No Doubt Course #01 – 10 strategies on how to deal with your and other people’s doubts

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Hamza Tzortzis

Channel: Hamza Tzortzis

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Episode Transcript

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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim al hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah. Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi What better catechu brothers and sisters and friends and welcome to this eight week online course, no doubt 10 strategies on how to deal with your and other people's doubts. This course brothers and sisters and friends, is going to teach you how to fish is not going to give you fish. What do I mean by this when someone's hungry,

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they want to eat

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and say you give them some fish. And then after a day, they'll get hungry again, and you give them more fish, there's going to be a point in time where you're going to run out of fish.

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And effective strategy is to teach them how to fish, then you would not need to provide fish for that person. You may have heard this before. Because it's a really powerful way of empowering someone to be able to deal with doubts. It's an empowering way to deal with anything when you give the person the tools, the intellectual and spiritual tools, the effective intellectual and spiritual tools to be able to do without so this eight week course, no doubt 10 strategies on how to deal with you on other people's doubts, is going to be based on empowering you to be able to effectively deal with your own doubts and the doubts of other people. So hopefully, we're going to give you the

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intellectual and spiritual tools to be empowered and equipped to deal with doubts.

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So

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this week,

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we're going to be going through the metaphysical backdrop, we're going to talk about the nature of the heart. We're going to talk about the hearts main tribulations if you like the fitten. And we're going to talk about today's crises and challenges. And we're going to stop talking about the source of doubts. And as you can see in this slide.

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Throughout the next few weeks, we're going to be dealing with all of the strategies, the 10 effective strategies to deal with your and other people's doubts. And these include being aware, not giving them any attention. At certain stage, when you're experiencing doubts.

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You need to be able to make the distinction between doubts and questions. And whisperings, which we're going to talk about in the next few weeks. And also one of the effective strategies is thinking about your environment, your friends, your social environment, your subgroup, and we're going to go into social psychology and related matters, to show you the importance of having a correct social environment.

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Also, we're going to be talking about the need to study Islam because the more you have, the more you study Islam, you are able to dismantle very effectively some of these doubts. And we're going to give you some case studies in which where when you study Islam, when you acquire and knowledge that you are able to dismantle the doubts effectively.

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Also, we're gonna hopefully teach you critical thinking or empower you empower you to be able to critically think, and we're going to give you some examples concerning ethical, moral doubts, intellectual doubts, such as science, the philosophy of science, so on and so forth. We're also going to talk about the importance of finding a specialist because we know when you go out in the world, and you try and access the specialists in our community, that you will find that we have some great minds, some great minds in our community that able to deal with these doubts effectively. And from this perspective, we're going to briefly go through the epistemology of testimony, which is the

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say so of others. As Dr. Elizabeth fricker. she discusses that she has cognitive limitations. She cannot know everything, so she has to rely on the authority of others. Likewise, the sum of these doubts, you're not going to be able to know everything that is the nature of the human being, but we have been blessed with specialists in our community that are able to deal with these doubts.

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And we're gonna also talk about how to deal with trauma, because today we're going to be covering the source of doubts. And one of the sources of doubts is also trauma, negative experiences, a death of a loved one, you know, the perception of too much evil and gratuitous suffering in the world, so on and so forth. And we're gonna hopefully empower you to be able to stand in the possibility to give a different meaning to your perceived trauma or to your experiences, thereby empowering you. So you could be able to deal with that trauma. And by the way, everyone has a level of trauma in their lives. And it's all about, in some instances, being able to stand in the possibility and give a

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different meaning to that trauma. And we're going to refer to cognitive science as well, at the same time with regards to this issue, and we're gonna unpack that much need to throughout the course, we're also going to be talking about focusing on your heart, because when you learn today about the nature of doubts, the nature of true heart, which we're going to discuss a little bit more in a few moments, that they attack the heart, and they are like a parasite, and they drain the human the faith in your heart. And therefore what you need to do you need to be able to strengthen your heart spiritually. How do you do that? How do you traverse a path of valid and authentic Islamic

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spirituality, to be able to have a heart that is strong from a spiritual perspective. Also, we're going to end by teaching you supplications from the Quran and the prophetic traditions, on how to safeguard yourself by asking Allah for help, because at the end of the day, these strategies are never gonna work unless it's in line with the will of Allah subhanho wa Taala everything is dependent on him and him alone. And the whole process of making Tao supplicating to Allah is a key act of worship. It is the brain of worship is the essence of worship, because it is a manifestation of our true state and the true state of the human being fundamentally is totally and utterly

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dependent on the divine will totally and utterly dependent on Allah subhanho wa Taala. And if you make these supplications, something's going to happen is something's going to change. And this is very important, because we even see this in the life of Ibrahim alayhis, salaam, Abraham, upon whom bpce when he supplicate to God, this isn't the Quran, to save God himself and his family from polytheism. From associating partners with the divine. This is Abraham, the one who smashed the idols, he was a force against the falsehood of associating partners with God, against the false hood of Shrek, as we say, in the Arabic Islamic tradition, and also the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu

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alayhi wa sallam, because peace and blessings be upon him. He also used to make a frequent supplication to God to Allah and asking him to keep his heart firm on his religion firm on the true faith of God, which is singling out all our acts of worship to God alone to Allah alone. So these are some of the strategies. Obviously, I haven't gone into too much detail. But these are the effective strategies. And I truly believe that if you are patient enough, throughout the next eight weeks or so, and you internalize these strategies, you learn these strategies, you implement these strategies, there's gonna be change in your life. Now, you may be a Muslim who has some doubts, you

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may be a non Muslim who used to be a Muslim, you may be a non Muslim that wants to become Muslim.

