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From time to time, I listen to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s talk in Singapore. And this is one of my favourite anecdotes.

Click here to listen to the talk in full.

I was in Mauritania, and our student housing was burlap sacks that were sewn together by the women, and we took the branches of trees to build what they called a housh. And this is how the students live where I studied in the Sahara. [They are] very poor people.

One of the Americans came to study there after me and he went… and he was trying to cut down a tree. And one of the illiterate people, when he saw him doing that, he ran to catch up with him. And [when] he caught him, and he said, ‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m cutting the tree down?’

He said, ‘What for?’

And he said, ‘To build a housh.’

He said, ‘No no no… Take branch from this tree, and then take a branch from that tree. And take a branch from that tree. Don’t take the whole tree.’

That man should be in the United Nations teaching them about environmentalism and how to preserve our natural resources.


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