Cult vs Community

Nouman Ali Khan

Channel: Nouman Ali Khan

Episode Notes

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This Khutbah was recorded at Islamic Center of Irving on May 20th, 2016

Introducing his reflections on ayat 166 and 167 of Surat Al-Baqarah, Nouman Ali Khan highlights the differences between a cult and community to warn against the threat of allowing unhealthy social pressures to dominate our lives.

Episode Transcript

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But basically suddenly we assumed the MD Wagner the rock that I mean listen if grupo de la sabitha endl motiva La ilaha illallah wa la Miranda Miranda, Tina solly, hot water, wasabi whatever so the sub Manila Manila mean.

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In today's clip I'd like to share with you some reflections from two IR that belong to Silicon bacara. But before I talk about those IR I'd like to share some basic definitions with you and some concepts that are not often talked about. I have spoken about these things before but not in this way. And like many of them are of our past. And students of the Quran over the past whenever they pass by is that they have studied before Allah azza wa jal even describes it himself. Let me ask him why they have so many omiana they don't trip over them, you know, mute, you know, deaf and blind. What that means is they don't ever say I already know this, like, you know, when you read some other

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book, and you've already read it, you read this chapter already. You see, I could skip this part because I already know this part, I'll go to another part. But that is just not the attitude of a believer towards the Quran. They go back to the CMI art that they read hundreds, if not 1000s of times, and a lot opens wisdom upon them. And he opens up guidance and counsel upon them, as even the Sahaba would experience this a new like, there are instances in the life of the Prophet sallallahu Sallam where, you know, the ayah was recited that was revealed a long time ago, but it was recited again. And Sahaba would say, I felt like it just came down. I felt like it was just revealed. So the

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idea of going back and reviewing and pondering again. And you know, engaging the book of Allah repeatedly and continuously is just one of the gifts that Allah has given this book Latin for big boo, it's wonders don't ever cease. And that's hopefully a relationship you and I will always have the rest of our lives that will keep going back to the book of a lot. And we will never underestimate what it has to offer you and I will never think to ourselves, I already know that I can read something else. Now I already know Bukhara I already know this. I already know this surah I already know what it means I've already read the translation. This year, this kind of under

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estimating you can do with any other book, you can't do it with the book of Allah. Because it's it's wisdom is far beyond even the wisdom of one is far beyond what any one human being can fully internalize ever. In any case, what I wanted to share with you today was a basic distinction, a difference between two English terms first. And those two terms in English are a cult, versus a community, a cult versus a community. And a cult obviously. So those of you that are familiar with the term is not a good word. It's a it's an ancient word of the English language. Its its origins from the 1600s. Back in the day, it actually was used for worship itself. But in the modern usage of

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the word cult, it's used for a group of people that are cut off, and they do their own weird ritual practices. You have devil worshipping cults, or you have heavy metal cults or you have all these different kinds of groups, strange groups, that are kind of on the fringes of society, and they form cults. But there are some things that I wanted to highlight that make a coat different from a community, let's first talk about what they have in common cold is when a group of people come together. And a community is also when a group of people come together. So what makes them different, here's the first of all differences. A code sees itself as against the rest of the world.

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They want to see themselves as one thing, and everybody else is out to get them. And they are at war, if not physically, at least ideologically with everyone else. So they are a closed group that is antagonistic and aggressive as compared to that a community is actually something that keeps its doors open all the time. A community actually wants to learn about other communities, like a local Selita out of food, so you can get to know one another. it welcomes people from other communities, it opens doors, it makes cooperation happen. It does business with other communities. It has trade agreements, and all kinds of things. So cults are closed and aggressive. And communities are open,

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and welcoming. That's the first difference between the two. Another thing about a cult is that it wants uniformity, it wants everybody to be exactly the same, they should dress the same, they should look the same, they should talk the same, they should behave the same. And if you see even a little bit of variation, they'll catch you right away, you might get kicked out of the cult, if you don't follow along. They are very, very specific about how you have to behave. Right. And in a community you have by opposite in a community, you have diversity, you can have people that are dressed differently, that talk differently, they have different habits, you know, and that's fine. It's okay

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to have people of different backgrounds and different ethnicities, and different languages and different eating habits. All of It's fine, but a cult, there's no tolerance for these kinds of things. You have to stick to this thing. And if you don't, then you're in trouble you're gonna get kicked out. And then from here, you get the next difference between these two in the the way the best way to keep people inside a cult is to scare them and to make them feel guilty or to instill anger in them towards others. cults feed off of negative emotions, they need it. They need to make you angry to stay in the cult so they'll come

