Channel: Lauren Booth
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Welcome to heart and soul with me, Lauren booth, your place to reflect. These days it's not easy to find something so dynamic yet deep that you can stay glued to it together as a family. But my guest today has managed to make space for thought that speaks to all our hearts. Karma Salah is a Muslim youtuber based in Sydney, Australia. And he first captured the attention of Muslims worldwide with a series of spoken word videos online. Now these portray the Islamic perspective on a range of contemporary topics. And His most notable videos include the meaning of life, which we will be hearing during the show, and nothing to do with my prophet. He studied both media and law at
Macquarie University in Sydney. And he continues to look for new, innovative ways to express himself and his faith through art. Welcome As salam aleikum, I consider my saliva cancer. I'm really fascinated by this combination of dynamic poetry and faith. How did that come about? For you? What was your journey to that route to speak to people
to be honest with you, or the kind of the courage for them to say, you know, when I was not practicing, I might say about 10 years ago, when I was, you know, getting into university just coming out of high school, I was, like, extremely indulged into like, the entertainment industry, hip hop rap videos, to be honest with you, that was the main reason why I had studied media to begin with, you know, as you said, You know, I sold media university, I actually went into media. So I can potentially go into the entertainment industry one day, but saponify, you know, a lot of sides and as a loyalty handler had guided me. So by the time I had, you know, realized that my intentions were
not so well. Allah had guided me to actually start using this talent for something better, and to Panama was a mere coincidence that I just got into poetry. Because I really wanted to make videos to express your son and polish, he was just one of the ways that I stumbled across and unhandled I turned out to be effective and a lot had destiny through it. And, you know, I am where I am now, hungry. Let's just talk a little bit about you said that the intention wasn't great. There's nothing wrong with going to work in the media, what was wrong with that? Look,
to be honest with you, it was it wasn't necessarily media, I wanted to get into to what I actually enrolled into media at the beginning, I wanted to get into, like the hip hop scene, I wanted to get into directing music videos, and to be honest with you, the majority of which we find today is not necessarily the most halaal or slimy, you know, kind of fields to work in as a practicing Muslim. So I had realized that this wasn't the best option to take and handler I went into like the Islamic side of it, which, you know, you know, my story is actually on YouTube. And many, many funny things happened along the way. Well, tell us a few of those.
Well, to be honest with you, I had always dreamed of one day featuring a music video on this very, very famous hip hop website. And, you know, my dream was to one day direct the music video to feature on this website, because it was like the number one most prominent hip hop website of all time. And I would always talk to my friends about one day, I'm gonna make a music video for this website. And I'll always be like the number one
more you say, viewer of this website, and it's a ton a lot, you know, the prophet of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he teaches us that those who give up something for you know, for the sake of their religion, or for the sake of their faith, alone will take takes out which with that, which is better. And hamdulillah you know, what could I say after the first or second day of uploading masters ever spoken word media that had actually featured on the front page of this hip hop website that I had wow, you know, often so dreamed of, you know, being a part of and you know, it's nothing short of a sign that alone will replace whatever you give up for his sake. And, you
know, many, many of the incidents popped up in my life with
kept on reminding me of the importance of, you know, continuing this pursuit, using the media, that using it for
what was the cleansing process of your heart and your behaviors, and the impact on your daily life of suddenly, or gradually starting to pray five times a day, you let's say, you're at university, and you're involved with all your friends, and you know, you're doing fun stuff, normal stuff, everyday stuff, legal things, what was the impact of changing?
To be honest with you, it's a very common journey that many people go through. I had, I was kind of forced into the
religious circles, I'll cut a long story short. So basically, I used to go to one university. And when I was at this university, I was kind of, you know, a popular kid, I would avoid at all costs, you know, the Muslim circles or family groups that Islamic societies out, avoid them at all costs, and just try to hang around with the cool kids that used to go out have fun, you know, in non Islamic environment, so if they would go to parties that would have alcohol or things that will hurt our, in our religion. So basically, when I went to a new university, I was left with no more of my old friends that I had known from the past University. So I had to enroll into a university and I
was left with
the table left with little to no friends. So slowly, but surely, I was introduced into a few of the Muslim kids, and, like, really, really friendly, they would take me under their wing, they would invite me to dinner, take me out, do all the really boring, really? Didn't it seem really boring? No, after your spicy, exciting lies.
I'll be honest with you, although I used to go out a lot with my friends in the past, and we used to, you know, go to what many would think are exciting and fun places. I never used to be content. So I'll be you know, this is me being brutally honest with you, I will never actually happy. The fact of the matter is the only reason I used to go out or hang out with my friends in these environments was solely because I, I feel or at least, you know, shape one had had confused me and had made me believe that if I was not to hang around with these people, I would be left with no friends. So like, you know, just hanging out with them, it's better than being alone. So I never
used to really enjoy going out there, I'll just pretend to be really enjoying myself, I would much rather have been at home on those nights. But, you know, the tripod would confuse you and really whispering to your knees and make you feel like you shouldn't be here because if you're not with them, you're going to have no friends. And then when I eventually left those friends, you know, the shape on had actually started to work on is whispering Alright, look, now you've got no more friends, you've got no one. And you know, he would constantly whispering, whispering to go back to friends come together to write with the panel or within a short amount of time. You know, those old
friends were opposed to new friends. And if it wasn't just, you know, new friends, it was like, many, many, many, many, many friends had came into my life. And you know, the withdrawal of the shape on the trip of the shape on that I wouldn't be lonely was very, very, very far from the truth. I feel like we should introduce everybody at this point to your poetry with one that has moved so many with its deep questions. We're going to take a break now to hear the meaning of life.
