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1. Sheikh Hamza Yusuf interview by Nuh Ha Mim Keller*
2. AND BOTH ARE QUESTIONED BY ANNE KHADIEJAH STEPHENS, THE UK MUSLIMS GRANDMOTHER. SMILE

2. AND BOTH ARE QUESTIONED BY ANNE KHADIEJAH STEPHENS, THE UK MUSLIMS GRANDMOTHER. SMILE

MY DEAR TWO BROTHERS

AS SALAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAKATUH

ALHAMDULILLAH, I AM 75 YEARS (78 HEJRI) OLD, EMBRACED ISLAM IN 1976 IN DUBAI

I LIKE TO INVITE YOU BOTH TO WITNESS MY THANKS TO ALLAH WHO HAS GIFTED ME ISLAM FOR OVER 30 YEARS AND GIFTED ME THE POWER TO WRITE FREE 335 BOOKS/BOOKLETS (http://www.muhammad.com/88languages/English/index.html)

FOUND ON ALLAH.COM MUHAMMAD.COM

 HAVING READ THE INTERVIEW

AND SIMPLIFIED BROTHER KELLER'S BOOK ON FIQH OVER 15 YEARS AGO {click to download}

AND STUDIED QUITELY THE PROFILE OF HAMZA YUSUF SINCE HE QUIT HIS JOB AS A NURSE AND STARTED HIS ENTERPRISE WHICH IS WORTH $8,000,000.00 TODAY!

MY QUESITION:

DO YOU AGREE THAT BOTH OF YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON HADITH AND MAKING NO MONEY FROM ISLAM try this free hadith workshop

YOU are OFF the Prophetic path: If you follow a teacher or a shaikh who does not teach you the authentic Prophetic sayings on his lifestyle and his characteristics and his explanation of Koran. We give them to you in 95+ languages totaling 860+694+1615 = 3169 Prophetic Sayings (Hadith)

You people even take names of great Hadith teachers for your educational institutions and void it from Hadith! I am not trying to be negative! You are HADITH-NEGATIVE! BUSY TALKING ABOUT PLASTIC ... ETC! REREAD BELOW INTERVIEW. MY ALLAH, HAD YOU BEEN FULL OF HADITH WE SURE HEAR IT FROM YOU, INSTEAD OF TRYING TO MILK A BULL!
try:

http://www.nawawi.org/

where you find the celebrated Dr. Umar F. Abd-Allah, Chairman of the Board & Scholar-in-Residence

I am sure there is something very wrong, you can find it if you study Imam nawawi's reyadusaleheen which we give it to you in two versions http://www.muhammad.com/88languages/English/Prophet-Muhammad-Speaks-on-61-topics/index.html#main

and draft of 95+ languages. Also in mp3 one topic at time, http://www.muhammad.com/media/index.php?book=Prophet-Muhammad-speaks&&mqp=1 same like Koran recorded in 1974 topics. Give it a try. http://www.muhammad.com/media/index.php?book=Koran&&mqp=1

One more thing did you adjust your writing in faith according to Mufti of India : http://www.correctislamicfaith.com/-%20New%20Folder%20%283%29/A_Just_Reply_To_A_Biased_Author.pdf

THAT IS ALL

SALAM

ANNE KHADIEJAH

PS. IF ANY OF YOU ASKED THE SAME QUESTIONS TO MUHADDITH HAFIZ TALIDI OF TANGIER MOROCCO  WHO IS 82 YEARS OLD AND REVIVED THE WHOLE SCEINCE OF HADITH ... YOU WILL GET PROPHETIC GUIDANCE NOT JUST TALK. I AM ASHAMED THAT HAMZA YUSUF NEVER BROUGHT HIS NORTHERN AFRICAN SHAYKH TO CONTINUE TEACHING HIM AND THE AMERICA INSTEAD OF WHAT WE HAVE VOID OF PROPHETIC GUIDANCE. NO WONDER 

 $$$

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" $$$ . ӡ : $$$ : : ȡ : ѡ ".

