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17. An Overview of Quranic Work by Late Dr. Israr Ahmad

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Nouman Ali Khan

Channel: Nouman Ali Khan

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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hibben alameen wa sallahu wa salam wa sallam via even more serene father le he was happy he ministered Nebuchadnezzar He,

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along with them in home, Amina Latina, Amina Mohammed Ali had whatever. So Bill Huck, what are some of the sub mineable? I mean, some about

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few weeks ago when the news of the passing of Dr. sarmad came out, I received it by means of a text message and maybe 10 minutes before that I had just listening finished listening to one of his lectures on the seat of a surah so handled law. So I was completely overwhelmed when I heard the news. And I've been meaning to say something about him something just in service to what he has done for me personally and for the Muslims in general. But I want to start my comments with something on the side inshallah Tada. And that is that this oma one of its features is that we are merciful to each other. That's one of the main qualities is on my hands that we are merciful to each other.

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But unfortunately, in our times, it's okay, it's just a kid. Sorry. But in our times, unfortunately, especially to those who serve the religion like dodoma people are the least merciful to them. Hey, you, hey, you over there.

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He's gonna do it again.

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Whose little guy is that? Stop him.

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Okay, Mashallah.

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He's awesome, though. Okay.

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So anyhow, so we are the least merciful to our own orlimar. And what ends up happening is, our alumni end up saying something that is not agreeable to everyone, or ends up saying something that you might even call controversial. And so what we do is in return, we forget every good thing they may have done in their life. And we hold on to that one statement that one quote that one paragraph, whatever they may have said and said, Oh, you're talking about that guy who did this. And because of this, he they may be canceled or deviant or this or calling people to the Hellfire, all kinds of filthy names will be called, and so many other might have been demonized because of this. So many of

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them are in our history have been demonized by Muslims themselves. The oma that is supposed to be known for mercy among each other is the most vicious to each other. And imagine if this person, whoever he may have been and this is not about doctors argument in particular, whoever he may have been, if he is awesome, just

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It's all right. He's enjoying the speech, okay.

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You know, if that person is close to Allah, and their work was acceptable to Allah, and Allah forgive whatever mistake they made, they said something in a speech or something, and it was a mistake, and Allah forgive it. And the light accepted all the good deeds that they did imagine that you and I are hounding on this person, and cursing them and publicly ridiculing them. And on the other hand, Allah has forgiven him what where do we stand with a lot of silicon halala, that he may be counted from the earlier of, we don't know. So this is something we have to be Muslims themselves have to be very careful about. And what I've noticed, and you may differ with me. But what I have

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noticed is that people have knowledge. The actual scholars are very respectful.

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And the people that are gangsters in the cloaks of scholars, they really are their mobsters. They have their mafia, they have their crowds, and they're trying to hold on to their territory, that's all it is. It's just in the name of religion, that's the only difference. Otherwise, it's no different than the mafia. These are the people that create these kinds of problems. And we should ignore that kind of rhetoric and not even respond to it, we should just ignore it as Muslims generally. Anyhow, when it comes to the work of the late Dr. Solomon, Allah, he's known for predominantly two things. There's his political activism, and his political thought, and then there

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is his Quranic work. And I'm going to dedicate this conversation in sha Allah to his unrelated work in sha Allah, and maybe some other time we can talk about his political thought. But I think the more relevant and the more universal contribution he has to offer is his chronic service, the service to the study of on that he provided. As an introduction to it, I will tell you that his study of Iran and his education of the Koran for the Muslims was divided into three parts. So you have to organize your thoughts about this man and his ideas. His three things you have to try and remember in Sharm el tala, the first of them is the education of the Quran. For the vast majority or

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the masses of Muslims. There has to be some kind of a program where all Muslims are educated about what the Quran is what it has to say what its message is, they have to have at least a bare minimal knowledge of the language of the Koran. So they when they are standing in salon, the Quran is being recited. They know what it has to say they identify with this book and it gives them a sense of identity that was the first purpose and the first part of his movement. To achieve this goal. He basically engaged in two major projects. The first project is called Dr. Schumacher on an older directors micron. And this was you know how massagin all over the world have the tarawih prayer

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during Ramadan and people are feeling a spirit of connection with the Quran and the aborigines.

