Channel: Yassir Fazaga
Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam with a witness that no one is really unfortunate but a loss
isn't needed final messenger
begin by greeting my brothers and sisters
by say salaam aleikum wa
rahmatullah pay for the invitation. And also, a for picking a topic that is of great importance to our Muslim community, to its present, as well as
Here's one thing that I like to do every time I go to
whenever you're given a football, or there is a lecture, I like to look into the audience and see how many are immigrants. And some, many look like they are people that were either born here, or they have accepted Islam, sometimes during their life.
Okay, there's a lot of discussion going on. So please settle down.
And here's what I like to do. Take a look at the people take a look at who's present, and then gives you an idea. There's this mystery reflects the reality of the demographics of the Muslim community. Or
let me put it another way.
40% of us are immigrants. 60% of the Muslims are people that have accepted Islam, or these are second, third or fourth generations, you go into the minister, and you see that 99% of the people who are attending the masjid, are immigrants. Immediately, you don't know what happened to the other? How can we open up intimacy? How can we have an event only seems like all the immigrants are interested in it? How can you see mostly immigrants, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with immigrants. I'm an immigrant myself. But the issue is what happens to the children.
And what this does is it gives you an idea that as a Muslim community, we're not really paying attention to this idea of our youth, and who are going to be the next Muslims.
Muslim sociologist, a sociologist is somebody that study group behavior.
And they came to this conclusion
that in the next 20 years,
only 10% of the second and third Muslim generation will remain useless. And the rest of the people, for the rest of these potentially would have been useless.
Now, these are scary numbers. And you would ask yourself, what happened? Where did they go? Where are they? How come? They're not new. And all you have to do it, just look into our own Islamic sentence. And that will give you an indication.
And that will give you an indication that there is something definitely wrong with this picture.
We would like to shed some light as far as what is it that we have
any immigrant community, regardless of their
background, regardless of their religious affiliation, regardless of anything, they go through certain phases. When they first come in, they want to stick together. And then what they want to do after that is that they want to build places of worship or community centers. And then after that, they say what we do have the places of worship, we don't have the places of the communities, but we need something else for our children, and then they want to build schools for the children. And then after that, they say, well, we have the schools we have this we have that, but we would like to make a contribution to the society that we are living in. And I believe that as far as the Muslim
community, I believe that we are still stuck in the first and the second stage. That is very dangerous.
You can take a look at our own wounds. And that will give you an idea of what is going on with our youth. giving an example
Usually they say that there are three gaps between us and our youth, there is what we refer to as the cultural gap, there is a generation a generation of gap, and then there is a language barrier. And what happens is that, depending on how the family deals with it, the barrier can be so big that the family members do not really know each other, or they really cannot deal with one another. And that is, that's a very scary thing. Give you a few examples.
When I say cultural and being some immigrants moved in the area, with the hope that one day they want to go back home, you're talking about, and your parents are constantly speaking about one day, we'll go back home. So here,
we come in here with usually, and the idea is that we're going to be living for here for you know, I'm just here to do my studies. And then it goes on to the PhD, and then just make a little more money, let the kids finish high school, and what are you saying in the process, one day, we want to go back home, one day, we'll go to go back home. So 25 years go by, you've been telling your kids to go to the cocoa back.
Never seen, the only thing that he knows about that? Is you talking about it, and you yourself, you've never done it. So what we ended up doing is that we created what we call the in between zone, and that is we have never made this place. And we have really never went back. So what we end up doing is where do we go, we are not there when we are not near either. And that is very, very scary. Because when you look at it is you consider yourself a foreigner, you behave like a foreigner. And then you complain that you've been treated like a foreign, what do you expect? Of course, that's how it's going to happen.
And then you keep speaking about this bad wolf idea that never materializes. And it seems like some of us unfortunately, we reside in America, but we are still living.
And that is
that is the escape, we reside in America, we are physically living in America residing, but we are living somewhere else. And again, you look into this, and it just the way we carry things, it just happens that we are so detached from reality, we are so disconnected from the world outside
of us, and the fact that we speak English, the fact that you go out and you walk up that it does not make you part of it. So then you have the gender, the cultural gap, and that is you live into different cultures, somehow the children are never taught that culture. But somehow they are asked to live by the by the teachings of that culture. And this happens so many, so many times. Give an example. If you come from a culture, that greeting your elders, as you're sitting down and seeing disrespectful, you're not talking about or sometimes, you know lifting showing people the bottom of your feet is seen as a sign of disrespect. Okay, nothing wrong with that. But how can you expect to
pass on these things to your, to your children, and that becomes very problematic. You have what we call a language barrier, you know, we come in English is not our first language, at least it's not my first language. And when you have, you know, we speak with an accent, a coupon in my case.