 

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1. Sheikh Hamza Yusuf interview by Nuh Ha Mim Keller*
Sheikh Hamza Yusuf interview by Nuh Ha Mim Keller

As-salaamu Alaikum.

Walaikumu Salaam.

Jazak-Allah Khair for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend some of it with us. You returned from the Hajj recently, and youve been previously havent you.
Right.

What was different this time around as opposed to other times - or is each time different in itself?

I think the Hajj tends to reflect the state of the Ummah. Thats one of the things about the Hajj is that you get to see the Ummah. Its a microcosm of the Ummahs condition. And I think what you see on Hajj is that the Ummah is not in good condition. What you see is that there is good in the Ummah, but the state, the overall state is not a got state and I think thats very reflective in the Hajj. One of the things that is very obvious is that there is, in a sense, a loss of whats called "Ithar", which is deference to others. One of the essential characteristics of the Muslims is this idea of deference and adab and if you lose adab in the Haram, you certainly wont have adab in the place where youre coming from. And so what happens is that you have people who forget partly where they are. Some of the outwardly manifestations of that are a lot of people smoking, publicly, in the Haram, a lot of intermingling between men and women in ways that are inappropriate.

Also a total lack of concern for the cleanliness of the place - garbage is everywhere. I mean, already garbage as a phenomenon, its a modern phenomenon. Humans have always produced waste products, but consumer waste products are very different from classical waste products that were by and large, biodegradable - things that would go back to the earth. And here youre dealing with a lot of plastics and thing that are not...theyre ugly. And theres just a lot of garbage, and what Ive think that is indicative of, the fact that the Muslims throw things around, is that there is an assumption that somebody else is going to pick it up. And so really what thats telling us is that nobody is taking personal responsibility, and I think that is by and large a real crisis in the Muslim Ummah as a whole, that people, individual Muslims are not taking personal responsibility for the condition of the Ummah, theyre expecting that somebody else is going to take care of the problems, somebody else is going to take care of our troubles, and this has led to a type of apathy, and so I think thats all reflective in the behaviour. At the throwing at the stones, I mean thats.... I mean, the people that I went with, we all threw our stones without harming anybody, without any pushing and shoving, and we went in and out. But we did it because we were consciously doing that, where as theres a lot of people there that, there just dont care about other people, theyre pushing people to get their...to get in and do what they have to do, and they harm other people doing it. You can see this also around the Black Stone, you see it around the Tawwaf, and the trouble is is that by honouring other Muslims, Allah honours you, and by disparaging other Muslims, you only in the end, Allah says "Ya Ayohan nas, Inna Baghiakum a la Anfusikum" - O mankind, your harm of other people is only against ourselves. And so by harming other people, what were really doing is harming ourselves, and I think thats whats happening in the Muslim Ummah, and thats why we have this type of oppression in the Muslim Ummah towards one another, which manifests in the corruption within government organisations, the corruption within the private sector.


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So are you saying that during the time youve been going back to the Hajj, things have gotten worse - youve perceived deterioration or improvement?

No, I dont think so - I dont think that... I dont want to paint a completely bleak... but one has to be realistic as well. For me personally, despite all of that, there are extraordinary things that take place, and it is still.... I mean the real task of every pilgrim is to, inspite of all these overwhelming circumstances, to experience the Hajj as a spiritual journey. I mean, that is a task. Something that probably earlier, in earlier time, it was easier. Now theres a struggle.

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Why do you think Muslims have lost their tradition of mutual love and courtesy amongst each other, why do you think there has been that decline?