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some reason we're called on in that month than any other time. So he saw that as a strategic opportunity why not do a does a lecture series on the entire Quran II even if in brief translation

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during that month so for example, in Lahore where he started this, there would be 25 we have 25 we have a prayer and when Jesus recited are a little more after every four Raka he'll give a dose on everything that was recited, and then a Dustin for Moraga and then what does Informatica so they will do 20 hours per week, and then actually go through the entire Quran in translation with brief explanation where necessary, but keep flowing. This wasn't giving a lot of detail to every IRA, or a lot of depth, but at least we'll have an overview of what the Quran says number one. And the second benefit of this project which is huge, is that most of us especially even the versed or seasoned

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students of Quran, when we study the Quran, we study one eye at a time, we study two at a time, we study with very small chunks of for another time or even a subject at a time. For example, the subject of women in the Quran, are the subject of Taekwondo and the subject of death in the Quran. So what we do is we take one subject or one IR one small piece, and focus in on that. But this approach that he had, you know what it does, it gives you a taste of the Quran as a conversation Allah speaking, because instead of stopping at an ayah, use, recite it, you read the ayah. And you read the I read after and right after and right after. And what happens is you get a sense of a flow

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of conversation. And a lot of times even in translation, you will not get a taste and appreciation of honest dialogue, as conversation as you will in that in that program. And actually the first time I was properly introduced to the foreign was through that program. And I felt really like it was a conversation between a lion human beings, it feels like that. And that's what saliva is supposed to feel like what By the way, somehow the purpose of Salah is we feel like Ally's conversing with us by means of his words, but because the vast majority of Muslims don't understand the Arabic language and don't understand the language of the Quran. This was his way of compensating. That was the idea.

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If we can connect to a law with the Quran in the Salah, at least translate it and connect the next best thing was his idea. Right. So that was the first project that he started every normal button and he did it tirelessly. Incidentally, I tried to do it once,

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like five years ago, five, six years ago in Muslim Central in Flushing. And I swear to you, I don't know how the man did it, I have no idea I would study eight, nine hours a day, and give three and a half, four hours of lecture that night. And that would be exhausted. And he did this for 2030 years straight without a break. Without a rich Panama. I'm just baffled at how he did it every single month. I did it then and I said Man, I made this commitment, I'm going to finish it. I couldn't even stand up straight, like by the end of like the 20th day of Ramadan.

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And at the end of it, I said I'm not doing this again, forget it. If I do it, I'll spread it over 10 years.

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Right. So a lot. So that's one of his great contributions. The second this is also part of mass education for Muslims was okay, Muslims are not going to make the time to study the entire Koran, at least they should study about a 10th of the Quran in depth, or a little more in depth. So he made a course in order to it's called one stop massage. It's about 70 hours of lecture in order actually in 44 hours of lecture in order to 70 hours in English, because he spoke slower in English, right? Like him a whole lot. And he took about two and a half to three joules of selections from the Quran. And he said, If you study these selections properly, the purpose of them is it will give you a basically

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a scheme, a framework of all of the subjects in the Quran, all of the subjects in the Quran and it was based on a simple philosophy. That's a summary of the entire Koran rests inside so colossal

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that every piece you know The first is the second or the third, especially the third I have sort of lost in the levena amanu while I'm in the heart You all know this whatever so we'll have what are called the sub that are either deals with a man in the Latina amanu or deals with righteous deeds or Amina sorry heart or a deals with enjoining the truth what the law says or enjoying perseverance with a muscle, the solid based on that understanding he devised an entire curriculum which was a continuation of a curriculum that was made even before him by a scholar by the name of Ameen essence lucky. Lucky he developed a curriculum first and it was enhanced and attitude by doctors. I mean

