Islam & Modernism at Georgia Tech Univeristy
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 48.29MB
I just like a locker for all of you for showing up in sha Allah. My name is Mr. Mohammed, I am new to Atlanta. Hopefully you get to see me more in sha Allah. We have Imam Tom over here who has traveled and he hasn't taken a break for since 3am In the morning, so he needs a lot of good coffee inshallah we got him that was it for Hamdulillah. So, a lot of you, you may know him, I'm Tom from EFT he does a lot of work with that he lives in this small town called Utica. This is small, it's small, small, has no traffic, there's no traffic. Oh, that's small. Yeah, in our car, it showed five mil five miles and like 43 minutes. And I was just like, what? Atlanta traffic there. Now, you know,
real Atlanta traffic. I mean, Toronto is not this bad where I'm from. So Inshallah, today we're going to be talking about Islam and modernity, or modernism.
And again, the format for tonight in Sharla is going to be that there's a set of questions, I'll ask him, we'll jump into those conversations back and forth.
We want to make this interactive. So the first maybe 3540 minutes, 45 minutes, we want to build on those questions that come write them down, or jot them on your notes or something and then you know, we'll open it up. Apparently, there is
this QR code at the back. Thank you so much for doing that. So you can also start dropping in your anonymous q&a is over there. You know, and feel free to to do that. Second part of this is just want us to lay the foundation of intentions. So the entire purpose of these conversations is to help all of you as you're going through university to think. So there might be things that you may hold on to very dearly and you believe into them today. Right? And I'll tell you this from experience, when I was in university, there were things I believed in today, I look back and I'm like, Man, how could I? How could I be so naive to believe in that? Right? So when to hit 40 something happens in your
brain, right? Once you hit 30 Something happens. So the purpose is to push those so that many of you won't have to wait till 40 to get to that realization and sometimes if you allow an alternate view of a particular thing that you're accustomed to, or you know, a belief system or something, then it allows you to grow. Right? So the purpose would be that if something is said over here, right? That might You might feel like completely against it, take it home, sit down with it, rather than reacting to it because you may express your opinion, you may say, You know what, I disagree with that, and that is absolutely perfectly fine.
As long as say he disagrees.
But anyhow, I think
we will give him some slack. Yeah, he wasn't the one he probably has something to do. So coming back. So intentions are very important in this particular conversation and Sharla and hopefully we can have a lot more open Q and A's and stuff like that. I do want to get some of you closer. I know like the sisters are good, but the brothers get way up there he have 123 You know, look at that brother, Mashallah. He's like, I'll be the spider man. Like, I know, I come from New York, but don't hold that against me. Yeah, closer.
Okay, all right. Let's begin. Charla Jimmy. So
it's a flowing conversation. So let's set very important for us to set a definition for that something right. Like we cannot begin a conversation. We all need to be in the sun. So you know, let's take this right now. What is modernity or modernism to one a few over here?
What do you think it is? Throw it out? What do you think modernism is?
A simulation Great.
Whatever, you might have resonance.
customs of the modern world, right? Okay, great. Give me another one somebody?
The current culture. Okay, so we're all on different pages. So when we talk about something, if we're not on the same page of what we actually mean by that word, then we may walk away with a completely different understanding. So the purpose is this level set and see when I or Imam Tom where we were using the word modernism or modernity what what is it until a limit? Let your answer was one of Hamdulillah? swordsman? Sula. Yeah, just to echo and further email admits point, you know, I came to us now when I was in your shoes, okay, so I was an undergrad at a very liberal arts college in New York called Vassar College. Maybe some of you've heard of it. That's where I did my
undergrad. One of the most left leaning institutions in the country so much so that Westboro Baptist Church actually protested Vassar College. Right now. I came in when I was a freshman
I was an atheist, I was an anarchist, I was involved in a lot of anti IMF and World Bank protests definitely got, you know, involved in some interesting, direct action activities. But I came to Islam through a willingness to question everything. Right. So I know maybe sometimes when you grow up, you know, as a Muslim, or in a Muslim family and the Muslim community, you're not accustomed to questioning things or being encouraged to question things. And I want you to know that my MO is the complete opposite of that for me, and I still am involved in education. I teach middle schoolers, I do a lot of different things. And I'm always pushing them to question we don't get anywhere by
playing like Sunday School answers, right? Like, we all know what the right answer is. And so we're just, you know, saving face or presenting a certain face, if you've got a doubt, it's better that you address that doubt. And seriously, put everything on the table and go into the history of ideas and your thoughts and your sensibilities, then you just kind of put it in your back pocket and tuck that away till 10 years from now, and then it actually becomes metastasis, metastasizes and becomes a much bigger problem. So when it comes to the q&a, and the slideshow, when I say like, it's no holds barred, like there's like literally nothing that's off topic. Like,
literally, there is nothing that is off the table, when it comes to anything, like anything. So please take me at my word, when it comes to that.
