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Building A Great Community
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
File Size: 32.08MB
Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan delves into the steps one must strive to take in order to build a great community. Some points worth remembering are as follows:
- Allah wants to forgive us. Hence, we should be wanting of Allah’s forgiveness at all times.
- We must all be ambassadors of Islam that promotes peace and mercy in today’s world.
- We must protect our Islam through our families, and our families through Islam.
- Help each other in “Birr” and in “Taqwa”.
- Accept the Islamic diversity in different communities for peaceful gatherings to come into being.
- Do not cooperate in sins.
- Work collectively as Muslims.
- Establish the Deen to its fullest strength.
The efforts we have to make as individuals and efforts we have to make as a community, we have guidance for that in Allah’s book also.
Episode Transcript ©
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So introduce the team. I hope members of the SRA body are here. And also if I can have a quick show of hands before we start, if there's members of the previous Shura Council who are present here.
Anyone from the previous Shura?
I saw some of you.
You must have had to go. But anyway, I just wanted to thank the PV Shura Council for the service. You know, we had brother Hassan, hi,
brother Shafi brother I
brother, Rashad brother, unworn, shanwa and I'm missing somebody here, who was brother Mooney and of course, the money from school and
but also be a Mashallah So,
you know, just trying to thank them when you see them. shala because this is a tireless effort. It's a tireless service to the community. melora Guatemala, we're already pretty tired, you know, so inshallah we'll exit from them and from all of us
think it's better if I said
hamdulillah Hello, Brian alameen wa Salatu was Salam O Allah Ashraf al anbiya even wa sallim ala alihi wa sahbihi wa minister Nebuchadnezzar he, Dean a lot of maganda in home woman, Latina Amina Amina Sally heart, whatever so we have what are some of the subject I mean, yeah, but I mean from Ramadan, Allah subhanho wa tada Kenny Buddha and Buddha, Rosa Billahi min ash shaytani r Rajim in De La Jolla, Morocco until until a manatee Illa Allah.
Allah azza wa jal says in Surah, Nisa that he commands us without a doubt that we give trust responsibilities are not to those who deserve them. In navaho, documento, amanat illa Allah. And then he says, What is that have come from Baden Nassif and taco mobile Adam. The very next phrase is when you make judgments between people make sure that you make fair judgments. And these two instructions, the first one was give responsibilities and trust to people who deserve them, number one, and number two, make judgments fairly. Whenever the judgment pass time comes to pass judgment, you make judgment fairly. After saying that, which is obviously any advice, Allah gives us beautiful
advice, and any advice on what gives us perfect advice, but unless he's at fit, that after he gives these two pieces of advice, he adds in the law near MIT who can be he? No doubt Allah, what amazing advice he just gave you.
He normally doesn't say that. He just gives us advice, and then gives us more advice and more advice. Here, he gave us two pieces of advice. And then he added, as if to say this is not just any other advice even in when it comes to Koran, there are certain bits of advice that have special place in the Quran. And this is one of those bits of advice that has a special place for the oma, first of all, and to adult amanat illa Allah, second of all, is a hackathon baidyanath and Docomo belladrum. So I'd like to take just a couple of minutes and explain and remind myself of what this amazing, beautiful advices that Allah Himself calls incredible advice. What amazing counsel he's
given you and me any job that you and I do, and any job that you and I have been given, actually, can only really get done if we're qualified. If you're not the right person for the job, the job is not going to get done. If you got a job as a mechanic, and you don't know anything about cars, the problem is not going to get solved. If you got a job as an electrician, and you don't know anything about electricity, there's going to be a problem. So every time we think about the workplace, or hiring somebody or getting a job ourselves, obviously, the the world around us only functions when you put people that are qualified to do the job in the right place. Otherwise, nothing gets done,
nothing gets done in the world of business. Nothing gets done in school, if a teacher is not qualified, they can't teach. If a student is not qualified, they're not going to be doing well in the classroom, they have to meet certain requirements and prerequisites. Everything we do in life allows origin created the system in a way that it can only really move forward when the right people are put in the right places to do the right jobs. But unfortunately, that's not how the world functions. A lot of times as we know from recent history, some people that aren't nearly qualified, get put in positions of very high responsibility. And that has that's life. That certainly happens.
Allies now telling us to partner with Allah as a Muslim community, that anytime we as a community, come to
together and given responsibility, that we have to be very conscious and careful about handing that responsibility over to someone, especially one in which other people's lives are going to be affected. So how our community chooses their Imam is a very important responsibility, how a school, you know, selects a teacher is a very important responsibility, who's going to be teaching our teenagers in Sunday school, or who's going to be the one dealing with the girls that you know, in fifth grade or whatever else, these are not small decisions, because these are people that have to be put in the right place. Right, that's the first thing. And each of these responsibilities, the
beautiful thing with a lot is there called Mr. Not Amala is something you hold that you have to give back. And you don't own it. If this was given to me as an Amana, that means I don't own it, I have to take care of it. This is not the same as something that I own. If I own it, I can treat it however I want. But if I don't own it, and I'm only being held responsible for it for a little while, then I have to treat it with care. And I can never even think for one second that this is my property.
I don't deserve it. It's not my property, I'm only holding it. Anybody who's ever put in any position of responsibility, from the from the cameras point of view, is only holding that responsibility. They don't own it. They're not owners of a position, there are no titles that people own in our theme. They only hold an Amana for a little while. And when you say that you recognize that you're going to be passing it off to somebody else, and then somebody else and then somebody else. Now that's different from something that I own. Because if I own something, and I'm going to give it up, it's going to hurt me.
Or I want something in exchange because I own it, and I want some kind of a trade, or I feel a loss if I lost something. But if it's an Amana, then it was never mind to begin with. So I have no problem letting it go. I have no problem I have I have a huge sense of responsibility holding on to it. And I'm actually relieved when I let it go, isn't it, it's a relief to let it go. It's the opposite of ownership and ownership. When you have it in your possession, you're feeling better. And when you lose it, you feel bad. You know what happens a lot of times with human beings, they have an Amana but they think it's property.
So they love holding on to it. And they're very hurt when they have to let it go.
