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Designing Clothes to Teaching Islam – Life and Times of..
Channel: Saad Tasleem
File Size: 41.44MB
Episode Transcript ©
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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a tagalong discussion. I'm your host Ben outside and today we have special guest South asleep. not so subtle advertising right here
at the scene collection, let's talk about this in question. What do you got going here? Well, this is something that I've wanted to do actually for a long time. Okay. Is come out with Okay, let me be honest. Yeah, not so much a calling line. What I wanted to do for a long time is make my own clothes. Okay. One of the things that like your own fashion for sign Yeah, like I'd rather make my own stuff is started in Medina because you can go there and get like a thorough made Yeah. to your specifications. Yeah, tell him and his cheese common. They're like, it's, it's very common, okay? Because it's so cheap, like, compared to like, a ready made off the shelf though. It's like a 10 $15
difference. So I've always thought like, yeah, dollars, realize I did the I did the math for the exchange rate, whatever. Gotcha. But approximately, so I've when I was in Medina, I was just got my own stuff made. And then coming back to the states and shopping and buying stuff. One of the problems that always had is, if I'm wearing a shirt, say I go to like h&m or wherever, yeah, I buy that shirt. I know, someone in the audience is probably wearing the same shirt. Right? Someone's got that same shirt or whatever for you to have like that. unique factors like Yeah, exactly. And it Look, I understand, like, it's a lot of has to do with how you put it together. And that's cool as
well. Yeah. But to make my own stuff, the way I want it to be something that I've always wanted to do. So it was like the clothing line is kind of an extension of that, like, I'm doing it for myself. Why not? Share it with a certain amount of people. And that's why
there's that where you come out with a limited cut. Yeah, so it's it's a collection rights collection. It's very limited. Yeah. This coming collection is coming soon, inshallah it's on the way.
It's four to five to pieces, four or five designs, we settled on the last one yet. And 100 pieces of each of each. Gotcha. And that's like four or 500 pieces. Yeah. And that's it. And that's it. Once it's done, the salt is gone. It's done. It's gone. And you will never see that same piece being done by us ever again. Like next season, we're gonna do new designs. We're moving on, like, I'm sure people will copy like our designs and stuff. Right. But we don't care. Because we're done. Let's like it's done. We've made it. But that's kind of, I mean, that's kind of how the fashion industry is. Yeah, right. Like they always come out with a season of clothes, brand or whatever. Yeah. And
then, but it's just like, let me ask you this. What is it that makes some of the stuff that you making? What's unique about it? Well, first of all comes from my sense of style.
Fashion is a word that I don't reject it. Yeah, it's very subjective. I actually don't like the word fashion. For me when I was telling you earlier, was what's stylish is what you feel the best in the first edition of your sathasivam collection. Was it the one from Malaysia? Yeah, so people thought so that looks so what happened was that what happened was for I want to do like a soft launch, right, just to get the idea out there that I'm coming out with a clothing line just to get people used to the idea because I get it, you know, like public speaker or chef or whatever. And like a fashion line. It's like, it's just weird, right? Don't really, I mean, I don't know how many people
know this. But I mean, I know you mentioned it, but like you've got a design background. Yeah, I do. I do. I have a design an art background. So yeah, it's for me, it's completely natural. And that's, you know, jive. Well, this is, uh, yeah, I mean,
honestly, there's very few instructors, that I can explain a concept to design wise, advertising wise, communication wise. And you get it right. And we can just get right into the crux of the content of what the display. We're on other people's just like no one like this one. Like that was like, What are you talking about? That doesn't even make any sense. I call it client talk. Yeah, like make it pop. Make it? You know, yeah, exactly. What's the objective you're trying to accomplish? Like you just wanted to pop was like, but, but like having, but and I would assume that a big portion of that design background lent itself into the fashion. Definitely, definitely,
definitely, like I said, for me is completely natural. It's a natural thing to do. But I get that for people who don't know me that don't understand my design background. Like it's, it seems weird. So just to get that idea out there. I did like a soft launch, which was we'd printed some shirts, and just had like a little design on a T shirt. Just you know, we sold like a certain amount. There are limited amounts on so people thought we're a T shirt company. And I'm like, No, no, no, no, no, we're not. We're not a T shirt company. There's a lot of T shirt companies out there. Yeah, the T shirt market is actually super saturated. Yeah, like everyone's doing t shirt work. We're not doing
so easy to make a T shirt design. Obviously, you get whatever t shirts unless your T shirt is like one thing that I haven't seen from t shirt companies, if people actually use that dry fit material, the polyester blend. So there's like a very small percentage of population that's interesting that people like you
fits so well it looks good. You can go through hundreds of washes and it still doesn't fade. And it's like, yeah, and the thing is, as long as it looks normal not, it doesn't look like he has if it's active wear, right. Like, it's something that you could wear to your normal everyday stuff. But it's still like fashionable. Yeah, look, I mean, look, I'm not saying I'm never gonna do a T shirt. Actually, who knows? Maybe in like a summer collection, we might add a T shirt, but it is. It's what you said. It's about how you do it. Right. It's about the fabric. It's about the feel. It's also about the cut. It's about what you put on there. So yeah, you're right. It does. You can do cool
stuff with it. But I just want to be like, we're not a T shirt line. Gotcha. Is that why you haven't reproduced another t? Yeah, we're not we're not doing those t shirts anymore. Like I said, if we do a T shirt, it's gonna be like over the show. Yeah, shake them always rocking it. Yeah, he had a Yeah, he looks good in it a lot. But no more even one of those. And I was I was considering doing another run. But I was like, Nah, not gonna do cuz I don't like that principles. I look, we're done. We're done. It also keeps it interesting for me. And you know, mean, Ivan designer works me as well. He's actually a fashion designer. But it keeps things interesting for us as well, because we don't
want to just do the same stuff over again, we have to challenge ourselves every six months or every year to come out with new fresh designs. Yeah. So what has been the challenge thus far with the second with the next one, like you talked about? It's gonna be soon, but I would assume that there has been whatever delays, there have been delays. I mean, this is obviously we've been talking about this for a long time, our Instagram pages up. Yeah, we have a Facebook page. Check us out. By the way, we're on Instagram stop sign collection.
