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Mustafa Khattab On Inspiration For Clear Quran

Episode 28

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Hosted by
Maruf Yusupov

I help people discover their purpose in life and follow their passion to live in prosperity.

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In this episode, I had the pleasure of talking to Sh. Mustapha Khattab. We talked about his life story as well as what inspired him to write the new English translation of the Quran: Clear Quran. 

Dr. Mustafa Khattab is a Canadian-Egyptian authority on interpreting the Quran. He was a member of the first ‎team that translated the Ramadan night prayers (Tarawîḥ) live from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca and the ‎Prophet’s Mosque in Medina (2002-2005). Dr. Khattab memorized the entire Quran at a young age and later ‎obtained a professional ijâzah in the Ḥafṣ style of recitation with a chain of narrators going all the way to Prophet ‎Muḥammad ‎ﷺ‎.

He received his Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in Islamic Studies in English with Honors from Al-Azhar ‎University’s Faculty of Languages & Translation. He lectured on Islam at Clemson University (OLLI Program, 2009-‎‎2010), held the position of Lecturer at Al-Azhar University for over a decade starting in 2003, and served as the ‎Muslim Chaplain at Brock University (2014-2016).

He is a member of the Canadian Council ‎of Imams, a Fulbright ‎Interfaith Scholar, and an iERA-Canada Outreach Specialist. He has served as an Imam in the U.S.A. and Canada ‎since 2007 and is the translator of The Clear Quran (2015), the author of The Nation of Islam (2011) and Outfoxing ‎Fox News (2017), and contributor to the Encyclopedia of Muslim American History (2010).

His forthcoming works ‎include Qamus-ul-Quran (The Clear Quran Dictionary), The Clear Quran for Kids, and Shukran (children’s ‎story). He’s currently the senior Imam of the Anatolia Islamic Centre, Mississauga, Canada.‎

Interview transcript

Maruf: Hey, Assalamu alaikum! This is Maruf, your host. Welcome to Muslims On Fire. Today, I have brother Mustafa. He’s almost my neighbor from Saigon area Canada. Assalamu alaikum, brother Mustafa. Welcome to the show. 

Mustafa: Walaikum Salam. Thanks for having me. 

Maruf: Although we never met in person. I heard about your project and Clear Quran. Why don’t we start with a little intro about yourself then? Then we dive into the episode. 

Mustafa: Yes. My name is Mustafa Khattab. I’m a member of the Canadian Council of Imams. I’m a translator. I’m a teacher, a lecturer, youth counselor, a fundraiser, public speaker. I don’t know, you can just call me, Mustafa. 

Maruf: Okay, so brother Mustafa, you know that the way when we start into you, I don’t know. I’m sure you have been doing many podcast. But so I want know things about I guess we try to start things  way back from childhood. I try to understand, you know, the human story. 

Let’s put it this way write your journey that Journey what it took you and why have you become today? What do you do today? So having said that let’s start with that and tell us a bit about your childhood. What kind of  memories you remember, where you grow up, you know, basically.

Mustafa: Yes, I grew up in a small village in Egypt which’ about two and half hours away from Cairo. It was a small village and most people in the village didn’t go to school. Basically, because we didn’t have a school in the village. 

Most people were farmers like my parents. They didn’t go to school. They didn’t know how to read or write. So, I didn’t have, you know, the potential to go to school, but because of my mother, she put up a big fight for me to go to school, so I had to walk one hour to school in the next village, a neighboring village and one hour the other way.

So, it was not easy because my dad was always telling me to quit school and just work. Yeah, we have land by the Nile River, a branch of the Nile River. So he said stick around and just work with us just like everybody else. If you go to school, you can’t do much with the degree. 

Maruf: What do you do with that knowledge anyway, right? You did a real thing to the physical thing. So, okay. So here’s the thing. How many siblings do you have? If you don’t mind me asking? 

Mustafa: We’re six, two girls and four boys. 

Maruf: Okay, so you mentioned that your mom really consists if you want to go to school. Was it ascendence on you or that other siblings as well?

Mustafa: Well, you know, she was always trying to convince my dad to let me go to school and to let me. 

Maruf: You alone? 

Mustafa: This ended up, I’m being the only kid in the house, you know going to school and to the best of my knowledge on the first educated person in the history of my family. 

