Reclaiming our Faith

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Event Name: Reclaiming our Faith
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/28/2019
Transcript Version: 1

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sha Allah Sheikh Hamza Yusuf will be

speaking about a number of topics that

were online on those a tuna website that

the the the people got to vote on on

what topic they wanted to hear and there

was an overwhelming response on all of

the topics and people were interested in

all the topics so in Java Sheikh Hamza

will give a brief overview of all those

topics sha Allah without further ado she

comes to us a Mithila cd-rom the the

topics that were put out on the internet

and people were asked to vote on them I

thought all of them were good and so I

thought I'd just talk a little bit about

each one because I think it relates to

the conference itself what we're going

to be talking about these theological

fault lines and a lot of the problems

that we're dealing with the first one

was about two Hadees in relationship to

the current global situation of Muslims

which the first one is be kind to

neighbors whoever believes then along

the last day let him not forget about

his neighbor honor his neighbor and then

the other one was whoever believes in

along the last day let him speak well or

be silent the Leopold higher on LDLs

mode and we know in a hadith the Prophet

Salah I said him said that gibreel would

come to him and keep telling him to be

mindful of the neighbor to the point

where the prophets Elijah him said I

thought he was going to have the

neighbor be included in the inheritance

laws so that they would actually inherit

from the wealth of the person

what's interesting about the Muslim

understanding about neighbors is that

this was never understood in the history

of Islam to exclude neighbors that were

not of your faith it always included

Jews Christians and any other peoples

that were your neighbors because the

neighbor has a right over you in fact in

the waha reMed hub which was practiced

in Andalusia for some time originally

from Iranian jurist in the vehement have

they considered it prohibited to go to

bed without checking if 40 neighbors

from each direction in your hai went to

bed satiated in other words they took

literally the hadith he does not believe

in Allah and the last day who goes to

bed satiated and his neighbor is hungry

as if it negated your faith that you

could go to bed neglecting your

neighbors so what do we make now of this

interdependent world where people the

Muslims are no longer at the gates of

Vienna they're inside treating the

patients of Vienna in their hospitals

what do we make of this new situation in

some ways it's not new and that's

important to remember that the this idea

somehow of a pluralistic world and a

multicultural world is new it is new in

the West because in the Western

tradition any type of difference was

very often crushed with impunity

difference of religion was not tolerated

until really after the Protestant

revolutions and Reformation that led to

these horrible religious wars led to the

Enlightenment and then finally to

accepting other Christian sects and to a

certain degree the Jewish people

but now we see in America that people of

various faiths

living side by side we for instance our

school right now

even though we've got a campus that is

going to go through a renovation but

right now we're teaching our students in

a Baptist Seminary

so we're Muslims renting from a Baptist

Seminary now granted these are Baptists

in Berkeley California so they're

probably a little more open-minded about

having Muslims teaching their theology

in their seminary but that that is the

fact of modern American society we have

mosques where parking lots are shared

with synagogues and with churches and it

works out perfect because we show up on

Friday they show up on Saturday and the

other show up on Sunday so they have

their problems on different days but

this is a reality of American society

the ancient Muslim world was very


it was very pluralistic there was

interaction with many different cultures

in fact it's arguable that the Muslims

were eventually conquered by the

European colonialists because they had

created a world in which the military

was becoming increasingly less important

there were so many good relations

between different countries that the

Muslims were trading with the Chinese

they were trading with the Hindus they

were trading with the Christians of

Central Asia this was the reality of the

Muslim world a highly multicultural

world and you can see it linguistically

and many of their statements but the

inculcation of love of the neighbor for

Belgium and this is one of the most

important commandments of Christianity

love your neighbor as yourself love God

with all of your heart and love your

neighbor as yourself this in reality

according to Martin Luther was a

reduction of the Ten Commandments to two


Commandments because if you look at the

Ten Commandments they can be summed up

in these two commandments love God with

all your heart so that would mean

honoring the Sabbath not taking his name

in vain do it and then love your

neighbor as yourself that would mean not