But yeah, we've been talking about for a while. So one of the one of the big challenges was
having my designs, having our designs
come out exactly the way we wanted it. So for me, like I said, this is personal for me, like, I'm gonna be wearing these clothes. So, like, things have to look a certain way. Okay? And they have to feel a certain way. When you screen print something on to a fabric, it's gonna feel different. It's gonna look different certain lights, as opposed to me like digital printing. Okay, so just that little detail, make sure that looks right. Look, make sure it looks the way I wanted it to look. Okay. And so we've been, we've have our to do that it is it? Definitely. I mean, this is even like me, in my mind in my designer as well, marine. for both of us. He's very passionate about it as
well. For me. It's it's the process of creating everything. That's the fun part. For me, everything else is like that's how I'm like, I need somebody else to handle like the business side of it. Because first of all, I don't have time for that. Yeah. Second of all, it's completely boring to me that I'm not interested in that. Like, I'm just like the process. Yeah, creating. There was a essentially because there was one of the guys that I really admire his he's this Evan mountain Chang, right, this guy created dress shoes. But the way he went about it is that he actually was, he got involved like barefoot running and powerlifting and all that. But he's an accountant. So when he
actually went back to, I think it took some time off, went back to work, got back in his dress shoes, like Yo, I can't do this anymore. Man, he tried slicing the heel off. And it just completely ruined a shoe is like you know what I need to get, I need my mom's shoe. Right. And he just for his own solving his own problem. And then even just him having gone through the renditions and just the design, but like from the outside, it looks like a genuine black cap toe dress shoe recently just came out with Octuplet color, black capital red shoe, but like, following his processes, the spacing between the stitching, yeah, the the way that the shine comes out, you know, after time through with
the patina, the just all of those details, details. It's not the details. Yeah. Yeah. And that's that's the other thing, right? Because we're doing a limited amount. And I'll just be honest with you, it's going to be a little pricey. And I understand that a COVID. Yeah. So and I understand that most people are not going to really, I don't know, maybe they won't appreciate those little details. But some people will. Yeah, that like the stitching. And this is not like the small subtle things that we did. It's for the people who will appreciate that. Yeah. So that's why you know, that's what it's for. It's for a limited market. One. So the question that comes to mind comes into my mind is
okay, you have a particular cut and things like that. So it's something that you're looking at yourself. So is it fair to say somebody with your body type would be the appropriate fit for it? So we're trying to be as versatile as possible. Okay, right. I can't guarantee this gonna fit everybody perfectly.
Because my challenge like yeah, just to be frank, right. Yeah, like, I can do t shirts and activewear easy, and I think that's how active was designed. Yeah, but if I go and get myself like a decent color shirt, Yeah, dude, I have to spend literally hour and a half at the shopping store trying every other different kind of shirt. And finally, when one fits, yeah, I it's hard for me to find another one just like it. Even when it does, man, I still have to tailor it like I have the same problem. So we did keep that in mind. And we're trying to be to design the clothes in a way that it will look good on a variety of different body shapes. So we're trying our best to cater to
as many people as possible, because I remember that like when I was working in the
Retail Association, etc. One of the things that from our own studies and research Okay, so one of the reason people return clothes is because of it. Yeah. And I mean, I've returned a lot of clothes. So that's like I said, it's about how you feel in it. Right? Like if you don't feel good in clothing. What's Yeah, yeah. Other than the fact that if you cover yourself,
you can do that with
anything, if it's just about covering, I mean, yeah, you can do pure functions, like
where the ROM I mean, that's, you know, that's very close to what the person would wear sometimes, you know, just two pieces of cloth. You know, just a one on the bottom, one of the top. Look, there you go. That's an app fulfills the requirement. Yeah, no, your nickname in Medina was I was, I believe, that came from I moved to Medina. You know, I two roommates. I was living in the dorms the first year. Yeah. And my roommates were like, what's your Konya? I'm like, I don't have a canoe. Like what do you mean? Like your other? What? I'm like nothing. I'm like, I'm not married. They're like, you're not being married? I'm like, I don't have kids. Yeah.