What are we doing here? And where are we going to go? It's like we just woke up one morning. And then it's Welcome to the show. Don't ask any questions. Just go with the flow. make as much money as you can. And try your best not to get broke. copy everything you see on the TV from the hairstyles to the clothes and don't think too often. Just do exactly as you're told. And if you ever get confused, then just turn towards the alcohol. You still hear thoughts, then just turn up the radio as you learn to live a lifestyle of drugs, sex and rock and roll.
But in all honesty, I just need to know is there more to the cycle then growing and getting old living and dying just to leave behind a happy home and a whole lot of property that somebody else is going to own. I just really need to know before that
caskets, clothes, because I'm not willing to gamble with my soul, nor am I ready to take any chances. These are just simple life questions, and I'm just searching for some answers. Like, what are we doing here? And what is our purpose? How did we get here? And who made us so perfect? And what happens once we go? Or is this world or really worse? The questions we don't answer because apparently we don't really have to. There's no purpose to this life and our existence is merely natural that in that case, please let me ask you, did you create yourself? Or was it somebody else who had fashion you, because you're a beingness, impeccable, thoughtless and unparalleled. You're a
product of Supreme Intelligence and I'm merely being rational, for there isn't a camera on this earth that can come close to the human eye nor a computer that can compete alongside the human mind. And if the whole world was to come together, we wouldn't be able to create a single fly. So many signs, yet we still deny. A science tries to justify that all this could come from none, when it's a simple sum, zero plus zero plus zero cannot possibly ever give you one. So From where did all this order come? For everything has its origins, and make a creator of its own. I mean, the only reason you're watching this video is because somebody has to press up load. So we can believe in the Big
Bang, but I'd rather believe in he who caused it to explode a law, the creator of everything along with every single soul that ever living the master, the only one who is in control, unlike his creation beyond our imagination, and No, he's not a man nor does he have any partners in association. He's on his own. And no, he did not ever leave us alone. Welcome back to heart and soul with me Lauren booth here on Qf radio. Joining me today is camel Salah of talk Islam. Welcome back from the mouth, good to be back. Well, we just listened to the meaning of life, and those enormous universal questions. The big one, what are we doing here? Did you fall into a depression? You said
there was a kind of spiritual malaise? Let's talk widely about the spiritual malaise of the age amongst the youth. Is that something you recognize? Yes, yes, definitely. Definitely. It's a, you know, many, many Muslims are conflicted with constantly thinking about, you know, how can they actually achieve that, you know, sense of sweetness of the man, even the Prophet peace upon him is to talk about how to achieve that. And you know, it's a quest that we are all searching for. There will be a lot of non Muslims listening to this today. And perhaps thinking, well, I enjoy music and my life's going on normally. But we reached the stage where we lie in bed and we think one day I'm
gonna die. And I'm not sure why I'm here. And we push those things away. Did you embrace that? To me, honestly, I would, I would personally just stay away from the discussion about you know, whether or not music is good for you whether or not entertainment is good for you. I think the main aspect that we should focus on or at least I focused on and which really helped me it was really the version I could add, which says,
basically level for maintenance guru Pina in remembrance of a lot, the heart find rest. And, you know, consequently, another verse in the Quran, it says, you know, and then our victory in illumination and Duncan, whoever, you know, refrains from my remembers and stays away from my remembrance, he would have a life of emptiness. You know, in on one hand, we have the verse which says, In the remembrance of God, hearts wondrous. And in another verse, he says, Those who refrain from the remembrance of God, they'll have a life of emptiness. And many could argue, yeah, you know, we can, you know, beat around the bush, I'm still happy and I don't know God. But at the end of the
day, we all have this emptiness within our hearts. And if it was the way we've been created, you know, deep, you know, just want an eagerness to know why we're here. And eagerness to know what is our ultimate purpose is our purpose to become famous? is our purpose to become rich is our purpose to become known? What is the purpose? You know, Alexander the Great, I think it was he said, you know, bury me with my palms open. So people could know I had everything in this life, but I leave empty handed. So you know, it can't possibly be for the precipice of fame or popularity or wealth. Be
Because all these things are destined to go, there must be something which prolongs and just exceeds and goes on forever and ever and ever, really, really eternal meaning to this life. And as Muslims, we have practiced say that we do have the answer. And that is, you know, if life is the temporary abode, and the Hereafter is the one that lasts forever, drugs are an increasing problem, you're in Australia, and you see people around you, perhaps contacting you, because of your wonderful poetry, can you share some of the stories of people being able to move away from that difficulty in their lives?
