Geeking Out On What You Love- Shaykh And Small Fries Podcast – Feat. Guest Belal Khan

Wisam Sharieff

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Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah Welcome friends around the world to the shakin small fries podcast. It's myself and my co host Dr. Gina us that I want Equinox Allah well they can slam rapid Tula. Hey Baba care to and we are super amped together to bring in our guest for today. And not only someone and I need to do the drumroll coming in with my intro, not only a guest but a integral part for most of you who've been a part of the podcast from the ilme summit videos where you may have first saw me from 2009 till every Quran revolution video, and even in our memorize mentor projects and coming up into the AQL legacy. I'd like to introduce absolutely a brother a friend and a colleague in this

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Dawa effort Bilal Khan A salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. Figure Eagle blog. How's it going? Doing good here?

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Just so that the people don't get the wrong impression?

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We're on a Sunday right? It is Sunday. So when did Thursday Friday, Saturday, so this is day five for me in this space.

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Can you tell us a little bit on why you're here in Dallas? Yeah, so basically once a quarter.

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A police once a quarter have to come out here to produce marketing promotional material for Quran revolution. Whether it is for the launch of a new semester or YouTube content or the whether it be q&a or overhead instructional, or it's maybe it's usually that and we try to piggyback on top of that some memorize stuff to do transfers. For anybody who was part of the memorize Mentor Program, or knows about retain gron.com Or take Ronda, calm or memorize Quran YouTube channel. Yes, memorize prions. YouTube is like completely not promoted at all yet. But yeah.

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Anything everything also related to that? We try to add that on as a bonus, hence, the visual element of this podcast as we're seeing with Sam's channel. So hey, guys, so we're very happy to have you. Dr. Gina, if I feel like the right time place to start is where were you first exposed to any of Bill's work? Do you ever see any of his very well, you would not have known? I wouldn't have known it wasn't really until the Koran revolution. I mean, that's, that's where I was exposed to it. Right? So for our listeners, Bill owl produced all of Quran revolution, and I think our listeners wouldn't know, because a majority of the content or the high level content that Bilbao produced was

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behind a portal where you register and it becomes part of your course material. My job is to be invisible. Right.

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I feel like you do it very effectively.

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The law, the law. So that amount of video that you made, could we say more than video you created video textbooks. level ones content is, is I don't know if that's not a proper phrase. But as you created a series and pioneered and listeners, I'm going to be wheezing for a little while so I think I'm wheezing on the mic. Oh, it's happening. Okay, as my kicks in comes and goes.

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That's definitely anyway. You can hear it, it's coming.

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But for those of you who have been affected by his work through the Quran, revolutions, YouTube channel, anything that blouse had his hands on, you wouldn't know it was his but I think he has successfully and that's where the vibe of the podcasts I want to go today. He you have successfully and helped me find the word below created a field so that you know it's a Schumacher, you know it's a Zimmerman Oh, no, it's a, you've created a field color texture when all of that comes together? Sure. It is the identity, the brand identity aesthetic that goes with it? Yes. I think a lot of it. I feel like it's more application of skill and, and the evolution of that, then it is being

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deliberate about like, for example, right now, the thing that I was kind of deliberate about is the fact that hey, you know what, we're gonna be doing a memorized podcast, let me change up the colors of the lights to be more representative of that, but while also maintaining my affinity for gradients, right. Right. So

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that's as much as being deliberate about it. Okay. But at the same time, we're still applying the rules of composition and lighting as best as I can, to what we're doing so right. I guess that might result in a this is blouse, look.

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I feel like you do a really wonderful work with the light in the dark. You're kind of like the Caravaggio, you know, what's the car version. Caravaggio was a painter from the Baroque era who worked a lot with light and dark. Okay.

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ain't like Rembrandt. Well, yeah, very, very light. Okay. I mean, he just did such a wonderful work with light and dark, it almost defines and kind of a whole air. Okay, some of your veto reminds me of that sort of, you know, it's I don't think you'll be so far from the truth of the fact that a lot of the principles of how we approached lighting for video

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is informed by the styles of the painters of old the most common referred to style of lighting, which was essentially the your your your cookie cutter. Look, here's the Rembrandt. Yes, Rembrandt and remember, I think is similar micarta just before Rembrandt, so he would have been who Rembrandt would have learned. Learn from okay, I gotcha, gotcha. Gotcha. Below there was and this is not the main focus, but if you want to give us a little bit of light on Yes, your lighting less Yes. The sound Yes, the beatboxing Yes, your own.

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But you are the first person to bring it in, bring it in to use it. There was a transition. Even in it started in the ILMS summit 2009 videos, where it wasn't just lighting below, you told the story. Okay, tell me what it is to start a clip with dramatic recitation, but then have inlays of people studying you were telling a story. And that was something that was clearly put you weren't editing videos, you were telling a story. So I'm sure that's a growth in your, in your in your own style. But yeah, where do you see like, I went from, I'm going to shoot I'm shooting a video to I'm telling a story. So it's fascinating, because when I was so I went to school for marketing, yeah, right.

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Now, although when you go to school for marketing, in a university setting, you're learning about maybe management, you're learning about mathematics and ratios and things like that. The university also had a school for film. Yeah, right. And now I basically went to the dean on my Hey, can I take all your classes for free without credit? And like, yeah, we'd love to have a ye Wow. So for over the course of seven years, seven half years, what I took to graduate, I was going to school part time, working full time, and in my free time, I did attend my film classes. So and by the time I was done with school, I had gone through the curriculum, maybe twice over. Now, here's the thing, I got

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very well versed with the principles that were being taught in film, which, fundamentally, it came down to story structure, juxtaposition, the language in terms of framing and you know, the vernacular around that. What storytelling is film history, all of that. What they didn't teach you. And they couldn't be bothered to have this in the curriculum is how do you operate one of these things called the camera? Oh, no, really the

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zero?

