Interview With Imam Zaid Shakir – Muslims and The Race Issue

Yasir Qadhi

Channel: Yasir Qadhi

Episode Notes

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Racism has been well and alive in our communities. In this video, Shaykh Yasir interviews Imam Zaid Shakir regarding Muslims and the race issue.

Episode Transcript

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Tip number seven

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D.

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DC.

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I sent him while he came back to LA he bought a couch. Well hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah. Allah, he was happy to be here one more way that I am very, very humbled and honored to have a very frank one on one conversation with your mom's a chocolate Alhamdulillah. I consider him to be one of the No, let me let me actually change that. No, I'm going to be brutally honest, I know your mom's aid is listening on the other line. But this isn't for him. This is for our viewers here in this entire country that we live in amongst the Islamic leadership, unequivocally and unconditionally. I consider your mom's HR kids to be the leader of American Islam in terms of every

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single meaning that the term leader has. And if there was any issue that troubles me about the future of what we should be doing, about the direction that we will be taking, I would consider your mom z to be the person that I personally turned to and this is before what's going on is before the crisis and I say this, not to the villa to inflate his ego or something is a very Mashallah a humble share. But in order so that we underscore that, you know, people like your mom's aid, they have things that none of us can possibly have age, experience, wisdom, what he's gone through his life transitions. These are things that you don't learn from books. And so Imam Zaid is somebody that I

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consider genuinely to be a person that is not just a leader, but if anyone were to be the leader of the direction of American Islam, somebody who's balancing very well between the tradition and the heritage that we have as Muslims, along with being in this land along with understanding the social and the political contours of what we're facing. There is no one that is more qualified in my humble opinion than a mom's a chocolate. So it gives me great honor and pleasure to welcome Imam Zaid to our platforms that are widely condemned and saved. Can you hear me?

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Yeah, I heard you. So.

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That's okay. shaquanda. That's okay. It wasn't meant for you that the previous bit hamdulillah she and I were very, very honored that you took time out. I know, you've had an interview earlier today, you have another one in an hour. So so we're gonna literally jump straight in humans aid. I know that time is limited. And I have a number of questions that I want to ask you. All of these questions, by the way, have been submitted online via Facebook and social media. So I'm literally just going to be asking you these questions that have been submitted by our viewers. Firstly, Shere Khan as an introduction. Can you remind us about the year that you converted to Islam? And also, we

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haven't really heard many of us some of your own anecdotes and experiences as an African American convert, and having to face some of the stereotypes and let's be honest to the racism from even within our community. So I'm going to ask you a very frank question to open up this entire interview with your own personal anecdotes that you'd like to share with us.

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Also, that was

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in Santa Monica,

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Canton. First of all, I'd like to thank shakey, SEO for setting this up a low reward him for all that he does for the community. And thank all of the brothers and sisters for for viewing this conversation, taking time from from your busy schedules and really showing your desire to really seek guidance in a time of crisis. And I think this is something all of us are doing.

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So I converted in 19 7700.

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When I convert it, really I converted

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at a time, there really wasn't very strong bridges between what might be referred to as sort of the immigrant based community and the community of African American Congress at the time I was.

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My view of Islam have been shaped growing up by the Nation of Islam before Islam was the nation they were the ones coming for our neighborhood selling fish. My mother would buy the newspaper when she didn't have a quarter for the newspaper. The brothers who give her the newspaper for free, we buy the fish. They had the Whiting HMG program, fish being imported first from Japan, then from

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Peru and mess. And that was the primary source of protein in the diets of a lot of people. We saw people that were gangsters being cleaned up. And so we thought that was Islam we thought is very socially active religion, I converted, I converted into the community that for a period of time

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worked

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as examples for the war community of the West. And then I became a Boolean. So that was a big thing back then. And then when I

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grew on Instagram and went through my education, I spent time in Turkey.

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I was in the Air Force. When I converted, I was actually in the Air Force asked to get out. They said, there's no war, this is post Vietnam. 1977 ask them to send me to a Muslim country, they're happily obliged before I changed my mind because no one wanted to go to a Muslim country, even a place like Turkey, because even though secular still 99% Muslim, you couldn't date the girls that will know while nightclubs you could go to. So anyway, they sent me before I changed my mind, I have a wonderful experience. When I came back, we started a Masjid in New Haven, Connecticut, it was primarily founded by people converted people have grown out of the nation, people who have been

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affiliated with the movement of warfare do Mohammed, bottom line for most of my first I can divide my Islamic life into two parts pre Syria, going to Syria to study in a post Syria, pre Syria, we had very little interaction with what might be called the immigrant community. And one interaction we had, we were pretty much taking the lead and doing things in the New Haven, community, even with the West Haven messy we shaky, so you're very familiar with the community there. So there really wasn't much opportunity to experience what a lot of converts a lot of African American Muslims, Latino converts complain about contemporarily I'll say something else. Also, and this is my personal

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experience, I don't want to extrapolate from my experience to

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D legitimize any

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segment my life, and it was so powerful, I couldn't even talk about it for about 18 months, I would just break down into tears, we sometimes have these gatherings and everyone's bearing witness, and I could not be a witness. And so it was a powerful experience. And I really would, I would not have noticed any kind of negativity, because that experience was so powerful and so transformative that it would have, it would have the light from that was so powerful, wouldn't allow any of the darkness of negativity. Like I said, I don't extrapolate from my experience to D legitimize or dismiss anyone else's experiences. I've heard enough horror stories, enough stories of being alienated enough to

