IIS Interview: Why I came to Islam

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Event Name: IIS Interview: Why I came to Islam
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 4/27/2019
Transcript Version: 1

Transcript Text

t's all be

human right but how do you do that how

do we become human this is where the

whole issue becomes problematic and I

think this is where Islam's agenda for

humanizing people is so bad where I

don't know whether you call it agenda

it's a process I think well I'm using

agenda see we're looking at negative

terms again that can be yeah yes I mean

a song does have an agenda and its

agendas to transform people into into

kind of crude assemblance --is of benny

atom or the Adamic species to a true

Adamic being a true human being I mean I

definitely think that conscience with a

conscience and the most radical way of

doing that is how many people pray

together five times a day yes you you're

praying in a line in a rank with people

a black man as I'm on your right side a

white man's on your left side of

chinese' you know and this is something

pretty extraordinary and the whole idea

of having being forced to touch them

yeah you know yes which is not shouldn't

be field force it should be a longing or

as desire for that closeness and that

intimacy that takes place in prayer so

that the social aspect Rama bond yeah no

I think there's no question that in in

all those and universalizing Ramadan

yeah the idea that we're all one fifth

of the world's population is in fasting

yes one month out of the year together I

mean you talk about harmonic convergence

so you spent about ten years and you

know when I came back here you came back

to Northern California yeah actually

Southern California and I studied I was

studying homeopathy and then I was

studying I went into nursing program and

completed nursing school

yes program then I went to I was working

in nursing and then went back to the

University to do a program comparative

so how long that take the um well

altogether it's been about seven years

till you finish that yeah I'm I'm

actually now gonna probably hopefully

next year be doing some graduate work

wonderful so where are you finding all

this time well I just it's making time

for I mean I'm very very time conscious

I'm conscious of the hourglass ticking

away so I just try to utilize it in that

in Santa Fe awesome absolutely man is in

Los with x passage except for those who

don't waste their time that's right so I

just try not to waste time time is very

valuable to me what have you what sort

of relationship now have you got with

your parents is that all wonderful then

absolutely so they're not both my

parents have a great my sister became

Muslim all of my family now has a very

good idea of what Islam is and I've done

it I think hopefully in a way that you

know I'm not condemning them or just you

know just I think they all have an idea

of what my life's about and I think all

of them they're very impressed with you

know I've won I mean it's quite

difficult to have successful marriage in

in this modern 20th century lay part of

it in in California and you know I'm

doing that my children are thanks god

they're a big grand parents and also I

think being or generally they're very

pleased yeah

well that's nice now coming back to a to

Islam and was its impact on your own

life which is it is obvious since you're

quite actively engaged in learning and

teaching and now what difficulties do

Muslims have in presenting Islam to the

west in a proper way because we talked

earlier on about how Islam is perceived

we didn't talk about our own

rown own responsibility of how we have

even to succeed that good points I think

part of it is the fact that I think

Islam is perceived by the Muslims as

well I mean it's not just a

misperception of the Western people

laugh it's also misperception that the

Muslims haven't and part of that is the

fact that that Islam has been reinvented

or you know what what they term in in

philosophy or religious studies redacted

by late 19th century and 20th century

modernist revision errs of Islam people

have been called the reformers some

people called the deformers what do you

mean I mean I don't really like to get

into specific individuals because I

think you're dealing with on the one

hand infiltration into the Islamic

academic Katter which is which is quite

pernicious but on the other hand you're

dealing with just unfortunately people

that were caught up in the flow of what

was happening I mean when the Muslims

were defeated by the colonialist this

was a great shock to the Muslim Ummah

and and I think what what happened is

suddenly they were having to deal with

the fact we've been defeated by the

Europeans who for centuries the Muslims

had looked down on them as being

unworthy of even their consideration and

you can see some of the letters that

were written by Muslim rulers

unfortunately to the Europeans really

with disdain and and and loathing and so

you know I think that one of the things

that God does is but you tears people

with the thing that the you know with

the medicine that they need to be cured

and the medicine of arrogance and pride

you know the medicine is very bitter

medicine it's called humility and and

Submission and and I think what's

happened to a Muslim world that became

very arrogant and very prideful we have

really been humiliated and if we don't

learn this lesson but have you that's

what my question is I'm asking is there

you you see that we are notice have been

rubbed into the grammar and I don't

think we've learned the lesson yeah

that's what that's what I'm saying but

okay but the wonderful thing about life

is it keeps teaching you to say

lesson over and over again unlike school

here where you can keep graduating on

without having learned anything in the

previous year they'll put you to the

next year that doesn't happen in life

life will just keep giving you the same

lesson over and over again and you get

your diploma when you get the point

right and and we haven't gotten the

point because Muslims still think

somehow that I even hate my BA it gives

you some exalted position by the mere

