On Being Human with Dr. Osman Latiff
Channel: Hamza Tzortzis
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Sam Wiley Kumar amatola here but I got two brothers and sisters and friends.
Welcome to the sapience Institute to YouTube channel and my name is Hamza Andres Georges and with me today I have a very special person, a beloved person to me and to us. It's Dr. Osman Latif, let me just give you a quick brief if you don't know about him, Dr. Rothman Latif has a BA in history, an MA in Crusaders studies, and he completed a PhD. On the topic of religious poetry, and the crusades, he has delivered many papers in the UK and internationally renowned academic institutions. His book on the Crusade, the cutting edge of the poet's sword, Muslim politic responses to the Crusades was published by the Academic Press bro in 2018. And he also continues to writes for academic books and
articles, and I believe he has a book coming out very soon with Springer. So this leads to his postdoctoral studies. So further to his PhD, he conducted postdoctoral research in Politics and International Relations. And this was about dehumanization, and empathy and these types of topics.
He also wrote a book, which is free on Sapiens Institute website, it's called on being human how Islam addresses othering, dehumanization, and empathy. Please go to Sapiens institute.org, forward slash books, and you can download and read his book for free. It's a phenomenal book. It really, it really fills the gap in the kind of intellectual Muslim, online and offline space. And this is exactly what we're going to be talking about today. So as I said about his forthcoming book in Springer, it's gonna be published this year in sha Allah is called war descent and empathy, seeing our others in darkened spaces. And Dr. Latif is a lecturer and teacher, Jimmy msgid, and Islamic
Center in Sao and is a regular speaker at mosques and universities in the UK and internationally. And obviously, Dr. Osman Latif is a team member of Sapiens Institute, a senior team member of Sapiens Institute, and inshallah you're going to see a lot from him concerning his webinars, his online and offline academic training, and development of Muslims to be able to share Islam academically and intellectually. And also his writings, a lot of his writings you can find on the Sapiens Institute website, and there are many more coming in sha Allah. So we're going to spend some time today to talk about on being human. And I have a list of questions on my modern Notepad, which
is called the iPhone.
And it's become an extension of one's consciousness, unfortunately,
because memories are not here anymore. They're here. So I'm going to go and read some of these questions. So the first thing I want to ask our beloved doctor is
the book that has been published is called on being human, how Islam addresses othering, dehumanization and empathy. So the first question is, why was the and why is there a need for such a book?
Sound like until every culture comes at all the people the listener, as well as all of you.
hamdulillah We begin by thanking and praising Allah subhanho wa Taala. I mean, for myself,
I think all of us have moments in our lives that are you might call them epiphanic epiphanic moments, moments of more pronounced realization.
After my PhD, in fact, I had such a moment Subhanallah I finished my PhD and I was it's kind of quite anticlimax because he spent four years doing research and it's, your whole days are regulated by particular timings and all of a sudden it comes to a dead stop. And you kind of you do want to worry because you think, Wait, am I supposed to do my life? And I was tutoring and I was tutoring this lady lady who was doing a degree in English Lit and and she was studying, in fact, a play called various themes by the Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, who died some years back and, and I was familiar, of course with him as a poet, but not as, as a playwright. You know, what I came to
realize is that the play very well theater in fact, was a rendition. It was a new version of a classical ancient play Call antigoni which is very is it three or four bases is very, very old, by Sophocles. So he rewrites this play in 2000. I think 2000 and published 2003 I think it was
And so yeah, we were studying and I had no idea about, about the play at all or about, you know, the reason why behind it's altering. But what I came to realize is that Seamus Heaney, he rewrites this play and writing his own words because of the war in Iraq, and really struck me. So what makes this play quite relevant to the context of the war in Iraq is that the play centers on an emperor called Korean and Korean is fighting a battle. And he has a loyalist on his side. And on the other side, on the opposing side is is that loyalists, brother, so we have two brothers fighting on opposite ends, one fighting for in one fighting against him.
