Sherman Jackson – ISOCMasjid – Spiritual and Cultural Authenticity

Sherman Jackson
AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the upcoming fall program and its importance for graduation and graduation events. They emphasize the need for institutions that reflect Islam and the use of "joy" in language to describe actions and moments. The challenges faced by the Muslim community, including a "overarching mentality causing suffering," are acknowledgled, but addressing "ep underway mental health" is crucial for the future.
AI: Transcript ©
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Before we get going, just a few housekeeping announcements. I have to do the fun stuff and hamdulillah so for those of you that are registered, we have about 100 about 135 people registered from all over the country. We have people right now visiting students from Virginia from Washington, DC. We have people from all over the country 100 Allah we have an entire family from Phoenix, Arizona that came they drove. So you should feel very fortunate that this is in your own backyard for those of you that are from this community.

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So if you still would like to register after the program, inshallah you can come register if there are spots, or tomorrow morning, tomorrow morning will begin promptly with registration at 8am. And we'll have full breakfast. complimentary breakfast for all the registrants tomorrow morning at eight o'clock. And we will begin promptly with shakes to Hades lecture at 9am. So please come bright eyed and bushy tailed and happy and ready to go. And there will be coffee for sale by Rama cafe. So do not you know go to Starbucks. Don't go to coffee bean calm and purchase from the masjid and support your Masjid in sha Allah. And we'll learn more about the logistics tomorrow morning, sha Allah but

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for everyone else that's registered. Should you want to be here tomorrow, between eight and nine. They want breakfast and nine o'clock sharp. We'll start with shakes. So hey.

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And so I want to introduce the executive director of Alden, brother, Muhammad Yahya. He is going to start us off tonight. Brother Muhammad Harada is an entrepreneur and an investor in digital technology and fashion. As a student of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Mohammed has studied Sharia for four years in countries such as Syria, Morocco and Mauritania. And as I mentioned, he is currently the Executive Director of olum. Many of you have heard him he spoke one night at this Masjid before so inshallah brother Muhammad Yahya.

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My name is Muhammad Hernandez, I'm the executive director of Harlem organization, the ALM organization is nearly started about nearly 15 years ago, in Michigan. It's comprised of three core scholars, Dr. Ali, Dr. Jackson and Dr. Freed none of them who are sitting here right now, Dr. Frieden, his plane was diverted to Las Vegas. So he's on the road right now to here. Dr. Jackson is here in the building, he'll be coming to sit here in the front. And Dr. Lee is not able to be with us. He's in Michigan, basically, just give a brief overview really quickly about what ILM is, and you know what we tried to do, ilm, what we try to produce and what we try to do is bridge the Muslim

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and American identity through Islamic literacy. Right? So we have the American and Muslim identity, and bridging that through Islamic literacy, which is a phrase that we coined, Islamic literacy is the establishment and critical engagement

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of the requisite intellectual and spiritual realities, or foundations of Islam. So it's the critical establishment and critical engagement

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of the intellectual as well as spiritual foundations of Islam.

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What Islam teach or what, what at all, and what we try to do is we try to teach Muslims to be grounded in their tradition in their faith by being able to be grounded in their tradition and in their faith, but also can contextualize this within the merican socio political, cultural and intellectual realities. So that's what we try to do at Harlem. That's how we go about creating Islamically literate Muslims, American Muslims who are grounded in their tradition, but who are able to contextualize all of that with the within the socio political, cultural, intellectual realities of American life. And we do this through our programs here. We do it through our winter programs

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through our summer programs, and having our guest scholar Imam Suhaib. Webb with us is a delight for us. I'm gonna go quickly go over give you the titles of what they're going to be doing the program on. So this is open to the public and starting tomorrow will be the program where you have to register we only have like 15 seats left. There is a live stream though, that's going on. So if you're not able to make it for whatever reason, we have a live stream going. So the three topics that will be covered three sessions tomorrow along with an artists panel. But the master hate web, the title of his sessions will be the legitimacy of American Islam. A look at scripture, history and

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scholarly opinion.

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Dr. Jackson will be doing Muslims Islamic law and associate

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political reality in the United States.

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Dr. Freed will be doing art, the avant garde of the new spirituality. So with that, I'm gonna give it back to wiz or am I going to

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introduce the president of our board of trustees, Matt Moon Sade, who was who is the vice president of HR at sharp San Diego hospital in San Diego. He was once the executive director for the know the foundation of Dr. Omar Abdullah. And he is currently the President of the Board of Trustees for alum Moon said

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Felix and I'm on the layover to go to Milan

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to salam ala Rasulillah. I understand sitting in the audience are very excited to have our scholars speak to us. I'm not going to take too much time. One point of clarification for anybody who is from San Diego is actually Rady Children's Hospital not Sharp HealthCare. I don't want that going up because you know, my period Sharp HealthCare, my thing I'm trying to take his job, and I'm not trying to do that, just yet, at least. And also what I also want to recognize is only in Southern California would I be wearing a wool jacket, when it's like below 45 or more is like 55 outside. And here I'm wearing a jacket. It's a few cold. I'm actually a Midwest transplant from Wisconsin, in the

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Chicagoland area. I've been in Southern California now for three years. And I'm very fortunate and honored to be the President of the Board of Trustees at Ireland, been involved with Adams since inception as a volunteer. And on behalf of the entire board that includes our three scholars that Muhammad Yahya spoke about, but also a number of other scholars a number of other individuals on the board including Asha Hussain shooting Han hammertoe Hey

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Sotheby's the use of hi and myself, I want to thank all of you for coming tonight and most importantly want to thank Imam Musa Musa deity and the Islamic Society of Orange County for hosting us for our 10th annual winter program. This is a great honor for us to be here in Southern California after about three or four years ago, when we were here last. This is a great opportunity for us to be able to share with you what we believe to be a very unique product within the landscape of Muslim organizations that really is not only about today, but changes the landscape of the future of Islam in America. And that is what we're going to hear about today. But again, in closing in

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closing, what I want to do again is very much thank our hosts tonight and thank all of you for coming and Dr. McLachlan Simon

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Thank you brother Matt Moon Charla, without further ado, I want to introduce our moderator tonight. It will not be me and hamdulillah it will be our very own shakes to * Mala who is the Assistant religious Director here at the Islamic Society of Orange County. He is a recent graduate of Azhar University. He has a very very prestigious background. He has his degree in African American Studies from Cal State Northridge and his master's in social work and worked for a number of years as a counselor in the LA County or the LAUSD school system. So we're very very honored to have him as our Imam, inshallah Sheikh salah.

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Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah

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sunnah. hamdu lillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah. Allah is it's a pleasure and honor to be here and especially amongst and amidst so many beautiful personalities. And we have people hamdulillah who came from the mosh pit and the Maghrib. and everywhere in between, we have our scholarship that spans all the way from from Egypt, to Saudi to India, and and everywhere else in between. And we're very fortunate to have such wonderful people with us here today. And it's my honor, as always, and pleasure to first ask and introduce our own religious director, the religious director of the Islamic Society of Orange County for the last 30 plus years, who really needs no introduction. But

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Allah Seville tell Kyra, you know, just to remind everybody of the blessing that we have with having this particular gentleman and scholar in our community. Dr. McDonough Siddiqui, he is a he received his early education and Nadeau Allah MA in India. And he went from there and did his higher degree studies in Medina, Islamic University of Medina and went from there to Birmingham, England and did his his degree, his master's in theology and from there to Harvard University in comparative religion where he received his doctorate and of course

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All of us know the tremendous amount of service that he's provided to the local Southern California area and as well as throughout the nation. So we want to ask Dr. MASSIMO inshallah to say a few words for us today.

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Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato

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Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah. Wala Allah He was a human wala

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is really a pleasure for me to see all of you here this evening, Mashallah.

