The Nature of God in the Theistic Traditions

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Hatem al-Haj

Channel: Hatem al-Haj

Episode Notes

AMJA 2021

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah winebar Hello, welcome to the afternoon session. Inshallah, today we're going to be having a presentation on the topic, which is listed in your program is between the God of the prophets and the God of the philosophers. And

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this is, this is what's mentioned as well in Dr. hattons paper. And also this paper has turned into a book which was printed already and shall it's just going to be available for sale very soon. So just to introduce the topic, there was one time I had a meeting with

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the famous Daria abdur-rahim green in the UK, somebody who has really conveyed the message of Islam to several people around the world. And he told me one time that he met a man. And this man said, I don't believe in God. I'm an atheist. And the reason why I'm atheist is because I find it very difficult to believe that there's an old man in the sky with the beard sitting on a cloud, who controls all of this. So Abdur Rahim explains to me, he says, The problem that this guy had, was not with God, the problem was with his conception of God. And that's why it's extremely important for us to explain to people what the concept of God actually it's, and this is sometimes a mistake that a

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lot of people make is they think that people are rejecting a creator, they're rejecting the idea that there's an ILA this and that they're rejecting Allah. But sometimes they're not rejecting Allah, sometimes they're actually rejecting what they were led to believe. Allah subhanho wa Taala actually stands for. So on a personal level, this is a very important topic for me. And it's a very important session here because I'm one of those people who in my college days, went through atheism, despite growing up in a Muslim family Hamdulillah, Allah subhanho wa Taala led me back. But this is, all of these topics are extremely important to go through because I have kind of a soft spot for

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everyone has a soft spot for people things that they've gone through in their own life. So I kind of have a soft spot for this topic.

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So rejecting this idea, or this concept is extremely important. There was a scholar by the name of Shibli nominee who died in 1914. And he recognized that through Westernization of Muslim lands, he recognized that atheism he recognized that skepticism is rising among the Muslim masses, especially among the intelligentsia. And he wrote a book called the ailment column. And he said that we need an Elmo column as readied. We need to go back and we need to see what all the scholars of Akita have written. And we need to reform their arguments because issues like whether Colombo Allah is Mahalo, or Helma, Luke is still being taught in all the modalities, but it's not the most relevant of

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issues, we need to go back and see what the multicolor mean, had answered, when it came to these issues, build upon their ossola and the principles and then tackle them the issues that we're dealing with today. When it comes to modernity and postmodernity. Dr. Hatem is going to be taking a different approach than Shibli nominee. He's saying that there is no need for that in particular, but instead, the three opee that are the three approach to upgrader is more than sufficient, which is why the subtitle of his book is reflections of an authority on the divine attributes of Allah.

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Now, the moment somebody hears a 30 and Seyfarth Allah, automatically their mind when I first read this as well, and I said, I'm supposed to be presenting on you know, I'm supposed to introducing this topic. I sirens went off in my mind and says, this is very polemical, we're going to have a problem. But I assure you Alhamdulillah, this is not going to be a problem, because if you read the introduction to the paper, or in the introduction to the book, you find that Dr. Hatem has specifically actually taken such a balanced approach or such a respectful approach, where he says that if somebody is going to follow him after they've been humble, then they can still love Imam Abu

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Hanifa. If someone's going to follow chef Ibn Taymiyyah, they can still love Imam Ghazali. And then he says at the end of page 10, he says, even when it comes to the Tesla, they deserve their share of this love that Muslims are supposed to have for them. And I'll quote this sentence. He says, if we do not find room in our hearts for them, our love reserves must be exceptionally depleted. So this in and of itself should be sufficient to show that he's taking a very balanced approach while at the same time asserting that this is the approach which he believes is going to be leading towards a great way and he mentioned imamo has

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Ali's digital Islam and he says shareholder Islam, even Taymiyah is shareholder Islam. And yet both of them when they went into philosophy, it says both of them were affected by, but they both got wet with philosophy while trying to cross the ocean of delving into the subject. Anyways, without further ado, I'll introduce the speaker and then just give you a very brief quick overview of the topic. Dr. Hatem al Hodge is well known to everyone here. He's a member of Anja. He was former dean at Mischka University. And now he's still a curriculum developer at Michigan University. He has a PhD in comparative FIP from Algernon University, he is a pediatrician by profession as well. And

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he's basically broke his paper down into four parts. So I'll just do the summary in case so you can get into the detail. He's going to begin by talking he begins by talking about the role of alcohol and knuckle when it comes to how we approach our beliefs in Islam, the role of the intelligence and the role of traditions or the role of Scripture. And then he talks about the attributes of Allah the SIFAT, many talks about Ashby or anthropomorphism and the allegation that exists and the approach of tansy and the approach of it's bad that we're supposed to have towards these things. And then he mentions at the end, the concepts of that wheel and if we and which approach we should go and what

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are the counter arguments to all of these things. So without further ado, Dr. Hatem shall he has, he's going to present for 45 minutes in Charlotte.

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I'm gonna la sala salam ala Rasulillah hurry Sahabi human wellness and I'm about to proceed. Remember, I, I was presenting a summary of 70 manzara bozos paper yesterday and I said that I don't truly personally believe that atheism would be

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such a big deal.

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I think that more of deism is going to be a bigger problem. I believe that atheism has many problems at many levels.

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On a more intellectual level, it is very hard to convince people that this universe this existence has no maker also known as first cause on an emotional as well as intellectual level, it is very hard to convince people that this universe has no tell us purpose meaning also known as the final cause very hard. Therefore, there will be bouts throughout the history of atheism becoming more popular.

