Channel: Saad Tasleem
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My dear brothers and sisters, I'm sure many of you or some of you heard about the passing of a brother of ours, approximately three weeks ago or so.
His name was Hemant Mehta. [???]ting Jana and I know if I were to ask you to raise your hands right now and say to me tell me how many people know who will hammer this Sharif was? I'm sure it wouldn't be a lot of people. I'm sure there will be a few of you oh geez here who would know who should remember the city and you will know data was
but I want to spend a few minutes today inshallah which Allah talking about him because of the person that he was and what he did before he passed away. Muhammad Sharif, Allah Hamill was the founder of a Ludwig Institute and McGraw Institute is the institute that I teach work that I've been teaching for, for almost a decade. Now. This was an institute that was established in the early 2000s, specifically around 2000 to 2003. This was an institute, which the vision of it was how can we make Islam approachable, and make it relevant for the people in the West, specifically, the next generation. So back in the early 2000s, if people wanted to learn Islam, we talked about Islamic
Studies, there are really only a couple of options.
Either you travel overseas and you go find an Islamic University and you go study over there. Or maybe perhaps you can get a little bit of knowledge at your weekend ahead of us in the masjid, and the weekend ahead of us in the masjid. Generally, when a HELOC just starts in the budget. It has a nice big attendance. And then as the weeks go on, they tended to windows into Windows and Windows, until there's about two or three dedicated brothers and sisters who continue in that HELOC. Jim hammer the shape of a hovel, he said we need to revolutionize Islamic studies, we need to teach it in a way that is relevant and recognizable to a western audience. So Western audience wouldn't want
to learn something on a high level. At an academic level, we go sit in a university setting. And we take notes and we have a PowerPoint and so on and so forth. And I know today when we think of Islamic studies, we know that this happens. But I want to tell you back in the early 2000s, when it comes to teaching is snapped in that matter, it was unheard of. No one was teaching Islam in that way. And should have been a Sharif establish and modem Institute with that vision. And today, two decades later, we find that 1000s upon 1000s of people that would have attended another of seminars, and a McGraw has inspired dozens, if not hundreds, dare I say of other Institute's that said, You
know what this model of teaching Islam works, because people feel like they can actually relate to what is being said, dare I say even today on the member at the front of a message when a man gets up and speak when a man thinks about Hey, am I just gonna get up here and say stuff and go home? Or am I going to try and reach the hearts of the people? Am I going to make sure that what I'm saying is irrelevant to the person who is sitting in front of me listening or not. That concept I know is something we take for granted today. And if we find someone who doesn't seem relevant or is speaking about something that doesn't apply to us, we say you know, maybe that wasn't a great hook. But if we
feel like it applies to me, and it affects my life, and it's it's something personal to me, we say 100 in that there was a good one. But this concept, which is something that I personally tried to do, I'm other than scissors, make sure that what I'm speaking about is relevant to the people who are listening. This concept, dare I say is something that was the vision of another institute. So when should have they should have passed away a few weeks ago. It was a shock to me personally in a shock to many people who had witnessed that error. And I know that there are people today who don't even understand the impact that another institute had and continues to have on their lives. And for
me shouldn't have this Sharif was one of the people one of the main people who inspire me to finish college here to graduate from college and then travel across the world to go to the University of Medina in the middle of the desert and I've never lived in a place like that before to leave Mike the comfort of my Western life to leave my home and to travel 1000s of miles away to go live in the middle of the desert and study.
And I personally owe that obviously by the will of a loved one a job and after I lost my dad I owe that to Sheikh Hamad Sheikh Mohammed Al Sharif was an inspiration for me not only that, while I was studying in Medina, he
was one of those people who continued to mentor me. Because there were times in Medina where I'm just gonna be real and honest with you. Times got so tough that I wanted to give up. I would think to myself, I have a nice comfortable life at home, you know, in Maryland recovery County, I have a very comfortable life. And I finished college I felt like I can go home get a job live a comfortable life. Why? Why am I out here in the middle of the desert, putting up with these difficulties, but it was the counseling and the mentorship of shouldn't have initiative that inspired me to continue even though times were difficult. And then when I graduated from the University of Medina, I could have
come back. And I could have gotten lost in the community, like many like many other of my peers did. There are many people by the way travel overseas and they study and they come back and they don't find a news to continue to teach people and educate people so you know that you know what they do? They go get a regular nine to five job. And all that knowledge that they learned all that time that they dedicated to learning the deen of Allah is gonna get Allah well, because they cannot provide for their families. Through that. Well, they just get lost. And that knowledge stays with them. For shaping haberdashery. before I graduated, he pulled me aside he had come to Medina to visit.
