Habits, Hobbies and Social Media Hysteria
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 49.17MB
Podcast w Sultans and Sneakers
If I make a genuine mistake, it should be clarified. I don't think I made a mistake. It was wording that was political. It's understood yaki my talks on the salvation being only in Islam is as crystal clear as deep. As you know, certain data was came through the world and I got caught up in it as well. And it was very intriguing was very interesting. And to be academically linked to the religion was new for me, because I was culturally linked to the religion. Three or four non Muslims came to my talk, because they saw my speech online. And they heard I was coming. And one of them was a Jewish background. You can ask this on the video and he said, I'm a person from a Jewish background.
You know, I want to know how can I help the Palestinian cause?
Salam o alaikum, and welcome to another episode of Sultan's and sneakers. I'm your host as always, Mahinda podcaster. And on today's show, I am honored to have an old friend, a teacher Shaykh Yasir qadhi Welcome back sick to Chicago although on a very Duff probably the shortest time you you're coming through right so welcome. It's nice to have you. I have around two hours but if I were to go back to the airport, he was wheezing this and I mean hey, what else were you gonna do? Right say the airport and like fiddle around? Exactly. Yeah, what am I gonna do with in Chicago airport, but I didn't realize it's seven degrees right now. Freezing cold. If I hadn't known I would have changed
plans. But at hamdulillah I'm sitting in a warm environment. Brothers hosting us at hamdullah. So you're coming from Ohio, right? Cincinnati? Yeah, Cincinnati to Austin and I had like a few hours layover. And so here we are a nice day. And before we get started, it would be remiss if I did not acknowledge our gracious hosts because of Zephyr And Hashem for Smash Brothers. Smashburger right. This match for this match Smash. Smash burger on Instagram. Brother Smash Brother d dot right d that Smash Brother at Instagram on Instagram, right? plural s. Smash Brothers brothers brothers a gotcha. Gotcha. So the word from our sponsors, guys.
it's basically there. Were we have this was the arrangement. We had the hostess on Saturday, as long as you give a shout out to smash burgers. Okay, guys, I've had smashed burgers. It is really good. So what hum did that's the endorsement you got without paying anything. Okay, from the heart that has the most Baraka Yeah, for sure. For sure. So we have the recording and then we have some breakfast or lunch especially and I always say like, don't get between a man and his food. So you know, so we'll definitely make we'll make use of our time here. So chef he's the one I want to kind of get into it has been almost almost 20 years ago was like when we first met it was September of oh
five or when I met you you had already completed your studies at Medina you were starting your PhD at Yale you had done a an engineering degree at the University of Houston you were already for all intensive purposes fairly I was a mashallah accomplished you're already shake? Yes. I've always known you as chick Yasser, the person like driven, you know, disciplined, you know, really focused on my how he manages his time, that intellectual type, right? But take me back. I mean, I assume you didn't come out of the womb just like being able to do this. Talk to me about like,
shake. Yes, yes. Shaykh Yasir when he was just yesterday, like maybe 10 years, when you were 10, or whatnot, what were the things that looking back to your childhood? You can think about, like turning points, maybe where you first realized you had some motivation to to do something with your life. I wish I had some nice, interesting story to tell you. Well, I wish there was some, you know, saving grace in this regard. The fact of the matter is, I had no clue when I was 10, even 15 what I'd be doing, I didn't have these high aspirations back then.
I was always a driven student. I always, you know, tried to get the top of my class. I was the valedictorian of my high school, we the small things were there. But I didn't have in my mind a vision for the future i At that stage, I didn't even know before even going to university, I don't even know what did I want to do chemical engineering or something else. And the only reason I chose chemical engineering was I liked chemistry, but chemistry itself wouldn't make any money as a teacher. And so I'm like, well, um, I just didn't have a problem with math I had I was, I was always good at math and like, Okay, well, the logical thing to do. I've always found myself to be very
logical, rational person is like, not an emotional decision. Fact of the matter is, I mean, it wasn't like I had a love for chemical gin. It was like ruling out all options. The most logical thing for me to do is and not that I regretted it, but it ended up that way. And it was only during the course of my studies at university, where my passion in Islamic studies began. Pre you know, university Alhamdulillah. As everybody knows, my parents were very humbled or religious folks, I was raised in a very religious background. My father is one of the founders of Akena. So I'm in that, you know, the Giamatti environment going to the family circles that they used to have back in the
80s and 90s used to have their family circles, but there was no
Think of a higher aspiration it was just a matter of how am I going to live my life? What am I going to do? It was in university where the the switch began. And even then it wasn't a matter of I'm going to do something great and grandiose not at all. It was just, I want to learn my religion. And my life feels empty without knowing my dean. I've said this in previous interviews as well. You're probably too young and I'm not trying to be patronizing back in the day but there was something called Microsoft certification. Ms. You know, something sort of became back in the 90s in 9798 Europe when I was in Medina, I actually started doing that okay, thinking that I need to earn a
raise when I come back, what am I going to do? It wasn't even in Medina my mind to come back to be chef Yasser. Okay. Even then it wasn't there. Even all was in Medina. I'm like, Okay, I'm just studying a little bit. And when I come back, I'm going to find a career. I was even looking at master's degrees in chemical engineering. Really? Yeah. When I was when you're going to come back? Yeah, when I come back, this is my second year, third year, but he was like, What am I going to do when I come back? I don't know what I'm going to do. You know, right. So I need to have some career whatnot lined up. So in high school, how would you describe your you mentioned your, you know, your
