Imam Talk Podcast #02 – Up Close & Personal with Imam Omar Suleiman
Channel: Tom Facchine
Series: Tom Facchine - Imam Talk Podcast
File Size: 39.48MB
This 100 Other sought some sort of law or come back to Imam talk. This is a podcast that tries to sit down Imams to talk about what it's like being an Imam and sort of perspectives from the email. So we have here someone with us, masha Allah, an honored guest, takes no introduction, a sheikh, a doctor, almost an Imam, Imam of Valley Ranch Mesquite, in Dallas, Texas, and also obviously the founder and president of Yaqeen. Institute. Thank you so much for joining us. My really critical. So we have kind of three kind of tiers of questions, one of them has to do with sort of more, more personal situations, the next having to do with our communities. And finally, sort of looking big
When it comes to thinking about our own personal lives. One thing that I reflect on personally is sometimes things that I was doing or experiences that I had from even before I was a Muslim, or before I was quote, unquote, practicing, prepared me for being an imam in a very unexpected way. First, so for example, like, you know, I used to be a big musician before Islam, and literally everything that I used to do,
unbeknownst to me, prepared me to learn the Quran, and to actually study Arabic. Is there anything in your life that you feel like, you know, you kind of sit back and look at as like, Wow, I can't believe that that thing that I was doing, or that experience that I had, I'm using that skill or that experience now in my roles, any man
Subhanallah it's actually interesting. No one's ever asked me that question. And there are several things immediately that come to mind.
For one, I was a ballplayer so I'm thinking okay, that the idea of a team, so I used to play basketball, lots of team sports, I was often the only Muslim. In my environment. school growing up was the only Muslim so being the only Muslim kind of leading in that regard. But I, I'd say there are two things that are that immediately come to mind. One of them is, you know, when I grew up, my mother, McIntyre, Nia, was struggling with cancer, multiple strokes, and so half of my childhood was come home from school, and then go to the hospital, right, because mom's in the hospital again. So she's in a coma. So go spend some time in the hospital and,
you know, spend some time with mom in the hospital and just kind of, I guess, seeing chaplaincy up close, and what that look like. And so, the pastoral side of that the seeing people
you know, and what I call those a kid looks like a human mechanic shop, you know, like cars go to the mechanic shop, so like a human mechanic shop or something like that, you know, seeing people broken, and being fixed.
You know, oftentimes Subhanallah, you find that the way that the masjid is framed in the seat of the Prophet sly sometimes is that it was a spiritual hospital, you know, so you're caring for people that are coming with different types of wounds, different types of spiritual diseases, different types of circumstances. And often the pain is invisible, except to the, the very precise eye. And as an Imam, you have to be conscious when you're speaking to your congregation of the fact that everyone's coming in with something that is probably really hindering not just the way they're viewing Islam, but the way that they're approaching life.
And you don't want to further their injury, you know, you actually want to help them put whatever
trial they're going through in perspective of the Mercy of Allah subhanaw taala to make it a means by which they not just find comfort in this world, but they find a greater degree of closeness to Allah as part of that which ultimately leads to benefit in the hereafter as well.
So I think that that experience growing up, you know, like, it was because I often knew, like, when I was going to school that like, other kids didn't quite understand the the mental and emotional toll of, you know, not knowing if you're going to come home and find your mom or you gotta go to the hospital again, or, you know, mom's in a coma, or is she gonna wake up today or not?
So kind of feeling like, kids didn't understand me, but then also
the facade of the dunya was was
just that a facade very early on. And so I tried very hard as an imam always to.
from the, from the perspective, first and foremost, a personal one.