And they both get killed in the battle. Right, so now Korean has an edict and the edict that states that the one who died fighting for him is going to be honored and be very the themes, which was sacramental, it was something that was really sacred ground and, and, and he's going to be honored that people can salute him and mourn for him and people are going to really give him all of that credits, but one died fighting against him is not allowed to be very and this is really profound. If you think about it's not allowed to vary, and anybody attempting to bury him will be executed. And so the whole play begins the first the first line of the whole play is antimony running home to
assist is missing is mean is mean have you heard the news? And so the whole place about Antigone trying to convince assist is that we have to bury our brother is mean, of course is a prayed and she says what's the point because you'll die for it. But I'm thinking he is resilient. She exhibits courage and bravery. And she attempts to bury her brother. Now what makes this interesting, in fact, from from perspective of Seamus Heaney, rewriting this is that we have, we have a displaced politics of mourning and of human suffering. And so, you know, in our world, and particularly with respect to the war in Iraq, as seen through the division of Seamus Heaney, but I think a lot of just common
decent people, is the fact that we have you know, lives that are worthy, lives are remembered lives are mourned, lives are cherished, and lives are always in front of us on the media, media narratives. And other lines that are, are not worthy enough, you know, to have that sense of importance. And, and he writes that play in part because of that. And I thought to myself, Subhan Allah, you know, I had this with the water, my God, what is happening here, I really I was Subhanallah, I was so struck, I thought, this is something so relevant for now, for me, and my work in history, I think is extremely important. And it's and I'm still writing on it, I have a chapter
coming up in the Cambridge Cambridge history of religion and war. So I still have work I'm doing on that field all the time. But I thought this was so relevant, contextually now. And I wanted to see what I could do as a Muslim to try and see how I could contribute to this field. And then I contacted my university. And I had informal chat with one of the, one of the staff members in the in the Department of Public Relations and, and she was so chuffed that I want to do a postdoc. And then they helped me a lot in doing that, that I ended up doing it for for two years. And that was really the start of my, my experience and my, my interest in, in human suffering, understanding my personal
contract was about visual iconography. It was my images of human suffering, and it's about the way that we sometimes have a, we have an image and we have a narrative and sometimes they don't coalesce very well, you know, in, in, in dominant media narratives. And so that was the start of it. But now of course, I mean, the book itself on being human, how some of this is occurring in relation empathy. There was
the book by Richard standard, in fact, from the horrific acts of terror committed by Brenton Tarrant last year in those two massages in Christchurch, New Zealand.
You know, and that was really again, another reminder, we've in fact just had a more recent reminder with the anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia. Again about what hate produces you know, what othering demonization produces? And I think that the vocal 100 you mentioned that will accept email luxa everyone's effort in this it I think it really does fill a gap because the discourse from an Islamic Quranic Islamic paradigm perspective is what's really what I was kind of actually maybe less that needed to be more than I hope in the book, you know, feels I feel still some gap like that inshallah. So,
What I would consider humble there, I mean, I have not seen anything in the English language that addresses the idea of othering, dehumanization and empathy in such
holistic and nuanced way. And it feels such a gap. And one of the key reasons I feel, especially some with experience in what you may call maybe, you know, grass roots or frontline type of outreach, what I think is the gap that will be filled is that it would make us as Muslims more closer to our intellectual spiritual tradition, but at the same time, derive the necessary intellectual spiritual tools to be able to connect with human beings in such a profound human way, in a prophetic way to be able to somehow socially and emotionally enter into their own souls, and share that space. And I think it's very important, especially when we have online debates and
attitudes, and we have face to face kind of
engagement with other human beings in a way that shows that we are maybe a little bit arrogant, we haven't listened attentively. We're not listening with the intention to understand. We're not looking out for their context. We're not looking out for their context. We're not trying to understand their meaning and intention behind the things that they're saying. We just want to win a debate. We just want to impose on others, we want to look good, which is the nature of the knifes and the ego, I want to look good, I don't look bad. I want to impose I don't want to be imposed upon. I want to be right, I never want to be wrong. And that kind of neph see egocentric attitude is
from a lot of Muslims. Unfortunately, in this book, I think what it does, especially for me, is that it teaches us hold on a second there is a divine guidance here. And when you look at all of the resources in the Quran, and Sunnah in the Quran, and the prophetic traditions, is going to teach you to change the way you relate to yourself, and change the way you relate to others which is your state of being how you becoming in the world with other people. So someone may come to you, and they may be full of hatred concerning a song. But you are able now to be a manifestation of what you mentioned in the book habibie, which is love for humanity, what you love for yourself, which is a
hadith. And also and also, Chapter 41 verse that you for Good and Evil are not the same. repelled by that which is better. And between two people this enmity will attend to intimate friendship. So your book is necessary. I would say everyone must read this book. If you're engaged in any intellectual or social outreach. This book is necessary, especially at a time of social media debates, people not listening to each other people listening past each other people not listening with the intention to understand people not being committed to the well being of others. This book is teaching us hold on a second, let's come back to our tradition. What does Islam say? What does the Quran say? What does
the prophetic teaching say? It basically says if I want to summarize your book, it's saying be committed to the well being of others. Listen with the intention to understand, try and imaginatively take your shoes off and put on someone else's shoes, and at least walk two inches. And if you're able to do this, the hatred, the ideological hardness in one's heart will diminish and we're able to connect with people like the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. So for going on on this doctor, but because you're humble, mela Bless you. I had to sell this. And we're not sending anything. It's free. We're sending ideas he was sending values. People need to listen and read this
book. In actual fact, we'll make into an audio book as well because people like listening. And you know, I want this narrative to go out there a newest holistic, holistic approach to the Quran and Sunnah that teaches people how to become in the world in a positive and prophetic way. So this leads me to the next question heavy, which I think you need to maybe try to expand upon or unpack for us, because many people don't know what this word is, which is, what is othering?
