Interview With Dr. Tareq Al Suwaidan
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 68.90MB
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A Salam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa wabarakatuh who Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam o Allah Milani be a burden on my bad. So we'll have there has been a very long time since we have done one of our interviews that we lined up here at Epic at our YouTube channel. And it is my goal and it is my desire to interview as many as I possible of the famous and the active do art and the preachers and the teachers of the world today. And I believe that inshallah to Allah, this is a part of the obligation upon us to present the preachers and teachers and to showcase their efforts and also to introduce some of them to a wider audience and to have the opportunity to ask them questions,
perhaps of a more personal nature or to see some of their, their human side if you like, and it is my great honor and great privilege to have with me today. One of the most famous preachers and speakers and intellectual leaders of the Arab world, none other than Dr. Tarik, a Sweden, Dr. Todd of Sweden. Cinematic one Hello, how you doing chef? Yak, Allah Allah. Allah Allah. Hi, yah, como la, Oba yak on Al Hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah. Share. Hello, can you allow me to introduce you to some of our Western viewers because I am well aware that perhaps some of them who don't speak Arabic are really not that familiar with you. So allow me to summarize some of your biography. And if you want
to add something in Sharla, feel free to do so after that in sha Allah. Our chef was born in Kuwait in the early 50s. And mashallah Tabata Kala, he has six children, and he came to America in the 80s, and finished a PhD from Tulsa, Oklahoma, in petroleum engineering. And even while he was here, he was extremely active with the MSA and with preaching and teaching, and he has returned not not mainly as an engineer, but rather as a die and a teacher and a preacher of Islam. And his goal is to revive Islamic activism in a moderate and it was salty fashion, and to revive the Islamic civilization in a manner that is conducive to our time and place and to spread it to people of all
faiths and traditions. And our share has actually founded and managed more than 90 companies and organizations, perhaps of the more famous of them, for us, at least here in the in the Islamic sphere is the rissalah TV channel, which he founded and he managed, and it was one of the most influential TV channels as ranked by a number of ranking associations. Our channel has also authored more than 125 Books and More than 100 audiovisual albums. And one of his specialities is in fact on management and leadership skills. And he brings to the idea of management and leadership. He brings Islamic ethos, he brings Islamic ethos and the Sierra benefits as well. So he's teaching management.
He's taught management to more than 100,000 people. He's trained in aspects of management and leadership skills, and he has established a number of schools based on American and Canadian curriculums, and he has written more than 70 strategic plans for various companies presented 1000s of hours on TV and radio shows and Marcela Tabata Kala, he has 10s of millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter. Along with this, mashallah, He has authored a number of books about the Sierra about Islamic history about the history of the whole affair about Islamic al Qaeda. He's written a book about Mustafa Islam in six volumes, the future of Islam, and he has histories on philosophy in
and on and de Lucia. So this is a summary of Subhanallah so much more than our chef has accomplished on a personal note, I listen to the chef I have been listening to him since my undergraduate days, when I was actually I have a degree in chemical engineering with a speciality in petroleum engineering, but as an undergraduate in the 90s. So I will be listening to your audio cassettes while I will be going to university as a chemical engineer. And then when I got accepted to university of Medina, I spent 10 years in Jemison, EMEA, and I would listen to some of your Mahabharata and gurus and I've kept in touch with your work and it's a great honor and pleasure to
be able to interview you online. So does that Kamala headshot for your time here, as well.
It's hard but
it's an honor to be with you and you humbled me by presenting me this way.
And hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah May Allah subhana wa Tada accept from all of our DS Yasha Hamdulillah. So chef and I want to ask you a little bit about, you know, yourself and your upbringing. So your degree and your skill set is clearly an engineering and management. Can you tell us where did the Islamic activism come from? Where did the Islamic knowledge and then the, you know, because obviously when you came to America, you're you're coming with the idea of doing a degree in engineering. So where did this side come from that actually has overshadowed your degree and your, your formal Taha sauce to become somebody who is well known in the Islamic field, you can go down
this tangent for Oceania. Well, if you're looking for we have Hamdulillah, it was in my high school leaders. Before I went I I took my high school also in the last year of high school in Florida. And then I did my BS in Penn State. And then I did my masters and PhD in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But before that, when I was in Kuwait, I was trained on Islamic knowledge and Islamic to Sharia Islamic fair. Oh, hey, they also will, I was trained by some of the major scholars of the Muslim world and out of work, I was trained by Dr. Yusuf al Qaradawi, I was trained by Dr. Amara last, Dr. Abdul Rahman, Abdullah,
Hassan, A, you have many others. So it really preceded my engineering, I thought I came to the States with these ideas with this knowledge with the stomach activism. And then hamdulillah Yanni I, immediately I jumped on the boat that you are on now. And that is Islamic, Dawa, and west.
And can you tell us about your time in America roughly, from what year to what year and some of your activities with the MSA with the speaking circuit, and who you interacted with in that timeframe and some of your memories and anecdotes, we want to preserve them
in our program, your legacy want to preserve it. So tell us about your time here in America. And so, yeah, I came in 1970. And I did my high school in that year in Lake Worth, Florida. And then I transferred the four my BS and Penn State and State College, Pennsylvania. The reason I moved there and the reason after I went into petroleum engineering is because of my teacher, Dr. Ahmed,
who was the founder of MSA in in America at that time, he was doing his PhD in
petroleum engineering in Penn State. And he graduated from there so he advised me to go to that college because also there was a
major doctorate in petroleum engineering from from Pakistani origin. Dr. Faru Holly, one of the major scholars on the throne during even today Yeah, Mashallah. So he was my advisor. That's, that's how I started. And when I went to, to Penn State, there was no masjid and there was no drama and so on. So I started that hamdulillah and I started giving hotbar. Since that time, 17 years, I continued to do that.
