You’re going to want to have a pen and paper handy when you listen to this week’s “What a Relief!” podcast with Khalil Ismail. There is just too much good stuff coming up that you aren’t going to want to miss.
Khalil Ismail is a man who always has a lot going on, but he’s outdoing himself right now. On this episode, he’s got updates on an upcoming movie, not one but three new albums (he’s working on them all at the same time, of course), a trip to South Africa, and his first book—on relationships. Oh, and a project to help youth tell their stories. And some podcasts.
“Dang, man, when do you SLEEP?” says host B.C. Dodge.
Turns out sleep is one of Khalil’s keys to success. Plus, he points out, when you don’t have a 9-to-5 with an hour of driving each way, you can get a lot done. And that he does.
The notebook is to jot down the release dates and places where you can catch his new releases. The host is clearly sold on all of them.
The upcoming movie is “His Other Wife,” based on a book written by Khalil’s wife Umm Zakiyyah. One new album will be his first full R&B album, another will be hip-hop, and the third is nasheeds. (Why work on three albums at once? “Because that’s how I satisfy my ADD,” he said, laughing. “I have to keep my mind busy, it’s good for me.”)
Not only that, but he’ll be releasing each album along with a podcast on issues he finds interesting or concerning. For example, the nasheed album and its podcast touch on issues like teachers who break the community’s trust, and how to keep the faith through turmoil. “With this album I’m delving a lot deeper than I normally have into some issues that go on in the Muslim community,” he said.
The hip-hop album and podcast will relate to some of the issues he sees doing community work—issues like how to become self-sufficient and serve better. And the R&B album and its podcast tie into his book on relationships.
Host B.C. Dodge finds that book intriguing. Khalil explains that most of the work out there on relationships in Islam focus on rules and ideals. He wants to focus on contemporary realities in America, and how to deal with them with emotional intelligence and hikmah, or wisdom.
A lot of young Muslims have been raised in America, he said—often living double lives, at home vs. at public school. And many people have made mistakes and they’re trying to be better people, but they don’t know where to turn for advice without being judged. And that past history and trauma lead to compatibility problems that couples have to learn to work through.
This part of the podcast gets real, so check any oversensitivities at the door. These issues exist in our communities, Khalil and B.C. agree, and denying them doesn’t solve the problems.
So that book is in the works, but that’s a little further down the line of all of Khalil’s new releases. The movie is coming out sooner, and preorders are about to start, and the online screening is a package deal that got B.C. all excited. When you buy tickets for the online screening, you’ll get two free books by Umm Zakiyah and two free albums by Khalil Ismail, all for $14.99.
“OK, people, listen,” B.C. says. “I’m already just waiting … because that’s awesome.”
Tune in to find out how to get all of this good stuff, and to hear more real talk with Khalil Ismail.
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“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Hosted by digital media specialist B.C. Dodge, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!
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