Investing in People Revolution’s Unlikely Actors
Channel: Omar Suleiman
File Size: 22.06MB
Episode Transcript ©
Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate and at times crude. We are considering building a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system. No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever.
said I want to live with a cattle
Smilla Rahmanir Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah Hill Kareem. While Ernie he was so happy with Salam to see him and cathedra
before I start my talk, I'm not going to do a tech beard.
But I do want to say that I just saw one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen at the picnic Convention,
which was the mom Suraj appreciating his wife, sister with the
who is truly a hero. Truly one of those agents of change revolution that we don't see. And subhanAllah a few years, well, maybe four years ago, I stood on the stage and I talked about my mother, may Allah have mercy on her, and how she inspired me. And it's been 10 years since she's passed away, and how everything that I do, I consider it to be from her house and not
that same year, I married my wife, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary at hamdulillah in February. And I get I get a applause for that. I guess if you make it 10 years now it's special, right?
That's Subhan Allah as I watched Imam Suraj his wife come here to the stage. I thought some I was telling him right now I was like, my wife would massacre me for doing that. Like she would literally I mean, she'd put the camera on and like bring out the knife. And
she would she would do away with me for that. But Subhanallah she's not here. And when she comes to the conventions, usually she's she doesn't walk anywhere near me, because he likes to maintain her privacy. She's a super private person as well. But I do ask her for her because truly, it would not we would not be anywhere be able to do anything without the loving support of our spouses. So may Allah bless her and elevate her. And may Allah subhanaw taala reward her
for putting up with me.
With that being said, I want to give you all an image. The image is a family in Mecca.
The father passes away before the child is born.
As the son of this woman is born, she starts to take her child to the wet nurses of Mecca, to see if anyone would breastfeed her child, as was the custom of the Arabs and Mecca.
As this woman holds her child, and she goes to see all of these different women that breastfeed children, all the wet nurses in Mecca, she sees all the other women holding their children
and all of the wet nurses going to them and offering their services because in Mecca, you would pay for that. And it was a service.
And she's left holding her child while all the other children have been taken.
And she's saddened by that.
And only one woman sees value in that child.
And she takes that child and she nurses that child, knowing that the family of that child cannot offer any wealth, knowing that the family of that child does not bear any status that would elevate her. But she felt inclined
just as the mother or just as asiyah. Ali has Salam felt inclined when she saw Musa alayhis salam when she saw Moses, and she took that baby, and she breastfed that baby.
That baby that no other woman wanted to nurse was Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam
who would become the most influential man in world history.
And that woman was Halima, Saudia or the Allahu taala. And her years go by and the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam describes himself. He says that I used to be a shepherd of sheep, around at yards in Mecca. If any of you go to the Haram and you see the area of SGR, the profit slice and I'm imagine the scene, this young man that used to shepherd sheep take care of sheep
for seven years, and he said for the Quran eats of the people of Makkah for the pennies of the people of Makkah. If you lived in Makkah, at that time, you would walk by and he would see this man taking care of sheep. And you probably wouldn't look at him twice and you would wonder, I wonder what his story will be. But he goes on to become the most influential man in
History. Rocky Mountain Nila Alameen are mercy to the world and we owe him everything for delivering to us for being the channel by which Allah subhanaw taala Santos His revelation, His purpose and His example and the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
I want you to imagine a pullback here. Well the Allahu Taala Anhu
when he was freeing this rebellious slave behind him and Rob ah,
who was saying I hadn't heard one one
as he was being tortured to death,
I want to elbow back out on the allow Thailand who goes to purchase the freedom of Bilawal the Allah Tala unwhole. He tells his master or may have no have how much for him and he says 10 Durham's, I'll go back at all the Allahu Anhu says deal. He gives him that tundra humps and he freeze bit out of the Allahu Taala and home and Omega says to Abu Bakr in front of betta These are his parting shots. He says that if you would have negotiated with me for a bit I would have given them to you for one Dirham.