I did not
lead in the MSA. I just supported my, my chef, Dr. Rama tinggi. But I founded the Maya, which is the Muslim Arab youth association, because the Arab youth at that time, they were totally estranged from Islam in America. So Hamdulillah we managed to get them back and the convention at that time we went to have close to 7000 people attending
this is invest in the 70s. Yeah, and he was the number of the 70s Mashallah, yeah.
because of my leadership of Maya, I, I was in touch with all the major scholars who visited us in the United States. So, some of the names that I just mentioned and others, many others. I had also the honor of meeting major scholars that few people have met, I had the the honor of me meeting
with the Rama who
met him personally, and many, many others are 100
It continued hamdulillah when I went, I went back to Kuwait in 1975, stayed for years and then came back in 1979, back to the states for my masters and PhD. And then I continued after a PhD, I went to Washington DC state, also two years there. During all of that time, I was giving footwear I was traveling, making Dawa, leading many organizations and
also on when I was in DC, I got involved in some of the Islamic politics, trying to lobby for the Islamic cause in the Congress and the White House and so on. So this is some of what I did. And Hamdulillah. So shefa in the 70s, when you came here, as you yourself said, Most cities didn't even have massages at that point in time.
When I went when I came, Dr. Ramadan, you told me that there are only seven messages in the whole United States, seven messages in the entire USA. And why did you choose that city and Florida? You said you went to Tulsa or didn't choose it, actually, because I was on a scholarship from the Government of Kuwait. Okay, so the embassy chose it for me, I had no idea where I was going. I was 17 years old at that time. So they managed us we didn't manage ourselves at that time. But the closest Masjid to me, was about two hours by train SubhanAllah. So that's how, let me tell you a funny story, so that our audience would understand how much Islam has advanced in the United States
and in the West, since that time.
In the city I was in there were no Muslims at all. Zero. The only Muslims was myself and three other Kuwaitis who were sent by the embassy to the city Lake Worth was very close to West Palm Beach, Florida. And then when it came, we wanted to celebrate a this is a first aid away from our families. So we felt lonely. So we said, why don't we go to the masjid in the in? It was in some city, I forgot which one and northern Florida. So we took that train and went there. And we asked about the masjid and it was a very small Masjid. So we went there. We spent the night in the masjid. And then in the morning, we prayed ate after that. The
Council of the Masjid. They organized the picnic.
And so we went with them to the
brother. Just don't imagine what happened in that beginning. First of all, many of the Muslims had their girlfriends with them
beer was served. Yeah, how old are
you and when the time came, we waited for anyone to make a plan. So that we can play nobody made a dime. And then I made a plan and waited for anyone including the Imam, to come to pray with us. And if it was only the four brothers, myself and the three other brothers, these were the only ones that played Subhan Allah and that that was a picnic organised by the Masjid. Subhan imagine how much Hamdulillah
1000s of messages Today, hundreds of schools and Al Hamdulillah Islamic commitment. So this is the blessing of Allah subhanaw taala I wanted to share this story so that many of our audience would really thank Allah subhanaw taala for their
commitment to Islam and adherence to Islam, and how much we have advanced in the Islamic world since that time. Subhanallah you know, Stefan I have to say that as a 17 year old you know, foreign student to preserve the dean in this culture and environment that is very impressive and to be actually mashallah more religious than the people that are we're here for many years and Subhanallah This is Allah's blessings on you and Hamdulillah.
Again, the temptation was viewed you just, you just don't imagine anything
from both sides from the Muslim, the Arab and Muslim side, and from the western girls and so on. But Alhamdulillah Allah subhanaw taala Yanni with his blessing kept us from
going into that path. And hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah. So chef, Chef Amma tangy was one of your main mentors, and he's well known one of the pioneers. Who else did you were you interacting with Chef socket or who else over here?
Almost everyone is
Dr. Shambo Talib Dr. Jamal percent de bajo lalwani
Abdel Hamid, Abu Zulema, and many, many others. And almost everyone that in the Islamic work, I was in touch with Alhamdulillah was a Mensa deity and many others.
Mashallah, Mashallah. MashAllah chef, unfortunately, many of our younger viewers have just heard of these names and their legacies, you know, they're only known to those that are known that know Islamic history, every one of these names that you mentioned, they are pioneers on the formations of National Islamic organizations, Islamic conventions, their legacy lives on in the lived realities of what we are doing here as Muslims in North America and Hamdulillah. you interacted with them?
You met with Ebola animal duty in Pakistan, I'm assuming, right? No. Where is this strange thing? I met with?
The great scholar, I will do the in America.
Okay, when he was in New York, yeah, he came
to be treated in New York.
One of my friends told me that he was there, why don't we go and visit him and we we took our 13 hour trip by car. And we spent half an hour with him. And because that's what has helped with a lab, and then we came back 13 hours again.
So and it was worth it. It was worth it to it was really worth it. Because
it was one of the greatest scholars in the whole century. Not in the whole decade. But of the 20th century Rambo lolli, Allah hammer and Chef Qaddafi as well. You invited him to America.
