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Yasir Qadhi


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Smilla Rahmanir Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala schauffele MBA when mousseline say dinner, Muhammad Ali was on page nine. Welcome to this night's program Hamdulillah we have every Friday night show up close and in front of Chef he has a collie hitting him with some serious personal questions. Hope you guys are ready because today insha Allah Tala, we're going to speak about Shetty as his personal life. His upbringing the family, he came from his experiences and how he became who he is today. Shutdown sort of Solomonic.

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Why they called was Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh Zack Allah and for having me on.

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It's a bit of a awkward thing to be put on the hot seat but inshallah also from the beginning, it is not a false sense of modesty, but I want to be careful that you're saying he became who he is today and what not Subhan Allah we are all worshipers of ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada. We are all equally in this together. And we all of us are servants of Allah azza wa jal, there's no superiority except with taqwa and the real turquoise of course hidden in the heart only Allah azza wa jal knows that Allah says in the Quran Fela to the Quran, Fusa Kumho, Lamborghini taco, do not consider yourselves or others to be pious only Allah azza wa jal knows who has actual taqwa and we hope to be amongst them

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with Tilty Nisha Allah,

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may Allah bless you, and may Allah subhanaw taala, increase you and humbleness and increase the Ummah from your likes and the likes of the scholars and beloved items that continue to give back to the soul that will light the time that we live in today. We are in such dire need of odermatt We are in such dire need of order that people understand the deal. So they can tell us what to do in these types of situations that arise in the OMA

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but today Inshallah, we're not going to talk about the the pandemic that we're living through right now. We're actually going to change it up today we want to do something that's way past due,

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shortly, never really introduced himself and his life and his past experiences to the community. So today inshallah we wanted to take advantage of this night and this q&a session to ask the chef about his family his upbringing and his life experiences chef the first question for you today insha Allah is

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can you tell us a little bit about your family background I know your family

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were very active in Islamic Delfield handling a lot of blood Amin and obviously this is probably a this is natural. I can every family Masha Allah that that is active in the Dawa, Allah subhanaw taala blesses them with offspring that continue to give back to the community continue to be active. So how was your family active? What were they doing? And how were you inspired by that?

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So my father came to America in 1962, as a graduate student to do a master's in biology and pathology from the city of Houston. And he came as a single, the single person at the time. And he was a handler of the first batch of immigrant Muslims to come here. So he was here at a very critical time in America. And so he'll hamdulillah founded the very first masjid, in Houston, Texas. He actually is the founder of the MSA, the Muslim Students Association in Texas. And there his name is still there to this day of the founding document of the first MSA in and I didn't even know this as I was going through the MSA, I had no clue you know, you, you grow up and you have no clue what

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your parents have done, obviously, and what their what their past is all of this I found out later on. But he founded the MSA that I was very active with at the University of Houston. I had no clue completely, that Allah social, if you had no idea, I had absolutely no idea that that my father founded the very MSA that shaped me, you know, in the 90s. He founded it back in the 60s, I had no idea. Absolutely. And it was only later on after coming back from Medina that I actually found out like he never, you know, he's a quiet man. He doesn't talk about these things. And it's just, you know, you uncover it bit by bit to his name is on the founding document of what is now the largest

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network of massage in all of North America. The Islamic Society of Greater Houston is GH. It has over 25 massages in all of Houston. It is the largest in all of North America. And then hamdulillah My father founded the first which is of course, then he's now you know, he's he was given an honorary prize last year by the IESG. Ah, and he was very active with the Jamaat e Islami movement, which is now Ekena. He's also one of the founders of Akena in that in that regard, so I grew up in a very religious household. I did not know at the time again, this is something I'm finding out later on. But my great grandfather was actually a chef and an Adam and he had studied it

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In India, and he was he had gone to a village to be the chef and the Mufti of the village and that's where I have the name Kali actually, it comes from my great grandfather that he was called all the by the people of that village is the religious called Jebel poor. And he found in the mud, I had no idea this is all of this is coming later on is no clue. I finished Medina. And I come back to Yale. And I began digging into my family history. And I was shocked to discover my great grandfather was actually a chef and moved here and accordingly, and that's where we got the name of no clue that he's actually studied Islam, memorize the Quran And subhanAllah these things are all you know, they

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just this history moves on. And we don't know it's there, but hamdulillah so I was very blessed to be born in two parents that are very

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religious and very interested in that work. And hamdulillah it shaped me subconsciously. The choice to go to Medina was my own but no doubt, the upbringing that I had. The values were absorbed in by that and I thank Allah azza wa jal for having blessed me with such parents. So chef, do you think you think this was the reason you decided to pursue Islamic knowledge? There is no doubt that that played a very pivotal role.

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The the real catalyst for me, I mean, the upbringing I had was, I would say, just moderately religious, so and hamdulillah as long as I can remember praying five times a day, my father encouraged and you know, kind of sort of pushed me which is fine as a teenager to memorize the Quran. I didn't want to memorize the Quran, you know, he's like I was, I remember having a tantrum with him at 1213 years old, I don't want to memorize the Quran, you know, and he's like, you know, it's like, it's standard stuff, you know, at the time. And I was very angry that I was forced to sit, instead of playing outside with my friends. You know, I was forced to sit after school, and

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more visa Hubbard, the chef would come and memorize the Quran with me. But of course, all that's, you know, hindsight. So, when I got to university of Houston,

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the main catalyst for me was discovering that I genuinely liked being religious, like, you know, when you're University, you're free, right? You don't have the pressures of your parents on you. And if you want to, you can go down the path, and nobody knows about it. And the love protected me that Subhanallah I actually found that I wanted to be religious, and I liked religiosity. And in 1990 9091,

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one of my main teachers who really inspired me immensely, and he's humble is still alive in America, but he is kind of low key now. He was traveling through Houston, and he gave a class and I was 17 years old at the time, not yet. 17 I think 17 and I attended a class on the sciences of Hadith, sciences of Hadith. And this teacher was a convert a Caucasian convert. And it was mesmerizing to me to see somebody who was not born into the faith, quoting a Hadith from the top of his head, and telling me about these nods and telling me about my religion in a way that I had memorized the Quran. I didn't know when he spoke Arabic and I didn't speak Arabic. I had memorized the Quran from

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an Indian accent America, I couldn't understand a word right? I don't. I don't know what he's saying. I just memorize it, the way that we memorize it, you know, and to meet somebody like this. I was completely mesmerized and it introduced me to a whole group of other people who had studied knowledge. I was very active with back in the day if you know there's the Quran and Sunnah society, this is early 90s. And they're a group that is very much trying to follow the seller very much into what is the evidence and where do you get this and it was just mesmerizing for me to meet this group of people that seem to know the classical texts, and seem to know whether hadith is and Sunnah. And

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it's not you, I must say, Muhammad, you know, these are things you vaguely hear about growing up, but to meet somebody who's actually read these books and can quote them to you. It just blew me away. And that led me down academic Islam, my family