Yeah, thank you for that combination. It's good that you read the book.
Okay, so as the other in fact is, is to is to relegate in fact, is to assign a place unto another person, a place that is that you would deem unbefitting for yourself or oneself. And in doing that, therefore, you're creating like a chance and you're creating a distance between yourself and another person that formulates into into in groups and into our groups. The other than because they're not, they're not as worthy as you they're not in my book discusses many different strands of this. Even to do
With things that you might find so commonplace in the looks of a person,
you know, you want a person, for example, a beautiful example, for example, some things, for example, tomatoes,
is once the perfect companion, Bill avenuesuite was was on a tree. And he was very skinny. And the fact that the prophets companions came along, and they began to laugh at him. And in symbolic in a symbolic sense, you might even see in that small occasion and instance, you know, that the formulating an in group and out group, because there's a, there's a difference distinction that they're noticing and recognizing in given muscles, but it's depends on the way that they will deal with that. And one of the beautiful things that our Prophet came to do is not just to change, but to challenge the way that we perceive differences with one another. And so he says, Well, why did you
love were you laughing? No, he said, mean did participate. He were laughing at how skinny his shins are absolute law. And the President said that by him in his hand is my soul, those two legs of his are heavier on the scale than not, on their judgment. Right. It was it was a paradigm shift, it was a way of changing their perspective. So othering, therefore is to is to assign this to his to his to his relegate and to another people, a place that you would not deem worthy and satisfactory for yourself. Now that because of our perceived this difference in that person, it could be a difference of color, could be difference of language of ethnicity, it could be different from physical being,
could be anything really, and you know, well, we have too many of those examples of othering. And so the reason, the reason of course, very tragic, horrific killing of joy, which, in fact, is also covered in the book on being human is an example of that. And so, you know, we would see that for racism and these kinds of things is actually stemming from that mental and cultural process of other.
Okay, that's very good. So, I mean,
before we get to the next question, there's been a question from someone could forgot his name now. Ah, ah, Solomon. He wants to reference with a Hadeeth love for humanity, what you love for yourself. Now, the book covers this. But I think it's very interesting, because every time there is a Hadith, there's a prophetic tradition that says love for humanity, we love for yourself. People challenge me in a way that I'm making something up. And this goes to show that we haven't popularized authentic values and narratives in our community. And we have basically have some kind of subconscious othering that we can't have any positive feelings for the other. And I'm telling you, the amount of
times I've tried to popularize this authentic prophetic tradition, people challenge me like I'm making something up. So this Hadeeth is narrated by Al Bukhari, it's interest allocative. And it's an authentic hadith. It's Sahih. And the Arabic is love for Linnaeus for people. No, he or he is the other Hadith, in the arbaeen of a number of the 40 prophetic traditions of another way that he collected. And it's the 13th 13th in that collection. It's not that Hadith, which is very well known. It's other Hadith as narrated by Bihari by interest, Al Kabir and he mentioned the leanness for humanity. But what's very interesting and what Dr. Oz manatee does in his book, he shows how
anomaly himself when he collected the 13th Hadith that says love for your brother, what you love for yourself. And now he says, this means love for human beings as well, from the point of view that you're committed to the well being you want goodness for them, and you want guidance for them. So I wasn't going to answer questions but that comes up all the time. And it's really Case in point doctor that it It shows that we have we have adopted maybe some kind of post colonial trauma that we now feel that we have to other everybody and we could never have any positive good feelings for the fellow man which is which is which leads us
which is and you could comment on this as well which is okay, so we know what othering is. Now what is dehumanization?