But what happens is that there is this language barrier. And if the kid does not speak our language, we don't speak their language, you can see that you just cannot communicate. And here's the problem with speaking in a language that you know, and the language that understand.
Please pay attention, some language we know. And some language we understand. If you speak to somebody in a language that they understand, you go to their head.
If you speak to somebody the language that they know you go to the park,
we say that again. If you speak to somebody in a language that they know, you go to their head, I'm sorry.
If you speak to them in a language that they know, you go to the airport and what happens is that we are so limited in only speaking in language that we understand.
And yes, we are connecting at the mental level at a logical level. But as far as emotionally, there is none of that connection. Because the language that is used in the process is the language that is understood as a language that is known by both parties. And then even if you were born here as a parent, you grew up
Do you speak perfect English, there is what we refer to as the cultural gap. People speak about all you should have been there when I was growing up, I was, you know, we only have four channels. And you know, we didn't have remote, my head was the remote because my dad would cap on my head and have to go change the channel. And
we only have four channels back then. And this is what happens is that they say that there has been a generational shift in the, in the process. And every day that passes by this gap between us and our youth is only getting wider and wider and wider.
More important, or more devastating than this is the actual time that is expected. So in order to connect with somebody, you must spend time with them. And the last thing that we do is we said
there was a study that I just started reading today, done at Columbia University. And they were looking into youth that actually have dinner with their parents, and youth that do not have parents. Now you think that this is a no brainer. What is happening dinner with your parents, of course, everybody knows how important that is. But in reality, we really do not do that. I have shared some of this.
Before, I've heard you say
in a recent study, it was found out that a father expense 17 minutes a day was his children. And a mother spends 3040 minutes a day with her children.
I love the language of numbers because numbers don't lie. And they are universal. Brothers and sisters, if you sleep eight hours a day, that is equivalent to three months of the year.
So we spend most of the sleeping
self asleep less for at least eight hours a day. That is three months.
If you work eight hours a day, and most people do not really work eight hours because they leave an hour before an hour after that is equivalent to four months of the year.
Right there you have that seven months of the year you have not seen yet.
You have not seen the physically you have not seen them because you are either sleeping or you are someone at work, by the way for months, eight months is equivalent to four. So five months now. Now is nine months we have not seen the unit was only three months, you know take time for the phone call, they can't go further. They say that it comes down to 17 minutes a day. And 34 minutes a day.
That is escape. Now sometimes we are physically together. But we're not in it together meaning that yes that is home, but he is busy doing his project or the children are
busy doing their homework or everybody is there watching Desperate Housewives together.
What happens is that yes, you can call this physical togetherness, but there is really nothing that is that is that is going on. Especially with with with television. Television, by the way is a very scary thing. The thing about television is that it keeps or in brings close those who are far away. And it keeps far away those who are close to us. We have an example. You see natural disasters, fire and displaced tsunami and displaced earthquake and displaced. Now these are people who are 1000s and 1000s of miles away from they interview them on TV. And what do you say, you know, they made you know that address how many dogs they had, how many cars they lost, you know so much information
about them, even though they are living 1000s and 1000s away from you. It is bringing close those who are far away. But it is keeping away those who are close to us. Because in the past, as we're watching, we're not connecting with these people. To give an example they remember a few years ago when the blackout in the east coast in New York and Canada and parts of Pennsylvania. They had electricity.
I was reading some of the comments. What do people do for electricity, you have no internet. There is nothing going on.
my wife was 17 years. We spoke more in the past four days than we did in the entire seven years combined.
Why is this? What do you do when you're sitting there? It was put on the TV, they go on to the internet, they reading a book they're finishing a project where he says there was nothing else to do besides sit there and say, you know, we've actually talked more in four days than the entire time that we strictly made for the past 17 years.
