Pragmatism, Politics and Power
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
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THE THINKING MUSLIM
Episode Transcript ©
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Dr. Yasser cardia salam o aleikum wa rahmatullah and welcome back to the thinking Muslim it's a pleasure to have you with us once again. Why Because salah Mohammed salah. It's a pleasure to be here. We had a good conversation last time Mashallah. Let's continue that inshallah we did. Well, Dottie Yasser, I really want to explore a very important theme today that of Islam and political power. Now we often declare that Islam is political. From its first moment, Islam was linked to a state building process, and the Sharia explicitly addresses rules that can only be discharged by a government, such as the rules of Hadoop or the rules of apostasy. Imam Ghazali even linked the
collection of soccer and the marriage contract contingent on having an Islamic government. I think it is not incorrect to argue that for a long duration of Islamic history, Muslims in a majority of Muslim countries have lived under Islamic Caliphate or empires. Even those on the peripheries remain conscious of this political power, intrinsic, intrinsically linked to their faith. However, much of this is, is much of it's less to do with religion and more to do with the circumstances early Muslims found themselves in Islam wedded to its foundational moment, politics views with a spiritual foundation. Many Muslim revivalist movements were established after the demise of the Ottomans with
varying degrees of success, possibly one may argue, but ultimate success has eluded them. But the issue of political power remains a vexed one. Some have pursued programs that can only be described as authoritarian, building conceptions of state power and centralization that really existed in past eras. So how do we assess these programs? And relevant to us bears the question of sizeable Muslim minorities in the West outside of the natural homelands? Can Muslims engage with political systems and ideologies that radically contravene Islamic tenets? And if this is necessary to our existence? Do Muslims have to give up something in return? So there's a lot to get through. And I feel you have
fought about these matters. And I would like to hear your views and stress test some of your conclusions in a respectful and robust way. I mean, to add my question today, come insha Allah from a sincere place. I mean, I find myself agreeing with almost everything you say, but sometimes question or query some of your political stances. So I would like to really get some clarification on fees. Now, firstly, I listened to and follow most of your lectures in code buzz, and I feel you're attempting to work out many of these really difficult questions. Is that a fair summary of where you are? Or do you feel you have come to a concrete conclusion or a series of concrete
conclusions? On the general points I mentioned in my introduction about politics? J this villa hamdu lillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah, who Allah Allah, He will be here on what I'm about to ask ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada to purify our hearts and to guide us to that, which is the truth and to guide us to the truth and be brave enough to speak the truth. Even if it brings about the criticism of the critic, as to your question about trying to figure out the best way forward in this very complex, unprecedented, political, and, dare I say, religious situation and context we find ourselves in, I think that all of us really, all of us are trying. And in the end, perfection is with Allah subhanho
wa taala. You know, we all have a role to play and what I've been saying for quite a long time, you can't expect everybody to play the same role. You can't expect everybody to think along the same lines, and some diversity not only is inevitable, it is actually required and healthy. So, let there be a spectrum of attempts and let people decide, as long as it is within a general rubric of insha Allah The only positive Islamic sense and ideology and theology, let people decide which specific area of that spectrum they feel the most productive and the most useful, and we need to be respectful of a wide variety of opinions, right? And then beyond that, we need to tolerate if not
respect, and then beyond that, we need to grudgingly not really like and maybe gently warn against and then even beyond, that is where we throw in the card of heresy or even in extreme measures, try our best to eliminate those understanding. So there is a spectrum and we begin with the spectrum not just of tolerance but of genuine bonafide respect and again, your your your podcast is generally a little bit more advanced. So let me be blunt in this conversation
In here, I am somebody who genuinely respects mainstream the so Wolf, mainstream wise Salafism, mainstream Jamaat e Islami Muslim Brotherhood. This is these are spectrums they have been designed, you know, the sad scholars, it's not a matter of grudgingly tolerate, I genuinely believe that this mainstream spectrum are insha Allah to Allah all upon good and Taqwa and Iman and hype, and that they have within them enough of a salvation or an element of Islam that will allow them not only to enter agenda, but inshallah to Allah, they can aspire for agenda tool for DOS. Now look at the difference between a political stability and between a Giamatti or a Muslim Brotherhood. You know,
being a home member of ours as the Arabic expression goes between the two is an entire Gulf. And yet the both of them have their interpretations of the faith that inshallah Tada there is good in this. So this is the spectrum that I actually think it's not just tolerating genuine respect, we move beyond this and you're like, Well, I don't respect those, but it is what it is. And again, I mean, for the sake of the conversation, let me be honest here, you know, some of the more you know, hardline said if he is the most condescending he's for example, and frankly, I'm be honest here, some of the unwise his with the heady type, the ones that really just don't they, they're not
willing to tolerate other opinions. And this is where I think my personal level of not really respect comes when you problematize the rest of the Ummah, right, when you make them your enemies, theologically or your your anger is primarily directed towards the internal of the OMA, frankly, you've lost my respect. Now, when that anger becomes to QVT. When that anger becomes violent, well, then I'm sorry, that's not even tolerating anymore. Now, we need to warn against you. Now we need to say you are not really worthy to preach your views, and especially when they become violent, well, then we can't just sit back and let people to be killed, you know, because of these radical
understanding. So we have this entire spectrum. And now going back to your question here, do I have answers? I mean, not definitively, no, but I'm trying. And I also know my forte, my talents, and it also know my my experiences have shaped my worldviews. By the way, FYI, I was born into a Jamaat e Islami family, my father was one of the record of the economic, you know, we I grew up in that the first Islamic book I read was Maududi, you know, this model these writings, you know, they're the ones that shaped me. And I became more apolitical when I decided to become mainstream Salafi in the early 90s. If you remember that phase here, you know, that took over. And then in the course of the
last 1520 years, I've found my own voice, my own niche and all of this. So we are all products of multiple facets of existence. Our childhood shaped us our experiences shape us, we should be broad minded enough to insha Allah to appreciate a level of diversity, but to answer your question who can arrogant arrogant to themselves I have achieved to the solution, who can have that level of of Kibera to say this is the only way forward or the biller? On the contrary, I am trying, and I know you are trying, and I know many other people are trying to reach the hawk, but it is only Allah that is Al Haq, and we strive to be on the path to oil help. Thank you. Thank you very much for that
answer. Can I just quickly follow up on that you have expressed a number of political views and you have the right as you quite rightly said, everyone has a right to express their views and and to explain their perspectives to Muslims. How important do you feel it is for you to seek advice from or do you seek advice from say, political scientists? When formulating a position, for example, on Muslim political participation, or on the big themes that are grand themes of the caliphate, for example?
So I am somebody who engages with a lot of people, I have a lot of people on my whatsapp, I love to people who know me know this. There's voice messages go back and forth on multiple topics. And there are a group of people that I do talk to my ideas and get their ideas from few of them are more far more experiment. My My expertise is not political science I've never claimed it is. So yes, there are some people but at the same time, because I don't constantly talk about these issues. They're not something that I'm constantly engaged with, and that but I am open to, I'm open to conversations and there are a number of people who have taken it upon themselves to always email me or give me
some updates about something they disagree with. And I appreciate that. I always appreciate sincere, constructive, internal criticism right at something that's very positive. So I encourage you and I encourage anybody that believes that, you know, they have the expertise to feel free to to email me my
Milas public feel free to give me constructive advice and give me worldviews that I'm not aware of. And Insha Allah, we're all students of knowledge inshallah till the day that we die. Now, where do you stand on the fundamental question I raised in my introduction, is Islam political? And if so, what does this mean?
