On Unity Fm 93.5 Birmingham
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
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The listeners of salaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, who are very good evening and welcome back to Friday night fusion, the new sound of Great Britain here on nice 3.5 unity FM across Birmingham and surrounding areas both nationally and internationally on www dot unity FM dotnet. Now, as has been documented on this program quite extensively. Over the past few months, the portrayal of the Muslim community has been a massive concern to us here in the UK, and around the world. Recently, we have seen controversial programs such as citizen Khan and now even more controversy has been caused by the terrible and truly unacceptable depictions of the profits of
wireless alum that have been published in various parts of the press. Thankfully, not in the UK. As of yet. We've also seen a terrible film that was made in the United States of America, that also portrays a prophecy lesson I mean, a very inaccurate and truly abhorrent way, a film that should be condemned in every way, shape, and form. However, what should we as Muslims do to address this massive onslaught that seems to be taking place against Islam and against our community? Where do the answers lie? Was it correct for example, for people to engage in the violence that we've seen across the world? Many people have said not but then the question is, how do you channel your anger
how to channel your frustration and Mashallah, a brother and a start, who has worked extensively over the years to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims to show the beauty of Islam including the Arabic language itself, his brother nouman, ali Han, and Mashallah. He is the CEO and founder of the bayonet Institute in the United States of America. That's an Islamic educational institution that has done some fantastic work to enlighten our young people and to bring people closer to Islam the true way of life, Asana, Cumberland, Oman and Han Jazakallah hair for joining us on the show this evening.
My pleasure on being on the show. Firstly, let me just say it is an absolute honor to have you on the program. We here at Unity FM play your lectures, Mashallah every morning and our listeners are always full of words of admiration and praise for the beautiful words that you offer that you are to on a daily basis Mashallah come over here may Allah reward them for listening aboard me for whatever efforts and keep us all sincere in our intentions Queen Sharma I mean all of us inshallah. Now Mashallah Brother, you were born and have been brought up in the United States of America, I know, you've also traveled to Saudi Arabia, as well as Pakistan and various other parts of the world with
this clear mission to promote a positive image of Islam, and a positive image of the Muslim community. Of course, we regularly hear about the fact that becoming a speaker or becoming an IE of any sort is perhaps not the most financially fruitful way to spend your life in a religious sense, in Islamic sense, the benefits are endless, what inspired you to take such a route and to dedicate your whole life to this mission.
So this will
allow just a couple of quick corrections. I was actually born in Germany. My father served in the the Pakistan embassy, and he had worked for the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a long time, and at the time, he was stationed in Germany. So I was born in 78, in what was forbear East Berlin at the time, and I've moved, you know, we moved because of my dad's work from there to Pakistan temporarily. And then, you know, to Cerro de for about six or seven years, I spent my childhood and thoroughly from about second grade to eighth grade, second class aid class, and then, you know, Pakistan for about a year and eventually about 1993, we moved to the United States, and
I've been in the US since 93. Anyway, to answer your question about my, you know, the direction I picked in life.
I was I graduated from college. And actually while I was going to college, because you know, we don't come from a wealthy background, I was working full time, and going to school full time and sort of paying my own tuition. all at the same time, my father was actually stationed back to Pakistan while I was about two years into college. So I had to we as a family made a decision that I should stay back in the US and continue my studies. So I, you know, started working full time but at least 40 to 50 hours a week, and started taking three to four classes a semester, whatever I could afford to keep my college education going and this was in the field of computer information systems.
While I was doing that and having like almost a double full time, lifestyle on the one hand, a full time student on the other hand, also a full time employee.