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made me feel humbled by the lessons of Allah religious, but not into advanced studies that wasn't you know, my father is not a chef in the traditional sense. He, he is somebody who loves Islam, and was always connected with Islamic activism, just wanting to be a good Muslim, but he wasn't connected with the ruler map per se. But when I got to university, it was there that I met a group of people who really blew me away with their, their, their mastery of the texts. And, of course, I went through a phase of basically, you know, ultra hardcore, which is, you know, I tell my, you know, my Friends of the Earth that you know, what, hamdulillah being a little bit more overzealous

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in religion is better than being crazy and other things of the dunya you know, because people go through phases. And when I was a teenager, I went through a phase of like hardcore Islam, you know, like, this is how long this is go for this bit. This is very clear. Everything is black and white to back then, you know, and if you know what strand I'm talking about, you understand what I'm trying to say here. You're actually like that for me. I was like that seven

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In 1819 I was like that that you know

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when I got to Medina Believe it or not actually even the beat first year of Medina began to open my horizons and I began to mature up. See, a very little bit of knowledge is a very dangerous thing. Just a little bit of knowledge is the most dangerous because when you're a giant you know, you're a giant, right? When you gain just a little bit, you feel very arrogant, very like hottie I know what my teacher said is how long it had, you know, your teacher is one opinion, good, excellent. There's other opinions out there as well. But I went through that phase. I did my degree in engineering, graduated 1995. With my degree in chemical engineering and Hamdulillah, I got a job offer from Dow

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Chemical at the time, I had interned at Dow Chemical in their plant in Freeport and I had spent a summer there three and a half, three, three full months there. I had cretin, the 3000 line computer program in a language that most of you never heard is called Fortran 77. And it's all gone by now, that I had simulated polymer reactions in a laboratory. So if you put in specific polymers a type of plastic what would be the projected output so I wrote a very elaborate program my boss was very impressed wrote me recommendation like hire this kid as soon as he graduates you know, that Hamdulillah I had a job offer you know from Dow Chemical, the only one of my class to have a job

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offer without, without even graduate, sorry, before graduating, I should say You know, before graduating in 1994, I went to Medina to apply to Medina, as an ombre student as an ombre visa. So I wanted to you know, the the name University of Medina was already floating in those circles. Now, I know it's difficult for people to understand this. But back in the early 90s, nobody had heard of the University of Medina, it was unknown at the National American scene. I had heard of it because one of my teachers had studied one year, just one year at the University of Medina, and then come back. So he hadn't even graduated. It was an unknown really University at the time. And they didn't

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have American students. When I got accepted. They had a grand total of nine students, nine, nowadays they have 250 from America or from America. Okay, nine students from America, that's all that they had. And I applied in 1994, I went for Obama visa, and I submitted my application for to get accepted to Medina 1995, I graduated, and I had the Dow Chemical offer. And I had the nurse to Medina offer on my table.

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I had a very, very difficult choice to make. And it was a difficult choice for me because I understood the repercussions of No, I didn't fully understand, but I thought I understood that this is a radical career shift for me. So I made my choice. As you all know, the choice I made. And I never looked back at hamdulillah One thing led to another and so here I am so sure, like, did you decide to study to pursue Islamic studies while you were in engineering school, or right when you graduated? So I was flirting with the idea of full time Islamic education since I was a sophomore and it just the yearning became stronger and stronger that I don't want to spend the rest of my life

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behind the desk solving nth degree quadratic equation is the way I phrase it. I don't want to spend the rest of my life becoming another statistic of another upper middle class Muslim American. And I really felt an emptiness spiritually like I really felt and I remember one day it's just seared in my memory. I had a habit in University of sleeping on the floor actually believe it and I wouldn't sleep on my bed. And and I had a blanket on the floor. And I wish it was just I liked it. It was easy for the back. I didn't like the soft cushions. Obviously, when you get married, the mug goes out the window you have to but I mean, my entire years at university, I was sleeping on the floor.

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So it's not part of that like extreme phase. No, no, no, like you want it to be Junaid or somebody. No, no, nothing like that. Okay. I was always a big lover of ice cream and have good food. So that's never changed.

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So I remember one day,

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just looking at a pile of books. And because I was sleeping on the floor, so the pile was relatively high. And it was you know, Introduction to organic chemistry you know, you have calculus three you have all of this and it was just like this, like no exaggeration, like as high as this table. Kids don't want university you got these big books and everything. And I remember thinking to myself, like Alhamdulillah others this is not bragging or boasting have always been a straight A student. I was the valedictorian of my high school and we've always always had you know, magna cum laude in engineering, I mean hamdulillah even my Medina, everybody knows this is not hamdulillah ALLAH

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blessed me with that. So I looking I was looking at all these books and I'm like, subhanAllah I really felt like I know all of this stuff. And I don't know my religion.

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Yeah, like I felt an emptiness like I've mastered all of this. And I don't understand the Quran because at this stage I still didn't know Arabic you know? I mean, I hadn't, you know, coming from Indian Pakistani background obviously, you know, ODU is the language I speak at home. I didn't I didn't know Arabic. You never studied Arabic show before though? No, no, no, I didn't study Arabic I began studying Arabic actually, on my own 17 years old. Believe it or not, I'd never advise anybody to do this. It's really not that there was no alternative. The only source I had was Sahil Bahati nine volumes alone. And so I began going through so I have a hottie with the Arabic and English and

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you don't study Arabic that way. You just don't do that. When did you have cassettes? Back then? If we did, I'm not that Oh, of course.

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We had cassette, you know, there weren't that many books in English back in 9293. Really, you have to understand it was a different timeframe, very different timeframe. The quantity of books that have come out is so much more back then, you know, the Head Island Home of Islam, of course, Bobby was a big deal. And you know, Phil kosuna was still not translated, you know, that became a big deal in the mid 90s. So it's a very different era at the time for him. And I really just felt an emptiness. So it was something I was thinking about, and more and more interested in and I applied in 1994 December, I remember because that was my sprint, my and that's probably what you call it,

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the winter break. And I applied only for December, and I still was uncertain, am I going to go? Am I not going to go? Am I going to get accepted? And it was only when I have the acceptance letter. And I have to make that choice. You know, I mean, even in the summertime, and I had both of these, there was a timeframe, I'm thinking, because let's be honest here, you know, going to Medina at that timeframe meant giving up careers and education. I mean, you know, income and delaying marriage, everything, like it was a very big thing. And it was not a decision that I made casually. And Hamdulillah I did not look back after that decision was made that hamdulillah whatever came with it

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came with it. And I've never looked back since. So it, was it purely your decision, or like Were your parents 100% with a no, it was my decision at the time. And again, I understand I have nothing but respect at the time, let's just say my parents didn't understand what I was doing. But they gave me that freedom. And I respected them for that they were not enthused, but they didn't stop me. And I understand because in the end of the day, they finance my education. I just finished a degree, they really thought it was a phase or a fad I'm going through. And I do understand because a lot of people did go through a phase and fat and that just fizzled out. I mean, Medina in particular was

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well known for dropouts, we had 80 90% dropout rate when I was there, mostly people just came and just fizzled out and went back, you know, so it wasn't easy to experience. Everything, everything, just the experience, the difficulties, the classes, the language, finances, the culture, spit of a racism as well, lots of things I mentioned is whole bunch of factors are there, that makes life very difficult. And, I mean, obviously, my parents didn't know any of that. They're just like, you know, you have a degree in engineering, you know, we finance to help you. I mean, hamdullah they, they supported my decision, and they respected my decision, but definitely the idea. I kind of sorted out

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to push it a little bit on them, and then handed out they let me go from there. So that leads me into this. The next question, inshallah. So, now

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being the prize student, and you were mashallah valedictorian in high school, and then you graduated, you're a straight A student in college. So you were obviously someone who appreciated good education, and quality education. So you go, you leave the Universities of Houston, Texas, and go to Medina, to a start up University in the middle of a desert. Right. And I'm sure like, you know, Arabs, especially in that part of the world don't really know too much about education or didn't know at that time, at least. Now, it started out

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the university was there, I'm sure things weren't the way you were accustomed

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in the States, right. So can you tell us a little bit about that shock that you had when you went there and the daily routine you had as a student of knowledge?