Define political right? That's where I mean, okay, look, let's be let's cut the, you know, the polemics of what we all understand what you mean by political we understand, in your worldview, you're you're intending or you're wanting to ask, should Islamic laws be paramount in a society? And should a country or a region be ruled by the laws of Islam? Frankly, how can anybody deny theoretically that that is the default case? That is the ideal case, I think it is a very, very difficult if not impossible task to deny that Islam has elements that are clearly meant to be implemented in society and that a society based upon the values of Islam is far more conducive for
piety and for achievement of Allah's pleasure on this earth versus a society that in other words that we live in where it is a bit more difficult to worship Allah subhana wa Tada. So, theoretically, of course, I think everybody would say yes, but the devil is in the details as the as the saying goes, and in my humble, you know, perspective. And again, this is an ongoing conversation. I always go back to this point, la you Khalifa Allahu nevsun, illa whoosah. On the Day of Judgment, I will be asked about my immediate sphere of influence, what could I do, given the circumstances I was born in, given the reality of the world that I live in, given my own talents and
my my resources to impact other people. And this is where I would say, the beauty of Islam the beauty of our religion really is demonstrated that ALLAH SubhanA wa, tada cater to more scenarios than we can possibly imagine. And Allah will judge us based upon the scenarios we find ourselves in, therefore, and again, I've always said this for us Muslims living in western democracies in the liberal secular democracies, we find ourselves in, we have to be crystal clear, we do not have the luxury, we don't have the the Machiavellian reality of pretending to espouse one thing when we secretly espouse another, we don't believe this. What we preach is what we believe, and what we
believe is what we will preach. And I have been very public, it is not a part of the goals of our Sharia, that us who are living as minorities in western lands, that we aim to overthrow the systems that we live under, and we aim to supplant the systems of government with alternative versions, that is political suicide, and it will be religious suicide for us. On the contrary, we aim to preserve our rights to worship Allah subhana wa Tada. Now we can aspire theoretically, we hope the world embraces Islam, we hope our lands, embrace Islam and implement the Sharia of Allah. Yes. And I'll publicly say this, we hope this as a religious aspiration. But are we are aiming or we strategizing.
I mean, I think after the last 15 years, we understand, almost all movements have toned down. And I mean, when I was growing up, by the way, that was not the case in the 80s. As you know, I grew up in the Jamaat background and the Muslim Brotherhood background, whatnot, and his battalion were at their Pinnacle outside. And in the late 80s, when I was a teenager, the type of rhetoric we would hear in messages would probably have you sent to Guantanamo in our times, right? I can't repeat some of this stuff, because it would get me into trouble to simply repeat what I used to hear and hold buzz back in the 80s and early 90s. So we've matured, we had these naive, you know, idealistic
slogans, and we were punched in the gut post 911. And we were made to realize that we need to have very precise, clear goals while we're living here. So is Islam political by nature? And I know what you mean. So I'm not going to say what do you mean by political? Theoretically, ideally, yes, it is. And for those who have the qualities and the circumstances to bring about effective change, good, but for us as Muslim minorities, our primary goal should be to preserve our faith, our theology, our rituals, our practice of Islam, amongst ourselves and families and communities. And we do not explicitly aim we do not politically strategize, to implement a different system. Even though we're
going to get to this I know, we try our best within the mechanisms of what is allowed to us within the legal recourse that we have to influence society in a positive manner. And again, Allah Subhana Allah knows best bottom line.
To expect Muslim I mean, let's be a bit more controversial. What do you expect Muslims in the May Allah? May Allah protect all of them the Uighur concentration camp that we're I'm not pronouncing correctly but the, you know, the our brothers of Eastern Minister, what do you expect them to do? Are you going to ask them? Is Islam political? Should we establish a laugh? Is that within their purview to really be concerned about now that hamdulillah our situation American England is far, far, far better. But again, is it something we will be asked about? What did you do in America? What did you do in Canada, in England in Australia, we will make dua for our brothers and sisters and
other lands to be more effective. And then again, how deep do you want to go? What would you do right now, I don't want to mention specific countries because that might get me or you into trouble. But Middle Eastern tyrannical regimes, dictatorships, even in Muslim majority lands, how far can you go before the state apparatus is going to intervene and cut you into pieces? Take you into jail, and you'll never see your kids again? Is that what Allah requires of us? Will we be held accountable for not standing up and and challenging the tyrant in that land? To establish a Shediac? According to our understanding, or what if we work out a status quo where I can preach Salah and I can have
Muslims incentivize and make them come closer to Allah subhanaw taala. And then, perhaps in a better circumstance in a different time in place, we can push for other agendas, so boils down to question of priorities, and question of pragmatic logistical capabilities, both of which the Shetty itself has taught us the priority is this gear to knifes, his closeness to Allah, it is to believe in Allah subhanho wa Taala prepare for the final day it is to worship Allah and to live an ethical life. That's what's gonna get me into Ghana. If I have more luxury, more opportunity, then I continue to increase the sphere. But if I don't live locally, for long enough, said Allah was, does that answer
your question? No, it does answer my question. And it certainly I agree that we face a lot of challenges, especially here in the West. And many of these challenges really impact who we are as a Muslim community and impact our very sense of being Muslim and our identity. And so there needs to be a focus on these challenges that we face. But at the same time, we do know that there is different expertise in the Muslim community and certainly in I live in a in a community where the majority of people have to really focus on these identity issues that you've discussed. But amongst us, you've got economists, you've got political theorists, you've got Islamic scholars, you've got
people who have got a greater understanding of Islamic philosophy and a greater understanding of the world around them. And I just wonder whether we're missing something if we say that the focus of all of the Muslim communities in the West has to be on very immediate here and now. I mean, it links to a discussion. I remember you have in it was a really good discussion. Actually. There's a Carter, I think you held a year back on the five spheres of influence and change.
I mean, can you outline these five spheres that you talk about and maybe link it to the point I make about here in the West, where we can move beyond maybe spare one and two, which you would you would you talk about? Yes. Okay, that was Yeah, right to heart that I gave impromptu actually was not prepared, most of them are hot, those are just impromptu, some of them are very good. I appreciate that. So, um, because I was thinking about this issue for a while and then just verbalize it in my mind, and it just gave a hug. So, um,
I said that there's five spheres of influence, we should all be thinking about number one, global, you know, what's happening around the world, and especially the hotspots for the Slean and whatnot, you know, number two, you know, in our own lands and countries that we find ourselves in, and we have a certain political privilege. And so for me, it's America. Number three, the communities and the massage that we're active in, you know, whichever local community you're involved in, you know, your, your, your immediate, and you can also even say, your immediate society, like your, your district, your city, which is different than the national right. Number four is your personal life,
your family and friends, your actual people that you visit in their house, and they come over to you and your family that you're related to. And then number five, you yourself personally, between you and Allah subhana, WA, tada, right. These are the five spheres that every one of us, you know, can be thinking about. What I mentioned in the hotter is that many of us, we become so absorbed in the first and second. And we don't realize that in reality, we need to flip the script. And we need to start with number five and work our way back to number one. Right? Rather than because again, when you read the newspapers, newspapers are all about number one. And number two, newspapers and media
and what we, most of us will be interested in are conversations. They're generally with the big stuff, right? The grand scale of things what's happening
here and there and whatnot. But in reality, going back to my previous point of a few minutes ago, Allah will ask me, how did I live my life? How ethical was I? How moral was I? How upright was I? How conscientious was I? What impact I had on my wife, my family, my children, my society, my immediate community. So bottom line, these are the five spheres of influence, be aware of all five, but concentrate on number five and work your way out and going back to Allah has to cleave on us Allah's putting on us obligations or responsibilities. It is, in fact five and then four, and then three, and then two, and then one, even in the Sharia. It's actually the other way around. So that
was my point, start backwards, even as you're aware of all five of them. Yeah.