parent, you grew up in a religious family, but you weren't you living in Jeddah or in Saudi at some point? Yeah. So my father left America because he wanted to give me a better Islamic environment. Okay, so he actually you know, gave up a nicer career here a better career to go in Saudi Arabia, lower pay, just to have a you know, more Islamic environment, but we were in a British bubble. You know, how it goes like a you're in a compound? Yeah. In the expatriate world. Yeah. So I didn't pick up Arabic, okay, I didn't interact with this healthy kids, you know, you're just like, in your English, British and my curriculum was British. I was in a British school. So I did what is called
the old levels and whatnot. So I went through the British curriculum. And there was of course, an Islamic Studies course. Yeah, just like I'm embarrassed to say this, we make fun of our teachers, you know, heavy accents, not even interested in in the in the subject itself. That was Quran course, in cotton, you know, in the in the school there as well. But I mean, you know, it's just like, you just get done. I think it was just, um, but whatever it was, it was It wasn't anything that motivated you to do higher than that. You know, so but what year was that? Was that like high school then? Yeah. So 1980s to 1990. So middle school, so more than four years? Oh, I was there for a
decade. A decade. Yeah. That explains you because you have you mentioned the British because you have a twinge of like almost like because your accent isn't fully like you're born in Houston. You don't have like a Texan accent. It is what it is. Probably yes. Probably was my teacher. Almost all my teachers were British. Yeah, I see. i It makes sense. Makes sense. So then you weren't really like that was when you came back here for university. Obviously, we come back every year for this summer to three months before summer. Okay. And obviously, you're connected with family and your environment is all Western in that little bit. You You know this and that. Yeah. In the expatriate
bubble, you are basically importing, you know, their values, their culture, their songs, I mean, sorry to say this, but I grew up, you know, my father, not I wasn't into music that was but I was very familiar with Michael Jackson, Madonna, all of them coming out at the time of this in the 80s. You know, so, and all my friends are getting the latest. And of course, you listen to them as a part of that culture growing up. And so we're not disconnected from that world at all. On the contrary, I was more attuned with American culture than Saudi culture. Absolutely. Yeah. Would you say that? You did your memorization of Korando. When you were in Saudi? Yes. My father
insisted that I do it. I didn't want to do it at the time as a standard teenager rebels. I don't want to do this, I lose. I don't want to memorize the Quran. I don't want to just like why should I do that? You know, but it was what it was humbled with I thank Allah for that. Now, with that being said, Is it possible SitePoint you know, pair for parents that are that are
for parents that you know, are pushing their kids for hips, right? Because we realize later Oh, I wish my peers some of us wish for that. Or wish my parents had pushed us there. As a kid as your you're the one doing it. What is your input was you and you alluded to earlier, you were always like you achieve high marks.
You know, is it was that just your competitive nature? That if I'm going to do something, I'm just gonna do it. Well, that's always been in my nature. Yes. If I'm going to do it, it better be done. Well, it's something I don't I don't think I acquired it ever. Okay. It's just something that's there that look if I'm good. So I rebelled. I said, No, I had a, you know, a tantrum, a teenage tantrum against my dad. And my dad was like, Nope, you have to do it. And this isn't gonna 13 Okay, come on, give me so cut me some slack. It's okay. For 13 year olds. Yeah. And and so then the compromise was he sent me to a madrasa. And within a week, I said, I can't do this. I don't want to
go to Madras. And for the standard reasons, not just the beatings, not just the just the environment. It was a standard beatings, literally, I mean, it'll getting beaten on the hand and do the agenda. Yeah. It's like, I don't want to do this. So the compromise was you do it on your own. Okay, so I did have at home on my own. And then you'd had a teacher just check you to to come and check me but I did it on my own. The whole hair that I did on my own hand, and the teacher would come 2030 minutes every day, my dad just paid extra to come to the house, but the actual and that I mean, going back to your question here that of course, you have to have a routine and you have to
have your own, you know, rigorous nature to have it done.
because I'm not sitting with 1020 other kids is in my own room. Yeah, doing the hair every single day. Right. Right. Right. I would say that, um, you know, the,
the whole thing about the, you know, did you develop your own print program for the hips, I was what I was trying to get at, oh, sorry, I had a brain freeze, or the future just say, Okay, this what you're doing next week. So the teacher laid out the template, I did not know the template, you basically have to memorize as much as you memorize. And then you also recite the previous week's memorization. So as you move on the previous week, moves on as well. And then you also have to recite some of the old recipes. So you have three, I have a longer lecture, but how did you have dessert? We have three daily routines. Number one is new HIV, right? Number two is recent new HIV,
which is like a week or some say 10 days. Yeah. And number three is then like, you know, the old HIV which is, so all three are going to continue going. Okay. And you have to do every single one every single day. Sure. Now, you. You started, like, your intent going to the university, Houston to get your engineering degree, you know, and they said it matched up with what you're good at. And that's exactly, exactly chemistry. Exactly. pragmatically, exactly. There wasn't a strong passion for any particular science. Like, I want to be an engineer I want to be, it's just like, I have to be practical. I need to have a career. I'm in Texas, which is oil rich. I've been in the college and I
know they love chemical engineering, and you know, oil engineering, you know, petroleum engineering as well. So, you know, I'll keep my options open. Maybe I'll get a nice job and around quit work. I was flirting with that idea. Yeah. Cuz I knew Aramco paid well. Yeah. And I lived the expat life. So I was comfortable with the expat life. Right? As like, yeah. Okay, let me just do this. See what happens. And, you know, wonder opens after another. As you know, I did work at Dell chemical. Yeah. And I did actually enjoy that, like I as like an intern, or actually full time for no. So Dow Chemical, I don't know how it is now. But at the time, they had a program that they would choose one