Understanding of modernity is a really, really important thing. And as we're going to figure out, it's partly so important to figure out because it is so slippery to define. When we go around the room, and we talk about different sorts of conceptions, everyone might have a different answer. And that shows you something about any ideology or concept that it is normal and normative. That means that if you're a fish, this is the water that you swim in. Okay. And that means that it's the hardest to detect. And it's the hardest to critique, because it's something that is so subconsciously, is the backdrop of everything that we do and ingest and indulge in that evades sort
of that critical eye.
Why? Why is it subconscious? So if you can elaborate on that, like, why, why are we not able to? I think you talked about it being subtle and like, Yeah, I mean, like, Ria, I'll get there. But But I think, you know, when it comes to understanding, and we have a future talk, that's going to be about liberalism. And if you want to understand what liberalism is, we're talking like, not like, just like, left and right, we're talking like, liberalism, liberalism from 18th century onwards. It's all about autonomy. And autonomy is all about sort of pushing the limits and finding what is the horizon and then pushing it or rebelling against it, or, let's say, making one's value in pushing against
some sort of limit that wasn't chosen. Okay. So you have to ask yourself, well, why hasn't liberalism pushed against this particular lesson? Okay, so that's, that's one of the reasons why it is, it's hidden. And in the background, there's a really important, so I want to just take a second to get down on this idea of what modernity actually is. There was a former US Air Force General, his name was Curtis LeMay. He fought in the Vietnam War.
And he wrote a memoir in 1968, about his experiences. And he was talking about the Vietcong. And he said that we should have, quote, bombed them back to the Stone Age. Now, this is a very, very famous sort of quote, and it was actually reportedly used again by Richard Armitage
addressing the late Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, when basically he was the United States in the wake of 911, was threatening Pakistan with some sort of military action if they didn't cooperate fully and support supposedly, he also used this frame this phrase, again, bomb you back to the Stone Age. And I usually use this phrase to demonstrate what modernity is, because if modernity was simply what we're doing now, right 2023, then this statement would make no sense, because the statement implies that you can take somebody who lives in 2023, and with some tap, somehow do some sort of violence upon them, and bring them back to a previous error. Right? That's the implicit
understanding of what this person said, if you if it's possible to bomb someone back to the Stone Age, the understanding of time hidden implicit in that statement, is that modernity is not about the calendar date. Right? It's about something else. Now, some people think that it's merely about technology. But I would push back against that and say, No, well, that's not the case, either. Because if you've traveled a little bit, you know that some places in the world and 2023 are much more technologically advanced than even the United States or even places in Europe, when we were students and staff, Saudi Arabia. If you got, you know, there were a let's say, asymmetrical sort of
technological advances but if you got a speeding ticket
You would get a text message on your phone, you could pay it on your phone, and you'd be done. No going to the DMV, you know, standing in court and all this sort of draconian stuff that we do here. And yet, nobody would be willing to grant Saudi Arabia entrance into the upper echelons of modernity, it is considered in the pecking order of what is in sort of an iconically modern place. Definitely not anywhere at the top. Yeah, I mean, Arab world in general, right now with the government. They are like way ahead of the Western world today in technology, right in technology and the integration of E government. Exactly. And so even when costs are hosted the World Cup
recently, you have SkyTrain scrapers, you have clean streets, etc, etc, you have unparalleled technology that hasn't even hit the streets in the States. And yet, because they banned the sale of alcohol, because they don't fly rainbow flags, right? They are not granted access into the upper echelons of modernity, that's not a place where you would look or expect to find them. So then what does that tell us implicitly about what modernity is, modernity is neither a calendar date, nor is it simply sort of the accumulation of technology. It is a group of values. It has a certain group of values. And that group of values is hegemonic. You know it hegemonic means obviously, we're on
undergrad, hegemonic means that people are trying to impose it. In other places on the earth, this isn't something that's a buffet, you don't get to go to the table of values, the buffet of values, and say, Well, I'm going to choose liberalism, you know, I actually prefer the idea, or I prefer SNAM. Or I prefer this other thing. No, there's bombs and guns and dollars and aid and whatever that backs up certain values. And then there's other values that are on the, the butts, on the barrel side of the gun, so to speak.
So once we realize that modernity is about a constellation of values, or a group of values, and that this group of values is being imposed, we can now define what's modernism as people that are advocates of this particular group of values, and they're actually trying to impose it upon the rest of the world. Now, people who are modernists, what sort of the anatomy of modernity or modernism, people who support the modern age or this group of values,
they would tell the narrative that we live in the best of all worlds, and that we're consistently progressing to ever greater things, right. modernity in the modern world is responsible for modern medicine, modern advances in technology, we live longer, we live more safely, right, we have left behind the barbarism of pre gone ages. And we've now been admitted into peaceful coexistence, discussion, rationality, all these sorts of things. And my key thing that I would like you all to consider is that this is a triumphalist history that doesn't take into account all of the facts. And if we want to understand Islam as place in the modern world, we have to have a more critical
understanding of the modern world and of modernity than simply what modernists tell us it is right? You are critical enough, I think of the United States and US foreign policy to understand the story that the United States that official line that it tells about its own history, is not to be taken at face value, right semeth Rock, to freedom for all to etc, etc. It's a nice story, but it elides and covers up a lot of very nasty stuff under the bottom such as the dispossession of Native American indigenous peoples, such as the enforced slavery of African peoples and the tremendous amounts of wealth that it has built for itself on the backs of those enslaved peoples. Right. This is something
that does not fit squarely within the narrative, the nationalist narrative of the American state. Well, modernity is the same thing. There any has its own narrative. Back in the day, life was nasty, brutish, and short. People were dying at 30 from these diseases and those diseases and there was violence spread everywhere. But there are other things that make us that force us to confront this narrative and actually point out that it's not that simple. Okay, so what's the true story of modernity, rather than the myth and the fairy tale modernity as a hegemonic product of hegemonic ideological and political project, it advertises or advances particular values, particular ways of
looking at and experiencing the world that it seeks to enshrine. And it seeks to displace and unseat and marginalize other values and other ways, even exterminate other ways of looking at the world. A more critical assessment of modernity, is that would tell a different story that modernity is the structural abandonment of morality, that modernity is the structural abandonment of morality, can we can we define morality here because we want to make sure that everybody's on the same page of what morality? Let's do it? Well, because because then then we can agree on what abandonment entails.
Depends on how deep we want to go into it and the history of philosophy, right. There was one thing that happened in the history of
In Western philosophy, which is what they call the is distinction or the separation of fact and value, right, they became this sort of idea that you could describe things objectively, somehow, without any sort of, you know, moral judgment on it, right, the sky is blue, etc. So the thought went, but this was actually quite a revolution in philosophy, because before then people in pre modern societies, they had a sort of epistemology that recognize that even knowledge itself was a moral act. And this is actually found in the Hadith of the Prophet salallahu Salam, where he says, Allah whom I lived, and I and found one found to be my attempt, and it was even an element of noble
Alameen is that when we ask for knowledge, we don't just ask for any knowledge. The Prophet SAW, I said, I'm taught us to ask for beneficial knowledge, which is an implicit recognition that some knowledge is not beneficial. And then even with the beneficial knowledge that you have, there's an implicit recognition that you can use it for evil, right? And so, and then after that we asked for, not for increase, right, so quality over quantity. But there has been a departure within Western philosophy from this to the assumption that knowledge in and of itself does not have any moral value that you can just know things. And that's how you get the phenomenon of someone who has an Islamic
Studies, PhD, and studies, the Koran and all of its Ashraf and another Muslim, which is something that we experienced in the western Academy. The separation between fact and value between is an odd creates the possibility of that existing, somebody from a bygone era would say, that's impossible. How could you study the Quran? How could you study Islam so much? Just to know about it? What's the purpose of knowing anything, if it's not put to a moral end or a moral sort of, there's no call to action, there's no call to action, it's supposedly just neutral. That's actually you know, this is off topic, but it is actually part of the also the epistemic or what's the what's the final, the
fancy word is the epistemic genocide against Native peoples and indigenous peoples in the Americas as well, this type of move to separate to pretend that knowledge is just simply a neutral thing that you can just accumulate and have their sort of consequences. So do you think they've completely like monetarism completely abandoned morality? You know, what, structurally? Well, this is the point where I say that modernity is the structural abandonment of morality, because it doesn't mean that there's no place for morality within the modern world, but it means that it has been structurally marginalized. What does that mean? It means that the government doesn't really care about making you
a good person, okay, that's not their job. In fact, if you look at sort of the vices we see the government lining up to take part and be the the peddler or the pimp of the vice economy, when it comes to, you know, the legalization of marijuana and hard drugs when it comes to the lottery. And when it comes to the explosion of sports betting, boy, we wonder why all these college athletes now are getting in trouble for betting on games. And I wonder how that could have happened. Maybe because you legalized gambling and made it super easy for everyone to do. Right? The government is at the forefront of benefiting financially from Vice. That is a demonstration of how it has
controlled device. Yes, control supposedly control, they really just sort of opportunistically capitalize, capitalize and natural bossy advice. But this is a demonstration of how the government doesn't care in a structural way, whether you're a good human being or not, or a moral human being or not, they care that you are a productive citizen. They care that you obey the law, but they don't care if you're good. That's your private matter. According to modernity, that's your private issue. You can take care of that at home, you can take care of that in your church or in your mosque where the government's not going to but in in any sort of way. So morality is there, but it's structurally
marginalized. And when we say structural, we mean that it's not just one party. This is not something that's a partisan issue. It's not Democrat, Republican, it's not liberal, conservative. It's not left or right. This is in the water, and it's in the air. It's everywhere around us. So what has been the consequence of this sort of configuration of society because society wasn't always like this, right? People and other sort of orders and other ways of configuring society took much more seriously the importance and significance of being a moral person first. Well, I would like to say that if you look at the CV or the resume of modernity, there are some staggering sort of
failures that break up the narrative of the triumphalist sort of history that we live in the best of times. If the modernist would like to tell us that we've now reached the era of ease and we've saved ourselves from calamity and shortage, etcetera, etcetera, disease and all exactly, then I would simply point out that our hardships now are more manmade than they are natural. So if you look at food, for example, we've gone from famines that maybe were naturally occurring to manmade food deserts, right and urban centers, we've gone from those sort of, again, natural causes are natural shortages due to starvation caused by political sanctions. Right when Madeleine Albright was asked
in the 90s if 500,000 Iraqi children were
worth it for the sanctions that the United States was imposing on Iraq? She said, Yes, absolutely. So this is supposedly the best of all possible worlds and progressive morality. This ties back to the point that you mentioned earlier, which is that, you know, structural removal of morality, one of the consequences of that is also, you've removed the entire concept of somebody, a human being having a soul, right, so that you can get an answer like that, which is like, can we kill 500 people for X amount of sanctions, and there's this disconnection from the decision and the consequences of that decision? What's considered real is the material. And this is part of secularism, which is not
