Channel: Navaid Aziz
“Muslim Students’ Association at UBCO holds a public forum to discuss ‘Misconceptions about islam’. The session includes a talk by Navaid Aziz, who’s a Chaplain and youth counselor at the City of Calgary. This is followed by an open question-and-answer session.
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honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen, a cinema de como La Habra, Qatar. I want to begin by sharing a joke with you. This is a joke about a husband and wife and they're on their way to take a journey. And you can imagine maybe they're going from Calgary to Kelowna, you know what I did today? And the husband, he asks his wife, honey, how long are you going to be? And the wife says, I will be ready in five minutes, the men in the room, we've heard this all the time, from our wives from our partners. 45 minutes go by, and the wife still isn't ready. Eventually, she comes down, and the husband's really angry. So she's trying to put on a cheerful face. And she's like, Honey, let's get
going. And husband's like, shut up and let me drive. They get into the car, and they start driving along. And the wife, she feels really bad. She's remorseful of everything that's taking place. She wants to spark up a nice conversation. And as they're driving by this beautiful tree, she says, honey, isn't this tree so beautiful. And the husband gives her the stare of death. Just let me drive Leave me alone. I don't want to talk to you. Now the husband, he starts to feel bad. He's like, Why do I always treat my wife like this? I should be more kindness should be more courteous. So what if we're late from time to time? So now with his mixed emotions of being angry, as to why she's always
late and wanting to make up for what he's done? He's tries to spark up a conversation, then when a guy tries to spark up a conversation, you know, it's gonna go terribly wrong. And this is what happened. So they're driving by a farm. And I want you to imagine you hear the brain of a donkey, the morning of a cow, the barking of a dog. And he goes, honey, let me guess these are relatives of yours. She goes, you're right there my in laws. Now, I begin with this joke, my dear brothers and sisters, and guests here tonight. Because this is sort of what the discourse between the Muslim community and a non Muslim community has been, where both parties that come in with these pure
intentions want wanting to contribute to the discussion on Islam, but somewhere in between something went wrong. And the end up becoming like that couple that is constantly arguing and bickering, but not knowing why. So tonight's discussion is about misconceptions about Islam. Now, when we talk about misconceptions, before we open up the floor for the misconceptions that you would like to discuss, I would like to develop a foundation. And this foundation is going to consist of three things. Number one, the importance of having a holistic approach. So I want you to imagine I'm telling you a story. The first part of the story is a man died. That's pretty sad, isn't it? Second
part of the story, this man died after he shot five people. Now you feel a bit more upset? Why would this man kill five people? You know, what's his deal? You learn more about the story. This man killed five people, after they tried to annihilate his whole town, and rape all of the women and kidnap all of the children.
It's getting a bit more dramatic. Now, you know, have a bit more knowledge, you have a more complete picture. You add to the story. Now, the first man that I spoke about that died, he was actually a police officer. How does that perception change? As we increase the knowledge, the more we know, the more complete picture we have, the more assessment we can make as to what is right and what is wrong. And that is why I believe that when we approach any subject matter, we have to have the complete picture. It has to be a holistic approach. We can just take bits and bobs and assume that you know what, just because I have a pixel from the TV screen, that's what the whole picture
actually is. No, if you want a complete picture, step back, look at all the pixels inside of the TV screen. And that's when you actually have a complete picture. Number two, it's very important to distinguish between what a faith is and what its followers try to represent. What does this actually mean? The religion under discussion today is Islam. Someone that affiliates themselves with this religion is known as a Muslim.
Somewhere along the lines, disconnects happen, people do things for wrong reasons, under a particular name. So to give you an example, if I was to come to Kelowna, and actually, this is my first day it's time in Kelowna, staying over. The first restaurant I went to, we went to go have sushi, and I was really looking forward to it and in the sushi
experience as I'm trying to place an order,
the lady that was taking our order, I was having a difficult time understanding what she was saying. And she was having a very difficult time understanding what I was saying. So now after this first experience in Kelowna, would it be fair for me to say, everyone in Kelowna doesn't speak English? Well, no, it wouldn't. It would be a great overgrowth, generalization that is not factual at all right. And Kelowna, it has many community members are part of it, it is very diverse in terms of its ethnic population, and it's going to be very diverse, even in terms of the religions that are represented in it. Now, in order to have a good understanding of the people have Kalona to speak to
one or two people, you're not going to get a good understanding of what Colonia is about, but rather speak to as many people as you can, particularly those people that would represent Kalona, right, the mayor of the city and other people of authority in the community, those are the people that you want to get to know. So when we talk about Islam, it's very important to understand that every single Muslim, they affiliate themselves with Islam, but they don't truly represent the religion, they don't truly represent the religion. Why? Because every community will have its fringe members that do things in the name of their community, but in actuality, their community is free from it.
And I'm not going to give examples, but I'm sure we know of various communities where their particular members do things that their community is not particularly proud of. But as their community members, we can completely disassociate and excommunicate them, right. So that's the second thing I would mention, differentiate between what Islam truly is, and its followers, and who they try to represent.
As a Muslim global community, there are about 1.6 billion Muslims across the world, 1.6 billion, that's over a sixth of the world's population. So look around you what that technically means. For every six people in the room around us, one of them is Muslim. Generally speaking, if you were to look at the world in this fashion, that's what it would mean. So we're a very large population of people.
Now, having said that, I want to talk briefly about the media.
There is a reason why the name Muslim and Islam has become at the forefront of the media. And I want to do justice to this topic over here to the best of my ability. I was speaking to a journalist not too long ago. And I asked him, Why is it that you only report the bad stuff that happens? You watch the news, what do you hear? You hear about someone getting killed? You hear about a bank robbery, you hear about bombs being dropped? These are the sort of stories you hear in the news? Why is it that we don't hear stories of, you know, someone saving a cat on a tree? Why is it that we don't hear about the amazing jobs that firemen and doctors and police officers do on a daily basis, we
hear very, very few of those stories. And what he told me was very profound. He said, How many planes do you think, take off a day, I said 1000s of planes take off the day. He said, as a journalist, what people want to hear about are the ones that crash, not the ones that successfully take off. So media is actually a business. They're there to sell stories, not only to consumers, but also to advertisers that want the attention of the consumers. That's what actually happens in media. So now when it comes to the media, this is just part of their job, they're going to report stories that sell because they at the end of the day have to earn a living, and they have to get by as well.
So that's one of the things that's been across the forefront. And I'll particularly speak about the Canadian context. You know, we recently had elections. And in these elections, something that we kept seeing over and over again, was the issue of the niqab, the issue of a woman's face veil, and how a woman showed up at her oath of citizenship, and she was wearing this face veil.
Now, why did that deserve front page coverage? When most of us should know that in the history of Canada, only to women? Not 20? Not 200? Not 2000, not 2,000,002 women in the history of Canada have showed up wearing a face veil to this author citizenship. Do we not have more important subjects to talk about, like our economic crisis, like things that are happening?