He's not even worth $1 If you would have just negotiated a bit I would have given you the slave for one Dirham
and noble bucket well the allowance either unwhole says with Bilal standing next to him, our Master freed by our master as the Companions used to call him up Rebecca says Wallahi if you would have mandated 100 Durham's, I would have still given you 100 for him.
When Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Taala and who about Bilad, or the Allah I know he wasn't speaking to omega.
He was speaking to beloved, beloved was being told that you will join a nation that will appreciate you that sees value in you that knows that you're something special that knows that you will go on to be something and that you will not be devalued anymore. And he was right. While the Allahu Taala and Allah subhanaw taala describes to us use of it his salaam when use of this prophet of Allah that would go on to become a leader of his people. Use it with all of his beauty, use it with all of his nobility use if the favorite son of Yaakov it has set up when Yusef was pulled out of the well by this people that would take them into slavery. Allah says was shot oh who be thumbing in boxing Dada
Hema Duda. What can we see him in Azhar headin they sold them for a few Durham's. They didn't care about him a small price. They didn't see any value in this kid. They didn't know what was going to come out of this child. And they threw him away tanto fee Mirza headin they didn't care about him. They didn't think he had any value. But look what Allah made out of use of it his salaam, the person that the Prophet slice and I'm sad there is no man more noble than used to Friday his Salam, a prophet of Allah, the son of a prophet of Allah, the son of a prophet of Allah, the son of a prophet of Allah Yusuf, the son of Yaqoob, the son of his Hawk, the son of Ibrahim alayhi salam,
the most noble man,
and he was sold for a few pennies can ofI human Azhar headin?
When we look at our own history, dear brothers and sisters, I want to bring this a little closer.
Malcolm X Rahim Allah to Allah Who we celebrate and adore today. Although he would probably not be allowed to speak at most messages today in most conventions, the same people that celebrate him probably would not have offered janazah for him and would have distanced themselves from him because he was too militant
can associate with them. And we want to keep our cover low.
When Malcolm is sitting in a jail, cell rotting, nicknamed Satan,
if you saw Malcolm in those prisoners, who in the mass media and the powers that be have sold have sold you this idea that all of those that are in prison, in this capitalistic system of mass incarceration deserve to be there, there are a bunch of criminals masking the lie, that we have a system that is that that targets a large group of people based on their race, a system that criminalizes blackness. They sold you that lie. If you were to see Malcolm, nicknamed Satan, in prison,
what would you say about him? Would you give him a chance? Would you believe anything good would come out of him? Well, you know what, say what you want about the Nation of Islam. They loved him, they cared for him, and somebody saw something in him and brought him up.
And though Al Hamdulillah Malcolm was guided, Malcolm Rahim Allah would not have been given a second look by most people in our community, probably including me.
Muhammad Ali Rahim Allah to Allah, who famously said that if I wasn't a boxer, I would be just another Negro that no one would care about.
People would look at me,
and I'd probably be killed. But because he's famous, we celebrate him. And subhanAllah for those two men, both of them, they have a story. Malcolm Rahim, Allah when he was a kid, and he sat in his classroom, his teacher told them what you're not fit to be a lawyer. You should be a carpenter. Something that's more suited for your race. And Malcolm Rahim Allah internalize that and swallowed it and use that to be determined for his entire life, that he would prove her wrong. And boy, did he prove her wrong. Thank you to that teacher that challenged a man like Malcolm Rahim Allah to Allah, where he felt compelled to overcome that stereotype, overcome that dismissal, and become a champion
for justice and a champion not just for the Muslim community, but a man that would remind America of what it's supposed to be if it truly wants to be great.
Muhammad Ali, thank God, someone stole his bike when he was a kid.
Thank you, whoever that person was, I don't know if he's alive. But whoever that was, that stole his bike. Thank you. Because Muhammad Ali, when he had his bike stolen, that's when cashes clay, who would become Muhammad decided that he would learn how to box.
