Understand Your Test
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
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Because I am well aware as somebody who's also a part of our same culture and society, that
human nature is such that we become fatigued by constantly being asked to give to various causes.
We have fundraising fatigue,
a lot of us dread the different types of fundraisers that come within our communities.
One week it's going to be about refugees here another week, it's going to be about the earthquake there yet another week of your local fundraising of the masjid which of course always you always have to fundraising the mission never going to stop right. It's the reality of life every single few days and other cause comes. And now what is speak to the broader theological the broader aka the the broader social issue of how our mindset should be in the face of all of these fundraisers. What should our attitude be? One, every few weeks and days another flyer is handed to us. There is another cause happening, because after a while we are cells begin to feel what's the point? I'm not
going to solve global poverty. What's the point? I can't sponsor, every Palestinian refugee? What's the point that Kashmiri crisis is 75 years old? What's the point that our hangers are here? They're behind us are there? What can I possibly do to affect the entire globe? I can change everything. So why not just worry about myself and I've seen FC and hulless I mean, I can change everything.
And that attitude is of course, not just wrong, it is dangerous, because it breeds of arrogance, and it is a fundamental misunderstanding of our role in society. Do your brothers and sisters, Allah did not put me Are you in charge of solving global poverty.
We are not tasked with solving the Palestinian crisis. We are not in charge, nor will we be asked to the day of judgment. If we have solved every single major issue in the globe. When we set our boundaries, unrealistically, inevitably, we're gonna fail.
Our playing field is not the entire globe.
Our playing field is our sphere of influence, understand this point? You see, I mean, imagine running the race and you never see the light. After a while, you're just gonna get tired as I can't finish this race. But if you know where the end line is, and you see it, that's going to motivate you in and of itself, just to know where the end is, will motivate you.
One of our problems is we misunderstand our playing field, our end goal. The end goal is not the elimination of poverty, the end goal is not the sponsorship of every single your team on the face of this earth. The end goal is not affecting the entire globe. No, the end goal is what did I do with my limited resources and the time that Allah gave me, that's my playing field. And if we restructure our playing field, all of a sudden, every small, incremental success makes us feel oh, I've done something. Every single person I've helped, I feel that hamdulillah I've made a difference. That's our attitude and philosophy. And one of the fundamental problems that we have when it comes to this
issue of fundraising is that we don't understand the notion the Islamic notion of wealth and of sadaqa
and especially Ramadan is around the corner. This is a very important topic, the Islamic notion of wealth, and the Islamic notion of sadaqa by the way, the Quran uses really interesting terms for well this is a bit of a tangent here one of my infamous tangents but the Quran uses very interesting terms for wealth money. The most common term for money is my Alma oil by Nuna Mal, and as you're probably aware, Arabic has a very profound language. The word Mala yummy Lu is an Arabic verb which means to Sway left and right Marla yummy Lou to go back and forth. Money is called money, because it causes you and your intentions to swayed away from what it should be.
Money is called Mile because money causes you to turn right to left when you should be going forward. That's why one of the primary terms of money is what man
what is gold called in the Arabic language? What is gold called?
The Hub and every single beginning student of Arabic knows the verb that hubba yet hebbal what does the habit the verb mean? To go? And gold is coming from the most common
verb in the Arabic language to indicate how quickly wealth disappears from you. Gold is called the hub from the verb the hubba to indicate how quickly it goes away from you, you don't have it fully. What is silver called?
Football and football comes from a similar concept in football to spark away to disappear.
Allah azza wa jal mentions in the Quran that, for example, the Serato Fantasia, they worked in Hollywood
for whatever brother I love contest going on. No, sorry, the reverse before it. In fact, Louis Laker. So in fondue, the concept of just dispersing from football. So gold and silver both come from verbs that indicate disappearance. Money comes from the verb to indicate corruption, to show you the value of money, and this notion of wealth being ours, why should I give my money to people in need? This is a fundamental theological problem. Allah subhana wits either reorients our understanding when he says in the Quran, you want to be in a mono unphysical go give charity Minta Yeva t ma Rosa cannot come from the goods that we have given you.
