All praise be to Allah .
I'd like to thank Allah for the blessing of all the angels
that come with all of you. You brought angels into this arena and insha'Allah Allah will let us taste some of the pleasure
of angelic presence.
Alhamdullilah, what I wanted to talk about was fair trade,
and extending that meaning beyond the confines that have defined it in the
dominant western discourse. The Qur'an tells us not to consume “wa la ta'qul nasi bi batili”. Don't consume the wealth of people
falsely, unjustly, vainly. Batil is
everything that is empty, it's what's not good. So it's the opposite of haqq,
which is truthfulness, sincerity, reality, what is real. So it says don't
consume the wealth of people unjustly. “takuna tijaratan aow
Ila tijaratun an taraadin minkum,” let your trade only be trade that is
mutually content. In other words, each side is content with the actual event of
trade and commerce. This is an incredibly important point, all of the Qur'an is
important but this verse is so central to what's happening right now globally,
and why we're seeing so much turmoil in what are called the markets.
global markets, where wealth is consumed unjustly. People's wealth is stolen,
misappropriated, given to people without the right accountability. And this is
happening in many many places. And so Allah tells us that “tejarat”,
commerce should be fair. In other words, each side should be pleased with the
event that's happened, that's transpired. Allah also says in Surah Rahman, “wa wada'al meezan, al-laa tatghow fil meezan”.
He placed a balance, scales, that you not transgress the balance. Historically,
our scholars identified these verses that are between the heavens and the
earth. They're between, if you look at Surah Rahman, it opens with heavenly,
celestial discourse, and then it talks about this balance and then it goes, “wal ardha wada'a ha lil anaam” and we placed
the earth for all living things but between those is the balance. This refers
to all types of balance. Allah has given an economic balance, and
this is historically how they understood it, the prohibition of cheating people
in the marketplace, which is related to this balance between the celestial and
the terrestrial. And Allah reminds us that the earth was placed
for all creatures, al-anaam are all living creatures. It's not
just the human beings. Some of the commentators say “an'aam”
comes from “nowm” which is all things that sleep, because sleep is the gentle
tyrant. It's what Allah has given us to remind us that He is “Qaahirun fawqa ibadihi,” that Allah is overpowering,
overwhelming His servants. The fact that we have to sleep at the end of the
day, and our lives are rounded by this little sleep.
So the idea
of just commerce and balance is very important in the Qur'an. Historically in
the marketplace -and this is unfortunately no longer the case because of
digital scales- but historically you had scales in the marketplace, so people
could actually see the justice. If you bought a pound of fruit, the merchant
would put a pound weight on the scale, and then he would place the fruit on the
other. And in Islamic tradition they used to always tip the scales to be on the
side of the buyer, not on the side of the merchant, because the Prophet (saw)
said may God have mercy on a man or a woman, who is forbearing, who is
forgiving, who is generous, when they sell or when
they buy. And I've seen this many times when I was in Fez or places in Morocco,
they would do this. They would tip the scale, they'd put an extra date to tip
the scale, just to show that you're getting the extra, because they wanted that ziyada,
that extra, of ihsaan.
living in a time of incredible economic injustice and that injustice is because
we have an unjust economic system. Economics now has become a necessary
science to understand. You have to understand the basics of economics to be
living on the planet that we're living in, because it's affecting all of us.