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Because technology. So every movie ever evolving? Its evolving? How could a school purchase a set of cameras, yeah, content by the teacher five years. So what they can do, they can teach principles, but even principles that are taught are different. I'll give you a clear example. Right? So one of the things that they said like, Hey, if you want to learn how to actually compose the image and whatnot, outside of looking at what they shouldn't film, study photography a little bit. Okay. Okay. Great. So I actually got myself a copy of New York Institute of photography's entire textbook that I was like, I want to follow this thing. Now, 70% of the material in that is completely irrelevant,

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because they're teaching you about film, right? And they're teaching you about how how the SLR Film, film photo cameras technically operate, which have nothing to do with mirrorless technology that exists today on the digital scale, right. Now, there's a principle that could potentially carry over between old school and new school, right, which is what they call the exposure triangle. I'm about to get a little bit technical, right. Okay. Photography, the exposure triangle is dialing in your shutter speed, okay, your ISO setting and your lens aperture, the iris how wide or open it is, and then pause you in a second for everyone who thinks it's impossible. These are phrases I've heard

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from you over the last several years while working on projects. Yeah, and it genuinely makes sense. It's something that are just buzzwords right now, but I'm gonna break it out, break it down. Real simple. What essentially you're capturing light. The first thing to capture light is going to be the lens, the glasses in front of the camera. Now just like our eyeballs, we have an iris you flash a light on your eye, the pupil dilates or attracts. That's the same thing happening in the lens. There's a pupil in there an iris that the wider it is, the more light it will allow in. The tighter it is the less light it will allow. And so that's Exposure Control Number one, right? When you

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change that one of the effects that it has on the image is that the tighter the irises the lower the pupil is

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All right, then the more things that will be in focus from foreground to background, right now, people like to have that blurry background look. So in order to achieve that, you need to ensure that your iris is open as wide as possible. Now certain lenses, this Iris opening size is given a rating, it's it's a number, right? As far as preceded by the letter F, F, as in Frank, and then a number like 2.8 to 3.5 1.4. Right? Right, the lower the number, the brighter, the lens tends to be also more expensive, because it's lonely and a lot more life. And the more blurry the background and foreground tends to be around whatever is in focus, right? So that's item number one. And number two

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has to do with shutter speed. Shutter speed, essentially, technically, is that blinking? Is it like so little bit? Like, generally, there's a sensor that needs to be exposed to the light, right? But it can only be exposed for a fraction of a second, just like film, if you you if you pull up in a kind of film, or a roll of film, you've ruined it. Yeah, because you've got exposed. Yeah, exactly. And so that's why when the shutter opens and closes for a fraction of a second, you're basically setting the speed for which the shutter will or the time for regulation of exactly. So now, you can, depending on how much motion blur you want, or don't want, you would set the speed of the shutter

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appropriately, right. So the faster the shutter speed, meaning the less duration a sensor is exposed, you get less motion blur, okay, or freeze the action, higher shutter speed, you want that streak of light of a car driving by a slow shutter speed, you want to capture the stars, you get that thing just keep the shutter open for like 30 seconds to a minute, just keep alive so you can get as much light right, right. Google Pixel actually has a feature where if you put the camera on a tripod, you go to Astro mode, it'll detect that it's still you press it and for four minutes, the thing is going to be gathering light and helping you get Catolica picture of the Milky Way. Right?

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Because it's electronically controlling the exposure to the shutter in a dark environment. That's super cool. So how do you get the waterfalls because I've seen so many pictures of waterfalls, and it's just beautiful. But I don't know what it's like streaking, right? Yeah, that's also a slow a slow shutter, right, essentially. But here's the thing, the slower your shutter, the more light you're allowing in, right, and I'm going to talk about this in a second, right. But the third factor is also the sensitivity of the sensor is called ISO. Traditionally, you get the film that is rated for a certain ISO

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in and contemporarily. That's the word use, you dial the ISO setting in. So there's a native ISO where you get the greatest amount of dynamic range between your brights and your darks, your lights and your shots between Yeah, used to buy film, you would buy film that has certain radii. Exactly. I remember. I remember that because I was the more expensive film. Yeah, exactly. Now you dial that setting into the camera itself as to what you want. The higher the ISO setting, the brighter you're telling the sensor to. But basically, you're running a more correct through the sensor. But then the more current you run through it, the more grain you're going to end up with, actually, you'll see

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the pixels become all kinds of weird colors. Right? And so in an ideal scenario, you want the ISO setting to be at the closest to the native setting. Every camera is different, for example, with the Sony cameras that we're recording on right now, right native is one ISO 100 ACC 400 Yeah, the ISO is 101 100 is the native. Now you can go as high as like 25,000, or maybe even 50,000. Yeah, but like when you go that high, there's just going to be a lot of grain. That's just like there's more grain than there's picture. Sure, right. Now in photography, you dial these settings in this is your exposure triangle to get the image that you want, right? The problem is that when you're dealing

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with video,

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these are settings like they're already

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supposed to be at a specific setting, right, right. So you're lens aperture, you want to blurry background, you got to keep that thing open. Okay, you want the appropriate amount of motion blur that doesn't look like a soap opera at the same time doesn't look like an action movie, you got to set the shutter to be one over whatever, the double the frame rate, right? So they call it 180 degree shutter if you're shooting at 30 frames per second that you want to shutter of one over 60 For example, right, right and then at the same time, your ISO, you're gonna lock it in at the greatest dynamic range possible, which is ISO 100. But then if you're indoors, everything's gonna be

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so dark. So how do you get the exposure now you got to use lights, I use light right? And if you're outdoors and there's too much light, right, then you got to use filtration, which is like a filter that restricts the amount of light while allowing