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To come for a very, very important program. So I welcome all of you and especially welcome our scholars and dear brothers. Chef, so hey,

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masha Allah, may Allah Subhana Allah bless him and reward him for all the good work that he has been doing and all the learning that he has done. Dr. Sherman Jackson, who is now mashallah in Southern California, so we're very happy to have him here

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at USC, where he's heading the Islamic Studies program, and Dr. Mooney freed, Mashallah. He served many years at the Islamic Society of North America. The Secretary General is a professor of Islamic Studies and mashallah, he is part of this program. So, you see the wealth of knowledge. I was telling you this after Juma prayer, this is the old saying and what to do. You know, in the old days, people used to go to the well or to the spring to get the water. So we say Piazza, quick apologia, the thirsty person goes to the wells to seek the to get the water. But now we see the well is coming to the thirsty people. So it's nice to see that the spring is coming here. So you don't

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have to go to this spring but you have to see the springs is coming. So this is a mobile Institute mashallah moves from place to place, and getting this spreading the knowledge and it's very, very important to take advantage of this kind of opportunities, mashallah, these brothers traveling all the way from Boston and from

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USC, it's a long way

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and then also coming from South Africa. So, you see that long people have come from all different areas to teach you ILM is the word that means the one who knows

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and there are different levels of knowledge. So, one has to keep on growing and increasing was knowledge and Imam Ghazali says very nicely, so, the LM LM has two meanings. One meaning of the item is is record a share a comma here one is that you know things as they are to understand the reality of things. So, better the knowledge the more you will know the facts and the more you will know things as they are. And the other meaning of I Am is which is really very, very important aspect of Islamic way of understanding Islamic way of knowledge is Aluma you are sort of enough's and this from Alabama, that is

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something that is a sign so I'll mama you are safe enough the Elvis that changes the personality, it makes the people better people. And so, both of these aspects are there and mashallah these scholars are going to speak and address very important issues, important issues is how we should live here in this society, beneficial to the society and as well as beneficial to ourselves and understand the facts of Islam and the facts of the society and see how we can relate. So, this issue of contextualization, understanding the context in which we are social context, economic contexts, political concept, context, all different kinds of contexts, understanding them and then at the same

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time, be effective, effective in ourselves and our families and our communities and beneficial for the society at large. So I pray to Allah subhanaw taala to benefit all of us, and we get Inshallah, from these speakers, from their knowledge and learn Inshallah, just like Kamala Harris, salam alaikum

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so Inshallah, without further ado, and we don't want to spend too much time with the in between comments and so on. We'd like to get to the meat of the matter. Insha Allah. Imam Suhaib Webb is our first speaker in sha Allah and Imam Suhaib Webb a dear friend.

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Dear brother

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They're somebody who I spent much time with in Egypt and who I love for the sake of Allah. And he received his his bachelor's degree in Sharia from Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. He did an Iftar course they're also in for data lifted in Assyria, which is the highest body that issues fatwa. And that is in charge of religious edict, putting out religious edicts and so forth. He was in charge of the English translation session section there. He is, of course, very well versed in ilm, in the Maliki tradition. And He currently lives in Boston. So when we lost Imam Sahib Hamdulillah, we took in exchange Dr. Jackson, so Allah, Allah, sometimes they come in, sometimes

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they go, and we thank Allah subhanaw taala for blessing us with so many beautiful people to learn from. He's now the Imam at the Islamic Society of the Boston Cultural Center, and he is the founder and instructor of Ella Collins Institute. With no further ado,

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Imam Sahib.

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Rahman Rahim in the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. What was it what was salam ala as Hadler wherein we sent Peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, I just have to say that you got the good end of that bargain. We got ripped off. With Dr. Jackson being here. We should get him in Boston. I think if that's the deal, and know about that. You got the good end of the stick on that one.

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hamdulillah it's great to be here with Dr. Sherman, who's our teacher, one of our mentors. One of our Imams, we see him as an imam. Many of you see him as a professor, a doctor, but for those of us in the trenches,

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in communities around the country, you know, you are one of our Imams, you know, the one you'll tell will be and then of course, Dr. moslem mill

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is a giant, you know, isn't is indeed, you know, cuz chumps, yeah, mashallah, what should we say, and he's like a son that walks on the earth,

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for just like little hair, and for every thing that you've done, and you contribute, to continue to do and then check Sohail, who's a great scholar that you have here amongst you, someone who is qualified himself, you know, I've seen him do some really incredible things and studies and his learning. And then, of course, Dr. manera, who's not here, we ask Allah subhanaw taala to bless all of them. And what I what I plan to address over the next few days is really talking about the legitimacy of American Islam. And for many people, that immediately creates kind of a problem. So we hope to be able to kind of address maybe why that happens, and why there might be definitely some

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legitimate concerns around that. But how, hopefully, we can ensure allow to create some kind of comfortability around understanding not only the legitimacy, but the necessity. So we'll start with the legitimacy. And then once we make it that of the halfacre, once we've established the reality, based on our traditions, and our text, and our body of scholarly work, then we need to leave the petty discussions about legitimacy. Because at 40 years old, I simply don't have the bandwidth to keep talking about that anymore. And it's now time to be EJV, to be positive and start building things, and create institutions that would reflect that is one of my teachers said, when you learn

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you become confident, and Islam. As I said, Today, I'll let him say that I call him a you need to come. The Prophet didn't say Allah didn't say that the Prophet calls you to what will kill you. He said, You You come, He calls you to what will give you a Yeah, to give you life in the fullest sense of the word. So in doing so, we're going to look at scripture. And I'll give you just a few appetizers, because tomorrow is the main program. But when we look at the Quran, we find that there are universal principles that the Quran teaches. And those are extracted by a method of still crop, the scholars would see continual patterns throughout the Quran. And some of those has stuck out

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seydel A dilla. You know, there's a statement by some that that method is actually the master of all evidences, because it's a quantitative proof based on you know, 1000s of minds are coming to the same conclusion who live in different areas in different places. But one of them is that we have to articulate a religion in a

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way that's understood

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Anabelle and palatable to the people who live around us. This might sound, you know, somewhat mundane, but I'll give you an example. You know, when people take shahada in Boston, they take shahada and English,

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you're gonna ask people to say the shahada in Arabic. And usually when someone does it, the first question I get is, was their shahada valid?

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And then I'll ask why? And they said, Well, they didn't say it in Arabic. So I said to one brother, and I said it humorously. He was a friend of mine, I said, the men who just accepted Islam, if I told him, you know, a shadow, a shadow in many, in many bullied on, bullied on didn't,

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you know, I bear witness that I'm dumb.

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Actually, yeah, acutely stupid. Right will be a word for it. What are you doing a study Baba ghanouj Barbara. And I want to go buy, you know, some eggplant outside.

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And no one in the audience understood what I said. And he didn't understand what I said. And then what I said, and then he took shahada and English with his shahada still be valid? And he said, I really don't know how to answer that question. He said, Well,

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we see that when a person converts to Islam, immediately, they're subjected to cultural, I would say assault, their names are changed. I was named after my great grandfather,

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who was a great person in my family, who was a very gifted farmer. Right? I told my mother, I changed my name, she began to cry. How could you change the name that we gave you named after your grandfather? I said, that's a Kaffir.

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Then we change our dress, change how we talk, we change how we eat, I didn't need hot sauce with baked potatoes in the past. And not all of that's bad. Some of that is out of the beauty in that the pluralism that Islam teaches us, right. But when it's forced, and as I said today, in the hotbar, when we're living vicariously through converts, or vicariously, we're living our Islam through a young generation of Muslims, and then we're expecting them to be empowered to speak to a society that's rooted in completely different cultural norms and constructs, we're going to be creating a problem. So we look at the Quran is there some source material that allows us to spit and I'm saying

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that on purpose, the language of the people and we look at that and I'm actually working on a Tafseer of this, the last part of the Quran is actually really incredible.

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Allah subhanahu wa Tada. In some situations, he alludes to things that are so obvious to the Arabic Arab culture at the time of the Prophet sallallahu Sallam that he doesn't even go into explaining it. It's like, you know, we say in slang, man, I didn't do that man.

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Like I told you the Tafseer

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so Allah says, Lila for your Quraysh Lila, if your Qureshi is an alum, it's an event that took place. And it's interesting when I was sitting with a teacher, and as our, you know, study tafsir, with a person is really cool. And he was saying, you know, why is it saying it like that? And why does it start? Well, heartful jar?

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You know, and this is lamb lammeter allele, according to some of them because of the security of the crash. As though this is something already known. And excuse me, I understand it's an academic environment, forgive me, I'm from Boston, you know, but it's like, it's already known in the hood B.

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And, and I liken it to this, I liken it to anyone who's gone to a barber shop, and you get your hair done. So what happened was, if you look at old poetry, pre, you know, pre pre Islam, you find that they used to talk about man, why did these Kurdish haven't good? They live in the worst neighborhood in the Sierra.

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Anyone who's been to Mecca, be honest, as soon as you saw it, you're probably environmentally challenged. You might have begin to remember all of the survival shows you watched on like ethics or discover, you know, what do I do if I get lost in the desert? What a bear grouse do? Okay, crack a rock and make water come out, you know, kind of eat a scorpion, because it's a tough place. I remember once I was in the Gulf countries, and I was walking to the door and I started to get dizzy from the heat. Right? It's a very uncomfortable place. And that was something on the elsina of the chakra. And the chakra were the MPR of the age. They were the CNN of the Jeezy era.

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They were the Jay Z, Jay Z of their era. They were the people who had the ears of the masses. Right? So they would talk about in their poetry. How is it even they would make fun of the quota. She was like this rap like a mixtape would come out. And they would come after the curation say, Man, look where you live. And it was something that

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they would kind of were amazed about and they would even attribute it to the bark of Satan Ibrahim, that they have a laugh how do they have security? So when Allah says for or because of the security of the Quraysh if you were in the Arabian barber shop at that time and you were getting your stuff edged up have faded. Right? And you said to your barber, Lila Koresh Lila for your courage, you know what he would have said to you? And always wondered about that.