technically the topic of our talk, so we won't necessarily get into it. But who gets to decide what the real human being is? Right? Again, it's not that the soul was completely gone. It's just something that's been privatized, you can talk about the soul, you can believe in a soul, no one's gonna stop you from believing in a soul system communism. But But when we're when it comes to the calculus of the state, and the calculus of the society, we're going to act as if the soul doesn't exist, because that's something that's a private sort of fair. So food, okay, so we went from natural disasters to manmade disasters, when it came to food warfare is the same. It's true that in
pre modern societies, they lived in a state of permanent war, you assumed that the other side or any sort of other nation or Empire was at war with you. And yet, the amount of damage that you could do was significantly limited by sort of the efficacy of weapons, right? People were swinging clubs and swords and things like that. And so they're inherently limited by the number of people you have holding swords and the strength of the arm. Now, we have left the default state of war. We have the UN we have sort of different international treaties, the G Geneva Conventions, the ICC, but we have an endless state of proxy war. We also have weapons that are far more evil nerve gas depleted
uranium bullets napalm, consider that napalm, again, to make it full circle with the Vietnam War and how evil the United States as foreign policy and war fairing has been over the past 100 or 200 years. Napalm is actually chemically designed by human beings to stick to the skin so that the fire continues to burn on the skin for as long as possible. Now, if that isn't a demonstration of the structural abandonment of morality, I don't know what is, of course, the crowning achievement of the modern age of nuclear warfare. And there's nothing more representative, I don't think of the modern world than the ability to wipe out the entire Earth's populace with this press of a single button.
So again, we've gone from, you know, perhaps, life was nasty and brutish and short, according to the modernists. But we live on a perpetual brink of annihilation in the modern world, the best of all possible worlds, so to speak.
How's that? How's that impacting us? Socially? Oh, socially, we live on, you know,
there's a paranoia that sets in from, you know, just the sort of end many people haven't captured have captured the sort of sentiments and writing, when you have such destruction that could so quickly and senselessly be wrought upon people, you know, in the 50s. They used to have those drills, right, where it's like, you hide under your desk, and you crouch, the duck and cover drills. The sirens going on. Yeah. And then after Columbine, it was like the active shooter drills. And I don't know if you guys still do active shooter drills at Georgia Tech or anything like that. But you know, it's a state of paranoia. So again, we would like to question the triumphalist history of
modernity as progressive peace and progressive sort of the march of history.
Things get worse, if we look towards social fracturing, and the disintegration of the family. Okay, we have maybe three things we can focus on here, we can look at intergenerational issues, we can look at intra generational issues. And then finally, spousal issues, which will probably be of interest to all of you.
intergenerational issues that have worsened in modernity, or are part of modernity is resume, the young don't feel the need or duty to learn from the elders anymore. And that's not entirely their fault, we'll get there. But part of this is we have an ideal of progress. The parents, they're part of the past, your grandparents are a part of the stone age that you don't want to be bumped back into. And so they don't really represent anything that you would really want to learn from except for maybe a cue a few Cheerios here and there. We also are drilled with individualism and self determination. And so we experienced the idea, the peak adulthood is that moment of moving out,
right of independence, which is a very, very new thing. And it happens to play into the government's policies of wanting, you know, everybody to own a home and taxable incomes and that slavery and these sorts of things. And there are older ways of doing it, right. Like in the pre modern era, families sort of existed almost as a corporation. Right. And so and you still see that we're still close enough to many of us in the Muslim community to our immigrated family members where you know, we know that they used to work like this, the oldest sibling goes and gets the education and you know, everybody's
sort of pulls resources and sticks together. This is a different way of doing things. That's not the way that modernity wants you to do things, especially the liberal nation state. They want you to think in individualistic terms, and, you know, furthering your career and your individual life and etc, etc. And how do they benefit from that? Right? Because there's a clear benefit. Has the government benefits No.
Promoting individualism and this peak sense of I want to live my life alone, or I want to be left alone for 10 years, and then I can figure things out later. Yeah, well, how are they benefiting from that when it comes to the number of mortgages, you know, going on in the in the economy, and the amount of taxable income. Remember, when Obama said to the king of Saudi Arabia, you're never going to get ahead with half of your workforce at home, he was referring to women, right? This was a very, very sort of revealing statement of the logic and calculus of the nation state, which basically does not and we're not talking about individual choice, whether you're more fulfilled by a career or not,
what we're talking about the liberal nation state is not neutral. In that choice. It has a strong strong preference for, for your choice in which one you decide. And from a very early age, it's trying to sell you have that vision and make you invest your self worth into that vision. But it's not just the fault of the youth, the old are affected by modernity, as well, the old has have less and less to teach us. Their experiences are often just limited to their own individual lives. And they're no longer the conduits of tradition, but rather the conduits of cultural imperialism.
That's intergenerational? Yeah. Well, do you think that?
So you touched on this thing, so. So a lot of the older generation, they also have a lot of conflict. So it is, they don't have values or if they have values are all cultural based. And you think that the reason why the younger generation is not interacting with that older generation right now is, is also something related to that, because they don't have something tangible to give in the first place. But more importantly, the older generation themselves. They're only pushing culture. Yeah, it's push pull. It's both right. And so it's sort of like feeds off of each other. But But even worse than just culture, the source of that culture is often derivative and a colonized
culture. And so you know, or Hindu culture, go to UC Santa Barbara, go to or actually go to go to or for for DCS. It's our Hindu culture, right. Like I was reading something today about like, tax code in Pakistan, and they have something called Hu F. We're talking about colorism and racism, by the way, for those who don't speak or do like colorism and racism is an extremely prevalent part, unfortunately, in Muslim culture, and even the culture of our parents generation, our grandparents generation, does this come indigenously from them or it certainly doesn't come from Islam, a lot of this stuff comes from their history of colonization. So that's what I'm talking about when our
elders and our are not always a valid conduit of tradition anymore. Sometimes they're a conduit of something that is a derivative or an imposed history upon us. So I was reading something about like, something called Hu F, who knows what Hu F stands for.
So in the Pakistani tax code, it says that, you know, there's something called h ref, which is a Hindu unified families or you're in the Hindu United families, which was a way for Hindus to evade taxes of the gorras
of the white people.
And it's really interesting because we bought it wholesale. And now what has happened is, you know, the entire joint family system that has taken place in today's culture, has everything to do with it has nothing to do with Islam. It has everything to do with the Hindu practices that have at wholesale we've we've adopted them and we don't even question that we don't question that at all. And now mashallah, we're all living under the one roof roof. We're all Muslims. We're not even United within that roof.
Right. And we're, where did that come from? It came from, right, it came from somewhere, the colonizers pushed it down, or it came from a consequence of us trying to evade some form of colonizers policies or something that was taking place in India, Pakistan or any other countries such as African countries. Right. And I think that's where a lot of this is also stemming from. So those are just some of the intergenerational issues in the the sort of the intergenerational issues that modernity also has exacerbated. intergenerational issues, siblings experience less duty towards one another. They tend to live further apart than they used to. And they tend to not support each
other in times of crisis, like they are called to in other traditionals traditions, such as Islam. Did you ever see this in Saudi when you were studying where you know if the older sibling walks in the younger sibling goes and kiss? Forehead? Always the older sibling? Yeah, always. But you need to do that with us now. But you know, that's a different story. But, you know, it's so embedded in their culture. That this is my older brother.
other eye, they will get up because my older brothers entered, they would kiss his forehead that year, my older brother. I was like, what happened? Yeah, yeah, exactly. So modernity has eroded a lot of that. And again, that sort of idea of the family Corporation of everybody pooling and everybody having a role to play, and everybody sort of depending upon each other. So we reached, you know, this sort of stage of history 2023. And we look at the Koran, and we look at the inheritance laws, and we're like, wait a second, how come a brother gets twice as much as his own sister, and then we realize that it's not the Cydia that should be questioned, but rather our sensibilities of
individualism that expects sort of a very cold business like relationship between siblings, as opposed to a relationship of mutual support that goes back much further, right. If you imagine the brother of flying in from New York and the sister flying in from San Francisco, and then just collecting their lump sum of money and going their separate ways, then the Sharia seems barbaric. But that's not the normative family within the city. That's not what a family or a sibling relationship is supposed to look like in the first place. Right? It's supposed to be thicker than that. It's supposed to be more codependent than that. We hate codependence because we're
individualistic. But some codependency is good for us on that, on that point, I think that's a really interesting point, because it comes up a lot. Inheritance and stuff. And modernism is better because, you know, we have more fairer laws of inheritance, and stuff like that. But if you really think about it, if a woman gets like, you know, as the Quran says to one, right, they'll have their own thing and like, so if you know, to two sisters, their share is going to be equal to one brother, the two sisters don't have to share or expand or expense or spend any of that, that they get an inheritance
on anybody within the family except themselves.
But if the brother gets that double shear, and if you as a sister are in need, he is obligated and Shediac to spend on you.