Because there is a breakdown in the whole concept of what an Ummah is, I mean this is the idea of Divide and Conquer. Its taken some time to achieve, but there has been a breakdown in nationalities, theres now artificially created nationalities and borders that divide us, and those nationalities and borders have taken a life of their own, and so what happens is that people begin to view themselves as Egyptians, as Algerians etc. and not as Muslims, not as one Ummah and Allah says that "you are one Ummah and I am your Lord". You have one Lord, one Ummah and one Prophet. We have in our Ummah all of the ingredients that no other communities have, not even the homogeneity of countries, dont have the ingredients of unity outside of there countries. In other words, the Japanese, they do have a type of solidarity based on their Japaneseness, but outside of that, outside of a bloodlink, as a people and a language link, they dont have anything to unite them. Whereas with the Muslims, we have within our tradition all of the ingredients to unite the most diverse people and its extraordinary, theres nothing else similar to it at all in history or in the world right now.

What America would like to do is they would like to unite the world based on shared, quote - unquote, values, because I dont like that word, based on these shared values of consumerism, gratuitous consumption, of pleasure and the world is created basically for play and entertainment and as a pastime, and music and dancing and basically bestial lower self behaviour and this is what theyre spreading all over the world. So everybody will look the same, in their jeans and their Nikes shoes, and everybody will listen to the same sugared pop music, and everybody will eat the same hamburger, French fries and milkshakes and everybody will have the same banal perspectives on the world. So this type of unity which is based on reducing the human being to an automaton, who has no volition of its own and who simply sleepwalks through life without any sense of identity, awareness or tradition. This is the unity theyre hoping to achieve with this idea of some kind of one world. Maybe with some new-age spirituality thrown in there because people do tend to have some spiritual needs, so we can throw in some new-age... its all one in any case, right? So take a little dabble from this religion and that religion, and we can all be Buddhists, and then you can just meditate, or something like that, or theyll, Im sure, be providing soon enough, Spiritual Television.

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Have you read the book by James Redfield, its very appropriate to what youre talking about, The Celestine Prophecy?

I actually have read that. I think thats exactly what Im talking about. Its this kind of new-age religion thats being promoted - which is Dajjalic in its nature because its looking at certain spiritual truths and its distorting them. Iblis is the mimicker, right, I mean Allah says that his throne is on water, so Iblis made his throne on water. Iblis is the great mimicker; hes the mocker. And so the pseudo religion always will mimic true religion, and unfortunately when you dont have people that have the ability to discern and distinguish between truth and falsehood, then they spend their life being misled and groping in darkness.

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Do you think the intellectual decline in our Ummah can in any way be related to the decline in the Arabic language and its importance?

Thats a very strong element in the whole overall decline. Out of the several hundred languages in the world, there are only a handful of languages that are considered civilisational and Arabic is certainly one of them.

Right now, the language of power and dominance, and of discourse at whatever level - whether commercial, philosophical or scientific - is English. And the power elite in the west are certainly capable of articulating in the English language. Whereas in the Arab world, you would be hard pressed to find people capable of articulating verbally - using the Arabic language as a vehicle for discussion and serious though - unless they had been well trained. More can actually write and part of that is because the Arabic language is so deeply rooted in classical Islamic Knowledge.

English has a worldview, and now you find in the Arab world, people who have English as their second language - usually their higher education will now be in English. Every language contains within it the roots of the worldview of the people that produced it - so by taking on the English language, one is taking on a western worldview, and you cant avoid it. By abandoning the Arabic language what people are doing in fact is abandoning the worldview that the Quran provides. Also, the Muslims had a deep sense of the linguistic power and the actual underlying expression of reality embedded in the language. The language of the Quran is the language of truth, and therefore the one who learns it and is deeply into it will ultimately be confronted with reality through the expression of the Arabic language.

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 Why do you think so many pieces of good Islamic literature are being written by non-Muslims - e.g. George Makdisis Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian World?

Partly because the west is the dominant power-elite, and the dominant powers always have intellectual apparati to maintain their power - part of the apparatus, what it will do is it will enable and facilitate research and facilitate intellectuals to explore/pursue ideas and thoughts ultimately for the benefit of the power elite. But what will come out of that often is that people who do have inherent brilliance are able to have the time and the freedom to think deeply about matters. This is the whole system of endowments in the west - if you look at most of these people who do these things, theyll often have a paragraph of gratitude towards some fellowship that was given to them, which gave them 2 or 3 years to do the research they needed to do. What happened in the Muslim world is that because there is no power (the Muslim world has in fact become of secondary importance) most Muslim governments are in no way interested in pursuing intellectuals - in fact, quite the opposite. They want to prevent them from thinking, they dont want them to think. The fact that the west does allow these intellectuals to pursue things is in no way indicative of some desire for truth.

