Channel: Hamza Yusuf
Series: Hamza Yusuf – Vision Of Islam
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So the spiritual awakening is something that will often occur with some trauma. It's very common for people, people will have a heart attack, people will have a sickness, people will lose a parent, people will lose a child. And suddenly, these big questions come in to focus they hadn't been there before. And that is the greatest awakening Because ultimately, we are spiritual beings. You know, the big steel that goes, the emotional one goes, the intellectual one, according to the Muslims, everything that you learn, you lose when you die, accept what you learned that was beneficial for your next life. Ultimately, even the intellectual, their true intellectual awakening is a spiritual
awakening as well. So the boss era is that inward sight, it's the ability to perceive something with the inward AI. And one of the things about the world is that when you look at the world, and this is where good and evil is very interesting, when you look at the world, most people look at the world in terms of good and evil by what they think, is good and evil. In other words, when I look out at the world, this is good. Why? Because I like it. And that's evil. Why? Because I don't like it. And so things that I don't like happening are evil, and things that I like happening are good. This is the criteria of the human being. Now one of the things about the Arabs is they say, a proverb,
Messiah will poem and end up omen for what you do. The calamities of one people are the benefits of another people. So one people's good is another people's evil. So for instance, if you look at this country, the fact that you can go to the store and buy really cheap clothes, that might be something that's good that you like about this country. But if you under really understand the reasons why those clothes are cheap, is because of suffering that's going on in South America, or in Indonesia, where people have to work in sweatshops that make those cheap shirts that end up in mass produced malls in America, where these people go in and they buy the thing because somebody was working for
$1 50 an hour. And in some places, they have to use these children because their hands are small. They don't want big people because it's actually cheaper. So what's good and what's evil? And that's a really difficult question. Now, if you look at the Islamic definition, higher in the Arabic language and charter do not really correlate to good and evil, they're really not good translations for higher insurer. Because of this idea, as anticorrosion or highroller, come, maybe you hate a thing, you think it's evil, and it's good, and therefore to determine it with any type of moral certainty is very, very difficult thing to do. Now, obviously, the Sharia, or the sacred law of
Islam gives these criteria for determining killing is bad. Is it always bad? No.
It's not always bad. Sometimes it's a benefit. If somebody is about to kill you unjustly, you have a right to defend yourself. And so if you kill them, you did something that was sanctioned by sacred law. On the other hand, the other person who was doing it was evil. So one in the same act, if one got his way, it was shattered. And if the other got his way, it was higher. Do you see that same act, two different now, the person who was killed, maybe that causes a complete spiritual transformation in several people that knew that person, or maybe some law is comes into being because of that person death that changes and has an effect on the whole society. So then what was
evil in as a singular act actually produced much good? Again, this is something that the whole point of the Quran is that you don't know. And there's a really interesting, because I think this is so fascinating, the way that this was articulated, which is from the apology, and if people who know this story, which is from Socrates, he was condemned to death, for blasphemy, because they said that he didn't believe in the official gods of the state, and also for corrupting the youth. And he says in there that the real reason that he was condemned was he said that I spend all my time going about trying to persuade you young and old to make your first and chief concern not for your bodies, nor
for your possessions, but for the highest welfare of your souls. proclaiming as I go, wealth does not bring goodness, but goodness brings well and every other blessing, both to the individual and to the state. Now, if I corrupt the young by this message, the message would seem to be harmful. But if anyone says that my message is different from this, he is talking nonsense. So he is corrupting the youth was that he
was making them lose their materialism. And parents always get upset when their children becomes less materialistic because they start worrying about who's going to take care of me when I get old, if he doesn't have any money, so they have this idea of No, you have to do this and got make up a lot of money. So anybody that will change that game plan becomes a corrupter of you so that that's what he said. That's the real reason. The other reason he said is because somebody went to the Oracle and asked who was the wisest person in Greece? And they said, Socrates, and he said, That can't be right. So he went around to disprove it, and he went to all these wise people, he ended up
finding out that they were all really ignorant, but were pretending to be wise. So he said, the only reason he was more wise than they were because he knew that he was ignorant. And so that's why they condemned to death. He said, You just guys just don't like me, because I go around talking in public, examining your so called wise people and exposing their ignorance in front of everybody. So it's made them mad, so they want me dead. But that's not why I just wanted to set that for people haven't read this, just to know what interests me here is he said that he had what was called a daemon. And it was a voice that he heard that would tell him, he said he never wanted to do anything
bad, but that voice would stop him. Even if you want to do something wrong. What he says is that people think death is bad.
