Channel: Siraj Wahhaj
Okay Bismillah when handling la wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah while earlier he was being a woman while
a samurai Kumara Moloney wabarakatuhu Welcome, everyone. My name is Sam Sharif I attended. I am the brother's coordinator for a gmu MSA we welcome you all to one of our bigger events this year, was one of the biggest speakers hamdulillah montserrado Hodge. This is like I said, like I said, this is one of the bigger events from our mistakes, and our MSA gmu strives to provide a Islamic environment and strengthen the Muslim community on campus through educational and social events. Our event tonight will be focusing on a rather serious topic and problem that we intend to learn from our honorable speaker and teacher Mr. Raja Hodge. That topic is black lives in Islam and anti racism. We
hope to learn about the issue and the steps we should take as Muslims to to eradicate racism within the community.
We all know that it is a responsibility for us to serve humanity at large. So this is important for us to learn about so we can do that job. I'm going to go ahead and hand it off to our secretary Sakina.
So you know, whenever you're ready, just sit on why do you want to live but I can too. So my name is Akina vice. I am the secretary of the Muslim Student Association. And so today we have the honor and pleasure of having ynab special has with us tonight and he will be giving us the opportunity to benefit from his experience and advice in sha Allah.
So like Sam said, The purpose of this event is to discuss racism within the Muslim community and the steps we can take to better ourselves and just educate ourselves and help this community inshallah grow. And so in a lot of carousels, Shylock So first, I'm going to introduce our speaker tonight. So, you know, Roger has his name at taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, New York, and the leader of the Muslim alliance in North America. He's also the former vice president of the Islamic Society of North America is Mashallah well known among Muslims in North America as a dynamic speaker and tireless supporter of Islamic causes. imen has appeared on many national television talk shows and
interviews, especially about his anti drug campaigns. And he has received high praises from the media and the NYPD for initiating an anti drug patrol in Brooklyn, New York in 1988. He helped to leave the area from the drugs and crime shot law. And in 1991, he also became the first Muslim to offer an opening prayer at the United States House of Representatives. Charles, so sit on my income and welcome your mortgage
is a great honor to be here. Thank you. Thank you, thank you for your time and agreeing to speak at our event. No, my It's my pleasure. Yes, thank you. I'm, so I'm going to be asking you a couple of questions. And you can just take your time answering them. We can even have some discussion about some topics with myself or some of the viewers here if they have a comment to add. And then at the end, we'll have a 10 minute q&a session. So if anyone has questions that like just come up, you can just take note of them and inshallah keep them for the q&a. Sounds good. Excellent. Awesome shot. Let's get started. So first, can you just tell us about your experience dealing with racism within
Um, let me tell you this. A lot of men are handled from the law. bear witness, there's no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him is Allah's Messenger.
This topic is very, very, very deep, has many layers. And I don't want to grow over it gloss over, I want to really have some in depth discussion.
Because I think that
few people understand the depth of this issue of racism, it's, it's, it's deep. It's not something that you can, you know, have a 10 minute talk or even a two hour talk and get it but we're going to try our best.
One of the companions of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him name, or I will, he said, lahar Kima Illa dotage, there's no real wisdom without experience. So what are we giving you tonight is some of my own personal experience. You can't be on this planet so many years, and I learned something. So I'm going to be talking about some experience and we're talking about the Quran. I'm going to be talking about Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. And that's going to be the context of my my discussion. My ex one mm, I said, Ma'am, do you keep up with current events? And he said, No, I don't. And I'm saying is critical. If you want to be any man, you're going to be
a leader. If you want to be even an MSA. You're going to be in college and you know,
vers cities, you have to keep abreast with with current events. Current Events tell you what's going on.
But in order to appreciate current events, you have to study history. So coupled with current events, what's going on, and then an explanation of what's going on by by studying a little bit history. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, He who gets behind in a race must forever remain behind, or run faster than the man up front. So some of the things that we're going to be talking about tonight, hopefully, it lives, in my opinion, is about what happened to the African Americans.
How deep is racism? Does it still exist in America?
Does it exist in the Muslim community? And what we can do to eradicate it? Um, so let me let me let me begin by, you know, I know you haven't really asked me the question yet. And you're going to ask me but let me let me lay the foundation. Um, someone asked the Prophet peace and blessings be upon them, who is the best person?
And he answered, very interesting, he said, the person with the longest life and the best deeds, the longest life and the best deeds. And just to give you a taste before we get into all our conversation, let me give you a little bit current events. So Martin Luther King, Jr. said he, who gets behind in a race must forever remain behind or run faster than the man up front. Let me just give you something based upon the heartleaf that just gave you
sometimes, I like I like studying I am. You have any idea which university I want to? interview? Since Okay, no, no. No. Can you tell us? Okay, New York University. Okay, I want you to guess my major.
Let me give you a couple of guesses.
What do you think my major was? I know you did go to Mecca to study I don't know what you studied in New York. That was different. But my major study was in New York University. I went to the Mecca in 1978. Next a few guesses here. That was Yeah, that was Mmm, training. something different for my undergrad. Some people are saying psychology social studies engineering. Very good. Very good. A lot of but
I was a math major.
National my man. Yeah, study, man. I mean, people always surprised when I said, My idea when I was young, have fun. Get a difficult math problem.
I wish I wish I wish I was like that.
So let me let me tell you something. why I say that. And in a lot of times in my talk, when I tell people I was a math major, they say yeah, they listen to my talks. And they say I was I was doing numbers. Um, sometimes when you do research, I'm a researcher. If you give me an opportunity of choice to research or give a talk, I would rather research and talk because you guys make me talk and you invite me in right between programs. But my love is his research. If you would ask the the life expectancy of the average American, I'm going to tell you what the life expectancy is. And then I'm going to tell you that that is misleading. The life expectancy of the average American is 78.5
years, 78.5 years.