And we had a conversation about my future. And he said, Hey, listen, we have an institute, you know, seven years ago was very small. And by the way, I mentioned a lot in Institute because many of you don't know this. But the place that you're sitting in right now, not this building. But the general place after the metal building over there was a place where one of the very first immigrated seminars was held. Among the first few seminars. One of them was at ICM, the Islamic Center of America. I remember I remember that seminar because it was very strange. Because we walked into the room. First of all, it wasn't in the whole sunlight. We're like, what's happening? What type of
studies is this Islamic studies we're not sitting on the floor is what's going on, we walk in their chairs, their tables, and there's a PowerPoint. And that should come with a shooting, if I'm gonna have a look, he comes in with binders. And he starts passing out binders to take notes. And for us at that time, we're saying what is happening here? Is this a college class or is this Islamic studies. But that is the history of Sheikh Mohammed Sharif. And so when I graduated, when I was graduated in your university of Medina, you said a Muslim Institute and 100, less had a lot of success. So come join the team. And because of that, when I came home, I had a place to teach. I had
a way I hadn't had the means to provide for my family while teaching the deen of Allah who's kind of like your Allah. And like I said, there are many who come back and don't do anything with your knowledge. There many will come back and there's there's nowhere to go. There's nowhere to teach. But you can come with it should Eve allowed me to come do what I do. He gave me the freedom to by the way, there's something very personal. And it's a little strange for me to share this with you, but I, you know, I, I see you as my community, but shouldn't have, they should have allowed me to stand up for who I am. And to speak about the things that I think are important, because let me just
be very real with you. When you work for a company,
or a mission, maybe whatever you want to say, when you're on the payroll of the Masjid. Sometimes they feel like, you need to say what they want you to say, right? Because the end of the day, they're writing your check, they're paying your salary. And I have a lot of friends and colleagues who aren't humans. And I know it is a very difficult life. Because sometimes you know something is right, and needs to be said and so on and so forth. But perhaps the machine is not OK with it. Teaching for a Maghrib Institute allowed me to provide for my family, and to say the things that I believe are right, to stand up for what I believe is right. That is something that all Muslim
students not only go for me, but many, many people around the world many big names that you think of today. They have they they owe their standing and their job and what they're doing many of it obviously after Allah subhanaw taala. They owe it to Sheikh Hamad, Sharif, and a number of institutes. And well why I'm not saying this, my brothers and sisters, just so that we sit there in awe. I want us to learn from this. Because one of the things that should come initiative you speak about a lot is legacy is what are you leaving behind a check how many should you've passed away at the age of 47, which is a quite young age, and it was an unexpected death. And I think to myself as
I'm getting closer to that age, if I were to drop dead tomorrow, may Allah subhanaw taala protectors. What is the legacy that I'm leaving behind? Chick Mohamed Sharif, my brothers and sisters was someone who looked out for the
vulnerable in the community, the people that were neglected by others. Now you're hearing stories to Catala of Sheikh Mohammed is sharing after he has passed away, people coming out and saying, I remember Sheikh Hamad Sharif there. When I was going through this, he did this for me. One brother came out and said that I was struggling to pay my rent,
and might have hammer this shooting, while being a student at the University of Medina, paid my rent for a whole year. And I didn't even know this is one of many stories. I remember when I had just started practicing Islam and I was new to the deen and I was trying to find my way to Allah was kind of like Allah. I remember living at close to the University of Maryland, I was living close to campus. I remember one year we got snowed in, during the holidays. And so I couldn't go home even though home was, you know, 40 minutes away. I didn't live too far from my parents home. But we were snowed in. And I remember getting a call from Shanghai military, who live in the same apartment
complex as me and my roommates. And he said, I know you're snowed in, come over. And I'm thinking this is the man and she called me she was one of the demands at another school is that I said I'm in College Park. I remember thinking to myself, like who am I like, why would you call me? I'm just some random kid. Who was you've seen sometimes in the messages? Why would you call me like, Why? Why do you care? But he cared? Because he knew that the weak and the vulnerable and those were neglected are the strength of this ummah, the prophets of Allah who was telling them, he said a Mooney, Durga. He said, Bring to me, the vulnerable, the weak amongst you helped on several number 11.
