South African Islam – Blessings and Potential

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Ismail Kamdar

Channel: Ismail Kamdar

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

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In

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one minute we had our colleague,

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Julian kusina. Kwame CIDR Marina

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de la mejor. De Luca Deanna. Question will

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shamika wash.

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When Amina Mohammed Abu wanted to

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follow along with the other people running by Jean weather in Chicago

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327 years ago, the first Muslims arrived on the shores of South Africa.

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Over 300 years ago, the Dutch had conquered what is today known as Indonesia. And a young prince who was also a early scholar of religion by the name of Sheffield's, he led a rebellion against the Dutch.

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By the Rola the rebellion Vale, he was captured, he was enslaved, and to prevent him from influencing the people of the islands. He was shipped off route 40 of his family and followers to the coast of Cape of the cape in South Africa. And he was sent to live on a farm so he will have no influence on anybody.

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He was the father of Allah, that this incident marked the beginning of Islam in this land.

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And he was from that farm

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indicate amongst the slaves that Islam began to spread. And the first Muslim community was established in South Africa.

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Today is heritage gains Africa. It's a day when people celebrate the diversity of cultures and religions in this country.

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And I think for us as Muslims, it's a good opportunity for us to reflect

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on what Allah subhana wa Allah has blessed us with in this country.

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Because very often, we get so caught up in complaining about everything that's wrong with our country, that we forget about the good that we have.

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So inshallah today, I will first put will focus on all of the blessings that we as an African Muslim share. So we can be grateful to Allah subhanho wa Taala for these blessings. Because Allah subhanho wa Taala has promised us that if you are grateful, I will give you more. So we are grateful for everything that Allah has blessed us with in South Africa, he will continue to bless the community of South Africa and he was even more.

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The second footbaww inshallah will focus on what can be done to make things even better. Because no community is perfect, and no land is perfect. And there is always room for improvement.

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And hamdulillah Islam has been in this land for over 300 years. And in this part of the land in Durban and the surrounding area for over 100 years.

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There is both good and bad in that.

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The good news is that we are an established community with a lot of blessings that you will not find anywhere else in the world. And we take these blessings for granted.

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The bad is that for some reason we have stalled in our crop.

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You see, when you look at Muslims, when they first arrive in a land anywhere else in the world, they very quick increase in the number of Muslims in

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South Africa, we are 3% of the community. At least according to official statistics, I have a feeling it's much more than right because without including all the immigrants who may not be accounted for all the Congress may or officially have changed their religion on the documents, right. So it may be more than that. But 3% is the official number.

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For us to be 3% of the 300 years is a very small group. We look at how fast Islam grew in what is today Malaysia, Indonesia, how fast it grew in Andalusia and Islamic Spain, how fast it grew, how fast it is growing in the US or in the UK, understand that we somewhere down the line, or there's something we may have done wrong.

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So let's start off by looking at what is right. And thank you Allah for that. And then we look at what you can approve or improve on and how we can improve on these things. inshallah.

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I want us to take a look at six things that are blessings for us in South Africa that we may take for granted. And for each of these things I want us to actively tend Allah, to feel sugar in our hearts to say 100

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sure that our existence in this land becomes an existence of sugar or gratitude.

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Number one, we get a lot, that despite the fact that we are only 3% of the population, we have a very strong presence in this country. What do I mean by a strong presence in this country, everywhere you go, or every level of society, Muslims are present, from the government, to the support staff, from TV, to religious,

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humanitarian work, most of it is headed by Muslims. Wherever you go, you will see Muslims front and center. Muslims are seen as part of this community, that we aren't strangers. We aren't foreigners. We are part of South Africa.

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And we get a lot for that. And we get a lot that despite the fact that we are few in number, we are strong in our presence.

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And the Muslims are able to get into any position that that they work hard to get into. And we don't when we say humble and humble you love with a strong presence of Islam in this country.