But that's but that's, you know, that's misleading. Because if you ask the question, what's the average life expectancy of the average African American man, it's not 78.5 78.5. If you compare it with other nations, we will rank like 45th. But the average life expectancy of the average black man in America is 71.5 years, 71.5 years. And if you compare it with the rest of the nations of the world, we wouldn't be a 45th we'll be 111 of all the nations in the world. Um, I think that most people think that well, racism is over, you know, slavery is over. You guys should you know, you know, get over it. And there's no getting over it. Once you see what I'm going to talk about tonight
in sha Allah, that it still exists, the remnants of it still exists, the effects still exist.
internalized racism still exists.
This systemic racism is still exists. So hopefully, tonight we'll get into some of those things and I don't want to just, again gloss over it and say what Muslims should do. We're going to talk about that inshallah. But that's, that's how I want to begin. I want you to know that, you know, it's funny in I was, um, I was in a store a Korean store a couple years ago, and I've been going there for years. And for the first time, one of the workers, she's from Korea. She said one day, where are you from?
I said, I'm from America. She said, No, no, no. Were you really from? I said, I said, America. She said, Where are your parents from?
I say America. So what happens is that when people look at me,
automatically, they say, African American, you know, even Jamil el amin, I don't know if you ever heard of him is a ma'am in in Atlanta, Georgia. And he says that all themselves, African Americans, but we're more Americans than African. So the first question is, um, you Sharif, you introduced me and what? What did you call me? How did you?
How did you? What's my name? I introduced you as Ma'am, sir Edwin. Mm. Suraj. Maharaja, do you think I was born with that name? No. No, you see? So can we say no?
What? What was my name before?
I'm sorry, sorry. What was my name before Siraj? wahhaj. Oh, you had a very different name.
My name? I was born with the name Jeffrey cares. Ke arsc Jeffrey cares. And my father's father's name was Willie. So now I'm going to ask you you both for question I want you to think about it. Allah mentioned called an auto auto only about him call them by their father's name. Right? If Allah says in court and call them by their father's name, what give me the right to change my name. From Jeffrey cares to Serato Hodge, do I have a right even? And that's a good question. Because you have Dr. Bilal Philips, Abdullah Hakeem. Quick, you know, and they have the names of their of their of their fathers. Why would I Why would I? Do I have the right to change my name?
I imagine you both. What do you think about it?
I've never really thought about that. Huh? I've never thought about no you haven't, I want you to think about it now. Call them by default his name and I believe in the Quran. And Allah is telling us something you can't you know what, when you what most women in America and maybe 90, maybe 99% women, when they get married, they take on their husbands name. That's not an Islamic way.
Or Isha radula and her she didn't become Aisha Mohammed or Abdullah. No, she's I should bent Abu Bakr Ah, she's the daughter of a father. And always in Islam, you carry the name of your your father. But I have a very unique position. And the African Americans have a unique position. Because the name really cares. cares isn't the real name of my father.
The names that black people have is the name of their former slave masters. So that if a slave master name was Jones, all the slaves would be Jones. And that's how we got our names. So if you studied people like
Reverend Sharpton, Reverend Sharpton will tell you his great grandfather name was shopping from the white slave on the name shopping. So then that gave me a right to change the change my name. So um, so the point I'm making that I'm going to begin here is that as we have a discussion, I want you to appreciate African Americans and the dilemma that they end in the resiliency of African Americans about 30 something years ago, I was in Jamaica, and there was an expert who can look at you and tell what tribe you come from. I say Oh, me, me, me. me. Look at me. What Where am I from?
He said, Mandingo,
Mandingo. Now this is important because when you look at me I have enough.
Right? An s word. I'm black. Right? And guess what? I love being black
and can't wait to wake up every
Morning, black. You should ask me why would you like to ask me why?
Because the law says hola v you Sal will confirm ohana k for your Sha, Allah created Jew in the womb as he pleased. And if Allah is pleased to meet me black, I'm happy to be black, you see, and so for years made black people like we will nothing to be black. And I'm just kind of giving you a little bit a preview, because we're gonna have an honest discussion. And I think that you should you should know some of these things. You know,
if you saw the movie, Malcolm X, I know none of you ever seen the movie ever in your life. I got it understand that, right. But if you didn't see a movie called Malcolm X, you'll see that Denzel Washington who played Malcolm, in the beginning of the movie, His hair was tanked. It's called conch, meaning a fried, a, you know, um, you know, years ago, it was common for black people to straighten their hair for the men to straighten their hair. And the only reason that they straighten their hand they were imitating white people. Right? So black people, believe it or not, not only will they hate it, but other people, but black people had the self hatred, we hated ourselves. In
1968, I want you to do some research. There was a song that was sung was number one, on the rhythm and blues chart for about eight weeks. And that was a very, very important song, sung by James Brown, James Brown was a very famous singer. And the name of this song was Say it loud. I'm black, and I'm proud. So when you say 1970 1968, was a social revolution, where black people will begin to change. So they didn't count the hair anymore. They had what they call afros. You know, the afro is
emem Suraj. In 1978, I had a huge Afro, my Afro was so big, you can land a helicopter on top of it. So then you see black people started to change the name. And they started to, you know, to leave the slave masters name. And they started to have African names, Islamic names, you know, Muslim names, and also change in dress. It started when I shake his I did and the 60s, I started wearing dashikis. And if you notice, now, if you look at black men and women, you will see that their hairstyle is so divergent, all kinds of hairstyles, because down there, they're trying to recapture their own self identity. So that's like a kind of introduction. And then so we can so we can continue. I'm sorry to
take so long I, I'm not gonna take this. This is great. This is great.
But I think that some things, you know, yeah, no, definitely, definitely. That's, that's all we want, honestly. Okay.
So you can start, he said that we can talk about just like, you don't want it to go not just briefly on just a few topics. And just we can we can go over what you said, or we can just start talking about we I really want to know, just how, how it was during the civil rights era, how I read some and your biography that you were how and then when you started the Nation of Islam. And just I just want to know, like your experience during that era, and how was it? Yeah, I think it's important, the Nation of Islam, I think, played a very pivotal role. And if you could, for the freedom of African Americans, a lot of people did, the Nation of Islam did also. And you can argue about the
arcada of the Nation of Islam, you can say, Well, you know what, that really wasn't Islam. They didn't, you know, they didn't practice the way Muslim practice. And that's true to a lot of degrees. But one thing about the Nation of Islam that I got, they taught me to love my black self, there was a time that you can call a black person black. No, you know, they will call Negros, colored people, African Americans, but then they became a time
actually doing this
social revolution, where black people begin to embrace being black, you know, so, so in the Nation of Islam, I remember why join the Nation of Islam. I'll never forget that my hero has always been one Luther King Jr.