That is very, very strange, those DD, I was
doing some counseling. And this is, the first thing I do when I come home is that I turned the TV on.
And I said, Why do you do that? And she said, it gives me a sense that other people are living in the house with.
And what happens is that sometimes we know the TV characters, more than we even know our own family members, your watch sign him.
Maybe, friends, citizens, happy days. So
what happens is that sometimes people know some some movie or TV characters so well, bigger than they do their own family members. And again, that just it gets skipped.
Another issue is
because of this cultural gap, the language barrier, the generational gap that we're speaking of, it seems also that sometimes the parents are so disconnected, and so detached from what happens in the children's school, give you an example. If you are a parent, I don't mean to put you on the spot. But please answer the following questions. Have you met all your children features, if you have, please raise your hand. Every single one of them, you actually know them by name, and they know, every single one of them.
That's actually very, very impressive. See that that's really doing a good job.
Now, what you see happening is that I would come into some say, do you really know what happens in high school?
Do you really know what happens in elementary school? Do you really know what happens in middle school? What is the most difficult case for children? By the way?
What is the most visible?
they say that it is between nine and 13.
between nine and 13. Why is this? Because at this point, they won't make an impression. And especially in around, you know, late elementary beginning of middle school, no kid wants to be labeled as that with kids. And that is by the way around the age of 13. is when most kids pick up smoking. Okay, this young Yes. That is when they pick up the smoking. You say well, why is this because of the amount of pressure that is there on them by their by their fees? And then what happens is that at this point, you ask these parents again, do you really know what happens in your children's school? Do you know what it is the
mongrel office with a sheet of 60 minutes?
No, no, no, no.
I think it was 60 minutes.
What they did,
anyways, 20 2060 minutes, what they did is that they had a group of high schoolers, and they had their parents, and they had the high schoolers to stock to see what it is that they talk about, and see what the parents would think that the kids are talking about.
And I'll leave with America case.
And you will see the sharp on the faces of the parents, that my God, I never thought that my kid would ever talk about such a subject. I never thought that my kid would actually entertain such a thing. I could not believe it. Unfortunately, many of you would say the same thing. And that is I never thought that my kids would ever be talking about this, or my kids would actually be entertaining certain things that is that is going on. So that becomes a problem. And the older they get, the more difficult it gets a Newsweek magazine, they have again study of what influences our children most or teenagers specifically, most, and they had a list of 10 things. You know, they said
you know, where we get most of your information from parents. Were not number one,
number three, number four, number five, number six,
They came in at number seven
parents came in at number seven. They were preceded by movie stars, they were preceded by magazines that was given by, by teachers, by school, by the police, by what they see what they see that and then maybe number seven would be the children. Now you would want to ask yourself, Well, why is this? Why is this happening? And I think that this is this is just a topic, I think it's a community topic. It's not just one person's topic. But I would like to shed some light on on this issue.
My biggest thing that I have seen in the mix of doing counseling, because, you know, people do come to the Ministry for the sake of counseling, but usually most parents do for counseling come in for counseling with their children. When it is a bit late in the
game, it was one time approached by a man who had a big smile on his face. And he said, in a lot of
what what do you do understand
that Allah has blessed me with a son. It was
an annuity consultant, how should I raise my son?
So he was a scholar back then said, How old is your son, and a man with a big smile on his face said
he is one month old, that have looked at him. And he said, Well, long enough
the story is a bit exaggerated. Here's what he meant. He said, You went out. You pick the mother for the child, you have the child. And now you're coming to consult with you shouldn't be consulting me at the time that you were about to pick his mother. Not when you already had that. The point is, this is really what is what is going on. So these parents would come in at a very late stage is in what my kid
he is a smoking, he picked up some bad habit, he's been breaking out the day he came in wrong. J Honey, please do something about it.
May Allah help me on this problem of yours? But did it really happen that one thing he just decided to smoke one day he decided to drink, or were warning signs that we did not pay attention to.
And if you're not spending time, you cannot pay attention to these warning signs. My biggest thing that I have seen is there is not enough time that is spent as a family unit. Or as just adding that we put it, we live under the same roof. But we have different lives in the past. And that is so unbelievably true. We live under the same roof. But we have different lives.
So that's number one. The fact that we do not spend enough time with our children. When I say time, I really mean time. You know, we get into, I don't spend enough time with my kids. But I spend quality time with my kids. That's just a lie.