Sometimes it's conditions that create great people. Sometimes it's conditions that make revolutions, not people. Now, the problem is the brothers and sisters, that oftentimes we wait until people become great, and rise to greatness and rise to fame for us to claim them. For us to say that we were there all along. We are like that absent parent that neglected their child their entire lives. But once they made it big, I'm here, son. I'm here, my daughter, we are so ready to claim the benefits of someone who achieves greatness in our community, but so reluctant to invest in people that have qualities of greatness. We are so ready to dismiss people in our communities on the basis
of the same stereotypes by which they are dismissed in this country. But we are so ready to ride the wave and to jump on the bandwagon when they make it big. If you were driving on the street corners of Brooklyn
and you saw someone on the corner, holding newspapers named Jeffrey curse.
Would you have given him a second look? Anyone know who Jeffrey curses
Imam Suraj Muhammad's
I know your name. Sheikh. I know I've studied your life obsessively. Alright. May Allah bless you. Imam Suraj goes on to continue year after year after year to build institutions around the country. And to inspire Muslims around the world.
All of this,
including me, this is all on your scale Bismillahi Tala and on the scale of your family that has continued to afford you to our community, so that we could continue to benefit you from you, your brothers and sisters. The point that I want to make here is that too often, too often. We wait until greatness is discovered in our community, as opposed to us discovering it and nurturing it. We have a thing about killing dreams. Young people grow up in our communities and want to do great things and they're dismissed. Because you know what? You're not like the companions of the Prophet size. Some Yeah, I know. You know, I know that most I was 18 I know that Jennifer was 21 I know I'm gonna
be able to disease was 25 when he was the governor of Medina. I know I'm the loving Ibis. 13 years old, but our youth, our 18 year olds are not like the 18 year olds of the companions. Well, I've got news for you. Our 50 year olds are not like the 50 year olds of the companions of the prophets lie Selim. So if we're gonna dismiss the youth, let's dismiss everybody. Let's be honest with ourselves for a moment.
We have a tendency to kill dreams
and to wait for people to find their greatness despite their Islam instead of their Islam. Instead of having a community behind them. They have a community that that takes advantage of them when they finally make it when they finally rise to the top.
People walk up to the speakers of this convention
and they say
Share, how can we get you to come be the mom in our community?
We want a celebrity mom.
We want any mom who's famous.
And you know what, in the process of that you are neglecting the gems of local scholars in your communities, the wealth of local scholarship and your communities that have a lot more knowledge than me, and that have a lot more mentorship to offer, just because they're not famous. And once they make it fit, once they make it big, once they get discovered, then people are gonna go up to them and say, Chef, how do we get one of you for our message? It's
our sisters, who bear the brunt of Islamophobia, like our sister in Milwaukee,
who have to walk the streets every single day, and deal with the anxiety of this environments of this bigotry, who have to deal with all sorts of verbal abuse and sometimes, unfortunately, physical abuse, and the only thing they get from our community is a basement in the masjid or a smelly room. How do we expect? How do we expect to inspire our sisters to continue to face this anxiety? If we're going to continue to relegate them to those spaces? How do we expect that and someone says, Well, Cher,
we can't do the masjid like the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, because the women today are different from the women back then I've got news for you. The men today are different from the men back then too, but we have no problem. We have no problem affording ourselves those spaces.
If people find empowerment in other than our religion in our community, then we cannot blame them if we are not offering the beautiful comprehensive sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that was able to identify those gems in our midst those gemstones, those gems in our community, and grow them and nurture them, no matter where they were. If we cannot embody that vision of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, then we should not complain when people buy into another vision.
If we're not going to find those gems in our communities, and empower those jobs in our communities, and be a loving and supportive community, and nurture greatness, then we cannot complain. When those great Muslims that get the absent parents.
When those Muslims who make it to the top and the absent parent comes after them and says, Brother, please can you come fundraise for us? Can we use you in our keynotes?