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And all of you are suffering from some kind of doubts. Some kind of to Baja, which is the single for singular for doubts, some kind of shabu heart, which is the plural for doubts, which really means destructive doubts, okay. So from this perspective, I really believe if you stand in the possibility, and I want you to really appreciate this, I want you to stand in the possibility forget right or wrong for now, forget truth or falsehood for this particular moment. I want you to stand in the possibility that you're going to engage with these strategies. And when you engage with these strategies, there is a possibility that something's gonna change. Something's going to fundamentally

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transform and your doubts will be annihilated. Okay? But you have to just stand in the possibility you have to be coachable. If you presume anything. If you superimpose your previous experiences, your limited ideas, and your ego everyone has an ego By the way, don't worry, yeah. Your ego your your

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perception about the speakers and the instructors, whatever the case may be if you superimpose his intellectual emotional baggage, on to these strategies, it's not going to work, just have a epistemic duty, a duty to knowledge that you're going to say, you know what, I'm going to stand in the possibility that these strategies may have the potential to transform me. Now, once you're open to that, then it means you're coachable. And then we'll be able to engage together in a very positive way to have those transformations. Now, after being coachable and being open, and, you know, placing your emotional intellectual baggage to one side, after doing that, and it hasn't

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worked, then come speak to me. But for now, for the purposes of this course, let's have intellectual humility. And let's have an epistemic duty, a duty to knowledge to stand in the possibility that these may work. Also, it's not just about knowledge, because remember, abstract knowledge doesn't change anyone. Here's an example.

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I know what it takes to be probably one of the best books in the world, from an abstract knowledge point of view, I write you an essay.

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The question is, though, am I the best books in the world? No, absolutely not. I'm actually really, really good at training. But you know, when I used to go into the rain, it was like, No, as good as my training, there was a there was a gap, right? So my abstract knowledge of being able to be the best boxer in the world doesn't translate in the real world. Also, let me give you another example, I

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probably know what it takes to have the best diet in the world and be really, really healthy, you know, have your whole foods don't have refined foods, move away from sugars, you know, eat in small portions, have fruits and vegetables, you know, stay away from lots of meats and oils, so on and so forth. So I really know what it takes to have a really good diet and be very healthy. But what did I eat about an hour ago? Do you see my point? It just because you may know something in the abstract way, it doesn't mean you become it. Remember, listen to this very carefully. Knowing doesn't give you access to being knowing something and abstract way, doesn't give you access to being Take, for

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example, being a really good parent, I could probably tell you just based on my experiences, and limited reading, what it can what it takes to be really good parent. But honestly, the best parent, no, sometimes I'm not. Sometimes I'm good, I'm weak, I'm a human being I'm going to fail, right? On my, the kind of parent that I want to be. Do I aspire to be a great parent, of course, but am I the best parent? Would I describe myself as the best parent? No, I wouldn't. But can I tell you how to become a best parent in a in in an abstract way? Yes, I can. So there is a there is a gap between knowing and becoming. So I want you to understand that knowing these strategies are not going to be

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effective for that transformation, you have to become these strategies.

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So this is the key. And this is why you have to attend the whole course. So we could engage in a in a way that helps you internalize them, but in a way that you have an experiential and experienced experiential process. So the process we're going to be going through is very experiential. There is not going to be abstract knowing but becoming these strategies. For example, you know, my mom makes a great sweet Greek dish is called a valid a booty call. It is awesome. I could go to mom's house, and I can have 10 or 11. No problem, right? Okay, I might feel a bit guilty after that. But you know, I'll have them no issue. Now, my mom can train someone how to make them over the phone. She

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could give the person the exact ingredients and measurements. But he won't be the same. In actual fact, I think she's already done it and it wasn't the same. So in order for you to truly appreciate my mom's a valid abreco there is no point you speak into on the phone and gain all the measurements and doing everything scientifically, it's not going to be the same your knowing isn't going to give you access to being you know, being the the cook that my mother is right. And you want me to experience that out of the book or the way I am experiencing it. But the way you can do that is by going to my mom's house and tasting it for yourself, which has nothing to do with knowledge. It has

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nothing to do with abstract knowledge. You probably don't even know how to say the word of the Buddha. Or you don't even know how to write it down. You'd never know what it is and who cares. The point is to

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To experience that taste and that sweetness and that amazing dish, you have to come to mom's house and taste it for yourself. So this is why you need to understand this is not always about knowing. It's about how can this affect my being, which means, how I relate to myself, how I relate to others, and fundamentally how you relate to Allah, Allah subhanho wa Taala, how you relate to Allah glorified, be he. So I hope this is clear so far. Let me just summarize this again. So today, we're going to go through the metaphysical backdrop, the nature of the heart, the hearts mean, the hearts mean, Fitton, or tribulations, I was going to talk about today's crisis and challenge and the

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sources of doubts. After this week, in the weeks are going to follow, we're going to be dealing with the effective strategies to deal with your and other people's doubts. Now, some of these strategies are for before you have the doubt. And some of these strategies are for after you have the doubt, most of them are for before and after, but some are for after, and some are for before, which we're going to discuss in the appropriate time. So let me just go through my through them again, just so you understand. We're going to be talking about the YouTube, you need to be aware that destructive doubts to your faith exists and what they are, remember the nature of doubts of shewhart is that

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they don't have any intellectual basis. They are the intellectual equivalent of a wolf in sheep's clothing. And we're going to discuss that in a few moments. But being away is very important because it allows you to now be able to make a distinction and be able to understand that there are these things that are like parasites, I want to suck my the faith from my heart. And it's not necessarily an intellectual phenomenon is dressed as intellectual gymnastics, or something so called intellectual, but it's really false hood, right, and we're going to discuss that in a few moments.

