Color of Skin
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
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Soto Rome is a very unique surah of the Quran. And Allah talks in one place about many of his signs that he wants all of his creations to ponder. And for us to think about the world around us in a way that brings us closer to him or to make us realize some things we didn't realize before. So what I read to you in the Arabic portion of the football are some of them, not all of them. And it's important to note that before he mentioned all of them, he started, when I would come to this seminar, it went, Bhatia lucky enough to do that Praise and Gratitude belong to a lot in the skies and on the earth. And in the evening, and the times that you spend in the afternoons, the point
being, that everything you're about to learn every single thing that Allah says, is a reason, another reason for you to stay humble.
So every one of this is when you ponder on it, every one of his signs, and you think about them, then it should lead you to a conclusion that you and I shouldn't be grateful to a lot. And we should push to be thankful to a lot and praise Allah for what he's done. So this is actually the mindset with which the rest of the passages read, that was important to say the next thing that's important to say is just something about the word signs or ions. I've given a lot of different lectures about the meaning of the word ayah. But for the purposes of put button, I know, a lot of kids are listening also. So I want to make this as simple as possible. Today, I just want you to think about
three things about an IRA, the word IRA, when we say the signs of authority, I have a lot. What does that mean? It carries inside three things. It means number one, something valuable, from the Arabic point of view, something very valuable, something that has a purpose. That's the second thing. And the third thing is something that points you back to a love. Meaning it's a reminder of a lie himself. Right? So if Allah says, for example, that the skies and the earth have IOD in them, while every mountain reminds you of the maker of that mountain, and the beauty with which she made it was a beautiful night sky. So it has the mountain has a purpose, go back to three things. Again, it has
a purpose. It's valuable. And it takes you back to a law thinking so you keep those three things in mind whenever you read about an ayah of the law. Now there's more, but again, for the purposes of at least hold on to those three. So I'll repeat them again. So they get drilled in your head a little bit. The first of them is that it has it has value. The second is that it has purpose. And the third is that it puts you back to a life that makes you grateful
For a lot, and that's where we started right?
Now, having said that, humanity, when Allah brought us on this earth, He made it so that we will live we will have to live together. And the first human beings that have to live together are the husband and the wife. Because all of humanity starts with a man and a woman. And that's how it was started the story of humanity with other than our mother. Right?
So when he's here, he says, among his miraculous signs are that he made you from your he made spouses from within you, he created spouses from your own selves, so that you can find peace, when you head towards them. And you put love and care in your hearts within between what
he says in the feed alika is, in all of that there is no meaning in all of that there are many miraculous signs, many ionic for people who think deeply, again, let's go back to ion. So Allah says, think about marriage. And when you learn about these lessons from marriage, about a man and a woman coming together, then the man and a woman coming together is something valuable. It's not something worthless. It's something rich, and then it has a purpose. And even the union of a man and a woman, the point of it is to make each of them more grateful to Allah. So the husband looks at the wife and is reminded of a law. And the wife looks at the husband, and she's reminded of the laws, so
they become richer. Okay, he says that, and then he says, The next stage is building right allies, when he reveals these IR, they are northcom Welcome also means that they're stitched together. So when the left tells us one thing, our mind is in a certain place, it's ready for the next lesson. Just like a teacher does, right, the teacher tells you one lesson, when you get good at credit that you think they're ready to make the next point. And then the next point they build on each other. So what's the next point that I love it, he says, woman he hung out he was out of his miraculous signs is the creation of the skies in the earth.
We were just talking about husband and wife. And from there, he took us straight to what the skies in the earth. And it's a pretty powerful point of contemplation, the one who made my spouse is the same one who took the care to make the entire universe is the same one who designed the beauty of the entire landscape of the earth. And the entire life inside of the oceans is the same one who provided me the oxygen that I'm breathing has provided me a spouse, it's coming from the same source. It's making me an offer of love for what he's given. And making me maybe appreciate what you've what I maybe didn't realize what I have in front of me when it comes to the spouse, because
it's not just a human being. It's a gift from above. But then the previous side, this is the next building. And then he adds something more. By the way, why is the spousal relationship so important, because it's the foundation of humanity. If a man and a woman can be at peace together, that means the family can be at peace together. If a family can't be at peace together, then there is disruption in the way children are raised. And when those children have disruption in the way that there really is, they are not going to be a source of peace for their friends, or for their community or for their society, and enough disruption. And you'll have an entire society made up of
disruption. You can have peace in the world, because a man and a woman can come together.
