Channel: Hamza Yusuf
Series: Hamza Yusuf – Vision Of Islam
My name Masato samata sharp MBA.
He will have the woman to be on the Senate in Alabama and the mme tener la cantidad de mon Hakeem alum, aluminum am Femina. deema antenna was in there edma. Aloma chahatein took one shot it in automatic, Yeah, that'll generate every crumb will study domata sees, you know, Mohammed, Father read Quran. However, after watching that they had added aldine to the sha Allah, I'm going to follow this book, which is a book written by surgical Murata and William chittick, called the vision of Islam. And I'm going to follow it quite closely. I would appreciate if people read the sections for this week, if you could read the preface, the introduction, and then up through Islam. So that will
be 34 pages and careful reading would be advantageous, I would also hope that we're able, I think the class is small enough to have some discussion about it. Towards the end of the class, I want to say I taught this book once before to a group of non Muslim teachers. And I personally think it's probably the best thing in English that I've seen as a basic introduction, it's actually not that basic, because it's actually quite deep exploration of the tradition of Islam. And in just rereading this section, I've actually read it a few times. But in rereading a section, I was remembering why I liked the book, so much. So I think that people will enjoy it. I think it's useful also for Muslims,
not just for non Muslims. What I appreciate about the book is that there's two ways religion is looked at. In the West, they call them in vocabulary of religious tradition in universities, normative approaches and descriptive approaches. A descriptive approach is the more common approach. It's the anthropological approach. It's an approach that looks at how a religion manifests itself, in a society, how people behave, how they express their religion, the practices, this will include folk practices, as well as practices instituted by the religion, it will also bring up some very bizarre things because human beings do very strange things, and they will often do them in the name
of religion. And so that will be seen as part of the religion and that from the perspective of a scholar of the religion by a scholar, I mean, a devotional scholar, because again, in the West, they differentiate between devotional scholars, and between scholars, what Dr. Cleary sometimes called scholars for dollars, those are people who earn their living in institutions. And so they will study something as a way of making their living, whether they believe in it or not. And so many people will teach religion that don't believe in religion, and they will tend that perspective of religion will taint the way they teach the religion. And I went through Religious Studies Program at
California University, there was a incredible difference for me between the classes that I took was somebody who was actually within working within a tradition and and was a believer in a tradition. He was a devout Catholic, with a deep interest in Zen Buddhism, and the classes that were done by people that did not believe in religion, the type of approach that's taken by somebody that does not believe in religion, even if they're attempting to be objective, it will still taint their view of religion. And that's the nature of human beings. We look at everything through filters, and anybody that looks at Islam will look at it through filters. Now, Muslims will look at their religion,
invariably, and they point this out in the introduction defensively, because they believe in it, whether they really understand the religious tradition or not. There are some Muslims out there that I think if they found out what their religion really said, they might even leave their religion, because it's inconsistent with their view of the world. There are other Muslims and I think it's the vast majority of them, that it will only strengthen their conviction in their religion, the more they got to know their religion. There are some non Muslims, if they studied Islam, they would convert to Islam, there are other ones it will actually increase their belligerence towards Islam.
