The Mad Mamluks Interview

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Jonathan Brown

Channel: Jonathan Brown

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You know, has some relatability there as far as being a student of knowledge, but what about Hadeeth really attracted you? especially for someone who's coming from a Western academic background?

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Well, first of all, I mean, I feel it's, you know, I really have to say that I'm,

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if people always say, oh, you're a scholar for d3, so but that's not true. I mean, I, I know very little about Hadeeth, compared to,

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I mean, even kind of a middle range, a D scholar in Saudi Arabia, or Egypt or box on or Malaysia or something. I mean, I know relatively little compared to those people, I think, you know, I've, I've studied enough that I can have studied enough with traditional scholars to be able to access information to know when I don't understand things to know how to find out when I don't understand things.

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But I mean, what am I what I try to do really is two things. One is to kind of answer specific questions that I have regarding Islamic intellectual history, and how we understand the religion. And those those questions really come out of my, my kind of questions as a Muslim, about, you know, how do you how do we understand Islam as Americans are today are given all the different different pressures on us. And, and then the this, the second thing is, you know, I try to communicate the Islamic tradition, and especially the Sunday heady tradition, I try to communicate this to to audiences that don't have any real experience with that. So, I mean, I don't want to, you know, a

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lot of times people think I'm some kind of master. So that's just not, that's not true by any stretch of the imagination. But I, you know, I've figured out how to kind of try and communicate these things to audiences who have little or less knowledge than I do.

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But the reason I got interested in deep is,

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is because, you know, Hadeeth is always it's always about, it's always about another other issues in the sense that it's, it's, it's called the servant science in Arabic, the servant science in the sense that, you know, I think there's a

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category of information, a category of data. And so it gets used for everything from law, to theology, to ethics, to history, to,

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you know,

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even to historical information, etc, etc. So, you know, you study it, if you can just study the science of a deed of criticism, you study, the compilation of a deed, those things are kind of specific to the youth per se. But once you go beyond that, really, you're talking about everything that could possibly be redrawn out of that, that body of knowledge. So it's the same thing of studying the craft, and then you study the Quran, you know, you're studying effect, everything that comes out of the ground, which is everything in the Islamic tradition. So

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and unlike the crown, which is a very relatively small contained body of information, the Hadeeth is a corpus is vast. And so a lot of just by dint of the very question of mass, and then number of reports, a lot of the things that are most controversial for Muslims today or have been even for the past 150 years

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are from that tradition, so everything you know, is like, you know, whatever the issue is like jihad or Islam and women's rights or Islam and gender or Islam and slavery or slavery, you know, you name the issue, chances are the the crux of this of the matter is going to boil down to death. So that's why it really interested me is kind of something that you had to get into in order to be able to discuss these issues. Yes, since we're talking about Hades, I'm glad you mentioned that, for instance, you know, as far as you all know, he's 40 Hadeeth. Right. There's a few questions we have about the 40. You know, you don't know before you one of them is

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we have a Hadeeth of resources alone where he says I was ordered to you know, Mr. Nakajima, nurse, I was ordered to fight the people until they say la ilaha illAllah. Right. And obviously, there's, there's there's an explanation for that, but for the western mind, how how do we make sense of that, you know, for our listeners, for our audience and Muslims in general in the West, because on the face value, the Heidi seems

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as if it's going against the principle in Islam like raha Deen, right. no compulsion in religion, and resources, some straightforward is saying that I was ordered to fight the people until they say la ilaha illAllah.

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I mean, this is, this is actually a pretty easy question to answer. And so you know, we there's numerous different versions of that Heidi, you know, in the six books and Buhari in Missa, in terms of the

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Just from my memory of not making any mistakes, but you know, there's versions from us from February, I think there's a version from Omar from that mistake and rhodiola, tada and home.

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You whenever you deal with edits, you have to collect all the different versions. So I mean, like, attributed to Mohammed have been humbled and also you have been so you look upon that, you know, if you don't collect all the different versions of Hadeeth, you can't have any, any like understanding of that.

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Because, you know, this even Sahih Bukhari or like, take a bar and Muslim together are just one of them. If you look at any headings, chances are, you're going to have it with a few with only a few exceptions, in the vast majority, you're going to have a lot more than one narration of each audit. And those durations will differ in important wording versions, like anything that's recorded sort of reported along a chain of transmission, you're going to have vagaries and transmission, people who remember things differently, and people who add things in that they think were there, but that weren't really there in the beginning. So this is quite normal. And so if you don't look at all the

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different versions together, you won't really be you might come away with a skewed understanding of what the report was originally. So in the case of this one that you're mentioning, you know, if you look at the different was one version, and this is an essay in which tebah where it's I think it's from nsmen Malik, he says that the province has released that Salaam says, we'll move to a new continent, which should be keen, I was ordered to fight the the polytheists now and that, of course, you only read this video, initially, right away, you know, it can't be taken at face value, because that's not true. Because the Quran says that when you fight those people who don't, you know, fight

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those people who don't believe in, who don't

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believe in God and last day, and don't forbid what God forbids and don't allow it Gods allows and does and don't believe in God and the last day, fight them until they

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establish the prayer and pays the cat or pay the jizya. Yeah. So from that Quranic verse, you know, that actually, you the Prophet isn't commanded to fight people until they say line a lot, because they're also allowed to retain their religion and just pay a tax. Yeah, so right there, and they, you know, either either the Hadith is abrogated by the Quranic verse, or the Hadeeth has to be reconciled with the Quranic verse, yes.

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And so then you you go and you look at the other version, you find actually, there's another version where it specifies it's the it's the polytheist that it's talking about. And then you can say, Oh, well, that means that you know, okay, so Muslims come across Christians and Jews and Zoroastrians, and they can all stay keep their religion, but then Muslims come across Hindus and Hindus, a polytheist. So then they have to fight them until they all convert. Well, we know that's also not true, because we know that from historical practice of Muslims, that basically anybody they encountered, they treated as people the book. And that mystery Keane is specifically only referring

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to the polytheist of Central Arabia, that's the only group that Muslims were allowed to fight until basically, they converted, or they had to convert or die, every other group of Muslims have come across, whether they're polytheist, or monotheists, or dualist, or whatever, has been treated as people in the book. And that's in the Hanafi School of Law. That's because they think that the Quranic list of the people that book the Jews and the Christians of subbands is not a complete list. That's just examples. And in fact, it could be anybody you come across, as the Prophet specified when our Prophet showed when he said to treat the Rastafarians like people the book in the Shafi

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humbly School of Law, they think that the Quranic list is exhaustive. But then they say that anybody else who has anything like a book is like, it's called ship. They're just there. They're like, they're not technically the dead, but they're like them just like is there an Austrian? So yeah, so basically, whatever School of Law or interpretive approach you take, in the end, Muslims treat any group they come across as people the book who I either allowed to keep practicing their religion pages attacks. So I'm just to add two options, also, that people mentioned. And you know, just if you if you just get your feedback on that, one, is there resources cinemas living in a time where it

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was a very warlike culture internationally, right. It I mean, it's still like that, but it was, it was more tribal. And you know, that that was the way things were conducted, and a type of healthy intimidation, that that may have taken place. The second thing is that resource I settled on would only make a claim like this after being a part of a sovereign entity, right? A Muslim can't just, you know, take a Hadees and say, Well, if socialism said this, I can just go and kill anyone I want whenever I want. You know, there's there's actually a whole entire process that has to

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Or even contemplating going to war? You know what I'm saying? So are those Do you think those are valid points? Because that's a lot of people have that mindset to

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even on a scale level? Yeah. I mean, first of all, it doesn't say you go do this, as I have been commanded to do this I as the leader of the Muslim community, yes.

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And in addition, as as, as, you know, we said,

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you know, did you have people have other no everybody except the polytheists, of Central Arabia, who are all Muslim anyway? Yeah.