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The other thing is, is not to give them any attention, this is before they really seep into your heart. Because once you are aware that you know what to be aware of, and you now will be able to understand that if they're coming or they're or they're in a certain place, such as the internet, for example, then you will put things in place to give them no attention or not to approach them, or fundamentally from this second strategy point of view, that if they do come into your heart and mind that you basically stop and ignore them and you seek refuge in Allah. Because at this stage, you know, they're wrong at this stage, you know, you have a psychological aversion to them, you know, at

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this stage, that this is not something that you believe to be true, and you know, it's false. But because it has that kind of that kind of

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aura, if you like this doubt has an aura of falsehood, but at the same time, it's somewhat appealing to the degree where you give a little bit too much focus on once you do that, then it goes into your highness saps away slowly your faith in your mind. And this is why this stage you don't give any attention, then we're going to be talking about making a distinction, why a distinction is very important distinctions are very important brothers and sisters are friends. Because they empower you, I give an example. If I go to a village, in, say, Africa, and there is a hertz person, and he's, I don't know, he's taking care of cows, and all those cows are brown, I cannot really make the

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distinction between the different type of cow All I see is brown cows, right. But for him, because he's made the distinctions through his experience and knowledge, he knows that each cow is slightly different because of its color, because of its size, because its type, if you like, or its breed, and he can make those distinctions. And he empowers him because he knows all those cars are not all the same. But for me, all I could see is like 100 Brown cows, because I don't haven't made I haven't made the distinctions between the different types of brown, and maybe you know, the size and the different shade of brown means something specific about that. That particular cow, I can't make

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those distinctions, because I haven't made those distinctions. But the heads person can. Conversely, if the heads person were to come, for example, to Los Angeles and see all of these cars, he doesn't know the difference between a Mercedes and a McLaren. He doesn't know the difference between a McLaren and a Bugatti, right. It's for him. It's like metal things with wheels. But for me, not that I like cars that much anyway, but I know how to make the distinction between a 19 year old Honda Civic and a Bugatti Veyron. Do you know what I mean? Because if someone came up to you and said, Do you want a Bugatti Veyron or 19 year old 100

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civic, I would like you to give me that Bugatti Veyron, because I might not drive it for a while, but I'll definitely sell it because it's a lot of money, right? I could make that distinction because fruit fruit through my knowledge and my experiences, I'm able to make that distinction to empowers me, in truly relating to those cars. Likewise, the Hertz person is, is empowered, because he has the knowledge and the experience and has made the distinctions to empower him to be able to get relate to those cows in a way that is a representation of reality. This cow is a different size, a different shade. This, this cow, you know, has a particular attitude, for example, or a particular

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behavior. This other code is a little bit bigger, it's got different shapes a different shade of brown, and therefore this cow has a different attitude or acts in a particular way. So the way he can relate to those cows is more powerful and empowering because he could make those distinctions. And that's why we're going to teach you how to make distinctions between shubo hat destructive doubts. what's what's a

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negative spiritual, whispering like shamanic whisperings and valid questions, if you are able to make a distinction between those three is extremely empowering, which we're going to discuss in the next couple of weeks God Willing in sha Allah, then we're going to talk about your environment. Now we're going to, by the way, when we talk about these strategies, we're going to be talking about the Quran and in the sun, the the source text of Islam on how they approach these issues, but also the kind of modern studies that we have available. For example, in social psychology, there's loads of studies on social influence and how it affects your your cognition, and your understanding of

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reality, we're going to be talking about the famous case studies concerning influence, and the development of the social norm, informational, social influence, normative social influence, peer pressure, and all of these things concerning social psychology, just to make you understand that you're no you don't live in a desert island. Some of these doubts can be as a result of your environment. And you didn't even know, to the point there are studies with academics and their peers, and there is an obvious answer, but because the peers or so called peers has said, No, that's not the answer. They've totally changed the understanding of reality, just because of social

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pressure. We'll discuss this later. Then we're going to be talking about studying Islam, having a look, I truly believe the more you study Islam, and you're patient with it, and you're humble, the more wisdom is going to be revealed to you. We know this, because when you look at chapter 18 of the Quran, you see Musa alayhis, salaam, having a dialogue with with Hitler, and Mussolini, Islam comes in very humbly saying, you know, I'm going to I'm going to be patient because Hitler says, you won't be able to be patient with me. But he's tries to he tries to be patient, but he comes across very humble. And at the end, Divine Wisdom is revealed to him. So this teaches us that if you want divine

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wisdom, or if you're the wisdom of things, then you should be patient and be humble. Okay? And once you're patient and humble, and you traverse a path of Elam and knowledge, you would you be able to destroy these doubts very effectively, I'm going to give you some case studies concerning the age of concern in the Islamic tradition, we're also going to be talking about women's inheritance as another example.

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And the other example is going to be actually I forgot what the other example is, but don't worry about it. We're going to we're going to get to in the next couple of weeks. And when you study Islam, you can be like, Oh my god, how amazing is Islam, and you have all these accusations because people don't have the knowledge. And the more knowledge you have about classical orthodox, mainstream Islam, the more you'll be able to really annihilate these doubts in this in these falsehoods as Allah says in the Quran, that the truth was smashed the brains of the Vols foot, okay.

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Then we're gonna talk about critical thinking, which really here is about philosophy or theory or philosophical understanding of things, being able to understand things in a way that, that shows that you understand how arguments are connected, how you conclude, in a philosophical sense, you understand philosophical assumptions of certain positions. And we're going to give you a case study concerning science as a so called intellectual source of doubt, which is not but we're going to unravel the philosophy of science to so you could empower you we're also going to talk about ethics and, and morality and show you how to be how to be able to deal with these based on critical

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thinking, philosophical thinking, which is all encouraged by the Quran By the way, which we're going to reference at length inshallah, God willing. And you know, I'm looking forward to that one. Because one of the

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main sources of doubts is actually morals, and science. But when you're able to critically think in this way, they will never become a source of doubt for you anymore. Then we're going to talk about the epistemology of testimony and that we have epistemic limitations, we're never going to go, No, we're never going to know everything. And even in Western philosophy in western epistemology, this is the case too. There's lots of work in the epistemology of testimony, we have to refer to the say so of others to specialists, and therefore, when you seek a specialist, they'll be able to provide answers to your doubts, I was going to talk about dealing with trauma, personal trauma, life trauma,

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negative experiences that we have experienced, that maybe is a source of our doubts. And we're going to hopefully give you a strategy which is in line with cognitive science and psychology and also in line with the Islamic tradition, on how to stand in the possibility to give your trauma, a different meaning that would help you transcend your particular negative, your negative interpretation of those events, then we're going to tell you on show you how to focus on your spiritual heart, how to remove the spiritual blemishes, how to engage in valid and authentic Islamic spiritual practice of coming closer to Allah worshipping Allah engaging with you, a scar with your remembrance of God with

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you, as with the supplications, and so on and so forth. Your citation of the Quran, your prayers, all of these things are really, really critical in strengthening your spiritual heart. And then we're going to go through some supplications, on, on, on how to deal or how to ask Allah to strengthen your Eman and your faith. And for you to be able to become a force for good in sha Allah, and for you to become a strong barrier against destructive, destructive doubts. So that's the summary. And as I said, Be patient standing the possibility that these may possibly work.

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Park your, you know, limited understanding ego experiences, and all of that to one side, try and be a blank canvas and I think we're going to enjoy ourselves and we're going to come out of this transformed inshallah God willing.

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So the metaphysical backdrop.

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Now,

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some of you may be Muslim, some of you may not be Muslim, you may be agnostic, this is irrelevant. I'm not telling you this in a way that I'm saying this is absolute truth. Yes, I believe to be for it to be true. But for the purposes of the course, I do want to stand in the possibility that this is a metaphysical backdrop that is effective and understanding ourselves and understanding the world in the context of truth, acquiring truth, acquiring faith, and in the context of doubts, okay. So

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you have to understand that in the Islamic tradition, we have this understanding of the fitrah. Now, the fitrah has been loosely translated as the innate disposition. Okay, the innate disposition. What is the fitrah? Well, let's start from a linguistic point of view. The fitrah comes from the triune, literal Arabic stem football, which you have words like photron, and Fatah, whoa, which basically means that something has been created within us. And that is an innate natural disposition or innate nature to acknowledge of law that He exists and that He is worthy of worship, and a basic understanding of objective moral values and truths. Now, interestingly, from a theological

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perspective, is based on some verses and a prophetic tradition of

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the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam may God's peace and blessings be upon him said in authentic tradition that can be found in Sahih Muslim, that every child is born in a state of fitrah, then his parents make him a Jew, a Christian omegan. Now, the school has had an understanding here that this doesn't mean every child is born Muslim No, in terms of a kind of, you know, legal sense. But rather every child is born in a natural state, that will facilitate faith that would facilitate an image that would facilitate that person becoming a Muslim, or it would facilitate them acknowledging the truth of Islam. And the school is derived from this as well, that

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there is a an effect of parenting, but also socialization that affects the child. And that's why the child changes, changes that the understanding or the child becomes something other than a Muslim. Now, interesting here, this innate disposition itself doesn't change because it's created by God. But what happens and you could use this as some kind of metaphor is that the fifth or the innate disposition gets clouded, it gets clouded, and that's why someone who's born a child that has this pure in each stage

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When the fitter gets crowded, then they will they would adopt a way of life or a worldview that is antithetical to the Islamic tradition.

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In the Quran, Chapter 14, verse 10, God says, that the Prophet say, Can there be any doubt about God created the heavens and the earth? Now,

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this here shows the kind of self evident, natural belief of affirming the Creator of the heavens and the earth, which is in line with the understanding of the fifth route of the innate disposition.

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Specific, specifically the Quranic Chapter, 30 verse that he says, added, adhere to the fitrah of a lot the fitter of God, upon which he has created all people.

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No change should they be in the creation of God, that is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. So here you have this understanding that every human being has been created upon this natural state of God has created within us. And that natural state facilitates us acknowledging the truth. Now either said previously, based on the Hadith, the prophetic tradition in Sahih, Muslim, the fitrah gets clouded. Now, before I get into this issue about the clouding of the fitrah, I think is important for us to understand the two main views in the Islamic tradition with regards to the fitrah itself. So I've been using the word such as natural disposition, the fitrah directs

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you towards the truth, but really, there are two main positions. Number one, the natural state the fitrah, doesn't only direct you to the truth, so it doesn't direct you to the truth, but rather it has truth within it. And some discuss that this means that the fitrah has some kind of protocol knowledge or primary knowledge. And there was a discussion in the in the Islamic classical tradition, that within the innate disposition, you have books existence and affirmation of the knowledge.

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So, this perspective, what the school is saying is that there is there is proton on the primary knowledge within the within a disposition that the total primary non existence that is of extensive praise or worship and a basic moral values and moral truths are or specific people banged

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out, that's the first position. So it becomes crowded, in entry to various pieces becomes unclouded, then what happens is, there is a self awakening

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is an awakening of the truth within

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the fitrah doesn't really direct you to the truth, it has truth in it in some form. And when you allow that,

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then it's like a self awakening, the truth

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is awakened within.

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Now, when the fitrah is not clouded, then naturally that human being is going to go to the truth because it's already inside them. The other view is that the Fiddler doesn't contain any knowledge at all. But rather, it's like a spiritual and intellectual vehicle from that perspective, that it directs one towards the truth. So it's like a vehicle that directs you towards the truth. If the windscreen is clean, then you could see your final destination, which is the truth in this case, it's Islam. However,

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if the windscreen is clouded or the mud on it, you can't see where you're going, where you're driving, and you're going to be misdirected towards falsehood. Now, irrespective of which position you you like or you accept, both positions make sense with regards to this whole course. Now, the first position has been attributed to the likes of ebbing Tamia, the 14th century theologian and the second position has been attributed to the likes of Alex Azadi, the 11th century theologian, okay. But irrespective what position you hold, they both make sense with regard to this understanding of acquiring faith and dealing with doubts and how our fitrah gets clouded, which I'm going to discuss

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now.