Allah says in the Quran, what are to whom may mallala He led the attack can give to them from the money of Allah that Allah has given to you. mean mallala whose money is it? You all know this much Arabic Min mallala from the money of Allah subhanho wa Taala it is not my money. It is not your money. It is Allah's money.
This notion of this money being mined and I have acquired it. That is the height of an Islamic Cofer. You have rejected the notion of Allah being a result. It is not my money, it is not your money, it is Allah's money.
Even more explicitly Allah says in the Quran, or you who believe and fugu magia Allah was the caffeine coffee, give charity from the money Allah has given you. Temporary management over the term is very technical. Mustafa levena fee from the word philosopher from the same Khalifa, Musa fluff, you have been given temporary guardianship that's what was tough love means you have been given temporary guardianship over this money. Notice, firstly Allah says the money is what Allah has given you. Secondly, Allah says the money is my money, man the law. Thirdly, Allah says it's not your ownership, you are temporary managers. Think about how accurate that is. Yesterday, your money was
with somebody else. today. It's in your bank account. Tomorrow it will be in somebody else's property. Inevitably, in and literally and metaphorically, the cash you have in your pocket right now. Yesterday was in somebody else's pocket. Tomorrow you're going to walk into a store, buy something it'll be in somebody else's pocket, you have temporary custodianship over that money.
And even if it's in your bank account for a period of time, the minute you are buried underneath soil the same day guaranteed sad fact of life inheritors will begin arguing over how to divide your wealth. This is a sad fact of life brothers and sisters. Not the same hour the same literally the same day, literally inheritors will start negotiating, oh, what do we do about this? Whatever that that's the reality of human nature. It's not your money. It's not my money.
So then why did Allah give us this wealth? We all understand why.
Allah gave us this wealth. Leah Balu Welcome to test us. Whenever we do condition we will hide the fitna. We will test you with both good and bad as the fitna to see Who amongst you does the best. So here we are, in this beautiful land, amazing realities of life and again, allow me to be a little bit explicit, especially in light of the tragedies taking place in the globe. Allah has blessed us beyond our imagination, brothers and sisters.
I'm not trying to be dismissive, I'm one of you. Every one of us sitting here by virtue of the fact we are sitting here is in the top 1% of the globe, socio economically, safety wise, security wise
amenities wise standard of living wise, again, I'm not trying to guilt trip you, I'm teaching you and telling you a fact that we should all recognize doesn't matter what your actual income is, the amenities and the security and the safety and the infrastructure of the lands we live in. We are already in the top 1% of the globe.
That should cause us to think, why
am I somebody special stuff but Allah? Of course not. Did I earn and deserve this? Of course not. But Allah chooses to test people with different things. So some people are tested with an absence of wealth. Others are tested with a surplus of wealth. Some are tested with earthquakes and buildings falling on them. Others are tested with houses larger than we can ever imagine to have lifted. Some are tested with empty pantries. Others are tested with pantries overflowing and everyday throwing food in the trash.
Tests are different. But every single one of us is being tested.
So we need to acknowledge that our tests are of a different caliber, some ways easier, and some ways more difficult, in some ways easier. Let us not fool ourselves, who amongst us would want to be tested with being in a refugee camp right now, who amongst us will already be tested with being in the lands where their civil war and bombs are dropping, who amongst us would want to be tested living under tyrannical regimes? Who amongst us would want to be tested? Being in earthquake prone zones right now, none of us? We thank Allah, these are tests that are manageable. But
the flip side,
these tests are more difficult to acknowledge as tests.
Not that we want to substitute but let's also be honest here, when life is good, when the wealth is flowing,
when this dunya seems bright, and luscious, and green, you lose track that you are being tested.
And you live life as if life itself is worth living.