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essence law. He By the way, that was one of the great influences on Dr. As far as though he disagreed with him on a number of things. You will notice if you are a continuous listener of Dr. Saad, that he will mention, I mean, I've seen this slide quite a bit and he was very influenced by his the fear that he had a lot of personal interactions with him as well before he passed away. Anyhow, so this is his first thing educating the average Muslim with the Quran. The only additional thing I will tell you about that is his theory was that there has to be massive

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Education of as these basic Quranic education and Arabic in the entire Muslim world, all Muslims have an obligation to learn Arabic as best as they can. This is the language of Allah's book, it should be part of minimal education like you know, in, in the public or secular world, we say at least got a GED, or at least graduated from high school. Well, his idea was at least know some Quran and at least know Arabic, at least know that much that much education every single Muslim should have. That was his theory. And that's again, mass education. Now we go to his second layer of service.

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You can call this the double Quran,

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a deep reflection on the Quran, a deep, thorough study of the Quran, he developed this thought and and started acting on it more seriously in the early 80s. And he decided to commit himself to a series of gurus where he would study maybe 20 2030 years of the scholars take his own notes, and then present a detailed lecture on every single surah that he would study. This was not something that you translate and keep going, he will spend hours and hours and hours on an idea at a time if necessary, he decided that he's going to do this for the entire Koran, actually, from what he said in one of his lectures, he started that project in 1976. himself, he says the series is called

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Mufasa darsan. That's what the name is an old Mufasa. There's a foreign so there is biannual Quran, which is the translation and quick dose. And then there's Mufasa. There's a prologue, which is a detailed, deep analytical study of Quran, I don't have access to it, except for one third of it, one third of it is recorded and posted online. I think the rest of it never got never saw the light of day or he did it in his machine, but it wasn't recorded or published or anything like that. But whatever he did do, let me tell you something about it. I developed that virus myself some time ago, that I'm going to study the entire Koran for myself in depth and whatever. So I study, I'm going to

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go through 2627 different sources and properly study it before I talk about it. And he was one of my resources. So while I was studying 20 different have I seen and grammatical analysis and the books of you know, this scholar scholar in the other scholar, and I would still have questions in my head. And then I listened to this man speak for three, four hours on the same question I had, and he would solve my problems like your untangle not incredible, just the amount of work he put in, I appreciate you know, and it's a tragedy to me personally, it's a loss that he doesn't have every suit I've put on there, it's not posted. So found Allah, whatever he does has is it does have is an absolute

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treasure. priceless. I haven't read anything in the sellers, or even in later times by intellectuals even though they have great contributions, that comes even close to solving the kinds of philosophical problems that he did. And the kinds of intellectual problems or historical analysis even I mean, if you study historical analysis, for example, have enough a dynamic effect kameena. If you study historical analysis, and compared to any other field that you will study, you study that you will be left with questions, you will be left with questions, and he was left with those questions. And he kept studying and researching until he found the answers to those questions and

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simplified them. So one day a dummy like me can listen under understand of the many 1000 hundreds of 1000s that listen and appreciate from his work. This was the second part a deep study of the Quran, the double recon, he unfortunately was not able to finish that series. Whatever he did do, though, is posted on the team's website, they posted it, it's a great contribution inshallah, tada, I hope that one day it gets translated into English, because it is an absolutely priceless treasure of Quranic studies. Now his final contribution to clinic studies, the title he liked to give this himself was Islamic Renaissance. He called this an Islamic Renaissance. And the idea he had was that

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the Quran is the most sophisticated document, not just from a religious point of view, but from a, you know, justice or domestic, you know, domestic solutions, political solutions, economic solutions, you talk about any problem that exists in the world, the Quran is the most sophisticated document that has the solutions to it. And to present that to the world is that easy. You think to go to an economics professor and say, You know what, all the problems of modern economy are, the solutions are right here in this book. Is that easy to do? It's not. And he said they probably laugh at you. If you do that. What are you talking about? You're just like those Christians who Bible

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thumpers they call it right. So he said in order to actually prove to the world that so foreign has the solutions to every problem humanity has ever faced, and has the guidelines to create and to live by the most harmonious society ever seen by history. What we need are scholars that have an art that have a deep study of the Koran on the one hand, and a deep study of one of the humanities on the other. And he was a big he used to talk a lot about how we are Muslims specifically, Muslims are colonized. We were colonized.