It's affecting our lives. We have to understand the false dialectic that's been
created between the so called Keynesian and monetarist. This left/right
dialectic, as if there's no other alternative to these two approaches to
economics because the Muslims have an alternative, but unfortunately we've been
absent from the discourse. Even though much of what is beneficial in western
commerce came out of transacting with the Muslims. In fact, “average” is from
an Arabic word, because merchants they used to say, and you can look this up in
chambers etymological dictionary or google it. Average is an Arabic word
because merchants used to have a type of takaful, when they would send a ship with
goods, and if goods were destroyed, a portion of the goods were destroyed, they
would take an average and all the merchants would share in it. It was a type of
insurance. So this came,ta'reef,
tariff, is from the Muslims because we forget that our religion is a religion
of commerce. I reflected deeply at one point when I was studying the seerah,
why the Prophet would
be a merchant before he was a prophet. Why was he a merchant? Because Allah could have made him many things, but
he made him two things: he made him a shepherd in his youth, and he made him a
merchant in his adult manhood. He made him a shepherd because all prophets are
shepherds because the essence of being a prophet is caring for a flock, it's
caring for people in a way that the shepherd does not want any harm to come to
the flock. And who does the shepherd guard the flock from? The wolf. The wolf.
I believe, the reason that the Prophet was
chosen to be a merchant was because the merchant is the most beneficial human
being in human society. There's no one more beneficial to human society than a
merchant. Everything, the chairs that you're sitting on are from commerce, the
clothes that you're wearing are from commerce. The glasses that you're looking
through if you're looking through glasses, are from commerce. The
fillings in your teeth are from commerce. The medication that is keeping your
blood pressure low right now is from commerce. Everything that is beneficial to
the material wellbeing of the human being is from commerce. But there's another
secret in commerce. Commerce teaches you good character, because the most
successful merchants are the ones with the best character. You go back to
people who treat you well, and that's why historically they used to say
'customer is king.' The customer is always right. A merchant shouldn't get
angry because even if the person buying from him is making him angry, he'll
lose the sale if he starts getting angry because the person will just walk,
walk out. And so it actually creates good character. Tahleebul nafs.Akhlaq. “Wa innaka ala khuluqal adheem” –
you're on a vast ethos, .
other thing about commerce is, if you want your commerce to be successful, you
have to be trustworthy. That is the essential characteristic of commerce,
trustworthiness. If you give your word, you stand by it. If you write a note,
you fulfill it. If you promise goods on a certain day, you fulfill that. And if
you don't, people stop doing business with you. The Prophet before
Islam was known as al-ameen, the Trustworthy. He was known as al-ameen because
he was the most trustworthy of merchants. People knew that if you gave him your
money, not only did you get it back, but you got it back with great
benefit. Khadijah never had anybody that transacted with her money like
the messenger of Allah and should we be surprised? And when she sent
Maysara out with him, and all the people around him have beautiful names, like
Maysara, and Umm Baraka, Baraka, Ummu Ayman, Haleema as'Sa'diya, they all have
beautiful names, all the people that raised him and nurtured him. So he's with
Maysara, the place of ease, the one who makes things easy, and Maysara noted
all these things about the Prophet and
informed Khadijah [but Khadijah had insight into who he was before anyone else,
which is why she's Khadijatil Kubra .
Her name Khadijah is from khidaaj, which is like naaaqis.
It's used in the Arabs would, if a child was born early, they would be thin and
skinny, they would call them Khadijah. But she's also naaqis until the Prophet completes
her. Khadeja al-Kubra was a merchant and she used her wealth for the sake of Allah .
Abu Bakr was a merchant. He used his wealth for the sake of Allah .
Umar. All of these people, look at them. The people around the Prophet , the Qureish were the great
merchants of the Arabian Peninsula. But he went to the people of agriculture,
because these are the two forces in the world, agriculture and commerce, these
are the things that make the world go round, they're what enable us to survive
and they're in our original story, is all of the human condition. Everything is
there in that original extraordinary story of the messenger of Allah .