And you forget, no, it is not this life. That is the ultimate goal. It is the next life. So in terms of difficulty of the test, there's no question this is easier. But in terms of difficulty of recognition of being tested,
frankly, at times this is more difficult. I mean, let me put it to this way, when the going gets tough. When situations are difficult. All of a sudden we all discover Allah subhanho wa Taala when there's life and death scenarios, when your child is sick, when a loved one dies, everybody discovers religion at times of calamity. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with becoming religious at times of calamity. The problem is forgetting religion when things are good. The problem is not rediscovering a man when the going gets tough. That's actually positive. And in reality, that's a sign of Eman. That's a sign of Eman when you become religious,
when the going gets tough when financial issues, you know, marital issues, societal issues, whatever issues might be health issues, and all of a sudden your da increases your Quran increases your soda increases. Actually, that is a sign deep down inside, that you actually believe in Allah. That's why you're doing more. So that's not a problem to become religious when a calamity befalls you. The problem is once the calamity is lifted, and you forget that religious face and you go back to status quo, that is the problem. So nobody should feel guilty that at times of crises we discover rediscover Islam. And we see this and I was in Turkey two weeks ago, two and a half weeks ago. And
subhanAllah I mean, interacting with the refugees interacting with those that are that are affected with the crises. Honestly, I gave a football if you listen to it two weeks ago, when I came back Thursday night to give the football Friday morning my mind was just full of anecdotes, stories, my experiences Wallahi It is amazing to see the level of Eman of people who seemed to have no hope to live for I don't know what I would do in their situation. Meeting Syrian refugees who gave everything up 10 years ago, fleeing from their countries starting from scratch, slowly developing and building a mediocre life all to see it crumbling in a millisecond and start all over again.
Well, like can you imagine that? And I met many dozens of such refugees. But their faith their reminder to work because they're up there is loss. put me to shame.
They know they're being tested and they have their trust in Allah subhanaw taala. So that's their test. On the flip side
What is our test over here? What is our test over here? Our test, as I explained, is the reality of what we are doing to pass what Allah has given us. What is our role not in solving global issues, but then affecting within our sphere of influence?
How many people can we help in the process of our lives? How many changes can we enact? How many hungry mouths can we feed? It's not about global, it's about your personal accomplishments.
So getting back to my anecdote of fundraiser fatigue,
I asked myself and all of you
that next time a fundraiser is announced for any cause. Next time you get a hand a flyer, flyer, put in your hand, next time you hear about some other issue and somebody comes up to you know, brother or sister, you know, there's a cause here, there's whatnot.
Even if you do not give, because true, you cannot give to every single cause, every single time somebody comes to you, even if you do not give, I warn myself and you have ever feeling a sense of arrogance, a sense of complacency,
a sense of superiority.
Thank Allah brothers and sisters, listen to me carefully, thank Allah, that someone is coming to you to ask for your help. And seek refuge in Allah from ever seeing a day when you are forced to go to other people asking for help for yourself, thank Allah, that you have the opportunity to have the upper hand in giving to somebody and seek refuge in Allah from ever being forced to have the lower hand begging for help for you on your family. Even if you don't give, even if you cannot give thank Allah that Alhamdulillah people are seeing in me the opportunity to have the upper hand and I seek refuge in Allah from ever being put in a situation where I have to go and ask others.
And this was really driven home to me in my recent trip to Turkey, many of the brothers and sisters there they were normal, regular middle class people, right? There's not massive cities there. I was in you know, Sean, your fire was in, you know, my shows in these major cities. These are all overall, you know, civilizations, middle class cities. But when the entire nation the entire city is demolished? What can the government do?