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You know, by the British and the French and the Spaniards or whatever else, right? But our lands were kind of colonized before, but now our minds are colonized. When they left, they left our minds as being colonized. What does that mean? That when you think about getting a good career, what do you think of you think of some kind of technical science, or some kind of, you know, medical, technical financial, meaning you want to be a worker, in the end, you want to serve the Empire.

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Right? And any education that doesn't have to do with being in a job, or, you know, technically doing labor rather has to do with thought, and deep reflection and thinking and intellectual pursuit, for example, sociology, or history or political science, or when you go into those careers that Muslim parents will say, What are you wasting your time for? Why are you thinking about economics? What kind of job were you going to get? What are you going to do with sociology? What are you going to do with psychology? What are you going to do with anthropology or history, useless stuff? And he says, actually, it is those sciences, they call them humanities, those of you that are

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in college, call them the useless courses, right? Those are the sciences, that actually are the foundation of a society. The sociologists and the economists and political scientists, these are the people who frame how society functions. Everybody else just works in it. But these are the people who craft society who design society. I mean, look at art, the times in which we live in Wall Street, and this and that, and the other, it starts with Adam Smith. Right? It starts with an economist, it starts with a writer, you know, you're talking about the huge, you know, Soviet Union and this amazing Empire, but it starts somewhere else, it starts with a writer with Karl Marx, it

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starts with a sociologist, actually, it was a sociologist and economist. So he says that Muslims have to be deep, and very powerful intellectual sociologists, at the same time deep students of Quran and bring these two together, and by bringing them together, you show the world, how amazing the solutions of the Quran are for society. So instead of presenting the Quran as us versus them, it is us for them, if you understand what I'm saying, so here's a solution that'll help you solve your problems. This is good for you, not even for me, it's good for you. And that's the amazing power that Ron possesses. Now, in order to pursue this project, I told you to pursue his first project, he

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did two things that you might put on and what he did two things for the deep study of karate, he had his own project, have, you know, of a Silver Surfer on to pursue this third project, he took a risk. I will tell you about this risk he took. He studied Islamic history and learn something you know what he learned, he learned that this this Muslims when they were in Spain, they were the head of world civilization, all the universities, all the intellectual heads were where they were under Muslim rule. And the Europeans were in the dark ages. So how did the Europeans make a comeback? You cannot have a comeback until you have scholarship. You can't do it. The reason the Western world is

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at the head of the planet today, why are they leaps and bounds ahead of everybody else? Because they have the most sophisticated universities than anybody else. The centers of learning are also centers of society and centers of civilization. The Muslims were the places where universities were, and we were also leaders of the world. So how did the Europeans make a comeback? Where did they send their young men?

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Where did they send their young blood to the Muslim universities, and they were taking a big risk, because if the Europeans go to Muslim universities, they might become Muslim, and we might lose them.

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So this was a big risk for the Europeans because they might lose some of their precious talent to the Muslims. But these Europeans went, a lot of them were lost to Islam. from their point of view, we gained them they lost them. But a good number of them learned what they had to learn, and went back to Europe to make Europe a better place. And this started the Enlightenment, they started translating the works of the philosophers were gone. They were only available in Arabic, the Greek philosophers, you couldn't find the Greek texts, you can only find the Arabic text. So the Europeans came, translated them back into European languages and took them back with them. So this reversal,