I was a Christian. And I listened to him. I listened to his theology. And that was my man. And also I play basketball. Sharif, did you know I play basketball?
No, I wasn't aware. Yeah. Can you play basketball? Not really.
Good, so maybe we play the next time.
But I played basketball I played for my my university New York University, I play for my high school I played for my junior high school. So I love basketball. And
in 1978, in April, I was in the recreational center, St. John's recreation center playing basketball. And they interrupted our games, and told us they announced that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. And I went home, I could still see myself, I went home crying.
And because we love them, we love them very much. And I remember saying that, that summer,
I'm no longer going to be a Christian. I'm going to either be a black Muslim, or Black Panther. These are the two to two prominent African American groups. And I think basically was a kind of dissatisfaction with all that has been done against black people, all those years of, you know, of protesting, and things like that. So. So a 1979, as a student at New York University is interesting, that no Muslim
ever came to me and even offered me a pamphlet.
I said no Muslim, I mean, no Sunni Muslim. No orthodox Muslim, ever engaged me. But who engaged me what the what the brothers from the Nation of Islam. They will come to the college campus and they will talk to us, they will sit next not down next to us, is how you do my black brother. So one of the things that I got from the Nation of Islam, but I remember the very day that I I joined it was a Wednesday night I can tell you the very suit that I wore the shoes that I wore, and, and the message that I heard was one of upliftment for black people. The attraction of the Nation of Islam wasn't religion wasn't a religious attraction, at least for me. Most of my friends had not no religion
really. That's what I was going to point out that you felt more comfortable being black, you you became Muslim, because you felt more comfortable being black in that community. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So that's what happened. So so it was and really I learned I learned to love black people in the Nation of Islam. I learned to love black people. And so we will always active demonstrations and and and things like that. So that's how I began of being a young man joining the Nation of Islam loving black people, you know, calling each other brother something that we do in Islam You know, my my brother and me know a whole Muslim the prophets that are Muslim is a brother
to Muslim but we are brother and by the way, you know what we call the our inviting people to Islam in the Nation of Islam they had a kind of vowel but they didn't call it that with the coefficient. So brother did you go fishing which meaning coefficient for the people to bring the people into the temple, and I did that every week, I went every week. And it was my I didn't have I wasn't driving, I would get a cab.
And, and get some of my customers. And by the way, I sold a paper called Muhammad speaks newspaper. And Muhammad speaks newspaper, I sold 1000 of them a week and knocked on the door and the projects by myself to sell our 25 cent newspaper, helping the black man and the black woman to get you know, to transform themselves. So I used to bring people to the temple and 100 Library a lot of people in LA blessed us when we made the transition maybe later on I'll talk about that. In 1975 from the law we invited a lot a lot of people to the masjid under the leadership of Indian water for the Mohammed
Masha Allah, thank you, thank you. Um, so I what I like a point I noticed is that you
be joined the Muslim community because you felt more comfortable being black. What do you have to say today when black people don't feel comfortable in the Muslim community? That's a great question. That's really a great question. Let me tell you a little bit about my Masjid is very interesting. We started 40 years ago. And when we started, it was 100% African Americans. We had about 25 numbers. And now 40 years later,
I'm still the Imam and hamdulillah didn't didn't get rid of me yet.
But now, the African Americans in my community, maybe 20 or 25%.
So I'm an African man.
An email over an immigrant community when you when you when you think about it, and why because I taught Islam. I didn't teach black Islam. I taught Islam that attracted people from Pakistan, Bangladesh, white European Americans, Hispanic Americans, f Africans, Africans who live in America.
So our Masjid handler
is became very, if you will integrate it. Um, a lot of Muslims, they tell me that when they go to a Masjid that dominated by immigrants, they feel a little bit, you know, lonely.
you know, they don't feel really a part of it. I remember once I moved from Brooklyn to Queens, and I went to a Masjid there was not far from my house, maybe eight blocks, and I actually and I'm an immigrant enam I said, he didn't know me. I said, you know what time is 5g prayer, because I was there like maybe Isha. And I wanted to know, I want to come there for 5g. So extra simple question, what time is autonomous? Is 5g. And he said, this, you know, just this this discount? He like really dismissed me. Really? He really dismissed me error. Allah Maxim, what time is a lot of time, it's a lot. And then there was a brother who recognized me. He said to the man, that's CMM Suraj. Wise.
And all of a sudden, the man came to us normally Come, brother, yes. A lot of sudden such time. See? I don't want him to treat me better.
Because like, I'm celebrity. No, it's like white people treating Michael Jordan. I'm not comparing, Sharif. I'm not comparing myself to Michael Jordan. I know what you're thinking. I'm not I'm not doing that. Right. But, but I want everyone to be treated equally. In my community on what I did, of course, before we started all the leadership where African Americans, when people come came from different ethnicities and nationalities, I brought them into the leadership.
Because, you know, I had a meeting, we had a number of brothers and sisters from Bangladesh. I had a had a dinner, just for the brothers and sisters from Bangladesh. Listen, I'm the Imam for everyone. I remember losses in court and that that Allah revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. He said, cool, yeah, you Hannah's in the rasulillah illegal Jimmy, I say Mohammed, oh, mankind, I am the messenger of Allah to all of you. So now, I'm the Imam. Now, for all of you. I'm not just the man for the African Americans. And I didn't teach like I'm teaching just to the African Americans, I'm teaching to every brother and sister, young, or old, black, white, immigrant, whatever, I'm the enamel of all
of them. And I have to ask to indicate that but sometimes in going to a quote unquote, immigrant Masjid, some of the African Americans, you know, find themselves you know, you know, out of place, so we have to go out of our way, we have to go out of our way to be to welcome everybody into into the masjid for us. My Masjid, when we see no people, especially, we don't care, whatever their color or ethnicity is, or their gender or anything like that. We reach out to them and try to make them try to make them comfortable. So there, you know, you all may have more experience than me, you can probably tell me more experience because again, like people, my community Tell me same. I'm so glad
you love everybody. You know, we, you you treat everybody the same. And but that's not true with everybody else. But so therefore, it's hard for me to say because they treat me so well. Like the man who learned who I was. He treated me you know, the best. But I don't want to be treated
better because I have some notoriety or some celebrity.