coveting his goods not coveting his wife

these things so that really sums up

Christianity Judaism can be summed up

according to Rabbi Gama one of the great

scholars again love your name love God

and then love your neighbor everything

else is just commentary Christian Islam

according to Fahad Dino Rossi can be

summed up in two statements are you bad

that a holic will hit metal Hulk

worshipping the creator and serving his

creation I'll help the first hadith that

is taught in the tradition of Maha

design is the muscle cell below alia in

which the prophets eliezer him said in

an unbroken chain that's taught to this

day as the first hadith given to a

haughty student Rahim Unni or Hama Hama

Rahman aha moments that are manfred arc

ER ham comb or your hammock own memphis

emma those who show mercy though on

those in the earth the merciful will

show mercy on those who show mercy on

those in the earth so the amount of

grace that you get from God is

commensurate with the amount of grace

that you show to allows creation that's

the first hadith based on the idea that

the Prophet was a rama a mercy to all

the worlds so that leads to the next

question which is how we deal with

extremists this was put on there and I

think a lot of people voted for this if

you look right now everything is being

brought up again the news is filled with

crazy Muslims the all the talking heads


Obama has just announced a major

outreach program to the Muslims the

Muslim community in the United States

hopefully not involving entrapment right

so a lot of Muslims when they hear these

things you know it's like the Native

Americans used to say white man speaks

with forked tongue now you can say I

don't know what we'd have to do now

because not just the whites are speaking

with forked tongues anymore fright

workout better just say that a lot of

people speak with forked tongues these

days so how do we deal with our

extremists first of all it's not on us

to deal with our extremists the vast

majority of Muslims are not obliged to

be dealing with extremists those who

deal with the extremists are to law

enforcement agencies if that extremism

involves violence whether it's in the

Muslim lands or and then or in the lands

of other than the Muslims although

according to one view anywhere where

Muslims are able to pray and fast and

practice their religion it's a land of

Islam and the Prophet said Jorun idiot

or do masti than what the hora the whole

world el árbol the whole world is a

place of worship for my community and he

said go where you want and wherever you

find good stay there so how do we deal

with the extremists the law enforcement

eel with those who are violent but not

through entrapment and other things we

we come from a system of law in the West

that does not believe in pre-emptive law

enforcement in the way that it has

become imagined today in fact Eisenhower

completely another mitai 's the idea of

pre-emptive war

and he actually said that this is a Nazi

idea it's it's not we don't have that in

our understanding of a just war the idea

of oh I'm a little worried about these

people and so let's go crush them before

they crush us and we have unfortunately

a best-selling author in the United

States New York Times bestseller that

argued for a pre-emptive nuclear strike

on Muslims and there was no uproar about

that if Muslims argued for a pre-emptive

nuclear strike on Europeans or Americans

what would people be saying about that

but we have somebody here who's arguing

for a preemptive strike that it might be

necessary that's at a certain point to

kill them before they kill us this is

the type of madness that we're doing

when I was asked to speak in in

Washington about extremism I said look

extremism as an as American as apple pie

this is one of the most extreme

societies on the planet I said no we're

in the Muslim world do you have water

drinking contests to see how much water

a person can drink they had a woman die

here in Southern California in a

water-drinking contest because you can

actually upset your your your

electrolyte balance and die but they

were let's see how many they had a

cockroach eating contest where a man

died after the cockroach eating contest

and the prize for the contest was a boa

constrictor and he ate the most and

somebody said he was the life of the


well he was the death of the after-party

because he literally died from eating so

many cockroaches we're in the Muslim

world are you gonna have a watermelon

eating contest where are you gonna have

a hot dog eating contest and yet you can

go on YouTube and I'm sure you'll find

hundreds of videos of people having hot

dog eating contest that is an extreme

form of behavior we have extreme sex in

this culture we have extreme music for

the first time you asked doctors

especially those who are in

nose and throat expertise about young

people losing their hearing because

they're listening to music at extreme

levels and then if you don't think we

have extreme violence just look at some

of the gun called culture the type of

gun power that people are obsessed with

they go out and shoot machine guns you

don't need a machine gun to kill a moose

people hunt fish they fish with with

dynamite just go drop the dynamite it

blows up and all the fishes come to the