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Your lens to remain fully wide open to get that blurry background. So back to your question of how do you get those water streaks in daytime, they're using your filtration, kind of like a pair of sunglasses, sunglasses for, for your camera free camera. So that way, the it's not too bright, because everything's open and your shutter speed is slow. And so now you just kind of shade it a little bit. And then you take your snapshot shutter stays open for a little while. And suddenly, all that water movement is just like this smooth, silky effect kind of thing. Right? So yeah, so so if you're underwater, taking pictures, you got all that blue. Sure. And there's other filters and

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specialized cameras, that also and there's algorithms in the processing that go into fix all that. Yeah, have National Geographic has is one of the big proponents of that. And if I could pull it all together, but these three components, it also shows that you have a real technical understanding of the science when you have to, there's no way that you can do any of this without having to understand and even to this day, I fumble on it. I understand. It's,

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there's only one way to put a metaphor is when people come and say you recite so well. And then you can acknowledge I do recite well, and you do tell stories well, but both of us can say, Man, you need to know your thing inside. So if I said my recitation is built up of these three things breathing, how wide my mouth is, how tight My lips are, how lubricated My throat is, there's so much that goes into it that people don't realize. And it's not an individual understanding of any one of the three, for example, the ISO, the shutter speed, or the tone and the breathing. It's the application of the crossroad of all three coming together. Yeah. And I think that's powerful. And so

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yeah. How did we get to this stuff? The question was, yeah, when you tell the story, and it was really, because remember, we didn't learn any of these technicalities, and they couldn't, because if they told us learn photography wouldn't apply to film. Right? Right. So but when we read, because our listeners are kind of like, okay, what do I do with all this information? A, you have to hear the technical jargon, you don't have to know every word that he he said, but you have to say, okay, someone's gonna give me some information, I'm willing to sit through it to see the bigger picture of now with all that very detailed with the ISO and you never go up to 1600 and you keep it in a

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certain range. That translates over to me as Wow, blouse videos, look, and then we leave a blank. Okay, that blink I think now you just explained is your perfect balance. And can you repeat our three again, the ISO, the shutter speed and the the ISO, shutter speed and aperture?

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Okay, you have below has, excuse me for not remembering who did inception, Christopher Nolan, Christopher Nolan, the spinning room, there was a set where

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the the the actually rotated, they are in a dream, where just like in your dream, the whole world starts moving this entire set spins. Yeah, you know, for a fact or like The Matrix bullet time. You that is them taking those three components plus more animation, and you can tell it to them, it's Christopher Nolan. Below has found about just just to add to the whole Christopher Nolan thing.

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One of the things that he's very insistent upon not even shooting on digital, right, you will shoot on so one is large format, which IMAX or something equivalent Interstellar? Yeah, like it's 70. So the size of the sensor, for example, or the film, So traditionally, photography has been 35 millimeter film.

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The then they came up with digital cameras equivalent to that they call them full frame.

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The cameras we're shooting on right now are significantly smaller sensors than that of photography, full frame cameras. Okay. Interstellar IMAX large format cameras are like four times larger than full frame. Four times. Yeah. And so So 35 millimeter 35 millimeter instead is closer to like 65 or 75 millimeter, right. So you could take like 235 millimeters and just kind of layer it over that. And and as a result, why is he shooting on film in Nigeria because there are digital sensors that are also that big. Alexa, for example, is a leading German film camera company, right who makes Alexa 65 Right Iron Man, some of these big Marvel movies are shot on that I'm sure you hear the word

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35 millimeter. Yeah, they're shooting on a 65 Right, right. Something we'd never even heard of.

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Christopher Nolan's understanding is that look, yes, one is digital one is film, but the aesthetic that he deliberately wants to achieve right can only be achieved through the chemical processing of film that is then later scanned and edited digitally. But does everyone then see Billa? Dark Gina? Do you see that it's not just the existence of ISO, shutter speed and aperture, it is the cook. It is the scientist who find that balance. Because if Christopher Nolan wants to shoot, I have to be on an eight mil and I want that raw a very that level and someone else is going to shoot on a 65. It doesn't mean that if I had a 65 millimeter camera that I could make, it's the and I really feel like

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I am digging here below. Yeah, every person has their own flavor. See? So you're going to on this point, yes. On the flip side, what am I doing with these cameras? For example? I understand the limits of the technology. Yes. Okay. Yes. So I want to achieve a look that would be afforded by a full frame camera. Obviously, the sensor is not that big. Shooting the lenses that I have some like this is a lens that's designed for full frame camera, what kind of camera you put, yeah, okay, so what I'm pointing at is the lens. So this is a Canon 50 millimeter f 1.8, which is how bright it is, is designed for a large format film camera, what I have done is I've used an adapter with a glass

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element in it that focuses the entire light onto the smaller sensor. So I get like 90% of what this lens is able to give me. And then on top of that, I'm breaking the rules of the exposure triangle. Oh, right, instead of instead of going one over 60, or I'm doing one over 40. So I'm slowing the shutter speed down, because I understand the context in which we're capturing all of this. She's not actually we're just standing and talking. If we Sam was doing backflips, it would be totally different situation. Right? Yes. And so but because we're just talking, like, if I go like this, there is significant amount of motion. He's just shaking. I'm shaking my hands. I'm doing the John

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Cena can't see me. Oh, no. So but as I'm doing this, like on the camera, you'll see that there's a lot of motion blur. And so yes, that could be something that maybe somebody's after, aesthetically, yes, but I'm not after that. Aesthetically, I'm just trying to get the cleanest, brightest image I can possibly given the context that we're shooting in using the limitations of the technology of the mustard camera that I have right here whose screen doesn't even work so have to capture it using a finicky HDMI.

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Had it not been for the existence of digital, I would have never ventured into

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any of this. On a podcast is a lot of information to hear about I know you you painted the picture. Well, let's let's keep it. Let's see, here's the here's the truth. What I just explained,

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is the fundamental understanding of what you need to know if you want to be taking good pictures, or video. If you learn nothing else beyond this no fancy stuff. You wish you could become an award winning photographer or videographer just with the application of this knowledge just like martial arts fundamentals are key right.

