Channel: Zaid Shakir
Imam Zaid Shakir informs Muslim students from across the Northeast what it truly means and takes to have a leadership or activism animated by sincere faith – in contrast to enterprises driven by ego or other aims.
So this is just to say that
when he was at Rutgers, the central New Jersey community was still very much in its early phases of being a community. And Marshall, a lot of the seeds that he left here before he left have now blossomed. And now you have New Brunswick Islamic Center, you have records with the full chaplaincy with hundreds of Muslim 1000s of Muslim students there, you have, you know, growing Muslim community at Princeton and many other local massages. So we really have to be thankful and honor our pioneers and the people who established the community for us. So among ASEAN, we're really happy and excited to have you the conference, the summit has been about leadership and developing ethical and virtuous
leaders. And we could think of no better person than you to invites, we're really grateful that you've accepted our invitation. So we're happy to, to hear from you. And then your sister, mostly who's been in charge of the programming will come here and ask you a few questions in the fireside chat.
And then we'll open it up for more questions before we close
trying to do something significant
for one of the
reading, this fellow was probably a couple years ago.
He just had his celebration. And
we were mentioning there.
The analogy of your generation, and a relay race. So some of you probably run track, I used to run track, I can
But I ran the relay It was so far back in the day, we didn't even have meters, he had yards, as opposed to four by one 100 meters four by 100. I run the four by 110.
And the nature of the real and individual race if you're running by yourself and catch a crab or pull a muscle, we can continue the race you lose
the relay race no matter how hard
the last runner
fourth run, no matter how hard those who preceded you ran no matter how big the mean, they gave. If you pull up and finished the race or drop the baton, the entire team loses. They don't say you know the first leg he actually ran a 10th of a second.
He ran a little faster than
his opponent and the second leg he actually lost with the third leg he was
loses. So in a sense, you guys are now receiving the baton.
Those who preceded you, for better or worse
are passing the baton. Now your responsibility is to get that baton to the next one. If you drop the baton, the whole team loose.
So you have to hold on tight. And this is what a lot tells us.
to hold tight to the rope of Allah this type of a time and be not divided. team can be divided this one in this way. Then he gets beaten runs back that way. Everyone has to be in sync. Every there has to be a smooth transition. The United States men team men's team of the last Olympics and World Championships they're four by 100 have
one or two exceptions, maybe over the last six, seven years. They lost because they dropped the baton and they have bad exchanges. Even though the four individual runners work faster than the Jamaicans even. Usain Bolt.
Hussain bolt you know the world's fastest man as a Muslim you make his cap for
Ah, so they don't say,
No, I'm just kidding.
Saying both the four Americans were faster, but the bad exchanges been dropped a couple times.
So in addition to holding the baton tight, you have to take great care, in terms of how you pass it out to the runners up for you, who will come 30 or 40 years. So it's about being part of a team. It's about assuming the responsibility to carry the heritage that's been equipped unto us by those who preceded us. So just a few remarks before we open the floor. When you talk about leadership, we don't have to experiment or guess as to what constitutes
proper Islamic or Muslim leadership. There are many things we can talk about. I'll talk about just a few things in this regard. One is tribulations and fitness.
tribulations are defined pocket translated into English as those things which clarify, do good or evil and a person will have a tribulation respond in a way that most people always be the anomalies and outliers will consider good. Or we could respond in a way that most people would consider bad.
And so that that's what the fits the fits in and does it brings out the good or the bad, and people are confronted with a testing situation. So the earlier that they say that the fitna the origin of tribulations for the lever, our ally in two things,
Rafi and a sharp to prioritize baseless opinion over revealed law.
So that's the first source and they say that source of fitness is the fitness to show
the fitness without the tribulation of doubt,
because there's no certainty.
So that's the first and they say the tribulation of doubt. So a person that divine law says,
and then someone based on what they read what they hear what they discovered on the internet, they, which has no firm basis in the Divine Law. In other words, it's not something that's specifically spoken about in Revelation, nor is it something that can be countenanced based on the
principles, the legal principles or legal Maxim's of the religion.
it creates increase.