Often, scholars are, maybe it's is unfair, but scholars are described as being quietus, you know, people who use this sophistry of, you know, for five spheres, for example, or, you know, working on oneself and and that's an excuse to then not talk about the big issues of the day to not talk about the Uyghurs to not address the issues of France and to not address, you know, the persecution against our Ummah, but also to not address some of the really big political discussions that I think we have the luxury in the West to engage with. Isn't maybe a better way to view and and visit just as he was speaking, I was I was contemplating this, a better way to view our talk live, is to think
about ourselves as a community and ask whether we're able as a community to address all five of these fears in an in a competent and adequate way. And so if a community only cared about the Muslims in Palestine, and forgot about oneself and one's community, that would be a failing community. But if we had the talents in one community, as you guys have in, you know, in Texas, you've got handle over a very good capacity, then maybe it's worth having groups and communities and sub communities that work on each and every single one of these without excluding any one of them. Does that make sense? But I what you just said is basically a different way of saying what I said,
because that you start with number five, that is follow the aim. But a lot of people are falling short of 14, dare I say the bulk of the Ummah is falling short of their for dying. So if they're struggling with for dying, you know, let's again be real, how many Muslims actually pray five times a day how many Muslims actually sincerely are living their lives preparing for the Day of Judgement, thinking about hisab? You know, how many Muslims are monitoring their income, and making sure they eat ethical and halal and more than what not? You know, the presenter roughly as well as it were, that's not a majority. Right. So my, my, my point that I've continuously been trying to say, if
Allah has blessed me with the pulpit, if Allah has blessed me with an audience of 10s of 1000s of people, every football game, when it goes online, 10s of 1000s of people that I know that the bulk of them are failing in their minimal obligations, the bulk of them are not living ethical lives, the bulk of them are falling short in their relationships with their spouses in not being, you know, as good parents as they can be. Don't you think that it is more appropriate for me to emphasize that which they need, and that which will save them, and that which will benefit them immediately, rather than to emphasize that which it's interesting to hear, but it's not going to impact them. So in my
humble opinion, and start following my alert, I'm not trying to brag or boast, but I would say out of all of the
many of the people preaching my lectures are far more political than the vast majority of those that have the types of audiences I do write with. Well, I'm not saying I'm saying, May Allah give me humility, I'm not trying to brag or boast, but look at how often I mentioned the Uighur issue, the federal state is a constant motif for me, you know, I take trips there and whatnot. But still, the emphasis should be where 80 90% of my talks should be about something that will impact my audience at the immediate level. Now, if I were to give every single Hotbot about philosophy,
will it change the situation here in Texas? Nice. So it's just a matter of pragmatics and being reasonable. Having said that, again, to go back to your question, I will go, you know, move on to the next one after this. Those whose talents are separate than what I'm a preacher, I'm preaching to the masses. You know, I'm a person who is trained in the Sharia, I'm supposed to inspire them, you know, to be better in their daily lives. But there are those that are inclined to think politically, those that have the expertise or the influence very different than me. Well, then let them concentrate on the other spheres and let them you know, produce material and impact where Allah azza
wa jal has given them the talents to do so. I think
That's a fair
position. I think that's a really good bit of clarification. So you wouldn't be against, you know, in your community, I don't know, a group of young, talented post grads who come together and say, Look, we would like to,
we would like to engage with some of the big political issues, not withstanding everything that you've said. And we would like to, you would be happy with that. Not just happy I would. This is happening, of course, I mean, I am. I am not directly involved. But I'm aware of people that are involved at the local level at the national level. And you know, some of them approached me for questions and whatnot, and I encouraged you know, and what they're doing, but whatever I can, you know, encourage them within the the mainstream views of Islam. I'm very happy at this. Yes, it needs to be done. Great. Well, let me move on. Let me ask you about the vexed issue of political
participation in the West. Now, I heard a recording of a meeting at your Masjid where you invited a local Muslim politician, I think it was a Democratic politician, as well as your comments prior to a lecture you gave here in the UK, at the East London Mosque, and you spoke of the success of Muslims in the UK to achieve high office. Now, maybe some could misconstrue that, as you're praising visa initiatives, which in an absolute way, without constraints, are these approaches? Or are these initiatives where Muslims get involved with local politics always positive?
This is a very multifaceted question. Let me let me attempt to explain it in a little bit more detail. And I can see why. Some people
who want rather simplistic 1015 second clips, they have a very superficial understanding of what I'm trying to say. Some people think I'm sending mixed signals. No, I've actually been, I think, quite clear, in my positions, if you listen to my lectures, and by the way, the I think you're talking about a local politician that invited if it's not if it's the same one, this was a city councilman, and I say this because I don't know if you're aware in England, but here in America, we have different tiers of of office, I'm sure you do the same. A city councilman, I mean, frankly,
there's hardly anything they can do that is crowfoot, or shake me within that office is just a very, very regional thing about you know, zoning laws or, you know, helping the messenger that a community level, I mean, city councilman does not get involved in national policies, much less international policies. And I did invite somebody like that to to actually have a very awkward conversation. I encourage viewers to listen to her I asked him point blank, what do you do about issues that are unethical in office? You know, at that small level, we're not talking about invading Iraq that there is no they don't do that at that at that time level. So it's not an endorsement it was actually a
very frank conversation. Hey, look, let's see how we can understand this is a person who studied Islam to a certain level madrasa, you know, and I think half is, at least memorize some Jews and now he's in you know, politics at a very low level. So actually wanted to interview him that wasn't an endorsement it was just an interview and I encourage everybody to listen to it. But here's where we get to the the the big elephant in the room.
To what level should Muslims get involved in the politics of their lands? Let me preface by saying nobody has a clear cut mathematical formula to apply in every single situation. This is a very gray area, it's a very dangerous area. It is an area where ongoing conversations are necessary, open dialogue with different segments of the community. And may I simply say in sha Allah, I hope that all of us are mature enough to, uh, going back to my first point, agree to disagree within the mainstream of Islam, it is dangerous to problematize and to make a fellow Muslim an enemy because of this gray area, disagreement here, my own position. And I've said this very bluntly, and that's my
lifestyle approves this. I don't believe involvement in politics is the primary mechanism to achieve long term positive change. I don't believe this. If I were done if I believed it, I would have been involved in that. I don't believe see Assa is within the western land. And maybe even within the majority of, you know, dictatorships that are even in Muslim lands, I don't believe that is the most fruitful, ethical and spiritually fulfilling way to live one's life. And the path I have chosen demonstrates this. At the same time.
It is a necessary evil, people have to live in lands that are run in the mechanisms or run by and at some level, after 911 We all realize this, we do need to influence our politicians, right? Pre 911 And I was one of them. I was extremely apolitical, pre 911. That was mainstream Saturday, by the way, and by the time we're, you know, very mainstream, Salafi very apolitical.
In the experiences of 911, of being in America, where our entire government is shutting down religious institutions closing seminaries, right, and then within five years 22 states are wanting to ban the *tier. I don't know if you remember that timeframe, but 22, that's almost half of our states, including where I was living at the time, there were attempts to legislate banning the *ty I literally banning the shutdown. You can't just sit back and allow your own governments to take away your rights, you have to fight within the mechanism of the law. So we learned this the hard way after a night of love, and that we can't just sit back and let them you know, do this to
us. Realistic. And by the way, by the way, theoretically, here's the irony of ironies, every mainstream strand of Islam, you know, from the Obon, these two of course, Jamaat and Muslim brother and HT, and even selfies, I mean, when I was there in the 90s, you know, I would know the fatwas have been bad. And the hate came out on Obama, and you know, all of my teachers, yes, you should get involved and make sure you have your rights. And I would disdain like how they don't know American politics, our own teachers would tell us even mainstream said, if you look at the fatawa of the headcover, the Muslims living in minorities should try their best to influence the policies that
will be more conducive to them, right. The irony of ironies, when we were the youngsters at the time, we would dismiss them, Oh, you don't know the realities, and maybe they didn't know the realities, but theoretically, almost every strand of Islam does say, you can't just sit back and let them you know, pillage and plunder your rights, you have to get involved to influence the system. But of course, the devil is in the detail. So let's have a quick imaginary conversation between a more purist, you know, puritanical person who doesn't want to get involved versus a pragmatist politician. The purist is going to say, Islam says we should not seek political power. Right. The
pragmatist is going to say well, use of Alayhis Salam sorted in in a regime that was cool, free and he did a good job. The Purists is going to respond Ah, but politics is corruptive conducive to the soul it it. It makes you less c&d pious and whatnot. The pragmatist says somebody has to do it. It's better that religious folks people with a partial Eman and Taqwa do it rather than those who don't believe in Allah subhanho wa taala. The purest response. Well, and you're unclear who do I don't know. Sorry, I didn't tell you who the winners thought I had that data back. But later on, they shall never be pleased with you until you adopt to their ways. The pragmatists response is not about
adopting their ways. It's about protecting our rights and being represented the purest response, you're going to have to compromise on some of your values. The pragmatist says, Yeah, maybe. But there's a greater good that needs to be achieved. We choose our battles wisely. And we might not win every single battle. But if we win the larger battles, even if it comes at a loss, well, then it needs to be done. The purist says the ends don't justify the means. The pragmatist says there is no alternative to secure our rights. The Purists says you're never going to achieve all your goals. The pragmatist says, ah, but we have and we will achieve partial goals. So you can have this
conversation back and forth. And in fact, you can even subdivide there's an entire spectrum here as well, I say. So, in my view, in my understanding, I would say you have the radical purists. They don't want the pragmatist to exists. They actively oppose them, maybe even tech theater taqdeer. This is like the radical purists. You keep on going down, you get to the soft purists. They don't want to get involved themselves, but they understand somebody's got to clean the gutters. They understand somebody's gotta, you know, clean the sewer systems and call us if some people are doing it, you know, that are better for us than others. Well, then let it be. They're not going to oppose
the pragmatist, even though they're not going to get involved themselves. You keep on going down the spectrum. You get to what I call soft pragmatists, right? Soft pragmatists are sympathetic to the concerns of the purists. But they do believe it's the lesser of two evils. And they might not even believe fully in the system, but they need to take advantage of it to protect the rights of the Muslim community. Then you have the radical pragmatist, those that are basically complete believers in the system. And generally speaking, you don't find them to be of the practicing Muslims. And of course, this is a very loose spectrum here. My personal association probably if this spectrum were
to be valid in your eyes would probably be in the soft purists side. I don't get involved. I don't want to get involved. I don't like getting involved. But somebody has to do it. And if I can find the soft pragmatists, right, if I can, if I can look at people who they're still believers in law, they, they they're conscious they have to answer for to a higher power. They're trying their best to navigate. I appreciate perhaps at some level what they're doing even though
I personally would never endorse or like it, but it is the lesser of two evils. So bottom line to conclude this question, I know it's a long, long answer, but I am worried about myself, I'm speaking to become so idealistic, that we cut ourselves off from society. And that we become basically people living in our own imaginary ivory towers, to the point of neglecting, compromising really being efficient in broader society. And I seek Allah's refuge from sounding patronizing. But what I'm seeing personally,
a cycle, going back to some of the puritanical views of the 90s amongst our youth who didn't live through the political turmoil of post 911, England and America,
if you didn't live through that turmoil, if you didn't have a genuine sense of like, anxiety, what is happening to the country, I lived in what is happening to the freedoms I took for granted, you know, in the 80s, and 90s, what is happening to our communities, if you didn't live through that, and you came to age 510 years ago, you're in your late 20s, early 30s, for example, you didn't quite understand post 911, it is easier to revert to this naive.
