Tom Facchine – Imam Talk Podcast #04 – Sh. Mohammad Elshinawy on The Burden of Leadership

Tom Facchine
AI: Summary © The speakers emphasize the importance of learning from experiences with Islam and the need for accountability and humility in leadership conversations. They also stress the importance of privacy and privacy for individual personalities, challenges faced by institutions in America, and prioritization of one's own interests and community life. The speakers emphasize the need for collaboration and engagement between different communities to ensure everyone is on the same page, and the importance of addressing issues such as recent events and the need for religious education institutions. They emphasize the importance of community and social interaction in addressing problems and emphasize the need for people to be trained and educated to handle behavior.
AI: Transcript ©
00:00:00 --> 00:00:04

I almost killed everybody in the masjid. I gotta build the suspense really want to know

00:00:06 --> 00:00:14

this one that I'm on the Rahim Al Hamdulillah. So at sama Sula. Welcome back to Imam talk. And we have here and esteemed guests that needs no introduction.

00:00:16 --> 00:00:25

Say well having a shonali Hausa welcome us someone that I have benefited from tremendously. And I don't know if you recall, do you remember the first time I met you?

00:00:27 --> 00:01:13

You probably don't? Yes, you probably don't know, wasn't mass, let me know it was at John Jay College. In 2012, I want to say, Yeah, I drove up with John Starline, with shake John, to catch one of your talks. And he was driving the Buick 94 Park Avenue that I bought, I bought from him that I still have. So he wrote up and we call one of your lectures, and we just had a very, very, very brief introduction afterwards, you had to go somewhere. But a lot has passed. Since that meeting, you know, a lot of white hairs since then a lot of white hairs on both sides, you know, trips abroad, the study and things like that. So one of the things that we do for email talk is to give

00:01:13 --> 00:01:25

people a sense of what did your path to leadership in the Muslim community look like? Because there's not just one way there's a lot of different ways and what sort of lessons can we take from your from your path to leadership.

00:01:27 --> 00:01:32

Even considering myself till this day, as a leader is very daunting to be honest.

00:01:35 --> 00:01:51

Bismillah Sol Sol Sol is lesser than its average Ryan. You know, even before leadership I, I remember being in hammered as many people are with the stories of people who sort of reform overnight and repent overnight.

00:01:53 --> 00:01:57

And I had left the masajid for a short period of my life.

00:01:59 --> 00:02:00

My prayers had interrupted.

00:02:03 --> 00:02:19

And I used to always wonder, like, what changed? Why am I back? How did I get back here? And I don't have a story I used to always tell myself and then I sort of just gave myself closure after years of like, wishing I had this, you know, dramatic change of heart.

00:02:20 --> 00:02:28

And I just said, You know what, maybe it was that slow and that gradual because Allah knows if I had like, a big splash moment, or

00:02:29 --> 00:02:56

maybe I would have got a little fool of myself and it would have been all pointless. And then after sort of I accepted that I wouldn't be able to identify it. Allah started sending me people in my life to point out for me things not even reminding me some of it was reminding me like, you know, your dad would never leave any stone unturned without helping this place and that place And subhanAllah I never made the connection Allah had just hidden that from me. My father Rahim Allah, Allah, may Allah have mercy on him was in in the scholar space.

00:02:58 --> 00:03:11

He didn't have much Quran at all under his belt, but there was never like an avenue of light of you know, the not so glamorous leadership, right the behind the scenes leadership, except that he was a part of it.

00:03:12 --> 00:03:14

Opening masajid Islamic schools,

00:03:16 --> 00:03:49

even beyond that, that's profound because a lot of people are under the impression that you need to be a scholar or in the scholarly milieu in order to impact especially massages specifically, or the Muslim community generally. And you know, the phrase, you don't be that basic Muslim, right? Maybe your father was a type of quote unquote, basic Muslim that was able to have a tremendous amount of influence. And that was something they called my attention to that I could vaguely recollect like, oh, yeah, you know, but there was even aspects of things My mother told me,

00:03:51 --> 00:04:11

we pass the time that I got into leadership spaces, and I couldn't recall for the life of me, she used to tell me, I don't know if I've ever shared this publicly, but that when we were like struggling trying to keep the business afloat, there's a short period when we tried to open the restaurant, Mashallah. What type of food

00:04:12 --> 00:04:20

it was like a pizzeria Mediterranean. Yeah, kind of hodgepodge. And yeah, I've worked for some of those. I know exactly what you're talking about.

00:04:21 --> 00:04:46

All right, dig in a shot in the dark there and eventually closed down. She tells me that she tried to help my dad she would run the cashier and cook in the back and whatnot. And she used to tell us stories of like the seven under Allah's shade, and I would get all emotional one she mentioned the youth that was raised up in the worship of Allah and I'm like, No, I wasn't I would not cry at five years old about something like that. She She swears that I did.

00:04:47 --> 00:04:59

I see how Allah like, you know that area in an uproar. When Allah says we're Lavina Amman with the bottom of the Ria, to whom the man in Alhough gonna be him to return

00:05:00 --> 00:05:31

Those who believe, and then their progeny follows them in faith. That's the qualifier we will let their progeny catch up with them. Think about that. Like there's a there's a there's a gem there right like a subtlety that What do you mean you're their progeny will catch up with them? Why can't it be the other way around? Because there's really no way around it. You will never one up them when the inner workings. That's what was sort of my conclusion, the inner workings stuff, I don't even remember the underground that edged me perhaps in a certain direction by Allah's permission.

00:05:32 --> 00:06:09

They'll always be ahead. Right. And by Allah's permission, you know, that children will somehow be reunited with their parents, though they can never make up that ground. You know, you mentioned like a interregnum, like a period of break with your prayer. What what age around was that like was that teenage years, like, fifth to eighth, fifth to ninth grade? You know what it was, my father was very involved in the masjid principal of the Sunday school, he managed the, the reselling of like plots in the graveyard and all that stuff. And so it could have been that age where I want it to be anything but my dad could have also been a little bit

00:06:11 --> 00:06:16

too much passion a little bit too much forcefulness that, you know, just I ricocheted in the opposite end for a while.

00:06:17 --> 00:07:00

But yeah, I drifted. I mean, I definitely had that as well. For me, it was a little bit later, like, around 16 1516 years old. I was, you know, and that's, you know, I there's a certain degree that's fairly typical. Right. So but then, okay, you found yourself reconnecting it was a slow, gradual process, you know, how did that eventually put you on a path to leadership in addition to kind of like your forgotten heritage for what you kind of inherited from your father, like, where did that start being applied or finding an outlet. So Allah so kind, right, like eighth ninth grade, the first Youth Center, the mass Youth Center, Brooklyn, New York, on bath Avenue, that opens up, I had

00:07:00 --> 00:07:14

sort of really been drawn to basketball at that point, a lot of youth gathering there, basketball was a rallying point for us, they sat us down taught us basic sodas, siara, you know, and all of this. And,

00:07:15 --> 00:07:20

I mean, eventually, Ramadan comes around, they want to show that they're producing, you know,

00:07:21 --> 00:07:24

glamorous youth, they write for me a half page lecture.