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It is basically like, you know, paddlers said, I want a tantrum. So humanity, you know, throws a tantrum every once in a while. And that's when you see atheism becoming a little bit more popular, a little bit more influential. You get the French Revolution and

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the Soviet experience you get atheism in particular regions, particular localities at particular times when people throw a tantrum. But at the end of the day, these are like fads that go away very quickly. But more of the ISM is going to be a problem agnosticism more of the ISM.

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Negative theology, negative theology is going to be a problem more of the ISM is, I was here during the 60s his presentation and I heard him describe it as therapeutic therapeutic, it provides an explanation. And it gives you this comfort that there is a supreme being. So it gives you like that It comforts you it gives you an explanation that you could be content with. Yeah, someone made this.

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But again, at the same time, it is a God that has been excluded.

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From our day to day life, from basically

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managing our affairs. He's a God who has been silenced. He's the God that prefer the God of the philosopher's i God that is remote and detached. A God that can never be an object of adoration or worship, although it not he it may be an object of wonderment. So this is basically a God that

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modern secularism or secular humanism would prefer to have

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Just like a nice conception there, to basically give you an explanation of where this came from. But it does not have any requests to make a view does not demand anything. After all, nothing can be demanded of a God,

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of which nothing could be predicated about which nothing can be told. And that is the essence of negative theology. Negative theology, which is called also sometimes they are negative is the God that cannot be given any positive attributes, all you can say about him,

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will be via negativa. You can't even say that he exists, you will only be able to say that he does not, not exist. That's it.

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So that is why I thought that, basically talking about the theistic conception of God, particularly in the Abrahamic tradition, to which Islam belongs, I use that term, sometimes Abrahamic tradition or Abrahamic group of religions, not because I don't believe in the uniqueness of Islam, not because I want to mix things up. But it is true that there is sort of a family of religions that have commonalities. That's why we call them added kitab. That is why they have special rulings. That's why we recognize the divine origin of their books. So there is a tradition, in en theism, or in theology, that is the Abrahamic tradition. And these are the three religions, according to the

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theistic conception of this God.

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Where the theistic conception of this God causes many people to accuse the followers of those religions of anthropomorphism anthropomorphism is not that should be in our tradition, has been our tradition is even wider than anthropomorphism. So we are not only not anthropomorphise, we are more than that. When it comes to the tansy of God exoneration of God, from any deficiency, we do not like in God, not only to human beings, which is the meaning of anthropomorphism, but anything created laser chemistry, he say, Nothing is like.

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So,

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when so my, my thing is that it will be extremely important for us to teach our kids about our conception of God, without compromising on the eminence of God, in favor of his transcendence, or compromising on that transcendence of God in favor of His Eminence, striking the right balance between the transcendence and eminence of God. That is, what the divine attributes that is, what the discourse of the divine attributes is all about. How do you how do you strike the right balance between his eminence and his transcendence, and if you favor one over the other, and you fail to strike the right balance that is based in the Revelation and on the revelation, you will end up with

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major consequences, you will end up with a god here and a depiction of God that is so primitive, and so

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repulsive to the modern mind, to the modern mind, you know, the depiction Michelangelo's God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,

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you end up with this depiction of God, which is very repulsive to the modern mind. On the opposite side, you end up with an Aristotelian God, that is completely detached, completely remote, completely irrelevant, the perfect that completely actualized potential that is basically that cannot be related in any way to our changing world. Because, you know, it's a God that

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cannot have any actualized potential. It's a fixture, that very God that but some people think that all the philosophers believe that that is the only basically conception that is the only plausible into you know, conception of God was critiqued by Plato in his dialogues as a fiction

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Sure a lifeless fixture could God really be that lifeless fixture devoid of life spirit motion, everything

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and play to was our startles shape

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you know it is not a the you know that that idea that this is the only acceptable form of God is the form of the Aristotelian God is not, is not really compatible, that our society and form of God is not compatible with the Quranic conception of God with the Quranic depiction of God. So when I say between the God of the philosopher, the prophets and the God of the philosophers don't mistake this as

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you know, between the God of

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Abraham that bar and the God of hypnosis because my love and respect for hypnosis is immense.

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Any one of you here who's ever ROIC

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or, or of our average orientation or tendency will not love and respect me more than I do. So but this is basically the the conception of God, the conception of the artists, the theory and God, which is not the Avaroa God

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Okay, so now, since this is important that we that we teach our kids the proper Islamic conception of God, that is balanced between his eminence and hence, Transcendence.

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I, when, when we were talking about this conference, and the conference was going to be on atheism. And and as I told you, I have always thought that atheism is not going to make a lot of headway in the future because it will be like all other fads transient and the future, the challenge in the future will come from, you know, moral deism from secular humanism from

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negative theology,

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and things of that nature, then I figured it would be important in a conference like this, that we talk about how we will describe God to our Muslim kids or our Muslim youth, what kind of God or conception of God will we relay to them.

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And because this is a an issue, that has been thoroughly debated by Muslim theologians, since the beginning, you know, let's say from the second century onwards, the this this issue from the late or my period onwards, this issue has been debated by Muslim theologians.

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And the great deal of polemics and is involved in in the discussion of the these issues, and no one will be able to steer clear of controversy, while discussing these issues I set for myself, and those of you who know me, you know, I have sort of a conciliate, conciliatory attitude that suits my personality, I guess, with people, Muslims have other orientations, other credit orientation, other ideological orientations,

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and so on and so forth. And my statement about the Morteza I don't retract to this, and I don't think that I will attract it. I believe that many of them are Tesla led exemplary lives. They sacrificed for this the more than anyone in this crowd.

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And they were more devoted, and more strict, with their practice of their Deen than any one of this crowd. I don't think that any one of us will compete with entrepreneur obeyed, for instance.

