Planning for Tommorow (Malaria Speech)

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Event Name: Planning for Tommorow (Malaria Speech)
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/26/2019 4:01:32 PM
Transcript Version: 2

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Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik ala sayyidina muhammad wa ala sayidina

Ramadan Mubarak.  when I was watching some of the footage there for some people when they watch these things especially people in the United States there's some of the young people here, they're very alien distant images but Imam Majid, myself Imams Zaid, people that have actually lived in these areas these are not foreign pictures their memories actually like

I was actually remembering places I'd lived in place it places I'd been Mali is particularly interesting for me because and I was telling...I don't really like to...

I had a very interesting youth after I became Muslim because one of the interesting things about converting to a religion with a lot of fervor is it it's it's almost like a temporary insanity that you go through because you are just so filled with this incredible in shock this expansion that occurs.  When I was in high school I was I was kind of a daredevil I used to do things that I think now I would consider completely insane but when I became Muslim one of the benefits of having a personality like that is that I would do things that I think more rational people would be hesitant to do and one of them was going to West Africa, With really little or no means and pretty much joining a bedouin tribe out there and drinking water that they drank without ever thinking about any bacteria.  I used to just say

Image result for bismillahi la yadurru ma'asmihi

Bismillahi La Ya Duru Ma Ismi Hi Shayoon Feel Earth, Wa La Fis Samaee Wa ho Was Samil Aleem 

And I was convinced that that was enough, which is why you need that hadith, you know "Tie Your Camel, and Trust in God."

So taking pills preventive pills is sometimes very useful thing to do but I didn't think like that at that time so when I was in Mali I got amoebic dysentery and I was with a man who lives in San Francisco he was an eyewitness to this named Hassan Barrett. Had it not been for him really, I was very fortunate that he was with me because I was in a place there weren't any hospitals.  There's no 911 you can't call an ambulance shows up and takes you and I was literally defecating blood.  Going into what I would now understand as a dehydrated state.  I couldn't even get up, I mean he had to clean me, He took care of me during that time that I was sick.  But I was very fortunate in that some French tourists happen to come in to town and he was telling them about what was going on with his travelling companion and they gave him Flagyl which is an antibiotic and it's specific to amoebic dysentery and literally, I believe it saved my life at the time, By Allah but it was it was serendipitous it was very fortunate that they were there, just some pills.  it's a very strange thing when you're sick and the truly some pills can you can be given pills and suddenly you're starting to feel better after a little time and you regain your health so these things when you watch these things they're very real. 

There was a man who a book called Guns Germs and something rather steel Guns Germs and Steel I think Jared Diamond's his name anyway he they did a documentary on that and he's a scientist that study disease and when he was in Africa he was in at one in West Africa sub-saharan Africa and he was in a malaria clinic and if anybody saw that documentary it's the most powerful moment I think in that entire documentary where he literally breaks down it starts crying I mean here's a PhD American scientist wrote a very callous book about the influence of Guns Germs and Steel on civilizations and and their rises and falls and there he was

