Rules of Engagement

Transcript Details

Event Name: Rules of Engagement
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/12/2020 7:17:33 PM
Transcript Version: 2

Transcript Text

en he said cellulite is to them
that then they said I'll cut it a home
shouldn't we fight them if they're doing
bad he said let my son go
as long as they're still praying and
outwardly displaying us on because we
see now what happens when you try to
overthrow governments the actual human
harm that it creates is so immense and
our scholars were concerned even Hodja
says they were concerned more with
anything than with stealing the
agitation civil strife and preserving
blood because shedding blood is the one
thing this is what the the Angels they
said what are you going to put those who
shed blood and so corruption God says I
know what you don't know in other words
there will be those who choose not to do
that before we get to the lot we only
have time I'm so sorry for two questions
but before I get to those two questions
I want to follow up regarding the Muslim
ban and the day at the airport we had
major drama in San Francisco oh sorry we
had a lot of problems in San Cisco it
was similar to Los Angeles we had
thousands of people
mostly it was amazing it was just white
black millionaires poor everybody was
there I just went there on my way home I
was at visiting my parents in Sunnyvale
and decided to go drop by and I get a
call from mayor and Lee god bless his
soul and he's like you need to get to
the airport I'm like I'm already on my
way to hang out with my friends and do
table and he's like no no you need to
get to the airport so I get there the
commander at that time didn't know any
Muslim people he was trying to shut down
all the protests we had you had Yemeni
protesting doing table you had
palestine's doing table you had African
Americans doing table you had Filipinos
doing table they were all three
different people that didn't want leave
but they weren't letting people in
so me and some of the civil rights
organization had to step in but that is
the importance again of we my job was to
protect the protesters yes I needed the
people to get off the plane yes I had to
protect our law enforcement to make sure
nothing happens to them but I was not
gonna allow the protesters not to have
their day and enjoy so protests are very
very important but we also have to have
a balance and make sure that it doesn't
cause harm or disruption to people
coming off the planes or to the police
so I just wanted to add that as well so
are there any situations where we should
disengage and what are the best practice
for disengagement who wants to take this
one I mean you know it's a question and
it's an HT had engagement the Prophet
gave people so lies and the option to
disengage or to engage that's an option
for people so this I did that everybody
has to be engaged I don't I don't agree
with that and and and the you know Plato
who was a great philosopher and
political scientist he ended up engaging
he didn't want like you said in your
speech they you thought am I just to
write another book Plato thought am I
just gonna write another dialogue he so
he went to Syracuse he almost ended up
getting killed because the the ruler
there ended up deines
ended up almost killing him and then he
convinced him to come back and he made
the mistake of going back a second time
it was even worse and he actually ended
up being sold into slavery right so at
the end of his life he wrote what's
called the seventh letter and he said
sometimes the situation's are so bad
that one
is left to remain quiet pray for his own
salvation and for the salvation of his
and and that's that's an that's a
question you know but the prophets all I
said I'm said the best of you are those
who engage men hotter than s you know
that get in with the people
well yes but Elana thou home and they're
patient with the harm that comes from
that and so it's difficult to do that
because people are gonna attack you and
people are going to question your sincerity.  I mean all of that is good.  I've had enough incomes to last 10 lifetimes, so I'm gray hair,  I'm over 60, I could care less now.
I really could, because but if people think I'm going to risk my akhirah, for...I don't get any money from any I've never taken any money.  The honorary I've been given from the government, I've distributed.

