From Atheism to Islam With Hamza Ali Abbasi

Yasir Qadhi


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AI: Summary © The transcript is a jumbled mix of disconnected sentences and phrases, making it difficult to summarize. The main point is that the atmosphere is a light, and the atmosphere is a light. The transcript is difficult to read and is difficult to log. The conversation is difficult to follow and the overall message is that life after death is a concept of life after death. The transcript is also difficult to summarize as it appears to be a long sentence.
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With that, of course, I know many of you are hearing for our esteemed guest that has come, I am actually the least qualified to introduce him, because I cannot list any of the series or dramas or accolades or awards that he has won. But maybe I can introduce a side of him that most of you would not be aware of. And I was blessed to be aware of today, that today I spent most of the afternoon with our dear brother Hamza Ali abassi. And we had a very scintillating a very intellectual conversation about religion, about God about morality. He told me a number of issues and books that he was reading and I must say, I was very impressed that he's reading cutting edge material about

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some of the modern controversies taking place, I found a person mashallah of genuine dedication of scholarship, I am aware that he has given up a very lucrative career for the sake of Allah subhana wa Tada. And that is very impressive for someone to give up an entire galaxy of stars and fame, and to dedicate his life for the sake of Islam. He has told me some projects he has, I don't want to share them if he wants to share them. But it is truly inspiring to find somebody who was handed on a silver platter this dunya and said, You know what, I'm not interested. I want the akhira and to find someone like that, and to see that dedication, and not just spiritual dedication, but frankly, I was

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very impressed. This is a thinker. This is somebody who is reading deeply he is reading what is going on in this side of the world. The modern debates between religion agnosticism, atheism, has some very deep questions. I had a very amazing time with him. So that is a side of him that perhaps, you know, I thought I could introduce with so I asked Mr. hamady and Charlotte brother Abbas, you to come in Charlotte to the stage. Just want to say what an amazing facility you have here. I am so happy to see this.

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seeing the basketball court over there. It was amazing brother Yasser is absolutely right. We need to develop that connection for future generations.

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We need to think about future generations and make the most of the place I have no idea. This some conferences happening next week about the LGBT or next weekend here is so important to talk about these issues now. Specially in countries like America, there is no hiding away from it. We have to talk openly. If we don't, our kids will not get the answers they want. Inshallah, when I share my story, that was the exact problem with me that I had questions, I couldn't ask those questions, I didn't have the freedom. And hence I resulted in going away from faith. So I'm so happy to also know that you're discussing these issues in the masjid should be if I was here, I wish I would have

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definitely attended. And please have a positive attitude towards it. We need to discuss these things. So Hamza want to ask you a question that is on my mind, we discussed a little bit today, but you didn't get into that much detail. And inshallah only asked two or three questions in the full be open for all of you. What was it that as a as a Pakistani Muslim child? Why would a person in a Muslim environment want to turn away from Islam? And even you said publicly that you were actually agnostic or atheist for a while? I am asking as somebody who would think that in a Muslim land, you're absorbing these values, that the last thing on the mind of a child or a young man would be to

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leave Islam? My question to you very bluntly, what caused you to leave? And then how did you come back? That's an amazing question. Because in this day, the question itself, is a question that many of our youth have. I mean, let's be honest about it. In today's time and age,

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there is media social media, there's YouTube, so there is no hiding away from some questions that you might have. So I just want to share with you in five minutes briefly, what I went through, and I hope my answers will answer your question as well. See, the problem started, especially in Pakistan, we have a problem where there is extreme lack of tolerance. Whether it be politics, unfortunately, whether it be religion, whether it be anything, there is an extreme lack of tolerance. So when I was growing up, like every kid, every child, every teenager, I had questions.

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And I asked those questions. And initially, I was discouraged to ask those questions. The kinds of questions like for example, my religion says I'm a Muslim,

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and a fully Muslims can go to heaven. Then what will happen to those five and a half billion people

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Who might be good people also, who might be honest people? So what happens to them?