That is a very important note.

Right. Sometimes, truth is a by-product of it, because in order for the to fulfil what they want to fulfil, they allow an expressive control of their intellectuals - but because of the nature of the mechanism, it will in the end, only serve the power elite.

Someone remarked that "sitting before a teacher who passes you knowledge is like taking a photograph - in that by the light, the image of what is in front of you is implanted in your heart. This is education."

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Please comment - why cant we receive education from reading books?

Part of it is the idea of transmission. Anybody who has studied with a teacher will know the answers to that question and anybody who hasnt wont. Its the difference between hearing about something and experiencing it. Our tradition is a tradition of transmission. Our Prophet (saw) was taught by an Angel - that Angel was taught by Rabb -ul-Izza - the Lord of Power. And the Quran says, "over everyone who possesses knowledge is someone who has more knowledge". When Musa (as) was asked if there was anyone more knowledgeable on the earth than he was, he replied "No". But Allah then sent him to study with Al-Khizr, who the majority of scholars say wasnt even a prophet, so heres a prophet being sent to a non-prophet and it was a reminder to Musa (as) that one can never assume that there is not someone that they can learn from. Part of the modern crisis in the Muslim Ummah is we have auto-didactic scholars - the damage that they have caused is, I think, extraordinary, and one of the signs of the end of time is a Hadith in which the Prophet (saw) said knowledge would be taken from a "Saghir" which means "a little one". Ibn Abd-ul Barr, the great Andalusian commentator on Hadith, wrote that what this Hadith means is that the chain would be broken towards the end of time - people who had not taken their knowledge from the previous generation will begin to transmit knowledge, and that knowledge will be their own opinion and not transmitted knowledge and from the Muslim perspective, truth is not something that needs to be discovered - its something that needs to be learned. In the western understanding, truth is something that needs to be discovered, truth has not been given to man - its something that man needs to discover for himself. In the 20th Century, although that meta-narrative is disappearing, i.e. - the post-modern phenomenon is in a sense a capitulation to the idea that there is no truth - and if there is truth, it is not with a "T" but with a "t" - meaning, "your truth may not be my truth". What the post-modernist thesis is to say that, really what we have not is some grand narrative of the search of truth, but rather a meta-narratives or small narratives of the truth, that each one is as equally true as the other which is ultimately saying that nothing is true. Because one you say everything is true, what youre really saying is nothing is true. If I say its wrong to kill and somebody says, well that statement has no meaning because what is "wrong"? - whats your definition of wrong? And because wrong cannot be technically defined within the dominant discourse of the 20th century, therefore it has no meaning. Whereas, if I say it is wrong and wrong is that which Allah has made prohibited, I am laughed out of the auditorium because what Im saying is that "truth has been revealed by God" - that is no longer an accepted premise for the modern social discourse. So we cant talk of morality - all we can talk of is legislation, and legislation is what the latest vogue is - should we have the death penalty or shouldnt we.... it becomes a debate, and theres nothing in stone so to speak. Like "Thou shalt not kill". It becomes "should we kill or shouldnt we? Well, lets take a vote". Truth becomes a democratic process, and that is very alien to the Islamic tradition. So the idea that truth is something which is transmitted from generation to generation is no longer acceptable within the dominant social discourse. And for the Muslims that has been the truth because the Prophet (saw) said that this knowledge - i.e. the truth/revelation will be carried in each generation by upright people and transmitted to the following generation. So Muslims have always seen that knowledge is a transmission, from the breasts of those who know to the hearts of those who dont know.

Many sisters wish to travel to Muslim countries to learn the Deen from those who know, but they are concerned about the issue of travelling without a Mahram.