In our environment, like things that are happening to old age pensions, we have a lot more important things to discuss yet. It was a political strategy strategy that was picked up by the media and brought to the forefront. Can I blame the media for doing that? No. Can I say it was unfair? Definitely. And that's what I believe. We're here to talk about tonight, that not everything that we see on the media is actually fair representation. And I'm hoping that tonight, we can open up our hearts and open up our minds, and truly discuss what we have internally. I was telling one of the reporters earlier that you know, a reoccurring theme in in romantic comedies, is that there's a
scene where a girl and the guy, they'll get stuck in an elevator, and prior to that, they could be adversaries. But by the end of there, you know,
I don't know what the polite word for it is, but of their hookup inside the elevator, you know, they end up falling in love, right? Even though they're completely different. And that's what I was saying that our interaction as human beings is very socially dependent, right? When I'm behind the screen, you're going to get a completely different experience, as opposed to if you're in front of me in person. And you get to know that standing in front of you right now, while you may not see it, I'm a nervous wreck inside, I'm shaking as much as I could possibly could. And my heart is beating really, really fast. But this is a part of the human experience. And that human experience is very,
very important. And understanding how the world works, because we are humans at the end of the day, coming from different backgrounds coming from different experiences. But we are all here together to make the communities, the cities, the countries, the globe as a whole a better place to live in. with that introduction, I like to start off my first topic of discussion, which is the word Sharia. What does it actually mean? And where does it come from? By show of hands? How many people speak Arabic? If you speak Arabic, raise your hands. Fantastic. Thank you very much you can put your hands down. So the word Cydia is a very similar word to the word Sharia. And the word Sharia in the Arabic
language means Street, it means a road. What is the relationship between a road and this concept known as Sharia law? What is the relationship between the two? From a linguistic perspective, Sharia was the road people would take to reach a source of water to reach a source of water. So back in the day, they didn't have pipes that brought water to your house, you would actually have to go outside of your house, walk down the street, or many streets, in fact, a long distance to go and get some water to drink to bathe with, to cook with, and so on and so forth. And that street that you took to the source of water is what was called Sharia. That is what Sharia means from a linguistic
perspective. Now, what's the interesting thing about water? For those of you that are Bruce Lee fence, you remember this famous quote by Bruce Lee be like water? Why did he say that? Because the impressive thing about water is that it can take any form that you put it into. So for example, you put water into a cup, it takes the shape of a cup, you put it into a jar, it takes the shape of a jar, it takes every single shape that you put it into it is with that understanding that when you look at Islamic law, it is like water, dependent on the time dependent on the place, it is very dynamic, and it will accommodate to that place. And to that time. When we talk about Islamic law,
and we talk about Sharia, it is important to understand, like any other system of law, it has integral components that is trying to preserve meaning that what is the philosophy of the law behind it, what is it trying to achieve? So when we talk about Sharia law in Islamic law, it has come to preserve five matters, it has come to preserve five integral things. Now understanding these five integral things is very important. Why? Because if you can understand these five integral things, you as a individual right now who may have not known anything about Islam, will be given the tool to distinguish what is truly Islamic, versus that which is not versus that which is not. So the first
thing that Sharia came to protect and protect preserve, is human life. The most important thing in Islamic law that needs to be
preserved his human life. From a logical perspective, let us look at why. Because if you don't have human beings, there are no individuals to implement this law. Right. And without those human beings, there is no larger practice. That is why they are the first integral component. So when you look at Sharia law, the first thing that it came to protect is human life. The second thing it has come to protect his faith is religion. Why is religion important? When we talk about religion, and I understand people have a wide variety of orientations when it comes to their faiths and beliefs when it comes to their faiths. So take what I'm saying, in consideration to your particular belief.
From a Muslim perspective, when we talk about faith, it's not just about something that we do in the mosque. It's not just something that we do when Muslims gets together. But when I talk about faith, faith, for me is a way of life, the way I interact with my parents, the way that I interact with my spouse, the way that I interact with my children, the way that I interact with the mayor of the city, the way that I interact with all of you. All of this is dictated by a form of guidelines, through my faith and religion. So my faith teaches me to be kind to people to be courteous to people, to smile at people to be generous to people to be hospitable at people. Speaking of which,
we have some treats for you at the end of the session. So please feel free to help yourself at the end of the session. Right? So faith is not only just about what we believe, but it is about our rules of engagement with people. What are the guidelines that we need to interact with people, as a Muslim, we derive that from our faith. Why is that important to us, because our success in this life, and the next is based upon our moral and religious values. So the second thing that the Sharia came to protect, is faith.
The third thing that the Sharia came to protect his human intellect, human intellect. Why is that important? Because it is through our intellect, that we are able to make good decisions, as opposed to bad ones. And this sort of gives you a smaller introduction as to why is it that Muslims don't drink alcohol, and we have such a strong stance against alcohol? Why is it that Muslims don't do drugs, and they have such a strong, strong stance towards drugs, because one of the things that the [???]tier came to protect was the intellect. Because if your intellect is compromised, you're no longer able to protect your religion, nor are you able to protect mankind and humanity.
Number four, the fourth thing that the Sharia came to protect is human is wealth is wealth. So as a Muslim, we have guidelines as to how we spend our wealth as to what we spend our wealth on. And in fact, there's a mandatory charity upon every single Muslim of 2.5%, that he has to or she has to give to poor people. These are some of the rules of wealth preservation. Why is wealth important? Because whether we want to admit it or not, money is kink. Without money in this world, you're not going to get very far. In fact, if you didn't have money, you couldn't have come to this school. If there was no money to school couldn't have been built. If there was no money, we couldn't have taken
planes to come to this beautiful country that we call home, known as Canada. All of it is dependent on money. And the fifth and last thing, that the Sharia came to represent a to protect and preserve his honor, his honor. So now with all of these things, the way that we interact with one another has to be in an honored and dignified manner. We cannot disrespect people. We cannot look down at people. We cannot be arrogant and condescending towards people. We treat anyone and everyone with honor and respect. So now who can repeat these five back to me? Let's take one at a time. Just give me one of them.
It came to protect human life. Fantastic. What's number two? Go ahead. Sorry. intellect it came to protect intellect. Fantastic. What's number three? Faith is number three. Fantastic. We're missing four and five now. wealth. And what was the last one I just mentioned? honor, those are the five things that the [???]tier came to protect and preserve. Now it is with this lens
When you hear something about a Muslim in the news, you can automatically judge is what this person doing actually Islamic or actually against Islamic teachings. So now when you see this ISIS member on TV, and he's going around, just, you know, mercilessly killing people. And you have learned that the first thing that the Sharia has come to preserve is human life. You now understand that, yes, this person may affiliate themselves with Islam, but what they're actually doing is not very Islamic. So that was why this introduction to Sherry, I was so important, because you now have the tools as to what is Islamic, versus what is one person's misrepresentation, or misunderstanding, or
construing, of Islamic law.
The next subject matter I would like to discuss is the topic of jihad. You know, people when I mentioned jihad, they get on edge, they're like, Oh, my God, what's gonna happen right now? And I was actually thinking about pulling a prank on you guys. If I had like the, I guess, if I wasn't as nervous, I would have said, Okay, guys, shut the doors.