I did and
not only Shepherd, because I was the leader of this maya. We invited almost all the major scholars who spoke Arabic, and among them was of course after another we separate times. And also Dr. Osama Al Bashir, Abdel Fatah
was one of my
teeth, and one of the Jonnie hamdulillah blessings of Allah on me. Many of them spent
some time in my own home and they slept in a&e as guests in my home. So I had the huge chance to interact directly with them. Mashallah, you know, our viewers don't realize this, that those were pure and better days in the 80s. The simplicity was there these days along with styling, and it is what it is when we are invited, you know, we there's pomp and luxury, we get our five star hotels, we get these massive, you know, on auditoriums and whatnot. But in those days chef and a young chef colada, we will come and sleep in your apartments from how to La you know, major wish I would comments, there's a brotherhood, and there's a close fraternity and wallah, here, there's an element
that I definitely miss, you know, that we didn't get that beautiful era. It was a brotherhood was ritual. And
there was something there was a spirit, there was a huge spirit. And
I had also had the chance of leading
donations. I was on the stage, and hundreds of 1000s was donated in the single night. At that time, the Islamic work, I would, I would say, was at the peak, really not only in the in the West, but also on the east. So we will we live the glorious days of Islamic work in the West Subhanallah and this is your, this will be the mid ad chef, he would say, I am I spent
between 1980 and 1992. So
the peak was in the last five years of the 80s. Yeah, SubhanAllah. One can say I should have I was a bit too young to be active. I started becoming active in 1990 1981. I began my undergraduate, but still I caught that era, one can say generally speaking, there was a genuine sense that all those were involved Islamic activism. You know, there was still a genuine sense of collectiveness of brotherhood, the type of factionalism, the type of any sectarianism that we now find. It really wasn't there to that level back then. Would you agree with this? And not totally, but
it was not factionalism. It was
the way of thinking. Let me explain to you
We were students. And we were planning to go back. Many of those also who were in the Islamic world were migrants, but they were planning to go back. So we made a huge mistake. As leaders of the Islamic world, we made a huge mistake by adhering to our
origin, the way of thinking of the East, the fate of the East, the culture of the East, because we were
raised there, I'm planning to go back there.
Until the really the end of the 80s, beginning of the 90s, when we realized that this is a huge mistake, we we should teach the Muslims in the West, that this is your country, and you should work in politics, you should work in all areas of life, you should have your own faith, because the flip of the East doesn't fit the facts of the West, there are differences that that mentality should change. Unfortunately, and this was, to me, my biggest mistake in my life in the West, is that I did not realize this until really late. I should have realized this early
factionalism, it was the I call it the migrant mentality
hamdulillah later on, when new
Yanni Masha, Allah Islam came and many of your age came into the picture. And Colossian, you understood that this is this is the work that you should do. You are you are there you're staying there. This is your country, and you should plan for the future of your children in that country. So again, we apologize for this huge mistake that delayed the Islamic work for many years. But Alhamdulillah we were able at the end, at least at the end of our days. And more like more also on the many of the brothers that I mentioned the names helped in this that to settle Islam in the West, Hamra shattered, I need, there's no need to apologize. And the end of the day. It was your
activities. It was the activities of the social movement of the 80s and 90s that really caught people like me, you know, I'm coming to University of Houston studying engineering, you know, and the data was there, and people are preaching and teaching, and your name was also floating around at the time. So it did catch people and hamdulillah And Alhamdulillah. We did, you know, get involved. I did attend a number of conventions, I have to say to Shekhinah it was mainly Arabic focused, and I didn't speak Arabic, you know, so we were just thrown in the room with a small translation.
Also, because again, because of that mentality, and because this was our targeted audience at that time, but Alhamdulillah that was fixed later on. And Jana Alhamdulillah. Later on, I had the opportunity of
Yanni helping in RIAs and I participated in many lectures in Esna and other conventions in the West in English so I corrected my mistake but I apologize for the nature apologize. Yanni. likoma calm and makan as the saying goes in the 70s and 80s when the bulk of the attendees were out of foreign students in the UK going to conventions What else do you expect other that the language will be Arabic the short mashallah invited will be Arabic. Also, there weren't fluent English speakers in the first place that were actually trained in the tradition at the time so it took a while it and have the courses now you know where it's supposed to be in Hamdulillah. So
lambda we are lucky to have people like
Arabic fluent in English and throw in Slavic history and knowledge Baraka looking for the day either in Shekinah turbine we are speaking to you now just barely a few weeks after the death and the loss of really not a giant but to the giant, you know, of our not just even our generation of our century. And I know that you had a strong relationship with Him. In fact, I know that to even attend to you fluent to attend this Janaza Subhanallah as well. So it would really be very nice to hear from you some stories about your own attraction which are called Dawie how he impacted you, how you feel his legacy is and also about if you want to share some details about his janazah or something
as well, so, you know, what would you like to tell us about your Holloway?
hamdulillah being involved in the Islamic world got us
Beyond the chance to meet these giants, as you mentioned, one of the giants before I talk about Dr. Cora Dawie is Abdullah
RAM Talalay again a personal friend and deal teacher also. But again, my relation with them is not only as a student but as a friend. And this is a I was. So, by the way, until today I am in friendship with their families
and so on.
Let me tell you a small story about Abdullah Azzam so, so our audience will tend to stand how great these people were. In one of the conventions.
