Channel: Zaid Shakir
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demands a check is amongst the most respected and influential Islamic scholars in the West as an American Muslim who came of age during the Civil Rights struggles. He has brought both sensitivity about race and poverty and poverty issues and scholarly discipline to his faith based work. He was born in Berkeley, California and accepted a stem in 1977 while he was serving in the United States Air Force. He obtained a BA with Honors in International Relations at American University in Washington, and later earned his master's in political science at Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, he led a successful campaign for divestment or disinvestment from South Africa, and co
founded a local Islamic Center Masjid and Hooda. After a year of studying Arabic in Cairo, Egypt, he settled in New Haven, Connecticut and continued his community activism, co founding masjidul Islam, the tri state Muslim education initiative, and the Connecticut Muslim Coordinating Committee. As a member of Majid al Islam from 98 to 94. He spearheaded a Community Renewal and a grassroots anti drug effort, and also taught political science and Arabic at Southern Connecticut State University. He then left for Syria to pursue his studies in the traditional Islamic sciences. In 2003, he moved to Hayward California to serve as a scholar in residence and lecture as a tuna Institute, where he
now teaches courses in Arabic Islamic law, history, and Islamic spirituality. In 2005 zaytuna Institute published scattered pictures and anthology of diverse essays penned by the zoo. Check it out. He's a frequent speaker at local and national Muslim events, and has emerged as one of the nation's top Islamic scholars and a voice for conscience and a voice of conscience for American and non Muslims and non Muslims alike. Without further ado, I'd like to call upon demands he was also the chairman of United
monitoring and handling
that was sent out by let's say diversity, CD and Hamlin whiner and he will find me with Selim. salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
Before I get started, there's two things you want to do. First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated, especially the organizers, the volunteers, all the Muslim community here in Montreal. The second thing is, I believe that some of the volunteers from Islamic Relief, have buckets who want everyone to, if you have a checkbook to write a check, or if you have cash in your pocket, I'll start with myself, actually have some Canadian money, understand who they don't call them loonies, and toonies. But I still have some to put in the bucket because Islamic Relief, in addition to all of the wonderful work they do all over the world, for Muslims and non Muslims, as is the case in
Haiti, bringing relief, bringing the means to a more dignified life, bringing help and assistance. They also financed this program. So they took a collection earlier for orphans, but now we want to and they didn't ask me to do this. But take a collection for them to help cover the expense of the program, flying speakers in getting plane tickets, rent, hotel rooms, renting this hall, there were a lot of expenses involved. So the volunteers can pass the buckets and get the cash and the checks and if all of you can be generous, to give something that would be tremendously appreciated by them. And by all of the organizers who also like to thank the volunteers who sacrifice their times, a lot
of time the volunteers are outside. They're not here listening to the lectures and speeches and panels and, and being uplifted and instructed and motivated. They're out in the hallways organizing the traffic, keeping things moving smoothly. So May Allah Allah bless them. We want to talk about domestic violence, but not in the typical way. It's used the approach that we're not going to try to determine.
Because most of you have read about these things, what does the doorbell mean for the boom?
What does it mean? etc. But we want to talk about it from another angle, and to remind all of ourselves not to sleep on this or other controversial topics, to deal with them because these are issues that are real, and they're issues that are eating away at our community, such as domestic violence.
