Channel: Hamza Yusuf
Series: Hamza Yusuf – Vision Of Islam
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Now obviously you have to in Islam, you purify yourself before you do it. And that's preparation for entering into this state, like the ROM before Hajj, you're going into a sacred space. And so you want to prepare for that space. And so the will do is a way and what comes from brightness, because the face will be luminous on the Day of Judgment, and the arms and limbs from will do what it means to be luminous or bright. And the prophets allies, Adam said on the Day of Judgment, they asked him, How will you know your followers, he said, there'll be a horrible how genuine, they will be like the Piebald horse, you know, have these horses have the white, they're Brown, but then they have the
white on the face on the and then they have the front and the hind are all white. That's how he described his followers. And he said, from the method we'll go from the effects of will do. So again, what you're doing is preparing yourself for something that occurs in the next world, which is the luminosity of practice. And this is why if you've ever met anybody that's mastered anything, it has affected their being. It can't I don't care if they're a master pianist, a master ballerina, whatever it is, you will see that they have qualities that you don't find in ordinary human beings. I guarantee you, it doesn't matter what the mastery is, you will find that a committed practice to
something in which a person has done it
religiously every day, it has an effect on their character. And that is why the highest thing that you can do is to work on perfecting your soul, on your heart, on your experience of the world, as a theater of divine manifestation. So that is what prayer is about. And water is a purifying element. It's an outward element, but it's the purest thing that we know of in the world. We talk about it in our language in our metaphors.
He was it was crystal clear was as clear as water. So and then the add on which is another amazing thing because it's so extraordinary that other religions have these calls like the shofar, which is how the Jews call with the ram's horn, and the Christians have the bell. How did the prophesize em through a dream. Different people saw it, but I was one of them they saw to call with the human voice, people to prayer. So not to use anything artificial but to use the voice itself to call people to the prayer and then saying Allah is greater. I bear witness that there's no God but Allah, I bear witness at the Mohammed is a messenger of God, and then hurry to prayer, hasten to prayer.
hasten to Fela. Fela is harvest. That's what Fela is. So what you're coming to is a harvest. That's what prayer is, you're reaping the benefit of the day, because the day was made for prayer. And if you miss the harvest, you've missed the point of the day.
It's just like somebody who's planted seeds all spring. And then when summer comes and it's time to harvest, they don't go and they don't harvest what they planted. So what was the point? The same in being in the world, the point of being in the world is this practice. And that's why never belittle the reality of the prayer. The Prayer is the most important thing that you will do in your life as a constant practice. And you should be committed to perfecting your prayer. And it's it's a struggle, it's a struggle to be committed to wakefulness, to be committed to doing your will do correctly all these things, and some people can see it as tedious. But the beauty of practice and every master
knows this is that the proof is in the pudding like the English say, the better you get, the more important the prayer become. And that's why the prophets lie Selim said irrational behavior cannot give our souls repose by calling us to prayer obey that
irrational behavior. And he said his repose within his prayer, and he said the coolness of my eye was in prayer. And the Arabs use the coolness of the eye as cold tears are tears of joy, hot tears.
Painful tears, the cool tears, the joyful tears. So what he was saying is that the joy of my life is in my prayer. Prayer was not something that was dreadful to him. And I'd be able to have him said, from the time I became Muslim, I never heard the anon, except I was yearning for the time. And that was his experience of the prayer. From the time he became Muslim. He never heard the lawn it wasn't like, I gotta pray now. It's
anybody who does prayer seriously. You thank God for that. Just that stopping. So the prayer is a gift and people that really practice it. You can't even imagine immediately though I went 18 years without doing the Muslim prayer. Since I became Muslim. As far as I know, I've never missed a prayer. I couldn't imagine not praying, I could not imagine it. I just I could not imagine if I could just something I can't even imagine being deprived of prayer would be like being deprived of breathing. And the prophet in his beautiful descriptions of the law. points out the prayers affect the prophets ally, Sam said, Tell me if one of you had a river at his door, and he washed in it five
times a day with any of his filthiness romaine. And they said nothing of his filthiness would remain. He said, that is the likeness of the prayer five times a day. God obliterates wrongs with it.
