The Muslim Discourse Post 9-11
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
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Episode Transcript ©
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Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. said
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I had to
hamdulillah All Praise be to Allah the one and the unique. It is He alone that we worship, and it is his help that we seek. He revealed the Quran and he taught to man how to speak. Only he is almost a Kabir. he despises arrogance and he loves the meek. It is he who protects the oppressed and is it is he who answers the day of the week. So may Salatu. Salam be upon the Mustafa, who was chosen to be the prophetic peek as to what follows know that Allah subhana wa tada has reminded us to be conscious of him when he says in the Quran, yeah, are you Hello, Xena armano top Allah help cultural quality wala to mutanda illa anti muslim moon
Today's topic is not
Going to be the standard topics that you're accustomed to because this last week marked the 20th anniversary of the events of 911 20 years have passed since that tragedy that shaped the entire world and changed all of our lives. Some of us on a very personal level. This commemoration was, to be honest, awkward for many of us here. Of course, we all understand that those events and what happened in New York was a crime and whoever perpetrated them committed mass murder and acts of terrorism, and no religion, especially not our religion would justify such actions. We felt awkward, not because it's difficult to condemn the evil that happened on 911. But because we are well aware
of the subsequent evils that was justified as a response to that day, the intentional deception and lying of linking various countries fall asleep with this event. The subsequent wars and invasions that destroyed large segments of the world and especially the Middle East, wreaked havoc on the entire region, caused the deaths of at least 1 million people and the civil unrest of many more millions, the wasting of $7 trillion of futile, useless wars of our own taxpayer money. The lies that led to all of this, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, which is still open as we speak today, the Patriot Act, the rise of Islamophobia, the intentional demonization and smearing of my religion and yours of
my book and yours of my profit and yours, sallAllahu. It he was selling them in order to justify an unjust war in order to cover up for their actions they brought in our religion, and they smeared our faith. So indeed, it is an awkward time, not because of the events on that day. But because of what happened afterwards. However, today's hold by is not going to be a long list of legitimate grievances that we have. Because the fact of the matter is in this audience, we're all aware of those grievances. Sadly, outside of this audience, to our neighbors and friends, these grievances are overlooked. For this audience, I wanted to talk about something else, and that is because our
Shetty tells us to always look at the positive. Our Shetty tells us to look at the good that comes out of evil, because there is no such thing that happens in this world, except that there is good that comes out of it as well. So today insha Allah Allah, I wanted to extrapolate three differences that were for the positive insha Allah to Allah in our North American Muslim community. And I am somebody who grew up in the ad started giving Dawa in the 90s. And then I saw the transformation of the American Muslim community, and I was involved in preaching and teaching for the last 30 or so years. Therefore, I have an insider's view, and also somebody who was involved in that timeframe, to
see the change and discourse to see what happened pre and post. And today, I want to bring up three points that are in shallow to other relevant and pertinent and inshallah give us some hope at the light at the end of the tunnel. Because what happened was that the events of 911, they caused us as the American Muslim community to mature very, very quickly, and to rethink through a number of fundamental issues that we hadn't really thought through or perhaps misunderstood. And, of course, many can be said, but as usual, time is limited. So we'll concentrate on three. First and foremost, was the key issue of understanding who exactly we are? And what is our relationship to this country
that many of you have migrated to, and many of us have been born into the awkward question of how American are we? And of course, this is a talk primarily for the immigrants and their children of immigrants. As for our African American brothers, and then they were Mashallah lightyears ahead of us in this particular regard. And they didn't need to have this discussion. I remember clearly growing up in the 80s. And even in the 90s, there was this notion of authentic Islam being back home, there was this notion that we are guests, we are somewhat outsiders, and anything local is not necessarily an Islamic cause.