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Constantly curse some other group or some other community, and they'll fire you up against them. And that's how they stay together, their anger keeps them united, or they will guilt you for not being good enough a member of the cult, and they'll constantly shame you and guilt you. And that's how you can keep stay inside. On the flip side of it is a community, which actually, when people make a mistake, they don't shame them and guilt them, they help pick them up. And they say, Well, you know, if I was, if I had fallen, and I had made a mistake, my brother would be there for me, these families would be their fault for me. So they're, they're there to support each other, not guilt

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each other. And our community thrives off of encouragement, instead of building anger and hatred. Instead of building suspicion towards others, a community is supposed to build, you know, good relations, better understanding, giving each other benefit of the doubt, building trust among each other. These are the kinds of things that communities build. Then, of course, inside of a cult, there is absolutely no room for asking questions. You can't say why do we do this this way? How can we do that? Even if you know some culture, religion, so you can even ask how can we pray this way? Or how can we believe this? You can't ask questions, because if you ask questions, you're basically

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gonna get kicked out, you might lose your membership, for asking you just shut up and follow. That's what you got to do. If you want to stay in the cult. On the other hand, you have a community where questions are welcome. If you don't understand something, ask, and you're not gonna get in trouble for asking. We can have an open conversation, we can share ideas, there's room for suggestion, there's room for questioning and better understanding, and people are going to be at different levels, nobody's going to be made to feel guilty because they don't know something, or they don't understand something. That's the point of a community. And of course, then the last part that I

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wanted to share with you as a difference between cults and communities, is that cults, they have habits, they form certain practices, and they do them and they don't even know why they do them over time. They don't even know why they're doing it. But everybody's got to do it. Everybody's got to do it. And if you come along and say, maybe this is not the best practice, maybe there's a better way of doing things. Have we even ever asked the question, why do we do this stuff? Why are we following it like this, because it's it's harming our next generation, it's harming our families, it's harming this or that of the other. When you raise these questions, you can get, you know, not only kicked

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out, you can become the enemy, you can be labeled and become the enemy. On the other hand, in the community, there's constantly open Surely, there's constantly open suggestions. And if there are certain practices that used to be working 10 years ago, somebody comes along and says, this was pretty good 10 years ago, but I think we need a change, we need an update to society has changed, times have changed, our needs have changed, and we need to adapt. And so a community is willing to do that a code is not willing to do that. A code says this is how we did things before, that's how we're gonna do them. Now. Now you shut up, unless you want to get kicked out. Now, I wanted to make

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this distinction between these two, because a lot of times in churches, in synagogues and temples and even in masajid. In Muslim communities, we like to think of ourselves as a community. But more often than not, we turn these places into coats. And if not one coat, there are several cults within a community, one group getting together, aggressive towards everybody else, they're the ones that are right, everybody else is wrong. There are in the history of Islam, for example, there's a diversity of there's a diversity in the schools of thought, when you make belong to a particular school, if you come from some part of the world, where there's a tradition and the heritage the

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Malaysians have a several century heritage of the Shafi school of thought, for example, people from India, Pakistan, a good number of them, a huge majority of them are from the Hanafi school of thought, etc. So you come from a particular school of thought, but then you come with this idea that your school of thought is it that's it, anybody else who does anything else, there, I don't even know if they're actually real Muslims or not. This kind of thinking is cult thinking. This is not community thinking. This is not community thinking. So that's the first thing that I wanted to highlight that cults By the way, cuz the only way they survive, I told you is negative. That's the

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only way they can survive. And when they see a community growing and diversity growing, they feel threatened, because they want everybody to be like them. They want everybody to be in uniform, exactly the same. So when they see that changing, they go on the attack, cultural go on the attack. Now this is within the religious framework, but there aren't just religious cults. Again, I started with the example of massage it but that's not the only place social circles form cults. You have people that are listed that aren't even religious, you know, there's their, you know, their their families that come from a particular background, they have a certain socio economic class, when they

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have a party, all those same families are invited now at this place is house not that one, when the thought season is going to start soon. Now, you're gonna see the same faces over and over again, and that's a nice thing. These are all good things. But you know what happens sometimes within those circles, certain values are imposed. So if one

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That, if all of them have a house and one of them has an apartment, then the one who has an apartment feels pressure, I feel left out of this circle unless I get into a mortgage. Because I don't believe I can even invite them for a thought. Because they'll they'll look at and just the way they look, just the way they look at the apartment and say, oh, okay, just two bedrooms, just that much. It'll eat me alive inside. That's a cult, because you're putting pressure on this person to get into a, an economic transaction they can't afford. And they're feeling pressure, even if nothing has been said to them. And they have to conform to a standard That doesn't even make sense for them.