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But

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if so, I'm not going to attract to this. But at the same time, I think that we can debate those issues and we can be assertive about our convictions.

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As long as we are objective, respectful, and loving, which is possible. And that is basically the type of discourse that people have nowadays. It could be you could be assertive and gentle. At the same time, simultaneously, you could be respectful, objective, loving, but at the same time assertive and firm on what you believe in. So this this is going to be where we

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We need to move in that direction, why we need to move in that direction. Because the downtown that discourse is going to be a problem. So I have two ideas, you know, in order for us to carry on with this debate with the polemics, and I believe that this agreement helped delineate Muslim orthodoxy more than agreement. You know, just the sheer volume. When orthodox Muslim scholars disagreed over a matter you were able to tell the,

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basically the the boundaries of Orthodoxy, because Orthodoxy is not a done, Orthodoxy is a circle. So you're able to see the right side of Orthodoxy, the left side of Orthodoxy, when they disagreed over reason and revelation, for instance, and an Imam Razi.

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And maybe you you wonder, I'm one of the few people who would say, Imam Razi, an Imam, and they may in the same voice,

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or the same breath. So Imam Razi had his universal law, that's his phenomenal coldly. Well, you know, when he's tried to basically resolve the conflict between reason and Revelation, and then came the amount of money to me and critique to the universal law, and colonial coldly and dattara, that aku INNOPOLIS. Actually, if you take rememorize his discourse on the issue or arguments, and you take any amendment, they may as arguments on the issue, you will be able to see that this is, this is the this is basically the territory that any Sunni Muslim would be moving in. And this will help us say what this would help us say that, that definitive purports the definitive output of reason,

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will never be dismissed or ignored by Muslims. Because all of the all of these arguments between the two Imams who did not live at the same time, one died and 605 and one died and 728. So they did not they were not contemporaneous, but all of the it's transgender relate transgenerational discourse. But this debate that happened between them,

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showed us clearly that Sunni Muslims do not ignore that definitive, rational output.

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So what inevitably, they may did, basically, and I was speaking with specialists in this field, what what he came up with, is simply the modified universal law. He took the universal law of demand Razi, and he modified it as an asset, he, I believe, in that I may inversion, or the modified universal law, where he said that, you know, the output of reason is not one undifferentiated category of sort of certain truths, definitive pottery, but rather, it comes in two types, definitive and speculative. And then the revelation also, it's not one category of definitive reports, but rather definitive and speculative. So, you have a quaternary division, not a binary and

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then as I said, yesterday, you will give precedence to that which is definitive, over that, which is speculative, regardless of whether it is rational or scriptural, which tells you that we consider reason a source with the rational output, a source of knowledge, we, that we do as Sunni Muslims and that is something that some people may not, you know, particularly understand well or comprehend. Well, we as Sunni Muslims do not dismiss reason. Nowadays, you can you say that science and reason are the same thing. To a great extent. Yes, because we don't, we don't disregard

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we don't disregard reason. Because what Allah Kusama what Apsara Well, f Ada, F ADA is reason and the empirical source of knowledge. The empirical truth is Albus upside. And the truth Buddha reports is a summer. So this verse has the Muslim epistemology. This verse of Surah Knappen has the Islamic epistemology

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But the previous verse says, Well, what? What delay available somehow it will ardour my MO to say it like LM hell bursary. Oh who are corrupt in Allah Allah Galicia imperdiet wala who have Raja Coleman Bitonio Mahakam lat Ala Moana se Pajara hola como Sama, while Abba Zara while fgdata La la conditio Quran the entire theory of knowledge is here What a liar i was some article or

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this is basically something that we need to drill into our kids will lie valuable somehow it will. And to Allah belongs the unseen of the heavens and the earth, when I'm going to say it in like, bizarro Accra, when the command of the hour is not, but like the glance of an eye, or even nearer or closer, verily, Allah is all capable over all things in Allah, Allah condition cardio. So what we say to our kids is, when it comes to,

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you know, the sources of knowledge when it comes to the sources of knowledge, you know, how the rationalists in the they used to call them continental rationalist, British empiricists, but there was this debate between the rationalists and the empiricists about the source of knowledge, whether it is reason whether innate reason, or it is only the data that you collect through your empirical sensors. And the debate over this you have embarrasses like John Locke, for instance, you have rationalists, like the cart.

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But current came after the rationalist and empiricists, and he summoned all the basically philosophers of religion, the so called metaphysis. And he said to them, his reason capable of

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commenting on JMeter that which is metaphysical. And Kant is arguably the most important figure of philosophy in the last 200 years or the last 300 years, let me say,

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and he said that reason is not able to comment on these issues. Because they are beyond reason. And everything, you know, the, you know, he was he did not side with the rationalists, who said that we come out with a priori knowledge packaged inside us, but the Cartesian way, and he does not sign with the empiricists who said that we come out with a clean slate, tabula rasa, that's the FSN and term for the Clean Slate tabula rasa. So he said No, neither this nor that.

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He almost agreed with this conception that Muslims, Muslim, philosophers, Muslim theologians, Muslim thinkers had from before that the intellect is a potency is a potency, it is a reason it is a Cold War. And it does need basically, that the process is to basically make knowledge out out of it. But he said that everything that we can conceive of everything that we can think of, is limited by our human categories of understanding a product of the universe, the world we live in, is therefore, we cannot simply by the nature of our Constitution, we and our our intellect, we cannot examine that which is metaphysical, beyond this universe, because it's outside of our human categories and

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understanding.