The prophet told
of principles of commerce. One of the principles that he taught, , was that the truthful
merchant is with martyrs on the Day of Judgment. The ulemasay
that it's because of the rarity of a real merchant. Imam al-Awzai once was in
Beirut, and he passed by an onion seller and the onion seller was saying,
onions sweeter than honey, and imam al-Awzai said to him, do you think
it's permissible to lie about something like that? That's
called advertising. Don't think advertising is some new thing. Arabs were
marketing a long time ago, they used to market with poetry. Now we have jingles
plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is. The Arabs had jingles as well,
right. I wish I could get that part of my brain back, that that got lodged
into. But they're very good, these jingle makers. Jingle bells. They used to
advertise, but truthfulness is important. The Muhtasib, which is like the ombudsman, it's
the person that goes into the marketplace for quality assurance. It's a
person that is an interface between those who regulate the weights and those
who are weighing in the scales in the marketplace. Umar appointed Shafa
or Shifa as the muhtasiba during
his time. She used to go in the marketplace with a stick and she would turn
over fruit to make sure the good fruit was not on the top and the bad fruit on
the bottom. If you go into a store now you will get your strawberries. They
have all the big ones on the top and then the tiny ones on the bottom.
That's not by mistake. But it's a type of “ghish”,
because you buy the big ones and then when you open the package you get all the
little ones one the bottom. Although little ones can be better than big ones. So
this is what the muhtasib did.
The hisba is part of our tradition, having
quality assurance in the marketplace. This is part of the Islamic tradition and
we forget this.
Now one of
the things that is very striking about our age is the incredible disparities
between the north and the south. The north and the south, and this is something
that was pointed out in the seventies by Brant in Germany, he wrote a book
about this. So this is, this has been going on for a long time but people in
the west, the best of the people,Ulul Baqiyya,
those people that are still on virtuous tradition from their ancestors, these
people are very concerned about these disparities. Canada is one of the
countries that has a real concern. Many of the best countries in the world, if
you look at them today, that have the highest social indices in the world have
a great concern about social justice. Not just in their own countries but in
And so what
happened, you had a movement that began from a Mennonite Christian woman and
the Mennonite community is a strong community in Canada. She went to Puerto
Rico and she witnessed the types of social disparity, and it troubled her and
she wanted to help. And so she thought of bringing goods paying good prices,
just prices to people in Puerto Rico and importing those goods into these
countries like United States and Canada. And this was the beginning of
the fair trade movement.
recently reported from a website that was supported by, was actually a state
department funded project that the average American has, and this would
obviously be very difficult to work out. But it's interesting to think about.
The average American has 59 slaves working for them around the world. 59. In
other words, your lifestyle is based, our lifestyle, not yours, I'm putting
myself in there too. Our lifestyle is based on the suffering of other people
because, for instance, and I've stopped eating chocolate for this reason, when
I found out, and you can see the film on this. There's a documentary that was
done on it, on the child labor in harvesting cocoa, that 70% of cocoa on this
planet is harvested by child labor. And so when you're eating that chocolate,
your pleasure is somebody else's pain. And if you don't think that's having an
impact on your being, then you have to wonder why everybody's on Prozac in
these countries. Why are people so depressed? They're depressed because,
because much of what we're enjoying, the fruits of our cheap lifestyles, of our
cheap gasoline, of our cheap clothes, of our cheap shoes, all of these things,
the Walmart world of cheap goods is based on exploited labor from other
places. Not only is that exploited labor the pain and suffering of other
people but its direct result is the unemployment that's happening all over
these western countries. They're losing their jobs because they're going to
Walmart and buying something that's made in Indonesia with labor laws that
don't exist, often in incredibly difficult conditions, people working in
factories that are really subhuman, and they will buy that instead of buying
something that was made by somebody in their own town. There used to be people
that made shoes, Americans and Canadians and these other places, they actually
used to produce things. That's no longer the case. But it's not fair
because it's based on the exploitation of other peoples. And we have to deal
with the fact that this is the life that we're living.
Now the other aspect of it is we
have multinational corporations and not all corporations are evil. And I'm not
going to go down that route. Not all corporations are evil. Just most of them.
There are socially responsible corporations, but many of them are not because
they serve the bottom line.