I don't want to speak for other people. But basically it is perceived, like Muslim Student Associations, especially around the country.
It's just the more majority are Middle Eastern Arabs,
Asians. So black people are usually the minority in these organizations, and it is known that they always feel under appreciated or not acknowledged enough. And in these organizations, again, I can't speak from
something that happened I am Have you ever heard of
how will universe
I gave a talk I gave many talks there. My brother, my brother graduated from there. My my cousin also graduated from there. And one day really it saddened me. So we had a meeting with the, with the MSA, they told me that the man we're planning to have a black MSA
in the reason that they wanted to have MSA because they didn't feel welcome. In the other MSA, similar similar to what you're saying. And this is like, common, this is like, a lot of people talk about it, I really upset about it. I would rather for them to, you know, to kind of work it out. But, you know, I didn't I didn't follow up. I didn't find out what what they ultimately did. And I think it's, um, it's, um, it's enough for us to at least have a discussion about if they're saying that they, they feel, you know, they feel prejudice, you know, feel some racism. And so they wanted to, you know, have a black MSA, I would rather for them to solve the problem, then separate right.
So what do you have a white MSA? Definitely, definitely, yeah. MSA, you know, Indonesian MSA, you know, things like that. So rather solve the problem. Yeah, definitely. So that's what we wanted just to like maybe get
just to get their dis get their perspective on why it is that they feel so uncomfortable. And it's not just Msh it's more of like this, I feel like the Muslim community in general, there is like this idea. I mean, I've read somewhere that an Africa
technically, Islam did was bought by the Arabs to Africa.
And I don't know how many years ago and so it is more of perceived as their religion. And so I understand why now black Muslims would not feel
welcomed in this community or not feel that they belong to this community.
The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him he taught us this lesson. He said that there was an addict that was beaten by his people so much he begin to his face begin to bleed and wipe the blood and he said Allah whom it fairly call me for in the hula moon, Oh ALLAH forgive my people because they don't know. I'm so keen. I've always come to the conclusion that usually when people know better they do better.
So I think that one of our jobs is we have to help one another. You know, there's there's a very beautiful, very simple and alignment mentions. Yah, yah yah ness in the Hala canal common Declan. antoher Jana, come shoulder waka Bella litterfall
made you into nations and tribes to know one another. And I be honest with you, I love people. I love every kind of people don't sit next to me on the plane. So don't want to talk to you. I'm known for that. Right? Um, you know, years ago when people asked me immense Raj, what's your What's your favorite food?
You know what I told him? Pakistani food. I remember I was once invited by a Pakistani family for dinner. And that was all messed up.
Give me some Pakistani food. And so time for dinner and I say ma'am Suraj in honor of you. We made some American food for you.
So Pakistani food was my favorite food until I went to Turkey
Subhan Allah Yes, I agree.
Well, I seem like I was in gender so my point my point is this you know it's like getting to know you
you know when I was in the third grade there was this top level that would you like for me to say it for you now? Yes, please. No Not gonna happen.
But the song when something like this getting to know you, getting to know all about you, getting to like you get into Hope you like me? I have come to the point Allah is my witness that I love. People. I love people. The letter the code Gen hacker to me No, no hacker taboo. The Prophet said you never. You never go agenda until you believe and you'll never believe until you love one another.
In the law Tyler Landrieu era Asahi como la isla Swati como lacking Andrew la kulu become the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said that. Allah Almighty is not going to look at your forms. You know your bodies know your forms, but he looks to your heart and your deeds in the heart and the deeds has no color
So I'm saying to you that I came to Islam, and I embraced Islam. And I recognize Islam is right. And what Muslims have to do. Nothing is wrong with Islam. Nothing is wrong with the Quran. Nothing is wrong with the Sunnah. Nothing is wrong with Hadeeth. The problem is we, as Muslims have to get rid of the internal contradictions, little contradictions there. And I think that, that's one of the things that we're going to try to do tonight. We're going to talk about how, how do we how do we get rid of this problem, because we were talking about getting rid of the problem in America, it still exists. out, okay, whatever you say about Donald Trump, you can hate him, you can love him,
whatever. 74 million people voted for him.
Another 74 million people that voted for him. Many of them, I don't know, the percentage, they are racist, there's no, there's no question about it, you know, and judge people, by, by by the color of their skin. You know, it's interesting, you know, we say like Black Lives Matter. When, when a black person say Black Lives Matter.
And you say, All lives matter. It's an insult. Because they because they misunderstand what the black person is saying. They're not saying they are. Black Lives Matter is a summary of what they're saying. What they're saying is black lives matter to Black Lives also matter. Cause, you know, so people who have blue Lives Matter, which means the police. You remember what happened in January 6, in the capital.
They have a lot of black police there. You should have heard what those what those people call those black. Those black officers will HR blue lives matter? We love the police, really. And what they did and said to those black police is shameful. So so so how are we going to? How are we going to solve that problem? And that's what we're going to talk about.
Tonight, would you want us? So yeah, I was going to ask you. Now how are we going to solve this problem? How would you recommend
how we talk to family members, friends and elders when they display racist behavior? And how do we deal with it within ourselves? racism is deeper than prejudice. Right? So personally, I have like a prejudice you know, a bias maybe but racism is something deep it's it's it's a sickness that you judge people a by their color.
And then you not only judge them by the color, but you discriminate against them because of the color. And there's no great example then in America by by the way.
My my hobby if you
my idea of a vacation,
give me some books in a corner.
Give me some books in a corner. I'm a happy man. I love to read.
years ago, I took a speed reading course by Evelyn wood. And have you ever heard of that? Yeah, but but I read so much that I wanted to read faster. So I took a speed reading course. And let me tell you the key to speed reading is a the this the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound.