And so the rhythm that they say, what should help you to foul really upping?
Tao is repulsed by certain tools
is repulsed by certainty. So as leaders, you're in an error, you're in a time that's qualified over time when you lead by doubtful matters. And so one of the greatest things that you have to do is to build up your team within you
to go certain, certain tools in your heart. And there are ways to do that. One way is to have a very strong connection with Allah, consistent worship.
So consistency and prayers, consistency, and we just set the means
to celebrate this young man's attachment and commitment to the core.
So the core ad has to be read regularly.
Unless a is amongst other things should be teaching tend to be so the MSA leading should shouldn't just be a lab session with
the breeze and it should be less important. Discussing ideas you have a very an age where ideas may pop in your mind like popcorn in the popcorn machine.
So it's very important to discuss them with your peers, but
It's also important to do those things that will be build your foundation as a Muslim, because a lot of times those, those, those discussions build on a foundation. But if those discussions aren't building on a foundation, then what happens? They provide a foundation in and of themselves. So that foundation is core. So the MSA should be teaching.
MSA should be teaching basic
so you have a program is building a foundation. As you discuss the issues and as you mature and the foundation then that influences the discussion. So in any case,
if you don't know everything and essentially memorize a CT n, but you don't understand it?
over and beyond a very rudimentary way. So you can as very intelligent most of you, I would assume Ivy League schools is this an exclusive Ivy League MSA? So, so a fair number of you some of you are like at a post Ivy League school like transcended the Ivy League.
that means you're very intelligent. But when you take a Princeton rockers and a Yale and a Bergen Community College,
which is a mature and adult, intelligent college level,
at a very rudimentary level, it's like you took your brain in terms of its engagement with the core and and put it in kindergarten. So you have to read the core and, and, and the language you understand.
You have to read in in English, you have to read it in Spanish, the translation whether or not the Quran is always, but so you do your average of touch read in your head, but you also read the Quran in a language that you understand and then you can see how the leaders who preceded you, because the Quran is is a book of archetypes.
And so how did these various categories of people engage with their leaders? The prophets,
other leaders like your own ministry, Pharaoh, how did they engage with people? What How did what was the key to their success? What were the reasons for their failures? This is what the brand is teaching us or the consequences of disbelief. What are the benefits and fruits of faith? So if you don't know Arabic, and you really care, and you're not benefiting in those ways, so I would suggest that you mshs you should, amongst other things, have some some time put aside where you can have some people are grouped within them MSA reading the Mohammed acid translation, some people are reading yahia. Emmerich's work, some people really use a body notes, practices, appendices, a very
program of Quranic study, some people are reading another translation when you come together, and you share the insights that you gained. And so you began to engage the end, at the level suitable for your intellects. As opposed to reading it, which is wonderful, what move is embedded for the AI portion for the AI worship for the tongue worship for the ears, worship for the hands, that are holding it. And so this, this edger, and all of that, but also understanding, engaging for and having a regiment of prayer. So you should all be doing a little extra prayer at night Even before you turn in at night or getting up a little before magic, to play a few cards, and to have your
prayer of going over and beyond the bare minimum. bare minimum is great if you sustain that in this day and time. That's one of the keys to paradise. But as leaders, you should be aspiring to do more.
You should try to fast on Monday starting Mondays and then when that becomes considered
Monday and Thursday. So over and beyond Ramadan, and just be consistent in that. And then then that facilitates community of 70, Monday or Thursday or both, depending on the circumstance, we'll have a new talk together. And after the avatar, we'll have our MSA meeting. Now there's already a more spiritual foundation to enter the meeting with. So just some suggestions, being in the company of righteous people. There's someone that's pious in the group, don't have one of the greatest forms of India's spiritual and don't envy them. Don't Don't question them, don't look for their clots. she's a she's
talking to a boy I
don't know. Just say Mashallah hope I can get to that.
So one, one of the things that our forebears have advised us and counseled us with, look up to those of both you and religion.