Is that okay, just just to touch a bit about what you just mentioned right now, I think I have a bit of a you know, I grew up in the 1990s. And so I have a very close friend Terrence Lau and we reminisce a lot about them and sometimes to the point of this like it goes crazy. And one of the films that we reminisce about is rocky for
dove London, and and his fight against the Russian and it's there's something so embedded in our consciousness because we remember the lines, but I know one of the lines that's pretty hilarious is when rocky was so kind of he was so taken aback by the by the sea
For strength of the Russian, he said to his his team that is not a machine isn't easy. The machine, he said is a machine, right? And he said, I can't be it because he's a machine. And then the others in his camp and they said, this is not a machine is a man. He's a man. Now, if you just if you just think about this for a second, what does it mean? I think that we're guilty sometimes of not always seeing other people as humans. And it sounds I know it sounds simplistic, but I think there's truth in that. I think that sometimes we see people as automated machines. And we think that we have to write a script, that's, that's going to be you know, spoken out, in a very
scripted sense onto the machine. And then we expect the machine to respond and react to us in a particular way as a machine one. Now, I think that the mind time mind book begins with deconstructing this. What does it mean for us? What is human even mean? I bought this book some years ago called Harry's last time by an elderly gentleman called Harry Leslie Smith. And, and when I bought the book, I was I probably didn't even read past the first few pages without rereading them and then rereading them. Because what he does is that he he touches on this in a very, very innocent, very innocent, beautiful way, is that he says that every morning, he wrote the book at the
age of 9192, but very old, he's now passed away. But he describes every morning he goes downstairs and he proves himself coffee.
And he goes downstairs and he describes the describes his movements. And as I go downstairs, and then I as I'm mixing the the milk or the sugar into the coffee cup, the clinking of the cup of the spoon on the cup, that clinking sound
reminds me of when I was six or seven years old. I could hear the clinking of the horses rules, you know, on the, on the on the on the cobbled roads of London, I could hear the clinking, I could make that connection ended I could and then see simulataneously I could see my parents rummaging through rubbish, trying to find a bite to eat. And when I read that Suhana I said you know, it's true. We are not machines, really we're humans. You know where humans Allah gave us our senses we can perceive of the world without smell, taste, touch, all of these things that is quite beautiful in the Quran. Allah wants us to engage with the Quran with all of these. So for example, there are
parts in the Parana Allah speaks about those, that when they when they when they listen to the verse of Allah, their eyes they went up right to the body and the eyes are connected. Allah says what is the professor Nicola wants it all under control, one grands recited been silenced, you will attain Allah mercy. Allah mentioned that when the grant a lot when people receive Allah messages and the signs of Allah, their skin trembles, everything is is in place for for the servant of Allah to receive the benefit of that divine revelation. And a lot of Quran is addressing people. Yeah, you and us as people, right and as you were speaking about the heavy Think about this, I mean, a man's
greatness, one of the the scales of greatness, in fact, in Islam is understood, the version of Allah has gone to Pharaoh Martin oferuje not like you mentioned in math Allah says your your standard of greatness is always predicated on this understanding that you're, you're you're going to be excellent in your mannerism, character delivering of Islam command good for very people believing in Allah. And Allah says that the best you are the best nation raised up for mankind. And even though many of us have been they say that this is in reference to a whole bunch of for example, the people who the idea there is still when you lemahieu professionals is a general sense of our greatness
attributed to the oma if they do what the early community did, and of course I can stand for this human welfare is very profound so many Hadith In fact, the man the main headings on the product and the main key Mr. Jolla, alienness, your NASS, which people
have developed on which people are the most beloved people to Allah, and the proper reply by saying have been nasty in Allah and for whom the nurse the most beloved people to allow others to bring the most benefit to people, to people. Right. One of the the beautiful things that I discussed in my book, and I know this is this is about empathy, but just because it's the questions been asked is about the, you know, the very famous heady about the man who was thirsty, and the man who was thirsty and he goes and he finds a well when he goes into wallet brings up what from softening quenches his thirst, and then he sees a dog, right What does he see? It doesn't even see human
actually sees. The dog is
is another of Allah's creation, which is an animal, you know. And then he says about the bonobo and
the, the dog is experiencing the best myth under the control of him in the same way that I was experiencing thirst The dog was experiencing that same kind of sense when he gave water to the dog. And Allah acknowledge that actually, Allah forgave his sins. So how about they were amazing. They said, jasola do we get rewarded for even giving like things to animals? And the Prophet said, you you get the reward for every living being. For every living being, that's all people, that's all animals. That's everybody. So I think we have more of a world world worldview, and understanding our responsibilities as human beings as Muslims on a planet Earth, inhabited by, by humans, all humans
and animals as well.