But I didn't do that. I did not do that. So what does Jihad actually mean? And I'm really glad that I can use the word Jihad and actually laugh about it. Right? You know, that's one of the beauties of living in this country, that we have that freedom of speech. And you know, this is something that I value very personally, that I'm given an opportunity to speak to my fellow Canadians and community members and share my understanding of a very sensitive topic. And the way I would approach the term Jihad again, starting off linguistically, the term Jihad comes from Raja Haider, which means the struggle to counter to go against. So when there is any form of struggle, this is known as jihad.
Now, when we talk about Jihad from an Islamic perspective, what are we referring to? Let us now go back to the very first revelation, in the Quran, which is the holy book for Muslims, where the term Jihad was revealed, for the very first time, if you were to look inside the 25th chapter of the Quran, and this is just for your own reference. That was the very first time that the term Jihad was revealed in the Koran in terms of its chronological order. And the command that God gave in this verse was, what jarhead home btg hadn't khedira and go and perform with this a great jihad. So now let's put all the pieces of the puzzles together. We mentioned jihad is linguistically struggle. So
go and perform a great struggle with this. What is the intended meaning of this? The intended meaning of this in this verse, is actually the book of God Himself, the Koran, that's what it's referring to. So go and perform a great Jihad with this book, meaning that the very first Jihad that was revealed in the Koran was to wage a struggle against ignorance, that it was an educational, scholastic academic struggle, that when ignorance is prevalent in the world, the first step to eradicating it is enlightening people with knowledge, getting people to know that yes, there is ignorance, and we need to do something to change it. That was the very first revelation of jihad in
What are the different types of jihad that actually exists?
common knowledge, I would assume that when we talk about jihad, it's simply about killing people. Because that's what we see on Fox News. You see someone, again, from an extremist group, like ISIS, or like Al Qaeda, they're blowing up buildings, and they're like, yes, we're waging islamic jihad. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Because when you actually look at the concept of jihad in Islam, there's approximately 14 different categories of it, of which only three of them have any form of physical violence related to it, and use the term physical violence very loosely, because you'll notice that not all types of violence is the same as we saw in the story of the police
officer that I started off with. So now what are the other types of jihad? From a Muslims perspective, the greatest form of jihad is definitely an educational jihad, waging war on ignorance is of the utmost importance. A second form of jihad is the struggle that we face as human beings in serving our parents. A man came to the Prophet Mohammed
Once and he said, Oh prophet of God, Grant me permission to go out on an expedition with you.
The Prophet asked this young man, are your parents still alive? The man said, yes, oh Prophet, the prophet responded by saying, for fee him ffj hit that go and perform jihad in serving your parents. And this put things into perspective for this man, that he thought, you know what I wanted to achieve this great station in Islam, by going out on an expedition with the prophet of God, the prophet of God is telling me, you know, what, know your role, your role right now is to take care of your parents. And that is the most important thing that you could be doing. And that is another great station in Islam, where a person dedicates themselves to taking care of their parents. Now,
certain concepts could be relatable, and other concepts will be completely foreign. So this concept of struggling for the sake of taking care of our parents, there was a time in our history as human beings, where our parents were very, very revered, and he had a very high station in our lives. And as we grew, as we technologically advanced, as we let pop culture dictate our social and moral values, that level of reverence has gone down over time, to such a state that, you know, if we see someone shouting back at their parents or speaking back to their parents, it's no longer taboo. But in Muslim culture, speaking back to your parents, or doing something to intentionally anger, your
parents, is actually considered a major sin, it's actually considered a major sin in Islam, to do something to harm your parents. So that cultural disconnect may be there. And that's why I want to give you that small tangent, another form of jihad that takes place is Jihad with one's wealth. And what this means is,
when we talk about wealth in Islam, we consider wealth as a trust from God. Right? Our life is a trust from God, our ability to see smell and taste, and to love our trust from God. Similarly, our wealth is a trust from God. When something is a trust, what does that mean? It means that there will come a day, which we call the Day of Judgment, which we will stand in front of God, and God will question us the words that I gave you, what did you do with it? Did you spend it in waste? Or did you actually do something productive with it in trying to help mankind,
then from an Islamic perspective, there's a minimal threshold of righteousness. And then there's greater levels of righteousness. And as I mentioned previously, that minimal threshold of righteousness in terms of one's wealth 2.5% of my wealth, every single year, has to go towards poor people, and has to no matter how much I may not want to do it. My faith is dependent upon it, I will be doing an act of sin, if I'm not giving it in charity.
Now, the beautiful thing about this 2.5% is that, from our perspective, it's actually not that much money. Imagine you have $1, and someone asks you for 2.5 cents.
In our day and age, we don't even have to point five cents anymore, like the closest denomination is five cents now. Right? So that shows us that we don't even have a denomination small enough to represent it. That's how much for each dollar we would give away. So it's not heavy upon the individual. But if every single one of us in this room is giving away 2.5 cents out of their dollar towards the person in need, that could drastically change that person's life. Because I give 2.5 cents you give 2.5 cents, she gives 2.5 cents, everyone's giving 2.5 cents, we'll have approximately if there's 100 people in the room, we're looking at, let's do the math. $2.50. Okay, that's like at
Tim Hortons coffee. It's not too much.