Maruf: What made you like Mom? Did your mom see something in you or what happen then?

Mustafa: Well, the argument that my mother told me that she told my father we have about 12 people in the same house. We had, you know, a farmhouse, a huge house, a big land in the back and she said it’s a shame that we have 12 people living in the same house and none of us can read or write. 

Maruf: Wow! 

Mustafa: Yes, and you know, she told me to become something or nothing. So you have to work hard.

Maruf: Today, one of the reasons you are here today is because of your mom and her struggle. May Allah reward her. So whatever this project would not have happened. 

Mustafa: Yes. It’s the first translation of the Quran in English done in the history of Canada. 

Maruf: You see sometimes we do the small things like our parents and you don’t know how it’s done.That’s a good start. Okay, then you begin to go to school. You said one hour away from your village. Tell us the story. Like what did you study there? And how did you progress there? 

Mustafa: Well, we didn’t have school buses or lunch bags. So I used to walk one way and the other way, it’s a long walk. Sometimes I would walk it alone and Subhanallah, by the age of 12. I ended the memorization of the Quran and I studied different Islamic sciences and Hadith all these different branches of Islamic knowledge.

Then I graduated high school in 1997. So I moved I left the village and I moved to Cairo to study at Al-Azhar which is the most prestigious institution of higher studies in the Muslim world. So I wanted to study Islam in English and translation. 

So, we have what we call the faculty of languages and translation. It’s very unique. So I joined this faculty in 1997-1998. But there was one terrible problem for me. My English was in the basement because in high school in the village, we didn’t have the best English teacher. 

So that is they taught us some level of English, but you know, it was very basic and the pronunciation was horrible and I always give the examples of too much instead of stomach, delivers instead of delicious, its appearance instead of experience. So when I went to college my friends who came from different cities and they were making fun of my English, my pronunciation.

And I wanted to do something about it. I spoke with one of the top students in the class is English was amazing, and I said, why don’t we speak English like together, 10 minutes every day, and he said know your English is so bad. You’re going to ruin our technique, it will affect me. So they said no. Thank you.

S,o that night in 1998. I prayedNamaz and I made Duaa to Allah and I said Allah, you created the heavens and the Earth and it’s not difficult for you to help me with my English and I promise you if you make English easy for me. I’m going to use it to teach people about Islam and about the Quran. 

Over the next three years, I was reading Shakespeare, listening to the BBC, doing like, language exchange sessions with some American Muslims in Cairo and eventually after three years, I graduated college not only the top of my class, but also the top of the The entire English Department. And soon after I was appointed as a professor or a lecture to teach Islam in English at Al-Azha.

Maruf: So if you don’t mind, let me ask you, why did you focus on English? 

Mustafa: Well, because as you know, it’s the probably the most widely spoken language in the world, you know, it’s right. Yes. So this is why you know, it will make Islam accessible to so many English-speaking people. This is why I chose English.And in the high school I got high greade, which qualified me to study Islam in English.

Maruf: Okay, so, now you’re in a stage not only finished high school, but you can also as you said you become a professor at Al-Azhar. So what was the year? In 2002, I got my BA at Islamic studies in English. Then I studied higher studies in English and then I studied master, I got my masters and after three years I got my PhD after 5 years. So, in 2013, I got my PhD. 

Maruf: So, these all are around the English language? 

Mustafa:Yeah. Islamic studies in English translation. 

Maruf: And this is all happening in Al-Azhar?

Mustafa: Yes, In Egypt.

Maruf: You were still in Al-Azhar in 2013?

Mustafa: Yeah. I left Egypt in 2007. I moved to the US to work as an Imam and also to do research then I went back in 2013 to get back my degree. And then I moved to Canada and ever since I’ve been living in Canada, Edmonton, but now I’m an old saying in Mississauga for good. I like Mississauga. 

Maruf: Yeah, me too. 

Mustafa: They have some good restaurants here. 

Maruf: Okay. We’ll go together, Once. Okay, so just tell me I understand you went to the US and you finish it. Then you come back to Canada, not back to the US, what happened there. Why? 

Mustafa: Well, the first time I went to the US, I went to our Visa as a scholar through a fulbright and usually when your Visa expires, of course, they tell you you can renew it. You have to leave for two years. 

So I have the option of going back to Egypt for two years then reapply for a Visa or move to Canada. So together, the US and Canada, It’s not much different except for the weather.

