Mohammad Elshinawy – Tawheed as a Worldview – Dogma Disrupted

Mohammad Elshinawy
AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the importance of finding a god and finding a morality zone in life, using language and the concept of "monster" in relation to emotions. They emphasize the need for proving the existence of a God and finding a morality zone in life, avoiding confusion and double thinking. They also discuss the issue of commonality in Christian teachings and the need for guidance and guidance in life. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the concept of "monopoly on redemptive power" and how it can be distorted by common teachings.
AI: Transcript ©
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are the famous Can Can, can God create a circle with four corners? Right or wrong so heavy? You can't lift it? Yeah, those are contrary not just the definition of God but definition of circle and rock. is a finite object language. Powerful. Yeah, no, it's important.

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It's important to us to demonstrate how the how these are really just language games being played, and that they don't they rely upon fudging the definitions of what these concepts are in order to sort of, you know, posture like they stand some sort of threat to divinity.

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So then, when I come off to love, welcome back to dogma disrupted today, we have a very, very special guest Sheikh Mohammed is shonali, who is the religious director of the Islamic education center of PA in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and also the Associate Director of systematic theology here at European Institute. Welcome. Psychologically, I'm Tom great to see big coffee. Today, we have a really interesting episode, the general concept is is talking about how he'd, as a worldview, and why this is significant, because we've reached a time in which a lot of people think of religion as something that is excessive or something that is just merely optional, but it doesn't have any sort

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of main bearing on your capacity to be a moral person, right? How often do we hear, I don't have to be religious to be a good person, I can be a good person, no matter what I believe. And obviously, Islam teaches something very, very diametrically opposed to that. So we're gonna go through a little bit of how your beliefs actually shaped not just your capacity for moral action, but it shapes everything, right. And so he has a worldview is something very, very specific, that leads to the best outcomes when it comes to across the board, right? When it comes to moral capacity or capacity for moral action, justice, holistic well being and things of that nature.

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So maybe an interesting or a useful place to start would be if somebody like we imagined like the tabula rasa, right? Like the blank slate, okay, you've got a person who, they come into the world, maybe they're, maybe their parents were completely not religious at all. Maybe they have absolutely zero understanding of any religion, or whether there's a God or not a god. How do they decide that this, that first decision that faces them is sort of like, does something that is divine exist? Or not? And what are sort of the ramifications? What are sort of the consequences of that decision? Depending on how they what they conclude?

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Okay, Bismillah. So, first of all,

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can I disagree with you?

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Yeah, let's let's this is early, I know, early in the day and early in the conversation, no, no, not disagree with you, I actually wanted to

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sort of buttress or preface with what I felt like was the best opener to these conversations with a world that, you know, is increasingly seeing religion and religious grounding as irrelevant, especially in terms of morality. I tried to meet people halfway, or however far I can meet them try to be agreeable in the sense that I can concur Islamically, that some good can be discerned and can even be pursued without religion. And there's sort of two major benefits I get out of framing the discussion this way. The first of them is that I separate Islam from the pack, and that Islam does not recognize the human being as inherently evil or born into sin, right or born tainted, per se. We

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believe in the fitrah. The fitrah is, you know, that

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original state of purity, right? And so, it is not complete purity, right? It is not incorruptible, that's a different issue. But at least we're gonna say, we believe that humans are inherently good, not inherently evil, by virtue of their fitrah they have a partial discernment mechanism, right?

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And it needs to get now perfected and that's why the Prophet SAW Center said, I came to perfect good character and morality. That's why the Quran says what's happening, it's getting better and bigger. So the final Atla, the word of your Lord has been perfected, completed, perfected in perfect truth and perfect justice. So everything Islam says it's true. Everything Islam ordains is just so it is the completion, it's the natural progression. And that's actually the second benefit. The first benefit is a by the way, we don't see human beings as inherently evil. And that's why it's not a riddle for us how someone can be non religious because that's sort of the deadlock in the

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conversation. Conversation can get started with people who I see people who are quote unquote, decent human beings, right. And they're not religious per se. They have no religious subscription or affiliation. So the first thing is you separate that yes, lamb has an axe

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planation for that. But now to your point of the ramifications, it cannot come full circle without there being a god because that's what's gonna get people to begin with it. Okay, but I'm not sure if there is a God. Right? So there's gonna be a god, I won't even explore it. Yeah, would it be fair to say so? So maybe we can say that. And the devil is always in the details, right? It's like if somebody says, okay, can there be good without religious guidance or without religion? And then maybe the better question would be, well, what type of good are you talking about? Right? Because

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the the pushback, or the potential answer to that could be like, well, all those good things that people do, or we can say like they have benefit in the dunya, right, and we can recognize them as good. But on the day of judgment, they might be completely rejected and they might have no weight, right? Or they might be like a mirage, right? Or they might be you know, there's there's various examples of lost pounds Allah gives in the Quran. So it's almost like, what would you agree with that? Is it more like a dunya versus afterlife? And obviously Allah is a full rock human he know I mean, yeah, so so many things. I mean, even in this world, I would even go one step further in

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agreement because I started being disagreeable. Even in this world, how do you come across? So when we say human beings are inherently evil, but we're still stuck for Allah inherently good? And then you still say, but we need God we need scriptural morality someone's gonna be like, But why, like our Hold on? Yeah, sure. Everyone can say don't don't kill, don't steal. I don't need religion. No, what is abortion killing are not right. Is alcohol related to domestic violence or not? You know, the detailed framework, moral philosophers, the most top notch thinkers who spent the most time with the best IQs on this subject, without Allah's guidance, haven't been able to agree. The moral

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debates raged on for 1000s of years. And even if we were to agree, per se, then where do you even get the incentive? Where do you get the incentive? Why should I not be looking out for number one, you know, myself or my immediate family, when things hit the fan, and everyone else can just, you know, go to help. That's something that I come back to time and time again, is that sometimes we ask these questions from the First World quote, unquote, or we asked them, like, when the bellies are full, and the electricity is running, and the fridge is stocked and stuff like that. But then like, I know, up in, you know, up in Utica, we've got we've got tons of Bosnian refugees, we've got tons

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of refugees from other places were in a time of war, right? It's like, a lot of people moralities out the door, right? It's got to be like, who are the only people and you can go to like, an extreme example and take like, you know, the Holocaust, like the people who went to the concentration camps. It's actually really interesting literature out there. About the people who, who did the best, right? Or like who Viktor Frankl? Yeah, exactly. Like who made it out or had the best sort of, let's say, had the most resources for resilience. Within the concentration camp, there's always a religious people, right, the people who had something that they believed in, that was beyond

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themselves, they had a moral code, they were able to hold on come together, keep hope, all these sorts of things. And the people whose faith was not there, like were totally blown away complete, like, you know, depression, and often sometimes suicide sometimes, you know, just the sort of egoistic sort of Yeah, I gotta get mine and it's me against everybody else. So sometimes Yeah, I think about that.

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So and then in that case, if we can sort of pique people's interest in

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looking for

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an escape a healthy escape, not a numbing escape

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a reference point for morality beyond sort of the human limitations then we're going to look for God we need to look for God but how do I know God exists?

