This year we are excited to bring in some individuals from the HalalTrip 40 list to share with us their journeys, their stories, and the challenges they went through to get to where they are today. Today we'll get up close and personal with some of the awardees from the HalalTrip 40, 2022 list.
So some of you may be wondering, what exactly is HalalTrip 40? HalalTrip 40 came about last year when we realized that there really isn't a list of inspiring and influential Muslims that we could relate to. Although there are similar lists around, we wanted to give recognition to individuals who have not only contributed to the community in a big way but also to give credit to our everyday community heroes. In this year's list, we have awardees from all over the world, from Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, Indonesia, and more. But before that, I want to let you know that if you already know someone who fits the HalalTrip 40 2023 list, go ahead and nominate their names here. The nominations are open until next year, so you can go ahead. It doesn't really matter again how big or how small the contributions are and their impact is. The top 40 awardees will be shortlisted for the year's list.
Going back to this year's HalalTrip 40 list of 40 amazing individuals, we want to share some of the outstanding profiles that we have. So there are four categories in total: The Trailblazers, the Advocates, the inspirers, and the Creators.
The trailblazers are thought leaders who have made amazing breakthroughs in being first or even one of the first few in their respective fields.
The advocates are amazing champions for doing good. These individuals are in it to make a change for the community, for the better, through education, charity, humanitarian efforts, and even environmental advocacy.
The inspirers are individuals who inspire change, motivate others, and possess the courage to take a stand on what they strongly believe in.
The creators are content creators and powerful storytellers who motivate and encourage you to be the best version of yourself that you can be through their craft.
So let's start with introducing our three speakers for today. So we have Ayaz Bhuta, a Paralympic gold medalist from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Competing in wheelchair rugby. It's the first time the country has won a medal of any color in the sport at the Paralympic Games. He was born with Robert's Syndrome, a disability that has affected the growth of his limbs. Ayaz is a keen advocate to change the perception of disability in his own community. He regularly delivers speeches and visits schools to inspire the next generation. Ayaz was awarded MDE,.So what is an MBE? MBE is a member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's New Year's honors list.
Our next guest is not someone new to us. She has been on our podcast for one episode, but it was really interesting. We have Dr.Salehatul Khuzaimah, or rather known as Dr.Imah from Malaysia. She is a veterinarian with more than 5 million likes on TikTok, where she shares her day-to-day life as a veterinarian and her love for all animals. Big or small. She has told us about it. She is actively involved in public awareness regarding pet health and tips, animal welfare, and things related to pets and public health concerns on her social media platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. So don't forget to listen to the podcast after this.
And last but not least, we have Muhammad Noor based in Malaysia. He's the founder and managing director of the Rohingya Project, a blockchain-based organization that brings financial inclusion and digital identity to stateless people. Some projects he has undertaken include developing the Rohingya scripts from manual to digital form, developing an online and offline healthcare management system, and developing online educational systems and various software for multinational companies to assist them in different countries. That is a mouthful and amazing and so crazy in so many ways, but I'm sure it has created such an impact.
Yeah, it's a very long journey to the Paralympics. every four years, the Paralympics come along and you have to train and stay on the team for those four years. So every year you have European Championships, World Championships, and then another European Championships to qualify for the Paralympics. So you have to keep on training and make the team for all these Championships. It was very tricky, really, to train for the Paralympics because we had the Coronavirus and it was in Tokyo 2020, and then it turned into Tokyo 2021, so we still had to train, even though the whole world went into lockdown. So I turned my house into a gym room and also trained outside and then when things opened up as a country, we started to train in phases. So we can only train like two teammates, four teammates, or six teammates, we can go through the whole return to play process. And also in the lead-up to the Paralympics, we didn't have many preparation competitions, so we only had one competition against Denmark and France, which isn't great preparation before like a Paralympic tournament. So we basically just trained our hearts out in training camps. So every ten days we met up as a country, as a team, in our training base for four or five days and we can train there and we train for 3 hours, one session in the morning and then 3 hours in the afternoon, and then we have a video analysis meeting. So each day I have to train every day, whether that be with my club team, with gym training, with watching videos of other teams doing homework, so it's pretty much a full-time job.
