Channel: Yasir Qadhi
Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi begins the talk on why the Muslim world is lagging behind and how we must push ourselves to ponder over the reason and why is it that our young brothers and sisters are struggling.
It is a common occurrence where every convert brother or sister who comes into the religion of Islam is countered with almost 10 times the number thinking of leaving Islam.same is the case with Friday prayers where there are a few Muslims who simply do not care about Islam at all.
In today’s challenging atmosphere, we encounter many Muslims having apprehensions,doubts and uncertainties regarding their Deen and a blanket of skepticism and agnosticism takes precedence and often succeeds in poisoning the Muslim Ummah from inside.
Salam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu salam ala Sayyidina Muhammad in what are the rd he will be as your mind about
the other day a young man came to me in the MSA. And he asked me a very difficult question. Like many people of our generation, he was struggling to make sense of what's happening in the world today.
Why the Muslim world was always in the news, typically in a negative manner. And it wasn't just about the terrorism and the violence. It was also about why is the Muslim world so repressive? Why is the Muslim world lagging behind the rest of the world in so many ways, and he brought up the issue of Nobel Prize winners and how many Muslims versus that scientists, doctors, engineers in the Muslim world, he brought out repressive regimes, etc, etc. And he said that this type of dichotomy, this type of disparity, between the Muslim world and the Western world, was actually affecting his he man.
He was wondering, he was questioning his faith. And he was wondering if our religion is true. If our religion is true, then why are our civilization so backward? Why are those civilizations that have rejected Islam? They seem to be flourishing on the outside? And of course, yes, just like yesterday's talk that I gave as well, I have to bring it a little bit and, of course, the issue of violence and terrorism. Why is the Muslim world always in the media always, you know, this violence and whatnot happening. And this began to affect his belief in Allah subhana wa, tada, his belief in the truthfulness of Islam, his belief in the Quran as a holy book, and he was coming to me
expressing these doubts. Sadly, those sentiments are not unique or rare. And that is why I feel compelled today on this very public stage. To begin my talk with that question, and to answer or at least attempt to answer I only have 15 minutes to attempt to begin an answer. Even though the topic is very taboo. And Hamdulillah, we're supposed to honor our righteous and good people, that's great. But do realize for every righteous and good brother, we honor 10 are thinking of leaving the faith do realize that MSA is on hamdulillah flourishing. But for every person who comes for Joomla, at least three or four are simply not caring about Islam, for every person that comes at least five or
six, or even doubting the faith, a phenomenon of skepticism, agnosticism, is now creeping in to our religion, and especially amongst our generation, the MSA generation. And even though it is a taboo topic, still, we need to be brave enough to take on this challenge. And what I want to do in the next 12 minutes or so really, is just to start a conversation to try to begin to answer this question to maybe inshallah with our cars, our brain cells to start to think and to analyze things differently, and hopefully, to motivate you all, to probe deeper and to scratch beyond the surface and headlines. So today's talk is a message to that young brother, and through him to all of my
younger brothers and sisters who are struggling with the same problem. Why is the Muslim world lagging behind? Why is the Muslim world A world generally of repression of violence of low GDP, have not as many Nobel Prize winners in science and engineering and whatnot? Well, again, much can be said, I want to summarize the answer in three simple tangents, three simple specters that I want every one of you to do more research on, I will begin the conversation a few minutes on each, but afterwards, each one of you needs to go and read and study and do your own research. The first is history. The second is politics. And the third is theology. Three things we're going to look at very
quickly, first history. In order to understand why we are where we are today. You need to understand what happened yesterday. You cannot isolate today, and today's events from yesterday. We are now witnessing certain events, certain realities in 2015. We need to understand what happened before 2015 How did we get to 2015 and a great place to start
Is 100 years ago 1915 1950 is not that long ago, by the way, my own grandfather and I'm not making this up. My own grandfather was a teenager in 1915. That's not that long ago, 100 years ago 1950. If we go back, the world was a very, very different place. It was in 1915, we still had a caliphate. It wasn't the greatest, it wasn't the best, but it represented a continuous legacy of an Islamic heritage and civilization that went back for 13 150 years, we still had one. But it was in this year 1915, that the British and the Allied forces launched their first major attack against the Ottoman Empire against the caliphate, aiming straight for Istanbul, the seeds of the caliphate. This attack