Naive is a loaded term, I apologize for using that. Because in politics, everybody calls everybody naive. It's the one area you can have the most experience doesn't matter. Everybody's a self professed expert, and everybody calls their opponents politically naive. It is the reality of the world. So I take that that term back. Idealistic is better. Utopia is fine, I don't mind to to live in this ivory tower bubble of wanting 100% Purity as if you're in a laboratory. The world is not like that. And I'm worried of reverting back to that stage of the 90s, where we had the luxury to live like that, without the impending doom of a post 911 world. We can't afford that over again. So
we do need soft purists and soft pragmatists to have cooperation together to a reasonable level, concluding with this maxim to this question. There's a maximum filk, Marla Yudanaka Kulu, who live with Rocco Kulu. What you can't acquire in totality, you don't leave in totality. Suppose we cannot acquire a fully Islamic system? Surely, we should try to acquire whatever we can, that allows us to be Muslim, Allahu Allah. Now, I want to address that. And And certainly, I think your spectrum is a very good delineation of of where Muslims stand on for topic. I think that's a really helpful analysis.
Isn't there a a valid discussion, and I don't think this comes necessarily from the purists who look at the theological debates and argue that it's haram to participate. But it's a very valid political science discussion about the nature of the liberal state. Surely there are the engagement, one has at a very high level, find your right at a local level, maybe the concessions Muslims need to make are going to be minor, insignificant, but the higher you go up the ladder, the more concessions you're going to have to make, because the liberal state requires those people from all minority communities in particular, as you said, after 911, it requires Muslims to make some very deep
concessions about their faith, are released to acquiesce about the the sort of the type of society they wish to create, as you know,
you know, in America, us you see this, there are many Muslims who live in democratic states in particular, who have been offended by some of the progressive social liberalism, far as impacted by themselves, and in particular, their children in schools. And it is clear that those Muslims who have joined a political system at a very high level at a congressional level when in the UK, and a parliamentarian level, at the mayoral level, even here in the UK, they've had to make some very deep concessions, some very basic very, you know, these answer of superficial concessions, as you know, these are very deep concessions with the liberal state. So, how do you
observe the point I make there how do you analyze you know, just the strength of the liberal state in in in
enforcing Muslims to give something up? What are the red lines I suppose is what are my skin
the red lines
as a person is shot all over him and have knowledge.
That's why I'm not involved in politics. The red lines are going to be crossed at some level actually.
Let me let me again, take a step back here. At some level, every one of us has to cross some red lines or make some concessions. I mean, if you work in corporate America, your corporation, by and large must be involved in somebody but we transactions or something of a nature. Or if you're, again, you're going to have to be involved in
events that might have alcohol and ideally, you shouldn't be in that room. Ideally, your your, your level of Vimana tacos should not you know, cause you to be there. But sometimes that happens and the higher up you go, even in court, let's forget politics, even in corporate life, the higher up you go, the more concessions you're going to have to make the other day. You know, I'm a community leader in my in my mission and epic the other day, somebody came up to me, I didn't actually know this. Turns out Michelle is very, very blessed and wealthy and he has a corporation with 3000 employees like this is a multi multimillionaire, maybe even million, I don't know. But he came up to
me, I show the simplicity of this other guy had no idea. He's telling me. Now the issue comes, the government is requiring him to run with all of the laws and everything to offer the same health packages to same sex as two married couples, right?
He can't get out of it.
What am I going to tell him? I can't say it's halal. It's not but am I going to tell him to give up his corporation he has a halal business he's doing amazing work, one of the main mashallah good man praise Fajr any reply Insha Allah, Allah has blessed him to have his own corporation, Allah has blessed him to be a mover and shaker in the community and whatnot. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? Is that as ever? What if a purist from another land comes and says, you living in England? Your tax dollars helped invade Iraq without How about or whatsoever? How would you answer it to Allah subhanho wa taala. And from his worldview, he's got an element of truth, right? He's got an
ounce of truth, like I do feel bad. But I know living in that world where he's living to have to compromise in other ways, which he's not seeing. I listen, I don't want to do a tit for tat. But the fact of the matter is, even he has to compromise in some ways that he's not seeing here. Bottom line here. Let me let me answer your question.
A little bit more. So my expertise is Islamic faith and theology. Right. And I think what you're trying to say is
issuing statements of Cofer making
problematic statements that go against the religion, what do we do in this case? Right. There's no doubt a note, if I may say, a normalizing haram. Yeah. Normalizing haram. Yeah. And this is exactly why it is such a I would never want to be involved in politics, and I would I have said this publicly. Anybody who's prioritizing standing in front of Allah subhanho wa taala. How can you how can you get involved in an area where you're going to have to understatements of gopher? How would you build I would never encourage anybody who genuinely fears Allah subhana wa Tada to get to that level, it's never worth it to compromise your deen for the sake of dunya we must never, never yes,
if you're forced, as Allah says no elimite Acharya? Okay, we're not talking about that. Right. But the question which again, so, first disclaimer, I'm speaking theoretically, please don't read in about specific people or incidents because I don't want to talk about specific people or specific things. And you know, I think one of the problems of the online data was seen as the constant refutation culture and naming and shaming. No, I don't believe this. Let's, let's speak theory. Let's speak ideal and No, no reason to bring up specifics. I'm speaking theoretically,
I have said very clearly, it is wrong to other statements of Kufa, it is not justified, the ends do not justify the means. I would never advise anybody. And if they were to come to me, I will say this is haram. It is not allowed. But what if we find the politician has done it? What do we do when a politician has done this? Do we make tech field automatically of somebody or not? Here's where I think and this is my area of expertise. Okay, that's my PhD, my master's my whole 15 years of studies and data. Here's where I politely point out.
People need to study or soul of tech field, people need to study when a person becomes a Kaffir versus when an act of comfort has been done.