But from the very beginning, we have to hold give a man not two people who deserve them. until I'm done. Am I not anywhere qualified for them, which means you and I have to pick put people in responsibility that see this as an Omani. They don't see this as property. The second thing is what if I had come from Bain and Nancy and taco mobile are so beautiful. When you make judgments between people make sure that you judge with justice.
But wait a second, if you've handed Amanda to somebody, he shouldn't be doing the judging. Like if we pick somebody to be a judge, he should do all the Justice no less as it's not off your shoulders. Now, just because you pick somebody and given a minute to them. That doesn't mean you're not responsible for being just each of you still has an individual responsibility. All of you have to execute justice. In other words, the principle of the Quran is justice does not come from the top down. policy does not come from the top down policy is a community thing. Everybody's being held responsible. In a sense, all of them all of us have been handed in a manner. I wanted to open with
that. Because for better or for worse, I have been given the responsibility of the title of President of this machine, which by far I don't deserve without any exaggeration. I'm not trying to be humble, I'm trying to be I'm very realistic. Actually, I don't know how to be like superficially humble, I'm not nearly qualified, there are people that have put sweat and tears into the building of this machine into the into the maintaining of this machine that have put countless hours away from family away from work away from business to make sure this place is running. And that you and I have this wonderful facility to to enjoy our community life with so many of us made the decision to
move to this part of the country, or this neighborhood because of the existence of this machine. I am included among those people, I left the East Coast because I came to this machine. So you know, whatever. My You know, my children's future is directly tied to this place. My own future is tied to this place. The organization that I run by, you know, was situated here because of this machine. Actually, I can say that without a shadow of a doubt, because of proximity to this machine. So many of your lives are actually very deeply connected to this machine. We owe this machine a lot. And there are people that have put countless amount of hours in that have never put a microphone on.
They've never given a football, you don't know, you may have heard their names, but you don't know their faces. They're always behind the scenes. They're always in those boring eight hour meetings for our meetings that you would not want to be in. You would rather be under the chair of a chair with a dentist and being one of those meetings. But they do that and they do it time and time and time again.
So that this place can function, may Allah reward them because they don't get credit from us nearly enough but the angels, Allah has commanded to record their deeds and allows origin knows who they are. Right? And those are, those are people of leadership. Now. What I what I can offer, though, is that I'm in a position of service. And I have to be realistic about what that position is what what what do I each of us will assess bulan Yamato Allah shakeela tea, everybody should
put themselves to work according to what Allah gave them basically. Right? So what is what do I feel Allah has given me that I can offer to the machine.
Essentially, what I can offer is planning vision. Essentially, what I can offer is a little bit of experience having traveled across not only the United States and Canada and Europe, but also much of the Muslim world, having spoken to a lot of young people having visited a lot, a lot of massages, I've actually dealt with maybe over 200 massages in the United States alone, and have seen what works and what doesn't work. And I have certain ideas of what a machine can do, what potential it has Alhamdulillah. And many of those things that I would normally complain about our machine is doing a lot better than most in the country. But there's always going to be room for improvement, we
always have to chat all the time, I think further. So I wanted to share a couple of my ideas with you. Just broadly speaking, I am hoping that we can take some of these ideas and run with them, I'm not the one who can implement the ideas, I can only present the ideas, if enough of us are in agreement, and enough was enough of a see that this is something worth putting into action, then inshallah Allah these ideas will become a reality. Otherwise, they will stay ideas. But at the very least, I want to be open with you and share with you some concepts that I have in my mind that I think are essential for any machine, then they will come specifically to ici, this shouldn't take
more than 20 minutes and childhood data.
First and foremost, there are two relationships in the West.
The Muslim family cannot survive without a relationship with the machine.
And the machine cannot survive without a relationship with the entire family.
This is different from the east. This is different from the from other parts of the world. There are massages that have survived in Turkey, in Pakistan and Bangladesh for India for centuries for decades, they're fine. They don't need the entire family to be involved. But in the West, the situation is entirely different. It's entirely different because our families have no direct human access to Islam.
Where are our families going to meet other Muslims? Where are our women and our children going to interact with other Muslim women and children? Where is that going to happen? Where are our families going to meet other Muslim families? Not at Walmart? Maybe but not usually.
The play the one place we have to come together as families, not just as individuals as families is a lesbian. Where our new Muslims people who take Shahada, maybe after watching a video or two online, then they're going to Google Islamic church.
And they're going to find the Islamic center of earthing. And they're going to show here, where are they going to find other believers to communicate with to interact with it's going to be here? Where might they even find somebody to get married to is going to be here? Where are they going to start their family that all of that basis is going to be the machine. In other words, the families that live in the West, if they're going to hold on to their Islam, they're going to need other Muslims. And the only real place where they can connect with other Muslims is going to be the machine. By the way you can meet other Muslims outside. It's possible. But a lot of times the people you meet the
Muslims you meet outside of the machine are people that are also distant from the machine. And the more distant people are from the mustard that tends to be that they're also distant from Islam itself sometimes.
And then you become accustomed to being away from LSD. There are lots of Muslims that are not very religious, you can meet them, you can socialize with them, they don't have the same concerns as people who frequent the machine. They don't have the same view of what they should do with their family. Where are you going to find like minded people that also have concern for their daughters and their sons that are also worried about the future that are also worried about holding on to their Dean about doing business in the hallway, etc, etc, that's gonna be too much. So the family needs the machine. But I said the opposite also, the machine needs what
the machine anywhere else could function and then refine the massage and in the United States, in Canada, in England, they cannot function like a machine used to function in Bangladesh, or the machine used to function in in Lahore in Pakistan. They can't they have to operate differently, they have to operate actually much closer to the operations of the machine of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. What do I mean by that?
This is the only Islam in what in Islamic experience.
family's going to get.
So the machine is going to have to provide a space for children. So they can learn their religion. And they can interact with other Muslim kids and actually feel normal. Because when our kids go to public school, they don't feel normal. They're made to feel strange. They need to have a place where they can feel like being Muslim. And following Islam is normal. They don't feel that outside. But inside these walls, they can feel that we have to provide that space. Why does the machine need to give them that because if in 10 years, 15 years, those children are not children, they're 20 years old, they're 25 years old. And when they never had a connection with the machine, when they were
young, guess what,
they will not have a connection when they're 25. And when they don't have a connection, when they're 25, your your fundraising dinners are going to be empty.