would eventually lead to the collapse of the political structure that began with the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and stretched unbroken all the way up to Abdul Hamid the second, already, the British had begun their tactic of divide and conquer. They had seeped in concepts of nationalism, which were unknown to the oma before this point in time, they had told the Arabs, how could you live under the Turks, these are not your brother in even if they're from your same faith, and they had promised the Arabs that if you fight against the Turks, you will be given an independent Arab Caliphate stretching from Iraq all the way to North Africa, including Jerusalem and
Palestine, they will be yours. This is what they promised the Arabs. And so lured by these promises, one group of Muslims openly revolted and fight against the caliphate, they joined the British under the false promises that they would eventually be given charge, and they fought against the caliphate. But even as the British had promised the Arabs freedom and independence, even as they had promised them that you will be given the caliphate, they had already agreed with France and Russia, on how to carve up the Muslim world on how to carve up the middle east on who would get what land and who would control what dominion, the modern nation states, of Jordan, of Syria, of Lebanon, of
Iraq, of Arabia, basically, the entire map of the Middle East was quite literally drawn out between a Frenchman and a British man known as the Sykes Pico agreement. So the British were lying all along, they knew exactly that the Arabs would not have a unified caliphate. And that is exactly what happened. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Muslim oma was carved up into all of these nation states. And along with these two promises, on the one hand, there was a promise with the French and the and the Russians on the and this was a secret promise secret negotiation, on the other hand, was the public promise with the Arabs, they made a third promise also secret, and this
was known as the Balfour Declaration, and the Balfour Declaration, they made another secret negotiations with the world Zionist Federation. And they promised them the creation of an independent Jewish homeland in the heartland of Palestine, if they supported the British financially in World War One. So three promises every Muslim should be aware of the public promise to the Arabs, the private negotiation with the with the French and the Russians, and then the private negotiation with the world Zionist Federation. And so as World War One drew to an end, less than 100 years ago, from where we are standing now, Allied forces entered, firstly Damascus, and then Jerusalem, and
then both dad and eventually Istanbul itself. They entered many more cities, but I mentioned these four, because these four are the most painful because each and every one of them represents the bastion of a previous caliphate. And Jerusalem represents the holiest land to all three faiths. The Caliphate of the oma here it was Damascus, and British soldiers marched into Damascus, Jerusalem, we all know what it is. But that was the caliphate of the passage. And of course Istanbul was the caliphate was the seat of the capital of the Ottomans, each and every one of these cities, symbolically, the entire Caliphate, and its entire history is quite literally captured in the span
of two or three years. And of course, we're only going back 100 years. If I were to go back 200 years, we could talk about the British in India and the destruction of the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. I could talk about the French in Algeria since 1830. I could talk about the Italians in Libya, but let's not go there.
that far, but still somebody amongst you does need to do the research. The point here is that the modern map of the Middle East was not something that organically came out of the will of the peoples of that region. The very notion of nation states, the very concept of nationalism, the very carving up of the oma the borders of the countries that now are the source of so much conflict, the borders and the countries that are now the source of so much conflict. These are all the legacies of foreign involvement in that region. In fact, the entire Palestinian Israeli conflict is nothing other than one foreign entity, England deciding to give someone else's land the Arab and Muslim non over to a
third party, and that is European jewelry. And a quick note here, by the way, Muslims, be careful, don't conflate Judaism with Zionism. I made that mistake more than a decade and a half ago, and I still regret it. It was a mistake. Our problem is not with Judaism as a religion. Our problem is with Zionism as a racist political philosophy. Jews and Muslims got along fine for most of their existence. Jews and Muslims got along fine before the creation of Israel. In fact, the greatest minds of Judaism, the famous rabbis of Judaism, Satya Gong, Moses Maimonides, all of these minds, lived and wrote and flourished in Arab lands multiple times in our history. When Christians
persecuted the Jews, they found safe refuge in Muslim lands. So brothers and sisters, there is no place for anti semitism in our religion. But we have to be honest and frank criticism of Israel and a discussion of the history of the creation of Israel has nothing to do with anti semitism.