Can we? Can we can we can we benefit from your presence? Don't be mad when they want nothing to do with our community anymore.
Because you know what, before they were famous, they had a Muslim community. And that Muslim community either grew them, or it hindered them. The brothers and sisters, I only have a few minutes. But I want us to take home this message that we have people in our communities. And it is often conditions that create great people, not other people, and we have to nurture them. Stop looking to these famous people. Stop looking to the people on the stage and look at the people that haven't been afforded an opportunity in your community. Stop treating one group of converts differently than you treat another group of converts. Because you think that this one will get you
more celebrated. Stop treating, stop treating one group of people in our community differently because you think that they could help us assimilate quicker. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam recognized that those people around him that were mocked and rejected and rejected by society had greatness inside of them. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam recognized that there were some people that were made powerless by the corrupt conditions of Mecca.
And that if those people were given the power of Iman and a supportive community, they would rise up to do incredible things. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was told by Allah wa spit enough secondary Allah the NIA DeLuna rob the humble guy that you will actually read on our to her and be patient, keep yourself patience and persevere with those who call upon Allah day and night. Those are the people that are seeking His pleasure. It is through them that Allah subhanaw taala will bring about greatness. So what am I telling you stop being insecure about your Islam? Stop being insecure about your faith? It is your faith and my faith that make us great and if we turn away from
our faith we will be humiliated as Amen I'm gonna help but I'll be alone on who said no one as an Allah who will Islam we're inept. Elena is utterly righty other than Allah. We are a people who were honored by Islam when we seek it through anything else. When we seek empowerment or honor through anything else, we will be humiliated. Our religion honors us
See, our religion is a method of empowerment. And when I was going through those refugee camps on the Syrian border, looking at those children, I thought to myself, which one of these kids is going to grow up to remind the world about the neglect
of those people? Which one of those kids is going to grow up out of those conditions, and rise up to show that even those conditions could not break them?
And you know, gangers Khan, had a really rough childhood.
I want to use to go and the most powerful emperor in history. When he used to go and crush nations, what would he say, I am the punishment of God for your sins.
I pray that that's not what happens with one of those children.
But instead, they they lie to Allah. Those people that you see on the corners of the streets and you look at them with contempt. You look at those homeless people outside and Baltimore and you look at them with contempt. There is greatness in some of those people, those children in the refugee camps that you look at, and you wonder, what's going to come out of them. There is greatness in those people, the downtrodden in your communities, those that have faced discrimination in our communities. If you look at them, and you take an honest look at them, there is greatness in those people and Bismillah he to Allah. If we are able to restore our Islam as a tool of empowerment, as
opposed to a hindrance, we will also give birth to a generation like the generation that surrounded the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and gave us what we have today. their brothers and sisters, I leave you with this message. Do not look at another believer and look at them with contempt do not hinder anyone that is pursuing their dreams and pursuing greatness in our communities do not look at those who do not have he died or do not have guidance and find them unworthy of being given Dawa to do not look at people that have had their rights taken away from them, whether they've had it taken away from them because they're Muslim or not. And think to yourself that their cause is less worthy
than your cause. Do not look at any young person who wants to grow up in this community and do great things for Islam and dismiss them and tell them you know what, why don't you go work with the youth group do not look at the sisters in our community that have to day in day out represent their faith while we are able to disguise ourselves in the midst of the people outside and think that they have any less rights to the houses of Allah subhanho wa Taala than we do May Allah Subhana Allah Allah bless this organization and I'm gonna tell you one thing that Akena does that a lot of people don't know about. You know, they can relief does it can Relief has halfway houses. It can relief does
prison Dawa it can relief makes it a point to reach out to those that have been rejected by society and deemed criminals by the same monster that deems you all terrorists. It can Relief has reached out to them. It can relief established a national network of Muslim women shelters ignor Relief has not turned away from those people and that's why I'm proud of this organization does not come allow hate on Santa Monica Rahmatullah cotton