We'll just say this 20 minutes a day. It's really, really good. And this only happened to just look into your compensation or your children. As you're coming back from school. You're driving them back, say hey, how was the school? Okay, what did you do? Nothing comes in love. Okay.
Isn't that really what happens?
And because of time, they say that there are eight different levels of
interaction, as far as depth or eight levels of communication
is concerned. The number one level of the first level is what we call
cliche questions. These are questions that you asked, and you really don't need it. And you really don't even listen to the question. You know, how you pass it?
Hey, how you doing?
I remember, I think I told you this before, when I first came to the US, somebody said, Hey, how you doing? I said, Well, you know, I woke up this morning. And
it was really sunny when I
What happened? You just said, How are you doing? But that's what we call is cliche. That's just stuff that you say.
You really don't mean it. You don't mean the question. And you don't even wait for the answer. Because to begin with, the question wasn't really real. It was just, you know, yeah, be polite, be good and
all that stuff.
And they say the second level, or the second step is they say that it's about exchanging facts.
Did you pay the bill?
Did you pay the bill? Because what we want is not we just want the exchange fast. Did you make that phone call?
And then most people they say they go to bed and that's how far they've been?
That's really as far as how you.
Okay? Everybody goes to bed.
Again, the issue is that not enough time is,
is the sad part I, you know, and I don't mean to offend anybody, Mashallah, if you are a father and a mother, you are working on the law, good for you. But it seems that sometimes we live in this society, when we constantly wanting to provide what is best, what is better for our children. But in the midst of that, we never know what is missing. Somebody wrote a book, and he called it after apa 17. This guy for 17 years did not take a single day off. He did not take a single day off, he was working straight for 17 years.
So he came down to his son. And he asked me to do something for him. And a sunset note. The father was so offended, and he said, for 17 years, I did not take a single day of because for you, and now you're telling me No. And the son looked at him and he said, Dad, for 17 years, you will never
is what is best for my children. What passes because we get engaged in this cycle when we confuse our wants and our needs. And what happens that you get into it. And then just snowballs. Because there is always something better than what you have.
If you have a computer, there is always a faster computer. If you have a TV, there's always a bigger and a better TV.
What do you have a
61 inch TV, you know what, there is a 72 inch TV right?
Now everybody would go would want that. And it was we get into this cycle of always wanting to improve the lifestyle, not the quality of the life that we have this type of the life that we have. And what we end up doing is that we sacrifice the quality for the sake of the stuff. And that is problematic.
Yes, on the surface, it looks like we are creating this beautiful lifestyle. But in reality, the quality of that lifestyle really stinks. I was once counseling a teenager, his parents, Mashallah very well to do very well on working parents. And they did very well in providing for their children, bought him a new car, gave him money. And they said, all you have to do is just go to school. That's all we can just go school, anything and everything else is paid for. You don't need to worry about it.
The sun was caught.
So here I am talking to the parents. And I said, Well, what is going on. And the father said it you know, with so much regret and resentment and he said, Every day I wake up in the morning, including the weekends at seven o'clock, I'll be at my job. And I come back by nine o'clock. And I'm very tired for this.
And yes, as well, we do the same thing. I wake up at seven o'clock, I have to be there by nine o'clock I am back home. And we're all doing it for the kid who was raising of children. If you are out between seven and nine, seven days a week, who was raising the children, but we provide it for the liberal media is driving a car that his friends are not driving, he goes to this prestigious school, he's got this he's fine, I see that you have provided a very good lifestyle. But I questioned the quality of the life that you are providing.
A father comes tells me that your summertime, I give my son $2,000. And I say go into the stock market and see what you can do with it for the summer. I said brother that is very good Mashallah. You are teaching your children how to make a living.
We know how to make a living, but do they really know how to make a life
or again, we get into this cycle and this cycle and the cycle. But bottom line is this. If you want to have a better relation and you must have a better relationship, you must have spent time if it means that you have to sacrifice this time of your life to save the quality of your life, please do it. But you must spend time with your children.
The second issue is, you know, the idea of what is home for us as an immigrant community. We are so confused with this. Let me ask you this. How many of you were born in America? How many of you were born in the US you
How many of you are Americans?
we had about, I would say, maybe 40 youth?