that's one way of that's not the kind of

relaxed you know I mean I mentioned last

week I saw a Chinese man flying a

Chinese kite in San Francisco in the

park you know we have a lot of Chinese

in San Francisco they go out and they do

Tai Chi publicly and they do and he was

flying his kite and it was he was like

he was doing Tai Chi and I was just

watching him and then this man came from

the indigenous culture not the ancient

indigenous culture but the indigenous

call it took me a while to work out when

because I would hear my Muslim immigrant

friends say oh he was American it took

me a while to work out that meant white

that's like a code word for white I

didn't know that you know I said what do

you mean you're American yeah

citizenship I mean white that finally

came out so anyway this was this guy was

an American he's got his supersonic kite

that made a noise that literally he

almost had to plug your ears it was like

a drone striker of kites and he was

flying this kite around yeah

yeah and making it and there's a Chinese

man just flying his kite like a Tai Chi

master and I was thinking what a

juxtaposition of two cultures one that

inculcates quietude and stillness and

harmony and the other that is obsessed

with adrenaline rushes and I know ER

doctors that go skydiving on the weekend

because nothing beats splitting open the

sternum and doing a cardiac massage like

the only thing that'll even come close

to adrenaline rush like that is

skydiving on the weekend skydiving is an

extreme sport in fact I would argue that

anybody that sky dives if they're not in

the military is a stark raving lunatic

I would never jump out of a plane unless

I absolutely had to and you'd probably

have to push me out stay even if I had

to that is a crazy thing to do Muslims

respect life they don't risk their lives

unless they have to Mauritania think

you're you're a lunatic to swim in the


Mauritania live on the ocean they never

go swimming they think people that swim

in the ocean are mad because they know

what's in the ocean that you can't see

right and in this country after when I

was a kid they had a film called Jaws

nobody swam for months after that film

because they realized what was in the

ocean so extremism is a human problem

but when you have extreme conditions a

certain type of extremism emerges when

you have the type of imbalance that we

have in the world today you cannot be

surprised at violent responses to those

incredible conditions that people are

suffering under and I would argue that

the African American situation in this

country led to the type of violent

responses even though again if you

studied Cohen tell history you'll know

that a lot of this was entrapment also

but the militancy that emerged in the


was a result of extreme conditions and I

heard Brazil Brazil insky who was in

Carter's administration I heard him give

us talk about dealing with Muslim

extremism and he said if you do not deal

with the genuine grievances like the

grievances of the african-american

community in the 1960s if you don't deal

with those grievances then you cannot

expect the type of violent response to

stop you have to look at what is being


McChrystal one of these generals who was

in charge of the special forces in Iraq

said we have to understand why they're

fighting we want to pretend like this

false narrative that oh they just don't

like us they don't like our freedoms

okay well why aren't they

bombing Sweden Sweden's a more open

society than the United States I mean

the site this mythology that has been

created around these scenarios is just

unacceptable people deserve a better

understanding of the problem and if we

don't give them a better understanding

they won't be able to address the real

issues here the real problems the

Palestinian problem has to be addressed

you're looking at over 60 years of

madness in Palestine 60 years and even

going back further into the 1920s when

you had the the British Mandate and

bringing in a lot of the Jewish

immigration and there were if you go

back and read that early period it's a

very interesting history and I was

surprised to know that the one of the

first Zionist questions I read a book by

a Zionist who argued that one of the

first questions was that they would

succeed or fail on based on how they

treated the Arabs so the original

settlers in Israel were concerned about

that problem but it just became a

response that we see the results of it

today one of my Syrian friends said to

me why isn't anything

anybody doing anything about Syria and I

said to him well welcome to the club

that's what the Palestinians have been

saying for the last 70 years this is the

human condition people are overwhelmed

but if you don't address the real

problems I'm talking about the root

problems if you look at what we have is

an emergency when we have things like

Boston and these are emergency

situations in a medical system you have

the emergency room but you also have the

intensive care unit you have the other

units that take care of people of lesser

extremes and then you also should have

in place a preventive system of medicine

where you educate the people about

exercise about staying well health care

needs to be addressed from all of the