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They have an option, which is to, you know, if Muslims conquered them, they could just keep their religion. In fact, that's what the vast majority of them did numerically in Islamic civilization, of course. So, I think if you if some Muslim goes off and says, this means that I can go kill someone, if they don't say Laila a lot more. So that's just, I mean, that's that person is, you know, you could give them a Chinese fortune cookie, they might go kill somebody. I mean, they're just so stupid if they think that, you know, it. I don't that's my opinion. I don't know, maybe, you know, especially teenagers, God knows what they think. But my point is that, you know, the, that is not

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the, that's the

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very poor understanding of that person, or decides to take that action, not,

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not of the responsibility of the Prophet. Sure. Not to brown also, we talked a little bit about like the upload tab, and the juicy, etc. A lot of times when we hear people talking about Islam in a negative light, in the media, whether it's the alt right, or Neo atheists, etc, they're always talking about these, you know, well, there's the concept of the me's, right? The or, and they're, like old and they classified as second class citizens. And from their perspective, like right now.

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They're like, let's say, American citizens, and they have rights as primary citizens. And they're like, well, Islam, under Islam, we would be second class citizens, we wouldn't be the main class of citizens. So

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being devil's advocate there, it's the Doesn't that seem logical for an average person to therefore think negatively of how the laboratory under an Islamic government, for example? I mean, I think it's just it's comparing two totally different, it's like comparing apples and oranges. I just don't even know how. So basically, you know, when you're in the United States, we have all sorts of people, all sorts of classes of people in this country who don't enjoy the legal rights of citizens, or whether they're permanent residents, whether they're immigrants, whether they're illegal immigrants, whether they're visitors from other countries on visas, right. So they're all these

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other people who, who are second class citizens in effect, right? I mean, in the sense that they don't enjoy the rights of the citizen. We don't sit around pulling our hair about that we say that's just a natural extension of how we conceptualize citizenship. So this whole idea, you know, in Islamic civilization, like the vast majority of the world's population, not all but the last majority, the world population prior to the emergence of the nation state in the late 1800s, early 1900s. You know, identity was based on a great product, confessional, lightly religious identity, you know, so as a citizen of the Islamic Islamic civilization, a citizen of the oma was a Muslim,

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and then there were people who lived as protected minorities. Yes. And like, permanent residents, and immigrants, and all these other things that you have in the United States, they didn't enjoy the same rights as citizens, they also didn't have the same obligations as citizens. Yes. So anything to see why that's so disturbing, and then they say, oh, but you know, you shouldn't do that on the basis of religion. Well, actually, I mean, to be to be totally fair, that's actually more fair than the way we do it. Because if you were Jewish, or Christian, and you want an in, in Cairo in 1300, you want to become a full citizen, all you have to do is say, Laila horseshoe a lot, and you became

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Muslim. Okay? Whereas today, if you're an immigrant or a legal, you know, an illegal alien or whatever, here in the United States, you have no means to become you in order to become a citizen, you have to there has to be an application is accepted by the US government, there's a long process you have to go through. So I think, if you really wanted to compare the two systems, a system where it's a person's choice to simply adopt a new religion and instantaneously become part of this, you know, the totally enfranchised class, that's much more that's much fairer than a system where you have to where someone can't do anything, because they haven't been born in a different country.

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That's a nice perspective in which I mean, and then in terms of, you know, someone says, oh, if we live in Islamic State, we would stop being we would stop be, you know, we wouldn't be full citizens anymore in America. What the heck are these people smoking? I mean, what do you realize what kind of changes would have to happen demographically in this country for it to be a quote unquote Islamic State, I mean,

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If, Okay, so here's one possibility, I guess we could be conquered by some all powerful Muslim nation that would take over and make us part of some Islamic State. I don't see that happening anytime soon. So I don't even know why that's on the radar screen. Or the, you know, the vast majority of Americans could convert to Islam, in which case, the country would be so different. I don't even we wouldn't even this whole conversation would be completely obsolete. Yeah, of course. So, you know, yes. If you know, how about this, I Jonathan Brown, to the extent that I have any authority in this world, if America becomes an Islamic State, I will personally guarantee that non

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Muslims will not be relegated to any dhimmi status, okay. And I will gladly sacrifice my life to protect their rights. And by the way, we have precedent for that, like the Ottoman Empire in the late 1850s, abolished the jizya and abolished any discrimination between different religious groups within the Empire. And by the way, did that using precedent from the Islamic tradition and drawing on the keytab CEO of mahalo that hasn't shaved down he the famous Hanafi scholar who died ATP, oh, 500 to five common euro. So there's, but there's also advantages of being a dhimmi status. So right in the in the past, I like reading up on history, but I remember reading that the dummies in Islamic

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history didn't didn't have to serve in the army. They had well,

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but almost nobody and one of the weird features about us Islamic hate civilization is

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after basically the

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early to mid 1800s of the Common Era.

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Regular Muslims just living don't ever serve in the army until the until the 19th century. Because what they do at that, from that point on, either the dynasties employ slave soldiers who are drawn from outside the Muslim world, and then they become Muslim, but like the Mamelukes, as you guys call yourself or their ambassador,

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Turkish slave soldiers in the hundreds of nine hundreds, or their their government is made up of sort of military, basically warlords and their troops. They're usually Turco Mongol troops. And even nobody, no normal person in Islamic civilization really serve in the army after from around 800, let's say to 1800, right. Right. I think if you understand, like, the purest form of Islamic governance, if you look at the rashidun Caliphate, you would see at least those principles were related to the demeans being practiced in its purest form, like where they were granted many rights, that Muslims didn't have to adhere to legit like, like serving the oil. Yeah, I mean, they were

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allowed to, you know, they were allowed to drink alcohol and buy and sell alcohol and raise pigs and,

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you know, engage in transactions at Purdue interest bearing transaction. So they were allowed a lot of things that Muslims couldn't do. Yeah, right. Well, what we were what we were talking about earlier, in regards to Hadid and trying to get the big picture of what, what the Hadith is talking about, with, like, for example, the deed that Johanna brought up, when people who are English speaking are evaluating compendium of a hadith relating to a certain subject, well, what what are some warnings that that they should adhere to? Because

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there's a lot that's lost in translation from Arabic to English, and they're trying to evaluate a deed and in that respect with with the, from an English angle? Well, I don't think it's necessarily a matter of translation. I think it's, I think that, in general, people should not really read Hadeeth books, because it's, it's such a view without being like, totally just somebody. Right? Yeah. I mean, it's like, it's like, imagine, you know, being

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just getting reports about something that, you know, let's say, like Harry Truman said on like, Sunday, I mean, it's just completely decontextualized. And, and,

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you know, trying to figure out how to fit them together. And what they mean is a really is a big challenge. This is one of one of the big, big challenges Muslim scholars have had and to sort of someone who doesn't have any background in that, it's just gonna, they're gonna, they're gonna go crazy. If they think they're going to go crazy, they're going to not know how to deal with this.

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You know, which is why, you know, you're, there's another saying if, you know, early Muslim scholars, or Sunday scholars from the 700, hundreds that you know, hadiths are

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will lead astray anyone who's not

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able to understand them, you know, I mean that your if you if you're not from

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dollars when you try and read this material, you'll just be

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befuddled and probably misled and misguided. And, you know, this, you know, it's a made it means. One of the I think one of the pieces of evidence for the overall reliability and especially the more, you know, books like Buhari and Muslim is, is that the language is extremely archaic. I mean,

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the kind of images that that are drawn and deeds are so

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they're so foreign to even Baghdad in like the 780s. And even kind of an urban Middle Eastern context. these are these are totally different worlds, this is people living out in the desert, and, you know, living off different parts of animal bodies. I mean, it's a when you when you come across this imagery, I mean, even Muslim scholars in the 700 800 of the common Europe, it was really hard for them to understand some of this stuff. I mean, they sat around banging their heads against the wall, trying to figure out what does this mean? What is this? What is this type of plant they're talking about? or What is? Why are they saying that this is like, you know, the armpit of a camel? I

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mean, what do they mean by that?