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And that is the authority way of of this, you know, of looking at this matter that the unseen is basically beyond our human experience beyond our ability to examine or to comment on therefore when it comes to value be somewhat well art and the greatest of vibration art Well, art is the maker of is an art well art. The intellect is incapable except for recognizing the existence of the maker. And the perfection of the maker that is the fifth or the Phaedra drives us to recognizing the existence and that perfection of the maker. And whether you call this a lesson bath in the inner sense, we call this a fifth robot we come in pre packaged with this potency to recognize the

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existence and the perfection of the maker.

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Beyond this we cannot comment on we cannot conceptualize the attributes the nature of the maker because it's completely outside our human categories of understanding which are a product of the universe that we live in and that we experience

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how do you bring this back?

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Convenience left

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I can use

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cookies or died

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I will take those two minutes. accomplices your time I'm pausing the timer. Yes.

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You have the same presentation on your computer. Can you guys just plug it in? It's probably it's more than that. Because

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alright, that's fine. I can just.

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Yeah, I just wanted people to follow something, although I'm going all over the place. Whatever is on the

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Yes. Yeah. Okay.

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So the idea. Okay, going back

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the idea of measure the exposure measure the exposure, I mean, by the idea of measured exposure, how like, what I was talking about is how do we mitigate the side effects of the inter Islamic polemics on Arpita? How do we mitigate the side effects of the inter Islamic polemics of RP RP without dumbing down the discourse dumbing down the discourse will expose our kids that are exposed at school, or that come, you know, across

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sort of the philosophy of metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, or other theistic belief systems, if we dumbed down our discourse that would hurt to them. And at the same time, we are not going to step in every method and talk about the intricacies of interest logic, polemics. Therefore I am suggesting and any Sunni Muslim here would recognize that the hallway for instance, as a good metaphor to teach would recognize the Madonna of resultative, navvies, idol Tehrani as a good magnet to teach. So you take something like this, and you teach it without much political commentary or to the public in your masjid, and that would be fine, that would be fine. That's not going to be enough

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for the people that will be entrusted with not only explaining and clarifying the intricacies of Islamic creed, but also in charge of defending Muslim apologists, you know, who are responsible for defending the intricacies of Islamic creed against other belief systems. So in this case, in this case, we move to the next step. Those people that need to be taught, will eventually need to be taught according to one school. And whoever is going to teach them is going to have their own leanings. I don't hide my leanings. I don't think that in order for us Muslims to continue to love each other, and to be good brothers, and you know, that we need to hide

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our basically theological orientations or anything of that nature? Absolutely not. Why can't we basically can just love each other despite our differences. That's very possible, very normal. The Sahaba did not only disagree on matters of fact had he disagreed on some matters of Atiba

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regardless of what you want to say they did, and I can mention some for those people who are interested to hear them afterwards. So this agree on love means that if you have a main or as Aryan orientation or approach or your intellectual indebtedness to one of them should not mean less love or respect for the other, your intellectual indebtedness, your greater intellectual indebtedness, for one of them should not mean rejection of the entire legacy of another, your greater intellectual indebtedness for one of them should not mean complete acceptance of the entire legacy of anyone, because that is the Prophet sallallahu Sallam only, that is the one that nothing can be given, you

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know, refused or rejected from from his teachings colonial Minara Allah Sahaja MACOM so we

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will not give that station of the Prophet sallahu wa salam to any of our scholars no matter how much we love them, when we continue to love them, so you disagree on love and and move on and then just be as

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credible and transparent as possible. But at the same time, at the same time, I want you to understand one thing. At the same time you do not want you guys are focusing on this, I'm just going to turn it back.

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But at the same time, I want you to understand that I said we should be objective right and we should focus on the issues.

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People who are unable to focus on the issues they will move quickly to accusing or to basically

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critiquing the character or trying to basically accused people of you know, concerning their motives, or assassinate their character and so on, but those people are sick.

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But the the other problem that we sometimes fall in is to exaggerate in the negative consequences certainly if you believe in you know, if you believe in the Aqeedah according to the Manteca, limo or you believe in RTD according to the authorities, for instance, you will need to be a you should be able to mention why you believe so, and you mentioned some of them consequences of the counter belief or the counter approach to the issues of our tea that is fine, but you should not exaggerate, exaggerate in the negative consequences of the counter approach. When you know that you no matter how good you are, no matter how good your RFP the is, you're probably not going to be

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close in devotion and worship higher in ranking than any man moment never no matter how good of an SRE you are.

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Also, as a multicolumn, you will probably not be anywhere close to

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the devotion.

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The

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the ranking of any mammal Gilani, chef of the clowder Rahim Allah, no matter how good of a mythical limb, you are, it's just not going to happen. So don't exaggerate in the dangers of the counter position because that will eventually lead to demonization of the bearers of the tradition who hold that counter position.

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Okay, so when it comes to epistemology, I want you too, I want you to tell the, you know, our youth, that the Islamic epistemology is so balanced, so comprehensive, those rationalists and empiricists who kept on fighting with each other, the poor and put it together all all of it in one verse, you know, Allah Raja, common between your magical that I'm going to say no to olive oil, Apsara. feta and Allah brought to you out of the wounds of your mother's knowing nothing. And he gave you the hearing, that's truthful reports, truthful reports, all of us believed in China before, you know, is this rational output? You know, all the people who believed in China throughout the ages, was that

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rational output? No. Was that empirical? No, no, they didn't see it. They didn't touch it. They didn't smell it. They just believed in China. What was that truthful reports? If you get people coming from this door, and people coming from that, and that and that, and that, and they all tell you it's raining outside? What do you believe them? Yes. Is this a good source of knowledge? Yes. If it is impossible for them, if collusion is ruled out is impossible, then you should believe them. That's, that's a good source of knowledge. It's not limited to empirical. It's not limited to rational truth reports. A good source of knowledge, when you that is the water right? Okay. But when

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you have one person coming with miracles that are basically

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overwhelming miracles, overwhelming amount of evidence that they are truthful, then it would be perfectly fine to believe the reports of that person. And if he's telling you that he was sent by God, then it would be perfectly fine to believe his reports about it.

