Saving our Heritage
Channel: Muhammad West
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Episode Transcript ©
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However we live in a shutdown rajim Bismillah R Rahman Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala COVID Mursaleen Syedna Mohammed Anwar Ali he was a huge Marine, my beloved brothers and sisters Assalamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen always and we will begin with the praise and the thanks of Allah Masha Allah Allah Allah Allah Allah we bear witness we testify that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah subhanaw taala and we send our greetings our love our salutations to our beloved Nabi Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, to his pious and his family to his companions and all those who follow his sunnah until the end of time. May Allah subhanaw taala bless us to be of those who follow the Sunnah of Nabi Muhammad wa salam in this life, and to be in his companionship and with him in general theodosis mean, I mean, when hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah. Last week, as you know, was
heritage day. And we started a little bit of a series on on heritage. And last week, we said that while everyone was you know, part of the weekend, and I hope you had a goodbye, I didn't my mom reminded me so inshallah I need to dry this weekend. But are you bright, and you had your sisters and whatever it was, we said, above the culture and heritage, the most important thing, your most important identity is that you are a Muslim. And we say that this is not just a title that you give yourself. It is the title Allah gave you in the Quran, Pan Allah, Allah didn't give you, your Malay or South African or doctor, whatever titles you have. Allah says that he named you Muslims, as he
had named all the nations before the Gambia and they find it wasn't even the angels. And everything in the universe is labeled, but Allah muslim, for those who submit. So the first the most important identity that you have is your Islam. And that is the thing that must be preserved the most. And in asking, basically, what does Islam mean? We say that hadith analysis and summarize it, and this is for all of us, am I a Muslim? Do you meet these two criteria? Do you submit to Allah, Allah? Do you worship Him alone? And number two, are you of benefit to the creation? Do you worship the Creator alone? And are you a means of good for the creation? That is who a Muslim is? In a nutshell, today,
inshallah we'll talk more about our culture and maybe our culture here in Cape Town, and they are here to teach and how to celebrate it and to preserve it. Importantly, how do we preserve it? But before we mentioned that, a reminder that when we talk about our culture and our heritage, we don't mean that it is and how good it is and how it should be preserved. We don't mean that it is better and superior to other cultures, and that we belittle other cultures, Islam, even Islam in itself is not a predatory culture. And what do I mean by that? There is a Hadith way we know the NABI Salam was in the masjid, and a group of Abyssinian
spear throw was came from Abyssinia from Ethiopia, they came to visit Medina. And in the masjid, this is Majid remember, we, they had a bit of an exhibition where they practice you know, a routine and they had a bit of drums. And it was part of the, the the culture, cultural practice, and some Sahaba obviously, you know, in this beautiful Hadith, and we can talk the whole day, I should say that she wanted to also watch you know, some not just for me, she was also excited to see, but because the level of hola than abyssal Salam stood in front of her, and she stood behind, and she put her cheek against his cheek to watch. And then while they were going on, then a B, so Salem, C
to the Sahaba felt a must this happen in the masjid, this kind of a spear throwing and not dancing, so to say, but this is not
the Bible, they're not making salah, then at least on said, leave them, let them continue and encourage them continue going on, so that the Jews may know that there is flexibility in our religion, and really I have been sent with truthful and a lenient religion, that I'm not here to abolish and change things that are good. If it's if it's bad, we'll speak out against it. But what is permissible we keep and in fact, to show you the flexibility where Allah subhanaw taala accommodates other cultures and other practices. Why did Allah subhanaw taala reveal the Quran in different Arabic dialects, could have just been the dialect of Makkah, the dialect of the Kurdish
but the different Arab tribes had their own form of Arabic. And so Allah revealed the Quran with those changes so that it shows that everyone can benefit from this. It doesn't belong to the kurush. It doesn't belong to one culture. It belongs to everybody within it. So Salem, abolished Janelia. He didn't throw away everything of its culture, some of the good things of John Ilia. He kept, for example, who gets to keep the key of the Kaaba, and that time because a non Muslim until today that same family still has the key of the Kaaba as the practice of the way of the Jamia when the Sahaba conquered the world basically, we still have the permits ferons permit is still they when they
conquered Egypt, they didn't demolish everything. I saw a beautiful picture on WhatsApp, where it said when Islam conquered Europe, look what they left behind the masjid in Cordoba in Spain, all the beautiful buildings, but when the waste comes to Iraq have vanished
And look what they leave behind destruction. And that is the legacy that our our our Ummah did wherever they came. They preserve what was the and built on it and made it something better. Now let's talk more about our own heritage here in Cape Town, because this is your story, my story. We can talk about Muslim Spain, we can talk about the OMA all the great things that was done, but this is our story, and how do we preserve it? Firstly, is it worth preserving? You know, we as a Muslim community and Cape Town, Is it anything special? Should we take any good pride in it? And subhanAllah when you study your history, your legacy, you we as a community in the city, but Allah
