Message to Pakistan’s Youth
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
File Size: 13.28MB
Behind me was salatu salam, ala MV mursaleen. rather early, he was talking
about a solemn article
about my dear brothers and sisters from Assad, I'd like to start by saying Salaam to all of you. And expressing my deep gratitude and, and a sense of honor and respect that you were requested me to speak to all of you, I don't really see myself worthy of doing so. And I'm actually quite surprised and shocked that there's anybody watching any of my stuff on YouTube in Pakistan. But nonetheless, here we are. And I'm really happy to have the opportunity to speak to you saw what is especially close to my heart, because I spent a year of my life in a solid, but I was there for eighth grade in a solid. And that's pretty much the only memorable experience I have with Pakistan is that one year
that I've spent, and I hope to visit soon again, inshallah.
I was asked to speak to you about a few things. And I'd like to start from with an acknowledgement. And that is that I don't claim to understand what youth in Pakistan go through, I haven't lived there, I don't really understand the culture there very, very much. I work with a lot of youth in the United States. And I think I know a thing or two about how, what kind of challenges young Muslims are facing all over the world. So I can speak from a more universal point of view, or based on my experience working with young people here and the kinds of challenges they face. But hopefully, some of the advice and some of the observations that I have to share with you will be of
benefit to you, inshallah. And the first of them, I'd like to start with really a foundation. And that is that most Muslim youth today as as things are right now, most of them, we don't see Islam, as a way of looking at the world. We actually see Islam as a religion as part of our tradition that was passed down to us from our parents. So if you ask an average Muslim youth, I would even argue anywhere in the world, why are you Muslim? Then the, you know, the obvious question, the honest answer would because my family's Muslim, or I live in a Muslim country, I was raised a Muslim excetera. Those would be the kinds of answers you would get. And even the student or the young
person that would say, No, I'm almost done, because it's the truth. Because that's the that's the Hulk. That is the truth. Even though I can't judge their the intention of someone who says that, chances are that a young person who says that is only saying that because you want them to say that, like that's what they're expecting, you're you'd like to hear, it's not really something that's based on proper intellectual proof and evidence. And what's what comes with that at the same time, is that you have a lot of questions about Islam, there are a lot of things they don't understand. There's a lot of things about Islamic law, Islamic principles, behaviors of Muslims, we'll talk
about that in a little bit that they see around them, it's really quite disturbing to them. And, of course, in our times, questions about Islam and its integrity, and its validity. And, you know, its sustainability, they're being raised in many circles in the media, in the western literature, you know, thinkers, even thinkers in the Muslim world, you know, secularists, thinkers and whatnot, or progressives, as they like to call themselves are questioning, you know, the very sanctity of Islamic principles and why we should hold on to them. They're even writers now talking about how the songs, the thing that's holding us back, etc. So in the midst of all of this, obviously, the
generation that's coming up in the middle of all of this rhetoric, you can't expect that they're not influenced, or that that, you know, some of these thoughts don't cross your mind.
And at the same time, so this is on the one hand about the intellectual kinds of, you know, the foundations why we are Muslims to begin with, most of us see it as a traditional thing. On top of that is just our worldview. And what I mean by worldview, I'll I won't get into technical terminology is a very simple way of looking at it. What do you want the most in life? What do you want to get out of life? You know, and if you ask an average Muslim teen, or Muslim youth to this question today, I don't think their answer is very different from a Christian youth, or Jewish youth or a Hindu or a Buddhist youth or are you such an atheist? Or doesn't even have religion? I don't
think the answer differs very much. They're pretty much when I was successful life, a career, you know, a nice car that they you know, everybody has a favorite car, right, or, you know, move to a country they'd like to move to whatever it may be, and a handful of these things. And that's pretty much it. That's what I want out of life. So our life goals are not necessarily dictated or even influenced by this thing that we have inside of us. This Islam, it's not a major player in our outlook on life.
