The Beauty of Culture & Community Q&A
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
File Size: 8.90MB
They're such forward thinking people. Yeah, they just have this eye on the bigger picture and they just like it just oozes out of them the love of Quran, like, you just get jealous around, they're like, Wow, there's a love of Quran in here. And it's just from from children to the adults and elders. It's like this community just breeds and inhales and exhales the Quran Quran, what would you say is the best message you visited?
Oh, boy that would hands down would have to be.
So obviously, I'll start given to many different places, and what would you say is the best culture you've experienced?
Yeah, so my, my views on culture changed a lot. And I realized Allah has given each culture, certain qualities that he didn't give other cultures. And too often we like, you know, in the world of comedy, and even among Muslims, right? We kind of make fun of other cultures, because we pinpoint what we think is something worthy of ridicule or problematic, but I started looking at, like, what makes this culture beautiful, as opposed to what makes that culture beautiful. And when you look at it from that lens, you really started appreciating
the beauty and diversity, like for example, within the Muslim scene, right? Yes.
The, the joyfulness and the positivity of the Malaysians, is like, unmatched, like you just feel happy being around. This is such a joyous people love preserved boy, right? And they have this just love for the OMA natural love. And then they're very loving people. Then, like, if you look at whatever interactions I've had with young, Turkish students, right, and Turkish community, and they're such forward thinking people, yeah, they just have this eye on the bigger picture. They just, you know, we get lost in the day to day and you can just so get so immersed in your own life. You're not taking a step back. Yeah. But it's profound that Allah has given them that sense of, I
like to think of it as a sense of civilization. Yeah, you know,
what I love about the Somali community is like, it just oozes out of them the love of Quran Yeah, the love of like,
you just get jealous around them, like, wow, there's a love of Quran in here. And it's just from from children, to the adults, the elders, it's like this community just breeds and inhales and exhales do Quran Quran all day long. You know, it's just it's so spectacular and so beautiful.
My early teaching career, I was teaching a lot of the Bangladeshi community in the United States, right. And the thing I noticed among my students, I want to make sure that I didn't know and I inshallah I pray I get a chance to go to them at this hotel soon, I will.
The amount of like, dedication, like when they get focused on something, the world doesn't exist. They can just focus on immediately immerse themselves and focus like, I know, I'm scattered like did right. And I saw students there that like once they put their mind interest. I've never seen more studious people. And it shows like,
you know, in the United States, for example, the population communities very high levels of education, because they're just part of the culture is rigor and learning. Like they're, they're learning culture, right? And it's really revered and respected like what I love about my own people bucks Chinese right? Bucks any bias, of course, I love myself. So I got love for my people, but like,
the creativity, the creativity, and the like the resourcefulness of Pakistanis fascinates me wherever I've gone in the world where I got a chance to go to Pakistan recently and it was just incredible. Yeah, like so. So even in so in Muslim Societies, Sri Lanka has its own just beautiful element to that like the other of the sirloin kids Oh my god. Like these are the kindest, most, I feel so uncivilized around them. They're so they're so well mannered. You know?
This isn't limited to like Western civilization. This is exactly why I tell everyone, it's wider to me. So when you when you go to different places, like when I was in Ireland, I just found the people really friendly and really open and, you know, and when you got to
know the word leprechauns, but
we're gonna just start chatting up with you in the taxi and just just have a casual chat with you. In the United States. There are multiple cultures. And you know, when I first moved to Texas, this is one of the things that really fascinated me was just people just have casual conversation with you. How's it going? How's your day going? Isn't a hot outside like, yes.
My cup my truck went down and I had to go take it in the garage.
Like yes, that's pretty bad.
How much you you got it and then they just want to talk about themselves. They just want to make conversation and make friends. Like you
breaking the ice so to speak is super easy. And you go some other cultures where there's a lot of formality. Like I spent a little bit of time in Denmark, the Danish people, what I like about them is they're highly disciplined people. Yeah, right. But there's so no nonsense. It's almost like, like if you try to make a joke or like
That was funny.
Question is your existence.
So that's what I think about culture is like, there's something beautiful and like special about each of them that another culture could get. Could use a little bit of there's no one Pacific one. That's the best. It's yeah, I just I don't see that. You know, what would you say is the best message you've visited?
Oh, boy, that would hands down would have to be Masjid codes in Cape Town, South Africa. Yeah.
That what I loved about that Masjid was just a love in the masjid, the diversity, the different races that were there, the different schools of thought that were there, they weren't Muslims of a single denomination. But they were all just so kind towards each other and like, respectful towards the the youth of the elders, the elders of the youth. And there was this joyous atmosphere and in the masjid, and I just being around there just I just felt good just being around these people. So you say that like community is what builds the most effect the good community? You thought? So I think the backbone
actually might even my thoughts on how do you define community changed over time?
Can we think of community as how many people are at the masjid? How many people are saying salaam to each other and ends with each other? Then how many projects are going on? No, that's the community center. That's not the community. A community is people that know each other, they do business with each other. They're dealing with each other outside of just one formal space. Like they're actually embedded in each other's live life at some level. They're going to over to each other's homes for dinner, where their kids know each other's kids, the wives know each other like it's, it's deeper than just a place where they congregate. Yeah, right. So we did we said the masjid is the community.
Yeah, are the population of because they have a lot of Muslims stores in this neighborhood, the Muslim community, that's just a population of common ethnicity, or a common religion. But that's I communities something richer than that. It's deeper than that. It's when families actually have deeper connections. So what happens in for example, Muslim minority countries? You could, for example, in London, New York, other places in Chicago, you could go to the masjid for 20 years and not know other families. Yeah. Yeah. You just go, you pray, you come back to your apartment, you go to the halal restaurant, you come back and you don't, you don't get to know the waiter, and you
don't get to know the owner. You don't get to make friends with the the cash register person, you don't get to make friends with your bus driver. That's not community community means of interacting, right.
And just work. That's precisely right. And that's why you can have meshes that are like two blocks from each other. Yeah. And they're completely different, completely different they, and they can, if they disagree with each other religiously, they can speak to about each other in very dehumanizing terms. Yeah. Because they've never actually decided to sit at the same table and have a sandwich. Or just sip some tea or something. You know what I'm saying? Yeah, so I do think, which is what I found profound about Capetonian community, some of the elders there, they invited me to a dinner afterwards, right? Some of the founders of the masjid, we went to a house and they would literally
take me out to the balcony on the second floor and say, you see the street. This is where apartheid was, we used to play the brown and the black kids used to play on this side. And the white kids used to play on that side. If the ball went over to that side, we weren't able to get it. Yeah. And we'd have to secretly, you know, you know, era so that they can bring it back to and they lived through that together. One of the elders lifted up a shirt. He showed me his gunshot wounds from apartheid. Right. And the other ones laughing Yeah, I have to take him into my car because they weren't this wasn't any ambulance. Remember, I had to hold your hands like, yeah. Like, these people have been
through so much together. Yeah. And that transferred through generations and created a certain environment there. You know what I'm saying? And that's, that's something that I wish other communities had, or that we should promote more of, you know,