Like, you'd have to have kids to have a couldn't Yeah. I'm like, Well, I don't have a question yet. They're like, Can we give you a canoe? And I'm like, Sure. Go at it. Like let's see what you come up with. And literally, I think it was like the next day. They come up to me and they're like, your Herbalife. Okay, and I'm like, this my, I've just gone to Medina haven't studied a lot of Islam yet.
And I'm like, Okay, I guess like Why? And they're like, well, there's a famous email. He's name was a lace inside late the son of sad. And they're like, he's like famous familia, famous Hadith scholar of filth and Heidi. And so your son will be late have been sad. I was like, Alright, cool, whatever. So then, you know, I started using it. People call me up later, but like, I never thought much of it until I started studying, we start studying filk. Okay, and law and jurisprudence. And then I remember clearly sitting in class, we would take the opinions of the four Imams, and very often we would also take the opinion of Imam layth. Right, we would say, if I said this mathematics at this,
this was there, and then email me later, this one did we like what was his time period? He was early on, he was early on to the point where if like, what if? If If today, I believe is he was, I believe, I believe he's contemporary, if I'm not mistaken. Don't quote me on this. I'm horrible with dates. Okay. I believe he's around the time of him. I'm mad if I'm not mistaken.
I don't recall, I want to say Egypt area. Okay. For some reason that's ringing a bell. But a lot. I don't recall exactly.
The thing is, why isn't Why is it in?
lace? as popular? Okay, so that was my question. Yeah. Right. I'm like, wait, why? First of all, why are we taking his opinion? Okay, in these matters, like, Who is he? And second of all, like, why isn't there? You know, if we're mentioning him alongside mm
hmm, and so on? Why isn't there a theme with him? So, you know, I found out later that if his works were preserved.
Till today, then we would actually, it's very possible that we could have a fifth method, which is the lazy method. Okay. But it's simply
there's different reasons why must have because the proliferation of either the adoption of it can be adopted, exactly adopted by the state, the students preserve it and so on just many different reasons. So for whatever reason, right, it seems that not enough of his opinions were preserved to codify it into a model. Okay. But there's, there's quite a bit of his of his opinions that are that are available now. How like, because from what I've understood, I only learned about the lazy when, after talking to you, right? And then, but in my mind, if there was a fifth method will be the lighting method. Right. So the question that comes up is what's the difference between the two of
them not in terms of because I know bodies are very literalist. And so some people would consider the lottery might have another Okay, I considered him with him. Okay. Right. Um, and it was only revived because of it, but hasn't, which is much later. But I guess so. So just so in Medina, we would take the opinion of the four Imams, yeah, we would take, and I'm late sometimes, and sometimes we would even take the lottery opinion. Okay. So when you study comparative filk, depending on where you stay, but you take the opinion as well, okay. Yeah. So it just depends on who's doing the teaching. Exactly. Exactly. And, you know, comparative,
not to get a bit not to get technical, whatever. But comparative is something that is considered is supposed to be an advanced subject. Okay. Like no way was going to know the fifth compare. Exactly. You need to understand the filter compare. Yeah. And the problem is sometimes people jump to compare to fell before they even know what the rules are. Exactly. So before they even understand the issues. Yeah. So that's why classically, the way it was done was you would study a method.
You would start with the basics of the method, you would actually start with just the opinion, the main opinion, you wouldn't even take evidences and all that kind of stuff. And then the quantified cost
So this is how to, this is how you do this and this way, just the rules and whatever. And then the next step would be something like, okay, here's one evidence, okay? Right. And then you add more evidences to it. And then you you know, for example, the handling with hope you take pilaf difference opinion inside them at home, because sometimes there's differences inside the method. And then you go through all that process, and now you've become like a, you know, a master or you're good at your method, you understand your method, you understand the issues. Yeah. Once you've done that, then you move on to comparative. Okay, right. So is that is that process that should the
person technically should go through it? That's more like a master's degree plus, right, exactly. I mean, just like you study anything else, you don't start with the advanced topics, right? You start with the base, you start with defining the terms, right, understanding the issues, where what point did you like, really decide like, yeah, you know what, I'm actually going to name my son late. Ah, you know, I, when I started to kind of learn more about human life, and one of my kids name would come up quite often.
It was around that time that I was like, yeah, you know, it's cool. I like it. And then you know, linguistic like what it means is like a lion or like a, like a carbon copy.
Version versions, or different words they have for a lion. nilang in Arabic. Yeah, it's interesting. But why is that? Um, lions are lions because Tiger because it it's all in the family, right? There's there's cats and lions and tigers, and cheetahs and all that kind of stuff. So there's lots there's lots of names. Yeah, man. Interesting. So it's not it. But is this specifically a lion cub? Or is this just a cub? Cat family? No, no, it's a it's a lion cub. Okay. It's not a cat and it's not
like it's a Persian
wife now is like maybe we shouldn't have named him that because he's like, you know, he's just getting closer to you know, terrible twos or whatever. Yeah. All over the place. He's like, it's not his name coming to light and
I wonder how often do children really embody the characteristic of the name that they're given Arabs back in the day would really believe that okay, right. They would really believe that if I named my sons and they will you know, my dad, they will really embody that name. For example, it's a name that I wish I heard when I was studying in Medina i thought was weird. Yeah, the name is what Arab whatever comes from that which is like, tire to be tired. What is the one who makes others makes other people tired? Right? So if you're like annoyed with someone, or even your child, right, you're like intermittent like you're just you're tiring me like, you tiring me out. so exhausting, so
exhausting, right? And I'm like, why would you name your son? Yeah. But in the context of like, tribalism and war Exactly. So they would say who I'm with they're ugly. I do and he's he's tired. He will tire out our enemies. Okay, right you know, tribal warfare and all that kind of stuff. So they would or or slab so it means like difficult okay, right like why would you name your son difficult right but it's like a difficult for the people who will go against what would you name is on how exactly the tribe that how to be tribe? Right? The front of these office today. It's amazing to her a hobby like herb.
And that's the other thing you know, the crazy thing about the name layth. daisies, right. have a hard time with with the name because there's the sun in it, right? Yeah. So there's no thought in order to do there's, there's a there's a thought but it's pronounced.
Okay, yeah, for right, like loose? Well, no, no, like earthman is not a smile. Yeah.
So people are confused. They're like, they're like laser laser.
Like laser laser laser. So it's strange to me. But, um, in the American culture, Americans are like, they speak English fine. It's perfect. His first doctor's appointment. The nurse comes out. And she's like, late to sleep. And I'm like, What? Like, perfect pronunciation? Yeah, I didn't even realize that until like after a nameless enunciation of very prevalent Yeah, that maybe that's what the people need to keep in mind is like if your name your kid in an American context, may want to keep in mind that how that's gonna sound Yeah, I mean, look, me personally. I mean, I'm in two minds about this issue. On one hand, I think we need to preserve our culture. Yeah, we need to preserve
the Arab Arab names. Arabic names, or Persian names or whatever. There's so many cool like for example, like there's a one I think a great name for a daughter is Lana kale. Okay, it means boundless haven't in Hawaiian. Okay. And in fact his name that they gave to the our galaxy supercluster, when they measured all the stars, but it's an amazing Okay, so, yeah, for a name like that. I would just be like, you need to make sure there's no like religious connotation, okay, right, because we can't use names that have religious meanings. You know, not it's not understood. But in general Yeah, you can name as long as the name is. It has a doesn't have a negative meaning.
It does not related to like someone else's a different religion, then yeah, you can like you can name your son john.
Peter Yeah, whatever. Yeah, no, my point is like, it doesn't matter. But
like I said, Dawn like, might as well go. Yeah. But that's the thing, right? Like, people gonna have people. Right? You're gonna have a hard time with that. Well, john. So my problem is people who are actually called yahia. who call themselves Yeah. I mean, sometimes look, a kid goes to school, like they grow up with a name. Yeah. And like, they hear that name in elementary and then middle and then I always call me is like a cameo or whatever, it's fine. Right? But like, it's, I'm in two minds about this one, one. So part of me is like, No, you know, we should keep naming those names. People will learn like we've we've learned the name Jose. Right, we get it. Right. What else could have
been? My point they could have whatever they could have been a name that is more common to like, why people are saying, Joe, right, whatever. Okay. So we know that name now. So if we hold on to that part of our culture, maybe, you know, the next generation, they're like, yo, Abdullah, yeah, Abdullah is a common name and your life has instructor and first question that comes to mind is, what are some things that you've learned?
What are some epiphanies that I've had? or? Yeah, sure. No, honestly, I've learned a lot. Now I'd say, I've actually, I don't wanna say changed a lot. But I, your approach might have changed. Yeah, I just remember the from the first time I met you, just the kind of content that we're trying to record. It's like do so I'm giving a lecture. We're doing a social media video is two minutes long. Come on, Lady relax. So one of the big things I would say is exactly that. I've learned the difference between what I call the ideal and what's real. Okay, right. I'm wrong for you. Some people are idealists, right? I think there's a place for that, like, this is the ideal version of a
Muslim, right? And then there's people who are realists like this in, in the real world. This is what a Muslim interact with people. Yeah. And this is what this is what a religious or practicing Muslim looks like. Yeah. And
to take the approach for me of, yes, we talk about the ideal, but we don't smash people on the head, who are not exactly upon the ideal all the time, right. I mean, somebody might say the ideal and, like, for example, I'm just thinking like in salon, right, you want to pray your father the player Sunday and fighting.
But it's very, very difficult to do that. Yeah. Realistically speaking. Yeah. Right. But I mean, I would assume is kind of similar in this regard. Beyond work. Yeah. It's, it's a it's almost every aspect of of Islam. And and just the, one of the things that is really like, come to the forefront for me is the fact that I often talk about this, like categorizing people. I hate it now. Like, I can't stand it, you know, even like, good Muslim. Yeah. That Muslim, practicing Muslim, non practicing Muslim. Yeah, whatever. I think that's so limiting. And it actually hurts us, because we are defining what we do for ourselves is terrible. Like, put ourselves in this category. We've
limited our own capacity and potential just by doing that. Yeah. And when we do it to others, we don't
believe in their potential. Yeah. So I'm like, for me now, we're all on this scale, right? We're on you know, this gradient. We're all trying to move towards becoming a good Muslim. We're all on that path somewhere. Some people are that hears mu, there's, we're further along. But we're all like we have the same goal. Yeah. I mean, that that kind of changes your approach when you're giving data when you're teaching people. I learned to have high expectations, okay, from people have people surprised you? People have surprised me, people have surprised me. And not it's not always like what they do. It's their desire to be better. Okay. Right. So it's very, very easy to take a negative
approach towards people and in their mind, they're practicing Islam, like, oh, nobody prays five times a day. And you know, all these Muslims are doing this, and they're doing that and nobody practices is normal. That's one way to approach it. Yeah. Right. And you can get really bogged down and get become really negative and just critical of everyone and everything. Yeah. And that's like, that's the dark path. Like, I see that I've seen people have gone down that path, and that's they're down there. That was just, everyone's going to hell. Everyone's a horrible Muslim. Every person is a deviant. Everyone is just a horrible, everyone's wrong. And it's not like that's if that's your
message. You're not going to inspire a whole lot of people. You know, it's interesting. One of the companies I worked at when I was the first job I had when I was in DC, it was a local nonprofit geared towards educated middle school students, right? One of the things that they would always drill not only to the staff and employees and their volunteers, but as well as the students themselves. So if we here have a culture of high expectations, I don't care what society has told you because we're dealing with chil kids and urban and at risk communities, right? They're probably totally you're no good. You're not gonna amount to anything kind of stuff. Like look, forget all
that. We have a culture of high expectations here. We expect you to show up we expect you to put in the hard work, we expect you to succeed right?
You can see these gets transformed. Yeah. Not only expect but like, believe in people. Yeah. Right. Like, I'm always like, there's a difference between trying to guilt people into becoming better Muslim, and inspiring people to become better. What I mean by guilt versus inspire. Like, for example
guilting someone is you're bad, you're bad. You're horrible this and that. You're telling Muslim, you're going to hell, like that's, that's a good thing. That's just like, Brady. That's like, Yeah, exactly. That's what it is. Okay. Right. As opposed to Hey, listen, you have a lot of potential. Yeah. Right. And there's goodness in you regretted some things that could that can improve. But like, Look, we're not focusing on that. Let's, let's focus on what you can do. Good. Exactly. I believe in people's potential for good. And that has changed the way I talk to people the way the way I give power
and positivity for me. And once again, it sounds cliche, but positivity works. And it I think it's far more helpful. You can make far more progress with that, then, you know, they just like, Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I mean, that doesn't, that doesn't work. Maybe in the previous generation, right? You could be like, they could force their kids to pray. They could force their kids to fast and force, the culture and the environment they grew up in is vastly different from what we are now Exactly. In here. People have choices. Yeah, right. And you look back in the day, you know, people around you you live in a certain culture, certain environment, everyone was like, Come doing the
same thing. Now you're living in a very diverse environment, different ideas, different ways of life different. You're just you're bombarded with so much. Yeah. So guilting, condemning people criticizing people is not effective, no matter. I know, some people believe like, that's their life. Right. That's how that's how they give our fair enough. But I think in the long run, did you feel that that you were kind of doing that initially, I wasn't, I wouldn't say that. I was doing that initially. Okay. But I saw a lot of that. Okay. Right. So when I came back, so you just made a conscious decision, I'm not going to do so one of the things that handled like, I got some really
good advice when I came back. And that was to take things slow. Okay. All right. So I started teaching for the market, I picked certain topics, and I kind of ease my way in, okay, because for me, it was like, I had lost touch. Like, I don't I don't want to have I lost touch in America when I'm studying in Medina. But you were out of your out of it for like seven years, right? Yeah. Like I would come home in the summertime and stuff. So but it's still not the same as being like living there. Yeah, throughout the year, seeing the problems that people are going through. So I made a conscious decision to ease my way in, okay. And I've always one of the things that I've always held
on to from the very beginning is to be extremely cautious and careful before giving your opinion on a matter. Okay. Right.
Get all the information, take your time. No one's gonna blame you for saying, I don't know. Yeah, right. Or go ask somebody else. But they will come down on you if you were wrong. Exactly. Yeah. Right. So I, there's a lot of things that I didn't speak about in the beginning, it was like, you know, let me just get the lay of the land and all that. And, you know, I slowly moved my way into being a little bit more upfront about certain things, talking about certain things. And I'm really glad I did that. I'm grateful for now, like, four years later, I kind of knew this, but it became even more real for me, there's a personal thing. But people don't realize is the superstar chef
superstar day, whatever celebrity chef, that life is exhausting. It's really tiring, man is exhausting. For most of the time, no, and not even that. Not even that it is. It's very glamorous from the outside. Like when you look in upon it, right? Sometimes I look at my look at what people see from my life, right? If you go to my Instagram page, you see all these like pictures of places that I go to look my Snapchat, right? I only snap when I'm traveling. And it's nice, because it might be relevant. Exactly. So you can it's very easy to look at that be like, Oh, man, that's how he's doing. That's like, I wish I could get on all these people. All these people listen to you,
this is not whatever. That's not the reality. This is it's a it's a very, very tiring life to the point. Like, I'm multiple times I've, you know, I mean, I'm just looking at it from like, the reality of how you're on stage maybe in the weekend, right? Maybe what 10 hours in? I mean, it depends on the amount of seminar. Yeah, so 10 hours in terms of the in that in relation to a day might be in less than a day, right? Yeah. But you're gone from like, Thursday to like, Monday. I mean, like, I'll give you I'll give you a recovery, dude. Okay, I'll give you a behind the scenes. Right. Okay, so
I always do that. I told him I said, this is way too close to me. I'm gonna I'm gonna knock it over. Hello.
So, behind the scenes, right, let's say I'm teaching within the US which I don't want to teach within the US within the US most cases I leave Thursday at some point. Okay, right. So Thursday's gone. Yeah. Get there Thursday night, depending how far it is. Whatever. Next day, give them
Mr. hotbar Yeah. And then a couple hours later, there's the opening night. And then there's Saturday, Sunday teach. And then Monday morning, I fly back. Monday is gone. So now we're looking at Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. I'm left with a five day workweek. I'm left with Tuesday, Wednesday. Yeah. But he's day to day. But Tuesday, I'm like, exhausted, man. Yeah. Like, I'm just like, I'm recovering from standing for like, whatever. 20 hours or something. And the travel and all that kind of stuff, let alone if I can travel overseas, sometimes I'll leave on a Wednesday. Yeah, yeah. Malaysia. Before I religious another story. This is like, there's nothing
left of your week. But
I mean, I can go on and on. Like, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. No, but there's
your the time that you spend in travel and for work, it's similar to it's just the days have shifted right for somebody working nine to five has an hour commute each way like they get home, they do really have more than no more than maybe an hour for themselves each day. And then finally they spend Saturday recovering Friday night parties already recovering Sunday, dreading that they get to go back to work on Monday is a similar scenario, except that your weekend is Tuesday, Wednesday. Yeah, but no, you doing good work. hamdulillah. And I'm very glad for the option that has given me a nice close up except the work that I'm doing. Yeah. Like I said, though, it's it's, it's a complete,
like, when you're in it, when you're in the thick of it. It's it's very there are days where I just dread. just leaving, like specially after my son, my son was born. Um, I've you know, don't tell anybody I told you this. I've had multiple times consider just like retiring, okay, he's like, what you just, it's been four years, like, you can't really like what are you talking about? Like who I can? I'm like, man, I don't know, man. It's just it's not i'm not cool with spending a lot of time away from my son. I don't like I don't want to fall into that typical. Maybe not so typical. But you know, perception people have of a day of is what a scholar, teacher whatever, who gives their out to
the whole world teaches the whole world what has worked for them, and their family gets nothing. Yeah. I don't want to do that to my son. I don't you know, I don't want to do that to my family. So this last year and a half, two years has been kind of a balancing act. I've actually cut down on a lot of my travel, I accept a lot less invitations. Now. I'm not going to classes have have cut down because I'm trying to find that balance. And it's not it's not easy. No doubt.
What have you noticed about the different communities like well, maybe you maybe take it generally first and then kind of zero in but like, I would assume that if like in the US is pretty big country? Right? You'll find differences in culture throughout Canada's different country. UK is a different country. Yes. You've been to Australia for a class I have. So that's another country got Malaysia. So like, kind of like point out some of the things that you've noticed? Well, the first thing that I notice is contrary to that kind of what you're saying. There's a lot of similarities. Okay, like, sitting like teaching in Chicago, and then like, flying across the world? Yeah. Teaching
in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
It's, there are a lot of similarities. Like I don't change a lot of the way I talk or the things that I say because a lot of references then there you go. A lot of references that I would make. In America, people in Malaysia are going to get them really right in Australia in the UK. And you know what, when I first started traveling overseas, I would find myself like pausing like you guys get that joke. Like, you get that and I was like, yeah, we get it. I suppose in the UK. They're like, Okay, listen, we understand, like, we speak English. It's like, no, it's like something like that the terms that we use here, whatever. I'd be like, Oh, this is a different. No, but they've heard it
because of TV, and the internet and movies and all that kind of stuff. You know, sometimes you're like Americans, because they'll say something like, oh, man that pissed me off. Right? British people consider that cussing. Yeah, I don't use that word. Oh. So my rule is anything that is considered profanity or cursing in the States or in the UK. I stay away from both okay? Just because it's hard to switch your like for me to like on like to be like, Okay, I gotta turn these words off. And so I'm going to the UK or like, I'm back in the States, right. So my rule is like anything that would be considered.
Keep it g all the way. Yeah.
That was that was a hard lesson for me. The word pants alright. For us. their pants are pants. So they underpants them? It's like underwear. Yeah. So I was in class one day in the UK. First time, I think like purchase like 19 in the UK. I was talking about was giving some example. And I was talking about you know,
some people talk about you know, guys wearing pants and something like that. Yeah. And then I was like, as y'all conclude, I'm like, turn to the audience. I'm like, as y'all can clearly see. I'm wearing pants. And the room.
room was out laughing and I'm standing there like, like, I'm just confused. I'm like, I'm looking behind me. I'm like, I'm just something happened. Like, whatever. And then like in their laughter like it was like a mirror of the puppy and he gets I was like *, you know, over here. I'm like, oh,
What are you gonna do you know? What are your top three favorite things across the world? across the world? Like your travels that from each of these different communities? Okay, so I'll point out I'll give a shout out to Malaysia. Malaysia in general man, they're just like really chill, warm, welcoming. I intial is like, doesn't even come finish describing how they back. It's just a it's just a it's just a welcoming environment, right? You come to this kind of states, there's a lot of baggage that is attached to this though. Okay. Right in terms of you say the word Muslim or Islam or people associate Yeah, that or you know, they they will try to put you in a category they like, you
know, there's a lot associated with it. You go to Muslim countries. Islam is very politicized. Sometimes Islam is used for political gain for this agenda, that agenda and you know, there's much you know, practicing a practicing Muslim. You say, you come off as a practicing Muslim people make like, 20 judgments about you. Okay, Malaysia, I'm sure it's there, but I didn't see it. Okay. Are you part of the culture, you can be a good Muslim and just be chill and everyone's cool. And it's like, Alright, that's fine. Okay. No one thinks No, think you're tired.
No one's like, oh, you're what have you, you know, things. You're, you're this or that, like a Sufi. I'm sure it's there. Okay, it's everywhere. But it's not prevalent. It's not prevalent and like, I just it just that relaxed environment is so refreshing for me. I remember I noticed that last year when I went it was just like, Yo, I feel like I'm here in the USA, but okay, everybody's south east pacific looking. But it's just everybody's Muslim. And they're just so like, cool. Yeah. And, you know, one of the things that I that I saw in Malaysia is you know, it's the Muslim countries, non Muslims are majority Muslim, I believe. You can someone who doesn't practice Islam, like they don't
consider themselves a practicing Muslim. What how are you going to define that? But, and they see somebody who's religious, they may not be religious themselves, but they'll look at a religious person and be like, I respect that. Yeah, like more power to you. Which is they see it as admirable. Yeah, it's like, okay, you know, I'm glad you're able to do that, you know, one day insha Allah. Yeah. Which is refreshing. You need to go to some other places. Like I don't want to call out particular parts of the world you can excuse me.
But sometimes you are really judgmental man. Like you know, they want to they want they want to figure you out. Where are you from? What are your What do you What's your stance on this? What are you doing? Are you this type of summary that's how to get the feeling that you I've never been to the UK, but except you know, in airport when traveling, but I get the impression that UK is also kind of like very split between North and South.
That's one of the people that I've met geographically, you will like this culture of like somebody from London versus somebody from like Scotland. I I wouldn't be able to say it wasn't that prevalent. I really saw a big big difference culturally. Yeah, the fact that somebody from the from London is harder to understand them than somebody from like were from like Scotland. Or maybe because I just like this. I have for me, it's the opposite. When I taught in Scotland
I sometimes I literally have to have somebody like translate for me. What about within the US like any favorite spots favorite spots? Shout outs like i don't i don't really give shout out to man because I feel like when you give a shout out you're leaving out okay, don't give a shout out. Just be like I kind of like this is what I like about this particular community that really stood out. Okay, um, which is a shout out but Okay, well we're we're redefining redefining
give me a shout out in Minnesota. Okay. The Somali community is awesome. Okay. always hear that Minnesota always like Minnesota, Minnesota Minnesota. There's I don't know, man, very welcoming.
A lot of people show up to the class and they're like, excited about setting a snap, which is great. And other places like that a Seattle as well. Okay, which also has a big somebody's community. Okay, coincidence? I don't know.
But it's an It's nice. It's it's nice going there. I just just how excited people are about learning Islam, which is you don't find that often anymore. And some of the smaller cities surprise me have surprised me. When it comes to the volunteers like volunteers across the board. Like I've so much respect for volunteers, something that did not anticipate if when I joined up, I never thought that I would feel so dearly towards volunteers. Yeah. I'm like, yeah, I'm sure I'd appreciate that. But like, the amount of work that you haven't, you have no idea that people have no idea and this like, I've so much love for the volunteers because, and I don't even see everything that they do. Yeah,
just what I see. I'm like, man, they sacrifice so much. And I never I never anticipated I'm gonna feel that way. But just, I can literally, as a person literally go to any city in the world that has an unmarked babila and talk to the volunteers and be like, feel great. Like these people are, I know what they're about. I know their heart. They've they're sacrificing a lot and it's just I have this immediate love towards them. So that's something you know, talk about bleeding. Perfect.
being on motorbikes or whatever you want to call it that, for me is a integral part of being associated with moto. Okay. I think that's one of the things that has been very encouraging for me to, you know, stay committed to mclubbe is looking at the volunteers and looking at how much work they put into it. How can I let them down always in cultures, there's two facets to it, right, you've got the aesthetics, the aesthetics being like your food, you eat, the clothing, you wear, the language you speak,
people you're around at the same time, there's a deeper aspect to the culture, which is, which has to do with the very values that you hold, and how that overlays with the way you do things. Right. So let's take for example, the value of cleanliness. Okay. So, in Eastern cultures, cleanliness is demonstrated through taking your shoes off when you enter into somebody's home. Yeah, right. But in the West cleanliness, which is also a value here, but as demonstrated through having some hand sanitizer, look, you know, mounted on every other wall. So even washing your hands. It's just the culture now is how that value has been applied locally, but, but I'm just wondering
how that applies within the Islamic context. Like because there's a lot of different values, right. It's actually extremely people overcomplicate the issue of culture. And I know why. Because like, there's a lot of bad that comes from culture. And a lot of there's a lot of bad that gets attributed to Islam because of culture. Okay, right. So I get when people are very anti culture, but islamically It's very simple. Take the good, leave the bad. Okay, it's as simple as that cleanliness. If there's hand sanitizer as a Muslim, like, that's good. Yeah. Right. It goes along with the principles and the morals and ideals, the values of Islam. So I would, I would welcome
that. Yeah. I mean, so it's, that's what and if there's something in the culture, which is bad, we would leave it okay. Right. So it's not all bad. It's not all good. It's in the middle, just so much good and so much bad. Like, how do you navigate so that's so that's where that's where it's important to understand your Islamic morals, okay. And your principles that look, there are certain things for example, that's that will leave open, leave it open to your culture, as long as it doesn't go against the principles of a snap. Okay. And there's a lot of that, like, give me example.
Like the way you dress, okay, right. We have certain principles, certain guidelines, certain conditions that need to be met. Yeah, once those are met, the rest is up to you. Right? It cannot, you can't exposure you're out off for example.
You have to cannot be cannot have any vulgar messages and things like that.
Once those conditions are met, the rest is defined by your culture. Okay, like Islam didn't come to say you have to wear soap. soap, right? Let's say show me okay. But
it doesn't always some said it sounds that you're, you know, it has to be modest. Right and modest, has
different aspects to it. But I guess another question. modesty is one thing in one country's culture, another thing another culture.
But there's an Islamic definition of modesty. Okay. There you have. And I think we'll close with this, if you could teach, if you had the choice of teaching whatever you want.
And you could take your pick and dislike, I would love to teach this. What would that this be?
That's that's a really difficult one. Because, you know, I almost do have that. What am I gonna handle? Ah,
there's a lot that I love about Mahara 100 a lot and then pay me to say this, by the way, I'm not getting paid. Right now. LEED purple. It's true. But like one of the things that I've always
one of the things I've always loved about Muslim is the amount of freedom that they give me now in terms of choosing topics and choosing what I want to teach. And not only that, my the way I want to teach it. And I think that's the freedom that they allow their instructors to have in terms of you go to a seminar, one seminar to another seminar, if it's a different instructor, you can have a very different experience, depending on the style. And I mean, the only thing that's really consistent is the structure in terms of timings and yeah, lunches like that. But actual teaching style, what's in the class? how its taught. Yeah, exactly. So and I love that about them. So they have given me the
freedom to do that. And that's why I think this this topic of culture, and how do we balance? You know, where in America, we're Americans, how do we balance that culture with Islam what Islam has to say, and that's why I think that needed to be tackled. So thanks for joining us. Thank you for having me. stare into the hands away.
Fair enough, guys. This episode is only as good as the feedback you guys give and the people that we have on the show what we can ask them. Thank you for joining. Thanks for having me. And I'll see you soon in sha Allah. Oh, Mike said I would have to love