00:40:00--> 00:40:38

The unseen to believe has reports about the unseen which neither our intellect, which is, you know, F Ada, or our empirical experience, can examine or can comment on, but Allah is saying that he also gave us an upside. These are empirical sensors. So we say to them, yes, you know and in fact, while Hallak in his book immunity may against the Greek logicians, he said that even female Rahim Allah Well, he's like a Christian, but so he's not gonna say Imam Tamia, but Imam Tamia Rahim Allah

00:40:39--> 00:41:18

prefigure the British empiricists. So they, they say that he prefigured figure the not William of Ockham. He was the first nominalist. But he they also say that he prefigured the British empiricists. We do believe in empiricism, we do believe in empirical accuracy. And we value that basically the output of science, science is about in parasitism, you know, and that's why, you know, the Anglo American side of things was more accomplished than in science, because philosophically, they were empirical versus the continental rationalists.

00:41:19--> 00:42:11

And you know, that empiricism is also a product of, you know, the scientific method itself is, is, is the is the Islamic civilization, his greatest contribution to the progress of science, read redefault on the history of, of science, the Roger Bacon and his namesake, Francis Bacon, all of those people, they acknowledge that the sign that they are indebted with the scientific method to Muslim scholars. So the idea of empirical accuracy, we're all for it. However, this is not going to help us in the area of the unseen and again, it's not going to help this is important than physics and chemistry, this is important in medicine, this is important thing whatever it is, that can be

00:42:11--> 00:42:19

studied in the lab, but God cannot just like you, you heard it this morning.

00:42:21--> 00:43:10

So, the role of truth reports the role of reason, reason as an independent source of metaphysical knowledge, and we said that reason can only judge or can only comment on the existence and perfection of the supreme being the place of Kalam I believe that Kalam is basically important necessary. You say, How could a sort of 3 million person believe in the necessity of Gala he believed in necessity for them in the sense of rational arguments, but it is a two step process a two step process. Basically, we figure out the we figured out the implications of the Quran and the Sunnah, according to the linguistic conventions of the first community, establish those

00:43:12--> 00:43:26

and then develop your Kalam to defend them. So Kalam, in this sense, belongs to the area of apologetics more than it belongs to the area of theology. It is an apologetical tool.

00:43:28--> 00:43:47

What if there is a conflict between reason and Revelation, we talked about this the universal law of Murase and the modified universal law of demand the mayor, and we said that as Sunni Muslims, we never dismiss the definitives of rational output, or impellor empirical findings.

00:43:50--> 00:44:46

Okay, so in my paper I talked about, you know, that division have basically, this the spectrum of possessions. Negative theology is when God is described only via negative attributes, not positive attributes. So the people who are going to be the champions of negative theology are not even the Morteza. You may think that the Morteza with Vita, you know, those are the sort of the most martela of people, that's actually not true. Those are just very few people, that formations of parameter are the people who only describe the God in negative terms. Those are the people who would not even say that he exists, but he would not they would only see say that he does not not exist. That's the

00:44:46--> 00:44:48

only way they can describe God.

00:44:49--> 00:45:00

The Muslim philosophers, some of the Muslim philosophers would come close to the parameter but not even all the way because the Muslim philosophers like Avi Sena, for instance, would describe God as

00:45:00--> 00:45:29

The necessary existence that is not a negative description that is a positive description necessary existence, why do we do it? And then you have you have some esoteric some sort of philosophical Sufism that that was on one side pantheistic affirmation lists and on the other side complete negation lists, you know, I know matara, that Torah without Torah you know matara,

00:45:30--> 00:45:33

if you want read about this more in the paper,

00:45:34--> 00:46:21

then you have the relative negation is the relative negation is our motto as they are relative negation is and their problem with composition, it can be five found in the paper and you have the relative affirmation is the relative affirmation is in you know Solas IRA at a metal at the year the later Asha IRA and Metromedia are Sympathia they actually affirm you know, at least they affirm what you know one essential attribute the affirm five negative attributes and the firm's have authored Maharani which are the seven attributes. So, they are called Safavieh they are affirmation is relative affirmation is predominantly affirmation is are the early mashella Like Imam Ahmed Hassan

00:46:21--> 00:46:49

shahadi For instance, affirmation is all in all mainly affirmations you know, most of my my arguments in this book are from Imam Al Hasan and Abu Bakr Bucha nanny you know the memory bucket and bucket nanny and so on predominantly affirmations and then you have the affirmation is to are the authorities next step affirmation is, who are the other is

00:46:51--> 00:46:58

and then you have the extreme affirmation isn't certainly like fairies would be like to have that bar and it was a magnet a me and

00:47:00--> 00:47:09

me and many others and most of the time people argue over names and I don't like to argue over names who whose whose what

00:47:10--> 00:47:57

extreme affirmation is, those would be the Kurama it's the termites are the extreme affirmations and the termites are not assimilationist or not, must have been. The termites are the followers of Muhammad Nikka ROM, we're not really that bad. It's not because I'm Hanbury. I have some affinity for the kurmis No, but they fell into the mistake of describing God as Java. Because they basically wanted to say that the Safar subsist in the divine and if the suffered subsist in the divine then the divine they were pushed into our corner and he said to them, if you say that this thought subsystem the divine then Arad must subsistence our or just so they said that God is a doe. So they

00:47:57--> 00:48:03

are extreme affirmation is and we don't accept there can sort of conceding to this

00:48:05--> 00:48:15

as sort of traditional conventional affirmations and then you have the assimilate as simulation is those are mushrooms are better, like some of the Pagham

00:48:16--> 00:48:21

band have been some on the Buddha's Oribi and their followers and others.

