We need commodity backed currencies. We should be advocating this. We need economists that study our economics. And not this superficial economics that doesn't challenge the basic suppositions of this system, because Muslim economists now are talking about making halal transactions, that's band-aid, it's a start. Making these certain types of loans, mudaraba, muradaha. Mudaraba is makrooh in the Maliki madhab. It's not an ideal system, the mudaraba system. But making these loans is better than doing the other thing because everybody should have some risk involved.
Ribaa is the great sin in the Qur'an. “Fa'lanu harbin minallahi wa rasulihi,” Be declared war on you. The Prophet said, “ya'ti alan nas zaman, kulluhum ya'kulunariba,” all of them will be consuming interest, or usury. Now they say interest but it is usury. All of them will be eating usury, interest or usury, and then the sahaba said, kulluhum”? Because they knew the enormity of this sin. They said “kulluhum, ya rasulullah?” He said all of them. And he said, “wa man lam ya' kuluhu yusabu min ghubarihi,” and the one that doesn't consume it directly, will be covered in its dust. Sadaqa rasullullah. You have to see the prophecy in that. Sadaqa rasullulah. .
So the other thing that you can do, support your local economies, buy local. Support your local economies. We have farmer markets that are being revived in the United States, supporting small farmers. Getting out of the agro business. All of these diseases are coming from these agro businesses. You have to support your local farmers.
The other thing that is very important is to recognize the problem of food. We live in a completely unjust food system. In America because sugar can be produced much cheaper in places, they put all of these restrictions on the importation of sugar. And so Americans now are eating corn syrup produced in America and getting fat from this corn syrup. Because corn syrup is actually not a good source of sugar. That's an example. But I'll give you a worse example. The most important study that's been done on nutrition ever is the China Study by Doctor Campbell and his researchers. This was a first rate researcher from Princeton, teamed up with Oxford. He was a completely credible scientist, and pre-modern China, died of cancer of the bladder. Before he died, he set aside money to do a study of nutrition in China and disease relation. So this was independently funded. Campbell ran that team, and the result of it is the China Study.
Some things about the China Study that are very important. The first thing is that the result was so radical that the food pyramid was changed, to be more scientific. But because meat and dairy were completely minimized in the diet, the meat and dairy industry in the United States lobbied so hard that they actually changed the pyramid. Which means science is no longer serving humanity, it's serving corporate interest. That's what it means. Science is serving corporate interests that is wrong.
In the China study, what they found, is that in areas where their proteins were less than 5% from meat and dairy, there was no cancer. There was no cancer. The original study was done in Hyderabad in India, and Harvard scientists they laughed at it and they said oh they must have got the cages mixed up. Campbell replicated this science repeatedly.
Some things about meat and dairy consumption. First of all, the meat and dairy today is not the meat and dairy that grandma and grandpa ate. The meat that grandma and grandpa ate were free range, what they would call now organic, they didn't have a word for it because everything was organic fifty years ago. Organic free range, happily raised animals on farms, where they actually treated animals with some dignity. Farmers actually have relationships with their animals. They treated them with dignity.
Now, and my grandfather had a cattle ranch, so I actually spent my summers on a cattle ranch and I herded cattle and I saw. My grandfather, first time I got on a horse, before I got on a horse, he put a pencil in my mouth and yanked it back really hard, and he said that's what the horse feels when you're using that bit, so don't forget it. That was my first lesson because that's the way people taught, they had respect for their animals. In the United States, horses are not categorized as pets, they're categorized as livestock. You can starve a horse to death in America and not go to jail, which is wrong. Horses should have rights, animals have rights in Islam. This is not a new concept. Our religion gives animals rights. Ants have rights. In the book of zuhd, one of the sahaba used to go out and put bed crumbs on the ant hill that was near his house and one of the tabi'in asked what he was doing, he said I don't' want them testifying against me on yawmul qiyama, that I didn't fulfill the rights of the neighbor. And this is an ant hill. What kind of psychology did these people have? It's a different world they were living in.
Dr. Nasr was alluding to it last night. They lived in a different world. The Prophet spoke to animals. He spoke to animals. Our Prophet spoke to animals. He spoke to them and they spoke back to him, this is not mythology, this is reality. We have people today that still speak to animals. Animals respond to you. They respond to you. They're sensing creatures, they have nervous systems, they feel pain, and they become depressed. In America we have dogs and cats on Prozac. This is a fact. Veterinarians prescribe Prozac for dogs in America. Don't think the dog is depressed because he's a dog. He's happy to be a dog. He's depressed because he's in a house that's depressing. The dog whisperer said, he doesn't go solve people's dog problems, he goes to solve dog's people problems. And the same is true for the horse whisperer, Buck, the horse whisperer said I don't solve people's horse problems, I solve horse's people problems. Animals are intuitive, they know when something's wrong.
Sayyidina Omar during his khalifa prohibited eating meat every day. This is a fact. Also don't think vegetarianism is not from Islam. People say that when they become Muslim and they are vegetarian, they say oh you have to start eating meat. Your iman is not complete until you eat meat. That's what they say and then they give them the biryani and welcome to Islam.
Ibnu Abi Lahm, one of the sahaba, ibnu Abi Lahm, was a vegetarian. Can a nabataean, this is in the tradition. And the Prophet accepted that from him. Now if you swore off meat for ibadah, that's a different thing, the Prophet told them not to do that. But he didn't want to eat meat, maybe he didn't like it. But today, eating a lot of meat is unethical. I would say that eating fish, this is your choice, and I'm not dictating to anybody, you have to make your own choices, you do your research, you know we're not fascist. Think for your selves. I'm not here to tell you what to do, I'm here to make you think about things, and you go back and you do your own research and you decide for yourselves because you're all sovereign human beings, and nobody can tell you what to do other than Allah and His Messenger, and that's it. Nobody can tell you what to do.