And then also, as you mentioned, I do a bit of advocacy work around making disability awareness better in my own community, which I'm from an Indian background. And so, yeah, I go around lots of schools, mosques, Islamic centers and just share my story with them and obviously show people the gold medal.
Yes, so there are lots of challenges. First of all, there's like a pool of players and you have to be the best twelve in the country just to get selected, so there's lots of competition. And also when I first started my career in wheelchair rugby, I got told I was not going to be good enough. I was too small. So I stand, I don't know what your metric system there is but I’m 3ft7in and then I weigh like 43kg, which is quite light for a wheelchair rugby player. When I got into a team, I got told for my health and safety I was not going to be good enough, and I was always going to get hit out and people would target me. But I've always had this desire in myself that throughout my life I've had lots of people telling me that I cannot do things. So when somebody tells me I can't do something, it makes me more determined. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. So basically, I trained with my club team for two to three years and then just made my own style of gameplay. So just to avoid hits, being a bit more annoying on the court, avoiding and being very tricky. And then three years after getting dropped, I got my chance into the GB Elite team and basically won the best player in my position. And then since 2013, up until 2022, and InshaAllah more years to come. I've been on the team.
HalalTrip: Before we move on to the next question, I just want to give Ayaz the opportunity to explain why he moved from the basketball team to the rugby team?
Yeah. So I used to play wheelchair basketball with wheelchair basketball, I found it as a sport because I was going through a tough time in my life, so I put on a lot of weight. I lost all my friends because I always used to get stared at by people, and that really affected me mentally. So I never used to go out of the house, just used to sit indoors. I found wheelchair basketball, and I loved wheelchair basketball. Just flying about in a wheelchair, shooting baskets. And the difference between basketball and rugby is you're not allowed to ram or smash into another wheelchair basketball because it's class as a foul. And if you get five fouls, the referee calls you for five fouls, you get sent off from the game. And then wheelchair rugby came along. There was a scout watching in the stands, and he said, you look pretty rough. Why don't you try wheelchair rugby? And then the first thing that grabbed me about wheelchair rugby was I was allowed to hit people in a wheelchair legally and not get into trouble., I have, like, an alter ego. Off the court I'm nice. On the court, fiesty.
HalalTrip: All right. Talking about being accepted in the community. Dr. Imah where you're living right now, I think it's safe to say, like, veterinarians are sometimes not being accepted as, how do I say it's more of like a lot of questions from the community, but how do you be a veterinarian? How do you be a vet? or animal doctor and like how do you kind of cater to animals? Maybe a bit more difficult. There are some catering to dogs and some animals. How do you, as a doctor, I think through your social media, explain and spread the awareness to your followers on the steps that you do as a Muslim and when you nurse these animals. Maybe you can share with us more about that.
Actually, there are a lot of challenges I've been facing, especially as a vet. A Muslim vet in Malaysia when it's related to treating dogs, especially some individuals might think that if you're a Muslim vet, you should choose what type of patient you should care for. There are some people who comment and advise me to change my job to “more halal” ways of treating dogs. So that's what makes me realize that our society is actually not familiar with this profession, especially when it's related to treating animals. Some people might not understand the responsibility of a vet to treat any kind of animal. That's what we already pledged to do during our studies. So that is what makes me want to explain or let others know that the veterinary profession is very wide, it's very complicated. Also when we're dealing with life, we're dealing with the community, we're dealing with animals who cannot talk, that comes to an idea on how actually I started to educate people about this veterinarian profession.
Basically, because I understand they don't understand what our job is all about. I mean, some of the people comment that if that's your job, you should not show other people that kind of thing. But for me, if I don't show it to other people, how are you going to know what our day-to-day work is, our daily job, and how we’re actually implementing our work, that kind of thing. Because I don't think many people know what a veterinarian is. They just know that vets only treat cats or "doctor ayam", because I've been called that title, why not be a human doctor or something like that. So this profession is a kind of a double standard profession, accepting our profession as a profession that is noble, not yet.
HalalTrip: Also residing in the same country is Muhammad Noor. Muhammad Noor, you have amazing projects that you have been working on for the Rohingyan community.