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Without sort of turning these into like a polemical fleshed out

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what is the cost of God not existing? There's a lot on the table there. Yeah. And I

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personally prefer also the the

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so a more of a psychological approach or like a psycho emotional approach, or if I can throw the word spiritual in there in terms of my strategy I don't need to prove this to anyone anything at that point? If I can't prove God I'm not gonna able to prove man and what constitutes the components of the human being but the idea is I don't fear atheism actually too much and atheism seems to be on the decline and even if it's not, you know, on the decline rapidly just yet it will be on the decline because of just poor life quality you know, as you said, you know, poor ability to to mitigate life's blows less family values in general, less reproduction rate, it's just loneliness

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fractures, fractured social relations. It's the outcomes are really horrible, actually. Yeah. And so that is what I try to stir people's interest using that if we say no God, and you don't actually say that I call people out on this, you know, gently because they don't like

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atheism for most people is like a placeholder. Just you know, it's really like a live agnosticism or something right? Or the verdict is out. I don't need to think about it right now. I can distract myself from it. We tell them, but can you really distract yourself from it? You know? Do you really

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want to sell yourself a lie? And then come back to it later when you can't do anything about it? Is it seen and logical? Is it respectable? For someone to just not have answers to where you came from and where you're going? Right? And so it's just chaos, right? You're resigning to chaos. And the clock is ticking. And, you know, if you turn out to be wrong, the stakes are very, very high.

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And so that's why I don't fear atheism because atheism forget all the philosophical, you know, debates. It cannot retain its constituents when it's refuses to answer where we came from, where we're going, right, and then people just overtime and be like, yeah, man, how in the world do I wake up on a bus? No idea how I got here. No idea how I'm driving, no idea where I'm going. And I'm just supposed to keep telling myself, it's all right. Just trust the process. Just enjoy the ride. Just take in the scenery. Just tell yourself a few words of affirmation, right? I deserve to be going to the right place. I am abducted right now. This is not sustainable as a as a worldview. And so what's

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the alternative? Now? I also feel like it's very rare to find like a really hard, hard materialist. Right. It's like the average person on the street, they know that there's something out there that's beyond the material world. Well, even if you forget about, you know, like the divine or creator or something like that, just in terms of like, you know, love and in terms of, you know, I guess we could say Providence, right, feeling like there's some sort of, you know, people will latch on to these ideas like karma and things like that. And, unfortunately, they often get misdirected. Right, but it's very, I feel like it's, it's quite rare to find someone who's just a true honest 100%.

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Consistent materialist. Nope. It's all atoms and the firing of neurons and it's all just like, you know, whatever is measurable, that's the only thing that exists. Someone's experience

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was that it's all a happy accident till it's not the right example, chemically till it's not yes. Is that your experience, too? Is that sort of a similar sort of thing? Like with atheism? Yeah, across the board. I mean, sometimes it's happy moments like a newborn. And someone just, it just hits them like, wait a minute, you know, it hit me even though I was an atheist, but it was just like, it was a huge leap in my faith to see my firstborn. And it's like, way, way, way, way, way. My wife, one person, I swear, I was telling, when did one person become too, right? How did a life get installed inside another life? Like,

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you just lose your mind? Thinking about the incredible the gift of life, right, the power of giving life on the opposite end as well, when you lose someone

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and you don't know whether it ever be a you know, a reuniting again? Or even someplace in the middle where sort of the the hammers of hardships, as they say come crashing down. I remember.

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Our brother who wrote got it and misguided.

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Lords Brown. Oh, yeah. So his sort of

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return to divinity. And then eventually Islam, right. His, his daughter was in the hospital first board, and they said, there's no hope. And he said, I've always been like a hardline atheist, and I just I went to the chapel, and I just broke, I realized that I don't inherently have the ability to do anything, even about the things I care about the most, let alone ambitious dreams, career paths, and you know, and estates and all this. He says, so I just said, God, God, God, if you're there, if you I swear to you, you save my baby, I'm gonna find you. And wherever I find you, I'm in. I'm all in. Right. And so, irrespective of the latter part of the journey, and just in the interest of time,

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yeah, people are incapable of accepting the burden of being God. Because if, right, if there's no God, then you're God. Yeah. And you're gonna fail real soon. Right? All the time.

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I'm really glad that you brought up childbirth, because that was actually a huge part of my coming to Islam is that I was kind of did my research and was kicking it around for a while, but it wasn't until my first born was born, that it the the responsibility, just, like kicked into overdrive. And I just like, you know, that urgency that you talked about, it's like, what, like, I have to figure this out. And while I was thinking about it, and unfortunately, the Sixers lost, but, you know, I think I make a lot of sports analogies, especially with like students and stuff like that. And young guys, they, they like the sports analogies. It's almost like you have a championship window, right?

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It's like how much does it take to win a championship?

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If you've got, you know, your star player or your star duo, you've got the front office and they find the money for the salaries and everybody stays healthy. And, you know, there's no super crazy team, like the Warriors have the

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like to face. It's almost like your life has almost like a championship window when it comes to figuring these things out. Right. And if the window passes, and you haven't, like committed, then it's actually really, really scary. Like you have a lot to lose out on, which is kind of like what you were saying. So for me, it's like when when my firstborn, my oldest son was was born, it was just like, it was like, just a sack of rocks just like, fell on me. And I was like, wow, I have to I have to just figure this out. You know, I started praying, I eventually took the shahada and stuff like that, because life's not a joke, you know, like these things, you know, where you feel you feel

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your own mortality and your own finitude, I think in those moments, and you realize sort of things crystallize, right? Like the things that are important and the things that aren't.

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I have a question for you, you know, like, just like, we're kind of sort of contemplating whether it's more useful to say, well, it's not possible to be good, except if you're religious, or it's more useful to say, actually, Islam is the only religion that has that recognizes good outside of religion, which is really interesting. I haven't used that. With Tao. There was a similar sort of question I wanted to throw at you. Because one of the things that I've used in Dawa lately, instead of going down the hole, sort of like, God has proven, right, it's like, well, there's this proof and the proof from complexity, and all these sorts of things order in the universe and stuff like that,

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that God is not so much proven. But he has found, right, and he has sort of discovered sort of the idea that the signs are imminent, but rather it's a moral sort of indication, whether you're registering those signs or not, I'm interested as to as to your take on whether that's true or not, whether whether it's useful, whether it's sort of different strokes for different situations, what do you what do you think about that?

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You're, you're probably seeing me sectarian right now.

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But, so there are Muslim theologians from, you know, from the

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Sunni Muslim theologians have had different approaches of them are those who argue that proving,

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proving, I guess proving evidential lists,

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proving to begin with, specially through the logical route, or the line of reason is the most powerful.