And look, to those not on down to not down one down to those beneath you in the world. So sometimes we do the opposite, we go down
to those beneath us in religion, then we feel pious, they never come.
So now look up to those. And religion then if you so we inverted we look down to those in religion, and then it makes us feel pious.
We're on top of it. And we look up to those above us in Indonesia in the world. And then we don't appreciate our blessings.
how come I don't have the Tesla
just have a Toyota Corolla.
If you look down to those mini few in the world, Mashallah this Corolla is a blessing, the brothers sister has to walk,
take the bus and they walk, that shall live the ability to just leave my house can in my car, come right into the parking lot.
So should an inverted look down to those people in the world when you appreciate, appreciate your blessings, and look up to those above you and religion and then build aspiring to try to do better.
So that's a way that we increase our team. Another thing that that we should do is do, we should pray before you go to bed every night, you should. Now be honest, sometimes I was so tired to get in the bed and on my knees to pray, but I don't even remember my head
every night, but more nights than I was comfortable with. So I recall the time when I was I didn't grow up as a Muslim.
And grew up in a Christian family. And we were taught every night before you go to bed, you kneel down beside your bed, and you made a prayer.
This used to be like this. And the prayer was the founding.
Now I live to sleep, I pray My Lord my soul to keep if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to then we go for find these and get in the bed. So I started doing that
my wife can bear with us
on my knees every night and make my dog. And I haven't missed a night without doing the whole several things. And so that's a practice that I would encourage you to do. Because it is the weapon of the belief. And in these days when there are forces that are waging warfare against Islam, against Muslims, against people of religion in general, against spirituality, they want us all to be so attached to the material, that we don't even think about our soul and the destiny of our soul and the nature of our soul and the importance and primacy of our soul primacy because this body is going to go
that is cool and
everything here is perishing, including our bodies.
Making prayer. Pray, pray in the morning, pray in the evening. Take time. Like I said to do things get down on your knees, and jatheon. Fall down on the knees and pray to a loss of
your wallet in the news, what I do, okay, Kelly went
When I first
went to Stanford first and we left,
So, we all learn, I'm going to teach you some phrases.
Remember, be mindful of life, you will protect the mind for the law, you will find them before you, as if he's before you in terms of checking your actions. And when you ask anything, first and foremost, ask him a lot. And if you seek protection of any assistance, where they seek assistance for many more, anyone, first and foremost, seek the assistance of a lot. Ask a lot. For a more refined spiritual essence, ask Allah subhanho wa Taala for a stronger connection to the core and ask Allah subhanho wa Taala for the good of understanding. So we have a lot of people that know a lot about us than many of them.
You have scholars, they're not even Muslim, about Islam during the Firestone library, with Fred and Barney
during them library and all those Arabic stacks, and they're just that's their life. You go into their libraries and a wall of books every book being put up there's margin or notes scribbled in the side that's their life. They know so much about us.
But they don't understand
they know or not they don't understand. Because if they understood if all of that knowledge would have been translated into
when you read you learn will be here kyron effect kill Diem, the one of our desire is good for you gives him or her a sound understanding of the religion So in fact, kill Taka. He was banned, because this was a prophetic saying before that became a technical term,
a legal term. So here's the linguistic use that killed the deen it gives him or her a sound understanding of the religion. And so
ask Allah for understanding.
ask Allah for agenda because in asking ask a law to protect you from the hellfire.
These these are these are things that that heighten our sense of
certainty. Because at the end of the day, your pain
and as your pain not as the verb the verb many times means certainty, but your pain itself means the wild poodle Rebecca has yet to can. Yeah. So worship your Lord until that comes in. Why? Because that's the one thing we're certain about is that it used to be death and taxes.
The Tea Party and the
phrasing of the tax part
new taxes, so we're not so sure about the taxes, but the DUP are absolutely certain about. So this these things help to bring about the theme. Now the verse in the new okay the second so fitna to shoot the fitness, tribulation of doubt, which lies in giving priority to basis opinion.