Then, the the third part of this so there's two parts I've mentioned so far one that we see it as just an inherited thing to that it doesn't influence our outlook on life. And three, is that we Muslim youth, and there are going to be four things altogether. The third is that Muslim youth, in my opinion,
a good majority of them don't see themselves as part of something bigger. In other words, you identify yourself maybe with the college that you go to
Maybe with the city that you live in, maybe with your favorite sports team, at the most, a lot of times youth are nationalistic, they identify themselves with their country, you know, and in some more tribal areas of the world, they might have identified themselves with their race, their family, etc, etc. But that's how they identify themselves. The primary mode of identification for youth today is not that they're Muslim. That's not the first thought that comes in. And that's a problem, that that's not the first thing that comes in your mind is I'm Muslim. And because of that, I have a solidarity with people all over the world that share this law with me, that sense of identification
has become weak. I'm not saying it's not there. But it's certainly very weak. We don't identify ourselves primarily as Muslims. When we don't, when we think about ourselves, maybe we think of ourselves as Pakistani First, we think of ourselves as Punjabi. First, we think of ourselves as one of those things first, and then Muslims kind of assumed, or it's not that big of a part of the picture.
Then, you know, the scary part of this conversation, there's a good number of Muslim youth,
to whom when Islam was presented, unfortunately, it was presented in a very negative light. And what I mean by that is, either, you know, they come from, you come from a family that's not very practicing. And maybe even the practices of religion are looked down upon in your family, and they're taken as a joke. You know, and I know a lot of friends from even college, that were raised in families like that, where Yeah, you know, prayer, you should pray once in a while, or whatever. But if a woman starts wearing a job, or a guy has a beard or something, and that's the first thing that goes off in your head is that's the object of ridicule. That's something funny, or something
stupid, or something extreme event, or this person doesn't want to succeed in life. That's why they're turning to religion, or whatever these assumptions come in the minds of a lot of people. The second is that religion is really almost a nuisance. I mean, it's good. Religion is when you get in trouble, like you didn't study for your finals this week. So you kind of make God and you go, and st moms have to make a special offer or something. But other than that, religion is really not for you. It's not like it's prohibitions and its obligations, they're just kind of a nuisance. Why do I have to do that? Why do I have to do this? You know, why does it ask you, everything's cut off, you can't
do this can't do that can do the other. So you, if you feel like the religion is just a bunch of restrictions, it's keeping you from having a good time, or you know, from living your life the way you'd like to. And that's the view of religion that a lot of youth see it, as, you know, that's how they see Islam. And that's actually not too far from how a lot of youth see their other religions. So these kinds of perceptions, they're kind of universal. I would think that's a big problem in Pakistan, too. I don't know that for a fact. But it's my my uneducated assumption at this point, that some of these things that I've raised, you are able to identify with, or some of these concerns
resonate with you or you can think of friends that these concerns resonate with. So I want to start at the top. And what I want to start with is that we have to reconstruct, for youth especially, we have to reconstruct the idea that our Islam is a source of pride, that it's something that gives us strength. And it's something that made us you know, and from some point of view of history, Islam is what made us a noble civilization, and what held us in high, you know, we had something to offer the world, the world looked up to us to Islam, because we had something superior to offer. And we have to bring that mentality back that Islam, in fact, is superior, no matter through all the garbage and
