ISNA 2001 – Strength in Diversity
Takbir So where do we move from Turkey the seat of the Ottoman Empire gone Arabic on made an attempt to create a new identity a new entity a few years ago when the Secretary of State madam Albright invited some of us the Muslim leaders here and she was giving us an overview of the countries that she had visited and she said that I talked through this and that and these heads of the deposit account Rees I said madam when you met the Prime Minister of Turkey the president of Turkey what did you tell her tell him you are giving these people arms you are giving them ammunition you are giving them support you are giving them aid making them stronger and stronger in their operation but we would like you to know that America is now having in its midst a powerful vibrant Islamic community when you meet these heads of these dictators these potentates talk to them on our behalf on behalf of the new America tell them that they cannot succeed they cannot bring prosperity they cannot bring welfare to their people until they introduce true democracy tell them in America we have prayed we have broken our fast in the White House we have regular prayers Friday prayers and other prayers in the Capitol Hill tell them that see rajma Hajj began the Senate's proceedings with the recitation of the Quran and it did not in any way detract from the democracy from the secularism of America convey you to them tell them in America we have promoted hijab for Muslims Muslims are free to use their hijab our daughters our sisters our wives in America they have prestigious positions it does not affect their professionalism it does not affect their role in public places if they are wearing hijab why would our daughter Mara Wacka Wacka chief who was overwhelmingly re-elected as the member of the Parliament after he why would the Turkish government feel threatened by that light scarf that she wears on her head our American leaders need to be educated so that they can educate in turn the dictators and the potentates and these autocrats and these military rulers in the Muslim world so that's why I will have to move to Mauritania now
How do I go to Mauritania. so it reminds me of Mauritania that bailout country it is a monolithic country it has preserved the Islamic traditions Islamic conventions in its pure and pristine form it was in Mauritania that our Sheikh Hamza was groomed to be a Shaykh for America.
So we will request brother Hamza Yusuf to address and tell us how diversity could be a strong can America as it is in Mauritania
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf>
Bismillah Ar-rahman rahim
I thought I would never hear that. I'm really happy to hear that
I'm inspired by the presence of some of the people in this room because I don't think all of us realize the courage that we're witnessing because I think it's very easy for us to see somebody being honored with an award. but it's often difficult for us to recognize that for the few awards that he has been given he has been slandered his character because the tyrants of the world know that if you don't assassinate a person then you assassinate their character.
and I think that we're witnessing a recognition of a global struggle which is nothing less than the desire for individuals for communities and for countries to live how they wish to live by the commandments of allah subhana wa ta'ala
the vast majority of Muslims in the Muslim world and we know this for a fact the vast majority of Muslims in the Muslim world desire to live according to Islam but they have been prevented from realizing that both at the Democratic ballot and under the tyrannies that have never allowed the ballots to be used turkey is a country and when I heard that song and I'm gonna be I you know they say the prophets Eliza Naumann it's a true hadith men can human of Allah we do man al-fatiha Colorado Leo smooth but I just want to say if you want an anthem and I told professor Arabic on we need some Ottoman military music because that will put you to sleep we want to wake people up we want to call them to the truth and the truth is struggle and when I sit in the presence because sister Merv is what lie she's one of my heroes because I believe that this woman represents the essence of the struggle of truth against falsehood somebody who stood up for her beliefs and suffered for that was humiliated in the eyes of the people of the dunya and chased out by people who claim to be adherence to a democratic society when even their masters who taught them democracy would not do the same thing in their own Parliament's but this is the danger of pale imitation because the imitator never does justice to the one he is imitating he becomes a caricature he becomes a joke but I'm inspired by these people by the Ottoman people because the ottoman dynasty and the Sultanate of the Ottoman Empire is the longest in our history and I'm not talking about Muslim history I'm talking about the history of human civilizations and despite the fact that there were many egregious errors that the Ottomans unfortunately fell into nonetheless if we look at the Ottoman Empire in its glory days we see something that is extraordinary something that it should inspire each of you to know that you