There was a
study done where somebody took corporate behaviour and then took the DSM which
is the diagnostic statistic manual, of mental diseases and took the sociopathic
personality and matched the fact that corporations mirror almost exactly
sociopathic personalities. The corporation is a legal person in the West,
even though Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, may Allah preserve him and
unfortunately he wanted to come, Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah was the only person
on the fiqh council that was against the idea of making corporations legal
persons, because he said it's against the sharia principle. There has to be
human responsibility. You cannot have a corporation that's run by people, and
that those people can walk away from the corporation scot-free when the corporation
does all these terrible things. So you can sue the corporation but you
cannot sue the people behind the corporation. And he was against that
idea, and they were saying, Shaykh this is the age we're living in, this is,
and I told him, when I told him I said, you know, the most progressive voices
in America, and in the West are saying the same thing that you're saying. And
he said they should come to the fiqh council and help me out.
Now we have
to understand that the fact that we support these corporations is impacting our
lives. And here's what I'm going to say, people say what can I do? There's a
lot you can do and so the first thing you can do when you go home is go on moveyourmoneyproject.org.
You can move your money out of banks that are doing all these heinous things
and put them into credit unions and local banks but this is only a temporary
solution. The reality of what we have to do, and I've started this process. We
all have to do it, you have to move your money, get it out of these multinational
banks that are. Listen, if you want to understand what happened in Egypt, what
happened in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, all these places, it's directly related to
what happened on Wall Street. Because the commodities market zoomed up because
all the real estate was collapsing and so they start putting their money into
commodities, commodities go up, and suddenly the Egyptian who's paying 25% of
his income for food is now paying 45% of his income for food, and he can't
afford it. And they're literally starving. This is happening in many, many
places around the world. People are suffering from this unjust, economic system
that has to be identified, the culprits behind it need to be identified because
these are real people, and they have names. And they are doing things that are
completely immoral. They're doing things that are absolutely immoral and we're
all suffering from it.
been spared a lot of this egregiousness because there were much better fiscal
policies here but don't think that you're free from it. And the other
thing is, if we go, you go. So you better hope that because 80% of your
economy is tied to our economy. And you should know that so don't get high and
mighty. Like we, I've put maple syrup, I use it on my oatmeal, Canada Imported.
So I'm supporting Canadian economy in my own house, alright.
So what you
can do is move your money, but that is only a temporary solution. Muslims need
to develop their own banking systems. Anybody can open a bank if they have a
charter, it's not hard to do and banking is the biggest scam that's ever been
perpetrated on people. Really, if you understand banking you will be
amazed at what they get away with because this is the only private company that
can create money out of nothing. We all have to earn our money, they just
literally create it out of nothing. And so you need to understand we as, as a
community need to open banks but they can't be like some of these shifty shady
things that are going on, Sariah complaint, quote, unquote, right. And Canada
has already tasted the bitter brunt of that, alright. So we have to, really, we
have to have our own banks. The other thing we can do, we have over 50, 000
doctors in the United States of America and you've got many Muslim doctors, 50,
000 Muslim doctors. And I've said this before but when, when an American
comedian on national TV said I went to my doctor and he said face Mecca and
cough, and everyone in the audience laughed, you know that Muslim doctors are
having an impact on this society. People put their lives in the hands of Muslim
doctors every day.
doctors are paying hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance. Every month.
Who are they paying it to? They're paying it to Blue Cross, I thought we didn't
believe in crosses? Really, they're paying it to mutual insurance, they're
paying it to all these companies. We have a system called takaful which is superior to this insurance
system where you actually, you're investing your money, and then if something
happens then the money comes out of that. This is a superior system, you would
get people from other faiths and non-faith people, they
would want to be part of this because they wouldn't be just losing their money
every month. But getting something back. We need Muslim insurance companies.
All you people here are paying auto insurance, where's the Muslim insurance
company, that could be a non- profit insurance company? That could be giving
back to the community. Where is it? Where is our creativity? Why aren't we
thinking economically? We're literally spending so much money on these
societies, and what are we getting back for it?
good governance, pretty good roads, you know. Good amenities, nice
municipalities, but much of it is being squandered on companies that are doing
terrible things. They really are. And if you read the fine print in a lot of
these insurance companies, it's amazing what they get away with. All you have
to do is look at what happened to the people in Katrina, they had insurance
against hurricanes. But because the dam broke they blamed it on the dam.
