these things? Um, my mother is a very open minded individual. I mean, she's the one who when she sent me to do the alum course, she told me I'm sending you here because these are only two options, but don't get don't become sectarian. It was her advice to me when she said at the age of 13, I don't understand it back then understood it once the secularism began to creep in. But she always told me keep an open mind and don't don't become sectarian because the way my mother works is, her school is in an area where there's like hardcore, Burrell V's and hardcore deobandis. But both groups love her and the work that she does invoke from supporting the work that she does,

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because she's like, also non sectarian approach she like works with everybody. So I can because I grew up in that household, I grew up with a non sectarian approach to Islam. Also in my family itself, I mean, my grandparents are barelvi, my uncle's Naqshbandi, mudah, uncles and modernists, my someone else in my family was a jihadi. I grew up around everybody, every type of Muslim and I'm friends with all of them, I have close relations with all of them, I'm able to get along with all of them. So because of growing up in that kind of a household, being non sectarian, being able to get along with anyone from any group is something which came much more naturally to me than to someone

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who just grew up in a specific group. So 100, you know, my family are very supportive, right? Today, all of my family are very supportive of the work I do. Like, for example, earlier this year, I published a book. And my grandfather bought a whole lot of copies of the book and distributed it to libraries in Madras as a must use across the urban, whether they wanted it or not. He made sure that people are reading my books. That's the level of support my family had for me. So Allah has blessed me even though the community may have turned against me a lot. Give me a very supportive family. And in recent times of supportive community as well over the past one year, I have been teaching

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locally, I think that's the thing that you saw on YouTube, my local feed classes. Yes. And I started a class I said, I have to do something locally, I counted the whole life path like this. So I met a friend, I told him, listen, let's start this class. Even if only five people show up. There was my intention. Let's start this class. Even if only five people show up and he told me Listen, he's going to come here.

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is going to come, his daughter's going to come. So there's really three people I say fine my cousin's will come. That's why people come they love. Since the class started every week we've had between 30 to 50 people attended. And until lockdown started so I started with the intention of even if five people come, I'm going to teach this class every week, and hamdulillah it's been attended between 30 to 50 people and I've started to build a small community like this, and inshallah once the lockdown is over, we'll go back to that and continue building that then you know, taking some danger, Allah,

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Spano, la Masha, Allah, may Allah bless you in, in all your effort share, because, you know, speaking from an Islamic circle, or even outside the Islamic circle, it's never easy to swim against the current, any sort of current. But unfortunately, it seems that with Islam with Muslims in the modern day, we seem to be a bit more harsh than everyone else when it comes to things such as this,

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too, to talk more about this, I mean, why why do you think that is? So why is it that the Muslims are very stringent upon someone who apparently leaves the group if you want to, like, does something like you left the deobandis and went over to first the jihad is and then the selfies? Why are they so so stringent and so harsh against such individuals? Because, honestly, speaking, I don't know, this is my take on it. It seems that because you were getting some sort of tract or you were becoming someone popular, were they afraid? Shall I use that word of you converting more people and misleading them? In that sense? What do you think that's the issue? And is it that protectiveness of

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we have to be the guardians of the truth sort of mentality that spurs this on?

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Well, psychologically, I completely understand your reaction. I mean, it it makes perfect sense to me that did react the way they did. I mean, I'm not the only one. My friend circles are made up of people from similar backgrounds. I mean, I have friends in the UK, who also complete the online course on the Deobandi teaches Indian winter salary pays. I mean, I'm friends with Dr. yasir Qadhi. He was a seller. He left the Philippines the exact same thing. Right. So we're damn serious. Yeah, yeah. I mean, literally experience the exact same thing with him the experience with what would they do when these are the reputations that the teachers are turning against you? So it's completely

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understandable. He understands what his teachers I understand it with my background as well, because my teachers who taught me the online course they look at the obon dism as the safe set. They look at it as a safe tech savvy do the same thing. They look at Salafism as the safe set. So they look at everything outside of that as misguidance. So when somebody leaves that, in their mind in the limited world worldview, they are leaving guidance for Miss guidance, right? Yeah, the worldview I've adapted is that the same set is also not well, Jamal. It's anyone who clings to a Sunni understanding of Islam, whether they're Sunni understanding of Islam is Salafi, or Deobandi or

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ashari, or Hanafi, or Sharpie, or Maliki or humbly or any of these things, even Sufi, all of these are still Sunni Islam. And all of these put together are the same set. It's not one out of these, these are all different muscle hubs within that set, right. That's the way I look at it. And now they don't they look at these individually. So a Sufi will look at the Deobandi as outside the fall of the same set. And they do when you look at the syllabus outside the fall of the same set. So from their minds, I can completely understand the way they react. It's the natural reaction that you believe you're on the truth. Somebody lived the truth for us is like somebody left Islam, that

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that's the kind of idea they had in their minds. And it's even bigger when it's somebody who trained in your institute qualified from your institute, and then they leave your school of thought. It's kind of like a you know, it's kind of like a slap in the face. That was good enough. Yeah, you feel betrayed. I understand that and honestly, some of my teachers right to today, they only will make a laptop. Like literally once I was in the masjid. I went to stand in the front saw for salah and my teacher was Sangeeta he literally pushed me back he didn't understand the extreme for Salah effusions and next

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I want to do when you saw me shopping he literally turned away and walk he refused to greet me and so you know, for them they feel betrayed.