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stories of being marginalized, and dismissed to know that the discrimination in many of our messages and centers is real. And that's something we have to address. And this moment is perhaps one of the most suitable moments to addresses Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah. So it's nice to hear there are positive stories as well at hamdulillah. And of course, Shere Khan, it's interesting that most of you that Islam, which you founded, the year that you left is the year that I came to New Haven. And so we have that connection as well. The hood was I would give when I was in New Haven al was that much of that Islam? And so we had that overlap as well. Sure, isn't it? The second question we have

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comes from one of our viewers who says that we know for a fact that and again, we're being honest here that Muslims in the US, they come from two very different and extreme socio economic backgrounds. On the one hand, we have the extremely wealthy, and the other hand, we have the extremely impoverished and of course, the agenda, generally speaking, the wealthy are from an immigrant background. They tend to be highly educated professionals, they tend to live in the suburbs. And of course, those that are on the other side of the spectrum tend to be from within the African American community and living in the inner city. And the fact of the matter is that their

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worlds rarely intersect together. And so what can be done Chicana about the fact that we have these two completely almost disparate communities.

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have so many differences socially, economically, education wise ethnically, what are some of the practical steps that we can take to kind of bridge that divider gap that we all know exists?

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I think first of all, we have to acknowledge that there are differentiations in societies. And those are historic. The and they're ongoing. With Jana, Barbara, Lee, Bonnie, toss you, some of us have been made as a trial for others. And we have to patiently endure the difficulties that come to that. So the immigrants can be a trial for the inner city Muslims and vice versa. So we have to acknowledge that and recognize that perhaps there's wisdom in that, and in the sense that there has to be a division of labor. And there are advantages that most of the inner city communities, primarily African American, not exclusively have an increasingly large community of Latino converts,

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and many of our inner city areas, especially on the west coast.

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Also, so there there there are advantages when I was in New Haven, for example, we got front page cover for all of our coverage rather in the New Haven registers second largest paper in the state of Connecticut, because one of our sisters who was a convert her best friend, was a CO and assistant editor at the New Haven register. And so she would just call a friend. Listen, next week, ciao holiday, show us a little love and we get beautiful pictures, we get, ah, Muslim mania.

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So we seem to have some technical issues. What do you need a

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lot of connections that converts bring with them into Islam, and they're still there, and they're there. There's something we can take advantage of. On the other hand, as you mentioned, Chagas here generally is suburban communities are wealthier communities. And so they have the advantage of material resources. And we can bring those together and do for ways I think it's not necessary for us to think of ways of leveling or negating those very real realities and also not negating the nuances. Generally, the community of female Martha de Mohammed is more established and tend to be more of a middle class, upper middle class within the African American community is very different

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from a lot of new more soon, more Orthodox, if you will, this unorthodox group but you know what I'm saying? Sunni groups, which tend to be the Darla snam was focused heavily on ex convicts, or people I should say ex con, formerly incarcerated individuals, a lot of Tao in the prison. And so those

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that community tend to be a lot more poor than the community of the man worth and the Mohammed. Similarly,

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due to our recent wars, a lot of our more recent immigrants tend to be poor, such as Somalis, or the Iraqi Kurds and others who tend to settle in our inner city communities and deal with a lot of the inner city issues to a certain extent that some of the more established African American communities deal with so there's a lot of nuance. The bottom line is, we have to bring it all together, recognizing the differences, but understanding we're all on the same team. And I can give you a few examples of how it can be brought together in Oakland, through the lighthouse mascot.

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Sorry, guys, we seem to have technical issues with the transmission from inside.

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The house mosque established the Zakat program of two suburban communities the Muslim community center MCC and San Ramon Valley Islamic Center, srcic and B that program over the last several years we've probably distributed upwards to half a million dollars in Zach cat to Sheldon inner city Muslims and to assist in inner city projects. The Masjid itself, our fundraisers were primarily supported by those suburban Muslim communities. And so there's a working relationship between the two communities. So and there are other places where similar things are happening. So I think that is very important. Amen. And is an example in Chicago inner city Muslim actually

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We're working in the in the city with drawing on the human and material resources of suburban communities to do some real groundbreaking work. So these differences are real. I don't think it's necessary for us to try to level these communities. But it's important for us to realize we're all on the same team and the visionaries on both sides have to work to establish functional programs to bring the strengths of those two communities together. Mashallah, so if I can just rephrase your kindness that Mashallah, what you're saying is that this diversity is actually, we can use it as a positive and as a strength, and each one is, has its pros. And I really liked the fact that you

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mentioned the issue of Zakat, because all too often the immigrant communities or us children of immigrants, we prioritize giving Zakat overseas. And yet, there are so many people that are Mr. hepco, zakaat. within our own communities, if only were to build bridges, between them, jsoc will look at

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one of the foundation or educational pieces, just mentioning the

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so this is the connection from his site guy, sorry,

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distant land, and when we explained that the lights went on, and then it became very easy for people to say, if I don't give all of my cat for the needy people in these eight categories in my area, I'm going to give a good part of it. So I think we have to really educate each other and listen to each

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other. Now, we have a question from a sister who is obviously from the generation basically, our generation born and raised here. And she's saying that there's another awkward divide between the children of immigrants, basically, my generation and the elders, and the elders, generally speaking, they have established the massage, they're the ones that are, you know, the ones in charge. And yet they also have, generally speaking, latent racism. And it's difficult. There's an internal struggle going on between the second generation between those born and raised here, versus those that are in charge of the massage. So she's asking for advice. How does one respectfully challenge the elder

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committees, the uncles, if you like, are those that are the ones that established them? Because there's this double dichotomy of we wanting to execute the change, and yet we're not fully in charge of the very masajid that we want to do the change in?