But generally the Canada is a good place to live as a Muslim, specially, in the GTA.

Maruf: So you’ve been living here like, seven years now. 

Mustafa: Yeah, I came to Canada in 2011 and stayed for two years. I went to Egypt 2013 and defended my PhD and I came back. 

Maruf: Okay. So right nine years. 

Mustafa: Yes. 

Maruf: It’s a good place. So, you’re happy? The reason why I asked this as I’m just quite new just like here since just before the lockdown, you know, right now we’re doing this interview 2020 locked down period. I just came back on the last day and locked doors.

Mustafa: I could have went to other places like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, but for some reason I came to Canada. I liked Canada, the Canadian people are nice. So I always say that Egypt is like my mother and Canada is like my wife. I chose my wife so I chose Canada.

Maruf:  Okay, tell us about this. Like now you’re back in Canada. I want to understand the idea about theClear Quran. Can you tell us more about this?

Mustafa: While in college, I came across, you know, different translations in English and I did have Tafsir of the Quran, the interpretation of the Quran in Arabic. So I am an Arabic speaker myself. 

I needed Arabic speaker. I studied English. So, Alhamdulillah, I have a good mastery over English and I’m familiar with some of the existing translations. So over the last century over the last 100 years about 130 English translations of the Quran have been produced. 

Maruf: So, can you repeat that from over the last hundred years?

Mustafa: Over the last 100 years? Okay about 130 translations of the Quran have been produced. The first English translation by a Muslim was done in the first half of the 19th century, which means about a hundred years ago. Okay. Well before that for the 300 years the Quran was never translated into

mostly those translations were done by missionaries, by orientalists. 

And this is why we still have some mistranslations in the Quran like holy war and infidels and if we don’t have this in Arabic. So, the most of the Muslims will translate the Quran. So, many of them actually were not qualified to translate in the first place. Some of them didn’t know Arabic, they didn’t know English. They didn’t study.

Maruf: Then how did they translate? 

Mustafa: Maybe they felt there was a need 

and some did it for pride. They wanted to serve Islam. They had I’m sure they had the best of intentions, but many of them were not qualified. I’m not saying that we don’t have any other good translation, there are some good translations. 

I always say that like Abdel Haleem from Oxford, Hamas from Egypt and I think these are two of the best English translations out there, but I felt there was a need to translate the Quran in English and there are some requirements for a translation to be good. Number one, the translator has to be qualified in the first place. 

They have to be a native speaker either of English or Arabic and to have a national study, Islamic Studies translation, how to be Quranic sciences and so on and so forth. So if someone is not qualified there translation will be filled with mistakes and contradictions and those translations will be used against Islam

And number two, some Muslims especially Arabs who translated the Quran, they have this wrong perception that for you to translate the whole island to make it look holy and sacred. It has to be very old English archaic complex, complicated, very difficult to understand. 

So they’ll stay just tell it to you from yeah. They just wanted to copy the King James Bible style and which makes it super difficult for people to understand a lot on.

And this is not a joke. A few years back, I met a guy, a publisher from Singapore, I believe so if he was coming to Mississauga, we have a major event in Toronto happening around Christmas. It’s called the RAS revive the edges here is attended by about 25,000 people. 

Not sure if they’re going to do it this year because of the covid-19 situation. So what happened the guy showed me a sample of a translation of the Quran for kids that he was working on and I looked at it, the star looks nice, there rainbows, the flowers, Marshall of the colors, but when I read the translation, it was none other than Yusuf Ali translation from 1934 to put a difficult.

And I told him to expect these for seven to eight years old kid to understand the stuff you need something like this and this is why I started working on the Clear Quran for kids which is illustrated tons of stories and this is probably the first translation of the Quran for kids in the world that has been edited for kids aged 7 to 12. It’s very easy to understand. So the kids don’t need anybody to read for them and they can’t understand on their own. 

Maruf: So yeah, it surprised me that last two years to spend more than a hundred or a hundred translations. I mean you must be really knowledgeable that but I am kind of just a regular Muslim. All I remember is Yusuf Ali’s translation, right? 

There’s also pics how the situation and so there are a couple of thoughts that are given recently, but for me personally one of the issues always is that this what I read English translation is the distance right now, that makes the full. 