I developed an interest in studying the Arabic language and this
came about as a result of one robot, I still remember in 1999 that I attended and are actually in the EU series that was being offered in a local machine in New York City. That was basically going to go through the Quran in translation in Dutch. And I attended that theory late at night, I would come back from you know, go to work in the morning, go to college in the evening, then end up late at night at the machine, make whatever tail end of the Torah, we catch, and sit in these rooms until one or two in the morning, and start that routine again the next morning, so I had 30 days of this really insane cycle. But I'm really grateful for that experience and humbled because it was really
the first time I was exposed to the Quran, not as a book, but actually as a conversation. And that that affected me a lot that I you know, for the first time I was, I was kind of tasting, even in a secondhand form, that the Quran is actually something that speaks to the Muslim show. And I was very intrigued by this idea. And I spoke to the presenter, Dr. decennia, at the end of that program and asked him, you know, I'd like to do what you do, I'm really inspired by what you do. And he basically a one line answer from him was, okay, well learn Arabic. That's what he told me, you know, so I, I started, you know, studying how to be with him while I was going to college, and I was going
to school, and just started spending late nights with him, and studied some basic grammar and some basic vocabulary with him for over the course of the next couple of months, maybe no more than two months, that I spent with him kind of doing this as just something I was very passionate about. And he saw that I was very motivated. So even though he was teaching classes to other students, that I would be a part of, he would make extra individual time for me. And I'm, you know, really forever grateful for that. So anyhow, I make a long story short, I
continued after he left Pakistan, because he had to go back.
You know, whatever, you know, little money I had I, you know, went and bought whatever Arabic books, I could find one or two and started pulling through them myself. And I would get stuck stuck on a lot of occasions. And I'd go look for an Arab Imam and say, what does this word mean? How does this sentence work? And they'd helped me out along the way. So every time I get stuck, which would be quite often, I just go and ask somebody who has more knowledge, and just keep going at it. And I just kept at it for myself. And this is, you know, this is actually a process that's still continuing for me, in some sense. You know, it just an RV or to Baja, right, the Arabic language is
an ocean motion. So when you study it, you just keep going and going. But the thing for me was my motivation to study Arabic was directly tied to me engaging the Quran. Much, I never allowed the two studies to be separate from one another show. So you know, so even if I studied conversational Arabic, the purpose was, so I can converse with an Imam about an ayah in Arabic, or if I didn't, you know, learn to read Arabic other than Koran. My interest was okay, I want to read the faasil. Other than Quran, you see what I'm saying? Yes, so everything was kind of tying back to the Quran. And I kept this up for some time. And eventually the.com bust happened.
And, you know, I was laid off for a little bit from my work. And when I was laid off, I, you know, it gave me an opportunity to kind of take a step back and rethink what I want to do. And a couple of realizations came to me. And one of them was that, you know, the technology industry that I was a part of, in the corporate world that I'm a part of, it's constantly evolving. And in order for you to keep your job, you constantly have to redefine yourself. And you constantly have to upgrade your skill set. Right. So if you're a programmer, there's an upgrade to the language, if you're an IT technician, or you're in network security, there are new protocols that are coming out there, and
new security breaches, etc, etc. So what that means is, you're at work when you're at work, but your mind is also at work, when you're at home. You know, you're still studying and trying to keep up and taking more certification courses and things like that.
And on top of that, is a corporate culture and in corporate culture, it's kind of a cutthroat, everybody's out to get you, you know, if you don't make it, and if you don't take the next position, and you don't take the promotion, then you're not seen as motivated. And you might actually end up losing your job to begin with. And there's a lot of these, these these dirty culture, this jungle culture inside concrete buildings, you know, and it was just not something I was ready to give my life to.
Because once you get sucked into that culture, the only part of Islam that would have been left is maybe listening to a lecture once in a while and attend making time for Joomla. And other than that, you're just engulfed in family and work and you have nothing else in your life, you know. So I made a conscious decision to try to do something about that. But at the same time, because I had gone to tech school and to business school, Baruch College where I went to business school, I wanted to have a plan for myself, at least, that sustains me without engaging in anything resembling fundraising. I
wanted to have a career in serving, you know, the community, while while at the same time not having to rely on donations and things like that, or be a burden on the community in any way. So I spent maybe almost six months to a year discussing some thoughts about, you know, teaching Arabic, because in the meantime, just to keep up with my Adobe, I was also teaching just on the side, you know, teach a couple of college students here and there, maybe do a short class in the machine where they will let me and I was getting pretty good feedback about, you know, whatever methods I had developed to teach. And so I was motivated enough to say, maybe I could do this full time. So falala, and I'll
open the doors the way we can't even imagine. You know, we're zoku in Haifa left. So
as a matter of fact, an Arabic professor was attending one of my courses. And keep in mind, I'm just a kid who studied Avi for a couple of months. I'm no expert. Yeah, sure. And this is a professor from a college sitting there just he, he didn't say a word I didn't know he was a professor. And he's just sitting there listening to me explain like, concepts and nothing to like, you know, 100 people at unless it was kind of a crazy thing. And at the end of it, he said, You know, I like how you teach, I want you to take my job because I'm retiring.
