Channel: The Deen Show
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salam alaikum peace be unto you. Welcome to the deen show, which is a way of life we try to put out there for everyone to see helping you understand Islam and Muslims. And today we have one of those special Muslims on the show special guests on the deen show shake
for being with us today. My pleasure.
So we want to just
go over briefly, your history, tell us a bit about many people know you in the Muslim community. But those that aren't Muslim, and those that have never gotten a chance to hear about you tell us a bit about your history? Well, I don't know if my history is all that interesting. But for whatever it's worth, I was born in Houston, Texas. And I was raised for a short while also in Saudi Arabia, I went to middle school and high school over there and a British curriculum, British environment. And then we returned to Houston where I completed my education in chemical engineering. And after finishing a Bachelor's in chemical engineering, I decided that I really didn't want to spend, you know, 3040
years of my life just solving equations and writing computer code, I had experienced that Dow Chemical, which is a chemical plant outside of Houston. And I realized that life was was more than just, you know, solving equations. And how old were you when you realize it? Well, I always had a passion for knowledge when even though as a teenager, but I guess when I actually went to Dow Chemical 1920. And I started working in that environment, and the money was great. I mean, you're getting a lot of money, much more than I've ever gotten before, actually more than I'm getting now even but you know, what's money going to do? She just doesn't, it doesn't give you the happiness of
the heart. And so I decided that I just, I couldn't imagine myself sitting behind the desk for 3040 years doing something that I didn't feel a passion for, you know, so I decided that what I really wanted to do was to study my religion. I wanted to know what Allah what God wants me to do on this earth and, and how to worship and best and so I decided to apply to the University of Medina, where I got accepted and completed a second bachelor's in heavy studies. And then I did a master's in theology, Islamic theology over a total of how long? I stayed in Medina, basically 10 years. 10 years study. Yes, that's a long time. I'm 10 years at home. And And then from there, you continued
your education in Islam? Yeah, well, what happened was, while I was doing my Masters, it was my second year, I think 911 happened. And I remember clearly the, you know, I was, you know, I went to the mosque, and I didn't have a television. I wasn't checking the internet on that day. And one of my neighbors, American neighbor came rushing over, he didn't usually pray in that locality. But he came just to tell me, do you know what happened to do what happened? I said, No, I don't know what happened. Because the World Trade Center has been been bombed planes have crashed into whatever. It's like, what so we rushed out to a neighbor's house who had a TV and we're watching they're just
my mouth is just, you know, wide open, what the heck is going on here? And the dread sets in that oh, my God, this might be happening for Muslims, you know, and that was the reality. And when I saw all those, the things that started unfolding, based upon that
totally shocked me totally. My whole perspective of my own life changed in the sense that when I saw all of the hatred, animosity from both sides, I felt that perhaps I was one person who could try to bridge that gap. I mean, you know, I'm in I'm Eastern and Western, both east and west. I feel I've lived in Arabia, and I've lived in America. I'm American, by birth and nationality. And I've lived in Saudi Arabia for American citizen. You were born here. Yeah, this one here. So yeah, I was still here does tell us since you mentioned is does Islam have anything to do with acts like this? No, obviously, the Islamic theology and the Islamic religion doesn't. But the fact of the matter, there
are many angry Muslims out there, who, even if they're angry for legitimate reasons they're expressing in a very illegitimate doesn't make it right. Of course, it doesn't make it right. It does not make it right. two wrongs don't make a right. Yes. And so the fact of the matter is that we as more hopefully mature and educated Muslims have to channel that anger in a legitimate manner. And I think, for example, for example, the Palestinian issue, the best way is to educate the masses of reality, yes, education, we have to show the people the reality of what's happening. That's all we can do. We can't take the law into our own hands. And I fully believe if the world knew what was
happening in places such as Palestine, and other places, they would sympathize with the people there. So the people who have done these acts, they've taken the law into their own hands. And that's what's wrong. Islam doesn't allow? Of course not. So we got to cover one very important point for those of our non Muslim guests that are tuning even Muslims that Islam condemns acts of terrorism, unconditionally, you have a right to defend yourself but to go on kill innocent civilians, it's a big No, no in Islam, correct. unconditionally. Give us a verse from the crown that says this stage is the evidence behind this. Well, I mean, God clearly says in the Quran, that
whoever kills the soul without any reason it is as if he has killed all of humanity. I mean, there's the crime of murder.
The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said that a man will I mean, I'm paraphrasing, the Hadees will basically get away with with a lot of things on the Day of Judgment, as long as he doesn't have blood on his hands. I mean, God can forgive a lot of sins, the prophet said, as long as he doesn't have blood on his hands, the sin of killing somebody. That's just it's a very cigar convert. This is a very important point we covered so you know that you don't judge Islam on the action of some Muslims. Of course, you are just Okay, so we got the cover. So now, going through this history, you also are a continuing education at Yale University. Yes.
After 911, basically, I mean, I stayed in Saudi Arabia for two, three years, when I saw all of the events unfold in America and abroad, I really felt the need to come back to America. And I had initially planned to do my PhD from Medina itself. But after all, that it occurred, I decided that really I need to come back and educate both Muslims and people of other faiths about the reality of Islam. So I came back here and applied to many universities. And presently, I'm doing my PhD in Islamic Studies at Yale University. It was like Harvard, they're like the top university. Well, if I'm from Yale, I'm not allowed to say Yale is like Harvard.
They're like this, like the top university in the United States, correct. And humbly, they're pretty much all praises to God. So you've been educating yourself for a long time, and you got a lot of knowledge to give out there to the people. And this is what we're trying to do. We're trying to educate the masses, because through education is how we can build tolerance, hopefully, hopefully, inshallah, God willing. So you've got a lot of credibility. And you teach at a university or a university likes to institute called l negative. real briefly, can you let the people know? Well, as Muslim Institute is basically an on site University, where the instructors, they fly into the
various cities, and instruct people, semester long courses condensed into two weekends. So we have Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and the next Friday, Saturday, Sunday, probably around 30 hours of teaching time, we condense an entire semester into two weekends. And we teach all of the classical sciences of Islam in a manner that is that is understandable that is amenable to the Western environment. So we teach, you know, in an interesting environment, using PowerPoint slides with notebooks and binders with our own textbooks. So we're teaching the classical material in a modern way. So you have credibility to do the job is, and the job is to educate now, US non Muslims and
Muslims alike, on the most basic of basic, which is something that you actually had a master's degree in is the How do you aqeedah What's that translated in English? Well, linguistically, octava means that which binds you that which you you cling to, and the meaning of or the science of al Qaeda is theology, because theology is something you cling to theology is what gives you salvation. And so, in Islam theology is called aqeedah. Because you cling to it and you it binds you down, it holds you fast, you save yourself through theology. So linguistically, that means that what you cling to that what you hold on to that which binds, but what we translated as theology, so Islamic
theology is what my speciality is, I think people got this theology all mixed up today. And the last and final messenger to mankind the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, who was in a line of messages to name five for the greatest Abraham, correct me if I'm wrong anywhere. Abraham, Moses, Noah, Jesus Christ, and the last and final message of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon them. They all taught this very theology that God is absolute