First of all, living in the non-Muslim lands - it is accepted in Shariah that if a women makes hijrah from the land of the non-Muslim to the land of the Muslims, she doesnt need a Mahram - thats a well known principle in Islamic jurisprudence. The way I view it is I think that a woman is safer without a Mahram in the land of the Muslims than she is with a Mahram in the land of the non-Muslims.

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To what extent can a female, married or unmarried, affiliate herself with a sheikh whilst keeping within the boundaries of the Shariah?

Women traditionally studied with teachers, it just has to be done with adab. Theres obviously more limitations on the female, the Quran says the male is not like the female. Its obviously better and more preferred if a women learns from a female sheikh, and there used to be a considerable number of them in the Muslim Ummah. There isnt anymore and it is even quite unusual now to find a male teacher who is of any high calibre, but to find a female is an anomaly in the Muslin world right now.

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With regards to the Shariah, why do you think that the rules regulating trade/industry/ business transactions have almost been abandoned by the Muslims?

Because weve become subject completely to the dominant world order, which is a capitalistic, western world order and so international law is now western law, this is history, just read what happened in the 19th century with the abdication of Islamic Law and the usurpation of it place by western legal systems - with some amalgamations like the Anglo-Mohammadan law, where personal matters (e.g.; inheritance & marriage) were left to the scope of the Islamic Tradition, but those matters that related to business and commerce and penal codes became under the jurisdiction of western secular law.

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In the Muwatta of Imam Malik (ra), he places a lot of emphasis on the "Aml of Medina". What is the difference between this and Hadith?

Within Imam Maliks (ra) framework, he sees that Medina has a unique status that other cities do not have during the time of the Tabieen, because what he says is the Tabieen were people who lived with the Sahabah, theres over 10,000 Sahabah buried in Baqia who died in Medina. Hes saying that this city was a city that had a special place in Islam that no other city had - even Mecca - because Medina is the city in which the Islamic legal system and the Islamic social order was fully implemented. For that reason, he in a sense is a inheritor of a social expression of the totality of the Islamic teaching and so his recording that in the Muwatta is in a sense a recording of what he would consider a city in Submission, and for that reason he would say that if I find an isolated Hadith, not Muttawatir (a Hadith that has several transmissions), with one or two chains from the Sahabah and I find 1000 of the people of knowledge from the Tabieen in Medina doing something, Imam Malik is saying that their actions override the solitary transmission of that Hadith - i.e., the fact that theyre not following that Hadith and that they were people who lived in the presence of the Sahabah, and that practice wouldve been done in the presence of the Sahabah, among whom were men like Ibn Umar and Umar ibn al-Khattab and women like Aisha, that these people knew better what was the final Islamic decision on the matter. Imam Malik for that reason would consider the action of the people of Medina - when he says that, he rally doesnt mean everybody, he means the people of knowledge in the city, and the city was filled with people of knowledge. Imam Malik felt that the action was a Hadith, only it had achieved the status of Muttawatir because of its agreement in the city of Medina - even if he did not have an actual verbal transmission of that matter - e.g., theres a sound Hadith that the Prophet (saw) told people not to fast on Friday, but in the Muwatta, Imam Malik new that Hadith and said "I found the people of knowledge in this city fasting". - they considered it to be a virtuous day to fast. His point was that they were doing that action in the presence of the Sahabah, and none of the Sahabah said you cant fast on Friday. Therefore, Imam Malik is saying that the fact that they transmitted this as a virtuous day to fast, and it was not rejected because of that Hadith, he considered isolated transmissions of the Hadith to be weaker than the transmission of Aml, of action.


Its a difference of opinion, but it is an accepted principle in Usul. Imam Shaffie and Imam Abu Hanifah dont agree with it, nor does Ahmad, but they do agree the Aml of Medina is higher with regards to certain things e.g.. Measurements.

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Have you written/published any works?


