Minute with a Muslim #010 – Moaaz On Youth, Obstacles, Qalam Institute & The Field of Dawah
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 55.52MB
So I want to come up to La Welcome back, we have a special guest with us here today on the committee. And that is rather more eyes. And brother miles, you have somebody that we have a little bit of a history.
I came out so Oregon last summer, and we met there, correct. And then after that, you began your studies at column Institute in Dallas, and I was also in Dallas in November and ran into you there.
So it's, it's been a pleasure to be honest with you, it's been it's been a pleasure watching you make your moves and, and grow and do what you're doing. Obviously, you are getting more and more of a platform, and we're in complete support of what you're doing. So we just want to thank you for joining us to that.
Particular fiegenbaum. It's, it's a pleasure talking to you for the third time now.
And honestly, you know, the pleasure pleasure is all mine, Jacqueline, Thank for having me on here. I'm excited to, to talk.
So I mean, one of the one of the cool things that I noticed about the data that you do is that it's very, it's very tailored to the youth, you know, you look at people like me, and I feel like kind of a dinosaur. Right. I'm all social media for the time being maybe in the future, some at some point, I'll come back. But when I was on a, you know, I saw the things that you do on Instagram. And it's all very, very well suited and well tailored to the young audience. And before getting into sort of, I think, eventually we're gonna head to your path of studying I am and, you know, sort of your strategy for Dawa. But before that, I mean, you know, here's a young person yourself, who is
attached to the dean and taking it seriously. On a biographical note? Is this always how you've been?
Yes or No, was there a sort of moment or a certain sort of factors that led to you taking the beans seriously, because a lot of people in your situation at your age, this sort of thing isn't on their radar, they're not even concerned about studying a dean or taking it even seriously, let alone them doing doubt. So give us a sense of window into your life of what motivates you or what got you sort of, to take the Dean seriously.
I think hamdulillah from the low sugar, you know, my parents raised me pretty, pretty tight to the dean. I mean, they did a lot of kind of my tibia to my hip, all that kind of stuff. And they, they would take me to the masjid and they would put me in areas of, of knowledge around other Muslims.
So I owe that a lot to them. But at the same time, with like a similar to a lot of youth growing up, it wasn't necessarily something that I love doing. I didn't look forward to go to the masjid I didn't look forward to memorize Quran and recite it to my mother later that night. Actually, I remember vividly in in Ramadan, my dad would have to kind of argue with me a bit to go to tyrolia like I pushed back a lot and
so so it definitely wasn't a kind of smooth smooth pathway all throughout my youth and I just I was in love with the dean and whatnot and, and you know, even even now like just like everyone else remember I'm sure you as well like we all have a rough days we all have days where we're sometimes we're more motivated. Sometimes we're we're less right? And so even now I still kind of struggle with that people see the videos that I post people say that I studied the deen and assume that you know he must be really really close to his deen and everything. You know, I genuinely genuinely like I can tell you that I'm I'm no better than the average person I have days where I I barely get by
with doing the bare minimum. Right? But one thing I will tell you is I haven't i i do i do love the deep like element I'll mess up I'll have my off days. But I'll always attribute it to my own faults on never attributed to anything faulty with the dean or anything like that.
I think that love
happened because of a better understanding of the religion I think about problem we do
a lot with with youth and with converts as well is that we explain and we kind of force the the actions and the rulings of the Dean before we explain the why. Right. And this is explained to us and Hadith of eyeshadow the Lavon however, she said that you know if the first things that were to come down about Islam is that as in you know, don't commit Zina don't drink alcohol. She says we would have never left. Right. But those weren't the first things that came down the first things that came down were who will allow us what is the Day of Judgment
What is heaven? What is hell? These these bigger concepts of that once you kind of understand them, right? You you from yourself want to do more you want to pray you want to go to the masjid. And so I think kind of we'll look at I don't know exactly what happened. I don't think it was like a one specific event. But I know that the more I kind of learned about the deen, why we pray, why we do this certain thing, then I was more inclined to actually do it. Now that's, that's very profound of that, that mirrors my experience 100% as well, you know, I often tell the story about when I first got back from Athena, right, and one of the brothers beautiful brother whelming brother, but he
suggested that I, you know, he's like, he's like, Imam, we've got women that aren't dressing properly, and they come to the mess, you need to give him a slipper you shouldn't get upset about, you know how the women should dress properly. And my response was, what's worse, the fact that they're not dressing properly, the fact they don't care to find out in the first place. Because if you solve the issue of motivation, then people are going to care what the law says in the first place. And if they don't care, then I can talk to a brick wall all day long. And you can pay me a nice salary to do it. But it's not going to have any effect. When it comes to people's hearts. And
especially the said, the shifts that we've gone through in society, we're very much I loved what you said about how it's about why, right, we live in a society of why, and I don't know about you, but for me growing up, obviously grew up as anonymous. So I was always about why I always needed to know why. And I wasn't going to do anything.
Just because someone said so. Right, I needed to understand it, which is why even when I sat at a slam, I knew, right from the time that I accepted Islam, that it wasn't going to be enough for me to just do things because people were telling me I wanted to go abroad, I wanted to learn Arabic or the stated in a serious way. Because I needed to understand, you know, and there's no sort of motivation, like having that sort of less sort of understanding.