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How am I God, if you are bringing up a lot of memories?

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These types of talks that you're asking me these questions, I typically only answer to students that are going to go to Medina because their version of that world is very romanticized in reality, and I don't like to shatter that bubble amongst the innocent people out there. Those that are going to Medina and Hamdulillah. I keep in touch with most of the American students. There are a lot of them that end up going. They know my very, very frank, talk to them. I don't want to be that Frank. Let me just say that

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Medina was not your

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Standard American University, it's a very different ambience very different.

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Especially when I went I went to 1995. And things have even changed since then, the buildings I was living in, were actually constructed in the early 70s. And it was the same, like very rundown. And, you know, it was very difficult for me even to, to physically be in those areas, the massive dorms, you know, seven, eight people per room cramped together, one bathroom at the end of the hall. And man, it was just a very different system. And then the culture as well, it was a huge culture shock for me to come to an American university, and then come to the rest of Medina.

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Some of the things I mean, for example, when I got accepted, things have changed, by the way, very radically, university, Medina was around 5000 6000 Students 90%, of whom were foreign, or 85%, were foreign, only 10% or 30. And so you had students from all 200 nationalities, and just the multicultural environment, you know, to, to to meet people who had never seen modern technology where we would write, to meet people that had never some of the people I work with, from certain countries, no need to mention if they didn't even have three meals a day where they're coming from, you know, and so for them to get three meals a day was actually a perk and a blessing that, you

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know, they So imagine you're mixing with people of all of these diverse backgrounds, most of whom have never studied formally at all, the way that you know, we're supposed to be studying. So imagine that environment. And then obviously, to put this gently, let's just say the people in charge, and the professors and teachers themselves, let's just say gently are of a different mindset and culture than what I'm accustomed to here in America. Right. So it was a huge, huge culture, shock, educational shock. And I went through the Arabic program is a two year program. I did that in one year 1995 to 1986, I got my diploma in Arabic course called the shorter, shorter time knew how to

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how to be and that was an eye opener because everybody was non Saudi, there are no Saudis studying Arabic there, you know, and that was very much like middle school and the whole ruckus environment, and, you know, everything just it was like middle school environment, people, they're just having fun doing this and that, and I'm like, I didn't come here for this. I came here for knowledge, but I didn't come through this. So anyway, zoom through that. And then came time to apply to the University or not apply but to choose the college back then there were five colleges. There was the College of Quran and Quranic sciences, there was the College of Hadith and Hadith Sciences, the

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College of Sharia and filth. Basically, there is the College of Arabic language, advanced Arabic language. And then there was the College of Dawa, or preaching. And amongst these

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colleges, it was the reputation that Quran and Hadith were like the hardcore ones, right? And Sharia was for the generic serious student. And Arabic was for just people that are into because the College of Arabic you're studying Arabic literature, most non Saudis didn't come to Medina to study advanced Arabic literature, there was one or two foreigners but it was mainly a Saudi college for them to get into masters PhD in advanced Arabic and Dawa at the time just saying the reputation was That's the easiest one. So I was between Quran and Hadith because I wanted like a hardcore, you know, that was me, I want like, I want to be the real deal. It was the smallest back then the

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smallest unit colleges were Quran and Hadith. And I looked at the curriculums and Quran was specializing in the 10 Clara arts and memorizing the various ways to recite the Quran. And I realized if I wanted to do this, I could do this outside the college, I didn't want to spend four years just memorizing the various ways to do and I'd have the life done, you know, four or five of the Quran on my own. So that's I've done that on the side. So I decided to go to college of Hadith. And I always had a love of Hadith ever since my first teacher back in 1992, taught an intensive in English at University of Houston, I remember still from 9am to 5pm I still have the notes by the

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way, somewhere in my thing, you know, so I always said I still have the notes, I still have those notes. And every single course I've ever taken in my life I still have the notes for I never throw my notes away. I have all of the notes I have files and files of notes that I have from the Islamic stuff, obviously not the chemicals during that even though I still have some of those but you didn't trash that I did not trash those. I never trashed my own notes, I keep them and so I chose the College of Hadith and I don't regret that choice at all. It's a very specialized college. It's a college that is very small. There was like only you know, one bachelor, like the College of *ty I

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had eight eight classrooms. And when I got accepted to Hadith I think it was one at the time and that split into two small classrooms. So it was 1/8 the size of the College of Shawnee the college there were like 10 classroom by the way, this is 1996 Now, here's to Binita

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Has 15,000 students, it's very different university than what it was. So you asked about my daily schedule, the schedule, the daily schedule? Well, firstly, I have to say I confess that I could not last in the dorms for more than a week, one week, less than a week, I'm sure some of you are less than a week, they say six months, this was 1995. Okay, things were different back then. And also, the room, they assigned me the room they assigned me, the door had been left open, for the whole summer, you know, the door of the balcony, I walk in, and there's a layer of dust like this thick, the whole place. I'm like, What is this? I can't. And of course, back then things have changed. Now,

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right now they're like in five star compared to back then the size of this desk, double it. And that was your space, every student had like a bed and a small desk. And that's it like little and then between one student and the other was a little cloth sheet. So you have a large room and divided into cloth sheets, small little spaces. And I'm like, you know, men hamdulillah coming from middle class family. I'm like, I can't live like this, you know, so I had savings from my engineering and when I had savings. So within a week, I found a place apartment to live. And I was single I wasn't even married at the time. So I moved out. And I for the rest of my 10 years, I lived in the various

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apartments over there. My daily schedule. So remember, I went through firstly, the College of firstly, the Arabic program that was one year, and then the College of heavy that was four years. So for five years, my schedule was from 7:30am to 1pm full time classes, we took the equivalent back then of 25 credit hours, it was a very, very intensive, rigorous I mean, they've changed it now it's not that intensive anymore. After I left, they really cut back and watered down, things have changed. And obviously, from my perspective, for the worse, I caught the batch that was like the old school where all the classes were simultaneous. If you failed one subject, you had to repeat the

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entire year. Again, if you failed one course, you had to take the whole year again over again. So we had five classes a day, five days a week. And so that's 25 credit hours. And we had on average 15 to 17 Different teachers in subjects and we had to have exams for all of them every single year hamdulillah so went through all of that in my undergraduate hamdulillah graduated with the MTS which is like the top, you know, a level APR, whatever a, you know, highest 90% and then applied to the master's program. hamdulillah got accepted to the master's program in the year 2000. And of course, in the master's program, the schedule changes, you have one year of coursework, and then three years