And it's much easier to say this is a statement of comfort or an act of comfort, and it is much more difficult and the bar is much higher than to say this person has become a cafe. Well, firstly, purely academic, become a cafe according to which IP the which theology, if you follow the theology of one strand of Islam again, because we're advanced students shall let me be blunt here, even Abdul Wahab if you follow that strand, okay, maybe the bar is lower and may
Maybe it's easier to say coffee. But if you're following duben DISM, a Shaivism, if you're following if you're a graduate of Howard University, if you're following, statistically what is the bulk of the modern OMA, which is metodi. These are actually these, actually, you couldn't make takfeer because of a statement. You couldn't, you couldn't make tech fear because of a statement or an action. According to their RFP, that which is the bulk of the OMA, you would have to verify was he actually intending to reject Allah and His Messenger through the statement? So
this is a bit of an academic discussion, but inshallah they'll be of some benefit.
The followers of even Abdul Wahab would say, if you make or do a statement of Cofer for the dunya,
you bet you become a Kaffir. Now pause your footnote, modern Salafi practitioners of the kingdom, there's a bit of a spectrum when other Bucha Hill comes in and when excuses come in, and you can make the case that modern selfies have a small spectrum between them and my teachers, I know this because I studied there. My teachers, some of them might have found a way out for this person. So we don't make takfeer immediately, but I'm, I'll be honest, and say, traditional iblue will have theology would immediately make to create of somebody who wasn't forced by gun to utter a statement of culture for the dunya. Okay, simple, even to I say modern selfies have different views within
them. However, that's only one strand of Islam, I should add ism metodi DISM, the bulk of the Ummah would say.
And again, to be explicit, here, because we're talking about this, if a politician utters words of kufr for the sake of the dunya. He wants money, the status position, this, these are words of gopher, and we say these are words of gopher. But if you verify that he said it for the sake of the dunya, according to their theology, and again, I'm not saying what you're writing, I'm just simply telling you factually, right, this removes from him the verdict of gopher.
Now, they have evidences, by the way very interesting evidence I gave a whole hearted about this, the incident of how to interview belta in the Sierra, right, where he betrayed the prophets of Allah while he was selling them in order to protect his family. Right. And Imam Shafi explicitly use this to avert tech fear, you know, and he goes, he didn't become a Kaffir, even though he betrayed Allah and His Messenger, because he loved his he wanted to protect you. I don't want to go to the theater now. But you can listen to my lecture there, he did something that would have been considered Cofer. But he did it for a dunya we benefit he wanted to protect his wife and children. Right. And the
prophets have said them.
And he excused he didn't justify, but he lifted the verdict of cover. Right? And in fact, in how this case, he forgave him because of how things have passed here. So when you say, committing acts of becoming a Kaffir, I have to ask you, according to who's aqidah if the person says, Okay, I am a follower of him and Abdul Wahab and according to my understanding, it's that fear. Okay, can I admit it is that fear, but give the rights of other groups give the rights of other theologies? Which are, frankly, mainstream sunnism Right, to disagree. The second point, even if it is Cofer, or tech fear,
what is the protocol or mechanism that is the wisest to follow? That's a question we should have a discussion about. Who should be the one and how should this be? And especially when we're in a public setting where Muslims or non Muslims were already the Islamic identity of the person is being used negatively? Right? Again, let me be I give a lecture on my own country. We have Muslim politicians that are doing goofy things, I have no problem saying they're doing goofy things. I have no problem saying some of the statements and actions are blatant Cofer.
In conjunction with the senior clergy of this country, I've spoken to them. And you know who they are. I've mentioned them by name multiple times people that are older than me wiser than me. We have decided that we will call out her and his whatever it might be wrong actions by the actions, but we're not going to excommunicate we're not going to collectively,
publicly throw her under the bus, because these politicians in the eyes of the masses represent Islam, the non Muslim masses. And it doesn't make sense for us to internally excommunicate even as we try to work to better their understandings of Islam. So this is, you know, by the way, to be very clear, people have the right to disagree with this and
alysus people have the right to say you should good for them. What they don't have the right to do is to then lump those of us who choose to not excommunicate to be tacit endorsements of the gopher journal saying you're right. Just because we don't excommunicate doesn't mean we're endorsing the cover. So the first question theoretically, when discovered become a one does a person who come to school for become a Kaffir, you have to go and study Islam and have an understanding and know there's a spectrum? The second, even if that is the case, upon who's Tang, should this be done? And that's where we talk about, I have to say one thing. One of the things I like about the deobandis
and I love all these mainstream groups, even though I'm not one of them, and I have my polite disagrees with it. Nobody's one of the things I like about the Deobandi movement, they really do have a respect for their seniors in terms of clergy, they do have a cabinet mentality right that until the Aqaba do it, and I know that has negatives but I think overall in my humble opinion the positives outweigh the negatives and as somebody who was a Salafi and still is very soft hearted I know people don't believe this but I'm still very soft hearted towards Sufism. I think
I miss this aspect of the urbanism and our movement and our my x movement that one of the things is you know, a lot of Salafism what what it wanted to do was it it gave you the the maybe even cockiness in some level, right? To just what's the deal? I don't care if if Ben boss said it, he doesn't have the data. I will hear this. And Medina by the way. I don't care if Elon said it is a student an undergraduate, you know, saying I don't care if the hedge kibosh said it they don't have the deal to say it, you know, now, at some level you appreciate to that level of I'm not going to be a blind follower. But let's be honest here, you kind of sort of opened up that Pandora's box, right
of everybody having that that sense? So
who does it how it's done? And even if by the way, even if you think a person
is a Kaffir?
Is it politically wise to make
this public when this person represents Islam in the eyes of many people? That's another question altogether. But you said I'm saying yeah, yeah. And I certainly see that and I think, you know, by and large Muslims, recognize that, what do you say about the about being careful about pronouncing took fear, left, right and center especially we've, we've public personalities, but then I do fear and it's about to this point of legitimizing and popularizing haram, I do fear that the actions of many Muslim politicians if left, if left, not, if we don't criticize those actions, when many people, especially young people, and I teach a number of young Muslims who, who do get caught up in
this political cycle, and they end up in a very different place, they may be brought up in very good Muslim families. But one year, two years, three years campaigning for this left leaning party or even this right leaning party, within time, their sensitivities, the morality or ethics change. And it just becomes acceptable to to normalize. In a case, in the case of your you know, your congregant, who's a you know, a millionaire or, you know, he's got a he's got his firm, he's, he knows what is haram? He's not publicly expressing haram, he recognizes that there is a failing here, and he's got to try to navigate around it and Hamdulillah you know, he's, he's got tuckaway in that
sense, he fears Allah subhanaw taala. And that's why he's asking the question, but we've got here, young Muslims who brazenly now and openly support and recognize and accept what is unacceptable in the dean.
And you're absolutely right. I'm there's nothing to say about this. Unbelievably, for the first time in Islamic history,
this notion of fascia and the LGBTQ understanding, is now becoming something that some young Muslims believe, Oh, there's two opinions about this.
And I agree with you, one of the causes for this is the modern world we live in. And therefore we do need to be very blunt and clear. And again, not to toot my own horn, but listen to any prepared lecture I've given I've given 10 lectures on this topic and hold buzz and I keep on talking about them. Yeah. But the issue comes firstly, firstly, let's be careful, let's be cognizant of the psychological bias of finding a soft target. And using that soft target to express our legitimate grievances and anger, which is what I'm seeing a lot of the Muslim community do, right? These Muslim politicians
Sad Allah He said, I have nothing to say they failed in these regards. But they are not the primary culprits that you should be angry about. They are the products of the culprits.
So we have to go beyond and take our anger to the root cause number one, number two.
You're right, we have to try to STEMI this tidal wave of fascia. But we also have to be cognizant of the other psychological bias of detail of you know, for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. We saw what happens when the doors of tech theater opened up. So yes, we have to speak out against normalization of fascia, but we cannot open up the door. That is also the door of extremism, which is tech fueled by everybody tech fueled by the masses, everybody else. We don't want that either. So let's try to find a nuanced balance where we can preach against the fire show. We can criticize those Muslims who say wrong things. And we can also teach our masses to not make blanket
took food, surely. And here's where again.
