Interviews Dr. Tareq Al-Suwaidan Epic Masjid
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Salam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh who Al hamdu Lillahi wa Salatu was Salam o Allah Milani be a burden on my bad. So it has 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 to 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 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. todich, a Sweden, Doctor Tada, Sweden. Cinematic warheads, 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 inshallah. Our chef was born in Kuwait in the early 50s. And mashallah Tabata cola. 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 diet and a teacher and a preacher of Islam. And his goal is to revive Islamic activism in a moderate and a was healthy 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 audio visual 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 mashallah 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 hola far about Islamic al Qaeda. He's written a book about Mustafa Al Islam in six volumes, the future of Islam, and he has histories on Philistine and
on and Lucia. So, this is a summary of Subhanallah so much more that 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 will 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 Camilla can share for your time here. Ladies and gentlemen. No Moon comandi it's an honor to be with you and you humbled me by presenting me this way. Yeah.
And hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah May Allah subhana wa Tada accept from all of our deeds. Yes.
hamdulillah so Shekinah, 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 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 to hustles to become somebody who is well known in the Islamic field, if you can go down this tangent for Oceania? Well, what they're looking for. That was in my high school years, 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 Master's and PhD in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But before that, when I was in Kuwait, I was trained on Islamic knowledge in Islamic theory as
though Hey, they also will, I was trained by some of the major scholars of the Muslim world under work. I was trained by Dr. usable, I was trained by Dr. Amara last. Dr. Abdul Rahman, Abdullah, has an A, you have many others. So it really preceded my engineering is what I came to the States with, with these ideas with this knowledge with the stomach activism, and then I'm gonna rely on it. 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 here to legacy when it preserve it. So tell us about your time here in America. And so I came in 1970 and I did my high school in that year in Lake Worth, Florida. And then I transfer the for my BS in 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. Armitage, 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. Varu Holly, one of the major scholars on petroleum engineering, 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 Jama and so on. So I started that hamdulillah and I started giving fatwa. Since that time, 17 years, I continued to do that.
I did not
lead in the MSA. I just supported my, my chef, Dr. Armitage, Angie. But I found that the Maya, which is the Muslim Arab youth association, because the Arab youth at that time, they were totally astray from Islam in America. So Hamdulillah we managed to get them back and the convention that time we went to have close to 7000 people attending.
Mashallah, this is in this in the 70s. Yeah, and 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 honor of me meeting
with the Rama who
met him personally, and many, many others are 100
and 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 to use that. During all of that time I was giving footwear I was traveling, making Dow 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 shahada 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 in Florida? You said you went to Tulsa? I 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 coaches 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 it after that. The
Council of the masjid, they organize the picnic.
And so we went with them to the picnic.
Brother, just don't imagine what's happened in that picnic. First of all, many of the Muslims had their girlfriends with them
beer was served. Yeah, how old are the whole setup.
And when the whole time came, we waited for anyone to make. So that we can play nobody made a dime. And then I made a run and waited for anyone including the Imam, to come to pray with us. And it was only the four brothers, myself and the three other brothers. These were the only ones that played Subhanallah 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, Chef and I have to say that as a 17 year old you know, foreign student to preserve the deen 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 it
from both sides from the Muslim, the Arab and Muslim side, and from the western girls and so on. But hamdulillah Allah subhanaw taala
with his blessing kept us from
going into that, Al Hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah. So Shekinah Shama tungee, was one of your main mentors, and he's well known one of the pioneers. Who else did you were you interacting with soccer or who else over here?
Almost every one. That's the Rama supper that resembled Talib after Jamar Basenji Baja lalwani,
Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman
100 in almost every one, that in the Islamic world, 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? Know where this is. This is a strange thing. I met with
Abdullah Al Al, the great scholar, I will learn more 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 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. So it was really worth it. Because the due date was one of the greatest scholars in the whole century. Not in the whole decade, but of the 20th century ramped up our hammer and then chef Qaddafi as well. You invited him to America?