Having a good assumption of people like if someone was off, someone was a bit aggressive to be like, maybe that person is going through something. That's one. Number two is try to be a source of comfort to someone. You know, Prophets I seldom said so but some will give you a tip
or a smile on the face of your brother's a sadhaka and
he mentioned that from the greatest
to $3 COVID Africa Surah that you bring joy to your brothers heart, let them smile, basically. So to cause a smile is better than smiling. It's more it's more audible in the sight of lost friends on sometimes people need that right to induce a smile, you know. And that was something like I really I took with me to the masjid every day as an Imam was like, you know, Inshallah, this will be a means of bringing some joy to someone and not just joy. That's a tough love. That's heedlessness no joy, that's actually bringing them closer to a loss parents and closer to the messengers online. So I think had I not gone through that I definitely would not have been.
I'm still I still was not a good email, or I'm not a good email, but at least on Salah, we all fall short. Yeah, yeah. But hopefully that that experience definitely impacted that. And the second thing was was refugee work. My parents were deeply involved in refugee work growing up, that's great. Um, so, you know, we had people from Bosnia that came and like, stayed with us for an extended period of time in the 90s. I remember my dad donating our car, and us being careless while we waited.
So I learned from both of my parents that deep connection to refugees, and that's something as an Imam,
you know, It's fine as long as like, you can tell when someone walks into your masjid, that's, that's lost, you know, like the look of being lost. That often you see in the face of a refugee, you have a hyper detection of that and there are various means by which people become lost. So you know, like, this person is lost and needs, need some help? Yeah, Mashallah. Those are great points.
You know, the, the role of the Imam is such a public role. And when you're doing that sort of work, you know,
we can be on call 24/7 Sometimes, yeah. How do you manage to keep your privacy? How do you manage to put up a wall?
Or do you or things very well, so I'm gonna give you some back. So you introduce me as the mom of Valley Ranch Master Chef, Yasser Burgesses, the real imam of Iran's Islamic Center at home, the lie kind of just assists where I can. But truthfully, I was the full time imam in Muslim bracket in New Orleans for six years.
I lived right next door to the masjid. There was no privacy whatsoever. And it was, you know, my daughter was just born and like, people would come knock on the door to 3am for anything from like, they want to get into the masjid or they want to drive through in the car. And I'm like, You gotta be kidding around. Like, you just woke my daughter up. And, you know, all that time you spend trying to put your one year old to sleep and like someone just comes and bangs on that. Like,
it made me appreciate sorts of hedge a lot. A lot. Yeah. People yell for the yes, no. Kidding. I had had similar experience. Yeah. So you can leave chef Tom.
They've gotten better. But you got to ring up at least for some I had it. And then the battery stops working. And so I just left let that go. Because there's a funny story. They didn't have ring back then. For me. So what I did was I went on eBay. And I bought like this early, I guess, Chinese version of a ring, but it was like a wire. So it was like a video monitoring doorbell, put it on the door. And I had a wire that ran all the way through to my living room. And I'm like, on the other side of that monitor, and had like this really tacky, you know, ringtone when someone would bring it, but I was like, I want to see who's at the door. So, you know, I had the early version of ring,
some eBay, bootleg version of bring early on just to try to if anyone needs it, it's the email.
But um, yeah, I mean, honestly, like space.
Personal space. I'm not particularly good at saying no to people. And that's something that I think she has to be just as very well.
Being a volunteer resident scholar at my masjid, I can kind of, you know, take time away sometimes. And people understand that. I'm not able to however, what I do
now, and my capacity is I basically tell people look, come to my Tuesday night class. And I'll stay after as long as I need to. So people just kind of line up and let me say, No, yeah, it does. It kind of gives a little bit to it. That doesn't mean that people don't, you know, talk to me after salawat and stuff like that.
But at least there's some some semblance of an office hour if you will. And I don't live next door to the masjid. I live close to the measure that people do knock on the door sometimes when when it's probably not the best time for them to do so.
But I would say when it comes to the phone and connectivity
and this is just advice for people in general with their busy lives. One thing about the messenger RNA Salatu Salam is that when he was with his family, he was with his family, like fully present, right so the idea of being fully present when you are present
Maybe not the quantity that you want to be spending with your family, but at least you know the quality inshallah should be there.