So the key was speed reading. You don't read the word. You don't pronounce the word, you see it.
And you train your eyes to move fast enough to see the word and to be disciplined not to read it. So my day vacation give me some books. Do you know that black slaves you were I was against the law? Teach them to read?
It was against the law. So how are we gonna solve the problem?
To me it's
but yet complex.
I would argue that you solve the problem of racism
by not going after racism.
Let me tell you what I mean. There's a brother in my community. He told me one day he said he man. I take 29 different pills a day. 29 different pills a day. 29 different pills you got 29 different ailments. And each pill is to deal with those ailments. Right? The symptoms
When you have a headache,
most people they take an aspirin.
take an aspirin, and sometimes the headache goes away. But an aspirin never solves the problem.
It gives you the impression that you solve the problem because when you take aspirin, and aspirin goes to the area of the pain, and it deadens the nerve.
There is the nerve, so you can feel the pain. But the problem is still there. You see, the problem isn't headache, stomach, a fever,
high blood pressure. All of these are symptoms of the real problem. And the key is, if you want to solve the problem, you got to go to the root cause. And you know, I'm
so I'll give you an example.
Five minutes sitting in his fire in the in the,
you know, the place where the firemen go.
And then there's a fire somewhere, someone pulls the alarm, and the alarm goes to the fire the fire department
and the firemen. Here's the alarm. He takes a scissor and it cuts the alarm.
So I solved the problem.
You didn't solve the problem.
The alarm isn't the problem. The alarm is to tell you that there is a problem.
That's why the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said madonsela dan Illa Enza Lucia fan. There's no disease without a cure. So when you take those 29 pills, you didn't solve the problem.
the symptom, right? So you take a pill, you got high blood pressure, you take the pill, all your pressure goes down.
But this is why our last one what they cause in the core and the
acid is the honey sifat. It's a healing. So what we want to fail in this way, what's why Ibrahim Alayhi salat wa salam. He says, why they're married to for who yesterday. And when I'm sick. He Allah is the one who cures me. So we want to cure for racism, not a band aid. It's not putting band aids on a cancer. So let me tell you what, I think that the key to racism is this. And I learned this support a lot from I used to write the law and
the mother, our mother, ah,
I have such respect for her. That woman, our mother, so smart. Let me give an example.
cicchitto If I asked you, do we have a drug problem here in America, what would you say? Let's see. Yes, absolutely. Sharif, would you agree?
We had one year 67,000 people died of drug overdose.
Drug overdose is a major problem.
People take more illegal drugs. They spend more money on illegal illegal drugs, then food, clothing, housing,
So it's a major problem.
I found out Allah mentioned Quran, Len pagedaily Sunita let the deal and you never find a change in a lot sooner. So we talked about the prophet SAW Allah, Allah has a Sunnah. And let me show you how I'm gonna talk about racism, but I'm gonna go away from that for just a second if you don't mind. No, not at all. Listen, you'll stop me anytime you want to say ma'am? Too much. You just stopped me.
Okay, all right, inshallah. All right, okay. So 1400 years ago,
they there was a problem of, you know,
drunkenness, you know, drinking wine and so forth. So,
in for the first
13 years in Mecca, a lot never mentioned alcohol once, not even once.
But Allah was working on him all the time.
About the fourth year after the migration. Allah finally addresses it in the Quran. And he addresses it only because he's dealing with what the people asking. So this is the first revelation that was given about
hombre, intoxicants. Yes aluna ca
and incomparable Mesa.
Mohammed they're asking you about cumbre Mesa. I'm not mentioning it a lot of mentioning a lot of laws not introducing the topic. They're asking it is only because they ask it Allah subhanho wa Taala says well, it says some good and it does some profit, but the sin is worse but it didn't make it around.
And then finally some Sahaba they drink and wine and they drunk.
One of them lead the Salah while he's drunk, messing up the iots solo villain Quran. Yeah, you already know that taco masala wanton Socotra had the Dalai Lama led to Kowloon. Oh you believe do not approach
intoxicants or do not approach Salah while you're intoxicated until you know what you're saying. Allah stood in prohibited finally Edison and Malik he's in the home of Abu talhah and we serve an apple to this harbor
and all of a sudden it has some noise outside and I will toss it go find out what it is that it was the man saying that camera has been made Haram.
Interesting What happened? I will tell him I said into all of the intoxicants out
and they went in porn industry, the intoxicants
and all throughout Medina. You see the intoxicants being poured out? What's the lesson? The lesson is that Allah was dealing with it all the time.
to such a degree that one when he was ready, even though they were bound to drink it to extend the Bula alikom to fling Oh, leave it alone. They didn't say well let me get one more. No, they pulled it out. Because Allah subhana wa Fatah was doing it all the time. What does it have to do it racism? Everything. By the way, let me let me Can I Can you can you give another couple of minutes?
To give me I know you don't want to you want to stop them. You want to stop this old man?
No, no, I could do a couple more. Yes, of course. Go ahead please.
Which is why I love her. You said
in really profound
lands Allah if Allah had first revealed, let us rubble camera.
Do not drink alcohol, la corlew. The people have said, Let the old camera aberdare. We will never give up camera. If Allah in the beginning. He's the Lord of the worlds. If he said don't drink it, they would have said we will never drink we will never stop. And if he said do not commit Zina,
in the beginning,
they would have said we will never give up Xena.
What's the right 100%? Let me prove it to you.
Have you guys ever heard of the Constitution of the United States of America? Yes. Have you ever read
some parts? This is a fascinating document. I love it. I read it. I read the I read the constitution often and I study it. But you know, the founding fathers never said that the constitution was divine. No made by man. The proof of it is that you can change it. And the Constitution has had number of amendments I think 2729 amendments I can't remember but a number of amendments which means that you can change it it's made by man so it's not the Quran is not Torah is not NGOs, not the gospel is made by man so man can change it.
When you get a chance. I want you to read the
18th amendment of the constitution 18th amendment and when it commented 18th amendment, say it again. Say somebody comments today 10th amendment right before you said, Okay, well, what is it?
About what is it? Alcohol?