And over the Divine Law is the tribulation of doubt. And then there's fitna to
the tribulation of loss or longing. And the tribulation of longing, is repulsed by patience.
tribulation of longing is imposed by patients. And so the verse a lot of time that says,
Luna be emelina
can be a teenager.
So there's three things here
for john, four things well, john lennon, who we may
have seen referring to the prophets and
Then he is fine. But there's an interpretive principle, some you're familiar with, but we'll state it for the benefit of those who hold on
to the lesson we might derive from a particular text
able to be on mobile or mobile love, the generality of the wording, levico, Susa, seven, not based on this specificity of the occasion of Revelation. So immediate. So, address the, the people being immediately addressed are the needles of any value, but the wording is general are normal and ever to be removed, leaves me will not let the host
so the immediate sebat the leader is profits of the Jews.
But the general lesson, we made leaders from the leaders from us
who commanded who guided by our command. And so our leadership should be based on our commitment to the command of the commander.
That should be the foundation of our leadership. And then work facilitated that that rise to leadership dilemna Sabo.
So Finland should shy away towards
the soft, so that the Finland tribulation of loss. So the loss is is given our yoti priority. skip that part.
Our school is foundation
talk the mood of the Mona
Lisa. And However, an apple is giving priority to the winners as the passing suggestions over the internet. So you should try this. Have you thought about this?
experiment? We'll think.
So the house says
you don't have to get the marijuana.
Talking. Your Apple says
like smoking, smoking is around smoking.
Don't Don't leave
I bet people are dying from lung disease from vaping. You can do that strongly to you how website is
a couple of times. So talk with him and how an Apple does the foundation of the tribulation of loss talked about the software is repulsed by patience. So the halwa says do this and you say oh wait.
What happens is passing then it goes and you go back to business. You don't allow it to become a
serious thought that you're entertaining then it becomes our lust and then it becomes conviction and then engage in it. And so they have what they have patience, which is
gonna be a marina Saba
when they patiently posted
what can so we have the patient, there are a lot of things that are going to come our way, especially in university especially now because there are no there are no restraints, you know, it's the era of surrender to your design. Like Las Vegas,
is that pronounced lost wages
of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, they just have a sign when you got lost wages.
Surrender to your desires. Surrender to your desires. And so that's the message advice. So now it's just not at Las Vegas is everywhere. The design guide that informs our time can be summarized in those words. Surrender to your desires.
No, I'm a man.
You know, I'm the ex wife.
Well, I'm the a woman. Surrender to your desire
to see a doctor get some hormone treatment.
Duck, duck design dice surrender to your desires.
You know I want to try vegan. What's wrong with it, you know, that Crohn's is common is
vaping is in common?
marijuana's karma. Burning is sophisticated, the hours reading and thick, that are dry and toxic and isn't ninja acid. So the alcohol is really forbidden because it's majestic. And the laws forbidden. But it's not adjusted because it's dried, so we can smoke it. That's
impressive legal gymnastics
is like that machine is like, what came out of that glass bottle was turning the crank real fast.
Be patient, don't follow your house. Just let it ride. let it ride.
Be patient. And that's one of the keys to leadership. We made them leaders
after they who who guided by our command
after they were patient,
or can be a teenager and they were absolutely certain concerning our son. And that's the pain. So with the team based on their certainty concerning the signs of a lot. We see signs now you guys we came down from Connecticut. My mother in law How are the leaves of the way in the winter the Massachusetts border.
Country way up
mostly green, mostly green, but as they
write upon low colors that inspire you,
Joyce Kilmer. He's from New Jersey. Even in the restaurant.
I think that I shall never see a pop as lovely as a tree. A tree that looks at God or the
tree whose mouth is firmly pressed against the Earth's throwing
a tree that might end somewhere unless the Robin's in her head. intimately upon whose vows the snow has made and intimately lives with rain. palms are made by fools.