Sometimes for sure, but that's something I tried to be intentional about as being present. All of us I recently bought a phone cage, cell phone, sometimes I come in and just put it and then it actually has a padlock and yeah, yeah. Are you serious? Yeah. Serious. We both do it. And that's why, you know, when I'm on and it's in the cage, and, you know, that's just us and the whole world is just doing what it's doing. You know, it's kind of keep turning. It's a great idea. Yeah. So it had to happen because of, you know, it's difficult to feel and I'm also somebody who feels, you know, and after having some sit downs with shake, so mashallah I admire his ability to say, No, I think I'm
more like you, I have a hard time saying no, and so it can become a problem. But Inshallah, you know, I'm learning.
What are one or two of the biggest things that being an imam has taught you?
So, you know, when the prophets lie, Selim says, and all of the MBR were shepherds, all the prophets were shepherds at some point, yeah.
I learned more as an Imam, than I did
in any class. I mean, I learned more as an imam.
Just about not just about being I mean, the Messiah has come up in the field and the questions that you have to answer and dealing with situations on the go just about people and where people are at and then how to talk to people had decent nasty my iPhone or allow Cooley him to speak to people where they're at.
But you know, I'll be real, and let you hide it and ask for your speed. Right? I'll hate them and allow the United Harlington as well as prophesy. Some said the one who mixes with the people and tolerates the hardships of doing so is better than the one who does not mix with the people and does not tolerate their hardships. A lot. I learned a lot of humility. You got to squash your ego. Yeah, an egotistical Imam is not going to make it very long. You know, an imam has to be humble. And
you know, say the home or the home right? The leader of people is their servant. Our prophets lie some demonstrate that in the most beautiful voice. Sometimes that means, you know, I think back to not just the Hutterites but I think back to that anyway, of Anasazi, Allah and who were the prophets I saw I was walking in and a man came and started pulling his board and said, Anthony, even though I talk Allah give me from what Allah has given to you and, and the Prophet slice, took it off, and it left marks on him and smiled at the man and told NSL Delano to take him to beaten man and give him some more and take care of him. And I'm like, You know what happened to him, it has to happen to us
to right. He's far better than us. He's emailed when we're sitting, right? So Allah Hardy was.
And so humility, man, I learned a lot of humility, like you got to crush your ego to be any mom. That doesn't mean that people should have used their you know, that means that from one of the things that Allah subhanaw taala, has, as decreed for for anyone that that will lead to people in this regard is that they have to tolerate the hardship that comes with that.
And they have to be more invested in the growth of people that in the solidifying of their own authority. So if you're invested in growing people, then it's just like, when you're a shepherd, you're gonna tolerate some of the hardship that comes with leading the flock, because ultimately, your job is to care for the flock. So well said on the other side.
What's something that you wish that the average Muslim understood about being any man?
Because sometimes, you know, we're somewhat objectified. Yeah, in a way, right. I look at you know, I look at some of the institutional practices that other faith communities have at times to care for their clergy.
sabbaticals. Yes. You know, like, I was talking to a pastor, and he was a friend, he said, You know, I'm on a meditation sabbatical. What in the world is that?
Like, yeah, like, it's in his contract, you know, like three months, every three years or something like that. He's gonna get three months off to just go and refresh himself. And
I think that this is one of the most important things, not a meditation sabbatical. No, that would be nice. But one of the most important things to understand that if the Imam is able to have the space to take care of their own spiritual, mental, emotional, Family Health, then they will be better capable for the long run for you. So I think that, you know, we're kind of looked at like used cars sometimes, like, run us, run around.
We break and then the wheels break. Yeah, I mean, that's really what it is. Right. And I think that's the attitude that a lot of people have towards a lot of communities have towards the moms like, we'll burn them out. You know, we'll take we'll take everything we can from you.
