He continued with a story, he prefaced it saying that some of the crowd has heard his story before and some have not, so he was saying it anyway. His story goes:
"I used to go to Egypt a lot, 30 years ago, 15-18 times a year. I found a masjid that I would go to and every Thursday, for 52 weeks a year, there would be itikaf at the masjid. One day, after fajr, the Shaikh came and was talking to all of us. He saw me and noticed he had not met me before and asked where I was from, probably thinking I was from another part of Egypt. Then, one of the brothers responded for me saying 'Huwa min Amreeka, min Chicago!' (He's from America, from Chicago!). The Shaikh was floored and grabbed me and proclaimed 'Anta rasul fil Amreeka!" (You are the messenger in America!), he said I was the Prophet's messenger in America. The Shaikh then said, 'America is pregnant with Islam, it needs a good doctor to deliver her! You are the messenger!"
His story tells me several things, he is very rich, first of all, he doesn't mind telling people the praise he received, whereas humble people would shy away from sharing such details, especially to a group of people he does not know. It also tells me that he thinks very highly of himself and has a lot of confidence to back it up. The story, however, proved to have no redeeming quality in it whatsoever, as far as I am concerned. If you think there is something of note or value in this story that I have mistakenly overlooked, feel free to point it out to me.
To be fair, he then tried to humble himself and try to make it look like he wasn't trying to glorify himself in front of all us impressionable young people by saying "You are all messengers of Islam in America." Uh huh... You can keep that title for yourself.
After that story, which to me was kind of pointless (although I am sure others enjoyed it), he resumed his topic and said that "If you love Allah, then you have to follow his Rasul, but people just dress like him and don't act like him or follow his akhlaq." Repetition of a point, it's a good tactic, seriously.
He said all the Sahabah were Kuffar at one point before Islam, even Abu Bakr (R). He said that "iman" (faith) is defined in Surah Hujurat and quoted the verse in Arabic. He then went political, which I didn't appreciate. He said that when the Palestinian children "throw stones at the tanks, the Israelis are peeing in their pants! And the same thing will happen in Syria!" I bet he wanted to use the term "pissing" but determined it to be more vulgar than "peeing" he could have just said they would be scared. And Syria, apparently, the same thing will happen there, I believe he was referring to justice.
He switched gears a bit and spoke about what a certain Mawlana Abu Hasan Al Nadawi wrote in a book entitled, "What Have the World Lost by the Decline of Muslims?" He went on a rant saying that "your parents came to America and your grand parents came to America, thinking it was better! But where are your roots!?" What a hypocrite, what the heck is he doing in America? And... he didn't mention exactly why Muslims lost power. It's a funny thing actually, they lost power because of the Arabs. The Arabs effectively helped the British and the French bring down the last Khalipha and the Ottoman Empire 90 years ago, as well as the last Sultan for all the Muslims. If you guys don't know this, read your history books, nothing is hidden. That's where Arab nationalism sprung up from, if you guys don't want to read anything, just watch "Lawrence of Arabia" it's an excellent movie with a famous Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif, (and you can't forget about Peter O'Toole) that details how it happened, from the imperial perspective. So of course, it does not do justice to the Ottomans. And the Arabs wonder why their countries are in such shambles. Nationalism is not a part of Islam. The Arabs took nationalism so seriously that they fought against their OWN Muslim brothers, the Turks. What comes first? Your religion or your nation? These countries have existed for how long? How much longer will they exist? Islam has withstood the test of time for 1433 years and it will endure till the end of days. Insha'Allah. You can't possibly unite the Ummah if everyone is going to hold on to their national identity and consider such and such person from such and such nation lesser or greater, of course no one says any other country is greater than theirs...
Sorry for that rant, I will attempt to write an article with appropriate sources and citations, expanding on the Arab plight and error of nationalism in general.
Anyway, he continues asking the Jamaat "What do you think when you hear the number 23? Michael Jordan right? How about the numbers 10 and 13, 23, Michael Jordan right? How about the number of years our Prophet spread dawah? No, right?" This was an interesting point, I actually appreciated this one.
He began encouraging proselytizing, which sure, we should do, but rather by action than by anything else. If you are going to be like the Evangelicals, then you need to be organized like them and teach people what's the best way to approach non-Muslims with Islam. Then he went back to how he traveled to Egypt many times a year at one point in his life, so he was able to read the Quran many times a month (thank you for being so humble). He mentioned how once he was flying to Egypt and upon arriving, another Arab brother thanked him, and he asked him, "Why are you thanking me?" The Arab responded saying that he was going to enjoy some liquor but when he say the khateeb reading Qur'an he grew ashamed and did not. The khateeb began to sob at this point, why? I have no idea. I liked the story, however, it was a good demonstration of leading by example.
He said that one day, "People are going to wish they were Muslim!" And he starting crying again... I really don't know why he was crying, and once is definitely more than enough. He continued and made a comparison between the current Seniors who are in the process of finding employment with when we die how we will seek Rasul (S)'s intercession. He said that we shouldn't worry about a house, or car, or luxuries, that they are all going to go. To an extent I agree with him, however, I am confident he is a very wealthy man. I mean, he was traveling to Egypt 15-18 times a year... I don't get why he's saying that if that is truly the case.
He ended with "Ask yourself, 'What are you going to tell Rasul?'"
That was that. We prayed, and then right as we finished he popped back up on his feet and yelled to the crowd, "I have a gift for all of you!" I thought for a moment he had an actual gift, that he was going to distribute to each of us, then he continued, "I have a gift from Rasulullah (S) for all of you. Our Prophet said that even a smile is charity, so I want you all to look to your neighbor and smile. Even shake their hand, I want to see who is shaking the hardest!" For an instant, I felt as if I was in a Protestant church. It was corny.
I hope I don't see that guy for several months. Insha'Allah.