00:48:23--> 00:48:47

Okay, so, the issue here will have to be that you have to be very careful not to relay a depiction of God like the one drawn on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. You have to relay a depiction of God that is not like anything LASIK a measly Shea. So when someone

00:48:48--> 00:49:36

most importantly, you have to reject all the contaminants concomitants allow them reject all the contaminants basically, hold on to the plans and reject any smoke don't let anybody move you and hold on to the plan. And when someone tries to for second comment autonomy on you like you know, you say whether or a book or medical softens offer you're lower than the angels have come in rows. Does that mean that your vote comes does not mean change a place that Nagpal you saying no doesn't have to mean that? Is that Haqiqa with Yeah, it is he said that does not mean to not? No, it doesn't mean that you to say you watch soccer, where they're at soccer to multiple hack, you know, that comes to

00:49:36--> 00:49:48

you. Does that. Does that mean to not cool? No. It doesn't mean that is people yes, that comes to you? And so on. You know the so in that sense in that sense.

00:49:49--> 00:49:59

You only do this affirmation after a thick primer, a thick primer of tansy exoneration of God from old

00:50:00--> 00:50:32

deficiencies. Without that thick primer often see, you will run into problems. And certainly, if you're closer, if you're in the center, you're closer to the left and you're closer to the right. You're closer to that after than someone who's in the far right, and you're closer to the light than someone who's on the far left. So you have to be very careful that you don't slip and without that thick primer often Z you may slip certain compositions you know, so leave empty Mira Mala and as well and rot the spa Hey,

00:50:34--> 00:50:36

Ottoman Petra didn't miss a Job.

00:50:37--> 00:51:38

Job say hello, Amanda de Lucia. He says that no Muslim scholar would sit down and say that God has hands and face and you know, leg and and side and this and this. He says this composition, putting them all together like this, no Muslim scholar would speak in this way. No Muslim scholar would speak in this way. Because the cognitive synthesis that results from speaking this way is the problematic assimilation. So why you affirm? But when you make that composition, there will be an automatic cognitive synthesis that will result in a major problem in a depiction of God that we would be repulsive to the minds of most people. Why is this green? And you're telling me one minute,

00:51:38--> 00:51:44

shouldn't this be orange or yellow or something? I'm not in charge of the light. Oh, who's in charge?

00:51:46--> 00:51:49

Okay, that's not working. Oh, it's not working

00:51:53--> 00:51:58

for you, but you can read the conclusions the conclusions are all in your paper

00:52:03--> 00:52:34

Zack hamdullah we'll be taking questions from the audience inshallah. That way I was told we're gonna do it is everyone has a maximum of 90 seconds to ask their question and the chef will have two to four minutes to respond. We're gonna take right microphone left and then right and then left and then sisters inshallah. So what I'm going to do is when you're asking the question, I'm going to start my timer and I'm just going to put my microphone to the timer so everyone will hear the timer go off if you go over 90 seconds so I don't need to interrupt you in Charlottesville. So right microphone first inshallah please go ahead.

00:52:38--> 00:52:47

Sarah, Morocco, Zakouma cursor cotton masala wonderful presentation as always, may Allah reward you. So my question

00:52:49--> 00:53:08

is kind of an area within the masjid as Imams, we know amongst the youth to sell off is also popular and Sufism is also popular. And shift Yes, of course, you mentioned about spiritual nourishment. And and always well you have inclination towards this gear and the importance of that, how can we bring in this topic of

00:53:10--> 00:53:36

agnosticism to atheism and see what can we take from the history and the tradition of the soul that we have in our deen without it becoming conflictual in the masajid between Imams versus people who may be from a Sufi tariqa or another justice I wish we could have more debate or more discussion on this issue and a conversation on the soul within the realm of this topic as well.

00:53:38--> 00:54:26

From the loss for someone so that the issue of the south of the South is an emotionally loaded term because it basically it means different things to different people because it was practiced differently by different people. You have Sophie's that are completely antinomian anti Sharia and you have Sophie's completely Sharia compliant you have Sophie's that basically have some of them basically means emphasis on devotion, and basically definitely Antalya and so on, that that's purification of the soul and you have Sufis that are more inclined towards philosophical Sufism, Mormonism, pantheism, things of that nature. So you have different phases, different stages and

00:54:26--> 00:54:27

different types of Sufis

00:54:28--> 00:54:40

like you have a Sufi offshoot of the car that Angela Annie, for instance, you have a Sofia Villa tonight, which Sophia are we talking about? Therefore, we cannot make a blanket statement about the soul.

00:54:41--> 00:55:00

We cannot make a blanket statement about the self and at the same time we cannot denounce the self because in our tradition, that discipline after Skia was referred to as the soul. So I can basically throw the baby with the bathwater and that if you can Denpasar wolf in general, that's what you

00:55:00--> 00:55:01

Going to be doing

00:55:03--> 00:55:10

and therefore at discerning approach to solve, and I believe like if you look at

00:55:11--> 00:55:24

the manatee mayor's description of the self in his book of the Sophia for Cora, I think that this is extremely fair, if not, basically too favorable, but it is extremely fair at least.