00:07:26 --> 00:07:39

really memorize it word for word. So I get up in the fundraiser like, and I and I give this spiel about how we are tomorrow and stuff. The youth are here, and the crowd goes wild.

00:07:40 --> 00:07:45

And people donate well, and so they start taking me around

00:07:47 --> 00:07:49

Masjid domestic nights.

00:07:51 --> 00:07:54

And I'm just repeating the same thing over and over again.

00:07:55 --> 00:08:00

People start thinking, I know stuff, right? I don't even know just I'm at this point.

00:08:02 --> 00:08:16

And then, you know, so 911 happens the middle of all of this. So I in hindsight, like Allah is a lovely, alright, so subtle. I was, you know, forced to step up, and either, you know, be a victim of my circumstance.

00:08:18 --> 00:08:43

Because it's no longer socially convenient, it's not as easy to hide anymore, or I'm going to be, as they say, a victim of my circumstance, and tried to say, hey, get on my back. Yeah, were Muslim. And I remember, I wasn't the first one. But we said, you know, what, we're wearing movies to school, in public school my whole life. And hamdulillah Allah has made it easier for me born in the States, I'm on the basketball team. So we started wearing cool piece of school and doing, you know, Muslim things and stuff.

00:08:44 --> 00:08:57

And I graduated from high school a few short years later, still don't have much under my belt, in terms of, you know, training and knowledge. And, um, before I got to campus, people are reaching out to me that you have multiple, First Friday.

00:08:59 --> 00:09:43

And I had never given a whole before my life. And so I remember clearly, you know, trying to prepare something from a lecture that I have understood in Arabic for a Kuwaiti scholar on how much do you long for Paradise. And I remember, I was so nervous, given the hotbar that I choked in the hotbar literally choked mid sentence a bunch of times. And, you know, things kept, you know, gradually progressing. One time I was in a big masjid, and I gave a holdover and there was a major international scholar there. And I was attending throughout the week, some sort of fifth. He has a programs for him in New Jersey, and he attended the whole book, and he didn't understand a word from

00:09:43 --> 00:09:59

my hotbar. But he sort of just saw how people embrace someone who speaks good English, I guess, who can you know, piece thing a coherent message together? And yeah, he saw people approaching me and asking me questions that are way above my paygrade and stuff like this, but and so he came to me and he said to me something very powerful.

00:10:02 --> 00:10:03

He said,

00:10:04 --> 00:10:07

Fe, Allah has chosen you for something

00:10:08 --> 00:10:14

that's either going to take you to the highest ranks in Jannah. Or

00:10:18 --> 00:10:23

and so I kind of said to him, that's exactly why I don't want it. I don't want this gamble

00:10:24 --> 00:10:28

or something to that effect. And he said to me, Cohen Malcador

00:10:29 --> 00:10:41

be with Allah's decree, be content, accept it, you're not chasing, you're not drooling after it. That's a good thing. The fear of hypocrisy is what protected the Soheila from hypocrisy, keep that fear alive in you.

00:10:43 --> 00:11:21

But except the last decree at the same time and make the best of it. And so I started realizing that whatever little bit of knowledge I had for myself may have been enough. But whatever knowledge I'm seeking now for the OMA will never be enough, but even a lot won't be enough. So I went to Medina, at some point in the interim, first semester Hamdulillah I had Arabic under my belt, I sort of recalled the language of my parents, to a considerable extent I was able to test out of the mat had the Arabic seminary and going straight into college of Hadith for Lilla aced my first semester, second semester, right before it started, my dad or I have a Honda Accord, his

00:11:22 --> 00:11:39

his third stroke at that point. So I came back to Medina just to get the paperwork done for like a hopefully a short hiatus, that Gene and I came back to America to take care of him. It was like about a three year very slow deterioration through Parkinson's and dementia. And otherwise, may Allah make it a purification for him.

00:11:41 --> 00:11:42

And so I continued.

00:11:43 --> 00:11:48

I sign up for Michigan University, I hauled it out, I already had my second kid at that point. You know what

00:11:50 --> 00:12:29

it is, it's the frontlines work. There's no backing out anymore. It is a collective for Banaz to get into Dawa. But whoever identifies themselves or is identified as then it becomes forgotten. Right. So individual duty on us. So it took me about eight years to finish Michiga. And I'm still learning on the job hoping the job doesn't prevent me from learning all of us. Now, there's a lot to take from from your story. I mean, I think there's a narrative out there, that a lot of people use this to gatekeeper right, that you have to be at a certain level in order to do anything in order to open your mouth. Right. And obviously, there's a reason why that exists. Because you have your tick tock

00:12:29 --> 00:13:12

shakes, you have people that you know, exactly the opposite of your scenario, somebody who's drooling after it, putting themselves in that position to speak, when they don't belong in that position to speak. But there is also something to be said exactly like, you know, the Sheikh said and that you pointed out for, okay, the people who are reluctant, it's just like solta, right? It's just like any position of Reesa or leadership or anything, that people who are what's what's the saying, We've reached the time when, you know, those who should stay silent speak, and those who speak should stay silent. And so it's almost like a paradoxical litmus test. That's like, if you

00:13:12 --> 00:13:51

don't want it, that means you're you. It's yours. Or at least it should be yours in an aspirational sense. You know, it's like, a burden to bear. You know, and there's a responsibility to be had. But I mean, just like with, you know, with the whole sort of, you know, people feeling maybe they're not sufficient for what they can pass on to their kids. There's also this sort of feeling well, maybe I, I don't know enough to, to make, you know, I'm just pretending, you know, impostor syndrome and things like things like that. And that's an important check for our humility, but at the same time, like it can also be the source of motivation to Okay, yeah, get up and give the hutzpah. And you

00:13:51 --> 00:14:23

know, you're not all that. But it's going to force you and you've said this before with private conversation that having the accountability of the leadership position forces you to develop yourself, it forces you to learn if you're halfway sincere, you don't want to do a bad job. Right. And honestly, I'm, my father in law actually was attending a football for me about made a few weeks ago. And my due to parking limitations, my machine has to hold what's right. And so obviously, it's the same football twice.

00:14:25 --> 00:14:44

And so after the first football, I was upset at the framing of the discussion, not content, really the same substance. I felt like it was all right. Wasn't overkill, a few checkpoints always in my head. But I didn't like the framing. I felt like it could have been better. So I'm reframing it in my notes, and he's looking at like, What in the world are you doing? You just give hold? Well,

00:14:45 --> 00:15:00

I was like, Yeah, but I don't. I didn't like you know, I like to respect the intelligence of people in front of me. I like this, then third. And he's looking at me like, Stop being silly was fine. I was like, No, you need to understand. I have been traumatized by what was for 2024

00:15:00 --> 00:15:07

I've years in my life and it has actually made me sit through hold buzz and say I wish I was up there. Right?

00:15:08 --> 00:15:20

And and I used to always wonder like, What kind of monster I am. I want to be up there, right? I want to put myself in peril. Because the Hadith says it's so heavy Madera being center of attention is a slaughterhouse beware of the slaughterhouses.