Machines won't survive, there will be nobody supporting them, that next generation of people, because the people that are supporting the massage now are going to retire. The next generation of people, if they're not connected to the machine now are not going to be connected 1520 years from now. And nobody will be funding these places, then they become bankrupt. And then they go on sale like the churches across New York City.
Some of the most expensive properties in New York City are churches in Manhattan. And they're now nightclubs. They're not churches anymore. They were not able to keep their young generation. The machine needs the young generation. We need to give these kids and experience that they say we love the machine. We love being here. That goes for the boys. And that goes for the girls. That goes for the early age kids that goes for the teenage kids, that goes for the college students, the ones that are interviewed, and we have to provide each of them different things, because they all have different needs. The basketball court in the back and the playground area is a fantastic start. But
that's just the start. You need a lot more than that our young people have a lot of questions, they have a lot of confusions, they don't know who to talk to, we need to provide them a space where they can ask whatever questions they want and not get in trouble.
We need to be able to deal with that. We need to be able to give them a place of counsel, that is our responsibility. The machine needs to be a place that is the most accommodating, I will say it I don't care if it gets me in trouble, you guys put me in this position, that's your fault. I will say the machine needs to be the most accommodating to our mothers and our daughters. It needs to be the most accommodating to limit
because without women, there is no next generation of Muslims.
My policy for the last six months I arrived at this conclusion, and it's gotten me in a lot of trouble. But I've stuck with it, I'm going to stick with it for the near future for the foreseeable future. Wherever I go and give a football. I make an announcement after tomorrow. Our mothers and our daughters don't get a chance to ask any questions. They are usually behind the wall or behind glass or behind an electric fence or behind something or the other. And they don't get a chance to ask any questions or learn anything.
They and by the way you try staring at a wall and paying attention.
Try for 20 see how see how that works out for you.
You know, and when we do this to them, then they get completely isolated from learning any because you can't learn if you don't ask questions. So I say I'm going to I want to say Salaam to the masala mean. But right after I say Salaam I'm going to go outside in the parking lot. And I'm going to wait for my mother's and my daughters to ask whatever questions and then I'll hope I can answer and help whatever I can. And inshallah, then I'll give my brothers a chance because they never get a chance. I did this in England, I did this in Sri Lanka. I did this in Malaysia, I did this in recent watauga the other day in giovane. And guess what happened in all of these places. All the women that have
been coming to the machine for 3040 years would come to me crying and saying this is the first time I felt respected inside the machine.
Those were the NRA that heard that once. I've heard that several times now. This is the first time I felt respected inside a machine. Our mothers have not been given their due. These are the same women that could ask
the Allahu taala whatever question they wanted in the middle of the hotel,
in the middle of the corner.
These are the same women that used to ask those who lost their salon in mustard in the movie directly. But now they don't have access anymore. We're going to create a culture where our our mothers and our daughters are honored, they're respected and their questions are treated, you know and given consideration. There are special accommodations made for them, their concerns are heard. So one of the things we're going to have to do we have multiple populations in this community. We have a huge population of children. We have a big population of you know, of course men working professionals. We have a pretty big population of different ethnicities. We have a sizable Somali
community. We have a sizable Bengali community. We have a sizable Indian Pakistani community etc, etc. And a lot of the elders in our community they don't speak good English.
not their fault. There should be special programs for the Somali community to address their concerns, they have unique concerns. So they can get their questions and concerns answered, there should be unique, you know, sessions held for the elders of each of the ethnic communities that are here, because the elders cannot be expected to learn a new language. There should be special programs how
to program for the family law department is doing a fantastic job supporting the new Muslim community. Similarly, there should be special regular programs held not to give with our mothers and our daughters, but actually to listen from them. what's on their mind, what's their concern? What did what would they like to see changed. They're the ones that are raising our kids, guys, we don't take care of them. It's basically we're saying goodbye to our children. These are just some things that have to be prioritized in the mind of a community if they're thinking long term. Because when we invest in our families, it actually practically means investing in the women and the children.
That's what that practically means. Okay, when you do these, you have taken care of the next 20 years Alhamdulillah. But as a default, massages tend to make accommodation for the men anyway, the biggest masala space is ours Alhamdulillah. I don't know if they can change the carpet upstairs. But we have really nice carpet down here. Right, we were taken care of. Now it's time to take care of all the other elements of the community that don't have a voice. And we need to give them a voice. And this is priority, and will lie loudly when you do that. And my conviction when you do that when you give praise. And that's not something I can do as a person. By the way, we all have to make
accommodation. Now, when we learn to do that, what happens that an entire family is invested in this machine. Then when the father is getting lazy to come to salada sons, a daughter, the wife says, Let's go Let's go, then they bring this place Alhamdulillah there are a lot of people here. But this is nothing compared to the community that lives here. We should not be happy with the numbers that are sitting here. There are lots and lots and lots of people that feel disconnected from this place. And we have to reconnect them to this place. And that's that's a top priority that we have to fulfill. Now there are other responsibilities that are mushed. It has education and all of this. And
that's what I'll talk about that for five minutes, and ChildLine, I'm done. And then I'd love to maybe some hear from you and introduce yourself to some of our wonderful new shooter that I myself have recently been introduced to what I want to share with you now is a basically a philosophy of education. How do we educate the Muslim community, this applies to the adults it applies to children, it applies to everybody. I want you to imagine a funnel, a funnel is this device where you it's big and wide on the top. And it's like a little pipe at the bottom. Right. So you can take the most on top and less and less and less by the time you get to the bottom. That's basically what a
community is. At the top, we have to create programs, messages, activities, that are not educational, that are social.
They're just fun. That's all they are. And they are meant to be fun. Even if people learn nothing. It's okay. If people just ate hot dogs there and had a barbecue and played something or had that's fine. cater to each community, all you need to do is create a place where people can enjoy themselves. They just came together and there was no long lecture, there was no speaker, there's no nothing. It was just awesome. And it just happened to be here, or just happened to be organized by the machine. And that needs to be again created not just for the whole community for each segment. For each segment of the population, something special catered to the teenage girls of this
community. Those, by the way are the most vulnerable people in this community, teenage girls, they have low self esteem. They're all over the world. So not just here. They have low self esteem, they have a lot of doubt, they're very nervous about being Muslim. They have a lot of friends that are up to a lot of no good things. And they've seen it and they're impressionable, and they have nobody to talk to because they're terrified. They can't talk to their mom and dad about it because they might have a heart attack, or think that there's a gene on the child.
So they don't talk, they keep it to themselves. So their thoughts stay within themselves, or they share it with their non Muslim friends. special programs cater to them so they feel comfortable here. So they can open up. It's easy to give the youth a talk, it's very hard to get the youth to talk. We have to create an environment where the youth actually start talking to us. They feel comfortable enough to open up to us. So social activities, followed by very minimal, very minimal kinds of enrichment programs, programs that actually they're not, you know, there are some subjects that I think are important. I want to teach the tuxedo certain Baqara because I love certain bacara
or I want to study the scene of Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam and start a halaqaat about that. That's great. There's a 16 year old care about that. No,
they have something else on their mind, don't they? We have to create programs after we get inside their minds. We have to create programs that they care about the questions that they have
That would bring their that would bring young people's attention and, and other community also their attention to this community and say, Okay, these people are actually answering the questions that I've had. They're taking into consideration the concerns that I've had. That's why listening to the community is so important that I mentioned before, you can't educate people until you learn from them. First, you have to learn what their needs are, what their problems are, then you provide an education. Okay? Once we do that, then we can actually get a better understanding of which, which area of education Do we need more focus on? What do we need to make a bigger priority? out of this
educating is not I know, I read the books now let me teach you No, no, no, no, no. Education is I learned what the concerns are, what the reality of the oma is what's what are the problems happening in our families? What are some concerns of the young people? What are the concerns of the newly married what are the concerns of the elders, etc, etc. And then we create education that helps them with their problems directly, unless guidance to help them deal with their problems, relevant education that people actually care about, they actually want to be a part of, that when we make regular inshallah, tada, then people want to learn this religion, because every time they learn
something about it, they say, Wow, this religion answers my questions, not just in theory, but practically just helped me solve this problem. It helped me deal with this issue. So this is this interactive kind of a relationship that needs to be slowly cultivated and built in Sharla, not heavy, you know, eight speaker programs with you know, 45 minute question answers, as you know, none none of that stuff. easygoing, very relaxed environment, maybe even some kind of social media platforms where people can post and have discussions, etc, social events, these are the kinds of things that will bring new life into the community inshallah, and actually even attract other people
that have been away from the machine to start participating slowly in the machine. Beyond that are the serious learning the halaqaat of the sea of fear of arcada of sila, Islamic Studies, etc. That's all fine. That's education. But education is for people that are already serious. How do we get to people who are not serious at all right now? Instead of just yelling at them? How do we get them to become interested, and one day they will be the ones that only attending these the ones that are teaching these inshallah, tada, that's what we'd like to get to. So these are just a few thoughts that I had about our community. One last thing that came in my mind, I'll just share it with you
something for each of you to think about, we want this place to be a community. And what we don't want it to be is a cult. And let me tell you, the difference between the cult is a bad word, by the way, cult is this closed minded group of people that don't like outsiders, they only like themselves and that kind of thing, right? How do we make sure we're going to be a community and not turned into a cult? Well, here's how a cult does not tolerate open difference of opinion. There's no room for disagreement. If you disagree, you're out. You're one of you're one of the deviant, you're one of the last. But in a community, there's an exchange of ideas. In account, there is a lot of anger when
someone disagrees with you. In a community, emotions are put on the side and we can have a normal conversation. Nobody has to raise their voice. It's okay if we disagree with each other. I can share with you why I believe what I believe you can share with me what you believe why you believe and we're still brothers at the end of the day. We even if we disagree, nobody hates anybody. Nobody points fingers at anybody in a cult. Everybody has to look the same dress the same talk the same, behave the same. In a community, you have a lot of diversity. You have people that are 100 fee enormous. Should you have show off in our machine, you have an umbrella and our mushiya people have
different schools of thought. You have people of different backgrounds, you have people of different culture and different dress and that's okay. All of It's okay, there's no these people aren't Muslim enough or they're not Islamic. And there's no such labeling. In a community a different diversity is fine. Somebody just started and somebody who's been learning for a long time, they're in different levels. That's the nature of a community. In a community when somebody makes a mistake. When somebody makes a mistake, you don't take on them.
You don't everybody get together and talk about them and humiliate them.
When the community when somebody makes a mistake, you pick them up and you help them and you cover their faults in a coat. When somebody makes a mistake. you humiliate them to the point where they want nothing to do with you anymore. That's cultish behavior. We want to be a community right we're gonna make mistakes. We're all going to have mistakes we're all going to be learning from each other we're all going to be growing with each other inshallah Tada. So let's create an environment of of shoe salon with the suit of Allah so Salim described spread Salah spread salon doesn't just mean say a cinema aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato actually means spread peace. spread peace when you say
Salaam means I'm not gonna fight you you're not gonna fight me I'm okay with you. You're okay with me. There's nothing in my heart against you. You have nothing in your heart against me. That's when you say I said Mr. Nicol, what I put to light when I go to muscle salon says spread salon so let's become people who spread center
Let's do that and when we can do that inshallah tada I have no doubt in my mind. What I saw in this community that made me move here is still there and even more Now, the reason I went to 75 different communities across the United States before I chose to move here, I didn't come here because my job was here. I didn't come here because Dallas has the best weather in the United States are the tallest trees are the greatest climate. Seriously?
I moved here my friends had all the places in the world. Why here? What do they have in airport? Oh, they have we have a pretty good airport but still.
Windy world would you move here? My one answer was ici. This place it's unique. It's something very special. I tell you, I want to share with you why it's special. And I promise I'm dying. Why I think this place is special. I came here first in 2007.
And nobody knew who I was. I wasn't on YouTube at the time, or not that much. And I had come here to give and I was here an hour and a half early. Okay, so an hour and a half before salon nobody was in the masala I was here. And one brother was vacuuming the place.