it is a miracle. We should not have been we should not have survived. Many, many Muslim minorities, you look at the African Americans were taken. They were all Muslim, taken to America taken to Jamaica, Islam disappeared. They completely lost the fault, but it was completely taken away from them. We were placed in a land. Why did the colonial colonizers bring to Guru bring all the prisoners here to Cape Town? Because it was a nice holiday destination? No, because it was known that this place is a place of sorrow, that this is a land, we there is no chance for it to flourish. You come here to die. That's basically what Cape Town was. There was no way for survival. We take
you away from civilization, we put you in the middle of nowhere. It's like today it will be like taking someone and dumping you in an article and saying well, if we don't kill him, eventually they will just disappear on their own. And so from being defeated, exiled, made into slaves, colonization, apartheid, all these things that were pounded on this tiny Muslim community, you would have thought it's impossible that Islam would survive, it is impossible, that we would have people still reciting the Quran and the traditions will be continuing. But Subhanallah The Dutch are gone. The British are gone. A part of that is gone. But who still Yeah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, you
are still here. And that is why this community is a very unique, tiny Muslim community, in the whole world, that defeated all the odds by the Grace of Allah subhanho wa Taala were many, many other communities, much bigger community disputes, Pamela, Spain, we talked about Spain, a civilization 800 years of Muslim rule, the Greek powerful empire, not a trace of Islam, very little Islam left SubhanAllah. But yet we are still Yeah, was vanilla, against all the odds, all the challenges, Allah preserved it. And so part of that preservation, and this was by the Grace of Allah, and a very strategic thinking of the founders of the Muslim community. And they used culture very powerfully as
a weapon. They didn't have weapons, they didn't have Masjid. They didn't have schools, they didn't have anything at the disposal. So what did they do? They said, We will preserve our Islam, and use culture as the means by which we will keep this this Islam going. And so when we talk about the importance of culture, the importance of tradition, if we look at what it did in the past, to bring it here, it was a means, as we said, by which the deen could be taught most of the cultural, or the cultural practices in how you, you know, it's very rigid and sometimes rule based you but you budget like this, and you say it like that, why it was a people that you couldn't give a Kitab to and read.
It wasn't they weren't schools. And so what we did was what the Lama and the earlier they did, was to bring people together, let them recite certain verses together certain appcard together. And in that you do that week in week out every Thursday night all the time. Eventually, you hopefully you will learn it as if though, you don't have to go knock, you don't have to study, but we don't have madrasahs. And so that is why the objective to teach the dean and remember the hammer to one guru, and the only other Kamya these were highly professional people. These were like taking university professors, and you put them in kindergarten and saying teach these people, these kids now, the Dean
Subhanallah start from zero. And that's what they did. That's what they did. It was also a means it wasn't just about firstly, preserving through teaching. It was also a symbol that when the person wore a face, when he wore the attire of a Muslim,
you are being told by the ruler, because of your blackness because of your callousness. You are inferior, you are less than you are basically an animal. And here comes this new religion and this new culture that says no, there is no superiority. In fact, you might have the work, but we have something greater than that. And you had a sense of dignity. There was no community here. It was a lot of broken people, people that were brought from all over and the local and the indigenous people that were were oppressed. It was a means by bringing them all
together under a common banner, they didn't need Subhanallah you know, they didn't make them Malaysians will make them you know, Indian bank that you will speak what to do now? No, we said we will form a new culture, all of us together will form a new culture with the principles of Islam, that everyone is equal, that there is no superiority between a black and white that when we stand shoulder to shoulder, that we have only one Rob that is what unites us. And so it was a means by the people were oppressed, to come together. And also a means to respond to the oppressor. If we will stand against you. We can't fight you physically, but you won't break us. It gave them a sense of
Iza when they wore that attire of a Muslim, when they practice they deal with it when they were in the the Masjid. There was something different, they were more than just the slave. They were more than just less then and Allah says this in the Quran, as far as sisters, usually we assume the hijab, you know, luminous cover is to keep it hidden. That's the idea. Look, when Allah says in the Quran, about the ladies wearing the hijab, Allah says valleca adna. Au Ruffner, that when you wear the attire of a Muslim it is beta, so that you may be seen ya Allah you may be seen, so that you may be recognized that you are a person of dignity. I don't walk like anyone, you know, these, they call
them as a Muslim, I have a set of principles that is above what is outside. So Allah says you maybe recognize that you are unique people, that you are special people. And that is what it means to they, they harness you know, today you have you get people that pay millions and millions of dollars to have a corporate identity, your brand, your logo, the only acid we need to have our own brand, our own logo as a community, which makes us different to the oppressor and what we stand for.