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Man, I always wondered about that. And that was the reaction of the Arabs when they heard this verse. Yeah, now we thought about that like to have a laugh. And this is the beauty of the Quran. It takes a cultural phenomenon, and employs it to bring people closer to God. It's not intimidated by culture. It's empowered by culture. And it can flip culture to bring people into it. Because when you use people's cultures, you usually unless you're going out them hard, comfort them, but it continues. So to Boehner,

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Allah subhanho wa Taala calls the Prophet al begginer sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that gara ACYF CIFA Billa mo Sofia,

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he mentions an adjective without mentioning the noun. This is strange for us. If I say the clear proof is sitting outside in the parking lot, whether what are you talking about? clear proof? We're Muslims. Now we don't mess with clear proof not that

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I had degree.

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So Allah subhanaw taala. And this happens a lot in the Quran. He will mention something without mentioning, he'll mention an adjective without mentioning the noun that describes because you don't need to. If we're watching the Celtics and the Lakers, and I say the greatest ever we are now it's kg. And I know you'll agree with me.

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Exactly. But on the Rilla if we're watching the Lakers, and we said, you know, the best player, everybody's gonna assume we mean Kobe we already know we don't need to go into discussion. We're culturally aware of what we're talking about. And this is the beauty of the Quran had to come as Boehner until the Boehner comes to you, because they already know Yadi funa who come a Yachty fool now. They knew the prophet as they knew their children. They knew that someone was coming.

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So Allah says Al Bayona, and he doesn't mention a Rasul who will beginner Salah hottie was sent him again, it was something that was part of there and I want you to pay attention to these three points. They're cultural. We mentioned that Lee Lafayette Koresh. Now there are spiritual realities that we're waiting for a prophet. In fact, some of them have history say that the Jewish community moved to Medina primarily because they were expecting a prophet to come there. They were expecting their Messiah to come from Medina

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third is popular culture. And for some reason Muslims we like to this unpopular culture and there's definitely aspects of popular culture we should not be involved in of course, but I believe the DUA you know one time I asked him Suraj well what's the most important thing after like religious texts that I could have? He said an almanac this is in the 90s he said studying almanac know people know what they're thinking. appreciate them. And I said it people to understand I said it as kind of an embellishment I said, everybody who comes to America to be an imam should watch ESPN, Nickelodeon and CNN and Fox News for one year. Before they get on the member and Ella Collins Institute and I

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Imam training we actually have a section that you have to go to the newspaper or see something on TV or some external experience and that has to be part of your hotbar

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you have to make the newspaper work on the mimbar your app needs to work on the member because the people that you are speaking to have been educated differently

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so we see now popular culture Allah says well add to your club haha I'll add yet again is a CIFA WeMo sofa

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is an adjective who's now is not described idea to me something your morals Surah something that moves quickly. But it's not talked about because the Arabs already knew what time it was. There was no need for a long discussion. But you find the Sahaba this beautiful, you know a difference amongst Adi Radi Allahu Anhu and even our best what are the Allahu Anhu about the meaning of it, but most of them said it's camels. Other said its horses.

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Those who said it was horses with the majority. Those who said that the camels are minority

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But I have a question for you. And I'm from the 90s. So forgive this rather outdated example. But like an impala upon Crenshaw, on Saturday night, back in the days, right? That was the equivalent of a horse to an Arab, Rita and todos poetry. And Tara talks about his horse like Biggie talks about his car. It's true, even talks about how, why he was fighting with his horse. And he was a you know, a great poet before the time of the Prophet sallallahu. How even the blood the warm blood will come down the neck of his horse while he's holding on to the bridle of the horse. I mean, Can y'all see for Haley? No, he describes the horse I'm telling you, like puck will talk about the car.

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Because it doesn't change the objects change the verb stay the same. Don't forget that. So Allah says, What do you love haha. So here we see three important things. Number one leader, if you're courageous is an event that really shook people. Number two Albena is a spiritual reality. And then an idea it is a spiritual reality, the entire culture of the Arabs is alluded to and about the last, you know, part of the Quran. And we extract from that and it continues all throughout the book of Allah subhanaw taala, that Allah subhanaw taala is teaching us that as a universal, articulate divine teachings and precepts in a way that people can understand. Well, unfortunately, some of us

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have done is thought that no, we have to give the message and the clothing that came with it. It's cultural clothing, in this case, an Arab cultural reality that existed 1400 years ago into America.

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So we forgot the major principle and that is Allah subhanaw. Taala is encouraging us to communicate the message in a way that employs the cultural realities that we live in, whether intellectual culture realities, whether spiritual culture realities, or whether dealing with pop culture. I'll give you one example. How many of you have read the story of Omar accepting Islam? Every single one of us?

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What You Did he accept Islam?

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The 60 year? Watch this, and tell me if it works. Have you ever thought about what Omar's conversion meant to society?

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Because what did Abdullah bin Mr. Radi Allahu Anhu say, he said before Omar became Muslim, we couldn't really uma was a walking human rights organization man. We couldn't go out and worship God before Omar's Islam.

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And if you ever thought about looking in the books of Sierra, like, you know, the books of this hack Sham, and read what the Quraysh said, when Omar became Muslim. What their reactions were to his acceptance of Islam. You know, it was like, Did you hear what happened?

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It was like TMZ man.

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Why did you laugh when I said TMZ?

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I did it on purpose. Because I brought you in closer to it. But watch this. Watch this and put on your seatbelt.

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You know what I like an amaz conversion to magics announcement that he had AIDS.

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What did that just do to you?

00:33:32 --> 00:33:39

No one forgot that. I remember I walked in my house. My mother was in the kitchen. She said baby magic got AIDS, said

00:33:40 --> 00:34:20

that I saw him What color was the suit he had on? Was a blue suit with a white shirt. And the reaction of society was man, man, she got age they want to play basketball that afternoon. We barely got to play because everyone was like, did you hear about Earvin Magic? Johnson? I'm not comparing accepting Islam to aids that will be short sighted. I'm talking about the reaction of society to an event. And that's how we should teach sera did it do something for you now? You say man never thought about Wow. And those of you who experienced remembered it?

00:34:21 --> 00:34:59

So we find that through the Quran, and we'll talk about this and we'll get into examples of the prophets Isom the necessity. Why did Allah say at a bus era when the Prophet calls out our basura Imam even opium said basura is modified to Knossos were modified to Ness. Even mocha yam said that basura means to know that religious texts and to know people, then we'll get into the scholarly opinions about needing to know folks man, when Imam Ahmed will hambre Radi Allahu Anhu was asked about the conditions of move d. One of the conditions he said

00:35:00 --> 00:35:02

It is to know the people.

00:35:03 --> 00:35:20

Imam Al Qadhafi, he articulated in XML, very beautiful, but beautifully, that if someone comes to you, and they're asking you a culture, which is a question, excuse me, which is rooted in culture, and you don't know their culture, don't answer.

00:35:22 --> 00:35:28

And he said, If you answer you should lose your license as a Mufti. I studied,

00:35:29 --> 00:35:33

and I lived it. In Egypt, no offense to the Egyptians, I'm an ally.

00:35:34 --> 00:35:48

But not really more like galaxy. But when people would come to Iftar, and they heard who an ACC dude from America, b u g. So they were like, Let's go to him.

00:35:49 --> 00:35:59

So all the Egyptians would end up kind of in my area, Bullock amo LAN, USAID and father is in a stuffy Hydrotech. I said, Look, don't do that.

00:36:01 --> 00:36:12

What you can do, go down the halls, a shift from Moodle fee, Mafia, Salam o column, Robert Rahi. Go to him, because he knows you. I don't know what you're talking about.

00:36:14 --> 00:36:27

One day I was sitting I got a phone call. first few months there. Sheikh Ahmed Chalabi. He's a master inheritance, Great Mufti. He said, So hey, come downstairs. Now.

00:36:28 --> 00:36:35

So when they say now, now it was now I went down there. Who do you think I saw a white dude from Florida?

00:36:37 --> 00:36:39

Hey, man, what's up? What's going on? What's happening?

00:36:42 --> 00:36:45

And she said, Well, let him have him show you hug.

00:36:46 --> 00:37:10

checks it. I don't understand the things guys asking me man. You answered a question. I said, what's going on? I want to marry an Egyptian women Imam Shafi I don't hear that part. Right. But he had an issue that was rooted in a cultural reality that we face here. And that is marrying a woman from a different culture and bringing it back home to the south. And having to explain to Baba mama, was that?

00:37:13 --> 00:37:22

I answered his question. We took care of a month later, phone phone rings again, Sheikh Mohammed, he said, He's that I meet of if

00:37:23 --> 00:37:53

he's the guy after check out the Juma. So hey, I need you in my office. Right now. I go on there is a sister from America. She has a question rooted in America. He said, So hey, I can answer this question. Can you take her and please listen to what she needs. The last question that I ever asked. One of the movies that I trained with was a question about a convert a situation had arisen here. And we'll talk about that in sha Allah in a few days.

00:37:54 --> 00:38:02

And I asked him the question, and he said to me, I trained you to answer your people's problems.

00:38:03 --> 00:38:07

Answer and stop bothering me.

00:38:09 --> 00:38:18

I have a Thora to worry about. I have a revolution on my hands, brother. Right? And I said but I'm just he said no, you are someone

00:38:19 --> 00:38:26

answer the question. And you know your people quote better than I do.