student every single year. Yeah. And the third year, and if you if you were that student, you pretty much had a guaranteed job when you finish. Sure. So it's like a co op intern that is leading to a career basically right here. So when Hamdulillah I qualified for that one student in 1993 was right, sure. So I got that one job that basically met as soon as I graduate, I have pretty much guaranteed unless a really messed up, it was like a job waiting for Dow Chemical. It was working there for three and a half months, that I could see why people like chemical engineering, I kind of you know, because we're doing polymer reactions, doing all this is really cool. You're visiting these massive,
you know, unit operations, you're going to the field, you get a sense of excitement, I have to say that at the same time. I couldn't see myself doing this for 30 years, okay. And I felt this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I really felt like, for the first time in my life, I actually tasted some money because I mean, 100 a, Allah blessed us, I've never was never in poverty. But you know, like most parents, you know, my father came with nothing literally worked his way up to, you know, lower middle class, but, you know, I, for two years, I didn't have a car, we'll take the bus to university, you know, I worked odd jobs, my first job was at Barnes and Nobles, $4.25,
literally stalking books I'll never forget, you know, I mean, and I was very happy to get $4.25 an hour is very happy, I can finally get some money. You know, imagine when you get to Tao, and all of a sudden you're earning in the 1000s per month, that's the first time I got that much money in my life, you know. And when I got that money, I realized, I don't want money, it's not going to make me happy. It's not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don't want to be behind a desk. So what did I want to do? And of course, at the time, you know,
as you know, certain that was came through the world, and I got caught up in it as well. And it was very intriguing was very interesting. And to be academically linked to the religion was new for me, because that was culturally linked to the religion. And what does that would did, it gave the presumption the illusion of being an academic study of the religion. Yeah, now I can now I can see was a bit of a presumption, but still at the time, it was like, wow, you have an authenticity, you can you can dive into the original texts, you can see why we believe what we believe. Right? It was very, this is I became passionate for the first time about something when when it came across
Islamic Studies. And that's what inspired me in this timeframe to say, You know what, I don't want to do chemical engineering, I at least want to learn my Deen. Right. And that's why I eventually, you know, finish my degree. And again, I have to thank my father in this regard, because like, teenagers are, at the time I literally told my dad, I'm going to quit engineering. And I'm gonna go to Medina. I said, this time, and you were at that time, how much longer how much more school? Did you have to finish two and a half years? Okay. Yeah, like it was like my junior my sophomore year, sure what that was obviously I said, No. Alhamdulillah he said no. And again, I thank Allah again,
Desi parents, whatever you want to say. There's an there's wisdom that you will only learn through age, right? My father gave a very profound statement that I still remember to this day. He said, My job is to make sure you're able to stand on your feet. Once you can stand on your feet, you go wherever you want. And that was really profound. Like my job is to make sure you're a man. Basically, once you're a man, you do what you want. And so I never forgot that and when I graduated
I didn't ask my father's permission because I was at my rebellious stage and said, You know what, you told me that this was your job, you did your job because I could look at I'm going to Medina, it wasn't permission then Right? You know, and it was it was, and he knew at this stage because that was the agreement. Like you have to finish your degree and I finished it, whatever Am I do cool or whatever, I finished it, because I've even thrown out I'm not going to work. I gotta make sure I get a good degree. And I thank Allah for that. Because what it did is that multiple things, first and foremost, you're trained my mind you because when you as an engineer, you think differently as an
engineer. Secondly, Alhamdulillah thank Allah credibility, like, in the sense, I did my engineering degree, and I gave it up. Yeah. Thirdly, when I play deal, it came an immense hand delay, I'm not just coming out of a Mulana field with almost respect or Mallanna. So I have my, this is why I am I have an engineering degree, I have this and that, that really helped shape. So it really impacted and affected for the rest of my life is always going to do that. So I thank Allah for that, you know, adamance and my, my father's side, like, Nope, you got to do this. And then then you're on your own a trap that many folks have, you know, because college or the university years are a common
time when those of us get into, like studying law, or you go through a phase and you know this as you went through that phase. But with that being said, is like, you tend to neglect your actual university stuff. Exactly. That sucks. And I know this because I was the same way. And I remember you were also going through your own phases. I met you Yeah, right. And I And these days, I tell the average student that I meet that's going through this illusion, this disillusionment, I want to go study overseas, I want to go I tell them no, yeah, do like I did finish your degree. Yeah. Then if you really want to go study, come and talk to me. Don't use Islamic studies as a cop out. Yeah,
don't use your illusion of I'm going to be a better person to give up your dunya completely, because you don't know the world I do. I've been there. I've been to that world, the majority of people who ended up going to Islamic Studies drop out, you know, this, the majority of them fizzle out and don't do so I know that world now. Don't look at one or two people and think that that's the norm. Those are the exceptions. So my my sincere advice to all college level kids who are flirting with going and studying overseas. If you want to do that, make sure you're qualified from this dunya first, make sure you have a backup plan and you finish your degree make sure you've done something
then once you get to that stage let's discuss and we'll figure out what the next but I think the other key point that you mentioned you graduated also with very high marks right? Because a lot of people will graduate but then with like a C average or something right? How did you maintain the motivation to keep excelling in school? Or is that just go back to your competitive nature?