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And it certainly is a powerful route. I mean, the creator of the mind does not, you know, contradict the mind, he may boggle our minds, but you'll never sort of be contrary to sound reasoning and sound minds. But then there's the other line of reasoning, of course, most famously championed by Potamia Rahim Allah and those who sort of adopt that approach, which is that no, God is given a god is a given for those whose fitrah has not become corrupted, right, you have an inner sense for recognizing God. And so the that lens will be blurred through many different ways social conditioning, you know, just depravity, so on and so forth. But once you sort of are able to break

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that shell or Allah, you know, permits for that those layers and layers years and decades sometimes of that crust, that

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that solidified

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over the heart sort of you break, there's a break through, then it is found it is a given, and a person realizes that this does not need to be proven. If this needs to be proven, then nothing can actually be provable. And this is like

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Rene Descartes was, say me and in this respect, and others, of course not. It's just sort of the one was famous for expounding on it in the most detailed way, as far as we know, historically, but like Rene Descartes, when he wanted to say, you know, I'm not gonna take anything as a given. I'm gonna be skeptical regarding all things. And then he started questioning all the only thing I know is I can think so I'm going to use my thinking to establish everything else, then he actually hit a dead end, they said, Wait a minute, how do I know I think, How do I know I'm not basically a figment of shaytans imagination? How do I know the the demons aren't manipulating me? You know, in matrix

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terms, how do we know we're not plugged into a simulation? Right? simulation? And so he really he said that, in the end of it, when he had that crisis of faith. He said, I came to the conclusion that God is not a deceiver. So he removed God from the intellectual inquiry God has to be given or else we can't actually move forward. Because if someone's gonna say, How do I know there's a God prove it? We're gonna have to say well, how do I know there's a you How do I know there's a me, right and so endless regression. radical skepticism is not a pathway to knowledge actually.

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And so that was a timing approach. It's what, even on the pastoral level, I found to be more effective, even though to be very honest insight invoked within a team. You know, he does say that the rational approach is good for people that are sort of oriented that way, because people, some people are more oriented in the spiritual, some people are more oriented in sort of empirical or sort of logical or whatever else. They're philosophically oriented. And school is saying, so that may be sort of a segue to bring them back to this reality. What this reality is that we all know it unless for in perfect justice. Of course, a lot of Zildjian has veiled someone from the most evident

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reality, right, Mike Kennedy, Nixon and took me in a lobby Mila, yeah, that's right, and leave without permission. Right, then a law says that, you know, some people, if we had given them every sign, then they still wouldn't believe. Right. So there you have it. You know, that's, that's very interesting. So yeah, I mean, I, that's basically what I sort of have settled on as well. It's almost like different techniques, or different strategies, as the situation sort of calls for, but it is sort of an interesting thing. It kind of reminds me of language. And I think some neuroscientists have also, you know, they've talked about the gods spot, quote, unquote, right, just

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like the idea that a human being, we're not, we don't come into this world as a blank slate. Like with language, for example, we're hardwired for language we come with like the Metis, the meta tools to acquire language in a really quick, intuitive way, that religion or faith or whatever we want to use to talk about that is a very similar thing. And we come into aimers. God gene, exactly, yeah, we come into it hardwired, ready to believe. And that actually is really, I think, if we look at it and think about it downstream, what what what happens from that sort of baseline assumption, it's really essential to kind of our purpose, and I think you were talking about order versus chaos, right? So

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believing in something that's beyond ourselves, believing in something that is unseen, is something that sort of, I think, is a choice for order, right in the universe and a rejection of the idea of chaos. But it's also kind of a choice for purpose. Because I don't really see there being any purpose to anything. If we don't have an recognize, have that God's spot and recognize it and sort of understand that yes, there is something beyond or at least the purposes that sort of like the hard materialism or a godless sort of world offer. They're very thin, they're very weak, they're not really, you know, the purpose is just to be happy. It really is that is that all, like, you know,

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thrills one thrill to the next one sort of enjoyment to the next, it doesn't seem like a very sort of robust thing. Do you have any reflections about sort of how that choice either opens up possibilities or closes doors to possibilities for for purpose in our lives?

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I mean, I used to work for an organization that ships out free for brands,

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to people, you know, by order, we ship products at 200 grams a day, individually, upon request, and whenever someone would say I just became a cent want to hold on or I'm thinking about becoming Muslim, or I've read the Quran, I want to become Muslim, I always try to like populate a database for testimonials out there donors also know that their money is going to good places, and there's, you know, good fruits. And so

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it'd be very interesting to me, because back in the day, like the scientific miracles in the Quran, were a big thing, right? But nobody, almost nobody who's becoming Muslim

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is quoting the scientific miracles or anything remotely as convoluted sometimes as the scientific miracles. Yeah, it is just the straightforward theology. And I guess by extension, purpose, right? A god centric, God determined purpose for our lives. I mean, one of the craziest stories, it was, it was a sister, her name was Heather.

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She said

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that she was attending a class in college. Currently, the time she was speaking to me, I believe, and the class was on terrorism and the history of terrorism and so you know, if it's worth its salt, yeah, we're gonna get some runtime on that syllabus. And so, he says when they got to, like 20th century, terrorism and then kamikaze and then you know, sort of radicalized Islamist

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as a preface to speaking about the Muslim terrorists, there was like a short blurb on what Islam is just you know, one on one a paragraph. She said she, she itemized it for me she said it basically mentioned the Six Pillars of faith and like the purpose of life you know, we're created to transcend the horizontal plane right the vertical devote our lives something greater than us. She said, I realized I was Muslim all along. I just didn't know Oh, I thought I was like

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In a class on terrorism,

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a one paragraph blurb before they launch in the thrones.

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And this is not like an isolated incident at all. There's so many remember there's another girl.

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Sister Her name was Ashley.

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And similar story, that's why sort of my memory web is firing. Yeah, so she says, I was watching a show called sleeper cell. Yes. Very Yeah. Um, I didn't know what it was. She says, you know, and sort of it piqued my interest and I want to read more. So I jump on YouTube and I'm like, what sleeper cell apparently used to be this like show on HBO Showtime. Class. This counterterrorism? Yeah, there's like just bizarre cop, you know, who foils the plot and towards the plans of scary bearded guys. lummix. Yeah. So she tells me and this just like floors, me, she says that when he was caught in one of the episodes, whoever he was, right. And he's in the jail cell. Mind you a non

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Muslim, acting Muslim, or non Muslim acting to be a terrorist Muslim?

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A little bit, a little bit of coloring. Yeah. And yet he's the guy who invites her to Islam, right peaks are injured when he was in the jail cell. And I saw him put his head on the ground. I said that's for me.

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Not the terrorism part. But we've got to deal with our for us. We've got to do a divorcee

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talks about that. Right? The anti fragility of Islam and the more you try to fight no more you give it free commercial.

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But the idea is Yeah, I don't live to stick my nose in the sky I live to lower my head and say Glorified is Allah azza wa jal, the most high Subhan Allah Tala. And so this is everyone like just this is anecdotally but it's also not like when Pew Research Center

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like we often say the Quran is the number one reasons we will become Muslim. But what about the Quran? What about it? Is the linguistics? No, not in this era? You know, is it the science? Not quite? When Pew Research Center tried to sort of gauge Wait a second? It's not the watermelons with the law sort of on the side? No, not that one either.

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I gotta check update on the data. But as far as I can tell, it is actually like when they were gauging the rapid growth of Islam among the populations, I think in your particular one us as well, of course,

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this parallel exists.

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Then number one, and number two reasons were the beliefs just make sense.

