Vision Of Islam CD3 #04
Channel: Hamza Yusuf
Series: Hamza Yusuf – Vision Of Islam
File Size: 7.44MB
To the idea of human beings, resorting to the beastial element in the cell is a capitulation. It's the idea of surrendering the self to something that is low. And that is why if you look at the human body itself, the higher organs, the heart, and the intellect are on the upper body, and the lower organs, the stomach, and the genitals are on the lower body. And so the idea is that this is the way the human being should be, he should be the ruling force in human beings should be his heart and his intellect and the subjugated force should be the beastial nature. What happens with human beings is that they become overcome by their beastial nature. And so, hunger and craving, which is the essence
of desire, overwhelms the intellect and so they begin to want things that are harmful for them. And this is why they're worse than animals, because an animal will only take what it needs. Lions do not go out and slaughter. They take what they need, and they leave the rest maybe for another day. But if they're not hungry, they're not going to kill 10 zebras, they will kill what they need to kill. And that's the difference between a human the predations of humans are not needs. So when an animal a predator animal attacks another animal, it attacks out of need, not out of want or desire. And so this is very different. And there's only a few animals that appeared to be unprovoked, sharks will
attack unprovoked and so will certain snakes, there's a few snakes, and there's a baboon that will attack unprovoked. But it's very rare in the animal kingdom for an animal to attack unprovoked. So the idea now, all of sentient creatures, creatures that have emotion, and certainly intellect human beings have a self defense mechanism. It is part of human nature to defend yourself, if you fall, your reaction is to put your arm out, you don't fall on your face, human beings will not do that. In fact, one of the first things they teach you in martial arts is to fall properly, because you tend to want to put your hand out and break your wrist. So they teach you to learn how to fall in a way
that's actually not going to harm you. But the impulse is to brace yourself is to defend yourself. The same with if somebody begins to attack you, the thing to do is to cover your face to protect your face. If somebody throws a blow at you, if you just stand there and don't defend yourself, the something is wrong with your nervous system, it's not functioning. So self defense is a human, it's actually ingrained in us to defend ourselves. And that is why every civil law on the planet recognizes the right to self defense. There's no law that does not whether it's Muslim or non Muslim, every law recognizes that a human being has a right to defend himself from bodily harm from
harm or property, all of these things. The first jihad is that struggle against the self. And this is what makes a human being human around Buddhists behind he says that a human being there's two words in the Quran used for human one is Bashar and the other is instead of Bashar. It is that quality that distinguishes us from other animals. So for instance, birds are distinguished by their feathers. birds have feathers, mammals have first if you look at mammals that they have for human beings have skin and that's why we're called Bashar Bashar is from Bashar which means skin. So the human is when you say he's a Bashar, you're just saying he's a man. That's why when the prophets,
what do they say about the prophets? They don't say? Manta Illa in sandstone mithuna. They say Manta Illa by Sharon mithuna. You're just a human like us. But they're not saying in sand. They're saying Bashar all of us share by Sharia. But we don't all share insomnia In truth, just as an act of generosity from God that He calls us insane what Rob says if you can imagine a dog standing on its two legs, as opposed to four and talking in language, then you can imagine the state that many human beings are in that they only share their humanity in the form, not in reality. And there's a verse in the Quran, not kurama Benny Adam, we have ennobled the children of Adam, and that ennoblement is
that we've been placed in this incredibly noble form. We're not like animals. We don't walk on all fours. We don't have to go down to a plate. We take things up to our mouth. I don't have to go down and look
Lap up my water like a dog, that I actually have this ability to feed myself. And all of these qualities that human beings has been given. So acquiring virtuous qualities or noble qualities is actually a very difficult thing. It takes time. It's not something that human beings are born with. Compassion is something that needs to be nurtured. Now, some people you will find have this naturally. And it's something of Azadi of the law dimensions and other great scholars that there are some people that have virtuous qualities by nature. There are other people that do not that you will see in children, some children want to share things other children actually refuse completely to
share things and will become very belligerent, if they're made to share things. And those they have to learn. There are children that beat other children. There are other children that couldn't do that, and would feel terrible about that. Now, these qualities tend to be more the aggressive qualities in human beings are much more market in men than they are in women. And there's a reason for that as well. There's a reason why that they're even in their form their list these steel than men, that women have certain qualities that are related to their biology, and it has to do with the fact that they produce children. And so there are certain qualities that are inherent just because
they have the hormones. I mean, some of it is purely chemical, and other it has to do with just the fact that there's a womb.