And then there are other ones that they might not convert, but they will have a deep respect for the tradition. So everybody brings filters to whatever they look at. And they admit that in the introduction of the book, so what I want to do is
Just look here a little bit quickly at the preface, and then go into the introduction. One of the things that they explained they're attempting to do is explain Islam both to Muslims, who as a general rule, know nothing about their religion, but are defensive. And that is very true. Most Muslims don't know anything about their religion in any deep sense of the word, if you actually ask them to tell you things, you would be surprised at how ignorant many, many Muslims are, and then to Westerners who know nothing but are instinctively hostile. So you're dealing in an environment. One of the things that Dr. Cleary says in his book, it's an introduction, his book called Zen koans. He
says that an American who believes him or herself to be liberal, open minded, unprejudiced, will display the most extreme prejudices, if asked about Islam, a religion that he probably knows absolutely nothing about, but immediately will begin to voice opinions about which if he voiced them about something else, he would feel he was prejudiced that it would be unfair to do that. So it's very interesting the hostility that a lot of people have, there are many reasons for that hostility. There are historical reasons for that hostility. Islam for centuries, was the most powerful force in a large part of the world. For that reason. other peoples either lived reasonably harmoniously with
the Muslims, for instance, the Chinese, the Chinese, traditionally had very good trading routes with the Muslims, you know that China is actually bordered by several Muslim countries. And then a large segment of China became Muslim. And there's indication that the Chinese actually very early on, that were introduced to Islam. And within the Chinese tradition, in one of the books written by a Chinese scholar, they say, actually, that a delegation of Chinese was sent to Medina to meet with the prophets a lot is that him and another delegation met with Amara Bennett hapa. So the Chinese early on, became exposed to Islam, and had actually quite good relations with the Muslims. There were
battles. In fact, early on in the eighth century, when some of the Chinese papermakers were captured in a battle, they were taken to Baghdad, and they taught the Muslims how to make paper because paper was invented in the first century AD by a Chinese man Sai loon, who is considered really one of the most important figures in history because of that invention. So the Muslims had good relations, they had generally good relations with the Africans, that many of the African peoples became Muslim, in black Africa, like Africans were taken as slaves often so there was some antagonism, definitely, between the southern black Africans. Many of them became Muslim antagonism continued on in West
Africa because of the slave trading that went on. And often they were black African Muslims, but they would go down into places like Ebola and in Nigeria or the Europa, many of the euro became Muslim, but there was antagonism. So in some areas, you had good relationships based on trading. And in other areas, you had problems. Now, the West generally has had an antagonistic relationship with Islam. Initially, that is not always the case. And there are extraordinary cases of cultural flourishing that occurred, certainly during periods of time in Spain, when Muslims and Christians and Jews actually live together harmoniously and quite productively. There are other periods when
they did not, for instance, a large segment of Italy was under Muslim rule for a period of time and the pope actually paid jizya for 80 years, according to Arnold Toynbee. So there was a period when the Catholic Church was actually under the yoke of Islam. Islam went all the way up into the northern climates as far as Denmark, Vikings actually became Muslim Vikings came down, fought against the Spanish Muslims in the Portuguese Muslims were defeated, and some of them actually became Muslim. And others went back to Denmark and some ended up staying in Spain and become the Normans and they invade England, then you have also the Irish. The Irish connection is a very
interesting connection. The Irish connection to the Muslims is is very old. It predates certainly Protestant Christianity that comes into Ireland and there have been monasteries with Arabic writing found in Ireland, the Bismillah R Rahman Rahim has been found in churches in Ireland. Irish music is heavily influenced by and through seeing Arabian music which was influenced by Persian music because that's really the source of most of the Islam
Music that emerges. So a lot of this history is unknown. And the reason that it's unknown is because not very many people really read historical sources. Historians tend to be interested in certain areas, people that are interested in the Islamic phenomena in Europe would naturally be the Muslims and very few Muslims that study history anymore, unfortunately. And Martha's book, which is called Islam in England is an important book, but it's only the beginning because there was actually for instance, there was a Muslim period of Muslim rule in England, and there are coins that were coined in England with Bismillah R Rahman Rahim on them. There were the Renegades those who were Europeans
that actually became Muslim and returned to their countries, English people rose to prominence in places like Morocco. There was an English man who became Muslim and ended up becoming a minister in Morocco. So the history it's just the myths what is out there and needs to be looked at. There have been periods of antagonism and periods that were not so antagonistic, but generally the general rule is the Europeans felt that the Muslims were a deep threat to them. In Spain. One of the ways Spanish people say that things are fine as they say, No, I motos en la casa, there's no Moore's on the coast. In other words, there's no Muslims around that's still used in southern Spain as a way of
saying I'm doing fine. Also, obviously, the song of Roland and if any of you studied literature and did the Norton's Anthology, you would have probably read the song of Roland. The song of Roland is in praise of defeating the Muslims and the loss of Roland at the hands of these bloody wars. Charles Martel when he defeats the Muslims at the Battle of tours in the eighth century, this is a turning point for the Muslims, they turn back they stop their conquest in Western Europe and turn back and focus on Spain and for the next 800 years. Islam is in Spain, which is European Islam. And on the other hand, you had the Ottomans who took up the idea of jihad, and took up the idea of spreading
Islam with the sword. And for that reason, they were constantly invading and attacking Christian, Eastern Europe and they get to Vienna, and people might not know but the croissant is actually made by Venus Baker after they defeated the Muslims in celebration of eating or devouring the crescent. So next time you eat a croissant. That's where it comes from.