And many, many other issues drug addiction, we have drug addiction amongst some of our youth. We have
a legitimate sexual
Relations, we have some of our girls coming up pregnant, we have all of these problems that we find in the wider society, and we're not going to deal with them by pretending or denying their existence. So abuse is inextricably associated with violence is usually the result of violence. And violence is more than physical force. violence can be neglect, violence can be shouting. violence can be subtle means of intimidation, violence can be psychological manipulation. violence can be many other things. But violence has another meaning that a lot of us don't pay attention to. And that is to distort something to such an extent that we no longer recognize it for what it is. We
know this many of you study literature, and you've seen the phrase that the editor, for example, the editor did such violence to the text, that we can no longer recognize the author's original intent. How many of you have heard or use it something like that? Okay, so we have people who are familiar with that. The reason I say that, is that when we allow abuse to exist in our homes and our family and our relationships, many times as a result of the violence that we perpetrate against each other. We in turn, do violence to Islam, so that it is not recognizable for what it is. And this is consistent with what Dr. Yes, or Hardy was saying, when these people in the name of so called Jihad
inflict violence on innocent people. The majority of the Muslims inflict violence on people who have nothing to do with harming Islam and Muslims in any way. They in turn, do violence to Islam. So that is not recognizable for what it is. And as Dr. Omar, Kathy mentioned, that distorted image of Islam that Muslims in some instances are responsible for in turn becomes the basis for people hating Islam. And for people seeing Islam as something vile, and something ugly and something despicable. But it is not Islam, it is that distortion. It is that caricature, that is a result of the violence that's been done against this land itself. And when we allow abuse, and violence to exist in our
homes, we are distorting Islam, grid distorting Islam. And the people that suffer the most as was mentioned this morning by more than one of our speakers are our children, our children? How many of you are from Vancouver? Vancouver? Are you familiar with I think I hope I don't miss pronounce Dr. Gabor Ma Tei, who runs the free needle distribution clinic, you're familiar. He's an expert. This is a Hungarian Jew. in Vancouver.
He runs a clinic where as the only clinic in North America, Canada or the United States, where heroin addicts can come and shoot up with clean needles.
And if they overdose, they can be revived because their medical staff and some p n islamically. We can discuss this, this will be a good case study as to the objectives of the law.
usually say alcohol and drugs affect the mind. And it's now been instituted to preserve the mind. So it's been instituted to preserve religion and these things are ranked in a prioritized prioritize scheme to preserve religion to preserve life to preserve the mind.
So the drug addict is affecting their mind immediately. So drugs are forbidden. But when they use dirty needles, they're affecting their life. So by giving them clean needles, he's preserving their lives by bringing them into an environment where if they overdose they can be revived by training medical and competent physicians. He's preserving their lives and that has a prior a higher prioritization then preserving their intellect
So I'm not saying we should have Nero clinics, I'm just saying we should think about these things at a deeper level. He also has a program to get them off of drugs, which doesn't work when they're in the streets, because in the streets, no one has shown them compassion. And this is the point I want to make. His his expertise is on the effects of abuse on children.
And his research has shown that abuse is the primary in childhood is the primary cause of addictions. And addictions take many forms for some people is drugs. For some people is shopping. There are people addicting to shop the addicted to shopping, to some people, is sexual relations. Some people are addicted to that. For some people, it's eating, they're addicted to eating. But he does his research shows in every case, the addiction, as far as his research is concerned, results from violence that was inflicted upon that child during their formative years. And that violence creates a void in that child that they subsequently try to fill with these various addictions, when
he creates an environment of compassion, and for many of these people who have been abused in their childhood, for the first time, they're in contact with compassionate people, he begins to create in them the security and the sense of self and confidence that they need to escape their addiction. And he finds that many of them go to the detox program, and are freed from the addiction to heroin or other destructive drugs. Now, the point brothers and sisters, when we are engaged in arguing, when we're engaged in insulting, belittling and berating when we're engaged in physical violence in our homes, our children are affected by that violence, and it creates a void within them. it distorts
their development, it distorts their personality, and that violence
doesn't have to be direct. Another thing he found in his research, and his published his experience, as a Jew, in Nazi Germany, he was constantly crying. His mother took him to a doctor. And she said, My child is doing something very strange. He cries all the time. The doctor told her is not it's not. It's not strange. All of the Jewish children are constantly crying. He says, this environment that they're in, in Nazi Germany is so stressful for the parents that the children are internalizing the stress of their parents. And as a result of that, they're crying because they don't know any other way to express that internalized stress. Our children internalize the state of our homes and