Alcohol when they permit alcohol prohibition? It's called prohibition. You cannot produce it. You can sell it, you, you it's illegal. Right in the Constitution of the United States of America. I think it was
1922 or something like 2012 actually see, there you go. In fact, true. If you give the talk, let me sit and listen to you.
So, but what happened 13 years later.
amendment, nullified because it's not just law. You can't just say, Thou shalt not be racist.
And people gonna stop being racist. Now, you have to deal with the roots and what is the root will lie what I'm gonna say is simple is so simple. And the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him the key told more I have my abdomen Jebel. He says
failure call our method Oh home Illa in any way the Lord Allah let the first thing you invite them to is the wonders of a lot. That's the key. You want to know how to solve racism. You start from number one, the key is Allah in the worship of Allah. And then he says, if, if they understand that, then inform them. Allah has made incumbent upon them to pray five times a day, listen to the shift of the words, right? Let the first thing Ted their own, you invite them to, it's an invitation. You don't order people to believe you invite them to believe.
If they believe now, for the I lay him as far as
now you have to make prayer five times a day. And that prayer is doing something for you. And if they pray, then ordered them to pay pays a cat. Now, it's not just you praying for yourself, or praying, now you are dealing with other people. So all along the line, Allah so part of Ouattara is dealing with it, but in a way that makes it appear that he's not dealing with it. So listen, in the Nation of Islam, you had to have heard and I have to be honest with you, you know, the Nation of Islam, Mr. Elijah Muhammad, I think that what he was doing is trying to get black people to stop feeling inferior. So he started saying things like white people devils. Every white person is the
devil but you know that that's not that's not true. Um, there are some people that are devils but they're not devils because of the color of their skin.
So what happened is that, um, but it's them. Allah subhanho wa Taala slowly dealing with it. I had from the Quran here had Hardee's there, you know, a Muslim or a whole Muslim.
Make an homage together. Malcolm in 1964 when he went to Mecca, when he saw white people there, right. He wasn't a Nation of Islam. He was a preacher in the Nation of Islam hard. But he saw white brothers there. And he recognized the beauty of Islam, the Brotherhood of Islam, and Nasser Kowloon bento, Adam, Adam and Rob, the prophet said, all of them kind
of other children of Adam. Adam is our father.
There is no superiority of a black or white, there's too many things in the Islam that teach it. If you for real, if you are authentic, if you are real Muslim, then you can't be a racist. It's impossible, that you can't be racist. I have I have literally friends around the whole world, every kind of color, every ethnicity that you can think of 7000 languages around the world, all these different colors and ethnicities. And you know what, it's not not an issue. It's not an issue for us. So it's simple. It's simple. If you if you if you put Allah first and you are a slave of Allah, Allah to tell you what to do, you do it simple, but some people they got they got heart hearts. I
agree. I where come from we are 100% Muslim country, as in like the government is Muslim. The whole population is Muslim, which country? Mauritania, Mauritania alone, yes, but the racism there is, is just in the fact is, is that everybody is Muslims inshallah, but and but then it's not just the racism, but it's also the feeling of being actually superior. And it's not even a taboo thing to say it's normal. Yes, I am. But I'm also here, then this tribe or this tribe, and it's Yeah, it's incredible medicine. Practicing Why do you think that is? its culture that's to do with culture.
The separate Islam teachings from culture
are actually mix them together, in this case. So panela You know, I'm Milan, someone wants to bless us and I think what happens is that
What we do is affecting even our
because the people see that you know you you Muslims are the same Let me tell you something um
I went to a Muslim store where I go all the time
and it's owned by Muslims, the workers the Muslims
So one day I saw a sign that I've never seen before and I've been going there for years
in the sign said no alcohol sold here
as a low end but I was jumping up and down no alcohol sold here.
And then I read it I read it a little more carefully. It said no. Alcohol sold here on Sundays
so the the contradiction
UK is it's haram it's not permissible for Muslims to sell alcohol
for Muslim so
it's time Muslims should not you know, judge each other by color. If you want to if you want to accuse the west for racism, then we have to look at ourselves. You know, I wouldn't dare think that a person is better because of the color this is so asinine. It's so juvenile to me is shaped on an incredible Minho, I'm better I'm better than him. I'm better than the man that allow created you know, there's some superiority in the human beings.
The Koran nominee Adam, I have honored the children of Adam alum Torah and Allah soccerloco Matheson and why do my fellow Don't you see a lot of subjective for you everything in the heavens and earth. Man human beings, this is the one this is the one the halifa This is the one that Allah told every Angel about down to Adam. So when we get this stuff, we you know, Memphis Shabbat be the common for whom and who whoever imitates the people of them, who we imitating we imitating other people. This is This is ridiculous. And it is about society. So I'm glad you told me that. So we have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do. And and how I like to do it. I like to begin with myself,
ourselves. That's where it begins. It begins with with with ourselves.
Yes, definitely. But also, we should also maybe end this on a positive note and tell us Have you seen instances where you have seen anti racist behavior? or positive change from the Muslim community? Absolutely. I see it all the time, you see that the thing is, skaters that don't know what's going on, all over the world, right. So unless people give me the information because I, again, I like to research I studied, that's what I do. Um, so, in some some instances, you may be seem a little bit naive,
not realizing that these things, you know, exist, to the degree that they exist.
But I can say this, um, this generation of Muslims, your generation is different,
You know, that years ago, many of the parents would not dare let their children into marry. What sort certain races
the youngsters don't feel like that your generation you guys got it. You got it good. You understand it, you know, and I think one of the beautiful things about being in America is see the thing is, I didn't become a, I didn't become a Muslim as I didn't become a Muslim of Saudi Arabia, or Sudan, or Pakistan. I became a Muslim America and Brooklyn. And and so so we use the different ethnicities, different colors. We grew up with Puerto Ricans, for instance, we were close. I want to integrate in schools, from junior high school, high school, college, I had white friends, we everything was like, this is the way it was. If people had some hidden feelings and within I didn't know about it, but
once I became Muslim, it realize that this is this is what Islam teaches. If you read fully, then there's no there's no room for racism. So May Allah subhanaw taala blesses who I make do not help us to overcome this. This sickness, you know, something?