You know, honestly, I don't have an answer. I wish I did. It just just goes back to I Am that I want to do something I want to do it properly like and I didn't either at the time, you know, no the Hadith in Allah to Allah either Amira, you hit with that I mean, it's gonna who Allah loves that when one of you does something you do it with perfection with the sun right cutter but in Allah Allah because with your son, if you couldn't be che, Allah has Richard Nixon and everything. These are Islamic principles after Hamdulillah I had already absorbed those maybe from my family environment, whatever it is, but I've always been like this. It wasn't and again, the irony I'm in a
Hamdulillah I knew in my last year, I knew that I'm not going to be working as an engineer for the immediate future but still Yeah, I did what I did and I hope that I find graduate with very good reason for that. I think all of this is from Allah azza wa jal is not from you know, culture level. As far as did you do our so with that being said that you always have the habits of like being able to study well, and focus that's something that always came naturally view. So my study habits were developed in high school and then maintained in university Okay, and then in Medina, I was tested even more because it was the most difficult study ever done in my life. My undergraduate in Medina
was the most difficult, the equivalent of 25 credit hours I said this, like we used to study 25 credit hours every semester, in the language that wasn't even my native language or classical Arabic. And I thank Allah I thank Allah that I have never once pulled an all nighter, and I've been through two bachelors, three masters and a PhD for 22 years I've been consistently studying. Throughout my career, I've never once pulled an all nighter because I don't believe I'm saying this not as any means of a stop for a lot. Boasting I'm a sinful person as little forgiveness. But I say, I felt an element of shame that I'm going to spend a whole night awake for the dunya and I don't
spend the night away for Allah. Right? I just felt an element of shame. Why could Why should ever do that? So I've never once done an all nighter. Never once spent the whole night finishing a paper doing an assignment. It's just I felt ashamed. So if you know that assignment is due, well then get it done on time. You know why? Why are you delaying it? So and again, I didn't know at the time but there's that the Hadith dive or a third of the Sahaba that procrastinations from Shaytaan? Yeah, could be a life hadith is from the sahaba. Or it could be authentic, depending on which Which one did you follow at this week from initiate on? Procrastination some shaytaan. Again, these are work
ethics that are found in our tradition, if we embody them Subhanallah why would you want to possibly delay something that you know is due in a week's time start from now do a little bit every day
single day, and you'll get it done on time. So that always made sense to you. It always made sense to me without even knowing that it just made sense to me this the way it was. And now as a parent, like when your kids were growing up, like, especially because Middle School started when you started getting like real homework, right? Or even, that's how it was when we were growing up, right, middle school, high school.
Is that something that also your kids picked up to? Or did you? Is that something you have to guide them with? Because most students, I think, I found it as my own experience as well. Right? The high school to college jump is really a big jump for us. Yeah. Because High School, just based on your own brains and just paying attention in class a little bit and a little, you know, are you gonna do homework in homeroom or something? College is a game changer? Yeah, I think and that's why a lot of times people like we talked about the freshman freshman 15, like the weight gain, but there's also just the ability to like, how often how have you restored the people like your first semester, first
year of college, your grades are the worst. So I don't micromanage my kids scheduled to that level, because I wasn't micromanage myself, okay, there was an ethos of, of, you know, work ethic and my house. Sure. And I want to, I want to embody that I have that it I think a lot of for my kids are doing very well, through your university or med school, and one is in high school now. Hamdulillah, they're all doing very well. And I really don't micromanage is just, you know, open lines of communication. Do you need any help? How can we help you out here, what's going on. Other than that, I want them to be driven on their own, because I'm not going to be here for them forever, they need
to get it and learn on their own. My parents never sat me down and taught me how to do scheduling and homework. It was just not, but it was understood. And they were there for me. And the same goes for my kids as well. I'm here when they need help. And sometimes they do come for various issues. Other than that, no, they're gonna have to figure out on their own, what kind of guidance Have you given them? As far as like, if they want it? You mentioned one of your, your son's medical, medical school, right?
Like, what kind of guidance was there as far as? But for the record, I did not know. So you asked me the same question. Yes. Okay. I always say this, people know, believe me, I never once put it in his mind to be a doctor, never once. I am not your typical DC parent, he made this choice. And you know, I said to him, whatever choice you want to make, I've, I've said to all of my kids, and you know, I'm and I really mean this, what's far more important to me is your relationship with Allah and your flock. And I said this, you know, to him and to all of my kids, were you to work as any manual job, whether it's a mechanic or whatnot, and you're fearing Allah subhanho wa taala, and you have good
Fallout, it is much more beloved to me, then you get your PhD or MD, and you don't have a bad luck, right? So to me, a successful child is not one who does an MD or a PhD, a successful child is the one who is humble, who has a man and Taqwa who treats people Well, to me, that is the embodiment of success. And Alhamdulillah. In this regard, I'm very thankful to Allah, whatever it could be career path they want to choose, it's up to them. And for the record, I said, multiple times to Amar, my son, like whatever you want to do, man, if you want to do medical, I'm gonna say to people publicly, I didn't put it in your head. When he said, he wants to do medical, I said, Okay, I'm gonna make the
disclaimer, it wasn't coming from me. We grew up in a culture and environment in Memphis, where many of the people were doctors. So I'm I grew up seeing so many other doctors. And he kind of got inspired by that. So he, he took that career path, how have your habits really evolved, then in the last, I would say, almost like 35 years, from the time you're like studying in high school. Now, I mean, to some level, you must, because one of the one of the sad tragedies of life is that you will never be able to study to the level that you study at university. Sure, you know, this, we all know this. But life teaches you other things that folks don't. So you're studying is going to become
contemplative, rather than, you know, reading, you know, so how you're going to learn how you're going to grow is more in wisdom than in book knowledge, right. And that happens via experience by interacting via observing the world. So of course, a lot has happened in the last 30 years. And I'm no longer in the academy. And I guess this leads to a very interesting point, which we're all aware of.