And I asked the same question. I said, How many of you were born in the US, all of them except to raise their hands?
And then I said, How many of you are Americans?
And I looked at one of them. And he said,
Tell me, where are you from? Because Well, my mom is from Wisconsin.
My dad is from Palestine.
I said, Okay, good. So where are you from? said, Well, my mom's from Wisconsin.
And my dad is from Palestine.
Very good for you. Now, where are you from?
Time's at my mom's from Wisconsin, on my dad. But where are you from?
What happens is that we're confusing many things. And sometimes that includes even confusing our understanding of so many things that are taking place.
You know, right here, someone said, what it was, how many of you are from America, so some people going,
other people doing and whether they should be raising their hands, or they should be raising their hands? We have to come
with the fact that
be in the moment, being in the short term, this is hopeless. At this point, this is home for us. This is really Whoa.
And sometimes, you know, what is it okay for somebody to say that they are aegyptus? But it's not okay for others to say, they're Americans? Or why is it okay for them to say they come from this place?
To say this from this place.
And that is why I have
a problem was people who say, when we go back home, we want to be better Muslims. You hear this a lot, when we go back home, we're going to be like a Muslim, I have a problem with that. Because in the Quran, Allah says
whatever is in heaven, and whatever is on Earth, meaning that you are always and you always have the potential of veto.
And that is why one time a man by the name of God came to the Prophet peace upon him. He was, he was a Muslim, his community were non Muslims. And they called him today, we know you became a Muslim, you can still, you know, live with us.
And some people get in and they said, he cannot be a good Muslim living with these people, you got to leave this place. So he came to him and the proper piece of music.
And then listen to what he said.
he said, they do two things. He said, establish your salon, unsure, even and reside wherever it is that you wish. The conditions are that your ability to establish and provide for your morality. And the other thing is that your ability to shut away evil, and then he said, the man,
our beloved, beloved la Falcon,
when we have to come to terms with this that this is, so let us treat it as if this is Hopi. Whether it be permanent, whether it be temporary, this is going to be how to deal with it. And because when we are in this state of foreigners, that's what we create, oh my god, I don't even know where I'm from. I'm so confused about
want that I think is also very important. And I get this from from the youth that I did was, is that meanings would tell us that parents will not miss. My parents did not listen to me. One time a kid was asked to describe his father. He said well, into what what in one word, how would you describe your father said big mouth.
He said, Well, what would you wish for him to be and he said big
It's nothing but just constantly bombarding the kid with do this, go do that do this, don't do that. But the parents really never listen. So one thing is, when you are talking to the kids, you know, him, depending on where you came from, how we thought, what we thought, what we ate, what we were where everything was dictated on us. But that's not the case. Any, that is not the case anymore. So you've got to do some serious listening as to what is going on with these kids? What is going on in their, in their mind? And then finally, how
do we want to?
Sometimes we confuse culture, with
our culture? Or are we teaching them the religion?
So we say,
for example, this happens a lot. That, you know, in Islam, everybody is equal in Islam, there are no racism, there is no discrimination in Islam, everything is good.
But don't you dare to bring a black boy?
have you here?
Or was this really the key because I'm really confused, which is, which is which.
it is this big prison for this town. And we want to teach you the stuff that you cannot do, how long?
It's like, a big news circle that we have on one time, it was so funny, I was listening to these gifts.
Talk about seven, eight year old kids. And somebody said Nickelodeon?
that is really interesting.
I'm listening to this and say, I want to
see how long initially may be something that they can be what when you go outside,
you know what
the challenges are.
And if they have not been equipped,
then unfortunately, you know, failure would be the logical consequence of such a thing. So we would have to look into some could be presented, because we constantly say
it's not a big deal to tell a kid that such a thing is
a bigger deal is
that is the challenge in Islam.
But you can have your
you can have nasty iced coffee,
what it says this is
It tells you that you know what you cannot do? What do you do up to a million other things that are hella, so the way that you present Islam, it just makes it like
just too much.
So we have to be a bit creative as to how it is that we present this.
I like to tell the story of
different things as my parents instilled these things in their, in their kids.
One time a group of family, they want to watch baseball, again, paid for by the way.
And as they're watching the baseball game, supposedly you're supposed to sit you know, depending on the team that you keep moving forward, you know, that is the home side and then there is the visiting side and the Muslim family.