In my head, it worked out better. But let's just say we have 1000 people you have $25. And that's only $1. That's under the presumption. That's where I went wrong. That's under the presumption you only have $1. Right? If you have $1 we're each given 25 cents. Realistically, I think we, you know, I students, I know we're all broke, but we have more than $1. Right? So you have $100, I should say, right? It goes up to like $25. That's $25 per month, you drastically changed someone's life. So that is Jihad with one's wealth. What are you spending your wealth on? Is it towards improving the world? Or is it just about fulfilling your you know, carnal desire
Like you know, someone that may spend their their wealth on like drugs and alcohol, and you know other vices that that could be seen. So that is Jihad with one's wealth. Now, let me conclude the issue of jihad. What is important for us to understand about jihad, after this small introduction, I mentioned in my introduction on jihad is that, yes, there are certain forms of jihad that do bring about human struggle in a physical sense, we want to call it violent, I would say violent would be fair, but violence comes with a stigma. And that stigma is that not all violence is justified, right. So I am not familiar with a proper vocabulary in the English language, that could bring about
a complete picture. But I can portray that picture for you. That if there's an individual right now, that is abusing a child, and you step in, to protect that child, and that individual now starts abusing you, and you are forced to defend yourself, and you're forced to push this person away, or to push them to the ground, that is considered an act of violence. But it's also considered an act of self defense. And it's also considered an act of heroism that you're protecting someone that can't protect themselves. So that's the type of picture I portray that all that not all types of violence are the same. So it is with this light, I would like to say that the Prophet Mohammed, he
has said that the greatest form of jihad is to speak the truth, to the face of a tyrannical ruler, to speak the truth to the face of a tyrannical ruler. These are the exact words of the Prophet Mohammed, that is the greatest form of jihad. So when we talk about physical manifestations of jihad, where violence may be involved, it's not for the sake of taking over countries, it's not for the sake of accumulating a country's resources. It's for the sake of eradicating oppression, for making sure that people are no longer being oppressed. And that is the physical understanding of jihad are out of the 14 categories that exist, or would only consist of about three of them would
only consists of about three of them. The last topic of discussion that I want to, you know, enlighten you with to a certain degree, and I hope you'll allow me to use that word, I can see some of you are falling asleep already. My apologies for that. But I blame your coffee for not being strong enough,
is the issue of women in Islam. And as I mentioned, the issue of Nicole was the forefront in our elections. It was a highly polarized politicized debate, that women are second class citizens in Islam, they have no rights, their fathers marry them off, at a very young age. And you know, what that is how they they spend the rest of their lives hiding behind this veil. Now, this sentiment, I find very, very offensive, very, very offensive. Why? Because it was the decree of God, that I have one sibling who has a sister, it was the decree of God, that when God blessed me with children, he granted me two daughters. It was the decree of God, that if I was to count all of my cousins, in
Canada, I have nine female cousins, and one meal because if I was to talk about the relatives that I'm closest with, I was closest, or I still am closest to my mother, and then her mother, and then her sisters. Those are the relatives that I'm closest to. So when we talk about the role of women in Islam is something that's very personal to me, just because these are the community members, the family members, the society members that I'm closest with, that God has chosen for me to interact with this segment of the community the most. So what's important to understand the Quranic guideline or the guideline according to the Koran, while a says the correct answer, that man is not like
woman, that God created men and women completely differently, in what sense? One is able to bear children. The other one isn't. One is physically stronger, the other one is emotionally stronger. One is able to multitask and is more social. The other one is not able to multitask as well and is definitely not as social. Let me enlighten you with this. So as the nine inch mentioned in my in the introduction, I'm a Family and Youth counselor and one of
The biggest things that I see why as to why marriages break down is because communication breaks down. So I'll give you an example. And this may not work across all segments of the community in society, but you'll definitely be able to relate to it for sure. So in Islam, there's no concept of dating, the person that you're about to marry, you can get to know them within guidelines, and through, you know, outings, and so on and so forth. But in terms of dating itself, that doesn't exist, right. So now for a man, he's about to get married to this woman, let's just say he doesn't have any female siblings. When a man has a problem in his life, he shuts down, he needs time for
isolation, he needs time to think. And then he will come back. And then he will become social, again. From a woman's perspective, dealing with stress, as actually a very social experience for her, a woman will have that one friend that is with her, that will console her put her arm around her. The other friend, she's the friend that holds the Kleenex is the other friend is like, Don't worry, it's going to be okay. And then if they're not there, her first reaction is going to be okay, let me call this person so I can share what I have to share. So now a man and a woman when they get together for the first time, and they don't have the knowledge of interaction of how the opposite
gender deals with stress, when the man sees his wife stressed for the first time, he thinks to himself, or she's just like me, she wants to be left alone. So he ends up walking away. And he's like, yeah, see you later, when you've solved your issue, come and talk to me. And the wife thing like how, what an inconsiderate jerk, what's wrong with this guy? Why is he walking away? And then from a man's perspective, the first time he's stressed, and the woman's thinking, Oh, he's just like me, he needs that social involvement. She comes to hug him and bring the tissues. And she's like, you know, let's talk about your feelings. And the man's like, what's wrong with you leave me alone.
So when they talk about men and women being different, it is this psychological aspect, the physical aspect of being different. So now, if we were to give both of these two different creations of God, the same rules, that would be very challenging, because God created us very different. So what is the word we use over here? We don't talk about equality because apples and oranges are not equal. Right? What we use is a concept of equity. We're in terms of opportunity to contribute to society, we are equal in terms of opportunity to get close to God, we are equal in terms of opportunity to get to paradise, we are equal in terms of opportunity to be forgiven, we are equal. Those are some
of the rules that dictate the interaction between men and women. Now, the obvious question is going to arise and come up. Hey, if that is the case, why is it that women, Muslim women wear a headscarf and Muslim men don't? What's the deal with that? The deal with that, my honorable guests is that as I mentioned in the beginning of my talk, we have to take a holistic approach to everything. And when we talk about rules of interaction with human beings, the same thing is required.
As I mentioned, God has given many things to us as a trust, I mentioned money, I mentioned our eyesight, the ability to smell, taste, and feel, the ability to love,
particularly when it comes to our female folk. The Prophet Mohammed has mentioned that they are a trust from God, meaning that if you do not treat them fair, and you do not treat them well, you will be questioned. And that is why when the young man came to the Prophet Mohammed, and he asked them all messenger of God, who is most deserving of my respect and reverence. He said, Your mother, he said, then who? He responded again with your mother, he was said, then who are messenger of God, he again responded your mother, he asked for a fourth time, and he said, then who or messenger of God, and he said, your father. So the mother was emphasized three times more than the mill figure was, in
a separate narration, the Prophet Muhammad, he said, the best of you are those that are most conscious of God. And those that are most conscious of God are those that are best to their womenfolk, those that are best to their womenfolk. So now, with this understanding, and understanding the psychological differences between a man and a woman, we now approach the issue
of the headscarf. The first thing you need to know, we have multiple community members that are here that are wearing the headscarf. And you can go and ask them actually, in fact, No, none of them. I have never met any of them before. You can ask them, have they been forced? Have they been compelled to wear this headscarf? And I cannot say for 100% for sure. But what I can say is, internally speaking, I'm 100% confident that they will say this is a personal choice for me. And if you would ask them why it will go something along the lines of I know this is pleasing to God. So this is why I want to do it. And I think even for our Christian community members that are here, the portraits
that we see of Mary in your faith, we regularly see her wearing a headscarf or something similar to a headscarf. When we see nuns in the Christian faith, we commonly see them wearing a similar headscarf and it is similar to that nature, that this headscarf is not a sign of oppression, it is a sign of modesty. In fact, for me personally, it's a sign of something greater than that, that when the woman wears it, she's telling the world that don't judge me based upon my looks, judged me upon what I have to offer.
A discussion that I have with my wife, from time to time, is how, you know grateful I am that she is a woman of faith, and that she wears this headscarf, and she asks me why I tell her Your beauty is something only people that are worthy and deserving of should get to see, not everyone should get to get to see it. Not everyone should be allowed to be exposed to it. And in my way, I consider myself the most fortunate person that I'm married to you. And I get a chance to see that beauty. And that's like our moment of how sweet and stuff. Right. But that's like the discussion that I have with her. And for me, you know when we talk about is, you know, something that I have to give credit to where
credit is deserved is our female counterparts. They are the true ambassadors of Islam. If you saw me on the street, you may know I'm a Muslim, you may not know that I'm a Muslim. But when you say a woman with a hijab on, it is understood that this woman is a Muslim, and she's a natural ambassador of the faith. And they've done a darn good job of it. And I would hope that you guys can join me in giving them applause of appreciation. Thank you.