He says, I said, Do you think that Allah will help you, and Allah will provide for you except for what you have done for the weak and the vulnerable amongst you? Meaning if we are not taking care of the weak, we're not taking care of the vulnerable. If we're not taking care of those who are neglected by society, then what are we doing?
Are we really practicing the deen of Allah subhanaw taala, we are not standing up for the weak, we're not standing up for the vulnerable, we are not standing up for those who are neglected. And that is why the prophet is so I tell them himself in his life and look at what he paid attention to. He paid attention to the weak and the vulnerable in the community. He made special time for women, because he knew it's easy for women to get neglected and put aside, he made time for the poor because he knew that they can be neglected. He made he paid special attention to those who may be seen as the other, the outsiders, those who are minorities in the community. This is why he took a
very strong stance against racism and bigotry.
He knew that it is very easy to look down upon people and what society does that it is important for a Muslim to take a stance.
Brothers Sisters, another lesson that we learned was Lifegem family city, which by the way I mentioned in these traits and deities are actually prophetic traits traits of the process. And And here's our first example. But it's nice to see someone who is amongst us who lived their life in that way. But sometimes we think there's a license necessary to mutate that is a promise I send them. We can never match up to that. But I'm telling you that there are those in our Ummah, who have passed away and those who are alive today, we're striving to live their life upon the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and that is why I'm remembering
Allah Hamilton, a Sheikh Mohammed Sharif invested in people, he knew that people are important. And that is why he reached out to me. That is why he advised me and mentored me and taught me. What is the point? We live in a society where it's never seen FC? It's just me and me and me. When someone gets big, when someone wants to get big, they only think about themselves, how can I make myself in a high position? How can I get recognized? How can I be the man and we forget that we are in Houma. We're not individuals.
Our strength lies in the Ummah in the congregation when we uplift one another. And this is why Sheikh Mohammed should he didn't start a Muslim Institute and say, Everybody step aside, the man on the bus, what did he do? He partnered and hired other people of knowledge. He saw chef yesterday you said you come. He saw she doesn't but he just he said, You come. He's a chef at the bar. He said you come why because I feel that you are going to be a benefit to the ummah. And he saw someone like me, who was a nobody. But he thought perhaps there is some potential in him. Perhaps if he if I mentored him and helped him to get educated, he can benefit the ummah.
He invested in people like him,
and he never made it about himself. He
As you know, there was a time not too long ago, when Chen hammer they should even though he founded another institute, you know what he did?
And this is why many of you don't even know who he is, even though you may have heard about the Milgram Institute, once it was established, once it was running, once the right people were doing the job,
he stepped back. And he said, You know what, now that this is established now that it's running 100, and now I want it to continue. And never did He say, This is me. I want to be the boss. I want to be the CEO. I want to be the president. He had none of those titles, my brothers and sisters. And just recently, just a week ago, I was speaking to some of the other instructors, and I asked him, I said, Did ship Muhammad Sharif have some percentage of another institute? I mean, even though he's retired from a monastery, is there a percentage that goes to him? I believe that moment, she was very large now.
But perhaps as the founder, our problem is stupid 5% and everything goes to Muhammad Sharif. And they said no. They said a Muslim is not for profit. Organization. There's no one out there making tons of money. And Sheikh Mohammed Sharif has zero cut. You had zero cut from what is happening. All the success that is happening. You wanted to be in sha Allah, Allah for the sake of Allah who's Petawawa Allah. And you know what that means? That means that this deen is not about me. It's not about you. It's not about us as individuals is about the message. The message is important. And this is why our scholars of the past, they would warn us to be infatuated, warn us from being infatuated
with individuals. Because very easy to see a public speaker and get enamored by the public speaker and think this is the man it's not about this person. It is about the hub. It is about the truth. And a lie your rock region. When I came to reach out, I got a phone I will help truth not judged by men. Rather, men are judged by the truth. If someone stands up for the truth, we stand with them. It's not about individuals. It's not about personalities. It's not about celebrities. It is about the deen of Allah who's kind of like a homophobe. We have a stalker, Lonnie, whatever stuff you know, in our world.
Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala sherfield mbi Rosaleen, let me You know, I was easy to Why have you been able to handle a lot early, you will find me that you very much your brothers and sisters, I shared with you just
a small portion
of the love I have perfect. However, they shouldn't be allowed to have mercy upon immigrants who the high place didn't have those high place agenda. I mean, and I say this once again, as I said previously, not for us to sit in awe of an individual. When I was a kid.
I say this, for us to be inspired for us to start thinking about our legacy. What are we leaving behind? Because this, as I said earlier, was something which was important to shake accommodation. And he often talked about our legacy. And you know, the reality is that shouldn't have he passed away all of a sudden, unexpectedly. At the age of 47. Many times many people would say additive crime.
The reality is none of us have tomorrow guaranteed. I don't know if I'm going to be alive tomorrow. I don't you don't know if you're going to be we don't know how much life we have left. The question is, what are we leaving behind? If we were to die, now, Allah protect us. When people look back at our life, as we look back at the life of Sheikh Mohammed, and say, look at all the things that he had done. Look at the 1000s upon 1000s of people that he inspired look at the 1000s of 1000s of people that he helped that he educated and the rippling effect of Islamic teaching and Islamic Dawa.
You know, the prophets of ally syndrome. He said, he said, they're not that concerned in Qatar, I'm going to in them in Salah. He said, if a person dies, all of their deeds come to an end. Except for three things. Three things mean South African Korea. Number one, the first avenue that a person continues to benefit from even though they're not alive is an ongoing charity, meaning a charity that even though we have passed away, we have died, that people continue to benefit from that charity. And as they are benefiting, as the benefit is out there. We continue to be rewarded in the afterlife. So the question we need to be asking ourselves is, are we ready? If we were to die? Have
we established a charity like that? Have we contributed to a charity like that, that even though we are no longer in this life will continue to be rewarded in the afterlife? This is something for us to consider to date right now. Number two, the prophets of Allah who I think he was sent them said, or even you will be
We are developing that the second avenue through which a person continues to benefit is knowledge, knowledge that people are benefiting from. And yes, she sees life was about knowledge. It was about learning the DNA of Islam and teaching the deen of Islam and propagating within Islam. So people continue to be inspired and educated for generations. And so we often ask ourselves,
are we trying to learn or are we trying to teach, and I know you may say to yourself, I've got an email. I'm not a scholar, I'm not a public speaker, the prophets of a life and then said, couldn't know Kamala, and all of you are shepherds will couldn't look at my school on it. And all of you are responsible for your flock, a father in his house, is a shepherd, they have a flock, he has a flock as a children and his wife, a mother, a mom in her house, is a shepherd, she has her children,
in person at work,
is a shepherd, a manner that their job is a shepherd. We all have people that may look up to us, people that we can inspire people that we can teach. And we have to ask ourselves, number one, are we learning so that we make teach and number two, are we teaching?
Are we teaching people without which is good, so that even though we have passed away, even though we are gone, people say I learned this from someone so and then they teach it to their children, and they teach it to their children, and it goes on and on and on and continue to be benefited in the afterlife. Number three, the third avenue through which we benefit, even though we have passed away, is as the Prophet sallallahu sallam, he said, Whatever Son, your decoda, a pious child, who continues to make God for them.
And so we have to ask ourselves, the parents in the room?
What are we teaching our children?
Are we teaching them to be God conscious? Are we teaching them to be connected to Allah, this kind of like Allah? Are we trying to inspire them to be close to Allah? Because once we are gone, those are the ones who can help us with their job by making the offer us. And there's an aspect of love, also, and respect? Are we respecting and loving our children so that they will love and respect us? Are we treating them in a way that our children will remember and say, my father, or my mother, she was kind to me, and she was good to me, and she was patient to me, and she provided for me and so on and so forth. May Allah have mercy upon her. May Allah have mercy upon my father, may Allah have
mercy upon my uncle, may Allah? Are we going? Are we leaving behind that generation? Is that our legacy? My brothers and sisters, and those of you who are here today who are not married, I will say to you
think about the generation that is to come. When you are looking for a spouse, when you're looking for a husband or a wife, ask yourself, Is this the type of person who is going to help me raise it pines child,
people marry for a lot of reasons, in person have told us people married for status, and looks, and so on and so forth. Versus it felt to be routed to look for the person who has the Deem.