all the rhetoric that you might hear through all of that, through all of that poison, we can't lose sight of the fact that Islam, in fact, is the truth. And is the superior way to live and any other way to live, is actually you should feel sorry for instead of us most of the time imitating people that really don't deserve to be imitated. You know, you know, over here in America, Miley Cyrus has a big deal with younger kids. And just a couple of days ago in the news, she got caught with a bomb, right with some drugs. And you know, we even Muslims, they idolize this, this girl and the little girls were bookbags and, you know, watch her shows and videos and things like that. And they're huge
fans of hers, and now she's caught with drugs, you know? So we, we have we unfortunately have these role models that don't deserve to be role models. But we've made them that way. And so what do you expect? How far do you expect to go in life when your role models are this pathetic? So that's the one the one thing a sense of pride has to be revived among Muslims. The second thing,
the second thing is for Muslim youth, we have to stop seeing ourselves as kids. I mean, once you as far as our Deen our religion, our way of life, our worldviews concerned, the moment pretty much you're a team, you should be treated like an adult. And you should act like when you should be expected to act like what you should carry responsibilities, like one and what that what comes with that is automatically that you're a role model. There are others who look up to you. So when you are living a lifestyle of
recklessness, and you don't care about the consequences of your actions. Or you know, you are for examples, even domestic things like you don't show respect to your parents. You don't care about prayer, whatever it is, you're a role model to your younger siblings, your role models and younger people in your neighborhood. So when you don't do that, you have left that legacy for them to follow. because believe it or not, there are kids in your community. And there are people in your family that want to be like you, they look up to you. So what you do leaves a legacy for them. And so when you follow this miserable lifestyle, and you leave that legacy for them, if you have any
ounce of belief in judgment day that we're going to be standing in front of a lot answering questions, that on that day, it's not just that you have to answer for your own party, you have to answer for that legacy that trail you left behind, and all those who follow in your footsteps, they have to answer for themselves. And you have to answer for them to what we didn't ask Allah home, but I
was calling him Allah says they're going to be carrying their burdens and a burden on top of their own burdens. You know, and these were people that were they were just bad influences. You know, and a lot of times the worst influences for young people are other young people, young people don't look up to old folks to find their ways. I feel like a senior citizen, talk to you guys right now. Right? among you guys. You're You're each other's major influence. And so we find in Toronto talks about this idea of influencing others. And there were these people that wanted young Muslims to become kofod, again among the Sahaba. So they said it to be true. Sabina Lachman hayarkon, they said,
Follow our way will carry your sins, don't worry about it, we'll take care of your sins. Well, now whom behind Medina, Madhava hohman shake, Allah tells us, they're not going to be carrying anybody's sins at all min, shake at all, the loss of money, right? In the Home Depot, they're just liars, all they're doing is lying. So don't fall into that trap. Don't become a trendsetter for evil. And don't be a follower be, you know, be a leader. And that that's where, you know, confidence in the song plays such a major role, if there are sisters watching this, what In my opinion, one of the biggest crises in the Muslim world today is the confidence of Muslim women, Muslim women have to be proud of
the fact that they're Muslim women have to take pride in wearing their hijab, they have to take pride in, you know, practicing their Deen. And you know, when that pride is not there, then they're looking for valid a woman to look for validation and other things. You know, we have to our families, our fathers have to give confidence to our women. You know, our husbands have to empower our wives. And that culture needs to change, you know, we've become, unfortunately, what's when you think of Islam, you think of women being oppressed, and you think of women had their voices being suppressed, and then not being able to, you know, say what they want to see, etc, etc. But if you
