Channel: Hamza Tzortzis
I Am A Believer But Do I Believe?
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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim in Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam. ala rasulillah. Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi
But this is a friends welcome to this evening. It's actually a very heavy topic.
I told the brothers earlier, this is very heavy. What do you want me to say? What do you want to do? Because it relates to so many different things. It relates to
rationality, it relates to theology, it relates to spirituality. And I don't think 45 minutes is going to do this topic, justice. However, I was thinking very deeply about this topic, and had to go back into my own personal journey of self discovery, and my own history, in order for me to understand what I should convey to you, because I just have my own limited experiences. I don't claim that my limited experiences are absolute, I don't claim that my limited experiences would apply to your life. But I do think that since I'm slightly older than you, or maybe quite older than you, I'm 35. Now. So those extra maybe 15 years may be worth something, coupled with the fact that
we have sat down with various scholars trained in our classical tradition, coupled with the fact that I've gone back to uni now as well. I'm doing a post grad in philosophy. So hopefully, maybe I could think I'm a student to
my cards here.
I'm a student as well, so we can connect in more ways than one. So today's topic is, I'm a believer, but do I believe there's a few things that we want to cover? The first thing is one Earth is belief. Okay. The second is what are doubts, because my specific topic is focusing on doubts and how to address them. And therefore, the third point is going to be the causes of doubts, and the answers.
Before we get into that, qagoma, let's first discuss what is belief just to remind ourselves, what it means to believe, from an Islamic spiritual and intellectual point of view, that the Islamic spiritual and intellectual tradition describes belief in the following way. It is to believe and by the way, what is meant by belief, is to be convinced to have certainty, you're keen to have certainty in one's heart, one may say in one's mind, so is to believe in a law in God. Not only that He exists, but that he deserves worship. And worship is very comprehensive in the Islamic tradition. It just doesn't mean doing acts of worship, but it means to know Allah, to love Allah, and to obey
Allah and to single all acts of worship, to Allah alone, essentially, is not to refer to the eagle not to refer to peer pressure, or to the society, but to refer to the one that created them, and knows us better than we know ourselves. So it's to believe in God to believe in the prophets and the messengers. So we don't have a monopoly on the truth. We don't believe you know, it, just Mohammed upon him. VPS. We don't care about any other tradition. As you know, we have a history of convention of coexistence of tolerance between many different peoples and many different faiths. I'm not only saying this, just because Theresa May and David Cameron have this as part of the British values, I'm
saying because we are leaving it to it's not just lip service. Okay. Just wanna let you know, just in case you think I'm doing PR here. The next point is, we also believe in the angels, okay, the angelic reality. We believe in the real world books. It's not only in the Quran, but it's the Torah, and the Injeel, and other revealed books that God has revealed to his prophets. This is very significant, because it teaches us as Muslims, that we're not arrogant. We don't have this kind of civilizational spiritual arrogance. We don't have a monopoly on the truth. There were other truths, we humbly say, we now have the unbroken chain of narration to the divine reality. We also believe in
the Day of Judgment, that you're not here just to party. And then when you die, you know, there's gonna party, in actual fact that you're responsible for the actions take some responsibility, which I think in my humble opinion, just traveling lots of the world and meeting many students your age, I think we're we're lacking in that department, which is taking responsibility, the ability to say I was wrong, and I'm going to change or the ability to say that this is my realm of control, and I have
Control. And this is extremely important for us to understand from a spiritual and sociological point of view. Because responsibility is something that I think we're lacking, we always blame other people, you know, we want to blame everything else, apart from ourselves, I think it's very important for us to internalize the concept of the Day of Judgment, because we must have many day of judgments in our lives. And that should be every night. Many of the earlier now of the pious scholars, those deep into the spiritual tradition of a song reflect on their day. What did I do? Why did I do it? You know, the Stephen have diaries, actually, reflection diaries. Today, I was a moron.
Tomorrow, I'm going to be a better person, right? For instance, do you mind the jokes, I'm from Hackney. So
we, we also believe in the Divine Decree in pre destination, which means God knows everything. He knows what has happened, and what will happen. God has recorded all that has happened. All that will happen, wherever God's will, wherever God wills to happen, will happen. And whatever he will not to happen will not happen. And God creates everything, including our actions. Now, inside your mind, you may think, well, what on earth is freewill about? But you know what, I don't think there is an answer. And I think Who cares? And much of this discussion today there's going to be is going to be who cares element to the discussion, because sometimes not answering your question is not a big
deal. I remember when I engage with my fellow beloved atheists, when they speak to me and say, Hamza, what was God doing for eternity before he created the universe? And I'm like, is that a question? If I can't answer it, does it really undermine God's existence? You didn't know what I was doing for 35 years? It doesn't mean you don't it doesn't mean I don't exist, just because your nose didn't contain five years. I think he was doing what he's doing. Just leave that to him. I mean, let's move on. So you know, sometimes we think these questions like, Oh, my God, profound effect and profound impact. And this is why during this course of this discussion, I want to not teach you but
advise you on how to really think about your own questions. Because sometimes I get emails from people, I'm like, Oh, my God, does this guy have a brain cell? You know, forget the brain will evolve slowly. Yeah. You know, there was this, he knows this particle called the Higgs boson. Right? You must know many of you have been goatee, right. I think one of the scientists was Bengali.