00:38:27 --> 00:38:57

So answer. The other thing that we'll discuss our axioms it's often not talked about and I believe there should be a curriculum for Muslims just based on what we should teach people sometimes these principles of Islam, we have principles that govern thought and principles that govern our actions. One of the most beautiful principles in the set that to Medicare, which is mentioned in alleles, famous text and half of the SOP. he elaborates on it a lot is Ella owed for cash out.

00:38:58 --> 00:39:13

Hello for cash shocked. That custom is like a condition. Custom means very beautifully. It means Matt, yes, Z mu B add me, Allah Adam, what are your Zim? We will Judean would you

00:39:14 --> 00:39:27

which means that if it's not present, the reality can be present. So the Maliki's in many situations especially and I'll give one example. And the chapters of rent Ijarah you find this a lot.

00:39:28 --> 00:39:29

And at the Sookie.

00:39:31 --> 00:40:00

Sookie he talks about in his hashey which is beautiful. I believe it should be studied, sometimes more than the Mattoon because you find this creativity of a de Sookie Rahim Allah. He said, You know, he said I'll give you an example. What not only McCarter hero fatwa, you know changing a fatwa because of certain realities, and one of them is the culture or customs of people and we'll talk about tomorrow, a great Hanafi scholar from Egypt. And this is powerful. The first PhD

00:40:00 --> 00:40:03

I've ever done in Sr. was on earth.

00:40:05 --> 00:40:30

The first PhD that was ever done and defended and received the LME certification in the 20s. But ABI sunnah and Hanafi was on the concept of how culture affects fatwa. And how does culture not only affect fatwa affect how we articulate our religion because we don't want to over fat wise also, I feel this is another problem that we have. Everything needs a fatwa. Everything doesn't need a fatwa.

00:40:32 --> 00:40:32


00:40:34 --> 00:41:04

But he said that, you know, in the early days, we didn't pay people to teach Quran to our kids, because everybody was being paid by the state. And in fact, he said, an afternoon each man, he said, In the meth lab, we had a consensus that it was not allowed to pay anybody for teaching the Quran. He says for Emma, Yamuna, Emma Yamana, heavy, and he said, But as for these days of ours, there's no one to pay them anymore. The government unfortunately, you know, took an exit off the highway somewhere.

00:41:05 --> 00:41:29

And they stopped paying them. And he said, For half, I mean, he said this is an example of the changing of a fatwa based on certain parameters, and he used the word yield, and fatwa. And one of them he mentioned later on in the hasha, is culture, cultural norms. And I'll give you one example, a convert to Islam comes to us and says, Can I pray in the bathroom?

00:41:31 --> 00:41:36

This now really off but something that we'll talk about earlier, Julian Oh, Sally Salah for

00:41:38 --> 00:41:39

most of us will say, oh, we'll be

00:41:46 --> 00:41:48

right, where's this person's brains?

00:41:50 --> 00:42:27

I took this question to a Mufti in Egypt, who I studied with. So she said, we got a system man. And I got hit hard. Someone said Suhaib said, you know, these things are not allowed people and didn't take the time to understand as you said, what I actually said they allow their emotions to and follow gentle a lot of you know, they exploded. He said, what's her situation I said shift. Her parents may physically harm her. He said no, no. Okay, that's that's that's an RD an understandable thing. He said, But listen to his question. Well, they kick you out of the house. Say Yeah, he said, well, in your in your country, you don't have like, massage it or not, are not equipped, yet

00:42:27 --> 00:42:34

institutionally didn't have the institutional capacity to house women. I was like, no, they don't.

00:42:35 --> 00:42:52

He's like, Well, could they afford to maybe put her or place her in a place of residence? I said, not really. And also, it'd be like a lot of stress to be separated from her parents and to, you know, hemorrhage your relationship to create an aneurysm. So early into his lap. He said, tell her

00:42:53 --> 00:43:14

that according to the madhhab, what she has to do is pray on something clean, have a towel or something that's pure, put it on the ground, make sure that she doesn't touch anything where she is sure that there is filled, close the toilet. And in this situation, he said, I allow her to pray the prayers which you have to say out loud, silently.

00:43:15 --> 00:43:18

I said, share how did you do that? So that's why I'm sharing me.

00:43:22 --> 00:43:56

And then he said, common sense, man, common sense. Because if she doesn't pray, her Eman will go weak. And then he said to me, You know what this is like I said, what he said like the opinion of Merrick Rahimullah about a woman who needs to touch a woman even has him and others, a woman who needs to touch the Quran, even though she's on her menses because she's losing her Eman. In that situation, we allowed it because her Eman takes precedence. He said, Do you want another give you the photo is what they do. I say yeah, drop a check. Keep going just I'm writing

00:43:58 --> 00:44:07

this incredible just go. He said also for a sister who lives in a community where the only place she can come and study is the masjid. And she's hot.

00:44:08 --> 00:44:56

And she's menses. He said I allow her in the West, in the West, or any place with are accepting Islam in numbers, or they have a weak community that needs to be educated. They do not have female scholarship and he said this, I allow her to enter the masjid for the purpose of studying and to leave based on a hadith he said, which is not super strong, nor super weak that Ashok Kenny mentions in his book that the companions of the prophets wives, and in particularly he mentions Omaha to move in in the wives of Satan. Oberlin would enter the masjid, for example, so that Ben zemer To clean the masjid even though she was on her menses because cleaning the masjid was a harder was a need. I

00:44:56 --> 00:44:59

said, Chef, how'd you do that? Because I'm the chef B. Got it.

00:45:01 --> 00:45:08

But in that one sitting, you know, it begins with the original opinion of the school where even

00:45:09 --> 00:45:23

the Suki mentions how the fatwa changed. In fact, you know what he said, in the early days, there was a consensus that it wasn't allowed. But because times have changed, there is a consensus that we have to pay them

00:45:24 --> 00:45:34

Subhanallah che, the hokum completely transformed itself. Now in America, this becomes important because we have issues where we have a plurality of opinion.

00:45:35 --> 00:45:42

And we should be able to respect different opinions, according to our different cultural realities in our community, for example, dogs.

00:45:44 --> 00:46:17

Many of us are not rolling with dogs and children to go home tonight and say, you mom. So hey, Webb said Dad, I want a beagle. Right? So I'm saying, you negotiate that it doesn't need a fatwa. We'll talk. But if we find in, and I'm trained in the Maliki tradition, so forgive me for not mentioning other traditions, that's my weakness. But we find in the Maliki mother have a very strong disagreement, and a very enriching discussion about allowing people to have domesticated dogs, visa vie, wild dogs,

00:46:18 --> 00:46:37

and a legitimate discussion on how problematic you mentioned this, people say, the Prophet ordered all the black dogs to die, he said, What an ignorant person, he said, the Prophet and now it makes sense, ordered the black dogs to be killed because there was a group of rabid dogs in Medina who just happened to be what? Black kill him.

00:46:39 --> 00:46:53

But he said it was not an order to kill every single black dog on the face of the earth. He said, When the conveyance of the Prophet went out to make jihad, you have never heard that they stopped, you know, in front of a dog kennel and said, Yo, Hola, Hey, yo, Bina, nice, bulky lab.

00:46:55 --> 00:47:43

So he said, This is considered a specific situation, because he says, listen to the beauty of his argument, the norm is for Muslim not to harm animals. So he said, Actually inverted and understand that, again, there was a circumstance that demanded the norm be ignored, if you will, and then place for a greater benefit for people. So we'll talk about that body of history and how scholars what instruments did, they used to come to these conclusions. And what I'm finding in our communities today is, is acute ignorance. Such that ignorance has now become knowledge and knowledge has become ignorant, how many qualified American Imams have come back to America and not been able to keep

00:47:43 --> 00:47:45

their job for longer than one year.

00:47:47 --> 00:47:55

One of them is a very good friend of mine, the first American to attain a master's degree in a major institution overseas.

00:47:57 --> 00:48:06

And I'm hearing the same complaint. And that is, our congregations are saying, we are too liberal.

00:48:08 --> 00:48:13

We are too easygoing, I said, law and to move for

00:48:14 --> 00:48:35

you, our scholars, you have quantified yourself, but a community that refuses right to listen to, I would say responsible scholarship out of its own internal fears because of cultural issues and civilization. And that you know, realities like colonialism, we're in trouble.

00:48:36 --> 00:49:24

Because many of these talented young men are leaving the field of IE mom, and driving taxis or working for banks. And when we lose our children, we can blame myself for that. The last thing that we'll try to address and I included this, how the how the role of fatwa came out are certain axioms that really should guide our artistic creativity. We need to respect the power of cultural icons. It's a transcendent power. I sat down with most Deaf one time, and he looked at me like he thought I was gonna pound him. I said, Look, at means brother, it's our American slang thing. I said, Look, I key you have a member I have a member you have congregants. I have congregants, you know how best

00:49:24 --> 00:49:31

how to speak to yours. I know how to best to speak to mine. Just keep doing what you got to do. He's like, I can't like wow, you said that to me.