So I'm not sure if you guys noticed, but nine came to the front. And he's like you got to conclude you got to conclude. So I'm pretty much out of points. But I do just want to conclude with one last simple point. I mentioned in the beginning of my talk, that as a human race as Canadian citizens, we have common goals, we have common ambitions. The threats to us are similar to the threats to you. The goals that we have, the world that we live in, is the same world. And we all want to see this world as a better place. And the way we see that is through getting to know one another and appreciating each other's diversity. Now, everything that I've shared tonight, I can hope is
palatable to you. But I cannot expect that each and every single person agrees with everything that I've said. What I can hope for though, is that we will mutually respect our differences, and that we will still love and care for one another. And regardless of if I get to know your name, or where you come from, or what your story is, right now, one promise that you do have from me, at least, and the MSA on this campus is that we are here at your service, anything that you need from us anything you would like to know, anything that we can do to make your day better. And to make your Kalona better, please do let us know, because that's what we're here for. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much
for your attention. And I open up the floor for questions.
Okay, for sure.
number of problems with watching set
to one point. Sure. You have just given us your version of baseline. Yes. Now by the way, I would ask the same question if you're a Christian or a Jew or a Hindu, right. If we have an ISIS member standing for right now. Give us his version. That is correct. He would say he's version is correct. And your version is wrong. Correct. So my question is, why should I believe your version of non Hindu? Fantastic, thank you very much for your question. Did everyone hear his question? Okay. So in terms of, you know, understanding what is truth
What is ultimate truth? And what are sources of knowledge? This is what I was starting of sort of alluding to in the beginning, when I spoke about you, we need to differentiate between what the religion is versus what its followers actually say, and to do. So that having been said, If I wanted to judge Christianity, I would go towards the Bible, and I would study the Bible. Similarly, over here, if I wanted you to know what Islam truly says, I would say, read a copy of the Koran, read a copy of the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. And that is the I'll give you an opportunity to respond to that as well. And that would be the only way that you could know for sure what the
religion of Islam actually says. And then you could corroborate, hey, did what in the Vedas is Satan? Eight? Is it actually true? Or is he just talking a bunch of hot air? Right, but this is just an introduction to that further discussion that I mentioned verses of the Quran, I mentioned statements of the Prophet as an introduction, that those of you that are interested, you have an opportunity to get a copy of the Koran, to get some, you know, traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, and see what he actually says. And that is the only way for sure, you can know which version of Islam is actually true. But please do follow up.
That is correct. So the Quran was revealed in the Arabic language. And if a person wants an iron, I guess, edited version of it, they would need to learn the Arabic language. But what I can say is, for the vast majority of translations, people do put their best effort forward to give an unbiased translation of it. So if you want to approach the Koran, and do not know the Arabic language, there are multiple translations that are available. Right? If you're asking for which translation, I would suggest, then there's one that was published out of service, the School of Oriental and African Studies in England by a professor there. I'm not sure what the initial Stanford m s abdulhadi. So
it's m s abdulhadi. For me personally, this is the translation I feel very comfortable with. I'm not saying it's a perfect translation. But I'm saying it's probably in the one that I agree with the most. So yes, ever since the Quran is in Arabic, it would be impossible to get a perfect picture of what the Quran has to say, without knowing the Arabic language. But academic credibility is also very important. And when these academics translate the Koran, I do believe that they are trying to do to be as unbiased as possible. And for the most part, most translations will be free of major flaws in translation. That's my personal experience. But thank you so much for your question.
organizations or individuals, yes.
Fantastic. So the differences that you'd find in the different translations of the Koran are not different versions of the Quran. So that's something that's very important. It's the same text that's being translated, but just different choices of words that are being used. And those will depend on you know, once time that they're translating that. So if you find a very early translation, like Marmaduke, Pickthall right, that's translating like 1934.
In that Shakespearean Polish experience uses words like vow regularly, right, and DOS and things like that no one speaks like that anymore. Was ama sub Halim. As I mentioned, I was translated from noms in 2009. But fairly recent, the you know, vernacular and vocabulary is very relevant and similar to what we use today. So the message is going to be the same, but the choice of words is what's going to be different
if we run out of them.
Any more questions?
First of all, I just want to say thank you for coming.
Thank you. My question is, how can you make sure that you're respecting
their boundaries? And what you believe in
That requires like a whole different lecture?
But it's a great question. It's a great question. So when it comes to faith, I think it's pretty well known that faith is generally a very personal matter. And each and every one of us has a different level of commitment, a different level of dedication.
So for me to come up here and stand and say, This is how you should interact with Muslims, as if they're all monolithic and homogenous, would be a great injustice. So if you are in a situation where you are interacting with a Muslim, I would say the best thing to do is probably get to know them and see what their understandings are. But more than likely, they're just like any other human being, and they will let you know, okay, this is what the boundaries are. And this is what the guidelines are. Right? If they're uncomfortable with something, they'll definitely let you know. That's what I would say is the best thing to do.
So the question is, if you have made the analogy between Sharia law and how water conforms to the shape of the glass, can this analogy be used to help explain the application of Quranic verses regarding the killing of an apostate?
Why all the complicated questions, why can we just all get along?
Okay. So when I was talking about the dynamic nature of the of shadia.
My intention behind that is to show that when we approach religion, it's not religions that themselves that need to be re reformed, its interpretation of religion that needs to be reformed. And certain interpretations will be relevant to certain places and times. And other interpretations will not be relevant to other places and times. So now when we talk about laws of Apostasy while this is a very, I guess, front page topic, for me personally, this is not very relevant. And I'll explain why. Because when you study the laws of Apostasy, the laws of Apostasy are not just about a person choosing to practice another faith. It is about a person choosing to practice and other
faith, while being treacherous to the Muslim community while living under the Islamic State. So now, let us take all three of these components together. The Islamic State, when I mentioned Islamic State, I'm not talking about ISIS. Right? Let's make that very clear. I'm talking about a sovereign state that rules by the true implementation of what the Koran actually dictates. And while ISIS may claim that the vast majority of Muslims will clearly tell you that that is not the case. So that is, what is the first component of that you need an Islamic state that actually governs by what the rule of God or what the true and pure form of the Sharia actually is, which unfortunately, in this day
and age, we do not have because if we did, we'd be having a very different conversation. And the problem of ISIS would more than likely have been taken care of
is that we mentioned that this person would have been treacherous to the Muslim community, and to the Islamic State itself. So now, the concept of laws of treason, are not really relevant in this day and age anymore. But if you even look at Canadian law and American law, the law of the law, the laws that talk about treason, mean that you sell your state secrets to an other nation, particularly one, if it's at war with is punishable by death, still, you know, those laws still exist. So that's the concept of treason. And then the third thing is the issue of abandoning of faith. So I believe it was a nun. Did you mentioned it in the introduction, or you mentioned it in the interview, that
there's a verse in the Quran that says like philosophy, Dean, that there is no compulsion in religion. And as a Muslim, I openly say this, no one can compel you, or force you, or dictate to you which religion you should follow, or which religion you shouldn't follow. That is a personal choice. The one that settles with you most logically, and spiritually and philosophically is the way of life and religion that we should all follow. Right? Those that is the freedom that we have of living in this day, and age. Now, understanding all of this, people like to talk about the laws of blasphemy. My simple response to this is, let's talk about what is relevant, we're talking about something that
is completely theoretical, and has no practical application whatsoever. Now, if we want to talk about how Saudi Arabia implements laws of Apostasy or how they're implemented in Nigeria, we can speak about political innuendo and political objectives. But that's a completely different distinct discussion as to what the law of God actually says. So now, trying to answer the question of, does that mean we can wipe out no laws
that are mentioned in the Quran are laws that are mentioned in text? And the answer to that is no. But what we can do is, we can figure out guidelines as to when it is appropriate for them to be implemented, and when it is not appropriate for them to be implemented. And that would be the distinction between reforming the Sharia, as opposed to reforming our interpretation of it. And the simplest thing I can say is that God knows best
good question. And in a simplistic version of it, yes, even linguistically speaking, if you were to find a Christian, that speaks Arabic, they will refer to their God as Allah. So Allah linguistically, all it means is the one that is worthy of being worshipped. That's what it linguistically means. So one that is taken to be worshipped, because he's worthy of being worshipped is known as Allah. And this is shared in the Arabic language with Christians, with Jews and with Muslims.