confronted with the reality of a disease

right in front of him and seeing little

children that were dying from this

disease and he broke down he it had a

serious impact on him but I want also to

remind you of a few things as somebody

who lived in this area knew my magic and

say the same thing you can talk about

all the tragedies in in in West Africa

and in and you could talk about poverty

like they said well that Mali was one of

the poorest countries in the world I

spent enough time in Mali to know that

Mali and Maya summation is one of the

richest countries in the world the

Malian people are an amazing people they

have beautiful social networks they have

a religious community they have their

wonderful generous people

the Bambaataa people the quality people

you go and sit with these people and

they don't need Prozac we've got dogs on

Prozac in America and you know things

are bad when the dog is depressed about

the house he's living in now seriously

we have dogs on Prozac there's bright

some veterinarians here that have

depressed dogs we have cats

America are depressed so when you talk

about impoverished countries and wealthy

countries that depends on what standard

you're using to determine what is

poverty and what is wealth if you're

talking about material wealth Molly's

definitely one of the poorest countries

outwardly but it's also one of the

richest countries in the world in terms

of Natural Resources uranium deposits in

Nigeria and Mali a lot of this stuff we

don't even know what's going on there

because nefarious things happen behind

the scenes much of the problem in these

countries doesn't have to do with

poverty it doesn't have to do with

inability or lack of human resources or

all of the other things that are used in

criteria it gets reduced to one simple

major problem corruption morality basic

human ethics and this is a crises that

there's only two things that address

this crisis there's only two things one

is Fatah fitrah people that have an

access to their original nature and this

is why you'll meet people who are not

necessarily religious but they're

morally upright people because they're

connected to their Fatah but the other

thing that addresses this problem is

religion itself the beauty of Islam is

the religion of Lothrop that it

addresses human nature it recognizes our

weaknesses and addresses how to deal

with those weaknesses in the book of

allah subhana wa ta'ala and in the

sunnah of the prophet solomon anywhere

and we'll send them if you look now one

of the most interesting things that's

happening right now in our lifetime is

this sister

of grieve is collapsing people are

seeing where greed takes people where

the breakdown of community takes people

I want to use one example and after this

man I don't believe anybody can ever

take applause or award seriously and I I

love one of the aspects of Islam is that

it's a religion that warns you about

applause and Awards I love that aspect

of Islam Bernie Madoff Bernie Madoff in

in the hood they call him Bernie Madoff

that's what preacher Mazdas told me

Bernie Madoff Bernie Madoff between 1950

and 1970 to the United States spent 1.4

billion dollars on the eradication of

malaria 1.4 billion dollars that's about

two weeks of bernie madoffs bookkeeping

Bernie Madoff was stealing all of this

money from mostly Jewish investors that

trusted him got a trustworthy named head

of yeshivas Business School a Jewish

University a wall filled with plaques

attesting to his humanitarian impulses

because of the million dollars he gave

in donations but he was robbing these

people blind that's what he was doing he

was robbing these people blind when you

look Bernie Madoff is indicative of a

certain state of mind on Wall Street

make money at any cost not a cost to you

at a cost to others many of the people

that have looted the United States

government we're coming out of Ivy

League colleges with degrees attesting

to their intellectual abilities

degrees in business and they always had

a course in Yale or Harvard on business

ethics but all of that learning did not

benefit those people in their human

behavior this is the fundamental problem

then unless this is addressed nothing

else will change our work what motivates

you what makes you tick this is what our

prophet sala like I said I'm called Nia

what is your intention

what is your Nia what do you want when

you're doing something what's your

intention for fasting

what's your intention for giving money

once you begin to address the essence of

your own being you can begin to

understand who you are and that's why

self-knowledge is foundational in our

religion if you don't know who you are

you're certainly not going to know who's

you are so we all have to ask ourselves

we're living in a on a planet where the

two largest enterprises are armaments

and drugs these are the largest economic

enterprises taking the most vital

intellects the most amount of human

labor and activity is being funneled in

to war and drugs mostly illegal drugs to

numb people and op8 them from the pain

of living on a planet whose two major

priorities are building weapons and

selling them and making drugs and

pushing them that's what's going on so

if you want to ask who's happy and who's

sad I'll take a Malian happiness really

I'll take a Malian happiness anything

/ the scientists that are working out

better ways to kill people that live in

beautiful houses with their 401k plans

or what's left of them and I'm not I'm

not just saying this I'm telling you I

live this I lived with people who smile

it's just a natural thing for them to

smile because they're happy people they

just smile we're living in a country

where despite the fact that it has the

best dental health care in the world

people know aren't too generous with

their teeth when I try to talk to people

at stores because in the schaffen II

meant to have you're supposed to have a

human transaction and when you isn't a

transaction shouldn't just be commercial

you should have a human transaction when

I try to talk to people some people they

don't want to talk to you they just want

to move it along reduce everything to a

commercial transaction life is more than