Sometimes we add in the translation a lot of commentary as well. You know, I’d miss a commentary and it just makes it very difficult to read as well. So, I mean I like I get your point, I understand. So what you’re saying is those who are the main issues like you were kind of not happy and then what happened you want beside the concert? 

Mustafa: I think what triggered it all the reasons why I started this translation and it was back in 2013. I was against the Imam in Toronto and mini cab drivers in Toronto are Muslim but one particular day after Juma martial law was dressed up like a prince, etermine and you know, the flowing dress like a prince. 

Mashallah and I was going back to the hotel room and you know, the cab driver that they was not Muslim and out of the blue he said, you know what Muslims are good people but Islam sucks and I said why and he said because your book the Quran calls me an animal.

And I said half if I know the whole Quran by heart and it doesn’t say this anywhere. Are you excited 8:55? Which says that the worst of all the Daua, I’m gonna explain this word are the Kuffar that this beliefs and I said, but you don’t understand the word. 

The word does not mean an animal. It means a living being and Allah explains it in chapter 24 verse 45 Allah says He created every Dadba or Dawab from water some Slither on their bellies, some walk on two feet, some walk on four feet and it’s a very general term and I told him it talked specifically about the people of Mecca, The pagans of Arabia who violated peace agreements with the prophet and they stopped the believers in the back and all this stuff. 

It’s not talking about you. It’s talking about a specific group of people in a particular specific, you know historical context and he said no this is what he’s translation said so he probably read Yusuf Ali or pixel or so that night I decided to do to start this project to translate in the Quran and Alhamdullah  had a huge team of Muslims men, women, old, young and we have three non-muslims who are helping, you know, choose the right words because you know, we included them in the team. 

So we read the translation together and you know, the reason we had them is to tell us, you know, this is not understandable. This is difficult to understand explain this put a footnote and this and that because this translation is for everybody Muslims and non-Muslims and Alhamdulillah two of those three and non-Muslims accepted Islam at the end of the journey. 

Maruf: How long did it take to full whole transition thing?

Mustafa: The initial translation took me one year. I was working day and night, then after I finished work with a huge team of about a hundred people to go through the translation and revise it several times. We have people working here in Edmonton and in different countries and they were helping us, giving us feedback and what we did, also I put together a team and we met all the time to read the translation out loud.

And because we wanted to work on the flow, you know the Rhymes and to make it accessible and appealing I’ll just give you one example in Surah Rahman and this is one of my favorite examples. If you go to chapter 55 verses I would say five to seven, Alshshamsu waalqamaru bihusbnin, Waalnnajmu waalshshajaru yasjudaini, Waalssamaa rafaAaaha wawadaAAa almeezana, all the that means and so you see the flow and the Rhythm and the Rhymes and in Arabic and I wanted to reflect this. 

So I did something like the sun and the moon travel with precision the stars and the trees bow down his submission as for the sky. He raised the tie and said the balance of justice. So the meaning is perfect, but the flow is very good. 

And this is one of the reasons why I think the Clear Quran stands out. So for other reasons our accuracy, we made sure that the translation is accurate based on our understanding of the Arabic clear based on the way it treats in English. It’s accessible. It’s readable and the flow is good. 

You’ll see it’s fluid. You’ll see the flow. It’s not hectic like many other translations with so many brackets and parenthetical information. And finally the eloquence, we tried to reflect the Beauty and the power of the Arabic. It’s accessible and I think these are the four reasons why this is a decent translation. It’s not a perfect translation. There is no translation that is perfect.

The only thing is perfect about this, is the Arabic text. My translation is just a human effort to explain the Divide. So we did our best but it is not a perfect translation. It is just awesome. That’s all. 

Maruf: So, tell me like when a translation was done, was it 2015 to 16 or was it done already?

Mustafa: Well, the translation I finished in one year and I started to use the translation in my class in 2014 where we were revising it so it wasn’t used in 2014, late 2014. We printed the book and in 2015, we started the mass printing in the US and Canada. 

Maruf: How was acceptance to catch, I was like how many guys copy, have you printed out at you distributed so far?

Mustafa:  I believe we started with about 5,000 back into that late 2014 and because we wanted to get a feel of show the community and we got feedback and You made some, you know, improvements based on the feedback. 