You can it can escalate to that point. It has pieces ripple effects, it starts in the home, and builds and builds and builds and builds and builds. You know, yeah. And it was a interesting, it was a judge who retired after many years of service. We have a half a century of service in Brooklyn, in New York. And he was asked because he was the juvenile court judge, I mentioned him before, lots of kids, you know, he sees teenagers in gangs and drug violence and whatever else, and even killing and all that kind of stuff. And he said, what do you what do you is the source of all of this? What do you see as the problem he says, broken homes, is broken homes is a problem. He after 50 years of
seeing the tragedy of humanity of young lives wasted. He looks he looks back and says that's all I can tell you. Right? So the point that I'm making here is first the family. And none of us has contemplate that it's coming from Allah. But then he makes the most remarkable point about society actually got sober today isn't about family, it's about society.
He says, we'll speed up
and the differences of your tongues and the colors of your skin.
of his of his ions are the differences of your tongues and the colors of your skin. Now what in the world does that mean? That means a lot created the world and he meant it to have different languages. And a language isn't just a language a language is an entire culture.
It's not just a language, it's not just words that sound different, and phonetics that sound different, and gravity that's different from one language to another. But every language behind it is an entire heritage of how these words developed, how they were formed, how they started getting us how they became part of the poetry of the people, the philosophy of the people, the history of the people, the culture of the people. So when he says your tongues, he's saying, of his miraculous signs are the very different cultures in the world.
Not just the languages, but the cultures in the world, all of that comes behind the tongue, behind the language of the people. It's also interesting that the tongues are different, not just between different languages, like English is different from Spanish or something. But it's also that the language our people that live in a certain neighborhood is different from the lateness in English. But in a certain neighborhood, it's a different lingo. And in a different neighborhood. So different people have their own language, or books, we have their own language. And they have their own mini culture. And each of them have their own way of communicating with each other. And Allah makes all
of that part of his miraculous design, that you were supposed to have different cultures, you were supposed to have different ways of communicating, you were within balance, of course, within respectful bounds, but there was supposed to be these, these varieties in the world. But he didn't stop there. He said, Well, I want to come and the colors of your skin.
Go back to what I said about three things about life. I said, the AI is valuable, it's valuable. That makes sense. It's purposeful. So it takes you back to a law.
So every language that's different, is valuable. Well, language is not worthless compared to another. They're all given by a law.
They're not mine.
They're not, they don't belong to a culture or a people, they actually go back and belong to a lot. And then Allah has given that value or respect and dignity, every language, every culture has respect and dignity inherent inside of it. And then second, it has a purpose. It's not pointless. It's not that one needs to be erased or removed or replaced with another.
Because it all it has its own purpose. And each one of those languages, each one of those cultures, in one way or the other, if you reflect on it will take you back to Allah will point you back to Allah.
And now if you want to, and then that's about the languages, but then he says the same thing about colors of skin.
Every color of skin is valuable to Allah
is valuable to Allah. Every color of skin has a purpose.
Every color of skin is a reminder of a lie himself.
It's a reminder of a line. So
the thing is, we are in the United States in the middle of a new cycle and in the middle of a social phenomenon. And a crisis that is all surrounding race. And there's a lot of explanation, and commentary of all different kinds of people are waiting for others to say something and being blamed by all of it. The thing that I wanted to I don't have much to add to that conversation. All I can do is take a step back and ask myself a very hard question about ourselves Veoma. ourselves, the Muslims. Because before we jump and say we support people that are being subjugated because of the color of their skin. Before we say that the police doesn't have a right to murder someone in broad
daylight, just because for whatever reason, including the color of their skin. If any of that is unjustifiable to us, and we want to speak out about it, just like everybody else was speaking out about it, and your right to speak out about it.