And he saw me and he says you're not from here? And I said no. And he takes me into the office and gives me a glass of water. He checks on me How are you doing? Is everything okay? Where are you staying? Are you How long are you here? I didn't tell him I'm the hottie but anything I'm getting VIP treatment for no reason.
And after the VIP trip if you don't mind I'll finish vacuuming the place. And he goes and he keeps backing
and then when it's all done and then I was the one giving the combine because
when I was growing up I was like yeah, and so I gave to him by and we're done and they said well you know the meat of the machine would like to make a few announcements and guess what brother You got is the meat who was vacuuming the place?
I have never seen that in my life. I have never seen say you don't call me hajima human life the leader of a people is their servant
as a display special there's something here I have never seen anywhere else you go and I've been to hundreds of massages when you meet the president of a machine you know what they do
a ceremony commander president
that's how the conversation begins. I built this place
whenever you go somewhere immediately six people that build that place
so I built this place Yes, I started it I will.
Here's a panel of people just want to serve the community. They just they honestly they just want to serve the community. And that sentiment permeates throughout the entire community. We've grown a lot since then. There's been tremendous change here tremendous growth here but that spirit is still there and that's something that's just it really is unique it's not the same even in the rest of I went to all the other massages in DFW Houston Austin I went everywhere else to in Texas. This was it. I came here. So mila xojo continue to bless this community. And as always, and give us all the the capability of fulfilling the AMA not to the best of our ability. I am look I'll be very honest
with you just to set the right expectations. I'm kind of a tied up in a lot of things. So I travel quite a bit because of my other engagements because of my work with me now. For example, I'm flying to South Africa tomorrow in Sharla. For a week maybe I'll be making the offer the machine and all of you in Charlotte when I travel.
But really my goal here is not to be here for lots and lots of hours. I think you have we have some very capable people. In the Shura in the Shura body actually especially, but also of course the council that is closer, you know, the smaller group that are here at your service and I think they they are far more experienced in matters of the machine than I am. I'm just here to try to provide an overall kind of a direction and maybe help engage the community a little bit better. That's that's really what my role is in sha Allah and I hope to do justice by that role. You know, our Shura Council is made up of Sister sabaha choose upstairs there's a lot of fear there. Make yourself
known so sisters can pick on you, brother to faint Are you here? If you can stand up when I call your names. Brother awesome. Brother no was but there should be no stay upstairs stay standing alone. So sit down people and you know whether it should be and whether these are these are our Shura Council so make special for them. And the Shura body members of our community if you can please stand up also. So you recognize these are people that are just like yourselves, I mean, there should be a lot more of you. Yes, please stand up.
These are our community members that have done or just like you, they're residents here, their families are here. But none of these people are paid to do what they're doing. They're putting this extra time in your job as a community member is not just to go to them and say I have a complaint, which you should do also. But your job is also to say hey, I want to help let me know if you need any help. So the rest of us are now now you know who to contact
If you want to participate and help more, because until we create a culture of cooperation, we're not going to move forward the machine belongs to a lot. This is just an Amana that all of us are holding me allows me to help us fulfill this a manner barakallahu li walakum wa salaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah. Please have a seat.
sisters have a mic up to
the mic. That's awesome. Can we pull the the partition here and allow those sisters to come down here if they want to have any questions?
Yes, sisters can come downstairs because I'd like to allow you an opportunity to ask questions as well. We're pulling the curtain over here. Charla Go ahead. Sorry.
I love what you say.
And make sure that your plan comes through.
But just one thing that what you said at the end of your speech
that you don't have much time.
But we need to see you more often here.
Okay, thank you very much.
Any other questions or comments or anything? That's okay. If you don't have them, it's better for me.
Easier night for me.
Your sisters can come downstairs if you like. So you can ask questions. I know it's a long walk. Okay. Okay.
Okay, there are a number of different kinds of questions. I'll set the ground rules for this brief QA should last about 10 minutes or so. There are questions that have to do with the finances of the machine construction project, some of the operational issues in the machine, I will stay away from those questions for now, because I need to get educated in the operations myself a lot more. So I will steer away from those even though I'm acknowledging them, and I'll keep them on record in Sharla. So we do address those questions. But questions that have to do with the community and social matters. I will take here, what type of counseling and education we are doing for young
adults regarding the current situation of Muslims are facing in this country as a parent of three high school, university group kids, I'm not aware of any such effort, although we use the word youth in our fundraisings. Okay, so that's one thing I'm hoping to initiate in ChildLine encourage is discussions for young people, maybe if something of this nature doesn't exist, it will inshallah. And I can promise you have a deadline or a schedule for when, but certainly there are people that are actually brother Rashad and a few others that are very active with the youth that I'm going to be engaging with and coming up with a plan for what kinds of halaqaat and socials we can have. It's
not enough to have a program for the youth, even the mom who wrote this question. It's good handwriting. So I'm assuming it's a mom.
But anyway, so the thing is, we can put a program together but your teenager won't show up.
Right? And that happens all the time and you're forcing them to come which means they don't want to be here. My goal is not just to put programs together my goal is to get them interested. So we have to go to the root of the problem first, how do we get young people interested in this conversation first and foremost, and that's something inshallah we'll be
certainly working on.
Yeah, they're pretty much everything else is operational in nature. So we're gonna have to wait till we are able to answer those questions, but any other quick concerns or questions sister side? Yes. Sure.
To learn English
isn't it? Okay.
I have a few opinions.
So far if we can arrange
any kind of class for the people who come new here. Another another issue I have, or another actually, last night I heard this issue, one of brother, he recently moved from war from one of the world war torn countries. So this gentleman is here, he has no job. And one of the churches behind him, like
the churches in are trying to provide the opportunity or something, either they do it or they don't do it, but they are using that opportunity. But I told my brother that no, come here, we have brothers here, you know, they will help you especially like we have some brothers here. They did in the past, he did it training free just for the sake of a lot. And I told him that there will be brothers, they will do do training and help you with jobs. So inshallah, if we have any kind of program like that, we'll be really okay.
so one of my intentions, inshallah Zac Lohan. And for that, and I'm taking note of the class for people that don't speak English, inshallah, we'll see what we can do. And if not, there may be community services like that being offered in the local library or other places. So we might be able to connect with those. As far as the refugee support is concerned that that, again, is something that we should seriously look into. So I've taken note of both of those concerns for you, what I wanted to share with you is a plan that I have that I haven't put a schedule on, because at the end of the year, usually I travel extra. So by by mid January, my travel should cut down a lot. And
after that, my hope is that I'm here for a weekly Hanukkah, I used to do a weekly halaqa that was seen. But I want to change that in Sharla. So I'll whatever communication network, we have via it, I'd like to announce, okay, this week, I'm going to meet with our moms or this week, I'm going to meet with the teenagers or this week, I'm going to meet with the elders, etc, etc. And I'd like to actually pick up population every week, and hear from them and have a chat with them and get a pulse for the community. So you know what I mentioned, in theory, I'd like to actually use a weekly opportunity to gather that information. I can't promise you that I will address every concern. But
the first step is at least you know what the problems are, what is on people's minds. So I'm taking note, as you're saying it and Sharla to take that into account. And that's I'll also request, you know, our Mr. Mitchell, I think he already has a halaqaat. But I think all of the halaqaat that are here should have a question answer component open to both men and women and I'm asking for this now you guys have put me in this position so I can make certain demands. So I'm making this demand now any halaqaat that is taught here, this should be ready.
This should be put up and the ladies should be accommodated. Shouldn't have to ask, they should be done from now on. Because they when we're educating, we're educating our men and our women. And from up there they can they can stare at a glass we I mean, I hear kids bang into the glass all the time. It's a lot of fun, but they can't ask questions from a doctor. And they need to have access to our EMR to the other scholars that come in to develop diagnosis giving a Sierra class humanzee I was doing a six year class she Hassan's teaching in class I'm doing anybody's doing her laptop. This should be already arranged in shallow data so that access is a standard now in the law.
Sister side we'd like to see more encouragement.
Okay, why am yeah I'll look into why I am and what they can do more here in Sharla I got the question about why I'm sisters trying to be active here inshallah we'll look into that.
Can we have gym gym time for girls only?
We have a timeshare.
What time is it?
Okay, so clearly not the right time. Let's, let's, when I have the session with the ladies, then you're gonna suggest the time of having a discussion among yourselves give me recommended times that you think are actually workable for the sisters. And then we'll make that because you know these they're saying that they have Saturdays from two to six exclusive for the sisters, but most sisters don't take advantage of it. So which means one of two things either most of them don't know, or that's not a good time for them. So yeah.
Oh, it's good. Thank you for sharing that it's not private enough and the men come in a lot. So we're gonna have to fix that inshallah. All right, I'll make note of that too.
And once a week isn't enough, nobody gets healthy that way.
Well, we'll see what we can do about that.
I have a concern about teaching all the women and mothers how to take care of the machine cleaning.
I think all of us should be concerned about my shoe cleaning. But yeah, that won't happen until there's open education. Like, you know, there's a lot of times the women's section of this world by itself that God knows what happens there. So it's very difficult to control a lot of times, you know, children are out of control, and you don't know who to talk to, and the administration is somewhere else and things like that. So inshallah we'll, we'll take that into account how to how to properly manage the space for the sister side and Sharla.
That's personally for me, I'll take that later.
What is your plan?
What is your plan to bring more people coming to the machine? I just shared it, I spent 20 minutes.
And how are you going to solve the drug problems among the youth, I can't solve the duct problems on the youth, what I can do is, hopefully create a channel of communication with our youth. We have a we have an absolutely stellar fantastic facility. And what we what we have currently, what are one of our crises in this machine is poor branding. We do not have good branding and advertising.
Our website, may Allah reward the volunteers and put it together is from like, 1875. You know, like, we need to, we need updates. And we need to get, we need to get, you know, high tech, and we need to get
up to date with where the youth are, and you know, where their community and we don't have a social media presence nearly as we should. So that's something that we have, we are going to have to make a priority of if we're going to reach our young.
Can I make gym hours longer? Yes. And shall I? You know, I think I can, we'll discuss it and Sharla we will make your mouth longer for the lady.
Okay, so here are a lot of questions about community services classes. There are people that are asking for matrimonial services, because they're looking for a spouse, there are there are different kinds of services, right? My personal philosophy is that one organization cannot do everything.
Because when one organization tries to do everything, they do everything badly.
What we can do, however, is we can outsource. There are other organizations, Muslim organizations that specialize in certain areas. There are, for example, Muslim run matrimonial organizations, there are Muslim run funeral services, for instance, or there are Muslim run youth groups that are doing a very good job like Mena, and why him and others, right, there's no reason for us to reinvent something if it already exists. And these people are specialized, all we need to do is provide them a home and say, bring your services here to provide those services to us as well. So I don't I'm not a fan of creating a new committee to start a new project, and then having to manage that too. And
it's not being taken care of properly. Rather, let's make an assessment of these services. And then look at let's look at some of these very creative, very successful Muslim run organizations that are already providing many of these services and import them into our machine and outsource this problem and challenge.
Similar to senior care also is one of those issues too. I think that should be outsourced. There are Muslim organizations that are dedicated to senior care. Now, some of our our community members are getting older and they need specialized services. And I think that's what we need to do. We need to reach out to, you know, some of these places, Sharma.
How does this high level vision map to a timeline of milestones to achieve this vision? That's a very good question, at least within within the next six months, at least my my, my only goal is to get an understanding of what the concerns are, that I don't want to take any steps before I don't have a good understanding of the community itself, which means a lot of conversations, which means those weekly get togethers that I wanted to have are of paramount importance and those of you that are here i would i would suggest that you tell people who aren't here in whatever capacity I would love to at least continue to gather that information and hear from you inshallah. Okay.
you just lay down. Okay.
Okay, how are we? This is a really good question. We'd like to hear practical steps to accomplish these goals. You just lay down most of them cost money and manpower. How are you going to get these resources, they don't cost money. They just cost manpower. Most of this doesn't cost money. Everything that costs us money, we already got it. A huge facility, a gym, parking lots done hamdulillah the money part of this is done. Now we just have to organize the manpower. And that just requires you know, effective communication first and foremost in trauma. So this is not a heavy budgeted kind of revision. It's just now we just need to work smarter. That's all in Sharla. Yeah.