This is a really huge thing. And I when I think about like where we're at, at this particular moment, where the use are at, and I want to get your commentary on that in a second. I really think that one of the big things that we need to do, there's some things that are on people's radar, right, like better masajid more relatable Imams like you know, better programming opportunities for women childcare. This is stuff that's like on a lot of people's radar. But I really think that this is a time period where we need an intellectual justification, an intellectual sort of doubt, where we're explaining and showing people demonstrating to them that wisdom, why we do the things that we
do, why is it? Why is this lamp different? Why does it ask us different? And what are the positive things that can come out of that?
And I don't know about you, but my experience is that if you if you teach people, whether their Congress needed the dean or whether their youth and you treat them like they're intelligent, then they're going to actually tell it, you know, it'd be sometimes I hear that we, we make things a little to Sunday school, you know what I mean, though, no offense, Salt Lake schools out there, but, you know, training wheels, five pillars, you know, it's great, it's very, very important. But a lot of people need something more than that, at least in this in this time.
I don't know if you have any, any thoughts or reactions to that, in particular?
So, so it's interesting when, when,
kind of dealing with how do we, if I understand correctly, how do we kind of get the youth to be more more involved or more kind of passionate about the deen, that kind of stuff.
You know, I'm, I'm not a parent, so I'm not gonna give parental advice. And it's a bit ignorant if I do, but from what I've seen, at least with, with the youth that I've kind of, dealt with, you know, I agree with you, and you they, they will act the way that you treat them. If you keep treating them like kids. They'll come to you as kids, if you start to give them more responsibility more.
You treat them like like a like, like you give them you give them some some form of respect. Right? They'll start to kind of reciprocate. Okay, that and and want to get more involved.
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely. And obviously, we have and everybody knows this a well trodden path when it comes to that, when it comes to our tradition, obviously, Simon Zaid, you know, leading an army and he was 16 years old, you know, a lot of people will push back and they'll say, well, our kids, it's different. Now. It's okay. There's a lot of excuses. But, you know, this is something actually that they teach when it comes to nonprofit management as well, in order to be able to recruit volunteers or retain them, well, no matter what age they are, especially if they're young, you have to give them some sort of meaningful control. And the temptation is always to kind of get
tight fisted about it and be like, well, what if they mess up? Or what if they do it wrong? Or they're not going to do it as good as maybe I can do it? That's kind of not the point.
But the point is that when you give them the keys of the car, so to speak, you know, you turn over the reins, and you let them just take something and run with it, don't micromanage, hope, like shut them down, like, whatever, don't check up on him too much. That's ownership. And once you have ownership, now you have stake. And once you have steak, now you're loyal. Right? And so I think that's, that's a big thing.
I'm wondering, what else do you do? Because, you know, the topic of the youth, you know, is a huge topic. And it's true that you're not a parent, but I mean, that works for you, in a certain sense, because you have a certain insight into what young guys, especially but young people in general are going through and experiencing. And someone like myself, that's apparent, you know, has a different sort of perspective and, you know, an experience. So, you know, one of the things when I came out to Oregon, right, okay.
And we got some time together. And that was great. I was not prepared, I'll tell you it very frankly, I was not prepared. How influential Andrew Tate was on young Muslim men,
either that's just real talk. Because like, I you know, I knew of him and I knew he was just like, influential figure, whatever. But what I saw like, like, young men like quoting him checking up on like, what he's doing like the degree to which they were following him, I wasn't ready for that at like Billy's a the influential figure in the influential figure at Politico. So I mean, like, give us some insight, like, what are some of the main priorities of the that, that that other people who maybe don't have yet, oh, shouldn't be taking seriously when it comes to the stuff that the youth in general are facing, but even especially, young men? Sure.
I do have a couple of thoughts about this. And I think one of
the easiest ways that we can kind of go about
go about this issue is you have to understand that we we live in a time now where for a young man or even a young woman,
all sorts of different fitna is very easily accessible. You can go pretty much anywhere and commit haram. You can I mean, these are phones right here, you can pretty much search up anything and see haram, it's, it's all there. Right? So when we have so much haram that's easily accessible, don't make the highlight and also difficult on the youth. And what I mean by that is these are the spaces of faith these massage these community centers, make them feel welcome, right. It's I understand that, you know, people can you know, young guys can get a bit rowdy sometimes there's there's also a level of etiquette and respect that you have to have, of course, with the measured and show you can
all of that that's completely understandable. But if you're pushing them away from these places, where are they going to go? They're not going to go home and record on. Right? They're just not. And I think Dallas does a really good.
Dallas does this really well, where, especially with things like routes, they have these community spaces, and they have these kinds of high tacos for middle schoolers and high schoolers, where they just sit, they bring them pizza, you know, and they and they just, they just talk about the dean for a bit. And then they go and kind of hang out with their friends afterwards, we did something in Portland as well, similar in them called sons of Adam, where every week we basically had a halacha for for young men. And the idea of the whole idea was to give them a healthy in Vironment where they can, they can nurture themselves as, as young Muslim men, we would talk we would sit for a bit we'd
move on, we would, we would have a short discussion or head up about 30 minutes, and the rest of the time we'd go outside and play basketball or board games inside. And we did that for for a couple of years. And, you know, and hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah, you can you can see the development and the effect that it had on on an on the guys you know, one of them in particular who I'm really close with now, hamdulillah beforehand, he wouldn't. He wasn't the type of person at all to kind of come to the measured or to be in the sort of gatherings and these are his words, not mine. Right. These are his words.
He wasn't he told me that he wasn't very, very strong on the deen are very connected to it at all. But he started coming to these HYDAC was and you just you start meeting other other brothers right? You start meeting people and and you're around the circles where people are talking about the dean, and it does something in you like it really does when you're when you're around that kind of environment. We've heard before you know you're the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. That's also a flip applicable with with the five places that you go to, right. So if you're constantly going to the masjid every week, that's going to have that's going to have an
effect on you on your spiritual on experience.