And it turned out that they were sitting on the visiting side.
They were cheering for the visiting team but they're sitting on the home side. So the visit team is playing a hit a homerun. So they all get up and they start cheering for
us and Dave, you know, somebody else, you
so they sat down this little piece of look that was that he's not afraid you can take
God is called
This is Muslim and you're asked me to
be very proud that people were able to tell that you are Muslim by simply looking at
that is really nice to instill such lessons, you know, in it.
Yeah, that's the
you know, instead of unfortunately, hiding, hiding away, but give them something to be proud of, especially nowadays, not everybody. I know, kids at school, tech.
school, I mean,
what do you do? How do you deal
with all the stuff that is going on?
But how do I deal with something like this. So what happens is now the challenge becomes greater in the classes that we need. Our understanding of the theme. And also equally as important is to read this as to how it is that we are presenting this
is the only word that we use at home, then guess what? Islam is not
an essence, it's not great. But what would make it to be is not.
But to conclude by this story. Again, some of you might have heard me say this before.
These two people,
to business people work against one another. One guy sells vinegar, the other guy sells candy. The guy that sells his business was just absolutely excellent. And the guy that sells candy, his business was just absolutely terrible. People walk in and buy anything, they go next door to the guy and they walk on.
For six months down the road, the guy decides to close down this
business, but he tells himself before I go there, let me talk to this guy and see what is above him. So
I said Can it taste very sweet, and it's not very nice of us.
It's not very nasty.
Your business is better than mine.
The guy who said I said vinegar with a happy face. And he said candy was a finicky
It has nothing to do with the product.
But it has everything to do with how you're presenting the product.
similar to this, how do we present this Deen of Allah to our children? Because it will not be able even to sell it to our children. How can we expect to sell it outside of our family? And that again becomes a problem
after the parents just have a quick exercise
to tell you how much your children know I don't mean to put anybody on the spot by the way
the past three games but the question
the prophets like first name
last name because some
What is wrong?
What is the
what was the father's name?
What number is Michael Jordan's jersey?
What does he have for breakfast?
Now what do you think?
In the commercial
What type of underwear?
We actually have a number, what sizes to choose what kind of chooses?
This is what is going on, which we know so much about this type.
Does that give you an idea? Really what is what is what is going on? But that is just, you know, like I said, this was not meant to answer these questions, but rather to provoke us in the, in the process. And maybe Exactly. If I can say anything, if I can value of anything at this point is, Please spend on
when I say spend time, I'm not talking about spend time watching TV together,
get to know your children better, and have your children get to know you really, truly get to know each other, each other.
I'm not supposed to be asking questions.
Maybe you can
leave some comments.
If not, then we'll carry on.
Read the seconds.
You know it is a appropriate?
And if it is for the right thing, that yes, as a parent, you do have that responsibility of disciplining your children, if you're asking about can you hit your children
is a form of discipline, it doesn't work.
If you hit the child, because they don't know what the kid is only two years old, he doesn't have his muscles together yet. And you think that hitting them is the appropriate punishment, I have a serious problem with that.
So it depends on what is being used and how is being used and what time is it video and whatever parents will definitely have
an obligation to discipline your children. But again, what you want to do is you want to keep them within the family, because sometimes parents can go overboard with disciplining their children that I know many stories
about kids that just ended up leaving
this is not an
simply because the parent cannot handle the disciplining properly. And that becomes
you the suspension
just a question I said that you mentioned that there are eight levels of interaction, what are they
There is a lecture that we do myself for quite a living. And we will talk about this remember that communication is the transferring of information between two people.
And then you speak about it as one entity another entity and the medium that you use in between, but when we speak about the depth is what is it that you are really talking about
is the exchanging transform and then exchanging ideas that is a different level and they are extremely have feelings.
And then there is a level where you actually understand what is being conveyed as far as feelings are concerned by the other one. And then there's even one of the deep deep levels is feeling was the other person.
So in order to accomplish this, people would have to be so profitable and they would have to take the time in getting in. Get
Unfortunately, that is so unbelievably rarely done in the
past and that is again that is very problematic when people come when people do this
also similar criticism
about not not necessarily about the communication part
is about man
that the Most Merciful pustaka for an created man
and that is a nice to clearly understand