I gave a hook Bob, this talk to me, it's not just a one off. You have 300,000 people without housing. What can you do? What government can build 300,000 houses overnight? Doesn't matter what your income was. You are now stuck on the street in a tent. And by the way, earthquakes and natural disasters don't just happen in third world countries. No, the whole world is equally prone and partner with the largest earthquake prone fault is right here in California, by the way, right? Does that Andreas fault, so don't think that nothing can happen? No. It is Allah's Rama that we have been saved. It is Allah's Mercy on us that we're not facing this calamity. But the least we can do when
we see calamities all over, when we see what's happening in Kashmir, amongst total hinders amongst the refugee camps in Bangladesh, which just had a serious fire right now. These are people I mean, it's not something I chose that my parents came here and I was born in Houston, Texas, rather than being born in a refugee camp in Bangla district, Kashmir, I didn't choose this. It's not in my hands. I didn't deserve it. I didn't earn it. But Allah tested me in some ways. And if Allah had willed me or you could have been born on that side of the tent, that side of the of the wire, fence wire, that side of the situation and crises, you don't think they have as much intelligence as much
potential as much Iman as we do. It's Allah's other. What telecoil uh, yeah, muda we do have a nurse, these are the days Allah gives to different people. The ultimate abode is the next life. So, bottom line, when we reshape our sphere of influence, the goal is not to solve every single crises in the world. The goal is how many people can I personally impact? How many lives can I change? How much sadaqa Can I accrue for myself on the Day of Judgment such that insha Allah Allah, when I need to Allah I can say oh, Allah, you blessed me with so much, and this is what I tried to do. And by the way, one of the things I say, you know, all of us were, we think we're business savvy and
whatnot, some of us more business savvy than others, but one of the things these business guys do
You just diversify your investments, right? We always look at this as the number one principle of investing. diversify your investments. Well, I have a philosophy when it comes to South Africa. Diversify your sadaqa diversify your charities. Make sure Ramadan is coming up, is it God time, South Africa time, make sure you intentionally diversify your charities. A portion should go to extended family around the world that needs your help your personal blood family are second cousins, your uncle, whoever it might be who needs your help, no doubt a portion should go to them. A portion should go to causes that are near and dear to you. Because you are from that region, you're from
that area. No doubt they have a help over you. Of course, you should go to your local communities and massage it no doubt as well they need it. And a portion should go to causes that you have no ethnic biological connection with this tool is a part of iman to demonstrate to Allah subhanho wa Taala that you love the onma to demonstrate you're investing in a cause you don't expect any ROI in this dunya you expect nothing back in this dunya you're simply giving to a cause that is completely alien to you ethnically, but not religiously, completely alien to you and your geographic region but they are the OMA and you expect Allah subhanho wa Taala to give you infinite amount of ROI return on
investment on the Day of Judgment beautiful a hadith to illustrate this inshallah and then we'll wrap up and if there's some time for q&a Shall I'm fine with that. The beautiful Hadith I'll quote with two Hadith inshallah which really demonstrate the philosophy really of wealth, the philosophy of why Allah tests us the way that he does. First, the famous Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim
that a man owned a farm. And it was a time of drought process and told us that once upon a time, in the days gone by, there was a man who had a farm and he needed rain to fall. And he made dua to Allah for rain to fall. And he saw cloud coming.
He became happy Subhanallah rains coming. The cloud went over his land. But right before it rained, he heard a voice an angel cry out, no, not this land that one.
So the cloud went over his land and continued going. The man said to himself, he was a smart person. And he said to himself,
Allah wants to show me this for a reason. There's a sign.
Why did I see the cloud in front of my land, and then literally taken away to another land? There must be a reason there's a story, I want to find out why. So he followed the cloud, goes a few neighboring territories until he sees the cloud grain on a particular land.
He goes to the farmer, he goes, I want to tell you what I saw. But the condition is you tell me about yourself. I'll tell you what I saw. You tell me anything that you think will explain what I saw. He told the whole story. I needed the rain, but it was skipped over me it came to you. There must be a reason why it's coming to you and not to me.
The man said, if there's any reason,
all I can think of is that I divide my income into thirds 1/3 of my income I reinvest in the land, maintenance, water, agriculture, protection, 1/3 is for the maintenance, and 1/3 I give to my family for myself, and 1/3 I give to the football.
Now I want you to think about the reality. Of course the man said this is why Allah sent the rain to you and not to me.
This is a Hadith that the Prophet system is teaching us a reality of what happened. Why was one particular farmer wealthier than the other?
Why was one person given more than the other person?
And this leads me to my final Hadith for today Inshallah, and then we'll wrap it up at all if there's any q&a. Is there time for q&a? I don't reserve time for q&a. There was time for one more Hadith Inshallah, wrap it up in sha Allah, which really illustrates for us the reality of
the psychology of wealth in Islam.