It was the Bose on Paul, I believe. Yeah. So the Higgs boson was a particle that they found that made up the Higgs field is a particle that makes up the Higgs field. The Higgs field was something that was switched on in the early universe that gave particles mass apart from the photon. Now they called it the God Particle. So in the you know, the popularized newspapers very unusual and academic, no references like, we found the God Particle again, emo brother Hamza, my email and my face is on the floor. What am I going to do? He found the God Particle. So where's God? And I'm like, Okay, let's let's rewind this ticket, this this rewind? Do you know why they quoted the God
Particle? Because it was so hard to find the goddamn particle. But they showed it to the good particle has nothing to do with God, it's the way the world works, big deal. Move on, right? This is this the physical causes that God created in order for him to manifest his power and his will? So, you know, sometimes we get baffled by questions and sometimes not to answer them. It's not a big deal. all at the same time. Sometimes we have to question our question, here two questions, in order to understand if our questions are valid in form of spiritual and theological perspective. Number one,
why am I asking that question? Because sometimes it's got nothing to do with rationality, it's to do with desires is to do with emotions, right? The second question you should ask is, if I don't get an answer, does it undermine the rationality of Islam? No.
deal, right? doesn't undermine in any way, shape or form. So I think predestination is one of those, but we'll discuss that a bit later. So that's what we have to believe with certainty. What's the basis of belief? There is a difference in our beliefs, and we believe come from makes sense, right? So the basis of belief or three, you may think surely something's wrong with him.
Isn't it the Quran, the prophetic traditions was the third, I'm going to discuss what I mean. So the first is the Quran, the Quran, we believe to be the turnover of the Divine reality of Allah subhanho wa Taala.
The second is, the sooner the sooner essentially is the prophetic way, the prophetic path, the prophetic traditions, the authentic prophetic traditions as understood by our scholars.
This is very important, because many people take a prophetic tradition, and they do a run with it, and they grow the whole of Islam. And I say, hey, look what the prophet said. And then, you know, like, well, you have to understand his teachings in light with the other teachings. It's like systematic theology. And I think, extremism or whatever you want to call it, I don't like labels much. So extremism, I think, is as a result of taking verses in abstraction, taking verses, and putting them in some kind of spiritual, rational, theological vacuum and just understanding them on their own. And that's a big problem. Because in Islam, you always have to understand Islam
holistically. That's how the traditional dilemma from a catechist perspective always understood. prophetic traditions, always understood. The Quran, the Quran, it's systematic, it's holistic, right. And this is in line with a prophetic tradition of the province of Saddam, when he said that the inheritors of the prophets are the scholars, which indicates to us that our religion is a scholastic religion, you have to have a scholarly understanding of your tradition. If you have an unschooling understanding, then go home, right? Or just do what you're good at, wherever that is, because you have to come to the tradition from a scholarly perspective is quite ironic. You know, I
always get hate all the time. I get Hey, on Twitter, Facebook everywhere is full of hate this world. And yeah, maybe sometimes I'm to blame, too, but that's a different discussion. So again, hey, and someone says, well, Sam, is this is Tommy's diet. Sam is Robbins, just some sort of, hey, if someone were to kill everybody, you guys are nasty. Go to hell die, right? And then they say, and you don't authority on philosophy. So shut up. And I'm like, okay, so who made you the third one is long stay all of these things, right? So the thing is, you know, we have to come to the religion from a scholarly perspective, and that includes this advising should be told to atheists, and skeptics and
people who would not really not really in love with the Islamic tradition that we have a scholarly tradition. And if you want to understand that you have to understand in a scholastic way, so the Quran, the Sunnah, then we have the fitrah. This is very interesting. I'm not necessarily saying the fitrah is the basis for belief.
But it's, well, let's describe what the fitrah is. First, the fifth rock comes from the Arabic trilateral stem, Fatah, which you have words like photron, and Fatah hoo, which means something has been created within us. It's a capacity if you like, it's not knowledge. It's a capacity that is natural and unchanging, that leads us to acknowledge God exists, and leads us to girls that he deserves worship of the ultimate like even of Josie or the 14th century theologian, he also said that this means to have some kind of innate goodness. So reason, experience can act as a trigger, to wake up that nature. So that's why some non Muslims may already acknowledge God exists and that he
deserves worship, outside of Revelation, many of the Sahaba companions had that path. They acknowledged slim, in its essence, outside of Revelation. So we also believe that there is fitrah that requires cultivation and not cultivation, as per the words of being Tamia, that could be non revelational. It could be reason and experience. You could be some guy sitting on a random
I don't know deck chair on a random Island, just reflecting upon the cosmos saying, you know what, God, one man, and he deserves worship.
So these form that kind of intellectual spiritual foundations of our worldview, so before we discuss certainty, now we know what belief is, you know, where belief comes from? Let's talk about so before we discuss the gout. Now let's discuss certainty, because now is the opposite of certainty. And to understand things, you have to understand their opposites right? Generally speaking, by the way, yeah.
Because that could have so many different implications. So certainty in Islam from an intellectual and spiritual perspective. certainty has levels. This is very important. certainty has levels in the Islamic tradition. These levels have been named emilija pain, which is the knowledge set the knowledge of certainty, right? So it's certainty based upon knowledge. This has a Quranic basis in chapter one or two, when Allah says, Nay, if you knew with the knowledge of certainty, the exegete of Islam them for serene, they basically said this means knowledge that is certain. Another level is, I know your keen eye in the eye. So basically, it seems certainty it's it's getting certainty
ception Allah says in the Quran in the same chapter, then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty with the eye of certainty. And then you have somewhere else in the Quran when Allah says Verily, this is the truth of certainty, which is the other level, which is called takoyaki, in which the Mufasa, in those who explained the Quran said, this is the truth of certainty. So you have knowledge that is certain, you have certainty as a result of seeing it, and then you just have the truth of certainty like is an absolute. It's like, almost like, self evidently true. And this has a Quranic basis. Let me give an example from the Quran. It's a very famous story. Allah says, and
mentioned when Abraham said, My Lord, show me how you give life to the dead. law said, Have you not believed? He said, Yes. But I asked only that my heart may be satisfied. Allah said, Take full beds, and commit them to yourself, and off the slaughtering them, put on each Hill a portion of them, then call them, they will complain to you in haste, and know that Allah is Exalted in light, and wise, now the pastor could actually Razi, he made a beautiful point. He basically mentioned in the opinion, that this means that there are degrees of spiritual knowledge, which indicates what we've just been saying. He wasn't doubting Allah. He wasn't doubting because prophets and messengers Don't
doubt God or his oneness, or the fact that he deserves worship. Rather, he wanted a deeper level of understanding, to move from the aim of the theme, to the idea pain and to move from nine pain to the higher form of certainty, which is yucky. Does that make sense so far? Good. So
before we get into the doubts, let's not talk about how can we establish certainty, regardless of any kind of rationalizations, and this is very important, because I believe you can establish certainty without rationalizations, and I'm going to explain what I mean by this. But before I do that, I want you to remember, you may be certain about something. But you may not be able to articulate why I don't want you to think that those two things are the same. If you're certain about something, that you have to be able to formulate rational arguments for it. Those two things are distinct, for example, who is certain that their mother gave birth to them? Put your hand up?