Yes, thank you very much for having me here on this show. I really appreciate it. Of course. Just to give you a brief introduction to Rohingya. Rohingya, a tiny Muslim minority that lives in Burma, and they're living in the Arakan state. For centuries, in 1700, Burma attacked Arakan and then made Arakan into one of their states. So from a nation, Rohingya became minorities and then the British came down. After the British left, Rohingya were considered full citizens of Burma up to 1962 when Burma's democracy turned into a dictatorship by the military. That's where the cornerstones of the Rohingya genocide started.
So since 1962, all the way today, the Rohingyas are subjected to horrific persecution, grabbing of their lands, killing people, and raping. And up to recently in 2012, where the recent massacre up till today is going on where they have erased more than 1000 villages from Maungdaw, Buthidaung, from Arakan, and many of the Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh.1.5 million Rohingya live in Bangladesh, and about 100 over thousand lives in Malaysia and about 300,000 lives in Saudi Arabia. There's no country where Rohingya is not a refugee today. On top of that, not only genocide has been going on, it's beyond the border. Rohingya have been revoked their identity. So Rohingyans are not only refugees, but they’re also stateless people. Countries like Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. They are not stateless, they are refugees because they have issues in the country. If the country becomes stable, they can go back. No matter how stable Burma becomes, Rohingya cannot go back because the Burmese government does not recognize Rohingya as their citizen. So, just to give you the Rohingya situation is a horrific situation. From 1962 until today.
If I look at some of the bullet points, in 1962, we are about 90% of the population was in Burma. Today, 90% of the population is outside Burma. None of the Rohingya is educated. Today, less than 1% of Rohingya are educated. Most of the Rohingya, 98% or 99%of them do not have an identity. They are smuggled from one country to another. They have been sold like fish in places like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Singapore, and in all those countries, unfortunately, smuggled from here and there. They've been sold. Their daughters have been raped. And it's horrific. Things have been happening up till today.
So me being a Rohingya, and being fortunate, I have started a couple of projects. One of them is called the Rohingya Project is to bring some sort of solution to the Rohingya community. So before we bring the solution, I can just list down some of the major issues that Rohingya have. Rohingya cannot have a birth certificate anywhere in the world. Rohingya cannot have a passport, so they cannot travel. Rohingya cannot open up a bank account. Rohingya cannot go to school, and cannot go to the hospital. I can name it. Rohingya have no access to any of these things because they are not recognized as citizens of Burma and beyond the border of Burma also, we have the same problem. So, having said that, we might not be solving every problem. United Nations is looking into it. ICJ and many other countries around the world are trying to bring the perpetrators and the Burmese government into the International Criminal Court and so on. But on the ground reality, nothing is happening in such.
So we cannot wait another 40 years today, because this is the fourth generation of Rohingya that has been persecuted not only in the border, across the border, in the region, and across the world. So some of us, the Rohingya have decided to work something out rather than humanitarian work. Of course, humanitarian work is equally important. Giving them shelter, food, and stuff like that. The immediate necessity, but looking into the future, how the generation is going to evolve, how the Rohingya community can go beyond what they have today. So how the next generation can get educated, can get financial access, can get anything for the rest of the other community has. So Rohingya project is trying to bring a solution through digital identity using blockchain technology.
So blockchain is a technology that underlays all these cryptocurrencies and so on, but that is the beginning of it. Today blockchain is used in health care systems, blockchain is used in supply chain management, blockchain is also been used in digital identity, and so on. It's a decentralized technology that is not in the control of a single entity or a single person. So it's a distributed network that nobody controls. So that's exactly what we need because we are the victim of the centralized institute. So Rohingya project is trying to bring the digital identity and bring some sort of financial inclusion where people can send and receive some sort of money and have some sort of livelihood using digital communication tools that is available. It is not something that we are creating by ourselves, but we are trying to join the piece so that the Rohingya community can thrive in the future.