And I want us to think about this hadith in light of our lifestyles in light of what we are doing, in light of how we live our lives. So very beautiful Hadith and story is actually in the Sunnah of a Timothy, our Prophet system. The hadith goes that there were two brothers in Medina, one of them was a wealthy merchant, he had land he had property and his younger brother came to the city of Medina to study with the prophets of Allah who are the who was said that he wasn't a person living in Medina. He came here
his older brother lived in Medina, his brother had the wealth and the lands and everything. So he asked permission from his older brother. He said, You know, I want to study with the process and memorize the Quran. I want to be with the process of them. Can I live with you for a while? The brother said, Sure, okay. So the younger brother began living with the older one, sleeping in the corner of the room, you know, getting a meal and whatnot. Eventually, shaytaan came to the older brother
Subhanallah it's so sad that sometimes the wealthiest people turn out to be the stingiest. In fact, that is the general rule. The older brother began to feel my younger brother is taking advantage of me.
So one day he complained to his brother, he said, You have come to my house. You sleep under my roof. You eat from my food, and you don't do any work. By the way, notice my my my notice, and you know, this poor kid is sleeping in the corner of the room, one pillow one plate, what does he do? How is he harming your massive wealth, but Subhanallah this is the way sometimes wealth corrupts you to that level, right Subhanallah we seek Allah's refuge will live from this level of stinginess. Yeah, he would. Does it bother you? Your brother's in this corner of the room sleeping? What not? What does it bother you one plate of food he's studying with the Prophet Muhammad says What more do
you want? But no, you have come and you live under my house and my roof and my food. I am going to complain
to the Prophet saw some about Subhanallah look at that level of, you know, anger and neck states exactly what he did. He wants to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. And he said the Arasu Allah, you know that student of yours, I want you to know,
he's living under my house, sleeping under my roof, eating from my food. And he doesn't do anything for me. He thought he's thrown the trump card. Allah says, now you're going to kick him out. Now you're going to expel him. He thought that colors this is now the good job I've established. This is a person who's not earning his keep. But notice what our prophets have said, beautiful Hadith that flips the script.
Literally, in three words, the process of demolish this man's entire paradigm, and gave us a complete reconstruction of how we should view our wealth. He said to this older brother, that I look at tourism, mean actually he
perhaps all the wealth that you have, Allah gave it to you, because of your brother. In other words, instead of feeling that I am the rich person, I am the one my brother is taking advantage of me. You had better understand, Allah didn't even want you to be wealthy. You're not wealthy, because of you know, Allah wanted to feed your brother, Allah wanted your brother to have a roof over his head. Allah wanted to prepare the way for your brother. So he gave you all of this wealth, not because of you. But to make life easy for your brother, such that when your brother comes to Medina, he'll find a house he'll find a bed, he'll find a pillow, you'll find a plate of food. So rather than feel a
sense of arrogance, that Oh, my brother's taking my food, you had better humble yourself and realize it is because of your brother that Allah has given you all that He has given you.
We are that older brother.
Frankly, I'm being blunt, honest here. We have that wealth, that palace, we have the surplus.
And here our younger brothers around the world come and shaytaan comes to us. My wealth, my income, my engineering degree and my CEO status. Why should I give to these charities? That how would it upset a biller? Perhaps for this business perhaps Perhaps it's because we give our point 1% that Allah allows us to keep the 99.9% Perhaps it's because we give $5 Here $10.00 $100 Here perhaps is because we are consistently generous inshallah to Allah
and somebody's dua in some refugee camp somewhere in the world, Oh Allah, whoever fed me feed him, Oh Allah, whoever helped me help him that person's dua is more precious to Allah than all the wealth that we have. So perhaps, because of that small generosity that we show to complete strangers around the globe.