There was a very strong attachment to issues to fundraisers to events to politics of lands three, four or 5000 miles away. And in fact, it was extremely common to hear lectures and hold
Because where we were told that it is how long for us to be in this country that it is wajib, to make hedgerow and go flee overseas. And I know many of my friends at that timeframe actually followed up and through with those factors. 911 changed all of that, because we had to make a choice, those of us that remained, and I'm one of them, 911 changed all of that. And we understood, for good or for bad, for better or for worse, that this is our land. And we need to stake our identity. And we need to be firm about who we are. And we need to take ownership of the rights and privileges that can only come when we acknowledge that ownership. You see, in order for us to
flourish in order for us to be accepted, we will have to make sure that our presence in this land is as legitimate as the presence of any and all other minorities in faith traditions. For all too long, we were told, growing up in the 80s, that this is not your land, it's not your culture, we are told the long litany of how bad everything is around us and how evil and how immoral. And a lot of that might be true. But in the end of the day, I have no place to go other than this land. And I have no culture other than the culture of our upbringing of the 80s which is a mix of immigrant culture, American culture, but it is a sub culture of this very land. Dear Muslims 9011 caused us to mature
very quickly about this question. Because if you want to be treated with the dignity and respect that comes when you are a fellow citizen, you will have to own up and admit you will have to claim you will have to embrace that identity and citizenship. How can we expect Muslims to be treated with respect with the respect that they deserve, if they don't even view themselves as being a part of the land that they live in? There's nothing wrong with being a part of this nation state. There's nothing wrong with being proud of certain elements with while being irritated by other elements. It's not a binary system of either accept everything or reject everything. Our Prophet sallallahu
alayhi wa sallam was a part of the orange when the rest of the Quraysh were pagans. When the majority of moko was idol worshipers, he didn't dissociate from his furoshiki background. In fact, he did not even roughly muck up until his life was in danger. We have to understand your Muslims were worried about the immorality of the world around us. Do you realize in Mecca around the Kaaba was the worst type of immorality and daddy shook 300 gods, every time the Prophet system praying, there was a god, a false god, an idol in front of the Kaaba, he didn't run away and say, oh, Bella, these are all kofod. It's his land his people, and he has to make the best of that situation. And in
fact, even when he made the hedgerow, what did he say? He turned around tears in his eyes. And he said, speaking to Makkah, metaphorically, you are the most beloved land on earth to me. This despite the fact that at that time, it was full of idolatry. At that time, there was plenty of evil going on. He said, You are the most beloved land to me. And we're it not for the fact that my people are forcing me out, I would never have left you, My people are forcing me out, he would have remained in Makkah, as long as Makkah allowed him to remain in spite of the coup for in spite of the fact he in spite of the evil, it is his land, he needs to have a purpose there, he needs a job over there, that
job is the preaching of the religion of Islam, he's not going to run away from that responsibility simply because his people are doing things other than what he wants them to do. So we too, as American Muslims, we don't have to agree too much of the immorality around us. We don't have to agree with the foreign policy. But we do have to stake our claims, we have to get over this cognitive dissonance of Who are we we are Muslims who are Americans, and there's nothing wrong with that 911 caused us to make this talk up very, very quickly. And notions of hedgerow and notions of other things of this nature were very quickly removed from the discourse, because people understood
that if we wanted our rights, we would have to fight for them. And if we want to fight for our rights, we have to use the system. If we want to use the system, we have to be a part of the system. There's no other way around that. And by the way, what does the Quran say about every single prophet while adding a home who the way the thermo the home sold? their brother, their brother, their brother, the profits are speaking to the co founder, and they're saying, y'all call me call me call me, my people, my people, my people. So why is it problematic? And why did some of us have an issue with understanding that this is now my land, and it is my country, the fact that they're my people,
and my country is not an endorsement of each and everything. It is a political realization that we are
here to stay. And that is why brothers and sisters, that is why those who chose to migrate to these lands, you especially that generation needs to understand. And I say this with respect, that home is not where your grandparents were buried. But Home is where your grandchildren will be born. That's the mindset you have to change Home is where your grandchildren are going to be born. And there's nothing wrong with that there's no need to feel guilty about this, we have to accept the reality of the situation and own up to it if we want to cause a change. This is my first point leads me to my second, once we've come to this realization, that we are a part and parcel of this land, that we are