We'll have lunch on your mental health. So that's one thing I would do for any kind of communities have some sort of youth program where you know, the guys come you're not you're not giving them an hour and a half lecture about the deficit of this area. No, you're it's a short kind of little reminder that's relatable to them. Pick a topic that's applicable, we would talk about certain, like specific topics that were applicable. We talked about music, we talk about gender interactions, haram relationships, drugs, alcohol, all this kind of stuff that these kids were facing, because that's what we want to help them, we don't want to just, again, like you said, talk to a brick wall
for 30 minutes. So so so that's a winning formula. Even back in the day, before I went to Medina, it was probably, you know, 2012 2013, I started up a couple youth groups and a couple different communities. The formula was always pizza, video games, and one prayer. That's that was all our goals, were just like, we're coming together, we're eating pizza, we're playing FIFA, usually. And then, and it's going to happen to coincide with the prayer time, and then we're just going to make that prayer together. And I mean, expectations that low, just like you said, it's like you give it weeks you give it months, you know, it develops momentum, and then lots of things can come of it.
You know, and that you we can't we can't underestimate what good softball will do for people, right? What good companionship and friendship and like you said, the places that they're at, but talking to the machines for a second, people have to understand that you're going to have to be patient in the short term, to get a long term return on your investment. Right, you're gonna have kids that are coming off the street that are used to the street culture that are, you know,
that are doing things that are Yeah, maybe haram, right? You know, but you have to be patient. And you have to have a sequential plan for people. And this is something that some people don't realize, in Dallas. In Dallas, sometimes if you have a personal relationship with somebody, it's not just like, you know, a drive by situation, you know, you put that person on a sequential plan for success, like this is where the person is now. Okay. Where do I want them to be tomorrow? Where do I want them to be a month from now? Where do I want them to be a year from now, you know, Rome wasn't built in a day. And you can't start with, you know, someone comes in the door, I'm not going to
criticize their hair, cut their shorts, you know what I mean? Like, I'm going to write Yeah, I'm going to talk to them. And I'm going to make sure that, you know, they have faith, they believe, right, these sorts of things. And then eventually those things will, you know, have a get dealt with but people, some people have the mistaken assumption, I think these days, that that's watering down, is that fair, that you're changing a stamp. And I want to push back against that and say Not at all, we're not changing anything about style. But what we're doing is we're putting people just like the hadith of Aisha that you that you mentioned, we're putting people on a sequential path to success.
And sometimes you have to be patient with people's growth sometimes doesn't happen as quickly as you want it to.
But yeah, do continue. So this issue or other issues, what are the main things that you see the youth growing through?
I think so. So that again, right, how to avoid being all around you. So you need to have a highlight environment that you can kind of find find that solitude. And another issue that I see with with young guys especially right, I'll call them out on this is that
there, there isn't enough.
There isn't enough kind of need or want for them to busy themselves or to be productive or to, to give some sort of benefit back to themselves and to the community. Right. I think being being very explicit. I think a lot of guys nowadays are just very lazy. I have I've, I've been in that boat as well. But I mean, it's it's unbelievably a meme. Like some guys will just kind of sit there and do nothing all day and they're happy. But that's just it's not enough as a man, that's not enough as a Muslim, that's not enough. You need you need to busy yourself with with something productive. And there's a couple of reasons for it. One of it is because a lot of times people sin, purely out of
boredom, right? They can't find anything I thought actually take you know shaitan will come to you when you're bored and give you ideas of things to do. So you don't give shaitan that chance you don't give yourself that chance. You fill up your calendar with with things and you know what they don't have to be you don't have to be productive 24/7 You shouldn't write even if you're doing something they call it
productive relaxation, where you you schedule like you need this time to kind of wind down but you only do that after you've actually put in some work. What what I recommend for people to do is most people go to school already, right? You kind of somewhat have your career figured out.
But that's about it.
Find something physically beneficial. Right? Go to the gym, exercise
Pick a sport, do something especially as, especially as a guy, you have to be physically fit. This is something I, I keep keep talking about. I mean that the gym is honestly, that Jimmy love has changed my life in so many ways, not just physical, but there's so many mental benefits as well. And we also know from the spiritual side all the Sahaba were absolute warriors, right? And what are we excited? Well, hello loving woman advice. And we know that that hadith, you know, it does, it's not just about physical strength, but that's in there as well. You know, stone that awareness and transfer, it's from physical activity. And there's, you know, specific and I always rely on gym
metaphors, health, and I'm talking to guys and Muslims men to communicate things about the state, everything about discipline, everything about having small habits about you know, paying attention to your form, not comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself, there's so many lessons about, about faith that or just you can just, you know, the gym is like a school, that's cool. 100% You learn so much about yourself in there.
There's a lot of mental fortitude that comes with with with being in the gym, really, really pushing yourself beyond your limits, are you going to stay consistent? Are you going to stay disciplined, that discipline that you have in the gym
100% carries over to other aspects in your life, and your physique is a symbol of your hard work, you can't buy a good physique, you can't you have to put in hours in the gym to build that up. So that's one thing if you're not already going to the gym, or at least playing a sport, stay physically active do that, that's physical, the other side is mental, you need to be doing something to to improve your your your cognitive ability or your knowledge, right? Reading is one thing, but at the very, very least, right if, if you're more of a visual learner, as people say, Watch productive videos, right? Watch productive videos, find your favorite, you know, YouTubers, or
podcasters, or whatever it is, and
benefit from those videos and balance that out with the other kind of garbage that we usually consume these days. So improve your improve your mental as well. Opportunities are just so much more vast than they even were 10 years ago. I mean, you can basically get a master's degree from Paul Williams by theology, you know, it's like you don't have like any excuses anymore.
Yeah, you know, we met one, one thing I used to do. And this is a starting point for anyone I used to as you know, growing up, I played FIFA a lot. But that was that was my game. But what I would do to make me feel like I'm being productive is I would always play some sort of Islamic lecture or Koran, right beside me while I'm playing. And as those hours build up, you play one or two hours every day, it's a couple hours a week, my actually my revision got better, I'd kinda like I'd be playing it in my head. Or at least you'd learn something here. And there, you're listening to like a story or in the stomach lecture. So that's definitely a starting point. For a lot of people,
and then that's we got physical and mental. And then the last thing I recommend to people is, work on a passion project, right? Find something that you're passionate about, and really get to work on it, and it will pay dividends in the future. A lot of people say, but I'm not passionate about anything. Really, you're not passionate about anything. There is millions of things in the world 1000s of hobbies, you don't have a single interest. This is not true. What you haven't done is you haven't gotten out there enough. You haven't explored, you haven't connected with people, you've just been kind of sitting at home and hoping for something to come your way you men can tell you
that. That's not how life works. You have to get out there and meet people and try things and fail and realize this isn't what I want to do. And try different things until you finally get it.
It will I promise it even if it doesn't pay dividends in this life, right? It will it'll at least in terms of you know, it might not make you a bunch of money or whatnot or make you really famous which are things you really shouldn't kind of like be your main focus anyways. But it'll at least busy with something kind of productive and if it is something beneficial, it will pay dividends on the outside as well. I tell people that your passion project shouldn't just benefit you. It should benefit other people as well. You know, namely the OMA if you can work on something that'll that'll benefit the OMA and it will pay dividends us in the future inshallah. That's great. And I'm just
going to pull out one thing that I'm hearing you say here, which I think is significant and profound. A lot of the advice that you're giving you know is about investing in yourself.
You live in a cultural moment where the temptation I think it's a it's a moral failing that we are tempted to do this is to blame everybody but ourselves, right? So when it comes to find
Being a spouse, you know how many people they say it's like, well, you're you've got really, really high standards, or you're complaining about women or women are complaining about men, they're all trash, and et cetera, et cetera. But who is really putting in the work to invest in themselves, most people are concerned, overly concerned with finding the right spouse, and they're not sufficiently concerned with being the best spouse that they can be. And so honestly, a lot of the stuff, a lot of the problems kind of float away, it's you just keep your head down, and you invest in yourself and your patient, and then you trusted a lot about that I was going to open up something for you. A lot
of things, Allah is gonna work out in a way that you can't even anticipate. But it's not the temptation is to just sit around and complain about it and not really do anything. And then, you know, you've kind of in the nonprofit world, we would say that you, you don't have any capacity. Right. It's like you've hampered your capacity to move your capacity for action. If you take advantage of your time you invest in yourself, good things are gonna happen.
Absolutely, absolutely. And I think it's fundamental as, as young people as well, you know, take advantage of five before five, one of those is your youth before your old age, you don't have responsibility right now, I promise you, you don't your your 30 minutes of homework a day or cleaning your laundry or cleaning your room. That's not real responsibility, yet, you have so much opportunity right now. Take advantage of that, find something beneficial to use your time.
Excellent. So I mean, I have a couple other questions. I don't want to you know, take up all the time, just thinking about, you know, if you have if you have other comments about issues that the youth are facing, please, you know, go ahead. But I also want to make sure that we get into your knowledge path, and then I want to talk about your path. So give us a breakdown of sort of what were your motivation to you recently, I think pleated the year long program, if I'm not mistaken. And be No, no, the recently put out a video about sort of your impressions and some sort of your biggest takeaways. What was your mindset? Going into it? What did you think that you were going to get out
of it? What was your motivation for doing this particular going this particular route? And then what along the way? And what surprised you? And what was exactly what you thought it was going to be in flight was maybe different, what you thought,
a lot of questions
about what's up versus the pathology, those are the things that everybody, you know,
learn all hamdulillah it was, it was honestly one of, if not the most
beneficial years of my life. And I'm really glad I did kind of take a year out of my out of my out of my, you know, path to pursue this. It kind of started long story short, I was kind of forced to take a gap year before I started dental school in sha Allah. And so I kind of sat down with my parents, Chef McHale actually came to Oregon, and he talked to the community about seeking knowledge and whatnot. And so I thought to myself, this is a great opportunity. I had to have to take a gap year anyways, I just graduated college, and I want to increase my my Slavic knowledge, right? I have, I have, I have a bit of knowledge. I'm like, you know, it's funny at the time, I thought, I'm
like, Okay, I'm like, I'm decently knowledgeable. Like, I watched lectures, I didn't have that buzz, you know, I know some Quran. Like, I'm a pretty knowledgeable person, this was kind of my attitude going into it. And I just wanted to bolster that a bit. Like, why not, let's take a year and really kind of fine tune things. I mentioned this in the video. Mmm. But once you get there, the first thing that becomes very apparent to you is you really don't know anything. You your your bottom of the barrel. I mean, there are people that have been studying, you know, the whole five year program, and they still tell you that I barely have any knowledge. Our movies, I remember, like, our movies
are chefs who have been studying the deen for decades, they say that they barely have any knowledge. So then who am I who's, you know, watched a couple of lectures to try to, you know, claim anything about having having knowledge.