So, I know what I'm doing and I know what
my heart is and I take is Tijara I
listen to my teacher and I pray it's the
Hara I don't do anything just to do it
so I think people have to do any job and
all the last thing I want to say is that
every action that a human being does
falls under one of five categories it's
either prohibited it's either disliked
it's permissible it's recommended or
it's an obligation the only one you're
supposed to condemn is the one that's
prohibited and agreed upon its
prohibition and so this idea of just
prohibiting like who are you to tell
people what they can or cannot do if you
want to criticize that fine but at least
do if you're a Muslim do it with the
head above Islam
I mean we have comportment and just I
mean can you move in every element I've
had a fairly I called higher and holiest
the Prophet gave us two choices so
lyceum whoever believes in a God in the
last day speak good say something
beneficial call me up tell me you're
crazy what were you thinking right but
this idea of just slandering and
attacking you're saying libelous things
I mean I feel sorry for you on the day
of judgment can I just make it an
another point lately just I just want to
bear weight so I'm gonna not I'm so
sorry I might not be able to
as this last question from the audience
but I'd like for you guys to each take a
moment to do a closing remark and you
can start with you
oh okay well on the issue of a
disengagement and it's the same for
engagement sometimes we look at
engagement and disengagement as if
they're the goals they're not goals
they're just tools they're their
decisions that you make on each
situation for example we were in the
White House for a faith-based organizing
meeting and we had Muslims there we walk
into the White House and we are with
Abdullah arjan and as we sit down the
White House said Oh
Abdullah cannot be in this meeting he
has to go we talked for about two
minutes and we said if he goes we all go
that's right so we all walked out so
that was a time for disengaging to send
a message that if the table is not going
to respect our community and who we
decide should be at the table
then we're not going to be at the table
they apologized afterwards they brought
Abdullah back and there were people in
the White House who saw this and from
that point on they said this is where
they realized they have to work on
Muslim inclusion and integration of
Muslims in decision-making and so on and
so forth so that is an example of
disengagement at a moment where we felt
we needed to remove ourselves from that
the last thing I want I want to say then
is that as we as we think about these
goals and and really what's happening to
our country were only 1% of the
population we have to build the
coalitions we have to be involved in
coalition building and who is the our
example of coalition building is the
prophet Mohamed Salah Larry Center he
developed treaties he talked to people
he was a political authority not just a
religious authority in Medina the
Muslims were the minority when he
arrived in Medina he was invited to
Medina because he was a peacemaker
and that is the real goal is to show how
Islam and Muslims are about achieving
peace in our society with that then
people can decide how they want to
protest they want to be involved in a
political party they want to go and on
the right or the left but we really have
to band together this this is something
that takes me every day is when I see
Muslims fractured when I see us not just
this United but you know this
viciousness against each other so I
think this is our our our objective now
so that we can have a better opportunity
for the future that one of the proudest
things that we have an impact now is
called congressional leadership
development program where we select
Muslims to go in turn on Capitol Hill
they learn so much from that and the
Congress asks impact to find Muslims in
our community inshallah we'll find
somebody from Zaytuna some of the
students here who can apply for the
program and intern with impact as well
but that is really what it's about it's
about Islam in America for the future
that's the goal just a few words and
just to add on to salams know most
really important workers if you go on
the hill for our Jamaat prayers or for
iftar doing Jim our prayers you'll have
a close to 2 to 3 to 250 Muslims praying
there at the under congressional hill
and this is a lot because of the efforts
of having interns there people who
deciding I want to work there I want to
I want to be a researcher here so these
are the efforts I mean no one would have
thought in 15 years ago maybe 250 people
praying in the Rayburn building and on
the hill so that's just sort of a
footnote to all of the good work that's
happening here I would I would say that
in addition to everything that's been
said about engagement and disengagement
I would like to leave just one idea that
given the culture of social media and
the culture of responding before
thinking and shooting from the hip is I
think what we need more is more
reflection on
we don't know and what we really need to
assess of the things that we're so
committed to a cause whatever that cause
may be would it be non-violence of gun
violence whatever protecting youth I see
a lot of activists who are so committed
and the whole body is committed to it
but they're not open to listening to the
other party now you see this not just
and the activist groups and NGO crazies
in academia you find professors whose
job is to be a professor and teach into
learning study and be curious but are
now just like activists are not open to
saying is there something wrong with my
thinking is this something you can learn
from this argument is there a persuasion
here that I'm not understanding
I think these fixed positions are
hurting us and that hurts us to really
fully understand what engagement means
because you don't know what to do then
because you just stuck in this fixed
world of your own echo chamber right so
I would say whether engagement or
disengagement and we think we need to
pause and think about what we don't know
before we say what we should do
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf: Thank you. I think there's definitely a lot of criticism.  And like I said these, are hot issues they're people I think trying to make the best decision that they see.  Like for me, I've been engaged for a long time, I mean since the 90s.  I went in and Qamr ul-Hooda knows this in the Obama administration we were very engaged because there was a lot more access.  And and I hope that that engagement helped.  In terms of this administration, it has a wretched track record with our community. I think that's why I feel that there should be some voices of counter valence.  Just because
one of the things that I've noted about being in the room; By merely being in the room the conversation shifts.  And I've seen this again and again so the
prophets SAW them said, and this is a Sahih Hadith, and I work from my tradition like I believed in Islam the Prophet said <ARABIC> whoever wants to
give sincere advice to political authority <ARABIC>let him not do it openly, let him not do it openly and then he said <ARABIC>.  

If he listens, the man gets the reward of giving good advice. If he doesn't, then you have fulfilled a responsibility of just giving sincere advice.

So that's all my intention is.  To give sincere advice.  In terms of representing the community: I don't represent a community.  

I'm trying to represent an Islam that I studied for many years and and I'm committed to the religion.  I see a very fragmented community of people.  The Quran says work together <ARABIC>.  The Prophet (SAW) took counsel from certain people he didn't take counsel from everybody. 

 He took counsel from certain people.  He had an inner core group that he took counsel from.  He took counsel from his wife.  Umm Salimah gave him the good advice when all the Muslims had doubts about what he was doing.  

 So, even the Prophet did things that everybody doubted, because he compromised on eight points when at hudaibiya he pretty much compromised on almost every point but he never compromised his principles.  So I try never to compromise my principles.  I hope I don't

 The Prophets SAW  said, <ARABIC> and this is Sahih hadith, He said don't curse people in authority, don't deceive them, don't cheat them, don't hate them, because God put them over you. And have piety and patience and know the day of judgment is very close.  I'm looking at it, I feel it every day of my life you know the day of to end people are gonna get their due.  

