Channel: Hamza Tzortzis
In this talk Hamza shares with us the six types of doubts in Islam and how we can over come these.
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Having a question doesn't mean you're in doubt about something.
The Quran is full of questions. Sometimes it doesn't even give us answers, because if you ask the right question, it would inevitably lead to the right answer.
In our pass our traditional classical scholars, they basically pose questions. They pose doubts, and they answered them. So having a question is not a problem in our religion, brothers and sisters, and doubts are part of life. The Quran considers doubts
in a multilayered way, there are doubts about Allah, which is seen as a spiritual disease as Al ghazali said, the 11th century theologian, that doubting Allah is not necessarily intellectual, but it's a disease of the heart.
And there are other doubts, things that are considered as one needs speculative, and doubts that are shuck, meaning doubtful about the matter of that thing.
Now, there are a few doubts that I want to basically talk about and quickly clarify. I think there are around six or seven types of doubts. Number one, intellectual doubts. Number two, social doubts. Number three spiritual doubts. Number four, moral doubts. Number five, egocentric doubts. And number six, just whisperings, and let me quickly discuss these. So the first type of doubt is intellectual doubts, brothers and sisters, this mainly comes from the scientific tradition, we all want to be scientists, right? We all do medicine or engineering, or do some biomedical degree. Science is a blessing from Allah subhanho wa Taala. And it works. But the problem here is because we don't study
the philosophy of science, because we see science working, we think is the absolute truth. We think it's the gospel truth. We think if a guy in a white coat said it, and it's in the paper, then it must be a fact. For example, I've just finished my post grad in philosophy specialising the philosophy of science. And then when you read the philosophy of science, you see, actually, science doesn't lead to certainty. It's just based on workable models. For example, everybody believes the Big Bang is the fact in actual fact, it's not a fact, I tell you why the data is what you call underdetermined. There are 17 different models that explain the same data, quantum fluctuation,
model, oscillating model, this model that model, the Friedman ameritrade model, and many of these models contradict each other, but they don't outweigh each other. There is nothing in that community that says this is the model to choose. So the reason I'm mentioning this brothers and sisters, because science does not lead to certainty, it may work. But it doesn't mean it's the Absolute Truth. Let me give an example. In the 1700s.
We believed as a human race, that fluffy stone was a workable theory. Now the theory of phlogiston was that when things burned, they released something called follow gift, the gated air. And it was such a workable theory there in the 1770s. Dan Rather furred, he basically used a workable theory of phlogiston. And he discovered nitrogen, nitrogen. But then after they found out that focused on what's false. So what do we learn from this, that you can get a truth from something that works that's based on a false hood. So it doesn't mean just because something works, it means it's true. This is a fallacy. This is a fallacy. And any synthesizer will tell you just because it works. It
doesn't mean it's true. It's just a model of explaining reality. Another reason why sciences that need to certainty because fundamentally, if you break out, break down the whole of the philosophy of science, you can reduce it to the problem of induction. What's the problem of induction? The problem of induction is you have a limited set of observations, and you conclude for the unobserved. So you move from unknown to an unknown. For example, I have observed 1000 white sheep. Therefore, all sheep are white. Do you see what I've done here? I've limited observations of 1000 white sheep, and I conclude for all sheep, but it's wrong because we know there are black sheep as well. And that's
what science does. It has limited data.