So what I did while I was working on the translation, I would choose selected verses of the Quran and I’ll put them on a sheet along with other translations like one verse translated by four to five translations including the Clear Quran, but I didn’t say these translations were done by who.

So I gave the sheets to 15-20 people. I don’t tell them read the sheet and choose the best translation out of the five for the same verse and I would say that more than 95% of you know, the people they chose the Clear Quran because we know all the English, it’s easy straightforward, even high school students can understand, you know, this translates very easy, very accessible.

And over the last few years, Islamic schools in North America in the US and Canada, they started to give and use those versions to the students grade five and six and up. So at some point I realized I think I should do something for students grade 5 & blow and this is why I worked on the Clear Quran for kids. 

Maruf: That’s a very interesting project. I think, all that’s for kids. I think we have a start-up. I would like to discuss but I don’t want to discuss this in probably not in the interview. It’s going to be probably longer discussion, what are things I would like to do that is to introduce it to our future so visual and audio presentation as well. 

But there’s something we can discuss later but the Clear Quran and I had a look I will never believe with all of them, but I just had a quick look and I didn’t like the translation. I would like to get it because I have my three kids as well and I would like to get a hold of for kids as well because my son reads from the English translation. I want to give it to him say this to them to my younger daughters as well. 

Mustafa: Yes, that’s the one.

Maruf: That’s the one I would like to see that I would like to see as you know the kids. They have a different letter setting to do based on your gauge. The more Portugal is this will be the best protection. We had one of the things I did before. 

I show you, I just asked my network. And you guys have questions, so, I got some questions if you don’t mind, we’ll go through them. And then that just sounds so the first question is do you see it as well? I think I also thank you. So yes because my feed is really long. Let me see. 

Mustafa: Yeah, the question was about the Quran dictionary finalizing. Okay, it was from 

Susarisha from the US – basically, I need Ramadan prayers Tarabi every Ramadan and many people complain because as you know, the majority of Muslims, they don’t speak Arabic. 

I would say 85 percent of Muslims are not Arab. So when they stand in Salalah at night Ramadan for one hour or two hours and they listen to the recitation, but most of the time they don’t understand what the Imam is reciting and Subhanallah, they’re frustrated when they hear. 

They are our brothers and sisters crying and prayer because they are touched by a certain verse and these non Arab brothers and sisters. They don’t feel the verses and they’re you know, they feel disconnected and prayer. 

So this is why I started back in 2017 to work on this unique Quran dictionary, In-sha-Allah and finalizing it now. So we expected out in a few months. So, basically the Quran has two thousand entries. You can call them Roots. 

So I listed all these roots and it’s probably the first picture illustrated Quran dictionary in the world. It’s very easy. It’s very logical and I connected the different meanings under the same route. So I’ll give you one example. 

So for example, what is the connection because you see the word Jenna, Janin, Majnoon, Jin under the same route, Jenna or Jenana and when you read any English dictionary of the Quran, they tell you Janna is Paradise, majnoon is insane, Janine is the baby inside the mother and Jin is you know, these spirits that we can’t see. 

So what is the connection between all of these words that come from the same root, they don’t tell you. So, in my dictionary, I tell you that all these roots, all these words that come that are listed under the same root. They share the sense of being hidden you can see with your own eyes. 

Jenna Paradise is in a different world. We can see and Jenine is the baby inside the mother. You can’t see from the outside and Majnoon is someone who is mentally challenged. You can see their sanity from their actions and Jin, they are hidden in a different realm. We cannot see them. 

So this is the common meaning that all of them have and I apply the same thing to all the roots are Quran based. Of course, on classical works like alrabbaul Asmahani. 

You know big books that were written like a thousand years ago and also some personal reflections and so on. 

So I think it’s going to make it super easy for you to understand everything in the Quran. I would say about four months, five months, six months. It depends on your pace. 

Maruf: I would like to go through that as well. Here’s some of the questions like you just holding this in for kids. So this kid’s version. It’s not the whole Quran, is it? Because I think that it’s on the Bakarh.

Mustafa: So the Prophet (S), he explained and this is based on authentic Hadith by Sahih Muslim and others that the Quran they chapters of the Quran are classified into four sections. 

So you have a towel, the long Surahs, long chapters like a Baccarat al-imran and so on and so forth. Alma-in the two rows are about a hundred verses give or take like Surah kahf, for example, then you have Al- Mathani the surahs that are shorter in length. 