When you try to be nuanced, both sides get frustrated at you. And you become the target because the simpletons want sound bites, the The Purists on both sides, right, the radicals on both sides, don't want to engage in a pragmatic conversation, whether you and I like it or not. We have Muslim politicians right now in office in American England, that are blatantly saying statements of
color, as I've said it, they're saying, Cofer now what do I do with them in office? That is a separate conversation. They're staying, doing things of Kufa, I've said it. Okay. No problem. No, we've said it. Now, should we as a community boycott, tacitly support directly support? Let me be blunt here, this entire spectrum, it is within the spectrum of theological permissibility. Now, do you understand this point here, whichever side you choose, it's not the same as endorsing the coffer. Now, those that want to engage, say, you're right, he's committed, Cofer, you're right, this is wrong, what he's done is wrong. But I need to now engage with him to at least do something
positive, he's failed in one area. Why should we let him fill in other areas? That's the pragmatist, right? Then you have the pure and you get the spectrum again. So we have to raise the level of discourse. And this what I've been trying to do, I would like to say if anybody listens to my full lectures, they're going to hear the same sentiment over and over again, you're not going to find that quick soundbite unless I slipped up in which I'm siding with the radicals. What I'm saying My heart is with the purists. My methodology is with the purists, my life is with the purists. But what do I do right now with the elected officials that are doing some positives for the OMA and they are
doing some positives for you? And I'm saying you have a spectrum of permissibility those that want to engage with them. I see what you're doing and as long as you are not supporting the specific evil as long as you ally for another good cause. Okay, I see what you're doing and I can't see anything that's wrong there and those that are irritated and what a boycott I see what you're doing as well within this spectrum for you Colin
let's move on to politics of a different kind. What do you think about the project to revive the caliphate?
I watched for discussion you had with Imam Tom and with mon Baba it was a very good discussion. What is your position on the obligation to have a caliphate as a number
so um, like I said, I think it is a fourth key fire I think it is obvious that it is a fourth key fire but as I said in that interview, and I do as of yet stand by this and hey listen, we're all students of knowledge. Continue to dialogue with me continued to to show me whatever evidence is reviews that you have, but my own reading of the Quran and Sunnah my training in Islamic Studies, my understanding of the Sierra and my life experiences all put together and hey, I could change I don't know the future but at this stage of my life, I'm very comfortable saying it is a photo qualifier. One out of many, many, many, many other photos kiviat and given the circumstances I myself am in and
the world that I find myself in. It is relatively low on my list of five key higher priorities. Those that are doing not for me. Maybe you have a PhD in Political Science and maybe you have a think tank and maybe you for you, it might
at a higher level of Arcade Fire, even you might be living my neighbor, you might have the same circumstances, but your expertise and your knowledge and your talents make it a higher 40 fire for you than it is for me. Right? But overall, given the circumstances we find ourselves in.
I don't think it is of the goals of the Sharia, to constantly bring up this topic of Khilafah and, and having a dowless time and whatnot, when the bulk of the Ummah is struggling to live their lives as Muslims. And I do and I have to be a little bit honest here. I do find it problematic when some segments of the Ummah
take other segments as enemies when they don't agree with their interpretation of CRC of politics of the obligation of the hereafter. I've said this bluntly, you want to establish enough I'm not stopping you could do it. But for you to impede my Dawa, to problematize me to say I'm a deviant or, and this happens all the time and I have to be it really irritates the heck out of me. I'm raising funds for philosophy and raising funds for Syrian refugees. And there are certain and um these aren't Jehan, I can't mention names but these are senior members of these various you know, movements and you know which movies I'm talking about senior members in the Western world, they will
publicly post on social media is sometimes in my own, you know, fundraising until we establish the filler for all of these funds, you know, are just a waste of time. Yeah, they honestly this really irritates the heck out of me. Neither are you helping these refugees these I've been to these camps. I've seen the situation right? If you If Allah were to bless you to speak to them directly, are you going to say to them, oh, until you establish a philosopher, there's no point helping this child, you know, who's starving to death? Well, I this is where I worry, their level of idealistic Utopia ism, that their level of being disconnected from reality, they become impediments to hit and good.
They're actively discouraging. Now, in your worldview, if you believe that the Halacha will eliminate poverty, pause your footnote, that is itself a falsehood. And it shows a lack of education of their people than it shows they actually haven't studied history. And by the way, this incident of Ramana, even Abdulazeez eliminate eliminating Zakat and whatnot. Honestly, this is not true. Read history. And if you want we can discuss this, it's actually a misunderstanding go look at the it's not even tablets is nothing. It's not even mentioned a book of history. And even if it happened to one off, having an Islamic land is not going to eliminate poverty. This is a very misunderstood
misunderstanding. When you teach young men, you know, misunderstandings of realities of politics, misunderstandings of utopic ideals, frankly, you open up the door to being sympathetic to radicalism. We had this crisis, when when ISIS was around, we had people who literally thought leaving their lands and going to that was establishing Utopia on earth. How did they get to that stage of understanding because the versions of Islam they were taught were, Frank, frankly, mythical fairytales. They weren't taught real *tier. They weren't taught real history. And we find the same sentiment, maybe not to the level of radical jihad, we find the same sentiment among some of
those who are arguing for this version of Kirov anyway, I know I'm being a little bit strict here. But it needs to be said, if you're not going to help the OMA at its weakest, don't prevent others who are trying to help them at its weakest. Simple as that. I think you're right. I mean, I think there is an immature way to call for the head off. And as you said, those people who exceptionalism it to the point where everything else becomes unimportant, you know, and they they depict vocal alpha to be the solution to each and every problem that will my face is over. This is almost communistic. I think in its in its, you know, in its overtones ready, let me ask you a Brother
Mohammed, let me ask you. Surely, you know, that is a fairly common sentiment in some movements? I think so I think that's a common sentiment. And I think I put it down to No, no, no doubt about it, I put it down to sort of the 20th century Islamic movements who probably and maybe this is an unfair thing to say, but they've probably failed in in their objectives. And now, I just sort of pursuing an agenda to shore up the base. And and this is one of the ways in which you do that. But I you know, notwithstanding that notwithstanding very maturity there are, as you said, you know, could offer is the fire Turkey fire and my understanding and you know, I I defer to your, your your
greater Islamic knowledge about my understanding of key fire is that, you know, there needs to be segments of the Muslim community who have the expertise and the ability, who work towards achieving that in the same way in my community. If, for example, there's a good group of brothers who look out for convicts who pass away without a family, and they take it upon themselves.
To bury them and to collect funds into buried in a grave, you know, not everyone in the Muslim community is doing that. But because they're doing it the sin is lifted from our neck because they're practically engaged in in that key fire. I mean, I suppose what I'm asking is that you wouldn't be against those Muslims who have maturity who've got expertise, who think deeply about this matter who recognize, as you said that there are multiple duties that the OMA faces, but because of our expertise, were going to concentrate in this task and try to popularize and build some support for this activity. Not only would I not be against it, I would love to listen and
participate, I would love to see what I can do. No problem. Like I said, my, my main pet peeve is when these movements, take as their targets and spend any amount of time problematizing the rest of the practicing Muslim community. Yeah, that to me is where they've lost the plot completely. I am not just I want people to do this, I want but everybody has an expertise, and everybody has a passion, everybody has, you know, something that they're doing. So let those that are specialized in this field, and those that have the talent, and, and those that, frankly, and here's another awkward reality, Brother Mohammed,
it's really awkward to say this, it is the political luxuries that are afforded to us in the West, that allows so many of us to have such grandiose visions and skills, the very systems that so many of us are opposed to, at a fundamental level, allow us the luxury, we wouldn't be many of us wouldn't be thinking and talking like this have we been born and raised under autocratic regimes in Muslim majority countries, frankly, even if we wanted to, we wouldn't even have the luxuries to do so. This is why I don't want to open up that door. But as you're aware of some very prominent Western Muslim, Rhoda and thinkers, they've actually said it's better given the current
circumstances that we just deal with status quo and live under these, you know, liberal secular regimes because it allows us to to be these righteous Muslims. And again, I don't agree with that. But as long as you're aware, I had an interview with some of the people like they literally said this, and you're like, wow, okay. They don't even think we should try to revive the Caliph. I mean, at least I'm saying as far as the fi and some people should do it. There are people senior to me and age and in knowledge and shoulder. I mean, clearly, in telco no doubt about that, who actually think that the reality shows us that this is a project that is counterproductive and dangerous? And it is
ironic, they also say this, because the people that are most championing it are products of systems that would never have allowed them to champion it. Had they been under the very kind again, I've had people say this, you know, to me and others when I just talked about Islamic politics, well, then why don't you go live under the Taliban? Why don't you go live under those other places, if you've, if you feel such a way, and that's why I say I'm, I see the positives of living in the lies that we live in, and I see the negatives as well, it's not a black and white world. No, I think I think you're right. I mean, to, to paraphrase something I heard from a way, Miranda, who I know you, you
know, quite well, a friend of mine, yeah. Yeah. He argues that the very luxuries that we have in the west, to speak freely, and to think about some of these big, philosophical political debates. Those luxuries should be utilized by those Muslims who have expertise. And again, I think he's very clear, it's not for everyone to do so. I mean, if I go to my local mosque, I can't imagine most of the people in that congregation to really contribute to or to, you know, to engage with the great philosophical debates about Khilafah. Because it's, it's just beyond their capabilities to engage with that. But that's just the nature of the nature of the key fire. Yeah. Great. I mean, I think I
would add, I mean, I listened to him watch most of what you produce. And on a very regular basis, I do see a lot of good material on Khilafah. In particular, I would like to point my viewers to the direction of your hood by that you gave, I think it was 99 years after the destruction of the Khilafah. And I think was a really, really worthy, good book to listen to. So just that can occur. That's great. Well, yeah, come there. Like I said, I hope I am showing in my lectures and talks that I'm giving Islamic politics in my humble opinion its do not making it the end all and be all, but at the same time, definitely not neglecting and ignoring it. Now, I know time is against us, but I
would like to ask you about the ideas of some Muslim modernists who say that Islam should be separated from any form of coercive power. Now, of course, we're not talking about ISIS here. We're talking about a state that applies Islam in its proper manner. Now they argue that when we historic
Sighs key events in Islam, we conclude that it was just incidental maybe to the revelation that the messenger Salallahu Salam was a ruler, a government or head of a government.