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Allah forgive them for that I get it. I understand it because yeah, from from their mindset, they I did they taught me what they believe to be true Islam and I left what they think is true Islam. To me, I'm still within the fold of to Islam, but again, you know, some people have a very limited worldview of what Islam really is.

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That's the thing that as much as it is understandable, Chef, what are some practical tips that you used to survive this ordeal number one, and some tips that you can give people like myself like I think I kind of told you my story, but just for the viewers as well. We'll go through it again. So Alhamdulillah you see the way my father describes his family I'm also

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ethnically Indian, originally Indian. So but I was born and bred in Botswana. So I consider myself a Madonna. And culturally speaking, I can. Yeah, I mean, culturally speaking, I do get along more with local Botswana people, whether they're black or colored, or whatever it is, then usually then I get along with actual Asians, like people from India itself, or Pakistan or whatever. Anyway, my dad, the way he describes the family to me is that it sounds like they were barelvi. But they didn't really know what they were doing. I think it was more of a cultural thing that everyone else does meal out. So we'll do it as well. That's the kind of family he came from. But when he got older,

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like after he had me basically, I think it was more of a common sense approach that you know, we should be mindful of our Salah or we should be mindful of halal and haram and so on and so forth. So growing up, although, you know, we, for example, we there was a TV in the house, but my father was still very particular about sada, like we would never miss salah and preferably in the masjid, but then he'd be at work, and I'll be at schools, but still, whenever we could, we would read Salah, and obviously, would be very particular about eating halal food and all that kind of thing. And as I grew older, unlike you, I did go to high school, and I went through a phase of what we call a Helio

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ignorance, you know, when we know what happens at high school, and the usual stuff. So that also happened to me, but Alhamdulillah I didn't stop praying altogether. I did, however, have a bit of an arrogance problem. And this is very important that I thought that I'm praying sada, that guy is not praying Salah, so I'm better than him. I never said that out loud. But that was going on in the back of my mind. And today, if you look at these people, yeah, they might be involved in some other questionable things such as listening to music or whatever I understand there's a huge debate about that. But let's just say the popular opinion is that people don't listen to music in Islam,

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basically. But even though they are still doing that, but in terms of contributing to the deen Be it financially or in terms of doing volunteer work, they have far exceeded what I what I have done, and I can't even hope to compete with them. So Allah has shown me that in that way that, you know, I was arrogant because they weren't praying back then now they are praying. And not only that, they've exceeded me in giving service to the world and giving service to the religion of Allah. Anyway, as time went on, I started getting quote, unquote, more religious. And like I said, and as you acknowledge that the deobandis are the ones with the strongest foothold here, basically. So I

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started going close to that, although there was a time when I was kind of hardcore, Salafi hardcore in the sense that I mean, I would, I would go to the to the masjid, right. But instead of the usual hanafy way of praying with your arms below your navel, I would pray like this, right? No one ever confronted me about it. I even went in Jamaat and I used to pray, like, but no one ever said anything, but there was just a thing I did. And other things like I wouldn't make blah, after Salah because I heard from Dr. Larkin like that. It's bizarre, and it should be done. So like, people wouldn't be making communal draw, and I'll just have my hands down, or I would, you know, sometimes

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I'd be late for solos, I, I would miss the bar. Anyway. So that was me. And then I got started, I started getting really into the blue. And I still am kind of like, into the blue, I guess you can say obviously with a lockdown. Nothing's happening. But yeah, we went out in Jamaat and yeah, I went to a couple of places are humble, and good experiences and bad experiences as well. But where I am right now, I mean, I'm also similar to you I can have a a sort of balanced worldview coming through all these stages, and also seeing the pitfalls in some of the the groups that I was involved in myself, for example, we talked about why, you know, yeah, I will, I have no problem going to reform

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my faith and spending more time in my surgeon and things like that, even though I am an introvert and you can speak on this, since you've studied this. I'm an introvert and I, I love my peace, like, that's why I said I don't want to lock down to end because this has been like Jenna like paradise for me this whole period. So I don't want this time to come to an end tomorrow. Anyway, even though I'm an introvert, I would often sacrifice and, you know, go out in the possible law, putting myself literally in harm's way. And I don't mean in the sense of interacting with other people that's harmful to me. There are some instances where I was emotionally blackmailed to a whole different

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level, like every single day, I would have my opinions on things that are not even religious. I mean, things to do with like, where I want Botswana to go as a country or whatever, stuff like that, or my identity as a Madonna, those kinds of things. I would be ridiculed for so heavily, and I'd be dismissed. There was one point when I came back from my 40 days and I, let's let me put it out openly. This might be the first time many people are hearing this. I ended up getting diagnosed with clinical depression. That's all funny, but that's not a joke. It's not a gimmick. I went to a psychiatrist. And he did say at the end of that session that you are depressed, like that's the

00:29:57--> 00:29:59

extent of this nonsense went to

00:30:00--> 00:30:37

So if you look at me today, if you know even when it comes to going to the mosque, okay with the lockdown, we haven't been going to the masjid. But if you see me like negligent to go to the masjid or to come to shop grocery or you see me negligent to go for three days with certain people, then this is precisely the reason because I've been burnt. And psychologically, whether it's correct or not, I don't want to get burned again, because going through depression was a very dark time, I don't ever want to go through it. Again, it's taken a lot of mental resources to have myself healed. And it's taken a lot of not just therapy, but you know, just coming to terms of who you are, and

00:30:38--> 00:31:15

filtering all this emotional blackmail away. That took a real lot of work. And I don't want to throw that all down the toilet, and just to go for three days or just to go for 14 days. So that's kind of my story. And where I am right now, I'm still evolving. But like you, since I have all these views in my head, and I'm kind of balanced. There is still that fear within me that I don't say a lot of things openly. I won't say I won't talk about things that I do in private, because of that fear of being censured because of that fear of being refuted, not just by all ama, but other people who, for example, on definitely not all of them are but they are hardcore tub lilies and all that kind of

00:31:15--> 00:31:51

stuff. So a bit of a tangent, but what are some practical steps that you took? And what are some practical steps someone like me or anyone else from the listeners can take in regards to this? There's a lot of points to think about. I mean, firstly, there's the issue of personalities are people being different from each other, and people with different personalities will approach this differently. So like you're an introvert. That's why I love working from home. And this would be my lifestyle for the past 10 years. But I'm also I think one way of different is that I've got a very thick skin, I really just don't care at all what anyone thinks of someone tell me to my face that

00:31:51--> 00:31:55

they think I'm a coffee or something and I laugh it off. It's, it really doesn't bother me at all.

00:31:56--> 00:32:33

I think that makes the role, I mean, much easier. Maybe Allah has given me that so I can handle this role. Most people can't do the average person can't handle that level of pressure. I know over the years, I've worked with so many people who as soon as the hate mail started coming in, they left the projects they gave up, the project even stopped doing well together, like one hate letter was enough for person to give up the Dow. And for me that's been consistent in my life over 10 years now. And it's something that I literally laugh at. I mean, it literally means all of it is something that is completely normal from our right. So I think having different personalities is one issue that's

00:32:33--> 00:33:11

going to affect how we handle these kind of things. The other thing is that it makes a big difference in terms of how I would handle it compared to how you would handle it is the roads Allah has chosen as for an Indian society is different. So for me, I've got this in my mind all the time that Allah has given me knowledge of the deen he's made me a Islamic student of knowledge. And therefore I have a responsibility and Amana to teach my community the correct understanding of Islam. And if I keep quiet on these issues, I am committing a sin. This is the mind the mind that I have that I am actually committing a sin if I don't speak up if I just sit quietly, and just let

00:33:11--> 00:33:48

people teach things that I know is wrong, that I'm committing a sin. And so it kind of puts me in a situation where I've got no choice but to be the bad guy to be the one telling people that no, hold on, this is an alternative opinion. This is what the Quran says. This is what the Hadith says this is what about what you've actually said, and kind of putting myself in a position. Because I see myself as Allah put me through this journey, because along with me to play this role in society. And this is a responsibility a kind of 54 liquefier where every community to have alums that do this. And in my community, I don't see any other alum doing it, therefore it falls on me to do it. Right.

00:33:49--> 00:34:27

So I'm kind of like half taking up an obligation here. Now for the average person who follows me, I tell them, don't get involved. Don't get involved, keep it for yourself give you private, because, you know, the level of knowledge and skill and even mental fitness needed to handle these debates. Most people don't have it. It's more important that we work on our nerves that we work on purifying our souls that we work on our connection with Allah subhanho wa Taala all of that is far more important than public debates and getting into fights with people and WhatsApp debates and Facebook debates all of that becomes distractions and somebody has to do it but not everybody. So for the

00:34:27--> 00:34:59

average Muslim who's going through this journey, I would say keep it as personal as possible. And when you having a you know, these arguments with people get alim involved. So I've got hold of people whenever something this comes up, they WhatsApp me and they bring me to the WhatsApp discussion to resolve it. Right? Because it takes a high level of of knowledge of the deen to be able to deal with this issue that 100 because I've studied with hundreds of them. I've studied with Shafi Allah I've studied with molecule ama, with su Viola with Scylla Viola

00:35:00--> 00:35:37

I can relate to all these different backgrounds and I can talk to anyone from all of these backgrounds, and I can even quote their own books on issues with racing, wanting their books is something else, right? So I'm able to do that. So that that gives me an advantage. One thing I always try to tell people, when it comes to dealing with these differences, or even with life, in general, is something I teach my kids all the time for life in general, you have to grow a thick skin. If you don't grow a thick skin, people are just going to be too polite to post, you know, just to me also technically Quran and Hadees and Madonna should be quoting movies, but this movie Rocky

00:35:37--> 00:35:46

Balboa, where he has this conversation with his son, and he tells him that life's gonna beat you and knock you down permanently we can, you know, you're gonna keep getting back up.

00:35:47--> 00:36:04

I actually take the CUDA video, life motto of mine, like, whenever I'm gonna put it to post by the local ama, actually watch that Rocky Balboa quote and watch a clip of that movie because it's actually really true what he says it's like a look with wisdom in the most strangest of places. Alhamdulillah. And that's really

00:36:05--> 00:36:38

why you get refuted. Sure, exactly. A very funny thing happened to me about 10 years ago. So one of my friends in India quoted me do some hardcore selfies in Australia. And they wrote a whole article refuting me calling me the shake of Lord of the Rings. And the whole reputation was based on the fact that I'm a fan of Lord of the Rings. So therefore, anything I say about the deen doesn't come from, like one or the other. I'm an author. Every author loves Lord of the Rings, because it's the greatest work of fictional literature any human being has produced. I

00:36:39--> 00:37:20

think the alien people can understand that. And so yeah, I mean, Allah knows best people's minds are really strange. Growing a thick skin. Yeah, for you for anybody else. This is number one, if we can grow a thick skin and for me, what I look at is, I always look at the early Muslims as my role models, you know, the life of Allah hanifa you know, the way he was so uncompromising, even when they put him in prison, soprano, the same thing with our even humble, even Tamia. I look at people like Al ghazali, imamo ghazali, he was famous at a young age, and he gave all of that up and disappear just to work on his knifes, and just to sort out his own intentions, you know, these are

00:37:20--> 00:37:28

my role models. And these are the people whose lives I keep reminding myself of, as you may know, I recently wrote a 300 page book on the life of Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz.