look at the Sahaba, the women were outspoken, I mean, they spoke, they, they, their opinions were heard, they were educated people, they were teachers in the community, they were really they were in these positions of responsibility. So you know, our sisters, they have to, we have to revive that confidence in them as well. And we have to rise above these petty goals in life. You know, we have to, we have to look at, you know, the people who Allah has not given the gift of Islam, this high, high thing that Allah has given us this noble thing that lies given us, the people that Allah has not given that to, we should look at them and feel sorry for them. Really, I feel sorry for the
person who Allah has given Islam and they don't appreciate what it is. Can you imagine you've been given just a really expensive gift, I don't know a five series BMW, and you don't appreciate what it is, you know, you've been you don't get an expensive gift and throw it away, or trash If you value it, if you truly appreciate what it is. I feel like in the Muslim world, we don't appreciate what Islam is. You were reasonable, some family Islam, you know, mustard on every corner, even though there's all kinds of drama and massages nowadays, but at least the song is common, right? It's not like that over here. I mean, I have friends that were Christians and Jews and atheists. And when
they became Muslim, their entire family kicked them out of the house. I just I mean, it wasn't five months ago, I met a girl in in Alabama. This girl, you know, daughter of a minister, Christian minister. And she she saw the Kaaba in her dream, can you imagine? And she became Muslim. And she started wearing hijab, only Muslim girl and white girl in her town in the entire village. And her father finds out and he says, You're worshipping the devil kicks her out of the house, you know? And she holds on to her Islam with other people who make sacrifices to hold on to their Deen. And here we are, assuming that it's, it's just a bunch of annoying rules, or it's a bunch of things that
don't make any sense. By the way, if the religion doesn't make any sense to you, I challenge you. I challenge you to the the to acknowledge the fact that you haven't spent the time trying to understand it, or you haven't gone to the right people to ask the question. Why is this the way it is or your I would even challenge your foundation isn't there
foundation that builds in you the absolute certainty that Islam is the truth, that on shattering conviction that Islam is the truth, that foundation is not there that needs to be there in you, you guys are the future. You know, you guys are the hopes of this Omar lie on you. And if you don't carry your weight, then the scary if it'll hold true alarm xojo says into trouble establishing common haidakhan Maluku onsala con, if you turn away, if you guys turn away, then he will replace you with someone other than yourself. And they won't be like you. In other words, they won't be turning away, they won't be turning a blind eye to this truth that Allah has given them. So that's
the, like the first major half of what I wanted to share with you kind of a reality check, you know, looking back and saying what is it that Allah has given us, especially in Pakistan, I mean, it's a tragedy that two, three generations ago outward, you know, not even a century has gone by that young people were out in the streets, they were making prayer to Allah the entire night, Allah give us a land where we can worship you or we can live as Muslims, where, you know, our children can say that a lot one day, right. And these people were slaughtered like animals, like Muslim blood was cheap. And these people died. So that one day we could stand up. And we can say that in a handler that we
can be at the machine five times a day and not have to worry about somebody burning the machine down while we're inside. Or being shot when we come outside. That's what the our our ancestors looked like that, you know, and that's what they live like. And here we are, the event is going on and you're playing on your PlayStation three, I don't know if you guys must have PlayStation, Xbox, or you're watching YouTube or whatever. And like the events going on, and like it's nothing that other than that other than was the call to somebody to risk their life at one point in that same rent in that same land. And now it's become so cheap, it's so valueless. You know, what does it mean when
you hear Allahu Akbar, you know, in Arabic, I won't get technical with you guys. But in Arabic, Akbar doesn't mean greatest. It means greater. It's a comparative form of comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives. I put as a comparative adjective. When you hear the done, you know what you're hearing, you're hearing that Allah, the call to Allah is greater than whatever you're doing.