come from an Ummah of a people whose building standards were so great that in the earthquake one of the biggest earthquakes of modern history what was that standing the Ottoman buildings because they were built by people who believed that civilization is the service of humanity they were built with standards with codes and those codes were checked by the people of his power the people of his power the people who assure that the rights of the population are being served because the government in every time in place with the exception of the prophets is a necessary evil it has never been anything other than a necessary evil and if you think otherwise you know nothing of the Tariq of the history of humanity government is a necessary evil it was called so by the founding fathers of the United States of America the father of this country said that the that government governs best which governs least this was the belief of the Americans they saw government as a necessary evil our scholars have always seen government as a necessary evil at best its benign and at worst it's a tyrant that will terrorize people causing them to live in in the worst forms of terror and we as a Muslim community have been commanded by Allah subhana WA Ta'ala to rise up and to speak the truth in face of tyranny and this is the greatest jihad the greatest jihad is not to cut off a man's head the greatest jihad is to speak the truth in the presence of unjust government this is the jihad of the Muslims it is to stand in the face of unjust government and to speak the truth and this is our destiny this is our divine destiny as a community we are people that have to stand for justice allah subhana wa tada says be Shahada kunos Shahada and an s be Shahada and in this allah says bill peace with justice one oh and on facecum even if it's against your own selves this is the essence of this teaching to say that even if you have to speak the truth against yourselves and we're forced to do that in these days because we reject the tyrannies of the vast majority of the Muslim world we reject these government's we don't see them as reputationally governments we see them as travesties of Justice there are travesties of justice pale imitations of the worst aspects of the West not the best and we in America at the it's time have the ability to speak and therefore we have to speak we have to recognize that we have to be courageous like the courage of these people and I'm in front of these are the examples in a just world a woman like Mert would be a role model for our women not prostitutes pornography Britney Spears every woman in America is walking around with her belly button exposed they weren't doing it last year or the year before really why are they doing this because they've been brainwashed to accept the most vile elements of society as role models and examples this country is in a very very dangerous point in its history they're facing economic collapse and don't think that this economic bust is because a few people misgauged there are people all over the world making duaa that this country collapses there are people in Palestine right now making prayer that this country suffers just as they have suffered at the hands of a government supported by this country with the tax dollars of the American people the vast majority of whom who have been put to sleep by rock music by movies with anti-heroes not with heroes with anti-heroes this is the reality of the time we're living in we have to warn these people and we have to give them good news bashira give them good news but also give them the in thought because the profits Allah Almighty sent him is Bashir and when alia and Vania de Asad he is a giver of good news and he is a Warner we have to warn ourselves we have to recognize that the yuzuriha system that has taken over the entire globe must be condemned just as it was condemned by st. Augustine by Aristotle by st. Thomas Aquinas by all of their great philosophers and even by their modern economist John Maynard Keynes all of their intellects have condemned usury even their poets like Shakespeare condemned usury in the Merchant of Venice we have to remind them of this fact we have to remind them that if they continue in this way they will destroy what is good in their country and there is much good in this country that's a hustle necess yeah home alarm Hana without it says do not shortchange people do not give people their full measure there is much good in this country but there's also much ignorance and there's also much wrong we should recognize the good commend them for what they do right but also recognize the wrong and edify these people that nominate them to what is wrong with their society so that they can wake up we have a glorious past we're an unemployed civilization an unemployed civilization if you come to and you want a job and you're unemployed you don't tell them I'm unemployed you till you show them your CV curriculum vitae or whatever they call it you show them what you did in the past I used to be the director of this Bank I used to be this I used to be that that's how you get your job the Muslims are unemployed now and we have the greatest civilizational cv cv civilizational vita the greatest civilizations that existed