Let’s say Surah Yaseen. It is not long, not short then Al-Mofossel and more fossil and more fossil the shores that are typically short and well, from Surah 45 and all the way to 114. This is what the Prophet (S) said. I’m called an amorphous son and the scholars say they start from Surah Hujrat all the way to sort of 49 to 114.

 And this is what I included here, 114 and Sorah. So we have a total of sixty seven chapters inside this book Illustrated. I used tons of stories to explain verses and chapters in the Quran because this is how kids learn.

They like stories. They like illustrations. I was a kid one day and I know how kids learn and over 50 students between the ages of seven to twelve were involved in the making and the editing of this book. Another thing that I’m going to highlight very quickly here that’s the rational questions that our kids ask, students, the young ones.

Because I deal with different schools in the GTA in Toronto in Mississauga and Oakville in different places and students and kids. Generally, they’re inquisitive. They ask questions, they like to learn.

So they asked for example who created Allah, how do we know that Allah exists if we can’t see him, if Allah say, who created humans perfectly, how come my friend has a disability and so on and so forth. The household is, you know difficult questions and sometimes the teachers and the parents, they have a hard time answering these questions. 

So I’ll remember the last throughout this book. I put so many different logical questions and I answer them in a very rational way, maybe sometimes a story in the story form. So the kids will find it, you know understandable.

And they can relate to the answer, so they grow perfectly on their faith because if you tell them to be quiet, don’t have these questions in my house. You’re not my kid in a more. They grow up thinking that Islam is weak, Islam does not have the answer. 

It’s none has the answer, the Quran has the answer the Prophet Muhammad (S) has the answer ever in his body. If we don’t know the answer. It doesn’t mean that the answer doesn’t exist. 

Maruf: We just have to. Can you tell us to the listeners I guess when we were here where they can find more about the Clear Quran especially, about the parents if you want to Find out about the kids version as well.

Mustafa: Yeah, you can go to our website thatclearQuran. org and if you would like to buy your copies, you can also go to Canada. Go to order Quran.ca.

Maruf: Okay.

Mustafa: But everything you can find on our website thatclearQuran.org.

Maruf: Sounds good and you can also give us the links. We also put in the show notes as well . 

Mustafa: Yes and as you can see if you open the adult version or the kids version, I broke down the chapters into themes, I put the titles. I made it very easy to start and finish when you memorize or read and I make it difficult for islamophobes. For example, two things take things out of context because I gave the historical context. 

I put the titles, you know, and In-Sha-Allah. My next project is Allah gives me life In-Sha Allah. I’m going to work on another project that will be the transition from the kids addition to the adult version. So I’m going to cover the entire Quran and that version, it’s going to be easier that I don’t think it would have as many stories and illustrations. 

Yes. It would be Illustrated some you know somewhat to a certain degree and also would have some stories but it would be the transition between the kids edition and the adults verse. 

Maruf: Can I ask you a question like why? You don’t have to answer. You know what that’s fine. Like so one of the things I work with different setups, especially in the Muslim Community, one of the things we also working as we are building a platform for Muslim kids. 

Some kids as a streaming platform. You know Netflix,YouTube where our kids are these days that you play a lot of games, watch a lot of videos. So we’re creating a platform called Ali Huda. So that was for we’re trying to create entertainment, videos to introduce the Islam in the best way, especially, from the young age. 

So one of the things we always keep looking for more entertaining content policy that not only education but also it should be also entertaining because you know that the kids really should be very interesting. 

So one of the things I will like to really explore with you, I guess is that if you are interested in, like for example, getting this what you said translation to do either animated series or maybe like a hybrid like between you can explain some things we can do. 

We should either basis, we would be sure combination, the idea is there’s an author, we want to get this inspiration from you to the kids near the video of your audio and they can play on their apps as well because you know, I mean there are kids, they read books trust me. There are kids. They don’t want to read books, but with reactor them with some eggs with audio and video. 

Mustafa: And this is what I said. I totally agree with you. This is what I said to some parents who questioned me when they saw the translation with all these amazing professional illustrations and they were done by newer kids.

They have a very professional team and I told them dudes you ever wonder why your kids play video games, they watch Netflix and Disney plus four hours and hours 10 to 15 hours a day. And if you ask them to read the Quran translation for two minutes, they keep whining and complaining. 