We might have an excuse on the day of judgment that Oh ALLAH
You know, I couldn't change the world. But I changed as much as I reasonably could. And I gave as many times as I could, for your sake not wanting anything back but appreciating you gave me so many blessings, appreciating that you helped me to become who I am appreciating law, how would I ever afford to illa biLlah all that I have is because of you, Oh Allah, so the least I can do those that have nothing. I can share what I have with them per chance insha Allah the small good deeds you will accept and overlook my sins that I have done in sha Allah, Allah Jaya. So inshallah we'll do some q&a Shall I want to also mention, so the q&a will be about
the topic that we haven't had. But I wanted to also mention, obviously, the reason that we're here it goes back exactly to the theme of why we are here, which is to help.
People that are in circumstances will love hate beyond even what we can't imagine. This is our fourth generation, I think of this fourth generation, fourth generation in this manner in refugee camps, no hope in sight. Governments around the globe have cut them off. Although it's dismal, dismal, so give what you can shallow data for this cause they're doing some amazing work I'm aware of personally, of their work, I have seen firsthand what they're doing. And at hamdulillah what I like about this charity, oh, but all charities, insha Allah are positive and good charities. Each has certain niches and pros. And I'll tell you one thing, they didn't tell me to say this, I'll say
this, because I know one thing I liked about this charity, I love about this charity, it was started in somebody's living room.
It was started by a group of sincere people who wanted to make a difference. 2030 years ago, 20 plus years ago was started in the living room of a few of our brothers here. They said we are people Allah has blessed with wealth, how can we help people back home. And from that small living room conversation Alhamdulillah they are now helping a quarter of a million people. Think about that.
A quarter of a million people are being helped. And Hamdulillah. Everybody that is involved from the senior level is volunteer. Now, by the way, I don't have a problem with admin costs. I have a Facebook post about that. But this organization is one that the organizers and the people in charge are all volunteers. Not that I have a problem by that I'm not trying to criticize other organizations. Please don't misunderstand me. But this is one that attended in that it is from the heart by the heart, and it affects the heart inshallah. Tada. So that's one of the reasons why I think this is an amazing organization. Definitely zyk got illegible, and I don't mind telling you on
a personal note, I give some of my zakat to obat as well my personal is I got a gift to this organization, because I trust them, I know what they're doing. I know that people in charge, so I strongly encourage you to, to help out insha Allah to Allah. With that, let's open up the floor for some q&a. I already have one or two questions from before that were handed to me and inshallah we can have some more q&a, inshallah. So the first question is,
what advice would you give to the young generation about how they can cause an impact in this country? What advice can you give to the next generation about how they can impact this country?
This is a really, really interesting
And I want to say again, for the record,
by the way, how many of you were born in America, just a quick show of hands?
Canada Hamdulillah, around 10% of you, okay. Hamdulillah, the rest of you came here, the rest of you, you know, chose this country.
One thing that
many of us don't quite understand fully or grasp fully, is
how fortunate and blessed we are,
to experience and enjoy the types of freedoms we have in this country.
Those of you have lived in other countries, especially under dictatorships or third world regimes or whatnot, you have a bit of an idea. But most of us who have been raised here or born here,
we take the positives of this country for granted. And we look at the negatives, and somewhat sometimes exaggerate them. There's no doubt every country has its pros and cons. There's no doubt this country has its negatives like every country. But I myself have the opportunity to live in many countries. I used to live in the Middle East, and I chose to come back here.
And I have no regrets coming back here. I'll tell you why.
The freedoms that we have to impact ourselves, our communities, domestic and foreign issues, is unparalleled anywhere in the world.
And that is something that our youth do not understand or appreciate.
To have this large gathering of 1500 people.
Nobody has to get permits from the government to have this.
We're fundraising for refugees. We're fundraising for causes in foreign lands, I don't need to get permission to help people starving around the globe.
My talk today,
I don't need to get it censored and approved by the Ministry of Interior.
In the majority of countries, have our own religious background. Unfortunately, none of this would be possible. None of this would be possible.
We thank Allah, for the freedoms to be faith based Muslims in this land. It is not a trivial fact, brothers and sisters, we thank Allah for the constitution of this country that guarantees us the freedom to worship Allah properly. Wallahi it is a positive and a blessing that we take for granted.
The majority of tyrannical regimes.