I did and
not only Shepard Dawei. 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 using Canada we several times and also Dr. Osama Al Bashir, Abdel Fatah boo boo the Trump was one of
these and one of the Jani hamdulillah blessings of Allah on me. Many of them spent
some time in my own home and they slept as guests in my home. So I had a 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 Stan Yeah, 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 Anna Yanni chef colada will come and sleep in your apartments from how to La you know, major mache, with comments, letters, a brotherhood, and there's a close fraternity. And Wallah, he 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 a hamdulillah 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 yours, you this will be the mid ad chef, you would say i i spent
between 1980 and 1992. So
the peak was in the last five years of the 80s. Yeah, so panel, one can say shave 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 set, because the flip of the East doesn't fit the flip 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.
So what factionalism it was the I call it the migrant mentality
hamdulillah later on, when new
Yanni mashallah Islamic world came and many of your age came into the picture. And hello, ASEAN, 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 delay the Islamic world 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 at Hendra Shelton, 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 Al 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.
So 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, later on, I had the opportunity of
Yanni helping in 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 No need to apologize for any liquidity more common McCullough's The saying goes in the 70s and 80s when the bulk of the attendees were out of foreign students in the UK go 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 the course is now you know where it's supposed to be in Hamdulillah. So
lambda law, we are lucky to have people like
Arabic fluent in English and fluent and dynamic history and knowledge, high demand for the lie Elena Shekinah Tobin, 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 Giants, 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 you even attend to you fluid 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 are you would you like to tell us about your Holloway?
hamdulillah being involved in the Islamic world, got us the chance to meet these two giants. As you mentioned, one of the giants before I talk about Dr. Qaradawi is Abdullah
RAM Talalay again, a personal
A friend and their 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
week and so on.
Let me tell you a small story about Abdullah Azzam so, so our audience will understand 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 leading, 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 chef Dr. Amara Lester, who was one of the greatest scholars of Sharia. And our feeder, arrived. And UCLA because of the mess in management. Again, the convention has started, they didn't give him a room. So I told him,
if 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,
travels to Pakistan, 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.
Dr. 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 the Yama laid. Even with all of that. These are the kinds of people that yeah, and hamdulillah our teachers Well, that's the use of Al Qaradawi. Is to me is even better than all of them.
But now he Dr. Yasser nanny I met, I would not exaggerate, but I met hundreds of scholars of all nationalities throughout the years. And by the way,
my beard is not, it's fake.
you do not look at your mashallah you look 45
Don't be fooled by it. So,
because of all of this aid and deals, I met hundreds, but Wallahi definitely asked me 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 word similar to his like more than chef Subhan Allah Subhan Allah
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 Zika, don't waste your time, just go and read the three volumes of Jeff and Qaradawi on jihad,
three volumes on the field 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,
stablished 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 Yannick 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 Qatar.
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 them make it more creative and so on.
And Wallahi 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 you 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 curiosity Wallahi I jumped from my Sita 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 well, if 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, and 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 Prophet says some segmento Waldo Idealia file hula you know whoever humbles himself for the sake of Allah Allah will raise him and or somebody like Chef and Allah Masha Cordoba 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 Subhanallah inshallah demonstrates a level of 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 in 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 panela.
One of the major scholars
that 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 Elijah three hours, 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 work
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 hang I almost cried. They said
Amar, you don't say that.
I am your students 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, hobo hood, turban, 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 to find out his muhabba is written in the hearts of all too lovely. So please tell us a little bit about your interactions. Well, if that
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 as Nasruddin and Albani. And Chef Deathtrap if
there was a taboo that 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 Mashallah.
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 those that the they when a scholar comes to America, they don't leave 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 who 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 to 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, 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 us many people know, is the Center for Red Indians until today, Native Americans and there are villages that are still
the 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 team, 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 a 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 mohideen Might 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 met. 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 tents and the tourism and, and the way they play running around the fire. But there was something
beyond that, that from that moment on Yachty. 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 the story is one
small event that happened between him and me.