And the essence of the womb is mercy because that's what the word in Arabic Rahim is Rama are the same root word, the womb and mercy because the essence of mercy is in the womb. And that's why Allah has derived the womb, shut up to rahem ministry, alright, man, he actually derived the womb, from his name, the Merciful.
So the womb is derived from an attribute of God. And this is what women have that men don't have. And that is why the humanizing factor in society is women, the mother is the humanizing factor and, and without that, if the mother is destroyed, then it's a disaster for the rest of the society. So this idea of acquiring virtue, to become a human being to achieve one's insomnia. To achieve one's humaneness is very difficult, and that is a struggle. It is a struggle at the root our four virtues, courage, temperance, wisdom, and then justice. These are the root virtues that human beings are meant to develop in their lives. all virtues come out of one of these four virtues. So courage,
which is the first and most important virtue because upon it, the other ones are based generosity is actually the daughter of the mother virtue, which is courage, because generosity is courage with one's wealth. Patience is also a type of courage because it's a lack of anxiety when a calamity afflicts you. And that is from a type of courage. So being patient is rooted in courage. So courage in English because it comes from a root word core, which is heart, that the essence of courage is the heart. And so somebody who has courage has a lot of heart. And that's why the Arab say, when they say like in West Africa, they say, Man do gal, he doesn't have any heart, which means he
doesn't have any courage, the heart is the source of courage. And then you have temperance, which is a balanced temper has to do with a balance, temperature, you adjust. So temper is the ability to adjust to different circumstances. So temperance is always maintaining a balance. It's like a homeostatic, moral homeostasis, in the same way that your body maintains. 98.6 the soul maintains a moderation in all things that's the essence of temperance. And from temperance comes chastity, if which has to do with not aggressing against anyone, either sexually or financially, from that. It gives birth to contentment, and from contentment. What comes from contentment is trustworthiness.
Because somebody who has chastity and chaste used to mean not just with sexual mores, it has to do with everything. Now, it's pretty much limited to the idea of chastity in sexual relations. But Traditionally, the idea of temperance had to do with moderation and all things and that moderation led to this chastity or chaste nature of pure nature, virtuous nature. And then obviously from wisdom comes understanding the virtues of the mind, the intellect, and then finally, justice and at the essence of justice is a desire for fairness, the essence of
Justice is in its fairness. And it's very difficult. Very few people are fair in this world. And even people who are oppressors or oppressed, they will always look at the other with a total lack of fairness. Always. So an oppressor will always look at the one he's aggressing on with a total lack of fairness. And the one being aggressed upon will always look at the oppressor with a total lack of fairness. And that's why true justice is very difficult to come about in the world, because of human nature. It's so difficult for human beings, to be fair, to be truly fair, but the essence and the beauty of justice comes mercy in the traditional understanding mercy actually came out of justice.
And the reason for that is because Mercy is an emotion that emerges when one sees somebody who is suffering, or who is in a situation that he is not. And from it arises this sense that this person does not deserve that. In other words, the fact that I am not in that condition, I don't want that condition for that person. And that is justice. And that's why mercy emerges out of justice. It's an extraordinary concept, because we usually tend to see mercy and justice as mutually exclusive. You're either just or you're merciful. But true Mercy is actually emerging out of a real sense of justice, that you don't deserve that. And that's why when God's shows mercy to his creatures, there
is that is coming from His justice. And that's why the Quran says, My Mercy outstrips my justice. In other words, justice, if they raise if the to raise mercy always win. And from this idea of mercy emerging, then the idea of forbearance and forbearance is the ability to despite somebody aggressing upon you to actually have this forbearance, this ability not to desire retribution. And from that virtue emerges the virtue of forgiveness or pardoning. And that is why that is one of the highest virtues. And the amazing thing about forgiving. I mean, there's a really interesting study that was done. in Stanford, I think, they worked with these people that were in Ireland, they were Irish
Catholics who had lost sons at the hands of the Protestants, or vice versa. And in working with them, most of these women were depressed. And most of them were incredibly angry, and having a lot of vengeful feelings. And what they did was they worked with them to overcome that and to actually, to get to a place where they could forgive. And what happened was, is they got better. They actually got better. They were able to get out of these depressive states. It's a type of acceptance. And that's the beauty of forgiveness is that there's that acceptance that there's nothing that can be done about it. Do I want to continue the cycle or do I want to be the one that breaks the cycle?
That is Mujahid? That's what Mujahid is about. And that's why the prophets realized that him said that the real Mujahid and Mujahidin Monahan of Soho and how the real Mujahid is the one that prevents his soul from things that are harmful for it.