just as much a citizen especially those of us born here, the immigrants you adopted, you chose, Okay, fair enough. You swaddling two cultures, those of us that were born here, we have no other land, we have no other place to go to. This is where we are. So if that is the case, we have to ask ourselves the second question, what is our goal? What is the goal of the American Muslim community? And once again, in the 80s and 90s, I would hear a hook buzz and lectures and perhaps even back then I might have said some naive things that really demonstrated that we hadn't thought through this question. What is the goal of us Muslims living in this land, because you see brothers and sisters,
back in the 80s. It was very common for our teachers, our elders, especially those who came to this slide, many of them fleeing oppressive regimes, many of them involved in various organizations that were politically inclined in the Muslim world, they came here, and they sort of imported their visions of what they wanted Pakistan or Egypt or other places to be, they imported it to America. And back then you could say things like this and not get into trouble. 911 caused us to really reassess what exactly is our goal in this country? What exactly is the long term vision, because when you set an impossible goal, when you set up an impossible goal, don't be surprised that when
you fail, it will lead to a sense of depression, and maybe even an abandonment of religiosity, which we saw with our own eyes throughout the 80s and 90s. We need to set goals that are rooted in our tradition, that are islamically sound, that aren't politically feasible, and that are logistically realistic. This is what the shadie are demands of us. What exactly is our goal here, brothers and sisters, we can state that our goal as American Muslims can be categorized into two. Now the first of which is for the iron on every one of you and me, for the end, every one of us has to have that goal. And the second is fourth key fire, which is a collective goal, some of us have to do it. And
as long as some of us do it, the rest don't have to do it. As for the fourth time,
our goal is that every single one of us needs to protect our iemon, our faith, our aqeedah, our rituals, our Salah hours, and pass it down to our children to the best of our ability, full stop. That's it. That is it. Do not complicate the religion. Your ultimate goal is the pleasure of Allah and the worship of Allah. And wherever you can do that Alhamdulillah no problem. set realistic goals based upon the *tier. The goal that I have, and you have which is for the aim is to be a good Muslim, to protect my faith and to pass it down to my children as much as possible. That is for the island. And in the process. If I live a comfortable life, if I live a good life, if I earn my risk
and money, so be it Al Hamdulillah robina artina, Jr has set up with Phil Hirata has no no problem. This is for the end, you have to protect your Eman. Follow the key fire, follow key fire, we as an American Muslim community have to do more than just protect my Iman and yours. For key fire means to go beyond just protecting mine and yours. It means to be a positive role model for the rest of society, to preach, to teach to explain to be ambassadors of Islam. And to demonstrate the reality of what it means to walk in the footsteps of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasallam not everybody needs to do that goal. If somebody's demand is weak, if somebody is not confident, if somebody is
shy, and they're just struggling with their personal emotion and they're just being a Muslim in their lives, no problem. Allah is not going to punish you for not doing more than this. Don't feel guilty just being a Muslim and not being able to do more. But some amongst us have to do more than this. And by the way, I don't mean preaching and teaching. That's one aspect. I mean being ambassadors, amongst your own friends, your colleagues, your co workers, I mean showing them the truth of Islam.
engaging with them in positive conversation giving Dawa at the individual level, which does not require lots of knowledge. It just requires sincerity and good manners. That's all that it requires. If you're able to do this, and Hamdulillah, and if not Alhamdulillah, at least make sure you do what is for the eyes on you. So this is the fourth key fire goal that we need to go above and beyond just preserving our faith and make sure that we cause an impact by preaching by teaching by being role models by influencing the people around us. And if we're able to bring other people to Islam and hamdulillah If not, that is their business. We cannot force anybody. We cannot push our religion
agenda on anybody in nama la Kal Bella, who Elena is, your job is to preach Our job is to judge your job is to convey the message His job is with Allah subhanho wa Taala. So the ultimate goal that we have is the preservation of our faith and the faith of our children. This is for the ain, beyond this fourth key fire, if we're able to preach and teach and spread the message of Islam, those that are able to do this at hamdulillah. That is all nothing more than this. We do not have to aim for that which is unrealistic, or that which is political suicide, the Muslims want to Abyssinia and they lived there for almost a decade, never once did they challenge status quo and say to the new
joshy I want you to know joshy never once did they say that? How could they when they were less than point 1%. Their goal in Abyssinia was to preserve their eemaan was to practice and some people did convert. Some people did join the Muslim community. But the goal of the Abyssinian Muslims was to be safe in their practice of the deen and to pass their religion down. And that's exactly what happened. And they came back to Medina and life went on for us there is no Medina for us, there is no utopia to go to. So if we remain here for one to 510 generations, so be it we'll make dua to Allah put our trust in Allah and hand our faith down generation to generation that is our immediate
for the end goal. Now based on that, let's get to point number three.