Good, most of you, apart from some sisters over there, right? So your mother gave birth? You are certain? But if I asked you for proof, if I asked you for rational evidence, what would you say to me?
That's, that's not real proof. I can make one up for you. Now.
I could say anything. I could say I don't know. What's her name? I can say Teresa Mays, my mother.
And I have a birth certificate with a signature that says testimonial evidence. I want proof. But many of you, doctors and dentists consider proof.
Gene testing? Do you have a DNA test at home?
What's your proof?
No. What's funny about the DNA test? If you don't do it yourself, you just have to rely on someone's testimony that that's the case. You have to rely on someone else doing it. How do you know they did it?
I will prove guys.
There is none Exactly. It's just testimonial evidence, but you know for sure that she gave birth to you, right. But the funny thing is, you have no proof. And you may say that I can go and get a DNA test. But the very fact that you think you can go get DNA test. And you think that would be the right test. And you think that will be in line with what you believe to be true is true based on testimonial evidence.
It's a good analogy, right? I love it, because no one can prove that their mother gave birth to empirically Honestly, I have met no one. I've done this many times, very intelligent people. And no one can answer this. They end up just giving testimonial evidence.
Don't doubt your mother, by the way.
That's the point. I don't want you to doubt your mother's. I just want to show you that you may be convinced about something. But it doesn't necessarily mean that you can articulate why you're convinced. Does that make sense? Because in a debate or a discussion, the most intelligent guy wins not the one who not has the truth, by the way. And that's why debates are quite frowned upon in the Islamic tradition on this the sincere because the most intelligent guy will win. It's got nothing to do with truth. You know, if you've covered enough you can maneuver your way out of everything, right?
That's what mom says about me. So here's an here's an a non argument because
really an argument it's more like understanding self evident realities. Now we spoke about the fifth or the fifth raise the innate disposition to acknowledge God's existence and his oneness, and the fact that he deserves to be. He deserves to be worshipped. Now, what's very interesting in Islamic epistemology, which means the study of knowledge or how to formulate truths, by the way, is not the only way to understand Islamic epistemology. I'm not claiming this is the way there are other conceptions of Islamic epistemology, right? But I like this one, for some reason, okay. So we have the fitrah, that innate disposition, it has this kind of natural truth or capacity to acquire that
natural truth. So revelation, and reason and experience and logic and knowledge and all of these things, they act, they act as trigger points, to wake up that self evident reality. And that's what I had to do an IRA is a verse of the Quran is is plural for verses in the Quran. Now verses that have nothing to do with law or legalities, but refer to natural phenomenon, their purpose or to do something amazing, is to make you understand that you have no wisdom, you don't have the totality of God's wisdom. So if God said, you were created from something, he gives it a label, he gives it a name, you don't really know it's reality. You could just ponder, you could speculate. But that would
show to you then How on earth did I become like this from that there's a divine wisdom happening here. He deserves to be worshipped. Or you acknowledge that there's a creative power, and therefore God deserves to be worshipped. This is the spiritual insight to these ayat to these verses, that have nothing to do with science, by the way to give you details, the Quran is a book of Acts, no book of science, is to show you this wisdom in the universe to show you the creative power in the universe. Therefore, God deserves to be worshipped. That's the spiritual insight to the Quran.
And I like to give an example on the analogy of an idea of a verse concerning natural phenomena.
When I was around four or five years old, my favorite toy was Donald Duck. Okay, who knows Donald Duck anyone?
Yeah, I don't do very well, but it's Donald Duck.
Donald Duck on drugs. Yeah. So that's no drug. He's got Donald Duck. Riley is going to rehab. So Donald Duck, he basically was my favorite toy. Some plastic toy thing had a broken beaks, I broke it. And after 31 years, I'm 35 years old, say, hypothetically, I go to my mom's house, I'm cleaning the basement. And I forgot what my favorite toy was. I have no clue. I'm cleaning the basement moving bags and moving lots of things. And oh, there's a dead mouse and all that stuff, right? And moving the dust. And all of a sudden, what do I find? Donald? What happens to me?
Oh, yeah, my favorite toy. That's what an AI is, is to awaken the self evident truth is to make you realize what you already know, or what you should know that God exists and he deserves to be worship, awakens that certainty, that spiritual certainty within you, just like your best friend, when you were six years old, you forgot all about him or her. And after 40 years, you meet each other? I don't know, I don't Facebook or party, halaal party, or whatever the case may be. And then you see them be like, What? Oh, my God.
Oh, my God, I remember, we used to do this together. And that together, that's what an IRA is, is to wake up that self evident reality. Does that make sense? Good.
