Channel: Hamza Yusuf
He addresses on the topic of religion, violence and the modern world. We are honored to have with us today. Imam Hamza Yusuf from the United States of America. Imam Hamza Yusuf, as they say in Arabic is a New Relic. tarrif is in no need of any introduction. He is the director of say to institute and a well known personality in the western Muslim community as well as the Muslim world. We are grateful for him for accepting our invitation. Despite his busy schedule, I believe this is his last public event in the UK. As most of you are well aware, a man hands has been on a tour of the United Kingdom. I'd like now to use have to come to the podium and deliveries.
Wanna see, you know, what have you been?
He will still have a tea woman water? What are How old are what after what?
What are? What are for what?
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the hamdulillah? First of all, I appreciate
the invitation. Unfortunately, because this talk is the last of the talks, you're looking at a reasonably spent force. I've been here for two weeks. And so I've been a little exhausted the last few days. And I'm hoping that I can possibly keep my thoughts together enough to get through this. I thought it was interesting that on the door over there, they have three seminars that are
really symbolic of Islam traditionally in the West, and they're turned upside down, which was a common symbol in the west to turn the Muslim sword upside down. I don't know why there's three. I'm curious as to the symbolism of that, and who put it up there and what they were thinking.
But there's also another interesting piece of symbolism there, which is
a painting that has history in the back. And then there's several historical images there. And one of the things about a civilized society is that they always place a very important emphasis on history. Because if you don't place an important emphasis on history, you will lose the opportunity of gaining so much of the wisdom and benefit that exists in the study of history. If you look at the Quran, the Quran is actually one third, a type of history, it's sacred history. It's not
a history that is verifiable with footnotes or sources. And that could be said as well, about the Old Testament. The Old Testament is very difficult to prove historically. In fact, most of them material in the Old Testament is a historical, although it's dealing with very historical issues. So the Old Testament is a history book. And one could argue also that the New Testament is a history book, although it's a sacred history book. And many historian modern historians completely rejected. There are historians that actually don't believe there was ever a person named Abraham that it's a mythological figure like ocers, or Vishnu. and, particularly, you'll find this in continental
history Germany, has a tradition of over 100 years of basically denying the existence of historical figures.
Sacred historical figures that Muslims Christians and Jews all believe are actual human beings that did live.
Allah Subhana Allah in the Quran says, from Yusuf Arabs,
having a child traveled in the earth and in other verses Sudafed often little Keifa can argue but to learn him in public when traveling the earth and look at those who went before you. That's essentially a command and it's in the imperative to it's a command although the command in the Quran can be used for obligations as well as recommendations, but it is a command in the Arabic to study history.
to actually look at the peoples that went before you and think about what brought them to destruction, why were they destroyed? Now what's very interesting is Arnold Toynbee studied 21 civilizations and are Toynbee actually credits even Haldane as being one of his major influences because it was somebody who studied dynasties and attempted to understand why they came to destruction, why they actually ended the way that they did. And that is the platonic imperative to actually look and see why they came to an end.
How was their Arqiva? And why did they get there? Now, on a Toynbee study 21 civilizations, and he found that they followed certain patterns. And he actually identified four stages. What's interesting is one of the stages was a militaristic stage, it was a stage in which the society became basically an economy and a civilization that was based on military might and power. And that was often followed by this period of conquest, and then luxury. But he pointed out that the greatest flaw of every civilization that attained immense power was they overextended their power, and went beyond their limits transgress their limits. And in the light of the Omega dynasty, which begins
approximately in 661, and ends in 750. It was very short lived dynasty.
And it's different from say, the ambassade dynasty, which goes from about 750 to 1258. Although the latter period, it's arguable whether or not you could really call it the best dynasty because it was so convoluted with other elements ruling elements and the Caleb's were in essence, much like the latter day Roman emperors that had almost no power whatsoever. But if you look at the destruction of the Elias, according to Dr. Khalid Blankenship in his book, The Jihad state, he argues, and in fact, it was an overextended military operation that ended in failure, they could no longer sustain the expansion that was so immense at that initial phase. Now, a lot of Muslims actually pride themselves
on that initial expansion. But if you look historically at that expansion, and I mean, certainly it's arguable, from a secular point of view, they would reject a spiritual dimension, and simply interpret it in materialistic avenues. I mean, there's no doubt that there was some driving force that can't simply be reduced to materialism. it's arguable whether that or not, that was actually a positive force on the world. Because if you look at the domains, and one of the things that they were totally uninterested in is spreading Islam.