We are part of this country point number one, our ultimate goal is the pleasure of Allah subhanho wa Taala, the preservation of our Deen point number two. And point number three. One of the things that clearly needs to be discussed in post 911 changed this and it is a logical consequence of the first two points was the realization that Muslims in this land of ours need to make our presence known. And we need to be represented in every single field. And we need to be a visible and a viable presence in this entire country. We cannot be isolationist, we cannot pretend as if we're living in our own bubble and the world outside has nothing to do with us. We tried to do that in the 80s and
90s. The majority of practicing Muslims lived in their self imposed bubbles and I'm being brutally honest here the majority of mustard going conservative Muslims of all strands of Islam, any strand you know if that's the one of those trends, they're trying to build this imaginary wall between society and between their family between the outside world between the masjid 911 showed us there is no imaginary world, it's a figment of our imagination. There is no wall, what happens outside will affect us in our houses. We don't have the luxury of living isolation. lifestyles don't have the luxury of cutting off from the rest of the community. Because if we act like strangers, and if we
pretend we're strangers, don't be surprised when the broader community treats us like strangers and outsiders. We need to going back to our first and second point we need to be visible. And what that means is that across every discipline, and in every single field, Muslims need to be active and socially engaged. And this is another reality that pre 911 was not something very commonly talked about post 911 we understand it is healthy for the American Muslim community to be involved on all social fronts. We should get involved in every aspect of our community, whether it is health care, whether it is better schools for our children, whether it is political reforms, whether it is
sports, never forget, the single greatest icon of American Islam was Muhammad Ali, all of a shoe 100 Ummah and preachers and teachers combined did not have the impact of one boxer for the American Muslim community. We need people like this. There's nothing wrong with that. Now, obviously this point raises a lot of questions and a lot of eyebrows, and especially those that are mustard going and Michelle are very religious and pious, they find this entire talk awkward because this third area definitely involves an element of compromise. There's no question about that. This third area involves an element of compromise. When you get involved in politics, especially when you get
involved in other areas, perhaps perhaps some of your personal o'clock some of your associations are going to become dubious.
No doubt, this is a difficult topic. And I'm not justifying each and everything. What I am saying, though, is that we will have to have a very frank and an honest conversation about every single scenario and topic. We understand that being isolationist is not going to work. We saw that post 911, everyone as needed to get political post 911. We could not have congressmen or senators trying to ban our religion. Those of you that remember 10 years ago, in 22, states, they tried to ban the show, they literally passed a bill to ban the show the 22 states, you want us to be politically quiet to not do anything, we have to get involved. Our religion is at stake here. No doubt when we
do get involved. They're going to be questions, I'm being honest with you, I don't have the answers to them. But what I do know one thing, and let me be very frank here, criticizing from the sideline. And considering everybody who's involved in the field to be evil in a sellout, you're not doing any benefit to the oma, that's for sure. For sure, if you're an armchair critic, you're not benefiting the oma. Either you get involved, or you get a more productive way to do something, or find something that's useful for you to do other than criticize those that are actively involved in the fields, a lot has to be done. I don't have all the answers. But every one of us has a role to play.