He just says to them, it is not a lack of arguments that has caused my condemnation, but a lack of effort trained impudence and the fact that I've refused to address you in a way which would give you most pleasure, you would have all like to hear me weep and wail, and doing and saying all sorts of things which I regard as unworthy of myself, but you are used to hearing from other people. But I did not think then that I ought to stoop to civility because I was in danger. And I do not regret now the way in which I pleaded my case, I would much rather die as a result of this defense than live as the result of another sort. in a court of law. Just as in warfare, neither I nor any other
ought to use his wits to escape death by any means. In battle, it is often obvious that you could escape being killed by giving up your arms and throwing yourself upon the mercy of your pursuers. And in every kind of danger, there are plenty of devices for avoiding death, if you are unscrupulous enough to stick at nothing. But I suggest, gentlemen that the difficulty is not so much to escape death, the real difficulty is to escape from doing wrong,
which is far more fleet of foot. That's what really takes doing. And so he says, but I'll tell you in killing a good man, I want to tell you my executioner's that as soon as I am dead, vengeance will fall upon you with a punishment far more painful than your killing of me, you have brought about my death and believe that through it, you may be delivered from submitting your conduct to criticism, but I say that the result will be just the opposite. Not only will you be condemned historically, by people that come after, you're gonna get punished in this world, and all these men, they were all killed. When the Spartans came in, they just massacred the whole lot of them. I was very
interesting. He said, I feel moved to prophecy. That's what he said. I mean, if he was a indo European Prophet, I don't know on him. But he's very interesting character in any case, but he says, If you expect to stop denunciation of your wrong way of life by putting people to death, there's something amiss with your reasoning. This way of escape is neither possible nor credible. The best and easiest way is not to stop the mouths of others, but to make yourselves as good men as you can. In other words, don't wipe out your critics listen to their criticisms, and take them seriously and rectify yourselves so that they don't, but again, it's not why I'm it's just an interesting dialogue
here. But what he says is, I will tell you, he's now telling him because they've condemned him to death. They said, You choose what you think would be an appropriate punishment. He said, Well, since I'm doing social welfare here, by showing you all your ignorant and telling you not to engage in materialism, I think that you should provide me with free meals for the rest of my life. That's is fun as
hell. So they condemned him to death. But he said, I will tell you, I suspect that this thing that has happened to me is a blessing. And we are quite mistaken in supposing death to be an evil. See, because people that's all they want to do is want to live. And what he's saying is a you think is an evil. That's just your perspective. I have good grounds for thinking this because my accustom sign, could not have failed to oppose me if what I was doing had not been sure to bring some good result, because it never failed him in his life. This Damon what he called a dame and it was a voice that he used to hear, we should reflect that there's much reason to hope for a good result on other grounds
as well. Death is one of two things, either annihilation, and that have no consciousness of anything, or as we are told it is really a change and migration of the soul from this place to another. So if it's nothing then he said it's like asleep without any dreams, which is the most comfortable type of sleep
And if it's something, then he says, If on arrival in the other world beyond the reach of our so called justice, this phony justice of this world, one will find the true judge who presides in that court. In other words, you're going to get real justice in the next world. And if you are a good man, why do you have anything to fear, and I am willing to die 10 times over if this account be true.
In fact, I'm particularly interested in experiencing those on the other side, like palominos, and Ajax son of telemon. I'd actually like to compare my fortunes with theirs, because they all got unfair trials as well.
And then he ends it saying, for my own part, I bear no grudge against those who condemned me and accused me, although it was not this kind of intention that they did so but because they thought they were hurting me. So I forgive you all, because I don't think you're hurting. I think you're doing me a favor. You're making me a martyr. So here's what he says, Now it is the time that we are going to die and you to live. But which of us has the happier prospect is unknown to anyone but God.
You see, so you think you're getting rid of me and evil, and you're doing your society a good, but as far as I'm concerned, what you're doing is the evil and you will be recompense for it. As for me, all I've done is good in my life. I've been warning you I've been trying to tell you not to live lives have profligacy and that's why I'm not afraid of death.
So that's another example of this perspective. And he called it compounded ignorance to see that death was an evil because he said, You don't even know what's on the other side. So your assumption that it's evil, it's just your own ignorance.
If like me, because in another dialogue and gorgous, he says that he believes that there's a hell in a paradise, and that everybody's judged by adjust judge, he says they're stripped naked, and they're going to before this court, they won't be able to fool anybody with fancy clothes or articulate arguments. And he tells us one guy through some because he says, maybe you can box my ears off in this world, but in the next world, you're gonna get your ears boxed off. And he says, you probably think it's a myth, but I don't think it is I believe it to be true. And he said, and the good will go to the I'll have the blessing. That's what he called it. The I love the blessing. That's this
idea of you don't know what you think is good and what you think is evil. Now another really interesting thing, that if you look good and evil in the Quran is about loss and gain. And that's the point that he's making. You think you're gaining something by getting rid of May I say you're losing something. You think I'm losing something by depriving me of life? I say I'm gaining something because I believe in life after death.