People can get an education, people can get financial access, and most importantly, they can stand on their feet rather than wait for the handouts. So this is one of the projects that I'm doing, and of course, there are many other projects I'm working on. One of them is also the translation of the Rohingya Quran. So the Quran is already like 1400 years and unfortunately, we are such a huge nation of roughly 3.5 million to 4 million people who do not have a Quran translated into the Rohingya language. So this is a project, novel project we started last year, Alhamdulillah. We are halfway through the 15 to 16 juz now. We have completed and also digitized the Rohingya language.
I've also started a football club like Brother Ayaz has told because all of the stories of Rohingyas are all horrific and genocide and so on. We wanted to use a football team as a connecting point and empower the youth. And then this football team is actually recognized as a national team of Rohingya and playing against other nations. Of course, FIFA is for nations but there is another alternative called CONIFA, the de facto nation stateless people refugee World Cup. So we are actually part of that as well, just to name a few of the projects.
Ultimately it's to build the Rohingya community and what has have destroyed by the Burmese regime for the last 40 years.
Burma is actually not only persecuting the Rohingya within the country now, because there are a lot of digital tools available, like Facebook, and Twitter. Recently, they have started a hate campaign against Rohingya in Bangladesh, where the local Bengalis hate refugees. And they started the same things in Malaysia. They use all these fake names of local Malay people. And started to swear at people. So they create hate in Malaysia, they create hate in Bangladesh, they create hate in India, and they are doing this digitally, manipulating, and you have seen all these fake news and all these things, and some people really believe on the ground and they get affected. And the sympathy for the Rohingya community in India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Thailand, is actually reduced during COVID, if you really look into it, unfortunately. So that is also what they are persecuting. We are also fighting that, unfortunately. As I told many people, if the Rohingya community has to be given access, like any other nation, to their homeland, it will take another 100 years to rebuild what they have destroyed, in terms of identity, in terms of education, in terms of morals, in terms of everything that a community has, unfortunately, I think it's about taking it a step at a time. So to move forward is what matters.
So this is a very long answer, so I apologize. I competed in the Rio 2016 Paralympics six years ago now, and we finished fifth. So we lost the games that we needed to win. We lost them by one point. Then after that, a chain of events happened. So every Paralympic or Olympic sport is funded by an organization, and because we didn't win a medal, we lost all our funding. So that meant I lost my wage. The team lost its funding to go to tournaments, et cetera, like that. But we believed as a team that we could win gold and We had good enough players to prove people wrong, basically. So for the next four or five years, with the extra COVID year, we carried on training, carried on just winning at the European level. But the history of the Great Britain wheelchair rugby team is whenever we go to the Paralympics games or a World Championship Games. We always finish like fourth or fifth. So it's in the history of the nation. But in 2018, we finished fourth at the World Championships. And then we decided to change our mindset.
So we said, Why is this happening? Why are we constantly finishing fourth and fifth, fourth and fifth? We changed our mindset and changed the culture of the team. We started to analyze training sessions more. We were honest with teammates more, and we did a lot more video analysis sessions as well. So it was a building block, really. And then when we got to Tokyo 2020, we just went through it. I think we were prepared because of all the adversity that you face to win that tournament, and it was very hard to win that tournament because we face Canada, we face the USA, we face Japan, we face New Zealand. They're the top teams in the world. And for us, we were number four going into the world. And on paper, the best we could have probably done was a bronze medal. But we had this inner belief in ourselves to just actually just try and win. And then it wasn't a smooth tournament. I know we have won gold, but we can’t say we won all the Games. We actually lost one Game in the group stage against the USA. We were about five or six points up and we lost by two points. And then we beat Japan, which we hadn't beaten since 2016. And then to beat them in the semi-final and to make history, and that's where we celebrated the most because just winning the semi-final, you are guaranteed the silver medal. So we actually have a silver medal, which felt like a gold medal, because we actually made history just by winning that. And then we faced the USA in the final again, we lost to them three days previously. So this shows you the culture and the belief of the team. And we actually beat the USA by four or five points constantly, because obviously I'm Muslim and things, and I always made a dua like a prayer saying that if a medal is good for me, then let it happen. If it doesn't so the gold medal happened and then you asked me about the feeling. I just got this feeling, like, of euphoria and faith, like my duas have been answered. And I was just going to the cameras showing Allahu Akbar and things like that. So it just got a sense of iman and faith. Like all the duas have been answered the adversity that we've been through and personally all throughout my life, and it just all came to this one defining moment put into it.
HalalTrip: How is the welcome from Great Britain when you came home? How was it when you guys made history?
Yeah. So because of the COVID situation in Japan, we weren't allowed any fans or friends and family to come and watch. So we played in front of empty stadiums whereas in Rio 2016 we played in front of 15 to 20,000 people, which was crazy. We spent a day after the tournament finished with the team and we were sort of like, okay, we won the gold medal we're done. So I was expecting to go home and just relax at home. But straight from the airport, we had a welcome ceremony. And then I got home around midnight because I landed in London, and it's a four-hour drive to where I live. But I came home to my street welcoming me, all my neighbors, and they stayed up to congratulate me and welcome me I showed them the medal. And then we had a big street party a few days later, which was meant to be a surprise, but I found out about it. My life has just completely changed. Basically. It's just more famous in quotation marks around my area. People know who I am. I've been on TV, done lots of cool TV appearances, the opportunity to meet celebrities again, and then have been given a member of the Order of the British Empire, which is probably one of the greatest honors as a Great Briton individually in the UK. My life has just completely changed. I'm now setting up my own business to do schoolwork, inspire the next generation, and find more Asians and more Muslims with disabilities and trying to empower them like my family has empowered me. Because I'm not sure if, you know, if it's like in your specific countries especially. I imagine it's even worse in the Rohingya community about disabilities, which I've grown up with lots of discrimination and lots of things said to me about me, like I can't do things and et cetera and things like that. I imagine lots of other disabled Muslims go through the same thing, and I hope to be like, a champion of change for those types of people. I've done lots of projects in Sri Lanka and a bit of Syria as well, which I hope from Muhammad Noor. If you can contact me after this, I think I'd love to get involved with something more specifically aimed at people with disabilities. I hope I can help out. Just do like a fundraising campaign for your project or something like that. Inshallah. So I have a great passion to help out people and make things life make life better for other people as well.
HalalTrip: On that note of the feeling of achievements and feel of your life changing, I think I wanted to ask also, Dr.Imah, like, you have more than 5 million likes on TikTok you are quite a sensation on social media. How was it when you realize that the videos that you were creating on TikTok was going wild and people are actually watching and viral? How was it?
Actually, I didn't expect things like that, actually, my niyyah was just to educate people. But to come this far, I didn't realize actually that people might see something in my posts, how actually I'm expressing things around me, around our community, especially even in our community also, even the vets also recognize me as one of the influencers for our community. So it's such a great honor. It's such a great feeling, actually being able to bring up our profession to set a level that actually let everyone know that this profession is actually a very good one. Since I've posted many educational videos, tips, and also how actually we are managing our lives daily as a Muslim vet. Because that one, I think is more highlighting, especially when it's related to dogs giving what I can give. Recently, my friends who are lecturers in the universities, asked the current students, the new intake students, and the vet students, what actually makes them want to be a vet. So they highlight that I want to be like Dr. Imah. Yeah, it's something encouraging, actually, because I really didn't think I can influence someone to be something.
Honestly, I feel like I feel that these individuals, or rather these inspirational individuals. They are very important in our lives as young Muslims. I think they are the representatives that show that, okay, we can be this person. Yeah. And I think that sets the path for other Muslims to show that just because you're a Muslim doesn't mean you can't do this. Although the stereotypical view is that you cannot do that.I think you being a veterinarian actually opened opportunities for younger kids, our children who actually have the passion for veterinary and are still able to do it. Because ultimately it's a good job, it's a good noble profession. But perhaps the stereotypical view is that, oh, you can't do this, you can't do that, but the bigger meaning is more important and it's what matters.
The first clinic I started in 2014. Actually, I have two clinics, basically, before that, I worked with Small Animal Clinic for five years after graduating. And then because I really wanted to be a practitioner, because I really love to do new things. Because basically if you are working with others, you have some limitations. But when you are first so you can do whatever you want. I mean, in terms of treating other animals besides cats and dogs, I'm also practicing with exotic animals such as snakes, reptiles, and other animals, which are categorized as exotic pets. So it's very challenging because of exotic animals. It's kind of a bit complicated because not much research has been done, especially when it is related to the treatments, and the diseases. So basically we are learning from what we see, from our experience in treating other species of animals. So it's a great thing to challenge me because I love things that are challenging. I really love wild animals. I'm into wild animals. I really wanted to join the Zoos, that kind of thing. But my pathway, Allah has stated that this is what I should be, here is what I am.
I think the current social media, actually, if you are using it in the right way, it actually gives us back, especially when I'm sharing the tips on how to face unfamiliar dogs, for example, and how to approach a dog, especially. I think most of the Muslim community has been dog trained. To be afraid. So that's how actually we need to know what is the behavior of dogs. We need to know the body language and how to face these animals. Should we run, should we just stay or should we hit them? So that of this actually we have been taught to run away, to throw stones or stakes, that kind of thing. But actually, it's not a good thing to do to animals, not just dogs but other animals also. I think that's a concern. Really, growing up in this part of the world where are I'm not sure in other parts of the world where that's common, but really, like, I mean, you grew up with that sort of thing. But having learned through these are our videos, you're able to explain I'm able to explain to my parents that this is not exactly the way it should be, and these are the reasons why. And I think that also the onus is on us to also teach that to our future generations. So it's important that we ourselves know the reasons why so that we can spread the knowledge. I feel like talking about future generations,
HalalTrip: Muhammad Noor maybe you can share with us what are some of the things that the public, should be more aware of how and how can we contribute? If you want to help with some of the causes.
If we look at any community, what happened to the Rohingya community can happen. And I hope that it does not happen to anyone, but it can happen to any community. Look at what happened to Syria. Syria ten years ago was a flourishing country where doctors and engineers today, those doctors you will see in Lebanon, in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, selling bread and stuff like that, all the doctors and engineers and so on. So I hope it does not happen to anyone. But what happened to us and what is happening until today. There are 1.4 billion Muslims. There are over 50 to 60 nations that Muslims are in or Muslim countries. But unfortunately, the harsh reality of it is that today Rohingya have not been treated or given opportunities in a way that they become sustainable, in a way that they can stand on their own feet. That's what lacking on many different levels. So it is not that it's too hard giving access for the Rohingyans to education, giving access to health care in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India or Saudi Arabia, or even Bangladesh. So it's just a matter of a policy to change on a top-level policy to change how to help in one way or another. That is one way to look at it. Another thing is that how can we rather than help humanitarians and give them food immediately, how can we give them some sort of way so that they can be sustainable, so they can stand on their own feet rather than going and begging and so on. So to do that project like ours and many other projects, who gives education, who gives access to health care, who gives some sort of identity to them in a way that gives sustainability?
And we are also in the future we are trying to launch a platform where Rohingya can actually buy and sell products and services using something called R-Coin. R-Coin is a refugee or a RohingyaCoin that can be used over the blockchain. And we are using this tokenomics and digital economy, using that technology, building that infrastructure. So during that infrastructure, we are actually inviting different entities and different organizations and institutions. Some of them are academics. So we have teamed up with the University of Washington, the University of Tokyo, and even the National University of Singapore (NUS). We have launched multiple reports and we have launched multiple POC proof of concept that it can be workable. So I always start with a couple of things. Number one is, for example, your identity is provided by your government. But now the question is what happens if your government does not provide you with an identity, right? So your protection is given by your government. What happened is the same government is starting to kill you, who is going to protect you? So this is exactly what's happening to the Rohingya community. And we are looking for a lot and we can not see anytime in the near future that Rohingya can go back into Burma and then have a sustainable life. So that's why we are looking for a way that at least whatever available resources we have digitally, how can we acquire that and put it into context and make a solution out of it so that the people can access those solutions and benefits such as education, transfer of money. Why should they be left out in this advanced world with such a thing as education just simply because they don't have an identity? So I believe what you have mentioned is that we have been doing a lot of projects.