00:55:26--> 00:55:36

And, and this should be our approach, it's the discerning approach, it is basically you have to understand that

00:55:37--> 00:56:25

pain for instance said that these divine attributes, this is not the the result of intellectual work, this is the result you know, your your understanding of the divine attributes Manasseh, the halogen, your understanding of the divine attributes is that not the results as a result of intellectual inquiry or even the memorization of the scriptures or even the good understanding of the scriptures. The scriptures, it is the result of spiritual labor in which God actively participates by opening your heart and basically giving you that inspiration and that newer that comes from Allah subhanaw taala that will make you imbibe the divine attributes and make you

00:56:25--> 00:57:05

basically live by them, feel them, not just know them, but feel them. We can talk about that Razzaq from here until the cows come back home and one person in a Muslim country can have a better basically, actualization, fulfillment of the understanding of our reserve and all of us, all of us, you could get like 200 scholars talking about a result. But you know, there there are someone who does not know anything about theology, who does

00:57:07--> 00:57:08

believe deeply deep in his heart and

00:57:10--> 00:57:29

and who would not basically any ship her he would not come close to a shopper, you stay five miles away from any shopper, because he believes and he would not have any worries about tomorrow because he believes in reserved, he would not have any worries about getting laid off because he believes in it as

00:57:30--> 00:58:29

if you're the best scholar in the whole world, your realization of that attribute fades pales in comparison to his so it is by spiritual labor. And, and as I said, measure the exposure to hockey, the discourse, the RT the discourse that all the schools teach whether you're a 30 metre Ed SRE, those are the main schools of Arizona, or whether you are more tacitly or this or that darky that discourse that all the schools teach do not generate faith in the sense of closeness to God or sweetness. They are important to set up the guardrails to prevent you from deviation. They don't give you any fuel, any energy to move to get closer to God. That's that scary as last Assad Wolf,

00:58:29--> 00:58:37

this course is the one that gives you that energy to get closer to God. Next question Shabbos Mila

00:58:40--> 00:59:09

so when we were talking about a seminal Uppsala fader, I have kind of a couple of questions on that. Does the order mean anything like the order of assembler? Well, boss or whatever it does it does it mean anything in our usage to understand God, and how do we ensure that they're not corrupted in a way that we're actually not able to use them? To understand God?

00:59:10--> 00:59:37

Okay, yes, many people said that the emphasis in the Quran is put more on the summer than upside because there's more that you learn about the unseen the realities bought in the last year hottie Katusha the ultimate realities, the final realities through summer then observed through summer then apps are truthful reports that he promised.

00:59:39--> 00:59:56

You get a lot more by your summer and you're listening. Then what you get through your empirical senses. So there is some and when it comes to upside and ADA and the rational and the empirical, you know,

00:59:58--> 00:59:59

you do need to be to have

01:00:00--> 01:00:38

sanity. But when it comes to the heirloom of this Donia, I am an empiricist. And when it comes to this dunya, I tend to be an empiricist. Part of it is because of my scientific background, but I believe that there is superiority to the empirical approach in this dunya chemistry. So all of the hypothesizing of the Greeks did not take them anywhere in terms of science. It was the scientific method that was empirical in nature, that got transmitted by the Muslim scholars to the Anglo American, or the British empiricists.

01:00:39--> 01:00:52

That the push to the course of science or the trajectory trajectory of science forward. So, yeah, that some extent of the order makes sense. Is that fair? Next question shall over there.

01:00:55--> 01:01:15

So my question is, why do we have to sort of overcomplicate our data? And why can we just accept it as like a difference of opinion, like, even Taymiyah, he when he before he died, that he changed in 100 said that he changed his athlete that in to an SRE update, and as well as the Salafiyyah say that

01:01:16--> 01:01:47

has an SRE changed exactly that when he died his before he died as well. So I feel like it's just a matter like, nobody has talked to Allah before. Nobody knows the truth about this matter, and I don't believe we're ever going to reach to a conclusion, like we're always going to be separated. And I feel like if we keep talking about these matters, or not talking, but speaking about them in sort of debate manner, that it will separate the community instead of uniting it. So it's my question, how can we why can we just keep it as a difference of opinion?

01:01:49--> 01:02:30

Well, but what is your position on the different opinions or you don't have an a position? No, but if you can, if you can afford the not having a position and uncommitted position, not everybody are forced to have an uncommitted. No, no, I am committed, like I lean more toward the SRE, like path, but I believe that like when the total Handel's Messiah, I saw him, he was asked about this, and he said, like, everyone should look into it and believe whatever he wants, he didn't even talk about his own fate. They just said, Everyone look into it, and then teach your kids whatever you believe, or whatever you found to be true, I love the thermometer, Messiah, and he's my neighbor. And I, you

01:02:30--> 01:03:10

know, I'm friends with all of his children. And I know that he used to have his children set with each other and two of them were Asare and two of them are, all of them are from the US. And by the way, I sent all of my kids Thalassa all of them graduated from alasa certainly as an athlete, I would tell them you know, you can just be pay attention to this or that. But of course, but at the same time, I just put them in Alaska all my kids are graduate graduates from Alaska. I believe in this wholeheartedly. And it should Muhammad Musa Rahim Allah, he had to Asurion to Asri children and they would send an argue with each other in front of him, and he would let them and he would not

01:03:10--> 01:03:57

actually put his foot down and sort of I think he had already leanings himself to shave. But but he would not put his foot down and basically ended the discussion in favor of, you know, he is those two children are the other ones. And I believe that this is absolutely beautiful, absolutely beautiful. However, we need to have an advanced discussion of art either in the classroom, I told you when it comes to hockey the in the general basically to the general audience of the masjid, I said the measure the exposure will mean take up the hallway, take the result of nappies, I take it the hallway, everybody takes the hallway. The hallway is great, teach it and that would be good, set