And what's very interesting, they can always be a future observation that denies previous conclusions. We've seen this in science. If you study the history of science, just look at the history of science. You see things changing all the time. Things that used to work are now no longer true. And that's the beauty of sciences as opposed to change based on new evidence, even with things that are repeatable and testable, and they have great predictive power. It doesn't mean that absolutely true. If you read the works of Professor Elliot sober Alex Rosenberg, status loss, mainstream people que goetsch mainstream people in the philosophy of science, they would say, to
claim that science has absolute proof is very dangerous claim. Everything is sciences revisable. Even in the philosophy of science, we have like schools of thought, called the realist and the anti realists. The realists believe that scientific theories represent truth. The anti realist say, well, they don't represent truth. They're just models of explaining truth as being a big debate historically, but then come to the conclusion, even if you're in one camp or the other, that scientific theories are always defeasible, they'll always allow you turns. So the point here is never allow science to undermine your faith. Why? Because we believe allies Allah Kim, he has the
totality of wisdom and knowledge, we have only the particular fragmentary pieces of knowledge. Allah has the picture, we just have the pixel and the scientific communities is understanding the pixel. But Allah has the picture. And sometimes science may go against Islam big deal. It's not a big deal people. If you study the philosophy of science, you would realize class Yella, I know what silent science, no problem, even if you call it my religion, it's not a big deal, because this is limited human knowledge that may work. But it can change the knowledge of Allah subhanho wa Taala is from the one that knows everything. And this is critical for you to understand. So intellectual doubts in
this form are not a problem for our tradition, then we have social doubts, brothers and sisters, we have to sometimes understand we only doubt because our friends doubt we only doubt because society is talking about this. It's not because we really believe in this doubt, because we're social animals, brothers and sisters, we have to understand that there are social norms in society. If you studied social psychology, you see how these norms are developed, that developed by two key processes, informational social influence, and normative social influence big words. But what they basically mean is that we have a need to be certain, if we're uncertain about something, we'll go to
the consensus in society where they believe we also have a need to belong. And even if we don't agree with what society is saying, just because we want to belong, we go with the masses, we have to understand that we've become leaders and understand what we truly believe and enroll people in our in in our own intellects and our own behavior. So we have to become distinct characters that really can shape society rather than being shaped by society. And one key way of doing this is by giving our people if you don't give down someone's giving down to you just look at all the adverts, you know, laurio because I'm worth it. I'm worth it individualism, right? You look at this globalized
society, materialism, if you're not giving down something is giving doubt to you, even subliminally. So you have to keep that in mind. The way to deal with these social doubts is to engage in doubt with calling people to our tradition in a compassionate and intelligent way. It's like a shield. It prevents you from all these other types of doubts, then we have spiritual doubts, brothers and sisters. Now spiritual doubts are nothing to do the intellect and I would argue most of the doubts brothers and sisters have a spiritual origin. Absolutely. You know, sometimes we have intellectual gymnastics just to justify the state of our own hearts. And I truly believe just from experience,
brothers and sisters, because I had this problem of doubts when I first became a Muslim, and I realized it had nothing to do with the intellect. It had to do with my connection with Allah subhanho wa Taala. And we have to know who Allah is. Allah is Allah dude, coming from the Arabic word would which means a loving that is giving Ally's intensity merciful, he is a rush man, we wouldn't want to connect with him. And the way to do that is to engage in Vicar, to follow the Sunnah to pray Our Salah to basically do all the amazing spiritual things we have to do to connect with a lot of panel water because these things are shields over our hearts and they prevent doubt
and they prevent any other types of spiritual concern. Do you ask God in the morning and
evening I read your portion of the Quran even if it's one verse, do your part of the Quran, Allah says Quran Al Quran, you do not reflect upon the Quran or other locks on their hearts. And this could mean the more reflection you do, the more your heart becomes unlocked to receive His guidance and mercy. So engage in this tradition in order to protect your heart brothers and sisters because the spiritual doubts are the cause of all other doubts and learn the scar in the Quran and the Sunnah to preserve your heart and be firm on the deen then we have more doubts brothers and sisters and you see this all the time especially in a neoliberal West you know Islamic closed barbaric Look
what you guys do he job beard this that the other and all of the crazy things you hear on fox news and coming out of the mouth of Bill O'Reilly Yeah. Rush Mottola Haley. I'm only kidding. We wish him guidance and goodness right. So the point is, we have all of these moral doubts and these mo doubts are cannot because we don't like Islam. These more doubts occur brothers and sisters because we don't know who Allah is. We are keeping forgetting that Allah commands because the morals of Islam are essentially commands of Allah subhanho wa Taala. Allah commands are derivative of his nature and who is Allah His Allah kudos, he is the holy, he's perfect. He's a rock man. He's a good dude. He's
al Hakim. So his commands are in line with his infinite wisdom, with his infinite knowledge with his boundless goodness with his boundless mercy and love. And we have to understand just because we don't know the wisdom behind the command, it doesn't mean it's no good for us. Because who knows us better than Allah? Nobody. Allah knows Hamza. Better than Hamza knows Hamza. Allah knows Abdullah better than Abdullah knows Abdullah. Allah knows Fatima better than Fatima and Lourdes Fatima, we have that conviction that our Rob is the loving mode, the Merciful Lord, he has a boundless affection and love and he was good for us. Therefore, when he commands us to do something, even if
we don't know the wisdom, we know there is a bonus good behind this, a boundless mercy and the boundless love. You have that in your mind continuously and you know who Allah is, then you will never have a moral doubt. Because once Allah tells you to do something, and you understand what that thing is truly and according to our classical tradition, then you'd be like, even if I don't understand it with my limited intellect, I know my heart has the certainty because it came from a loving Lord.