00:49:33 --> 00:49:49

So let's take a number of beautiful principles. For example, the prophet Allah, Masha, Allah, Allah Masha, Hatha fistula, here's a good one. But there's no debating about what you name something. You know, am I a convert or revert? Can we stop? Hashtag nobody cares.

00:49:51 --> 00:49:57

Hashtag nobody cares was done on purpose to show you how culture shapes how you appreciate the point.

00:49:58 --> 00:50:00

Right? There's always something

00:50:00 --> 00:50:04

and going on in the background here be careful. Hashtag, nobody cares be

00:50:06 --> 00:50:18

right, because there's no why would the O lemma we'll talk about this tomorrow and the six principles that surround this axiom? Why would the scholars empower us? Why do the Pakistani brothers and sisters say a good? Nobody says no, it's Allah.

00:50:19 --> 00:50:43

But if we say, you know, in the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful Peace and blessings be a God upon God's Messenger, undoubtedly, after the chutzpah walk outside, and they'll be some red face dude, sitting in the parking lot. Like, I want to talk to you right now. You're destroying our religion, but I just give a whole bias toward the religion. No, you said God could have us.

00:50:46 --> 00:50:48

God could have us as Persian brother.

00:50:50 --> 00:51:24

So why would they empower us? To not worry about what you name it, man? But what do you mean by what you say? What does that have to do with marketing and the tipping point and Caldwell and the arts in our community and how we speak to people? Why would God say why am I also NACA? Why am I selling rosulip elaborately Sandy you owe me we did not send a messenger except he spoke the language of the people. Now watch this language is my jazz. It's a rhetorical usage because that would imply that the only thing God sent him with was with a tongue.

00:51:25 --> 00:52:07

But actually it means it labia Cafferty him except with their culture. But he mentioned speech and isolation to highlight its fundamental importance to the universal at hand. Just like you say, chicken biryani. Right? It's already in the biryani why you gotta say chicken separately to highlight its importance. So why do you have to talk about speech visa vie culture, because speech is so central to the message, especially for a Prophet sallallahu. It was. So branding. There was a study done by a neoconservative Think Tank this had Muslims don't get it. They put his thumb on everything.

00:52:09 --> 00:52:10

They just don't get it.

00:52:11 --> 00:52:12

They put his thumb on everything.

00:52:14 --> 00:52:49

You know, and you see Muslim orbs. I'm saying there's our respect. Make sure you put our name on there. Make sure put our name over it. You know, people don't like in America, or realities. We don't like people who are ostentatious. We might not be the most religious community in the world, but we don't like people who fuck with religion. Real talk, right? Where's the implicit dour? Where's the marketing strategy to bring people into a community? Another thing that we'll talk about as I finish is how do we understand what is unassailable in our deen,

00:52:50 --> 00:52:51

what's unassailable?

00:52:52 --> 00:53:10

What has to be respected as completely, completely as it is. And I will say that in many ways we mirror the society we live in America is not a monolith. There are aspects of American society, that change but the universal basically stays the same.

00:53:11 --> 00:53:51

When a bunch of people see children being killed in the school, they're moved ethically, but it's a universal reality, freedom, transparency, although it's negotiated and been negotiated, and certain realities have played out that not everyone has been the beneficiary of that, as we talked about today, ml kings message to the Muslim would be that you need to stand up for minorities, because you are a minority, and I'm a minority when I accepted Islam, a religious minority, and that we need to stand up for the oppressed. Even though we are recipients of opulence. Yeah, we should feel somehow responsible for the opulence that God has given us to make sure that we make sure to God and speak

00:53:51 --> 00:53:52

to power.

00:53:53 --> 00:54:01

When it's unbridled, that will be a message that MLK would have for post 911 Muslims who have simply drunk the Kool Aid all the time.

00:54:03 --> 00:54:10

Right. And then the other extreme is those who you know kafirs for get this country man to why you live in here, man, grab a ticket and bounce.

00:54:12 --> 00:54:15

I'll buy you one. Just get out of my Masjid.

00:54:16 --> 00:54:24

Right to extremes. So there is not a simulation? Because that's going to happen on its own, whether we like it or not.

00:54:25 --> 00:54:29

But there's participation, but critical participation.

00:54:30 --> 00:54:59

So as Muslims as I finish, what do we have to keep sacred? But what is it allowable for us scholars to interpret for us? And what would be the goal of that interpretation? And why? Because interpretation isn't the teacher. And the teacher has an odd, you know, interpretation is a goal that is has certain objectives behind it. What are those objectives? Not that they're scholars for dollars or sell out so that they have

00:55:00 --> 00:55:20

far as her intentions were that she wants to know there is a system of instruments employed that cause that music to play. And that takes us to what we'll look at we'll look at music as an example. Because the arts and the society are something that we cannot sleep on any longer.

00:55:21 --> 00:55:23

And I'll finish with an example and ask if

00:55:24 --> 00:55:57

I was in the masjid in Boston, a seven to Puerto Rican sister came to the masjid mashallah brothers No. Came to the masjid guy know how it is I put a picture that a Brazilian sister accepted Islam 25,000 likes although she was 50 years old, that's it brothers please stop having these negative thoughts about women and vice versa put up a picture of her brother who is Italian who accepted Islam my phone stopped blowing up for the July man with all due respect to all cultures and not to offend anyone. But that you know, unfortunately is the case. She came to the masjid she's 17 wonderful girl doesn't speak any English.

00:55:59 --> 00:56:00

No English

00:56:01 --> 00:56:04

sits down in front of me and says poquito poquito English man

00:56:05 --> 00:56:20

as I well this is going to be interesting. I said to her and we had an IDI and I said who speak Spanish. On purpose. Princeton guy Marshall Scholar says now with her start speaking Spanish says I want to become Muslim.

00:56:22 --> 00:56:30

So how on earth this girl found out about Islam you know in America, she doesn't speak English. said one thing to me. My her Zane

00:56:33 --> 00:56:34

Mayra Zane.

00:56:36 --> 00:56:38

He's married to Mars. Ain.

00:56:41 --> 00:56:44

Maura Zane is What do you mean? She said.

00:56:45 --> 00:56:46

I like music.

00:56:47 --> 00:56:57

And I listened to his songs. And his message in Spanish resonated with me. And I want to be Muslim. Now.

00:56:58 --> 00:57:03

Now. Now, I said are you sure we have Islam on one? No, I got my Jose.

00:57:05 --> 00:57:09

So the first Spanish shahada I ever gave.

00:57:11 --> 00:57:18

One day, my phone rings. Brother from the Bay Area. Also, not a single

00:57:19 --> 00:57:22

married Sharla soon, the barrier calls me up.

00:57:23 --> 00:57:26

Say Are you are you Imam Suhaib whip.

00:57:27 --> 00:57:35

So yeah, who is this eight o'clock in the morning? For that you call me eight o'clock in the morning for me. He said I got your phone number from an MSA

00:57:36 --> 00:57:40

student here at San Francisco State. I want to accept Islam on the phone.

00:57:41 --> 00:57:45

On the phone. I said Listen, why don't you come to my office? No, I want to do it now.

00:57:46 --> 00:57:53

I said SubhanAllah. That's e man. I mean, that's a man. Right? And I said why? He said, lasers

00:57:56 --> 00:58:06

Lou Bay's album, Lupe Fiasco stardom. It's called lasers. So of course, I was like you talking about lasers on the phone? I'm gonna be mom. I'm talking about

00:58:07 --> 00:58:09

lasers. I don't know anything about lasers, brother.

00:58:11 --> 00:58:17

And forgive me earlier for the examples. If I offended anyone, culturally, that wasn't my intention moment. So he said to me late.

00:58:18 --> 00:58:25

There's, oh, those lasers. Right. He said, I listened to Lopez album, The man speaks the truth.

00:58:26 --> 00:58:29

And he, because of him, I read the Quran.

00:58:30 --> 00:58:40

Because of him, I want to become Muslim. Because of what he talks about. I want to accept Islam. The arts are able to climb fences that the mimbar can never climb.

00:58:42 --> 00:59:31

Create the arts are the language of lovers, but it's just a different language. And we have an assumption about arts because we have not been exposed to a rich tradition. If I quote you, or even at the bar said about music, you make a blog post about me tonight. Even though the Buddha said that music was the soul study of scholars in the early days that scholars engage in the study of music in Spain. Why would he say that? Would we say that half of even out the bar is motivated. I was a biller. So we need to engage what has happened to us at an educational construction level. Why do we think the way that we think and that will bring me into the last point

00:59:33 --> 00:59:59

that I believe as a hypothesis, that American Islam is criticized in a way that no other form of Islam was criticized, and that American duat and especially the white ones, are put on blast in a way that reflects a hatred for American culture. Not something that's rooted I believe in a real academic discourse.

01:00:00 --> 01:00:29

If I say this, if people of color in the Muslim community are subjected to an implicit racism, explicit racism, excuse me, then the white convert is subjected to an implicit racism, more so maybe than others, because many in the community and I say this with respect, and I want you to think about what I'm saying, don't get any emotional mad at me. And as a white dude, I'm kind of uncomfortable saying it, but you got to say it. Because if you don't, you can't sleep at night.