the balls that the Ottomans ate from in their houses are sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars in Sotheby's the bowls that those people ate from the rugs that they they sat on really the bowls that these people ate from are now sold for tens of thousand of dollars because they reach the pinnacles of civilization but just like everything reaches its pinnacle it must come down because of the prophets allah almighty said who had a beautiful horse camel who used to defeat all the camels and one day it lost and the Sahaba were very Grievous about this and the prophets Elias Adam said nothing in this world is raised up except that Allah has to have a sit even the camel of the best of creation this is the nature of life its ups and downs the Muslims are in it down but I want to do now a few things because I really I want to get a message that I think is absolutely essential and and I'm not going to take a lot of time because a lot of time has already transpired one of the greatest historians of the 20th century was Arnold Toynbee he was an English historian who believed that the essence of civilization was spiritual that it was the spirit of a people that created civilization in a book that he entitled civilization on trial he has a chapter called Islam the West and the future written in 1947 published in 1948 he talks a lot about the Turkish people but I want to focus on three things the first thing that he talks about as he divides reaction to conquest into two Herodians and zealots that there are people here OD ins like Mehmet Ali who want to take on the West embody them selim ii of the ottoman empire was like this and the worst form of it was Ataturk these people are people that want to take on the form of the Conqueror the second group of the zealots the zealots are people he uses the example of Imam Sanusi in the Libyan desert or the Wahhabis in the Arabian desert and he says that the zealot is a reactionary he's attempting to deal with a complete loss of his his foundation he's in a crisis both psychological and sociological and so his attempt at dealing with this is to lash out he said that history shows that these people are squelched and used these squats more forcefully by the Herodians and mentions that Muhammad Ali's first act once he modernized his army was to go and destroy the Wahhabi army in the Hejaz so this is the tension that exists in the Ummah is between Herodians and zealots now if I was to put myself in a category of those two I think there's a third choice but if I had to pull I would say I have the heart of a zealot but the head of a Herodian because the Muslim is intelligent the Muslims not a fool he uses his intellect she uses her intellect we have to understand that time we're living in the nature of the time and how we respond to that time instead of being reactionaries we have to act in the best and most appropriate way and this takes deliberation and this is why there's two qualities that allah subhan allah tala loves and one of them is two ND which is deliberation Allah loves deliberation that you reflect before you act what the shoe have also called nother animal ants looking at the long distance the long-range effects of your actions not the short range the Muslims have for too long been looking at the short range of their effects they haven't been looking at the long range our long-term strategy now one of the things that he says and I want to read this because I think it's such a profound analysis he said that in the present encounter between Islam and the West maybe expected to have on the future of mankind we may ignore both the Islamic zealot and the Islamic Herodian insofar as they carry their respective reactions through to such measure of success as is open to them for their utmost possible success is the negative achievement of material survival that's the utmost of their success the rare zealot who escapes extermination becomes the fossil of a civilization which is extinct as a living force the rather less infrequent Herodian who escaped submergence becomes a mimic of the living civilization to which he assimilates himself less than 300 years ago the ruler of Germany had his state portrait done in Ottoman dress with a turban and an ottoman robe the ruler of Germany why did he do that he did it for the same reason that our pathetic caricatures in the Muslim lands have their state portraits done if they have good taste in a suit from Savile Row and if they have bad days in a suit that looks like they bought it from some mafioso really like they ask somebody to go and find in New Jersey I'm sorry for the people of New Jersey but somebody down in in New Jersey to find some Mafia leader and get a suit for him that's what they look like they look like mafioso but the the German ruler had his national portrait and we have it it's a historical document wearing a turban and a Ottoman robe why because he was in awe of the Muslims in the same way that these pathetic mimickers are in awe of their Western leaders now the next thing after he says that and this is where I think it's very important he says what does Islam have to offer to this new civilization emerging the first thing that he says now listen very carefully please he says too conspicuous