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existentially, I believe this, this can't be the end, and I'm not it. And this whole anthropocentric, you know, human at the center of it all just doesn't add up and doesn't feel good if

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it's like self abuse. And so the purpose and serving a higher purpose than myself. So they said, number one, I read the text myself, I read the texts myself. And the beliefs just make sense. Those are the number one and number two reasons for why they sort of chose Islam. And if I could share with you like a quick story on the opposite end for

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someone just

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shared yesterday, some

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publications by the PRI, the Public Religion Research Institute, about the number one reason why people leave religion. And if you're talking about us, they mean relief Christianity, right? The Muslims are only 1% of the population. So they don't have statistical significance in studies of this magnitude. But the number one reason is we don't believe in the beliefs, we don't believe in sort of the proposition, it just doesn't add up. And so I know one brother,

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who I sort of I'm, I used to help him week in week out, just think through some thoughts after he came back to Islam. He had left to the half of the Quran, but of course, like didn't understand the message of didactic and sort of rote memory. He left Islam joined Bible study, covered a cover for the whole year. And then as soon as he finished Bible study, he became Muslim. Yeah. You know why he became Muslim Allah, this is literally his words to me. Tell heat. He said, I realized the doctrine that I embrace, had nothing to do with the doctrine I was studying, just wishful thinking, and indefensible dogma. So I can invoke the word dogma here.

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And once I got through it all, I said, nothing can match that they'll hate doctrine, the purity, the clarity, the purposefulness of the debate, doctrine, Islam. And so he was back, despite the fact that we still had to go through like weeks and weeks of Shibboleth of like, you know, misunderstood. But why why this Jihad thing and why this woman thing and but still he it was enough that there's nothing that can ever compete with this theology of Islam. Definitely. Well, that's perfect segue to so like, the first sort of question that we posed was just like, Why believe in the unseen or why believe why believe in any sort of divinity versus nothing, okay? Sort of like hard materialism

00:29:48 --> 00:29:59

versus vague something. And now that anecdote gets us to the second question, let's say somebody decides through whatever sort of path that okay, yes, there is.

00:30:00 --> 00:30:27

divinity Yes, there is something beyond. Okay, well, then they still have a choice to make. And that is, is it one? Right? Is it to heed? Or is it not? Right? Are there the ancestors? Are there the crystals of manifesting, you know, like all this stuff that people believe in these days? or older stuff, you know, Trinity, right, one versus three, three and one, three persons one God, you know, all those sorts of things.

00:30:28 --> 00:31:11

Or other sorts of systems such as that, you know, incarnation, like in Hinduism and things like that. So, let's talk more about that. Like why in, in addition to just being simpler, because like the Christian evangelical counter argument ism, right. Yeah. The Evangelical counter argument would be like, well, just because it's simple, doesn't mean it's more true. Right. And in fact, this is more elegant, right? Three in one, and it's more complicated, and it's more nuanced, right, like people will, I've heard, which makes me chuckle but But nonetheless, there has to how does a person come to discern or decide that the divinity is really just one, as opposed to potentially multiple?

00:31:13 --> 00:31:24

I mean, I was cheesing when you first set it for a particular reason, because there's been a and since we've accepted it, this podcast is gonna be a walk down memory lane, and that was stories.

00:31:26 --> 00:31:27

Maybe that's, that's?

00:31:29 --> 00:31:30


00:31:32 --> 00:31:43

So I went through an evolution of like, how to prove to people there's one God, and it started in New York City and New York City, a lot of street Dowa. Some of it could be

00:31:44 --> 00:31:45

UK esque.

00:31:46 --> 00:31:49

And one of the brothers that was

00:31:51 --> 00:31:58

no offense to our UK audience. No, no, I think they take pride in it. I don't particularly subscribe to that. But raw

00:31:59 --> 00:32:01

in your face. Like pride is.

00:32:03 --> 00:32:09

That's like the urban the urban Dallas style, the urban Tao. Hello. So I take it back. I declare my public apology

00:32:11 --> 00:32:18

on stereotypes, love less than two brothers and increase them by the way, I'm a huge fan. Huge. i Yes. Same here. Mashallah.

00:32:20 --> 00:32:30

So, in the streets, people have very different approaches, like someone would say, Well, how do you know I'm not God? And here's my man, Jamaican guy, his name was Duke. And he used to say,

00:32:31 --> 00:32:35

is like a great question. So let's experiment. Please hold your breath for five seconds.

00:32:36 --> 00:32:41

You know, and then we have this another Yemeni cat he was

00:32:42 --> 00:32:58

he had just come out of prison. And he said, Oh my God, you know, these people think Allah is human. I was like, What do you mean? And I had no idea what God bodies were sort of like an idea of like, arm, leg, leg, arm head, Allah. And of course, if you spell that's in the middle.

00:32:59 --> 00:33:33

That's new to me. I never heard that before. Yeah, it's it. Of course. It's like acrobatics. And I've had I've had 5% Five Percenters and Nation members sort of telling me that they are a law. I've had that happen. But I've never I've never had that. That's these are Five Percenters sort of known in different pockets segments, as far as God, buddies. Oh, okay. That's the new terminal. So it could be like a term in particular places, institutions otherwise, right. And so he says, the guy used to wake up in the morning, he was on top bunk, I'm on bottom bunk. And he would just say these words of affirmation, like, I'm god, I'm god, I'm God.

00:33:34 --> 00:33:41

And he says, I just got to a point where I just grabbed him one time, and I threw him down and turned into like a brawl and said, You got and I'm beating you off.

00:33:43 --> 00:33:50

So Alhamdulillah, I can officially walk away from that phase of my life and say, that's probably not the ideal

00:33:51 --> 00:33:53

method of, you know, hashing out the differences.

00:33:57 --> 00:34:27

As the role though, has a role and an audience, you know, what I mean? It's like, and that's the beautiful thing about Darwin, and a lot of people don't appreciate is that, you know, data is sprawling, and you know, it's not mutually exclusive. Right? That's like, you've got the person who's the bookworm, and in the university that needs a certain thing, and you've got the person on the street that needs a certain thing. And they're not opposed. They're not, you know, enemies, like the person who can call to this person and the person who can call to that person, they're on the same team. Right, I think I think that's something that people need to realize a little bit more

00:34:27 --> 00:34:28

these days.

00:34:30 --> 00:34:37

And so, chronically, also, for those that want to have a mild conversation over some casual meal or something.

00:34:40 --> 00:35:00

There are some very beautiful, sort of prompts to think about if you're willing to think about why this is nonsensical, the multiplicity of gods right, multiplicity of divine beings, and of them is that man's that Allah will be having so fun. You really have an

00:35:00 --> 00:35:42

No authorization to say that you understand. And that's it. Even you know the term throughout the Quran, as smell and send me to Musa these are what names you call them this grant is just turns the lights on for you, right? You could have everyone in society telling you something and so naturally it sticks where you know so impressionable. And then all of a sudden the Quran says, Yeah, but these are names that you call them. Even if I am explains that very common phrase in the Quran, when it's dismissive of shirk, of setting rivals to God. He says, think about it, it's like you calling the skin of an onion steak, right? Yep, what's that going to do? You can call it whatever you want, it's

00:35:42 --> 00:36:08

still not going to be steak, it's still not going to give you your essential amino acids. And it's not going to have proteins or it's the skin of so you call it that. So let's call it let's just not have selective memory, you call the God. Number one, right? Another Quranic principle is very profound, is that the Quran in two different verses speaks about the impossibility, the logical impossibility of there being multiple gods. In one of them, it says, left, so that is similar to a lot