You know, let me let me end on this note.
you know, Sharif, you said you don't play basketball. Do you play baseball? No. You know, baseball is yes.
I like sports. You know, I like baseball, football and basketball. I played all of them when I was young. And a
couple years ago, I turned on a baseball game.
And I noticed that
there was the Mets, the New York Mets smart team.
And I've noticed something strange. You know, when you watch sports,
all the players have on the back of the uniform the number
so you can identify them. But Warframe is one of my favorite basketball player one number 10. I want number 10.
So they all have numbers. And the strange thing this day, I noticed that all of the players had the same number
on the mats. And then the team that they were playing, all of them had the same number, the number what number was it?
Well, you would normally think it was Sharif.
I'm not sure maybe 11 Very good. Wow, how you how you figure that out? Um,
I don't know, like people associate like things that number so I just assumed that maybe like, it's the wrong number. Yeah.
That was a great guest. Oh,
I thought I came. She came with Dino number was, huh. Oh, I was thinking 12 the entire time. I thought you said 12 at some point. Okay. Number 4042 42. Why is that? That's a good question. That's a great question. Because they were honoring a baseball player, who was a number 42.
Notice name was
Jackie Robinson was the first African American who played they allowed to play in the major league.
And in honor of him, everybody, on this particular day, wore that number 42. In honor of him, can you find a lot of cases first black basketball player, first black football player, so forth and so on. Right. And when you saw that, when they allow black people, they they fade? Well, they did they did well. So um, we're going to keep fighting. It ain't over yet. We're going to keep on chipping away. Someone once said that the constant dripping of water on a stone will drill a hole in the stone, not a hurricane, not a tornado. But drip, drip, drip. And we continue to do that in Mauritania. We continue to do that in Saudi Arabia. We continue to do that in America. May Allah
bless you both. It was been a pleasure speaking with you, and this is just an introduction to what I want to talk about today. Thank you, Zack. And
I wanted to know if any, anyone had any questions, you can just unmute yourself or just type it in the chat box, and then I can read it.
put their questions in the chat box. There was one question, um, from one of the sisters asking in the chat box. If there's any way to contact you. Yes.
You should I tell everybody my number give it to I'm
sure if you have my number, right.
Our president Zane does. Yeah, yeah, you can give him You can give him my cell number. Okay, so I'll give I can give the sister the phone number. Yes. Okay. Sure.
Awesome, so if any, anyone has a question? Yes, sir.
Yes, so I was gonna ask you. Yeah, ma'am. What are you? Are you the Mac mode?
I know that you
love you, but this is why I love you, right.
Yeah. Okay, so
I was gonna ask you you said you were from New York, right? Yes. So you have you or your any mom over there? Yes. I'm, I was gonna ask you what message Did you message message in Brooklyn. Message taqwa. Ta QW. A look a look it up. It's a very famous Masjid. We were We were famous in 1988 for closing down 15 crack houses.
You know, the crack houses right? When they sell drugs. Allah blesses a closed down 15 so became very famous and, and people all over the world came into interview us and to find out how we did it.
Okay, thank you. You're welcome, Brother.
done. Good luck.
you can't see my face, I'm driving, Oh,
I didn't get a chance to listen to most of the talk.
But me, personally, I'm, when I was at MIT, I was a communications major, with a minor in African American Studies. So,
you know, a lot of the times we have to do a lot of things in terms of writing,
you know, spreading awareness about black lives in America, and, you know, so on and so forth. So I was wondering, how do we,
you know, align with things like, BLM? Do we align with BLM? Because
I said, How do we as Muslims align with,
you know, things like BLM? Because within Vietnam, there's a lot of ideologies present, for example, like LGBTQ, and so on and so forth.
But I was wondering what your opinion was on that? I think it's a great question. I think it's a great question, let me
add that I really appreciate you. And all the work you do and all that what you spread, you know, you are someone that's really affected my life.
Appreciate it. Let me tell you something that I learned from a brother, I've come to learn to respect his name is Abraham or Sue ebrima. Sue, was the ambassador, South African ambassador to United States. And I like I learned this lesson for him. You have to make your decision, how you interact with different groups. You know, don't worry about the names, I'm going to, I'm going to tell you but understand the principle. You want to partnership with them. You want an alliance or coalition?
Right? So you work with people according to your objective, you may have a common objective, like for instance, you know,
George Floyd, was killed by the police. Maybe let's work together for him getting justice.
Just him getting justice, let's work together for that.
Or you may want to say, you know, let's work for prison as a police reform.
Um, and so, so depends upon what your objective is. And you have certain kinds of relationships. Some people, you don't have the same principles. Right. And that's, that's real. So, and the reason I mentioned ebrima, Sue, is we study the history of South Africa,
how they had alliances strategic alliances, you know, the percentage of Muslims in South Africa, less than 2% when Nelson Mandela became the president of South Africa,
he had about about 19 members of parliament, most of the members of parliament, he had he had people in his cabinet.
The Minister of Justice, the Supreme Court Justice, another one, there were Muslims. So look at the evilness of South Africa. I don't know if you ever studied South Africa, how bad it was. So um, so they were strategic alliance, sometimes the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.
He would have alliances or some kind of strategic relationship with with people that were weren't Muslims. So you have to make a decision yourself? How far do I go? How far how far I go. I don't agree with the agenda. But maybe on this issue, a particular issue. We can we can work together. And that's my that's my best guess. And again, I got that from even more. So. I learned that lesson from him. And I come to respect it. years ago, we still I used to be a part of these demonstrations, the protests with other Christian ministers, for instance, you know, they they believe that Jesus is God and whatever. So we have a different opinion, different ideology, but still certain issues we can we
can work together around the issues of justice, for instance,
I think is a great question.
Bartok, Luffy Jaco.
We have another question in the chat box saying, how do you how do you deal with racism that is within the DC community?
You know, sure, if you're gonna have to answer that question. I you know, in general, let me tell you something in general. Um, you know, one of the things that Malcolm used to say, he said, if you ever see me wrong, pull my coat, pull my cold.
If you study the serum, you will see Omar Abdullah and did exactly that.