fact that you state that well if that

was true then the hypocrites would

certainly not be in the lowest portion

of hell because they say that too so

Laila him Allah really on the saying

that saying it has no you know no

meaning unless it's emanating from the

knowledge or any bonusing and if it

emanates from the heart it manifests on

the limbs and if it manifests on the

limbs you have a human being that's

called a Muslim and if it's not you have

somebody that the Quran clearly defines

as a hypocrite I'm gonna have somebody

that in fact the way the Quran

articulates is your hide your own allahu

and levena amma no one not only in that

bosom they attempt and it's Mahad in the

Arabic language is an attempt they

attempt to fool Allah and those who

believe and they only succeed in fooling

themselves and there's another version

which is the washed version which says

while my you had your own event for some

and they only attempt to fool themselves

in other words that self delusion

ultimately yeah you can be self diluted

but ultimately you know in reality what

the truth is so then you notice to

summarize that what we are saying here

then is that the prevailing attitudes

within the Muslim communities that they

haven't really really come to grips with

the humiliating defeat and therefore

they will continue to and this is why we

go around Christian bashing which is a

very common Muslim activity you know to

feel good about ourselves and I point

out how horrific the Christians are I

know isn't that there is a change I mean

what is happening though what do you

think let's let's examine that why is it


meanwhile they say the best definition

of do you have the lashavia or they say

the best definition of madness is to do

the same thing over and over again and

expect different results yeah so I think

in one sense we've been afflicted with a

type of madness and unfortunately

post-traumatic stress syndrome is you

know it has deep repercussions and and I

think the Muslim Ummah as a body is

suffering from post-traumatic stress

yeah but then what are the remedies do

we where is the CPR I mean is now

talking about where is the CPR well many

doctors and nurses for that this is a

good point because I think part of our

struggle is the fact that we do not have

anymore institutions that are producing

human beings of a brilliant intellectual

caliber and a spiritual depth that can

not only diagnose but also treat the

patient and traditionally this has been

the realm of the you know the the UNA

muhammadun who are called the Elia the

people that are close to to God in their

knowledge and in their action and those

people traditionally have guided the

Muslims through their devastating

periods of time well you can see quite

literally that in and I don't like to

get into colonial bashing because I

think it's a real dead end for the

Muslims victimization is a dead-end road

but nonetheless there are some important

features that need to be looked at and

one of them is the fact that our our

libraries our scholars are you know

kanakas and and madrasahs and tech aids

and all these places where there was

spiritual preparation intellectual

preparation of the Muslims they were

literally shut down and not only that

but the government's that were created

and social reform in in Syria is a good

book to look at talks about this the

government's that were created were

created by the colonialist and this is

the fifth column which ultimately I've

never seen historically and historians

would obviously verify this or negate it

but I personally have not seen

historically where there was a

conquering of a people without that

fifth column element and this is why the

Quran says home that I do follow

MacArthur home a lot that the hypocrites

they are the true enemy

and may Allah destroy them because these

are the people that have been complicit

with the the colonial enterprise and the

neo-colonial and we can only say why say

neo-colonial because as far as I'm

concerned colonialism's never ended it's

just changed form because you know the

chameleon-like nature of the West is one

of this most extraordinary features that

it's able to change its its its former

location and this is what media and

television is all about yeah well that

is now cultural imperialism we will come

to that but then what you're again

pointing out is that we are indeed in a

double jeopardy if I might put one but

one is one is that we feel that there is

a conspiracy that the rest has on one

hand on the other hand we do not seem to

acknowledge that we are no more the

power and we are nothing in terms of

amounting to anything we're a scheme of

things right well neither was the

prophets of Medina in the seventh

century you shouldn't forget that no and

the Quran very clearly says come and

Fiat an idea a lot about fear I think at

the beginning that how many times have a

small faction defeated a great factor by

the permission of God and so we have you

know the Muslims that they're obeying

their teachings and practicing then they

have a permission to have an authority

which is very powerful we shouldn't

underestimate it you know but I think

it's you know it's a good point that

that if you if you look you know what

why isn't anything happening and I think

part of it is the fact that that if you

look at the disease what I feel the

greatest articulation of it from the

from the Islamic perspective is the word

itself which is used to designate

everything that is against Islam and

that is Julia and Julia is a word that

in its root meaning means ignorance and

this is the whole argument of Islam that

you you reject the truth out of

ignorance that you only do things that

are bad out of ignorance and this is

Socratic teaching as well I mean even

the Europeans have this idea that that

you know that people don't do bad things

if they really knew

what they were doing and this is part of

what Islam does is it is is ill you know

or what God does through Islam is

listening to open the eyes of people to

let them see and one of my favorite

things that's happened in recent popular

cultures this Kathie Lee Gifford

incident and there was a wonderful

picture of her in Newsweek that