There's something called book knowledge or something called practical knowledge. Yeah. The people who teach you business as Harvard, are not the billionaires that actually are the business people. Right? Right. There is a synergy between the two, there's a overlap, but in the end of the day, actual billionaires or actual successful business people are not the professors. Okay, no matter how awkward it is to say this is one of the reasons it gets into trouble to a certain level that also applies to that we're going
to just sit around books and read classical texts, and be involved with those who are involved in classical texts. You are the professor of business, but you might not be the most successful day or share in public, because you are disconnected from humanity, because you don't have real world
experience and wisdom. And this is what I realized when he came back to America is that I know a lot of that I don't know anything here. And my own evolution, almost all of it, much of it goes back to my diving in deep to the dunya. And the people around me and interacting with groups of people outside of our faith inside of our faith, shaping my own understanding of what I thought when I knew very well. So what was the question? I told him? No, it was like how your habits evolved? Of course they will? Of course they will because the world has because my role has evolved. I'm no longer just preaching and teaching classical. Right, right. I'm now engaged with real world activism that's
going to play Of course, I'm not. So unfortunately, one of the sad tragedies, I was going to say, Sure, I don't have the time to read as much as I used to, at the undergraduate graduate level. I just don't, because I'm busy. Right now I'm traveling between three cities doing to fundraise for Palestine. I told a whole seminar yesterday about the history of philosophy in Cincinnati, right? I'm doing things 1500 People came yesterday, today, we have another so I'm I'm teaching and preaching in a manner that is very different than just reading and writing. Right. And in order to do this side, it requires an element of that, but it also requires other montages that are different
than what I used to it. Does that make sense? I mean, I yeah, you're shifting because when you're an academic, when you're in the academic, academic world, right, most of your times gonna be studying, researching, doing study. Yes. And I missed that. Well, I loved it. I miss it. I wish one part of me, you know, wishes that I could just stop all public data, and sit in a room and read and write. But I also realize that that comes at a cost and the detriment Yeah, because those that are purely theoretical, sometimes say and do things in their papers or whatnot that are not beneficial. Have you considered though maybe doing some bad at like a, like a sabbatical and quarterly sabbatical
once a year? Yes, I have. I have multiple times. The problem comes, unfortunately, that
was the reality is that we all have to pay our bills at the end of the day. Yeah. And one of the perks of being a tenured professor, is they pay you to go on sabbatical. Yeah, I am not a tenured professor. And I don't have the means to just sit back and do nothing, okay. And I have to pay Mashallah. Three college bills, and one high school is lower than where we live in. So there's also, you know, I have multiple sources of income, and there's no one job that pays anything so multiple sources or after I don't have the luxury of sitting and doing nothing, I assume with the travel, you know, the the pay your wages, honorariums. Yes, there's no secret about that kind of stuff. So I
mean, it makes sense. It just seems like, you feel like Do you honestly, do you feel like you're maybe out of balance a little bit? With the travel and stuff these days are? Of course, I mean, everyone should feel that. I mean, there should always be everybody should always strive for a higher level of knowledge and perfection. Of course, I do wish that I'm able to spend more time just with the family even more time with the books no doubt we aspire to that. What What is it something that you want to like, study if I gave you like, okay, hey, I want to pay your bills for a year.
Go have at it, go go to town history. Okay, anything specific? I want to study in particular, multiple eras and epochs of history. One project that I'm doing right now is under loose. I'm doing quite a lot of reading about under this right now. For sure. Because for me, that's a fascinating and why and Lucien aroma was slightly different in their output, you know, and in my theory, which I've said already, is that the interaction of of scholars and undos with other civilizations and cultures, caused them to have ideas and views that are like a manga shout to me, for example, right? Of course, you have to be as well, you have even hazard we have all these people, the type of the
flavor that they're producing is very different than the demo scene flavor. They both add the flavor, right? And we in the West, I think we need to benefit from that mindset. So anyway, if you wanted to ask me what I want to understand the psychology of Islam in various parts of the world, and how their cultures and interactions impacted them, so that we can use that as a segue a stepping stone to then get to the Western modern American Muslim scene, if that makes sense. Yeah, I got you. So we were joking before the recording star was some of the guys hear about like, you know, if you were like, you're in Texas, do you fall sports? I've always I've never known you to like, be like a
sports guy. I remember. I don't believe I was following sports. I remember when we first when we first met Columbus, Ohio remembered a football stadium. There was a game that weekend. Yes. And you were like What the hell's
I don't say hell, but okay.
Just for the record.
Yeah. What the heck yeah. So it could be our stadium gets like 105,000 Yes, yes. I remember that. Yeah, cuz because we were walking you're like, you can see it and after it was good, and like miles of people just walking right. And I never understood the
More of watching sports Allahumma except for one season 1994 Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets. That was the one season when they won the game. And I was a manager in a building at the time night manager and the building, right. And I was literally in the cafeteria or the hall where, you know, I was, you know, I was I didn't have any friends. Yeah, there because I'm the manager. Yeah. Yet we were all friends together because like human legend was scoring, right. And we're all cheering on together. Yeah, right. And that was the only time in my life where I kind of felt I understand why people watch sports. social event is the only time I'll never forget that. There's that after that.
It went to I don't there was an editor I heard about hockey. There's some brothers who, though they beat the Knicks in game seven, they fight in the first finals, right? And it was in Houston. And they were there was it it was a celebration. So they were going to go these brothers would come from the suburbs to go to celebration. And they stopped by the Masjid. I think there's a masjid close to the arena. Or they said they saw Hakeem was there praying the end of the championship? My shoulder, So Alhamdulillah I mean, Kim,
Mashallah. He was always you know, somebody that we respected the Houston Community and hamdulillah when he came back from Medina, he started attending Mohawk as well. And I got to know me as well on a personal level. And we, I would lead pm sometimes during that timeframe. So he used to pray sometimes behind me as well, and we have removed have good memories of that time period of the one thing I've always been intrigued about you though, because, again, like I've only I started consuming your content in around three or four the year also Hadid class was the first thing that our mutual friend Bassel, Abu Huraira had given me the burn CDs. Yes. So shout out to
good brother. So that's when I first came across your content. And I had really good books you wrote your, but I when I looked at the publishing date of your Lumo Koran book, which is not a skin, it's not like a pamphlet, it's a pretty decent sized book, right? You must have been around like 25 I'm guessing when that book was published.