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of dissertation, and 100 I got the top of my class in the master's program to deliver the data. And then my dissertation was highest rank as well in theory as my shadow ruler. And then I made the choice that I don't want to finish my PhD and I wanted to come back 911 had happened many things that happened. And for many reasons, I don't want to be too explicit. But I began to realize that I needed to be exposed to different knowledge as well that that Hamdulillah I was very happy with Medina. But my own curiosity and my own I was getting like blocks intellectually needed, I needed other, I needed to be exposed to other knowledges as well. And I was very happy with my 10 years in

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Medina 2005 9095 to 2005. And so again, my teachers were all shocked because they were expecting me as a shoo in, you're going to be the first American with a PhD. That would have been the case if I had continued. But

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I didn't it wasn't something that I wanted to do at that stage. And I then 100 I came back and finished my PhD from here. So definitely. And I remember the first time I saw your name, it wasn't in America, believe it or not. I started practice when I went to visit fall asleep and I went into a mecca for one of Shabbat in the midst of mashallah over Shabbat donated they had a huge makeover

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in one of the masjid it's close to the clouds. And I saw I took this big book out and like says yes, it should

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study as a company or she hasn't called the Michaels yesterday. I'm like, Do you guys know? Yes, sir. Kobe says be related with the hidden and they're like, anyway.

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I think it was your master's dissertation. What was what was the topic? My master's dissertation was entitled, the theology of jam had been soft one, one of the early people of this OMA he died 120 for him and his effects on Islamic movements. So what it was a very early figure, who was a very controversial figure in early Islamic Jihad views that were considered to be heterodox and nobody had studied him

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hamdullah so I wrote a 850 page dissertation in Arabic, I remember.

00:30:08--> 00:30:10

Still, obviously still there are two volumes in Arabic

00:30:12--> 00:30:13

hamdulillah I'm gonna present

00:30:14--> 00:30:55

on your skills in Charlottetown. So that leads me to the next question. So you stayed in Medina for about eight years, 1010 years 1995 to 2000. And I must have studied with many scholars because I know Medina is like a stop for many automat from around the world. Everybody comes they stopped, they stay in Medina, they visit the mysteries of the Rasul Allah do so. So you must have seen many of them, but which ones can you say you've benefited from most like our highlights in your past. So in Hamdulillah, is being in Medina for 10 solid years. And going through the programs at the University of Medina, and the old school program, like I said, we had on average 15 to 17 different

00:30:55--> 00:31:35

instructors per year. So and then the master's program, so I went, I studied with over 150 Hoonah and Michelle handelian, my 10 years there, we actually our graduating class, we have a whole list of the teachers in the undergraduate and then of course added to that as my master's level. And then of course added to that. So the serious student of knowledge doesn't just restrict Himself to what the university does. The serious student of knowledge also goes and finds teachers outside in the Haram and one on one in their houses. And at hamdulillah Allah bless me to study with many of those as well. I mean, the very first day that I came to Medina, literally the first day I was in the harem

00:31:35--> 00:32:12

literally I had my pants and shirt on I didn't even have a thought I made dua to Allah, that Allah helped me find a chef for Quran that will benefit me and I didn't know there were lots of machines there has a goal that allow me to you know, get to somebody that will benefit me. And I just saw one shear there with a small halacha and I introduced myself and I said to you I want to get ijazah from you I'm Hatfield and I want to get ijazah and Huff's and sure about an awesome you know, back to the Prophet solo Salem, and the chef was very like, kid in the pants and shirt and where are you from America? So he calmed down okay America okay, but he goes next time don't come to me in a Pantone

00:32:12--> 00:32:23

shirt, you know, come to me to tell us I feel very embarrassed like I didn't literally I literally went up the same evening a guy that though Tenri alpha, why didn't you have cash on a temporary unreal, you know, made in China.

00:32:24--> 00:32:29

And then word that the next day and so that turned out to be my first Quran teacher Sheikh Bashir

00:32:30--> 00:32:37

Bashir and he's my chef, my justice, but she is you know, he knows me pretty well in school now he's

00:32:38--> 00:33:22

much bigger than what he was. I made dua to Allah that Allah let me find the one that will really and so Hamdulillah he really shaped my weed and my wisdom, finished ijazah with him and helps ensure Oba and then I see with other Messiah as well that hamdulillah and 9095 Sheikh Matata shown clearly was not yet as famous as he was about to become he was giving doodoos in the masjid of the Jamia the University of the Jama Masjid, so I would attend with him. And the same year he got transferred to the Haram in Medina, Chef mortician to be famous chef. And so I attended his first Halaqa in the Haram after having attended his how I thought in the universities, Masjid, and I stayed 10 years

00:33:22--> 00:33:27

which should include the 10 years of hamdulillah never skipping if I was in town, if I'm traveling, I'm traveling

00:33:28--> 00:34:05

out of the 180 study with him. I studied with shahada, Rosa Byrd, who had a deep impact on me an athlete that he really had an impact on me and had the Chicago disease or Dota. If he passed away with cancer or other humble How was his last batch that he taught before he fell sick with cancer legend and how did everybody knows his books and whatnot. Chef Muhammad Matata is a Roni, another chef who passed away after I graduated but he's he wrote the literally he wrote the books for the undergraduate curriculum. And he was already retired by the time I got to Medina, but Alhamdulillah some people introduced me to him and I had a private lesson with him at home. Just me and one other

00:34:05--> 00:34:46

brother, we drive to his house and study with him. You know, moonta called benjelloun which is a very advanced book of hadith is not one of the famous six ones we study with that with him. I studied with the shahada Salim before he passed away as well, I was to go to his house. This is he was the main student of the shell clearly of the 60s and 70s. I studied with in the summer of 19 of 2000. I did not come back to America that year. And I traveled to Tunisia, which is a small hot Bedouin village in Nigeria to study with the legend, the somebody who really Subhanallah had a profound impact on me on a personal level, and that is Chef Muhammad and so I had with him in and I

00:34:46--> 00:35:00

sat with him for an entire summer. And by the end of the summer, he wrote me to secure a letter of recommendation that I use to get into the master's program as well at Medina. And I still have that letter that he wrote 100 So I started with a lot of law

00:35:00--> 00:35:24

Lots of scholarship that has occurred to me and I'll tell you there was my he was my advisor for the Masters now he went on to found the International Islamic University of Malaysia. He went and found that after I studied with him, so when he was in Medina, he was the dean of the college. And then I came back to America, he went to Malaysia and founded a university over there and hamdulillah Hamdulillah I have studied with a lot of people and from all of them, I've benefited

00:35:25--> 00:35:48

from their in or from their other, or even from like, how not to teach. Sometimes they're good teachers that weren't good teachers. So you learn from them, how not to teach properly, what not, and I remember one of my teachers said this in class that, you know, never ever underestimate or trivialize anybody whom you study with, because whoever you study with has something to teach you. Even if it's how not to teach you. I remember he said that hands How about okay, so Pamela, so

00:35:50--> 00:36:25

you met a lot of machinery. And this is a blessing from Allah subhanaw taala and Allah subhanaw taala give us the intercession of our Shadowclan our Alma and desoldering that we mean, the anime las Panatela bless us all with, with what lost diversity within all these will show how to label the ones who passed away. And may Allah subhanaw taala preserve the ones who are still alive, I mean, but for the average Muslim Now, we hear a lot of titles like share quality of the island, we have Island courses, like people make them feel like they're going to be Island once they finish it.