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Jab cross hook uppercut from kick jab you good Yeah, right. You don't need to learn like spinning hook tornado. You know any of that. Shoe butterfly? Yeah, exactly. You'd like like it, especially especially in in the South. Like, was it there? It's not the person who knows 1000 cakes, I'm afraid of Bruce Lee said but rather the person has practiced one kick 1000 times. Exactly. This is the one kick like this exposure triangle essentially, is the one kick that if you learned it, then then you know how to operate almost any camera, because every camera will have the settings and I'm curious. I mean, the phones probably have those settings too. So generally speaking, you can unlock the

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ability to dial those settings in using a third party app.

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Feel pro film so Filmic Pro is one f l i M I C PRL pro take is another I don't recommend pro tip because it crashes my phone but depends on the phone you use Pro motion for Filmic Pro we'd like to talk to you.

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Yeah, Filmic Pro is an app that I've bought several times for different phones. And so and it's totally worth it.

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You got it on my phone I've heard Yeah, so I'm now I'm gonna probably look that up. It breaks people's brains. When you say I'm paying $14 To buy a camera app. My phone already has a camera. But then as soon as you purchase the you purchase it for whatever 14 bucks at what it is, which is higher end for an app, your washer. Sure, but then like Bill said, you're able to go in

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You're full control on everything on the inside, which is what you're paying for. Right? When can you get a camera for $15? In your Yeah, I know I do. The camera I've always wanted is $900

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It's the way our brain perceives it. Yeah, it's the way the brain perceives it says, oh, what's the point on this, but below your 1000 cakes, and the whole thing just came perfectly together. You just heard something that could be its own clip. And people could carve it out of the podcast, audio and video and say, Oh, my God, I just asked a fighter, hey, can you explain to me your style, and he goes, Sure, and then told me everything and laid it out in front of me. That's something, if I can bring this all the way around below, something that's always blown me away. I've come from a sheltered place that said, if you're good at something, hide it, keep it you've seen all that around

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me, which, if you're really good at something, or your best work, you know, keep it away. Your philosophy is not just giveaway, your best work, but from your podcast, the concept from even leejohn Productions and anything that was you've always been about lifting up people with you. Yeah, just now. Okay. Yes, I understand. I should have asked you if you haven't seen nor heard about the people that I have had to crush because they refuse to rise up. Okay.

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That is, that's also a favor to folks not being not being loving, not being kind and soft all the time is just dropping like a hot potato. Yeah, that's essentially just to kind of give some context, not that I'm a malicious or shrewd, individual things I don't think I am. But like, when it comes to like, for example, like if you're interning with me, right? You may be a quick learner and whatnot. But like, if you show up late to a thing, and I set up half the stuff like, You're not coming back. Yeah. Because you're right. Yeah, that makes sense. Right? So you have, but Okay, so you have a strict place, but you have a dojo in your mind that people can come to you build things that hey,

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how, Hey, Bill, how do you get this coloring? You'll answer your comments and say, This is how I did it. It's a philosophy. I'm sure you have your reasons to get there. But most people on the internet or on in our speak in our cultural space, are not looking to lift other people up. The only way to the top is just cutting everyone. Let me ask you this. So yesterday, so just to kind of set the context. Yeah, we were having a conversation with another corn revolution student had visited us. Yes. Just a shout out. Listen to KK

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not the third K. That's what we call her. KK not third K. Could you do? So? I forgot what we were talking about. But like there was some comment about Desi men. Yeah. Asian men. She's Caucasian sister married to a Pakistani brother who lives in Houston. Yes. So. And that's something along I don't understand. I'm a DC guy. And we're sounds like you're not a DC guy. No, I didn't say that. I was I was like, I was disgusted, offended for you. And again, I was like, You're not a DC guy. And I remember I reacted full featured. So just to give everyone it wasn't just a mild comment. I take it from there. Yeah. And for a second, I saw microexpression on below, which was like, oh, oh, what do

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you mean? And I was like, Oh, dude. And then I was like, in the explaining mode. I'm trying to, like, I don't know where to go with it. So yes. I said, No, you're not. And that and then well, how did you feel?

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I kind of just put it put it in a drawer and I'll pull it up tomorrow. Yeah, the first thing he saw me this morning, he was like, hey, so yesterday, what did you mean by Uh

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huh. Let us unpack this. So now what I'm understanding now is when you say in our culture, right that like are you specifically talking about like they see so when I spend culture I meant our cultural landscape and social media in that specific scenario. Okay, and social media. Flex, cut other people down. Don't tell anyone how you did it. Okay, shoot the video hide the premiere. So that no be the first to do it are all taglines to how you get ahead. I see. Let's cut the fact that you do Islamic workout completely. I was almost um, we haven't even pointed that out. Let's say you were shooting car videos. Sure. Other folks would shout out Muhammad Mattiello shout out motiva Do

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you recall his instagram handle? Yeah, it's I haven't. If you can look it up because I'll say it real quick. We have one of the urban something. One of our original editors on for the the techs who work for us. Is it fair to say he was one of the first hires one of the first hires

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Oh yes. And he came having a great career friends he had shot several million dollars supercars and he would and they had approached him. He got DMS from people in the Dallas area and around with million dollar supercars, he shot a P one. For those of you just imagine, these are men who own like rare dragons, one offs. And so he shot he still shoots with Okay, so it's urban Knight urban. You are ba n i ght multiwall a shout out to you and the fam. And I remember why we were talking about you mentioned, if I'm shooting cars, this is a yo Yes. If you're shooting, if you're shooting cars, then other folks would not say Hey, guys, I just finished this film. Shoot, I shot a P one GTR.