01:00:31 --> 01:00:32

And that is

01:00:33 --> 01:00:49

that the white convert is held up. And I say this with all respect to notions and definitions of whiteness within the immigrant community, and other communities. That perhaps the definition is, you know, Bob Hope

01:00:51 --> 01:00:55

your white guy should be like, Well, I'm here to talk about God. Hmm.

01:00:58 --> 01:01:01

Maybe Will Ferrell. Allah protect us.

01:01:03 --> 01:01:49

But we have definitions, because in many ways, we idealize that universal, it's become a hidden check, which you talked about before. So what happens when the white dude is dropping street slang, you know, got his pants sagging, you know, when to an inner city high school, and he doesn't or she doesn't fall into the definition of whiteness held up by the community. And that's why Sheikh Hamza Hafiz Hola. We saw after 911 Islam online, and I wrote him a letter about this. What was the article that they had about Sheikh Hamza who remembers what it was called? What the Great White hope we're talking about a fellow Muslim like this.

01:01:50 --> 01:01:53

And no one said anything.

01:01:54 --> 01:01:57

Because you know why? Because of what I alluded to earlier.

01:01:58 --> 01:02:32

I mean, that's disgusting. And I had white Conference coming to me saying, you know, I don't I don't think they like us. I don't think I know southern shake will say salam to Dr. Mahathir. I don't I don't think they like us. I don't think we've been fully accepted. Even though that white convert might not have agreed with Sheikh Hamza. But the fact that race was used to criticize Sheikh Hamza have evil Hola, post 911, to me indicated that some in the community, I didn't say, oh,

01:02:33 --> 01:02:35

Jimmy, la Yuki,

01:02:36 --> 01:02:39

that some in the community have this virus.

01:02:41 --> 01:03:08

Now, I'm not gonna talk about the other side of the coin, you wrote a book about it, people can buy it and read it, and listen to you talk about it. But I believe that that also has fractured our ability to truly engage in an American Muslim discourse. And I believe and this is what we'll talk about over the weekend in sha Allah, that it's a necessity. And if other people don't want to do it, that's fine. But leave those who do alone.

01:03:09 --> 01:03:14

Let them build and you build, we ask Allah subhana

01:03:16 --> 01:03:19

wa salam ala ala Sayidina Muhammad in our early saw.

01:03:23 --> 01:03:24

Take Bill,

01:03:25 --> 01:03:26

you can clap to

01:03:30 --> 01:04:19

see and I and I did that on purpose as well, just as the mumps. Mumps was mentioned earlier. By the way, Imam Sohei was talking about that moment in history. When Omar became Muslim, when and there's no comparison between the two. We're not comparing them as he said, When Magic Johnson made the announcement he made he had AIDS. When Imam Sohei when the word got out that he's going to us hub, it was that same kind of buzz. It was that same kind of buzz across America and Hamdulillah we have we are any hamdulillah blessed that Imam Sahib came back with a full with a full with a full load. And mashallah, and he really opened the doors I was talking to in the morning with Imam Sohei, about

01:04:19 --> 01:04:59

one of the first as heavy graduates from America, Imam Sheikh Hassan Tofik from the west from the East Coast, and then the sister of Malcolm X Ella Collins, and how she sent 65 People from the African American community, the newly founded orthodox Muslim African Americans to go study in Egypt. And so Hamdulillah we are seeing the fruits and the products coming 50 years later in the likes of Imam Sahib and many others in sha Allah coming up on his heels, Zack welcome for those beautiful words. And I was thinking

01:05:00 --> 01:05:22

about something you said, and you're talking about how certain concepts they repeat over different periods of time and spy was on the freeway for about four hours today. So I was going crazy. I was up since budget tired out of my mind flipping through channels. Listen to Stevie Wonder. Listen to this Dr. Jackson a mom. So hey, we'll know what I'm talking about. I don't know if anybody else in the audience will. When he said in the line, he said,

01:05:24 --> 01:05:48

he said, I wish those days would come back once more. And I was thinking that's a concept that repeats throughout history later, Chabad? Whoo. Yeah. Oh, the Yeoman. Yeah. Oh, the Yeoman. You know that May. We wish that we would go back to those days when we were once young once again. So some of these contracts. That was just interesting point that he brought up and I thought I'd bring that up as well. We want to move to our next

01:05:49 --> 01:05:51

honored and distinguished guest.

01:05:53 --> 01:05:58

Dr. Shimon Jackson. Dr. Sherman Jackson is the king. I'm sorry.

01:06:00 --> 01:06:08

Dr. Jim Sherman Jackson is the King Faisal, Chair of Islamic thought and chill and culture. Sometimes you have to disobey the leadership

01:06:09 --> 01:06:34

and professor of religion and American Studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California USC, we are greatly honored that he joined the greater Los Angeles community about a year ago. He received his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and has taught at many different universities at the University of Texas in Austin, Indiana University and the University of Michigan. He's the author of several books,

01:06:36 --> 01:06:49

including one of his latest ones, Sufism for non Sufis, even Otto Allah's Eskandari, Tagil arrows and other books. And he is one of the core scholars of the Allen program. Dr. Sherman Jackson

01:06:52 --> 01:07:05

and Dr. Sherman Jackson mashallah these brothers up here have a lot of passion and energy. Dr. Sherman Jackson has a lot more than a mom so Hey, so we're gonna give him the headset so he doesn't know I'm here right? Now I can't do this.

01:07:07 --> 01:07:08

Now this is too much technology for me

01:07:13 --> 01:07:20

it's been a theme and haven't really learned as anyone want to stick fit the one that's the hottie, when it would be like maturity and fusina men say at

01:07:22 --> 01:07:29

the level of medulla Manuel lil fella, hurry Allah. Allah ilaha illallah wa, ala Muhammad

01:07:30 --> 01:07:36

sallallahu alayhi wa sallam rubbish era he saw that we are certainly Emery looked at Emily Saniya.

01:07:38 --> 01:07:41

What can you Sharon FC fella discerning when other

01:07:42 --> 01:07:47

than the Red Hawk Ebola and I mean, we're back Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

01:07:50 --> 01:08:00

I want to preface my remarks by saying how honored I am to to be here. And how appreciative

01:08:01 --> 01:08:19

to the community here for opening your doors to to the island program. And on that note, I also want to second something that Imam Suhaib said relative to the role of people like Dr. Muslim Siddiqui.

01:08:21 --> 01:08:38

And I'm saying this not as a sort of crass gesture of false flattery. But in the context of an increasing a historical consciousness that I acquire as I get older

01:08:40 --> 01:08:42

people like Dr. Muslim,

01:08:45 --> 01:08:49

probably have no idea

01:08:50 --> 01:08:59

of all of the people that they have touched over the many years that they have been in operation.

01:09:00 --> 01:09:06

I'm someone who goes back over 30 years,

01:09:07 --> 01:09:42

to the early days of the Esna conferences, where people like Dr. Muslim mill was inspiring us to ourselves, or reach for higher heights and deeper understandings. And while we may not have always understood, or perhaps even agreed with what we were hearing, the very opportunity to witness commitment to Islam in action was something that was very deeply inspiring. And I really want to say that

01:09:44 --> 01:10:00

you know, it's very common among Muslims that we honor are our self, our ancestors, but somehow, our ancestors can

01:10:00 --> 01:10:04

not be people who function and operate within our own midst,

01:10:05 --> 01:10:12

we have our ancestors to, and we are standing on the shoulders of people who

01:10:13 --> 01:10:49

dedicated and sacrificed a lot to build what we have so far. And I just want to be one of those persons who acknowledges that, and who invites you to acknowledge that. And I hope that Allah Subhan Allah, Allah will bless us all with a deeper sense of historical consciousness so that we can understand our role relative to those who came before us, as well as those who are coming after us. After all, that is ultimately what a community is all about. I want to be in sha Allah very brief in my remarks.

01:10:50 --> 01:11:58

And I want to try and give a sense of what I hope to be able to articulate over the weekend. And I'm going to be talking about the whole issue of the challenge of culture and the socio cultural reality that we are confronted with in America. And the fact that we can ignore that reality, but we cannot avoid it, that reality will affect us, one way or the other. And either we will arrive at a point where we can exercise cultural agency, and ultimately, hopefully, some cultural authority, which I'll talk about in just a minute. Or we will find ourselves in a position where our religious sensibilities are diluted, are weakened, emaciated in ways that we are not even aware of, because we

01:11:58 --> 01:12:17

are living in a social atmosphere, a social cultural climate, that basically makes religion feel irrelevant as an aspect of everyday life. And I know that this kind of talk is not very popular among a lot of people. But let me just say this,

01:12:18 --> 01:12:42

I'm not here to talk about reality, as we would like it to be. I'm here to talk about reality as it is, and especially among some of our parents, if you think this is not a reality, while your children may not share it with you, they share it with me. And I encounter it far more often than I would like to.

01:12:44 --> 01:12:47

I want to try and sort of contextualize my marks by

01:12:48 --> 01:12:52

sort of sharing you sharing with you an experience that I recently had.