00:36:27--> 00:36:36

What is the difference between all of these things like just for the average Muslim? And she if you don't mind? Just a blunt question. Do you consider yourself a scholar?

00:36:37--> 00:37:16

SubhanAllah? Let me answer this first one first. These various titles, realize that our religion of Islam is not like the Catholic church that has specific hierarchies that are bestowed by another power. So if you're like a Catholic, if you're a part of an organized hierarchical faith tradition, there is a body that assigns you a DA Raja, right. So you're a cardinal, you're a bishop, you're the Pope has a particular hierarchy, and hamdulillah in, you know, Sunni Islam, we don't have that hierarchy at all. Now, that's positive, but then there comes a bit of a flip side, and that is that it does become a little bit of a free for all, which we all, you know, we struggle with, sometimes

00:37:16--> 00:37:57

when we log on to the internet, and we find people saying this thing that will, I don't know, the qualification this guy's moved to so and so on half so and so and so and so. And, you know, frankly, so and so and it does become difficult. So let me just state that all of these titles are honorary titles that people choose to give or choose to adopt, they really mean nothing in the end of the day, if a person chooses not to call himself whatever doesn't mean that they have or don't have knowledge. And the main way that we can recognize a person of knowledge is by the testimony of his peers. So when other groups of people who we know to have knowledge acknowledge, oh, this person is

00:37:57--> 00:38:33

yes, a person of knowledge, this is the most important issue, once upon a time that used to be through what is called the ijazat system, or the the notion of people, teachers handing a license to teach or to the connection with you to the classical, but even that is now not what it used to be, really, these titles don't mean much per se, and especially degrees title like these days you can do, you can do a course and move the course or a chef or an alum course, or whatever. And any there are many graduates from these universities who really are very weak in their knowledge. And there are those who have never stepped foot in the universities, and they're very strong in their

00:38:33--> 00:38:55

knowledge. So I would take all of these titles with a grain of salt, what is more important is the quality of the content that people produce, what is called peer reviewed. And of course, if you are not a part of that peer review, then look at others who are testifying to the peer review. As for your second question, that's a very difficult question, a very blunt question. I appreciate you asking it.

00:38:56--> 00:39:45

The famous either my shabby, died 105 100 Somebody called out to him yell at him, or on him. And a shabby said to him, the item is the one who fears Allah subhanho wa taala. And Allah says in the Quran in sha Allah hum and Eva De La Rosa, that the only portion of Allah's creation who truly fears him, or the rule, Emma, so you asked me that, do you consider yourself like a scholar in Harlem? If you mean by that, the Quranic definition, then Subhanallah, who amongst us could ever claim that and definitely, that's not something that I claim in anybody who claims this it is a problem and this is this is not to false modesty, it is a reality that all of us are sinners and I know my sins, and I

00:39:45--> 00:39:59

thank Allah for having hidden them from from all of us. But hamdulillah Allah knows my sins and there is no way that in that sense, anybody can call himself an Adam. If you mean by scholar, somebody of the caliber of Chef of entertainment or even bigger than this, remember, no

00:40:00--> 00:40:37

We have been Tammy, I've been hedging. I mean, of course not. We're these were polymaths. These were experts in all the fields, and all of us will remain minor, minor, minor students of knowledge until we die, we're always going to be looking up to these giants and, and referencing them at the same time. That is then the awkward question of where exactly does that play somebody like me, and I mean, any person who studies in and I had been studying non stop for 25 years, there's no I mean, even after 10 years of Medina, I mean, I'm studying every single day, it is my full time, occupation, no day goes by even when I'm on vacation, quote, unquote, there is no vacation from him,

00:40:37--> 00:41:18

and you're always reading and doing something. So it's been 25 years of my life that I have full time and more than this part time. So clearly, you can't just be like, nobody, you have to have something. So generally speaking, a person who dedicates his life to Islam, they are aware of all of the fields of Islam to a basic level. And they understand the sciences of Islam, they know the references of Islam, they can look up almost any issue because they know the encyclopedias to that level that hamdulillah are very comfortable. But in my particular case, have also gone and studied beyond the basics in certain areas. And in one or two areas. In particular, at Hamdulillah. I'm very

00:41:18--> 00:41:56

comfortable debating with and discussing issues at the most advanced level, for example, theology, and especially early theology, my masters and my PhD was on athlete Islamic theology, and especially when it comes to the development of the various schools of Islamic theology, whether it's Sunni Islam or the other schools as well, at Hamdulillah, athermal Hamdulillah. I mean, this is anybody who is an expert, a world class expert, they me and him can have a very good conversation at a very good level that hamdulillah because this is my expertise, that is my, the area that I published academic papers in, and my master's, you can go and read it and at Hamdulillah, that's, you know, no

00:41:56--> 00:42:29

issues there, along with this, and 100 other other areas that I have, because of my own passion, really done a lot of research on in a Sierra is one example where I've read pretty much all of the major books of Sierra and I have a good understanding. And we can have very good discussions with anybody who's a specialist in Sierra, as well, in certain aspects of Roman Quran. I think I've always had a passion for various aspects of ruleml Quran and the title of the Quran as well, there are certain areas that I and in fact, you know, actually, I think I was talking with you or others that I've even had very good discussions with some of the world's experts on specific issues, and I

00:42:29--> 00:43:06

have my understandings, and I've presented it to them, and we've gone back and forth, so it hamdulillah in other areas, I feel comfortable being a good student of knowledge, comfortable enough to hold my own opinions, as long as others have said them, I don't do independent HD head. For example, most of the film cover Ibadat, the film of Saul taharah, Salah would not at hamdulillah I'm very comfortable teaching and preaching and holding my views, but I don't ever, ever hold the view that is unique. Because I'm not at that level, there must be somebody before me that that said it or some council at least I never break away and become independent. This is fickle. Ibadat, and

00:43:06--> 00:43:07

taharah. And

00:43:09--> 00:43:47

eating and drinking and other stuff of this nature feel called dress and whatnot. Hamdulillah. There are areas that I do consider myself a minor, minor, minor student of knowledge, and I don't even have independent issue head following others, I really kind of make blind duck lead. For example, Islamic economics, I always say modern Islamic economics is not my forte, I have spent years studying theology and Sierra and aspects of Tafseer and Quran. I've never had a passion for economics, you know, people have different passions. I think the average person doesn't understand the Islamic sciences are just as varied as let's say biology, right? You can have a PhD in Biology

00:43:47--> 00:44:28

and be very ignorant about one area of biology. But you have a good knowledge of one area of speciality you couldn't get a PhD without specializing in one aspect. But it's very possible that another discipline of biology, and you have a very, very vague knowledge of it. The same goes for Islamic sciences is a vast field. And nobody can master all of the sciences of Islam. There are areas that I do feel I am very well grounded into the point of independent research, there are areas that I feel very comfortable. And then there are areas where I say, You know what, let me go to the others. And amongst them is Islamic economics. I don't I don't ever give independent factoids about

00:44:28--> 00:44:40

Islamic economics. So sure, I know what we did was like, sort of redefined the word scholar, right? Because Is there anyone in the world that is really a scholar in all of the sciences of Islam?