That's why it's important for us to understand that you know, when Allah subhanho wa Taala says that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was urashima to the worlds, you know, how does this aurasma manifest itself? And I challenge a lot of Muslims who would like to still have this kind of almost cultish mindset concerning religion and divine guidance is that ask yourself this question was the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was he committed to the well being of all human beings, of course, because the greatest well being, from an Islamic perspective is to facilitate a life in which allows them to taste a turn or Divine Mercy in paradise. If you were to say that the personal
prophet the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was not committed to people's human being, to people's well being, that will be a severe misunderstanding, of Scripture of the prophetic way of a holistic understanding of the Quran and the Sunnah. And that's why we Muslims, we need to just grow up frankly, we need to become spiritually and intellectually mature. Well, I II, by God, we have to do this we have to become spiritually and intellectually mature, to take the richness of our tradition, to internalize it for it to change our state of beings that will go out in the world, and really touch, move and inspire human beings. This is what the Sahaba did. This was the companions of
the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam did. This is what the prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam did. I mean, the way they internalize the tradition was phenomenal. There is an original one Sahabi, he was feeding breadcrumbs to the anthill next to his house, and they said to him, what are you doing? And he said, I don't want to be held accountable on the Day of Judgment, that I didn't feed my neighbor. I didn't give the rights to my neighbor. These were people. These are Acts where if you were to walk on the road, you probably kill 1000 answer D, you don't even know. And now you're telling me about, oh, we have to have this kind of, you know, binary, you know, culture sectarian
mindset concerning the tradition, no, allow the tradition to speak for itself. And this is why brothers and sisters, please download the book on being human by Dr. Orth man Latif, go to Sapiens institute.org forward slash books, and you'll be able to download his book for free. It's a phenomenal book that takes all of the traditions, the scholarly tradition, the Quran and the Sunnah, and brings it together to really make us understand how to deal with this issue. So there's one thing that you didn't do though chef, which is what's dehumanization
Okay, yeah, so dehumanization is if we understand othering as this relegating of another to a distance face and by the way, it doesn't have to be a physical distance basically even be a cultural and mental distance distance space. dehumanization is, is the is the ossifying it's the entrenching of that of that distance to the point where the other becomes an unknown invisible entity when they don't exist and they don't exist anymore. One of the things I discuss in my book is the idea of social depth and social dying
you know, if you think about if you think about genocide, like the Holocaust for example and discuss this in my book
is quite true that you know, for for many Germans, the Jews This is even before the Holocaust had in fact suffered a social death in Germany before the Holocaust even began. What that means is that if you if you if you other Ryan's and you erect these, these mental walls, these barriers between you and other people that they're there's this suppose that differences mean it suppose marginality between you
And other people.
If that's if that's not challenging, that's not checked. dehumanization begins because it's the ossification it's the, it's the, it's creating the sense of the barriers between you and another person in dehumanization and means that you're regarding others as, as known entities as sub humanized people. And so, this is why, you know, in the scourge of of genocide, you would have always a language very, very similar, the language of dehumanization, the the castigating of others, as rodents as rats as infestations as vermin, you know, and all of these suggests, therefore, that they're that they're infestation they need to be cleansed, they have to be removed for our own well
being. And so, the humanization therefore, is going to be the extension of of an othering all this by the way, you know, as human beings we do have you know, we do we do regard others, we do, we do have this sense of,
of place, setting of place setting between us and other people. That's okay because Allah Quran says, you know, you live in communities you live, Allah, Allah says, again, your your nurse, or people in Hala, Kanako min, Declan will enter we critical from from male and female, which are not going to open up. And we made you into nations and tribes. So you would no one recognize one another. And the fact that you were going to have a pause nation, we're going to have tribes, but the question is how we would deal with that scenario that we experience every day of our lives, in our societies, in communities, even in families, actually, even in families, because you could have,
you know, cases of, of let's This is a hypothetical situation, let's assume have parents have children. And if they have, let's say, three children, and one of those children, let's say is a special needs child has Asperger's, or autism, or has a handicap and is disabled. Now, it's very, you know, if it's not, if we're not looking at this, you know, from the way that Allah wants us to, it's very easy to, to other that child, that child is so different and so distinct, and could always almost be seen as a nuisance, you know, if it's, if it's in a very an Islamic and bad way. That that's in fact, and othering you know, that person so therefore, although we live in societies where
we do have differences, you know, we have healthy we have, we have sick, we have old, we have young, we have told we have shown them all kinds of people, society is a complex mesh in which all people live. But the we have to deal with people who Allah wants to deal with them with justice, with equity with fair dealing with mercy, with compassion, with forbearance, with kindness, all of these things are the kinds of things that if genocidal tendencies built on dehumanization begin to emerge, we've already checked that, you know, we've already challenged those things. You know, one of the things you mentioned beginning was this concept of ideological hardness, that I know about that
because of an article written in 1966, by Michel Theodor adorno. And he writes this article called education after Auschwitz. And it was a response to dehumanization, because you write the article, and the opening line of his article is the premier demand for mobile education is never again, Auschwitz. But he says that in a society, like in German society, where Germans, you know, I mean, from his perspective, we I don't know if he's speaking about every single German, but he just saying, in German society, there existed this concept to this idea of manifestation of ideological hardness, that they were not
predisposed to show empathy to others. But instead, they just erected these barriers between themselves and other people. Now, if that happens, and it goes unchecked and unchallenged, then it's naturally going to lead to dehumanization.