I mean, the Omega dynasty had no interest in converting other peoples to Islam. And during the period of the Omega dynasty, only about less than 15% of conquered peoples ever actually became Muslim. That is very different from the ambassador's who were very interested in spreading Islam. And during their period, over 50% of their conquered peoples actually became Muslims. So it was a very different experience. Now the Omi is also demanded that if you did become Muslim, like a Jewish person, you not only have to convert to the religion, but you actually have to convert to an Arab tribe. So you not only joined a religion, but you actually joined a tribe. A lot of Muslims aren't
really aware of that little historical facts. So the morality system developed where if I wanted to become a Muslim, I became a molar, which is really a derogatory term, although it does have its opposite meaning because it's from a linguistic branch of words known as the alpha, which are words that mean one thing and its opposite. So Mola is a servant, but it's also a master. It also means somebody who's in protection, and that was obviously the meaning of the people that were converting. They were the modality, but it was still seen as a derogatory term. And the proof of that, is it eemaan Matic, or the Allahu anhu considered it an egregious insult, that he was called a molar of
the Yemeni tribe that he was from as opposed to being actually from that lineage. So it was seen without any doubt, as a second class status amongst the early era. Now this military expansion of the online
Was according to them fulfilling this command to go out and subdue the world and to subdue it to the power of Islam, the might of Islam and they believe that they were promised dominion and success over all the peoples of the earth. And that was very much I think, part of their doctrine. Well, that was not adopted by the abbesses. And I think it's very important for Muslims to consider the fact that those civilizations that took this version of Islam, as their version of Islam had very short lived societies,
very short lived societies. They basically came to end within 100 years, which is what Evan Hudson says, is the average period of the strength of a civilization. The ambassador's on the other hand did not well, they introduced several things that were not there before, like the concept of total solar, that it's actually wise to have good diplomatic relations with peoples. Now there are Muslim scholars actually believe that that's only a strategy, a short term strategy.
And you shouldn't extend that like the Quran gives 10 years, you shouldn't extend it beyond 10 years, and then a new treaty is made. So there are a lot of fucka Han, you will find this in the books that actually say this all strategies that what the Muslims really want is global domination. This is what they want. They want global domination. And this is what a lot of the people that are attacking Islam today are attacking it based on this version of Islam, which is a version. I mean, I cannot deny that because i've i've read enough in the books to see that that version does exist. However, there are alternative versions of Islam. In other words, there are med hubs, there are ways
of interpreting things. And those other versions and understandings are actually authoritative. They have their scholars, they have their promoters. I mean, it's interesting that even taymiyah himself was of the belief that all Jihad was defensive.
You see, there are many scholars say no, Jihad has an offensive element. And it's absolutely acceptable for Muslims to go out on an offensive Jihad and an obligation to go out twice a year, for instance, to conquer new land conquer new peoples. This is one version even Tamiya said that every single example of the Prophet sallallaahu serums campaigns, including the campaign to taboo, which if you read in Sahih Bukhari, it's pointed out that they were actually given information that it was the Byzantines, that were amassing forces to attack the Muslims. And that is when the army was sent out. And when they actually got there, there was no battle.
The issue was resolved and the province allies in return. So this is one view. Now if you look at the three moms, or hanifa, Mr. Medic, among them, and Hamlet, all three of them believe that the purpose of jihad is what is known as ease added to Adela to remove, add Allah to remove belligerence to remove some threat that is looming out there
and is in some way going to harm the Muslims either their peoples, or the subject peoples of the Muslims who traditionally were known as the the miyun. That that was the purpose to go out. That is not the belief of Imam Shafi or the line. But it's very interesting, that of the four imams although there are two different opinions.
The ruling meth hubs in the history of Islam have been Hanafi and Maliki these are the two main hubs that God has given sovereignty to in the earth, and in particular, the Hanafi madhhab,
which has probably the most lenient views of non Muslim peoples out of the the four Imams, which is why the American Rand report, which is advising the US government and how they should deal with the Islamic threat, is suggesting that the United States promote the Hanafi madhhab.
So that's the official madhhab of the State Department.
So if you see any of the president praying with his hands under his navel, you'll understand why.