00:37:29--> 00:38:13

And that's really one of my primary role models, because Omar even Abdul Aziz was a man who went completely against the grain. I mean, he was an immediate Prince. But he wasn't the only. I mean, the idea of intermediate prints becoming overly becoming a truly saintly figure in the history of Islam. And I mean, neither on people turning against you and talking about you, his cousin's literally killed him. I mean, it how what level of social problems is worse than being killed by your own family. These cousins had been poisoned, and he died in his 30s at the age of 37, because of it, now people like him are my role models, I look at them. And I say that, you know, they did

00:38:13--> 00:38:51

this, they understood this message, they understood this responsibility, we have to follow in their footsteps. And we have to be willing to do the same, we have to be willing to go through the same like from the old ama alive today, my role model my favorite role model effects on mental Oda hamdulillah. In 2007, and 2008, I had the blessing opportunity to attend some of his lectures live and in person, and they had a profound effect in changing my understanding of fake and changing my understanding of this religion completely. And right today, I read his books, there are some books that I've read over and over again, multiple times, his books on being a student of knowledge and

00:38:51--> 00:39:20

his books on dealing with differences of opinion. I've read those books multiple times, because they really shaped my understanding of these topics. He for me, the role model of what Ali needs to be the fact that no matter what people have done to him, he remains uncompromising. On his understanding of this moderate Islam and trying to preach it to people in a country and a place where moderation is not just frowned upon, but you're imprisoned for it. You know, it's, it's he's really a role model in our freedom and dilithium and granting

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great greater rewards for everything that he's going through for the sake of our name. So definitely growing a thick skin is number one, if we can grow a thick skin and do things for the sake of Allah, nothing fazes you, no matter what people say, or do nothing fazes you, because it's all about a lie. It's not about this world. It's not about your reputation. It's not about whether you're famous or not, it's all about are you doing work that's pleasing to Allah subhanho wa Taala because at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

00:39:46--> 00:39:56

Subhan Allah and that is so true. And you know, you mentioned Lord of the Rings. Last week's episode on this podcast was about Harry Potter and Islam. So you know a lot of

00:39:57--> 00:39:59

those selfies are refuted. You will find that

00:40:00--> 00:40:14

Episode. But anyway, I you know, I always put a disclaimer on this podcast when I do my book reviews because so far I've reviewed three books on this podcast. And they've all been about, Well, why don't you take a guess what they've been about?

00:40:15--> 00:40:26

you've reviewed three books. I've reviewed three books on this podcast if you haven't checked them out, just take a guess like what I've reviewed so far besides Harry Potter that was an entire series but besides that

00:40:28--> 00:40:31

fictional book, so yeah, so far, they have just been finished.

00:40:33--> 00:40:37

And I know amongst our Indian Muslims, they have this idea that fiction is life. So fiction is haram.

00:40:38--> 00:41:22

Which is completely nonsensical because the oldest one the oldest works of fiction in the world is Arabian Nights 1001 nights written by Muslims during the Golden Age. I mean, yeah, I don't know where this idea came from it historically, there is no idea of fiction being haram fiction, or, I mean, the Quran even speaks about muscle about parables, parables, always been in our religion, we've never had a problem using parables to preach messages. So it has this really strange idea. And it's alright, anyway, coming back to yourself and the work that you do the lecture of yours that really pushed me to get you on the show, and really get you on board. Is that lecture you did about

00:41:22--> 00:41:54

Islam and all. And I have mentioned this word on the podcast before particularly when we were doing the Harry Potter and Islam podcast with brother sallahu. Dean, who was from the UK, we talked about the word orphan how it can refer to, you can correct me since you're the scholar about it can refer to local customs. And of course, we were talking about Harry Potter that you know, Harry Potter being a product of British culture. And there's plenty of good to be found in Harry Potter. Just because you're reading Harry Potter doesn't mean you're going to come out as a dark magician, tomorrow's Harry Potter, while the Marlin goes,

00:41:55--> 00:42:05

so that that's an achievement right there. I mean, I'm rereading Philosopher's Stone right now, because it's going for free on Audible, just so you know. So you can go check it out if you want to.

00:42:07--> 00:42:43

So yeah, we were talking about OAuth. And you gave a lecture about OAuth and how this factors into Islam and how Islam should have a different flavor, wherever it is. So the Islam of South Africa is not going to look like the Islam of India or the Islam of Saudi Arabia, or Islam of the United States, simply because we all have different cultures. But why don't you take it away from there? And because a lot of people, when you come to them from this angle, they'll start saying, well, you're modernizing the deen. Or you're straying away from the pious, we should be dressing up like the pious people of our time. And definitely, that's not jeans and T shirt or suits and what have

00:42:43--> 00:43:09

you. So how do you counter that claim? Okay, so hum de la Salatu, salam, ala rasulillah. This topic is a very deep topic and to meet the topic that's closest to my heart. It's the one that most of my work here in South Africa revolves around the Hanafi principle of all who actually, it's in all the multiples, but in the 100 model, it's supposed to be strongest, which is the great irony of our times, right? What is principle simply means is that