Then I looked at the timeframe. I think 23 Yes, I'm like, right. So what was it? What did it take to write up? Because you're studying now? Right? What was it what pushed you to the next level? And at that point, now you're writing books while you're still studying in your early 20s? So the aroma Quran book, when I applied to Medina, what year did I find 1994 I applied Timothy 94. So by the way, so the Dow Chemical, the money that I got, yeah, I used that money to get a plane ticket to go fly to Medina. Okay. That was what I used the money for. That was a whole month, whatever, three months, it was like my camera trip at the time, because obviously I couldn't afford to go on my own. So I
went to the flight to Medina. And I started preparing. Even before I got accepted, I started preparing in case I get in, I need to get ready to get in. And at the time my my passion was good. So I wanted to talk right I wanted to play college of Quran. And so because of that, I started reading books on normal Quran in Houston at the time, whatever I had, and I started transcribing and compiling notes, those notes I started at the age of 19 those notes became available Quran book, I see. Okay, so and then when I got to Medina, I was single at the time, and I, you know, wanted to spend my time in perpetuity. So what did I do? I would go after SATA Lhasa to the library of the
haram. And I would sit there pretty much daily until Aisha so pray Maghrib and Isha every single day at home did I thank God I prayed, Maghrib and Isha. And Medina every single day in the home when I lived there for 10 years of him, that was my routine. But this was when I was single, I had a longer routine from ASA, all the way to Asia. And I would just sit at the library, and I'd have those notes that I have. And I'd just be reading other books, and just cross referencing, cross referencing and adding. And then the idea can Hey, I mean I'm doing all this, why not just do it in English and write it. And so that year was the year that I actually started typing it all up on my computer in
Medina because I purchased a couple of American who brought it to me with me, but there was no internet at the time. There was no internet there was no this is 9095. So I just started typing up and every single day that will be my project as I'm studying Arabic in the daytime in the evening. I'm doing minimal Quran and doing this on my own. Of course later on I was doing I decided not to look at Luma Quran because I was more interested in to see it in a room than the actual Feraud and I realized Kalia the Quran is 90% karats and just 10% a little more or whatnot. And I just didn't so I went to the Hadith. So yeah.
Just to prepare myself for that. Yeah. And then at when I finished the book, I realized I didn't want to go into the Kalia because they're not doing what I wanted to do. Does that make sense? Like to level that one? Yeah, makes sense. It was the first book because you want to do all the weapon believer book. I think you have an aikido book like a commentary so the Otomo Quran book is not
The first book before that I have multiple treatises and booklets. Before that also, I guess the more more popular one was Riyadh the hidden Shirke Yeah, right. That was the first book that before this I have little booklets when I was 20 Sure. I have like it's really rare to find them I have obviously copies but I published them in Jeddah about Sahaba have like four or five Sahaba done.
Some publications did that that was my first actual printed book. But then the real break came for me with Bilal Philips and Riyadh the hidden shed, right. That was the first real book and then the LUMO Quran came after that. I got you. So actually, I guess a sports question because the bigger picture thing is like that sports for people as a distraction to dress structured for me. What are the distractions have come into your life like things that you're like you've hobbies? Do you have hobbies? I see like I've always pursued your hobbies or just reading. Yeah, of course, I have hobbies.
One of them is really nerdy and geeky numismatics
like the coins? Yeah. Okay. I have over two 300 coins. Okay. I collect ancient Islamic coins. Okay, I specialize in the OMA yet coin collection. So I have all of the domain holder and the all of the Andalusi Nomade qualify as well. So I have all that then I wanted to specialize in Arabs haselwood coins. So this is the coins ProMods. So I have coins dating back to Earth Monday when I finally log on to others, but these aren't minted by Him because they didn't mint coins. These are Persian coins that they would take and they would write Bismillah on the corner. So these are assassinated coins. Right? Okay. And they're so I have this boring regular, but anyway, I have hundreds of hundreds of
coins and the file name is Salahuddin a UBS?
Hassan forbid, Damian, anybody I take an interest in, I just buy a coin from that era. Okay, it takes the my second hobby is scuba diving, which I think you know about as well. I've heard I think it was I do it regularly, regularly, at least three or four times a year. I have over 200 dives. Now I'm a rescue diver. And I go to exotic destinations. I just came back from Cuba. Okay, a week long, a week long scuba dive trip. So I went to Cuba for scuba diving, because that you need a you need as an American to go to Cuba, you need a reason to go to Cuba. Yeah. So scuba diving, comes under humanitarian aid, right to go diving over there. So the visa applied for as a scuba diving then when
I was there, I spent two days with the Muslim community, you know, in Havana, but the technical reason is good. And then I got on a boat and for a week I'm diving, you know, off the coast of Cuba. So yeah, I am very passionate. I love diving, because it disconnects me from my world. Yeah. And introduces you to an alien world altogether. Like you're, you're, you're, you are an alien underwater. Right? And you are you are seeing the creation of Allah in places that probably no human has ever gone to. Right. Right. And, and another part of scuba diving is you're free as a bird like, I know, it sounds contradictory in the water, but you can fly underwater, you know, so probably, I
would say both those are very productive, I would proceed those as very productive hobbies. But I would say like, are there like things that distractions like so, you know, what does a typical week for an average Muslim guy in America now look like? They're going to work? They want to do stuff, but then it's like, oh, we have a dial lots or you know, invitations. Yeah, I turned down a lot of that was a lot of my associates and friends and acquaintances are irritated at me. I turned down a lot of debates. And in Ramadan, I refuse to go to any of it because it just takes up too much time as very frustrating for my family and my colleagues. But how would you when your kids were growing
up? Right? Because sometimes I tried to justify like, okay, my girls have like, friends and their parents want to Yeah, that Listen, man, I don't have a regular life. Subhanallah my kids have sacrificed a lot my wife has sacrificed immensely. May Allah bless all of them. Being who I am, they've had to sacrifice a lot like travel almost every weekend. You know, it's, it comes with the territory. So may Allah bless my wife in particular she has done so I couldn't be who I am without all of her sacrifice. Are there other distractions like in as far as because I'm sure people are also vying for your time or when we I was telling some of the guys before the podcast was
one of the things that when we first connected, we it was hard for you to even get on like a regional stage for like an MSA conference. Right. Yeah, you know, it was like, now you're exactly opposite. Now opposite. Right? Exactly. So obviously, there was a shift at some point where people were like, now vying for your time. What's your decision making process go when you to say yes to something? Because everyone is saying like my dad. He runs a kidney dialysis center. Right, Donald that she runs several of them he had a fundraiser. She got a lot the Bacary can do this. Back in back in Columbus back in the fall. I think it asked me about you I was like sure Yasser ease. I
can't go like I told him listen, he My perception is that unless it's unless it's a hell yes, it's a no. But you have to be very convincing.