And this is not intrinsically part of the Islamic message. I mean, how do we navigate or engage with such discussion? What's your view about that?
Yeah, so I mean, the first person to suggest this was the obviously the I mean, you know, it abdulrazaq What 1930s 1920s.
And as her graduate who, you know, was the first to say that we have misunderstood Islam, that's supposed to be a spiritual faith, not a political one. And of course, he did this in the aftermath of the so the pain of the collapse of the Ottoman hit alpha, triggered an entire series of movements really interesting, right. And we're still riding the waves of those movements. And I'm somebody who says, Enough of riding the waves, really, we're a different time in place, and we need to go back and rethink through, you know, we need to just do it anyway. So that's another pet peeve I have is that we're always going back to these thinkers of all the all of the mainstream movements, by the
way, all of them, they're going back to thinkers in the 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s, you know, and they're saying colors, this is how, but I don't agree with this. But anyway, the abdulrazaq was the exact one extreme. And of course, he was soundly refuted, actually, who was stripped of his title, right, really interesting, one of the few cases in history where others have said, well, he graduated. But yeah, we don't agree he graduated. So we're going to take his title back. He's got that as a graduate, and I'm saying, Listen, I mean, I obviously strongly, strongly disagree. I mean, to the point of I have no problem saying that's a heretical opinion. It's clear that, you know, to, it's
clear that such individuals are trying to
look at the world through Christian lenses, Christianity is unique, and that Judaism cannot do this, and Islam cannot do this. Right. Christianity was able to form something called secularism, you could have never formed a secular understanding of the world, unless you don't have law. Because Christianity, you know, third, fourth century eliminated the law, because they started believing that, you know, if you believe in Jesus, there is no Sharia basically, right?
Because they don't have an entire system of detail laws. They had the luxury when they needed to when they started having civil wars about theology, because that's the only thing that we're arguing about when they had civil wars about the nature of Christ and what not, they said, you know, what, let's leave religion outside the room, let's just deal with the modern world. And
you couldn't have gotten to that understanding of, of politics, unless you believe in a faith that doesn't have laws in it. Right. And therefore, what's happening now is that certain Muslim thinkers are absorbing
the laws mean the understandings of secularism, and then trying to project it onto Islam. And of course, conceptually, that's not the first time where it has to do the same with Hellenistic thought, conceptually, that's the way the world works. You absorb certain ideas, then you back project them onto your own tradition. We need to be cognizant that that's not the way we do things. That's not the way I do things. That having been said, we also have to be cognizant, as I said, of counter reaction of becoming too fundamentalist and fanatic. So while I strongly disagree with Ali abdulrazaq,
I don't have answers to what I would do, had I been in a Muslim majority country. And I don't know i That's circumstances beyond my control. Let's not mention specific countries. But let's say there's a country that there's certain freedoms allowed as a Muslim, you're not going to get jailed if you're trying to lobby for some Islamic laws. To what level should I lobby for Islamic laws when I know I'm never going to get to perfection?
Can I compromise and get a 50% law rather than 100%? Or is that go for? And I gave examples in public. So for example, many countries, in fact, no country in the world these days,
operates Islamic economic system, no country in the world, hardly any Muslim country. In fact, no Muslim country implements Jizya 00. Even though it's in the Quran, the majority of countries allow we don't criminalize consensual intercourse between consenting adults, right? The majority of Muslim countries do not criminalize this. Correct. You You're saying, Now, suppose I was a person of influence in that country. Suppose I was
lobbying for politics. Am I allowed to say, am I allowed to champion Hey, okay, you're not going to criminalize I get it. But if it happens outside of marriage, we'll find them you know, $1,000.
Now, the purist is going to say La hawla wala Quwata illa biLlah. No more Illa you're a Kaffir Europe and the pragmatist going to say yes, excellent. Something is better than nothing. Let's work our way to that says
too. And you know what? I don't have an answer. I'm not tested with that. But I understand both sides of the view. And I can see now that the purist in me is cynical.
But it's not theologically excommunicated. It's cynical. Why? Because the last 75 years have shown us what have they shown us?
Liberals will tolerate everything except Islam.
Look at I don't want to mention countries names, the most, quote unquote, democratic country in the Arab world, they just really, you know, took him to jail there Islamist leader, without mentioning names those who No, no, yeah. That Islamist leader, and frankly, here's the irony. On a personal level, I respect him on a one on one. I've met him a few times I respect him. But I told him last time I met him Yasha Illa. Mata, how much you're going to compromise? I literally said this, you know, how much are you going to compromise? This was a few years ago. And he kept on thinking, I'm going to compromise, I'm going to compromise.
Was it worthwhile. Now, the pragmatist pushes back, and this is where I don't have an answer. And the pragmatist says you too, you you are too short termed. You're only looking at today. You're not thinking 3040 50 years ahead. And what the pragmatist says is, I mean, let's look at, let's look at England, let's look at America. 50 years ago,
as far as I remember, you guys didn't even have one non white MP, if I'm not mistaken. The first non white MP was in the 80s. Yes, right. Okay. 25 years ago, you didn't have a single Muslim MP.
Not a single Muslim MP pre 911. Yeah. Okay.
10 years ago, the MPs that you have I'm not mistaken. They weren't very public about their Islam or practicing or fasting or whatnot. They were civilization and the most economical fit, I'm saying, they didn't wear Islam on their sleeve, as I'm trying to say, right. Now we have a Muslim as soon as he's elected, I'm fasting. And I'm praying with my family. And he puts it on, you know, Twitter.
The pragmatist says, Look,
success doesn't come overnight. But I'm still a purist.
I'm just not making to feed into the of the pragmatist that Do you understand, and this frustrates my followers who are hardline purists. And this causes some of my critics to say he's justifying, so be very clear, read my lips, as George Bush said, 35 years ago, read my lips, I'm not justifying. I'm simply pointing out facts. This is not justified. I'm still a purist at heart. And I don't endorse this. And the ends don't justify the means. But I keep on pointing out, those that get involved in the political side of things don't care what they say.