00:43:10--> 00:43:52

Islam is meant to be a multicultural religion, it's meant to be practical in every place, and every time, it's not meant to be the spread of Arab culture to the rest of the world. Right? Or, in our case, Indian culture to the rest of the world. Allah subhanho wa Taala has revealed a religion where the fundamentals are fixed, but the details are flexible. And so the fundamentals never change. But the details can change from time to time and place to place. What do we mean by this a fundamental of our religion is treat your wife well. How do you treat your wife? Well, every culture has its own understanding of what's treat your wife Well, in one part of the world. If you don't get your wife,

00:43:52--> 00:44:32

a domestic worker for the house, you're not treating her well, in other parts of the world. If you don't buy her own car, you're not treating her well, in another part of the world. In another time, 340 years ago, if you didn't buy her a slave, you know, treating her well. I know we can't take a photo from 300 years ago and see you have to apply today. Because the culture has changed, the world has changed. So our religion Allah has made it flexible industry, that it's meant to accommodate the good of every culture. And historically, that's the way Islam has always been until very recently. Historically, we do not have this idea of Muslims forcing a culture upon another society. The

00:44:32--> 00:44:36

earliest earliest example I could find of this is when the Sahaba conquered Syria.

00:44:37--> 00:45:00

When the Sahaba conquered Syria, and only when a hot dog went to visit his alibi in Serbia, what was his comment? He's coming to us. Syria has changed everybody except above a diagnosis. What did he mean by this comment, he meant that every other Sahabi had changed their lifestyle from the Medina and lifestyle to the Syrian lifestyle. Only Abu Zubaydah was still living his life as

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

If he's in Medina, right, he was another level of Olia. Note that Omar rajala, who did not stop the other Sahaba from living like Syrians. He simply made a comment about it. He didn't stop them in and tell them you have to just like the people of Medina, you have to live like the people of Medina, you have to do the same thing, in fact, is another compensation, recording some of the history books that when he visited more audio, and after a while he became the governor of Australia. And he asked Mario, you know, why are you living like a king. And while he said that the people of Syria, they used to be ruled by the Romans, and they are accustomed to the leader dressing and living like this.

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So when they see the leader dressing and living like this, they respect him and they are loyal to him. So over left, he does that. He lifted that because he understood it's a different culture. And they have a different cultural expectation of the leader. And that's why the people of Syria were loyal to Maui for 40 years, and Hong Kong and any other Muslim leader, because he understood their culture, you adapted to their culture, and you fit it into their culture. He didn't come with the Qureshi culture and force it upon Syria, he moved to Syria and he, he blended into the Serbian culture. And he became part of the Syrian people from the way he dressed the way he lived to the way

00:46:09--> 00:46:29

he entertained himself to the way he gave his goodbyes everything was completely based on Syrian culture. And so now, we see this throughout our history, Ottoman culture was very different from a basket culture, even within the Ottoman Empire, the culture of Ottoman Turkey was very different from the culture of Ottoman Egypt, right?

00:46:30--> 00:47:10

Ottoman Makkah, because they kept the culture of each language the Ottomans took over land, they do not try and force Turkish upon the people, they do not try and force the people to, to just like Turkish individuals, or to adopt their their cultural lingo, they left the cultures as they are. Our religion has a very simple principle. When people become Muslim, they give up the haraam of their culture only, everything else stays the same. Everything else is fine. So a white man can convert to Islam and live a completely white lifestyle, just giving up his alcohol and a few other things. Same with African same with an Indian same with a Malay. And again, look at the Muslim world today. Look

00:47:10--> 00:47:50

at 100 of the Muslim world today. The Hanafi Islam of Turkey is different from the 100 Islam of India, why? Because of the cultures, their cultures are diverse. And both of these are completely acceptable forms of the Hanafi madhhab. Nobody says, or maybe some extremists do, or nobody in general says that Turkey Hanafi Islam is wrong and Indian 100 Islam is right. Right. Rather, they both understood that these are the Hanafi madhhab, according to this orphan that have so my call to the people is we need a Islam according to our oath. The mistake our forefathers made when they moved to these lands, is that they brought their culture believing it to be Islam. And they kind of

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mixed Islam and culture to a level where they are unable to distinguish between the two. classical example the topic, right, covering the head for Muslim and there is nothing in the Quran and nothing in the Hadees that says that a Muslim man has to cover his head. There's nothing like this. There's no reward wage no punishment for not doing it. It's nothing like this. It is simply practically practically speaking in Arabia 1400 years ago, the practical reasons for your head shortage protect themselves from the side and from the dust. Yeah, right. So it's very practically only that, again, cultures evolve over time. For the majority of cultures in human history, it was respectable for a

00:48:32--> 00:49:12

man to wear a hat, even in Western culture, even if it's in carbona hat used to wear their hats a few years ago. Now. Yeah, the point is cultures change. And the culture we live in today, wearing a hat for a man is not at all. Now. is the head of a man or No. Is there a religious significance to covering your head? No. Is it the cultural norm to cover your head? depends on which country you are in. So when I'm in South Africa, I don't normally cover my head because it's not a cultural norm in South Africa. Now, if I'm going to be deobandis Masjid, I will cover my head to respect the culture. In fact, when I went to Kenya, I will Toby for the full trip and a quarter for the future because

00:49:12--> 00:49:17

that was actually the culture event where I met. I met a member of government I met the

00:49:19--> 00:49:39

he was the governor. I actually met the governor of Mombasa, he was wearing a Golden Dawn. All right. So that was the culture. So I just if you look at the picture of me wearing the exact same coat and exact same Toby because what I do is I dress according to the culture. So when I went to Malaysia, I wore a suit, because the older material suits when I went to Kenya, I was put on top because

00:49:40--> 00:49:59

my point is in South Africa, you know, we imported and we kind of forced upon people to skirt and top eating and it's not working because this is like a clash here. Now. Now we have this clash that young people are looking at the school Tantawi as an important thing, and the older people are looking at it as Islam. And now the young people like to wear this to practice Islam. I'm not going to practices

00:50:00--> 00:50:35

This is a mind. Like, I've actually met young people who told me that they wanted to become alums. But then they realize you'll have to work full time to be full time and they put them off. So if I'm at least the one alum in town, there's nowhere to go to Adobe, at least they have an idea, okay? If you don't, you don't have to go and told me to be an audio. Right. So maybe they'll be motivated to go into their studies. So many people are completely unaware of this principle. And that's why it's a shock for people when you mention it. And it's very, very misunderstood understanding is a very fine line between applying the principle of OLS and modernism, there is definitely a very fine line

00:50:35--> 00:50:47

there to allow the alarma understand where the line is. That's the point. The older man understand where that line is, the average Muslim doesn't. That's why the average Muslim should not be the one making the fat out, based on what it should be all about handling this.

00:50:49--> 00:51:21

I've seen the exact same problem in other countries, right. So like two years ago, Dr. yasir Qadhi was in Durban, and I spent two days with him, these two of us were just hanging out you into the beach went out to a restaurant, they were talking about the same issues. And he had the exact same problem there when he came up with idea that we need to Americanize our culture of Islam in terms of culture. People misunderstood him in saying that you need to modernize and so right to do some people call him a modernist, I think is trying to modernize Islam. But no, he's just trying to change the fit to fit the culture. And he's doing it based on the same principles are people don't

00:51:21--> 00:51:31

understand that because the average Muslim does not even know pseudo tech. In fact, the average Muslim doesn't even know the word pseudo thick exists. He has a really

00:51:32--> 00:52:10

yeah, the point that really shocked me last year when I started my pseudo fit course locally. It was in October when I put out the advert for the course people asked me even within my own family watch that never heard of it before. Never heard of the whole term doesn't exist in our community. After I taught my gosee to Chevy acquired with the Kia people's mind blown the neighborhood of the stones in your life, in fact, the whole amount of any of these terms because unfortunately, the local alum cos does not teach my casita cheriya does not teach guidance. They don't even mention these terms. And these are fundamental principles for understanding and applying picking our times. So we have a lot

00:52:10--> 00:52:52

of work to do and this is one of the reasons why I want to start our course one day inshallah to train Allah Masha, who are trained in the sciences, so that they can whichever part of the world they go to, they are able to make the figure relevant to the people. Many people don't know this, but one of the agreed upon five major Maxim's of fic is by all for Muslims is either local culture is the deciding factor. All four Muslims agreed that this is one of the five main Maxim's of just such an extended almost a quarter of fig revolves around this Maxim, that when there is a clash of culture for the local culture, it's not even a matter of dispute. All Muslims agree upon this point.

00:52:52--> 00:53:30

But people today don't notice. All they know is they see what our Mawlana said in India 300 years ago, this is what we're going to follow. And What irritates me about that is that the Milan has the following a truly intellectual individuals who made fatawa for their time, based on the problems of their time or their time, then our may complete and perfect sense. If you know when you put it in context, the only reason the particles are not making sense to us because we taking it out of context. We taking a fatwa that was meant for colonized India, when the British were ruling, and we applying it in South Africa, Botswana, and it doesn't make sense in that context at all. I'll give

00:53:30--> 00:53:31

you an example of this.

00:53:32--> 00:54:08

There is a fatwa that still circulated in some circles that is haram for girls to go to school. Right. And this photo was made during the colonial the colonial era when the British were ruling India where they were setting up girls boarding schools to modernize the girls and to get Islam out of them. So the old mob that time very sensibly made a fatwa that's harmful gotta go to school. Now can you apply that fatwa in the 21st century? You can't it doesn't make any sense. Today the world has changed cultures have changed. The purpose of schooling has changed. You cannot take a fatwa from 300 years ago and apply today to Allah who made the photo we are writing the fatwa, but you

00:54:08--> 00:54:42

were writing the fatwa for the time. He did not intend for people 300 years later to be 3d a fatwa against the word of Allah. And that's what people get wrong. That is where people get wrong when you tell people that you can't follow the photo anymore. They feel like you're disrespecting the Allah. If you're going against the elders, you feel like you're breaking away from from the opinions of the PI speedy says we're not actually following the same principles they follow. He didn't make these opinions with the idea that people are just going to follow it forever and ever. They made the opinions for their time based on the rules. We now have to do the same thing for our time based on

00:54:42--> 00:54:42

our own.

00:54:43--> 00:54:59

But as you said, this is a job for the orlimar not for people like me who will make everything a lot. But then we come to we come to another dilemma then like for me in Botswana, if there are no orlimar who are actually applying You know, this maximum

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

localizing Islam for the local culture or however you want to put it, then what do you do then? Because then it's as if we'll be in limbo, we'll be stuck following this very indianized Islam while we're not in India anymore, not in India 300 years ago for that matter, what's the workaround for that. So, there is no easy solution to this. You know, as I mentioned earlier, it is for the CFIA, it is a communal obligation for every community to train such a llama. Meaning, I believe that every community must choose from amongst them, one or two really intelligent young man or woman to go to another country to study these principles, and then to come back and apply these principles and

00:55:41--> 00:56:08

actually the people in it. So every community, it is an obligation upon them to have intelligent, intellectual or Lama who are trained in the sciences. And if there is nobody like that in the community, the entire community as a whole are sinful, right? And what do I mean by so for example, I mean, look at our Indian culture, our Indian culture is when someone's intelligent, we don't want them to become an addict. We want them to become doctors, we want you to become lawyers. And then we complain to them are not intelligent.

00:56:09--> 00:56:31

Right? This is it. We have intelligent children, we don't want them to be all Mr. And they will complete Why am I not intelligent, put two and two together, you want Allah invest in intelligent people. Look at him conifa imaam, Abu hanifa was a businessman. And Ali literally went to his shop and told him you are intelligent, you should be studying Islam, and that was their culture,

00:56:32--> 00:57:06

their culture, that's what gave us Abu hanifa We are not doing that today. Therefore we are community sinful, that when we have people in our community who are capable, you know, intellectually of becoming profound scholars of the religion, we don't want them to go in that direction, because we don't really see Islamic scholarship as beneficial for them in terms of junior high, just to be frank, we feel like they're gonna be poor to become scholars of Islam. By the way, even when I first started studying Islam, I had the same issue people said, you know, if you study Islamic gonna be poor. And under the law 100, I don't want to mention any people my financial

00:57:06--> 00:57:10

situation, but simply put, I have a happy life and a comfortable life.

00:57:11--> 00:57:44

I realized that whenever risk was meant for you, whenever profession you choose, you're going to get it. And if you choose to serve a lot over serving the dunya, Allah is not going to deny you that risk. In fact, he's going to give it to you and put Baraka on it as well. So that's a major misconception people have. So I will say the first thing your community needs to do is to find amongst y'all those intelligent individuals who are capable of becoming all ama, and to send them to the right places to study Islam, to invest in their knowledge, so that within four or five years time, you'll have people in your community who can go and do this work, either. And this is one that

00:57:44--> 00:58:00

I encourage you, just to cut you off slightly and more for that. But what would be an example of a right place or a correct country, if I put it that way? Look, to be very frank, whichever Institute you study in, they're going to try to put you into a box, and you're going to try and

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kind of force the understanding of Islam on you. And so I will give you the same advice my mother gave me, which is study what they teach you without becoming sectarian. Right. Excellent. They are great universities all over the world. But each of them focused on a specific step that they believe is the right way. So as in Egypt is I have many friends who graduated from the who are really had a really brilliant education. Same with Medina University in Medina, right. Again,

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it's a Salafi Institute. That's clear, but you take from it. What, you know, again, Southern Islam is within Sunni Islam, it's outside of Sunni Islam. Yeah, it is within Islam. So you can study under Salafi scholars and come back to your community and now study under local scholars as well and put the two together. You don't have to just become a blind follower. Right, which is the irony of Salafi. They talk about not blind following, but when people become celebrity become the most hardcore blank followers, you know, of Saudi Arabia.

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You know, I mean, Medina is an excellent place to study in India, I would say never to Allah. Yeah, that's so that's why chef Akram nadwi. Even my personal teachers, yes, Africa. He studied there as well. He was actually classmate to Akram nadwi. And you know, the level of knowledge they receive. It's profound. It's absolutely amazing. So that's another place I would highly recommend for people in the West. I mean, Dr. yasir, Qadhi has his Islamic Seminary in America show that we have this Cambridge Institute in the UK. These are places we're studying at. I mean, it's really you and also nothing of advice. If somebody chooses to dedicate their life to studying Islam, don't stick to one

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school of thought. And if you're going to do your bachelor's degrees with Sellafield do your master's degree with a with a with a with a must have a with a Sufi or with somebody else, just to get understand other people not to get into the group or do you become initiated into the movement or do you become a part of that sect, but just so you can understand it? Because once you understand people, you become a lot more

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Less hardcore. You know, a lot of times when we are in our groups or groups tell us these people believe this, these people believe that. But when you meet people and talk to me Hold on, they don't actually believe that my teachers were misinformed. Right. So it's very important that you get a broader understanding of Islam, like I used to do this, right. So today, I mean, anytime a scholar travels to South Africa, whether he's a Sufi, when he saw one of the malherbe, did his selfie, whatever background is fine, as long as you would in Sunni Islam, I attend his course I attend his lectures, I take notes I, I pay attention, and I'm able to take benefit from it. And I find that you

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grant me a much stronger tolerance of these different movements within Sunni Islam, and a strong appreciation for the work that they do. So there is no easy or simple way today for someone to become an alien. Because most of our programs are very sectarian in nature, I would say choose one of these places that I mentioned, or someplace similar, or go into the open mind. Don't don't become like over patriotic to institute and your teachers. And then after that study with other people, after that, take a couple years to study with somebody else, to break away from one understanding of Islam and to absorb other understandings of Islam as well. So you can keep all these different

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understandings of Islam in your mind at the same time, and learn to appreciate all of them. If someone can do that, then within a few years, your community will have a leader inshallah islamically. Until then, you kind of like have no choice but to take knowledge from people of other countries. And there is a handicap to that. The handicap that is that people from other countries don't understand your culture.