So now let's talk about doubts. So what are doubts? So doubts in the Islamic spiritual tradition is something that is the knee, the knee is one that is speculative, and check something that is doubtful, okay? That is what you consider as something being doubtful. It's not being in the range of certainty. Remember, the levels of certainty is outside of that sometimes vahanian speculative. But I want you to understand that doubts are part of life. And it doesn't mean you can't question. But the Islamic spiritual tradition always says for you to question, in actual fact, God gives you questions, and sometimes he doesn't give you the answer. Because if you ask the questions properly,
they're going to lead you to the answer. And that's very important. So we have a tradition of questioning. We have a tradition of intellectual activity. If you were to even look in the past 1400 years, or at least, maybe the past year, 1400 years, you would see so much scholarly activity about questioning. And the irony is, you know, the orientalist where they try to point doubts at Islam and even the Neo modernists they point doubts at the veracity of the Islamic intellectual spiritual tradition. Those questions were answered years ago, by the likes of Allah vasarely or the likes of Raj
by the likes of even taymiyah by the likes of Joe Xia, we have we are standing on the shoulders of giants. The reason that we have a problem now because we haven't contemporized that Islamic tradition. We haven't made it modern. We haven't taken that language and those arguments and made them modern applicable in the 21st century. That's our problem, our problem with them to gain vast amounts of knowledge. The early learner, the scholars of the past already did that brothers and sisters, they already did. I'm telling you to hear some of the amazing forget the gems, right? We live in a very gem culture, don't we? Yeah. Oh, look here, those two lines, read to culture. Forget
gems, but talk about the books and the compendiums. And the depth of the research like, wow, these guys dealt with logical positivism. years ago, these guys dealt with,
Neo rationalism years ago, these guys dealt with aspects of materialism years ago, these guys, you should even call them guys actually sixth because no, these are not these giant scholars dealt with all of these questions about own religion. And if the if they weren't addressing a question, they need Christians up. way if someone says this, well, this is how we respond. There was no, they would never intellectually shy of addressing key questions. So don't think, Oh, I have a question. It means you're doubtful. That's not necessarily the case.
So here are a few types of doubts. Try to categorize doubts in the following way. Number one, intellectual doubts. Number two, social doubts. Number three spiritual doubts. Number four more doubts. Number five, egocentric doubts. Number six, whisperings? Okay, I'm going to discuss what all these are to make this as lively as possible, but it is quite heavy. Okay. So intellectual doubts, intellectual out of two types. Generally speaking, we have scientific rationalism that may pose doubts against God and His revelation. And we have foundational doubts about God, the Quran and the prophetic way. So let's excuse me, let's talk about scientific rationalism.
There is a kind of New Age popular culture, that science now can address everything. I mean, it can do everything, it can pay your taxes, get you married, in your chairs, clean your bed, do your bed, build your house, you know, it could do with political stuff, it could solve the economic crisis. Now, that's what a job but the problem is, is because it works. And we have the iPhone, and we have the computer, we have all of these amazing things. We think, Wow, science can do everything. We don't need religion anymore. That's absolutely false. Anyone who studies the philosophy of science,
and a level, kind of level, or even degree or even post
graduate studies will see that actually, that's not true at all.
And therefore science can never raised significant doubts, in my humble opinion to God, or His revelation site has not buried God or His revelation, I'm going to explain why.
Excuse me, it is unfortunate that we live in a popular culture, where we haven't studied what you would call in the Islamic tradition, the School of Science, the foundations of science, what we do is that we just do the science, which is great, and we love science is beautiful. And that's the beauty of science. It works. But we don't really understand how scientists derive knowledge from empirical data. We don't understand how scientists derive knowledge from empirical data. And once we dwelve into the philosophy of science, we will see that actually, scientific conclusions can never, ever, ever, ever be certain. I repeat, and it's not as Hamza saying this. We're talking about the
likes of atheist philosophers like Professor Alex Rosenberg, Shu, goetsch, Elliot, sober, mainstream philosophers of science, and many of them are scientists themselves. In actual fact, there is a consensus amongst the philosophers of science that science would never lead to certainty.
If you don't believe me, do you research for yourself? Right? So if we discuss things like induction, and the hypothetical deductive model, which are things that science uses to form conclusions about things, you will see they don't need to set limits, it just is very quickly. Now, what's induction? This is controversial, but generally speaking, science scientists use induction to form conclusions about things that they've observed. What's induction induction is moving from the particular to the general, induction is about looking at limited set of observations and concluding for the unobserved. Let me give an example. I have observed 1000 sheep, therefore, and they're
white. Therefore, all sheep
White, that's induction. Is that certain? Or uncertain?
I can't hear you. uncertain Why? Because you know that there are black sheep, I noticed this, you know that there are only a limited set of observations at your disposal to conclude for the unobserved. So induction always leads to uncertainty. You had the likes of Bertrand Russell tried to respond to this. And he tried to develop a probabilistic type of approach that will is highly likely well, fair enough. But the point is, it doesn't lead to certainty. Only kind of deductive arguments do that. And the reason I'm mentioning this is to show that induction has a huge problem, which is called the problem induction. I was raised by David Hume, hundreds of years ago, that you'd never be
able to guarantee the conclusion, you may have a new observation that contradicts previous conclusions. Does that make sense? So science uses that method, then how on earth can you use it as a means to Gosh, God, Ambassador religion, it's impossible.
Because you don't have an infinite number of observations. Like, for example, Hugh goetsch, in his brilliant book called The scientific method, In brief, he's a philosopher of science, and a scientist himself. He says, The obvious, the most obvious limitation is that science will never observe No, and explain everything about even scientists own domain, the physical world. And this is why don't don't worry if science come up with something that tries to go against revelation, what's the big deal, but this is the assumption that we can show revelation to be true on spiritual intellectual grounds outside of the scientific method, which is true isn't the space for us to
discuss this today. But since science is money, it doesn't lead to certainty, you may have a future observation that contradicts previous conclusions. And what's the big deal? Y'all not bring your own, we're not rejecting the science, but we know it's part of the human project. allies, Al Hakim, he has the totality of wisdom and knowledge, he has the picture, we've got the pixel.