One of the things that I, I worked hard on is that
to pass the torch to the younger generation to lead. So, in the, in the last days of my stay in the West, I decided not to lead the conventions. So, I, we trained our students, and we I taught them
to lead. So they were leaving, and I went to the convention as a guest. I one day before the convention started. And, and then, because they were so busy and the convention hasn't started yet. They forgot to give me a room Subhanallah so I said, for about six or seven hours, waiting for somebody to give me just the rooms so that I can rest. Then finally they gave me a room. And then about an hour later, my chair Dr. Amara Lesbos, one of the greatest scholars of Sharia and Aveda arrived, and UCLA because of the mess in management. Again, the convention has just started, they didn't give him a room. So I chose in Dr. Amara, Yanni, you wait for the for a room, you probably
will wait six, seven hours. So why don't you come to my room until they give you a room. So he agreed, and he came to my room. And then about two hours later, Dr. Abdullah zonkey. So
he came from Afghanistan,
traveled to Pakistan and traveled to New York, traveled to Oklahoma. And he was on the road continuous for 48 hours.
And he arrived, he was really tired.
And then he was waiting again for a room. So I came to him. I said, don't wait for a room. That will take a while. Why don't you spend the night with me in my room? And he said okay, so he came and
there were only two beds in the room in the room. And these are my two chefs. So I insisted to sleep on the ground.
After Abdullah Azzam
totally refused. He wouldn't let me sleep on the ground. And he pushed me on the bed panel and he said he slept on the ground, but that is not the story.
I went I woke up about two o'clock in the morning.
And I noticed the movement in the room. So I looked and suddenly I saw chef Abdullah Azzam standing, making a Yamo laid after all of this trip, 48 hours continuous
and he was still making to emulate even with all of that, these are the kinds of people that hamdulillah our teachers Well, that's a useful Qaradawi is to me is even better than all of them.
But I hate If Teresa nanny I met I would not exaggerate but I met hundreds of scholars of all nationalities throughout the years. And by the way,
I my build is not it's fake.
you do not look at you, mashallah you look 45
Don't be fooled by it. So,
because of all of this age and deals, I met hundreds, but Wallahi definitely Australia and you asked me about that.
I for those who don't know him and for those who haven't read his books, and did not get to know know what he did for the OMA Wallahi among everyone that I have met Wallahi that is no one that I would love to meet Allah with a well
Similar to his, like more than chef Subhanallah spatula,
just just a quick
achievements that he has done. He wrote more than 170 books.
And every one of his books was a reference in its area and its field. He he wrote the book on the car. Yes, he wrote the book on jihad, yes, and so on. If somebody wants to read the details of the trip of deca, don't waste your time, just go and read the three volumes of Chef al Qaradawi, on jihad,
three volumes on the fetco of jihad, and the details of that in every area of life. For those who don't have the capacity to read all of this, at least read one of his books, and that is halal and haram in Islam.
That book was translated into I think, more than 70 languages. So it's available in almost every language. Not only this, many people don't know that. I Hamdulillah I started more than now 98 companies and organizations in my life,
Dr. Yusuf al Qaradawi
established more than 100 in his life, Mashallah.
And he stablished several Islamic banks several, he was on the board of Sharia Council of more than 100 banks, Islamic banks.
He had major ideas, major ideas, such as one one of his major ideas what we are more than a billion, if every one of us would donate $1, we will have $1 billion
and that can be invested. And if we make 10% of that, that's $100 million to spend on the Islamic world. So he established with the help of the Government of Kuwait, Al Hey, Al hiree Al Islami Allah Allah me that the world Islamic charity
with all of this
and of course,
if you if I would like to mention the awards that he has, he was given again.
But let me finish with one small story.
One day, I wanted to give him an A on my ideas on on management for the because he is the leader of the huddle, Alama, the union of Muslim leaders, Muslim scholars in the whole world.
And I was not really happy of the way this union was managed, from a management point of view.
And they don't, they didn't have a strategic plan, they didn't have a well structure, the organization etc. And these are my my specialty.
So I decided to share my ideas with him. So I traveled and I meet him a lot. So I traveled to his house in Pattaya.
And I thought, I told him, I'd like to meet with you on on a specific issue. And I'd like you to listen to me, please. And he said that there were three of his students sitting in the room. He said, Do you mind if they stay? I said, no, definitely. It's your decision. So they state. So I started to explain what is management and how it's done and what is leadership? What is strategic planning? How do we how do we manage change? How do you make, make it more creative and so on.
And Wallah, with all of his knowledge and his age, he listened continuously, without any interruption for two hours panela and then I said, I'm sorry, I took so long, but I have a lot more to say. But because of my relation with you, and because of
that you are the leader, I had to mention this to you. And it is our our duty to give advice even to our leaders.
And then he said something Wallahi the curiosa Wallahi I jumped from my seat
and all the students next to me, they jumped from the seat.
He said that Satara
This knowledge that you're talking about,
I am totally illiterate in it.
So I jumped. This is the greatest scholar on Earth.
And he's saying that he is illiterate
in an area of knowledge. So I jumped, I said, No, please
don't take it that way. He said that
I know myself, you cannot fool me.
I am illiterate, in the science of management.
You teach me
and not only this, I will gather the major scholars of this union, and you teach them. So, he did one lie. He, one month later, he gathered V 30 of the major scholars, and I gave them a session on what is management? What is leadership? But this Yeah, with with all of this greatness, look how humble he was. i This is the message I wanted to share
to our audience. Don't be fooled by your knowledge. I mean, I'm not fooled by my knowledge, I learned this from my teachers, because I know also that I am illiterate in so many areas. So it is it is sometimes we will take knowledge to use it for money. Some people take it to use it for fame,
but they fooled themselves.
