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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Baba Ali is dropping his mic

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

When I first sat down in the Reminder chair, I decided that I was going to say it like it is. I didn't want to bring up the issues that were repeated over and over again at Jummah but rather I wanted to talk about all the stuff people kept putting under the rug. I figured that if going to travel down this path, people may end up hating me and that was a risk that I was willing to take to speak the truth.

In Season 1 (Culture vs Islam), I talked about how parents who barely practice their religion drop off their kids at the Islamic school and hope for a miracle from the volunteer staff. In Season 2, I will telling sisters "that's not Hijab" and that if you are going to spend the effort putting on Hijab, then at least do it properly so you get reward for it. My friend told me that "your shooting yourself in the foot if you put out this video" and "don't do it" but I wasn't here to make friends and tell people what they wanted to hear. I believe people are more receptive if you can talk about sensitive subjects in a nice way and Alhamdulillah it worked. In the new series of Ask Baba Ali, I am going to be even more direct and if it means losing the majority of our viewers or all my friends on facebook or everyone leaving myspace, so be it. I am willing to take that risk.

If the price of making a positive difference in the world means that I become the person everyone hates, I'm cool with that. We as an Ummah are suffering because we have become immune to things that take us away from Islam and nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room BUT everyone knows there is an elephant in the room. I understand that many people have to be politically correct because of the politics going on in the local community but I have the luxury of being the random guy on the Internet that is speaking to everyone (not anyone specific) so I can say whatever I want. And because I don't care what people think of me, I can really say the truth and be direct about it.

Did I think these controversial videos would be accepted by the Muslim Community? No way. But my point wasn't to be come popular or to have 5000 friends on facebook or to be treated like a celebrity. My point was to speak the truth and that's it. For those who know me, I'm not even a fan of the spotlight and I cringe when I get compliments. Even when Ummah Films first started, I was meant to be behind the camera (not in front of it) but for whatever reason, I ended up in the Reminder chair and the rest is history.

Anyways, with the success of the video series, I started getting invited to one city after another. Next thing I know, I have traveling around the world and with each city I get more and more invitations while I start working less and less on Ummah Films. Until today, I am consistently getting invites and really, this whole thing to me it quite funny because I have no idea what they expect me to do. Its not like I sing or juggle or have a special talent that is going to awe the audience. I'm just a normal Muslim brother who sits in a chair and says his 2 cents about this and that subject. What you see in the videos is not an act...its me being me. Sometimes I'm silly and funny and sometimes I'm serious and conservative. I'm just trying to get a point across and Alhamdulillah my method seems to be working.

My point is that my intention was never to become popular with Ummah Films or have fans or to spend every other weekend traveling from city to city. My goal was to pass a message using the video camera with the hope that I can make a positive difference in this world. For the last six months, so much of my time has been consumed traveling to events that I haven't had time to do anything for Ummah Films. Thus, I decided to hang up my mic and I'm going back to doing videos. Now, I'm not saying that I won't ever go on stage again but rather I will do events from time to time but nothing like what I have been doing for the last six months. Some of my fellow artist may think that I'm crazy for my decision, but again my intention was never to say what I said in my videos to be in the spotlight or to become this celebrity or to even make a career out of all of this. I have no inspiration for that. If anything, I hope one day to one day become a motivational speaker to inspire the youth to be better Muslims InshAllah. That's it.

All this popularity is nothing more than a trial for me and just like everything else in the world, it is only temporary. I hope to go back to filmmaking and start the new series InshAllah on 2/1/2008 and soon after, I hope to work on the first featured filmed by Ummah Films.

(I have agreed to certain events so I will fulfill my end and go to them InshAllah)
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At January 17, 2008 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...and if it means losing the majority of our viewers or all my friends on facebook or everyone leaving myspace, so be it. I am willing to take that risk."
Bro we love you and your stuff too much for that to ever happen!!