Maybe take some questions from the foreigner.
Good questions from
So Islam is based upon the principle of equality.
Okay, so if Islam is based upon the principle of equality, how do we understand the various conflicts that take place?
Okay, how can there be conflicts between?
Fantastic, okay, so there's two main schools of thoughts inside of Islam, as you know this, but I want to enlighten everyone else here, the larger school of thought is the Sunni school of thought, which makes up about three quarters of the Muslim population. And then the other school of thought is the Shia population, which makes up about one quarter of the Muslim population, then you have other branches, which are less than 1%. So that's why it's the 7525 in a general sense, but if you want to get very, very particular, it might be 74. And like, 23, and then like, 2%, of others. So now, with that having been said, what I want to emphasize and highlight over here is that there's
the Word of God. And then there's the human understanding of it. So two things I would like to highlight in terms of sectarian conflicts, number one is that a lot of the times, they're financially, politically, economically, geographically motivated, right? The way a Sunni and the Shia would interact in Canada, would be completely different to the way a Sunni and Shia would interact in Iraq. And that's just because the way we're brought up is relatively a lot more tolerant, you will spend a lot more time to get to know one another, what we stand for, and appreciate our diversity was a culture in another part of the world may not do so. So now with that
having been understood, people never want to look foolish, they want to be able to justify their actions with something, even if it's nonsensical. So people will take verses of the Koran and traditions of the Prophet. And they will say that I'm justifying my act, according to this. But this goes back to the issue. And I'll come back to you in a second is that human interpretation versus God? What what actually, God said, are two different things. So now people will justify it, but this religion actually say it? No, not at all. In fact, I believe throughout history, not even within different sects, but within different religions. We've all lived peacefully and tolerantly with one
another, up and until a select few from each and every community came and said, You know what, we're no longer
we don't like this, we don't like peace. So that is create war. And each and every community will have those members, but it's about the greater majority, you know, keeping that leash very, very tight on those individuals so that they're not given a voice and they're not given a following, and they're not given the ability to instigate violence. And that's my my two cents.
So, some some papers have two questions. We'll go through the first question. It will answer your second question as well.
And one thing I just want to add at none, is that in the case, like we would like to conclude at 830 and the only reason I want to do that is because I want you guys to enjoy the refreshments.
But in that situation where you know what you don't get to ask you a question. Now, I will be sticking around later so that you can ask you a question. If you have to leave and you know, you can stick around to ask your question. You can tweet me, it's at the VA disease, it was on the poster, or I can even put it on the board. Or likewise, look me up on Facebook, I have a public Facebook page, you can post your questions there. And you know, we can start a conversation that way. So just because your question may not be answered, we're not trying to ignore you. But we're trying to get to you in case that we're not able to please reach out once again, by tweeting at me or sending a
Facebook message. I'm not on Snapchat yet. I'm trying to get there. But or you can just reach out to a nun or the MSE on campus. And we can accommodate your question that way, please go ahead.
If you don't mind Jesus into your heart, you will go to
you will go to help. So if I am
my family person my whole life, there's not really anything that I don't see here for myself, then.
So this concept of religious exclusivity, who gets to decide who's going to heaven, and hell, each and every religion will have their own interpretation of this. And I can only offer what Islam says about this. And I need to again, portray a complete picture. So from a Muslims perspective, we actually how do I even say this?
From Muslims perspective, there's one of two ways or sorry, one of three ways to go to Paradise, there's one of three ways to go to Paradise. Those three ways are number one, is that anyone that is alive after the time of Muhammad, he has to believe in God and the articles of faith and the Pillars of Islam, and believe in Muhammad. And then, through living that good life and doing good deeds and trying his best or her best to stay away from bad deeds, then through the mercy of God, that is how they will enter Paradise, that is post coming of Mohammed, now pre coming of Mohammed, we believe that the followers of every prophet, they will enter Paradise due to their following of the Prophet.
So for example, during the time of Jesus, those that followed Jesus, truly, then they would be entered into paradise, those that followed Moses, they will be entered into paradise, those that followed Noah, and Abraham, and Jacob and all the other prophets that are more commonly known. If they follow their prophets, during their times, they will be entered into paradise. Now there's a third category of people. And this third category of people is those individuals that knew nothing about God, or religion, or profits, but they try their best to search for truth. And he's tried their best to search for meaning in their life. Yet, this did not lead them to finding any religion
whatsoever, or did not lead them to being content with a particular religion, and therefore the truth never actually reached them. So from a Muslim perspective, this third category of people, they would actually be raised on that final day that we call the Day of Judgment, and they would be sent a prophet at that time, if they follow the Prophet that is sent to them at that time, and it's not Mohammed, this is a completely different prophet that would be sent. If they followed that Prophet, then they would be from the inhabitants of paradise. And if they didn't follow that Prophet, they would be from the inhabitants of the hellfire. Now, rather than focusing on this technicality, what
I would like to share with all of us is that, inherently speaking, I do believe every single one of us is a good person we will all agree upon stealing is bad killing is bad. You know, we should respect and honor our parents. These are models that we all have in common. Now where we will differ on is how we decide what our purpose of life is. And I don't want to tell you that your purpose of life should be should be that you need to become a Muslim. What I want to share with you is that your purpose of life should be directed by the question, why do I exist? What is the higher purpose of my existence? And through that question, begin a path of seeking the truth. And, as they say, the
truth will set you free.
Simply, yes, the most important one is the first pillar of Islam which is the belief in God and everything that comes with it. Everything else is excusable to a certain degree. Yeah.
Do I believe in?
In male beauty? What are you trying to say?
Why should I be allowed to see your hands? And not your wife? Oh, man, very go. There we go.
So the issue of of being worthy of seeing someone's beauty. As I mentioned, that was like a personal thing between my wife and I, that's not a religious justification behind it. Right? So by all means, I would say, why don't you find a counterpart so that you can share your beauty with them and their beauty with you? That's the better thing to do. I have my wife, she's with me go and find your own wife for us.