The religion of Allah who's kind of like, that should be at the top of our list of priorities, because if the person themselves is pious, and God conscious, hopefully they can teach that to our kids.
So look for the right people. And my brothers and sisters, I know and I will leave you this angelic to Allah, that oftentimes when we talk about death, people get sad. And people can lose hope. And people can start to think, what's the point? And I said to you earlier, we don't have tomorrow guaranteed. So it's very easy to get into the mindset and say, well, if tomorrow is not guaranteed, what's the point of doing anything? Life is so unstable, Life is so unpredictable, we don't know what's going to happen.
The reality is my brothers and sisters, that the Islamic approach is that we are aware of death and that motivates us to be better. In the moments that Allah Subhan Allah God has given to us yesterday, my brothers and sisters is gone. We can do nothing about it cannot change the past, tomorrow. not guaranteed. We can worry about tomorrow as much as we want, but it's not guaranteed. The only thing we have is the moment that we are in right now.
We want to try our best not to be perfect. We're not none of us are going to be perfect. But we want to try our best in the moments that Allah Subhana Allah has given to us and I will leave you with one final inspirational Hadith of the prophets. I send them in when she when she said to you that comment.
He said if the hour has started, meaning the Day of Judgment has started, and I want to I want you to put yourself in that mindset.
Imagine that we get to witness a witness that the day of judgment is starting. And the process that I've said, and you have in your hands, the ability to plant a tree.
What do you do? Now logically, we would say to ourselves, well, the Day of Judgment is starting, everything's about to be destroyed. I can plant a tree, when we plant a tree logically, no, it makes no sense to plant a tree. Because why don't we plant the tree to see the tree grow, so that people will benefit from the tree? So there will be some shade and fruit and so on so forth? Why would we plant this tree? If the Day of Judgment is starting, wouldn't plant the tree logically, but the profits and the lights and them he said, if you're able to plant the tree, before the Day of Judgment starts, even though it's approaching
the plant the tree? Why? Because my brothers and sisters, we work not only because we are guaranteed success in this life, because no one is guaranteed success in this life. We work for the sake of Allah subhanho wa taala. And so we may think to ourselves, what can I do, I don't have the means to establish an institute, I don't have the means to be an agnostic or scholar at this or whatever. What is the point? The point is, we work for the sake of Allah who kind of work.
And Allah does not allow our reward in the law. Now you do your agenda, Marcin, Allah did not allow the reward of those who are working hard for his sake to go to waste. The people may not recognize the work we have done, that people may even turn against us. We may be working in our community, day and night striving, and someone will come to us and say you did this and you did this, you don't do this, you don't do that we get criticized day in and day out, and will lie for working for the sake of the people, we will not be able to continue.
But if we are working for Allah, meaning our award is with Allah, then we're not worried about that criticism. We're not worried about that recognition. We're not worried about that praise.
Because we're doing it for the sake of Allah. And so even if we have the ability to get the tiny, tiniest amount of reward right now, we do it right now. Because we don't know the true value of our deeds. A person may give $1 in charity, and think, oh, what's the point? It's so small. But when Allah has to do it, either, it could be very large, with Allah subhanaw taala it could be the difference between heaven and hell, a single sex that my brothers and sisters, we may think is nothing because we're in the habit of making stuff. But maybe ALLAH SubhanA wa Allah forgives our sins and grants is paradise for one single set.
And when we think about depth, that for us is the motivator. That if this is the last headset that I'm going to make, if this is the last prayer that I'm going to pray that I want to make it count. If this is the last ability I have to give charity, maybe tomorrow I will not have the ability to give charity.
How will I give this charity? Will I hold back? Well, I'll say You know what, I gotta save my money for this and that Whatever will I think to myself, This is my last opportunity to give charity.
So let me give it in a way that earns me paradise. Yeah, you went to dinner Avenue. In the lobby. American society was set up I don't know who you are called in the law. But I think that when you suddenly died and maybe you went to dinner and son knew it he wasn't able to see my mom was Sunday, Mohamed Mohamed came outside later I brought him in the wider earlier but I came in