So that is the idea, right? Is that this school of thought is part of our tradition. And one of the things that really strikes me about Islam
We always talk about Islam Sati from an equaliser man mana cannon. I mean, how many times have you heard that slogan? and Islam saw it from an equaliser man woman can Islam is possible interview time and place? Well, what does that mean? You see, the way most Muslims interpreted is that you have to rearrange the time and the place and make it in a chord with a seven century model. I mean, this is the idea that most of us have. I don't believe that I actually believe that that means that Islam gives you the tools
to actually be a Muslim in any time any place, including living in non Muslim lands, and that we have within our own soul tradition, which is the juristic methodology of deriving rules and rulings.
We have within that tradition,
all that we need, wherever we want are, whether it's Great Britain, or the United States or Canada, or any other place on the planet, rules that we've been given by our tradition, which includes revelation, and it also includes intellect, because 500 Dino Raji says, neuron, Allah nor means Allah aka, you can have revelation. But if you've got idiots that are interpreting that revelation, you have a very serious problem. And our history is filled with ignorant people attempting to interpret the Quran and the Sunnah, and ending up leading themselves astray and leading other people astray. And one of the things that the province of Allied over it was sent him says about the end of
time is that ignorant people will be taken as leaders, they will be asked questions of Phil. And they will give their responses and their responses are based on ignorance. And they end up going astray and leading others astray. That's a sign of the latter days and sloppy of Bahati. And that is because there are no longer own up. There are no longer people that actually have this in depth knowledge of the tradition that are able to access the tradition. And this is one of the major problems confronting the Muslims today. And this is why one of the responses that is so common in the Muslim world today is reaction. There's no strategic planning.
There's no actually thought about what does it mean, if I do this, this or this, you see, we've got a bunch of idiots running out there, and causing an immense amount of damage to Islam, and to the Muslims. And another reason for that is because we've got all of these people out there that aren't really Muslims, but they're rather in a spiritual sense of the word because the Quran says woman as Lama for owner, to have a role in Russia that those who enter into a state of submission are fervently seeking guidance.
You see, Islam is an active shape. It's not a passive state. You're not born a Muslim. That is a lie. You know, this idea that everybody is born a Muslim and you revert to Islam. There's no reversion to Islam. you convert to Islam, it's an active event. I mean, there's a spiritual reality of you're a Muslim at birth, just like every creature is in a state of Islam, Islam or Memphis, somehow what you want out of everything in the heavens of the Earth is in Islam, from that point of view, if you direct that verse, because that Allah uses a generalized substantive if you look at that, then everybody's a Muslim. Well, that's not true. So how do you differentiate there's an
active Islam and there's a passive Islam. Every human being on this planet is in passive Islam. They're all in passive Islam. So the Muslim world that prides itself on being Muslim, they're as Muslim in many ways as the rest of the planet.
Because they haven't actively entered into Islam, they haven't actively submitted to the will of God. They've simply taken a sociological identification. And this is tribal Islam, better Islam. And they begin to use this tribal identification visa the other tribes out there bento Yahoo, and Beto nosara. And Ben l has, and better humanism, than those seen the tribe of China, whatever. And so this is how they look at it. So these people aren't looking at Britain or America as potential co religionists, because that's simply not possible. They're too far.
And too far, Muslims were Muslim. They never thought how they became Muslim.
They never actually thought that one day that their ancestors were actually Hindus because every Indian Muslim believes that they're originally
see we're not sure us or how do you John's
I'm a Qureshi. I'm a CTP. I'm a this or I'm a dat. That's it right? I know, I can admit that, that I was once actually the lowest man on the Hindu totem pole, and escaped that fate by saying Shahada.
Even though we know historically that we had massive conversion
in India from the lowest caste Why? Because Islam has always offered upward mobility. I mean, the European before they had America to go and get upward mobility in because you were born in in Britain, as a bricklayer, you into a bricklayers family, you died a bricklayer and that's the way it was, you didn't go to to Oxford. If your grandfather and father was a bricklayer, you just learned how to lay bricks. When they went to America, they migrated to America. They said, well, let's get rid of all that nonsense. Before they used to do that they used to go the Muslim world they were called Rana gatos see before they went to America, they actually used to go to the Muslim world, and
they would become Muslim. And so you have people like Dennis does, and who was a man from Holland, who became the head of the Moroccan Navy. You have Madeline Gliese, who becomes the ruler of the Buddha Greig, Dola, in Salah. And he's actually from England.
