Channel: Saad Tasleem
Sheikh Saad speaks about what inspired him to teach about the fiqh of fashion.
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So, why this seminar? Let me tell you a quick story. And actually, there's there's a few different versions of the story because it's happened to me like multiple times, in different ways. But just one of the incidents, I was at a conference. It's a fairly large conference tons and tons of people. And I was walking towards the lecture hall where my talk was, and I was a little bit late, a couple minutes late, I was like, rushing to get there. And there's a few people around me trying to get into the talk as well. And
this guy, you know, he's walking right next to me, I give him set arms. Do you realize my setup? I'm like, just for fun. I was like, Hey, who's giving the talk right now? And he goes, uh, you know, shakes out this name, some guy called sight, this name? And I'm like, Oh, interesting. Cool. I'm like, Do you know anything about him? Like, he does? I don't know much about him. But you know, I heard he's a good speaker, whatever. And then I said to him, I said, I'm, I'm pretty is not that good of a speaker. Like, he's way overrated. And the guy's like, Oh, really? I was like, that's what I've heard, you know, but we'll see. He's like, yeah, let's, you know, let's, let's check it out and
see how the talks gonna be. And we went into the room, there's like a big hall. And one of the volunteers grabbed me, and like, escorted me to the to the front end onto the stage, and this brother won his own way. And right there, I was thinking to myself, I was like, I wonder what he's thinking. Cuz I know that there's no way he imagined that I would be giving that talk. And I get that a lot. And for me, like, I take pride in that, like, that makes me so happy that a lot of young people, when they look at me,
I, I go completely against their perception of what a quote unquote, [???] or t shirt or whatever should look like. And I get that comfort level with these people. And this guy was totally open and honest to me, because he's like, just one of the guys is someone going to attend the talk. And I think that's, that's great. And I've tried to live that life. And that is to be true to who I am. I've had a lot of pressure over the years now.
Because of what I do to fit a certain mold, and more specifically to look a certain way. I mean, if I were to say to you, what is it? What does this shift look like? What is an Islamic scholar look like? What does it preacher look like? A certain image is gonna come to your mind. And I'm, and for most people, that image is not me.
And I think that's great. And for me, it's it's about being comfortable with with who I am. And that's why I think this seminar is important. And that's my message, the message really is to be comfortable in who you are not letting other people put you into this nice little box to define exactly who you are, yes, we have these broad definitions that we fit into, right? We're Muslim, first and foremost, of course, and we're American, and so on, and so forth. But there's also a lot more to us, our identity is far more nuanced than that. There are things that are special about you, who make you who you are. And that is what makes you special. And so this seminar, it's, it's about
being comfortable in your own skin. And that's the only way to actually truly be comfortable. Because you can try and pretend to be someone else. But sooner or later is going to catch up with you. And in my field.
I know that to be true, I could I could try and fit a certain mold of what a quote unquote ship is supposed to look like. But I know sooner or later, I won't be able to live up to that I am who I am, I wear these clothes, because this is what I wear my everyday life. I don't put on a different outfit to go give a talk, or put on a different outfit. When I'm teaching a class. These are the clothes that I would normally wear. Yeah, I'm a little bit more dressed up because of the occasion. But this is this is who I am. And I think that speaks to a lot of people. And I want people to be able to come to the seminar. And to find that comfort in their identity. Yes, Islam gives us
guidelines. It's not gives us certain rules. But Islam doesn't define you in the sense of you have to look this exact way. There are spirit, there are guidelines that are there for our spirituality and to bring us closer to last Python and we want to, we want to be within those guidelines. But there's so much that is open to us. There's so much that we draw from, there's so much that we take from from our culture of where we grew up, or where we live in, and all that and that's, that's the message here for this class. So in this class, there's two main sections. Number one, we need to tackle the issue of culture and identity.
Who are we? What makes up our our identity? And how do we find how do we put together our identity as as Muslims and then as Americans or you know, wherever you're from, how do we balance that and what can we take
From from the culture that we live in, and what Can't we take, and understanding those principles, and understanding the general guidelines of the city, the general guidelines of Islam. And the second part, the second main part is taking a practical real life look at issues of clothing and fashion.
Things like, you know, what are you? What are our guidelines for what we wear?
some very specific issues like haircuts and hairstyles, body piercings or piercings, tattoos,
different images of like, what can we have on our clothing? For example, are you allowed to wear a T shirt that has a skull on it? These are the types of things that we're going to discuss because, hey, I get that a lot, you know,
what these these types of specific real life issues are what we're going to talk about in this class inshallah. So I think a lot of people, a lot of Muslims live, that kind of live their life in this gray area. Right, there are things that are part of our culture and things that we do, the way we dress, and, and all of that, and we're always unsure. There's people who are constantly telling us like this is how long, you're not allowed to do this. And there's other people saying, no, it's actually okay. And, and so people live in this gray area, this unsure area, and that's actually that's a difficult way to live a life and live your life, where you're always unsure of what you're
doing. Is it okay or not? Are you spiritually missing out? Is this affecting your spirituality, are you not a good Muslim, because of what you're wearing, and how you dress and how you present yourself. So,
this course will seek to iron out all of those wrinkles, and to give you firm footing, in your identity and who you are. So, when you put on an outfit, or you dress a certain way, or you do your hair in a certain way, or you accessorize yourself in a certain way, whatever you do, whatever makes you who you are, you have a clear picture of, you know, this is something which is a sonically acceptable, and I have studied the effects of it. And I know that what I'm doing inshallah, tada is head on. And also, for us to aim towards the ideal, the ideal of how a Muslim should be, and how our clothing and how what we wear can actually affect our spirituality. So that is what this that is,
that is what this class will serve to do. Jell O. This is just like what I'm wearing right now. It's like this, what I wear my everyday life. You know, one of the one of the best pieces of advice that I got from one of my teachers, before I left Medina, I asked him for advice, like, like I did with a lot of my, my teachers and shifts. And he said to me, he said, Be an open book.
And my first reaction was like, What do you think, and he didn't explain it. But it's only after coming back and, and, and, and teaching and being in the public spotlight, I really understood what he meant. And what that meant to me was, Be true to who you are. Like, if you pretend to be someone else, if you try to be someone that you're not, eventually it's going to catch up with you and you won't be able not only will you not be able to live with yourself, but people will see through the fakeness and they won't buy what you're selling. And I think it's important for people to take you seriously it's important for them to trust you and know you're a genuine person, you're not trying
to be someone else. And that's how I live my life. This seminar is not is not me preaching. It's not me just teaching. This is my life. This is how I live my life. And this seminar is an extension of who I am. And if you ask me like why I picked this seminar, that's the reason I always tell my students that if I teach a subject, I have to be passionate about it. And it has to mean something to me,
for me to teach it. And so that's why this is this is this is one subject that you know, I thought a lot about what should I teach next, and this was the natural conclusion. This was is the it came organically to me
to teach the this topic in this subject