He has the picture, we got the pixel, he has the totality of wisdom of knowledge, even computer says, we just have the fragmentary pieces. That's where the other man want to discuss scientific realities, that would always say and Allah knows best on these issues. What I meant about these issues when Allah refers to natural phenomena, and that knows best, because Allah has the totality of wisdom and knowledge. And if I mentioned previously, I am referring to natural phenomena, not meant to give you details, but they're there to show you that you don't have God's wisdom. Therefore, he deserves you all in reverence and respect and love and worship, is to actually humble
you. The Islamic tradition is supposed to humble you understand your position, in contrast to Earth status, and free to understand that I don't have God's wisdom, and that there is a divine wisdom permeating the universe, therefore, he deserves to be worshipped. Now, I did say was controversial, because many scientists now argue that we follow the hypothetical deductive model, as developed by Karl Popper, Karl Popper was a philosopher of science. And he agreed with David Hume and others that there is a problem with induction, we will never have certainty. So what he wanted to do was okay, well, let's find out what is scientific and what pseudoscience. So he developed a thing called
falsification. Okay, falsification. And his hypothetical deductive model is basically this, you have a hypothesis, right? And all of your observations will eventually agree with your hypothesis. If you have an observation that disagrees with the hypothesis, then you reject the hypothesis become falsified. For example, if I have hypotheses that says, All sheep would die on a Friday, but we observe that sheep down a Thursday, is my hypothesis right or wrong?
is wrong, isn't it? Because you observe sheep today on a Friday on a Thursday, but my hypothesis says all she put down a Friday, so therefore my hypothesis is false has been falsified. What was interesting about this, you can't prove anything to be true.
In the hypothetical deductive model, you can't prove anything to be true, you can only prove things to be false. Now.
This is why science can never reject God's existence or really contradict revelational narratives.
Because it's only in nature. It's speculative, though it doesn't mean we reject the science, we love it.
But we understand it as a working human model based on our limitations, whereas Allah has his wisdom is his reality. So it's very interesting that he goat says, to insist that science supports atheism is to get high marks for enthusiasm, but low marks logic. Because you're looking at the empirical world and you're inferring for something that's not necessarily empirical. Right? It's just hacking. It's a logical leap of faith, to make a claim from science to deny God
is actually a leap of faith. Because it's like having two rooms and saying, okay, we've observed chairs in this room, therefore, there are no chairs in the other room. Can I make such a logical leap? Exactly. And that's that's why even scientists admit the real academic scientists, they say, you know, science doesn't really have a say concerning God's existence, it may provide evidence that you could infer for a designer, I can never directly reject his existence. And what's very interesting here is that this is the mainstream academia and science, they say, you know, the god questions is, is not necessarily a scientific one is a metaphysical one, or it's not that you can
infer from data, you could never directly reject his existence, because it's outside of the scientific method. And also science is one need just based on things that are limited. You based on your limited observations, you can't compete with something that's not observed, from the perspective of outside of the physical space, because we believe in the fact that Allah subhanho wa Taala, is transcendent, laser chemists Li shape, there is nothing like unto him. So I wanted to mention this very briefly, there's much more we can get into this. But if you study the philosophy of science, look at the scientific rationalism, you know, they can't deny these truths.
Because there's money in nature, it doesn't lead to certainty. So how can you use something that is uncertain, to reject something that is certain if you believe it's set up from a spiritual and intellectual perspective, using a method that isn't that speculative, that doesn't lead to certainty? It doesn't mean you reject it, you accept as a scientist, but you don't take his conclusions into your creed, because you know, you have other sources of knowledge that are far more certain. And then maybe we'll catch up, maybe we'll change but the beauty of science, but you may say to me, hey, but science works. So Richard Dawkins says you can google if you want. So when I
asked him, I want a foundation to why science, it leads to truth. And he said, because it works. And then he used the interesting exploitive, which is a female dog actually did googling don't is bad. But he is what he said today works. He right. And worse, quite interesting, because that's quite fallacious. Because we know just because something works, it doesn't mean it's true.
Let me give you an example, in the history of science, you know, they used to believe in something called phlogiston, not focused on is focused on was an element in combustible material. So if this bends, it must have phlogiston. That's what they believed in. And they said, it was a workable model. It was amazing. To the point that I think it was Mr. Rutherford in 1775, he discovered nitrogen from the phlogiston theory. And then they found that in the future, actually focused on his load of rubbish, it was false. But wait a minute, they got a truth from a false hood. So this is why just because something works, it doesn't mean it's true. Just compare Newtonian physics and quantum
mechanics. They're not complementary paradigms, they work. But they can't both be true. But they have to alter the understanding of them in some way for them to be compatible. So just because something works, it doesn't mean it's true. So that's actually a false thing to understand. So let's Moving on, we talked about scientific rations can be really can't be a source of doubt. Let's move to the foundations of Islam. We don't have time to go into this. We have a huge intellectual spiritual tradition, not only about the fitrah, the self evident reality we spoke about, but we also have rational arguments which come from the Quran, to actually show that God is a reality he
deserves to be worshipped, and that the Quran is from him. For example, we have, I think, the most amazing argument for God's existence in the Quran, which is found in chapter 52, verse 35, to 36, when God initially refers to the human being, because he uses the word created, therefore it has the implication of machlokes on as much that somebody came into being because Allah says, Did you come from nothing? Did you the human being come from nothing? Because it refers to something that came into being you could apply the logical structure of the argument on to anything that began to exist. So Allah says, Did you come from nothing? Did you create yourself? Did you create the heavens and
The lay up? No, indeed, you have no certainty. Right? So there's four logical implications from these ayat number one, when something begins to exist? Did it come from nothing? Did he create itself? was it created by something else created? Or was it created by something uncreated? And when you ask yourself these questions, you know that there's an uncreated creator, because something can't come from nothing. And we could discuss this another time. Somebody can't create itself. For example, can your mother give birth to herself, something can't be created as a result of something else created, because ultimately, then we'll create that thing. If you have an infinite regress of
causes. You'll never have that thing in the first place. Just like the universe.
If the universe was created by another universe that's has a beginning or that was created, and that goes on forever, you'll never have the universe in the first place. So the best explanation for the beginning of the universe of the contingent nature of the universe is that
there's an uncreated creator. The plan is giving you this argument, a hapa. People spoke about this in a classical tradition. You know, this new asset you were standing on the shoulders of giants. Okay.