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It's a totally different world that you come across in these men, this material,

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Dr. Brown, in light of that, so like, you'll have the scholarship has been around for what, several 100 years? And I'm going to ask kind of a loaded question about a certain personality. So it's at your discretion, you want to answer not my background, not right now. But in the past, in my younger years, I was pretty active in the Salafi Dawa, or called out to Sofia, if you want to be a little bit more formal about it. And one of the main personalities that we you know, these brothers or sisters or you know, in this movement are attached to his chick, Muhammad Nasir, the mother Betty Rahim, Allah ramola. And he's very polarizing, because a lot of people who are traditionalist will

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say, well, he'd have a teacher, etc. And, you know, and sometimes, and after leaving that whole ideology, you know, you kind of understand that like, well, there's a lot of like hype and slogans and stuffs throw around around certain scholars.

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What's the, you know, I don't know, if you like, if you've studied him at in any depth, but what's your basically your take on him? What's his methodology? And like, how can someone in the 20th century come across and say, Well, this is sorry, this is Hassan, like, hasn't this already been done? Or was he getting access to new, you know, books of ideas that or other, you know, texts that people weren't necessarily coming across?

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with the case of chef, Danny or him a whole lot, there's a couple of things one has to keep in mind, which is that there's a lot about people that causes conflict, it's not just their ideas.

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I think he had a, he had a very kind of caustic, combative personality. I think if he had, if he had said things in different way, if he had, you know, expressed himself in a way, probably he would have had less conflicts with people. So I think some of it is his personality.

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And, and then second, I think the most of the real controversy is about him or not about his scholarship. It's about his legal rulings, you know, that.

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Let's say women are not allowed to wear gold rings.

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And not just men that

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recovering the face is not required and things like that. I mean, so he was, I think, his legal rulings and then his, you know, his rulings on theological issues like tawassul visitation of graves, intermediation by saints and things. And these are the same things that you know, selfies and non selfies are all you always arguing about? So I think part of it is just sort of this thing selfies, all these not argue about regarding theology, some of Bernie's, particular legal rulings,

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you know, the fact that he didn't constrain himself to any method. So I think the majority of things that are controversial, Donald Benny actually has to do with those, those issues that I don't is a deed scholarship is, you know, I've never seen anything from Danny that really differs from any other, you know, from the sort of range of normal methodology of other Sunday idea scholars from the seven hundreds to the 20th century. Right. I mean, he's, he doesn't he's not like he has some methodology for authenticating or declaring we cadets that other people don't have. And if, you know, people might disagree with his opinion on something, but they might also disagree with even a

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ban or, you know, duty or a delta p or monetary or someone I mean, there's all sorts of you know, this

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Constant disagreement amongst Sunni scholars on these topics on particulars of a deep,

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deep judgment. So that's not a unusual.

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Third of all, I mean, I think that his, you know, his book, he did tremendous, tremendous service to the study of it. I mean, if you, if you just want to, if you just come across anybody, and you say, I want to know if this is authentic or not,

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you know, it's not like every Hadeeth out there has rulings on it.

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It's actually really hard to take a lot of work to to go through an entire book and write every Hadeeth. And very few Muslim scholars ever did that. And so, you know, if you find out even more gem of a tub, Ronnie, or in the gem of a tuna movie or something like that, and you better pray that somebody somewhere gave a ruling on that hadiths reliability, otherwise, it's no, there's no guarantee you're gonna find that information? Well, then he actually did, he actually went through a huge number of books and gave for every single idea, his opinion. And he backed it up with evidence. And that was substantive or real important contribution. And one of the reasons people always say,

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well, Danny isn't because he's some kind of, you know, they're some kind of superstar and idiots, you know, whose opinion matters more than anyone else? He might be the only person who ever offered an opinion on that idea. And that's incredibly valuable service. Yeah, he was a game changer for sure. Yeah. And then if you look at his, you know, if you look at his discussions of, you know, why he considers it to be weak or or strong, you know, he lays out his reasoning, and you can disagree with his reasoning if you're qualified. And that's, you know, but that would be no different than if you're looking at that heavy or been Tamia or Hjelm Escalante, you would have probably the same kind

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of disagreements, because this stuff, a lot of it is based on judgment calls and weighing evidence that it's not kind of doing math, math problems. It's an art not a science. Well, and that's really eye opening. I actually didn't know, the question my head was, and he always afraid to ask it to others, because you're, you know, you know, fearful of being ostracized from the from the gang. Oh, but like, because I was like, well, has it already been done? And then No, yeah, yeah. You explain what? No, it hasn't been done. Also, let me let me let me also, you know, something you asked, it's important that I address which is the science of a deep study never ends. And this was a debate that

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I actually talked about this in my first book, The canonization Bukhari and Muslim I think I mentioned in my in my book on edits as well, but, you know, there was a big debate that starts in the 1200s over a basically a misunderstanding of something at one scholar writes, and but the debate is basically has has the process of, you know, authenticating or

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de authenticating, Hades has ended. And

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basically everybody who mattered said no, it hasn't entered because as famous scholar of Cairo, Xena Dino that aqui said, Allah has been this is the job of deed scholars, it's never ends. Now, if there's something in Buhari that Buhari thinks is so here, then, unless it's a very rare exception,

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probably no one else is going to say it's not so yeah, I mean, just just not because they're afraid of disagreement before, but just because,

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statistically speaking, if he he's very, very selective. And so if, you know if he says something authentic, probably other people also said that, as well. And,

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you know, the books in this decent Bukhari Muslim are very small number of Heidi's really talking about, you know, anywhere from 2000. You know, basically, let's say, five or 6000, maybe seven 8000, depending on how you count what it is versus different narrations of the same tradition. But you're talking about a relatively small number of deeds, compared to the massive number of reports that are compiled, and it found in all the different books and IDs compiled in Islamic civilization. So you know, what they're talking about, what about all those other Hadees out there? I mean, look at let's say, it then matches someone

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what even matches sooner and is not a science book. So when you want to know if it is reliable, and that someone has to go and do that work, and it's not like someone a year after I've been magic died, decided to do that for his book, The first book that was even a commentary but not as soon and wasn't written until the 1300s. So

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people were constantly and still remain in the process of looking at edits that are found different books trying to authenticate and trying to figure out what their status is. And because again, this is a process that is

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subject of disagreement. People will also be evaluating the work of others.

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Sure, sure. Dr. Bri, I got one more question regarding Hadith. So when I was growing up, and maybe he's like around late High School, early college, one of my best friends, he was he came to me with this Quran. And

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it was like, it was almost off. Sorry, it was the technically the season Muslims of translation. And he was talking about how there was like, you could be a Buddhist Muslim or a Christian Muslim, and that that lard was permissible, because only, you know, pork meat was like, What do you get into stuff from? And it gives me this, this must have and it's like, the it's like a some version of the Quran, interpreted by a guy named Rashad Khalifa. You heard him?

00:30:48--> 00:31:28

Yeah, he was in Arizona, and he was he was murdered. Yeah, you know, he's the guy that did it the number 19 theory. But he's he's a he's like a subset of this Khurana unit movement, right. And the argument that and at the time, I didn't know much about myself. But as I learned a little bit more, I was, you know, talking to talk to my friend about it. And his argument was always like, Yeah, but there's always this human element with a Bukhari or a Muslim that, because they're because they're not fallible. They're not infallible. They're not infallible. Sorry. And so with that, there's like a, you know, chance that you're not getting the right thing. So that's why we stick to the Koran.

00:31:29--> 00:32:03

And, you know, there's a lot of strong arguments against qurani, the curonian movement, but people a lot of like, I find some people who were still want to hold on to that. And it's funny that people that kind of hold these beliefs are really average lay people. And but that's like, their, that's the one thing that's a thing they hold hard to, like, there's human error still in Hadeeth, even if it's like 1%. And based on that, we can't say, we can't have certainty for it, for instance, that this is the truth. But I'm saying like, how would you respond to that?

00:32:05--> 00:32:09

Well, no, I think it's important that

00:32:10--> 00:32:22

it's important to to affirm, you know that, yeah, you know, Muslims are only required to believe in things that they can know through certainty with certainty, right?

00:32:24--> 00:32:27

That has evidence that produces certainty. So

00:32:29--> 00:32:38

usually, these are called things that are what's my Lumina Dean. But the Euro or axiomatic tenets of the faith are things that are known necessarily as part of religion.