00:36:09 --> 00:36:50

earlier than if there were other gods besides the one and only the Think of Greek gods, right? That they're sort of the universe being their battlefield, and their power grabs the universe would be in ruins. So without getting into the complexity without being a Stephen Hawking's or someone, you know, have that level of intelligence, just simply looking at all just works out, you know, the supply chain existed before the Industrial Revolution, all of that, even on the micro level, even on the local level, means that there wasn't two chefs spoiling this broth. There wasn't two captains sort of playing tug of war over the ship. There wasn't one being saying the sun's coming up from

00:36:50 --> 00:37:02

that way and other ones saying it's coming up from that way. And then they split this on and half in the tug of war. So that's one notion. And that verse, the scholar said, is dismantling in the souls

00:37:03 --> 00:37:18

the concept of dual or multiple equal gods, right. So it can't be multiple equal gods could just be finished. You know, a person might say, I'm sorry to get sort of philosophical here, but a person might

00:37:20 --> 00:37:21

become polemical. I mean,

00:37:23 --> 00:37:30

what if they're, they have no power, but they happen to be aligned? Yes. Yeah. And I was actually gonna say the same thing before you said,

00:37:31 --> 00:38:08

it's a common retort, you're gonna word it better than me. That's a common retort, what if they have the same will? Or what if they never disagree? Right, equally powerful, but they never disagree? That I will do it? Well, usually I say, Well, if they have the same, well, then they're not two beings, right? And you're just playing language games? Because that's one of it. Right? The most fundamental quality of a being is its, well, its volition. Right? And on the other hand, if you are saying they have the exact same will, but there are so there are two beings and it happens, coincidentally, happens to align all the time, right? No one has leverage over the other and they

00:38:08 --> 00:38:29

are distinct. Well, that, can they disagree? Hypothetically, right? You're gonna have to say yes. So there's two separate beings, if they can disagree, then it is impossible for them to never disagree, since they're an infinite being. Yes. So if you do the math, theoretically, they can do it. It must happen. law of probability has to catch up.

00:38:30 --> 00:38:45

And so that's that's sort of the Quranic notion about let's not ever imagine the folly of multiple equally powerful gods. Right, right. The other one, and this is a very relevant one, because it speaks to how

00:38:47 --> 00:39:18

religions per se or God's message per se, has been appropriated by people for power and control, which is the notion that there's a hierarchy of gods, right? Yes, and there's God and there's demigods. And so Allah azza wa jal says elsewhere in the Quran, even Levites EVO Isla de la Roshi sebelah if there were other lesser gods, the way you claim, that's what the Arabians, right? The pagans of Arabia, idolatry came along, and every idolatry

00:39:19 --> 00:39:57

and every polytheist in human history usually goes that route, right? Yeah, yeah, of course. There's, there's, there's there's the big guy, the big, but then there's also others. So Allah, true equity between gods is actually fairly rare. In idolatrous systems. It's almost always a hierarchy. There's usually Oh, even with the Greek Zeus is on top and then the other ones are sort of below and etc, etc. So, okay, yeah, awesome. So the Quran then says, if that's the case, which is the majority, then they would have sought the favor of the Lord of the Throne of the Almighty the Supreme. Yeah. In other words, what? Why aren't you go to the source hiding the middlemen? That's

00:39:57 --> 00:39:59

right. How is it logical to accept a dependent

00:40:00 --> 00:40:42

Being who like needs and fears and wants from a God just go to that God, I got another Dallas story for you like relevant to that. So you know, growing up as a Christian and I was a practicing Christian, I understood and studied and read the Bible and stuff like that. It's funny because when I accepted Islam, a lot of my extended relatives that didn't like it, they almost like, acted as if I had forgotten everything. Like I had never heard of Christianity before. So sometimes they would almost try to like, explain, like very, very basic things. I had one. One person told me one time, you know, they were, they lost something. And so they made a prayer to St. Anthony. Right? Because

00:40:42 --> 00:40:59

St. Anthony's, the patron saint of losing things. Okay. And so I was like, like, I am familiar with Catholicism enough to already know that, all right. I said, I said back to my and I said, Well, who did St. Anthony pray to when he lost something?

00:41:00 --> 00:41:25

You know, it's like, I'm guessing you prayed to God, well, I lose something. I go straight to the top. You know, and there's no real answer to that, you know, even even with with with Jesus, right, according if you take and obviously, we don't agree with the narrative of the Bible as it stands right now. fasion with crucifixion and cetera, but you know, if you take it at face value, there he is on the cross, dying, praying to God.

00:41:27 --> 00:41:34

Are you Oh, so what are we doing? If we want to be like Christ, then we should do like he did. We should pray to God.

00:41:35 --> 00:41:36

You know, I

00:41:38 --> 00:42:03

I used to teach at a seminary for new Muslim converts called Knowledge gate. It was like a little startup type thing that me and my friend started back in Brooklyn. And one day I was teaching stitching Pharisees, you know how to pray and wash up and Sue Jehovah Witnesses walk in, and sort of they were a little bit overbearing, and they wanted to have a conversation in front of class. Oh, yeah, of course. And he's just like, Okay, fine.

00:42:04 --> 00:42:06

And so we did that.

00:42:07 --> 00:42:10

Long story short, they said to us,

00:42:12 --> 00:42:19

you know, you believe Jesus is a prophet, and we believe Jesus is a prophet. And I said, What? Wait, you don't believe He's God? I honestly didn't know at the time.

00:42:21 --> 00:42:24

They say no, we believe he's a prophet said, Oh, that's amazing.

00:42:26 --> 00:43:08

them they go. And we only pray to Him because like, Oh, God, like, what was the point of like, saying, He's not God? Do you play a sort of you assert that he's, you know, worship bubble? They had you? They had, oh, yeah, I just felt so deflated. I was like, hold on. But why don't you just pray to God? If he's a prophet, like, what's the bifurcation here? They're like, No, we can't approach God. And that's always sort of the logic and even the middle claim speaks about this. And the minor shift that could happen within the OMA, you know, this, this idea that I am unbefitting you know, I am beneath approaching God directly because God is pure and I'm sinful. Yep. And so, it's a common

00:43:08 --> 00:43:32

law sort of guided me just to ask them in complete innocence at the time, like I was not very trained in this discourse. With Jehovah's Witnesses in particular, I said to him, wait a minute, you can't approach God because you're sinful and God's pure. So what's Jesus? Is he sinful or pure? And he stopped for a second I said, Because if He's pure you can approach him the same way you can approach God lon if he's sinful, then he can't approach God the same way you can't approach God and then he can promise to come back next week and never came back.

00:43:33 --> 00:43:35

But that notion that it sort of it

00:43:37 --> 00:43:47

is it be fitting to be taken as a god if you're not perfect? What is it God yes, he's not the perfect being, you know, Napoleon, not Bonaparte Napoleon's

00:43:49 --> 00:44:01

will use the rap with Tupac. Okay, okay. I wasn't sure where you know that Napoleon was or supposedly Muslim. Right? Yeah. The sort of the the agenda right yeah, your list agenda.

00:44:02 --> 00:44:19

It's just I say that because people nowadays still want to talk about I'm just like I just irrelevant he came he left it let's just you know if he was Muslim, which is we'll find out later. Yeah, that's something that I originally there's any substantiation behind it. Anyway. Napoleon motor automobile who used to rap with Tupac.

00:44:21 --> 00:44:26

He has first time ever met him. He has an amazing story of why he chose Allah. Right. Why he became Muslim.