And then Marsala you know, and I recently gave a hotbar about this, as it just it blew my mind the name of the whole
towards the sin of using people. There are many Hadith that fall within this genre of the prophets lie some condemning, exploitation and using people
and then ghosting them when they need you. Yes. And
Satan Amato they lost out on when he saw an old Jewish man and his Khilafah who was begging and Amaro, the lion was started to cry and he said Matt will lie mountains off Nika. Haddenham, Inca Shabaab and wobbly Anika Schaefer, like we didn't do right by you, we took from you when you were young, and then we lost you and you were old. And that's just an old Jewish man that was just paying jersey and Amato Delano felt bad and he took him to beta naught and he gave him he said, you know, we use you and we didn't you know, we took your you paid your dues, and we didn't pay you back. Basically, you shouldn't be in the situation. I think about pioneers, imams that serve this
community for decades, and they can't pay hospital bills, they can't pay the bills for their children. They you know, they were devastated. They were left out to dry. And that's wrong. You know, that's it's hurtful, right? So the guy that teaches your kids how to read the Quran can put his kids through school, you know, the person who did marital counseling for you can get a day off to just go spend time with his wife, you know, health insurance, the person that came to the hospital to do chaplaincy for you, when your father or your mother was in the hospital or your child, and they can't they can't pay for their own medical expenses. I think it's a deep problem.
It's an institutional failure that we have collectively not
imams are squeezed, and overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, not given time, not given space. And eventually, what you're just gonna have is that no one wants to be an email anymore, you know? And look, I mean, I, I personally, and I shared this, I think it's important. I personally had to leave being a full time Imam because I started to feel like, am I going to Fudger? Because I'm worried about someone Yes. Docking me, or am I going to Fajr for the sake of Allah subhanaw taala. I had to like, that was like, for me, the greatest spiritual detriment was like, now I don't even know what I'm going to do anymore. Like, I need to go to Fudger because I want to go to Fudger. Now, you
know, for the sake of Allah outside the masjid can't be just a workplace for me. So I think there needs to be space, Reasonable.
Reasonable arrangements. I also think the idea of your boss changing every year is just insanity. Like, why would anyone sign up for that? You know, like, your, your, your, your, if your boss is going to change every year? What stability Do you have? So we're human beings, we have emotional needs, we need stability, if we have stability, we are more optimal for ourselves and for our communities, we're better suited to serve our community. So I think the idea of investing in your leaders investing in your Imams
that's something special and it will it will pay back your community. Not that this should be transactional, we're brothers and sisters at the end of the day.
But I mean, look,
you know, I really do think Subhanallah especially with COVID.
Any moms were very overworked. So while people were worried about uncertainty and fear, and, you know, the moms had to carry their own and more, and a lot of boards, you know, in very shady ways, just cut salaries behind the scenes didn't didn't tell people what they were doing.
Any moms just were left with sitting in front of a camera all day, you know, doing zoom, you know, and it was almost like they had to justify their existence to their to their community. So it's very cutthroat.
That structure needs to change.
And we need to just see each other more as brothers and sisters and and that's not just true for Imams, I think that's true for like community volunteers. Yeah, a lot of times we run them, run them to the ground, and then they burn out and they never want to be anywhere near most of the gun. That's a problem. Islamic school teachers are not empowered, right? Yeah, they show up, you know, and they have skills and they have zeal, and then they're not put in a place where they have any ownership, people are looking over their shoulders and barking about why they're doing something wrong. Why would I come back?
Right. Well, that's a perfect segue to the second sort of batch of questions with which has to do more with, you know, community life. So
you said already, you've been part of multiple communities, both personally and professionally. What's unique about the community that you're at now? What are some of the bigger challenges that your community faces and what are sort of some of the opportunities that you see
was like a lockout? Great question.
Firstly, I'd say that you know, and hamdulillah the community is gives us a lot of respect.
Just as there's a lot of respect for boundaries and just respect for scholarship and respect.
the positions that we have in the masjid, it's it's there. It's an it's very refreshing and Hamdulillah I mean to,
to not be
bullied or you know,
you know, it's like we don't need anyone to talk up to us is when you when you're trying to give a hotel and you're trying to prepare when you're trying to do programs,
to have someone undermine that at every juncture is very exhausting. And it kind of demotivates you and a lot of emails face that right so we don't have that happen. I hear that from a lot of other communities that it's really demotivating and I lived that life I had that prior we don't have that here. Here we're not in Valley Ranch right now. But you know what I mean? It might as well be he might as well be right.