But it was nice, because what it gave me is the opportunity to just put my head down and kind of just learn as much as I can. And
remind me what the question was, I'm sorry. No, it was it was it was an unfair question with about seven questions wrapped into one. So it was like your, your attitude, you already cover that your recover that okay. Sort of what did you expect out of it? And what sort of confirmed your expectations and what sort of surprised you or divide your expectations?
what I was, what I was expecting is that we
would kind of be more of like, a nice Hello, by every day right where we sit down and we kind of feel good about ourselves. And I think a lot of students of knowledge going into a kind of have this expectation, it was made clear that this is like this, this Islamic Studies, you're coming here to really study, you're gonna have to put it's a full time job, you have to put in time, if you want to reap the benefits of it. And one thing that surprised me a couple of things is that hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah. Gollum did so much more than just give us the idea
that he didn't was one of the pillars. I think the other two that they also gave us was Sahaba, and tarbiyah. And I think those two were, were just as important. The Sahaba, the Brotherhood, the companionship, the friendships.
You know, you're around so many
wonderful, beautiful people,
that you can't help but learn from them. You know, you learn from their actions, you learn from their character from how they interact. And we know this right? Even as Eddie said, Aladdin will be like, I'm a lion, that knowledge without action doesn't benefit a person. In fact, it's,
it can be a Haji against you on the Day of Judgment, if you don't use that knowledge to act according. So you see these people that have the knowledge, but they also have the beautiful character to back it up as well. And it's very inspiring to see and you learn from them. And I was able to handle that really humbled myself in that year. And just, you know, asked them questions, and it was, it was almost like a mentorship sort of thing. You ask them for life advice, you ask them for aesthetic questions. You just learn as much as you can, you're no longer trying to lead anymore. For an entire year, I didn't lead a single salah, I didn't give a single hood Biden lead a
single head up, and it was amazing. You just got to sit in the back. And really, honestly, you know, now that I'm back there, like trying to schedule me for advice and everything now and I'm like, What is sit and listen?
it's your job. So so it's a little,
like, let me just fly under the radar. Let me just be your average, I saw the, you know, and then I'm gonna have to start wearing like a disguise or something. Because I've now been to a couple of communities where once they see you, it's like, oh, no, no, no, I don't want to get us all to all I want to do either to share it, or share it.
100% 100% It's, it's yeah. 100% That, that so that? Did you have any negative experience? You deal with any people who were like, you know, egos and jealousy and things like that? Because obviously, you know,
there's seeking knowledge is a treacherous path, right? That's it, it's going to expose you, right? If you're, if you're getting into it with humility, and with the right intentions, you're going to find the certain people, it's a beautiful thing. But at least in my path, and I don't know if you've had a similar experience, but it also exposes you to some people that are struggling with those sorts of things. Do you have any sort of experiences like that?
Honestly, honestly, in my own time, I mean, I don't not apply them at least
everyone that I met there Hamdulillah I think I think that said to be an aspect I thought it was really well done because
you we not not in terms of jealousy and whatnot. Obviously, everybody doesn't click with each other, you're gonna get into to disputes and arguments and whatnot. But then those you kind of you solve as men you solve as Muslims like, you don't you don't let that carry over.
I don't, I can't recall to be honest. And even if you do, like, you're taught as well how to kind of deal when that kind of stuff comes up. You know?
It might, it might come to me, but I hope it does. For Autozone this guy, you know, I'm like how they felt right? In this one particular way. When I first got some of the, you know, I would always ask older students with knowledge about their regrets and their negative experiences, rather than positive experiences, because I felt like I wanted the brutal honesty when it came to the hardships that I was gonna face. So that was just a motivating question. So I think there, there were definitely regrets and negative experiences, but they were never with other people. It was always with myself. I think there was a lot of opportunity that
I wish I would have taken advantage of more like looking back now. Like what things when it comes to
I think the biggest main thing
I'd say giving, giving more attention in class and being more
present in there because, you know, outside of class I try to study as much as I can, but there was a lot of things I had to do. So sometimes I didn't I didn't get
The time up to do that as much as I could. But I really had no excuse for kind of not being present in classes in class with with the teachers right there. So that's, that's, I think one thing I really do regret.
You know, it's beautiful, because that year gave me the opportunity to hold myself accountable. One of the reasons why I won't go to quantum is because it gave me the chance to move out of my parents house and be on my own, not in a negative sense towards my parents, but more for my own personal development, so that no one's there kind of making me food or doing my laundry or any of that kind of stereotypical stuff.
But it gave no but at the same time, right, no one's telling me anymore to do my homework. No one's telling me to wake up for fidget, all of that stuff is is 100%. I'm accountable for. So it gave me the opportunity to do that. I didn't I didn't do 100%. Great, right, like, as I told you, I do regret not paying attention as much as I could have. But it's, it's it's given me learning lessons. And it did help a lot to be honest with those with those areas, muscle. And I mean, honestly, like, a lot of students, their first are young people, their first experience of living alone, is that some secular university undergrad, you know, whatever, where there's party culture, where there's,
you know, all these sorts of temptations. So for somebody that have that sort of in a seminary sort of environment, is that suddenly much preferable? What did you think? What was what was the hardest thing about? If you were just in to share that or pinpoint sort of one thing that was just you found more difficult than other things?
You can pass? No, it's it's a good it's a great question. It's a good question.
I think I'll give you the same answer. The hardest thing was keeping myself accountable.