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Here's how I here's the technique I used I hung out the back of a car. I didn't it depends. That's not the style of folks, though. It depends. It depends on I'll explain why. Right. So if one is doing that work on behalf of agency or client relationship, typically speaking, then guaranteed on one side or the other. There's an NDA being signed. Right. And the NDA is to protect any kind of intellectual. Okay, right. Oh, nondisclosure agreement.

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NDA was

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non disclosure if you're talking about death, right near death X.

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That that venture? So that's, so that's one element. Even even with the work I do with a mug that there's like, there's a lot that I just we can't talk about, right.

00:31:41--> 00:32:25

But even amongst staff that are in different departments. Yeah. Right. And so at the same time, even on a larger scale, like Marvel or the studios and whatnot, like, guaranteed, you took something that's a capture a photo, personally, on work time, that is the intellectual property of the studio. Yep. Right. You put that out there. Yes. You might get sued, fired, and or both, or both, right. Yeah. And the reason they have such a tight control over that kind of content and material, not that they are like, nobody must know about how we do it. But they want to control how they release information for the purposes of marketing and sales to maximize it, because they know very well,

00:32:25--> 00:33:05

those are Yeah, but those are bigger, bigger places. Yeah. And I want to just fill in our listeners for one component. Bill, Allah is also a blue belt in jujitsu, anytime correct. And this is gonna be ready. This is coming around. blue belt in jujitsu. And if I'm right, you learn a lot of defense, am I correct? User? Do you learn to defend against, for example, a rear naked choke? Yeah, you'll learn it, but then you at your level, you're learning the defense, I believe, beloved, does not like compliment. And I'll tell you why. Every time a compliment comes at you, you defend against it, you defend against it. And then and so Joe Rogan had a guy who lived in Amazon with a bunch of folks.

00:33:05--> 00:33:30

And he said, What's your threshold for compliment? Okay, I should have asked you that because genuinely below, you're telling me about big organizations that are driving NDAs? No, bro, I'm talking about you, the single guy as sort of a natural inclination to share, we share positive, you share and lift other folks. I think that I see there's value i i would think, okay, that when I share something defense, the number three

00:33:31--> 00:33:32

filter block.

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

Not good to

00:33:36--> 00:33:51

know. I would think when I share something that I'm sharing, because I genuinely believe that there is value in it to whomever that I'm sharing it with. Okay, right. Yes. And so let's actually learn about another person Sure. That

00:33:52--> 00:33:55

you are concerned about folks around you. Hey, Eric.

00:33:58--> 00:34:11

Anybody who sees value in it, you're more than welcome. You don't see value in it. I'll see you later. Do you care about the person though? Who does see value in it? I what I care about output? Okay. I care about seeing.

00:34:13--> 00:34:51

Yeah, we like like I care about their product. You don't care about them specifically, but that their project comes out? Yeah. I honestly, I really care about film. I genuinely love the craft. Wow, I wanted to hear that. Okay, that's something to hear. Yeah, genuinely love this. Yeah. Like, I genuinely love recitation. Yeah. Like I want people to know so that wow, that's, that's here. Here's a knocker. Like, I guess in the space that we're in, like, it looks like Oh, because work looks great. But among other among my peers, best on average,

00:34:53--> 00:34:59

and so on. We're like, wow, below that is beautiful. I mean, yeah. You're like Bob Ross. You're just teaching while you're doing

00:35:00--> 00:35:07

Yes, but I see what you're saying, Bill. It's like someone coming to me and saying, that's the best clip by ever heard and in my head is like you have never heard.

00:35:08--> 00:35:12

Or brother. That's a greatest recitation I ever heard. And I keep thinking.

00:35:14--> 00:35:40

You haven't heard a lot of recitation, or anyone else. Like, you haven't heard the recitation or meaning. You are listening to me and saying, This is the best that I've ever heard. You haven't. I mean, like, at least go around the block one more time. Go on the block, go here. Here's my thought, right? If somebody was like, Oh, this is the best thing I've ever seen. I'm like, you like you like this? And then they're like, Yeah, this, then I think you'll love this. Ah, yeah.

00:35:41--> 00:36:25

Like, if you enjoy me, listen to the king of New York. When someone says the greatest presentation I've ever heard. I'm like, go to an Isha, of course, will like on a random Tuesday. And that's going to be better than my most polished practice. Like opera Hall. Elizabeth town that says this Tuesday night. Yes. How I live. To be fair, though. The Elizabeth Elizabeth, New Jersey was dope. Oh, I will. But I'm ranking it as my best. Yeah. Like, your best is done. Thank you. Oh, thank you. I will say that, and I will definitely say it took me a while. No, you guys don't know. No. But Elizabeth Talman. Strong. There is a there's a word Doha out there. It was at Irving Masjid before a talk. And

00:36:25--> 00:36:31

the speaker was like, Hey, can you resign? I was like, Yeah. And I listened to that, like, yeah, so so.

00:36:33--> 00:36:48

That's my boy. I know him. And I like that. And I think below you could be able to say it, I'm sure there. I hear with some thinking is good. And then I think the allouche brothers and I think I should stop reciting Quran

00:36:49--> 00:37:01

from that perspective. Know, when they recite, I feel like I'm gonna lie or Avila mean, I feel like I'm back in nursery school. I love both of them of the Kareem and use of

00:37:04--> 00:37:24

it okay to enjoy it all. Like, I mean, you couldn't go to the ice cream store and have delicious chocolate ice cream, and then delicious strawberry ice cream. And it's all good. It's not like you, but it's the self except now. It's inaction. It's self acceptance. It took me a while and below. Once I could stop comparing to everyone outside and I said, How does your reputation make you feel?

00:37:26--> 00:37:50

I found joy in my recitation below. There is some thing in your videos when you make a U for your son. When you make your son's montages. Yeah, everyone says, Wow, I'll say this kumbaya confident that I could place those videos next to the guys I admire that it could hold its own. Yes, yes.