But we don't have that Hamdulillah
we try to one of the one of the things about our budget as we tried to make it so that
and I think we're one of the few months is like this and the country
where non Muslims can walk in at any point for any Holika for any Salah and they will feel welcomed in there sort of
a process and there's a way of dealing with with people when they come into the module which is why and hamdullah we have people take shots every week evaluation happens a lot. It's very common. And converts specifically feel welcome Valley Ranch so you'll we have a large convert population that will drive from all over to be a part of our community and hamdulillah even though we're not in a convert heavy area, but it's just people will come for that. So we're welcoming that welcome home as what we say to anyone when it comes to the message. The first time there's Welcome Home Welcome home, we often will you know, after a lot today shot shift yesterday will say or you know, whoever
will say look, say salaam to the person next to introduce yourself for a minute that's so important that we do these little things that keep our community together. challenge is how do you deal with too many people wanting to be a part of your homely community and then at that point, you become too big to be able to maintain that type of character and culture that you want to be able to so we do struggle with that now especially in COVID Our community has blown up and Hamdulillah we have people moving to Valley Ranch all the time. So we want to keep our culture our chemistry
and and not become a mega Masjid. Right. So that's what's kind of a Texas thing right? The Megan was concept so I tried to avoid the mega Missouri concept and keep that homely feel.
So speaking of you know, like your setup at Valley Ranch, you have yourself and you have Sheikh Yasser
that's somewhat unique. What does that enable you to do as a community that you know, other messages that just have one email, you know, like, can't do? What's the utility there?
So I actually moved to Valley Ranch to be around him and it's beautiful because he's like my kids email. This is so cool. Like it handled like my kids have any mom, that's not me, you know, so it's really nice to have that. Of course, I catch my oldest one when she tries to do the pick and choose that's why I'm like no, he asked for our safety hazards, easy festivals and it's hard ones. But you know, like my kids have any mom Hamdulillah we also have two full time youth directors, a male youth director and a female youth director really? Yeah, it's special they do amazing work mashallah so we got a whole thing going on. And I think that when people talk about building a masjid
just think about the amount of money that's spent in the chandeliers and the carpets and little architectural details like no you you build
the people side of things that's gonna give you everything else Yes. So if you can invest in staff
then you're really going to see something special happen to him that law so you know shaky acid is obviously there I'm there when I can be I travel a lot obviously when I'm there when I can be in my capacity
Hamdulillah we get along great
you know, we talk through things when there's a challenge in the community.
We don't deliberate in public that's so important. Yeah, we talked about things and then we have a unified voice on everything and handed it along so that the community can exploit you know, any type of difference you know, within a community and have the law Sheriff Abdullah duros five minutes away. Yeah, so he's, he's our guy and
I'll show you how Bella mashallah, as you've met him, spent some time with him sweet sweet guy, Mashallah. So,
so it's actually beautiful to actually give you a little bit of history Valley Ranch grew out of Irving Islamic center. Okay. So there's a satellite location and then it became its own community. And then Capelle Masjid Islamic center grew out of Valley Ranch. The loader was mostly,
you know, we're one community to have the like, one heart one one. We're
We support them as much as we can have the law now there's another masala that's starting to grow. So it's like we're not trying to like consolidate power.
It's we welcome the growth. And we show support for one another and Hamdulillah.
So I think speaking with one voice is absolutely crucial and the community will follow, right if leadership is, is with one voice, the community will follow. If the leadership has tension, and the community will catch on to that and some of that tension will penetrate the community as well.
But the youth directors are key. I definitely think hiring a male and a female youth director are key
to the to the success of the community. It takes some of the pressure off of the Imam as well. And I think that
the person who's responsible programmatically for the masjid cannot also be responsible for leading the salon at the masjid. Yes, it's too much to put on. I've I've found that to be true within the last year. I mean, it's very, very, very difficult. Yeah. So almost like a situation where you have somebody who's like, Mmm, and then someone else who's like, religious director or program director or something like that, right?