And by the way, some fields are not that problematic. Some are more problematic than others. But whatever Allah has blessed you with whatever talents you have, you need to be visible about your Islamic identity and give back to the community. And by the way, so many of us are irritated at American foreign policy, and we should be will lie, don't we realize, don't we realize that communities smaller than our own, are able to manipulate people far more powerful than themselves? This is a democracy, power, money voting. All of this impacts politics, it is a brutal fact. Look around you look at the various lobbies are there where there's the gun lobby, whether is this or
not. So if you really want to make an impact, if you really want I mean, that $7 trillion that was spent on the wars, don't we understand we could have taken care of every single hospital bill of every single American free health care for at least five years, we should tell our fellow American citizens, Why are my tax dollars and your tax dollars going spent in Afghanistan and Iraq when we can benefit from it ourselves? If you want to benefit the Palestinians? If you're angry about Avandia Stan, if you're sad about what happened in Iraq, brutally honest, will lie he brutally honest, it is very likely that you can do more to impact that living in this land than you can
anywhere else. Think about that. Think about that. I'll repeat what I said. If you really want to change what's going on, based on our foreign policy, as an American citizen, you can probably do a lot more than anywhere else in the world. Think about that. So take that anger and it should be angry, take that injustice tape that rage and channel it to something that is productive, become somebody that's doing something noble in life, bringing a change as our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam did, the point being brothers and sisters, that 911 really was a wake up call, as I said, for all of us. And we saw a marked difference in the discourse pre 911 versus post 911. And I think that
the most obvious discourse change for us, for me in particular, was the realization that this land is our land, and that we need to actively work to protect our faith, and that we need to be visible and contribute back to society. And that is the only way that our religion is going to flourish. And we thank Allah subhana wa Tada, we thank Allah, that of the greatest blessings that we have in this land is the political freedom to say what we want to say that is something we have to be very grateful for the majority of places in the world, many of the places we ourselves and our ancestors came from, you could not give a sermon like this, except that the secret police is going to be
waiting for me as soon as I get out. And I have given this horrible right now. And I have criticized American foreign policy. And I've called the war of terror, a war of the war on terror, the war of terror. And I have done all of this. And I'm not even worried that the FBI is going to come knocking on my door because if they did, I would sue them just for the freedom of speech in the First Amendment. We thank Allah for those freedoms. And we take advantage of those freedoms, because we are Muslims. And we are Americans. That's the whole point that we learned after 911 will also be in the center of your hostile alien arm and what I'm in solidarity with you also will help you with all
sorts of cyber
Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam. ala Nabi wabarakatuh do a lot more can be said brothers and sisters. But I just want to leave you with one fundamental paradigm shift that I want us to think about.
The way I see this pre 911, much of our discourse dealt with problems and issues and debates that originated from back home. There were cultural divides, there were sectarian issues, there were issues regurgitated from the past 500 years 1000 years ago, and Muslims from us just five minutes away, would be fighting one another over issues that originated back in somewhere. And in the year 300 hedgerow, we would divide each other based upon imaginary understandings based upon abstract concepts. After 911 realized, we have our own set of issues and problems, very uniquely American set of issues and problems, we're going to have to think outside the box of our traditional dilemma with
utmost respect to them, and I have trained with them, and I know, and I love them, but with my utmost love and respect, our problems, our issues that we're facing, who's going to solve these problems? Who's going to talk to your children about the morality, the gender, the sexuality, who's going to talk to your children about atheism, and agnosticism? Which share? Are you going to go to that strain and understanding the culture of the times that we live in, we're going to have to think of new solutions, we're going to have to rethink about what we're doing how we're doing. And in the process, there's no doubt those that are involved in this rethinking, there's no doubt they're going
to make mistakes, because we are going in uncharted territory. We're going in unchartered territory. We don't know what is right and wrong. We don't know exactly the best way forward. But I know one thing, sitting at home, living in isolation is lifestyle. regurgitating something from the past is not going to save the future generation. So what I'm asking you to do, brothers and sisters is very simple. Think of the future. Every time an issue comes up. Every time a problem every time I can under every time think of the future. Think of your children and grandchildren. How will Islam look 100 years from now in this country? That is the question I want you to think about? What do I need