If you don't take knowledge with sincerity, then you have really lost what you learned Subhanallah you know our prophets or some segmento Waldo Idealia Raphael hula you know whoever humbles himself for the sake of Allah Allah will raise him and for somebody like Shaq and Allah Masha Calabar, we to simply say in front of his core students that I am ignorant in this science and this is not being said in public is being said to his core students Subhan Allah insha Allah demonstrates a level of a class and humility because of which ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada blessed him and it's a lesson for all of us will fall for Cooley, the Edmund Aleem, nobody is an alum and every single field and for him to
humble himself in front of his student like you and say, Look, you are the chef of this field Subhanallah and that shows his class Pamela,
one of the major scholars
that is also one of my teachers, is the Mohammed Ahmed Rashid, masha Allah and Mohammed Ahmed Rashid, for those who don't know him, is the major scholar on Islamic movements.
And a lot again, I'm close to 100 books on such issues.
I was I was totally shocked to Allah He does.
One day when he he
gave me one of his newest books. And he said look at page so and so.
So I looked at page at that page.
And in that book, I'm a student. And in that book,
he's he says,
I am honored to be the student of Dr. Tara persuade. And when it comes to leadership and management Subhanallah empathy.
I hear honey, I almost cry they said,
Omar, you don't say that.
I am your student in all areas. And this is this is somebody who is not only on Islamic movements in Islamic fields and Islam, Sharia and Islamic Hadith, etc. is one of the major scholars model this is for teachers, teachers. Mashallah. MashAllah Alhamdulillah. She has now you mentioned Abdel Fattah Hakuhodo Tobon head, I was unfortunately not able to meet him. I was in Medina who was in Riyadh, that I could not afford to travel when I was an undergraduate, and he passed away at that timeframe. But sometimes his muhabba is written in the hearts of all two level and so please tell us a little bit about your interactions as well. Mr. Abdul Fatah
was one of the major scholars on Hadith. When in when the knowledge of hadith is mentioned, in the in the 20th century, there are major names mentioned among them is Nasruddin and Al Bonnie and Chef corrupted for taboo but that taboo is from from
Syria originally, and then he taught in
Riyadh, as you mentioned, and many others, we invited him once to one of our conventions. And again, I had the honor that he has spent several nights in my house.
you know, there is some there is a mistake that we did at that time. And I haven't a lie, I was able to correct that mistake, the mistake that also some some of our
enthusiastic rather than the younger generation do was that the they, when a scholar comes to America, they don't live let them see America. They see messages, and they see airports, that's all they see.
So when he came to Tulsa, Oklahoma, I said,
I want to show you America, because you haven't seen it yet. said well, Allah He you are doing me a favor.
I, they take me from one Masjid to another from one airport to another. I have not seen America. I don't know what America is. So I took him around. So I took him into a mall, I took him to
the factories, and so on. And he was he was
really a gentleman. Really nice, very soft.
I remember when we went inside the mall, this was the first mall he ever saw in his life.
He never saw a mall in his life. And he was totally shocked what he says. And he enjoyed it. And then he did something very funny. There were, as you know, they play music and songs in the morning. He said, Bharat translate this to me. I said, What? translate the song to me.
So I did.
I took him to a village where this village was,
for the Oklahoma is, as you many people know, is the Center for red engines until today, Native Americans and there are villages that are still
everyone that lives in that village is originally from from that ethnic group.
And because of
because many people visit that village, what they did is that they rebuilt an Indian village, like the seven teams, essentially.
And it was a tourist area. So I took from them.
And I visited that village several times before, but it never occurred to me to ask the question that he asked. So we were asking about the tourism and the tradition, culture.
And he said, bring bring me the chief. So I asked him, Can you attend the chief come to meet one of the major scholars of the Arab world? And he came? He said, I want to ask you about your religion?
Or you said, No,
we're not Christians.
So how do you pray?
And he showed him that they jumped around the fire?
Do you worship fire?
He said, No, we don't worship the fire.
So so why don't why do you jump around the fire, said the fire takes our message up.
He said to
say to the Creator of heavens and earth,
said, how many gods are there? There's only one God
I lived in, in Oklahoma 10 years. I never knew that these originally read as they call them, I'm sorry. But Indians are more hidden.
it ever occurred to me that they are.
Of course it's not acceptable that the way they pray, but they pray to the creator of heaven that map. So this is this is what I learned. This is one of the lessons that I learned from him is to look not at the hardware. But look at the software. The hardware is the tense and the tourism and and the way they play running around the fire. But there was something
beyond that, that from that moment on. I learned always to try to look what is behind this. What is the ideology? What is the what is the faith behind one last story that starts
small event that happened between him and me.
He said one day to me while I was taking him around,
he was a much older guy than me.
And he turned at that time I wasn't I didn't get my PhD. Yes. So he turned to me and he said,
did you know
that being an employee
is something that will hinder your art either?
Your faith Najeeb
I said what?
So if you are in an employee,
your Aveda is not complete.
They said what?
To me, that was a shock. And then it was coming from
at that time, Abdel Fattah, who was the knowledge higher than Al Qaradawi. Ah, yes, yes. So we're talking about one of the greatest scholars on earth again.
I said chess, why
is that he's the parrot.
Have you ever seen an employee?
When they come out from their houses in the morning, going to their work?
They would raise their hand and they will ask Allah for risk. or Allah give me Oh, Allah.