And so, this was the means by which they preserved our culture. Our culture was a means by which they preserved our religion or put it like that, the traditions and the customs and he will perhaps talk in time to come the controversial things about Moeller and Buddha. We'll get to those things, inshallah those fun topics in time to come. But the objective, the objective, was that how do we preserve Islam? In a place where I can't even teach adults? I can't even have a Joomla How do I do that? And how do I give people that are broken hope, and to unify us as one community, a new community, we are going to be a new community. Now we're not Indonesian anymore. We're not
Bangladeshi anymore, we need to be something new. And so they both that identity took us, many, many decades, many generations to have what it is now,
going to the future. Now in our day, we have a different set of challenges. And we don't have a political Hamdulillah. We don't have those kinds of problems, but we have our own set of problems. And once again, culture is a powerful means by which we can solve some of these problems. Today, we are part of a much bigger, global village. And you interact with gamers in South Korea, your enemy groups, your sports groups, your soccer team in Europe, your rugby team in New Zealand suffered Hola, your
whatever group it is that you associate with
what this culture tells you, no matter where you are in the world, who you are, you belong to this unique little society. Here in South Africa, in particular, here in Cape Town, it is your brand, it is your brand to the world. And wherever you go in the world, you carry that with you. And that brand is sort of like your logo, it tells you the world where you came from this story of how I got here. This is a story and what I stand for, and we aren't going and it's part of being of a much bigger family, and therefore our culture should bring unity. I know there are areas within the culture which we do debate about that we can debate and will happen, but it should never divide us.
We can all unite in the beauty of our culture, and the good that he has done, and the need for it to be preserved. It also as I said, your culture and this culture, a lot of I mean, as we said Subhan Allah by the Grace of Allah Allah Novi sat down and strategize that, but the idea was, it's going to be fundamentally based on religion. It's very, you can't find a cultural practice in the Cape Malay culture that has nothing to do with Islam. Islam in every single aspect, that's that was the idea. We want to actually push Islam through a cultural means. And what that tells you is, it is the ethics and the values we stand for. In today's world. We, it's about capitalism, it is about myself.
It is about you know, it's about saying what you want and an unlimited freedom. When you as a Muslim, and you particularly a Muslim here in South Africa, what do we stand for? We stand for tolerance, community, generosity, good neighborliness. This is what our culture gives us. Yes, it comes from Islam, but we take pride that we excel in sha Allah where those things the culture also our identity, it is a buffer. It protects us against
The predatory culture is out there. Now, whether you like it or not, but the Netflix that you watch the news that you read, the sports that you watch the logos that you see, it is an identity that is being imprinted on you.