But the tree is a metaphor.
evergreen tree, right, because this spring, from nothing that leaves sprout. And when they come out, mature and lush and vibrant, and then towards August, they start to shrivel up, they're still green, but they lose a lot of their vibrancy. And then in the fall, they start to change colors. And then later into the fall, they start they stone the tree long enough, they turn brown, and then they fall off and they go on. But they fertilize the earth and they provide the stuff that rings for the seeds for the acorns. And the leaves provide fertilizer as the decomposed and the acorn takes
the cycle over again. That's a metaphor for our lives.
And so we we see these things, and they should bring certainty to us. We're going to die, who lives
but our die and death is not in vain. The God of those leaves
they become the staff for new life. So your your leadership and your life is serving a purpose. And when you pass on the intellectual legacy, the spiritual legacy that you leave the legacy of intellectual achievement is providing the fertilizer for subsequent generations. So leader understands that and internalizes that and finds great purpose in their life. There's no
realism and Islam
from beginning to end.
consciousness and leadership.
When I was in Sierra
mentioned it was summarized consciousness of leadership.
So one of the prayers were taught to me, which is, in a manner labels, leaders for the
consciousness of leadership, and you guys should be conscious of your leadership. Have you look at max available, right?
Now, why have you read these days,
but he mentioned 10 sociological faces for leadership. So, amongst them was, well, most of you come from well off, and
maybe not millionaires and billionaires, but well off them.
And then knowledge,
probably virtually all you come from very good school system. Even if you went to public school, your parents chose districts that were highly rated in your respective states went to good schools. And that's how you ended up in the colleges that you study in. So well, knowledge status. So when you graduate from Princeton,
or Yale, or Harvard, or Columbia
status, you become part of a very select group of people
status. And so you look at these various foundations of leadership you possess, you guys possess most of them
to say, You're being pushed towards leadership positions in society,
we've been pushed towards a leadership position. So you should have a consciousness of that, and you should embrace it, don't run from it. And that needs to Well, then. So the Divine Law, be aware and conscious that revelation has its importance, it provides things that
other than other sources of for example, Virtus Pro with
a finding a universal objective law,
or objective source of law.
So, I like Kant and his categorical imperative, and this effort to find a virtual this foundation a lot. So can I have religion can this that, but it is a struggle.
And without the imposition of the state
was very status
and through the educational system to program people to think a certain way. So some some critics of Kant, they say that Kant's reason, raw rationality wasn't rationality at all. It was a process of reasoning
that was desired to produce a certain outcome, because of his emphasis on individual freedom and autonomy. That outcome is very subjective. And so is it difficult for it to become the source of a shared law,
which was his whole project? So but Islam doesn't have that? Revelation doesn't have that problem. And the beauty of Islam, a lot of people don't realize this, I'll tell you beauty of Islam
is we have revelation, but revelation is a source of law for those who voluntarily accepted.
And then for those who don't, they have their own sources of law. So for example, can Christians drink wine in a Muslim country, that means Sharia like idealic, they can, but they can't sell it in public. They can do it in houses, they can open up public brewery
so because why their law allows them to drink wine.
And then there's the there's the fitrah for nursey
federal law Hilah de patata, NASA la
insanity is in a taco v. And so this is shared by all of humanity. So as Muslims, we can have a project where we look for those shared values, and virtues that transcend religion, and for some, for all of us, that becomes a foundation of law and society. So we have multiple sources
to create common
sources to facilitate our mutual peaceful coexistence. And so your generation, one of your projects is the actual eyes that
forget the Muslim or like someone will say, Oh, you talking about blah, blah, blah, look at the Muslim world is going to hell in a handbasket. Number one, that's not true. I'm going to do an exercise that we can get into the interactive part. Well, that's the first source of interaction.
So the conscience of a law, conservative leadership, consciousness of the role of Revelation, which is to play in our society and in our life, patience and certainty with certainty. Now, the lid, the leadership story, I wanted to tell when we were in Syria, he was studying one of the new students come from an English speaking country, which lives in the United States In the United Kingdom, possibly, I don't
know, just most people coming from American United Kingdom.
So So he said, we went to see shake up.