Provide for me. It is the merchants who say that employees have decided have dependent dependent is dependent on their employers to provide for them, whether it's the government or a company or whatever they forgot. The provider is ALLAH SubhanA wa.
Says, but what's the point of view? And then he said, of course not all of
these are some of the stories I
share will lie this anecdote of Sheikh Abdullah for dialogue with the Native Indian chief, I don't think anybody has recorded that you are alive I witness. And this is very important history. I need somebody as like globally renowned as Shudra for data, and then he's interacting with a native Indian ally, this is Jules, this is Dora the Anima Shala really excited to hear these types of stories. Mashallah. Well, the
100 share, can I let's change track a little bit. I know, time is coming upon us. So let's ask a little bit serious questions. Now, Chef, we've seen in the last two, especially 20 years, especially since 911. Here, we've seen a whole new set of challenges. I'll tell you the 10 CS at 10 a lot of challenges, you know, in the in the Arab world, and these are also in the in the Western world. So as much detail as you want to what do you what do you think some of the major challenges are of this generation that we need to be aware of? And what is your advice about how we should go about trying to fix the problems and rise up to the challenges of today? Let's let's make a deal. Yes.
Okay. I will tell you, what are the major challenges that we are facing today in the Arab world? But you tell me, what are the major challenges you're facing in the West because I have not been in touch for a long period of time. So this way,
from you also, America, Inshallah, I'll try my best Inshallah, about a good living. So I would summarize that the major challenges that we have in the Muslim world or arable are five, five major challenges.
The first one is dictatorships.
These dictatorships are the ones that are keeping us behind. We Hamdulillah we have the brains we have that enthusiasm. We have the Islamic knowledge we have
all the tools that we can be the greatest again, but these people are pushing us back. And
many people don't imagine it, because you're living in a free world and you take democracy for for granted and you take freedom of speech for granted. But Allah who you should thank Allah subhanaw taala day and night for that, because there are rare places in the Arab world and Muslim world that you can truly speak freely. I am. I'm from Kuwait and the ham
The low Yannick weight is the number one freedom in the Arab world. But currently, right now I'm in Istanbul. And Istanbul again is, is a major place for freedom in the Muslim world. But if you go to, I will say 90% of the Arab countries,
you will see the scholars are in the business. Nobody can speak, everyone is oppressed. So, dictatorships. Number two is corruption.
Well, if you don't imagine how much corruption there is, I'm talking financial corruption. And if these billions are directed towards education and health and so on, we will be among than the greatest nations on the on Earth. Wallahi. You don't imagine how much how much they steal how much they take? Just billions, Danny enquete. One One of the corrupt officials is charged today with stealing $3 billion.
How we'll have
one this is only one of them, that is currently facing a court
order to to show where this money came from. Another one ran away from Kuwait is a quality ran away from Kuwait with $21 billion.
Just imagine how much corruption there is. And this is in Kuwait, where we have a system of democracy at least that we can ask them, Where did this money come from? And many other countries they spent without even anybody asked.
Number three? And I'm sorry to say this,
Islamic scholars who were trained in traditional ways.
The USA you have you been trained in a traditional way, I have been trained originally, on traditional way. But we left we lived in the West, we saw the world. We understood what there is we we saw the other perspective of Islam. Why am I saying these shapes are among the major challenges that we're facing? What are they teaching?
Yes, they are teaching third hand and traditional knowledge. But what are they teaching on the political arena, they're teaching that these dictatorships are the laws of Allah subhanaw taala. And we must obey them. And you cannot challenge them. Even if they hit you, even if they take your money, even if they do major sins in front of you, you cannot challenge them.
This is what they are teaching. And it is something that is really corrupt, because they corrupted Islam itself. And that hamdulillah part of what we're trying to do now is to raise a new generation of chefs of Obama, who do not adhere to such ideas. Number four, is that intervention of the superpowers or the major powers in our countries?
in many countries, in the Gulf,
the American government have appointed somebody in the central bank
to watch over any donation that goes to an Islamic organization.
And that must be approved by them.
Now, in the 80s, in the 90s, Hamdulillah, we had
freedom in collecting donations and sending donations. Today, our hands are tied,
not only because of our dictatorships, but because of such people.
And finally, all of these, all of these challenges are very small compared to the test and major challenge, because all of these challenges are temporary. All of these challenges are small to our challenge in facing Zionism and the occupation of Palestine. This is in the heart of the Arab world and Muslim world. And then and they have been able to corrupt our governments and
making them accept their presence in
Our lands, and again, they
huge amounts of time and money and energy, and several wars have been spent in facing them. And all of this is wasted, it could have been directed towards Islamic civilization. So to me, these are the five major challenges that we face.
honestly, Wallahi I say this any your points are extremely profound. And they are worthy of contemplation, and they're worthy of shadow actually, from you and others. And I think that you have given us a lot of food for thought, especially, especially a lot of our western Muslims born and raised here, as you correctly said, they really do not appreciate the blessings and the privilege of
allowing to be who we are, I don't need to get permission from anybody to say anything that I want. I don't need to get approval from any higher power over here, I don't need to permission for a fundraiser for an event. I can criticize the government, I have criticized my own government plenty of times, you know, publicly and on speeches on on record on YouTube. And I'm not even worried about the FBI knocking on my door. If they were to do that I would sue them. How dare you, you know, criminalize me for my freedom of speech. And we take this for granted. And also we have a problem Shekinah that some of our youth
they are naively thinking that it is better for them to leave all of this and go live in some of these lands that you're talking about thinking that it is going to be better for their Iman as dean. And as somebody who's lived in these lands, right and lived both sides. I'm not trying to be too explicit, but I am thankful to Allah where I am. And my children are being raised here. And I honestly state that I think it is better for my Iman and their Iman, that we have the challenges we face here and not the challenges we face over there. Along with Stan, along with started, though, what are the challenges now? A lot of start sharing.