My point here today is that as you look at the conflicts of the region, you cannot ignore the series of dominoes that have occurred yesterday. So the first tangent study history, and especially study two aspects of history. Number one, colonialism and colonialist studies, go read books on that, find out what happened. And number two, World War One and its impact on the Middle East. And if you understand these two, you will begin to understand why some of the conflict some of the problems exist in our Muslim lands. The second tangent is politics. The world is full of a very few big players who set the rules, and many smaller players who tried to navigate through and survived those
rules. Politics is a dirty game. And sadly, it is not the rich and elite who suffer it is the masses who suffer as a result of those dirty games. Politics is not a level playing field. And in most cases, it is Muslim lands. It is Muslim lands that suffer the most, especially in lands that are now experiencing violence and Islamic radicalism. And again, this is not to justify this is not to exonerate radicalism. We all admit that ISIS are not representative of our faith. We disagree with their interpretation of Islam, we have nothing to do with them. And we're not blaming others for their crimes. It is their fault. But we're contextualizing we're trying to understand where does
this violence come from? It doesn't come from the Quran, it doesn't stem from our tradition, there are other factors we need to take into account as well. And there was a New York Times article just a few months ago, about the Arab Spring, and how our own country got involved in the Arab Spring behind the scenes and used his influence to dictate how certain people were removed from office and others engineered in through a coup. It's not a coincidence that the situation in the Middle East is as it is, it's not representing the will of the people. It's not a coincidence, as I said yesterday, that ISIS is coming from Iraq and Syria. It's not a coincidence, that radicalism typically comes
from places that have repressive regimes. So no doubt we're not exonerating those people. But we need to contextualize and before you blame Muslims, and only Muslims, take a step back and study history and study politics and politics and history will tell you a lot more about our current situation than Islam and the religion of Islam. But this does lead me to my final point, theology.
How do we understand from a theological perspective, why those who believe in the law and the oma of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam seem to be suffering so much. Why are our lands so bad?
And repairs, maybe there are historical reasons. Maybe there are political reasons. But then still, if we are believers in one is messenger, if we're believers in the book, how do we understand theologically, a loving and merciful God, testing his people in this manner? And this is, of course, a very deep philosophical concept. And it deals with the issue of the existence of evil, and how does one understand the existence of evil. And again, that's beyond the scope of just simply a five minute talk. But to summarize, to summarize, in a nutshell, we believe as Muslims, that the good that comes out of evil and of suffering outweighs the bad, and that any evil and suffering that
happens to a righteous person shall be rewarded much more than the evil and pain itself. In other words, the righteous person who suffers any problem, any pain, any grief, will get so much reward in the next life, that that pain will become completely absorbed and numb. In fact, our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said that when the one who is patient sees the rewards of his patients on the Day of Judgment, he shall wish that he had been afflicted with even more calamities in this world. So we believe that evil is returned with good, and we believe that more good comes out of evil. And again, simple philosophical questions. How can we be generous to the poor? How can we
sponsor orphans? How can we feed the hungry, unless there are poor and unless they are hungry, and unless there are orphans, so one of the purposes of existence of suffering, one of the purposes of evil is to cause the good in us to come out to combat that evil, the existence of evil causes all of us to try to be good to combat that evil. And the ultimate sign of truth, my dear brothers and sisters, and with this, I conclude, is not how many PhDs we have. It's not how many Nobel Prize winners exist in Muslim lands. It's not how large the nation's GDP is. The fact of the matter is that these are not the ultimate criteria of success. And I'm not criticizing those mechanisms, the
best of people, the Prophets, and the and the and the Sahaba. After them, they didn't have those PhDs or Nobel prizes. But what did they have spirituality, ethics, a purpose of life, and, and hamdulillah. That is what we have to give to this oma, we know our purpose of existence. We know why we are here, we are the ones who have the most morality, we are the ones who are the most generous. We are the ones who respect our elders, we are the ones who have decency and dignity. And it is those values that are far more precious than the material blessings of this world. So to conclude, my dear brothers and sisters, what we have to offer the world is not our money. It's not our PhDs.
It is the fact that we are a people who have been made a witness unto mankind. We are tasked with conveying the truth, preaching morality, embodying justice, demonstrating what it is, to me a Muslim epitomizing nobility, and most importantly, representing the prophetic message, dear brothers and sisters, it's a confusing time we live in much is going on, but I asked you Nay, I challenge you to be proud of your heritage, to be proud of who you are to appreciate your spiritual lineage and to realize that the gift that you have been given, which is the gift of faith is a gift that you are meant to share with the rest of the world and it is the gift of Islam. That is the most precious
gift and the most prized possession imaginable, and the gift of Islam is the ultimate measure of success. jazak Mola halen was sent out why they come to LA he was about to catch with him