One of I mean, that's definitely, definitely reflects my experience, too. I know that when I went to Medina, I mean, it's like psychological warfare, you know, again, yeah. So that's what I would always sort of compare it to. Because especially in the beginning, before I was able to bring my family over, it was just me, me against myself. And, you know, you run out of people to blame, you know, it's like, and other students, yeah, you can find, blame the curriculum, blame your teachers blame, whatever. But at the end of the day, you know, it's really just you holding you back and never saw the so whether you raise to the rise to the occasion, or sort of, you know, drop the ball
or whatever. That is a really, really interesting sort of way of basing yourself in a very vulnerable way. That I think is really, really important.
Yeah, I love what you said him about, it's, it's you versus yourself. That was kind of what I was thinking about as well. You, you realize that you are the only person
who, who can really take you to success, and you're also the only person who can completely mess this up. Right. It's a lot of pressure. But it's the reality of life. You know, in the beginning, I remember trying to tell my roommates like, man, like, Why didn't you wake me up for Fetchit? Like, if you're gonna wake up just, you might as well wake you up as well. They're like, don't let me sleep in like waking you up before you leave for class or whatnot. And, like they could if they wanted to go home? If they did, right, that would have been great. But it's not their job. It's not their responsibility. It's, I can't get upset at them if they don't, because what that says it was
the last one was that Oakura like, no one else is going to be accountable for you. For you missing budget for you slacking off, right? So don't get into that mentality from now of, why didn't this person remind me to do this? Or tell me to not do this? It's all on you. It's all on your head.
Well, so Michelle. So where do you go from here? What are your your next plans? Do you have any plans? Are you doing anything for your own right now? Do you have any plans to do anything similar in the future? I know you've mentioned going to going into dentistry. What's what is it?
Yeah, so in Sharla, I'm starting dentistry, dental school and a fall. So that'll be four years.
In I mean, imagine I would love some some some advice or recommendations from you, but
I think the best bet right now is just kind of go any higher, because I can keep up with my, excuse me, my Imams interview hall told me that, you know, stay connected as much as you can reach out to your teachers. Keep watching lectures and whatnot. Stay involved with the dean as much as you can. So that's kind of the plan right now because obviously, I'm stuck in Oregon for the next four years at least. But I'd love some advice if you have some
Yeah, in sha Allah, I mean, it's always important to benefit from wherever you are. And honestly, these days, it's just so easy to pile up.
Even if you exhaust the possibilities that are around you, there are so many possibilities online.
There's to phablets, right? Like some of them are better than others. And it depends on your goals and what you want, right? Because some people are looking to more get into Dolla dolla or other people are more interested, or more interested in people outside or and things like that. So there's some nuances, it depends on what your passion is. And I'll relate to you advice that I was given my first semester, which was the only semester I overlapped, mostly, Muhammad Munir.
And we were at some sort of someone's like, retirement party. And I asked him for advice or whiskey Alia to pick because at that point, you know, I was still in the Arabic Institute the MA had, and then once you complete it, you pick your Kalia Sharia, or Quran or Hadith, etc. And he said, to me, it's like, I have to have ability and motivation, at the books, and whatever you go and pursue, because if you have ability, but no motivation, then it's gonna, you're gonna get bored, and you're not going to see it through. If you have motivation, but no ability, then it's just going to be tough sledding the whole way. And so whatever you do, whatever you chose, because, you know, the
Illumina showed me that there are so many of them, it's so vast knowledge is such an enormous thing. You can't do everything. Some people prefer to stick to one thing and do it really well. Some people prefer to become generalists and proficient at multiple things or as many things as possible. So you kind of have to decide between those two, those two paths. And then whatever it is, that if you have automation and you have ability, then you know, it's that will guide you that will guide you to the particular sort of area that you're interested in. And offline, obviously, you know, you can take my number if you don't already have it, and if there's any sort of virtual service provider, of course,
will be happy to, to chime in. I'm pretty sure it is a lifelong thing, you know, and that's and that's the beautiful thing, I think that the situation that you're in and what you've tasted through your, through your experience, you know, you see, you know,
you don't see the end of the shore, right, but you you get a sense of how big the ocean is. And you realize now that it's not about a one year program, or your program or an eight year program is life, right? This is a lifelong relationship with allows guidance. And so, you know, it's something that never met
and that's that's a great place to be in.
So yeah, ya know, I'm all on board with ever helping you inshallah.
The another thing I'd like to ask you about, if you don't mind, I'd like to ask you about your your doubt because a lot of people are under sort of an impression that will maybe they can't do Dawa if they don't reach a certain level or maybe they're under the opposite extreme of an opinion that that you know, everybody can just get up on Tik Tok and just issue a photo right Nabil found a significant you know, what you do you seem to be striking a nice balance. I want to talk about what motivated you to start doing the Dow that you're doing in the way that you're doing it.
And what's your what's your what's your strategy? What do you feel your your niches?
That's a great question. I I'd love your opinion on it, actually. But when when I first started, it was tick tock first. But I just kind of fell into the niche of Tao right away, because it was kind of just what I was already doing, like offline. And so the first thought it's like, are we gonna record it was a friend who got me on he had a tick tock and he got me on to make a video on his account. And it was just like a short reminder like how to style or whatnot. And it did really well and that's so I kind of started on that just sharing a hadith and whatnot, etc, etc.