The next point is that we also have a very powerful argument for the Quran. Allah subhanho wa Taala says, In surah baqarah, verse 23, we're in quantum theory beaming up dinner. If you're in doubt about this book we have sent down to our seven, then bring one chapter like it and Konya, witnesses and supporters besides a lot in terms of the pain if you're truthful, in your claim, the doubtful, here's an answer. So this opens a myriad an array of arguments for the veracity of the Quran, for example, we have the linguistic miracle, we have the historical causal miracle, we have the unique structural features of the Quran. I mean, there are so many amazing stuff about the Quran, to even
give it justice, it would be impossible, I advise you to read the book we've just published, it's on one reason.org click on the image could the eternal challenge the journey through the miraculous CRAN order your free copy, you could download it for free. If you're not under a physical copy, you just have to pay postage, it's gonna be a number is your life for you? It's all yours. It's got a whole range of arguments that show that the Quran is from the divine. So let's move on to social doubts. Okay, so we don't the intellectual doubts, let's move on to the social doubts. Now, why am I mentioning social ducks, brothers and sisters, because human beings are social animals. If you study
social psychology, you see that there are certain there are certain things that make us adopt the social norm. Those things are called informational social influence, and normative social influence. Though these things are they're less based upon our need to be certain. So human beings want certainty. If you're uncertain about something, you're going to adopt the social norm, okay? Also, if human beings want to belong, right, we all want to belong to a community. And if we're doubtful about something, not doubtful, but it says we want to belong. We want to boost suspend our judgment on something even if we believe to be right. And we go with the community, very famous psychological
studies, Zimbardo, Phillips and Morrow the famous prison study, he had two participants, two groups of participants. One group was the prisoners. The other group was the the guards, the police guards, the prison guards. And after two weeks, they became the internalize their roles to the point that they really fully were prisoners. They became because so affected by the kind of social environment. Consider the Milgram study, I believe was in the 60s, where he got some participants and there was an actor who was getting electrocuted, right. And every time he was asked a question by the participant, that would increase the voltage. Now they didn't know he was acting, I think over 65%
of them increase it to the fatal voltage, just because there was a guy in a white coat, scientists had this kind of professional setting as a Don't worry continued, they suspended the moral certainties, because of peer pressure. You wouldn't even have this with academics, you have three lines on a board on one side, you know which line is which one small, short ones medium, length, one's really long. And you have another board, which has another line, which you know, is the same size as the middle line, the same length as the middle line, but nine of your fellow academics who are acting as saying no, it's the other one. You're like, Oh, my God, I wrong, am I right? And the
majority of participants would adopt the wrong answer just because of peer pressure. So we're social animals, right? And I told you how to think about your own questioning. Not all questions are technically valid spiritually, because you have to ask this question, why am I asking the question? We don't want to even ask ourselves that. Why am I asking the question and what is the implication of not having an answer? Always ask those two questions will give you more intellectual, spiritual Sakina. tranquillity. So when it comes to social stuff, a lot of questions because of social pressure. Why am I really asking this question? We have this crazy modernist trend in Islam at the
moment, this Neo modernists, they're not even metabolites, the metabolites will be angry at them. They had other Yeah, some of the guys today don't even have either, like tried to do a rehash of the Islamic spiritual tradition. And these guys, I believe, in my humble opinion, only have this argument is because of social pressure, because I would ask them, would you be talking like this 200 years ago?
Would you have the same opinion 200 years ago? No, you wouldn't be just a social animal. Yeah, you just want to be liked.
By the majority, or what you consider the majority. So from this perspective, how do we solve this from Islamic spiritual tradition perspective?
Increase your certainty spiritually intellectually, which is we're going to discuss data about Vicar, and Nevada and all these things, reading Quran. But specifically for this social doubt, what I would do is my humble opinion is pick the right people around you. There's a famous story of the people of the cave, what animal was in the cave?
Dog? Now, let's be honest, intellectually, if you remove the dog out of the equation, the story is to has its meaning, right?
Yes, from our limited human understanding what actually raises this question. So I said questions are no problem.
As long as we're sincere, it because it says why does Allah mentioned the dog insignificant, in many of them, as I hate the school of thought, which we all respect,
is considered a spiritually dirty animal, right? If it makes you, you know, you go wash your hands, if it makes your plate, you have to wash your place seven times first. And we've lost all that stuff. Right? So why does Allah mentioned the dog?
And then even get there finds the answer from his own perspective, wondering perspective, to know what he says
is to show us the power of companionship. Because the P the youth who was saved from polytheism, they were put into the cave, the duck happened to be with them. So Allah save even a spreadsheet lowly animal like a dog. So if the spiritual only a lowly animal was saved, just because he was with good people, imagine how Allah will save your own life issue with good people. Does that make sense?
It's not amazing. Are you awake today?
Yeah. Okay, spiritual doubts. Now, these doubts arise out of nothing to do with intellectual activity. And I've had this in my own life. By the way, everything I'm saying is based on my own experience. So spiritual doubts, really does not really doubt at all. I remember, I would have people who left Islam come to the office, and I will speak to them, I'll give them the best answer. Some of them will come to Islam. Or when I gave them the answer, my heart wasn't convinced my mind was, and I had this disconnect between this intellectual gymnastics, and what was going into my heart. And then, retrospectively, I understood it was because my connection with Allah was on
hanging on a thread.
He had nothing to do with rationality, because I was giving people answers that they were like, wow, that's it. I'm Muslim again, right? by my house, like, I don't know about that. But my mind was like, this is for sure. And why realize was this, this spiritual doubts and that's because you're not connecting with Allah subhanho wa Taala. And you don't know who he is. We have to always remember who Allah is. Allah is our man. He is the master for actually the messages I'm going to translation.