See, it's a pretty serious concern the gym hours we should we need to take that seriously.
Okay, we're gonna read that one personal.
This is also a very good question. There has been a lot of media rhetoric about Muslims in recent months any plan to develop our youth to speak out loud and clear to countering these rhetorics? We have not seen any strong youth see, like many of you didn't know this weekend shift. Yes, sir. Call the taught no doubt the course, which addresses a lot of the questions and criticisms raised about Sharia and Islam. Over the weekend here in Plano, I believe the class was right.
That is an example of outsourcing, you're not going to find a better teacher than Yasser called the to address some of these issues. He's one of the most qualified scholars we have in the country, and he happened to be in Dallas, if I knew about this ahead of time, I would advertise to our youth to go as a group and attend that class. And then to have discussions on what they learned from him. Here, we can't do everything, that's an example of outsourcing, of course of that quality is not going to come back easily. Right. And when it does come back, we as a community have to take initiative, and take advantage and actually, and those who can sponsor we sponsored them, or
whatever we do whatever we can to get our young people to attend and learn some of these these things. inshallah. So that's what I want to do is, you know, again, outsource this thing about training our youth, this is a specialization. And one of the things I hope to do in the next month, one of the things that even if I don't hear from you, it said already in my head, is we need youth activities in this question. And we need them from a qualified youth coordinator. That doesn't mean we hire somebody full time. That just means we have a consulting relationship with somebody who can come in every once in a while, run a successful youth program, give that give our youth space, come
back again, give them space, come back again, in a way that's that's manageable for us financially, and it's also very beneficial for our youth and Sharla.
We write this down first.
At the time of so this is a question you mentioned about sisters being on the front end, but at the time of the Alomar who, and later women were separated with separation the separation is a very important aspect. As this brings fitna the lead from Quran and story of the Prophet users. Okay. So there was no separation, you're clearly mistaken about that, actually. So that there was there was no barrier between the men and the women in the prophets machine such that them to the point where there are several studies on this subject. And it so happened that the you know, how the professor said the best roles for the men or which rows, the front and the best rows for the women are the
backroads. And that the only reason that makes sense is because there's no barrier.
Otherwise, it doesn't make any sense. And on top of that, there were Sahaba young men who were new to Islam, they were not very mature, they were purposely praying the last row so they could be closest to the women. And when they would go into such that they would stick their head back and check them out. That's what happened in much in the in the time of the Prophet selection, and they got caught.
And when they got caught rasulillah salam did not put a curtain.
He caught up. And the curtains were around, by the way in curtain was was the rule for the mothers of the believers. He did not pull the curtain. He just commanded those young men to spray the front.
They were easier solutions possible, but also some didn't implement them. Right. So you can argue that separation is better, that's fine. But to argue that it was there in the time of the long term or in the time it was in socialism in the machine. It wasn't that is actually if you study the Hadith on the issue subject, the history of the issue. That is not accurate, actually. So
Yeah, I know, kinda halaqaat only be 15 minutes. And can you start the Tafseer class again? Okay.
So this year for 15 minutes, I'm guessing, too. But anyway, so here's my take on that, I think there are going to be different kinds of programs at the machine, some programs are going to be one hour, 45, minute long, etc. But my philosophy for a good practice in the machine is at least a shot and fudger there should be a one to two minute reminder, after the Salah, nothing long one to two minutes, something that everybody can benefit from a single if caught on every night, a single Hadith of the Prophet SAW Selim every morning or something like that, and keep it simple. simmondsia already does the Hadith in the morning. So that's already a part of the tradition of the machine.
Another nice tradition would be just to add a small reminder every single night in sha Allah, and something that you know, everybody can benefit from, you don't have to attend a whole long halaqaat. The thing is, we just need reminder constantly. And we don't need long reminders, we just need something to keep us going and Charla. And that's not something that takes an exhaustive amount of effort, and even those that are in a position to lead, it'd be good for you to maybe study something, share something about an idea, regardless of who's going to be leading the prayer, just to create a culture here, especially after a shot. So people leave with a reminder from a less book.
Yeah, so you want me to get to see a helicopter. Again, I don't know when I'm going to be able to see a helicopter again, right now at ici. I have continued them, they're much longer and much more painful at the ulis at the at the Vienna campus in ulis. There every Sunday from four to six, because I needed to cover more of the material, which is why I didn't choose to do it at ici. And I see I used to do it after I shot 3045 minutes at the most. But now I need to cover a lot more material. And that's just torture over here, I would not make you listen to something for two and a half hours or two hours. So that's a special if you would like to continue to see with me, it's on
Sundays when I'm in town. And that's posted on our on our website. Also. It's from four to six typically on Sundays. But I don't know when I'll be able to continue to see it again. First, I want to get a pulse of the community here. Once a week, I don't know which day of the week it's going to be when I come back, I'll decide that after that. inshallah, once I have a bit of a field and maybe I'll start at 1015 minute halaqa, too. But we'll get to that when we get there in shop. I can't promise that ahead of time.
How can you be you? Are we be involved more in local politics? Is it time that we have Muslim rep in City Hall? Absolutely. It's time It's late. And we we have to get involved now. And I would say the place to start is our school districts. We have to show our faces now at every school board meeting in the public school system, we have to show up a town hall so that the next time they talk about a Muslim, they have to look at them in the face first. You know, we this this is no choice now. We have to now rally and whether we can change things on a national scale or not doesn't even matter. What matters is we are significantly involved locally. And if you need to get educated on how to do
that, let's let's put programs together on how to get locally involved in Sharla. I mean, make a note of that.
Okay, Irving police department is looking to hire and they're looking for diversity. So I'd encourage you to, especially the young men here,
they are willing to pay well, too.
Okay. I'd encourage it. I'd encourage you. There are some people who say working for the police is how long, I would love to talk to them.
Because when they protect your house, it's not hard on.
You know, when you call 911, it's Hello.
But if you work there, it's cut off.
Do you understand the hypocrisy in that statement? These people provide a service they put the rest of their lives so that citizens have this this neighborhood can stay safe. That's a noble service to provide. And if the Muslims are going to do it, that's a that's an honor. It's an honor. I leave New York City cops, Muslim cops. They beat me all the time. And I say thanks for your service. Thank you for doing what you're doing. You're representing Muslims in a space where we need representation. Absolutely. Why are you and I are going to complain about the corruption of the police and we don't send good people there.