sources of danger one psychological and the other material in the present relations of this cosmopolitan proletariat with the dominant element in our modern Western society our race consciousness and alcohol intoxication his day they didn't have the the mass problems of cocaine and heroin and all these other ailments and in the struggle with each of these evils the Islamic spirit has a service to render to the West which might prove if it were accepted to be of high moral and social value the extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding moral achievements of Islam and in the contemporary world there is as it happens a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue wish I do ma sha da da Dada oh really I mean this is an extraordinary testimony this man is a historian who knows history and knows that no other civilization on the face of the earth I was my ancestors were in Greece I had on one side because I'm Scottish on one side I'm Greek on one side on my Greek side I had Greek aunts that used to tell me that the Turks were the most evil people on the earth well I they used to my aunt you know poor I mean she was a wonderful lady but you mentioned Turks and she would go on a tirade about the Turk they don't realize that the entire Greek culture is Turkish they have they caught baklawa right really they have moussaka the Greek they say this is moussaka this is our dolmas right it's all Greek their dancing is Turkish their food is Turkish they have worry beads our beads are to remove worry they use them to worry they have worry beads they got those because the the Turks did a lot of Vika that's all from the Turk the whole and when I realized that I said my god how can we cut consider they gave us our whole culture really so I remember our last word when I think of that what Corona Mottola Ali Khan is contem adder and Elif Abednego Rubicon what a Spartan Bonetti he iguana think about that reflect on that this was a according to my family these people were enemies of the Greeks and now there are my beloved brothers and sisters in Islam and this is the power of Islam to remove these things from the heart to remove them from the heart to bind the hearts of the believers and this is what we can offer to the West because race consciousness is one of the most frightening underlying elements of this culture we have serious raised consciousness in this culture and unfortunately many Muslims have brought some of this with them not from Islam but from the janilla of their cultures the other thing that he talks about is alcohol as for the evil of alcohol it is at its worst among primitive populations which have been opened up by Western Hemisphere and though the more enlightened part of Western public opinion has long been conscious of this evil and has exerted itself to combat it its power of effective action is rather narrowly limited so what's he saying the Muslims succeeded in doing it in other words he's saying we couldn't do it in the West how did the Muslims do it by belief in allah subhanho wa taala so he must be telling us to convert to Islam these he's dynast we need to convert to Islam now I just want to finish this with his last statement now listen to this please I really this is so amazing he said when art when Ataturk Kemal editor in 1922 finding the resuscitated Khalifa incompatible with their own radically Herodian political ideas first committed the historical solecism of equating the caliphate with spiritual as opposed to temporal power this is the flaw of the West they think that the spiritual has no business being in the temporal the temporal can't exist without the spiritual you'll destroy yourself just like this country is destroying itself you need the spirit so what does he say he said the Muslims who were distressed by this had a historic conference in Cairo in 1926 to see if they could restore the caliphate and he said anyone who examines the records of this conference which he did will carry away the conviction that the Caliphate is dead and that this is so because pan-islamism is dormant now this is a historian talking he did not say pan-islamism is dead he said pan-islamism is dormant and dormant in the english language means asleep and like a brother said the horse sleeps standing up and fish sleep with their eyes open so you can be walking around with your eyes wide open and be fast asleep pan-islamism is dormant yet we have to reckon with the possibility that the sleeper may awake if ever the cosmopolitan proletariat of a westernized world this is 1947 he's seeing the westernization as a historian looking at the far-reaching effects of this and he says if the westernized world revolts against Western domination and cries out for anti-western leadership that call might having calculable psychological effects in a vocal the militant spirit of Islam even if it had slumbered as long as the Seven Sleepers because it might awaken the echoes of a heroic age on to historic okay this is a historian on to historical occasions in the past Islam has been the sign in which an oriental society has risen up victoriously against the Occidental intruder under the first successors of the prophets Allah la diosa damn Islam liberated Syria and Egypt from a Hellenic domination