So he was retiring from a community college in Long Island in New York. And he literally, he recommended me to take his place.
I didn't have the credentials, the biggest place my shadow because it came and he had years of tenure. And, you know, so he recommended me and somehow another department somehow agreed after interviewing me, and I got a job. It was still a part time job. But I got a job teaching Arabic at a college in New York.
fascinating story. And it's very interesting book in Oman, that you mentioned that when you were actually studying the Arabic language, there was more to it than just looking at it as Arabic, you were also looking at Islam very closely. And I suppose through that initial interest that you had in Arabic, there was always that greater interest that you had in Islam, exploring your faith and serving your faith. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, for me, personally, I decided at some point in my life, there are so many wonderful Islamic sciences. And each one of them is an ocean in and of itself. But for some reason, I found a special love for Koran studies, in particular, though, I have
tremendous respect and regard for the other sciences, I just decided, at least in my life, I will know of the other scientist so long as they pertain to me my personal life. So I should know enough to understand the essentials of philosophy, and if I'm going to hydrogen or the project cetera, but I'm not going to be a student of I'm going to be a student of the Quran and a teacher of inshallah, God, that was my intention. So, you know, as my Arabic develop, one of the cool things that happened was, I'd be studying an ayah. And I would think I know what it means. And then I'd study some more Arabic and come back to the same A year later, and I'd see something I didn't see a year ago at all,
yes, because as your Arabic evolves, so does your view of the Quran, it's like you develop more of an X ray vision or you develop, you know, a microscope vision for looking at the same thing. And so it gave me an appreciation that, you know, Arabic has to be studied more and more, because without it, our view of the text actually becomes kind of shallow. And we don't look at, you know, the treasure, I mean, I give my students the example of looking at a rock, you know, if you if you're passing by the road, and you see a rock on the side, you just see a rock, but somebody who has the right tools, can see through the dirt, layers of dirt on top and see that there's actually a diamond
inside, you know, so that that view has to be developed. It's something that needs to be given, you know, a time
and I'm grateful that I was able to be motivated that way. And that allowed me that is just wonderful friends and teachers along the way, that kept pushing me in one direction or the other children patola Mashallah it snowballed into a full time career about maybe 2005. I took the leap of faith, if you will, yes. And left my you know, my other other jobs and, you know, other other means of making an income. And I talked to my wife, which was the hardest part, and said, Look, this is what I'm going to do. I know we have a child and I know we have responsibilities, but I firmly believe after a year of planning that this can work. And so she gave me the green light reluctantly,
when I come to the NIH, she gave me the green light. And, you know, we went forward as a family and took this leap. Yeah, and I've never looked back since. Mashallah, now you are very fortunate in the sense that Allah subhanho wa Taala has blessed you with this massive interest, this great vocabulary of knowledge that you can very much use on a regular basis beautiful talks that I say our listeners listen to on a regular basis and gain huge benefit from but in a time in which Islam is facing so many challenges. Your average I suppose student or your average listener or your average Muslim out there, perhaps may not be as fortunate as to have so much more.