Yeah, Mashallah. I hope all the messages are out there listening.
Okay, so for your community, where do you what's up next? Where do you see yourselves in five years? What's the what's the next big thing or something that you would hope that would be accomplished in the next five years?
It's a great question.
I think obviously, putting more sun into our programs more excellence into our programs becoming more intentional. Now people talk about with Valley Ranch. We have too many programs, like if you just listen to the Friday announcements, like it just takes a lot to go through, they had a whole they have two whole screens on either side of the bookshelves, I read all of them. MashAllah lots of lots going on.
So I think from a facility perspective, we don't have some of the facilitative facilities necessary for some of the youth work we want to do.
So I think some of those facilities will match your aspirations. We're not We're not a community that builds first and then things later, we build to our needs. So even our Masjid is very intentionally built, it's very, very intelligently laid out my shots about a lot. And it was a pleasure to go and see how everything was just, we loved having you there, man. I can't wait to go back and shall live radically come. So it was yeah, it was very, it was very intentional, everything's very intentionally built. So I think now having a youth components of that youth center in sha Allah as well, that's, that's very intentionally built. That's, that's probably that and then
doing more for the broader community and have that, like we we've been able to really be a spot where neighbors can come learn about Islam. You know, I, this class, I teach on the Sahaba on the first,
You know, there's some of the people that were coming to that class regularly before COVID, some of them became Muslim. Some of them, you know, have the last dollar on their journey in sha Allah, we pray, we pray for you Dyer for that, but like, there was one lady, I always shout her out. Her name is Wanda.
You know, she's a Caucasian Texan lady that comes and takes notes, and then asked me to translate afterwards like, what is this mean that what does that mean? And she comes with a printed notes on the first and I say, actually held it up one day, I said, See, you know, this one has taken all the seasons, and all the muscles the shame, yeah, that's totally a shame. And she's a wonderful lady.
So we have people like that our community's amazing. And we want to be that way. We want to be welcoming and Shawn Lazzara to where people can can find value marriage to be home for them, and
eventually Islam to be home for them as well. That's amazing. How does. So one last question about about your community before we go on to some, like bigger picture stuff? How, because there's often a tension in masajid, between access and security, right? So my kind of mushy, gushy soft guy, you know, wish for the machine is that it's a place that just can be open. So that that random person off the street who's worked themselves up for so long to get the motivation that comes to the machine, you know, the machine is open for them, and they come in and they find what they need. And then the opposite the opposite argument, obviously, as well. And this has happened in our community,
we've had break ins and we've had things stolen, we've had other things like that. So how do you balance between those, those those two concerns?
So I don't want to turn this conversation too dark, right. But I'll just say that like I went to Christchurch, New Zealand after the shooting there, the attack there and
you know, actually participated in the preparation or the shutdown and stuff like that.
became really close to that community. And that was an eye opener for me.
As much as we want to be welcoming, we can't put our community at risk.
I think we should have security. And I think that you can have security in a way that you don't hinder the welcoming aspect of it.
But I think as you know, you never want your your moms to be worried about their children, of course, you know, and people to be thinking about anything, but there's a lot when there's a lot. So I think investing in proper security is is important. And we do we do that as Valley Ranch and Hamdulillah we we do it in a way that the security is part of the welcoming, not a hindrance to the well, I noticed I actually met your security guards, Mashallah. And we chatted for a while. Yeah. Because I was at one point, I was the only guy left in the masjid. And I said, Hey, you know, I got a flight to catch in a few hours, you know, I'm just gonna be chillin with other care. It was, yeah,
like welcoming, like I said, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the machine has to be locked down and sort of thing during the day, like you don't have you can have both. Absolutely, basically. Yeah. That's, that's an important thing.
Okay, so it's very late here. We'll try to wrap this up. So asleep before your flight, and maybe for driving back tomorrow. So big picture? What are some recent developments on the North American sort of Muslim dour scene that you find encouraging? And what are maybe some things that you see that we might need to be careful about?
I find what I find encouraging and stuff like this,
like brotherhood, and sisterhood,
you know, people, people in Dallas that are working together and shamans, and that's I mean, Yaqeen Institute. That's a big part of what we do. You know, we try to bring no special to bring Imams and shields from different backgrounds together to work for the bigger picture. So I saw that myself, and in a very non competitive way, that was the thing that just amazed me about Yaqeen is that, you know, the internal conversations behind closed doors, you're talking about how to help other organizations and work with other organizations and build each other up. And that, I think, is probably pretty rare.
I mean, because because a lot of us saw what division did to our community.
Lots of harm inflicted on the community. No one wins with fitna. Yeah. And lots of wasted potential. Yes. You know, something that stuck with me from one of my teachers a while back, he said, you know, the most unproductive year in the Sierra was the year of Hadith to lift this line of it shall be allowed, right, just from a productivity perspective of the community. It was, you know, you get paralyzed by that stuff. Right. And we've seen that too much with the divisions in our community. So what I'm encouraged by is the meeting of Imams and institutional heads, you know, in Dallas, we do a very good job at hand working together, you know, with the opinion and column and then you see the
seminaries and the institutions miftah and yeah, that is Salaam and Dr. Possum
you know, beautiful institutions, the Masjid as well. You got to break barriers and Dallas we do a lot of that as well. Hamdulillah we make it a point as the moms and dads to keep a very close connection, right? You see emails from all the massage with giving cultivars in all the massage and rotating cultivars all the time, trying to do programs together. So Unity is
refreshing when it's there and particularly unity at the institutional level. So
inshallah we can we can work together. This data was bigger than all of us. Yes, at the end of the day, that person that's online, you know, looking for some, some some some reason to stay connected to a loss of Hannah Montana doesn't need to be pulled into a soap opera. That's right, they need to be pulled back to Allah subhanaw taala so
when we can do more of this stuff in sha Allah time we can work together for the sake of Allah or that normal sunless looking for Islam, we can we can do more Inshallah, while they were talking to us, that's right. So when we can do more of this than in Charlotte's it's more beneficial and I and I and I hope more pleasing to Allah subhanaw taala
the concerning part is the opposite of that I think that I think look we're ultimately products of our society. So political polarization, bitter divides this the seclusion or rather I should say the isolation of COVID You know, isolating people from one another people don't see each other enough when when people are disturbed hurt you know going through things and
yeah, we just sometimes a simple face to face is enough to iron out yes difficulties so many times miscommunication that happens in our own community. Yeah, there's a reason why shaitan doesn't want people to talk Muslims to talk to each other because if people talk to each other then then you robbed him of his voice see Robin was was Was he can't whisper to you anymore. If he's, if you actually hear your brothers will
Voice directly so I think there's a reason why
the insistence of the prophets lie some of you know that a Muslim does not abandon their brother for three days
hydro command but the epsilon the best of you is the one who starts with salaam so we need to force more in person
meetings between people
if you can't do it in person than a phone call
zoom if you can have some face to face even if you can't you know it's better than just the voice but I think the writing on this the
the vault the way that the internet is so volatile the way that the internet is so
flammable. Fitness so flammable online, you know, objectifying I think, you know, the the person behind the letters is not immediately present, whereas the person right when you see the face, right, like if you meet a brother in person, say Salaam and see that there are good Muslim like, you know that or someone that cares about the deen and wants to serve a loss parents, then you're likely to just approach them differently. And a lot of people are trying to do you know, the best that they can.
And I think it's more pleasing to Allah subhanaw taala when we meet each other, and when we
talk about how to support one another, even on sort of hoc allottee minimum of the norm. Yes, support your brother when he oppresses and when he's oppressed.