00:44:27 --> 00:44:45

Until he, he said, and this is what's crazy about it. It shows you the compelling explanatory nature of Islam. He says, I my parents were killed by Muslims. Subhan Allah, like, you know, not good holiday. Yeah. Bug life.

00:44:46 --> 00:44:47

And so

00:44:48 --> 00:44:59

yeah, that that would already disqualify you from ever wanting to consider Islam like in my head. It's like, all right. It's like if the stocks this, the odds are stacked against anyone. It's someone whose parents were murdered.

00:45:00 --> 00:45:23

I Muslims, then he grew up in foster care and Christian home. And that again is gonna sort of like compound the odds that you're being indoctrinated into Christianity growing up. He says, and there was something about Christianity that never settled well with me, and I couldn't like, not objected whenever it was preached, which is the notion that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh.

00:45:24 --> 00:45:30

Wow. So he's like, in my head, like, that's not a god, god, that's somebody with power, you know?

00:45:31 --> 00:45:50

And he said, it used to haunt me that what do you mean, God has a day off? What do you mean God rests like, what if I need God on his day off? What if I need God on his resting? I need God God should not need anything. He should be sort of available to me with unlimited resource and unlimited care and he's got my back.

00:45:51 --> 00:46:00

He doesn't clock in and clock out. He says until years later, I came across one verse in the Quran. I don't recall how he was introduced to the Quran by I guess someone was preaching to him on the street Muslims

00:46:02 --> 00:46:22

that were casually discussing Islam with him. And they said, God said in the Quran, He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth, and everything between them in six Days. That's the sort of Christian Genesis story. But then he says, Well, my my son in law, who and not the slightest fatigue touched Us. He said, Yeah, that's a got

00:46:23 --> 00:46:27

a Muslim. I have a brother in the masjid here. We have Muslim Ramadan.

00:46:28 --> 00:46:32

And I, he's just googled us showed up today. You guys are the Jesus mosque. I was looking.

00:46:35 --> 00:47:12

He's like, listen, I the reason I came here is because I have been Christian my whole life. And I never knew what we believed about Jesus. I was like, What do you mean? And he said, I just discovered that we believe he's got. Yeah. He said, and I'm not buying that. And I have never believed that. And I cannot believe that. And so I googled alternative explanations, found Islam looked up masajid you with no clothes? No, he just walked in First day. First Monday, Ramadan, took the shahada in my office in the quiet. He's like, why don't we I went home, I spoke to my mom, she didn't know it, either. That we meant like the big G. Right, right, right. It just doesn't sit well.

00:47:12 --> 00:47:49

It doesn't sit well, if you're, if Allah gives you the sort of a divine grace and inspiration to think through it, and break past the groupthink, the herd effect the conviction. Now, it really does run afoul of sort of, I think, human intuition. But that, that one, that one doubt that you mentioned, is very powerful about approaching God directly versus approaching through another means that reminded me of something that happened actually, in my time at Medina, I was hanging out with some guys at around jell o had, right and they have, you know, the, say, the shahada and stuff like that, and the masjid there, and, you know, people selling tea and stuff like that. And somebody who

00:47:49 --> 00:48:00

was there on camera, they must have, you know, they saw us speaking English, me and a couple other students. And so he came, and he said, I, you guys are university students, we obviously look like, students.

00:48:01 --> 00:48:03

We have a look to us.

00:48:04 --> 00:48:42

And yeah, he's like, can I ask you a question? He might have been from Bangladesh or somewhere? And we're like, Yeah, sure. And he said, I have people in my country, you know, Muslims, that, you know, they worship other things, you know, they call out to other things. And the logic is similar to what you said that if there was a king, right, you don't approach the king directly, you have to go through like the messenger or the representative, or even here in the US, we have like the the mayor's office or the senators office, you're not going to get, you know, an audience with the senator right away, you're gonna get his intern, or whatever you're gonna get, you know, someone

00:48:42 --> 00:49:19

who's a representative at the office, and he's like, How can I? How can I respond to this? Humbly, that, you know, a lot of just kind of put it on my tongue, but the answer I gave him was, well, the king needs that because he's imperfect, right? Like the king, everything that the king uses when it comes to the representatives, you know, he can't be everywhere at once. He can't know everything at once he has to have the spies, he has to have the guards he has to have the whole entourage, right because of his weakness. Right? Like, that's actually all those people is who he depends on, if all those people leave, and there's just one sort of lonely king by himself, he's not gonna get a lot

00:49:19 --> 00:49:49

done. Right, as opposed to, you know, the creator of the universe, the Lord of All the Worlds, and he knows everything, right? And he's able to hear everybody's wants and all the different languages and respond and able to meet everybody's needs, and like you said, and not even have anything that doesn't even affect him when it comes to fatigue, or it's not even an effort to do so. Right. So it's a subtle point, but it's something that's really important. And it gets us interesting. Also not sure. I'm sorry to interrupt you.

00:49:50 --> 00:49:57

For your thought please. No, I was just going to steer the conversation to incarnation because I want to deal with that before we go on to the next thing, but I want to hear what you have to say first

00:50:00 --> 00:50:10

So this is like a huge subject for me. Yeah go I don't I don't want to hijack your podcast we got time this is our this is I used to always wonder

00:50:13 --> 00:50:33

so why doesn't the forum address atheism and these perfectly Why is it doesn't just atheism because no such thing as God, we're going to respond and say at least to ourself no such thing as an atheist, we actually know deep down inside you are incapable, right? of denying this even if you can distract yourself from it by staying plugged to whatever, right.

00:50:34 --> 00:50:49

And so there's no such thing as an atheist. Okay? So if there's no such thing as an atheist, like this has not troubled me, but like, intrigued me for easily 1520 years since I started sort of like learning about Islam and knew in my teenage years. But if

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

Islam recognizes that everyone has an internal recognition of the Divine, everyone believes in God, yeah. Then why does the Quran speaks so much about how different God is like what is to hate? So hate is not some sort of like, abstract fact, it's not a theoretical in the in the clouds? No, he means to single Allah out in everything that's particular that's exclusively his right. That's what it means to be an Islamic monotheistic if I can use that, right, right. That's a lot. Our God is so different to your point, from the imperfections of humanity. And so that's why the Quran goes to such great lengths to inculcate in the souls just how awesome Allah is. Because unless he is

00:51:38 --> 00:51:45

separated, forgive me for the hand motions, but you know, conceptually speaking, or separating our hands, you recognize

00:51:47 --> 00:51:58

God's difference. God's not going to make a difference. Yep. That's the whole idea. You know, like theology or believing in God deism.

00:51:59 --> 00:52:03

I don't just mean separatist watchmaker but like in general believing in a god theose

00:52:05 --> 00:52:39

is alive and well. It always has been always will be a child law, right? Yeah. Vast majority of humanity, like you said, concede to this point and accept it, internalize it, but the glory of God the weight of God's greatness, the you know, the immense love and compassion and justice and wisdom, that settling in the hearts is what makes God relevant. Yep. And that's it's not a part of it is sort of like emotional psychological, we talk about the god image and whoever wants more can read up Dr. Osman homologies. The Alchemy of divine love at the octane, phenomenal research him and Dr. hasslein have been doing on this issue.