01:12:54 --> 01:12:56

I just came back from

01:12:57 --> 01:12:58

a trip overseas and

01:13:00 --> 01:13:08

part of that was took me to Saudi Arabia and in in Saudi Arabia, I had that the pleasure and the honor of meeting with another

01:13:12 --> 01:13:12


01:13:13 --> 01:13:27

stalwart in trying to establish Islamic institutions in America. Dr. Abdul Hamid Abelson, a man, I met with him and three out and he gave me

01:13:29 --> 01:13:43

a bunch of books and things that he had written. And one in particular sort of caught my attention. And so I began to, to read it. And the title of this book was asthma to Lachlan Muslim.

01:13:46 --> 01:13:51

The crisis of of the Muslim mind. And in this book,

01:13:53 --> 01:14:24

he basically talked about the major problem of the Muslim world being the problem of political autonomy, political authenticity, and political efficiency, the ability to construct a political reality that is effective, and at the same time reflects the rules, the sensibilities, the values, the principles of Islam,

01:14:25 --> 01:14:38

and that in their quest to achieve this, Muslims had been either overly enamored with importing solutions from abroad.

01:14:39 --> 01:14:59

That is, Western ways of doing things, or overly romantic in their attachment to their own tradition, in a way that they imagined that people who lived centuries ago in the context of reality

01:15:00 --> 01:15:05

parties that are far far removed from the realities that they are now living today.

01:15:06 --> 01:15:21

Imagining that those people could actually proffer concrete solutions for the kinds of issues that they confronted in life. And the result of this was that Muslim society

01:15:23 --> 01:15:37

became more stagnant, more alienated, more dependent. And these approaches to things actually made things worse.

01:15:38 --> 01:16:02

And that in all of the years of these modern experiments, none of these attempts to sort of patchwork a solution together, had actually had actually worked. And basically, what he was arguing is that we need an authentic approach, that is a spontaneous reading of our sources, as applied to our reality.

01:16:04 --> 01:16:21

One in which we exercise, agency, and responsibility, and nothing short of that will work. Now, I found this book to be interesting on a number of levels. But to be honest with you, what was even more sort of

01:16:23 --> 01:16:26

important for me, is that

01:16:27 --> 01:16:36

to a very real extent, you know, as I read, and read and read more in the book, I kept saying to myself,

01:16:37 --> 01:16:38

but that's not our issue.

01:16:41 --> 01:16:46

That's not our issue. Here in the West, where we live in America.

01:16:48 --> 01:16:56

Our issue is not one of how we are going to construct a government.

01:16:57 --> 01:17:00

Certainly not today, that's not our issue.

01:17:02 --> 01:17:10

Our issue is not one of how we are going to construct and run a national economy.

01:17:11 --> 01:17:16

That may be an issue 200 years, or 100 years, 25 years

01:17:18 --> 01:17:21

from now, but that's not our issue today.

01:17:22 --> 01:17:30

Our issue is not, who's going to pick up the trash tomorrow, here, these are issues that

01:17:31 --> 01:17:33

are already in place.

01:17:34 --> 01:17:35

And for us

01:17:40 --> 01:17:43

to remain focused on those issues,

01:17:45 --> 01:17:59

will have the effect of blinding us to the real issues that confront us. And the real issues that confront us, or issues that have to do with how we

01:18:00 --> 01:18:15

can effectively define ourselves as Muslims, and how we can gain public recognition for our own self definition, as Muslims in this country.

01:18:16 --> 01:18:52

Will we be defined by others, and therefore, live in the life of their definitions? In which case, we either react against them or react in such a way that we actually embrace their definitions? Or will we define ourselves? Well, we say, This is what Islam is, this is who we are as Muslims. And we want public respect for our own self definition of who we are as Muslims.

01:18:53 --> 01:19:00

And all this focus on the obsessions of the Muslim world,

01:19:01 --> 01:19:03

as legitimate as they are,

01:19:05 --> 01:19:10

blinds us to our own reality and our own challenges that we have to confront here.

01:19:11 --> 01:19:27

So much, so that I began to think that perhaps we in America may be guilty of the same thing that I will say a man was talking about the Muslim world doing in reverse.

01:19:29 --> 01:19:32

He was talking about how the Muslim world had suffered

01:19:34 --> 01:19:39

from its tendency to borrow important solutions.

01:19:40 --> 01:19:50

Instead of proffering its own. We too in America may be suffering from the same thing of trying to borrow important solutions.

01:19:52 --> 01:19:59

Solutions that come from places that don't necessarily understand our reality, and in fact, I had some of the

01:20:00 --> 01:20:05

same experiences that you had in Egypt. I remember, I was

01:20:07 --> 01:20:11

I was, uh, I won't say any names. I was studying with a with a sheikh.

01:20:12 --> 01:20:26

And I said to him, I'll give you the first name. I said to him, I said that check out, you know, one of our problems in America is some of these facts was, you guys keep sending over there.

01:20:28 --> 01:20:30

And he was an older man.

01:20:31 --> 01:20:33

Older than me. I'm not at all.

01:20:35 --> 01:20:43

But he was an older man. And I say that to say that, you know, he was more secure. He was threatened by by what I had said.

01:20:44 --> 01:20:59

And then he said to me, shut up that Hakeem, we're going to stay your problem, until you proffer your own fact was for your own reality. Now, I got a problem. He said,

01:21:00 --> 01:21:12

I'm on this Islam online thing. And I got these ladies from America, and England, sending me these questions about marriage and divorce and all this stuff.

01:21:13 --> 01:21:15

I want you to help me answer them.

01:21:18 --> 01:21:22

Because you know their reality in ways that I do not.

01:21:23 --> 01:21:32

And if I answered them on the basis of an understanding that emerges out of my social cultural context, I might do these ladies a lot of harm.

01:21:34 --> 01:21:52

Alright, so what I'm talking about is the fact that we, in America have to understand that we will have to be the people who exercise agency and taking control of our own destiny and our own future here.

01:21:53 --> 01:22:22

And while we may benefit from ideas, from knowledge, from insights that come from elsewhere, we will ultimately have to be the people who determine what the utility of those out of those insights of that knowledge of those solutions are. And we as a community, we have to stop being cowards, and we have to stop being lazy.

01:22:24 --> 01:22:31

We have to stop being cowards. And we have to stop being lazy, as if someone else

01:22:32 --> 01:22:41

is going to go through all of the agony, all of the sacrifice all of the hard work, to do what tell us how to live,

01:22:42 --> 01:22:54

raise our children, not their own hours. One of the things that we have to run understand as Muslims in America. And I want to say this parenthetically.

01:22:56 --> 01:23:25

As you listen to what I say, Please don't make the mistake of imagining that everything that we face here is gloom and doom, it is not. And part of what concerns me is that by always focusing on problems and problems alone, oftentimes, we overlook the many opportunities that we have. And as a result, there are we forfeit opportunities.

01:23:27 --> 01:23:43

Right. And so we have to be big minded, we have to be circumspect, but we have to understand that we, we, this community, will have to work to ensure its own future.

01:23:44 --> 01:23:47

And I want to I want to share with you an insight

01:23:51 --> 01:23:52


01:23:53 --> 01:24:01

that's often lost on us as a community, because we are a minority community

01:24:02 --> 01:24:07

in a majoritarian non Muslim society. And that oftentimes

01:24:08 --> 01:24:35

presents us with a sort of psychological barrier that is so thick, that it almost gives us an excuse not to even try that the odds are so great. But all we can do is sort of find some sort of holding pattern and just hope that we will survive, that our children will remain Muslim, and things will turn out. All right. I want to remind us of something here.

01:24:36 --> 01:24:37


01:24:38 --> 01:24:40

contrary to

01:24:41 --> 01:24:41


01:24:43 --> 01:24:44

many of us

01:24:46 --> 01:24:58

may and many of us won't acknowledge this openly. But because we have very little intellectual authority in the world. It's almost as if what the West says about Islam is true.

01:24:59 --> 01:24:59

And even when

01:25:00 --> 01:25:04

And we reject it with our tongues. Some of us we accept it with our hearts.

01:25:05 --> 01:25:43

And one of the ideas that has been generated about Islam was this whole business of spreading by the sword. And many of us in our sort of triumphalism, we sort of liked that. We like the idea that, you know, Muslims were able to amass so much power that nobody was able to resist them, masha Allah Allahu Akbar. But the reality is, is that those lands that form the central lands of the Muslim world today. These are places that did not become a simple majority Muslim, for centuries,

01:25:45 --> 01:25:59

for centuries, and did not become places like Egypt, places like Iraq, places like Syria, places like Iran, and did not become overwhelmingly Muslim for about 300 years.

01:26:01 --> 01:26:09

So, in a sense, not quite. But in a sense, you might imagine that, you know, America's hold

01:26:19 --> 01:26:19

Thank you.

01:26:21 --> 01:26:32

236. Around that America's let's say 200 years old, all right. What we have to recognize is that if you were sitting in Egypt

01:26:33 --> 01:26:42

200 years after Islam came to Egypt, alright, as Muslims, you would still have been a minority in Egypt.