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I wasn't allowed to ask these questions and the answers I got, I wasn't even allowed to say that they haven't satisfied me, you know what I'm saying? The behavior, there's a certain attitude of

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Arrow arrogance, at least in Pakistan with our religious circles. And there's also another issue, by the way, when one group says that we have the answers, right. The other group says we have the answers. Now, it could be taken as disagreement, right. But that's, that's the problem. They say we have the answers and only our answers are the right ones. The other group says not only our answers the right one. And you don't even have the freedom to say okay, to have your answers make sense to me. And three of your answers make sense to me? This is a no, no, no, no, no, wait. If our answers make sense to you, then all of our answers must make sense to you.

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That attitude actually led to mean not finding satisfying answers to my questions.

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I was told to blindly follow certain things. And I was told that you won't get the

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ensembles homogeneity.

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But trust me, especially in America, this argument kappa summers Cabinda suck, it will not last long.

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In America, in Pakistan, in any Muslim country.

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Young generation is now they want answers. They want satisfactory answers. So unfortunately, because of this behavior,

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and I had a lot of questions, I won't go into the details, I started gradually thinking that if I'm not being able to find the right answers, then maybe there's something wrong with the entire thing itself.

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And that led me to go a little further away from religion. And then many of you don't know, I actually did my high school from Kansas.

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And then I was exposed to ideologies like evolution and cetera, et cetera. And then there's a certain behavior here about religion also that our religion is old fairytales the world has moved forward. And

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then that kind of appealed to me. I again came back with those same questions. Like for example,

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there is evolution, then there is our story. What's the truth? Is there a middle ground? What's going on? And the answers I got, again, were unsatisfying.

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So then I went away from religion. And it was actually you'd be surprised it was science, which first made me back to not a religious person but to a theist.

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Then I started believing in a impersonal God like, okay, there might be a force behind all of this. But I don't know if that's a personal God. I don't know which one that is, is the God of the Muslims is the God of the gods of the Hindus, the Christian Yahweh, Allah, which one is it?

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Then believe me, because of the attitudes we have these days, which are prevalent of arrogance, self righteousness?

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simple answers took me such a long time to find them simple answers.

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Now, I'll tell you, those were very simple answers. But the fact that it took me seven, eight years to find those answers, is a tragedy which results from our attitudes towards how we must present religion to people.

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And then cutting the long story short Alhamdulillah Allah gave me the topic insaan can only try with a genuine heart. You know how Quran says Calbee Salim. And I found all my answers. And I gave up my career.

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Not because I want to be a preacher. I don't I'm a very humble student. I'm like far behind in the backroads right now. But out of that desperation,

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that some other Hamza boss, he shouldn't have to suffer that long to find the answers out of that desperation, to beg to our people, to have an attitude of tolerance.

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To accept the difference of opinion. Do not make your own castles and forts and sit there and be like, we only know what is truth.

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And you guys, or you don't know what truth is. So I hope and pray that if there is anything I can do with my words, is try to convince people to have that tolerance. Please have that tolerance for your next generation have that tolerance. Don't fight among each other, no matter how severe the disagreement is, no matter how deep that disagreement is. But let's have tolerance and an ill me attitude toward

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It's things and that was prevalent this attitude was prevalent in the great Imams also,

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I don't know whose words with these. If you can tell me that one of the Imams when he wrote a letter to another Imam, he said that I tell you my opinion thinking I'm right. Imam Shafi and I listened to you thinking I might be wrong.

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So let's please have that atmosphere. And that makes me actually very pleasantly surprised and happy in us that there is a surprising amount of tolerance here.

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There is no hatred among disagreement. And trust me, when you take out the hatred from disagreement, when you abolish that overwhelming desire to convince the other person, bring them to your side, when you take all of that out, believe me, disagreement becomes the most beautiful thing.

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This disagreement has taken science to a place where now our rovers are on Mars.

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So disagreement, if taken in the right way will result in the growth in the realm of the state. And the best example is how our Imams used to disagree with each other, but you don't see any hatred among them. So this tolerance, I hope will lead to another Hamza bossy, somewhere, finding those answers very easily, which took me a long time to find. So that's my hope. That's what I plan to tell as many people as I can. And hopefully us Muslims will do, what Allah Allah wants us to do,

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to give his message to the world,

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and not fight among each other, not make our own castles that are those are the kuffar where the Muslims and now we're fighting each other, we're supposed to give them the message and diatas from Allah. I'm no scholar, but even a layman Muslim like me knows that Allah Allah has written in the Quran that if I chose it, I would have made everyone walk the straight path.