obviously got out some television

broadcasting which is where she's got

this horrified look like you know a

shocked look when she finds out that

she's been supporting a child labor this

whole country is supporting child labor

the clothes were wearing our supporting

child labor the tennis shoes that we jog

in are supporting child labor the soccer

balls the baseball bats that we hit our

baseballs with I mean the whole thing is

supporting child labor don't blame

Kathie Gifford blame the whole country

you see and this is what people don't

want to deal with is that no we have to

look deeply at what's going on what

children and this is this what you're

saying that I mean at the example that

you've used is is is of how should I say

of abusing people or of abusing people

to to create the to support the

consumerism or what-have-you but getting

away from from the people that brings us

to the issue justice and economic

justice and the Quran we'll get into

that but let us talk a little bit too

now of why is it that looking at all of

the the Muslim countries 50 and odd 55

56 I don't know what whatever then I

whatever the number is they've grown is

there still isn't either an awareness

one or acknowledgment or formulation of

some kind of vision or strategy what is

our world view now well this is part of

the crises again I mean we're we're an

Ummah in search of a world view one of

the things that David shidduch in his

vision and the vision of the song

wonderful book this is one of the things

that he puts forward is that the Muslims

have lost sight of a Quranic world

you you know the veldt and shown the

relevance of what you know it's not this

what guy eaten in the Islamic destiny

man calls a Boy Scout religion this is

what we've been reduced to thinking that

Islam is it is going around doing good

deeds no it has a way of viewing the

world of vision and if you don't have

the vision of Islam no matter how

sincere your efforts are you're not

going to be anything other than a

glorified Mormon or a glorified you know

Jehovah's Witness or somebody who's out

because they're doing good deeds I mean

that doesn't the the moral element of

Islam is not what makes us unique as a

community because every community has a

moral element no it's it's the vision

it's what the tradition was called the

Arpita it was the understanding that

islam imparted to human beings which

enabled not only the morality to

function but also for there to be an

absolute clarification of what exactly

morality is because there's a great deal

of confusion in our modern world for

instance but that is confusion within

the muslims to loot li because we don't

have this thing anymore

no you're asking not only that but the

thing that that is interesting now is

that there are muslims and they are

pious Muslims wonderfully powerful if I

absolutely but then if you look at that

if you look at the whole world of Islam

at present these Muslims which who are

pious some of them very few of them are

also actively engaged in a social

emancipation right so all just the rest

of the rest of them well this is the

separation of Deen from Milda because

this LOM has these two concepts it has

the personal which is deemed this is our

relationship with God but also has the

Milda which is the collective group of

what our goal is as a collective body

and the goal of the collective body is

the establishment of social justice

right which is called Sharia the sacred

law now one of the things that you I

want you to answer a little this is

importantly we get back to this colonial

idea the Quran very clearly says then

total Bank of you who do what and asada

had to get me little home

the Jewish a tradition and the Christian

tradition which is not religious it's

the social phenomenon which I now think

is European and America this is the

judeo-christian phenomenon they will not

be content until you follow their Minda

now in the Quran does not say Dean which

is their personal piety or their

personal transactions with God no it

says their Nilla and how they function

up a collective body now the dominant

milla of our of our modernist condition

is the consumer society this is the idol

of the age consumption that we were born

to create to consume now first of all

two interesting things to note one is

the consumer in Old English means the

devil and the Quran says in animal but

didn't wanna shell thing the those who

are equipped to ously extravagant all

the companions or the or the brothers

the Brethren of the say a teen in the

champagne who are you know this perverse

element in human society and in the

human heart which is calling people to

lower functions and so that the idea of

the consumption now it is being

presented to the world as innovation

human as salvation that you will be

happy through buying that you will be

happy if you will have all those goods

that are going to make you happy this is

the constant message of the television

the constant message of media the

message of government's more it will

just make more schools if we can just

put more computers in the school if we

can just have more prisons there'll be

less crime so everything is more that

I'm not cynical either part of

capitalism absolutely well yeah at this

last stage is the epic but what Islam is

saying is no by having less you have

more by diminishing your exterior wants

and increasing your interior wants

because we have interior and exterior

wants our interior wants are not the

same because if I'm coal is my body that

shivering is not my soul and and I can

deal with that I just put a blanket on

and and I can resolve that crisis but if

my soul is shivering then what do I use

to cover up that well you can attempt to

put a blanket which is what consumerism

is you see no no vibe and the blank

doesn't work well here--here's

new and improved right this is what they

love to use in their commercials the new

and improved blanket this will really

make you warm or this new car which you

get this new stereo this new television

it just keeps going and going and going

and in the end this human being is left

consumed because the consumer is

ultimately consumed because life

consumes us