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That's a wonderful and very thoughtful question. I think.

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We respect the contributions made by the elders, we understand their mentality, because they grew up in areas where a lot of times there's a lot of even implicit biases in terms of race, sometimes it's not even race, it's more skin color. So there's a lot of color consciousness, that's not full blown racism, but just discriminatory ways of thinking based on skin color amongst people who would technically be the same race or the same ethnicity.

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bypass it as much as possible. And we could try to make a dyed in the wool bacey uncle, for lack of a better term.

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Join Black Lives Matter, you know, good luck. Or we can just bypass that and say, listen, US Chabad Are you in this last year, we're going to do what we know we have to do to make a difference. And we're going to respectfully ask the more established uncles and Auntie's, if you will, to just help us financially, we're not going to try to change their mind. And so what we're going to have conversations to let them know that we understand where they're coming from. Someone recently, by way of example, mentioned to me that they're having this battle in their family, where

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their parents are very much look, what's happening in Kashmir is far worse than what's happening to African Americans in this country. And so they're battling is and

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that's an argument we don't have to have because they listen in that context. That's very real. And we understand that and we're doing everything we can to help in that situation. But we live here, and our existence here and the way that we benefit economically has been been paved the road, the smooth road, we have been paid by the struggle of our African American brothers and sisters, and the even the financial strength of the country that we benefit from this world.

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Fortunately, in terms of those who might denigrate in some ways, shapes or forms, that was based on their blood, sweat and tears and 20% of them conservative estimate of those slaves, African slaves were Muslims. So there's a debt that we owe.

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Sorry, guys, this is a connection issue from his Shipside internet connection to oppression and Kashmir or Rohingya, or anything else. But we are here. And there's a debt that we owe here, in addition to whatever else we might be struggling to overcome, as you're going through as a personal example, as well, when I posted on Facebook about any issue about what's going on and the riots and whatnot, inevitably, a percentage of the comments not a large percentage, but a percentage that is not negligible, is posting about why are you mainly concerned about this when we have Palestine? Why are you talking about this issue when Syria exists? And there is this notion that we're not

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prioritizing what needs to be prioritized? And of course, we understand that this is a classic example of what about what about this? What about that? And for us as Muslims you know, the so called ad hoc pin hochkar who give everyone that's due it's not a matter of either or, you know, right now is a time we're going to do inshallah one project that needs to be done, and inshallah we're going to continue doing the other projects and there's not they're not just thrown to the backburner. Exactly. Also, I think we need to understand that what difference as a community have we really made as American Muslims to resolving the issue on Palestine resolve the issue in Kashmir, in

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India in general, now, all of India's Kashmir, all of these issues? What difference Have you really made, I think we need to understand if we establish strong relationships, particularly with the African American community, who can relate to what's happening in Palestine better than the African American community here, if you establish those relationships and build those bridges. And third, the return from Muslims is disproportionately greater than, than what we invest in these relationships, and smaller the Japanese Americans because of the experience of Japanese Americans, internment camps, etc.

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Pura Honda, to at every level, the Japanese American community has been without us post 911 911 at every level in every imaginable way, shape, and form. And then I just, I'll stop, because then we have other questions. But imagine Tiger Anwar, who's a beloved friend of both of us beautiful Muslim and a beautiful human being alone, Thai here hosted a meeting in his Masjid, I think it was the fifth ninth anniversary of 911. And then there was a candlelight walk from there to the Buddhist temple. And so I spoke at the program. And I said that until we are as moved by 300,000, Japanese were killed during the two atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the firebombing of Tokyo

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as we are by 3000 Americans who lost their lives in those towers, then we're not truly human, just saying that the Japanese Americans invited me to be the keynote speaker at their commemoration of the ending of the internment during World War Two. And so just expressing sympathy and solidarity to people here and recognizing the struggle of people here that are our fellow citizens and people we share this land with, can reap incredible dividends and returns in terms of being effective in addressing those issues overseas.

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Xochimilco, Sheva, we have a brother, who was sent this question is that the destiny of our Muslims reach out to the African American communities. And it appears that there's just this token reaching out. In other words, they're doing it for the sake of doing it, they're doing it for the sake of looking good. So how can we overcome this tokenism and form genuine meaningful bonds between the African American community and between the, for lack of a better term immigrant By the way, you haven't heard this term immigrant. It doesn't quite apply to those born and raised here. We're like the sons and daughters of immigrants, but that's another issue there. That's why I mentioned

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immigrant base. Yes, immigrant base. Yes.