this is why it's so important that the love and mercy that was talked about by Dr. Omar and others, Dr. Muhammad and the Shira and others, it has to be present if we're concerned not only for our well being, but for the well being of our children because just as our children internalize the stress and the tension from the arguments from the big the the the disputes from the the anger and frustration they internalize the positive energy that's created by the love and the mercy with Jana Van okuma jalepeno Kumar
Ratna in the fee daddy Kayla, a homie perfecto. He's made between you love and mercy surely in this are signs. For those who reflect, we have to reflect on the teachings of our religion, a lot of times it tells us to reflect he tells us to think he tells us to use our intellect. And this is a vital part of our religion because our religion is not a system of do's and don'ts. The do's and don'ts in the Qur'an compared to the verses that contain of moral and ethical spiritual import are very, very few and we all know that the same thing for the Howdy. This has
Did the legislative import compared to the entire corpus of Hadith are very few. But we sometimes forget that a lot of time dimensions as was mentioned throughout the day while covenant nukem mytho con la de la, they've taken you with a weighty covenant
they the women, the bonds between you are established on the basis of a weighty covenant. A lot of time reminds us is Dr. Omar gave a beautiful beautiful explanation of
the Bessel nakoma into the vessel lahoma hoon that their garments for you and your garments for them. And he elaborated far more eloquently and far more powerfully than I could but these are things for us to reflect on, as how the nature of our relationships with our spouses should be. A lot of time to me reminds us why she ruhuna be loud and dwell with them in goodness. And as it was explained goodness that you would show to a member of your very fast family your very kith and kin, the same affection you will show to your sister.
The same affection you will show to your mother to your Auntie's. That's the level of affection. That's the level of tenderness that's the level of gentleness you should display to your wife.
Women a Yeti and Haleakala, Camila, Fushi calm as well as the test guru LA, wa Jalla.
Wa, ala in la ciudad de la comida. de facto, from the size is made for you spouses from yourselves, for one to dwell with them in peace and tranquility. And he's made between you love and mercy surely and this are Signs for people who reflect
this is our religion. A lot of Tyler mentions, yeah, a baddie, Hadith totally not correct. Yeah, he daddy in the harem to Milan FC YG to beno como harana, phenethyl, vollum, all my servant I forbidden oppression for myself, and I've made it forbidden amongst you, therefore do not oppress one another. This is our religion. And this is what we have to bring to life, in our homes, in our schools, our massages, our institutions, our relationship with each other, we have to read them of any oppression. And this becomes the basis of our power as a community. This is what will speak for us. This is what will de legitimize all of the negative things that are put out against our community.
We don't, we won't have to speak a word, because our actions will be more powerful than any words that we could ever speak. But our actions will never be powerful, they'll never be meaningful, they'll never be able to repel all of the negative words, until they're real, and they're deep, and they're sincere. And they're inspired, inspired actions that are motivated by a desire to articulate to embody the lessons, the teachings, of our religion, in our lives, in our families, in our homes, in our institution, in our relationships with each other, our coming together. This is an articulation of what Islam is all about. Our ability to come here and share with each other, to
speak with each other to address each other around common issues. Despite the fact we might have different orientations in terms of how we see the religion. This is what United for change is all about. And this is what is going to change our own mind when we realize we might differ on some particulars, but on the universals, we're totally united, and then only by being totally united on the universals are we going to do our part to hand this religion on to those who will come after us because this is a communal project. It's not an individual project. It is not the project for individual groups or organizations or institutions. It is a project for our community, just as it
was the project of those communities that preceded us collectively, they handed the religion on and collectively we have to take the responsibility to hand religion on to those after us.
ask Allah and he mentioned is in federal dairy This is commentary on Sahil amendment Bacardi, the phrase of related by now death belt, the oil from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam belly Oh
Want to deliver this message for me even to the extent of a single verse you might know, he said, If everyone conveys their verse or two or three, their Hadith, or two or three, what they know about this religion, collectively, we will pass the religion on. This is our communal responsibility. Brothers and sisters. This is Islam. This is Islam. And if anyone wants to report back, because there are people at the conference, who are doing reports and have to report to their superiors, what were they calling the people to put this in the report, they were calling the people to be greater than what the world has made. This is what we're calling people to, to use this lamp to
empower yourself to become greater than what the world has made you or me or us, the world might have made some of us drug addicts,
not our parents, the world, the conditions, the circumstances that we find ourselves in might have made some of us drug addicts, the world might have made some of us racist, I can't stand people of that race.