Right so the obligation of spending is on him for you is your own money into you is your money you have nothing to do like is like hey man, bro, you need to give me I know I got money, but you need to give me because God obligates you. So there's there's an entire mechanism that has been completely removed as part of this individual is it's also sort of a capitalist logic of fungibility, right, you know, understand, like a fungible token is something that is identical and substitutable with every other one, right. I think that, you know, pre modern societies and specifically, you know, the Sharia, you know, teaches that we are not fungible, okay. We have
different roles and responsibilities, and privileges always commensurate with duty, right, an increase of privilege of one type is an increase in in duty. But it's all together as a holistic whole. It's not value, right? It's not one is better than another, it's just some people have more duty than others. Anyway, I mean, this is so we have intergenerational introjection, generational sort of fraying and fracturing, which has been exacerbated by modernity. And then finally, spousal issues. Okay, so the fun stuff. Yeah, the fun stuff. So we have, you know, obviously, feminism and red pill duking it out, you know, in the culture wars, we have, you know, a very sort of purposeless
antagonism between men and women.
I have never seen so much resentment and spike from males towards females or females towards males.
Something that I call a gender secession ism. If you imagine that, you know, I think the media calls us to be invested in the success of the opposite sex as men, the Sharia, and along with all that wants us to be invested in the success of women and women to be invested in the success of men. And the current culture wars ask us to actually divest from the other, right to actually separate and say, I'm just gonna do me, or your success is my failure or even that now.
So we've talked about sort of, you know, scarcity issues, like issues of economy and resources. We've talked about the social fragmentation. And this is again, modernity CV, which I hope that by now you sort of are questioning the triumphalist narrative if you haven't already. And then the last one is actually, I think, the most significant and immediate which is the Ecocide the environmental degradation that we live, or are being killed in.
We have microplastics that are populating the world, the accumulation and the ingestion of which are making us sicker and sicker. They're on your cosmetics, they're on your food packaging, they're in your clothing, right. 35% come from our clothing due to the erosion of synthetic materials such as polyester acrylics, nylon base clothing, often during the washing process when we put them in the spin cycle. Those are just microplastics we have bigger plastics to macro plastics, right? We you guys have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Anybody here have that? Raise your hand. Have you heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? How big is it? There's two actually, let's call it
one. How big is a
pretty pretty damn big guy. It's twice the size of Texas twice the size of Texas Okay.
There are we are inundated with endocrine disruptors BPA DDT phthalates that disrupt our home or hormones and throw us out of balance, pesticides and fertilizers, mono crops, GMOs, you know, actually fun fact, I used to work on an organic organic farms. So I know quite a bit about this. They are literally changing our body chemistry, they are making us sick, making us miserable, making us sort of having these behavioral effects. So the question that I would like to pose to anybody who is a modernist would be, is this really progress? Okay, do we really live in the best of all possible worlds? Have we been inevitably marching on and on towards better and better and better
society? And is this inevitable? Right? What's our theory of history, this history is just simply unfold in an inevitable way such that this is the way that it had to be. Don't you find it that it's really interesting that they parse this information like so. So they apply modernism or modernity to things that they really hold, dear. And so they'll apply all of these eco friendly rules as part of modern societies. But then you'll have all these people that are doing these all these protests, you know, they're blocking those roads and stuff. And then you'll see that they'll have like iPhone 14, and they're actually being one of you know, you're consuming a new phone every single day, and
there's no need for that. Right. So the consumption of products and what's really interesting is when I was in Pakistan,
my brother in law's car battery died. What do we do when a car battery dies?
Replay replace it, what do you do so you go to a plug, whatever they like old rooms, and we'll toss this one away. We went to this guy who was sitting there off the street in Pakistan, the guy took out the battery, he dumped the asset, he was wearing this thing. He cleaned up the plates, he put the new zinc plates, he put the battery in there and added new fluid and the battery was new.
Right back in the day, many of you are too young for this. But I remember growing up having repair shops used to fix shoes you used to fix shoes, or televisions, your television will break down, you don't go and buy a new television, you will take your television to a repair shop and get it fixed. Now what has happened with modernism is that they've they've got us all in this accumulation were and then they are creating this facade that you know this modernistic world, we're going to create an eco world for you. You guys are the best generation ever. You've never had any problem. This is progress. This is progress as being able to dispose, yes, recklessly, until it kills you
SubhanAllah. And I'll tell you what happens to our disposal. So I've you know, I'm part of a project in, in South Africa with you know, if you know, Chanel is mine, in IDP, so Imam development project, we have over 400 emails, all these phones that we dispose off, there's an entire industry. And it's not by design, so they all somehow make it in the black market.
to South Africa, for the poorer countries and that Samsung S six and s seven. What are we at right now? S What? S 14? S 23? Okay, perfect. As 23 So we're that's iPhone 1400 She's got the right app, either. She's got the right I think that you know, people would androids I've been talking to Tom about it. But you know, that's that conversations is? Yeah, maybe we'll be able to convince you over in Sharla. Yeah, but that's the really interesting thing, right in one hand where the key cause of consumption and pollution but yet we'll be out there blocking buses and saying oh, my God, you you know you're causing this gas is causing damage. But yet I want my avocado toast.