If you look at it, sort of to tell the alumni
Is the Federal Home OLED stock film into stock film server in the model? 10 for law, your federal law home? If you ask for forgiveness, or don't ask for forgiveness if you ask forgiveness 70 times a lot would not forgive them. And everybody law was talking about the hypocrites at the doll even obey even saloon was one of them. And he died. And his son Abdullah came and said, x the Prophet, can I take your shirt to straw my father? He just died and the Prophet gave me the shirt. And then he said, Could you pray over him now and he was a known hypocrite. So the Prophet peace and blessing be upon a winner up to lead the selected janessa for Agatha be Toby rasulillah. Salam, Salam Omar, grab
the job of the Prophet so you have also the law. Are you going to pray over him when Allah has prohibit your Lord has prohibited you from praying over him? And then the Prophet said Allah gave me a choice is stufurhome Allah to stufurhome if you ask forgiveness, although extravaganza 70 times, Omar, I'm going to ask more than 70 times maybe allow forgiveness. So he prayed and they prayed over him, and then allow you they'll never stand at their janazah the grave?
Ever, never, never pray over them. No stand at the grave. So my point i'm saying is that we have to be a kind of people, as the Prophet say, to him to remind people when they forget, and help them when they remember. So we have to always you know, in you know, whenever you see it, talk against it. That's not right.
This is wrong. Make uncomfortable by by talking about it, enjoying the good and forbidding the evil. That's really what it is. Whoever you see an evil let him change with his hand if you can't change with your tongue. No, brother, we don't tell all right, that here. I'll do that in my community. We don't tolerate that. In my community. We all want almost 10 wahida.
I'm going to give you a time for one or two more questions. Sure.
I got a quick question. Yeah. So this isn't really racism related. But Mashallah, you've exhibited that. You know, you definitely know more about life than I do. None of my beard hairs are gray. Mashallah. bunnicula fee for your time, but I'm kind of like just navigating through the same Abdullah. Ali. Ali. Hi, Don Ali. handle it, Tony, man. I'm doing good. hamdulillah
I was driving to now I'm not driving. Awesome. Okay, see you man. You can see me How come? I can't see you. I'm not allowed to see.
No, no, you're allowed to see me here. Allah.
Allah, how you doing? Hello, are you? I'm doing good hamdulillah I do detect one or two strings of grave by the way.
So you can't hide all?
I don't see any. Yeah. Do you look, you look close, you'll see one or two. Oh, man wishes.
So I'm kind of just
navigating through my 20s. Right. And sometimes it's, it gets really confusing. And there's a lot of, there's kind of just a lot of figuring out to do. Right. So my question is more about navigating through that. And I guess it's kind of related to community work and giving back. Um, if you could elaborate as well about closing down the crack houses and that type of work that you did, I can say this, Ali, you know, I wish we speak to some of the Muslims converts. By the way. If you study the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said hi to Almighty quarterly, the best of my own my my generation, and then the generation that follows within the generation that follow. If you look at
that first generation, most of them were immigrants, almost all of them in I'm sorry, all of them were converts.
The first born Muslim was um
even Zubair he was the first one actually born when they made migration to Medina, the son of asthma crowd a lot,
but most of them will will Converse.
If you ask most of the converts Hamza Yusuf xaa czechia, Abdullah Kane cwip Abdul Hakim Jackson, Emmanuel Suraj Maharaj. Most of us converted into Islam around the age of 18 1920 years old was 19. And you will see that that age is a very interesting age. So for us
You know, it was coming to Islam.
For you, maybe some questions about Islam. But one of the things that I would do is that I would be, I think you said, you hit it, you hit it when you said, you know, giving back. Being involved in a community, you know, we have $1 committed in our Masjid. So it's about, you know, not just
doing your salat, and you're a bad
what, working with non Muslims, I spend a lot of time working with non Muslims.
I've given talks with universities and colleges, in high schools and campuses. So I think that continue to study and to keep on engaging to engage with non Muslims. This is our work this is this is what we were here to do. And I think we can make a major, major difference
in our lives and the lives of people by sharing this knowledge and some some, some of our parents, or many of them are reluctant to go deal with the people. I have to
give kudos to the Muslims during this pandemic, especially ones that are no New York and Paul all over the country. They are really made a major difference in the lives of a lot of people given food. I'm interacting with them, and things like that. So I think that we need a little bit more. Ali Miller continue to bless you. I'll keep on strong. I will keep on studying staying with the Java and keep on studying I you know, I I study every day. I There's not a day to go by that I don't study Quran, Sunnah. And that keeps keeping nourishing. If you go to the doctor, almost every doctor say the same thing. They say diet and exercise.
What are you reading? What are you studying? diet and exercise? What can I do better? You don't die in exercise. By the way, let me say this last thing before I go on. I was in Atlanta, Georgia and I ran into a doctor Niazi that I know cardiologists, he was really excited when they say Ma'am, Imams, Raj, Muslims have three enemies.
We have three enemies. And so what I'm going to do, I'm going to tell you two of them. I'm not going to tell you the third one unless you ask me, okay? He said number one enemy is sugar.
sugars are in enemy. And
you know, don't be like the Sudanese,
they level put sugar in their coffee.
They put coffee in this sugar.
So sugar, number one number two salt.
You can take sugar, but not too much. You can take salt but not too much. diabetes, hypertension, all of that. And the third one not going to say unless you tell me to say what's the third one?
The third one is bread Believe it or not, that that bread is bad with too much of it. Because bread turns into sugar. So all I'm saying really basically I'm saying what's your diet? What are you reading? What are you studying? You know, they say a man is what he eats or something like that. So okay, so thank you so much. It's been a thank you. No, thank you. Pleasure hanging out with you guys. I'm really Mila soprano to continue to bless you and hope to see you shall I mean thank you as MSA wanted to know how we can free your time thank you for time and gift you or as this form of donation or anything that can help either the message that you're in or anything if whatever we can
do you text me and I'll tell you how to do that in Sharla definitely.
Charla thank you again for your time thank you so much. Hope to see you guys again soon inshallah. And when is when this pandemic is over, you're going to invite me I can hang out with of course definitely inshallah.
Especially you early. I must.
Let me come to hang out with you guys.