And every scholar that tells you, is telling you what he thinks Allah and His messenger is telling you what to do, that's called ijtihad. But there are few things where Allah spells it out, and fallibilism is very important, our scholars need to have more fallibilism. We don't doubt Islam but we should doubt our understanding of Islam, we should doubt our understanding of Islam, we don't doubt Islam. But we should doubt our understanding of Islam, because to have certainty about your understanding is to arrogate to yourself some divine knowledge that you don't have.
So Sayyidna Omar said, it's in the Mu'ata, beware of meat, because it has, it has an addiction like the addiction of wine. Beware of meat because it has an addiction like the addiction of wine. We have Muslims now eating meat three times a day and then they're wondering why they have gout, why they have all these diseases. Seriously, start cutting that out.
The other thing, I read a book last year called The Caveman Diet. And in that book, he was arguing, he's not a Muslim, he said, everybody should fast at least a month out of the year where they diminish their intake, this is what he said in his book. He's from LA. Everybody should fast a month out of the year, and fast a couple of days in the month. Because he said our bodies are designed to be food deprived, they're designed that way, to be food deprived.
If you want to see an amazing documentary, look at, “Sick, fat, and nearly dead,” and you look at the miracle that happens on that. A man who fasted sixty days and then got another man who was almost dead to start fasting and the man's transformation was amazing. We need to transform our food. We need to eat healthy food that's locally grown. If we're going eat meat, you shouldn't eat meat more than once a week.
Imam Sahl al-Tustari, one of the conditions when he took on students, one of the conditions he stipulated was that they ate meat once a week. In Maliki fiqh, a rich woman is entitled to meat twice a week. Muslims were semi-vegetarians. The prophet was a semi-vegetarian, he did not eat a lot of meat. This is a fact, you can read it in theseerah.
Two months they would see no smoke came out of his chimney, and they would say, what were you eating? They said al-aswadayn, it's in the sahih collection, al-aswadayn, water and date. Dates are one of the most beneficial foods in the world. So this is absolutely imperative that you change your diets. We're eating far too much processed foods, all of this cancer, one out of four people is getting cancer now. Heart disease, diabetes, 70% of the people in some of the Gulf States over 40 have type 2 diabetes. 70%. They're drinking, eating all this processed food. Cancer has become epidemic, in West Africa because they're eating all these processed foods. Eat fresh, healthy foods, eat good foods, this is part of our religion. Allah doesn't mention food without mentioning halaland tayyib. Make your food a source of nutrition. Don't eat empty food, don't eat too much food. Really. Eat twice a day. Sahl was asked, he said, what do you say about a man who eats once a day. He said, that's the way Prophets eat. He said what about twice a day? He said, that's the way righteous eat. And then he said what about three times a day? He said, build for them a trough. Build for them a trough.
Now the other thing, this is very important, and with this I'll conclude, I'm out of time, I'll conclude with this. Support companies that are socially responsible. The way that you can do this starting out is get, there are several guides that can do this. There are fair trade guides. One of the best is the better buying, better world buying guide, you can get an app for it. I've got an app here. We actually invited the author who's a sociologist, really sweet man, we invited him. It's called better world shopper. It's an app that you can buy. Anything that you want to buy, you go onto it. So you go to supermarket and they will rate your supermarket based on how socially responsible they are, A+, A, A-, C, C+, C, D and F. Airlines, if you're going to fly, fly Virgin Airlines, fly Air Canada, fly the Jet Blue, Southwest Airlines. There are airlines that you can fly, that are better than the other airlines. They're more socially responsible. They're donating more. They're treating their employees well. And this has been analyzed, they're people that are really serious about this.
There are people now called Freegans. You know about Freegans? People Freegans are literally dropping out, they're just checking out because they don't want to be part of this unjust system that is killing us, that is killing our planet. It's killing us. And there are people that are morally, they are more morally responsible in the non- Muslim community than I find in the Muslim community. I know non- Muslims that have given up credit cards altogether because they don't want to be part of these banking systems, and yet we as Muslims aren't willing to make changes. We can create our own system, we have to do these things. This is our duty.
And finally, this is all about preparing for the Day of Judgment. Maybe we won't change this thing. Maybe this is the way it's all headed. You know, Bob Marley, I used to listen to him when I was a kid, before I became Muslim. Bob Marley, he said, free your mind from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds. Have no fear of atomic energy, they cannot stop the time. How long will they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look, but some say it's all a part of it, we've got to fulfill the book. Allah is in charge, we're not going to predict the future, but we're people of hope. Our religion is a religion of hope. We have hope in God. Li man kana yarjullah, we have hope in God. We have hope in our prophet , who will never betray us. No matter how much betrayal in the world, he will never betray you. He will stand by you. He will take you across. He will give you from the howdh. He will stand by you as long as you stand by him. The Prophet will never betray you. God will never betray you. Hope is, our religion, our religion is hope. We have to give our children hope. Hope is the thing with feathers that purges in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops it all. And sweetest in the gale is heard and sore must be the storm that could abash the little bird that kept so many warm. I've seen it in the chilliest land, and on the strangest sea. And never in extremity it asked a crumb of me. Hope is a beautiful thing, our religion is a religion of hope. We have hope. Change your lives. Clean your houses out, stop supporting this unjust economic system.