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Anyway,

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listen, everyone knows a phony when they see one. And so if you're sincere and you go to your closest Masjid, there might be predominantly

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Ron in populated by African Americans, you go to the man or you go to one of the people and charge their influence there and you sit down and say, listen, we want to really establish some long term programs and relationships. This current crisis might be the spark where we know as soon as the media attention dies down and it's out of the news cycle a lot, not all of the concerns going to die down. So let's sit down and put together some meaningful programs and whatever resources we have financial and Otherwise, we'll share with the resources that you have, and let's get something done. If you're sincere, believe me people will know it. Mashallah, that's beautiful. So just as long as

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the bulk of his class Mashallah, that's really a beautiful advice. Mashallah. But shefa is there any specific

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program or agenda? Is there anything that you can give us more concrete from your own experiences about how we can? Okay, we mostly connection again,

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sorry, thank you again. Yeah, I think your connection Shere Khan is is breaking off every few minutes. But any meaningful programs that from your own experiences having obviously toured the country and whatnot, I mentioned earlier, this is a cat program. That's something I think in all of our communities, we can do where there's a surplus of zero cat or a deficit in terms of people who are the cat eligible, reach out and establish a program with communities where many, many members of those communities or people and Muslims, they know my arza cat eligible, so is the cat program.

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Joint educational programs, I think and Memphis where you will formally shake Yes, sir. Some of the brothers and teachers from the Midtown Moscow, Shere Hamza were teaching classes at the the Islamic school loans, reservoir school, will give uncooked bars at the masjid at your Masjid and other messages and for lack of a better term now we'll come up with a veteran immigrant base messages. So providing those platforms. And for that's one of the best things we could do. I do SR stat that I show prime right now, it's probably one of the most recognized and appreciated female scholars and lecturers in this country right now. Very true, provided a platform by Donald headroom and immigrant

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based community. And so giving talented individuals platforms, scholarships for children to the Islamic school is it's not funny when preacher Joe moss can make a joke about the local Muslim school this this and that, and this and that, and they have three black children. And and it resonates with us and might not be as wealthy as that cat program, joins a cat program providing a phone platforms for sharing educational, yourself shake. Yeah. So when you were in New Haven, you I think you had a Syrah class and probably other classes that will

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create it and what it did, it brought the communities together in the inner city Masjid. So my understanding you have people coming from West Haven, you have the people living there in New Haven. And so that the fact that the masjid gave you that platform was a great means to bring people together. So there are all sorts of things we can do. And I think maybe we can put some of this in writing, as opposed to just on the fly. But we mentioned some things I think are pretty concrete on

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my shoulder, really good suggestions, you're gonna show Now listen, some awkward questions here as well. Now, we know for a fact that there are Muslim businesses that are run predominantly in African American communities that are benefiting from the situation and doing things that are somewhat unethical and immoral in terms of what they're selling. And these businesses are owned by people that are sometimes giving to the mosques of the immigrant communities. And yet they're doing things that are very unethical. And I mean, again, even in this case of George Floyd, I mean, I'm not speaking about that particular business owner, but the dynamics were definitely you have the, you

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know, the the shop owner who's from one community, and then what's happening is with another community, and again, I'm not reading into that particular case, I know is more complicated, but I'm speaking overall of this very well known very awkward dynamics of certain people taking advantage of their background and their wealth.

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Selling and let's be honest here.

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Alcohol port and gambling lottery ticket. Yeah, let's very, very awkward, you know, issues here. So let's let's address this issue Shana, what do you what do you advise both sides of the aisle here when it comes to these types of business, I'm not in denial concerning briefly in Oakland, it was short lived, but we had an effort to, we even had a demonstration going store to store, I forget the name of where I still have the banner, but

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over 80% of the alcohol franchisees in the San Francisco Bay area are Yemeni Muslims.

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Go to you could go to communities Chicago, the Palestinian Egyptians and and so this is a real problem. The bigger problem there was that

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the Oakland Tribune, the community, the major newspaper there did a study where a large percentage of homicides took place in the immediate vicinity of these alcohol scores. And you'll go on to some stores, there's a rack of alcohol and above that head, I've been fucking they will not be. And so this is

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what we did, though, we propose alternatives that convinced some store owners that this is destroying this community is giving Islam a bad name. amongst some of its strongest allies, we know historically African American have been the most receptive to a slump. But this is being used by certain groups, black nationalists and others, to drive a wedge between the community and Islam. So we what we did, and we were successful in a few instances, was to educate and encourage selling healthy food healthy produce, because these communities where you have these stores, many of them run by Muslims, their food deserts. And so you can't get potent, she can't get fresh foods, you

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can't get part of it have make connections with vendors to bring in different set of products. And we and and this urging repentance, and we were able to get some to move away from that. So I think is a question of organized pressure, coupled with presenting an alternative. And then reminding people of their religion in the lab in one in the whole chain of selling alcohol, this curse from from beginning to end. And so just educating and

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presenting alternative. Educating in terms of programs that are available. A lot of people don't know this. The Small Business Administration, formerly did not provide small business loans to alcohol franchises. They changed their rule to empower the Yemeni commercial community in the Bay Area, to set up alcohol franchises to provide a more solid financial foundation for that community. There have been agrarian workload workers in the Central Valley and some the first martyr in the Cesar Chavez movement was a Yemeni Muslim nadji de la. He was killed in working with Cesar Chavez in the lower in the United farmworkers movement. So there were positive contributions. But generally

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the young knees were poor community janitors low levels, level service workers, and the SBA changed their rules to allow them to obtain liquor licenses to economically empower them, but it came at the expense of relationships with African Americans. And the sad reality shadow is that most of the donations that come I should say most but many of the largest donations, especially the cash donations, and I've seen this with my own eyes, because these stores deal with cash. And so when the machine needs to be built, these owners have plenty of cash. And they are able to give basically give them you know, cash donations to build the masjid and even spoke to one of the moms like how