Just off my head doctor. So I think just two more final questions is to keep this short and to encourage people to download the book which is free on being human, how Islam addresses othering, dehumanization, empathy, you could download it from the Sapiens Institute website, go to books, it's Sapiens institute.org for slash books. Also, we're going to be unpacking some of these concepts in greater detail during these live sessions. But we also have, as you know, launched Sapiens Institute with over 35 webinars to touch move and inspire you inspire you and to empower you to articulate and share Islam compassionately intellect, intellectually and academically. And Dr. Smile Latif is going
through his own being human webinar series.
It's maxed out concerning registrations, unfortunately. But we're going to be uploading from this week, the webinar videos on on being human on the Sapiens Institute YouTube channel. So if you want to know much more, it's going to be available on this channel insha Allah. So the penultimate question doctor is, well, what is empathy?
That's, that's a big thing for us. And it's a big thing for the book. Sometimes even sometimes you think about, would it make sense for people reading the the title of the book, or the subheading, how Islam addresses othering demolished, because those are those two, of course, are connected. But empathy is quite profound, because that's, in many ways,
one of the most important responses. And I think that, again, my feeling is that we haven't looked at this, in its in its best way, you know, we're not looking at this, one of the things I just discussed, in fact, my last webinar is that we went through this,
we went through a statement of, of a man called Tudor and in fact, he is a political scientist, and he speaks about the way that we perceive of prisoners. And, and he said that you could see a prisoner being tortured, you know, undergoing such horrific treatment. He said, it's not that you're unable to see the prisoner. Clearly, you can, even if you're doing it from different perspectives, different functions, points, you consider prisoner, but it's very speaks about a, like you said, it's the light with which you're looking at that prisoner. If you're looking at a light that with a light that flattens and exposes that prisoner, then you would really be unable to show human
affinity towards that prisoner. But if you're looking with a different light, then perhaps you can and I argue, therefore, that one of the lights, that's so essential, is a light of, of the output is a life of empathy. And out of impact in Arabic means to lean towards a means to lean towards, you know, so you have in the discourse of empathy, people oftentimes ask what is between sympathy and empathy? sympathy meaning, you know, from the Greek with feeling and empathy, meaning in feeling that in feeling it's very profound, in fact, even from, you know, from an Islamic paradigm, what does it mean to have a good feeling for somebody else, one of the things I mentioned the example of
the man with a dog, and he's,
and I think that's a very profound idea, because because he's able to relate his own temporalities, and vulnerabilities at that moment in time, to the very same temporalities when abilities experienced by another animal, in this case, a dog. And that's really what empathy empathy is to first be cognizant of your own vulnerabilities. I'm not gonna live forever, right? I do experience hunger, I experienced this, I do have feelings of fair feelings of happiness and sadness, and I have hopes and dreams. And everybody does, in fact, right that the same things that I experienced and feel you're experiencing fi we're all experiencing, feeling different ways and shapes and forms.