just commercial transactions life is

about community it's about humanity it's

about sharing if you look at a child

those of you who have children I've only

got one who's very small now five but

I've had five children I've seen them

through these stages these children will

come in you've got to see this come here

quick and I'll jump up get excited run

out what what and it's some bug that

they'd never seen before look at that

now why does he have to share it with me

why can't he just enjoy the bug because

life is about sharing experiences are

enriched by sharing them with others and

that's what the fifth row knows that's

what a child knows and that's what too

many people have forgotten as they've

gotten older in an increasingly cynic

world and our religion is against

cynicism because one of our foundational

beliefs is that behind this universe is

a benevolent Lord we believe in a

benevolent Laurel you want to know about

a mosquito if this world had any

significant and I'm talking not about

the island because a lot of Muslims

don't differentiate between the world as

the theater of divine attributes where

God reveals himself to his creation I'm

not talking about the atom I'm talking

about dunya Hayatou dunya I'm talking

about the illusory and ephemeral nature

of the world the belief that were here

for permanent status the Quran condemns

the dunya but tells us to look at the

world to honor the world to care for the

world to protect the world but warns us

against dunya not the atom the prophets

allah allah allah allah wa sallam said

lo canada dunya terra delue in the law

he Jenna have Biola if this world had

the weight of a mosquitos wing with God

moussaka caviar on Shabbat imagine an

atheist would not get a drink of water

and atheist would not get a drink of

water if this world was equivalent to

the wing of a mosquito so when we talk

about who's suffering and who's not

suffering the prophet sallallaahu said

I'm said that fever was from a place in

Hell fever the prophets Elijah have said

removes wrong actions from the body and

I've been in very intense fever when I

lived in Mauritania remanent fever

this is just normal life getting a fever

every four days getting a fever every

three days every two days this is normal

life for many many people all of those

people that I lived with and I got

fevers I got chills night chills and I

know that mosquitoes do discriminate

somebody said they don't discourage I

know for a fact that they prefer white

meat over dark meat because I used to

wake up with red they were all over my

arm and the kids used to marvel cuz they

didn't show up red on their arms I look

like I had smallpox fever is a part of

life in this hadith and EEMA Majid

mentioned earlier about this in this

hadith method and me Nina

veto ID him what sorrow me him what a

low fee him commit analgesic the

likeness of the believers in their

mutual love of each other in their

mutual desire for mercy of showing mercy

for each other and in their mutual

empathy to alphaf is empathy

to be empathic to feel the pain of

another he said it is like the body it

is like the body the OMA is like a body

and then he said soul alight he sort of

either Stucker a lung tada anda ho it's

his language is so beautiful if one part

of the body begins to complain the rest

of the body calls each other

tada Allah who calls each other today I

know who calls each other

beside he with him with

insomnia and with fever the profits

Eliza was pointing to symptoms but

indicating what's really going on today

Ella who they respond with their immune

system the Sahara and the fever are only

active their that their symptoms of a

body responding to some harm this is

what our OMA is like and mantra no

liniment many Cala Bunyan the believer

to other believers is like a building

you shoot throughout the whole Baba in

another metaphor he said we're like a

building we support one another we have

problems all over this world these

problems aren't going to go away

overnight but we're here for a short

time to address these problems but

unless we address the fundamental

problems and I'm talking about the human

element in all of these things because

if you look at malaria today malaria was

a major problem here in Washington area

this was a major center of malaria in

the nineteenth century

Baltimore Philadelphia New York all had

major malarial problems half of Illinois

was infected with malaria fever in the

1860s according to their their own

studies at that time half of rural

Illinois was infected with malaria

malaria was widespread in the United

States Benjamin Rush one of the signers

of the Constitution of the Declaration

of Independence was a physician in

Massachusetts he was one of the most

staunch anti-slavery founders of this

country and wrote beautiful things he

actually went to one of the African

American churches in Boston supported

them in their efforts he felt that

ignoring the problem of racism was one

of the biggest mistakes that the

founders had done

Benjamin Rush said just as clearing a

land destroys it like when you go in and

cut everything down you destroy land

cultivating land and I mean by that and

he said draining it swamps burning its

brush removing its weeds taking away the

unwholesome effects of too much moisture

in the land makes it healthy renders the

land healthy

he said malaria will not be eradicated

until we cultivate the land land

cultivation this is why malaria no

longer exists in places like Italy where

the bona fication efforts in the 1920s

during the fascist government got rid of

malaria Sardinia a major center of

malaria England people don't realize

that England was once a major center of

malaria how was it treated raising the

standards of living cultivating the land

changing the landscape changing the

ecology so that the malaria bug could no

longer flourish in that type of

environment bringing in livestock

because certain malaria bugs will thrive

on livestock and they will actually

begin to outnumber the ones that thrive

on human blood these were the ways that

malaria disappeared from large segments

of the earth but in in the 20th century

especially after W