Nowadays, especially after studying the deen and being around shields and most DISA, whatnot. I'm very careful with the quote unquote Dawa. That I'll give because of like, you mentioned that danger of people who are unqualified speaking about very sensitive matters of the deen and I see all the time now especially on tick tock and it's very frustrating to be honest. Where you have
you have 1820 year old guys thing Yeah, I think it's haram to like do this or yeah, you No, no, no, this is harder. I heard this somewhere or whatever. People are very people don't understand the danger of, of speaking without knowledge. And it's a very you're
you're treading a very, very dangerous path for absolutely no reason, right? I messed up a few times on videos, you know, I made, I made a video once on a on a hadith that I think it was fabricated or is very weak or something along those lines. And that was a good kind of reminder to me that okay, maybe maybe we shouldn't be giving all alone a lot of suit. Now it's more kind of lifestyle for me. It's it's trying to come up on a productive routine with with with faith as well, right? Because no one can come to me and tell me that,
you know, brother telling people to not use their phone before bed is is a bit like you can't make that claim. There's no there's no danger there of like me saying something that that Islamically like, athletes are wise, that's incorrect. And I think it's more I think it's more genuine to who I am. Like I told you, like the amount of time I mean, I'm a very normal person, I'm not a chef, I don't have that much knowledge. And I and I hate giving people that perspective of oh, he's a really, he's really pious guy who's really knowledgeable and stuck to his deen and whatnot. If anything, I'm just, you know, I'm kind of just doing my thing with school and trying to balance that
with, with my dean, learn a few things here and there and maybe share some insights. And that's kind of about it. And so that's where I'm trying to take it now. But I'd love your perspective. No, it's not. So that's the feedback, I would have said, That's what kind of that that got me to notice that because it doesn't overreach, it's actually a really, really important thing that you're doing because you're showing application of the face in a holistic way. Right.
And one, that's not necessarily, you know, raising the ceiling for what somebody knows, but you're definitely raising the floor. Right? So and that's a huge service. Awesome. It's a huge testament to the, to the OMA, and, you know, some of my reflections on this book we've been going through for a while and the McAninch video archive was for Hani, he talks about the interdependency of different people who have different access to segments of society, right. So you know, you have access to a different segment of society that I have access to. And then you know, my mistakes, like Schiff abolition treaty has different access to different people, right. And we actually depend on each
other, we're actually sort of better conceived of as, like, an ecosystem, you know. So I think that in addition to the style and the strategy that you have, which I think is very, very intelligent, I think something that a lot of people should, should pattern themselves off.
I think that just having that ecosystem where, you know, you have you doing your stuff, and me doing my stuff, and then the real Messiah that we study from doing their stuff. And we have a connection, we can in a brotherly way, kind of both keep each other in check, but also ask and refer back to one another, you know, everybody falls into what you said, you know, a hadith that we mentioned, that was fabricated, or boom color or something like that, or we interpreted something incorrectly, or we slipped up in something that happened, just by nature of the fact getting in front of a cab. Statistically speaking, it has to happen, it's going to up. So being there for each other, not in a
soap opera, tear each other down Jerry Springer type of way, which unfortunately, some people fall into. But in a brotherhood, this is like, you know, Team us sort of way where it's like, you know, yeah, well as is killing it with this segment of the population. And we really support what he's doing. It's a really big service. I'm over here kind of contributing to this sphere for Thanos over here contributing to this view. I think we need more of that. And I think it's a it's a really great thing that demonstrates how broad Dow is some people exactly what what you said some people they only think that Dow is getting up and saying call a law and call it a suit. And that's not it,
right? There's there's so much more when it comes to Dawa. And we're at a time in history where we need all of it. We can't, we can't imagine that we're just going to have one way of doing it, or that just one style. So no, I commend you do and I think that is tremendous. I encourage you to keep going.
How do you deal with things like let's let's let's imagine that somebody is looking at you and they're saying, Wow, I'm 16 I'm 17. And I really like sort of the things that this person has done and whatever. What advice would you have for that for that person, particularly when it comes to I'm gonna bring up two things here and again, put you on the spot a little bit, dealing with fame, and dealing with gender interactions, especially online. Like I know if you're in the Instagram world, you have people in your inbox you have people trying to slide into your DMS like what would you advise that person what do you do? How do you
How do you deal with it?
You are putting me on the spot?
Let me think about that one. Yeah. And I'll just you know, while you think about it, I'll just say this is this is just real talk. And it's just we're talking shop, because this is something that, that everybody, you know, faces that gets involved in doubt. And it's a really, really tricky thing, because you're balancing sort of access in one on one poll, and you're balancing protection and safety on the other poll. There's people who come to you with a sob story, and they say this. But then, you know, they might have ulterior motives, or they might not be in control of themselves, when it comes to how to interact with you. And unfortunately, unfortunately, this is something that
that happens a lot in the social media world. So and if you don't have any answers, or any tricks, he has to say, I don't know, have figured it out, you know, and I've had this idea for a long time that I felt like that it would be safer and wiser if we were able to at some point, make collectives like dalla collectives, where we had people like managing, you know, whether you're a secondary account on someone's account or something like that, to just have that extra level of oversight, or even to step in and intervene if somebody is coming at you in a, in an awkward way. But if you're advising a 1617 year old person, you know, what might you say to them.
In terms of them wanting to seek fame, wanting to seek that attention, you know, just how to deal with it, let's imagine that a 1617 year old, they start doing a little bit of Dawa, and they blow up, okay. And as you're, you're, we're we're trying to tell them about what to look out for what precautions to take when it comes to feign and keeping your intention sincere, and then from what's appropriate, and what's not appropriate for how to interact with the opposite sex.
For the first point, at least, right?
Your fame and especially ego is, is a trick of, of the knifes or of the shaitan. To make you
seem better than who you actually are. To convince yourself that you are a better person than then who you actually are.