And said oh it wasn't the hurricane, and people lost their houses. I mean this
is the type, this is totally unethical.
is about giving people respite until things are easier for them. Muslims don't
foreclose homes. Really. Bank robbers don't chase people out of their homes but
bankers do. Really. It's amazing what they get away with.
Guthrie, the great American poet said some will rob you with a fountain
pen. Some with a sixth gun, and some with a fountain pen. I mean
people were completely robbed. All these securitized loans, derivatives packed
in. And they were robbing everybody. It wasn't just the people that were
signing those deeds. They were robbing the firemen's insurance, the teachers'
insurance, peoples 401 k's all of these people that thought their retirement
was in triple A loans, standards and poor, and it wasn't triple A loans.
And then they were betting against themselves. This was what was going on,
complete unethical behaviour. Now if you look, Spanoza said that greed, avarice
and covetousness are species of madness, they're types of madness. We forget that, that these people are actually insane and yet we give
money. Allah says don't give idiots your
wealth. Don't give idiots your wealth. Allah says this in the
Qur'an, do not give your wealth to people that will misuse your wealth. We are
empowering them with every check we write. With every time you use that credit
card, use cash. Don't give them that 4%. Why should some middle man, some sar'a. They're trying to eliminate cash. Who
wants to eliminate cash? The bankers do because they'll get 4% of every human
transaction. Don't let them do that. Start using cash.
only a temporary solution. We need to recognize that, commodity backed wealth
is the only sound form of wealth. Commodity backed wealth is the only sound
form of wealth. They will argue, and let me tell you something about economics
majors. Economics majors go through a brainwashing program. Seriously, because
they come out of it with all these ideas and if you try to say something like
uh, you know we need to get back to a bi-medal economy, oh no that's, that's
passé, they got rid of that. It was a bad system it doesn't work. Who said it
doesn't work? It worked for thousands of years. Human beings traded in
gold and silver for thousands of years. Gold rarely inflates. It inflates
when new mines are discovered, but there's only about a 2% increase in gold
every year, so it's very minimal. But look at the inflation that your money is
having. You know, Robert Frost wrote a poem that he never published about
currency. And in that poem he said, the pain of seeing ten cents turn to five,
we clutch fiercely at the part we think we feel it in. The head, the
heart, is someone cutting us into a lie, is someone at us, cutting us in half?
We cast a dangerous look from where we lie, up to the enthroned kings of earth
and sky. They know too well what's good for them to laugh. Right? He was
talking about inflation, 1919, inflation, when Woodrow Wilson to pay for all
the war problems, printed up all this money inflating the currency and paying.
Why do you think the Chinese are angry? Because they're seeing all of that
money that they're holding is being inflated. They know what's happening. There's
a book recently out called, Currency Wars, threatening about the collapse of
the dollar, and the fact that we're in a currency war. If what's going on in
Europe is currency war against the euro. The euro is being destroyed. The yen,
the dollar the euro, the mark, these are the global currencies, and
this is happening all around us. And yet we remain oblivious to it
because these currencies are fiat currencies that have no intrinsic value.
Intrinsic value is in gold and silver. At the time of the Prophet , gold and silver was a
10:1 ratio. At the beginning of America's bi-medal economy, was a 14:1 ratio,
they prohibited silver, as a monetary means of transaction. Why did they
prohibit silver? Because the bankers knew there was more silver than gold, they
wanted payment in gold, because farmers and poor people could pay with silver,
and it was like having an easier way of paying off their debts, and so they
actually outlawed silver in the United States, in 1873. It was considered a
great crime and this is where you get William Jennings Brian, don't crucify us
on a cross of gold, it was a famous speech that he gave. The wizard of Oz is
actually a metaphor, the wizard of Oz, the yellow brick road. In the original
story she had silver slippers, because that was the secret. And he was talking
about the farmers. The scarecrow represents the farmers, in the agrarian areas
of America. The tin man represents the industrial north, the factory
workers that were losing their heart because of the alienation of their life.