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Allah, Allah says, I give Hedayat to those according to my law, all you do is you give the message in the best way possible. I hope that we can all have that approach, and make things easier for us on the Day of Judgment, and maybe hopefully reach out to non Muslims. And one of the reason was the way you said that he gave up the world, believe me.

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When I look at my awards,

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I was actually we made a new house in Islam, but, and I was having those shells made. And I had reached that point where I decided that I will dedicate my life to sharing those answers. But that decision was reinforced by the fact that I was looking at my awards. I thought to myself, Well,

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when I die, which is going to be very soon, I mean, imagine within 100 years, none of us is going to be alive, unless somebody breaks the world record for being the oldest person in the world. But none of us is going to be alive. So I was looking at them. And I felt

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the means so much to me.

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Because awards are a recognition of your efforts, whether it be dramas or films or in any field. But when I die, this is gonna be trash for my children.

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It's not even like they're made of gold, so they can sell it and maybe get some. It's made of iron. And then I thought to myself, even if I become the most famous person in the whole world,

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nobody's gonna care after I die. I mean, can anybody be more popular than Michael Jackson? No one, at least in our times.

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He's dead now.

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How big of a difference would it make to him? Now, if I talk to somebody about Michael Jackson, maybe hear a song and same goes for every other field even in religion?

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Let's not follow fame.

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It's another problem in Islam also. I see a lot of speakers who do this so they can gather a following. And those are the same speakers who tell that you will only find truth with us and nowhere else. So we have to go away from this arrogant behavior when it comes to the dunya or even preaching the

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I make sure I tell myself every day that am I doing this for a log marries up can people call me good and righteous. I make sure I keep a check on that instinct. So anyways, I'm looking at those awards, and then I realize the

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frail nature of this world.

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Whatever I do here, no matter what, even if I get 10 Oscars and academies.

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At the end of the day, very soon, I'm gonna die.

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Now even if you're an atheist, I mean, there's no denying you're gonna die right?

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It's not like atheists don't die, we all die.

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We had a baby recently that guy died, right?

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Kobe Bryant,

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Kobe Bryant's death. You know, this is also Allah's way of bringing death to center stage in the world.

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You know, more than 1000 people die in Islam about every day due to natural causes, but we don't bring death into the center stage. But somebody like Kobe Bryant dies, and everybody in the world is reminded that Oh, wow, okay.

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That is real. We're all going there.

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So then as that reinforced my decision that I should tread this path, and I would encourage all the youth that if your basic bread and butter is sorted,

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basic bread and butter,

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then dedicate your lives to learning your deen and dedicate your lives to spreading Allah's message within our circles also, and to the world, because that's why we call ourselves Muslims.

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Otherwise, why would Allah need to raise an Omar?

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He doesn't need to raise it, Omar. That's a test for us. People often tell me it's such a blessing to be born in a Muslim house. I say it is a blessing, but we have no idea what kind of responsibility it is as well.

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And that brings me to my last point, I think that we should move to question answers because I want to interact with all of you.

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That responsibility demands from us that we let go of arrogance, we let go of that false sense of self righteousness.

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And we do the double on Allah's thing with all our honesty, we disagree with each other

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with love.

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And we learn our deen and then present it to the world. And that inshallah hopefully I mean, I'm doing this with a very selfish reason, that Ecto dunya. Maybe a locker Pillai is, is GC or accurate May, I hope that this life will

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let me have that VIP stand on the day of judgment or labia. That's one of the reasons I'm doing this. And that brings eternal satisfaction when you know that your purpose in life actually transcends your death. There's no bigger satisfaction than that I've been the happiest person in the world since I've announced. Yeah, so that's all I wanted to share with you, I would love to interact with you guys. And again, thank you so much for having me here. And this guy I met for the first time I saw a serious seated Series C Series is such a tongue twister, Sera series series.

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And a lot of his videos helped me. And that's see I took some knowledge from him. I took some knowledge from remedy syrup, I took some knowledge from even the most orthodox of scholars. My questions were not answered from one person.

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Some of them were answered by him. Some of them are answered by Rama, the sob some of them were answered by another person, some of them by another person.