Sometimes you have to be very hard with yourself. We've been we've been very pampered and spoiled the amount. You know, we grew up thinking all of us are winners. Everyone's great. You know, you don't have any flaws, you're perfect.
Sometimes you have to be that person who's harsh on yourself and remind yourself who you really are, and the sins that you've committed. And how low of a person you can be sometimes
you can remind me of the scholar I don't remember who said this, but he said that if sins how to smell. You wouldn't sit next to me think was it? But didn't haven't been? I don't remember.
I know there's the still not exactly. I don't remember who it was. But it's a very like I Yeah. In the mystery, what is an area to have certain, you know, every time I hear that, falling behind him, and he would say if you guys knew about me what I know about me that would give me so that familiar with that one? But yeah, I mean, these are staples. Yeah.
It's it's powerful. These are coming from absolute giants of the dean, and the humility that they have, because they understand that
we're humans, and we falter and we sin. And, and the greatest honor that anyone can have is for Allah to be pleased with them. Right? That's what we're all we're all hoping for. The entire world is pleased with you. And Allah isn't pleased with you. You're a failure. Right? All right. And so, to me, I, it doesn't matter to me how many people come up to me, people, it's actually it's difficult to deal with now. You know, anytime there's some sort of Muslim gathering, or a seminary or something that we go to, people will come up to me. And I have to always remind yourself, I have to remind myself, why you know who you are.
You know who you are, right? You know who you are in private. Don't, don't let this get to your head. These the, that person could be and probably is better in the eyes of Allah than you are. Right.
So I think that's kind of that's helped me a lot. And it's still a struggle. It really is.
Gender directions. I'm not sure to be honest. It's not. Yeah, hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah hasn't been as crazy as people kind of assume it is when it comes to DMS and whatnot.
It really isn't that bad. So I think hamdulillah it's just a blessing from Allah and I'll take it and we'll keep it at that.
I think as a man, if you if you kind of set boundaries,
people respect them, and you just keep yourself accountable. Like, you're, you're kind of you're better than this. Right? All that kind of stuff.
Very, very important advice. And, and that's, that's great for anybody who's willing to get involved with it just for people to know that this is something that, um, you know, I think the reason why I focused on those two issues, I think that those are, I think probably the two things that are the biggest sort of threats to that he's right, it's getting taken down by their image of themselves and fame and letting it go to their head, or then getting involved in things, you know, when it comes to the opposite sex. And I think that when it comes to particularly fame, I mean,
Sheikh Abdullah, you know, he used to ship VT and Medina, he used to tell us that, it's a tricky thing. But you have to try to make sure that you're putting yourself in service of the deed, rather than putting the dean in the service of yourself. And he taught us like one of the new books for how to check ourselves. He said, if somebody else is guide is guided by someone other than you,
look at your heart and see if you're happy for that person. If you come to the point, ie, you feel that you're, you're jealous, or you're not pleased, on the inside, that somebody is more famous than you or someone is, you know, guiding more people or bait bigger platform or whatever. If you're not happy for that person, then you might have an attention issue. And you might have to do some reckoning for yourself, because you might not be in it for the right reasons. And so, you know, as all the scholars, all of our teachers who have certainly, you know, from day one of our studies, this is a never ending battle. It's a never ending battle, the battle, the intention is every single
day you wake up, you get out of bed, and you look yourself in the mirror, you know, and setting your intention, right is something that we're going to have to do every single day of our lives until we go down to the great.
And so I just really appreciate you being vulnerable here and and opening yourself up because anybody who gets into doubt this, people don't realize, right, right? When I was like people, they see you and your Instagram account, or they see me on something, and they think, Oh, this is like so glamorous, I want to be a che, I want to be a value. You know, I mean, like they almost treat it like it's a celebrity. It's a very actually sort of objectifying experience. And they don't realize all the stuff that's behind it, and how treacherous this path can be. Yeah, the only reason I go down that route is just to show people that, that, you know, it's a high risk, high reward. It's a
heavy mantle, to carry, and it's a big responsibility. And we asked the law sponsor to protect us, I asked last month to protect you and keep you sincere, keep me sincere and to, you know, forgive us for our shortcomings. Because every single one of us slips and every single one of us falls and every single one of us could have done something better.
We're nearing the hour mark. So I think we're gonna we're gonna wrap it up. Is there any sort of final parting advice you'd like to give or sort of closing remarks you'd like to leave our viewers with today? Yeah, I always give him his closing remark. And it's it's my favorite narration from Ramadan. And he said
before Islam, I don't know what an Arabic but he says, repeating before Islam Karuna added home we were we were the worst of people. We were the most disgraceful people. I mean, pre Islamic Arabia. These were people who who drink like like no tomorrow who fornicated who buried their daughters, right buried their baby daughters. And he says, and Allah honored us with this step as and Allah will be the slum. And if we seek honor through anything other than Islam, Allah will disgrace us with that very thing is very important for youth nowadays, we see Islam as something to be ashamed about to be embarrassed about.
This is the one thing in your life that actually gives you honor. You try to chase that honor through anything else through fame through money through women. Allah will use that same thing to disgrace you. Allah will use that same thing to destroy you. Don't be fooled into what society tells us nowadays of, of how how take Chase honor, you are the most honored creation on earth because Allah has given you a slum, Allahu Akbar. Those are beautiful words to end on. My eyes. Thank you so much for joining us today. We ask a lot of bless you and your Dawa and your amendment and everything that you're doing, adding to that and stop that go to a lake so don't let me why