01:03:57--> 01:04:45

up some guardrails. And then the skier Sufi discourse is the one that will bring them out more Eman, teach people about the Sierra teach people the Sierra Sahaba, intervertebral, Jadine, and so on. They get more energy out of this and more sweetness out of this and then the guardrails but the guardrails are important for the general public, but then you get some of your students that will be exposed to the philosophy of metaphysics at college, you know, and it would not be enough for them to have just gone through at the hardware. They will be completely clueless you know, they are not going to be able to stand up to all of this to the intricacies. How do you describe God? What do you

01:04:45--> 01:04:59

mean by what does the your plan mean by this verse? How do you this? How do you understand that this hadith, they will have to provide an answer and intelligent answer intelligent answer eloquently

01:05:00--> 01:05:43

phrase and that is the responsibility, eloquently phrase to not make you feel inferior. And at the same time at the same time to preserve the integrity of the Scriptures and the epistemic value of the scriptures because that is at the end of the day is what is at stake the epistemic value of the scriptures. Yeah, that's it. So but so I agree with you on, on having amicable sorts of loving discussions, but advanced discussions with the students of knowledge under this can be the last question from the brothers. It should

01:05:47--> 01:05:59

also, let us leave the question because I'm sorry, I know but we have to ignore that part. It doesn't matter at the end of the day Yeah. Hamdulillah I know I don't believe me change the lottery but um

01:06:00--> 01:06:12

it's this is not a debate over things. I'm just gonna be last question from the brothers can the brother over there please pass the microphone to the sisters because they're going to be next so they can Oh, you got your microphone. Okay. Go ahead brother. So, I want to

01:06:13--> 01:06:13

say

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for marriage is soon to

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be for either one or the

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other. This is going to be the last question from the sister and if the representative of halaal International is here, can you please make your way to the stage for your presentation? We're going to be going a few minutes over because we started a few minutes late inshallah. Sister please keep the questions short to the ship and answer fatherly.

01:11:38--> 01:11:40

Microphone Alpha

01:11:43--> 01:11:44

Salaam Alaikum. Brother.

01:11:45--> 01:11:58

And I apologize if I can chart with my background knowledge. But I have a question concerning the behavior, the behavior, are they an Islamic sect or not?

01:11:59--> 01:12:05

They are they an Islamic sector? Not Yes. Not according to

01:12:07--> 01:12:09

mathematical alphapay And according to

01:12:11--> 01:12:38

I have not studied about it myself. But according according to the Muslim scholars, Sunni Muslim scholars and according to the mountain, Madame ultraclear, they are not an Islamic sect. So it's not under the arena of your study. No, he padonia Medea and Babesia. All of these are not Islamic sects, according to my Sunni Muslim scholars, okay.

01:12:41--> 01:12:48

Is the representative here or no? He's not then we can take one more quick question. Inshallah. If the representatives not here,

01:12:49--> 01:12:50

please make a quick short.

01:12:54--> 01:13:25

spinazzola Monica desert the last question is, we talked about fitrah in Hammond, basura and Nora, Allah fickle and these different ways of knowing Allah subhanho wa taala. While we live in a materialistic world, based off of the Western philosophers, the mindmint, John Locke is, are we as a as a world in need of a post enlightenment, enlightenment, a new way of knowing, and how can we as Muslims bring this about?

01:13:28--> 01:13:33

Do we need post enlightenment, enlightenment? Absolutely, absolutely. Yes, it is.

01:13:34--> 01:13:46

It is about time, you know, the the Enlightenment enlightenment philosophy to not be also unfair to the Enlightenment philosophy, the Enlightenment philosophy was not all bad.

01:13:47--> 01:14:27

You know, the fear from the other makes us always hateful, like and reject the Enlightenment philosophy was good. Enlightenment, philosophy made those enlightenment, not I'm not saying enlightenment, philosophy was good, sorry, enlightened philosophy was a very religion, but enlightenment philosophy had good aspects in it. That's why you find someone like Voltaire, for instance, he was more sympathetic with Islam than he was with Christianity. That's why you find someone like Newton, for instance, rejecting the Trinity. That's why you find someone like Rousseau, for instance, calling Islam the natural religion. So the Enlightenment philosophy is not all bad,

01:14:28--> 01:14:37

the Enlightened philosophy that have problems that need to be fixed, but post enlightenment enlightenment, should not reject

01:14:38--> 01:15:00

the Enlightenment philosophy, I believe in to some extent in the galleon dialectic, that you know that the movement of history, it is not about rejection of the antithesis. It's about the synthesis that comes to reconcile between the thesis and antithesis and if you look

01:15:00--> 01:15:47

Look at my introduction, you will find that despite you may think that they may have been Seana were the diametric opposites of each other true that they may have benefit from Abney. Siena, you cannot deny that, even if they may have did benefit from every sinner, why did we do that anytime a user is isn't happy second term, if they may have benefited from musc in it, like I said, he made the fear of of Messina, and so they they made they benefited from Siena. And I believe that it is a dialectic. And it is basically thesis, antithesis, synthesis. If you don't reject, you don't have to reject the entirety of the thesis.

01:15:48--> 01:16:41

But you will have to come up with the synthesis that will take all the positive, even post modernist philosophy that we are always ranting against. It does have some positives, post modernist philosophy at least humbled the human intellect humbled the human intellect, this, this basically overconfidence of the Enlightenment philosophy. They just got like a bucket of cold water and poured it over the Enlightenment philosophy to cool it down, come down, you know, this sort of hardiness of the human intellect come down everything. You know, we certainly as Muslims don't believe in the relativism of everything. But at the same point at the same time, we do appreciate that tendency,

01:16:41--> 01:17:02

that sense, calm down, don't get too haughty about it. You know, things are relative, and you're judging from your perspective, which is already pre constructed by your environment and this and this and that was Subhanallah homophobia handiness of physical love, and today said I'm not a Kumamoto live or a cat