Then before we do that, we really should be taking a really good look in the mirror as an oma that is made up of many colors, and many languages and many cultures. And we will honestly answer about ourselves that we don't look down on any color other than our own any language other than our own any culture other than our own, because then we have some moral footing on which we stand before we say this is wrong.
Because we have a backbone on which we stand.
I was in South Africa last year.
And when I was in Cape Town, I was given a walk some of the seniors of the Muslim community, some of whom are very dear to me, I love them dearly, and some of them are no longer with us now. Granted forgiveness, but I had the honor of meeting with some of these former senior members of the Muslim community who are part of the apartheid struggle.
who showed me neighborhoods they lived in where this side of the street all the black kids can be and that side of the street with all the white families and if the wall went on the other side would have been
get it back.
Because you get arrested. You don't sometimes these kids will break the law and play with each other. But they have to stay on the wrong side of the street. They've actually seen that line. They've lived that life. they've experienced that struggle. They I met, I met people, older members of the machine that had gunshot holes in them from the time where they stood up and stood for the rights of the, you know, people not just themselves, by the way for all of society.
These people have a credibility on which they stand.
They did something so remarkable. That left an impression on the entire Earth. It really did. It left an impression on the entire Earth. But when I think about the oma, whether wherever we are in the world, when we think about standing up against racism,
and we blind ourselves to the fact that there is the ugliest kinds of racism inside this community. I started with the ayat of the Quran, to maybe help myself and all of you realize that maybe we don't even when we want to get people to this book. And it's beautiful teachings, maybe we should give ourselves a little download at the same time.
Maybe we should look at this and say, Wait, but we do that.
We've done some of this. Now, we may not have killed someone. But humiliating someone is not very different from killing someone is it
the proper place a higher value or human dignity just like it does on human life. It puts a high value on both of them.
And if we have exhibited in Ironically, the closer people get to religion, this religion, Islam, the more they come closer to it, the more they're the loyalty, they see the honor they see of someone who just says they're a child of
any other, we honor all children of other. That's what the law says. So the closer you come to work, the more you start seeing people without the filter of color of skin, by the way, I don't say you don't see color. As a matter of fact, you're supposed to see color, because every color has purpose and recovered has value. So I don't say no, no, when you become Muslim, you're colorblind. No, you become very color sensitive, and you already color for what it is. And you honor each language for what it is, and honor each culture for what it is. And you accept its unique identity as a gift from a lion cell.
So you don't say Oh, everybody's the same, no, everybody's beautifully different. That's as long as I'm not saying that you have to be colorblind, it's something you have to be color sensitive,
and acknowledge it as a gift from Allah Himself. It's a very different thing that I don't see covered, you know, but then beyond, it's far beyond that, when you when you then start learning your religion, and you start coming into the lusted or you start becoming part of a, you know, a Muslim community. When you start becoming more and more closer to the community, then the more you are part of a community, the more accepting of differences you become, you're supposed to become because obviously, that's what this book teaches, and teaches in very clear terms. The book is that that's telling you to be in all of the skies, and the earth is telling you to me in all of different
languages and colors of skin in the same is
not even in a separate IRA, in the same idea. So it's to me impossible to imagine the people that associate themselves with the houses of the law, with the book of Allah with the memorization of the Quran, with the perfecting of their dish, we would ever think of anybody else who doesn't speak their language, or doesn't come from their background, or has a different color skin than they do, that they will look down on it would be impossible. Right? Because that's not where where people are on
a school bus or someone lives in a very
The Arabs of the time are extremely divisive people. If you're from one tribe, you're better than all the other tribes. And if you're from tribe B, then you're about to the rest of the alphabet. If you're from tribe C, then you're the best one from the rest of the other. And your loyalties belong to who your own tribe always.