They have a different set of parameters they live by. I don't agree with it. But I have to deal with that reality in the world that I live in. I hope that's clear, because it's very clear. That is clear. I don't know. I mean, I think maybe I'm speaking now in the context of the UK, many Muslims, especially young Muslims, who engage with politics, they are concerned what many of them are concerned about the Islamic position? And I suspect some of them, they get into politics because there is a silence, and maybe I'm being unfair, but there is a silence in there in the local Muslim community about the parameters and the red lines. And there's a lack of criticism, sometimes a push
back against those mayors and First Ministers who engage in as you said, the the far he shows lack of criticism and pushback. I don't know what I'm seeing online, there's, like opposite. I don't know. We're looking at two different scenarios. Well, of course, I mean, you know, social media is a different world. I'm thinking about pushback from Islamic scholars, right, from, you know, those who lead Islamic seminaries rather than YouTube personalities.
a valid point. I mean,
I can't speak on behalf of the UK. I'm speaking on behalf of America. I don't interact directly with any Muslim congressman or Congresswoman. I don't have any contact with them. I've never met them in office. Never. I don't do this. The people I interact with are on the more local level. And as I explained, local politics is very different than national politics, right. So
the reason why there is no explicit pushback from me, like I explained, I don't think it is wise at this stage to throw our Muslim politicians under the bus within our community publicly. I could be wrong, but even if I'm wrong, this is not an endorsement of their golfer, which is what the critics say. It's a CSM move, and a political move. You weigh the pros and cons and you could be wrong. I just at this stage
It is better to warn against their evil and their mistaken beliefs which I have done publicly without mentioning them. Because again, I don't see the point. Everybody knows what I'm talking about, right? But I don't want my clip to be used by Fox News against somebody who represents Islam during so what I'm saying here, right, I don't want to give ammunition to the enemies of the OMA. Because in the end of the day, she is recognized or He is recognized as being a part of the Ummah by the enemies of the ummah. So I need to be wise in how we manage this, which some of the critics they want there five minutes or five seconds clip, the world is more nuanced than this. And you can
disagree. I understand this. But as of yet people senior to me, older than me, wiser than me. I mean, I'll mention some names in the sense forget this issue. You the people I look up to, when it comes to American realities, Imam Suraj, well, Hodge Imams, a checker, and others of their ilk, they're 20 years older than me, 20 years older than me. I am nobody compared to the, if I were to criticize, what will Allah He has Allah is my witness, I would first ask their advice before releasing anything publicly, and push them, Chef, you should do this. And if they refused, I would press too hard. I say, Should I really do this? Should I go? And I'm almost about to hit 50 By the
way, right? I would not do such a drummer, I'm just speaking for myself, please don't read him by any I'm just by myself. I would not do such a dramatic move that can be used by Fox News that's going to cause issues in my community and the broader community, because I respect people older and wiser than me, and I would have gone to them if I felt but I don't because I don't feel that, you know, publicly excommunicating this Congresswoman is a benefit and I don't you know, excommunicate her anyway, I do it rather the janitor or whatever it might be. Or I say, if you're an ash it theologian, which I'm not, she wouldn't or he wouldn't even be, you know, potentially
considered a Kaffir. If they did it out of muster. How do you get my point? You went over that discussion before? Can I ask you I know again, time is against us. But I've always wanted to ask you this question. Dr. Yasir. qadhi You know, you've got detractors online and some of them claim that your study in western Academy has somewhat softened your orthodoxy. I mean, this is a fair criticism.
I ask Allah subhana wa Tada to always grant me a class I ask Allah subhanaw taala to N UD UD and l healthcare, healthcare, or you're looking at Dubai who allow us to see the truth is truth and to follow it as the truth and to not fear the criticism of the critic. I mean, you know, the i It's funny you say this. I remember the first time I heard this, back in 2005. When I started realizing that back then there was a different that was seen, and there was a lot of animosity between the Salafi movement and the mainstream facade of movement and Muslims doing and others, you know. And as I'm becoming an I knew, I started right at the bottom of the ladder in terms of Dawa, maybe not at
the bottom in 2005. But still, I wasn't a national figure in 2005. But slowly, but surely, you know, the opportunities were handed to me what not? And I began to realize it's not healthy, that when I was still sad, that there's so much animosity between selfies and Sufis. In fact, the word prompted me a catalyst. And this is public news and knowledge. A very prominent university in America very well known University was about its MSA, the ISOC was about to split into two. One MSA, one ISOC would have been like Santa Fe and client and one MSA would have been, you know, Sufi, and client. And when I heard this will lie, it's like,
what are we doing? What are we doing?
And so I reached out and Al Hamdulillah. Then it led to a series of conversations we had to pledge of mutual respect. When that came out, you can Google it, find out how he'll has corrupted Yasir qadhi.
How he softened from the hacker used to be upon. And after that, every change or every opinion or everything. It's a simplistic ad hominem, right? Blame the education that you don't understand. And you can contextualize and make yourself feel better. Why so and so has the position that he has, look
and the end of the day,
I am not asking for anybody, anybody to listen to me. Much less to take me as some type of software Allah for Allah, intellectual leader and not at all. And if somebody is comfortable with the shoe that they have, and they're mainstream, and I come along and you find me confusing, I am telling you, as the prophet system said, leave that which is doubtful to that which is not doubtful. Stick to those whom your heart is inclined towards, and don't get involved with me or my shady opinions that you think or my weird views, no problem.
I'm not asking anybody to rock their boat, mainstream Sunni Islam, all of the movements are good. But beyond them is the bulk of the ummah.
Beyond them is 90% of unaffiliated.
And for those that find comfort in what I'm saying, for those that find sense in what I'm saying, I ask Allah azza wa jal to Make me worthy and to conceal my faults and since that I know that I have the notion of blaming, oh, the coup for corrupted him.
I guess logically, I mean, prima facia, that is a possibility. I'm not denying that, logically that could be possible.
All I can say is from my side, I look at it from a different point of view. I say there's two things that has caused me to go down a journey of change, and inshallah continue to go down this journey. Number one,
I was forced to take into account worldviews and knowledge genres that I had hitherto ignored in my traditional seminary education. All seminaries concentrate on some topics, and ignore many topics, when you enter a Western institution that is reversed, and you must read other topics. And perhaps the opposite you studied are not at the forefront, reading about the humanities reading about the various you know, politics and media and social studies, reading about psychology, understanding different genres is going to influence you. So I mean, I challenge anybody to read Edward size Orientalism, and then not start rethinking how they're looking through the World Entertainment takes
on a new worldview, the news takes on a new worldview, I mean, reading Foucault is not going to change your assortative see it is it but when you understand genealogies of knowledge, coupled with even a basic understanding of the evolution of Western thought, the problems of enlightenment, post enlightenment, post modernism, all of a sudden, you're gonna help see, you can't help but see the encroachment of liberalism and have a different, you know, worldview. Again, I mean, thinking about Rawls, Political Theology, as veils of ignorance, it'll help you convey, it'll help you construct your arguments in a different manner. And perhaps somebody from a pure seminary background is going
to say, what is this guy talking about? You know, but you're not, you're not talking to them. You're talking to a broader society, and frankly, dare I say, dare I say, there's a lot to benefit in a room outside of the room of the seminary, even when it comes to preaching and teaching Islam. I mean, if you want to be a thinker in the modern world, a religious thinker, how can you not benefit from Alistair McIntyre? And how can you not absorb some of his own critiques of the Western you know, hedonism? And then Islamist sighs it obviously the psalmist says it but but but echoes some of those same arguments. So the first point that I would say has changed me up to be more well read to,
to read about, especially history, I had zero knowledge of history, I mean, obviously, zero separate but zero knowledge of actual history, you know, in the seminary, I was at I mean,
how to say this gently. You are not taught history in any Islamic seminary, you are taught, whatever you're taught hagiography, semi mythic epics of the past, it's not analytical history. So anybody who is interested in seeing a different set of quality, listen to my library chats, listen to that type of analysis. And you will see it's a different type of knowledge. It's not, you know, it's not a corruption. It's actually an advancement of knowledge. But see, it's not just book knowledge. My second, I would say cause for change.
Books only take you so far. And experience teaches you what books will never teach you.
You have to understand the asset all the of 30 years ago, was the asset called the of Medina, never active with the public, never engaged in national dialogue. Never. I hadn't traveled the world and hamdulillah I'm now speaking with you having visited more than 50 countries, I thank Allah I didn't just go through the ivory towers. I did go through the ivory tower, but I don't live there. I don't I went through it. I have access to their books. I was I was definitely introduced to genres of knowledge. But I move beyond that. Dare I say I don't know of any other public preacher who travels more to England, Canada in America than I do and interacts with the people and diverse groups of
people. That's another thing when I came back from Medina, I purposely went out of my shell of just religious Muslims, which is typically the shell of menu. Remember that they just want their madrasa students I broke my own shell that I had my own bubble, started interacting with wealthy people, Paul