That means we call these human codes of recognizability, we can recognize one another. Because what we all in fact, feel is quite similar. Now, that's not to say that every single experience can be replicated. In fact, it can't. And I even argue this in my book on being human. Because what empathy means is it means to individualize means not to categorize everybody, as one, as one entity, that, in fact, would result in stereotyping and characterizing those people that to show empathy means to individualize every human experience, every human being. And that's very beautiful. If you do that, well, why is the one was beautiful things to do that two individualizes here, what this person I'm
encountering today, is a completely new person. Like, it's almost like this person I've never ever encountered before, or understand anything about this person, because it's completely new, fresh person. Now, when you look at this, this is going to tap into the Cipolla. Right, because you're realizing this person that has there's something predispose goodness in this person, which allows already planted in that person being not just his heart, his heart, his mind, his senses, his physical being everything, right? So if I deal with a person, it's going to generate respects I have one of my chapters in my book is about human dignity. What does that human dignity actually mean?
How did the Prophet engage with others to exhibit and facilitate human dignity? You know, Tao is not just spoken words. Thou is both verbalized and is also actualized. My favorite, one of my favorite examples of this, and it really taps into quite a lot. I don't have time to go into all that but but it is
thinks about because you mentioned I think before about the idea of landscape and moving through spaces. I think the first question is about spaces. The Think about this for a moment, that person when he went back into Makkah,
in a perhaps some of the napkins would would have engendered a sense of fair you know, as susceptible to the propaganda of, of you know, hatred and stereotyping and perform the Macan the SR markins. So when when he goes back, Abubakar brings his father out to come and see, his father was an elderly person, and, and is bringing him out to come and accept Islam and give them to the person. And when the Prophet season he says, He says, Look, he said hello to Dr. Schiff. He basically had to accord an atom here, if only if only you left the old man in his home, so I could have gone out to see him.
So why don't you know, right, let me just stop the human being. That's not as a human is an elderly human beings, therefore the elderly have specific rights and needs and expectations of you and of us. So we can't always assume therefore that everyone's the same, because the old way not the same as the young people. Right? And he therefore, and then it doesn't end there. Right? It does. And then he says, affair janessa, who back in the day he This is our federalism and he didn't say he is like, sit down at WrestleMania he sat him down. The Prophet said the man old man down beforehand, beanie add them must have thought that he wiped over his chest. Look at that actualising of empathy,
some applause then he said, a slim submit for a summary submitted to Allah subhana wa jal. Can you see the process of human connection between two people? That's really what challenges this cause of sort of discourses of othering and dehumanization, if we exhibit those tendencies, with with other human beings, family members, society, people on the streets, all people, it's really going to be quite profound and effective, I think because you're generating really what I really believe is that prophetic empathy, that prophetic lesson, the prophetic paradigm shift the prophetic character was like this He taught people to show kindness and compassion and to mentor mercy. In fact, on the
topic of mercy, like you mentioned before, look at this heavy one, the prophet said, Our Shimon, your humble man, is a man full of money out of your hammock, a manifester, man, he says the merciful ones are those whom the All Merciful shows mercy towards Be merciful with those on the app is not just used as long as you and your group and your coach your clan on the earth, it's people genuinely on the earth. And if no one had the one The Prophet said that you won't believe until you show mercy Rama somebody said you're a sort of love we show mercy. He said I don't mean that I mean the hammer to hammer I mean a general messy this I need to also discuss in my book, you know, with the
references that general mercy and to people and so, I think, you know, empathy therefore, is, is a very profound construct and, and empathy and this a lot of papers were written in a post genocides like Rwanda, like the Holocaust, like like Bosnia, for example, and trying to understand how could we as human beings, disseminate in our walls to improve the quality and condition of our planet Earth, so that we only allow for the if tendencies emerge again, and of course, in some places, they are there, you know, we have, you know, extreme Hindu nationalism the Hindus in India. That's that's othering that's dehumanisation, right in China. What's happening? That's, I think, that's
humanisation. When these tendencies emerge, how do we as humans respond to them? Now of course, there's one thing about checking in justices, that's one thing, but but in terms of societal regeneration, my children and your children what do we want to implant in their in their minds, because we have to do is that we have to supply you know, we have to supply
seedling saplings that would undo we're almost a region whereas undo processes of social dying social debt for people. I think that the the the task of rehumanize ation re humanizing is quite a challenging one. And
you answered the the final question as well, which is really trying to motivate people to read your book. There's so much more we can say so much crap, so much, so much of the scholarly understanding for us to bring into the discussion today, but what we're going to do
You will do some online series for me to basically probe you and get the best out your mind and your heart to share this light that you have and hamdulillah with the rest of the world Habibi, which is very important. Now, all the other nuances in the Islamic tradition, maybe even some things that may be controversial within the Quran has been addressed some of these, or at least the main aspects of these have been addressed in the book, it's a phenomenal book, please go to Sapiens institute.org, forward slash books, download it, it's for free, and really try and internalize it. So when you go out there in the world to share a sum intellectually and academically that you first change how you
relate to yourself, and how you relate to that to others, from the point of view, that you see the person's context. Who is that person? Why is that person the way that they are? How do I how can I show that I'm committed to the well being? How can I listen with the intention to understand how can I get the best out of them? How can I plant seeds in them? How can I help them unclouded, the fifth round to awaken the truth within and to do that with hikma and to do that with the best speech and to dealt with the Rama? So it's about 45 minutes, I think that's enough for people, please
look into the YouTube channel, Sapiens Institute, the on being human webinar series is going to be posted on there, please follow our work. There's gonna be much, much more from Dr. Osman Latif insha, Allah and we're going to do lives on even certain specific topics. And we're going to get empathy and unpack it and give examples, and also address your questions. How to Become more empathic. What are the barriers to empathy? What does the sender say about this? Does this violate, you know, allegiance to align His messenger? What is that concept? How do we understand in our contemporary social political paradigm and much more, so I just leave the last 30 seconds to doctors
man Latif, for me, may Allah bless you all final thoughts, my beloved doctor.