Im in the process of doing so - Im working on a few things. Ive published a few articles and thing


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There are Muslims who say that we should not attach the word "Syedinna" to the Prophet (saw). Is there such a thing as loving our Prophet (saw) too much?

The Prophet (saw) said in a sound Hadith "Im the Syed of the children of Adam", so he is our Syed whether people like it or not. Allah (swt) praises Yahya in the Quran by calling him "Syedinna Wa Hasoora", that he was a Syed in the Quran and our Prophet (saw) is certainly greater than Yahya. Syed means master in the Arabic language, and he is our master.

You should not say Syedinna in the Fard prayer when you do the Tahiyya - there is an opinion that you should, but it is a weak opinion. But when we speak of the Prophet (saw), we should call him the Messenger of Allah, the Prophet of Allah or we should call him Syedinna. We should not say Muhammad without putting some honorific title before his name. One of the things that Qadi Iyad points out in the Shifah is that Allah (swt) always in the Quran calls his prophets by honorific titles, e.g.. Ya Ayohal Muzamill, Yasin and so on. Its part of the adab of the Muslims.

With regards to loving the Prophet (saw) too much, it really has no meaning. He is the means through which we have come to know Allah. The Hadith says whoever has not thanked people has not thanked Allah, this is why massive respect is owned to the parents, because they were the means through which you were given life. Even though its Allah (swt) who gave you life, Allah has command that you honour your parents in a way that no one else has been given that high status in the Quran - after Allah and his Messenger (saw), high status is given to parents in terms of obedience, so after obeying Allah and his Messenger (which is obeying Allah), the next highest thing the parents.

The Prophet (saw) said none of you truly believe until I am more beloved to you than your own self, and so if you love the Messenger of Allah (saw) less than you love yourself, then you dont have true iman. And if you love the Messenger of Allah (saw) less than you love your parents or your children, then you dont have true iman.

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Many people would like to know about the Zaytuna Institute and why you decided to found it/what are your goals in relation to it?

Zaytuna is just a vehicle for doing the work Im doing. To me institutions dont really mean anything. Ultimately, institutions are nothing other than the people that run them. I think the important thing for us to remember is that ultimately we are all mortal, and that our time is limited, and so the best actions are those actions that continue on. My hope is that this work will continue on after my lifetime. The work is nothing other than trying to teach the message of Islam. To establish institutions that guarantee or give whatever worldly guarantee that we can have that that will continue on, is part of our tradition. The creation of endowments to make sure that the traditions of Islam would be maintained from generation to generation. Its my small contribution to the overall picture. What the Muslim world needs is for Muslims to take it upon themselves, at the personal level, maintenance of the tradition, and it has to happen. Its not the talk of any one individual, but the talk of an Ummah. But an Ummah is nothing other than the individuals that comprise it. Muslims have to recognise that our tradition is disappearing, and that there has to be efforts to re-ignite learning at a senior level.


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What about the Rihla Course?

The Rihla again is an attempt also at doing the above. What it will hopefully move to is a full-time type of Madrassa, but right now its a summer programme of one month.

The problem is that the Muslims have fallen into the western approach - which is the conference approach. We have conferences, but the conferences last a few days, they are comprised of talks that are in a sense not so much informative as inspirational, and theres not a real transmission of knowledge, rather a type of narrative story telling which is not conducive to the transmission of Islamic knowledge. Islamic knowledge means sitting at the feet of people, who sat at the feet of people, back to the Messenger of Allah (saw).

Even within the western corporate model that created the conference phenomenon, its still buried in institutions -i.e.. Conference papers are actually the result, in the western model, of research which will end up being abridged synopsis of someones work, and if attending the conference are interested in it, then they can actually have access to the work of that person. What happens in our conferences though is that there isnt any work really being done other than this type of inspirational model. I dont think we should eliminate conferences all together, but I think people have to recognise the limitations of the format.

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What books are you currently reading?

The Saffwat -at- Tafsir of Muhammad Ali Sabooni, and also "The Venture of Islam" by Marshall Hodgkin

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