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can you accept this money coming from this person? You know, what he's doing? And he just sheepishly shrugged and he's like, sha Allah, Allah will repent and whatnot. So the we are complicit. I mean, we are complicit when we accept money from from people who we know are selling alcohol taking advantage and the irony of ironies, many of them in their personal lives, they think they're righteous, they don't touch alcohol themselves. The irony of ironies, they're five times prayer, praying five times a day, and they think that what they're doing is not really a big deal and they're just, you know, taking advantage of it. So

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I think those of us that are on the other side of the aisle, we need to police our own. And we need to be proactive. Those amongst us who own liquor stores and they're selling drugs and they're selling alcohol and they're selling gambling and filth or with Avila Allah xojo calls it the I need, the President Calderon will have eyes and allies a region called the filthy, and we cannot allow them just to, you know, turn a blind eye. We need to police ourselves in this regard. Now again, this is a generic talk. I'm not speaking specifically about what happened in in in Minnesota. That's where that's not we were just talking about generally, this is a sad reality across the province.

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And again, it takes action from both sides. We've been we've boycotted a store in New Haven. Last year, this number was on dixwell Avenue, a one of the brothers he started selling alcohol, we said, Listen, we will go to New York to the fish, we will bring you fish, you will sell more fish than you will an alpha alcohol. The brother said, he said you don't know how hard I worked to get my liquor license. So we boycotted him and we, the Muslims, we had an effective boycott of that store. So we need to start boycotting, we need to start shaming, we need to start calling attention.

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These from pirates who is might belong to, as you mentioned, Joseph Campbell, aka Chanel, let's get to now. You know, we only have two, three questions left. But these are now some of the juicy ones. In light of all that is happening. What is your take on protests, and we still have people in our community that are stating fatawa that protests are not allowed. And that's from the theological side. Then we have the other side, which is in terms of pros and cons. Forget that theology. Suppose we think that protests are mobile, which is my position, then the issue comes? Should we at this point in time, be protesting What is happening? Should we want the Muslims to be at the forefront?

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Given the the the very dangerous realities of police brutality against the protesters? And we have a brother from Germany actually literally said, What is your perspective on political violence? Is it justified from a religious and social political paradigm, given that many, if not all, successful movements around the globe always had an element of political violence to achieve their goals, very tough questions. Shekinah. But it needs to be asked in this difficult climate, let's take them one at a time. First, the permissibility of protests, I think it will be very difficult to make a strong case that protests, quad protests are haraam or even macro.

00:37:47--> 00:38:22

And I think you can make a case that the Mr. hub or even in some situations, wedges. So and I think our history is replete with many of our leading oola man who led public protests against the oppressive authorities. So I think that that will be a hard argument to make will love it. And so I would say protests are definitely permissible. And I think in this moment, especially for our young people with something encouraged in the sense that

00:38:23--> 00:39:10

with some of their peers, as Muslims, so they should be that identified five years Muslim, I think it allows them, if we tell our young people you can't protest, it's too dangerous. You can't do this. You can't. And certainly if we know there's gonna be violence, so we shouldn't encourage them to go. But most of these protests overwhelmingly are peaceful protests. Overwhelmingly, the ones that are violent make the news. So the one that's violent make the news, the 500 that are aren't newsworthy if it bleeds, it leads. So I think there there are certain benefits. But it's a case by case basis. We shouldn't have a blanket. The community needs to mobilize and go out into the streets

00:39:10--> 00:39:59

that we have to have division of labor, we have to realize some of our people like the young folks, those the young folks have far more than the energy. They have the motivation, and they don't have the responsibility. If one of our college students is thrown in jail for a few days. You know, we'll make a lot of Duhaime bailed them out. But someone who's working taking care of a family gets thrown into jail. And then in this climate that that charge gets elevated to a felony, and they lose their job and now they're their families in jeopardy, especially in this Coronavirus economy. So this economic meltdown hasn't gone anywhere is still with us. And so we have to have a division of labor.

00:40:00--> 00:40:04

which elements in our community? Should we

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

accept?

00:40:07--> 00:40:22

And try to accommodate their desire to protest? Who should we shield from that? If we know there's going to be the possibility, even a slim possibility, should we have our women and children going up?

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So, you know, we have to have a division of labor, some of our community are very effective writers. So I don't want to see you, if you're an effective writer out out of hotels, you should be at home writing a very powerful argument based on the news you get, and the feedback you get, that's going to touch the hearts of 1000s, or even 10s of 1000s, or hundreds of 1000s. of individual because you took the time to take advantage of the skill set that you have. And so that's one the second one, what was the second question that was a series The last one was the perspective on the concept of political violence? Okay, political violence, I think in our downtime, we have to be very careful,

00:41:16--> 00:41:31

because and I think I would not agree that every successful movement has come about as a result of political violence. Certainly, the revolution is the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the English Revolution,

00:41:33--> 00:42:20

the Civil War, that actually, amongst other things, resulting in the abolition of slavery in this country, those those movements, the Russian Revolution, or the Bolshevik Revolution, there was violence in those revolutions. But not all change has resulted as a result of political violence, the civil rights movement in this country, there was a non violent movement, Gandhi's movement in India, and when we mentioned Gandhi, we should not neglect mentioning that shot can apply for con and the NorthWest Frontier area, that these were non violent movements, the who that kid met God, the

00:42:21--> 00:42:28

movement that Abdullah for Khan started, was more instrumental in breaking the back of British.