You could not have a gathering in a masjid, without permission and monitoring with the secret police. You could not raise funds period. By the way, it is not allowed to raise funds, I don't want to be explicit. But majority of Middle Eastern countries, you cannot raise funds for any cause. Any not even local, not even local, by the way, you cannot
Subhanallah so the potential of being a Muslim in this country is amazing. We have the capabilities of changing ourselves, our communities, our domestic policies, and our foreign policies and influencing global politics as well.
unbelievable amount of potential. Unfortunately, we take it for granted. And another problem comes all too often our religious circles become a political. And that's a very deep topic. It's a controversial topic. I don't have time to get into it fully. But to be a political is itself being political, you have made a choice to not influence which is also influencing in the wrong way. There is no such thing as being completely neutral.
Look at what is happening across the globe. Even in these lands, of the moral decay, of reorienting of family and other things of this nature. You don't have the luxury to not get involved, you must be involved.
And we have the potential to enact change. in Dearborn, Michigan, you saw what happened when the school board wanted to go a certain way. The Muslim community and hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah stood up and said, No, you're not going to corrupt our kids. This is a democracy. This is our school board. Our taxes go to you, you have no right to do this without a majority vote and the majority showed up and they could not proceed with their plan to have an alternative vision of what marriage is amongst children teach them things that we think are immoral and filthy, they could not do that. You have to stand up and fight for your rights. There is no other way. Now in the process, you're
going to get into a gray area is not the time to get into. But there is no other way forward. So my advice to the youth multiple things first and foremost, understand the potential you have been handed
a level of power to influence that is almost unparalleled anywhere in the world.
And Allah has blessed you to be at a time and place that is ideal. What do I mean by this?
Islam in America is at a crucial point in its history. This generation will shape the future for the next 100 years. The previous generation are the founders they laid the foundations this message it they did it around America, the primary builders, the movers and shakers, the ones who planted the seeds, that's their generation, my father's generation, your some of you in this audience right now. They're handing us all of this infrastructure.
Now, the next generation, fully acclimatized, fully American fully absorbing the values, the language, the confidence, the knowledge of this culture, what they do with the infrastructure built by the elders. That potential is unlimited. The torch is being passed down. The baton is being handed over. The relay race is now on the second lap. It is being handed over everywhere.
And I know the youth have a lot of complaints about the elders. I know this but you know what, at the end of the day, they did the best they could look at all of this. They did the best they could stop complaining, get ready to take the baton and move it forward. Are you ready to take the torch? That's the question to you. Yes, there's a lot of complaints of the last generation, stop complaining and be ready to accept the torch. Inevitably the torch will be passed down. Inevitably, you will be told to take your place for how long can you know the elders continue to vote themselves as three? I'm not being about your community. I'm just talking generically right? For how long can
it be the same 510 people, eventually it will become you. So rather than complain about them? Are you ready to be effective? Are you ready to take charge? have you trained yourself in the Islamic sciences, in management in Dawa techniques, be ready because the torture is being passed. And when that opportunity comes, it's not going to come with a long waiting period, it's going to come right then and there you take it or you leave it. So be ready to hand over the baton and be ready to carry it. And the next point that I have,
which is a little bit scary.
As we explained, religiosity is on the decline in this country.
sad fact that decline is also observant amongst our own youth. Let's be honest here as well.
Our youth are also being weaned away. attrition rates are high Subhanallah look around North America. As I travel, I see Masjid audiences. Generally speaking, you find the children, you find the 35 Plus, but where are the 18 to 35 year olds. This demographics by and large, is the smallest. And to me that is terrifying.
You have the elders, many of them are themselves immigrants. You have bringing the children especially around Islamic schools, but where are the college and then college you can say at least during the MSA or whatnot. But then right after college 25 to 35. That first decade of work. It's terrifying, that so many of our young men and women don't even care to take extended breaks on Friday to preach and while Wallah, it's terrifying.
So, I urge all of you to understand.
If you do not preserve Islam in your personal life,
how will it be preserved in your children?
If you do not raise the bar in your own life, how will it be preserved in the next generation?