It seems right. But that's that's me reading into how I've observed you how I observed you kind of like, manage things, even this podcast, we're squeezing it in a layover, it's like, it's the most effective use of your time. That makes sense. So how do you what's your process when when use when people ask you for stuff, because I'm sure you get countless requests. So I have I had to take an admin a PA that deals with this. So if your father wants to come yell, do introduce you to the PA deal with him. So the PA vets does that. And then he offers me these are the options we have. And then I'll choose amongst those. Okay. Amongst in that, that's kind of your point. But you got some
process. Yeah, the filter? Yeah, that he kind of checks because that because I can't possibly accept even 30 40% of invitations. I just can't do it. Right. I just have to filter it out. And lots of logistical things come into play, including geography library. I don't want to go to the same city multiple times in the year. I need to, you know, maximize that productivity like so. I haven't been to you know, Cincinnati for almost five years ago. Carla, we got to do something there. Right? No, Chicago, unfortunately, I come way too often. I gotta cut back I keep on joking with the guys. Not again, Chicago. Come on, is like they consider me an honorary you know, Chicago Sheriff person. But
yeah, so there's a lot of factors that come in also, you know, I do want to diversify. So there'll be like a fundraiser event. There'll be like yesterday was a masjid event. Okay, yeah. So the masjid community, just a public health club. Right? I want to diversify. So the impact different people at different levels? I know, you must not have a typical day. All right. Yeah. It probably differs if you're at home in Dallas versus traveling. But do you have any non negotiables day, like, okay, every day this other what's
the one non negotiable you don't like in a day or in a week, like, this is something else I have to get done? To push to keep moving my needle forward. That makes sense. I mean, there are things that I try my best to do. Family is one of them. I mean, they've sacrificed a lot and I really try my best to spend as much time as I can during the weekend. Yeah, try to have a family dinner together. I'm very blessed and fortunate. My parents are living with me and the extended house I have. So whatever little I could my can do over there as well. These are things that you just have to do along the way. I mean, other than that, I'm I'm juggling multiple jobs and multiple
responsibilities. I'm in descemet, Islamic seminary America, I'm the dean, I have a non negotiable class that I'm teaching and whatnot. So every week I have to do that, you know, at my masjid, you know, I have to be active over there, my traveling that I do my family, such as life and you know, one day, we won't have it. So we have to do whatever we can to live as productively as we can. There's no set routine and schedule. Sure. And I think as we wrap up here the the final thing I wanted to ask you was, you know, the guys that we came up with, they were now obviously working, we still wants to educate we still want to keep learning. Obviously what's going on like when Gaza now
like, especially with was was semi Hamdi coming to the forefront, kind of give us like, okay, there's a lot of things to know about, right? So people want to get into books, because honestly, you like, and I'm sure you get asked a lot. What are the books you wish people should read? Fact of the matter is, I don't ask that question. Because most people don't read. It doesn't it's not it's easy to ask for the book, you'll go by the book, but it'll just sit on your shelf collecting dust, right? I found that like reading itself is an art, that it's a habit. It's like a muscle. It's like if I just told somebody, Hey, I want to get in shape, go to the gym. If you just tell them to go to
the gym, nothing's gonna happen. There's almost you have to get a workup to it. What advice do you have for somebody who's like, you know, maybe they're mostly the guys are edgy. We have professional degrees. But we've been away from school. And now we want to get back into like, study like, you know, doing a little bit of reading, getting more literate on things. What advice would you have for like someone who wants to get back into like a reading habit. Reading is a passion you have to have from within doesn't come from without if you don't have a passion for reading, don't force yourself, okay? These days, Allah has blessed us to be in an era where technology has made knowledge
accessible in so many different ways, podcasts or their YouTubes, or their seminars are there. And if you remember, we even when I was teaching for multiple others, why was motive so popular? Because it's what the people needed at the time in place. Nobody's going to read books or film or books of theology, but the McRib brought it to life when I was teaching for you guys, right? The same goes now, if you're not into the passion of reading a 300 page book on the history of Palestine in Israel, because it gets so boring so quickly, you know, for you. Yes, even for me, because it's an information overload. I don't see at this stage, I understand my goal, one of my main niches is to
sift from the books to the masses, okay. That's what academics do. That's Republicans articles do, right? I need to figure out what information is the most pertinent and relevant for my Alma to be activated, right? So I need to get 10 facts and choose one of them. That's what I need to do. I need to read not in order to memorize I already stopped the idea of memorizing everything you read. That's the only one your undergrad Would not I need to read, to comprehend and then to construct a summary that is going to be enough for the masses to be motivated to feel the sense of, of pride to understand what's good
Hang on. So it's filtering down a massive information in a cohesive framework. That's what my job is. It With that in mind, my reading is very different now than it was when I was a graduate level. Because graduate level, it's like memorizing and understanding everything now it is sifting through. And I don't care about memorizing at all. If there's an important point, I'll make a note that I need to add this, and I'll read 234 books and articles. And then I'll and as you know, this is my style, I never ever just read one, and then copy and paste. Oh, that's to me, that's, again, that's not your son, I need to understand competing views understand why people see what they say. And in
the process, use my mind as the filter from the classical or the modern books I read, and then give it to the masses. So when I'm reading, I'm skim reading. I'm not reading page by page fact, by fact, I'm skim reading. And then automatically when I come across an interesting fact, I'll slow down. And I like it. This is an interesting point. And I'll just go and I have my notes. I'll just make a note of it. Okay, this is an interesting added here. And then when you're done reading 2345 books, you have a bunch of notes. Now you sift through, and you write your article, that's how I do my, my intense hold buzz and Bruce, not the ad hoc ones, because you know, there's different the prepared
lectures. That's how you do them. Yeah. Okay. You know, I was telling you in the car right over here that like, I made a tweet yesterday that like, hey, weather permitting, because we were always, you know, wintertime, seven degrees, man.