00:42:35--> 00:42:42

Very, very careful, the epitome of political violence, ISIS, what did that result in?

00:42:43--> 00:42:50

You know, the whole region's torn apart all of these young people from encouraged to go there to just lose their lives

00:42:52--> 00:43:09

to accomplish nothing. And so I think we have to really assess what was happening in Yemen. You know, everyone's I'm justified in my binders, vi rufio, Zd, vi Sunni, vi

00:43:11--> 00:43:17

whatever faction marotti saw the Iranian other

00:43:18--> 00:44:03

proxies, manipulating the forces is a total mess of total humanitarian disaster, no light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone feels they're justified everyone say Lan, Hola. Muhammad Rasul Allah. I think as Muslims, we have to step back and understand what resources we have and our our our resources in terms of our maximum effect. Does it NIH with violence, we're at a severe disadvantage in any struggle, word enough a world public opinion and ultimately, for the Mercian looked up a lot. What was stopped the Israelis from making all of Palestine the West Bank, Gaza,

00:44:04--> 00:44:11

cast iron, or Cast Lead or Iron Dome? What was what what would stop

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the United States from from looking like some of these crazy politicians actually saying, we don't have any strategic resources as Muslims to stop now.

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And so when we talking about violence, we have to look at what are the long term implications of where our strength and then what does it

00:44:37--> 00:44:59

specifically wasted? What did Malcolm say Malcolm Malcolm isn't a political observer, no one would deny that and some people don't. Malcolm got it wrong on race. He said from the very famously, perhaps, if the what I've seen these Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue hairs, what was the brownest of brown

00:45:00--> 00:45:08

skin was the widest of white coming together as brothers with all their other brothers. And they didn't have that, that racism

00:45:10--> 00:45:28

in them, so perhaps if the white men in America could study us and them and could become Muslims, they were in the race problem. Some people all Malcolm was being hyperbolic, he was just overwhelmed by the Haji experience. So what about Allah?

00:45:29--> 00:46:23

will probably arguably the greatest historian of the 20th century, Islam and the West is famous essay, Islam can offer the West two things, a solution to the problem of alcoholism, by extension, drug addiction, and a solution to the race problem. But violence undermines the receptivity of Western people to that solution. So I think this is a deep issue that we really have to think deeply about, and people defending themselves. Absolutely. That's a god given right. When when you're talking about violence in the service of a political agenda, and expecting that to result in positive change. I think the recent history of our own law doesn't bode well in terms of the pushing

00:46:23--> 00:46:35

that particular solution, saying that I'm not questioning any people's decisions to resist their particular oppression, and ways that they.

00:46:37--> 00:46:40

J cesana. Again, another very frank question.

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A lot of the protests are being dismissed by members of our own community, because of the looting that is going on social media. And again, I'm just telling it like it is like, people are very skeptical, very dismissive of the protests overall, simply because of the clips, the YouTube clips, the WhatsApp. And again, I'll be honest, it's it's going within our own communities. I myself have been forwarded by people that like, Oh, look at these people and whatnot. And this is meant as a indirect dismissal of the entire agenda. So again, I want to address this head on how do we address this this looting and this Google hooliganism that we're seeing from some protesters, what do you

00:47:27--> 00:47:39

say to our audience that are dismissing the entire protests and the movement because of those, those incidents? Number one, the overwhelming amount, most the overwhelming

00:47:40--> 00:47:53

number of protests are peaceful protest. my nieces and nephews are organizing some of these protests here in Connecticut. I know that they are not

00:47:54--> 00:48:03

members of any radical organization, there are people with talents and skills and organizing ability whose hearts have been touched.

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The violence is a small fraction of primarily provoca tours. From the right and the left from the from the left, the black, black blah, blah, blah, anarchistic

00:48:18--> 00:48:20

and Tifa.

00:48:22--> 00:48:25

The anti fascist in Oakland,

00:48:26--> 00:49:10

in Oakland, California, and I'm on sabbatical, this woman out in Oakland, and I'm writing out we shut down the college and riding out the storm close to my shuttle. You see, most of the people at these protests are European Americans, even African Americans, avoid them being for the simple reason that these groups like the Black Bloc, and arrakis groups. And now from the right, you have white supremacists, you have the Google Voice, you have alum soda, white Lives Matter, which is a neo nazi group, fomenting and engaging in a lot of this violence to discredit the genuine

00:49:11--> 00:49:23

elements of the movement. And this is documented, I would say that the Muslims who are taking the position you just articulated, have

00:49:24--> 00:49:27

allowed themselves to be

00:49:28--> 00:50:00

affected by this strategy. And so we have to understand the overwhelming majority of people out there just ordinary people who have been touched by an historic moment. These moments don't come every day, a moment that God touches our hearts, black, white, rich, poor across the political spectrum. Look, Mad Dog Mattis just wrote in The Atlantic, a condemnation of our president

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

And his defending the protesters. And so if Muslims don't have the consciousness of Mad Dog Madison in this moment, something's wrong brothers and sisters, we have to see it for what it is. These are provocateurs. And then the news is not newsworthy the show hundreds or 1000s of peaceful people just marching up and down. And what's his name George. George Floyd. That's not newsworthy, it's newsworthy when a handful somewhere in this country and be it in New York elsewhere. Stars looting in

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Pakistan one other thing on this issue of violence, a lot of times is the police.