00:44:41--> 00:44:59

If you ask me, I have never met anybody like that. Never, never never. These are people that might have existed in the past, but there's simply too much knowledge out there. To master every single discipline is simply now there are those who have mastered more than one mashallah for example, the Arabic language and

00:45:00--> 00:45:42

fielke Masha Allah, they're great, but to say that you're a Master of Sciences of Hadith, and Herat, and tafsir, and history, and I have never met anybody like this. And I don't think it is even possible because the other thing that you realize is that, you know, a scholar who existed 1000 years ago, actually, the sciences are a little bit more limited, and the books are limited. If you're coming now, at the end of all of this, you're at the tail end of 14th centuries, right of history. So you have to know, in a good amount of detail, pretty much all of the major books written in every single discipline for the last 14 centuries in order for you to then contribute something

00:45:42--> 00:46:25

new. So to claim that a person is a master of all of the Islamic disciplines. I mean, I have never met anybody like this, and I don't think anybody like this could possibly exist. And I'll give you one simple reality check. No matter how much a chef might know of filth, or of Hadith or of Tafseer. Ask them about Islamic history. Islamic history is a very needed topic. And it really broadens your horizons, hardly anybody's mastered history, and also, you know, advanced film and whatnot, as the scholar of Kerala arts, about the technology of Hadith. So these are all different specialities. And at Hamdulillah, we thank Allah, that people have specialities can master their specialities. This

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also means the average Muslim, the average Muslim should be aware of these broad speciality so that you don't ask the wrong person, right to the question that needs to be asked, don't go to the karate expert, and ask the Clara art expert about some advanced issue of Hadith unless they've studied it, and vice versa. Okay, so it's not some generic Planoly. This is a scholar, therefore, I can ask them about anything. This is one of the biggest mistakes that the average Muslim makes that they think that a person who studied for four years can answer any question about the Islamic sciences and the Islamic sciences are more vast than all of engineering or all of biology, they're more varied than

00:47:06--> 00:47:47

any it's like literally saying the humanities. They are so very the Arabic language itself is one discipline, and Arabic literature and you can go on and on and on. And the beginning student of knowledge literally scratches the surface of maybe the main 1415 fields, and that's it just scratches the surface to have an idea of the basics of these, then some people specialize. Most people after an average undergraduate degree don't even specialize and they just, it's like saying you have a bachelor's in biology. Okay? Okay, you're able to teach biology and middle school, high school, but you cannot contribute something new until you study 2030 years of biology, you get my

00:47:47--> 00:48:03

point you that there are different levels of even scholarship and knowledge and we need to put everybody in his place and also in his speciality. So, just out of curiosity, there's a personal question as well. What science do you like more? Do you like fic or sudfeld.

00:48:04--> 00:48:41

So when it comes to all souls, I put my level as that Ave intermediate students not at the advanced level, I have not studied or solid filk comparatively, as much as I would like to it's always been one of those areas that I would want to study more. So definitely at this stage, the fields that attracted me the most that I'm most interested in, actually believe it or not, are, and it's always been for the last 25 years. The main field is not theology, it is normal Quran for me, it's always been the most fascinating field, the sciences of the Quran, and and hamdulillah I'm still very active.

00:48:43--> 00:48:55

But I don't publicize, or I don't write books about this anymore. But hamdulillah I'm very active and there are circles that are well aware of what we are doing in terms of issues pertaining to a normal Quran, humbleness, platonic criticism.

00:48:59--> 00:49:05

So now, we stayed a little too long on one of the questions. So but I really want you to answer this one today and show

00:49:07--> 00:49:27

after coming back to the States 10 years in Medina, dealing with what you dealt with seeing what you saw, obviously a different completely different mindset and world. You come back to America. How did you readapt to America? Like did you quarantine yourself for quarantine? Don't use that word right now.

00:49:29--> 00:49:31

So you need to you like

00:49:32--> 00:50:00

coming back to America was a conscious decision. It wasn't thrust upon me. I made the decision. Like I said that 911 You know, everybody says 911 was a changing game game changer. For me. It really really was like I was in Medina when I saw the twin towers fall and I was doing my master's at the time. And I saw the war on terror. I saw the name of my religion being you know, stereotyped hatred. So

00:50:00--> 00:50:44

homophobia. And I really began to feel that, hey, I need to come back and start being active. I can't just remain in this bubble isolated and in, like Medina was a quarantine, if anything, like I'm not coming and teaching my people. And I also began to realize and this is awkward to say I'm going to be generic and will be bullish ality of homo, I began to realize that I needed to broaden my horizons if I wanted to be truly effective in my own community, I couldn't just stay in a foreign land and a foreign culture and absorb even more of a particular strand of Islam, which had its pros, but it also had its cons. And if I really wanted to be effective amongst my own people, I needed to

00:50:44--> 00:51:27

expose myself to the culture of my own peoples, my own peoples. I mean, while I didn't home with them with a home like these are my people over here, I was born and raised here. This is my land, I speak English and I went through there and systems and I, this is my mother tongue. My mother's tongue is overdue My mother tongue is English, right? So I realized the need that I need to come back. And I need to expose myself to disciplines and to thought processes that hitherto I had quarantine myself away from, okay, if you want to use the word quarantine. And so in 2003, I began looking at the various PhD programs in the Western world. And I spent an entire summer going over

00:51:27--> 00:52:06

every single program in the Western world. And I applied to a number of I was bit, I was a bit highfalutin, I only wanted to get into the best of the best the creme de la creme. And so I applied to the best of the best at him that I got accepted to Oxford, in England, and to Yale and America. And I had to make a choice between the two and briedis, the hara and for other factors. And I chose to come to Yale, it was a bit of a shock for all of my professors and teachers, because like I said, I would have been the first American to graduate with a PhD ever, ever in the history of Medina and it was register shoe and there was no nobody I was the first the highest level American ever to get

00:52:06--> 00:52:43

in and whatnot. And it would have been but it was a big shock to them. But there were a certain Michelle, if that encouraged me and I don't mind mentioning. Now, in hindsight, she suffered actually was one of my biggest encouragement to go and shocks them and allow the May Allah azza wa jal freed them both. They're in jail right now. By the way, you asked me who I benefited from these two also, even though I didn't study study with them, but they both knew me on a personal basis, I would visit them in their houses while I was in Medina, and they're the ones who encouraged me more than anybody else to. And also check out on me I had an interview with him, the Indian convert from

00:52:43--> 00:53:00

Hinduism who became the Dean of the College of Hadith. He also said to me, leave and go, he said to me, that don't study here go when you were in Medina when I was in Medina, like, like meaning after the Masters, like go and do your PhD over there, you know, and that also shows how like shifts over Hawala and Chuck's

00:53:01--> 00:53:38

share stuff suffer. What he said to me was the most encouraging, like, he said, almost like it's followed for you to leave as like a chef. I mean, Medina is like, you only come Karuna and legit body method. Okay, I remember he was in his house, literally, me and him like this. And he's like, he was telling me like this. Yeah. Like how we were waiting for student like you to come from America, study with us. And then go back and study over there. I said, Chef, I'm going to do the PhD. And I might have to hear things that I can't respond to, I'm going to and he goes, Look, your Nia is to learn so that you can defend Islam. Allah knows your Nia, you're learning things that you

00:53:38--> 00:54:01

might not have answers to so that you can defend this. And that stayed with me and it still stays with me. And it's been How long has it been Yanni almost 1817 years ago. He said that 16 years ago said that to me, and that still is in my mind that, you know, sort of humbled, I went knowing that I'm walking into a lion's den like nobody, and again, I'm not trying to but people notice that no, back in 2004 2005.