00:32:40--> 00:33:20

And a lot of, you know, the vast majority of details of Islamic law and dogma, or, you know, whether or not you believe a certain Hadith is true or not, this is these are things that, you know, might be wrong, if you don't believe them, but you're still a Muslim, you No one can declare you're an unbeliever for that. And so I think it's important that if people say, you know, I, I feel so much doubt when I come across any edits, no, I really just want to stick to the crown. But I mean, that's, I understand that, that imperative, I understand that sentiment, and, you know, we need to give people their right to, to kind of have a bare, minimalist understanding of their religion. And

00:33:20--> 00:33:42

as long as they don't deny things that are known, essentially, as part of their religion, then, you know, they would be be fully Muslim, as far as I understand it, but would there be a problem? For example, if they were to say we don't, cuz sometimes those guys don't like, Mohammed, then yeah. So here's the thing that here's the thing that the second part of my answer, which is that,

00:33:43--> 00:34:21

you know, one of the things that you have to know, you have to believe in to be Muslim is that you have to believe in that there's five prayers that you have to do for free. No, you don't, if you don't pray, then you're just a bad Muslims. I mean, if you don't believe you, that's part of the religion, then you're not a Muslim. And the problem is, you can't actually you cannot get that from a grant on its own. So there's things that Muslims know and have always known is part of their religion. But they that can't actually be clearly gleaned from the Quran, which means there has to be something else besides the Quran, that informs our religion. And that is the son of the Prophet.

00:34:21--> 00:34:45

Now, we consider out in debate to the cows come home, what the son of the Prophet is how we should know it, and that's the that's the job of Muslim scholars throughout history. That's why you have different, you know, Sundays and Shiites and different schools of law and school theology because there's disagreement about what the Sunnah of the prophet is. But you have to you have to acknowledge that there is this other source that's in addition to the crown, which is the son of the Prophet.

00:34:47--> 00:34:59

Thirdly, the issue is, someone says that they only follow the grant and that gives them certainty because, well, how do you know what the CRAN means? I mean, you might know that this is the word of God authentically preserved.

00:35:00--> 00:35:06

But to actually understand it, you're going to end up with lots of interpretations inevitably.

00:35:07--> 00:35:25

So you'll you know, whatever certainty you have in terms of what's called the the boot or the attestation historical reliability of this document, that certainty is not going to be sufficient to give you certainty about what the book means. Because meaning is subject to interpretation. Finally,

00:35:26--> 00:36:01

how do you even know what the words mean? Oh, you say, well, we learn I actually, I wrote this in my most recent book, when I was responding to this one translation of the Quran done by one of the students of Rashad Khalifa, a guy, a Turkish scholar, who I think also lives in Arizona, his name is edit uxcell. And he did a translation of the crane called the Quran reform his translation, I think it's what it's called, you can get it online on PDF, PDF. And what he says is, I'm just gonna, I'm only going to use the current URL, anything, I'm not gonna take any information outside of the Quran in my translation.

00:36:02--> 00:36:42

And he does that pretty well, except, you know, he actually is using something it's called Arabic dictionary. And Arabic dictionaries. It's not like, you know, some guy was sitting there writing the Arabic dictionary at the time of the Prophet and we just happen to have that dictionary or something. dictionaries were written by Muslim scholars using the exact same material that went into the Hadeeth corpus. So the same people were transmitting Hadees are the ones transmitted the meaning of Quranic words, the meaning of this word, meaning of that word in Arabic. So you cannot escape reliance on something outside of the Quran or to understand the Quran. It's impossible. Okay, Dr.

00:36:42--> 00:37:13

brownlow? Let's segue into like a more practical question. A lot of folks see like a lot of up and coming brothers and sisters in our community high school, they want to study Islam. In academic role, they see people like yourself who are called the or elders like Dr. Sherman Jackson, etc. For someone who wants to study Islam in the western Academy, what theological or spiritual prerequisites, would you recommend for them to make sure that they're not derailed in their faith as they undergo that pursuit?

00:37:15--> 00:37:21

I mean, I don't, I would never, I wouldn't suggest that anybody's study Islam.

00:37:22--> 00:37:23

Actually, I mean, if they want to,

00:37:24--> 00:37:45

Muslims want to know about their religion, they study their religion, with scholars with Muslim scholars, who are going to teach them their religion, in the traditional Islamic way. I mean, that's, I think it's, and I tell I tell this to Muslim students, if you if you want to learn your religion, don't take class with me, because my classes are not about teaching people about us know, Islam as a religion, they're about

00:37:47--> 00:37:51

Islamic intellectual history, they're about history of the Middle East history of the Islamic world.

00:37:53--> 00:37:53


00:37:55--> 00:38:33

you know, I might, a lot of times I, you know, when we read texts or something, you know, I include a lot of Islamic, a thought or perspective of Muslim scholar in that, but it's not taught from that perspective. And, you know, even if I'm Muslim, and I believe, strongly in my religion, I, you know, I don't talk and teach in that way, when I'm dealing with students, because, you know, in a classroom, because we know, our universities are not, are not places where you're allowed to favor one religious perspective over the other, you have to be able to switch different to different perspectives. And so, you know, I sometimes Muslim students used to take my classes, or what I used

00:38:33--> 00:38:35

to teach at University of Washington in Seattle.

00:38:36--> 00:39:17

And then we get very upset when I'd say stuff. And I'd say, Look, I'm this is not a, this is a history of Islam classic. And I I'm not, you know, let's say I give a Shiite interpretation, that's still a Muslim interpretation. And that would still upset you. I mean, I can't, you know, I'm not here to just give you Islam as you want to understand it, it may be the correct interpretation, but it's not the only one. And it's, I don't have the right to favorite over others, and other perspectives in when I'm talking to a broad audience. So I think that people should really learn their religion from Muslim scholars in, you know, in mosques or in madrasahs. Or in you know,

00:39:17--> 00:39:47

centers of learning in that are developing in the US in the West, or on different online forums. They have different teachers who can who do classes online. And I think that's, that's really if you want to if you if you want to go and take classes on it, like for example, let's say a student wants to take a teaching a class next semester, his sexuality and power in the Islamic tradition, the student wants to save that class, that's fine. But if they go into that class, and they don't know and they just think they're going to learn about their religion, they're going to get their brain is going to get blown on the first day, they're going to start pulling their hair out.

00:39:48--> 00:39:55

Not because because it's not about Islam as a religion, it's about the Islamic tradition, which is

00:39:56--> 00:40:00

a historical tradition has tons of stuff in it that has nothing to do with the religion of Islam.

00:40:01--> 00:40:21

So, you know, I would say if you go and you get a really good grounding, you know, not even not a really good but just decent grounding in the basics of Islamic faith and law, then you can go and and learn, you know, take classes with professors, and then you can have a degree of confidence, you're not going to be shaken by what you hear. Right? So I mean, I guess.

00:40:22--> 00:40:35

So like, what? Let's say some 17 year old kid comes to you, right? And I know you're doing some work right now, as I understand it with the yaqeen Institute. And we, you know, we've had some of the folks from yaqeen already on the show.