jobs is a very, very, very difficult topic to speak about. Because, you know, it's not easy to give up something which, in a sense, has control over you, you know, we can talk about rehab, we can talk about, you know, different methods that, you know, the government might recommend, or the social services might recommend, and look, you know, some shouldn't be treated with such outlets, but those that say, those who take recreational drugs, and on occasion, we should ask them, you know, do they truly find happiness in such a life, they truly find, you know, an output for their desires through such drugs. Because we know, you know, these things that only temporal they they can we can use them
just to fade away our misery or whatever we might have throughout the week that the more we give into our desires, yes, it might give us a temporary relief, it'll just go a strong, it'll gain a stronger grasp over. So we should always remind ourselves, you know, we don't want to get into such a lifestyle, because these things can really, really destroy it in the long run. And I know, many, many stories of people who have just lost their lives, whether it's been, they've actually died from these things, or they've broken down their families due to these things, or they've just cut away from the community. And these things really, really destroy us, not only spiritually, but physically
as well, unfortunately, may Allah subhanaw taala protect us and our families, our communities, I just want to finally ask you about your wonderful response to online attacks about the Prophet Muhammad peace upon him. And this very strong, powerful piece is called not my prophet. Talk to us a bit about how Muhammad inspires you today. And what inspired you to write that piece
a while ago, but actually, I actually had someone approached me, I was sitting in the cafe with my my friend who is a convert to Islam, which is quite ironic. When we look at the situation, I was actually approached by a man he walked up to me, and he had recognized me from one of my videos, and me being who I am, I was like, you know, embracing him being kind and everything. Until he said to me, You know, I've watched your videos, and I asked him, Why did you like my videos? And long story short, he says, No.
And then I'm like, Okay, then, you know, whatever suits you. And then he says to me, he goes, look, just so you know, I'm not a Muslim, and that's fine. And then you guys, look, I'm actually left Islam. And then, you know, finally made sense to me why this was happening. And then I said to him, also, why did you leave Islam? And he said to me, look, Islam, because I hear you guys talk about peace, or you guys talk about love, I hear you guys talk about unity. But all I see is, you know, the complete opposite, I see hatred, I see division, I see, you know, crimes committed in the name of your region. And it really, really struck a chord with me, not only because I know for a fact
that, you know, what he's saying is not, you know, an actually
authentic representation of Islam or an actual reflection of the Muslim oma, because Look, I know very well, that, you know, the majority of our wonderful people, you know, kind hearted, beautiful loving people, and obviously, obviously, being affected by it was nice, mainstream media Islamophobic, you know, imagery that's been flooded into his,
you know, his media. But I said to him, Look, you know, you really need to judge Islam based on the Prophet Mohammed from Iran. And, you know, we need his life, read his biography. Really, you know, he's certain that his prophetic traditions, his ways, his sayings, and you will see that everything that you're saying is completely contradictory to what the religion actually teaches, and what that religion is actually meant to produce. And, you know, we had somewhat of a discussion, but when I produced the poem, nothing to do with my profit. This was just a poem to illustrate exactly who the man was, was an angry piece. It's quite an angry piece.
guess you could say that
I will passionate, passionate
and angry, I don't deny that I was angry, I am quite fed up saying, you know the way the Prophet peace upon him is being misrepresented not only by you know, scanner phobic media, but unfortunately some, you know, misguided individuals who think they know who the Prophet was, but unfortunately I don't.
So I was set up and you know, I've learned about the Prophet I've read his biography on sat with scholars who, you know, taught his biography have taught who the man was, in his actual scholarship to study the tradition of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, it actually has links back to the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasallam. And, you know, when I come to speak about this topic, I do get to be passionate, because it is something that deeply affects me, knowing that the Prophet is running can be, you know, so, you know, misrepresented for her. He truly was a man who was able to forgive people that not any normal human being could forgive. I mean, this is an animal able to forgive
someone who killed his uncle nanodiamond to forgive someone who mutilated the body of his uncle, and then was able to forgive people that tried to kill him on countless occasions. You know, this isn't any ordinary man we speak of. So when we see people who say, you know, your religion is original, barbaric religion that preaches evil, it's so ironic when you look at what they say and look at who the man actually was. So I tried to present my case very, you know, balanced and handled, I think, as a bonus, I hope you'll accept May Allah reward you, that's all we have time for. If people want to find your work, and more inspirational poetry and so where can they go to? You can follow me on
youtube at top Islam, talk Islam and also on Facebook, I post a few reminders
and everything else on the topic of a lot so I just asked you to keep me in your prayers in your blocks. Allah subhanaw taala bless you and all of your brothers and sisters out there in Australia doing such great work to zeca hair for joining us. Thank you very much. Thank you, Brother mesilla you've been listening to heart and soul with me Lauren booth more at the same time tomorrow. The producer for this series is a have a chef Assalamu alaikum