And he said, Could you tell the shape of
that I just came here to learn, my father died my basic
obligations of worship to harmony.
And I don't want to be a great scholar.
Tell him ask him, why don't you want to be a great scholar? When a lawsuit was under subpoena, you may cause leaders for the righteous, but he said tell him but you want to do it for the service of your Lord in service of the people and not for the service of your nuts for the service.
So on that note, we'll open the transition will segue into I was looking for the word segue and I was looking for the word like s e, g, w, a y.
And it said like a two wheeled scooter.
Like is that was segwaying can
go on and on we've had.
So don't panic.
lecturing us. So I looked at S e. g, up alone without
my brother's a musician, like he played with a very famous jazz musician. What these guys were like, they were national.
They went to France, right. And so they were asking for seasame bonds. That's my segue into
into the wider conversation. So as you guys how many Muslims in the world
right, all right.
How many places right now Muslims in
in northern Syria, right, right. So in this region of
Kurdish control 30 of northern Syria, was the Kurdish name for the region.
Row for Java for Java. So Java, how many how many people in Java not everyone is affected by people in the north? How many people will Java?
3 million? How many of those you think are directly affected by the Turkish invasion or operation?
is a three mil offering the worst is that so we're three mil where else is in
Palestine? How many Muslims in Palestine
I've written about three minutes. But let's say for the demographic.
We Don't Die, we multiply. So that's seven.
What else is
China? China wiggers. How many weekers are affected by these Chinese atrocities and genocidal acts of cultural genocide? Even physical genocide?
more work to 10 million? Where else?
How many Muslims in
the population? Christian?
How many to up to 10 million population?
Say 20 minutes worth the 30 million foil. So
how many how many Muslims in history?
Let's say the whole population, they're all effective right now. They're all on lockdown and locked out and no, come in comunicado
Yeah, let's say 10. What are we up to now?
Up to 40 million whales conflict.
Myanmar, but, but is just in the regions where the Rohingya
Muslims in Rangoon? Know how many
to the, you know, the baby that was born five minutes
to 3 million. What are you up to now?
43 million. Where else?
Afghanistan. How many was the population? Afghanistan? 30 million. 30 million. So where does that put us?
73 million. Okay, where else?
era? Was the population around
10 million. But even though iraq we can we can argue that not everyone's but do have those contests. So 10 so we're up to what are we up to 83 million wells.
For most people in Egypt physically threatened with war and insecurity. They're definitely with
no press freedom. And, you know, the challenge with
went to yours. preserve the process, invoke mercy out.
No, mercy gotta go. And then
cc has been gone.
Fellas, the girls, ladies.
So what I signed in muster isn't affected by this stuff.
So we can't give the whole 80 million Egyptians. How many? How many women are really affected by what's going on?
Okay, so that makes an even 85 million. Where else?
Sudan, the whole country are just under men.
Okay, so how many movies?
Let's say where are we at? 85 million.
Now let's go to let's go to 100 million
How many people in need?
2 million. So let's say 3 million.
100 3 million.
Somalia. How was the population?
10 million. So 100 13 million. where else to go?
right, okay in this war.
Boko Haram. Okay, how many
5 million, let's say 10 million 120 3 million
Muslims in India.
But I don't like oppression
by direct physical attack of threat and it could get there, especially with the BJP and the RSS and Modi being the leader of that movement, and now he's the Prime Minister, but I don't think is there yet. We do agree. The potential is there. potential is there. But we'll take 10 million
133 million. Where else?
Let's say the rest of the oma is 133 million, which is good. The rest of the 200 million where the 200 million from 1.7 billion
is Preston, go off track.
Alright, here's my point. I think we were very generous and
immediately conflict zone. And we still have 1.5 billion who aren't.
So the point is this and definitely not to belittle or dismiss those who are. And not to say we haven't, don't have an obligation to assist and do everything possible to assist but to say that
things aren't as gloomy as they sometimes appear.
And so we have to take advantage of the opportunity.
to cultivate the kind of leadership that can help to alleviate the suffering of those who are because we have that space and we have that opportunity.