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Number two, we tend Allah for the abundance of halal food and everything else in this country. Again, this is something we take for granted. In this neighborhood alone, we have dozens of halaal butcheries, bakeries, restaurants and takeaways and we take this for granted we think this is a normal reading anywhere you go in the world you're going to find this you're not you're not going to find this anywhere. There are many brands with a similar amount of wisdom to South Africa where it is very difficult to get hold of a hollow Gucci or

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we take these things for granted. And yes we have problems in this area we have too many hollow bodies fighting over whether something is hollow or not white has his certificate is amazing.

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I think this is a good problem. The fact that we have so much food I mean people actually fighting over who certified Yes Hello, compared to other countries where you can't even find a single restaurant with a valid certificate.

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And so we actually on the on the better side so we can

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you know how easy Allah has made our lives by allowing us to have access to

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in other communities, they have to have discussions on whether they can eat the meat or

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not because of a pure difficulty is because of the system because they don't have Hussam witches, they don't have Muslim funds, they have to have this discussion. We don't even need to raise this discussion. Because we are surrounded by Muslim farms and Muslim Buju their Muslim restaurant and we must thank Allah for this. This is a gift from Allah that we take for granted. The access we have to halaal in this country is amazing everywhere you go on the most, you know Southern you go to the extreme one of the most by use of items is a hollowed out scan

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means the only country in the world we're going to find allowed stamps or toothpicks. I don't know why two techniques allow scan. But we have we did. It's just the thoroughness of our community. halali is

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number three, we thank Allah, we can allow for our freedom of religion.

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The fact that this country has a heritage day where we celebrate our freedom of religion and our diversity of cultures. You know, it shows how strong this is a part of the local community, that this is something that makes Africa

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the level of freedom of religion that Muslims have in this country, we won't find it in many Muslim countries, we will not Muslim countries, that we are free year to be ourselves to practice whatever understanding of Islam we have, that you can deliver a football without somebody monitoring it. Now without somebody pre approving the script, then you can walk in the street with a job and no one's going to look at you like you can walk in the street with a big beard, no one's going to look at you like you're weird. Muslims have freedom. And they have

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a level of dignity in this community, where people do not treat us badly for because they'll take me to another point we'll come to that later, the lack of Islamophobia. But we must thank Allah for freedom of religion, because this is something this is one of the blessings that if you take it for granted, it can be taken away overnight.

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If we take this for granted, it can be taken away overnight. This has happened in many, many parts of the world. There are many parts of the world where people had freedom of religion, a new government comes into power. And the new government doesn't believe in freedom of religion, and overnight all of those, all of those lessons are taken away. We are allowed to protect us on that ever happened. There wherever government's coming to power in the future, maybe be better for the entire country, for the entire community and for the Muslims as well. We will we don't need to sacrifice our freedom of religion to see this country develop inshallah we can have both. So we

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thank Allah for freedom of religion, one freedom of religion. We also thank Allah for our freedom of speech,

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freedom of speech, you can walk on the streets and do Dawa. No one's going to stop you. You can talk about sure

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Here, no one's going to see anything. You can mention the word jihad, nothing's going to happen to you. Right? We have freedom of speech. We don't have people checking out with button three approving it and making sure it's written exactly as they want. In some countries, you cannot have helped us. You cannot organize a lecture and expect people to show up, you have to get government approval. The government has to know who's giving the lecture when where what's the topic of full right out, and only if it suits them, they will approve of it. There are many countries like that. We have complete freedom of speech, we can criticize Israel from the member with no consequences, very hard to get

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that in your work very, very hard. And we tend Allah we have freedom of speech. And we ask Allah to allow us to use that freedom of speech to spread the message of Islam, to spread the truth and to spread justice. We must utilize these blessings in a way that is pleasing to Allah subhanho wa Taala.

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The sixth blessing that we have related to this

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is with our strong presence, with our freedom of religion, with our freedom of speech, we also have very little Islamophobia to be honest with as African Muslim, even though the word Islamophobia until we expose to the Muslim communities of the UK and US, we'll deal with the problems they have to deal with.