00:37:51--> 00:38:31

Because there there's no, there's no creative restraint, where you make a kid for your video for your kid. And it's you following Him. That is that's below and yes, that could hold with your friends. Absolutely. I can hold with your friends and your peers. So could could we say, being really good at something takes a long time. And you have to be humble. If you came in Kanye to this whole thing. And I gotta give a 10 second child Dave Chappelle tells the best story. That before Kanye was Kanye was like a young man. He kept and Dave Chappelle was at the height of his show. Do you know this story? Okay. So Dave Chappelle is at the height of his, his career, and they're in the

00:38:31--> 00:38:33

studio watching

00:38:34--> 00:39:09

unreleased clips that are about to come out. Yeah. We just finished producing them. And he said, a young man walked in it was Kanye. And he sat on the couch. And he joined us. He was like someone said, Oh, this is Kanye. Yeah. And he had a swollen face at the time. He had his before Jesus walks. And he said, Kenya's phone went off, and he picked it up. And at that time, he's a nobody. Or he says, hang on, I gotta call you back. Um, right now, I'm watching unreleased clips of Dave Chappelle. Right now, because I'm Kanye West. And that's just what I do.

00:39:11--> 00:39:54

I know I left on some of the profanities, but he was Kanye back then in his head. And I really do want to point that out. In this case, most of us won't become Kanye after we're actually good at something. Oh, yeah. impostor syndrome. And we were talking about earlier impostor syndrome, because you just, I mean, even when, you know, like, I have a PhD. Even then, when I was in the middle of my PhD, I felt like I was not good enough to be there. And it's it's not unusual. You just feel like but not only did you not feel not being there, but did you have reasons in your head? Yeah. Look, this person's like this or mine was this person has a degree or such and such degree? Oh, great day,

00:39:54--> 00:40:00

right. And I'm and my advisor says you don't write doctorial enough. What does that even mean to you?

00:40:00--> 00:40:03

Face your mama. She was like, whoa, whoa.

00:40:05--> 00:40:06

You know what she was like, whoa.

00:40:08--> 00:40:13

Our mom is predominantly Yeah, she's three fourths mine. Yes.

00:40:14--> 00:40:43

So if we all brought our energy to say one thing below, how did you once you knew you have this talent? Where now because I wanted to bring it up, I hope everyone comes around. And I'll give you the reward of listening to all the technicalities. Friends, we celebrated our 100,000 subscriber plaque. And in all fairness, that's Belaz work. I am and I can say it because it's my podcast. I'm just the pretty face.

00:40:45--> 00:41:13

Being the pretty face. Yes, we made videos together. We did everything but Bilaal responded to questions I read, I responded to the questions he read out below edited videos below grew a channel. And below just worked me out from the beginning, though, because that I didn't even understand. I don't remember having 100 subscribers, like, did we open our channel? And then was there an initial growth really quick of grand revolution students? I mean, so

00:41:14--> 00:41:15

first, on

00:41:16--> 00:41:17

regulations on the,

00:41:19--> 00:41:19

the.

00:41:20--> 00:41:26

So I didn't really look at the numbers until we pass like $10. Okay.

00:41:27--> 00:41:53

And the reason I keep them out like this is not my first channel, like, one of my earlier channels for even for leech on my first rodeo. Like I had 5000, almost 5000 subscribers to under 50,000 views for some of the videos I put up there. And I was like, okay, so this is the kind of thing that happens with you. Right? And but then, like, you knew the landscape. I kind of knew the landscape, but I also have this expectation that it's not that hard. Okay. Wow. So it's work.

00:41:54--> 00:42:36

Right now. YouTube has evolved a lot since its inception. Yes. I got on YouTube, the when it first came out, right back in like, oh, six or something. So. And like anything that anyone's an early adopter with, right? There's a flow of people that coming in and whatnot. So what YouTube has evolved? Yes. Right. So my 10 You didn't live in look till the return? Yeah. I mean, yes, it didn't catch my attention until it passed that number, right. Like, I knew there were subscribers coming. But then for me, the whole purpose of and originally from, like, 2016 to 2019, those first three years, it wasn't about growing a YouTube channel. It was simply like, I need to showcase what we're

00:42:36--> 00:43:00

doing here. Right. I want to I got I got to document this, you know, showcase share with folks. I don't feel like it fits within my own channel. Right. Maybe some of it. And if it does, I'll include it. But like this deserves its own thing. Right. That's what I did. And I will say the first 10,000 subscribers that came in in those three years, were more or less just happenstance.

00:43:01--> 00:43:41

What happens to happenstance means that it just happened because I was doing it right and sure shot like I not that I was being strategic and deliberate and intentional with the creation of the content that we're like, it was consistent in those first three years consistent by nature of our consistency coming together every two years. We were producing Oh, wow. Right. We're always for two years, consistently, a month regularly. Coming in to shoot content to edit or something for convolution. Yeah. There were so many. Yeah, there's grind revolution level one, two, year two, then we had to memorize stuff that we're also coming together for.

00:43:42--> 00:43:51

And I wasn't married at the time. So yeah. Yes, this was so he was in between administrations. Yes. Administration.