00:50:45--> 00:51:21

And or the National Guard. And or in Lafayette Park, the US military that precipitates the violence in Lafayette Park before Trump's famous photo op with the violin and with the Bible, it was peaceful people were there minding their business. And then here comes the military who comes in troops, you come the tear gas, here comes the helicopters buzzing them 20 feet above them hit their heads, military helicopters, so that violence was provoked by the elements that were protesting against the

00:51:23--> 00:52:00

racism and violence. So we should be very careful. And some Allah chef another reality is that these same elders that are forwarding these WhatsApp messages and you know, having that attitude, they don't realize they're falling prey to the exact same attitude that they criticize when islamophobes to say that Islam is a violent religion, because of the actions of a few people. They're doing the exact same stereotyping without even recognizing and realizing it. I know she only have to go have one major question and a very quick one at the end. The last major question we have. And again, I apologize, because these are very frank questions, but they need to be asked, we have a number of

00:52:00--> 00:52:49

people saying that, isn't it problematic to join the hashtag black lives matter? Given that there are agendas that are not necessarily Islamic? And of course, the issue of gender and sexuality always comes up. And so instead of being led by other banners and other institutions, shouldn't Muslims have their own protests and their own separate agendas and boundaries, so that we don't seem to ally with some causes that might not necessarily be our own? So what do you say to that show? Now, I say, at a certain level definitely is protest. And you can go to that peaceful protest as a Muslim identifiably as a Muslim, you can carry a sign that has a Quranic verse, or a hadith that's

00:52:49--> 00:53:41

relevant to the situation, why wouldn't you go, that's not saying you're a card carrying member of Black Lives Matter. And you endorse the movement that was started by three queer black women, etc, yada, yada, yada, that's not we have to be able to have the sophistication to separate the apples from the oranges. And to understand, in general, what are those levels, where even as a distinct Muslim organization, so we start Muslims against racist violence. That's our organization. And there's going to be a mobilization of peaceful mobilization to call attention to this issue coupled with a lot of other behind the scenes political work, as happened in Ferguson. Now we have the the

00:53:41--> 00:54:30

first African American mayor in four years, and there was a total makeover for the City Council, etc. So there's a lot of behind the scenes out of the spotlight action going on. And then there's pressure being put in the street, FDR famously said, when I think Bayard Rustin, or a Philip Randolph went and said, We want ABC and D. He said, Okay, that's great. Now get out in the street and make me do it. In other words, create some public pressure, some visible pressure that will give me leverage to go to these millionaires and say, Listen, if you don't give up a little of your wealth to support these New Deal programs, you might lose it all to this to a revolution. And, and

00:54:30--> 00:54:38

so that pressure was effective. So if we're being invited to be part of that question,

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

as not someone interviewing us. Do you stand for everything black lives matter? This is CBS News, Mr. Muslim, Mrs. Muslim. You know, I don't I disagree with ABC and D, but I share the concern of institutionalized violence in our society that despite

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

Fortunately affects some members of our community, African Americans specifically in this instance is instant as opposed to others. Again, Matt is mad dog mad is he said, equal protection of the law under the law is a constitutional principle. Yeah, that we should all support as Muslims, we benefit from equal protection under the law. And if we stand silent, when the continued assault, we shouldn't forget, the Patriot Act is primarily designed to deny Muslims equal protection under the law. And there were a whole lot of Muslims and people who want Muslims, such as the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, that weren't taking the lead and advocating for the eradication

00:55:54--> 00:56:19

of a lot of the more draconian measures in the Patriot Act, taking the lead and advocating for the Muslims who are unjustly incarcerated at Guantanamo. And so when it's time for us to reciprocate, Michael Ratner was not a Muslim, he in some of the other members, there were some Muslims at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he is not a Muslim.

00:56:20--> 00:56:39

So you probably disagree with a lot of things Muslims advocate, personally, but he understood the issues are deeper than those those points of difference. And the benefit accrues to all of us. So I think Muslims have,

00:56:40--> 00:57:00

yeah, so it's a very, very specific question then as your mom's age. Last question. I know either two more very quickly, as a mom's a Chaka to your fellow Muslims that look up to you as a fifth a as an Islamic point, should we be using the hashtag black lives matter? I think we shouldn't be.

00:57:01--> 00:57:03

Okay, that's what it should

00:57:04--> 00:57:05

be called us.

00:57:06--> 00:57:43

joining an action that might include some people from Black Lives Matter, because otherwise you there's no action to join. Okay. Okay. Last question. Shogun, I know you have to go as well. Final question to, to join to join an action doesn't mean you have to use the hashtag. Of course, of course. Yes. So final question. Sure. Kind of what specific books and documentaries would you advise our viewers to read and to watch so that they can better educate themselves, we can better educate ourselves about the reality of the situation. A good starting point is

00:57:44--> 00:58:15

President Obama's livestream yesterday, so about an hour 25 minutes is not all President Obama, but it's a lot of young people who are strategizing to address these issues address issues such as qualified immunity, where the Supreme Court basically has given the police the latitude to kill anyone with impunity, to address issues like qualified immunity to address issues such as the militarizing of our police forces. There's an excellent

00:58:17--> 00:58:32

talk by a former IDF soldier. I forget his name. I just heard it today in my car, so I didn't get the details. But there's a lot out there that that we can take advantage of to educate ourselves about these.