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When we travel through airport security in South Africa, we met with a smile. Notice the smile, they welcome us to step our passport, this industry, traveled to the UK or USA and see what the experience is like.

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walk around with the hijab, in some neighborhoods in other countries and see what the experience is like.

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We are very grateful to Allah, that he has blessed us to live in a land where the average person does not hate us for being Muslim.

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Rather many, many people wherever I go, I mean people who are grateful to see us

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who feel safe around me think about what happened a few months ago here, right? When when all these these problems were happening in South Africa a few months ago. And the Muslims were out there protecting the neighborhood's people were scared to see Muslims with guns, a big beard, people were grateful this use of the guns, big news, because they know they can trust us because we are part of this community. And there is no Islamophobia. So there was that working together, that people trusted each other, you know, that Islamophobia, you're not going to have that level of trust. To reject Allah did we don't experience Islamophobia on a daily basis as it is in other countries. And

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finally, the last lesson, I want us to thank Allah for, and this is something we take for granted. This is something we take for granted our access to our access to Islamic knowledge.

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You're in South Africa, we have across the country, we have massage, we have Islamic centers, we have Islamic Institute's, we have Islamic bookstores. And we don't just have that. But we have complete freedom. We can sell any Islamic book in our bookstores. In many countries, including many Western countries, the government has to approve which books are important into the land are published in the land. And they only do so through their propaganda or the understanding of Islam. We have freedom. When it comes from if you have access to Islamic books that you can't find anywhere else in the world. This sheer variety we have, even on the internet, there are many countries that

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restrict which websites you can go to. But we have access to any Islamic website, we want to learn our religion. We have access to illness, especially in the last 10 to 20 years. That is unprecedented. And yes, this is a blessing we share with many other countries. But we must take a look, we must take Allah for it. Because if we had been a different government, they could have restricted our internet usage. They could have restricted, you know what Islamic books allowed in this country, they could have restricted whether we have are allowed to move away, do we allow the Iran Islamic centers or not? They could have done so. But our our this country has given us freedom.

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And so yes, there are problems in Africa, as they are overwhelmed in the world. And yes, there's a lot that we can work on to improve upon. But there's also a lot to be grateful for the loss of 100,000 if you are grateful, I will give you more. So we focus on the things we are grateful for. And we express our gratitude to Allah subhanho wa Taala for meeting us a people with a strong presence for giving us freedom of religion, for giving us freedom of speech, for protecting us from Islamophobia, for giving us access to L for giving us access to halaal we tend Allah, all of this, these blessings will increase, they will grow they will reach more people and they will continue.

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And so we ask Allah to make us from those who are grateful and not from those who are grateful. We ask Allah to make us from people who use his blessings in a way that is pleasing to Him that they will not abuse it and use it for sin. We ask Allah to make us from the people of the mind and guidance to behind Robin is at the mercy who was Salah was an evil hamdulillah

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hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was salam wa salam ala Nabi

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sallallahu alayhi wa sallam by Sharon moody

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in mid up beaucoup,

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beaucoup

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we have a lot to be grateful for, but we also have a lot to work on. And I'm going to mention four things that we need to work on as a community. And inshallah these four things, they will be topics of future corpus, right? So I'm gonna expand upon it specifically points three and four in future purpose. But understand that there is no such thing as a perfect land, or a perfect community. Even historically, many of us we glorify the good old days. Right, and we forget that the good old days also had the problems.

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There was never a time to everything was perfect.

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Abu Bakr Siddiq, Rolando had to deal with a war on apostasy because of the amount of people who have prostate in his time. Omar no photography know how to deal with a plague, a pandemic in his time, and a drought. And he was murdered in the masjid welcoming for lack of budget, or smog. rajala know how to deal with rebellions. Ollie, you already know how to deal with civil war.

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The point is, no matter where you look, and when you look, there will always be problems. So when we point out the problems in our community, we shouldn't take it personally, we should just be like, these are the tests and challenges that Allah has given us that we need to work upon to try and improve as a community. And I believe there are four things we can do to help Islam grow in this country. You see, this is a topic I think about very often. Why are we stuck at the 3% margin? Why are we not growing beyond 3%?