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So in the context of doubts, brothers and sisters and friends,

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it's important for us to understand that the fitrah either contains knowledge of the truth within it, which is that God exists is worthy of extensive praise and and some aspects of morality

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or that it directs you towards the truth like a spiritual intellectual vehicle, okay? But what happens is the fitter can get cloud and if you remember the Hadeeth I mentioned in Sahih Muslim, this is because of socialization. In other words, it could get crowded not only because of parents and teachers

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By could get counted because of Dallas themselves. So you could treat each cloud as a ship have the clouds represent shabu hot that counts represent destructive doubts. Okay. And there are ways to unplowed the fitrah to awaken the truth within or to allow this intellectual spiritual vehicle to, to take you towards the journey of truth. Okay. And it's not always rational arguments. And throughout this course, you're going to really appreciate this, especially when I'm going to give you some of my experiences in dealing with people who have either left Islam, or who have doubts, that it's not always about abstract rational arguments. It's different things different things can

00:35:50--> 00:36:29

uncowed the fifth law, remove the shabiha, remove the shubo hats in order to awaken the truth within or to allow the fitrah to be that intellectual spiritual vehicle to drive you towards the truth. So there's different ways of uncovering the truth or it could be direct revelation reflecting upon the Quran, it could be having spiritual experiences, positive experiences or negative experiences, it could be just teaching people to reflect and introspect, it could be rational arguments and dealing with the Shabbat itself, dealing with a destructive doubt itself, or dealing with an argument itself irrational argument or philosophical argument. It could be a combination of these at different

00:36:29--> 00:37:09

intensities and levels, you just don't know. But the point here is, this is a brilliant model, because it makes sense of reality is a representation of the actual state of affairs, it makes sense of reality. Let me give an example. There was someone who left Islam he was a Pakistani apostate, a student, I believe. And after one university lecture, he basically came up to me and said, I need quantum physics. Your argument for God's existence doesn't make sense, because causality doesn't make sense outside of the universe. Now, because of maybe my experiences and the way he came across. I had a hunch, from what I remember, I had a hunch that this had nothing to do with an intellectual

00:37:09--> 00:37:44

question. This was a veil that was hiding something else that was going on. So I said to him, What do you mean by causality? Obviously, because I study philosophy. I know that in especially Western metaphysics, obviously, there's no rejection of cause and effect, per se, but there is a discussion on the nature of the causal link. What is causality? So I had a brief discussion with him on this. And then he basically says to me, I don't know. And I said to him, my friend, isn't it very interesting that you that the key word you're using to reject God? You don't really know the meaning of that word?

00:37:46--> 00:37:59

What's up, bro? They sit down. So we sat down, and what does he computer Tell me at the end from I remember, he said to me, it was about the fact that he was brought in a secular home. And when he prayed, he didn't really feel a connection to God.

00:38:00--> 00:38:04

So his problem was fundamentally different from his initial question.

00:38:06--> 00:38:44

So this goes to show that sometimes it's not just about rational arguments, it could be about spiritual experiences, reflection, introspection, Revelation, whatever the case may be. And this allows us to become intellectually spiritually mature, because we understand that human beings are not abstract rational robots. We're not abstract rational robots. We have a psychological disposition. Again, the Islamic tradition, the way we see the human being the human being has a lot as a soul has a fitrah innate disposition, as we just mentioned, has a pump and the pump is the spiritual heart. And the opposite is the intellect isn't the brain because according to the

00:38:44--> 00:38:50

scholars, the opposite the intellect is a function of the spiritual heart, and the heart, the heart, what does it do? Does

00:38:51--> 00:39:31

it wavers and changes all the time. So there's all these crazy things going on word dynamic thing, we're not an AI machine, that you just put in some code and put an algorithm in there and you're going to expect certain results. You know, sometimes when we think something is rational, is actually not really rational study cognitive biases. For example, you see this for yourself, but the point trust you hear from a specific point of view, in to specify it clearly with regards to the notion of doubts and faith is that standing the possibility that we have this innate disposition, it either has some kind of primary knowledge that God exists and is worthy of worship, or it is like a

00:39:31--> 00:39:40

spiritual intellectual vehicle that drives you towards the truth, in this case, Islam. Now, it can get clouded.

00:39:41--> 00:40:00

So we need to know to uncover the fitrah and the clouding of the fitrah can be because of parenting of teaching of, of sins of negative experiences of misinformation may be but in the context of our course, this cloud it could be because of shughart disruptive doubts, how do you uncover the fitrah to awaken the truth within How do you uncover

00:40:00--> 00:40:23

The fitrah to allow it to be that intellectual spiritual vehicle to drive it towards the truth. It's not just rational arguments, it could be personal experiences. Maybe this human being wants to have a positive experience with a Muslim. Maybe there is psychodynamic trauma, their parents, I had another experience in my town, where someone saw my debate with Lawrence Krauss and he said, oh, great debate, but I'm still an atheist.