knowledge about the faces you have, when they see all these negative images of Islam being portrayed, what is your message to them? How can they work towards tackling these problems that exists that obviously infuriate them, but they find no direction in which they can channel that particular anger. Yeah, I mean, I've been thinking about this problem for some time. And these kinds of incidents that occur that really hurt every single Muslim on the planet that has an iota of faith. These are just, you know, they remind me of how important it is for us to give serious thought to how to move forward as an oma. And my first, you know, concern is that us as a people,
we've just become reactionary. So our love for the Prophet twice around is, you know, it comes really comes out in full force, in response to hate against the Prophet sallallahu sallam, right? And that, in and of itself is sort of, it's an indication of the weakness of the Muslims. You know, how in the times of war, can tell you in America in times of war, everywhere you go, somebody's got an American flag posted on their car, or on top of a house, you know, because, you know, your patriotism rises in times of antagonism. Right? Because it's not so much love for yourself, it's more hate for the other. That's what sometimes it becomes. But in times when there aren't such
controversies, how engaged are the Muslims in learning, and in sharing the beautiful message that our profit first salon charged us with? This is a really like, a conscience question. I feel that the big crisis in the online how to respond to this is, you know, when when bad things are said, we have to drown out the response. With good things. This is an opportunity for one fifth of the world's population collectively, to start saying wonderful things about the Prophet salallahu idea, to their neighbors to their friends. It's an opportunity for Dawa is what I see this as, I don't necessarily see this as a tragedy. You know, these fools that make the try to insult you know, our
profits later on, whether it be in film or in cartoons, or articles and things like that. They, you know, they're trying, they're trying to literally spit out the sun, the spittle only come back on their own face. It's not possible to insult our Prophet alayhi salatu salam, but it does give us an opportunity to have a conversation about the sort of law for Solomon who he really was, you know, and my problem is that we're not seeing that opportunity for what it is. And all we're channeling our energy into is rage. And people email me because I, you know, I released a video just saying, look, this was not our response. I didn't talk about what our response should be. But I did say, you
know, violence and these kinds of angry demonstrations. At the end of the day, what do they produce? What what is it that they produce? And what would the prophets have wanted us to produce? You see what I'm saying? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, go ahead. No, no, no, please, please do continue. Please, continue. Okay. So my, you know, my concern, when it comes to, you know, things like this, is that we should really drown out these voices, with good with messages about Islam itself. Now with discourse with good deeds. If we went every time something like this happened, and we in the name of the in our loyalty to the messengers, I saw them, we went and help the sick. We went and helped, you
know, we visited the second hospitals, or visited the elderly that are not cared for etc. And all and we said, we learned this from our messenger. When bad is done to him, he responds with good, you know, that's what we learned from our messengers. I thought, what impression of Islam would it get the world wouldn't even know how to respond, Suzy. Absolutely, absolutely. Mashallah, right now we armed them, all we do is arm them, we give them what we say. We told you these Muslims are a bunch of crazy angry people. Now we have hours and hours of footage proving that they are crazy, angry people.
But I suppose a lot of this new man comes because of our own ignorance or our own lack of understanding of the faith. For example, a lot of the violence that we've been seeing breaking out around the world, people determined on burning this building and burning that building and killing this person and killing that person. How do we encourage Muslims to move away from the reactionary side of things and to actually look at a greater way of understanding the faith for a greater purpose, as you've just identified being people who are constantly proactive in Dawa and I'm talking especially here about young people who are indeed the next leaders? Yeah, I want to I want to say a
couple of things about that. First, it's a reality. The majority of this oma are youth. I mean, the newest statistics are 62% of Muslims on the planet are under the age of 30. That's remarkable. It's also scary because young people are very volatile.