In no particular order. I would say that the most obvious challenge that I think both east and west is facing, but I think especially in the West, we have this a little bit more. The access to indulge in every type of vise and sin is obviously taking a toll on elitism on religiosity. But it's not just an issue of practicing Islam. It's also an issue of being bombarded with ideologies that are completely antithetical to Islam, the rise of agnosticism and atheism, the acceptance of secularism. So we are facing I would say category number one, is our commitment to Islam is being attacked, both from Shubho hearts and shalhevet, both from an ideological standpoint, and from a faith based or
practitioner standpoint, along with Stan, how few is it and this is I know, in the Eastern world as well, that a religious young man or woman is praying five times a day, how rare is it to find, you know, a shop that is genuinely will test them and avoiding, you know, all types of the Cabal. But at Hamdulillah, it's a good percentage, but it is not as good as we'd want it to be. So this is I'd say, the first point that we need to be aware of that there is a high attrition rate losing our youth to religiosity, and to agnosticism and atheism and Shekinah. One of the sad items that people don't like to talk about is the attrition rate of our converts. You know, I was speaking with a
convert three days ago, and he had converted back in the early 90s 1990, he converted. And I asked him a question I said, anecdotally, do you think it is true to say that those who converted in the 80s and 90s, there Iman was much stronger, and they remained Muslim, much more than those who converted in the last 1015 years? And he said, without a doubt that you know, the conversion, the attrition rate losing people from our faith will have converted, especially in the last 1015 years. SubhanAllah. So this is definitely one of our problems. Problem number two Shekinah.
You have a problem you said of corruption and of dictatorships, and that's very true. We have an equivalent problem. Not quite the same, but it's the same vein and that is, we are still grappling with the best way to deal with our nation state identity and our political establishment. And we still are charting the waters charting the course forward, about to what level should we engage in the politics of our system? Ironically, shahana, I grew up in the 80s. I came to age of the 90s. Ironically, as yourself pointed out in the 80s and 90s. There wasn't isolationism, there was this sense of this is not our land. We shouldn't be voting here, this and that. So posting
only 11, there was a surge of realization that we need to get involved in the system. And if we don't get involved in the system is going to overtake us. Unfortunately, we now have a new generation in their 20s, late 20s. They don't remember pre 911 world, they are born and raised second third generation here. And they are embracing a level of I would call it Ultra fundamentalism. They are reverting to what we saw in the 80s. But at least we excuse that generation that they were not Americans, they didn't speak English as a primary language. Unfortunately, I think one of the problems we have now is a embracement of a new type of fundamentalism, a new type
of isolationism, where they actually think that it is against the teachings of Islam to impact the broader community via political engagement. They think it is corruptive, frankly, they're right and that it is corrupted. But the alternative is not that we sit at home, right? The alternative is not that it is haram to vote, and we cannot do anything. No, we must engage with the political process. But unfortunately, a lot of our youth are gravitating towards, I would call it the far right from within our own ranks. You know, and this is, I think, a major problem that especially we are dealing with, amongst the conservative community amongst the practicing community. And I think the third
problem I'll mention, I only have three on my list. Johanna. The third problem I'll mention is,
as you pointed out, that you were not really thinking of Islam as practiced in America. And I understand that we have the problem of well, we're thinking about this, and we don't have answers yet. And this is an ongoing problem. To what level does it come to what level do we take our oath and allow it to affect us here in America, we have an entire spectrum. Some go too far. We call them I call them the progressives or they call themselves the progressives. And they are not adhering to our normative Shetty, our fifth rules, and they think whatever is politically correct, should be in Islam. And then you have the the reactionaries, we call them the ultra radicals, the ultra
conservatives, any type of change must be haram and not allowed. And so they revert back, as I said, to an 80s mentality of 70s mentality, and they speak in a manner that is simply not conducive to our times in place. And they are attracted to very narrow minded interpretations of Islam thinking that just because it's hardcore, it must be authentic, right. And unfortunately, this is a reality that we find amongst our Shabaab and youth. But the question arises, and we're answering this question now, to what level can and should we modify? And that's an ongoing conversation. We don't have all the answers yet. But no doubt, our methodology, my methodology is shaped a lot by alarmist like
Chicago Bowie, you know, like the Etihad
demand with steam in which and what I'm a member of as well, like, you know, our wish you Dr. Muslim, aesthetically, and others. These are the types of people I myself, I'm looking up to him and following Him that trajectory. But as you're aware, this isn't the only version out there. There's others out there. And I'm pointing out somewhat sadly, that many of our youth are attracted to these fringe. And I do think that is a major problem. And I'm against these fringe, I would believe in the wealthy concept. And that's what we're engaging in. These are the three points that I have in mind. And I'm sure there are others as well, Chef, Marcela, beautiful, visible, I
tackled some of these issues, not from the western point of view, or somebody living in the West, but in general.
One of my latest books is called a doubler allottee Ashkelon behind
the stick, that I dream about. And in that I answer a question, a major question.