I'm not making this up. This is L Frank Baum, it's the great mythology of
commodity backed currencies. We should be advocating this. We need economists
that study our economics. And not this superficial economics that doesn't
challenge the basic suppositions of this system, because Muslim economists now
are talking about making halal transactions, that's band-aid, it's a start.
Making these certain types of loans, mudaraba, muradaha. Mudaraba is makrooh in
the Maliki madhab.
It's not an ideal system, the mudaraba system.
But making these loans is better than doing the other thing because everybody
should have some risk involved.
Ribaa is the
great sin in the Qur'an. “Fa'lanu harbin minallahi
wa rasulihi,” Be declared war on you. The Prophet said,
“ya'ti alan nas zaman, kulluhum ya'kulunariba,” all of
them will be consuming interest, or usury. Now they say interest but it is
usury. All of them will be eating usury, interest or usury, and then the sahaba
Because they knew the enormity of this sin. They said “kulluhum, ya rasulullah?” He said all of them. And
he said, “wa
man lam ya' kuluhu yusabu min ghubarihi,” and the one that doesn't consume
it directly, will be covered in its dust. Sadaqa rasullullah. You
have to see the prophecy in that. Sadaqa rasullulah. .
other thing that you can do, support your local economies, buy local. Support
your local economies. We have farmer markets that are being revived in the
United States, supporting small farmers. Getting out of the agro
business. All of these diseases are coming from these agro businesses.
You have to support your local farmers.
thing that is very important is to recognize the problem of food. We live
in a completely unjust food system. In America because sugar can be produced
much cheaper in places, they put all of these restrictions on the importation
of sugar. And so Americans now are eating corn syrup produced in America and
getting fat from this corn syrup. Because corn syrup is actually not a good
source of sugar. That's an example. But I'll give you a worse example.
The most important study that's been done on nutrition ever is the China Study
by Doctor Campbell and his researchers. This was a first rate researcher from
Princeton, teamed up with Oxford. He was a completely credible scientist, and
pre-modern China, died of cancer of the bladder. Before he died, he set aside
money to do a study of nutrition in China and disease relation. So this was
independently funded. Campbell ran that team, and the result of it is the China
about the China Study that are very important. The first thing is that the
result was so radical that the food pyramid was changed, to be more scientific.
But because meat and dairy were completely minimized in the diet, the meat and
dairy industry in the United States lobbied so hard that they actually changed
the pyramid. Which means science is no longer serving humanity, it's serving
corporate interest. That's what it means. Science is serving corporate
interests that is wrong.
China study, what they found, is that in areas where their proteins were less
than 5% from meat and dairy, there was no cancer. There was no cancer. The
original study was done in Hyderabad in India, and Harvard scientists they
laughed at it and they said oh they must have got the cages mixed up. Campbell
replicated this science repeatedly.
about meat and dairy consumption. First of all, the meat and dairy today is not
the meat and dairy that grandma and grandpa ate. The meat that grandma
and grandpa ate were free range, what they would call now organic, they didn't
have a word for it because everything was organic fifty years ago.
Organic free range, happily raised animals on farms, where they actually
treated animals with some dignity. Farmers actually have relationships
with their animals. They treated them with dignity.