When the Prophet sallallahu Sallam went up to the idea,
he had a person with him. He had ever seen slaves freed with him. He had people from various tribes with people that were previously Jewish with him, previously Christian with him. He had people from different clans, different backgrounds, big and small. But it was a long coloring, you know, sighs all with him at Columbia and they're there wanting to make Hajj and, you know, when they start to put a visa and different emissaries, different ambassadors came to try to negotiate with them to leave to not go inside. The first of them that came looked around and saw all this diversity and in his mind for 1000s of years, the only way you can get
unite people is by color.
You can the only way you can unite people is by tribe. That's the only way they can be united. Why would they stand next to each other? And take an arrow for each other take a sword for each other. If they're not equal in the same family, they're not using the same clan? Why would they do that? So he saw these people that are all like a busstation.
Like, they're all different. And he came to the Prophet slave setup. And he basically said, This is what you bring with you.
None of them are from your people. When the fighting starts, they're all gonna run away from you, because they're not really yours.
They're not really yours. And by the time I won't tell you the entire story, but by the time that conversation ended, and he went back, and the police were the most united of all, yeah, he went and told the leadership of collisional masters,
I would advise you to let them do what they want.
What you went, you are our chief negotiator, what happened, you don't understand when that man washes his face, and drops ball from his face, they fight each other, they catch the drops, I have never seen a kind of unity that I've seen among these people in loving their profit. And all their lives. I've been in the courts of kings, I've never seen that kind of loyalty for a king that I've seen behind this man. Some of you know what that means. People who claim to love or sue the loss of a lot of money. So don't forget, they develop a love for anyone next to them that says, regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of the language they speak, regardless of the country they
come from, regardless of when they took Shahada
regardless of when they became Muslim.
They did that disappears, that just completely disappears. Are we honestly able to say that about ourselves as an Ummah,
as a family, as a community,
because when you say on an on a on a social media post, I stand with people, I stand with people that are oppressed, I stand with people that are being mistreated because of their race.
Those words are just bytes and you know, pixels on a screen. That's all they are. But the way we are with people, the way we deal with people, the way we care for people, the way we honored people, that's not just a post on social media. That's not just a video broadcast. This this is just hot air that will come and go. How is it that we're carrying ourselves? What example are we setting for our for ourselves and our children? What example are we sending And finally, I want to say that you know, for those that are deeply hurt you, you have to it's the Prophet told us the body right. So when one part of it hurts, all of it hurts and there are people that are hurting because of the kind
of racism they've experienced Muslim.
Because this isn't isn't even our religion, your problem is about the color of your skin while you're being pulled over while you've got the wrong kind of car in the wrong neighborhood, etc.
And for any of you that are in that pain, that are experiencing that pain, that is not easy to empathize with, because you have to be in that humiliating situation to know what that feels like to know what that you know what that looks like. You know, some of you may have experienced some of that discrimination, a glimpse of it because you're Muslim. Right? Because I've had my share of it, you know, traveling in airports and stuff like that. I'm not the guy famous on YouTube or Facebook because I'm traveling I'm a guy with a beard.
Right the bestest a small glimpse of what these people's face their entire lives. What do you go through in their neighborhoods, how they're looked at at a job interview,
the way they can't they can't ever get and what Ally's told us to look at as a miraculous, beautiful thing. Others are looking at as a sign of inferiority or a sign of prejudgment before you even open your mouth. That's what they experience. That's what they live with.
And for people like that I would for especially for the Muslims, I would urge you to contemplate, particularly contemplate a laws exhaustive description of the oppression engaged by the Pharaoh of the Israelites. There's a reason that's been described in so much detail of people that have been oppressed and repressed not just by slavery. There were other tactics that the pharaoh use that the Quran takes the point to describe. Why Because Allah is not interested in teaching us about ancient Egypt and having this visit the Sphinx and the pyramids. That's not the interest of the Quran, the Quran suggests is to give us a case study of the kind of evil that happened 1000s of years ago, that
will take a different form in every generation. There will be a new kind of heroine in every generation, and it will take from the same old playbook and will do with people who deserve better the same games that were done before.
And so the Quran is acknowledging that and the Quran is a source of being empowered for those that are on the receiving end of such kinds of oppression.