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Every family has their own situation, Every family has their own background, their own problems. But you know, what we do, a lot of times a lot of the pressure you put on yourself. And a lot of the pressure your family puts on you, and you put on your family doesn't even have to do with you, it has to do with this cult pressure that's on you. And you don't want to lose membership from that cult. And as a result, you harm yourself, you harm your family, you harm you, you know, all it produces is harm, it does nothing good. This, these kinds of cults are formed inside offices, you're the only Muslim in the office, everybody goes and has, you know, you know, goes to the happy hour or

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something. And they invite you every time you feel the pressure. And if you if you're not going to go you're not going to be disgusted when the promotion comes, you have to play this game. And you have to join them in their rituals, if you want to be part of this thing. And there's kind of a unspoken membership. And if you don't play along, you're not considered a member, you're not going to be considered an equal. And you have to you have to, you know, get your hands dirty and lose some of your principles. This is what a cult is not not just in the setting of a machine in the setting of a family. But even in the setting of an office in colleges in neighborhoods. You know, there you

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could see cult followings in neighborhoods where you know, when Christmas season one family will go out of their way and put Christmas lights. And the other time was Oh, yeah. Now we can't afford it. But I think I can take a loan and put better Christmas lights in them. And nobody knows why they're doing it. They have no idea. Their primary reason is My Neighbor did it. I have to defeat them. That's their primary reason. If you're in a neighborhood of Muslims, and somebody did an F star, somebody did a party and you're like, Oh, yeah, I'm gonna give a better party. And you're feeling competition.

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This is this is cult mentality that eats away at a community. It creates competition antagonism, that's what it builds. And so what I wanted to get at, especially when it comes to our families and big decisions we have to make for our families like marriage. A lot of times the reasons for choosing a partner, the reasons for building family ties. The reasons come from cults, they don't come from reason, they don't come from the idea of a community. This oma the basis for which this oma was formed was taqwa the basis for which this these people, you people are sitting together, and I'm standing in front of you. The only basis for it is not in a hurry, Lola, that is it. That is it.

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The you know the one the one figure that defines our not our cult, but our culture. And our community is Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam who had an incredible task in front of him. I mean, you have to understand, you know, we're not traditional people anymore. We live in modern times, even if you're the most traditional, a lot of things you do are not traditional. But the Arabs of that time were extremely, extremely traditional people forget thinking about foreigners as different. They thought of the next tribe as aliens. They were so hung up within their own identities and to take those people and to build who are between them. brotherhood between them, is

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an incredible thing. Ocean houselogic Medina, they themselves didn't get along. They themselves had fights and their Medina imagine them versus the people of Macau. You know, this was not something easy to overcome. But this kind of mentality has been there and will be there and are one of the functions of our Dean, one of the purposes of our Dean is to destroy this kind of thinking. Now, I want to share the IOD with you that socata law in one this description of the Day of Judgment, in one beautiful description of the Day of Judgment. Allah azza wa jal gives us the value of these fake standards that so many people put them put on themselves, because they want to belong to a

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particular cult. And they don't even realize they're there. They're suffering from it. Allah azza wa jal describes the day of judgment and one of the first remarkable things about this ayah is that it's set entirely in the past tense. It begins if Latina to be rude, when those who used to be followed when those who used to be followed have set themselves apart.

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Who in Arabic means basically in Simple English, I have nothing to do with you. I have no responsibility for what you have done. I don't know what you did what you did. You go your way Mind your own business outline my own business. The the ayah begins describing there were a group of people who you

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Used to be followed. And when judgment day comes, they stand before Allah and they say, I have nothing to do with these followers. I don't care about I don't know who these people are, I don't care about them. Let me bring this a little closer to home. There are today musicians, actors, there are athletes, you know, and they, they'll come in commercials, and they'll wear a certain brand of sneakers. Or they'll put a certain kind of Cologne on, and then the sales will go up as a result of their product placement. You understand? Or people will dress like them and talk like them and want to be like them. Do these people know their fans? No, they don't. And they don't even care. All they