Now, and my
grandfather had a cattle ranch, so I actually spent my summers on a cattle
ranch and I herded cattle and I saw. My grandfather, first time I got on a
horse, before I got on a horse, he put a pencil in my mouth and yanked it back
really hard, and he said that's what the horse feels when you're using that
bit, so don't forget it. That was my first lesson because that's the way people
taught, they had respect for their animals. In the United States, horses are
not categorized as pets, they're categorized as livestock. You can starve a
horse to death in America and not go to jail, which is wrong. Horses should
have rights, animals have rights in Islam. This is not a new
concept. Our religion gives animals rights. Ants have rights. In the
book of zuhd,
one of the sahaba used to go out and put bed crumbs on the ant hill that was
near his house and one of the tabi'in asked what he was doing, he said I don't'
want them testifying against me on yawmul qiyama, that I didn't fulfill the rights of
the neighbor. And this is an ant hill. What kind of psychology did these
people have? It's a different world they were living in.
was alluding to it last night. They lived in a different world. The Prophet
spoke to animals. He spoke to animals. Our Prophet spoke to animals. He spoke
to them and they spoke back to him, this is not mythology, this is
reality. We have people today that still speak to animals. Animals
respond to you. They respond to you. They're sensing creatures, they have nervous
systems, they feel pain, and they become depressed. In America we have
dogs and cats on Prozac. This is a fact. Veterinarians prescribe Prozac for
dogs in America. Don't think the dog is depressed because he's a dog. He's
happy to be a dog. He's depressed because he's in a house that's depressing.
The dog whisperer said, he doesn't go solve people's dog problems, he goes to
solve dog's people problems. And the same is true for the horse whisperer,
Buck, the horse whisperer said I don't solve people's horse problems, I solve
horse's people problems. Animals are intuitive, they know when something's
Omar during his khalifa prohibited
eating meat every day. This is a fact. Also don't think vegetarianism is not
from Islam. People say that when they become Muslim and they are vegetarian,
they say oh you have to start eating meat. Your iman is not complete until you eat meat.
That's what they say and then they give them the biryani and welcome to Islam.
Lahm, one of the sahaba, ibnu Abi Lahm, was a vegetarian. Can a nabataean,
this is in the tradition. And the Prophet accepted
that from him. Now if you swore off meat for ibadah, that's a different thing, the
them not to do that. But he didn't want to eat meat, maybe he didn't like
it. But today, eating a lot of meat is unethical. I would say that
eating fish, this is your choice, and I'm not dictating to anybody, you have to
make your own choices, you do your research, you know we're not fascist. Think
for your selves. I'm not here to tell you what to do, I'm here to make you
think about things, and you go back and you do your own research and you decide
for yourselves because you're all sovereign human beings, and nobody can tell
you what to do other than Allah and His Messenger, and that's it. Nobody can
tell you what to do.
scholar that tells you, is telling you what he thinks Allah and His messenger
is telling you what to do, that's called ijtihad. But there are few things where
Allah spells it out, and fallibilism is very important, our scholars need to
have more fallibilism. We don't doubt Islam but we should doubt our
understanding of Islam, we should doubt our understanding of Islam, we don't
doubt Islam. But we should doubt our understanding of Islam, because to have
certainty about your understanding is to arrogate to yourself some divine
knowledge that you don't have.
Omar said, it's in the Mu'ata, beware of meat, because it has, it has an
addiction like the addiction of wine. Beware of meat because it has an
addiction like the addiction of wine. We have Muslims now eating meat
three times a day and then they're wondering why they have gout, why they have
all these diseases. Seriously, start cutting that out.
thing, I read a book last year called The Caveman Diet. And in that book, he
was arguing, he's not a Muslim, he said, everybody should fast at least a month
out of the year where they diminish their intake, this is what he said in his
book. He's from LA. Everybody should fast a month out of the year, and
fast a couple of days in the month. Because he said our bodies are
designed to be food deprived, they're designed that way, to be food deprived.