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So that's the approach we need to have with Dean and come closer, instead of hitting each other instead of pushing each other away. If that's just my request. And yeah, so I think we should just shall open the floor for q&a. If you can just do a specific question. Brothers and sisters in sha Allah has keep it pertinent to the topic as well. Anybody? Yes, go ahead. You can stand up and speak the questions.

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Yeah, let me repeat the question so the mic can hear. Yeah. So the brother asks that, now that you have dedicated your life to the Islamic cause? How do you plan to sustain yourself basically, financially? That's a very good question. That's why when I said that dedicate your life, the first thing I said what was if your basic bread and butter is sorted, So Alhamdulillah, Allah has given me a few businesses back in Pakistan, I plan to establish one in us as well. So I have that part sorted. And that part gives me enough freedom then to dedicate all my time without any alternative agenda to this cause. So you need to have your basic bread and butter sorted in one way or the

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other. So you can give your time to this.

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And hamdulillah sisters, you have a question? Yes. Good.

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Yes, can I repeat the question that the sister is asking that? Can you produce a series like or to rule which is, do I need to tell you to everyone was a little girl.

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She wants our brother to produce in a 200 series with a Pakistani team. True, true. Well, that's actually the reason how many of you are seeing olliffe these days. Wow. Really?

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Expect like three, four, hands out.

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Thank you. Well, actually, olive Olive is already the first step because I thought Mala jar would be my last project. I take that decision about a year and a half ago that I'm going to dedicate myself to this. But obviously, I had to get done with certain things before I could announce it. Then Allah is actually the first project that I did. Because it has Allah's message. It has Allah's message in it. So yes, Inshallah,

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I will dedicate myself also to this part, because my expertise are also in media, and cinematography, it's in filmmaking, to make such content, which is going to bring our people closer to religion, and most importantly, understand the questions that are very frequently asked questions. I hope that the content we make now as your role also will be there to help us not as an actor, not as an actor, don't worry, no.

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I thought I had a lead role for you.

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He wants me to take a part of what was just surprised, but inshallah but no acting I want to be I want to I wanted him to play the bad guy, but Well, too bad is not gonna act. But in the in the script making. I hope you will also my pleasures, began the process of discussion on there. Yes. And we are going to make documentaries, short films, maybe short dramas, so that people, so we can take this message to the public, because this is also very important fact, media is the most powerful thing of, of the present times. So we have to use this imagine, of maybe 20 years ago,

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if you could have a gathering like this. Once a week, it was considered to be the biggest success, it was considered to be a big success about reaching out to people now you make something you put it on YouTube, it immediately has like, what 30 40,000 views 50,000 views, 100,000 views. So that is one of the major aspects of what I want to do in the very near future, and you will be happy seeing our content intial Al Hamdulillah brothers question was whenever?

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So our brother asked a very good question that what are the resources that you can advise our youth that are struggling with this issue of atheism? Or agnosticism? What advice can you give them? Firstly, I cannot advise our elders, but I have requests from our elders before I tell our youth, please do not demonize them. When they do not demonize them when they express their doubts. The worst thing you can do to a young boy or a young girl, your kids or your brother or sister who asks questions and expresses doubts, is to demonize them that oh, how can you ask this question? Please never do that. Because that's something that pushed me away further.

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encouraged those doubts, because believe me, when you go on an honest journey, if your heart is pure, the answers are very simple. So encourage those doubts. Do not demonize them, talk with them.

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Encouraged encourage them to find answers. Secondly,

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we have our Islamic circles like Yasser by here that there are also a lot of scholars these days, but what I'm very happy about, they're working on these existential questions and trying to answer them, then there are also non Muslim intellectuals who are doing an amazing job like Steven C. Meyer,

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Michael B. He might, David Berlinski, they have a Discovery Institute and in New York, I think.