You have Peter Lisle, who was a Scottish Admiral in the Ottoman Navy, who took the name morata ease and actually fought the Americans
in the war of Tripoli.
That's where that's where Europeans went, they actually went and became Muslim and moved up very quickly in the ranks. Many of them were very clever, especially in the military. That was an area of upward mobility for Europeans in the Muslim world. We know some of the greatest Ottoman military people were actually converted Christians. And the machete, which were the crack troops, the Special Forces of the Ottomans, were almost entirely taken from Christian Europe.
And Christians used to actually give their sons because the Yana shouting were so well treated, made an immense amount of money in their military careers, and often retired as wealthy
business people. So this was the Muslim world. These are the euro. So that type of Islam, Benny, Islam, the tribal Islam has become so prevalent. And so the reaction now is the reaction of tribal members. And this is the jelenia see anything that happens to us? We become jelly people. I mean, it's a JVM. And so if co religionists are attacked in Iraq, anybody who's a member of the tribe of Benny American,
is suddenly Halla, you see, because all I want is vengeance. I'm not even thinking that they might be Muslim, or they might be a potential Muslim, because you have to be an active catheter catheter is active. It's not a passive quality. The oma have never seen Kufa as a passive quality, you have to actively be a captain, you cannot be passively in a state of Kufa,
you can be passively in a state of health law. And that's why most of these people here aren't even categorizes Caf yourown in any real sense, other than a legal sense that relates to burial and inheritance rights, and things like that. They're actually hoffy noon.
And some of them are really even off you don't because they're actually actively trying to find the guidance of God in their own way of understanding it. You see, I became Muslim from a Christian background, and I don't believe I was ever a caffeine, because I never rejected anything I thought was true. And when Islam was presented to me, I it seemed to me to be true. And so I accepted it. So what was I before I was a Muslim?
See, there's a lot of youngsters out there in England that say, cashier is a Catholic. How about that?
That's their attitude, because they're Benny Islam.
They're just tribal members.
And they don't see Islam as the truth that it is not only universal, but actually appealing to large numbers of people in human history,
taking one fifth of the world's population, and there was a time when they took it through active conversion. All of this reaction that we're seeing out there in the Muslim world, which is almost entirely without any strategic thought, in every text book on war, is invariably called a book of strategy.
Because that's what war is, it's actually strategy and strategic planning. So even if they were really
Mujahidin if they were really they would have a strategy.
You see an overarching strategy.
But there's not there's just reaction events. Some spectacular some not.
But that's what's out there, you see, because you don't have people with intellect thinking about that. Now there are times in, in Muslim history when the Muslims matrices, there's times when the Muslims matrices with the Crusaders and they actually honor the truth. This is during the occupation of Palestine in the 11th century, in the 12th century, yes, Muslims, Salahuddin it up this great hero that everybody raises up. He actually made truces, he was very honorable. In fact, he was so honorable that he became a basic a folk hero in European civilization because of his honor, but he actually made strategic truces. You see, so this idea that you Jihad until the end will never you
can't make truces with this, that or the other.
Because there's no strategic thought there.
There's just reaction. There's Haniya
and Allah describes that as a jahad equality
In fact, if you look at the root word according to a video, Ginny, which is how I mean,
how masa, which we get hammers, is a type of zealotry Hermia which is to defend or protect is a type of zealotry. You see Hemi Maya to defend or protect. But then you move into the third category, which is Hama Ha.
Which is stupidity. zealotry leads to stupid actions when people are zealots. They can't think In fact, sunsoo says in the art of war, anger your enemies and send them into disarray. And that's military strategic thinking and your your enemies and send them into disarray.
So that's actually a strategy in war to make your enemy so angry, they can't think.
Because how about I mean, the prophets I send said, Don't get angry. It's not that anger is not a human quality It is, in fact, our own. I must say that the hot dog, when he said, Don't get angry, what he was actually saying was, don't let your anger overcome you.
So that you can't think because people that are angry, that's why a judge of all the cannot lie, empathy will will help the ban.
All we cannot judge in a case when he's angry. That's a principle in Islamic ruin.
So this is one of the major problems that we have is we have anger we have rage, which is a deadly sin. That takes over people.
that's about Muslims.
Now, let me talk a little bit about these people over here.