Channel: Hamza Yusuf
Series: Hamza Yusuf – Vision Of Islam
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We may be playing a role but we ourselves have chosen the role and no one else would play it the same way even roles we play express something about ourselves. So, Kenneth Branagh was Hamlet is not Laurence Olivier, same text, but they have different interpretations. And so even an actor reciting the same lines, he's still expressing himself. So the idea of words being an expression of the knifes, and Allah has enough so according to the Quran, to title my fantasy with animal if enough seeker when I last speaks, we believe that is an expression of himself in the Quran. Now, the Quran expresses a law, it is not the only thing that expresses him, other scriptures also express him and
so to his creatures. So now we get into something very interesting, which is this idea of an expression, what is an expression? It is, when I speak, what I am doing is I am articulating symbols, if you speak my language you are familiar with. So when I say look at that tree, I don't have to look at the tree,
you'll begin to look around to see the tree you can ask me which tree but when I say tree, an image emerges in your mind of something that has a trunk it has branches that have leaves, if it doesn't have a trunk, it doesn't have branches, it doesn't at least it's something else it might be a bush. But when I say tree, that is what comes to your mind. If I say in Arabic to an Arab tree, he'll say what are you talking about? Ah, monetary, I'll say shahzada. Now shout out to an English speaker doesn't mean anything but to an Arab, he has the same image in his mind that you had when I said tree.
So what is shared? It's the tree. But what else there what is the nature of language is that it's a symbol, it is a sign that signifies something else. This is called an Arabic an A A. So an ayah is something that signifies something else. Now, when we say that God has sign, what we're saying is, there are things that signify God, there are the prophetic signs, there are the regulatory signs, but then there's the natural sign. So I in the Quran, means in a general sense, anything that means something else, anything that's indicating something else shape when you're out of shape. And that's what it means. So that's a general sense. In the Quran, it means everything in the heavens and the
earth. Everything is a sign. And this is why we appointed the night and the day as two signs there I attain
a lane one and a half or two signs of what
and assigned for them as the dead Earth woman is, you know,
from amongst the signs dead earth.
And then it's brought back to life. Yeah, right.
That's a sign of God, you're seeing a sign it's indicating something else. And among your signs are ships that run on the sea like landmarks.
that is on the ocean, like a landmark. Alone? Like no.
These are all signs. So these are signs that in the earth are Signs for those who have certainty and in yourself, we'll get out of the ions will be unphysical to zero, in the earth are signs and in yourselves are signs, don't you see?
In other words, don't you make the connection? In the same way? When I said tree? You connected that with this thing that has trunk? branches, leaves? That's what Allah is saying, Don't you see? In other words, don't you see the connection between all these signs out there, and all these signs in here, what they're indicating
what they mean? Now,
the second narrower sense is the miracles and scriptures that are given to prophets. So prophets are given two types of signs. They are given scripture, which is an area and they're given a whole lot of other things that break the normal chain of events. So with with Moses, it would have been like his staff, he had all saw Mussa that was a sign. And the magicians recognize it. And that's why when they saw it, they said, We believe in his God, not in you. Because they knew now what's fair and looks at he says this is a conspiracy. That's what he said this to you. You plan this thing. This is a conspiracy. He did somewhere else. He can't believe because he's not seeing the same thing.
The other is the y itself. The revelation is a sign
They said to the to the province sign if you are merely one of us who are who wish you're immortal, right? Your Bashar like us, then produce a sign if you're truthful, so they want to sign people are they want sign? That's what they said to Jesus. And he said wicked is a generation that wants signs. In other words, it's so clear like laub say somebody asked him, what's a proof for the existence of God? He said, You're asking for a lamp to see the sun. And that's why they say the Arab they say, Well, is there a motion on feduni? Well, is the payment with any shade on that and not really, really, you know, nothing will make sense to you if you need a proof for daylight.
This idea of signs which is very interesting, because the 20th century, the essence of 20th century philosophy of semiotics, they become obsessed with signs is what philosophy has been reduced to was very interesting that the Quran is that's what it's talking about. It's talking about science. And that's why one of the most brilliant philosophers of the 20th century was zoot suit, Japanese philosopher, he spent his life studying the Quran, and wrote this amazing book on the sign this the semiotics of the Quran, because he was just so
engrossed in this idea.
now, the other the most specific sense of the word is the Koran are the actual sentences of the Quran, which are called yet the actual
syntactical components, they're their meaning statements that are called a ads. Now,
one of the really interesting things about science, and I just want you to think about this.