We all look forward to the day that inshallah Islam will prevail and Islamic civilization will lead again. So I asked the scholars a question I said, is the Islamic civilization in the future? The same? Exactly like Islamic civilization in the past? Of course not. No.
there are changes. And they said, absolutely. I said, what should be changed and what should not be changed? So why was
that? And I'm not talking about the present. I'm talking about the future.
And I talk about all areas of life, for example, is it allowed to have non Muslim parties in an Islamic state?
What about the issue of art? Is it allowed for art, what are the limitations and so on? So I answer all of these questions.
Again, by the knowledge I learned from my skulls, and many people, by the way, although I base it on very clear
Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu, alayhi wasallam, many, many people would place me in the progressives, nothing that was a big
one, you mentioned something very important if
we want to be in the middle, not being in the middle, is not always the right path. Because sometimes being progressive is the right path. And sometimes being traditional is the right bet. It is not being progressive, or in the middle of traditional, it is being with the sound proof. This is what we should look for.
Whoever has the sound proof, we will follow them. Unfortunately, many of the progressives have ideas have
points of views, but they don't have any proof from the sayings of the Prophet SAW Salem or the book of Allah subhanaw taala. And on the other hand, the tradition of the traditionals many of them hide, by the way, with intentionally or unintentionally many of the Hadith of the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wasallam. So that's what I found. And I can give many examples related to this.
There is a very nice saying by Imam Shafi, he said,
If the scholars differ,
if the scholars differ with proofs, this one has approved this one as a proof,
nobody should think of the other as being deviated from Sharia.
As long as both have their pros, but this is a warning to our young generation. Do not follow the idea do not follow every point of view. Follow
proofs not opinions, proofs. That's what Allah subhanaw taala teaches in the Quran called How to forehand a comb in quantum science you can bring your proof if you are telling the truth. So this is how we should look at it. But
again, the challenges that you mentioned are huge. But with scholars like you being there, Inshallah, and it will we we trust that inshallah you will be able to overcome, collectively, collectively, I think Yet Allah, Allah Gemma, one of the things that I say is that when it comes to these difficult issues, my advice to the youth is that they should look to the collective efforts of mainstream aroma, that don't just follow the fringe, there are people that are mainstream, and they come together, especially the field councils. So it had an enemy there, the European council, the council, North America, these are groups of people that are coming together and try to think through
some very difficult ideas, and there's more comfort in numbers, their safety in groups of scholars than an individual scholar, and many of the audience not aware of the collective effort that goes into the laws of Islam, its currency. Let me give one example, as you may allow me the Father.
Let's take the issue of the interest of banks.
Is it Riba is it usually or is not?
So I worked with the Prince AlWaleed for eight years.
And one day, he asked me this question, he said, Because he deals with interest. He said the target is the interest of,
of the banks is it usually is a labor.
I said, what what do you think?
He said, I don't think it's rebel.
I said, Why is that the Shehab Tantawi in Egypt said this not Reba.
I said, Yes, that is correct.
Chef Tantawi said that it is not Riba. But let me tell you about something else. That happened in this issue. He said what
I said, I don't know whether you know or not, but there are many Islamic banks now in the Muslim world. And in Kuwait, especially by the way 50% 50% Of the companies in the stock market are Sharia based,
which is huge, compared to zero, in 1970. I shall say, in how much jump we had. Anyway.
This Islamic banks banks have a union that is based in Bahrain.
And this union
decided to tackle this issue from a collective point of view.
They collected 120 scholars
among them were major scholars of Sharia. Among them were major scholars of economists and major merchants and non Muslim scholars.
And they asked one question is the interest of the banks usually or not? And this research took three years
by 120 of them and after the three years, the answer is that it is Riba
the, the interest of the banks is riba now it's up to you to follow one person because you like the answer or it is up to you to follow the collective answer as you mentioned, and 30 correctly because this was studied and this they had the proof so don't follow what your heart desires follow the proof and yes, the more collective effort that it is done, the better it is. And closer to the truth it is mashallah Chanel mashallah I know of took up a lot of your time and you're also in foreign land in Turkey. Alhamdulillah so chef, we'd like to thank you immensely for spending some time with us. Genuinely, it's an honor for me to be able to interview you and talk to you. We haven't yet met
for our audience Subhanallah we haven't physically met yet Subhan Allah but inshallah if you invite me to Kuwait, it will be my pleasure to come inshallah and Turkey very often and
I have to apologize for the lighting here I'm in a hotel room, I don't have my crew with me and and I'm not efficient in these live things. So inshallah next time I do it in my studio and it will be much better inshallah share the note from your face and then or from your element wisdom is far more important to us and
give us this light inshallah and the day of judgment, and it will lead us all the way to heaven.
Jimmy, well, they shared my book on Fila, we ask Allah azza wa jal to bless you to bless your family, to preserve you, to allow you to increase your efficiency and Baraka May Allah azza wa jal put baraka and your efforts and your wealth in your health. May Allah subhana wa Tada allow all of us to be Malfatti Hello, hi and Mahalia cachorro May Allah allow us to be people who are used for the spread of his Deen following the legacy of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam May Allah keep our hearts united upon his thought and upon his muhabba until next time, share exactly Mala head for your time and inshallah hope our paths crossed soon inshallah Xochimilco
family and to all of your audience and inshallah The ban will be taken off soon and I can visit your personality inshallah. Inshallah Zak Malacca chef
de la mala
Angeline either call
me Mr. Heaton doll Seanie will show
me what to feed
Sunday doing what
Jenny dasa, down to