He said one day to me while I was taking him around and he was a much older guy than me
Environmental lighting and heating 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 Aveda
your faith Najeeb
I said what?
So if you are in an employee,
your Aveda is not complete.
to me, that was a shock. And then it was coming from.
At that time, Abdel Fattah Bogota, 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. Oh Allah give me O Allah.
Provide for me. It is the merchants who say that employees have decided had dependent dependent dependent on their employers to provide for them whether it's the government or a company or whatever, they forgot that the provider is ALLAH SubhanA wa Hmm. But what's the point of view? And then he said, of course not all of
these are some of the stories I
share well i This anecdote of Shankara 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 sharpshooter for that and then he's interacting with a native Indian ally This is Jules This is Dora Yanni. Mashallah, really excited to hear these types of stories. Mashallah. Well, the vehicle 100 Sure, 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 specially 20 years, especially since 911. Here, we've seen a whole new set of challenges are key, the 10 CS
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? But 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 could Hamdulillah we have the brains, we have the 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. Wallahi 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 hamdulillah Yannick Kuwait 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'll say 90% of the Arab countries.
You'll see the scholars are in the prisons. Nobody can speak. Everyone is oppressed. So dictatorships. Number two is corruption.
Allah 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 the than the greatest nations 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.
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? In 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 been trained in a traditional way. I have been trained originally, and 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 Phillips and traditional knowledge. But what are they teaching on the political arena, they're teaching that these dictatorships are the laws of Allah subhanho wa 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 shares 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 any 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 fifth 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, and they have been able to, 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 shuru, 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 is 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 struggle. So what are the challenges
that she has?
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 Shubo heart and Chihuahua, both from an ideological standpoint, and from a faith based or
practitioner standpoint, along with Stalin, 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 militarism and avoiding, you know, all types of the Cabal, but 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, their 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, we 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 post 911, there was a
surge of realisation 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 there. 20
He's 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 default, right from within our own ranks. You know, and this is, I think, a major problem that 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, or 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 alumnus
like Shere Khan Bowie, you know, like the Etihad
Lemond was team in which I'm humbled, I'm a member of as well, like, you know, our wish you doctor was MSC degree and others. These are the types of people I myself, I'm looking up to him and following 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 worst of the 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. Shekinah Mottola 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. Colombia,
the state 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? A
lot, actually. 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 scholars, and many people, by the way, although I base it on very clear
Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam
much many, many people would place me in the progressives not in that was something
where 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 path. 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 Selim 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 sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. 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 every 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 go hand in quantum side 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 conductively Chef connect collectively, I think your doula 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 oedema that don't just follow the fringe, there are people that are mainstream, and they come together, especially the fifth councils. So to have an enemy there, the European Council for 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 and an individual scholar. And many of the audience not aware of the collective effort that goes into the laws of Islam. Currently, let me give one example. So you may allow me the funnel.
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 labor.
I said, what what do you think?
He said, I don't think it's rebel.
I said, Why is that the shahada Tantawi in Egypt said it's not Riba.
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 hamdulillah 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 a huge compared to zero in 1970. I shall say, in how much jump we had. Anyway, these Islamic banks, banks have a union that is based in Bahrain.
And this union
decided to tackle this issue from a collab collective
point of view
they collected 120 scholars
among them were major scholars of Syria. 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 River.
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 yesterday 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 chef now mashallah I know of took up a lot of your time and you're also in foreign land in Turkey and hamdulillah so check 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 invited me
to Kuwait it will be my pleasure to come inshallah and Turkey I come back very often. And
I 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 and shall the share the note from your face and the door 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, I shared my book on Fila and 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 subhanho wa Taala allow all of us to be Maratea hello hi I'm Malika shorter 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, she had exactly Mala here for your time and inshallah I 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 Zack malarkey chefs and I want you
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