At January 18, 2008 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tone you spoke in somehow contains “sorrow”
U said that you won’t be under the spotlight…why not?
Youth now days get inspired by you,, as a person who is a hard worker, intelligent, creative and has a goal to achieve. I’m not saying this to make you happy…etc Actually to make you keep going to make the difference that others couldn’t.
what ever is going to happen or the risks that may be done..we will be with you

At January 18, 2008 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


its like how Dana said "what ever is going to happen or the risks that may be done..we will be with you"

inshallah bro keep this going and yeah mashallah you get the point in a way that people will take and inshallah act on...So thank you for that..

UK :)

At January 19, 2008 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire your modesty...

At January 19, 2008 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May Allah guide you in whatever you plan to do bro... I mean it from the bottom of my heart... Hold firm to Allah's rope...

I remind myself before i remind you (wink wink)...

At January 19, 2008 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bro you are not controversial at all with your messages in your videos!

Also its something I said earlier in previous comments that now a days with the internet you dont even have to do that much stage promotion, because the message can just spread on the net. Ofcourse odd event here and there, but you dont need to do events if you are making videos! So I completely understand your decision, everyone has different ambitions, and different things they want to do with their time. Some people will want to be on the stage, some on the net, some in production e.t.c!

If you ask most of the people who watch Ummah films what they will like, i'm sure most of them will say new videos on youtube, because it's something new and fresh to see!

At January 19, 2008 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look forward to the new series, its great that new content is going to be produced!!!!

At January 19, 2008 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im gana try not to make you cringe by complimenting you!

You said, that you want to be a motivational speaker to inspire the youth in the future, and i think you do that with your videos aswell as with the events because they and others are inspired to change their ways and to become better muslims,alhamdulillah.

I think having the events that youve been touring on,is probably too much for one person as you have said and hasnt allowed you to do videos,which was what the tours were actually about(im sure youve probably done so much touring this past year), and i think the reminders on the internet reach out to a larger audience but i think its nice having both.So i think your decision is cool, as your making more videos, but a small suggestion,to have a event here and there, maybe twice in the year.This year gone could just be known as your year of touring, as i dont think you lost anything in touring but gained and you spread the same messages further to a larger audience thus, benefiting more people inshallah.

look forward to seeing the new videos, and inshallah Allah will strengthen you with sencerity in all your actions and do what is best in this life and the Aakirah.Ameen

At January 19, 2008 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is a good decision, i really miss seeing new videos from you.

Jazak Allah Khair for your hard work!

At January 19, 2008 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salam brother,

You definitely have been keepin it real in your videos man. Your sincerity and care for our ummah, in particular the youth, really shows. If Allah gave you the ability to guide people towards practicing Islam correctly, then by all means use your talent. I do agree with your decision as I know you have a job, family etc. that you have to attend to, and traveling must be difficult. The YouTube videos in my opinion give you a greater opportunity to send a message out to people rather than an event that only a limited number of people may attend. Jazakallah khair for all you've done for the ummah bro.


At January 20, 2008 8:46 AM, Blogger rajanurhazirah said...

assalamualaikum bro,
it was nice to see those videos, really. i appreciate your effort and everyone in the crew. and i agree with your saying that people are more receptive than we believe. like many, it's not easy to come out and speak the truth... as in the real truth- the kind of thing that scares people the most, god knows why. but i do believe that changes must be made, and this filmmaking is part of it. and I echo your desire to creating a whole good muslim society all over the world- rebuilding a true reflection of what Islam is, and how Islam is to be glorified again by everyone and not just muslims. I shall seek myself to do the same, with guidance from Allah, to spread the knowledge and to be able to end this ignorance. InsyaAllah. be well, brother. be well :-)

At January 21, 2008 2:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salam Alikum

Finally someone who can tell u ur mistakes without caring what u think. It is a duty upon all muslims that when u see another muslim making a mistake to point it out to them unfortunatly we live in a world in this day and age where it is not so accepted to do so. Thank u 4 "Thats not hijab" blog I tried many times to explain it to certain sisters yet they get deffensive and upset about it not that I really care but after a while it gets u down and discourageing rarly was a sister happy when I pointed it out my point is not to get praised but keep encouragement toward a better muslim society. Anyhow with ur blogs u reach many more people through what ur doing without having to duke it out with them. Im looking forward towards ur new series. May Allah swt shower u with his mercy and blessings and reward u for every smile or laugh u bring upon a face. Ameen
Sister May
Istanbul Turkey

At January 21, 2008 3:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect your wishes on quitting the live shows but I'm glad that I did have a chance to see you live and I thank you for it. I was great. Can't wait for the new vids.