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Yeah, it's a New York Discovery Institute. Those are the scientists because modern atheism is resulting primarily from an assumption that maybe somehow science is denying God, which is so far from the truth. So I would encourage our youth to look into our Muslim circles and also to the normal some circles, you should get knowledge wherever you can get it from. So Discovery Institute is a great place. With these are the scientists very accomplished scientists all over the world, who have formed an organization to tell the world that this is a scientific pretension to assume that there is no God. Science does not deal with this question. However, the answers we are finding like

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the information within the DNA, the laws of the universe, the integrated complexity of matter, and how it generates life. It's all pointing towards an intelligent designer. It's called the ID movement. And now it's gaining popularity in America and they also expose how the, you know, every field has establishment. You have a religious establishment but cosmetic surgery

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From Pakistan, you have a scientific establishment in the world. They prove it to you that how even mentioning of Intelligent Design is being so badly discriminated by the scientific establishment around the world that they are being it's a taboo, and they're fighting now for this cause that we will not say which God or designer are being, but they're not presenting it as a scientific fact that this is this all cannot be possible without an intelligent designer. Also, you should encourage the youth to watch a documentary on YouTube. It's called intelligence not allowed. Intelligence not allowed, beautiful documentary of the same people who might be used even smarter. So yes, you should

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ask your kids to watch that. And plus, we have amazing people like ya cerca de by

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his arguments helped me a lot. He made the I remember going from his slumber to Lahore to cities in Pakistan, it's a three four hour drive. And one of your lectures because it was three years ago, I put it on dealt with the same questions helped me a lot. So encourage your kids to ask the questions and seek knowledge from wherever. Because if they don't ask the questions, how will you challenge their predisposed answers? So these two sources helped me a lot. We'll take two more questions our brother has to leave to another event. So sisters, one of the questions

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you had mentioned that you had a lot of questions that you couldn't get simple answer for. So I'm just trying to get an idea or example of a question or something that you had to deal with. But you were not able to get a simple answer that later you did find was so simple. And you know,

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you want an example of that. Yeah, just wondering, a question that you had. And I'll give you an example. The biggest question of life now I know it would be

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The question that took the longest time, oh.

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Will all non Muslims go to hell? is a question that took me a long time to answer. And

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another question about the different karats of Quran that also took a long time to answer. I have answered the first one here at Epic if you remember, that was one of the first questions we dealt with in q&a. Hoover's will have a 40 minute lecture about please Well, good non Muslims, is what will happen to them. Brilliant as with Akira, I have advanced classes for that. Brilliant. So that was the question and about yours. I'll give you a simple example. Is there a God or not?

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The answer I found was very simple. I can tell you in less than a minute, was there a god or fitrah demands it? It is in my instinct to want a higher power. It is in my instinct to demand ultimate justice. An animal doesn't have a concept of justice. I want just someone to see justice.

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Then my logic demands it as well.

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My logic confirms that, that there is a God. Then there are historical figures who have been telling all around the world, that there is a God that you fit right and your logic there, right there is one, we call them Ambia. We call them Rosaleen. And Quran says we've sent them beyond every nation and hence, that's confirmed by history. Every nation in this world has a concept of a sky god. Even Hinduism on believably has the concept of one sky god is called Brahma. If you read the Vedas, well, I have this hypothesis. It's my personal hypothesis. I think Vedas must have been an us money. So he fell by some Nabhi, maybe 1000s of years ago, who came to the land of India or the subcontinent? It

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gives you Tauheed Vedas, not Gita, Mahabharat Vedas.

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Every culture has the concept of one supreme god. Every culture has the concept of life after death. Historically, every culture has had the concept of a good place you go to, if you do good deeds and a bad place you go to if you do bad things, so history confirms what your fitrah demands, what your logic says what historical figures have said, history is confirming that and then you have the last Rasul Muhammad Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he is the biggest proof of the Almighty because what happens is, you believe there might be some force of being but the whole judgment day thing kind of sounds, you know, a little outlandish Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was

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a lost Nabil and Rasul of Allah and Rasul is that judgment which is going to happen after we die? Who Scott a laboratory test in this world? Quran says no good. We do not punish the people unless we send them to school with them within them. So that proof happened at a time when his

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She was alive. If you're a non Muslim or an atheist, you could probably contest with me that whether he was divinely inspired or not, but you cannot deny the fact that there was a man named Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam, who did exist about 1400 35 years ago, he did tell his people that I am a Rasul from God.

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I will tell you what is the truth to its last extent, until you X you know, in your heart and your mind that this is the truth, which is called Mr. Mona. And then when you knowingly defy God, then the same punishment that Allah has promised in on the Judgment Day will be inflicted on you in this world. Allah will separate those who believe Allah will separate those who are defined against God and you will be punished and that man was saying that when he was in trouble in Mecca with probably a few followers, Quran says that you will see soon those who deny you and deny God will turn their backs and run away.