00:15:22 --> 00:15:47

Think about that, like celebrities seen as Oh, man, why can't we be on stage? And why can't this and like that, like, I wish I could get off, right? I hope I wish that I hope it's not just pretentious. But when you call it a slaughterhouse, and I'll get back to the point of you know, my drama, but how many animals survive entering the slaughterhouse? Almost none. That's the whole idea. Most people in the spotlight won't survive. But still, the hotbar is such a heavy responsibility.

00:15:48 --> 00:16:06

Because you only have these people for 20 minutes, maybe that's their only inlet to revitalizing their hearts and their connection with Allah all week. That that was a part of it as well, it truly I felt after a while that it truly was a sense of sympathy for the average Muslim, and we had to do better.

00:16:07 --> 00:16:44

So it was that inner conflict between I don't want to be up there Something has to get fixed here. Yeah. And it becomes duty at a certain point, you know, like the person who's able to do it competently has responsibility step up. And it's kind of paradoxical because it's almost maybe it's more egotistical in some sort of way to hold yourself, maybe that's like aloofness, right, to hold yourself back, even though you know, that whatever is being put out there is insufficient, perhaps damaging, right, and that you have the ability to actually intervene and make it better. Right, you may think there's a there's some sincerity there, it's a facade. That's actually if you want to know

00:16:44 --> 00:17:09

leadership, or my story with it, that's actually why I became an imam. So I was like, on the circuit, right, just speaking, were invited and, and I felt like I was sincere, because I don't, I never had a rate I, you know, almost never accepted money beyond expenses, you know, and this was for a long while. And the message that I voluntarily went to, to revive their community or build it out once a month, which is the current community. I'm in now Allentown, Pennsylvania.

00:17:10 --> 00:17:22

After a few years, when my dad passed, they said, Okay, look, he kept saying you can't move, you can't move here that they left me. Of course, they were very considerate. Six months into this, okay, now, you got to come here and sort of build build this out with us firsthand.

00:17:23 --> 00:17:31

And I was like, No, man, I promised myself I'd never take money and I'd be sincere. I didn't want to sell out. Yeah. And then doctor had some hedge.

00:17:34 --> 00:17:59

I consulted him after they kept pressing me. And he said, Mohamed, listen. And I think that's the whole solution. To your point, like the paradoxical situation, you need mentors? If not, then brothers, right? To keep each other in check, right? So important, to help you stay accountable. You can't always be the judge of yourself. Conflict of Interest, right? So I sat with him, and I said, but I've shared I promised myself I'd never be any man, I'd never be on payroll.

00:18:01 --> 00:18:23

He said, What do you think of the Masjid? I said, to be honest, I've been to so many masajid. And I've never seen management like this. I've seen them through conflict. I've seen them provoked in manners that are, you know, incredibly unfair. And they were always taking the high road, they were always, you know, putting the interests of the collective above their own. I've seen that in ways I could never pull off myself. He does. Okay. So listen,

00:18:24 --> 00:18:32

you may think you're more sincere because you don't want to paycheck but you're only able to give on a volunteer basis 10 hours a month.

00:18:34 --> 00:19:06

Why are you looking at it as I want to give 10 hours for free a month? Why are you not looking at it that I'm refusing to give them the other 110 hours a month. Sincerity is not doing what you like more, even if it's a religious objective sincerity is doing what's more pleasing to Allah, and stepping up for, you know, the duty of the hour. I want to record and I want to be in private, I want to I wish I could write, but it's not about what you want. It's preferring Allah's pleasure over your own. So I sort of had to just take the dive.

00:19:07 --> 00:19:12

You know, he said to me, what else about leadership in that conversation, you're bringing it all back now, Michelle law.

00:19:13 --> 00:19:18

He said, and I guarantee you, you will learn far more

00:19:19 --> 00:19:45

from them, from serving them, than you will learn traveling around giving talks. And you will never change anyone's life overnight in a lecture. You may convince someone to want to change his life, but it's the it's the dirty work, right? It's getting into the grassroots building it out. You'll benefit from them more than they'll benefit from you. And man, he's been right. All right. Well, let's get to that. So explain how that's been right.

00:19:46 --> 00:19:59

Because I've got my own ideas. You know, when you talk about that, I mean, it for me, it brings to mind when you're rooted in a community. You can't keep up any facade or pretensions, they start to notice your flaws and you know

00:20:00 --> 00:20:37

Yeah, anybody who's halfway decent, they know their own flaws. So now everybody is aware, but you're so public facing that your flaws are kind of put on a big screen in some sort of way. Right? And it keeps you humble. And it also kind of crushes you. And it can lead to burnout, and all these other sorts of things, you know, but there's something good going on there. And accountability. It's the village mentality, right? You know, everybody knows each other's business. That's not what the modern cell phones, the modern cell phones, you know, my privacy, I have my boundaries, and you stay over there. And I'll stay over here. And I'll meet with you on my terms when I want to when I'm

00:20:37 --> 00:20:44

comfortable. But when you're the email a machine, you know, and if you live next to the machine, perhaps

00:20:46 --> 00:21:12

that's not a possibility. Everybody knows your business. Yeah, that's, that's a part of it. You can't, you can trick some people some of the time, all the time. And you can trick all people some of the time you can trick everyone forever, right? And then you think about what is the whole what's the goal, right? The goal is the goal, a highlight reel, let's imagine your life even was a highlight reel. Imagine you were flawless, as you know, we tried to portray online

00:21:14 --> 00:21:18

is you being flawless going to

00:21:19 --> 00:21:24

impact others and change them? It won't. That's the very reason why angels were not sent than human messengers were.

00:21:26 --> 00:21:31

And so you realize, after a while, that if I want to impact these people for the better,

00:21:32 --> 00:22:11

I can't just be super impressive and interesting to them. Like, even if it were possible, and it's not just this bizarre hypothetical, that shaitan sort of slips into us sometimes and has us burning years of our life on it. You know, that's the Dale Carnegie premise, right? How to like Win Friends and Influence People. The whole thesis of the of the best seller is that it's not about being interesting to people, it's about being interested in people. Right? And so as you often say, how to you know, connect before you correct How do I change this person's life it takes a long time I was in that community for four years month in month out I think it was the first or second weekend of

00:22:11 --> 00:22:54

the month horrible night program. All of that did nothing Allentown my current message in the sense of like actually being able to be granted access right into their private life access into their thoughts and, and beliefs. But when you when you're present, and then they come to you, I actually timed it, how long before the youth open up to me how long before people come to it took months and months and months, for I know who has a substance abuse issue, who has a marital issue who and not that I feel these are, you know, cater to them firsthand, but just being seen as a place of trust, to facilitate or help direct them to worthy resources or, you know, places of better efficacy and

00:22:54 --> 00:22:58

specialization than myself. It took time. It took so long.

00:23:00 --> 00:23:06

And I think that's a big part of it. I remember once texting she had had to about this issue. And

00:23:08 --> 00:23:12

I'm saying to him, I'm the * better Shepherd at this point.