00:40:36--> 00:41:12

Some two year old kid comes to you like, hey, Dr. Brown, like, I got into Harvard. Right. And I want to end, I also have this and he's studying with scholars on the side. What should I study at Harvard? And I want to do a PhD, what would you advise him to do for like, I guess the intellectual warfare that is essentially being fought in this country right now? I mean, first of all, I'd say, I would say, why are you doing a PhD? Because probably won't get a job, because there's not a lot of jobs. But let's say let's say he says, Look, I'm independently wealthy. And I can do whatever I want, I'd say,

00:41:13--> 00:41:17

I would say don't do Islamic Studies, because Islamic Studies is a very,

00:41:18--> 00:41:22

in theory, this isn't the case. But in reality, you know,

00:41:23--> 00:42:00

a lot of people in it are, like, you go, if Muslims go in Islamic Studies, which is now I don't know, I would guess the field is maybe majority Muslim. Now, I don't know if that's true or not, but I think it might be the case. But even a lot of those Muslims, they really like they lose a lot of their humanity. I've seen people like even at Harvard, that's just for example, Harvard, I see people go into that those programs and get chewed up, like their humanity gets chewed up and spat out by the time they graduate. They're, you know, drinking, marrying, like, non Muslims, you know, they're, you know, they're they don't believe anything anymore. They're totally jaded and cynical

00:42:00--> 00:42:27

people. And that's not because any, that's not because a better argument was given to them. It's just because when you go into a culture, like if, if I went, you know, if you guys went and spent like six years in some neo nazi skinhead camp, you'd come out neo nazi skinheads, because that's what happens to people, when they go into call into environments, they're affected by their environments. That's the nature of human beings. By the way, don't go into any neo nazi skinhead camps. So the, you know,

00:42:28--> 00:43:07

it's not just about the stuff you're learning, it's also about the way you're acculturated to thinking about religion, and what's important in life about issues of meaning about whether or not you're going to be jaded or not jaded. And a lot of these, you know, a lot of professors in the humanities, they're there, their train wrecks, their personal train wrecks, their alcoholic, they're miserable people, they, their family, their disasters, because they're deeply neurotic people who are incredibly self centered and non concerned with others. And, you know, if you want to go and find a group of people that you want to learn from, and be affected by, professors are usually not

00:43:07--> 00:43:47

the best. I mean, they're, they're borderline non functional people a lot of the time and I say that as a professor, right. So what I'm trying to say is, when you go into Islamic Studies, you're not just, it's not like, you're just going to go and read books and learn in some disembodied relationship, you're going to be you're going into a guild and academic culture and lifestyle and have a group of people who are going to influence you. And I think, you know, Islamic history and Islamic studies are fascinating, Lord knows, I love them. But, you know, I, I survived all that, you know, thank God, by the grace of God, and for the hell of a lot of resilience. And it took a while I

00:43:47--> 00:43:49

took a lot of hits, you know,

00:43:51--> 00:44:17

and other people didn't go through. And I happened to be fortunate enough that when I was in grad school, there was a lot of Muslim students like me, who were very knowledgeable, were older than me, who could protect me, you could help me who I could turn to for advice. And, and we helped each other you know, we gave each other strength and numbers and that was, but a lot of times, that's not going to be the case. So you know, I would say if someone says, I want to I got this, I'm going to go to Harvard now. And I would say go and do a PhD in

00:44:18--> 00:44:27

western intellectual history, go to a PhD in you know, in literature and linguistics, go do a PhD in law, because

00:44:30--> 00:44:48

almost all the stuff that all the stuff that we worry about today as Muslims in the West, you know, Islam and this Islam and Islam and terrorism, Islam and jihad, Islam and women, Islam and you know, gay rights, all these things, all these things that we're always being bombarded with. These aren't about Islam.

00:44:50--> 00:45:00

This This isn't this is not about Islam. This is about though, this is about the West and the insecurities and you can

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

Cincy unreconciled elements within the Western tradition. And if you if you read a very good book called on the Muslim question by Anne Norton, I really recommend this book, what she shows very well is that on whether it's violence or gender, or marriage, or women or

00:45:16--> 00:45:33

freedom of speech, free expression, everything, all these things they're really not about Muslims are just the just the tool. They're just the screen on which the projects, it's its anxieties, its internal anxieties. Right. So

00:45:34--> 00:45:51

this, and one of the ways this works, is it, we have these sins put on us. So, you know, I've, for example, right now, I'm writing this big thing on slavery, for Ukraine. And, you know, I just finished writing it today, actually. And, you know,

00:45:52--> 00:46:32

what's fascinating about slavery is that, you know, people say, like, is there slavery in Islam? You know, what does Islam say was like, why does slavery? Why does Islam allow slavery? Now, in that, in that question, the person is asking you, everyone assumes that it's the Islam part that needs to be clarified. That's the question. But actually, that's not the question at all leave Islam issue is actually relatively simple. It's slavery, what is slavery, if someone actually sits there and tries to define what it is, the definition will immediately start start falling apart. And the more you pursue a definition, the would operate outside of a narrow American context, the more you realize,

00:46:32--> 00:47:04

under your definitions are working, every nephesh you come up with doesn't fit. Everything you want to call slavery. And the definitions that do fit are so General, they're totally useless. So what you realize is that when people say, you know, what is why is Islamic law, slavery, what they're really saying is, I think slavery is x. And if you're American, you mean, I think slavery is this, this abominable practice of in slate, you know, treating a whole race of people like subhumans and working them to death, with no rights, etc, etc.

00:47:06--> 00:47:35

But that's not that's not what slavery is, for most of human history, other places. In fact, if you went to other countries, places and times in human history, you might not even realize that you're looking at slavery, you might think that a free person is a slave and a slave as a free person. I mean, you wouldn't, you know, a lot of situations, the things that we think we know about slavery don't apply at all. So what what's actually happening the situation is, Muslims didn't engage in race based

00:47:36--> 00:48:15

plantation chattel slavery, Muslims did not engage with this only only very, very rarely in Islamic history was a sellout. And it certainly wasn't part of the way that Islamic law consumption, slavery, okay? But when Muslims are asked, Why does Islam Allah slavery, what we're basically being asked is, slavery is this horrible thing, which we all see in 12 Years a Slave, and we watch routes and homicide and things like that. And why do you guys allow that? We don't allow that. Don't come and pile your sins on me. You guys did this stuff. Well, actually, my people did. My ancestors owned slaves in the United States. So I'm guilty. Right? But my point is that, you know, Muslims didn't do

00:48:15--> 00:48:15


00:48:16--> 00:48:45

I say, Oh, well, Muslims sold the seagulls in slavery. Actually, yes, some did. But if you read Rudolph wears excellent book, The Walking Qur'an what you see is that even before even before the first abolitionists were organizing in England in 1785, he was lucky What did the walking Qur'an or Okay, the walking grant UI even before the first meeting of the abolitionist Society of Britain took place, I think it was 1787.

00:48:46--> 00:49:30

Even before that, in West Africa, a Muslim state had been formed led by a scholar named aza color Khan, who had was so sick of seeing Muslims enslaved by French and Spanish slave traders, and seeing the people who memorize the Quran bound up in chains that he rose up in rebellion against the like drunken Muslim ruler at the time, who by the way, was drunk on drunk and on alcohol he bought from European slave traders in return for slaves, okay, the Europeans gave them alcohol and firearms, and rose up defeated these slaver kings and prohibited slavery in His Kingdom. He prohibited any if anybody was a slave, if they could say even one phrase of the Qur'an, they were free, and he

00:49:30--> 00:49:44

prohibited selling slaves to prohibited Europeans from coming and taking Muslim slaves. So, you know, this, these, this whole discussion, a lot of these discussions, Muslims have the inconsistency is the unresolved

00:49:45--> 00:49:54

internal conflicts of of the west of the nation state they have just piled on them we become the bearers of these burdens when we are not responsible for

00:49:56--> 00:49:59

some perspective. So this is like, you know,

00:50:00--> 00:50:01

Just I mean,

00:50:03--> 00:50:24

to go just to keep on just example, the slavery, you know, was oh, well in the 1700s and 1800s, the Barbary pirates, these Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic were enslaving British people and an American people and things like that. And yeah, but you know what, no one knows this. But Europeans were enslaving Muslims from the Ottoman Empire at exactly the same time.

00:50:26--> 00:51:06

You know, you know, people, it's astounding the the, every at every point, in every wherever you can point in Western culture to some fear of Muslim slavery objection, the most moral objection to Muslim slavery, at exactly the same time, exactly the same custom is happening practice happening in the West, for example, in 2015. In this it was summer of 2015. All the newspapers in England were all uproar by an uproar because they're in this place called brother in the north of England, there was this circle of DC, you know, South Asian, Muslim sex traffickers who were moving white girls and to be their sex slaves. And in fact, yes, there were Muslims are doing that. But guess what didn't

00:51:06--> 00:51:47

get reported in the media, except for one or two places? Is it the majority of the people who were suspect and the more Jordan he caught up in the investigation were white men. But instead of looking at that, instead of looking at the fact that males in our country in the UK in the US are engaging in sexual unacceptable sexual practice with young women, they just look at the Muslims, and they condemn the villains, therefore, exonerating the society as a whole. And that is, that's what I mean, when I say Muslims bear the sins of others. Yeah. No. Dr. Jonathan, where we're living, it seems like in a post Trump era now, and I'm trying to figure out well, we're not even a pre Trump,

00:51:47--> 00:51:55

but we're still in pre Trump is not present. Come on. No, I think, well, the the message we got from our appointed a post Trump and for years.