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right, he says, Now it's time where the Muslims have to come to Western universities, gain the highest form of knowledge and then return that intellectual tradition to the Muslim world. That was his idea. And for that purpose, he started an experiment. It was called IQ W. Institute of Quranic wisdom. And one of the projects within that was called the higher studies project. It's one of the tragedies in his life. That project, it's called it was called the higher studies project. The purpose of it was he would have some young brothers that would go and study with him in Pakistan, and they would study the Quran and Arabic And all of this stuff. And when he felt confident with

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them, he would ship them off to the United States. And they would do higher studies here do their PhD in sociology, or history or whatever else. And he did do that. There were a number of brothers. I actually knew them personally, myself. And they learned under him and then they went, they came back here and they joined Hartford seminary. They went to Harvard, they went to Yale, they went to different universities. And guess what ended up happening

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With most of them,

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they lost the other side.

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Or their ideas completely changed. And what he intended completely backfired. It completely backfired with like, I know of one exception. I know one exception of his two dozen students that I knew that he engaged in this project. And he was actually hoping that I would be one of those volunteers. But I said, I'll stay in LSP. It was HSP higher studies project, I wanted to be LSP lorrison, I was actually more fascinated with his artwork. And I was I said, I don't have the brain cells for the higher studies project. And that idea, it was a little over, even when they would talk about like, what what do you tell them? You know, it isn't, it's a remarkable idea. It really is.

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But we didn't have the infrastructure or the wherewithal to be able to execute that idea. I don't think I don't take merit away from that idea is a profound idea. It's an amazing idea. But we have to have a proper strategy to be able to execute it, he did whatever you could, within his human capacity to fulfill that idea. And we accept that from him. And that great concern for the oma, it's actually for those of you that are interested, read this book, it's amazing reading. He wrote this, it's hard for me to believe he wrote this in 1965.

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When he was like, 24, he wrote this when he was 24. It's called Islamic Renaissance. The real task ahead, read it twice. It's like maybe 4050 pages, but it will blow your mind if you're serious reader. First of all, it'll blow your mind that this guy is not like an Englishman. And he's writing this sophisticated language. It's sophisticated, like most Islamic books are written in poor English. This is good English. This is English, I'll make you feel bad. Like I should have paid more attention in English class in high school English, right. And second of all, it's just the ideas in it are extremely powerful, very potent ideas. Now, the final thing I will tell you about Dr.

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Hartman, that I'll conclude inshallah, this is one of his last treasures. The last time I held that for last, he said that there are two views of looking at a stem.

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One view is you look at Islam, and you say, what does it do for me?

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What does it do for me? What What is halal for me? What can I enjoy? What more can I do? You make more and more things permissible on yourself? You ask, what more luxuries? Can I take part in in this life? And there's another view of Islam? Which is, what more can I do for it?

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What more can I do for it? So one view is Islam is in service to me. And the other view is I am in service to Islam. And he said that the Sahaba will be a lot more on which marine were predominant. If you study what they did, and the kinds of questions they asked to the messenger. So I saw them, what more can I do? How do I get to Jenna, tell me the most amazing thing I get the most beloved thing to Allah that I can do. In other words, they weren't asking how much? How much less? Can I get away with? They were asking, What more can I do? And if you look at the questions of the Muslims today, when they go to the cinema, what do they ask? Do they ask what more can I do for Allah? Or do

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they ask what more dunya? Can Islam give me? Essentially, is this Hello? Can I eat that too? Can I go there too? Can I buy this too? Can I get into this business? Also, can I wear that? Can I you understand the mentality has become I want to be served by the religion and feel good about myself and not have to feel guilty rather than me serving myself to a sum. And in this, he had a very, I would have to say extreme opinion. But I have to in the end, I have to be jealous of him. I have to be jealous of him when he because having that extreme opinion.

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I don't know of anybody who can have that nowadays. I don't know. You know, what is extreme opinion was he said until the Dean of Islam needs help. He's a look around you and answer you ask yourself the question. Does the deen of Islam Need help? And I don't think any Muslim would look around and say no, the note needs no help at all. I think all of us know very well. We are living in times where the VA needs help. He says until the answer is yes. The dean of Islam needs help. He said you shouldn't Enjoy your food.