00:23:13 --> 00:23:16

What Okay, and he told me, he's like, Muhammad, listen,

00:23:18 --> 00:23:58

I want you to know for sure that more people appreciate and are making dua for you than you think. Right? If you need a breather, you know, create space and you know, rejuvenate and don't burn out because not doing anyone a favor. For that's a big part of it. Learning to be interested in people, you know, the burden and the patience required in like enduring harm from people. That's a big part of the manual for sure. But the stamina, right? Not just withstanding blows that are initiated by others, the stamina to keep connecting with people and not allowing them to drift and not allowing things to get between you and to go to the others and swallow ego and say listen about the

00:23:58 --> 00:24:35

conversation yesterday, you're my brother, no matter what. I don't care what you think about metal hubs or anti med hubs. I don't care what you think about vaccines or not, I don't care what you think about the right and the left of the political spectrum. We are brothers no matter what. And the the people that I even assumed, were those who trusted me the most I realized that it was an assumption years later, not that they hated me or anything, but there's still you know, it is moments of conflict that are moments of growth, right challenges and deadlocks that these things really happen. I had no idea. I mean, the stories are are plenty. When the masjid burned down, I'll

00:24:35 --> 00:24:36

share with you one.

00:24:39 --> 00:24:46

The new location in hindsight, everyone's saying it's, you know, perfect place, we 10x then all that.

00:24:47 --> 00:24:50

Do we move away from the inner city where there's, you know, more

00:24:52 --> 00:25:00

foot traffic Corps volunteers, but the facility as a facility was leaps and bounds ahead. And so the

00:25:00 --> 00:25:13

board actually brought me over to see the place. And they were sort of gauging reactions or trying to preempt you know, any sort of fallout in the community was a turbulent time. We were homeless for about eight, nine months, and I didn't have I didn't have our masjid.

00:25:15 --> 00:25:36

And I said to them, you know, pros and cons are pretty clear. And my advice to you is to reach out to the the core team of volunteers and make sure they're appeased at least. And they're like, no, no, we want to hear from you. What do you think I was, like I told you, I mean, it seems to have some clear benefits of you guys choose to make that decision. But at the end of the day, I think a lot that it's not my decision, it's yours.

00:25:37 --> 00:26:10

And he's like, Wait, so you don't have a problem with it. I was like, it doesn't matter if I had a problem with it or not. We had an agreement before we started, that I would not overstep, and you also would leave a sphere of autonomy so that I feel like I can impart you know, whatever, Allah has endowed me a bit of leverage in a certain, you know, Scholastic space. And that's it, we have an agreement. He's like, so you're not gonna cause a revolution in the mess. You're not gonna pull David and Goliath on us and sort of romanticize it. And so I could see it in his eyes. He actually the president of the masjid Allah bless him, who had to relocate.

00:26:11 --> 00:26:20

He grabbed me and tried to kiss me on the head. I didn't let him. But what I took from that is, oh, my God, you were afraid of me.

00:26:21 --> 00:26:56

So we actually don't automatically have all that territory in people's hearts that we think as Imams, it takes way more work than we think. Allah help us. I mean, yeah, I mean, it's amazing how long relations I mean, leadership is all about relationships. That's, you know, one of the things that I've learned, it's not about qualifications. It's not about credentials, or being even necessarily good at what you do that that's part of it that lends you credibility, but it's more than anything about relationships. And that's, you know, one of the things, you know, shake, yes, sir. But it just has me reading all these leadership books now. And one of the things that you

00:26:56 --> 00:27:00

reminded me of, you know, something that's very counterintuitive to me.

00:27:02 --> 00:27:44

But one of the books I was reading, it said that, if a relationship goes cold, or drops off, or drifts away, a true leader takes responsibility for it, even if it's not your fault. I was like, wow, that is so opposite to how I'm used to operating like he, like, you'd be the one that pick up the phone, you'd be the one to reconnect. And if you think enough about it, yeah, that's from our dean. And, you know, like, that's about, you know, said it's a human and who's the person, it's not just connecting with others, when it's convenient for us, or when it's reciprocal is when the other person fades away, and drops off. So, you know, tough lessons and things that are that are, you

00:27:44 --> 00:27:45

know, learned, you know,

00:27:47 --> 00:28:08

when was the unit of NAB that Allah or another one of the, not as Imam tear one as a member, Chef, very, they disagreed over some issue. And the next day chef very, makes him a leader. He reached out to him and said, is it not possible that we remain as brothers even if we disagree on an issue, he initiate, you know, shift, I have to give him credit. Yeah, Holly, bassoon,

00:28:09 --> 00:28:10

half of the Hola.

00:28:12 --> 00:28:21

He did something with me recently, that reminded me that he did the exact same thing, both to your point like 15 years ago. So

00:28:25 --> 00:28:26

there was a certain

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

adjective he used

00:28:31 --> 00:28:34

regarding a certain person that

00:28:36 --> 00:28:50

I kind of looked at looked at him, and I was trying to understand what he said. And I understood exactly what he said. But he walked out thinking that I interpreted it the wrong way that I that he would be sort of like,

00:28:51 --> 00:29:38

throwing shade at a particular person. And so, two days later, he was rushing for a flight, he sends me a long, you know, explanation of how this adjective, you know, basically desiring fame can be for personal benefit, and couldn't be for the sake of, you know, giving the Dean a greater platform and the scholars, you know, differed on should, you know, the person of knowledge stand out in his attire and his narrative, and for certain reasons, hey, but right, And subhanAllah, he has it, Allah has granted it to him. And so he thought that I may have understood him as saying, This guy's just, you know, Jason cloud. And I just looked at him, because I disagreed with it in principle, that he's

00:29:38 --> 00:29:46

not that kind of person, whether for the right reasons or for the wrong reasons, in any case, sent me this long explanation. And he said, I'm, you know,

00:29:47 --> 00:30:00

I'm happy you didn't just swallow what they had to say because that means you have a vida for the sanctity of Muslims, and it's very beautiful. He goes, but by the way, what I said is not a negative, it is just extremely dangerous to have that quality because

00:30:00 --> 00:30:10

You have to have a very high level of tequila and private a bed that to survive that sort of approach of distinguishment seeking distinguishment 14 Because it's a slaughterhouse.

00:30:11 --> 00:30:45

And so I'm sitting there reading it was a beautiful thing and Hamdulillah you misunderstood my look, share, because, you know, I've benefited so much your explanation, but the fact that you took the time out to make sure I was okay. And then I remember that 15 years ago, first time I ever met the chef. I was sitting with him after Joomla other parts of the world. And there was a slowly issue mentioned. And back in the day, I was just the slam QA guy that was my sole source of information. And I said Shere Khan Onegin, you know, half of the whole life I said, X y&z

00:30:46 --> 00:30:52

And so she actually sort of like, you know, he's sort of like flipped his hand a little bit and and stuff.

00:30:54 --> 00:30:58

And I kind of looked at him like, how could you write man has a website?

00:30:59 --> 00:31:14

He's on the look was real. The look was like, Who is this guy think is Shefali love forgive me. But it was just a look, though. He caught it. And then I sat for a while. And I had to slip away because my meter was running out.

00:31:15 --> 00:31:25

And so I excused myself, give Santa the sheriff rush out. He calls the other brother in the car with me. And he says, number one, did you get a ticket? I really hope you didn't get it ticket.

00:31:26 --> 00:31:27

Number two.