00:51:57--> 00:52:44

But yeah, well, the message we were getting from our community leaders and whatnot, was that, you know, don't freak out yet. You know, he's not president, but it seems like from his appointment that he's been doing so far. There's some definite warning signs and and just just allude to what you were talking about earlier. What are some, some tips or things that people can do or young kids can do to further their career, or let's just say you have a 16 year old, I don't know how your kids are. But let's say you have a 16 year old and they say, Hey, Dad, you know, things have changed. And you know, I want to contribute to Muslim society. How do I contribute now? Well, what's the way

00:52:44--> 00:53:01

forward? I would just say that, I would say first of all, you know, as there's a great line, the Odyssey, you know, each each soul delights in the task that suits it best. And also, you know, the Hadith, the Prophet kulu kulu. Yes, sir. kulu yesterday, mahalo kala, who everybody is,

00:53:02--> 00:53:20

is whatever what you're created for is made easy for you, you know, so people should should find out what their, what their talents are, and then go in that direction, because not only will they be more effective in what they do, but they'll also be happier. People are happy when they're doing what they're good at.

00:53:22--> 00:53:30

And so, I would say, in terms of what you should do, what the kids would do, it would really depend on what the kids talents are, what the kids opportunities are.

00:53:32--> 00:53:41

But I would tell you, no, I would tell the kid look, you have to excel, whatever you do, you have to look so this is again goes back to the teachings of the Prophet and when he

00:53:42--> 00:53:48

the Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad, God wrote cassava,

00:53:49--> 00:53:51

on the cliche, God

00:53:52--> 00:54:06

ordained sand, you know, perfection in everything. If you do something, do it well. So, you know, whatever you do, do it well, and be committed to it and be passionate about it. And people will respect that. And

00:54:08--> 00:54:35

people respect you as a Muslim because of that. And then you'll gain control, you'll gain excellence and from and prominence in your field and then you'll be able to, to speak out as a prominent person in that field. I mean, being an activist is great, it's very important. But it's also extremely important for for there to be Muslims established in all these different fields who can speak out as successful doctors, lawyers, writers, illustrators, whatever,

00:54:36--> 00:54:46

car engineers who knows people who have who have excelled in those fields. And, and and to be to be involved in their communities to be committed to

00:54:48--> 00:54:59

to engage in government to engaging civil society, United States to going out and being involved in their mosque community and reaching out and involved in interfaith activities, doing charity.

00:55:01--> 00:55:15

Trying to improve the society around them, trying to improve the lot of Muslims in the United States. And then to engage also with different levels of government, whether it's getting on the local school board, which is extremely important, extremely, extremely important job, or going into local government or

00:55:16--> 00:55:30

going into even, you know, higher up political career, this is really important for Muslims to do. Muslims should never doubt the correctness of engaging in society and politics that's very important.

00:55:32--> 00:55:54

Now, in that, in light of that, you know, we had the situation which has popped up in the last couple days where it's not as long said in North America was known to have, you know, come together and do an alliance with the AJC the American Jewish Committee. And, you know, in light of some of the rhetoric there was that there was an alt right conference, I think, this weekend in your neighborhood.

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

I think they announced the formation of the council that day after the Trump election. So it was it. Yeah, my dad, you know, and so, and some of these, like, some of the white nationalist movement is, would be anti Jewish and anti muslim. Right. And so a lot of folks will say, Well, yeah, that we wish we should collaborate on things we agree with and, you know, things that we disagree with, we we will collaborate on.

00:56:20--> 00:56:47

And we talked about MLA on a previous show with some other guests of ours, you know, and your position if, as I understand it, as most people will probably who know, you understand it, is that you're you're pretty anti MLA, and, you know, I think there's enough information on the internet about like, your, your, your cause, but is this alliance? No, it's not and it's actually stepped away and backed off a little bit a qualified it and some pro MLA folks actually got really upset.

00:56:48--> 00:56:56

They were expelled, I saw that I said, just this was just this was just pointed out to me or, you know, maybe an hour ago, or so before I started to talk to you guys.

00:56:58--> 00:57:42

You know, a couple of things we have to focus on here. One is my problem with MLA has nothing to do with Jewish people or Judaism or even Zionism. That's that's not the issue. My prom with MLA is that it is two things. One, it is designed to undermine a successful boycott effort. Okay, if you don't want to be involved in a boycott, that's fine, but don't participate in efforts to undermine Okay, and that's all been demonstrated by set asides article on faith washing, always think that, as you said, this is all been well established. And you could probably provide your audience with links if you want on your podcast or something like that. Okay. The second problem, second problem is that it

00:57:42--> 00:57:47

is not the business of people who are not from the Muslim community to choose who Muslim leaders are.

00:57:49--> 00:57:56

That is not that is find me another community out there in the United States, where it allows us leadership to be selected by

00:57:57--> 00:58:12

by people outside the community, by the way, people who have as far as I know at the shalom Hartman Institute in Israel does not have the best interests of American Muslims in mind. Okay. they they they said they, they advertised that their interest in MLA was in

00:58:14--> 00:58:53

combating the BDS, boycott, divest sanction movement. Okay, so this is two very simple principles. And I've never heard anybody who can actually counter the arguments. The problem a lot of people they love to, they twist into all different shapes and go through their kaleidoscope of arguments, but they've never been able to respond to say, Oh, you have bad edit. Oh, you know, even the Prophet, talk to his enemies, probably didn't talk to his enemies. First of all, anything wrong with talking to anybody, but you'll talk to someone if that action is going to be used to undermine some successful effort to undermine and to oppose important costs.

00:58:54--> 00:58:57

So that's that issue. The second issue.

00:58:59--> 00:59:37

If the other partner is not asking you to compromise anything, that you don't want to compromise, or is not making some requests of you that are damaging, then I don't have a problem with that partnership. I mean, the profit lace so I'm allied with mystery cone policy se allied with non Muslims, the Allied you know, but if they came and said, you know, we want you to compromise this religious belief or that religious belief, he would never he would, of course not ally with them. So there's a long tradition in Islam of allying with people who are not Muslim who maybe even don't have Muslims best interests in mind. But if there is a shared goal or shared strategic objective,

00:59:37--> 00:59:41

then you can ally with the with those parties, provided they don't

00:59:42--> 01:00:00

ask you to compromise on important things, or provided that your partnership does not in and of itself, undermine an effort. So for example, with MLA, the reason why that's problematic if if Muslims did MLA in Switzerland or in New York, they went to

01:00:00--> 01:00:15

mosque or synagogue in New York and work with them or they've met in Switzerland or Japan or wherever, that'd be no problem. The problem was that it was done with an Israeli institution that insisted that people come to Israel to learn there. And that's in direct violation of the BDS

01:00:16--> 01:00:48

boycott. So that's my problem with MLM not the idea of partnering with people who are not muscle. You're dubbing your various discussions or debates with the pro Li crowd. Has anyone ever asked Has anyone ever said something to the effect of where it's kind of like a little low blow where they would say, Hey, hey, Dr. Brown. The reason you're so passionate about To be honest, just because your family that you that you're married into is Palestinian, has anyone ever I'm just curious, like, Has that ever come up in the dialogue?

01:00:51--> 01:01:02

No, it's although people have told me you know, oh, these guys are these people are saying it's about you. You're just doing this because of your it's funny. They say apparently I've heard two things. One is that I'm a misogynist.

01:01:03--> 01:01:04

I don't know how that fits in.

01:01:06--> 01:01:12

And to who and quite ironically, too, I'm influenced by my wife and her family.