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He said something like that. And then I sent something about him about him. And I said, how your parents bro? And he looked at me as if to say to me, from what I remember, how did you know and he start talking about the negative, almost dark environment that he was brought up in and he associated this darkness with the Islamic tradition, he had a psychodynamic issue. He

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also had another experience with someone who works for a very famous social media company. And we'll talk about artificial intelligence and the philosophy, the mind and count, and can artificial intelligence become human one day he thought he could, it could. And I talked to him about, you know, there's a difference between strong AI and weak AI. And, you know, you could read this on the Sapiens Institute website, in the answer section, where, you know, we refer to Professor john cells, Chinese room experiment, for example. And there's a distinction between semantics and syntax, and so on and so forth. So AI can never be treated conscious. Anyway, point is we had that discussion. And

00:41:22--> 00:42:04

I already said to him, Look, you know, what's your real problem. And he basically said that, you know, he had an issue with Gods names and attributes, this sounded quite human. Now, to cut a long story short, obviously, I explained to him that we believe in LASIK, immediately, he Shea There is nothing like a law, there is nothing like God, he's transcendent, which the crown affirms. And, you know, these names and attributes of God are understood in the sense of, of his transcendence and, and uniqueness. But notwithstanding that, I noticed in our discussion that he intellectually and logically contradicted himself, and for me, that was an indication that there was a psychodynamic or

00:42:04--> 00:42:43

spiritual emotional thing going on. And I subtly, hopefully, with emotional intelligence, I presented that contradiction to him. And I did it in a way to show that maybe there is something else going on. And I refer to my own personal experiences my father, when I did that, what I remember he stood up and started crying. It's like, it's as if I triggered him, I press the button, and something came out. And to call it long story short, we found out from his mother, that his main issues from this perspective was that he had very negative experience with father figures, but at least one father figure. And the arguments that he was posing, were not well thought out, they were

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ridiculous, and he contradicted himself. But for the average person, if you didn't have these experiences, maybe all these insights, you would have thought, Oh, my God, they have a valid intellectual question, but he didn't. So that's another example to show that your fitrah can get clouded, you may have a clouded, innate disposition, that you think is because of a rational reason. But it's no, it's because of psychodynamic reason. And it requires this kind of process of engagement to understand that, but the point here is,

00:43:13--> 00:43:51

it's just reaffirming the point that there is more than one way to oncloud, the fitrah. So this is the metaphysical backdrop. So if you understand this properly, when we go through all of the effective strategies, and we talk about certain experiences, and we talk about the sources of doubts, you're going to start to realize and hopefully internalize within yourself, you know what, let me stand in the possibility that my doubt is not really an intellectual doubt, it could be because of the way I've been brought up. It could be because of my spiritual experiences, it could be with my negative experience with Muslims or with family, it could be because I have an ego

00:43:51--> 00:44:32

problem, we all know, but the point is standing the possibility that the cloud over your innate disposition is not necessarily just rational, it could be other other it could be for other reasons. And we need to now understand the process of unclouded our fitrah. And hopefully, these effective strategies will help you do that. And we'll unpack that later on throughout the course, God willing. So Let's now move on to the nature of the heart, which is very important for this kind of metaphysical backdrop. Now, obviously, when it comes to faith when it comes to eemaan, as we say, in the Arabic Islamic tradition, you know, eemaan, essentially, is,

00:44:33--> 00:44:54

is means faith, but it's something more than that. So I want you to secularize the term because you have a post Christian post secular understanding of this term. eemaan really is not only just an abstract belief, but it's something that you affirm, you know, in your heart, you affirm it on your tongue, the way you express,

00:44:56--> 00:45:00

the way you express it, verbally and you affirm it in

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Your actions you affirm in the way that you relate to yourself, you relate to others and fundamentally the way you relate to Allah subhanho wa Taala. So yes, there is an intellectual conviction here, but also it manifests itself and part of Eman is is how is what how it affects your tongue, what you say and how you relate, and how you act in the world, how you relate to yourself, how you relate to others, and how you relate to Allah subhanho wa Taala. But from the point of view of the heart, the high is extremely important here.

00:45:29--> 00:46:19

Because your, your conviction, your yaqeen, as we say in the Arabic Islamic tradition is in your heart, your pain is in your heart. So it is extremely important for us to understand the nature of the heart, its desired state, and its main tribulations. So let's start with what is the heart in the Islamic tradition, that is the kind of spiritual heart is called the pub. And it comes from the root, which means something that turns around and upside down alaba it does have a loop. So the heart engages in a loop, which means to move around to change around to waver to waver from that perspective. So, you know, this makes sense when it comes to doubts and your faith going up and down

00:46:19--> 00:46:54

slightly and fluctuating. Because the nature of the hide so is to waver. It is to wherever you know, someone may be in love with a woman one day and off for a week then I love anymore. Or you know, one day, you know, I might like a curry. But after a few days of curries, I've changed my mind. Even you know, when my wife speaks to me, and she says to me, do you like this color? I'll be like, yeah, it's a great color. Then after a few months, I don't like anymore. And she gets confused. I'm like, Well, I was in a different state. Right? And your state of being is really dictated by what's going on in your heart, right?

00:46:55--> 00:47:08

I know it's very hard to live with me. But you get the point. You know, your heart wave is the heartbeat is from that perspective. So the challenge here is is to ensure that the heart remains firm on the truth which Islam.