00:31:28 --> 00:31:37

I don't I really hope you don't think I meant XY and Z about that cheer me and that she her boys grew up together, I have the utmost respect for Shakeology. Wow.

00:31:38 --> 00:32:16

And so that's a leader man, like who am I? Like, why even take the time out? To figure out if like, you know, arrogant Chanel is, you know, those are the shaytaan plays with that stuff. And that leaders I think, understand that, you know, subhanAllah that's, that's an amazing story. I mean, and like you were saying, I mean, it's amazing how long it takes to get to that level. And usually, like you said, like, it takes almost like a conflict. Like you can be agreeing with people for years, and think that you're on the same page, and then come to realize that you haven't actually gotten that intimate access with them, like in a relationship that made me want to ask a question about the

00:32:16 --> 00:33:02

whole labor thing, because there's a school of thought, you know, it maybe we can see those two things as an intention. There's this sort of haber school of thought, which is that, you know, the Imam or the scholar should be a sort of untouchable, sort of on a pedestal, or something like that. And then there is the aspect that we were just discussing about being a leader in the community, they they see your flaws, they know your flaws. And there's a relatability with that sort of humanity. So Where's where's the balance? When it comes to that? Or do you have any thoughts on that just kind of popped out at me. I mean, the Sunnah is the gold standard right? There, I don't try to

00:33:02 --> 00:33:32

I have sort of left that conceptualization of being intentional about setting certain boundaries, not for your sake, but for the sake of what you represent. Like I remember some of the scholars I used to benefit from early on, used to say you don't play sports with your students. Because if some dude shakes you up, it scores a goal on you. That was the example he gave, he goes, he's not gonna be able to sort of revere you after that. And he said, and one of them said, can you imagine if you saw me with my beard you had Mashallah.

00:33:33 --> 00:33:55

You know, licking away in an ice cream cone, you think you'd attend my masala classes anymore? This is what if I was having to do any of the online and login. And so that stuck with me for a while and yeah, man, I need to for the sake of what I carry. But after a while, I realized that there's something called you know, earth and cultural variables and also pros and cons. You know,

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

like in the past even, it was against haber to smile too deeply. Just your goofy, like, you know, nowadays, there's so much stereotyping that religious people are the guys that don't smile. And so, you know, meeting people with the most cheerful smile ever and trying to induce a smile out of them and all of this. That's huge, right? That that may be contrary to you know, to Eva, according some scholars contrary to Moodle, right, chivalry or whatnot, or manliness, but back to the gold standard. I think there's a beautiful equilibrium the profit that I suppose and I'm sets for us,

00:34:35 --> 00:34:36

you know,

00:34:39 --> 00:34:43

being able to say no, right without being callous,

00:34:44 --> 00:34:59

being able to let people know that there are in fact boundaries and forgive me for that. I mean, having hieght is what the Prophet SAW Selim had, he was like shy from telling people, they've overstayed their welcome, right. But at the same time, Allah then said and Allah does not have hide out from the truth.

00:35:00 --> 00:35:25

He's gonna he's gonna say the truth. And so that was a lesson even for the prophet Isaiah Sato center leaders after him. Like when people say I really, really need your chef, sometimes I have to say, you know, I'm all yours. But at this time, so you still want to be considerate of people and accommodating, but set boundaries or else you won't be doing them or yourself a favor, right? I need you Sure. But I do have I have 30 minutes Forgive me or else I'm gonna be violating someone else's rights. So to ease them into it, I think is important.

00:35:27 --> 00:35:45

And then there's certain just conduct like, I think one of my flaws that I could even just it's easy for me to be agreeable. I'm maybe too agreeable. Guilty. Guilty as charged as well. Yeah, avoiding conflict. That's another one I want. There's certain forms of this that are contrary to the Sunnah. I mean.

00:35:49 --> 00:36:25

Laughing out loud. I always think I've been thinking about that recently. I mean, I try to laugh at everyone's jokes. And you know, it's not hard. I mean, he just sort of like the fact that you tried to make me laugh is good enough. But then it's like, yeah, but the problem is, Alan would not be boisterous and his laugh. And so that's Otto Haber, right? That you sort of you have this, you know, elegant smile to yourself, where you're not, you know, exuding so much volume. There's beauty there, right? Your pace as you walk and the likes. I mean, it's a lifelong project. We'll never reach there. But there's a reason why Allah inscribed in the Quran and so it look man and elsewhere,

00:36:25 --> 00:36:27

right, even our stride, even our volume.

00:36:29 --> 00:36:52

It's just a matter of embodying the Sunnah, that we are teaching people that will automatically and then a huge part of that is what's in here. Allah Azza displaces it don't reach for it necessarily with as much intentionality even though we understand the scholars who mentioned that, you know, people of knowledge should be distinguished for the sake of facilitating people's recognition of them. Even I show their love on like,

00:36:54 --> 00:37:09

I remember a scholar saying on how you can cite Muslim whenever Musella Sharia law, the other one had so much hate love her that he? He said, Listen, I have a question about the whistle, you know, for marital relations, how to be what like in the US that he when I'm like really embarrassed, right?

00:37:11 --> 00:37:16

And that's great, you should sort of have feel a little bit uncomfortable. We don't want to shatter that.

00:37:17 --> 00:37:31

And so she said 70 For enamel and omec asked me I am your mother. I'm like your mother, the mother of the believers. So he asked me the question like when it's actual *. But this then that do we bathe or not?

00:37:33 --> 00:37:37

She said, I'll hobby recycled. You've landed on the expert,

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


00:37:40 --> 00:37:52

meaning herself. And so the doctor who has an Abdullah far when he said that, he said, How arrogant. Only an ignorant person would say that.

00:37:54 --> 00:38:34

So he's sort of like, what is the role that goes, there he goes, How arrogant, right? Only a fool would say that. She wanted to make sure that Dena was not lost. So she's telling him make no mistake about it. I laid in the same bed with the Prophet SAW Selim. If I don't know this fact, if I'm not the most qualified about it. She said, if she did not present herself that way. You could ask someone who's less qualified, and then the dean, and it's sacred truths would be crowded with opinions and hearsay and the democratization right, of knowledge, so understandable. And we certainly respect that to you. And I don't think it's like a we don't want to create that false

00:38:34 --> 00:38:46

dichotomy. There's a middle balance, look for the gold standard, the Prophet alayhi salatu salam incorporate the fact that there's cultural variables, then the whole, not it won't all get chalked up to semantics, but a lot of it is resolved after that, right.

00:38:47 --> 00:39:12

So you mentioned about how, you know, one of the things that drew you to Allentown was the management and sort of things that you saw there. Let's talk about that. Let's talk about institutions. Let's talk about your experience with other masajid maybe in the city or where you were before. And what was it that really, really struck you about Allentown? What's Allentown doing, every mission in America has to be doing?

00:39:13 --> 00:39:18

And what are some challenges that maybe that Allentown has struggled with as an institution?

00:39:20 --> 00:39:23

We need to know we need to be able to benefit from from others.

00:39:25 --> 00:39:31

Those who care the most. Listen the best. I think it's a worthy principle

00:39:32 --> 00:39:46

that you don't want to just tell yourself, I did my best, right. You don't want to just sedate your conscience or whatnot. You don't just want to like hit a bullseye, as they say on the wrong target.