00:52:40 --> 00:53:17

But even just now I'll use the word theoretically, now that you know what I mean, just in terms of the informational element, not the experiential, like how do I project my assumption of God based on my relationship with my parents, that's the psychological front, but just what information we look at how much the Quran speaks about who God is, and isn't? Because that's not a given. Like, right now. We're so blessed from the Quranic worldview to sit there and say, you know, it's completely illogical to, for God not to have like a board of trustees or intermediaries or all that. But it's also not Yeah, you God is not sort of God's existence, God's greatness, and those sort of

00:53:17 --> 00:53:59

superficial abstract is logical, but God's perfection is revealed. Yes, he's not sort of reason. And that's a profound that's very proud. It goes against the idea, sort of the you know, there's, as you will know, there's a certain strain of thought that's like, very hyper rationalist, right? Well, if we just kept on thinking about it, then we would realize that not only does God exist, but it's a perfect God and that there are no intermediaries and stuff like that. And what you're kind of saying is that, actually, no, we depend on revelation for that, that if the Quran we if we didn't have the Quran, for example, you know, that that would be something that people would differ about, and that

00:53:59 --> 00:54:21

we wouldn't have as much clarity about theology God so perfect that he can be described. Yeah, yeah, that that is what I fear and I said, I don't fear Islam was the nones right? Tons of like, strong hint, Gods so great, that I can think about it, like whoa, hold up. You just like the purpose of life is dependent on you thinking about him in the right way. And

00:54:22 --> 00:54:59

it is false humility too, because a lot of people you know, for those watching Inshallah, when my forthcoming inshallah paper on perennialism comes out, I talked about a children's book called old turtle. I don't know if you've ever read old turtle. You know, don't but read it anthropologically. Right? Because it basically is is an advocate was written in 1992. For negative theology, basically, like you can't say anything about the divine because it's so different and so completely just like special it's like we just just throw up your hands and just like we can't know anything, we can't say anything. And that's that's you find

00:55:00 --> 00:55:12

In the strain of thought, it's got a, a false humility, right that's tucked in there. And this train of thought is actually fairly strong within like, like Muslim populations, right in different sorts of

00:55:13 --> 00:55:23

you know groups. But it's it's counter to the Koran it's counter to to the disposition that a last round to audit expresses through the core and clarifies

00:55:25 --> 00:55:52

only nav is as what let me akoni Lavina Cafaro Mina Helene keytab you and Mr. Kinnaman Frankie, and it had that that to that to those who disbelieve follow all these different dogmas will not stop. Yes, until the clear proof comes to them. That clear proof is what are assuming Allah A messenger from God yet little reciting to them His Verses. That's the clearest proof, you know, only NEMA and eurocon below how you say to them. Oh, Mohammed, I'm only cautioning you with Revelation.

00:55:54 --> 00:55:56

Nothing more powerful than that. Yeah.

00:55:58 --> 00:56:01

Yeah, no, that's, that's, that's a really significant point.

00:56:03 --> 00:56:30

So there's two things that I want to that I want to tackle before we finish up here and one of them is incarnation. Okay, the idea that the divine can become part of the creation. And the second thing I want to get to is sort of the formal deism which you mentioned the ISM overtime, I like formal deism the watchmaker the idea that God just okay, I believe in a God, all right, he started everything. And then he stepped back, and he kind of just letting everything sort of play.

00:56:31 --> 00:57:14

So there are some let's go back to incarnation that say, and this is sort of comes in with with Jesus and, and the Trinity and stuff like that, that God can do whatever he wants. Right, that's sort of the tack that that the pro incarnation has always sort of say, and we can throw in there with the with the, you know, with the Christians, sort of, there was a recent article that was very controversially released in a certain Muslim academic journal, about Hinduism and idol worship within Hinduism and the basic sort of, well, we're not just worshipping the statue or the the effigy or the image were worshipped. Were actually welcoming the divine to inhabit and incarnate the effigy

00:57:14 --> 00:57:44

or the image. And like their muscles like big deal both both haram both shipwreck but that's a strong, Shobha, or a doubt that let's just say like many people fall into as far as human population goes, how do we respond to to people who claim that and claim that well, God can do whatever he wants, the divine can do whatever they want. And if the divine sees fit to come into human form, or statue form or enter into the creation at all, then he can't.

00:57:47 --> 00:58:31

So let us establish first, that one of the greatest blessings in Islam is the fact that it was understood best and lived the best by its earliest generations. And that was sort of stamp the approval of those generations who stamp chronically contemplate on methadone clinics who were the best community ever brought out for humanity. And so the model communities being there, gives us such reassurance that we're not grasping through the fog, we're not sort of reading into Islam, what we want to read into it with all the cultural variables and, you know, Eastern, Western, pre modern, postmodern antiquity, right? None of this. It's just and there are certain factors, that the

00:58:31 --> 00:58:56

earliest generations of Islam had the utmost clarity on to give you conviction, that cannot be challenged, that this is the desire of the Divine, the divine wants you to know XY and Z reality is ABC and of them is that Allah azza wa jal is not a part of His creation. You know, for the first few 100 years. The the Muslims were

00:58:58 --> 00:59:01

unanimously agreed on this being

00:59:03 --> 00:59:43

categorically incompatible with Islam, you know, and Bukhari and others and these are like hundreds of years into it say the Muslims unanimously agree that it is irreconcilable with Islam so believe that the creator and the creation the lines can be blurred, even Subhan Allah in the earliest sort of specialist groups, I call them specialist groups like spiritualists even the earliest Sufis like a Junaid or mo Allah reported about him as a Nephilim sites that he said the reality of though he is to recognize the distinction between creator and creation. Right. And so interesting in that way, just great visionary foresight to see that other nations and potentially sort of some threatening

00:59:43 --> 00:59:59

could happen in this nation of the line being blurred because Islam does recognize the concept of union with God and Germany Amala together and this with God, right? God being the ultimate reality, but it doesn't mean he's the only reality right so that sort of absolute

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

necessary threshold

01:00:02 --> 01:00:23

needed to be established and they all did and they all agreed on it. So it's reassurance enough that this is not sort of sort of like an interpretive exercise and depending on your hermeneutics, your your interpretive framework, you can arrive at your own conclusions and it's all gravy and Oh, absolutely not. The OMA was not left in the dark for a few 100 years till God sent you or God sent whoever you

01:00:24 --> 01:00:29

trace your ideologies back to or your theology back to. That's number one, very important.

01:00:32 --> 01:00:41

Number two. So, how do you reconcile all these verses? Maybe that's for a theology class? I mean, just I would say,

01:00:42 --> 01:01:25

God being the ultimate reality and how and is one of His Names, yes. But it also means he's real in everything he told us about him, right? epistemic sort of first dibs, epistemic superiority. I think a lot of people and a lot of these arguments that come from esoteric sort of avenues, they downplay sort of what Allah reveals about himself and how Allah subhanaw taala talks about himself and the information that Allah subhanaw taala gives about himself. So it's almost like if we have a data set, then that has to be first and foremost, it's like, we can't jump the line, right, we have to first reckon with all of the information that allows for on Tada, gave us about himself, and then

01:01:25 --> 01:01:36

everything else is after that, right. A lot of preconceived notions. Absolutely, yeah. Okay, all of that has to do with inside the OMA. But what about if you're talking about data to a Christian or data to

01:01:38 --> 01:01:43

somebody who's just not convinced that incarnation can't happen? How would you respond to that type of person?