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So it needs to remain firm on the truth of what is its desired state. Well, here's a verse from the crown and a verse from the prophetic traditions. In the Quran in chapter 26, verse 88, to 89. Allah basically says to us that we know will be safe from the Day of Judgment, unless you come to a lie, you come to God with a sound heart, with a sound heart, so has to be sound, not always being lube, changing and wavering, right, but to be sound and firm, on on faith firm on the conviction in Allah subhanho wa Taala, He is worthy of worship. And this echoes a prophetic tradition, narrated by Bukhari and Muslim his authentic tradition. Truly in the body, there is a morsel of flesh, which if

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it is sound, the whole body is sound. And when it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Truly, it is the heart. So this is the desired state, from the Islamic perspective, we need to have a sound heart, a heart that is firm that has conviction that has your pain. And by the way, when we see certainty or pain in the Islamic tradition, there are levels of certainty in the Islamic tradition. And this is very important to make a distinction. Because sometimes we may think that, that we are uncertain, but in reality, you are still certain, it's just, there's been a fluctuation within the realm of certainty. Because in the Islamic tradition, certainty is in the heart. Yeah, clean is in

00:48:35--> 00:49:16

the heart. And there's no one level of certainty. And that's why the Quran talks about three types of certainty. You have a limit to your pain. You have I know your pain, and you have happened yaqeen So Emily, a pain is the yaqeen the certainty of knowledge, which is equivalent of someone saying to you, someone calls you and says, oh, bro, your your house is on fire. He's giving you information. It's a it's a knowledge thing. So you trust him, he's never lied to you. He wouldn't lie about something like this. So you're certain and that's the case. Okay, so this is ultimately a key. But then you have another level of certainty, in this case, which is finally arcane, which is the

00:49:16--> 00:49:58

certainty of the eye, that you're actually seeing it for yourself. So, from an exam, the same exam using the same example, you walk on your street, and you see your house on fire. So that's, I know your pain, you're seeing your house on fire, you don't need someone to tell you because you're seeing it. Then the other level of certainty of European is happily again, which is what it's this certainty of, not only knowing and seeing, but being right. And the equivalent here and make good protect every single one of us is that you're in the fire in your own house and you're burning. Yeah. And you don't need to be told the firehouse you don't need to see it. You're feeling it right

00:49:58--> 00:49:59

is true.

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By virtue of your own experience, right, so but it's true by virtue of you being in it, and being immersed in that truth. So there are levels of certainty here. So just because sometimes you may feel that it may mean a certain aspect of your Islam or faith, that you may have an animal yaqeen you may have a certainty based on a certain transmission that you're convinced in or someone has told you something, or it's a form of certainty that is based on something that you haven't seen for yourself and you haven't, you haven't experienced for yourself. This doesn't mean you're not certain. It's just a different level of certainty. So you should be able to make a distinction

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between the different levels of your pain. But moving on

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the main fitten the main diseases and maybe diseases the wrong word to use, because diseases of the heart are something else in the Islamic tradition, such as the four major diseases of the heart include hassard, blameworthy jealousy Ria, which is ostentation, which is self amazement. And the other one is kibber, which is arrogance. But here we're talking about fit. And I know I've mentioned in this slide, it's illnesses but really think about fit in which basically means tribulations. There's two main tribulations of the heart. Number one, and really understand this shallots, which are desires, you know, you always want to follow your desires, you're playing with the desires, your

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peace, two desires, you come to buy them you they have mastery over you. Then you have something called shubo hat, which are destructive doubts. fubu had our destructive doubts, as it been even Napoleon says he was the student of evening Tamia, the 14th century theologian may Allah have mercy on both of them. He says fitna is of two types, the fitna or shewhart, this one being the greater of the two, and the fitna of shadow acts. So the tribulation of destructive doubts and the tribulation of desires. Abraham says that shubho had destructive doubts are worse, the Shahada are worse than following your desires. And we know this to be the case. I couldn't know Islam is the truth. But I

00:52:18--> 00:52:33

could follow my Shahada, my desires, by drinking alcohol by doing naughty things. But I'm not saying that drinking alcohol is now permissible, permissible. I'm not saying these sins are naughty things I allowed in Islam. I'm not changing Islam, I still believe Islam to be true.

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But of following my desires, which is still blameworthy, shewhart is worse. Because shewhart basically says to you,

00:52:44--> 00:52:54

oh, it's a type of destructive doubt that changes the religion. It's a destructive doubt that changes the truth of Islam. It's a destructive doubt that basically

00:52:56--> 00:53:15

is like a parasite that drains your faith and says, you know, God doesn't exist, or the Quran is not from God. Or, you know, the Prophet Muhammad upon me, peace is not really the Prophet, this is far worse. Why? Because you enter into copper, you enter into the rejection of the truth.

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Now, obviously, we don't like to give these kind of binary examples but for argument's sake, what would you rather who would you rather be someone who believes in the Absolute Truth of Islam, but yet is following your your How are your blameworthy desires, your your heart is full of shadow acts, and you do all of these sins or you don't do any sins, but you doubt the existence of God? And you doubt the Prophet salallahu alliums I mean, you don't really believe in Islam.

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We all know if you really study Islamic theology, mainstream Islamic theology, having conviction in Islam is far more far more important because that is your key to eternal paradise as to your key to the special love of Allah. Don't get me wrong. Allah has this loving mercy for all creatures, Muslim and non Muslim. Because Allah says that his right ma his intense mercy encompasses everything if you want that special love where you have to now open the door It was never closed, it's not locked are you to open it yourself

00:54:25--> 00:54:29

you know to experience a special divine love you have to accept the truth

00:54:33--> 00:54:59

so let's again now zoom in on this concept of shoe heart. So obviously in the next few weeks, we're going to be talking about destructive doubts which are shoe bohart. Now shoe bohat is the plural for should have. So when we say a ship, a ship is a doubt and shubo heart are many doubts many destructive doubts. And interestingly, the, the ship high is cold. So because it it resists

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Elbows The truth is, truth be who it resembles. As for you, me and for you me says a Sherpa is called so because it resembles the truth from this point of view is a doll does not have any intellectual basis has no validity but it resembles a truth but it is fulfilled it's like a wolf in sheep's clothing. And that's why even to me, he comments every significant belief usually contains an element of of truth should have been a lot. Since if that wasn't the case, such views would not have circulated and that is the dangerous nature of destructive dogs because they they look true. But in reality, they're not.

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In reality, they're not. So that is what a should have is that's what Chabot hot off. They are something that resembles something other than itself, because the essence of a Sherpa is false hood, but it resembles the truth and people get confused.