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That happened, a lucky Adela Lucky's too near gander.

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At a time when history was alive. And as its record and proof we also have the Quran. And I think that's where the solidarity and resolve ended at that time. There is a biggest historical proof. So these five things convinced me fifth logic, historical figures throughout the world history throughout the world is confirming it and the last one was the God's judgment on a smaller level happening in this world for the last time to Muhammad Rasul Allah, Salah Salem. After that I don't find anything in my mind, which would doubt this entire scheme of things that Allah has explained. Um, the final question from our brothers

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I'm no Nelson Mandela that everybody should know.

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Thinking about making more children's cartoon

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severely, and if he can divert our youngsters in watching

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Islamic message?

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Is that something that you're thinking about? So that request is that? Is that Hamza thinking about cartoons for children? And next generation? basically giving the message to the younger audience? He's talking about the older audience. Does he have any vision for the younger audience? That is so geosocial?

00:32:43--> 00:32:43

The other

00:32:44--> 00:32:45

the Baby shark?

00:32:47--> 00:32:51

What's the Baby shark? Why don't you demonstrate the Baby shark? Really?

00:32:54--> 00:32:55

It's a

00:32:56--> 00:32:57

children's rhyme.

00:33:08--> 00:33:09

For the children basically.

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Does does the Baby shark do good things are as into bad things.

00:33:21--> 00:33:22

Is this one?

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


00:33:32--> 00:33:34

okay, I get you. I get you. Yes.

00:33:35--> 00:33:39

Yeah. He's asking for Islamic equivalent Islamic or guerrilla rhyming for the kids?

00:33:41--> 00:33:46

Yeah, it's so good. You guys have asked that question. Because it's already something that we're thinking about.

00:33:48--> 00:34:25

We had this event in Seattle, from the comedy center. And there we had some people, because it was my idea also, that through this platform, all of us together, we're going to make animated series. And that's so good that you guys asked this question, because in Seattle, I discussed this with the people there because they have a lot of Microsoft people and tech people over there. And already they were like, we can find your four to five people who are Muslims working in Microsoft, and in different CGI companies who would be willing to work with you guys in their spare time. So you don't have to spend a lot of funds because it's a very expensive thing to make animated series.

00:34:32--> 00:34:33

A lot of Asian

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


00:34:38--> 00:34:43

issues Indians, Pakistanis, we all excel in software engineering, and even Chinese.

00:34:45--> 00:34:51

Our brother has to leave for the next engagement. We'd really like to thank him for taking time out of his day. He's leaving tomorrow back to Pakistan.

00:34:52--> 00:34:55

Very, very quick, very quick. Bismillah

00:34:57--> 00:34:59

as some of the ladies here wanted to know

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

Oh, why this is the angle in the drama Allah? Good question. I actually because O'Meara Amma, the writer of that drama, she's into the sub often Sufism. So again, disagreeing with love. So I, we had a meeting and we took out certain extreme Sufi things like the concept of a Sheikh and worship, but the Sufi elements in there, I tolerate them. As long as we're talking about God, as long as we're talking about Allah as long as we're talking about Lai Lai, la la Muhammad Rasool Allah. So we have to come to a common ground. So even though I don't agree with certain things set in it, but the overall theme of it deals with God and Allah and His message. And that's what's tolerable for me.

00:35:46--> 00:35:51

It's tolerable for me. I can volunteer to be religious advisor in your next run, if you want me to

00:35:52--> 00:36:35

know that now that you have disagreed to act on it, which I really want you to. So you come on board the writer, but we like to thank our dear brother for taking time out to come to us. He actually had another engagement but I really asked him and humbler he wanted to see our messages. So Gerakan will law here. And I asked Allah azza wa jal to continue his Islam as hidayah and to use our brother to open up many, many doors of good for other people and to make his ammo sadaqa jariya. For him, and for his future. May Allah subhana wa Tada accept from much continue to open up the Word of God to have, again, amazing facility. I am so grateful that you guys called me here. And I'll be coming

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

back and forth to this facility because I'm coming back for three four months in April. So please don't get me wrong.

00:36:43--> 00:36:50

I'll be coming very frequently because this is thank you so much. Amazing facility guys. And thank you so much for having me here. I'm really productive.

00:36:51--> 00:36:52

Thank you.