We'll see on the day of judgment who's who. Either I'll get some lights or I'll be thrust...that's God's decision.  I thank God people aren't my judge, I mean I'm really glad, because God is my judge.  

The Prophet SAW said, Whoever is given something and is grateful, is prevented from something and is patient.  Is wronged and forgives and wrongs and asks forgiveness and then he was silent.  

They said "What?"

And he said <ARABIC> They will be safe on the Day of Judgment and they will there will be the rightly guided ones.  

I try to live that I try to be grateful with blessings patients with tribulation I try to forgive people when they wronged me and I asked forgiveness if I've done
anything wrong 

But you know I wasn't elected by anybody.  I'm not I'm not an elected official, I'm not a government employee.  I'm somebody who studied this deen and and I'm trying to spread.  I converted to Islam, I'm not I'm not part of some tribe or something like that.  

I don't have any Muslim ethnicity I'm mostly Irish you know we have we have a bad history too so you know the Irish support the Palestinians because we both suffer from the British, right.  So you know that that's the end and this wasn't meant to be a democratic that was just meant to be a discussion amongst people that are engaged because the name was rules of engagement.  These are people that are engaged so other people aren't engaged and that's fine that that's their prerogative it's a free country, thank God. People can can protest can be against the government or they can try to work to make a better government.  

I mean we are the choices that we have in this country but I'm not judging you. I hope you're successful in your activism. if you want to judge me that's fine it's your prerogative, you know I really and and I I don't think you were rude but that just that level the tone was little but that's good because if sometimes you have to do that if you feel like you've been stifled so I appreciate that you brought that up and God bless you and I just went out you know I think doctor is a Dean it does bring up an important point and I wish we did have more time to discuss because we did we definitely don't want to be used by those who have
nefarious intentions against Muslims and be and to be put in compromising positions and then end up looking like we're validating something that we don't

Hooda:  definitely I don't think Sheikh Hamza would ever would ever do that or put himself in such a position I would rather have him there in in these
commissions and talking to people about
Islam then you know anyone else
practically so that that's one thing as
he said there's no unanimous decision on
who goes where you each person is
involved in something opportunities
arise they say can you serve on this and
you either find you either say yes or
you find somebody else who can do it
because you don't have the capacity as
far as the commission that the dangerous
thing about you know what Pompeyo is
saying what the Secretary of State is
saying is that he's now dividing
inalienable rights from adhoc rights and
claiming that there are rights that are
manufactured by special interest groups
and that might be the case but we should
never be a people that endorse the
division of human dignity laqad karramna
bani adam' we we have bestowed dignity
on the children of adam' that's
everybody atheists those who agree with
our religion those who are against our
religion it is always about human
dignity and so we should be advocating
for this unification of human rights are
there special interest groups yes and
they exploit human rights but let us
have a serious discussion about those
groups they're not the vulnerable
communities and the powerless that that
it's in it is actually the powerful that
exploit human rights and they kick out
Human Rights Watch monitors from there
countries and they exploit the multiples
in their societies so should we be
concerned about where the direction of
the State Department is on human rights
absolutely I agree and we should not
allow a Pompeo or a Trump or anybody
from telling us what the definition
definition Human Rights is it should be
based on academia scholarship and what
is in the best interest of humanity and
I think with that then we go forward and
then we consult with one another and we
exchange ideas and I think by being
then as the profit audience analysis and
I'm said his Oman will never make a
wrong decision so we we will we will be
together in moving forward and I know
you know you you look like we're just
kind of glossing over these issues if we
want to have a serious discussion about
the Commission itself well then let's
create a symposium about the Commission
and discuss it and break it down but
this was a discussion on engagement the
philosophy of it why we do what we do
and and I hope that we at least shared
something that's useful to the community
I'd like to add regarding that point
thank you
Shaykh Hamza: I'm the first to admit this this could be a huge mistake I mean I I really I we're all fallible I have no sense of like I'm absolutely right on this one I'm a little surprised how a lot some of the people on the other side feel they're absolutely right I think absolutism is very dangerous in in the world.  You know this idea that you're absolutely right and I'm absolutely wrong.  

One of my favorite quotes from Imam Shafi he said I never got into a debate but I always assumed my interlocutor might be right and I could be wrong so I think 

You know, I don't know. I thought about it, I prayed on it, I took guidance from several people I spoke with Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah actually thought it was
was an QAJIB and he's an Usooli scholar.  he said no the Italian I take
you know so a low island I mean anything
we do we have to say Allah Adam God
knows I hope but like I said I already
influenced a woman on her curriculum at
Harvard so law students are going to
hear about the influence of Medina
on Western legal theory so I think just
that alone to me is something thank you
so can we give them a round of applause