01:26:44 --> 01:26:47

You would still have been a minority in Syria.

01:26:48 --> 01:26:51

You would still have been a minority in Iraq.

01:26:52 --> 01:26:53


01:26:54 --> 01:26:54


01:26:56 --> 01:26:58

When did Imam Abu Hanifa die?

01:27:00 --> 01:27:01

What year by now?

01:27:04 --> 01:27:06

One 150 I said what

01:27:08 --> 01:27:09


01:27:11 --> 01:27:12

What do you think

01:27:13 --> 01:27:26

the percentage of Muslims in Iraq was in the year 150. When he died? Not when he was living and doing his thing? When he died? What do you think the percentage of Muslims could have been?

01:27:28 --> 01:27:29

20 30%

01:27:30 --> 01:27:35

That's, that's pretty that's pretty high for that time. When did Imam Shafi die

01:27:37 --> 01:27:44

204 When the magic die 179 When did the madman hammer down

01:27:46 --> 01:27:47

to 41

01:27:48 --> 01:27:54

even among the Shiites, Imam Jaffa Assad was one of the teachers of Matic in Hadith. So he died before Maddie,

01:27:55 --> 01:27:57

what's the point that I'm making here?

01:27:58 --> 01:27:59

Our Imam.

01:28:01 --> 01:28:13

Those who produce some of the greatest repositories of religious knowledge in the history of Islam did so. As minorities.

01:28:18 --> 01:28:20

I got minority time here.

01:28:23 --> 01:28:40

The point that I'm making here is that we should not allow ourselves to be disabused of the confidence that we can do it. Because that is what generates and perpetuates laziness, and have heartedness.

01:28:41 --> 01:29:14

Those men and women back there who laid the foundations for an Islamic civilization, they worked hard. And they believed in the power of the miraculous, that if they worked hard, and if they dedicated themselves, they could be touched by the grace and the mercy of God. And great things could happen. We have to retrieve that, that sense among ourselves, and the one thing that we have to understand, automatic pilot will not do it.

01:29:16 --> 01:29:19

automatic pilot will not do it.

01:29:21 --> 01:29:33

We have, in my estimation, five major challenges as a Muslim community living in America, can I have two extra minutes because it's gonna take just two inshallah.

01:29:36 --> 01:29:51

And I say this, you know, both as an academic, and as somebody who's tried to parlay their academic training into something that's useful for my Muslim community for 30 years.

01:29:54 --> 01:29:59

The first major challenge we have is the challenge of a

01:30:00 --> 01:30:03

epistemology, I know that's a fancy word, let me try and break it down.

01:30:05 --> 01:30:14

Part of the problem that we have now and the people in this room are going to be most affected by this. Part of the problem that we are confronting now is that

01:30:16 --> 01:30:24

one of the symbols of success in America is to be able to get married, raise children, and send them where

01:30:25 --> 01:30:29

to college, and send them to college.

01:30:30 --> 01:30:32

But the American Academy today

01:30:33 --> 01:30:42

is increasingly reflective of a secularizing, and perhaps even eight the Ising.

01:30:45 --> 01:30:47

psychological framework,

01:30:49 --> 01:30:58

epistemology, and what we are doing is we are sending arch and by the way, the the more prestigious the school you send your kid to

01:31:00 --> 01:31:27

the the more concentrated, that secularizing mentality is, and we're sending our children to the schools for four years, for six years, for eight years, they're being saturated with this mindset in the context of which religion doesn't make any sense. And then they're coming out the other side, and being expected to reconcile Islam with themselves.

01:31:29 --> 01:31:32

And this is beginning to cause dislocations now.

01:31:33 --> 01:31:39

And what we need as a Muslim community, we need to develop the antidote to this.

01:31:40 --> 01:31:52

We need to develop the antidote to this. We need alternative institutions, we need places where our best and brightest can go and address these issues. And here, I want to make an appeal.

01:31:53 --> 01:32:01

And I hope I'm not misunderstood here. I have a job. I have a house, I have a car, I have a wife, I don't need your money.

01:32:04 --> 01:32:08

But those of us who are wealthy in the Muslim community, and I mean wealthy

01:32:11 --> 01:32:17

we have to understand that we are at the point where we need to put it on the line.

01:32:19 --> 01:32:25

You ever you ever asked yourself? Let's see. Because then he was he a great scholar?

01:32:31 --> 01:32:32

Where are we

01:32:34 --> 01:32:35

was even telling me a great scholar

01:32:37 --> 01:32:42

was Karachi a great scholar. You ever ask yourself? What are these people come from?

01:32:44 --> 01:32:45

You ever ask yourself that?

01:32:47 --> 01:32:48

Where they come from?

01:32:49 --> 01:32:52

Are they born scholars? Have they become scholars?

01:32:54 --> 01:32:55

They were institutions.

01:32:56 --> 01:33:00

But get this. There was no Ministry of Education.

01:33:02 --> 01:33:03

There was no Board of Education.

01:33:05 --> 01:33:07

Where those institutions come from

01:33:08 --> 01:33:14

private, not masajid private individuals came forth and put it on the line.

01:33:17 --> 01:33:18

Put it on the line.

01:33:20 --> 01:33:21

I'm not a scholar.

01:33:23 --> 01:33:25

I'm a millionaire businessman. That's what I do.

01:33:27 --> 01:33:31

I can't get fat to us. But I could write checks.

01:33:32 --> 01:33:35

And I hope that they will be waiting for me on the day of judgment.

01:33:36 --> 01:33:42

Many of you may have heard Have you heard? Have you seen that report for your ink? Anybody ever heard of that?

01:33:45 --> 01:33:47

There was a report done in 2009.

01:33:49 --> 01:33:50

So Muslims did it.

01:33:52 --> 01:33:54

With the Center for American I can't remember?

01:33:57 --> 01:34:00

No, I'm talking about. Anyway, there was a report.

01:34:01 --> 01:34:05

And the report said that from between 2001 and 2009

01:34:06 --> 01:34:13

Islamophobic causes in this country. Right? There were only seven foundations that they cited seven.

01:34:14 --> 01:34:20

And those seven foundations contribute $42.6 million

01:34:22 --> 01:34:23

to Islamophobia.

01:34:27 --> 01:34:29

That is part of what we're up against in America.

01:34:31 --> 01:34:49

And if we're going to be able to develop alternative epistemologies, because see if you're a young, I'm an academic, I'm in the classroom. And I know if you are a young person sitting in the university today, and you believe in God, whether you're Christian, Jewish or whatever, you got something to answer for.

01:34:52 --> 01:34:55

If you don't believe in God, you don't have anything to answer for.

01:34:56 --> 01:34:59

That's a reality. How long do we think our children

01:35:00 --> 01:35:01

We're going to survive this.

01:35:03 --> 01:35:09

How long? So that's the first challenge we have to confront. The second challenge is,

01:35:10 --> 01:35:19

you know, there's some theological issues that we have to address, because these are the issues that undermine religion in this society.

01:35:20 --> 01:35:24

The first issue is the issue of theodicy.

01:35:25 --> 01:35:34

When these, these 20 children got killed at this school, all right, you hear it? From time to time, what do people say?

01:35:36 --> 01:35:37

What was God?

01:35:40 --> 01:35:42

How can I wait? Where's God?

01:35:43 --> 01:35:56

And it's happening all the time. All right, and we can come here and our message it and feel secure. And we can ignore this. But your children have to go to school tomorrow.

01:35:59 --> 01:36:00

They got to go to school.

01:36:01 --> 01:36:08

My 16 year old daughter has to wear hijab to a public school the next day, where they're saying What

01:36:09 --> 01:36:10

was God?

01:36:13 --> 01:36:17

These are issues we have to we have to address this issue. All right.

01:36:18 --> 01:36:25

Because it will undermine religion. It's undermined major aspects of religion in the West.

01:36:26 --> 01:36:34

We now live in the West. It's not going to stop all of a sudden at our doorstep. We have to address this. The third issue I want to hurry up.

01:36:37 --> 01:36:38

Or maybe I should skip it.

01:36:42 --> 01:36:44

The third issue is this.

01:36:46 --> 01:37:00

See, we have to understand that living in the West. You see, most of the people in this room may not think of themselves as Western. And that's fine. That's perfectly fine.

01:37:01 --> 01:37:03

But just because you aren't Western.

01:37:05 --> 01:37:07

You live in the west now.

01:37:08 --> 01:37:11

Western history is your history.

01:37:14 --> 01:37:20

Because you are living realities that may emerge out of that history.

01:37:22 --> 01:37:24

And one of the realities is this.

01:37:26 --> 01:37:29

That religion in the West was a problem.

01:40:51 --> 01:40:51


01:40:55 --> 01:40:55


01:41:52 --> 01:41:57

Have to wait for anyway some harsh stuff about it yes

01:42:01 --> 01:42:02


01:42:25 --> 01:42:25


01:42:35 --> 01:42:35

I'm Robert

01:42:48 --> 01:42:49

posted on

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terms of quality just leave stuff

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really annoying

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I've always wanted

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