Again, thanks for opting in to to to be able to speak today, with all of you.
You know, there is something that's so
that's so inbuilt instilled within all of us. And that is that we truly do see other people as as reflections of us in many ways as simply human. I was thinking, in fact, just today, earlier today about about when George Boyd was killed by that police officer, there was a witness there was what might call a conscientious objector was, in fact, heckling that police officer. That's just showing, in fact, quite a profound witness empathy from that individual. But one of the things he says is,
he's a human being broke. That's what he says. He says, He says, he's a human being, bro. You know, and, and that simple realization that that injustice is experiencing is it is an experience is an injustice, that's happening to a human just like yourself. In fact, before a George Floyd, there was the killing of Eric Garner 30 section also in my book on being human. And I was another thing explaining that in 2014, and
that statement of icon breed, it topped the list of of quotations for that year in the Yale book of quotations, it was the most popular quotation, I can't breathe. And in that pronoun, if there is an empathetic empathy bearing, I can't breathe, and you can't breathe. We all can't breathe in that sense, you know, but it's something quite profound. So I think I would suggest it for that, as as Hamza is emphasized, and I would emphasize again, dinner, read the book, engage intolerance with the book, and you can post your questions and your comments on being human. And, and I pray, we can all not just read but also to act upon them and shall and also in the book, I give an ISIS about the way
that we can better interact with with people. I just sent on a very quick manner nice story, if you don't mind.
And that is that, you know, there, there was a there was once ago with her grandmother, or a boy or a boy with his grandmother, and they were lining up to enter the zoo. Right to enter the zoo. And, and, and then it was a local artist who was painting on people's faces, Tiger paws, Tiger paws, on people's faces. And so
what happens is that the, the there's a girl beside the boy who comes to boy and says, You know what, you have so many freckles on your face. There isn't enough room, on your face for the tiger paws. And the boy of course, was very upset by that he put his head down and shame. And the grandmother then knelt down by the boy and said to the boy, you know,
the thing I always wanted in my life was to have freckles and I called
I don't think of anything more beautiful on my face and to have freckles. And she said, Can you think of anything more beautiful than freckles? And he said, Yeah. Is she said What is it? And he said, wrinkles, right? Because that's the elderly grandmother who of course has wrinkles and empathy really is perspective. Taking it is about taking somebody else's perspective. So the same way therefore, that he that he perhaps could see that sense of weakness in himself you know, through his freckles, although it wasn't really a weakness, it was just something physical, he was able to perspective take with his grandmother, and say that you know, your if you think that my, my freckles
are beautiful, then I would think that your wrinkles are also beautiful. And so empathy really is about perspective, taking the 11th all of us
okay, brothers, this is
Lukla here for listening.
Allah bless you all and also bless doctor of morality forgiveness, his time Sorry, I had to change rooms. May Allah subhanho wa Taala bless every single one of you please once again go to Sapiens institute.org forward slash books to download the book for free. So phenomenal book, we're going to unpack more of these concepts with examples from the convention and the tradition and the kind of academic work related to these issues very soon. We're going to be posting these the webinar series on on being human on the YouTube channel. So please engage with that. And we'll be doing more forthcoming. essays and articles forthcoming on this topic as well by Dr. Oz man Latif. May Allah
bless every single one of you speak to you very soon does knucklehead doctor salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah need
to live on a consumption sugar