Like one of them is the Rohingya Blockchain project, and the Rohingya television project. We are also broadcasting news and so on, bringing this news and fighting the Burmese narrative against us. So we have multiple projects. You can visit us, our Facebook, and our websites and see which project you think you fit the most. And you can support us in many different ways, not only monetary but in terms of helping us strategize, helping us to network with more organizations and give more reach and make these things something worthwhile. Because this is an unsolved problem for the last six years. And this is not only a Muslim problem that Muslims are supposed to solve but a global problem that is affecting all across the region. So on every level, there is no way for anybody or any one of us to escape from this. Because today technology is actually equipped us with something that we cannot say okay, let Rohingya be killed in Burma. Let them rape, let them so then we are coming back to the narration of what Rasulullah SAW said: we can never become an ummah, if one part of the body is in pain, the whole body gets the pain. So today we have lost that connection. So we have brothers in Syria, Palestine, Kashmir, and many different parts of the world, and countries are still not doing enough. You can see because if it is done enough, I've seen yesterday or the day before yesterday, there's a report that there are 100 million refugees. Now those who need support do not have a house, do not have a future. Just imagine 100 million people and it's increasing because war is devastating us. So I always say now you want to be part of the problem or you want to be part of the solutions. So what we are doing is solutions.
HalalTrip: So very quickly, I like to ask each of our amazing panelists, each of you has gone through different struggles in life, and different personal journeys have started different ventures. What is one piece of advice you'll give to the younger Muslim generation who are maybe facing any rejection, disappointment, or setback at this point in time?
So I think one of the most important things is that we Muslims have lost our identity. As Muslims, we try to imitate people that we do not even resonate with what people say. So a lot of people think that wearing a hijab is radicalism, and having a beard is radicalism. So you do not let other people's opinions define you. We are a Muslim nation and we have values that are engraved in us. And we are capable of the people like today, the computers and all this is the backbone of mathematics, and mathematics is the backbone of algorithm. We had people like Al Kharizmi and many other scientists in the Muslim world. We have dominated science and technology, aeronautical engineering, and so on. So this was our history. Today, when you see that we are way behind our ancestors, our ancestors were way advanced in us in terms of many things, in terms of value, in terms of technology, in terms of science, and all this. Today, we have lost that. We have to come back to that track and bring our unity and let's not other people's opinions define our future. As Muslims, our ultimate great objective is Muhammad SAW, who is a great example of humanity. So that should be our model, rather than Spider-man and Superman. All this is fictional. So our character should be Muhammad SAW and the sahabahs. And then how can we build into that? And how can we leave and make my ultimate piece of message is: create easiness for people. Don't make people's life hard. Make people's life easy. In whatever you can. Throw a smile, throw a solution, anything. Be part of the solution, don't be part of the problem.
Yeah. I really agree with Mr.Muhammad Noor's explanation regarding our Muslim communities. It goes to other professions related to Muslims as well, especially when we are trying to show that Muslims are. It's good, actually. I'm showing things. It's just that most of our community nowadays, are very good at judging, they are very good at judging people. Instead of giving support or at least asking what is going on, I think that should be a good way of communication instead of judging things which is not right. So if it's our responsibility to bring up what we call “Maruah” or our dignity as a Muslim which we can actually involve in many things, yeah, we're not that narrow kind of thing. So along the journey as a vet, actually I learned more about Islam, especially when the different perceptions, and the different scholars' thinking. So actually it's not that other scholars' thinking is bad, it's just that different thinking of others, we have to come in and it doesn't make us out of Islam at all. We have to learn more about other regions practicing different learning and teachings.
I echo everything that's been said for me, it's staying true to your identity, like who you are as a person and you need to find who you are. But as Muslims, we can pretty much do anything that we can put our mind to as long as it's within the falls of Islam. But it's about changing perceptions and not letting people's perceptions and ideologies et cetera put you off. So basically find something that you do that you enjoy, work hard at it, because if you work hard at it and you enjoy it, you're going to be successful at it. So that's my advice to the youth out there.
We would like to express a big thank you to all three of our HalalTrip 40 awardees for taking time out of their busy schedules to be a part of this panel and for sharing your heartfelt stories with us. We hope that you enjoyed the sharing.
If you know anyone who should be on the HalalTrip 40 list in 2023, send in your nominations here. We hope to see more inspiring individuals just like them next year!