If you want
to see an amazing documentary, look at, “Sick, fat, and nearly dead,” and you
look at the miracle that happens on that. A man who fasted sixty days and then
got another man who was almost dead to start fasting and the man's
transformation was amazing. We need to transform our food. We need to eat
healthy food that's locally grown. If we're going eat meat, you shouldn't
eat meat more than once a week.
al-Tustari, one of the conditions when he took on students, one of the
conditions he stipulated was that they ate meat once a week. In Maliki
fiqh, a rich woman is entitled to meat twice a week. Muslims were
semi-vegetarians. The prophet was
a semi-vegetarian, he did not eat a lot of meat. This is a fact, you can read
it in the seerah.
they would see no smoke came out of his chimney, and they would say, what were
you eating? They said al-aswadayn, it's in the sahih collection, al-aswadayn,
water and date. Dates are one of the most beneficial foods in the world. So
this is absolutely imperative that you change your diets. We're eating far too
much processed foods, all of this cancer, one out of four people is getting
cancer now. Heart disease, diabetes, 70% of the people in some of the Gulf
States over 40 have type 2 diabetes. 70%. They're drinking, eating all this
processed food. Cancer has become epidemic, in West Africa because they're
eating all these processed foods. Eat fresh, healthy foods, eat good foods,
this is part of our religion. Allah doesn't mention food without
mentioning halal and tayyib. Make your food a source of
nutrition. Don't eat empty food, don't eat too much food. Really. Eat twice a
day. Sahl was asked, he said, what do you say about a
man who eats once a day. He said, that's the way Prophets
eat. He said what about twice a day? He said, that's the way
righteous eat. And then he said what about three times a day? He said, build
for them a trough. Build for them a trough.
other thing, this is very important, and with this I'll conclude, I'm out of
time, I'll conclude with this. Support companies that are socially
responsible. The way that you can do this starting out is get, there are
several guides that can do this. There are fair trade guides. One of the best
is the better buying, better world buying guide, you can get an app for
it. I've got an app here. We actually invited the author who's a
sociologist, really sweet man, we invited him. It's called better world
shopper. It's an app that you can buy. Anything that you want to buy, you go onto
it. So you go to supermarket and they will rate your supermarket based on how
socially responsible they are, A+, A, A-, C, C+, C, D and F. Airlines, if
you're going to fly, fly Virgin Airlines, fly Air Canada, fly the Jet Blue,
Southwest Airlines. There are airlines that you can fly, that are better than
the other airlines. They're more socially responsible. They're donating more.
They're treating their employees well. And this has been analyzed, they're
people that are really serious about this.
people now called Freegans. You know about Freegans? People Freegans are
literally dropping out, they're just checking out because they don't want to be
part of this unjust system that is killing us, that is killing our planet. It's
killing us. And there are people that are morally, they are more morally
responsible in the non- Muslim community than I find in the Muslim community. I
know non- Muslims that have given up credit cards altogether because they don't
want to be part of these banking systems, and yet we as Muslims aren't willing
to make changes. We can create our own system, we have to do these
things. This is our duty.
finally, this is all about preparing for the Day of Judgment. Maybe we won't
change this thing. Maybe this is the way it's all headed. You know, Bob Marley,
I used to listen to him when I was a kid, before I became Muslim. Bob Marley,
he said, free your mind from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our
minds. Have no fear of atomic energy, they cannot stop the time. How long
will they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look, but some say it's
all a part of it, we've got to fulfill the book. Allah is in charge, we're not going to
predict the future, but we're people of hope. Our religion is a religion
of hope. We have hope in God. Li man kana yarjullah,
we have hope in God. We have hope in our prophet , who will never betray us.
No matter how much betrayal in the world, he will never betray you. He will
stand by you. He will take you across. He will give you from the howdh.
He will stand by you as long as you stand by him. The Prophet will never betray
you. God will never betray you. Hope is, our religion, our religion is hope. We
have to give our children hope. Hope is the thing with feathers that purges in
the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops it all. And
sweetest in the gale is heard and sore must be the storm that could abash the
little bird that kept so many warm. I've seen it in the chilliest land, and on
the strangest sea. And never in extremity it asked a
crumb of me. Hope is a beautiful thing, our religion is a religion of
hope. We have hope. Change your lives. Clean your houses out, stop supporting
this unjust economic system.