Channel: Saad Tasleem
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. He replies 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 lame 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, Oh, 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.