00:43:53--> 00:44:37

In between administrations, and yes, he came and crushed hours, then. Yeah. Then you were worked 21 hours in a weekend live recordings. When we did the 30. It's just yeah. So yeah, that's why I didn't recall. I remember them saying, Yo, bro, we got to 25,000 people. And you were like, yeah, yeah, we do. And then we started to release. When do you recall a question and answer. So it kind of evolved out of my own personal curiosity, of like, there are certain things that you're doing and I had certain ideas, and sure, and there was a natural Kuna that developed between us, right. And I was documenting that. And you know, I would see the comments come in. Yeah. Right. Most of the comments

00:44:37--> 00:45:00

were from people that we personally knew, right, and they're just expressing their excitement and whatnot. And so sometimes I would feature them in the q&a, just kind of ad hoc. Right. Yeah. And but then the question started coming in hard. Right, right. And they just started coming on like, hey, and I knew from from from a marketing background, one of the most successful

00:45:00--> 00:45:46

running campaigns before had been when Isaiah Mustafa was hired by Old Spice as their front talent with the guy in the bath bath, right? They literally got him in a studio space to record like 1000 q&a is all ridiculous. Sure, and just him answering questions for YouTube. Yes. In the towel in the oh my goodness, it was it was really was. It was so good. She became was talking with Yeah, became known as the longtail strategy, the long term strategy, right? And there's even a whole white paper on the value of the long tail, right? Again marketing vernacular stuff, if you're interested in that go look it up.

00:45:47--> 00:46:09

But the principle was, instead of trying to do this amazing launch, you should also cultivate the stragglers as well. Yeah, that's not exactly what it is. But that's what it kind of entails. Right? I really want to do this for memory for the memorize channel now. But it's different, though. Right? And here's how, here's how I'm gonna explain this.

00:46:10--> 00:46:51

This long tail process of documenting and answering questions as you're going along. Makes a lot of sense. Especially because it there's nothing else. Yeah, you're giving individual attention and value to people. And it just so happens that there's more than one person that has the same question, right? Oh, yeah. Because that's true. I think every science has commonly common question. Yeah, as a Muslim Ummah, there's so many people from around the world, I would think that we got, we would keep getting different types of questions from different languages. Yeah, they're all the same question. But the context for the question, or is different? Yeah. That's where the value comes in

00:46:51--> 00:47:31

and answering the same question over and over, but giving a different answer, because the context of the question is different app. Sure. Sure. Absolutely. And so. So that's where the thought came from. And just to kind of add on, and that was the 30 to 50,000 subs, where do you think we started doing that? So I will happen naturally. Okay, so what happened naturally was now is like, how do I grow this channel? Because we kind of had a sit down. Yeah, at when we were renting the house. I was like solarium studio. Yeah. Now, I was thinking from the perspective of like, business development, right? We want to grow or under evolution, you can only you can spend only so much money on

00:47:31--> 00:48:10

advertising, right? The real growth is going to come from organic growth, people getting to see what the value of what it is that we have to offer, that comes from testimonials, that comes through first giving value than asking for money, right? And a big part of that just knowing the Quran evolution system itself, we knew the vast majority of the people coming into the system are not like our sister here, Gina who doesn't know anything. The vast majority of people who know basic Arabic alphabet, they just need to learn go from reading to recite it. And so I was like, Well, if that's the case, why don't we get the world reading for free? Yes, we

00:48:11--> 00:48:17

value value first, I set the example of be the diapers, diapers if

00:48:19--> 00:48:43

yesterday but if you buy diapers at Target, you are UK are more likely than to be plugged in for the 18 years of that child. If we taught folks how to read, then they're going to come back to do more tour. I love the strategy of bringing folks in and giving them value as the drug dealer, drug dealing mindset. Give them the first give it for free.

00:48:46--> 00:48:47

First of all, it's free.

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

But in this case, yes. Thank you for getting me hooked to this. Yes, yes, because there was enough content on Grand revolution for someone to genuinely start learning. But biller you grew this so that folks could learn and then it started with the mindset right this is what we want to do now it became like and we knew why we wanted to do it. The third component was how do we get there? Right, because tactically everything we had done up to this point was had not served that objective no right. So now it becomes a question of like, Alright, let me now try to role model let me try to find the people who have done it. This is where I found thick media

00:49:31--> 00:49:55

base basically it's a online video ranking Academy is a program brought to you by THiNK Media run by a gentleman named by Sean Cannell shout out media, you know, we we've benefited from a lot of the things so we can promote you here. It's great. So prior to the pandemic, they had a so I bought his book first Youtube secrets, right like I there's probably gonna be another sleazy

00:49:57--> 00:49:59

or 5% chance it could be Yeah.

00:50:00--> 00:50:13

You know, his stuff was very systemic, very straightforward. I'm not sure this makes a lot of sense. Caught on a few lives, they made an offer. I'm like, I'm gonna buy this program. And so I bought the program. This was October 2019, I believe, right.

00:50:14--> 00:51:03

And so or maybe, I think was the summer of 2019. But it was Tober. before. I think I had a few months prior to the pandemic to put into action, the stuff that I was learning that immediately paid off dividends for convolution. It's like, within the first few months, convolution went from like, you know, 18,000 to like 35,000, passing with Sam's own personal channel, right. Yeah, there were knowledge travels was surpassed very quickly. And then and, and I knew it. So they share several key strategies on how to grow YouTube channel around specific types of content. Okay. Right, among them has to do with reviewing specific products, right? Surfing specific trends. Right. Now, within the

00:51:03--> 00:51:42

scope of Quran revolution, these two did not really make much sense. Sure. However, answering specific question and teaching specific skills, a total sense. And so I was like, alright, let's just go all in on these two things. Even the questions that we're answering are going to be related to skill that we're in party with a simple thing that ultimately helps people get to where they want to go with relation to the Quran. Right? So did that and we went from 30,000 to 100,000. Yes, we do. Right? Somewhere in between, I'm not sure if it was deliberate. Or if it was part of THiNK Media. During the solarium or even those two years of nonstop creating content, he made a vlog style, so he

00:51:42--> 00:52:06

would come to shoot. So we had stopped doing that as of recent, but the the journey of getting the project done that told a story on revolution channel, which I really believe that wasn't anything with think media. That was just me being me. Yeah, like when you gave a tour of the studio? Yes. I remember your that's true of the story you hear if you can, that came as a request of a commentator.