The other doubt brothers and sisters is egocentric doubts. Now Eagle what's egocentrism? ego centrism is a cognitive bias that says, it's my way or the highway, it's me. If I don't understand it, it must be wrong. If I don't like it, it must be wrong. And again, this links again, brothers and sisters to the spiritual form of doubts that we don't understand who Allah is that we don't connect with the loss of pan of water either, because egocentrism comes from the Nef, the ego and the ego is a barrier to Allah's mercy and guidance. So how did you solve this problem? Again, refer back to the spiritual doubts, engage in our spiritual activities, but more significantly understand
who you are. We're weak human beings. Allah says you're not. You're a despite fluid not for 10 min many in reflect on this. This was your true origins, a despised sexual fluid. This is where we came from brothers and sisters. This should make us reflect and make us understand that I shouldn't have egocentricity, I shouldn't think that I was catapulted outside of my mother's room with a briefcase in the tie. Right. But my very existence is dependent on almost an infinite number of variables. I'm dependent on others. And all of these things are ultimately dependent on lots of panel water either I am contingent, I am dependent Ally's alleghany He is the independent, once you understand your
lowly origins, where you came from, you will understand that I need to be humble. Even Allah discusses the lifecycle of the human being. And he says to us, that we were just babies reflect on a baby brothers and sisters and newborn baby. If you were to put a newborn baby in the corner of the room and do not touch it or feed it for three days it would pass away.
A baby kind of feed itself, it can't even wipe its own pusteria it can't lift its neck up and you are one of those babies. And those babies could only grow into you. If you are dependent other people listening act that we're egocentric that it's my way I can achieve anything on my own. This is the most ridiculous fallacy. We are part of a whole
We are dependent on so many different other variables. And ultimately all of those things are dependent on Allah subhanho wa Taala. If you reflect on these ayat in this way, it would make you humble. And we'll break this egocentricity. So you wouldn't challenge our lions day. It's my way, I don't understand it, I don't feed it therefore you must be wrong. This emanates from the ego and finally, whisperings and these are the majority of the doubts of the believer, which brings brothers and sisters are not ruled out for the fleeting thoughts that don't belong to us. And I want to just basically say to you just need to ignore them. They're a sign of eemaan and imitate what even
taymiyah may Allah have made a mess on him said in his keytab with him on. He said, The believer may suffer from the whisperings of shape on insinuating thoughts of comfort of disbelief, which may make him feel distressed. This the harbor may Allah be pleased with them said, O Messenger of Allah, some of us think thoughts which would rather fall from heaven to earth and speak of them. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, this is a clear clear sign of Eman is the clear sign of faith. According to one report, for two which are too terrible to speak of, he said sallallahu alayhi wa sallam Praise be to Allah who reduced all of Satan's plots to mere whispers, meaning that the fact
that these whispers come, but they are so greatly disliked, and they are pushed away from the heart is a clear sign of faith. So my advice is when you have these whisperings is fleeting thoughts, just see them as clouds passing by the sky of your mind, don't attach yourself to them, because they're just fleeting thoughts will shape on. So we've covered six causes of doubts. Obviously, this lecture is usually about an hour and a half long to go in a little bit more detail, but hopefully it's planting the seeds in your heart and mind. So you're equipped to deal with these types of doubts, to connect with Allah to know our tradition. And remember what soufiane authority said I believe it was
him. He basically said he used to recite the following lines of poetry. He used to say when a man when a human being is used to contemplation he would learn a lesson from everything. So contemplate on this complaint and contemplate on your tradition. We're standing on the shoulders of giants, there is no reason to doubt