Everything we eat and drink and wait and watch is being imprinted, or it's coming from a certain quarter. Our culture is a buffer and protects against that and also protects against extremist ideologies. In Islam. You'd find the extremists groups that resort to violence, they want to rebel, they want to reject Western culture. So they go to extremes they go to, for example, terrorism hamdullah. We don't have that that issue. I was I was one I remember I was in Australia, when the most in New Zealand The guy shots Mala Grantham is based in Ghana. So when I came back, the cape Times asked to any of the budgets ever discussed what happens if someone attacks the budget, as an
ally, I don't think so we are more concerned was going to steal the shoes. We don't, we don't worry about that someone is going to harm us in that sense. So Alhamdulillah, this little culture, it in its wisdom in its simplicity in its ecosystem, thus, it managed to really survive against the odds and come forward in a way that is acceptable. And it finds a way between extremism on the one side, you don't have to become a violent person to rebel against the outside influences. And at the same time, we can push that outside influence and say, That's not for me to tackle I hate you keep that for yourself. And so you have an Subhana. Above that, we offer solutions to problems, we should have
been the forefront of like this issue of vaccination, because behind the law, no religion has like our religion have Hadith, about preserving life, about avoiding contamination, all these things, and hamdullah, we should be at the forefront of bringing solutions to modern problems. And it is a blueprints panel. This is very important, a blueprint for Muslim minorities around the world, only when you travel. And you spend some time in Europe, in America in places where Islam is still trying to grow. And they wish to have what we have in terms of extra, you know, access and acceptability, and Hamdulillah. So how do we preserve this? We would hate that a time would come when we have to
worry is someone going to come into our machine and shoot us. We would hate to worry. When our kids no longer know the basics of the deen off they took 300 years of fighting of perseverance so that these basic principles can be preserved that is lost that when we pass away on our janazah no one knows how to recite Surah acid. No one knows how to hustle you. You have to look for ways to cut money. Who can make the Janessa Salah no one knows how to do that. Then we've lost what we fought. So how to preserve. So how do we preserve it? And of course it begins like everything in Islam. It begins with education. And you know, it's amazing, I think of Tauranga Rahimullah, when he was
exiled to Cape Town. There wasn't yet the book up he was with Robben Island for more than 10 years. But when he was the he was already spatula thinking, I'm gonna go to the people that don't even have a Quran. They don't have listed on a madrasa animasi they don't have a Quran, they may write copies of the form. He's harmless. He wrote it for people, a student he didn't even have yet. You don't keep tabs of fic not for himself, you know, to think of Deus and he wrote it and in a language that they could understand but his language, because he understood we need to start with our education. So when we don't when we stop sending our kids to madrasa or madressa when you stop learning the
basics of your deen, slowly, but surely we erode away this culture, we lose it. It is through education, that this thing is that our culture, our identity is going to be preserved. And to learn about where you come from, in terms of the Golden legacy of Islam. 1000 years we lead civilization, and that very special legacy of this community. Yeah. And this, this, we won't go through all the list of things in spinal or the number of massage and Zakah institutions, the CEO CFOs, the politicians all the amazing things that were generated from this little culture that was not meant to to survive. And as a, as I said, a Muslim minority that is recognized by our non Muslim
neighbors, that the Muslims with whatever things we say about Islam, sir, but we know that when it comes time of crisis, they're going to stand up. We saw this gift of the givers. We saw it what happened a few months ago in case it in with riots. It was this community that stood up and said Mike Dean, and my culture necessitates that I need to be part of this community. I always feel a sense of, of pride good pride when I come into Cape Town International Airport, you see Table Mountain you see the v&a waterfront, and then you see bronze Minara the on the on the on the customs look again, when you come when inshallah when we all get to travel again. I mean, you'll get to see
it, that this community has imprinted itself, it was meant that we would disappear. We've changed this community that is the legacy of our forefathers. So it's an add it begins with education, it'd be
begins with education. So the first thing is educate yourself about the deen. Because that's the core of our culture and educate yourself about why do we do this? And why do we do that? Why is it called a dogma and other dogma and why? What is wrong piece and all these things learn because there was wisdom in those practices.
Number two is about Association. Perhaps this is the most important point of the education that says, you are with the people that you imitate. So when you wear that Liverpool, Jersey, yes, you don't walk around, what was it, you always walk to get, never walk alone, right, you're part of that group. When you that's the point. When you dress like a people you eat like a people you speak like the people, you become one of them. And we feed see the reverse. We don't want to be seen that we are Muslim. Sometimes. When we in a certain we only have our customs, it almost be shy, to show who we are. Not only our culture, but even our deen sometimes. If I must make salah, I don't want my co
workers to know I make solder. I don't want them to know I'm Muslim, I take off the hijab, I'm not saying go with a turban to wear it face to work on Monday. But Subhanallah once you take away those basic symbols of what you stand for, you will become of that you adopt a different culture than a visa is also says a man follows the religion of his friend. So each of you should look at the frame that he has, you should look at the frame that you have. If your friends are not Muslim, and your friends don't practice the same values as you do, eventually you will assimilate with him. So part of your association and perhaps that was we always mentioned the power of culture is the association
factor. Even if you don't want to come for the vicar, you might want to come for the fact that no, you want to come to the sisters. So by just being part of the chama, it takes you with you with the Jamar carries you forward. Alhamdulillah. But we don't associate any more how often are we leave pandemic aside? How often are we in gatherings of Muslim gatherings, we're so busy with our sports and our work and our and our entertainment that we don't get together as we did in the past, maybe every Thursday night for the better for the worse, the fact that we got together on a Thursday night where Allah was discussed. And we spoke about the needs of the community when Hamdulillah that
preserved that preserved our culture. So be very careful in terms of who you associate with.