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care about is money. They don't care about you. You can get these screaming fans can go over to the guy who's singing the song and say, You speak to my heart man. Like Yeah, he All he cares about is whether you paid for Did you download a bootleg? Or did you pay for it? That's all he cares about. He doesn't care about whether you spoke to your heart or not. That's not what it's about. So on judgment day, that will become very clear. All the people that we followed all the people that set the standards for us that influenced the way we're going to speak the way we're going to dress, the way we're going to live. The way we're going to conduct our families, all of it, all of those things

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are gonna fall apart. And those people will say I have nothing to do with you. You know, for those of you that speak or do one of the this if you understand it when you understand this one phrase, lo kacang

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What are people gonna say? You know, those people that you're so worried worried about what they're gonna say, when you're about to make a decision? Let's do the niqab in the machine? No, no, no. What are people gonna say? We have to get a home? No, no, no, let's just get this car. No, no, we have to get a newer car. What are people gonna say? Let's get an apartment. No, we have to get a big house. What are people gonna say? What are people gonna say is like your car kuliah. It's the principle that defines your life. And it is those very people that stand on judgment day and say, I have nothing to do with these guys. Whether I see or not, I don't care about them. is Tamara and Marina

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to do Mina la Vina tomorrow, they'll cut themselves off from those who used to follow them. Allah mentioned it in the past tense for a particular reason many of them I'm sure one of them with you. You have to imagine the next time you're following someone mindlessly, you have to imagine that this separation has already happened as far as allies concerned. Not even it will happen. It's already happened. These are the same people that are going to be saying they don't care a dimes worth about you. They don't care anything about you. What Takata atvi mozzarella says what I own, and we'll all be looking at the punishment, we will do wrong deeds, because we follow people like this. We will do

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wrong deeds because we follow trends, because we belong in cults mindlessly. And then punishment will come not just to those who are trendsetters, but also to the followers. They're both second up what I own either. What Takata xv humulus. Bob, what a remarkable phrase in the ayah and all of the ASVAB I won't translate ASVAB yet, all of the ASVAB will be cut. Now what is what in the world is Bob one of the meanings originally in the Arabic language as subduing Heaven, it's a rope. The ropes will be cut. It is as though you felt like you're tied to these people with a rope and Allah will chop all those ropes up.

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All of them will be severed, like you have no connection with them. Others say let me do a lotta sneezy and fusi him while at bury him suburban like grandma's he says that they are not some of also means means judgment, they will come and they will have no way of saving themselves. Because the people they should have connected themselves to they didn't and the people that they shouldn't have connected themselves to they were blindly following. So now they have no way of getting out of trouble with the Katara to be humorless Bob Underhill masala tea can can be a tawassul una la Ha. It's also said that as Bob are the relationships that they used to have, that were built on fake

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things, there are relationships that are real, like family relations, there are relationships that are built on sincerity people actually caring about you. And then there are relationships that are just fake social acquaintances, and you just want to impress them and they just want to impress you and nobody knows why they're doing anything.

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Those are the kinds of relationships that are just going to get chopped up, they will have no value whatsoever almonacid and that he cannot loan for dunia as Bob also means status. So panela the status that they used to have judgment they will come so many things people do for status. So many people, things people do for reputation. So many decisions we make for that. I met an accounting student not too long ago, who said I will you know what, I asked him, What's your major? He said accounting. I said, Where are you going to school? I'm going to the school. What's the tuition 40,000 a year? I said, so after four years, you get you're gonna owe 160,000? Yeah. On top of that

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student loan interest, all this stuff. I was like, after four years, you have a bachelor's degree. Are you going to be a CPA? No, no, that's another two years. What's the fee for that? About 75,000 a year. Okay, that's another 150,000 on top of that. So now you're you're

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You're in debt about half a million dollars already. And you haven't even gotten the job yet. And who's gonna pay you high paying paying salary? By the time you come out of accounting school and hire you? And you know, and even if you do get paid a lot of money, you're you can't even start your life because you're still paying off debts from the school you went to that's just bad accounting, bro.