00:54:02--> 00:54:41

It was very rare for an observant practicing Muslim to be in a PhD in Islamic Studies. That too was rare. It was unheard of for a Madras or graduate to be doing a PhD at an Ivy League. I'm like one of the first there was one person before me back in the 60s 70. Dr. Muslim mill, those were different times he did his PhD from Harvard. But since then opposed to now no Medina student has ever gone to an American PhD in Islamic study, even to this day, nobody has he's just not done. You don't even get in it was a miracle from Allah that I got denied very high GRE scores and you know, everything 100 100 Allah blessed me to have that. But generally speaking, even that's not done. So I knew I was

00:54:41--> 00:54:59

walking and not only that, I wanted Islamic Studies, which is the most difficult because their version of Islamic Studies is totally different than our version like literally night and day. And everybody knows this. I've said this in other lectures as well, even though it's been misunderstood, but I'd be very honest

00:55:00--> 00:55:35

hear that? I walked in thinking, what can they teach me that I don't already know, I know this religion better than any of these guys do. And they didn't teach me the religion better than I knew because I knew better than them. But the thing is they knew I knew better than them. They knew it, every one of them knew that I knew better, they would ask me questions about fifth and 13th. But what they knew was things I did not know. And it's beyond the scope of our interview here to go into detail about this. But it's really the methodology of research and the methodology of taking a broader picture and contextualizing and looking at facts from different angles and critical

00:55:35--> 00:56:14

thinking, and source critical engagement, which is stuff that we really don't do in the Eastern tradition in the you know, we're just taught to hear and obey. And there are questions you have, and you're like, Oh, don't ask those don't go there. And of course, in the West, no holds barred question everything. And so it was a very interesting phase, where the way that I portrayed is as follows imagine somebody hands you a big building, and says, this is, this is what your ancestors gave to you. And you think it is a solid constructed building, going into the Western system, you realize it's a bunch of Lego blocks that people have put together, and they open it apart, and they

00:56:14--> 00:56:53

show you Hey, no, this is not one building. It's LEGO blocks. It's not a structure that solid, it's clearly pieced together. And that's really what you begin to see that a lot of what I consider to be just a building is really not a building, it is layered by layer developed over time. So you really start thinking in a different manner. And that's advanced, you know, no need for this. But the point is that it makes you a deeper thinker, makes your critical thinker, it makes you as well more broad minded and more tolerant, less fanatical and less Jonnie, narrow minded, because you realize the human element of the tradition, and Hamdulillah I mean, I think you see the product. I mean, you

00:56:53--> 00:57:30

know, pre, you know, before and after, before and after, and then I know, a lot of people miss the old white cube, but okay, Hamdulillah I mean, I have no, I do not regret any phase that I've been in my life. I thank Allah for broadening my horizons, I am who I am because of everything that ALLAH blessed me, my parents, going through 10 years of Medina and then eight years of Yale, that combination, and then active Dawa at the national international global scale, experience teaching and mixing with people going through, you know, my years to Rhodes College, I was a professor for nine years over there teaching hundreds of undergraduate students over there at a university, a

00:57:30--> 00:58:08

private university, all of these things, it shapes you, it causes you to realize to think one of my teachers said to me, you're never going to master what you know, until you teach it to others. And I found this to be so true. teaching and teaching and teaching, forces you to rethink forces you to restructure, and it makes you far more better in understanding what you thought you had simplistically memorized. And that's why non stop I just teach, teach, teach and have Hamdulillah. I forever planned to remain a student of knowledge studying more and more till the day that I die in sha Allah Tala

00:58:09--> 00:58:25

Jana, may Allah subhanaw taala preserve you and increase from your likes in the OMA we really need scholarship and Omen we really need your guidance and your advice. I mean, but again, I'd like to point out in broad this is not this is not Wallahi. It's not

00:58:26--> 00:59:06

some type of self humility. Be careful of taking a living person and putting him in a high pedestal. Don't base your Eman on living people, if you really must base it on those that have gone away Ibn Taymiyyah or even hija or no way or have Azadi look at those and aggrandized them as much as you want. Never link your Eman to a living personality because I am human. You're human, all of us are human. And I don't want a slip that I might make to be a slip for Islam or with Ebola. May Allah protect me and you. But we have to be careful because we've seen this already happened in the past. And again, I have to be very This isn't false humility or modesty.

00:59:07--> 00:59:46

I ask Allah azza wa jal to cover my sins and your sins. But I'm a human being right and at the end of the day, and you don't know me, and I don't know you. And it is all too common to put somebody on a very, very high pedestal, it's a slippery slope, you put somebody higher and higher, when that person slips a little bit, a human slip, because you have made them also almost into an angel, right? That human slip for you is like, Oh my God, all over Obama like that. No, be careful. So with all these adjectives, and we're all just Janee Bismillah ask Allah to protect me and you preserve me and you guide me and you and guide others through me. And that's really the main point to follow.

00:59:46--> 00:59:59

And forgive me if I didn't mean to, like, approach you that way. But Seanna we love you, and we want you to stay around us. We're happy. We're happy for you to be here. I'm happy for myself to be here in epic Masjid.

01:00:00--> 01:00:19

Which leads me to the last last question, shall I forgive me? I'm just, I just want to apologize to the audience. We started about 10 minutes after we were supposed to. So we're going to extend it about 15 minutes, you know, tend to make up and five. Yes, Hamlet, Hamlet

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Al Hamdulillah Bashir from So now, you've been to many massages all over the world in the United States outside the United States and out of all the masajid and all the communities you could have went, you came to Epic master East Plano Islamic center in Plano, Texas.