One of the things about people is an everybody's had this experience where you don't know a word, and suddenly you look it up in a dictionary, and now you know it. And then suddenly it starts appearing everywhere. You're like, That's amazing. What a coincidence.
Why does it suddenly start appearing everywhere, because now you know what it means. And so suddenly, it becomes meaningful. And before you were, you were just removing it from your field of vision. Now, you're allowing it in because you've accommodated it into a frame of reference. Now, one of the things about human beings, if you're traveling on a trip, and I love road signs, I just got a traffic ticket. Yesterday, in San Jose, he actually reduced it way down, because I told him, this is a crazy city. And you can't How do you get out of this city once you're in it? Because that song, do you know the way to San Jose? They say he wrote it in downtown San Jose. You don't know
where you are in that city? There's no it's just crazy. And I told him, I just he said, didn't you see that sign? I said, No, I didn't see the sign. Why didn't you see it was right in front of you. I said, I I and I really didn't see the sign. They do that every time. Didn't you see that sign? Yeah, right. Yeah, it's clear as day. Well, that's what the angels say to people.
Did you see that sign was right in front of you? No, I didn't see it. Why? You know why I didn't see the sign. Because there was a mailman in front of me going like this.
Right. You know, he was telling me, there's a cop behind you. Don't turn left. He distracted me from seeing the sign.
That's what he believes. Does. You see it, please? He's out there.
You know, do that and, and that's what you don't see the sign.
Ignorance is not an excuse in the eyes of the law.
You have a driver's license. You're driving a car.
There's signs that you're supposed to know. You mean, you took a test to prove that you know what they mean? And then you're going to plead ignorance. I didn't see it. Well, you should be more attentive. Right? That's what he says. So he writes you a ticket.
And then you have to pay a fine. And when I said to him, Look, I didn't he said, Well, hey, my job is to write ticket. That's what the agents are my job. I'm just doing my job. My job is to punish you. It's not to that's what he was saying to me. My job is to punish you not to sit here and debate.
You broke the law. It's an infraction. And that's my job and I'm sorry, it's it's it's a painful thing to do if I really think about it, but it's my job.
There you go.
So what can I do rip it up. The police come they
Take your car away. There's other if you ignore the warnings, because that's just a warning, if you ignore that there's more repercussions. It just gets worse and worse and worse. So, imagine humanity on this highway.
You're driving along the first time they see, lust Ville.
100 miles, suddenly speeds up only 100 miles. If I do 100 miles per hour to get there an hour. That's, that's good, right? He's going to les Phil, on the way there's a sign paradise, and it's pointing that way to turn does he see that sign? No, cuz he's so preoccupied with lucasville he can't see the sign to paradise. And then there's another sign, gluttony land. So maybe he's not a sat here. Maybe he's a glutton kolodny land I'm going there, floors it, I can't wait to get there to eat. So he doesn't see the sign to paradise. Each one of these signs that people see on the road and, and they can't see that other sign because they're so preoccupied with their destination, but
they chose that destination. Now, if you were given a job, and this is Vanity Fair, right. I think it's that courier whoever wrote it,
the story of Vanity Fair, where the man was given a job by the king, but on the way to fulfill his job, there's a fare on the side of the road.
And he thinks, well, I've got all the way till sunset.
So I'm just gonna stop and just enjoy the show. And there's some distractions and I'll have a little fun and, and then I'll go and I'll do what the king told me to do. So he goes in, and Vanity Fair's filled with distractions. And it's wonderful. He's having a great time. And he gets so engrossed in all of these distractions, that suddenly it's sunset, and Vanity Fair's closing up. And he hasn't done what the king asked him to do. Now he's got to go back to the palace, and tell the king and the king says, I sent you in the morning, you had all day to do it. Now, is the king gonna accept the excuse? Oh, well, you know, I saw this beautiful fare along the side of the road. On my time, you
were planning on my time, somebody works for
FedEx, but he's got a gambling problem. So he goes out in the morning with all these packages. And then he passes by a gambling casino. And I'll just go in and do 111 time on that slot machine, goes in one time, then suddenly know one time leads to another and, and then suddenly, the day's over. And he suddenly goes out, and he's got all these packages that he hasn't delivered that he has to take back to is he going to keep his job? No. So that's the nature of the world. It's the task is very clear. But the signs are ignored. It's not that they're not there. They're just ignored. And that's why how many assign there is in the heavens and the earth that they pass by
turning away from it. It's all there. It's very obvious, but that's what the Quran is saying. people ignore these signs. Because they don't have time for them. They're too preoccupied. They're preoccupied with their worldly things, making more money. Getting that bigger house, enhancing my portfolio, bulking up my CV