So it's a, it's a scary statistic. So I mean, that means we don't have a choice but to engage the youth. It means engaging the oma today actually practically means engaging the youth, there is no other way. Now, when people are asked, you know, they asked us in the media a lot, why are Muslims so sensitive? Why do they go crazy when their profits insulted or artists burned or flushed down a toilet nozzle and these kinds of things? Why don't Muslims go crazy? Christians don't do that. Jews don't do that, etc. Yeah. And our staple response in the Muslim community is, well, you don't love your profits like we do. Right? So we do these things. We have this rage because we have an enormous
amount of love. That can't be compared to the love you have for your fingers, if you will, I'm not satisfied with that staple response, actually. And and there may be an I acknowledge the intense love we have for our Deen and the honor we have for it. But at the same time, the core problem is one of not knowing what else to do. We actually don't know what else to do. You know, in child psychology, when a child develops speech later, you know, children learn to speak very early on children learn to speak much later. The children that learn to speak much later, are much more violent, they cry more, they lash out more yelling scream more, because they don't know what else to
do. You see, and they'll, they'll hit more, there'll be more physical, because they just don't know how else to express the emotions that they have. Our core problem is not just a lack of education in the secular sense. Most average Muslims, even the Muslim that standing there protesting, you ask him, you know, just give me a synopsis of the seal of the Prophet sallallahu. Rania, show me like maybe four or five incidents, for instance, that the prophet of Islam condone behavior like yours, just show me something. mean, you love him so much, you should know that your behavior is inspired by him right to show me. They won't even know what to tell you. They won't know. Sure. That's the
crisis, you know, so we have to push the oma in the direction of learning Islam properly. And actually, even those who hate Islam better acknowledge they better get something to the head if I'm not going anywhere. But you know, no matter how much you criticize it, or you know, make films about it, or try to get people to leave it or whatever. Yes, yes, Bob is a force to be reckoned with, by a lot. It's not going anywhere. You have the only solution to you know, the ignorant behavior is actually a proper education of Islam. Sure, sure.
Suppose that's both to Muslims, first and foremost, and then inshallah to non Muslims when they see us practicing proper Islamic actions. Now, I really do appreciate your valuable time today brother, Romanelli Han, but as always, time is our only enemy. And just finally, when you see so much by way of negative portrayal of Muslims in the media, you see your fellow Muslim engaging in what can only be described as truly an Islamic actions? What keeps you going personally? How do you still have hope in your heart, especially for the short term, when you see all this chaos in front of you, what keeps you going, or something? as frustrating as the situation is,
I have to believe that the situation that the Prophet was put in
was far more frustrating. And one of the things that really gives me inspiration is this passage from the Quran and sort of, sort of Surah Surah number 42. I know we have very little time I'll give you a synopsis. What Allah does in this passage, is he lets the Prophet know Salalah that the people of the people of Makkah that know you that know your character that has worked in that you've been trying to preach to for almost a decade now, it is too hard for them to accept what you're saying. The Buddha had a machete kena method romilly, okay, it's too hard for them. It's too big of a deal for them to accept one God and to accept you as a messenger, almost like a lie themselves to saying
it's not going to happen. Now think about it. If the profit is told, it's not going to happen. Wouldn't that be demoralizing? It would be right? On top of that, maybe the hopes are with the People of the Book in Medina, because they have previous revelation, and this Quran will resonate with them. But Allah says no, actually, even though they have knowledge, they won't believe either. Most of them will only engage in rebellion out of out of the urge to dominate, they won't even accept the message despite having knowledge, you know.
So when I says the mushriks are not really a good audience for you, and the next says most of the people of the book, their knowledge is not going to be an asset. It'll be a liability. Now, when you hear that when the Prophet hears that phrase, it's not just coming from some naysayer, it's coming from Allah Himself. Allah Himself is telling him you have a pretty tough audience. Right? But despite all of that, what is the next is incredible, say Liza deca feather, and for that reason, invite.
Now interestingly, he did not say despite all of that invite, he said, For those reasons, you must invite In other words,
These lofty obstacles are in front of you, because you are who you are the Messenger of Allah Lavanya You are worthy of much higher obstacles than any other normal human being. You've got the Quran, you shouldn't have small challenges you should have really big one, usually been inviting what's the 10 kilometer you stay firm as you've been commanded. So when we see tall, lofty challenges in front of us, yes, it is. Our loyalty to Allah to the messenger signifies for them to see those challenges and say, it is not just because of these reasons that I should feel the urge to quit. because of these reasons, I should feel the urge to go even stronger. I know that no desire to
have brothers and Newman Han for joining us today. We certainly hope that you will join us again in the future and I thank you Mashallah for sharing your words of inspiration, in your words of encouragement to the Muslims of Birmingham and to the Muslims of the United Kingdom, in this time of great difficulty for the Muslim ummah. Well, we'll make it easy for all of us. Really. Thank you all for your time.