But it wasn't really the question. Okay.
Not cover their face, but wear the headscarf. Yes.
not judged just upon their locks. Yeah.
Just upon their looks.
Fantastic. Very good question. So I there was actually a lapse in my speech or in my thought process when I was talking at that time. And what I want to mention was the holistic view to gender interaction in Islam. So one of the rules that we have in terms of gender interaction is that if you find the opposite gender sexually attractive, then one of the first things that you mentioned to do is that when you interact with them, you don't directly look at them in the eye, but rather, when you speak to them or interact with them, you look down at the ground. Likewise, there's the encouragement that in Islam, you're not allowed to have intercourse before marriage, right. So in
that situation, the people who are of an age where they're able to get married, they're actually encouraged to fast to decrease their sexual desire. Likewise, they shouldn't be exposing themselves to temptation. And by temptation, I mean, like pornography and things like that. So you don't expose yourself to that. So now part of this holistic approach is that we have this belief that God knows us best. And the way that's complemented with psychology, when you look at it from a psychological perspective, men are more visually stimulated, as opposed to women. And that is why when you look at who the the porn industry actually targets, it is men and not women. Yes, there are a fragment of
society that, you know, will be targeted by the porn industry for that. But the clear majority or is definitely men, because they see the view, they thrive off that visual stimulation, whereas that is not the case for women. Now, does that mean that a woman is not visually stimulated? No, I'm not saying that at all. What I am seeing is that studies actually show that when it comes to visual stimulation, it's a lot greater exponentially for a man than it is for a woman. And that is why a woman has that extra step. And this is my understanding of the situation of covering herself along with when a man finds a woman attractive that he not look her in the eye and he lower her gaze
towards her. And if he's at an age where he should get married, but doesn't get married. He is also encouraged to fast. And he's also encouraged to refrain from that temptation. So that would be my brief answer to that.
Sorry, just one second. Did you have a follow up?
What if you're gay? Great question. So this is actually a discussion I was having with
Oh, it isn't. Next question.
Just answered both of them together. Fantastic.
I'm gonna take a drink of water first.
So how long do we have to wait? 30
So let me start off with answering the gentleman's question first. So the same laws would apply to someone that is homosexual. So in terms of being obey, before they get married, if they find someone attractive, they should lower their their gaze towards or not, you know, have eye contact with them. If they're at an age where they can get married and or not, they should they are encouraged to fast
Now I want to tie in the the stance of homosexuality in Islam. There's two things that people often confuse one is illegal, right? versus what is morally, religiously sinful, versus rewarding. So let me start off with the first aspect. Again, one of the beautiful things about living in Canada is that we get to choose our sexual orientation. And there's the freedom to have any form of orientation that you like. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, it's actually illegal or on its way to becoming illegal to ask someone what their sexual orientation is, that's the beauty of living in a place like Canada. So now in a place like Canada, where someone can choose and decide who they want
to marry, and fall in love with and have a relationship with that freedom definitely exists. And the religion will not come and impose its view on
a legal illegal national level, because we have a belief as Muslims, that the laws of the land should always be respected, the laws of the land should always be
respected. Now, in terms of what is the Islamic approach to homosexuality? And where do we stand on this. So in terms of the feelings that an individual has, towards someone of the same gender, those feelings are not sinful, those feelings within of themselves are not sinful, what ends up becoming sinful, is the actual sexual act itself, that is what becomes sinful. Now, you will get a wide spectrum of understanding marriage and homosexuality from Islamic faith, from an Islamic perspective, you will find certain times a very, very small minority. And by Imam, I mean religious leaders in the Muslim community that actually will perform matrimonial services for members of the
same gender, you will find that the vast majority of them will not accommodate to the religious marriage, but they will accommodate to the civil marriage, they will accommodate to the civil marriage. Now, understanding this distinction between religious marriage and civil marriage is very important. Because in terms of religious marriage, we believe that it is not up to human beings to decide who can religiously get married and not, but rather that is something that is ordained by God Himself. But in terms of the civil marriage, this is something that the law of the land dictates and the law of the land will say, who gets to get married and who doesn't. So now, I hope that's made
sense in my head. That made sense. I hope I've already dated in that sense. Does that make sense to you?
I did. Okay, as long as the questioner understood where I was coming from, that's what it's important.
Sorry, who's talking right now? I don't know. Okay. Sorry.
Is it always subjective? So, for example, I mean, we can all agree that the sun exists, right? And the sun is there. If a person comes up into the room and says, It is my right to believe that the sun does not exist? How do we what do we have to say about that? Right? So not all truth is subjective. And that's what's important to understand. Most truth is subjective. But not all, truth is subjective. So now in terms of validation, and preachers from the Middle East and Islamic countries, again, I like to speak about the Canadian context, because I was born and raised in Canada. So now in terms of validating what they do, and what they say, unfortunately, since we don't
live there, and I'm not a part of that segment of the world, I can't really comment on it. But what it can say again, from a Muslim perspective, people are free to believe what they like there, no one has the right to dictate what someone believes in and doesn't believe in. We can disagree, but we disagree respectfully. Now, what I will say as well, there's a difference between preaching to someone and trying to persuade them as opposed to trying to force them, right. So forcing is, hey, if you don't accept this faith, I will kill you or I will harm you. persuading them is, Hey, this is what my religion is. And I believe in it for x y Zed reasons. Tell me why you don't believe in it.
So I can logically or spiritually or emotionally refute what you have to say. So that's the key distinction between persuasion and compulsion.
So that's what I would try to say.
I don't understand what that means. Sorry.
into the, into the desert, so we can hide our religion instead of learning. So I mean, and this is a difficult thing. Yes, there are forces that guide person ideology, but that struggle, that devotion, you gotta overcome that you gotta learn your religion, and choose it for yourself.
Thank you. Thank you for having my back. I appreciate that.
What is the Quran?
is in our law, apostasy. There is money for us. But there is a social contract.
How do you make about that? I mean,
we can we made the purchase, but they do exist.
So I'm so glad that is 833. Right now.
I'm not gonna run away from the question. But what's important to understand is, each religion has its sources of legislation, right. And I've highlighted two of them in the Muslim faith. One is the Koran and the other one is the Hadith, or the sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammed. Now, these aren't the only two sources of legislation. But what I would say, again, these are discussions that every religion has had to have, at one point where the religious leaders of that place of that time, have had to come together and say, okay, without changing the Word of God, how do we implement the Word of God, you know, in a way that is relevant and accommodating to the place in time that we
are in? And then it's never an issue of judgment, like we I have to emphasize enough, we are not judges, God is the judge, right? That is something that needs to be understood. What we are here to do is try to implement his word and leave judgment up to him. That's in summary, what I would try to say without, you know, boring everyone to sleep.
Can we just take one from here? And this individual over here? Yeah, those will be the last two. But we'll start with over here, please. Yes.