which had weighed on them for nearly a thousand years under Zanghi and Nora Dean and salahuddin and the Mamluks Islam held the fort against the assaults of the Crusaders and the Mongols if the present situation of mankind were to precipitate a race war Islam might be moved to play her historic role once again Aslam might be moved to play her historic role once again if we reflect on the heroic age of the past then we should be inspired by the people of the past because like the American poet said lives of great men remind us that we can make our lives sublime and departing leave behind us footprints on the sands of time footprints on the sands of time footprints that perhaps another sailing or life's forlorn Maina Forsaken and shipwrecked brother seeing shall take heart again let us then be up and doing with a heart for any fate still achieving still pursuing learn to labor and to wait lives of great men should remind us and great women that we too can be great we have the potential in this room we have the potential in this country and we have the potential on this planet but we have to wake up to our historical reality to the position that Allah has placed us in as lights and guides for humanity and not as reactionary retroactive retrograde people that have nothing to offer civilization we have everything to offer them and in closing because in closing I want to mention the great more Italian scholar because I was introduced by mentioning mauritania mauritania is a great country it's a great country it says it's a simple country but it's a great country and they are people that have a beautiful Islam the great shaykh abdullah bin VII who has come to these shores and and enlightened us and given us knowledge that we didn't have before for all of us says in a book about they hid the future of our culture he says in nasa takuna Fischetti RT touch near to Pia Mia Wafaa by IDIA p.m. at the Sam of he would Anthony with Sherawat Irish with Olson well Rohan eeeh well whack tower time to defeat our Earth orbit that our Sharia will reveal the values and virtues that we possess the virtue of tolerance of justice of mutual consultation of mutual living together of unification of spirituality of unity of ranks and pluralism with the frame of our firmly rooted principles this is a pluralism that will be revealed in the flexibility of our jurisprudence and the vastness of the horizon of the Islamic sharia and the variations of our understanding of the Book of Allah and the vastness of all of the proofs that Allah has given us in the light of the time we live on Rita Katie McCoy written here bataki - because it will realize a statement that is without a doubt a truth in NASH areata fatiha Tony coolies a man and wama can this sacred law that was given to us by the law giver the creator of the heavens and the earth of a moral universe this law is sound for every time and place if it's understood in every time and place with Attica beat us lethally she had an erupting motor while Savannah's immanuel been a shariati no Susan were mikaze the Isola baccala Rida and that is by connecting between the time we live in and our sacred law in the text in the intentions in the O soul in the in the methodology and in the principles in the-- rockin Minmatar Ain an economist la coming from to room two positions the intellect and benefit because this is the whole point of the Sharia and anyone who doesn't understand this does not understand the Sharia even a majority mala said a Sharia to Kuno ha rahmatan Varun warmest Lawton what I all of the Sharia is Rama its mercy its justice its benefit for humankind all of the Sharia and he said anything that does not have Brahma in it that did not have justice in it that does not have benefit in it is not from the Sharia of Allah subhana WA Ta'ala and then he said and this is done with three things that we have to understand what is necessary what is needful and what ornaments our lives based on five principles removing doubt for certainty using the understanding of the time we live in removing harm and the necessities of human beings find themselves in removing the difficulties and making ease instead of difficulty this is what we have to do we have to make things easy for people at achieve cynical or ahead everybody can be hard the fappy is the one who people Roxanna and Peppa it's taking ease from a trustworthy source and I won't say an ease that leads us to a liberalism and I see the brothers standing telling me to get down sit down and stop talking so I'm gonna do that in honor of our guests and also out they allow out they are alone in a MIDI Minko how to sing it shed even a debate suit that I am the 2-minute 4-h the Imams are from a car from a quarry and he's a Kashmiri and you don't want to mess with Kashmir don't mess with Kashmir and don't messwith Afghanistan they say here don'tmess with Texas they haven't met the adonys yet they haven't met the Pitons they haven't met them reeling but the British met them and the British said how can we fight a people they see the gates of paradise in the barrels of our guns let us see the gates of paradise in the barrels of their guns speak the truth wherever you are and free Jimmy that I mean Apple Ohio code which is our Kamala Farah you