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What was it that you saw in this Masjid? That kind of like, you know, take you what made you say, hey, I want to be part of this community. This is where I'm at right here. Like I just want you to elaborate on

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what you felt when you first came here, really putting me in the hot seat here and what I do like all glares right here at hamdulillah Hamdulillah. So

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I had a time came in my previous city that I just felt I needed to move to a larger city, I was very happy where I was, but I felt that I had reached a plateau. And I needed to now move to a larger city and give back to a different community. And also for my parents sake I needed they were elderly, and they couldn't live on their own. So they wanted to move to you know, with me, and we needed a larger city. So I did look at a number of places, and 100 athermal Hamdulillah, many opportunities, different places. But I decided I want to come back to Texas, which is my home state in the end of the day I do. It's where I was born and raised. I have you know, even though Houston

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is my city, but still Houston Dallas for me. They're very similar to Texas, Texas, Texas, major city of Texas Hamdulillah. And

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I was looking at the message within this area and hamdulillah there were a number of communities that were interested. But for me, the main thing about East Plano really was the the potential, the potential to take this community and make it a role model community I really felt that in sha Allah, it's a win win for all of us, like I'm looking for a community that I can benefit and can benefit me. And I felt that at hamdulillah East Plano as well is able to have somebody like me

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a place for me because I don't want to step on other people's toes I want to go a place where there's going to be because one thing everybody knows about Inshallah, even to online, people don't probably realize this, but in person, I don't ever cause any fitna I know online, people love refuting me and they have these video clips and Facebook's and Twitter, but inshallah I'm the type of person avoid controversy and really just let people say what they want, I don't want to cause any issues. So the community has to be Alhamdulillah one that wants someone like me, and that's not going to cause any issues. And I felt Epic is just that type of community that I can benefit and be

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who I am. And they can, you know, benefit me I can benefit them, they'll have a space for me. And they also have a space for me to grow and do what I'm doing. So I need a community to base myself and as I do other projects as well. I'm with the Islamic seminary with other places. And for me, this community of epic offered multiple things first and foremost, and I have to say this really, really moved me a lot to see their budget and Aisha Sada, like hardly any comedian in North America has. I mean, I went almost crying out because it's empty but four or 500 people would come and now it is that empty because of the Coronavirus but Allah was done. But to see four or 500 people come

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for Fudger you know is just something so peaceful and nice like you want a community like this, you know, to see the facilities of ease Plano I have never seen in my all travels of America, the types of facilities that East Plano has built epic has built for its youth, the basketball court is state of the art basketball court, like even gyms would be jealous when they look at what epic has and this is a Muslim owned and Hamdulillah. And to see that this is the vision of the community because for me, it's all about preserving Islam in the next generation and the generations after that, for me, I'm looking forward not backward. For me. I'm concerned about the youth and the youth after that

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my children and their and my grandchildren. That's my audience. It's not mashallah the uncles and Auntie's that have already preserved Islam. They're coming them and Hamdulillah. Their Eman is strong. I need to look at the future. And I saw that Epic is also looking at the future, that they're looking at what's going to happen in the next generation, the investment is in our children and grandchildren. Those are the people we need to take care of. Because at the end of the day, if we don't preserve Islam for them, how is it going to flourish? So looking at that attitude, and recognizing that this community understood the main investment is the next generation and I told

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them look, you know, my views and my husband and my styles is going to be a little bit more modern, some

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But the uncles are gonna come play note op English football, this and that, you know, and that's exactly what happened. But they're all good, they all love but my concern is not the elders that come all the time. My concern is the youngsters have hardly come. That's my concern. I want to get them to come, I want them to be enthused. So I told the board at 100 of the boards on the exact same wavelength that look, we need to preserve for the next generation. And we understand that, okay, you might have some ideas and ways whatnot, but at Hamdulillah, we trust you and hamdulillah they have trusted me and stood by me through all that has happened in the last few months. And I'm really

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done, and humbled that the community has accepted me welcoming arms, and it was indeed, the right choice that was made on both sides of Hamdulillah. I'm very, very, very thankful to Allah subhanho wa Taala that I have a community like epic, where I can feel useful, and I can benefit from them. Because I need a large group that have diverse people of diverse backgrounds. That's how a person like me benefits, difficult questions, poking and prodding, like you, moron, you come in, you ask these really difficult questions. Right. And I thank you for doing that, because they need those types of questions. I have a bunch of youth that come and they ask a whole different series of

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questions. I have, you know, the uncles that come to us, that's exactly what I need to be on that hotspot surrounded by a community of diverse backgrounds, and and Hamdulillah that causes me to be on my toes, and that gains in the experience and wisdom. So I thank Allah azza wa jal for this community and for Easter masjid and I genuinely believe and I hope that this is shown to all of you as well. I genuinely believe we have the potential to be a positive influence not just in Plano, not just in Dallas, but across North America, frankly, across the English speaking globe, we have that potential together with the help of ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada, we can and we will become a role model

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community, we're going to show people what it means to be a faithful committed Muslim in the modern world. That's what we want. We don't want to compromise on our values, but at the same time, we want to move forward and we want to preserve this Deen that requires a fine balance. Where do we fine tune? Where do we stick to our grounds? Where do we stick to our guns? What is so that's where this conversation is taking place in an hamdulillah from an hamdulillah epic has been ideal, and I hope that solid is just the future just the beginning of a much, much brighter future. I pray that Allah subhanaw taala lifts this Coronavirus thing from us so that we can resume our in person I really

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missed the hustle and bustle of the community I miss you know, the hundreds of people that come to 1000s that come I was looking forward to the the tarawih that I heard was, I mean, I'm so sad. I'm not going to see my first trolley over here it looks like but I was looking forward to the pack that Oh yes. And now Kadar Allah. But still, the potential is here. The facilities are here and the Dawa is going on. Even this shows the potential of epic look Subhanallah as soon as this crisis hit, you guys set up the green room. This is a green room guys, I keep on telling you I'm not in the masjid. They set up a green room, they got professional cameras, they got the lighting here. And now we are

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broadcasting from Epic. That is what I'm talking about the mindset which had hamdulillah really needs to be here. So I thank Allah azza wa jal for this, it's a win win. I mean, I need a group like this and I hope you guys also see some benefit and have the middle hamdulillah that's exactly what is needed. We ask Allah for COBOL and for AirFloss hamdulillah Chefman desert Mala here for everything you shared today. We are really, really grateful to have you here in the community. I came after you,

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but inshallah to Allah, Chef, no, we, we just want

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everyone to know what we are doing here in epic, epic message, it is exactly the way she has described it. It wants to be that leading Masjid in everything, and Shala for all of the English speaking countries. And for all the English speaking communities around the world. It has the potential we are doing a lot and 100 a lot of behind me the way we reacted to this pandemic. As soon as it began. We had we went into like full throttle. And we have a program about eight different programs a day 100 A lot of but I mean, for every different age group in the community. And we are still exploring new options. We're trying to do new things. We're trying to add new things, and

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hamdulillah we're adapting to the situation. So for however long it's going to take and humbling that Epic is prepared, but it needs your help and your support Inshallah, without your help and support. We can't continue to do any of this. Because at the end of the day, we are a masjid. And you the believers are the ones who keep these messages going. So please do not forget, forget us and your donations. The link is right here under the video. Please insha Allah with anything. And if it's something that can be continuous, it's even better just come along. If there's any message or do you want to help it's this masjid, that is leading the rest of the masajid insha Allah into the

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future of our OMA that is focused on the youth that is focused on Islamic scholarship that is delivering all of this content to their community and to them

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Muslim communities all over the world does not come Allah here thank you for tuning in and inshallah we'll see you next week was salam ala

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in Muslim me now almost Lima Do you want meaning Mina dean will call needy now I look on it that he was slowed in pain I was born in Poland he was saw the Rena was sloppy or odd Do you want to follow Sherry You know because she

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wouldn't call Shireen I want to call she is the one downside the lino one downside being 14 was slow or any now was all in

01:10:50--> 01:10:57

one heavy Lina photo gentlemen one half year warranty was good enough. Love it guess

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what's going on? I don't know hula

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