So that's part of the going back to the prayer. So that's prayer and a start up somebody was Salam. There's a lot of
verses in the Quran to use the prayer as a way of taking succor and help from Allah. The third pillar is a cat. And the cat is purifying the wealth. So just as you need to purify your body with will do you purify your soul with prayer property, you have property in the world, and that property needs to be purified. And Zakat comes from a root word, which means to purify, and the prophets Elias and M said that zakaat was the feces of wealth. That's what he called it. He said, flat out to Amada and he said, That's why many Hashem does not take that cat. Because the cat is the impurities, it's fertilizer. And I mean, what feces is, is its fertilizer. And what feces also is, is it's the
animal has to get rid of it, in order to stay healthy and pure. So is that cat is a way of keeping your wealth healthy.
The miser and the one constipated is the same word in Arabic, mom's sick.
So a person who's a miser is constipated. And they get sick. Spiritually, their wealth is actually causing their soul to get sick. And in giving out, it's letting go. And that's why it's not a Freud in insight, this idea of what he called the anal retentive personality, which one of the symptoms of that person was to be a miser, and that's Freud. It's not a Freud in insight, that's Arabic language. And the word for pure gold and new conium stool is the same.
So his insight about gold and feces being the same as I'm in the ancient Arabs knew that because it's in their language. I mean, that's what it is. And the prophets Allah sent him said Allah in Imam atomists. Muslim, he said, Jad aloha Maya Hodgman, Ebony Adam method in the dunya. Allah has made that which comes out of the son of Adam, a metaphor for the world.
And the meaning of that is the reason that you eat is not necessarily because you need to eat, but part of it is the enjoyment of eating, but everything you eat, ends up
in the toilet. And that is the nature of the world, is the world has all this beautiful aspect. But in the end of the day, it's a world that is in annihilation, it's going to not, and we will leave it just as the people before us left it and ultimately everybody has to leave it. So don't get too caught up in it, see it for what it is. Now, this is a really important point on page 16. Which just this idea of zakaat, that you don't pay that card unless you're healthy financially. And the insight that they derive from that is that it's a typical example of how Islam sets up priorities. In other words, that you do not get caught until you're able to do that. So in those things that pertain
between you and God. Everybody has to do that like prayer, but when it's you and society, you only do
What you're able to do, and the reason for that is you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of the world. And there's a beautiful metaphor in that, because we have all these social activists that want to save the world, and their own personal lives are a mess.
So the idea of trying to save the world and your own soul is in jeopardy. It means your priorities are wrong. And so the idea of Zakat being an obligation on those who are able to pay zakat, it means that you start taking care of others when you've taken care of yourself. That's when you need to start thinking about other people. But if you're still in a mess, don't don't try to help other people. Religious well being demands that they accept some measure of social responsibility, so is that God has this idea of social responsibility. And one of the reasons that the province the license said a person who marries has completed half of his religion, so that I'm looked at the
other half is because if the family's healthy, the society is healthy.
When the society is, well, it's a result of the family being well, the same is true with wealth. If your own house is intact, then you can help other houses. The fourth pillar is fasting. It's fasting the month of Ramadan. Obviously, a lunar calendar has about 355 days, each month, last 29 or 30 days. And you do it according to the crescent moon sighting. Now, I want to just look a moment at the idea of looking for a crescent moon, and refer you to what you would call a phenomenological astronomer, somebody who's interested in astronomy for the phenomena, and not for the theoretical aspect of it. And I would like just to read something, this is a Scottish man, he's not a Muslim. In
fact, I know he's not his Christian. But he says something very interesting. And it just strikes me that so many Muslims don't seem to see this. But it's always when I read this and just articulate exactly how I've always felt about the point of looking at the moon and what that significance has for us. He said, A prime importance is the determination of the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting and devotion. But Muslim communities have a habit of starting their celebrations on different days in any one year due to the varying locations and sky conditions for citing the crescent moon, places lying westwards of where the crescent moon can first be seen from the earth
have a better chance of seeing the movement of the Sun and Moon is westwards and more time elapses before they arrive at the horizons of these places for the moon to move out of the sun's light at the start of its monthly journey. Also, some latitudes will have the Zodiac standing at a deeper more visible angle to the horizon than others. That's the belt in which the moon travels. Then there are delays caused by the weather under good conditions, it is possible to cite a first Crescent less than 24 hours after a new moon 15 hours is about the least. I mean, there's a record of 13 hours but it's it would be very rare.