00:58:34--> 00:58:38

Look at YouTube. I think you can find the documentary.

00:58:41--> 00:58:48

chef who got cut off there. Can you repeat that documentary name? You got cut off for a minute? eyes on the prize? eyes on the prize? The okay the oil one?

00:58:50--> 00:58:52

No, no. Not

00:58:53--> 00:59:39

the history of African Americans. Oh, sorry. Okay, so there's another one there. Okay, so how about 13th? We're just playing the prize surprise. You're right. You're absolutely right. My mind got messed up there. And how about the 13th? That documentary? Absolutely. is another one to just see how the effects of mass and conservation, Michelle Obama's book on Michelle Obama, Michelle Alexander, her book, The New Jim Crow. I think this is a must feeding because again, it goes through the history of slavery, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, and now, in her introduction, she discusses this issue of police violence. So I think that's absolutely essential. But in conclusion, if there

00:59:39--> 00:59:52

are no more questions, yeah, so your concluding thought Chetna conclusion, we have to as Muslims, not allow ourselves to become bitter and to embody.

00:59:54--> 01:00:00

To become the hate that hate produced we should not allow the hate that were witnessed.

01:00:00--> 01:00:29

See, and the actions of the likes of that officer Chauvin and his accomplices or those two men who stopped Ahmad arbury. Or we should not allow that hatred to make us hateful. We hate what people do. We hate actions that are haram and forbidden. We don't hate people per se. And that's one of the reasons when some of the most hateful anti muslim figures just as Hindu or Abu sufian

01:00:31--> 01:00:46

amor been an OSS or Khalid bin Elohim, who are killed the most beloved companions of the top seller seller, a hidden higher the assassin was in when they let their hateful actions and you're part of my community.

01:00:48--> 01:01:36

Mohammed, welcome, welcome to and so we have to have that magnanimity of spirit. And we have to understand all communities are affected by this violence. African Americans are affected disproportionately no denying that. And this is represent a lack of equal protection under the law. But other communities are affected twice as many European Americans are killed every year by police in this country than African Americans. And so what does that mean? That means we have to create a kind of movement and this is a challenge for most Muslim we want to move a movement, a movement that is can bring us all together. And that's what's happening in the street. You see all races.

01:01:37--> 01:01:45

President Obama and the intrado his introductory remarks yesterday he said something that we should reflect on, he said that

01:01:47--> 01:01:49

the people marching in the 60s

01:01:50--> 01:02:40

were pretty much a monolith, a monolith the African American community mobilized in the south and the north. Overwhelmingly, today the people marching the African Americans, European Americans, Latinos, Latino on the day, the week that Alton Sterling was was shot in Louisiana, and Philando Castillo in his car with his fiance and his little baby is I think it was his daughter shot in his car legally for mentioning he had an illegal weapon. Yeah. during that week, five Latinos were killed in California, Nevada and Arizona. And so not to again, not to dismiss, and especially the history.

01:02:47--> 01:03:33

Not that but just this affects us all, this is a scourge that affects all of us. And it's going to take all of us coming together to end it. Otherwise, we just want to have the critical mass. And so if we as Muslims can do anything, I think we can tap into the teachings of our religion that have been historically the most effective force in terms of bringing people from different backgrounds and races together from the first community that brought Selma and faricy. So haber woombye and the Arabs and malelane habas. She, the African, the Asian, the European, the Arabs all together in a unified community, under the banner of law in the law going forth as a positive moral force in the

01:03:33--> 01:03:47

world. And I think this is what we Muslims should be focusing on right now under the banner of all of us going together to play our part in bringing our country together, and we're doing it under the banner of

01:03:49--> 01:04:26

Alhamdulillah In conclusion, you know, it's at times of chaos at times of complete fitna and turmoil that sensible leadership is the most needed and I thank Allah subhana wa tada for blessing the American Muslim community with someone like yourself what under Zeki, yada yada I thank Allah azza wa jal for the wisdom the sensibility that you bring to the table you are truly a blessing and an asset to the American Muslim community. And I asked a lot of xojo to protect and preserve you and all of us and ask a lot of Georgia to give you an all of us if Lawson sincerity and ask Allah subhana wa tada to allow you to be guided and to guide others through you and to all of us

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Jazakallah heisha for your time in Sharla hopefully we can continue these conversations and in childhood better times as well. So May Allah bless you and your family with a quick piece of advice at any time for your children as sisters as shaky as you said these times they trials no one has the whole answer is keep close the eyes keep your massage

01:04:49--> 01:04:59

close at hand. Keep your prayer rug data close. And if you use a somehow Miss Baha keep that constant, not get your fingers busy.

01:05:00--> 01:05:00

thicker

01:05:02--> 01:05:32

and solid when the Prophet sallallahu Sallam was agitated by an affair he immediately went to pray. So May Allah bless us to be a prayerful, remembering me Quranic community vertical optic Masonic desert Kamala Harris robotic warahmatullahi wabarakatu apologies for the technical issues but in short lozada overall the message was given an H Allah we hope to continue conversations with him Zane and others. inshallah we'll see you next time sent to a whiteboard account