I don't care if you had a work meeting, I don't care if you're in the middle of, you know, a graduation ceremony, you're in the middle of any exam, I don't, whatever is going on. The call to Allah is greater Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, the only people who would actually accept that Allah is the Greatest, or the people who would testify that it's the truth, a shadow, Lyla, high Lama, I mean, even if you just think about the Afghan, and what it's saying, it's a transformational experience. But it's a tragedy that we don't experience it like that, that we don't see it for what it is. The added challenge for you guys, that I wanted to talk to you about in the second half of my
talk, is that you're living in a place that is the absolute, most chaotic combination of interpretations of Islam in the world. You have all these different groups, you have all these different scholars, and they have their own brand of Islam, and they're all trying to basically build their alliances and build their following etc. And so it can be very challenging for you, for someone on the outside to look at that. They would just it's easy to say all these mullahs, all they do is fight each other and make make groups and bash each other. So why should I even bother? And you know, what, it's understandable. That is something that bunnies like it had done before us. And
they ended up, you know, a lot of talks about this idea of Muslims, you know, knowledgeable Muslims clashing with each other, and then the next generation just dropping the religion altogether, because they're like, why should I even bother with this? Right? So Allah says, In the Quran, for example, in the Shura, he says, well,
they didn't disagree with each other, until after knowledge came to them out of an arrogance, and a rebellion among themselves and urge to rebel against each other and dominate each other. That's why they were arguing. And then at the end of that ayah, he says, you know, what, in the Latina, who told
him that we should commend
those who are given the book after them inheritance, they're in serious doubt about it. They're, they're completely in doubt about their religion, because they see the people of knowledge arguing with each other, like, how can this religion be true if these knowledgeable people are arguing, right? So I understand that challenge. I'm not saying that that challenge is not there. But at the same time, you are intelligent people. You are, you're you're going to college, you're going to high school, you're living in the 21st century, essentially, open information. You have the obligation, to at least study the religion for yourself sincerely not to cut corners, not just justify for
yourself what you're doing is halal or not now for those cheaper, low purposes, but really to find your purpose in life. Why are you alive? Why does Allah put you on this earth? You know, why is he gifted you with that?
Allah and Allah, Allah did the youth of the young people of the oma are the greatest treasure, and then wasting their life, then not appreciating the talent and the potential that they have, and what can what they can do for the world. For the world, it's a tragedy. It really is, as you're watching this video, you're, you know, the events of Egypt are unfolding before us. And I couldn't help but talk to you about that to its young people, young people that brought a dictator to his knees, with all the corruption in Pakistan, and all the things that are going on around you, and how hopeless The situation is, from the economic point of view, the political point of view, the social point of
view, how the country is in chaos constantly, and all we hear is bad news. You guys can be a force of good, you guys can be a force of moral reform, social reform, economic reform, it's a matter of us saying that this Deen is a means of empowerment and pride, we can we can really do this, honestly, it can be done. And it's in your hands. It's you know, Allah has given that to you. So, you know, take it and take it with pride. You know, I mean, I'm talking right now to the men and the women that are listening, that this is some This is a responsibility to uplift the Muslim community in Pakistan, to uplift them, and to have them live by the principles of justice, you know, the bite
by live by the principles of mercy, to truly show Islam, what Islam is supposed to be that, you know, that's your responsibility, and the hijacking of Islam, by groups that when you think of them, when you think of Islam, all they want you to think of is fighting and killing and anger and rage and who's going to hell and, you know, this like, negative view of Islam that's being perpetrated, and is being pumped constantly by the enemies of Islam. And unfortunately, from within the Muslims. Also, you have to take our lean back, you really do it's rd, and we have to stand by it as the way it's supposed to be stood by.
Finally, inshallah, tada, I want to give you a bit of encouragement. And from a different point of view, you guys are hungry, now you're in college now or high school now. And you have your entire careers ahead of you, your family lives ahead of you. And you know, you have a lot of major decisions around the corner in your life. And what I'd like you to think about, for yourself, and you're just only doing this for yourself,
is I want you to think about what legacy you leave behind in the world.
When you're about to get married. I know she's pretty and you're crazy about her and all of that. But beyond that, is she going to be a good mother?