Get the job, I want my avocado toast that gets flown away from so it was so many poor people were hurt in that process of harvesting goes avocados we are we are told that we can consume our way out of our problems, or reason, our way out of our problems when these are fundamentally issues of morality, which is the whole point is that if modernity is the structural abandonment of morality, we will not be able to get out of these issues without re introducing morality structurally into the way that we think and make decisions, which is the transition to the alternative that Islam offers. And Islam. You know, we have an extremely important imperative where the prophet Muhammad Ali Salam
warned us about following in the footsteps of other people that we are not supposed to just go with the flow and be like everybody else, and he told us that we would follow the people or the way of people before us, step by step, even if they jumped into a lizard hole, right? So the modern world with this disposable, gentle genocidal,
ecocide or culture if that's not a lizard whole I don't know what it was your whole is. And so Allah Spano Tata expects
the better of us and asks us to be different and asks us to find a way out not just for our individual selves, but actually also to redeem society. And if there is one group of people that exist on the face of this earth today, that can actually help society find its way out of this, then it should be the Muslims should be the Muslim should be on the forefront of this. And it starts as we said, with reintroducing morality in a structural way, this is not an issue of reason. It's not an issue of raising awareness. Why do you think secular environmentalism is so Toothless? Why do you think even such a simple thing as global warming, right, is such as doomed to fail? Secular
environmentalism is doomed to fail, because it is secular, and it doesn't make it into a moral issue. It attempts to make it into an issue of well, the earth is warming, then you've got this own head over here that says, No, it's not. Right. Well, you've got other people saying, well, yes, it's warming, but this is part of a larger cycle, etc, you set yourself up to fail. And that argument, because the prophets of Allah what He said, and told us that if you had a sapling in your palm, and the day of judgment was happening, going down, or right now that you plant that sapling, that is a moral imperative, that is not a results based consequentialist imperative, the logic of that
statement is not well plant the seed, if it's going to grow into a tree, and you benefit from it. That's the logic of framing it as global warming, as if to say, if the if the globe wasn't warming, it wouldn't be a problem. You understand the difference? Right? That's a huge difference. That's a consequentialist difference that people are framing environmental issues in a materialistic way. Okay. If the, if the climate wasn't changing, it wouldn't be a problem, you can still dispose of all of our crap and you know, send it to Malaysia and whatever. No, Islam says no, you have to do the thing based off of principle, it's a choice that you make, it's either a right choice or a wrong
choice. Okay. And so that's the level of intervention that we need to introduce into these things when we're being intentional. And we are reuniting right morality in a structural way of a society. And that is the function disposition of a Muslim and everything right, we are not concerned with the results, we're concerned with doing the right thing that Allah subhanaw taala has told us,
that's what we do. Right? Allah has not obligated you, me or any one of us to make sure that the results come. Right. As long as we follow the doctrine and the moral code that has been laid out. We and that's why individually, everybody works on that same moral code. But then collectively, there is a huge impact, right, because everyone is trying to do their best according to the the unified moral code. And nobody's concerned about the result, because resulted in the hands of Allah subhana wa Tada. So if you were to apply Islam in a structural way, then you would find that all of these problems that modernity has fallen into would be resolved and solved, we would have not just the
unification of morality in a structural way with our decision making, but even the way that we can consider or conceive of resources and their distribution would be completely changed. Okay, we would not relate to our resources in a way of competition or accumulation or greed, we would rather follow the imperative that the last thought I put out in the Koran, when he first described our creation to the angels in the jargon, fill out the quarry for that's a job description. That's not a descriptive statement. It's a normative statement. You understand philosophy, you understand the difference in those two things are lost planet Allah could have said, Hey, angels, I'm going to put human beings
on earth. I'm going to put Bishop, I'm going to put Nast I'm going to put in sand. He didn't say that. He said in Niger, I don't know. Khalifa said, I'm going to put on Earth, a successor, somebody who's a steward, somebody who's going to take care of things the way that I want them to be taken care of. That's a job description. That's an aspiration. And so now every single one of us has this duty. That's our primary mode of relating to the entire creation. That's Khalifa and the prophesies that I'm trying to call calm. That's all on our political Brian McCullough calmness. All righty, right, every single one of us a shepherd, every single one of you is responsible for the flock that
you are responsible for. So this is our entire disposition. When it comes to the consumption of resources, the prophesy said I've said it has had for dunya you have Nicola was had fever and the nurse who have become nurse is that our standard is taking only what we need the prophesy some said. And this hadith he says if you refrain and abstain from the world, Allah is going to love you. And if you refrain and abstain from what belongs to other people, other people are going to love you to me and the prophesies that I'm said that we are an ummah that stops eating. Sorry, doesn't eat until we're hungry and stopped eating
Before we're full
all these people are saying I'm Tom How are you so skinny? I said first of all hamdulillah was from Allah Second of all, I try to live with this hadith as much as possible. Right?