At January 21, 2008 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asallamu 'alaikum wa rahmatulLahi wa barakatuh

You are a true model modern Muslim in that respect. Insha Allah you will never lose your modesty or fall prey to riyaa/lesser shirk. If I had sons or brothers, I would pray for them to become just like you.

Don't let other people get you down and do what you know in your heart to be right, akhee.

At January 22, 2008 8:29 AM, Blogger JawaadAhmadKhan said...

We all have our own challenges, we all stray from our original intentions sometimes. This is just a trial for you and Alhamdulillah we are all glad to see you overcome it. (Though, I'm also glad you're fulfilling your past promises, cuz you're suppose to come to Ft. Lauderdale, FL in Feb., see you there brother)

At January 22, 2008 10:52 AM, Blogger UmmLayla said...

Your videos are proof that the internet can be a powerful tool for the ummah if we use it in the right way. I don't know about how your public engagements have gone, but I think that it all finds it's roots here with your video blog.

I was so glad to see someone making a point in a way that was entertaining enough for people to watch and enjoy that I must have shown your videos to everyone who would sit still long enough for me to open your page and play them.

I guess what I'm saying is I think your intention comes through in your videos. You may not have been seeking popularity, but you filled a niche that has been waiting to be filled for a long time.

From one Muslim to another, you have done a good thing brother... If you have the wit and insight to make these videos do it. And I for one will keep on watching;)

At January 23, 2008 5:38 AM, Blogger HbO said...

you got my support..go back to doing videos, and stop travelling for a while..=)that way, everyone gets beneit form it, and not only those who get to see you when you 'visit' them..

At January 27, 2008 5:07 AM, Blogger franka said...

Salaam aleykoem my brother in islam

I thank Allah swt that i found you blogs on you tube. I thank Allah swt that you made this blogs! It is because of these blogs that a lot of people start thinking! Hamdoelilah!

So keep on doing what you do caus the peolpe like it!

I love you, my brother, for Allah swt!

Your sister in Islam

At January 27, 2008 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

salam bro .. well plz keep goin . . u have no idea how many lives u have changed by ur modest n honest way of telling the facts .. but v wud lve 2 have u here in middle east... atleast once in UAE.... v have a vast majority of muslims here n v wud love 2 have u here .....young muslims here need a dose as well
:-).....best of luck .. MAy Allah bless all of us

ur sis

At January 27, 2008 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

.... you should be direct but make sure your not rude

At January 28, 2008 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is controversial for those who like to keep what the challenges we face behind closed doors or as taboo.

Personally, I am glad you don't care of people's opinions, or what they think or the glittered lights. There is a price to be and even greater price one must pay to shed truth and light on what is darkened by ignorance.

Our Ummah are like that of a human being, who holds a lit candle when it is day time, and roams through their life without light when in the dark - and then wonders, why is their world darkened.

There is so much more taboo, so much craziness in our Ummah and community because of political correctiness or what someone might think or what neigbours might think.

Most of us, and I shall speak only of myself, think it is high time, we spoke without worry of what someone else thinks. We live in times, when we would discuss beards for hours on forums, while most of our youths do not even pray, do not even read Qur'an in its own language, do not even know the meaning of Allah SWT words.

If we went into an exam and the exam is in English or French, and we didn't know these languages and just memorised and suddenly get tripped by a question to:

"Explain the date, the history, the story, the law, the fiqh behind this verse," I would say, 95% would have fail and I am being very generous on this point.