Is she the kind of girl that you would want raising your children? And will those be the kinds of children that long after you're gone, they will be committing to the prayer, they will understand the truth of Islam and they will be torchbearers for justice and truth in that society, no matter what's going on, will leave you those kinds of children. You know, that's, I mean, the decision like marriage, a decision, like what kind of career you're going to go into, you have to recalibrate your thoughts. And you have to really think at a higher plane, that you're going to be leaving a mark and you sincerely ask Allah, what is it that you know, you that, you know, that you ask Allah? How can
you be of service to his thee? How can you be a force of good a mark of good in the world, and inshallah tada will open a door for you, whether it's in the field of medicine and engineering, it doesn't matter. Those are not a religious fields, you can be the end, if you're going to go into a field be the best at it. That's what Islam asks of you. If you're going to be a programmer, don't be a scrub programmer, with dirty Pro, you know, dirty code, be the best there is at it, if you're going to go into medicine, be the top of your class, Excel, you know, that's something at least that we push a lot in Pakistan, right? To get good grades. But I'm saying even from a religious point of
view, or professional point of view, business ethics point of view, be a reform in business, be a reformer of business ethics in Pakistan, God knows we could use it, you know, but think big, think very, very big. Think Big for your family. Think Big for your community or your country. You know, the only large we make dogs really I honestly, I make the offer the young people, the courageous young people in Egypt, and what a historical thing they've done to topple the new the phenomena of this century, you know, and inshallah without a good comes out of it. That is not more of the same old we have to be optimistic, as bad as us are, if we lose hope we've lost everything right? So we
asked a lot that he makes their challenges easy for them. And he makes your challenges easy for you, and that you come out of your you know, if you're just lost in a world of entertainment, and living for the day, and not really thinking about the future that you come out of that and you become the way you start becoming a thinker. Like you're supposed to be an open thinker, and a source of inspiration for other Muslims. That's what I honestly hope you become. Okay, here's, I promised my last thing I want to share with you and shout out to Allah.
Allow us to just say
Want to come in Come
on the third surah he says let them rise among you and oma, that calls to the good yet Oh, nine and high, where,
you know, they look at rise among you and oma, that calls to the good. That calls to the good. I've been having this discussion with our community here in Texas for the last month. What does that mean? And Omar calling to the good?
You guys, I'm not just asking you for things like you should pray, you know, regularly and you shouldn't look at how long things and that would be me assuming I'm talking to children, you guys are adults. You guys already know that stuff. And plus, you're in a Muslim country. So even if you don't know much about Islam, you at least know that much that you're obligated to pray and you, you know, you're supposed to try and understand the Quran. What I'm trying to tell you now is you guys can be an invitation to the good if you guys become students of the Quran.
Let Don't let anybody else tell you what, you know what the book says and what it doesn't say become a student of the language of the Quran. learn Arabic. You know, there are people I know here in America that leave their their studies in Harvard. And they leave their studies in Cambridge, and they go to Egypt and they go to even Pakistan to study Arabic. And you guys are inboxed some of the best teachers of Arabic or in Islamic law, I think, you know, study Arabic, have a direct relationship with the Quran, study, tafsir study, you know, understand, you know, make the foreign stock process your own, make it your own, because this is a less book to you. So it can give you
wisdom. And so you can become inviters to the Koran. You can be in whatever career you want to be, but you can live a life as Muslims, you can be the best student and the best Muslim at the same time, as long as not asking you to leave your world behind. Or leave your you know your obligations to your family behind or leave your career aspirations behind as long as asking you to purify all of those things that you become the best at what you are and the purest fashion that you are and what gives you that purity is your Islam is your knowledge of the Quran. So I hope that you become inshallah tada I wanted to actually make this entire talk about to hold on, but I didn't. But I hope
that you know you're able to benefit from some of this advice once again, I'm just I'm really baffled that you guys even wanted to hear what I had to say I'm still pretty surprised and I hope this video comes out normal. I I don't normally speak in front of a camera and pretend that I'm talking to an audience. So if this came out incoherent or weird, I'm apologizing and shallow tada and I hope inshallah I get to come and see you guys soon. And I get the opportunity to come to this hall, but I from what I hear, it's a pretty crazy place. But you know, you never know. I'll show up in Toronto, Toronto.
I make lots of dogs for you. And I make lots of dogs for the future of the country. And I pray that through all of the chaos there rises, there truly rises a pure generation of Muslims, who are able to uplift India become a source of inspiration and hope for the entire country and even the entire oma so May Allah help the Muslim youth all over the world, and especially in Pakistan, especially in Egypt, especially in places where they're going through trials, and May Allah make you a source of inspiration for your family and make you a source of pride for this.