And be part let your culture come through in your associations. And our business also says your best friend is the one a person look at again, your associations, seeing him reminds you of Allah and speaking to him increases your knowledge of the deen and his actions remind you of the era. You need to be with people that encourages you to promote your Islam. And the last point is about be proud again to express your your culture and your heritage. Because what lights a beautiful culture. And it is. If I talk beyond this, what's the difference between culture and heritage? Culture is ecosystem Sunday. Culture is that tradition that practices heritage is what you inherited from your
forefathers. On on the one side, we get him to teach to our forefathers. It's a legacy left behind. And for each of us, we need to think about what is the legacy I'm going to leave what is the heritage my descendants are going to have. If I'm not going to practice it, express it, make it part of my life. It's not going to be part of my kid's life. And by the time my grandkids come, it would have been come extinct. It would disappear. Like so many communities throughout the world disappeared. And all we have is McDonald's and KFC. All we have is Nike and Adidas. That's all we have. We have nothing more. It's gone. So if you are not going to be proud to express your heritage,
your culture and to bring it up, your kids are not going to be proud of doing it. That absences. Islam began as something strange and odd. When Tuan guru came here dressed as a Muslim in this land when people were, you know, masters and others were slaves must have been something strange. He's people with something strange. It started as something strange, but a time came when you saw a person with a red face. We know this is the story that if a person began, we if you worried phase, they will take his testimony in court, because this Haji doesn't lie. He doesn't realize that was the brand that we had. So it started off with something strange. And then we'll also go back to
being something strange. We get into a time again, the way to be a Muslim and to be seen as a Muslim is people become shy about it. So the prophecies Glad Tidings if you're the stranger, if you're the odd man out because you're doing the right thing, because you're showing your Muslim that's because we knew in the corporate world you say guys, sorry, I don't take meetings at one o'clock. So the word time, guys, sorry, I can't come to the corporate function. Why? Because you guys are drinking. You do what you do you but I'm not going to be the I'm not trying to say it. I'm not trying to say that. Look, this is an important date to me. This is your Majumdar. I'm gonna take off and
hamdulillah Paula, they will respect you more. It will preserve your deen it will give you something greater they'll show you to show the world that beyond
The numbers in their hands and the Saints nowadays in the work above all of that my identity is I'm a Muslim first. And the culture that we have is something smaller preserve it, for Allah grant us to, to to let us not lose this legacy that was left behind by the great many people that fought so long and hard to preserve it. May we give it on for another three 400 years until piano. I mean, we see a few announcements from the the first and most important announcement today. I'd like to sell Pamela with to see but you know, our heritage with a 30 year back in the budget of the SO, SO LONG Alhamdulillah and it's for the third birthday. So I think that's the best birthday present for us is
that with a Derek Muller granted many many more years, good health and 20 Fatima Alhamdulillah then we say sugar into everyone who supported the food Fe last weekend and supported us And Alhamdulillah all that Your contributions will be for the betterment of the masjid and the organization inshallah also we we will be releasing we know Robbie Owen is coming up and it's molded season. So we'll talk a little bit about mold and we are releasing a booklet to talk about waders that he Wyatt's come from and the translations of it and and if anyone would like to support you'd like to sponsor page you'd like to have it's always easier if our ether if it's the right thing for a family member, you
can purchase a copy of it or you can put you know you can give us your details in sha Allah and donations for soup kitchen are welcome to sokola height was Allah say no Muhammad when it was sunny ham La La La Mina Santa Monica.