No, Baba Ali - do as you have done. Do it well, as you have already done. Do it with passion, belief and not belief in us, the Ummah but in God, Allah SWT.

For human beings are fickle, they move like the wind, they may not sacrifice when they know of the price, they will talk, shout, debate in cafes and study circles but they WON'T KNOW the names of their neighbours, seven on the right and seven neighbouts on the left or even invited them to dinner. And yet, they go and do dawah all over the world or in city centre.

Stick to what you're doing. It is making impact. It is changing people's minds and it is for real, making a stir too. But it should. It's about time.

Put all your faith as you have done in ALLAH not in the people. The people, on the day of Judgement will NOT stick up for you. They won't care a damn about you, or your future, or whether you go to Hell or Jannah on that day. Not even your our mother or father will care to help on that day.

Hence, put all your might, faith, in Allah SWT and do not worry about people.

And brothers, sisters in Islam. Talk is cheap. Promote the brother, invest in what he does. You got nike trainers I see many wear and that money can go into DVD's and bang them to everyone.

Everyone's goal should be, that Ummah film has such a strong support that is becomes a daily televised show on Satelitte, on TV.

Cause when a good thing goes, then you will see how good it was. Don't let it become "was."

You got something powerful going, why stop it now? Stick with it till your life ends for many have had their life changed from seeing your video blogs and DVDs.


At January 28, 2008 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baba, will there be a video based on the scripts we tried (with limited success on our part!) to help with last summer on Facebook?

I can't really complain because all the research I wound up doing trying to figure out what they were all talking about led me into Islam. I'd still like to see their work wind up in a vid, though.

Come see us on Stickam sometime, in IslamTalk. We've had lots of converts from there recently.

Keep up the good work!

Your sister,

At January 29, 2008 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why did you start the askbabaali if you don't want to be famous?

At January 31, 2008 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think u made the right decision, the videos u make are very influential, and bring out "those" topics, and that really is very impornat.

At February 02, 2008 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"why did you start askbaba ali if you don't want to be famous."

What kind of question is that? Don't you get it? It gives the youths the opportunity to ask questions they are AFRAID to even ask Imams, teachers or even their friends who judge, play peer pressure games.

So, personally, this is a benefit to the youths and the community. I don't see mosques that have councilling sessions for our youths, nor do many provide Muslim women who can be trained as counsellors to be in mosques and help sisters as well.

So, that question for me is a cheap shot question in which, many complain about how there's nowhere youths can go to ask questions they are afraid to ask, and get advice and then complain, on how someone is doing it because he wants to be famous.

As Muslims we should encourage, celebrate and support people who do these kind of shows and projects but from what I find, like in your comment - it is our own who drag each other down and become obstacles.

The more the Muslim youths see that Muslims themselves are getting active, the more others will be inspired to do more for each other and their communities.

Same goes, when world sees, that Muslims stop begging for help somewhere else and start helping each other, and clean up their own backyard, then they will see we are not as messed up as we seem to be.

At February 04, 2008 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salama'likoum brother,
Nice to hear about you again. If what you said is true (Allah knows) I hope Allah makes things to allow me to meet a person like you to be my husband lol
I really approve what you said. I also don't care about what people think about me if things are against our religion. Because one day, we won't need people, money, being famous..., we need and only need Allah forever ever ever... That's it. He is The Only One !

Salama'likoum bro
Paris - France

At April 24, 2008 4:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aawwwww hes so cuteee!

At August 07, 2009 1:33 PM, Anonymous Mallika said...

Assalamu'alikum Warahamathullahi Wabarakatuhu Brother Ali,

May Allah reward your efforts, with His Pleasure (Ameen).

Allaah Says:“The believers, men and women, are Awliyaa’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); .."[al-Tawbah 9:71]

Brother Ali, while I was watching one of urs "Ummah Flims",I was shocked to here some music, when Ummah Films shows up in the very bigining.

May Allah pardon you (Ameen).
JazakAllah Kahir.


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