to do now to preserve my emotion and the amount of my children and grandchildren after me? That's the question you need to think about. Because all too often, the questions we're asking are so utterly petty, so inconsequential. He says this, she does that he prays like this. He believes this in some abstract issue of theology, and we're forgetting the broader, broader issues around us. Our children, many of them are disillusioned from our faith. They're leaving it like everybody else is there was this the standard of the times, every single church and every single synagogue is on the decline in this country and in the Western world, and we're not immune, our children are also being
affected. So rather than bicker about things of the past, let's think about things of the future. Let's think about how we can bring our children fortify their emotion instill in them the love of Allah and His Messenger, make them proud of their Muslim identity and make them feel at home over here. This is their life. They are American, whether you like it or not, you are American as well, by the way, but they are American fully they have nowhere else to go. So our job, our job as custodians that Allah has ordered blessed us with our children. Our job is to protect what is most precious, and what is most precious is the kalama. What is most precious is the Quran. What is most
precious is my faith in your faith. Let us protect that faith, practice it in our lives and make dua and pass it to our children. And as we're going through these phases, as we're seeing the realities of the world, think outside the box and realize you have to think of your children and grandchildren, what must you do to preserve their emotion? That is the ultimate question. And you know what brothers and sisters, Allah subhana wa tada has willed that we are here, this is Allah as well we are here. And Allah has placed us here for a reason known to him. If he's placed us here, then he's going to give us the tools to make sure we pass the test. If we put in the effort, simple
as that. We have the tools, but we have to put in the effort. So put your trust in Allah subhanho wa Taala understand that your faith and your emotion and your rituals will trickle down to your children. So increase your own worship of Allah subhanho wa Taala. Be active in your community understand that there is no other way to protect your children after Allah's blessings, then your household embody Islam in your household, that is your fortress for your children. And then after this, you have to put your trust in Allah because the brutal Fact of the matter, it is inevitable. Some people might not remain it is inevitable. You cannot change that. But you know what? The world
is now a little village where are you going to go running? Where will you go hiding? You're going to go to certain countries, Civil War, other countries, complete backwardness of bribing every single person, other countries, where are you going to go? There is no utopia on Earth. There is no place that is the Medina in state and that hamdulillah by and large, at least in this country. We have certain perks and privileges that are rare in other countries, most importantly, the freedom to
Practice your religion this country was founded never forget this American Muslims. This country was founded on religious persecution and the right for religions to come and find safe haven over here. This country was founded on religious freedoms. And that's why it's enshrined in the constitution in a way that you hardly find in any other country. So and hamdulillah that's a freedom that we thank Allah for it is the most important freedom for us. That's the freedom that the Muslims and Abyssinia wanted, and we have it enshrined in our Constitution. But in order to take advantage of it, we're going to have to put in our full effort to be citizens of this land. And that means not just
acknowledging our identity, but standing up putting our roots deep and making our presence visible and insha. Allah to Allah with the help of Allah azza wa jal, that is what we are going to do Allah and NIDA and for Aminu, we ask Allah subhana wa Taala that he not leaves any sin of ours, except that he has overlooked it, and then is sick amongst us except that he has healed them and any diseased amongst us except that he has forgiven them, and any misguided amongst us except he has guided them and any debt of ours except that he has repaid them. We ask Allah subhana wa tada to allow us to overcome every single problem of ours era. Manu er Rahim. Allah live from us this plague
and disease and bless us with a life of comfort and ease. Yeah, but will you Yeah, Aziz. Oh Allah of this dunya we ask you it's best and on the day of judgment that we pass the test and of the our Hara makers to amongst the blessed Allah Allah bless Islam and its people. Allah bless Islam and its people our law bless Islam and its people and the oma make it safe and peaceful and protected against those who desire for it evil, know Muslims that Allah Subhana which Allah has commanded you with a command that he began with himself, and then he's second with the angels themselves. And then he asked us to follow suit after the angels for he said in the law, how am I likely to you saw Luna
other Navy? Yeah, you already know amanu sallu Allah He was certainly motus Lima Allahumma salli wa sallam whereby the Quran and adopted Costa Rica Muhammad was the he was ibH marine regards the law in the law to motivate activity. So anyway portabella young Halifax Shea will tell you about the area lucuma Kuta cologne Kuru law has already made Coco wash Kuru. Yes, what is Optimus?