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You shouldn't buy new clothes. You shouldn't get it, get an extra car or buy a house or expand your property. Give live to the bare minimum and give everything else to help as Dean until that is done until allies happy that the dean is established. You shouldn't be happy.

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That was his opinion. And you know, having that opinion is one thing. Living by it is something else. He would come to the United States. You know, scholars come from abroad. We put them up in hotels, even I go and you know, the conference and they'll book me a hotel room and this and that the guy doesn't stay at a hotel. He's sleeping on the floor and the machine. He's sleeping at somebody's house on the floor. You know, and he's eating like simple meals. And he's dressing in the same clothes. He's got two pairs of clothes. One is in the wash and the other he's wearing. He's wearing for two months, three months in a stretch. So how Noma is one thing to say I'm not going to

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enjoy life I'm going to give everything to is one thing to say that but it's another

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To do that even go visit his Institute in Lahore, which I never had the fortune of visiting. But my, my friends and colleagues did, how is he living? How what kind of life is he living? So Panama, it's a remarkable thing to have people that not only say that, but put literally what they say put your money where your mouth is, you know. And he was expecting that for most of us a very high expectation, what barely holding on to the phones, the minimum. And here he was saying, Give everything up for the sake of this Dean, put everything into it, you do the expression was Done. Done legato. He would say it all the time.

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You'll see it all the time. Just forget about everything else that he needs your help. That was his calling. And I know that this is not the position of the majority of theologians that they say the Muslim, it's okay for you to have extra pairs of clothes or whatever else. And you know, you don't have to be that extreme. And we and I say that fine. It is. If you compare it to the vast majority of scholars, it is extreme. But man, I'm still jealous. Two, One D two, one alpha that bad and to let go of the idea that strongly. That's something we have to admire. It really is. And in that sense, I feel of all his contributions. It is that idea that he lived by that he presented

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constantly that he educated people with that idea alone makes it makes me think it's a huge loss to the oma that we have a person like that and a fire like that that was burning in his heart that is now gone. And I pray that Allah azza wa jal blesses our efforts. And those of us those of us that were in whatever small capacity his students are fortunate to take benefit from his thought his ideas, his looses lessons, I pray that we're able to do some justice to what we learned and to be able to present you know, something from the Quran in that light. I want to tell you in the end, two things in ChildLine. I'm done the first of them is this happened about a year ago I decided for

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myself I told you to study for an in depth and I have a partner with me now. And we're Our intention is to do a detailed study of the Quran and presented intercede for English speaking audiences based on whatever he did what additional resources also classical prophecy in the works of with only a shadow, Allah, Dr. Father Salah, similar to other other intellectuals of our time, that have done great work and for annek studies, and whatever we have presented so far, we've posted up on our website as a free service, that the SEO lectures that whatever we've done so far, I've I started this about a year and two, three months ago, and I finished yours unless so far. I just finished

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like two three weeks ago and I'm taking a break and then I'm going to go back and start from what I've seen. But my colleague who's here visiting also from Texas, Jacob nasi sitting among you actually started just about, he started just about last week, and he's continuing also with those rules, and we're posting them it's a detailed study. So if you would like if you don't have access to the English, I know it's not really a comparison, but it's the it's whatever is available to you in English, you can take advantage of that from our [email protected] and schelotto. And on that note,

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what two things I took from him for onyx studies in Arabic. And in shallow Tyler this summer. There is an Arabic program coming from our institute to New York. It's not coming here to be sure it's coming to Muslim center in Flushing. And my colleague the Nasir will be teaching it so I'm going to ask him to talk about it for about five minutes. Does that come along? And for listening? I should I should.

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I should ensure Okay. That is your answer by the way.

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Yes, I think we should. I think we really should. Yeah, you came to New York for a year you have to listen. I'm sorry. This European