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I think there's four things we can do to help us grow beyond that. Number one, is we need to play a bigger role in helping our communities.

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Not just Muslim, but everybody, we need to be at the forefront of helping South Africa reach its full potential. This is a beautiful country. This is a country that is abundant and resources. This is a country that is abundant in human resources. This is a country that has the potential to be great.

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But you know, they so much time spent in fighting each other and complaining and looking at what's wrong with it. We don't ever take time to think of how can we grow? How can we improve? How can we make this a better land. And as Muslims, we need to be at the forefront. In some ways, we are the main humanitarian organizations in this country run by Muslims or hamdulillah. But all of us need to play a role. Everybody should do what they can to help the communities, everybody should do what they can to eliminate at least some level of poverty and unemployment in this country. We know the problems that gripped South Africa, the unemployment, the poverty, the corruption, the crime, but

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these are these are genuine problems that need to be worked on, we have to work together when everybody else is talking, we cannot cut ourselves off and live in small Muslim only neighborhoods and ignore everybody else, we have to be part of society, and we have to be a benefit to society. And people need to see that the Muslims are different, how they sometimes we are sometimes we are not, but we can improve on this. And we can grow in this, and we can play a bigger role in this inshallah. Number two, we need to put more emphasis on our we need to put more emphasis on ensuring that the message of Islam, which is the majority of South Africa, and there are two ways to do this.

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Number one, what everybody can do is to be a role model of this religion. When people interact with us, they must see Islam, they must see the beauty of Islam, they must fall in love with Islam, because of our character, because of our morals, because of our dignity, because of our manners, because of the way we treat people because of our spirituality, because of our relationship with our Creator. And yes, this means working with ourselves first, that we need to become the type of people that when others interact with us, they want to become Muslims. They want to have the same spirituality we have they want to have the same purpose in life that we have. They want to have the

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same peace of mind that we have. They want to have that Baraka of Islam in their life because they see it in ours. And everyone can do this. Everyone can work to be at a level where they are a role model of Islam to others.

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This is how Islam spread in many lands. We all know the famous story of how Islam spread what is today Malaysia, Indonesia, Muslim traders went over there. The intermarriage committee, they did the business with justice, they represented the Islamic character, and slowly but surely, that became a majority risk and why can't that happen in South Africa.

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It's very much possible. It will happen in that part of the world. It will happen in Spain. It could happen in South Africa.

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It can happen in South Africa.

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We represent Islam in our character and our manners and our spirituality. The other part of the doubt that we need to focus on as a community

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is getting the message of Islam.

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Islam has so much to offer to the people of South Africa. Islam brings hope. Islam brings purpose. Islam brings guidance on how to deal with the immorality of our time. Islam brings in a peace, Islam improves your mental health. There are so many people out there looking for the purpose of life, there are so many people out there trying to find the solution for the internal and spiritual problems. So many people get confused by all the different ideas being thrown at them trying to find out what's the truth? Are we showing them what Islam has to offer? Are we showing them the truth of Islam, the beauty of Islam, the purpose of the purpose of is of life that Islam gives you, are we

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pushing this message out there so more people can see and more people can embrace it, and more people can experience the beauty and the truth and the inner peace that comes with being a Muslim.

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The third thing that we need to focus on, and this will be a topic of a separate foot by inshallah, because this is something we need to discuss in details. The third thing we need to focus on are the young Muslims, the mind of the young Muslims, specifically Muslims who are teenagers in the in the 20s.

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You see why we are stalling in terms of percentage. In terms of the heart, we have a crisis that we don't talk about. There are many people in our community who don't go to the masjid anymore. There are many people in our community who have doubts about Islam. They are those who have secretly left Islam, they are those who have openly left Islam. And we are not doing enough to reach out to them. And to help people deal with the doubts. And to help people establish a connection with the Creator.

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We need to change the way we reach out to the YouTube.