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And so they can't answer everything. You know, it's like the story of when a man from Morocco went to Medina to ask my Maalik 50 questions, and out of those 50 questions, or 40 of them, or 47 of them. He said, I don't know. And when he said, What must I tell my people, he said, Tell you people, Molly doesn't know, one of my teachers commenting on this narration, he says, Mr. Malik, he was familiar with the culture of the people of Medina. But you had no understanding of the culture of the people in Morocco. And he knew this, he knew this, you know that this is something he understood as Ali. And so he knew that these 40 questions, all questions, they are all questions based on

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culture. So it's not his place to answer. It has to be answered by a scholar who understands the culture. And that's what he says, I don't know. So this is what the understanding of my teacher of generations really profound, because so that's why if someone had to ask me, I mean, I get this all the time, I get people in India, and people in in UK, people in Germany emailing me saying, you know, this is the issue. What's the ruling? And my opinions always says, you have to ask local Allah. I'll give you an example of this, which I get all the time is celebrating birthdays. Now, don't you have a birthday party? is it acceptable or not? Always ask him. What's your what's your

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local culture? Someone from Saudi Arabia asked me, I told him, You shouldn't do it, because that's not part of Saudi Arabian culture. Right? Somebody from America asked me, I said, Okay, with these restrictions, you know, don't blowing candles, no making wishes, all of that, it would be culturally acceptable islamically to do it in American culture, because it's part of your local culture. A lot of people don't understand the wants, when it comes to photos, they want one photo for the entire world. And fit doesn't work like that no fit doesn't work that so really, when you're taking knowledge from other mob, other countries, you are going to be at a handicap, especially they don't

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understand your culture, because you're not going to be able to answer everything. It is a communal obligation to send people or to go yourself and to study Islam, and to gain that knowledge. Now, these games will be done online on hamdulillah. Although I personally believe this knowledge is best sought in person, you can study the clock of your teachers and get the bulk of the company and you know, spend private time with them. All of that's important. But nonetheless, for those who can't, it can be sold online. There are many online courses. I mean, I work for IO u, where you can study makkasan COVID, or distorted or you have many other online Institute's and then to just take the

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knowledge once you've studied it. And once you've got that, you know the approval of your peers and your teachers, and then to become a leader of your community in this area. And what's also going to happen then is when you become a leader of your community in this area, you are going to face communal backlash, that is guaranteed, it's 100% guaranteed, there is no way that you are going to try and reform your community without backlash. So again, the people who choose this work need to be people of sincerity people with a strong backbone people of courage and people who are willing to be the black sheep black sheep of the society because otherwise, what's not going to get done you're

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going to give up on day one.

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Upon along very, very profound so that's why we actually got you on this podcast chef Ismail because you're the closest thing I could find sure a local scholar who would speak on this I mean, your neighbor from South Africa. I mean, however close Durban is it's been a while since I've been there.

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But, you know, hamdulillah surely smile. We've been going for a little more than an hour now. Alhamdulillah we thank you, Jessica La Jolla and for coming on taking your precious time out. And, you know, this is like what the second time we've tried because on Saturday, my internet was being funny. So I actually came to my friend's house today and humble God, do you have any, any final words, maybe one or two sentences you want to say to our viewers, whether they're Muslim or non Muslim? I mean, you've talked a lot about seeking knowledge. Just some final imparting advice that's at the top of your head right now. Sure. So my final advice, I think this would be for anyone in the

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world listening, you know, we need to revive the Islamic practice of Bushnell one pushes on means to give people the benefit of the doubt. What they mean by this is, very often when we see alim or someone online posting a fatwa or an opinion that we never heard of before, our initial reaction is a copy or is a deviant is a modernist is, you know, he's going astray, misleading people, I want us to just pull back a bit to pull back and realize hold on this person is a Harley, he studied Islam, maybe he knows something I don't maybe is coming from a perspective that I don't understand. Maybe his culture is different from mine, maybe has a reason for what he's saying. Let me give him the

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benefit of the doubt. And see, even if I disagree with him, this is his sincere opinion based on sort of it, let me accept it for him. I think you know, having this approach would be much more healthy for our conversations. A lot of times, a lot of the fights that we have can be avoided simply by having pushed No, so not the next person, someone could post something on Twitter or Facebook, and people will read the worst of meanings into it. Meanwhile, the person's intention was completely sincere. what they meant was something completely different. Just in general, dealing with family dealing with friends dealing with Olimar, dealing with people on social media, simply

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need to develop this attitude of husana this attitude of

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understanding what is understanding, or rather not understanding, but giving people the benefit of the doubt. You know, thinking good thing good people don't think bad of them. If we can learn to do this would be a much more happy society, a much more united society, be able to get along better and you'll be able to have more constructive conversations and be able to, you know, to get to get along, even if you have the oma depends on

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Panama, and yeah, and just psychologically on once again, she is my little camera for coming all the way to butanna via the virtual means of transport and hamdulillah. And we hope that every one of you really enjoyed and more importantly, learned something from this important podcast, we talked about a lot of topics. And the key takeaway for me was, you know, this path of seeking knowledge. It's not something easy, it's not simple and clear cut in that sense, but it is a path that certain people have to walk on and I hope that inshallah from the listeners, someone has been inspired, at the very least to go and walk upon this path and the reward of which you will definitely reap share a smile.

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So once again, from the scholar in the student podcast here from humble Ronnie Botswana new location and hub only Botswana Assalamu alaikum peace and blessings be upon all of you surely smile. Assalamu Aleikum thank you once again for coming.