<Greetings in Arabic>
<Basmallah in Arabic>
<Salaat un Nabi in Arabic>I feel inordinately honored, to introduce to you tonight, my teacher, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
I think, for most of you, Shaykh HAMZA YUSUF needs really no introduction, but for a few of us, who need such an intro, I’ll go ahead and say a few things about him.
SHAYKH HAMZA YUSUF was born in Wala-Wala in
He was raised in the Greek Catholic tradition…and at the age, in his late teens, he reverted to Islam.
In his pursuit of his passion for, classical Islamic thought, SHAYKH HAMZA YUSUF traveled widely in the heartland of Islam.
And he studied in
SHAYKH HAMZA YUSUF is presently the Imam of
Masjid ul Noor in
And he’s fast becoming one of the most sought
after speakers. not only in the
We’re very happy to have him here and we’re pleased to pay attention to what he has to say to us tonight, regarding the subject of education and our children. Thank you very much, Asalamualaikum.
SHAYKH HAMZA Yusuf>:
<Basmallah in Arabic>
<Salaat un Nabi in Arabic>
I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad, Salallawalasalam is his last and final messenger.
What I’d initially like to start out is just to say what I would like to do, and also to indicate that really, my talk is a, a prelude to Muhammad Shareef’s talk, which will focus essentially on the West African intellectual tradition.
Which is an extremely important tradition, in terms of education and understanding the relevancy of that tradition in terms of modern. In the light of modern education and what it has done to our children.
What I would like to say for people, and I know the vast majority of people here, follow the Islamic tradition, I would like to say, I think that the topic that I’m talking about …ah..is…concerns individuals irrespective of their tradition, and it certainly concerns anyone who has children, and who has a concern about children. Which I hope that is the vast majority of people in this country and around the world.
Ah, the topic itself is titled “Lambs to the Slaughter”, and the reason that I chose that topic, is because, in many ways, I feel that children truly are, in a sense, lambs headed for a wretched massacre of the light that resides in them.
Ah…it is, a…divine light, and I believe whole heartedly that the child is a, uh, receptacle of this divine light, the purity and the innocence that resides in children is something ah..to be really, awe inspiring if one reflects on the nature, or our children and yet we become acutely aware of transformations that occur.
In other words, what is it that takes a child from such an early age, of..bright, full of life in love, and ah,… can end up in such a tragic condition.
And what we’re noticing increasingly, in in modern civilization, is the age of the, what I would term the race of innocence, is increasingly being lowered.
In other words, year by year, we’re seeing a type of degradation that’s occurring, concerning our children, and and they’re losing their innocence much earlier, then at previous historical periods.
And that is certainly true in the Islamic world, ah, that children traditionally were ah…, protected and guarded. And seen literally as, in what is termed in the Quran, an Amana, or a trust, that is given to the uh… Parents, and to the society as a whole.
Ah…, my talk, uh…, the reason that I put this up, was to create a mood. Because I feel in many ways, unlike an intellect filled with knowledge and light, this is basically, ah…, what the modern creation, ah…, this monster, that ah…television and modern education have so successfully created, is basically a…, something that is filled with pop tunes, with pop culture, with, ah…, slogans, and ah, … they’re increasingly perfecting their techniques at how to anchor those slogans in the subconscious of human beings, and this is what this ad is. This actually comes out of a magazine, that is not for popular consumption, uh…you cannot actually buy it from a local store, ah, you could probably get it at a good library, but it’s actually a magazine that is done for people working directly in the advertising community. And if you’ll note that basically the pitch is, if you use country music, which is the fastest growing genre of music in the US, ah, for your jingles, then this a way of anchoring brand names, anchoring commercial slogans into the subconscious of the individuals that happen to be exposed to those jingles.
And It's been noted that between the ages of 3 and 18, children will witness over 500K commercials. 500k commercials…this is basically, really the, the values that are being transmitted to the youth, are being transmitted through the commercials. And the commercials actually have been analyzed wonderfully by brilliant uhmm…ah, analysts, that are very clever in their dissection of the meanings and encodings and the signifying aspects of all of this madness. And most of them are actually quite frightened by it, and that’s why they got into the field that they did. And, The interesting thing about one of the books that I read on advertising, is that it actually said, uhmm…that in the end, the consumer…becomes the consumed.
And this is exactly what this ad
what is being sold here, is human beings. What is being sold
here, is the minds of individuals, All over the country. This is the product, this is the commodity
that this magazine is selling. It is
selling a way to invade…the human brain, and anchor a product in the brain so
that that individual, when they’re walking in a store, somehow will purchase
one type of product as opposed to another, in the cornucopia of products that
we have in the
And many other, the fascinating reading, if someone wants to read this, I would recommend it, because really, you will you will be taken into the minds of these people, which in many ways, is actually, for me, the reading, I interpret it to be quite sinister. Because these people are very clearly attempting to socially engineer the marketability of their products.
This…, schema here is basically, the theme of my talk , uhmm… and it’s taken from a Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad which is a tradition…sacred tradition from the Prophet Muhammad, which is not the Quran, but his oral tradition, and it says that every child is born on fitra, fitra in the Arab