00:52:07--> 00:52:50

Okay. Hey, Tom, let's do a tour of the studio. I never just walked around. Yeah, that was a really good video. I liked it. And that was spontaneous, where a lot of people are like, let's do a video tour. Yeah. But before this, we were in a house of Mary Dr. And there, we recorded all of year two content, which you're studying now was shot there. And below was meticulous to run a GoPro and a time lapse to have and then not vlog style. We called it more a documentary. It was documentation. But here's part of it is motivated by my own inquiry around the idea of can I produce content for YouTube, in vlog format without having to edit it on my computer?

00:52:52--> 00:53:05

That's when I was experimenting with editing on the phone. And he and he was getting Yeah, it was so rudimentary. So but it was one of those things. Where can I get it out the day that I shot it?

00:53:07--> 00:53:22

Yeah. And that was that's what drove it drove the turnaround. And yeah, you look at that, and you directly look at I'd like our listeners, check out HUDs vlog. Sure. I was shooting Hodge blog producing it and releasing it all within the same day.

00:53:23--> 00:54:01

So but that was what I saw. Because I was like, I know how to do this. Choo, choo, choo, choo, choo, pull it together, put in the there were things I saw you do. Yeah. And I saw you that there's no time to sit and do it at a stretch. You're doing it as you go. You're doing it as you go, I believe, which is actually not the recommended method to produce content that grows subscriber bases. Yes, no, because you're dependent on whether or not you're in a modality that allows you to shoot, right, right. Whereas what they do recommend, is what we have been doing, which is once a month, once a quarter, get together, shoot 50 videos, edit that batch produce Batch Edit, and schedule out upload.

00:54:01--> 00:54:39

Yes, that is effective. And we've been doing it and that has grown. Yeah. But at the initial stages from 10 to 30,000, telling a story and helping them. We like watching your guys story. We like watching you guys come along, and they are early, maybe we'll put out something like that, again, just an in between in our next meeting challenge though, to be able to do that effectively. Yeah, there needs to be something that we're pursuing. Right that we're getting right. At the time, it was clear, we had a finish line where we need you to shoot, edit and deliver the two years of convolution content. Yeah, once that's done, that's the finish line when we hit that finish line.

00:54:39--> 00:54:59

That's where we kind of got together they got to teach the world how to read Arabic. Yep. Right. But then like what it's kind of a vague it's not like for this weekend, what would you you could you would just put the camera in the corner. And but then you wouldn't be able to share any of this. You just say oh, they're shooting. promotional content. Yeah. So yes, you're right. We went there was a goal. We were able to

00:55:00--> 00:55:05

Yeah, like whenever we did the tear down and rebuild, yeah, there was a video came out of that.

00:55:07--> 00:55:12

So because there was a clear objective Yeah, we gotta we gotta rebuild the studio. Yeah, exactly. So

00:55:13--> 00:55:55

that's the key. That's the thing that matters in the story. Is there a goal that we're headed toward? I think that's huge. Yeah, that's huge is there. And I think that's the closing that I want to take to our listeners. In all of this. You are the holder of the most advanced cameras in your eyes, and you are the director in your head. You control shutter speed, you control how you see things. Can you tell a greater story? That's where I want to leave our listeners with because I want to land this out. For today. I think we're around that the quote that I found that was totally amazing. The quote is by this finance guy, they don't know. Okay, he's like, life is like a camera.

00:55:56--> 00:56:12

Focus on what's important, capture the good times, and if things don't work out, just take another shot. Oh, that's a great quote. It's great if we like to conclude our podcast with some recitation and inspirational just one one verse

00:56:14--> 00:56:42

from Surah Mulk take a moment friends if you are on headphones just to try to even out your hips. If your legs are crossed, go ahead and open up your legs just try to create a circuitry if you want to fold your hands just create a shift so that you can receive cool enamel. memoria de la y in Namaha Nana the beautiful movie

00:56:44--> 00:57:28

so the Quraysh makin society kept asking the Prophet peace be upon him, okay, Day of Judgment Day of Judgment. When is it? And he said, say God, he didn't have an answer. So God say, said respond by saying, Indeed the knowledge that you're seeking what you're asking for that knowledge is with Allah. And I'm telling you, you're going to meet Allah. I am solely, and now the room will be in a clear warner friends. This might sound motivational. But if you can end today's podcast asking yourself, What if I don't tell the story positively? I don't like that word. What if I don't become take charge of the story? Then I will play the victim or I will play secondary character to someone

00:57:28--> 00:58:08

else's story. Please take control, take charge and know that we're going to meet our Lord and I want to say thank you Allah for writing such an amazing story for me. I just had a thought there's me a little bit of Goosebumps. Yes. Just on that thought of the afterlife. It's like, is your story going to end with your scroll in your right or in your left? Oh, is your is your scroll for a mom and Ooty Akita Abba who will be a meanie on the Day of Judgment. Yes, there'll be those who are given their books on the right hand, those given books on their left Oh, and we pray to be amongst those of the right hand of the right side. For our listeners, believers and those of who don't are not sure if

00:58:08--> 00:58:40

they're of the believing category. Go with peace and become the director of your movie. I believe you will find the producer you will find the producer the originator you will find the original author of the script. And you might find out the movie is a lot better than you realize. Thank you everyone for joining us for the shake and small fries podcast. We'll see you all soon. Thank you below. Please do come back. Usually in Joe Rogan fashion this is my second appearance as a guest Yes.

00:58:42--> 00:58:55

Had you with Jawad Han, and it was a three angle shots and too great to have you back. We'd love to have a gift for you on the next time but having you here is our gift as salam Wa alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

00:58:56--> 00:59:12

Well, I can smell them to life, but they can't do and to our listeners. Thank you so much. We'll see you next week. Let's keep going. September is around the corner. Some of us are getting ready for the new year. Let's check things out right within us and let's find a direction was salam aleikum wa rahmatullah.