Rockman means three major things. Number one, he has an intense mercy. Number two, His mercy is so powerful that nothing can stop. And number three, His mercy is immediate. That's what we mean by our allies. Meaning the loving come from Arabic word would which means a loving that is giving and his love transcends all types of love, even a mother's love. A mother's love might be selfless, but it's contingent dependent on her own need to feel fulfilled. Because she's not a mother, she doesn't love it's part of his self identity. But unlike alleghany He is the independent Yeah, he loves how powerful is that love? How pure is that love? understand who Allah is also the solution is to engage
in a spiritual program let's get away from this kind of labeling whether you like it or not the early on I had a spiritual program the poor son had a spiritual program if you know in a spiritual program you're not falling to Islam full stop. right that's the that's the
esteem probably one of the only harshest statements I'm gonna make Hey, if you don't improve my my life has moved by I've learned the hard way from many mistakes. You have to follow spiritual program you have to see with a man even though some had a scholar who was his color,
he Gabriel, right? We all we have to say with the Elena from a traditional perspective, we have to understand Islam from a from an inner perspective, too, because Islam is not just about the externals, the internal as well. The proof of this is in the Quran. The Quran swears 11 times for only one topic
11 times only one topic.
And I believe us in the shorter chunks. 11 times and you know that is, is the one who purifies himself succeeds. It's the only time in the Quran Allah says 11 times for only one topic, and three of those times he swears by himself. So we have to be on this path for example, Vicar, remembrance of Allah, the presence of compared to one
He remembers God and doesn't remember like the living and the dead. He also said that the everything has a Polish and the Polish of the heart is the remembrance of Allah. Now, remember, someone was not digging and making mechanistic sense, you know, you read a book. Oh, I see. So Pamela. So after prayer, you're like, spa, spa, spa, spa spa. I've done it. Like ak 47, upon layer. So we do. If you read the book, Kitab of God is built as a translation by terasse press is beautiful. Read the book. And now we the famous scholar, he taught you how to do Vicar. You don't just say with your mouth, you say clearly, softly, humbly, the meaning you internalize when you're seeing it. Sometimes we're
seeing it handed in lab or like one day one day, right? That's what we're doing.
I don't believe me, I don't
go crazy. So you must be in your words, your heart. Remember, it's not about memorization. Our Deen is about internalization, we must become what we know. That's the crisis of knowledge in the 21st century. Because we have that without dilemma with our scholars. We need to move from memorization to internalization, the Sahaba some of them it took them nine years to memorize the longest chapter of the Quran Surah Al Baqarah 206 verse two and 86 verses nine years some of you can memorize Baccarat in three months. But what made them different because every idea, every verse, nor did they know they understood its meaning its implication on their soul. And they internalize it became part
of the spiritual DNA. That's a big difference people you know, when the Prophet Mohammed upon VP says, Have mercy to people love for a nurse, as narrated by Buhari love for unnecessary love for yourself, love for people in love for yourself. This is a slogan first to sound all nice and compassionate. But how can that affect your own soul? How can you internalize that tradition? And that's very important brothers and sisters. Another way of engaging or removing this butcher doubt is to do a number of Quranic cues neglected practice. By the way, there's a difference between tafsir and obsidian series meaning we can mess with the meaning the lemma dealt with that, but not
what is the implication of the meaning in your life? You can be right you can be wrong, but the government is so important. Allah says in the Quran affiliated, Harun Al Quran didn't reflect upon the Quran or other looks on their hearts. In a way, it could mean that a lie saying the more pondering you do on the Quran, the more your heart becomes unlocked to receive His guidance and mercy.
I'm telling you, many of you do have WhatsApp, the number of Facebook, the number of Twitter? Yeah. Honestly, it's a shame. You know, I don't have a phone by the way. I don't have a smartphone anymore. I broke it three months ago, and I said this is it normal. What's abnormal rubbish. I'm free. Real. This is real freedom. And I've spent my life has changed. It's changed people. Many of you I know, Abdullah, well, you shouldn't. Like the lifefone.
You think is a joke, but it happens. What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Who takes me? Yeah.
Okay, we nearly finished five minutes to do apologize. So we also have egocentric doubts brothers and sisters, egocentric does what does this mean? It leads to the spiritual doubts. Ego centrism is the cognitive bias, that my way is the only way. There's no other possible perspective, colossal stuff. It's my way. So egocentric doubts, really, is a kind of shoot spiritual fallacy and intellectual fallacy that we live with. Because we're born in the celebration of the ego, aren't we? Look at the 21st century. Who are the prophets of the 21st century sports men sports women? Don't me wrong. We love sports men and women. Do we love sports? Okay, I mean, I consider myself a very
terrible boxer. I love boxing, right. So, you know, I think my fights online and I lost so many I had fun. So I like boxing, I like doing some gym. So we it's not that's not a problem. But we basically verify these celebrities, isn't it? And, and the reason we do that is because it's just a mirror of our ego, like, Oh, I want to be like that famous known, respected lots of money. And this is part of the kind of however the desires right then we live in the celebration of the ego. I was reading a Buddhist book many years ago. And it actually, you know, it had wisdom. The first line was the 20th. The 20th century is the celebration of the ego. That's what we do, we celebrate our egos.
And this creates within us the wrong spiritual and even intellectual mindset that therefore, I'm right, because the nature of the knifes of the ego, the nature of enough is, I want to be right. I never want to be wrong.
I want to impose myself on others I never want to be imposed upon. That's the nature of the ego and that creates a mindset that is my way or the highway.