It's hard wearing this jacket, weather permitting, I'll be interviewing chick yesterday about, you know, productivity and his personal habits and whatnot. And I will not be asking him about this clip that y'all are so worried about about, we'll send out the protest.
You're like, Hey, man, you should mention that on the on the recording. So I got you. Here we go. I mean, I'm not on social media anymore. hamdullah. Thank Allah. Oh, you're actually off Twitter? Yeah, I mean, as I said, I don't check any more you have an account, but somebody manages it. Yeah, I have an admin, I said that if I need to post about my lectures, or my videos, you'll do the posting Hamdulillah. I don't really check anymore. It's been actually a very big blessing. But you and others told me about some some click that's taken. Me. Firstly, I think it's self evident with anybody who has a sincere heart and positive IQ, that it's pretty obvious. It's a political protest.
It's not a theological class, and you have 400,000 people, the largest protest in the history of
America, pro Palestine, and Alhamdulillah. I'm very grateful to have one of the few clerics invited. And you have to preach and speak to an audience that is composed of diverse groups of people, I honestly have no explanation to do if you really are going to read in what some of the brothers have written I, I honestly think it shows more about your mentality than what I said to be brutally honest here. And I also have to say, I think it's about time, it's very clear to me, having gone through the Twitter phase and real life and whatnot, it's very clear to me that we just have to grow up and move on. There are people that are,
I don't want to say hell bent because I don't use that word. There are people that are obsessed with fault finding, and nitpicking, and just creating controversy and drama. And of course, when you're in that bubble that does hurt, which is why I left the one of the majors that left the bubble. But when you leave that bubble, you realize it is a self constructed imaginary bubble, it doesn't actually affect the world around you. In the end of the day, we thank Allah, we mobilized we spoke, you know, people's perceptions changed yesterday in Cincinnati, three or four non Muslims came to my talk, because they saw my speech online. And they heard I was coming. And one of them was of a
Jewish background, you can ask this on the video. And he said, I'm a person from a Jewish background. You know, I want to know, how can I help the Palestinian cause? Now, I'm sorry, and I don't like being blunt. These guys that are just picking it faultfinding into D and Catherine's in the UK? What have you done, other than kick everybody else off and make everybody else? We're doing things? We're the people they're getting bombed in? Huzzah. And all you're interested in is mine is as India. I'm sorry. We just have to move on. Right? And it just be mature about it? Yeah. Some people may Allah guide them, if they're sincere, they will be guided eventually. And if they're
interested, they have bigger bones to deal with. That's why I left that world because I really found that certain groups of people, they just create drama for the sake of drama. And I don't feel the need to denigrate myself waste my time. It doesn't affect me or my Dawa, or the impact that I have with these people will ask Allah for a class. If I make a genuine mistake. It should be clarified. I don't think I made a mistake. It was wording that was political. It's understood. Yesterday, my talks on the salvation being only in Islam is as crystal clear as day. In fact, if you remember,
I gave a talk that went viral last year about the red lines. Yep. And I've very clearly explained in the dinner in the light is now one way of criticizing the failure of boliviano. Right. It's very, there is no to now in a political call.
Sometimes we want to motivate people of a Jewish background to give up Zionism. We have to motivate them. And we say these are our brethren meaning in the cause of Philistine Do you really think I meant these are brethren and Jana? I mean, come on. I don't even need to explain why, to be honest. You know, it's very clear there were orthodox rabbis standing in the audience. on a Saturday, they walked to the protest, because it's Saturday, they walked to the protest, to show us that they are in solidarity with the people of Huntsville. How and there were hundreds of them dressed in their garden would not, how can I not praise them? Yep. That wasn't planned because I didn't know they'd
be there. So I am prompt you. I agree. As usual, if you want to read in an ambiguous meaning you can, but there is nothing to apologize for in that context. It's no theological verdict that with a biller, I'm saying these are the real people that prefer the law of Moses over the nation of Israel. Yeah, right. These are our brethren we support them Come on, you're gonna problematize this I'm sorry. I just I don't want to be more harsh than this but we have to I think the most they're the most upset they realize they can't get you on the Twitter DM anymore.
I don't check anymore I'm hearing from two three people that's more it was the what was it? Like the these are our brethren is being interpreted that that they're in gender assembly? I mean, come on. I just I don't like I said we just have to let them be further homefield. I'm gonna team had to hit let them be it. There was a thing in Arabic. I don't wanna say all of it. But the caravan moves on. And then dadada let it be. No, honestly, what like, it has to be said here. I haven't. I have other things I need to do. And I cannot just be worried about this group of people. Because honestly, they're in their own artificial bubble. Really, it is the world around them. The people the massage
of the conferences, the impact that this is real. Yeah. And these people find meaning amongst themselves online. Yeah, but they don't have an impact in flesh and blood. That's actually the things of English too. I think it's called Let The Dogs bark, but the trains will leave the station. Yeah, I mean, I can't be bothered. I have things I have to do. I'm not going to be responding and that's why that's one of the main reasons I left social media. It wasn't the best usage of my time. Well, there's an example of distraction you could cut out because it distract it was a distraction. I realized that for me, it's actually a bigger distraction because I have to write and read a
research and give Autobahn rules and speak to audiences. What's the fight of these people always and I'm never going to make them by the way never going to placate them because in their eyes already coffers and dealing with data volume will let them be they are not judges Allah is Mulliken work and Allah is Rabbil Alameen. Allah is the One who is going to judge let them judge and I hope on the Day of Judgment, I will accrue as many Hessonite as I can. I'll leave it at that inshallah.
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