And before we you know, I'm people want me to comment on all kinds of things. The thing that I want to comment on is what Allah has to say about this subject, and really how we should be thinking about ourselves. Before we think about it, anybody else? You can you and I can't stand there and talk about commanding the good and forbidding the evil. We haven't you can't tell anybody else to wear clean clothes, when you're wearing dirty clothes yourself.
You got to look inside and say, Hey, this doesn't look that I mean, who am I talking about that?
When I haven't even dealt with what's going on inside my the racism inside my own family.
The risks the biases inside of my own neighborhood,
in my own community, among people that are supposed to know better because they're supposedly religious, they're supposed to know that. And yet they exhibit that kind of, you know, condescending opinion of others, indignation of others. So I pray, helps us realize and open our eyes to where we stand, and really take a better look at ourselves. Given this chaos that's outside, the oma was supposed to stand out as an example of people that honor all races and all colors. It would it would Islam would speak volumes, without any of you having said a word,
it would just speak volumes because we will stand out from the rest of humanity, because we live these ions that you don't have to have our misconceptions of Islam, you are the proper conception of Islam and the way you live.
You just stick out anyway. Because around you all, all all around us as darkness. You know, that will be the truth by itself. I'll leave you with just one example of how this is the biggest most of us living the right way is the biggest invitations response is devidas invitation.
And when the young fellow
many years ago when I was in college, I used to go to
machine. And I used to wait for him because I wanted him to come to come to our college to give a lecture. So this is one before I grow beard, I should just get there the whole time after time and wait until he shows up. Because I know he's coming eventually, to get a chance to talk to him. So I'm in the midst of alone. And this young fella walks in maybe a couple years younger than me, I must have been 1920 at the time he
walks in and sits down. And we just started talking. And he was someone he's, you know, born in downtown New York, white kid, who was just became interested in religion when he was 15.
And he was raised agnostic. His parents, neither of them believe in any religion. So he said, Well, my grandparents are pretty hardcore Christian, maybe I should start with Christianity. So he actually became Christian and attended different churches, study the Bible, got, you know, pretty deep in his Bible studies and realized that there's a lot going on in the Old Testament, the older book that was given to Moses, but we don't talk about that enough. We keep harping on the other side, we don't pay attention enough to the Old Testament. So he decided that maybe the right religion is the people that follow the Old Testament, he decides to become Jewish, learns Hebrew,
learns Hebrew, sorry, goes joins a Misha and Shiva Institute starts studying the Torah. And he's studying, studying, studying and people are making fun of them, because He's different from them. Because you're not support. You're ethnically Jewish, right? So you're not really you're not
fully Jewish. Now, really.
literally described for the first time he came to me, just to see what the Muslims are like, just to see, when he saw the colors. He literally talking about the colors that were sitting, there was a remarkable example of that diversity is incredible. And the Brotherhood was just a thing of yours and all of the kind of brotherhood you will see that.
He said, I didn't speak to anybody.
And now he he's already accepted Islam, because of what he saw. And now he wants to come in, learn more. That's why he came to the mission. Nobody gave him that one. It was just something he saw.
But can you imagine when someone comes to one of our massages, after this whole COVID-19 is over. And they see somebody being talked down to or ignored because of the color of their skin because they look different than everybody else. And they come one time and they say I'm never going back there. Again. I don't feel like I'm wanted there.
You know how many people I've talked to that have taken Shahada, I have become Muslim, and their love of Islam made them go to the machine. And when they went to the masjid, they felt so rejected and pushed away that they feel bad going to the restroom, because people that are different from that they'd rather talk talk in their own language and not include them in the conversation or talk down to them or look at them up and down funny. All the all the matters that the prophet SAW sort of taught us not to do me exhibit inside the election, and we exhibited to those that are the best of us because they've taken the shot out of it.
We do that to them. And then we say that we believe in Islam. And the Prophet said that no one's the white is not better than the red or black or whoever else. The best ones are the ones that have that we can give that
may give that message well, how's that being lived? Let's live it.
Let's annihilate any trace of violating these ions from ourselves, our families and our communities not stand for not telling me
make us truly loyal to his word. And to honor all children of others and become an example of those who honor Ultraman.
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