We we have this in our own Islam as well. And you guys may suffer from this the spiritual egos the West ego because it has a veneer of Islam. And that's the worst type of ego needs to be uprooted within us. And the way to do this is actually beyond a path to do with your ego. And I think the best way to do this is to ponder upon the Quran and to ponder upon your own status. The crime makes it very clear, Allah reminds us of our origins, we will admit for 10 min many, we're not for a drop of fluid from a bigger fluid, right? Essentially, you are semen. Sorry for being rude. But your doctors and dentists here, look where you came from. The humble origins where you came from, but you
think you were exposed by a mother's womb with a suit and a tie in a briefcase, isn't it? But you came from this, this should be in your Facebook profile. But it's true. To make you understand who you really are. The crime mentioned these things for us to absorb them into our spiritual psyche that we are nobodies because you don't nothingness understanding you're nothing makes you something in Islam. And that's the whole purpose of heights. When I went to Hutch, I realized, oh my god, I am no nobody. All these linguistic wrapping of I'm Greek but looking Pakistani I i I'm this I'm not all of these labels were unwrapped. And what I found was nothing zero. And in that nothingness, I found
myself you know, it was an avid,
seven have a lot and the most best sleep I've had in my life was in Hutch.
The most beautiful harmony, and it was a mess, go to Minar you can't you won't even give you those toilets to your enemy. Yeah, it was a so tranquil. And that's the nature of HUD, it just basically takes you away from the self delusions, that of that you are something you get lost in the sea of people that do exactly the same thing and exactly the same way. And in that nothingness, you find out who you truly are. And therefore you find your own tranquility. So remember, your origins remember that you're going to die could do nothing, they could remote, every soul is going to taste death.
Remember that you were a baby. And so to have mentioned this, you know, the lifecycle of the human being, you're also a baby.
Consider the baby What beautiful lesson. You can't even as a baby, wipe your own pusteria feed yourself or even keep your neck up. If you lift a newborn baby in a corner of a room he would die. It would die people it would die was so dependent on so many different people or mothers or fathers society.
And therefore Don't act like you're independent and self sufficient because self sufficiency creates egocentrism and that is a buyer to Divine Mercy and you'll be full of doubt in your life because of this issue. Finally, whisperings there's also another element of doubt without whisperings, these dogs brothers and sisters don't take them seriously. These are what you call satanic whisperings. And this was a reality of the Sahaba the best people
check even taymiyah the 14th century theologian made a point. And he basically said the believer may suffer from whisperings of shake on insinuating thoughts of disbelief, which may make him feel depressed. The Companions 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. He said, this is a clear sign of a man of faith. And according to one report, thought which are too terrible to speak of, he said, Praise to Allah who has reduced all of shaytans plots to mere whispers, meaning, you know, they're not from you, you know, they don't have any intellectual spiritual basis, ignore them.
Because those type of damages fleeting whisperings, I like to see them as clouds, passing through the sky of the mind. don't attach yourself to them, because the Prophet Mohammed, upon who be peace, I believe this tradition is in Buddhahood. He said, allow forgive my followers for any insinuating whispers that cross their minds. So as long as they do not act upon it or speak about it, if you truly believe that they are, they are something that doesn't belong to you, and that they don't have any intellectual spiritual basis. To know that means that's the sign of emotion that's a sign of faith. So just ignore them. Don't talk about them. Ignore them. No, go away slowly. However, if
these questions become valid questions, and we don't have a problem in addressing questions, it's not an issue in any shape or form. So finding other strategies to deal with doubts, ask the person Some said the ignorance is to ask and then number to contemplate. Sophia are 31, the amazing spiritual scholars of Islam, he used to recite the following lines of poetry he used to say
when a man or a woman is used to contemplate
He would learn a lesson from everything. So contemplate, number three, gain more knowledge. Number four, internalize what you know. And I said this before number five question the question, ask yourself, why am I asking this question? If I do not get an answer, then what are the consequences? So let's just summarize what we've done today. We spoke about brothers and sisters, what is belief? What are the pillars of Eman? We spoke about where they came from, what's the basis of belief, which is the the funnel we spoke a bit about the fitrah the fact that there is this self evident reality the uncreated within us to acknowledge the divine reality and the fact that he deserves to be
worshipped. We spoke about certainty, Islam, the three levels of certainty, in will yaqeen I know your pain, your pain, and we gave a ayah in the Quran about Abraham Ibrahim Alayhi Salam when he wanted to have more depth of knowledge. He didn't doubt God. He didn't doubt his wisdom. He didn't doubt the fact that he deserved to be worshipped but he wanted a greater level of certainty, more depth, deep understanding, and that's an opinion that Razzie speaks about his tafsir we spoke about the self evident reality that we have a fifth reason revelation and experience act as trigger points to wake up the fitrah to expose what's already self evidently known. We spoke about what doubts are
been Chuck, etc, and went through some different types of doubts, intellectual doubts, social doubts, spiritual doubts, more doubts, egocentric doubts, and whisperings, actually, we missed the more doubts, but it refers to what we said about allies attacking him. He has the totality of wisdom and knowledge, he is perfect. He's a man he is the loving. So his divine commands are derivatives of his will. So his commands are loving, merciful. Sometimes we may not understand this, because we don't have the picture. We just have the pixel.
And then we give you some strategies on how to deal with these gained more knowledge, do spirituality, have good friends, hopefully, I've tried giving you as much as I can. In this short period of time, I'll try and share the PowerPoint slides have further references because as I always say, talks are not really because they act as spiritual insulin, I guess. You know, we have low demand spiritual diabetes, you have a talk and you're boosted up, but never consider this. Oh, I want to talk and I learned from Hamza there's a few things here number 100. a nobody. And I'm not saying it's perfect humility, but 100 doesn't mean anything. And number two, you have to understand
that real knowledge as we're seeing with Elena just like Mufti Saab is here, Masha, Allah bless him, and, and really engaging in that program. So when you listen to these types of talks, and this is the caveat, don't think I'm following all of this disassembly from hypocrisy, I aspire to follow this. And the second thing that you have to understand is that they should encourage you to be on the path of self discovery. Don't think this is you know,
adopt this no is this to inspire you? So hopefully, I've inspired you. I've inspired myself, you know, I get what is animated. May Allah bless you, and May Allah forgive us for any shortcomings. Rahmani Rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.