01:01:14--> 01:01:18

I both hate women, but I also on unable to oppose the influence of by way.

01:01:20--> 01:01:23

Neither of these things are true. My best friend is a

01:01:27--> 01:01:28

joke people.

01:01:31--> 01:01:32

Wife is my best.

01:01:35--> 01:01:39

Shake was like an undergrad at Georgetown, liberal scholar here. My aim was

01:01:40--> 01:01:43

you guys are you guys don't you didn't get my job.

01:01:44--> 01:01:58

I'll tribute it to the technology. But the point is, it's you know, I've been pro Palestinian and since I became Muslim, since I because not because I became Muslim because I didn't even until I became Muslim. I thought Israel always existed I didn't even realize was a new country.

01:02:00--> 01:02:37

You know, I mean, this is the American public is so ignorant of these things. The second I saw what was happening, I saw this short movie called the people on a land. I started bawling with tears numbers. My sophomore year in high school, I just started bawling when I saw it happening, the people, the children being killed, the houses being torn down. And I couldn't believe that my tax dollars are paying for it. I couldn't believe I didn't know about this, I was so upset. And since that moment, I never had any doubt about the tremendous injustice is being done to Palestinians. And of course, everyone says, oh, Palestinians are so violent, why they always blow stuff up. Why can't

01:02:37--> 01:03:07

they use peaceful means like, can't anymore like Gandhi, okay. And then the second, they say, okay, we're gonna just boycott we're going to call people to boycott Israeli institutions, we're going to call for people to divest from Israeli companies and institutions, then that's, that's also bad. You know, that also, that this is just nonsense. I mean, you know, if you you can't, you know, these are just an effort to take away all the, the the, the means that Palestinians have to resist the tremendous injustice is being done to them. And BDS is totally peaceful. And it's

01:03:09--> 01:03:40

all it asks you people to do is not to invest in Israeli companies or not to have relationships, formal relationships with Israeli institutions. So basically, my point is that, yeah, has anyone ever done these low blows, not to me, in person or online, because I can deal it out pretty effectively. And I don't think that somebody wants to say that to me, then, you know, Dr. Ron, did you know they're gonna get they're gonna get a nice response? That's all I can say. Did you notice

01:03:42--> 01:04:00

that there are quite a few like Twitter celebrities, they these Twitter celebrities are kind of being cherry picked for certain people's causes by from outside our community to represent Muslims, you know, and if you if you kind of look at, look at it from that angle, you'll see that

01:04:01--> 01:04:06

certain people are kind of being propped up as being the voices in our community. And then

01:04:08--> 01:04:19

people, maybe even people who have, you know, moderate amounts of talent to not that talented to unable to, to write coherent articles.

01:04:20--> 01:04:27

Yeah, so if there's a by the way, if there's a if you really want to keep the community down, make sure their leadership or mediocrities, right

01:04:29--> 01:04:31

because then they'll never brick sell.

01:04:32--> 01:04:59

So, yes, I think that is not at all a that is not a chance this is a very This is a a well thought out and well time tested plan for managing minorities create division and from then the message itself will end up breaking apart once you create some splinters within any movement. And while be kind of argue amongst each other, the message is lost.

01:05:01--> 01:05:20

We're just or just make sure people I mean, if your leadership is unable to is sort of unable to create an effective and moving vision for the future, and to respond to outside challenges in a constructive way, then you will never be able to

01:05:21--> 01:05:27

hear to move beyond the condition you're in. Yeah. Cool. Hey, Dr. Brown, first of all, Jazakallah for coming on the show.

01:05:29--> 01:06:04

As we wrap up, what's the best way if people want to learn more about you? Where can they find you online? We sounds like you're pretty active on social media. We kind of hit that out already. I mean, some of my like, I've got a story. I'll tell you one of my friends used that you Chicago with me that day. And he was telling me how he had never like fanboy anybody. He met Shahrukh Khan. He was a Bollywood actor. And he was like, Yeah, not a big deal. Yeah. Yes. rk, you know, and he's like, you saw you He's like, it's not it's like, you know, sharp looking white dude up there speaking Arabic talking about this a little thick. I think you're talking about like foundations of

01:06:04--> 01:06:25

Sharia. And then Medina excetera. And then, you know, in, he was just, and he really got into because of one of your debates that you were having with one of these pro MLA folks a few years ago, and the heat jumped on her. And they started having beef. And so he was like, yeah, so you became like, his champion?

01:06:27--> 01:06:34

Happy to have been an inspiration to somebody, you know, so I, you know, I think it's, it's really unfortunate. And I don't,

01:06:35--> 01:06:56

you know, I don't actually dislike these people at all. I mean, I think that some of them, you know, like, you know, which I had, like, for example, this guy's very talented guy, you know, he's really has a chance to help Muslims, he's already done important work to help Muslim community, you know, just, like just earlier today, I've even put his name on an invite list for something at the university and

01:06:58--> 01:07:05

Robbie chaudry did this serial thing, which I didn't listen to, because apparently, I'm the only person that will listen to this. And,

01:07:06--> 01:07:10

you know, she advocates for criminals to be

01:07:11--> 01:07:27

to get through trials and stuff. And that's great. And, you know, Herman Melville occasionally writes things that are really interesting and insightful. And I mean, I think these people have, you know, they really have a capacity to help the Muslim community out, and they have done so already.

01:07:28--> 01:07:29

You know, but

01:07:31--> 01:07:57

they've really kind of insisted on, on something that I think is deeply, deeply flawed for a number of reasons. And moreover, they've repeatedly brought it up, like, I mean, I don't, I actually don't write about this issue unless somebody like someone from MLA or pro until I write something. I mean, this thing that happened a couple weeks ago, where Robert choudry got a

01:07:58--> 01:08:00


01:08:01--> 01:08:39

was given to her in Chicago, and then the the organization retracting the prize, because they found out she was an ally. You know, if, if that had happened, no one would have known about it. I mean, but she posted something on our Facebook page where she said, this happened. And she posted the letter, and she posted this long moralizing essay, objecting to the to the organization, Chicago, well, why did she do that? I mean, no one had to even know about this. But the second she did this, you know, it was going to be clear that this Chicago group was going to have all sorts of grief directed at it. So I responded. And I said, you know, this is a I applaud this organization,

01:08:39--> 01:09:17

Chicago, and I urge people to support them, because they're going to take a lot of heat. Yeah. And, and that turns into me, you know, being obsessed with this issue of not letting it go. I'm not obsessed with it. You know, if if this by the way, if these if these MIT this ml, I think it happens, and they'd be on this thing, and just everyone had been quiet. No one would have known about it, no one would have cared. No one would have cared. But what happened? They went and then the first thing that public can happen is Robert Ciotti wrote this article, I think it was must have been summer of 2014. That why no matter what an American was to learn from Zionism. You know, and

01:09:17--> 01:09:57

she wrote it. And then, you know, if you do this stuff, and then you write articles on time, calm about it, of course, you're going to catch flack. Yeah. But by the way, that was the entire point of this project. The entire point of this project was to have Muslims do this openly, because this was going to make it that the idea was that they were going to be a number of Muslim leader, young Muslim leaders who were going to be chosen as role models for other Muslims. And at that point, from that point on, Muslims were going to grow up thinking it was totally fine to undermine solid acts of solidarity like BDS, right. And that's what for me was unacceptable. The I think I could not accept

01:09:57--> 01:09:59

the idea that these that, that that that

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


01:10:01--> 01:10:47

tide force was going to create Muslim role models that were so deeply flawed in their political stances. So that's why we kind of act. Do you think we give a little too much attention to the pro MLA movement? The it seems, and there's no study being done on this, but it seems like the Muslim majority of Muslims in America are, you know, it would be on the BDS side, you know? Well, I think i think that i think that, you know, it's that kind of counterfactual, because it's hard to argue counterfactual, because, you know, if no one had opposed it, I think that it would have had a much bigger impact. I think that the cost that was exacted on the people who went and publicly came, like