It's very simple. Take only what you need. And other Hadith you guys probably know where the when the Bravo Saddam said be like the birds if you were to rely upon Allah subhanaw taala that's what Kali haka taco, right and the proper amount of relying upon Allah, you would be like the birds, you would leave your homes with nothing, no fridge, no savings, no whatever, you'd go out in the dunya you take what you need, Allah would provide for you and you return to your nest with your bellies full. That is a paradigm upon which to engage in the resources of Earth. Okay, and not to look at them as the European enlightenment looked at them as brute, dumb, innate matter, but rather things
that the rocks would give Sadam to the prophesies that I'm going to treat will weep over him. Very, very different metaphysics than the ones that we've inherited from European enlightenment. That's called solidarity. Yeah. Can you talk a little bit on Zeus when you don't know that? Yeah, sure. I mean, that's, that's,
I mean, you just skim that heavy. This was a demand. And, yeah, it's about refraining and taking little from the dunya. Taking very, very little from the dunya. This is not your home. Your home is in the afterlife. And so the prophesy centum said, If you refrain and take little, from what's in the earth, Allah is going to love you. And if you refrain and take little from what belongs to other people, then the people will love you too. And everybody knows this, right? Because sometimes you invite somebody over your house, right? Especially when you're college age, and then you're a guy, right? They come to your crib, they come to your room, they start going through your cupboards in
your fridge. Hey, what else you got? What else you got, homie? Right? Nobody likes that guy. Don't be that guy. Okay, this is in the hadith of prophesy son, right? Was had female and the nurse you have a nurse, if you are very, very light on what belongs to other people, other people are gonna love you. Allah expects you to be that way when it comes to everything. Okay, how much do you really need, Abu Bakr had two pairs of clothing.
It took his opponent, none of us do that all of us are guilty, right? We're all guilty. They were different. But this is they understood what allows time to audit intended for us and how to interact with this creation is that to be ready to go at any time. And to be light to be light on the creation, we have this idea of a carbon footprint, right? If we think about a resource footprint that we have, it's extremely extremely so 80% of what we own, most of the time we don't use, right, that's like a study on that, like 80% of what we have. We don't touch it. Right. And then many times we don't touch those things, because we have like some form of emotional attachment. And then you
have all of these minimalistic minimalism and all that new trend that is coming around is like, oh, we gotta live minimalism and stuff. And yet, like, you know, if you look at true the hood, right? One of my teachers, he said it so beautifully. He said, It's not about dunya. It's like, if you if you if you remove the love of dunya from your heart, right dunya as you're taking because it's no longer in your heart, and it's in your hand. Right. So it's not about having if you have a good car or something, it's about that car, taking a hold on your heart. It's about like my neighbor who gets out. And you know, and he's got this Harley, and the guy is like making sure that there's no blemish
on that chrome rim of his on a Sunday with the 30. Like, it's like, well, I'm still in turn Celsius. So it's 32 Celsius, whatever that is in Fahrenheit, 95 or 90. And he's like sweating, and he's just concerned about that blemish on his chrome tire. It's about those things. It's about abundance of that, but allowing, not allowing those things to hold on to us and to like so you know, that shoe of ours, or that pair of clothings of ours is not occupying our brain. And it's not dragging us down. And that's what's happening with a lot of us today, too, right? And when you have that relationship to things, then you actually are freed up in order to be the type of generous that the last one
thought expects you to be. And to have the type of solidarity with the rest of Allah's creation that he expects you to have, right? Allah subhanaw taala praises people who prefer others to themselves, right? With zero nada and for the human Academy has also they prefer others themselves as he described. So pantherella Describe the unsalted Medina, even if they themselves are in hardship, right. And so, I mean, we want to get to questions but I mean, Assam offers the way out, when it comes to all of the excesses and fundamental mistakes of modernity when it comes to the way in which you even conceive about the natural world, let alone interact with it, let alone consume it when it
comes to sort of the social fracturing of the family. Right. We have well known guidance that you guys know not saying even off to your parents, you know, saying Sadam, prioritize
In the elders with Saddam, you know, spouses are less prone to how to describe spouses in such a beautiful way, the testimonial, right, so that you get, find sukoon Zuko that you get tranquility, right? We're supposed to seek out tranquility and our spouses not have this sort of antagonism where we're rooting for the other to fail. Or like red pill, we feel like we have to dominate in evolutionary biology. We have this sort of outwit and trick the other one, right? This is nonsense. It's all nonsense. Okay, Allah spawns audit gives us a better way.
And finally, of course, you know, when it comes to the natural earth, right, the Khalifa paradigm is what all of us have to strive for. We have to abide by, you know, there's actually a beautiful promise to show you how much the rest of the world is waiting on the Muslims, and how much the rest of the world is hoping that the Muslims step up. And Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he said, in your stepfather who color shade had said, Hey, Tom, Phil, is that for the person who understands the dean, every single thing and creation asks a lot of forgive that person, even the fish in the sea. And the different scholars who under you know, explain this hadith, they say because somebody who
understands Islam like actually understands Islam doesn't mean they necessarily have to be a scholar, but understands Islam, they're going to interact with the world, the way that Allah subhanaw taala wants you to interact, you're going to be that Khalifa, you're going to take care of everything you're going to whether it's the something as simple as turning the lights off, we're turning the faucet off, or having one less outfit, or you know, driving less, or carpooling or whatever, you know, or making major decisions in your life, making major decisions in your life based off of principle, not because this is what's popular, not because this is what everybody else
is doing not because this is the sense of self worth that has been sold to you since you were in public school. But because this is what Allah subhanaw taala wants for you. And this is the best way forward, even when no one's looking, even when no one is looking well even if you can't put it on Instagram.
Especially if you can't put on Instagram