The world might have made us racist, the world might have made us so materially green, that we can't even begin to think of the rights that other people have in the material wealth of this world. We want it all for ourselves, we want everything we can get our hands on. And if we usurp someone else's right, to clean water, or to clean air or to clean our or to non genetically modified food, we don't care we want everything we can get. That's what the world might have made us. But religion. And in our case, Islam is calling us to rise above what the world has made us is calling us to seek the forgiveness of our Lord and paradise. And if we really understood what that means, we will be
empowered to overcome whatever the world has made us. All of us. This has been summarized in two verses in Korean and we relate these verses to bring us back specifically to the topic of domestic violence. A lot of Thailand mentions in the end was said he ruined a mock security mirror up become white, Jonathan ogbu has said there were two what are
the most hated hastened to forgiveness from your Lord. And a paradise whose expanse is as is greater than the expanse of the heavens and the earth, that has been prepared for those who are conscious of a lot.
So hasn't to forgiveness and paradise. And then he says,
Ella, do you feel coolness so rah, rah rah? The first thing he mentions in terms of what the hastening involves, what are the keys to forgiveness, enter Paradise, those who spend, rather it is easy or difficult.
Now, why is this important? What is the relationship, the relationship is until we let go of the world, it will be difficult for us to work the deeds of those who are the people of Paradise, because until we let go of the world, the world will not let go of us. And as long as we're holding on to the world, the world will hold on to us. Spending is one of the immediate ways we let go of the world.
This is said spending. And our scholars mentioned this, when we spend our wealth, we're letting go of the world. And when we condition ourselves to let the world go, we empower ourselves to do things that are beyond our physical capability. We empower ourselves to do things that are predicated not on physical strength, but on spiritual strength. This is the key. So when we spend when we let go of the world, we're able to overcome our anger. So a lot of times dimensions, and lead in your corner, this is our rah rah will tell the mean of life and those who restrain their anger because now the world has let go of us. We see this in Ramadan and Ramadan, we let go of the world.
How does the world hold on to us it holds on to us through sleep. It holds on to us through eating. It holds on through us, to us through the connections we have with other people. It holds on to us through talking.
Ramadan helps cuts down on our eating, obviously, it cuts down on our sleeping. If we're staying up late, especially this time of year, as Ramadan moves into the summer for taraweeh. We're not getting home until after midnight, then a couple hours later, we have to get up for support. Right? It cut down on our talking we don't have the energy and if we assert observe the etiquette of the fast we know that we can't speak the way we usually speak because as colo zoar and other unacceptable forms of speech that are against the etiquette of the fast. And if we're really serious about Ramadan, we tried to do ettercap 10 days, preferably two or three days a little bit in reviving the sunova
Prophet sallallahu Sallam and that cuts down on our worldly relationship and that releases our spiritual power. So we find the energy and strength to do spiritual deeds we can do outside of Ramadan. Some of us we prayed taraweeh an hour and a half, two hours depending on the speed of the man's recitation outside of Ramadan we can barely squeeze out five minutes pmla we start one recontour economy started dozing off we go to bed. We read the Quran, two or three items in Ramadan and the only thing restricting us We have to stop and go to work if we had time we could read Quran all day in Ramadan because we're cutting down on those things that chain us to the world and to our
physical self. Outside of Ramadan, one page two page we're nodding off we're drooling on Earth. When we close the most half we go to bed or turn on the television. So when we reduce our connection to the world, and the Drina you feel hoonah
then the world stability to hold us in restrained us is limited and then our spiritual energy comes out and we can control our anger will Kaldi me no late, and how many how much violence and abuse exist in our homes our relationship because we cannot control our anger when I seen on the NES, and they pardoned people, again, how many of our problems come because we can't Pardon? We are holding a grudge against our wife for our husband for something they mistakenly said 10 years ago.