To be here is an older man, scholar of the Muslim religion. And he said on the radio, that
nowhere in teaching of Islam doesn't seem to be kind or people who believe differently than teachers. And I heard that. Wow, that's a shocking statement. I was wondering if you could
give some representative examples from the teachings of how Muslims, people who
fantastic so the first thing I'll refer you to is a verse of the Quran itself, chapter number 60, verse number eight. In this verse, God tells us how to interact with different faiths that are not at war with you, nor have the exiled you from your homes. So in this verse, God highlights two things, and to borrow what oxido Allah him, number one, is to show righteousness, and best is to show justice. So God has emphasized two key components over here, that our interaction with other faith members is to be based upon righteousness and justice, justice, meaning that we give them their due rights and fulfill their rights for them. And then righteousness is to go above and beyond
what the situation requires. So for example, I can see that you're thirsty, rather than me waiting for you to ask for a glass of water and they say, why don't you take this bottle so that's righteousness is going above and beyond and this is what actually got legislated in the
unself chapter 16, verse number eight. In terms of practical examples, I mean, I believe history is filled with through them. One example that I can give you is in the Spanish Empire. When Muslims ruled Spain during that land, the Jewish community felt a lot safer living with Muslims at that time, then they did living amongst other religions and other faiths. So that is one simple example where the Muslim community and the Jewish community lived amongst one another. And they felt safe, and they prospered and economically thrived. And things went very, very well. So this is just one example. What I would like to highlight if you if you ever get a chance, there's a really good book
called misquoting Mohammed by Jonathan Brown. He's a professor either at Georgetown or Duke, one of the two at Georgetown, at Georgetown University. And it's, you know, great examples of how religious texts are misconstrued and misinterpreted, and it comes with historical examples, as well as a holistic approach to the topic. Thank you for your question.
Islamic banking and profit, okay.
Okay, so the foundation of Islamic banking is that we are not allowed dealing with money that we have not rightfully and justly earned. That is the basic premise of it. And under this basic premise, that is where you get such strict guidelines in transactions. So for example, as a Muslim, I'm not allowed selling something that I don't have. So for example, in my mind, I can think to myself, Hey, I know you want to buy a Honda CRV, by the way, that's the car that you know, I drive. So I was like, You know what, I know you want to buy a Honda CRV. And I could probably make like a good 10% off of you. Because I know someone inside Honda that you know is going to hook me up with a
deal. islamically speaking, I'm not allowed to sell you this car up and until I've gone and purchased the car from him, and then I sell it to you. That's one example. Another example. And this is probably the more common one is that Muslims do not deal with interest. And as Muslims, we don't differentiate between usury and interest. And other religions, they differentiate between percentages, if it's a large percent, it's not allowed if the small percent it is allowed. But for Muslims perspective, we're not allowed using money as a commodity, money is a currency of exchange, it is not a commodity. So you cannot buy and sell money and make profit off of money. And likewise,
we view loans as an act of kindness, not as a means of business. So if I wanted to, I could not tell you islamically Hey, I will lend you $100 for you to give me $100.01 later islamically. Speaking that one cent I'm not allowed to accept because that would be interest and usury. A third thing I would mention is that Islamic contracts are very, very detailed and specific, because you are trying to avoid something called a verb. And the gutter is misinterpretation and miscommunication. So I tell you, I will send you I will sell you a 2016 Honda CRV, it would be incumbent upon me to tell you that it would have zero mileage, it would be brand new, these are the possible colors, it will
come in interiorly and exteriorly, just so that the other party doesn't feel cheated, because you know, the way people feel after a transaction is just as important. Now I know this is beyond the scope of what we're discussing. So I'll conclude with those three points. But if you are interested in knowing more, what I can see is one of the other community members that I work with at my mosque. He's actually done his bachelor's and master's in Islamic finance. And we have a YouTube channel, if you go to that he's developed delivered a six week course. And each week was about an hour and a half. So if you go to iisc multimedia, I SC multimedia on YouTube, that's my mosques YouTube
channel. And you can find a series on Islamic finance over there in the English language that'll hopefully facilitate your journey in Islamic banking.
Now, I didn't care you
your form of Sharia law.
And simple answer to that in its purest form. No, it does not exist.
I thought you said yes and no and that was it. I really want these people to enjoy the refreshments.
a guest speaker.
Sure, but last one, I really want them to enjoy the refreshments
Okay, so let me this is a very long answer, but I will summarize it to the best of my ability. The reason why people presume This is an Islamic issue. Number one is the prevalence of domestic violence in certain cultures, certain cultures are more prone to domestic violence than others, some of those cultures happen to come from Muslim lands. So that is why it is seen. Number two is that there's a verse in the Quran, which is verse surah, number four, verse number 34, that, depending on how you read this verse, and who has translated the verse, they will interpret this verse, that if you find from your spouse and spouse over here in the feminine gender, that she it has been
adulterous or has been on the verge of adultery, and you fear from her disobedience and rebellion, then separate from their bed, then advise them and then separate from their beds. And then the third thing that is mentioned, is the word dog in the Arabic language. Now the word dog is one of those words that has multiple understandings and interpretations, multiple word, interpretations. So the word dog can be used to travel, the word dog can be used to separate the word dog can also be used to strike, right. So now depending on the the person who's interpreting it, they will come up with a different presentation of this verse. What I would like to highlight over here is, let us go back to
this concept of having a holistic approach and see what the guidelines of interaction between a man and woman are. When God says in the Quran in the 31st chapter, that he has made marriage as a sign from God, the if you want to talk about the existence of God, one of his signs, is marriage with love itself, that he has created for us spouses for us, with whom we will be loving, and merciful. And together, we build a house of serenity and tranquility. Now, just based upon this one verse alone, if there is domestic violence in the house, how will you have a house based upon tranquility and serenity and love and mercy? Where is that? Number two, clearly, without a shadow of a doubt,
the wife of the Prophet, she says, The Prophet Muhammad never hit a woman or a child, the prophet Mohammed never hit a woman or child. And the best example for a Muslim is the Prophet Muhammad, him self. So with that, having been said, without a shadow of a doubt, I do not believe it is permissible for a man to strike a woman under any context under any context.
Actually, sorry, one last thing. If you're interested in learning more about the subject, there's actually a 20 page essay, it's called the end to hitting women, the edge to hitting women. And it's a paper that I had helped researched by a colleague of mine in England, it's available online on a website called Muslim matters. But even if you don't go to the website, just look up the edge to hitting women. And it's a detailed explanation of this verse. And the context behind it that needs to be understood. So for whoever asked that question
called Doom, savings by Nita, something very interesting
that he comes to the completion for our event, I just want to announce
just a very quick announcement to the Muslim Student Association understands that the refugee crisis in Syria is something that's very sad. And hence, it is launching a senior leader. We are helping some amazing people like me who are there to sponsor some senior families. We have already, you know, traffic study, and found some amazing people who are willing to help sponsor family. And we are also launching a medical device as a medicine, if anyone wants to volunteer for that. We do approach me or disturbed man.
Right there, right there.
So, any one of you Who's that?
We approach and I thank every one of you, every single one of you from the bottom of my heart for joining us, and maybe it's just an amazing night. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.