00:39:47 --> 00:40:00

Listening to the needs of the people is extremely important, like in Allentown. We're not a very wealthy community hamdulillah our well to do but not an affluent community. The operating budget

00:40:00 --> 00:40:18

is like not in the millions, like other massages and stuff to see it. It's right there about to break, you know, a million this year in sha Allah. But it hasn't been hard at all to collect money. I'll be honest. And I think a big part of that. And this is like a rule I've learned from,

00:40:19 --> 00:40:30

you know, those who developed mega churches and you know, successful churches that are not mega churches and otherwise, they say the golden rule in fundraising is that if you want

00:40:32 --> 00:40:33


00:40:34 --> 00:40:36

ask for an opinion. Right?

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

Ask for advice.

00:40:42 --> 00:40:45

And if you want advice, ask for money.

00:40:49 --> 00:40:54

You know, if you're always just asking for money, I Why don't you guys do this? Why aren't you thinking about that? And how about this.

00:40:55 --> 00:41:36

And some of them are actually pretty well guided advice, and useful. But the idea is cultivating your donors. Right? Like, I don't mean it's all about the bottom line, right? And the books, but every masjid, you know, being a religious institution, for the most part that is playing catch up against the growing community at a rapid pace and all these other challenges. And Islam being an afterthought for a lot of us in this first and second generation, the world strapped for money. So I'm saying even if your bottom line is money, right, you got to get the buy in from your stakeholders. Where do they want to be? What do they see? And I think the receptiveness of the

00:41:36 --> 00:41:38

management and their,

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

I guess,

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

ability to listen to the needs of the community. We polled the community a lot that Hamdulillah. And we survey them a lot. And we bring them in and, you know, offer the utmost transparency as best we can. And layers of that. That's a big part of it.

00:41:59 --> 00:42:02

Taking, you know, valid, constructive criticism on the chin also.

00:42:04 --> 00:42:17

It's hard. It's hard, easier said than done. A brother came to me and said to me, who's now currently a board member, he said to him, Hamad Werth youth. I said, I don't know. You tell me what the youth are. He said, the youth are on social media.

00:42:18 --> 00:42:21

He said, Why is the message on social media? It's a no brainer.

00:42:22 --> 00:42:47

They don't come here, you go there. Of course, there needs to be caveats here. Right? If everyone just pivots to social media, then we empty the massages, right? The Chef's always at the beach, they're going to come to the beach, the people in the masjid are going to come to the beach to hear his lecture over there. Right? That was a great analogy. Someone who was very frustrated social media said to me, but social media has an intake method into the message that you can find me here, because I'm I'm truly, you know,

00:42:49 --> 00:43:30

you know, at peace with my position about online data. It's the ROI on it is this big, right? It's extremely useful momentarily. But message orientation is where everything's, I think you're very much on the same page with that. Yeah. In fact, Allah humbled me through our social media, because when I first came to Utica, I was like, forget it. I don't want to be on YouTube. I don't want to be on I have an online presence. I want to real people real relationships, brick and mortar stuff like that. And then COVID. And then we started just throwing anything online. And then it picked up traction. And it was like, I was like, Yeah, well, okay, well, this can bring in people to, and

00:43:30 --> 00:43:47

that's something that, you know, has been really interesting for us, because regionally we have actually a lot of people that even just pass through Utica, and be like, yeah, like, the first thing I saw were converts. Yeah, you know, there's, there's value. Right, right, exactly. And so it was, it was humbling for me, because I thought I had a I had a, you know, a principled stance against it.

00:43:48 --> 00:44:12

And there was a little bit more nuance there than I think I was initially willing to admit. No, no, Allah bless you and bless your team. And you've really elevated the discourse, and I think you're using it well, and I love continuing to give you guidance upon your guidance all of you, and reward you in ways that only he can. And so he said to me, why aren't you on social media? And I said, You're absolutely right. Can you help? He said, This is not about social media.

00:44:14 --> 00:44:34

He said, this is about technology. He said, we're in the year, let's say, you know, 2018 or whatnot. He said, can you imagine anything respectable functioning without a tech stack? He goes, I'm not going to tell you a hospital in this day and age a Dunkin Donuts. Can you imagine a Dunkin Donuts thing above water without accepting credit cards?

00:44:36 --> 00:44:42

And I was like, ouch. You're absolutely right. Yeah, you know, so being able to just accept that

00:44:43 --> 00:45:00

just needs a receptive ear. It's like it's not you know, a genius fix and just you put the right people in the right places and you listen to them. I think it's one of the biggest strengths of the management there at the Allentown love less than four. But humility, right? Yeah, it's added

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

Dude, but but it's also operational, right? It's like it has to be, you can have the right attitude, but it has to be operationalized with something. So you guys do surveys and you guys like, what else are you doing in order to get that? Because one of the interesting things that I'm always looking at you and picking your brain, I see Utica is very similar to Allentown in the fact that it's not an affluent community, we've got a lot of people who just came here, technology is not something that everybody's comfortable using, or is their first sort of thing. A lot of stuff gets spread word to mouth, you know. So what's, what are the different sorts of ways that you're able to get in

00:45:34 --> 00:45:40

feedback, and listen, and poll and whatever, you know, given the various sorts of positions that people are at.

00:45:44 --> 00:46:20

I mean, we try to track at events. After Juma at times, we have like MNC media, for instance, if you're looking for specific examples, so you only have their attention for 30 seconds is their lunch break, you gotta respect that. It's actually one of the things we did, we shortened the Jomar. Because let's be practical here, right, you got our lunch break, driving to driving from hearing the hotbar grabbing a quick bite on the way out on the way back to work. And so we shortened the Juma and every once in a while, you know, you'll have a Mentimeter, which is Hey, everyone, just you know, point point your your phones at this barcode, and, you know, pick yes, no best day for an

00:46:21 --> 00:46:28

evening class, or, you know, how are you feeling about this service or that service? When would you prefer annual or biannual Townhall? And

00:46:29 --> 00:46:34

it has come a long way, right? So we pulled them online, we pulled them in house, we pulled them at events.

00:46:35 --> 00:46:48

And we tried to also collect data to be data driven, even in terms of who is interacting was who's registering with us, who's attending, what events, how far are they? How close are they? What's the age groups, what's the what's the gender breakdown,

00:46:50 --> 00:47:16

to be as systematic as possible. I mean, stepping up the game with sophistication doesn't require a lot of money. Actually, it's a lot of people out there that are doing this for Fortune 500 companies, they could be in your msgid Give them room to thrive, you know, put people where where they're good at no need to reinvent the wheel, give the bread to its Baker. So these are volunteers. So much of it is volunteer, you know, we're still year in year out we're trying to add one more like dedicated staff member

00:47:17 --> 00:47:33

to really up the game because we do feel the growing pains with the rapid growth. We feel like that six foot three nine year old who's like painting at the joints trying to run before he can you know, fully bounce himself out and walk Tibet analogy, you can walk at night, but you understand I gotcha. Appreciate you.

00:47:35 --> 00:47:39

It's almost now it's fine a lot. No, that's that's really, really important.

00:47:41 --> 00:48:16

You know, listening is an attitude, taking the time. And I think what you just said, empowering people with skills to get involved in a meaningful way. And obviously the greatest, I think, example, we have that as the prophet of a so it's like when you want to look at leadership, like we were saying, putting people in the right role to succeed, and then not micromanaging them, not, you know, like making them feel empowered, you don't hire a smart person to tell them what to do. Exactly. You you actually, yeah, you brought them on to let them here's the keys, go take this thing, and let's see what you can do with it. Right, and then the proofs in the pudding at the end

00:48:16 --> 00:48:29

of the day. And someone can also easily say Yeah, but you don't want you know, to rock the boat and too much too fast. And I'm not saying these are intended as excuses. But nine times out of 10 people are well intentioned, right?

00:48:30 --> 00:49:07

That can't be your rule. And that is the challenge like a lot of the big massages have big massage problems they call them it's red tape issues because you sort of are over protective of your baby with the baby gets malnourished now and so you just start chopping down on all service all activity all programming out of fear of, you know, there being conflict or be something being derailed or hijacked. But that's not a healthy move. Like graveyards are peaceful. That doesn't mean it's, it's alive, right? Yeah, you need to shake things up. And you know, you gotta leave room for thoughtful, respectful, dissenting voices, all of that. Yes.

00:49:08 --> 00:49:23

Any other thoughts about about community life, what else and addition to management and listening and things like that What else is Allentown doing that you think other masajid should be doing? And if nothing comes to mind, and maybe what are some pain points or some challenges that you face that that keep you up at night?

00:49:24 --> 00:49:59

I mean, the truth is that pews numbers and listeners numbers, they're all comparable that 80% of the Muslim community, on average, has never set foot in the masjid. 80% Yeah, Allahu Akbar. I can do the math if you want to battle I trust you but I've never heard of that stat before. You think about it like 4 million Muslims. In America, roughly 2500 massages just to keep the math simple. That's 1600 Muslims per Masjid. 1600 muscles for Masjid. What Masjid holds 600 Muslims. That means those people that show up at eight then you'd like

00:50:00 --> 00:50:37

Yeah, where you've been all year and all that stuff. Even you include those. That's your max capacity of your Masjid. What is the max capacity? Where's the rest of the actually you know what when I think of Utica specifically, that makes a lot of sense. Because we have so many Muslims that are just like hiding like, you know, they're everywhere but the message is an entirely different thing prophets all sudden them also said that it's not poverty, I fear for you I fear for you for though I fear for you, that the dunya open up in front of you. And you start competing in it like they competed in it those before you destroys you like it destroyed them. And so the immigration to

00:50:37 --> 00:51:12

America and of course, we are not overlooking the African American community has been here and done a very impressive job. And there's so much we can learn from them. Forget my own personal, you know, experiences. They're already 1/3 of the Muslim community, roughly speaking. But you know, the other two thirds self selected group of privilege is only here because you could afford to be here and you came here for the dunya you came here for the university or for the job offer the hospital, then Islam was an afterthought. And playing catch up for most of them was impossible. You show up here and you're like, hey, wait a minute, how do I do this? Jomar thing, nearest Masjid 11 hours, right?

00:51:12 --> 00:51:37

Then you finally grabbed four or 510 like minded folks, and you Little House on the Prairie. And then you're trying to build it out a little further. Oh, snap, my kids are 1516. And like, then it's a whole generation how to build out an Islamic school? And then how, how well resourced will that school even be and real costs? Right. And so the advice in general is that this is a matter of confront Eman is a matter of you know,

00:51:38 --> 00:51:51

Islam has been in many of our families, for 1400 years, roughly speaking, we don't want to be on the Day of Judgment, that generation that sends us forward.

00:51:53 --> 00:51:57

It was fumbled. And fumbled is a light word for the gravity of the subject.

00:51:59 --> 00:52:27

May Allah help us all, you know, put whatever is necessary on the table and put aside whatever we need to put aside to walk people back from the edge of this cliff. I mean, the massages are like, the arc of Nurhaliza. If people don't come in, you will not be able to swim through these, these waves, these storms, it's impossible. And so it's really about whatever it takes, you know, it's not about even how good you are. It's like how bad you want it that sense of urgency. Now, it's true. And when you see, you know, kids,

00:52:28 --> 00:53:06

missing Sunday school or mushy programs for karate or for sports or whatever, you see the priorities. And that's something that I try to drill home, in Utica is that parents communicate priorities to the youth. Through every decision you make what wins out what loses out, were a successful community, right? Like, what were 1% of the population, what maybe 2% 3% 4% of the doctors and engineers, right, because we emphasize that we prioritize that, as you said perfectly. One thing I forgot to ask you about, I one of the other things that I really appreciate about what goes on Allentown is the collaboration between the massage and I think that is a model that other

00:53:06 --> 00:53:24

cities have to replicate. Can you talk a little bit about the sort of relationships that you have with that email? Daniel there, he got email me I wrote those, you know, you've got and anybody who is thinking categorically, it'd be like, wait a second, what are these guys doing? You've got the Sufi machine over here, and the this other machine over here,

00:53:25 --> 00:53:42

lots of cities in America, they would not be collaborating at all. And yet, somehow, in Allentown, you figured out a way to make it work and to do a lot of beautiful things together. Maybe comment on that a little bit? And what do you attribute that to? And how can other communities learn from what you guys are doing?

00:53:43 --> 00:53:46

May Allah protect me from overconfidence, any but

00:53:47 --> 00:53:58

it has just become like preposterous for me to think that we're at a stage where we have the luxury to dis unite. Right?

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

We should be uniting even with non Muslims for the common good and the greater good. So how about people that have variant you know, understandings of Islam?

00:54:13 --> 00:54:19

Allah subhanaw taala said no to our not under your telco cooperate people in goodness and impiety.

00:54:21 --> 00:54:21


00:54:22 --> 00:54:32

especially when it comes to like some of the groups you mentioned, it is, you know, if anyone is in their right mind, and they understand the stakes,

00:54:33 --> 00:54:36

you know, people tell me no, there's like a bit of this and a bit didactic, like

00:54:38 --> 00:54:40

I want this person to die and innovator

00:54:41 --> 00:55:00

and not die disbeliever. If those are my only two options, if I chase people away from that, they're not coming to me. They're going somewhere else. They're getting sucked into the abyss. Right? And so don't you dare try to bring up these divisive topics. You know, if anyone thinks that anyone on that spectrum

00:55:00 --> 00:55:40

them is, you know, you consider them deviant. Are they more deviant in the coloriage? Who called the most righteous people on the face of the earth, the most righteous person on the face of the earth at the time, Earth man, and then again that same classification for Ali called them disbelievers. How did the Sahaba treat them right? Like, you know, when they laid siege to Earth man's house, I find this narration so I haven't played it so important. A man came to him and said to him, and they've laid siege to his house, they're about to assassinate him. May Allah be pleased with him. That he said to him and to Imam or I'm, you're the big Imam. Okay. And I pray behind any mammoth

00:55:40 --> 00:55:48

fitna, one of these people causing political turmoil, meaning the Imam of my local neighborhood Masjid is cottagey. He calls you Kassar.

00:55:49 --> 00:56:01

He said when I don't have to how do I didn't like we're, we don't know what to do. What do we do? Earth man or the Allahu Han said, Salah is the best thing that people do.

00:56:04 --> 00:56:11

So when people are doing good, do good with them. No such thing as walking out on your local Imam.

00:56:12 --> 00:56:49

And yes, there is some filthy nuance there about like, if then pros cons calculus and stuff. But these are all like red herrings in our content, what's actually happening is that I don't get, you know, some 50 opinion in the messages my way. And so I'm gonna go start another messenger telling me and I'm gonna do it and sit with an innovator. Like, you're not the man Muhammad, neither am I, who said sitting or playing basketball together as an endorsement, or collecting clothes for Turkey after an earthquake is an endorsement. Right? And, and, you know, so he said, prepare yourself to do right, and people are doing right to write with them. And when they do evil, you abstain. So even

00:56:49 --> 00:57:00

what we perceive as evil, right, even respecting, I'm not even gonna call it evil, because I don't believe that, right? For the most part, the vast majority of things are within the realm of excusable difference. And so respecting each other's sensitivities.

00:57:01 --> 00:57:35

Like some of these Imams you mentioned, have not really, you know, spoken at my masjid, ever, and I haven't spoken if they're Masjid ever, out of respecting the sensitivities of their base, why would I come ruffle feathers? And then he has to live with that, or vice versa, right. And we totally understand that that Hamdulillah you know, on the personal level, we have that relationship, we're trying to find the common good, collaborate on as much as possible, and let certain disputes you know, be be settled by the king of the worlds of Hana data, maybe we find out that some of us were more right than others, when we find out that we were all rewarded some more than others, even in

00:57:35 --> 00:58:11

the moments, we were mistaken. And we believe that a lot of this is between the realm of reward ability and, and forgive ability. Inshallah, I think a lot of people don't realize that, you know, the shaytaan doesn't care which side he takes you down on. And so the shaytaan can take you down with sort of extreme laxity, or with, you know, extreme over sensitivity to these issues. And a lot of people are motivated by guilt, or a sense of, you know, zeal misplaced zeal, right, when it comes to these issues. And I'm glad you said what you said, because, in their mind, you know, the narrative is that these people are doing something wrong, but people who study even just a little

00:58:11 --> 00:58:47

bit, realize that this is all, you know, in the specific communities that we're talking about. It's all within, you know, what's acceptable, but still, you know, that we're at a on the topic of unity, you know, we're unity is a rare thing. Unfortunately, you know, I think that most cities in the United States, the multiple masajid, I know I can speak for our experience in Utica, don't have very much collaboration, when it comes to programming, or rotating click pose, if that would be a desirable thing, or, or anything, let alone financial programs, anything. Right.

00:58:48 --> 00:59:15

And I think we need to be a louder voice when it comes to showing that this is actually the way forward. And like you said, you know, that's Noah's Ark, right, all of us in a community in Allentown, all of us in Utica, with our various different dispositions coming together to share some programs and some things once in a while, whatever. Are you prayers, you know, like, this is this is an ark. And if you don't have that, you're really just holding on to a plank.

00:59:16 --> 00:59:22

Subhanallah the only final words, final comments, you know, things you'd like to share before we wrap up?

00:59:24 --> 00:59:26

I mean, just for the older leaders out there

00:59:28 --> 00:59:32

I know masajid are bleeding towns left and right. And I know there's a systemic,

00:59:33 --> 00:59:44

you know, infrastructural impediment or like mayhem that sort of incentivizes for them that but

00:59:45 --> 00:59:52

masajid need to be religiously informed institutions, right. The social element is so important, but at the end of the day,

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

Bingo Night has not kept the churches full, right. There has to be more substance in that place of

01:00:00 --> 01:00:11

Pose a sanctuary from, you know, the ills of modern society. This crash course that we're on as like a civilizational trajectory right now and people are hurting people are in pain people are confused.

01:00:13 --> 01:00:57

And we have the answer. At the end of the day we have the answer. And so just you know, buckling down into massage it. I know it's hard. I know it's it's painful. But I would say fight for it. Fight for it fight. kinfolk, Bruce Lee's The Art of Fighting without fighting, right? Fight for it without hostility. Because if there's going to be hostility, you may as well open your own masjid. And there's, I showed you the stats we're short on, on space, right square footage, open your own Masjid. But fight you know, your shaytaan fight yourself, you know, push back, so long as it will not destroy the bare minimum, which is the social cohesion, right? Fight to make things better? Yes,

01:00:57 --> 01:00:59

we cannot accept, you know, this

01:01:01 --> 01:01:23

infancy, communal infancy that we're in now and we have to do better. But don't just walk away. There's still a lot we can offer. And we pray that Allah shorten the learning curve for us all. I mean, well, that's that's a wonderful reflection and thank you so much for joining us. I mean, this is just like a normal everyday conversation between except that it's midnight, except that has been like

01:01:24 --> 01:01:33

so just for the the obligatory random podcast question. What's one thing that people don't know about you?

01:01:38 --> 01:01:44

What's one thing people don't know about me? I almost killed everybody in the masjid case.

01:01:46 --> 01:01:52

I gotta build the suspense really want to know. Yeah, that's that's I think you just hit the the teaser for the whole video

01:01:58 --> 01:02:16

my daughter's Updata had way too much meat, right? It wasn't in the masjid. And it was like a fasting season I forget if it was like dude Hijjah or haram or something, but like they're the people were breaking fast in the masjid the next day. So I brought all of the unopened trays of meat

01:02:18 --> 01:02:25

over from naketa to the masjid froze it he did it the next day apparently like just the trip over food poisoning

01:02:27 --> 01:02:37

and like day after day this like really good sister's like her two baby girls are in the hospitals like oh no why that's crazy. Then his other brothers like yeah, my three daughters are just like EDS

01:02:41 --> 01:03:00

and by the way, before Imam Tom bikinis podcast, nobody connected these dots or knows about these real estate exclusive my listeners. So you you get your money's worth on this. How many years ago? Your daughter's I think I must have been several years ago. Yeah, this was 19 adopted. That's about three years ago. Okay. So I cannot explain to you

01:03:02 --> 01:03:06

what I was going through. He must have felt horrible. Yeah, I'll be

01:03:09 --> 01:03:10


01:03:11 --> 01:03:15

So that's a fun fact about Shinobi.

01:03:18 --> 01:03:19

They're all better now.

01:03:21 --> 01:03:45

No mentality to given me. They don't actually know how many others besides themselves, right. They thought maybe their plate had like a bad lamb chop in Arizona, they had a law that's a surprising problem at massage and social functions like that don't have actual like temperature control and like, you know, like Restaurant Style sort of countries actually the the food was sitting in the car.

01:03:47 --> 01:04:11

And we thought sort of the temperature was good enough. And then that day of data plus the drive all the way back downtown. It was optimism bias bias for sure. Allah forgive us and and reward them all. Well, thank you so much again. May Allah bless you and your community and your family and, you know, always look forward to more conversations. So panicle who said one day that answer stuff like salmon

Share Page

Related Episodes