When I seen on the NES, while long do you see me and Allah loves those who strive for moral perfection. To use the translation Dr. Omar used earlier in the day for accent, a beautiful translation, moral perfection. We won't get there, but we strive for it.
And Allah loves those who strive for moral perfection. So in our homes, we're striving for moral perfection. The man the woman, the children, the parents, in our relationships with each other, we're striving for moral perfection, and our communities and our organizations and institutions. we're striving for moral perfection, what kind of community what kind of marriages, what kind of relationship between parent and child, child and parents, friends and neighbors? What kind of relationships will we have brothers and sisters, if we're striving for moral perfection, knowing that this is something Allah subhanho wa Taala something that he loves. So brothers and sisters,
this is our religion. This is Islam. Islam doesn't want us. As as mentioned, I forget who said it to come to the minimal standards that the law introduces Islam. Islam wants us to rise to the level of sn people who are striving for moral perfection. This is what our religion is calling us to. And when we take this call seriously, we will be reformed, our families will be reformed, our communities will be reformed and who our position in the world will be reformed and it is not easy. It is not easy. And that's why it's called the Jihad to bring up the J word again. We mentioned it in Juma. Yes, Dr. yasir Qadhi mentioned it and I'm going to mention it again. jihad is a beautiful
term that we should reclaim it's been stolen from us and not just by it
responsible, reckless and downright in some instances, stupid Muslims is been stolen by some narrow minded bigoted people who want to paint Muslims into a corner, that we cannot even speak in our own language. We cannot even take pride in our religion, we have to reclaim and a lot Tyler mentioned in the Quran, when Madina jehad rufina, when the unknown sabudana those who engage in Jihad for our sake, and this jihad, one of his greatest manifestations is the jihad against ourselves, to overcome the base inclinations of our soul, to overcome those things, our worldly circumstances have made us so that we can be those people striving for moral excellence. It is a jihad, and it's called the
Jihad because it is difficult. It is hard, it is intense, it requires sacrifice, it requires energy and effort and focus. It requires knowledge and study and commitment. But those who engage in that struggle a lot, Tyler says, the unknown spirulina, we will guide them in our paths, the paths that lead to a lot. And those are good paths. And if we're on those paths, and we're grabbing our husband or wife by the hand, if we're grabbing our children or parents by the hand, and pulling them along with us, as we move down that path, brothers and sisters, we're going to be a powerful community, we're going to be a beautiful community. And we pray that this conference, we can solve the problems
of the world in a conference, but we pray that this conference has motivated you to look for the things that will help you to move on those paths. We pray that this conference has motivated you to look at the religion as far more than just a series of do's and don'ts, rules and structures, but as something that is is desirous of cleansing us and purifying us and elevating us and bringing out the best of who we are as a human being and more importantly as a servant of our Lord and as a follower of our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. Tomorrow there'll be specific workshops shop by Shaykh Faraz or Ben and others to begin the process of connecting the knowledge and the resources and the
the the the structure that we need to move with more confidence on that path. We pray that all of you can take part in that inshallah tada we've promised the organizers I myself I have a marriage and family relations seminar to the seminar that we do to commute to Montreal for that the time is up there saying stop so I'm going to respect that even though I didn't respect it five minutes ago, when they first put it up are respected known a lot Allah bless all of you, may you have a safe trip to your home. If you didn't put anything in the Islamic Relief bucket whenever we went around, put it as you leave out inshallah, to help that fine organization. Cara Darwin and an hamdu Lillahi
Rabbil alameen wa sallahu nscd no Muhammad Ali he was signed, he will send them tesni man kathira Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh