How I went to Madinah

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Tahir Wyatt

Channel: Tahir Wyatt

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When we heard about you and Medina and your teaching Medina, the shift is the shift. First, He then moved to Medina, he got his bachelor degree master degree and PhD in Medina was what was amazing to all of us. And honestly, we took it as a role model and we were looking into it. And this is as a piece of advice, that the the importance of seeking knowledge to strengthen one is Amen. You know, Alhamdulillah we worship Allah subhanaw taala. But most of the I had that speaks about, you know, the bad that is connected to knowledge, you know, remember from Allah titled, Babel, me a couple of public audio alignment, this chapter of you know, knowledge before, say is saying an actions. You

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shift now you became the first or you were the first American student to teach in the prophecy.

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is in that correct?

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No, no. Yeah.

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We're sorry. Were you aiming for that when you left?

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Was it your first visit to Medina first when you went? No, I mean, yeah, that that was my first that was my first Yeah. When I went when I went for a studies in 1996. Yeah, that was that was my first time there. And your your thought of Medina was how was your feeling when you first got to Medina? Was it just, I'm finishing my bachelor degree, I'm coming back as an Imam to the US or you had the goals to stay in Medina.

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La know

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how briefly how did it I'm interested to know. So.

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So at the time, I was a student at Temple University in Philadelphia. Yes. And I had a full scholarship to at Temple University academic scholarship. And my vision, honestly, in my mind, I was gonna go over to Medina just to learn Arabic, and then I was coming back to America. Like, I never, I didn't think I was gonna be there for the rest. You know, for as long as I did, I was there for half my life.

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That That wasn't that wasn't the goal. I just thought I was gonna go, you know, study the Arabic language. I remember I talked to a brother who said, he told me, he said, it was I told him, I said, Look, man, I just want to go learn Arabic. And then I like I deferred my scholarship at Temple University. And, you know, told him, I'll be back in a year, I'm taking some time off, want to learn another language and so forth. And a brother told me, he said, Listen,

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he said, I went to Egypt in 1983, or something like that.

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He said,

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You know, I went just to learn the Arabic language as well. He said, but once you learn the Arabic language, you're going to want to learn Islam. Like he said, you know, you, basically, you'll see, like, your thirst is going to grow.

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And I'll tell you something, so panela.

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I remember, I remember when it hit me,

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I was just, I had just finished a Muslim 101, which is the first level of the Arabic language program. And so, you know, you get a little bit, you get a little bit right. And as soon as we finished, as soon, like, literally as soon as that, that we finished the test for the first level, Ramadan started, so we had off the whole month. Okay. And, and so, you know, I'm going to the prophets message for today.

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And Allahu Akbar, I'm saying, Man, I'm starting to understand a little bit of what the Imam is reciting. So not everything, but it was enough to get me to start realizing, wait, I gotta learn some more I got, because I want to understand the speech of Allah. Right? Now you gotta understand. And I know that this is just impossible shake. I'm off for somebody like you who was born and raised, you know, with the Arabic language.

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For you know, for the couple years that I was Muslim prior to that, and I'm praying together with I don't understand the thing. You know, I'm not, I don't, I'm just, I'm standing there. I'm standing there and tucked away. And you know, if the man's voice is nice, you know, I'm into it. Voice is not nice. I'm really not into it, but at the words, I don't understand anything.

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And, to be honest with you, this was a side note.

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I started an institute here in

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Philadelphia, South Jersey, with a few of my other colleagues that were in Medina with me. And when we were in Medina, you know, our our objective was simply said, Look, man, we got to get the people to a point where they understand what the man is reciting and tada, we were gonna go back even though you know, you would think man, you know, you

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You spent all that time you know, you learning, you know, our key, the key. But that being said, I still know the value of having enough of the Arabic language to least benefit something from what the Imam is reciting. And tada, we're, and we want everybody to be able to have that feeling of benefiting something from what the man was reciting. So in any event,

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I remember that's, that was what I think that was a watershed moment for me like, wait a minute, I gotta keep learning because I really want to understand what's being said, and and I started to taste some of the sweetness of, you know, select, you know, just being able to learning some of that classical Arabic.

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And then another thing that happened was, so this was 96 when I went to Medina, and we finished that semester in December of 1996. And then right after that was, was Ramadan.

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Okay, fast forward to April, which was his time. And

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I was going with an American group to hij. Right.

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And then men have burnt down to the ground. That was the year of the fire, the fire, yeah. Okay, so that was before minute right now is all these white tents, right? The white, the white is supposed to be a fire repellent with a color. I

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think that's, I forget what the word is Anyway, you get the idea. In other words, it's, it's, it's supposed to be the type of material that doesn't burn. Well, back in 9697. All attempts were this very colorful, orange and blue, and it was cloth.

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So when the fire came,

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I remember like it was yesterday spent a lot like my body was shaking for

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about 24 hours, uncontrollably.

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inside, inside, because basically, if you thought you were gonna die, like literally you thought you were gonna die, and people did die. And, you know, the people running behind you, you run it, everybody's going a certain direction. And you know, people are saying La la la la, like, it's the last time it's literally, like, it's the last thing they're gonna say. And we all were, you know, in that predicament. In any event, what happened was our group split up. And, and so

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what the group that I was left with, I was the only one that had a little bit of Arabic. Right. So I've been studying at this point, six months or whatever, like that. And we got to get four minutes Addison, back then nobody in Saudi speaking English I like it is today when everybody got a little bit of broken English or whatever. But it was just like, in order to get from place to place, somebody had to speak some Arabic. And so it forced me to

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use it forced me to use the little bit of Arabic that I had. But that was important because it broke some of those psychological barriers that you have the thinking, like, I don't know, if I'm gonna be able to speak and all that. No, you had to speak you, you know, you put in a position where you were forced. So I think at that point, as well, I think that was an encouragement

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to say, wait a minute, you know, you can you can do this, you know, you can, you know, this, this is something that inshallah you can become proficient in. And,

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you know, I remember and that summer, I came back 97, I came back to the States. And I don't think I was back for two or three weeks.

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I actually remember the moment when I was in a car, and my wife and I just turned to her, she looked at me and, like you thinking what I'm thinking, it's time to get out of here, like, three weeks. I mean, look at it, 910 months, we hit a van five times, six times a day, you know,

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and, you know, you live in a life this just is based on Dean, you know, is based on preparing for the Hereafter is based on you know, gaming, and you come back to, to the States, you're not here in India, then things are just different dunya everywhere. I mean, and then it was just like, okay, now I want to dedicate my life to this, you know, and I think so I don't when I went over, believe me, I didn't have the intention of staying that long. And also,

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when I had gotten to Medina, I was told by, you know, a number of brothers that, you know,

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just achieving a bachelor's degree is like,

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like major, because most of the brothers didn't even graduate, you know, at that point, came back.

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Man, most of them. Listen, the shakes of the Americans when I got there, the shakes were in their first year of college, the first year of college.

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Those were like the big guys.

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You know, things have changed now.

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But

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yes panelo that's what it was like then