You have to make a conscious decision to be better than who you are right now for the sake of your children. And that means understand, your household has to be a household of Islam. Your spouse has to be a spouse upon the faith. By the way, I am very clear about this. I do not believe it is allowed to marry outside of the faith in these lands. Whichever your gender is man or woman. It is my personal opinion. I know it's a minority opinion, you must marry within the faith. Filthy wise I believe this the concession for men to marry outside it's only applicable endowed with Islam. It's only applicable when the courts and the checks and balances will make sure that any children you
have are upon the faith. When those checks and balances are not present such as here. It is not allowed to marry outside the fee. This is my personal belief position. And there are a number of women who hold it.
Marriage must be within the faith family must be upon the faith the household must have Islamic ambience within it so that the children are raised absorbing the values of Islam and that also means protecting communities like these our masajid have to move beyond being places of just Jumeirah Antara we, they must become family life centers. They must become areas where people just come to relax intermingle chill with other families, there must be a mini uma present in our massages, because your children have to see Islam not just as two hours in Sunday school not just as memorizing certain of God and certain ayat, but as a lived experience. As the lived religion and
beyond osmosis, they will absorb Islam via the osmosis of interacting with other Muslims. Eman will become strong when they see lived Islam. So our massages have to move beyond Halaqaat. Of course Halaqaat are the backbone of course Joomla is the backbone. How can I not say this? Of course I'm the one giving the hook but I'm not trying to trivialize but we need to move
Beyond the pure religiosity, socializing is a part of religion. Well, hula is a part of religion, forming family friendship is a part of religion, your children coming here to play basketball is a part of religion. So our massage would have to become family life centers, it is imperative that we understand massage, it's serve a social function along with a religious function. And that is something I hope the next generation will understand already our elders, a lot of them understand that but inshallah the next generation will convert every single Masjid in this country into not just a place of rituals, but a place of OMA experience, a place of forming bonds and absorbing the
ethos and values of Islam. Bottom line, Allah has blessed our next generation to be at a unique time and place you are the only generation brothers and sisters, the next generation, you're the only generation who still has a good knowledge of their roots and heritage and a very good knowledge of their modern ambience and culture.
Frankly, the next generation will not have even a fraction of the knowledge of what you have of your own culture and heritage. I'm sorry to be blunt here, but languages will all be gone by the next generation. I mean, that's just a statistical reality. Okay.
This generation will understand what to do Hindi, Arabic, Bangla, you know, whatever it might be, they'll understand it. And to 2d Barbie cuddling is Arosa, you know, could snowcoach Bhatkal Lincoln, not fluently. But go Zara who Jaga as they say, but the next generation is gone. You have to statistically understand even if one person saves it as a society, it is gone.
It's a sad loss but it is a loss that is inevitable languages don't remain in unless you have a sub culture which we don't have in America. We're not really interested in language, where we're from your great grandchildren will vaguely know us somewhere maybe it's gone speak to any any broader person in this society. I think one great grandfather came from you know, Slovakia. My grandfather, my grandmother came from Germany, but I have no attachment with Germany. My grandmother came from Germany, they have no idea what Germany has never visited and this is the reality this is anthropological facts. I'm not inventing them this is the reality of the world understand this
point. Okay. As it is your own children struggle when you want to take them back home I don't want to go it's too hot, it's too cold I'm going to fall sick you know, no AC this and that. As it is your children struggle to go back home, you think they're going to take their children back home, this is home for them. You need to understand this point home is not where your grandmother is buried Home is where your grandchildren expect to be born that's home. So we're gonna have a real orientation This is our home there's nothing wrong with that we have to claim this identity as ours. And this generation that is born and raised here, it is the Seminole generation it is the primary
generation because where it goes what it does will literally impact the next 100 years. So it is so important we protect this generation we rise up to address the challenges and we need to think not tomorrow but 100 years in the future how we're going to impact Islam in North America shall any other questions inshallah with this class, okay. So our moderator has said Inshallah, we will conclude So, Giacomo la Haider was my honor and pleasure to be here in Sharla. Next time I come to spend longer time with us
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