What right do we have? So let's not come up with these like made up fatwas, where I don't know where you get them from. And if you have that footwear disorder, come see me afterwards. We'll talk by the shoe area.
okay, find that last one.
Please give this person an opportunity to have regular Gush giolla per week.
I'll see, I don't know. Let's talk to me about about what it looks like.
Can the same community concept be promoted to other massages by reaching the shoulder of other massage? Let's just get this going here first guys, let me take it easy.
Let's just show them a working model. I guarantee you when we do this, right, we're not going to have to go to them, they'll come to us.
That's just how it's going to be. But we have to show a living well, we can't just talk about I talk about it. Well, now we have to do it.
And if we show it in Charlotte, it's gonna be beautiful.
Yes, I do, buddy. Whoever that was. Hey, buddy.
Hey, buddy, back. atcha. Yes, I have a plan that's between you and me. Okay.
Again, senior communities engagement.
Okay. So there's a issues with the person has issues with the fact that the ici Shura Council is less diverse. And it's less, there are lesser educational activities here.
Yeah, we can address those. I mean, quite honestly, I think there are lots of educational activities here. There are literally like every every day or something.
But as far as the diversity is concerned, you cannot complain about diversity until you get involved. And you don't have Don't worry about the shoot or who the President is, or VPS. Or treasure is. This is not I don't have any power here. I'm just, I've just got a mic. You want to get something done here. You can get it done. That's the culture I want to create. There's something you'd like to initiate you have a good idea. You want to run with it. The people that stood up here you come to them. If not none of them, you come to me, I'm making him personally responsible. Come Come give me a headache. And challenge and there's if it's a good idea, we'll have a chat about it
and say, hey, let's run with it. Let's do it. There's a if there's a need in this community and it's not being met, our job is to try to address it. But don't don't do not expect the Shura Council or the shootout board to do anything. expect them to do it with you.
I'll say that again. They will not do anything unless it is what with you. Don't give them an idea. say here's my idea. Let's do this together. Please come forward. That it's our it's our home. You know.
Okay, one from the sisters.
Why am later advice and lots of advice for you guys will have a special special offer just for that advice.
I don't understand this one, but I'll get to this fundraising related.
Sisters are asking for a clean water fountain.
And that's for the brothers.
This is an important one. Please sisters, listen carefully. Somebody moved here six months ago and their wife stopped coming to the machine because she felt
judged by other sisters upstairs.
And that doesn't just happen with words. It also happens with facial gestures, eye contact, you know, frowning,
or whatever you do.
We need to destroy that kind of a culture. We need to eliminate that kind of a culture. If somebody goes shows up there ladies and she's not wearing a job, it is not your job to put it on her head. It's not your job. Allah did not make you the cardia of this community to educate somebody else on how to cover he did not. You don't know who she is. You don't even know she's Muslim. You don't know where she's at.
Allah did not reveal the hijab until 16 years of Quran.
So you shouldn't expect it in two minutes, chill out.
If somebody there they don't know how to pray properly, you are not the Halima of this community that is your job to correct their prayer. Be patient with people don't pass judgment on people be easy on people, what they need right now is a connection with another person, not a class on how to pray properly. You know, you haven't even set Salaam properly to somebody. And you and there's plenty of stories of, you know, women that have stopped coming to the machine because of this kind of behavior. And not just women men too. But I know upstairs, we don't know what happens upstairs. I only hear sob stories later on, about women that haven't gone back to the machine for years. One
time this this woman told me she had become Muslim three days, she came to the machine. And there was a sister who came to her and said gave her looking. And she said I'm sorry, I don't speak any Islamic.
She said Natasha, labia,
you don't speak Arabic, you Muslim? No, speak Arabic.
And then this woman thought you cannot be Muslim unless you speak Arabic. So she left Islam for a couple of years.
Because of that one conversation, you understand how silly that is?
So don't if you don't have something good to say just keep praying and just do Vicar.
Just avoid eye contact? And
don't have those people testify against you on Judgement Day.
Yeah, yeah. But this is our husband writing in pain. So I don't know how to. Yeah.
What I have noticed is sometimes I see two events happen on the same day, at the same time, which concerns the community, this will not help to come bring the community, I will try to avoid that challenge. Yeah, that's operational. Sometimes departments don't talk to each other clearly. And so it's not done on purpose. But a lot of times, it's just not good communication.
We'd like to match that space to be more available, etc. For other groups who already know how to do things process or request use of space. Yeah, there should be a process in place. But should we use facilities? there? Anybody particularly in charge? Yeah, I mean, the front office is in charge. They have an online process actually can call and reserve, okay, so you can call and reserve you can go to the front office and reserve space at the machine to effect some kind of religious education, I would advise that among Zia oversee it. Because if we just had a free for all of any kind of religious education happening here, we don't know who's teaching and what they're teaching and
whether they're qualified or not. And so there needs to be some checks and balances in place. But there's no reason if you have something legitimate, some kind of help or something that it shouldn't be approved in Sharla.
Yeah, this is a question about outreach. There's so much propaganda against Islam, what can we do 100 our outreach department is pretty active here. And my hopes are that we leverage some of the other good work that's being done outside of ici on outreach stuff and addressing misconceptions about the religion and that we create programs not only here, but we give people resources. So there's two kinds of things right we can put a program together and expect people to come here and listen to something another is we can there's an online there's a video there's a resource, and we can just pass it out to people and say hey, if somebody asks you show them this right so that's both
of those things. I'd like to do one programs and the other just equip people with the right resources on certain issues because a lot a lot of this is now online.
Yeah, this is personal.
When is dinner, we are hungry.
We will eat with you. I have the answer for you. Do you have the answer? Okay.
Well, dinner is now and it's ready and it's waiting for you in the multipurpose all
over Africa. Sorry, not before you pressure
Sorry, sorry, sorry. Yeah, Africa I think that way.
So Hanukkah llama we have decrescendo Allah, Allah Allah and Mr. Furukawa to blue lake is actually located in Santa Monica.