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Now, before I continue, you really need to understand something brothers and sisters, a friend is so important to understand this.

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Remember, and we will discuss this next week as well. Hopefully, I think towards the end of this webinar, which is Chabot had an intellectually strong

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The reason we have these strategies is because our hearts are weak.

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And remember, Ibrahim alayhis salam Abraham upon him VPS he's this the destroyer of idols,

00:56:33--> 00:56:40

he supplicate to Allah in the Quran, that him and his family are protected from social encounters with God.

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The him and his family are protected from idol worship. The prophets of Salaam. People love the love of God, the love of Allah used to make dua that Allah keeps his heart firm on faith firm on the religion.

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So, even the Sahaba the companions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam great Sahaba

00:57:04--> 00:57:08

they were worried about nofap. They're worried about hypocrisy.

00:57:10--> 00:57:13

If such great people, the best people of this planet,

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were were aware of shubo hat and wanted to prevent themselves from entering into the darkness of super heart. And what about us stopped by intellectual arguments. There is no intellectual veracity to these shubo hearts.

00:57:30--> 00:57:38

But it's because our hearts are weak and this there is a spiritual dimension to this. And it acts like a parasite likes to suck your image and suck your face from your heart.

00:57:40--> 00:57:42

I want to add this here, which is quite interesting because you know,

00:57:44--> 00:58:21

pious predecessors used to speak about these things. So according to of the Roman Eben yazeed, he said that he Massoud may Allah be pleased with him said, the righteous would disappear and the people have doubts will remain. And the people said, Oh, man, who are the people who have doubts and even Massoud said, people who do not enjoying good and do not forbid evil in another generation, even Massoud said, they do not acknowledge good nor reject evil. So maybe one of the reasons that maybe we're living in a time of doubt is because we're not people who are enjoying good and forbidding evil. And if you enjoin good and forbid evil, there are a lot of prerequisite

00:58:21--> 00:58:33

prerequisites. And one of those prerequisites is to have elements to have knowledge is to have wisdom is to have hikma. So we've lost knowledge, and we've lost wisdom in today's society.

00:58:36--> 00:59:17

So today's crises and challenges so as you know, a lot of these shubho had a lot of these doubts come from other isms and schisms. And, you know, without a doubt, we have atheism, skepticism, liberalism, Neo liberalism, extremism on both sides, post modernism nihilism, and all these isms and schisms, and because of this kind of the internet and social media and mass sharing of information, and you know, the Post truth culture that we live in, because no one wants to verify anything anymore, because of the nature of social media, and the nature of the fact that we've lost trust in authorities, you know, is creating a lot of shewhart is creating a lot of doubts and is creating a

00:59:17--> 00:59:19

lot of destructive doubts.

00:59:20--> 00:59:59

Now, moving on to like the main areas of doubts, there are three main areas now I've taken this from the yaqeen Institute, website. It's called what causes Muslims to doubt a quantitative analysis. And I really like this because, you know, I've been trying to engage in this work in the past what, past 15 years or more, or maybe less, a little bit less. And throughout my experiences, you could take the shubho heart you could take the destructive doubts and put them into these categories, moral social concerns, philosophical and scientific concerns, or personal trauma. So these are some examples of the moral social concerns. For example, Islam's teachings about women.

01:00:00--> 01:00:37

the hypocrisy of religious people, the bad things that people do the name of religion, the intolerance that somebody has people show towards other faiths, the intolerance that some religious religious people show towards other people, and so on and so forth. So philosophical scientific concerns could include the issue of evolution through natural selection, God's existence from a scientific empirical point of view, uncertainty about the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering the unfair world, you know, feeding that same religious practices don't make sense from a scientific or philosophical perspective, and so on and so forth.

01:00:39--> 01:01:05

The other finals, the final source is personal trauma, which can include, you know, find that being religious doesn't really make you happy, not feeling welcomed in your faith community, the death of a loved one may be your own personal trauma in your life, maybe it could be a divorce, it could be that you're a victim of domestic violence, it could be that, you know, your parents used to abuse you, we don't know what trauma comes in different shapes and sizes, and in different levels, everyone has suffered trauma to a certain degree.

01:01:06--> 01:01:23

So that could be one of the major sources of shubo, Heart of destructive doubts. Now, we're going to unpack all of these sources much more when we go through the 10 effective strategies in dealing with your and other people's doubts.

01:01:25--> 01:01:45

So just coming back to you on what the 10 strategies are my brothers and sisters and friends. So the 10 strategies are, as we said, and we summarize them already. Be aware, no attention and make the distinction in your environment, your friends,

01:01:47--> 01:01:50

acquiring aim studying Islam, critical thinking,

01:01:51--> 01:02:35

finding a specialist, dealing with trauma, and focusing on your heart and making dua making. So these are the doubts that we're going to be dealing with next week, we're going to do with effective so these are the effective strategies that we're gonna be dealing with next week, we're going to be dealing effective with effective strategy 123. So we're going to be talking about being aware, not giving attention and making the distinction as I said earlier between shewhart, wasa and valid questions and that's a very powerful point that we're going to focus on because it previously being able to make distinctions empowers you, and then we can number three, we're going to go through

01:02:35--> 01:03:11

strategy number four, which is your environment and social psychology, friends, etc. week number four, we're going to go through strategy number five, which is studying a psalm which would include responses to key shewhart as case studies, week number five, we're going to be going through developing critical thinking and Islamic thought such as the in dealing with the key sources of doubt, such as moral, moral issues, scientific issues, philosophical issues. week number six, we're going to be going through strategies 78, which is about finding a specialist and dealing with trauma. week number seven is about strategies number nine and 10, which is about strengthening your

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spiritual heart and supplicating to Allah. And week number eight is a summary and exam. So from this point of view now brothers and sisters, this first week is now complete.