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We need to give them spaces where they can express their doubts without being judged. When we can address it from a pure intellectual perspective, and show them the truth of Islam intellectually. You see, a lot of people need to go through this journey. A lot of people need to go to the journey where they ask the question and you give the answer. Think about it. And they go from being a Muslim by birth to being a Muslim by conviction, they need to go through that journey. But many times we don't allow them to go to the journey the first time a question comes out of their mouth, we shut them up. And we tell them to ask questions like that. The question stay and the questions grow. And

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the next thing, we have to change our approach to dealing with the youth, if you want them to represent Islam, if you want Islam to be a part of their lives, if you want Islam to to be in their hearts, the ways in our hearts, then something needs to change in the way we are reaching out to them and inshallah we'd have a separate clip about that in the future.

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The final point and this also be a topic of a separate course, is we have to, we have to this is necessary. This is what every other point is dependent upon, we have to develop a South African theme.

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We have to do this. We have been clinging to foreign understandings of Islam for too long.

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One of the reasons why Islam is not growing in this country is that the majority of non Muslims in this country see Islam as an Indian religion. And they see converting to Islam and joining the Indian culture. And this is a problem that we have created. Islam, which started in the desert of Arabia, and spread to the the joshy of North Africa, long before it reached India, it somehow proceed of as an Indian religion in South Africa because of our mistakes. It is our fault that is perceived of as an Indian religion. He wasn't Africa before he was an Indian. What did we do wrong?

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Our forefathers came to this land 100 years ago when they came on 100. And they brought Islam and they establish Islamic centers. But they made some mistakes as well. They brought a lot of the baggage with

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us African Indian Muslims are still fighting over things that they were fighting over 150 years ago in India that the people in India have moved on from

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I have traveled to five different cities in India. And the majority of communities I have met they have moved on from these issues. You know, fighting about the same issue, not even discussing the same issues. But we in South Africa, we still fighting about it as if it's a matter of truth and falsity over an email, you'll be still divided on these lines of Indian sectarianism where every Muslim who joins Islam is Africa has to join one of the Indian states and they have to just like be from India and they have to embrace indianized Islam. No, we have to develop a South Africans. And yes, this is a topic for segment. This is something that has to come from the dilemma and the

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dilemma of this land have to sit down and discuss what is a necessary part of our religion. What is Indian culture

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Where are we allowed to embrace our African culture? How can we find a faith that is suitable to the masses of Africa. And I believe that will be the tipping point. That will be the tipping. When the average South African begins to see Islam as a South African religion, that is the day that we will see the masses enter into Islam. That is the day when you will see people enter into Islam in large numbers, because they will no longer see this as a form of religion, but they will see it as their religion. Wherever Muslims wait in the world, they develop the faith based on that land. And this is a very complicated topic that we will go into insure in future we did discuss it in the past. But

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this is what the Muslims had, when they went to Syria, they adapted to the culture of the land, when they went to Spain, he adapted to the culture of the land, when they went to the Malay islands, they adapt to the culture of the land, and our forefathers came to South Africa, we isolated ourselves kept our Indian culture and we ended up not adapting to the culture of the land. We have to figure out what areas we can what areas we can't, how can we form a local understanding of Islam that is suitable to the average African that that they will be willing to, you know, to, to understand and that will be practical on a daily level.

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So near the things that we can focus on inshallah, and we ask Allah to give us a trophy to do so that we are we have a lot of things to be grateful for in South Africa. But if we want to grow, if we want to see Islam Thrive With this land and become, you know, a force of good in this lack of a means of guidance for the majority of people in this land, we have to improve and update our faith. We have to reach out to our youth with new methods of Dawa, we have to reach out to the non Islamic Dawa and representing Islam in our actions, and we have to serve our community and be part of the community. If we do these things that inshallah inshallah Islam will grow into that and continue to

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try to slay the alpha ledger makers from the people who have guided to protect us from being a major misguidance to anyone, although much of the heavy of the language of the Hagia Sophia, Majumdar, Haji Avandia in the love of my life, so I'll do another video

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or something with aseema Subhana romanism Salah