We have to be competitive. We have to produce something in a very creative way. We have to use, you know, stories to explain funny stories and also illustration. This is how our kids learn you know, so we have to be ahead of the game. 

We have to be competitive if you want your kids to learn about Islam. So, Subhanallah, this one we have some amazing lost relations and fantastic stories throughout the book. 

Maruf: So the question is you got your stories. Everything is ready, it’s enwritting,  is that you and your team are interested and to bring to the kids via video and audio? 

Mustafa: Yeah, of course, I’m interested. 2e can get together sometime and discuss it with our publisher and for Quran in Chicago sure and yeah, we can work something out there, why not. 

Maruf: I think that’s what this one changed. You know, the whole thing is as you said for many many kids shown generations to come if you do it properly, you know. 

Mustafa: Inshaallah, and as you can see the illustrations, we have like, you know an African guy on the cover a white guy, Arab guy, out of guy and we have a Pakistani girl on the cover. Even the stories inside. 

The book are reflective of the diversity of Islam. You will see stories about Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali  about Al Ahmedabad, stories from Turkey, stores from Egypt, stories from Canada. I don’t know from all over the world and Subhanallah. 

These are amazing stories and I selected them from many other stories because I give good Buzz Friday speeches and lectures and people stories.So, absolutely, take note of the stories and I use stories to make things easy and clear and this is why I use so many of them in the book. 

Maruf: Yeah. I mean, as I said, I would like to get a copy, I would like to get it on my hands and I would like to see, but I think this could be something very interesting as first of the coloration, brother Mustafa. I know. We won’t keep you here long. 

I know you’re busy. So I want to ask my last questions, a question that I should have asked maybe I didn’t ask, you may want to say  something, you want to share with the audience, with our listeners. 

It can be a message, you have and maybe I haven’t asked you know, I try to ask your background story about the Quran. It has been a beautiful journey. Sometimes I always keep question like, is that something you want to tell, you want to share with the audience? 

Mustafa: Well, my goal in life. I’m focusing now on making the Quran and Islam accessible to the young generation that use and children and I believe that we should teach Islam to our children, not the way that we were taught in our country’s back home because to be honest with you and I’m not trying to be funny like when I was young in my in the village in Egypt, I had two motivations to study and go to school the shoe or the stick. 

The shoe on the stick which means that we didn’t have the motivation that we should have like here in Canada in North America and Europe to love what you are reading what you are studying. You don’t have to be pushed by your parents to study and to do your homework. You want to do it out of love. 

Maruf: Absolutely. 

Mustafa: And this is what we need to do with our kids to present Islam and the Quran to our children in a way that they love to help them learn love and live the message of the want to be motivated. And this is why, Masha’allah, Clear Quran for kids is both informative and entertaining at the same time. 

Maruf: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, right? Like that’s why I think we should push it even forward as I said now it’s up in a book format for but I think if you do it in there like audio and a story based format, it goes even further, you know, even further. That’s the thing.

I agree with you a hundred percent. That’s why even by creating  the platform, we don’t just want to be like, education public good because we know from just as education, education, education afterward. They get worried because I believe the best form of education is like, an inspirational, entertainment, you know, and how do you get other kids, think they are enjoying it, at the same time they learn.

Mustafa: I am happy that many schools in the US and Canada by Islamic schools are adopting the Clear Quran for kids. Mostly, for elementary schools so they can include it in the curriculum In-Sha-Allah. So, this is good news. The old boring dry style doesn’t fly any more without our kids. We have creative.

 Maruf: May Allah reward you. Thank you for your time. I learned quite a lot. I learned about your childhood where we go, those who are your mom inspired you to go. And also you said hundreds of translations have been done in English, which I didn’t know but now we are discussing that Clear Quran project for the kids. 

I’m so inspired the shop. As I said, this is let’s not the end. It’s just the beginning of long-term friendship and see how we can make it work as well and may Allah make this interview collective and inspiration for many listeners and will benefit from this circle of this. It’s my pleasure. 

It’s been taught that pleasure talking to you and looking forward to seeing you right cause you’re my neighbor, the way I usually would walk away once a day maybe one of these days we should go and post created with the walk on that. Thank you very much. Assalamu alaikum.

Mustafa: Thanks for having me. Walaikumassalam.

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Episode 28