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Why are you going to that school? Well, it's a it's a pretty reputable school and reputable in whose eyes I don't understand. Like we like this is a person who understands accounting, except when it applies to themselves. Because status image that took over and their mind got shut off. They couldn't think anything straight. And the only concern was, well, if I go to a community college or if I go to a city school, or if I go, what are people gonna say? What are my parents gonna say? Nobody cares. No one when the time will come, nobody will care. You have to make sound decisions in your life, financial decisions, religious decisions, family decisions, and you have to let go of

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these unreasonable pressures that you put on yourself, because those people will not care about you when the time comes, especially when judgment day comes. And so as Babu jata is also an adjunct has also been said that they're the any way of them being saved is going to be cut, then there is no way to save yourself. People people worry so much they have so much depression, so much stress, because they have to keep up like the American phrase keeping up with the Joneses, right? You're this old you have to have this much money, you have to have this much status, you have to have this much disposition, disposition disposition. None of this should matter. Especially when it comes to your

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own your own person, make the right choices, make the right decisions, and don't let fake pressure from others come on to you. Even I'll end where I started within the religious community, within religious communities. When cults are formed, then people are made to feel guilty because they overthink that even Ally's messenger, sallallahu alayhi wasallam and the book of Allah never condemned and they're being condemned. They start even wrong, but in that cult, it's wrong. In that cult, it's unacceptable. You know, we create uniforms. We create uniformity and the way people have to look and behave even in things that in which the dean always had diversity. There was always

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multiple ways of looking at it, but no, is this way or no way at all. This way or no way at all. And this this is the kind of thing that makes people run because when someone comes out of a cult, they never want to go back. When they when they're in it. They're hypnotized, but when they run away from a cult, they look back and they get scared, man, I don't want to go back into that crazy stuff again. So when people get burnt out, religiously burnt out because of cult behavior, and they run away from Islam. It's very hard to bring them back. Because they think of all of the religion not as a community now as a cult. And that's our fault. That we didn't understand the openness and the

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vastness of our Deen the mercy of our Deen the forgiveness of our Deen the positive nature of our Deen and we turned it into something ugly for people. May Allah azza wa jal forgive our shortcomings. McAllen Latina todo I end with this Ricardo Medina terbaru another Nika Ratan Tata Baba amin home Kamata, Baba Amina the people who used to follow them the fan base, the people who did end up in those coats. Now they're talking and they're saying lo another NACA rotten if we only had another chance, if we only got to go back again. Find out about ramen home Kamata Baba Amina, then we will cut ourselves off from them the same way they're cutting themselves off from us. While

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thought we will move Raja immediately I won't even think about it. I won't even consider it. If I were to go back. I wouldn't even look towards that guy. That same person who influenced so many of my decisions. That same culpa dictated so much of my behavior will mean nothing to me. I will want nothing to do with them the way they've cut themselves off from me now, and unless has done Casali coup de Mola Hama Hama Salatin, Allah him,

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that is Allah will show them their behavior. Now this is what's called Han has threatened it him. But Allah said hasard in it him regrets on top of regrets on top of regrets on top of regrets is what Allah is going to show them. They're going to think back and say, Man, I made that horrible decision. Because of this. I made this other horrible decision because of that they're gonna make a list in their head of all the horrible decisions they made based on this unreasonable pressure that they put on themselves and one hustler one regret on top of regret on top of regret and that's part of the the pain of judgment thing. You don't feel don't think of Hellfire and judgment as physical

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pain only. It's emotional pain. It's just looking over back at your life and saying Why did I do this? How could I do this? How can I live my life like this? One decision after another Hassan Denali him well MMA won't be hot enough enough and they're not going to be the ones coming out of the fire May Allah make us not of those of the fire me allows me to enter all of us without any punishment into his gender. Monica lohani Welcome, Anil Hakeem when a fire

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We are coming at once again Hakeem

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al hamdu lillahi wa kafa wa salatu salam, wa

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salam

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ala nabina Muhammad Al Ameen wa aalihi wa sahbihi edgebanding yaku Mahajan. vikita became Kenny Nakula rubella he managed a Pandora gene in De La Hoya mela Nikita who you saw Luna Island maybe? Yeah, you had an Athena amanu sallu alayhi wa sallam Ooh, Taslima Allahumma salli ala Muhammad Anwar Allah Allah Muhammad kamasan. Later Allah Ebrahim Avada and Ibrahim al al amin in Dhaka homido Majeed Allahumma barik ala Muhammad Anwar Ali Mohammed Chroma Baraka Ibrahim Ali Ibrahim al al amin in naka homina Majeed de la rahima como la Tacoma in the La Jolla, San Juan Ito is imperva Vienna and in fact, he will mooncup what are the crolla he Akbar? Allahu Allah Matos neurone, Optimus sala

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insalata kanatal Mini Nikita makuta