01:10:47--> 01:10:58

if someone went on MRI, and they never said anything about I don't care if somebody wanted himalayans, like, I I really think I made a mistake. I don't care, you know, but if people go on it, and then they repeatedly come out publicly

01:11:00--> 01:11:16

proclaiming it, praising themselves for going on it, saying how anyone who doesn't agree with them is like Pamela Geller or somebody who's like, equivalent of a Pamela Geller on the other side of the spectrum, you know, yeah, then they're gonna get beaten down on the head. But I mean, the point is that this, you know,

01:11:19--> 01:11:33

if if there hadn't been that cost, I think that it would have been much more successful. And I think that it would have really shifted what is normal for Muslims that this would have become so become become something horrible. So

01:11:34--> 01:11:49

and I think, you know, the second that Trump got elected, this whole situation just changed. I mean, you know, a significant portion of the American Muslim leadership has spent the last basically 2015 years

01:11:51--> 01:12:28

building a home, a future home, with the center of the democratic party with and they, they didn't, they did this, with the full knowledge of two things. One, that the center Democratic Party is we're going to require that you give up your political stances, some things like criticism of American foreign policy, and criticism of Israeli policy, these things are gonna have to drop to, they're gonna require you to give up your social stances, you're gonna have to get fully on board with the progressive agenda on all social issues.

01:12:29--> 01:12:42

Okay, and instead of, so they made their, their bed with this with this camp. And, and that camp just got its, you know, its

01:12:43--> 01:12:44

rear ended on hand it to it,

01:12:45--> 01:13:26

because it had pushed the American public to foreign social issues. And it totally neglected the economic concerns of a significant portion of the population, and had not helped the very minority groups that they were supposedly standing up for. This is all been diagnosed now ad nauseum. So the point now, when when when Trump got elected, now, you know, now there's no good Muslim, bad Muslim. Now, we're all bad Muslims, unless you're a zoologist or a sanoma. on it. You're a bad Muslim? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we're all black in the sense that we're now we're all we're all criminalized. Yeah, we're all Palestinian, in the sense that now we're all being told that we don't really belong in our

01:13:26--> 01:13:41

home, you know, and now we're all extremists, because for people like Mike Pence, and this Kris kobach guy, you know, anybody who believes in the Quran is an extremist. So at this, they're now you know, and by the way,

01:13:42--> 01:14:13

I, I really, you know, I actually support partnerships with groups like AJC. And I, by the way, I think we should I think Muslims should have first gone and built partnerships with with American Jewish organizations that actually do speak up for Muslim rights like American like Jewish voices for peace, for example, that should have been the first group that we went to not AJC. And by the way, that the fact that this was announced the day of Trump after Trump's election, I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure that means that it was in the works before Trump sold.

01:14:14--> 01:14:21

So, you know, first of all, we should have gone with groups that really support the rights of Muslims, and to

01:14:22--> 01:14:31

when when the Muslim Brotherhood, God forbid, gets declared a terrorist organization, whatever the hell the Muslim Brotherhood is, okay, when that gets declared the terrorist organization,

01:14:32--> 01:14:50

and basically, every Muslim organization in this country was originally sprung out of different Muslim Brotherhood activist groups in this country. Okay. So basically, when every single Muslim organization, and every single Muslim activist in this country is basically one or two degrees separated from a terrorist organization,

01:14:52--> 01:15:00

is, is the AJC really going to stand up and protect us? Are they going to come out and say the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terrorist organization? Are they going to say that these people

01:15:00--> 01:15:00

should not be

01:15:01--> 01:15:10

put under a shadow of suspicion or under suspicion. If they do, I'll be impressed. But I'll tell you ain't a lot of people are going to come and support us at that moment.

01:15:11--> 01:15:19

But you know, who is going to support us people like Black Lives Matter, people, like, you know, progressive activists or, you know, the gay rights movement, they're gonna support us.

01:15:21--> 01:15:21


01:15:23--> 01:15:23

you know, what,

01:15:25--> 01:15:35

you know, Muslim should have been building alliances more with these, these groups that actually come out. And, you know, they might, they might object to our social positions.

01:15:37--> 01:15:50

But they at least don't require us to compromise on our political positions. They support our political rights. And by the way, I think, you know, even on the issue for like sexuality, or gay marriage and things, I think, actually really thoughtful

01:15:52--> 01:16:06

components of the gay rights movement, I think, actually would respect the Muslim position, which is, you know, we don't agree with you, you don't agree with us, but we all want the same thing, which is we want a notion of marriage, which is free from the kind of Christian Western European byesies.

01:16:07--> 01:16:14

And, you know, we want the same agenda. We don't agree with each other in terms of our lifestyles, but we just have the same agenda or so we can work together.

01:16:15--> 01:16:52

Now, we we did have another show with you. And you know, Daniel, obviously, Daniel haqiqa. Jew, we were talking about LGBT stuff the other day with them and sounds like there's a little bit could be a little good discussion there. But what he disagrees with me and that's been that's By the way, that's a that's a completely fine disagree. You know, I I also totally, you know, I thought on this issue, I thought a lot about it over the years. And I you know, my position is, I acknowledge that there's other people who disagree with it, and they have good arguments, and I, I think my argument is better, but I don't, you know, I, like you know, a mammoth shaft but he said, You know, I, I

01:16:52--> 01:17:03

think I'm right, with the distinct possibility that I'm wrong. I think that other people are wrong with the distinct possibility that they're right. Very cool. Hey, we're so we're gonna try to wrap it up again. That was the flick a 40 minute wrap up.

01:17:07--> 01:17:09

To get me talking. It was an honor having you.

01:17:10--> 01:17:48

What's your Twitter It was my pleasure to talk to you guys. Dr. Brown, what's your Twitter handle and Facebook and all that stuff? Like, how can people find you online? It's at Jonathan AC Brown. I think A and the A and the C and the B is capitalized. But I don't know if that matters. It's at Jonathan AC Brown. And your father was Jonathan brown as well. But different middle initials. Jonathan C. Brown. So yeah, Jonathan Cleveland Brown. I remember Andrew Cleveland Brown. Yeah, I think I remember the Facebook post after he had passed away. You had mentioned you would like your dinner stuff. So I'm, I'm the last of the I'm the last of the Mohicans.

01:17:50--> 01:18:03

There's no relation to that Jonathan Brown, that old preacher from like the 1700s right. You know, it's Jonathan Edwards. Edwards. No, but I am descended from the founder of Cleveland, Ohio. Okay, okay.

01:18:04--> 01:18:17

That's my claim to fame. Oh, yeah, that and then on Facebook, so that's really the Cleveland Browns rumor. Oh, it's the same it's the same on Facebook. I remember this guy said you have to make everything the same. So I tried to do that so it should be Jonathan EC Brown. Okay.

01:18:18--> 01:18:28

And your use said you will be published article and yaqeen Institute so they can find some of your works there hopefully. Soon. inshallah. Yeah, I yeah, I did want already on on our killing.

01:18:29--> 01:18:31

Which I'm against, by the way.

01:18:32--> 01:18:41

I didn't want this one will be on slavery, which I'm also against, or something like that. Just Just to clarify. Yeah. Yeah. So

01:18:42--> 01:19:11

basically, yeah, you can look on your screen and find stuff. Very cool. All right. He was a pleasure having you. We'd love to have you on at some point in the future. And I remember you were telling me when I saw you in person that you want to come to Chicago to have pizza, and I told him that and I was like, yo, come on, I don't think was a better restaurant. So we got better places that Pete Oh, yeah. So no, no, I think pizza is well, if there are better places, and I'm happy to find like era places like how I take I hit the lady.

01:19:12--> 01:19:46

No. And the other thing is, you guys can invite me to Chicago and then take me to this place. Okay. Absolutely. Absolutely. All right. For our listeners out there. If you have any questions or comments, you can email us at the madman Luke's at You can also follow us on Twitter at the Mad mom looks like our Facebook page, but same name. We are on iTunes so please subscribe and leave us a five star rating for our special guest Dr. Jonathan Brown, and my co host Shay hammer Saeed and sim This is money for the madman Luke's signing off as salaam wa Aiko on a song