When you want to stop him from oppressing from wrongdoing, you want to do so ultimately for his benefit as well on sort of haka. Not not not what if
it's, you're trying to help your brother, you know, against his own shape on some time. So I think there's so much beauty and people meeting and talking and working together and Shama hopefully, we can do more of that. And I fear the, the isolation the internet, dividing us further and keeping us further apart, but inshallah we can, we can be a part of changing that discourse, how I feel, and this might be just my newness to everything, but I feel like things are moving in a good direction. I don't know you've been in the game longer than I have. But I feel like there's a lot of nice connections being made in the profit sighs I was an optimist. We got to be optimistic. So we hold on
to the good things, the good moments and so on. We learned from the times that we fall short.
Okay, last question for the night. And this was a question actually that was raised at the Yaquina Institute retreat. How can the Muslims in North America help the larger ummah? What's our what's our role to play our roles? Well, for one, we need to feel
what are almost going through and all of it
for a lot of people when you say the OMA they think about a very particular subsection of the ummah. So you have to acquaint yourself with what's going on with the OMA
and feel its pain. You know, when the Prophet sighs I'm talked about the function of the OMA being like one body, he started from the place of if one part of it hurts than the entire body, you know, comes down with a sense of fever and restlessness, you know, so we we have to feel what's happening with our Ummah and then as support for one another, you should do out a lot about
that one part of it helps the other part and establishes the other part.
a part of the OMA of Mohammed Salah Lysa limbs, we can develop this American Muslim exceptionalism
to where we act in a way of just American Muslim self interest and not the interest of the entire Ummah as a whole
this entire OMA needs us and sometimes we can be the voices on issues that no one else can sometimes the community itself can't even speak I mean take the Warriors for example. Yes. So one of the most heartbreaking things in the world so Palace sometimes lawyers will avoid going to lawyer protests because they know that Chinese surveillance is so severe that it could get their families tortured and abducted or you know,
back home like that's when you're so robbed of
your own voice that you can't even speak on your own specific cause.
The rest of us have to pick up the slack That's right. So being one OMA means knowing your OMA so know your Alma failure, and be your own and
inshallah Tada, we we also have to functionally,
like be very intentional about doing
very intentional about doing like, we're making dua tonight for Reza right you know, and we're all like you tell your kids we're gonna wake up and we're gonna pray for it as well tonight. You got to instill that nourish that and the next generation as well because if we feel this American Muslim exceptionalism, then what about our kids right, they're gonna be even further disconnected from their alma so connect Connecting the Next Gen
Should to the most important as well.
That's a great place to stop. And it's past midnight here. Thank you so much for letting us pick your brain.
Okay, so what's what's one thing that people don't know about you?
Don't think people people realize that, like, I socially, don't hang out with many people.
And I really, really enjoy my family. So it's hamdullah we're a very tight knit family. And it's, I think people people assume I'm an extrovert I'm actually an introvert. I don't hang out with many people spend time.
I just love being with my family, you know, so I think people probably assume like, they see the pictures of the events and stuff like that. And they think I'm always out with the community, but honestly, like, I tried to just spend as much quality time with my family as possible. And, and
yeah, it's that's That's it. I'm an introvert. I know that's weird to people, but I really am an introvert. Well, we need an introverted Imams working group or something like that. How may Allah bless you and your family and protect you and your family and then thank you again for everything and in showing it today. So my message to your community take care of the mom take care of take care of our guy or
my warning signs.
Here's a way to get on the bad side of your community right away but No, it's It's refreshing to get to know you and have the added benefit from you. And in a short period of time, you've done a lot of a lot of good Mashallah. So,
those of you that are watching to please support Inshallah, the work that the masjid is doing the work that you're doing, and I'm looking forward to seeing how much more you shine inshallah over the next few years and we can be a small part of that, that shimmer of light in sha Allah, Allah Allah preserve you keep your sincere and use you and us for good and join us with our beloved prophet sighs
and thank you and keep us in your DUA and we'll do whatever we can do for the Dawa on the fly inshallah.
sabbatical Halmahera gets shut when they understood or were too weak to last an hour