01:01:44 --> 01:02:06

Okay, just if I can just deal one sentence on the last category. Everything about Allah is real, because we spoke about a little bit of in an abstract way, that includes he's a real creator, because if you believe it's all the same, then he hasn't really created it as he. So you're actually denying who God is. This was like a beautiful point I asked multiple times from Dr. Hudson has just

01:02:09 --> 01:02:28

grabbed credit for it. He's real, including being a real creator, which means the creation has to be real as well. Yes. Relativity. Were contingent beings easy. And then, but yeah, that's a major point. That's a major point because the last final Tada and Sheikh Abdullah Schumpeter used to used to always refer to the fact that the ability to the to create

01:02:29 --> 01:03:07

was sort of the most conclusive proof that a Las Palmas Allah uses in the Quran, right? Do they create themselves or are they created, right? But what have they created? Right? These sort of sort of, you know, out of all the things that Allah Spano, Tala does, the creation is sort of like the most stark thing that reveals the difference, the fundamental categorical difference between the the divine and the not divine, sowing existence out of non existence is the clearest proof. So if we fudge the lines, and we say that well, this is just really a manifestation or in the Neo Platonists sort of schema nation, an emanation right then that wow, Subhan Allah, I had not thought of that

01:03:07 --> 01:03:14

before. That's that's very profound. Mashallah, yeah. And so now outside sort of the, the Muslim community

01:03:17 --> 01:03:18

in dwelling, well,

01:03:20 --> 01:03:43

let us say that God can do whatever he wants, and God does and is to be believed for epistemic soundness, whatever he said he did. Where is the paper trail? Where did exactly did he say that he authorized created beings, or upgraded them into semi supernatural, you know, lesser God beings or anything of that nature?

01:03:44 --> 01:04:06

Because anybody can use this line of thinking, which is really an aesthetic line of thinking. But in reality, it's just faulty analogies, like the Christian is gonna say, you know, Jesus is peace be upon Him. Jesus Christ, you know, raise the dead or cure the leper or fine. And so that does that mean he's God, right?

01:04:08 --> 01:04:51

He didn't have a father. Well, does that mean Adam is Adam is a greater God because he had no father, no mother, right? It's a slippery slope, philosophically speaking, and then you go into sort of Hinduism or any being or object at times can be reflective of the Divine, then we're either gonna have to accept it all or come with a more, you know, epistemic ly principled approach, which is he's a reference point. So kind of hold that. Yeah. What do you think about you know, an answer that I have given to this doubt sometimes, is that Allah subhanaw taala can do whatever he wants, but he cannot be everything, right, because the last pound to audit, for example, cannot be imperfect. I

01:04:51 --> 01:04:59

think that's usually what I bring it back to, so that that precludes certain types of actions. And just the way that it's worded linguistically. It's kind of sort of like a

01:05:00 --> 01:05:41

language game to make it seem like it's an imperfection but in reality, it's actually because of his perfection that he can't do some things. He can't lie. Right? Allah subhanaw taala can't forget, he can't oppress or wrong anybody. Right? Are we going to say that, like, not oppressing is is nuts, right? Is some sort of deficiency? Or is it just the language game that we've constructed to make it seem that way? Or in when in reality that demonstrates his perfection? Right. So that's, that's a line of argument. I've used to kind of say that, well, you know, to say that he can't become incarnate and his creation is not an imperfection, it's actually because of his perfection that he

01:05:41 --> 01:05:53

can't do it. Because in order to do it, it would demonstrate an imperfection, a limitedness of you know, etc, etc. What do you think about that sort of responses that you feel like that sound are effective? Come on, man.

01:05:54 --> 01:05:55


01:05:57 --> 01:06:40

I'll suspend judgment on sort of the wording per se. But the principle of reframing that the way you do is, I think, very prevalent organically speaking, because the Quran often uses terms like when Mac when, or when I am belly when I am fairly straightforward, it expressly says is not be fitting, right? It's contrary to that the definition right language games, the definition of God, for there to be a son for God, right? Yes, that's a resemblance son equals dependency son, right? And so it would be contrary to the definition of a uniquely perfect, perfectly unique God, even or eternality, that son of God, is he going to be a god, but then he has a start point, he has a birth date, all of

01:06:40 --> 01:06:55

these things. And so even even the other iomai Couldn't and there's many one that goodness, but they're always negating sort of what is unbefitting of the of a God. And he says, when that couldn't have been done about that also that we would not

01:06:56 --> 01:07:19

punish without first sending a messenger we would not we, but the wording we would not means it is unmatching with our justice on the fitting of our equity in our compassion, right. But our language then he can't, right yeah, I don't know. I just, I just shocked I shy away from it. And I think also chronically just for talking about anak worldview and theology to the Quranic worldview.

01:07:21 --> 01:07:57

Not spending too much time on this is also important. And that's why sort of like in passing the Quran response to some of these potential objections or propositions, or counters, but the Quran spends way more time speaking about illustrating for us even the form of stories, historical events with prophets with rebels, right? Who Allah is way more than who Allah isn't, right? Because when you spend too much time, sort of tackling who Allah isn't it actually, unintentionally, adds credence and validation. Like if I were to go to a king and say, You're not a loser, and you're not a little, like,

01:07:58 --> 01:07:59

impotent, and you're not.

01:08:01 --> 01:08:03

He's gonna give me an extended tour of

01:08:04 --> 01:08:40

what he's gonna do. Because unless these were imaginable about me, you wouldn't have gone out of your way to sort of disqualify them read it. Right, right. It's almost like there's Azzam, there's an accusation and it almost grants it grants at some sort of validity to respond to it, you know, in the first place. That's so that yes, are there things contrary, and I know, I know, I get so many questions in the youth with this stuff. Like, can God create a god as powerful as himself? Like, we need to identify your request before you submit the application? Yes. What do you mean create something powerful when he's not created? Yes, right.

01:08:41 --> 01:09:00

It goes against each other, right? Or the famous Can Can, can God create a circle with four corners? Right? Or wrong? So heavy can't lift it? Yeah. Those are contrary not just the definition of God, but definition of circle and rock. Rock is a finite object language. Powerful. Yeah, no, it's important.

01:09:01 --> 01:09:38

It's important to the youth to demonstrate how the how these are really just language games being played, and that they don't they rely upon fudging the definitions of what these concepts are in order to sort of, you know, posture, like they stand some sort of threat to divinity and the most fundamental one ship is truth, right? I'll never forget to my, my philosophy professor and undergrad, you know, she said something very wrong about Islam. And it was like an Abrahamic religions class, but she was like an atheist philosopher. And she looked at me, and she, she infantilized me so maybe it's trauma.

01:09:39 --> 01:09:49

We can swap stories heavy. And she she looked at me and she's like, you know, your religious people are really cute. You guys actually think that's the whole problem. You actually fundamentally think

01:09:50 --> 01:09:59

that there's such a thing out there as truth, you have your truth. And so and so the person she was citing from the class has his truth and I wish

01:10:00 --> 01:10:36

I wish I had the know how, you know, back then to say, ma'am, is that true? Right? That true? Because you're claiming the truth is there's no such thing as truth. Yes. So it's a circular, you know, game that can sort of someone can go Oh man, that's deep. That's profound, but it just not. Right. It's just a ruse. We need a book. We need to Yeah, dogma Exactly. No, we need a book of these sorts of exchanges in the classroom, because you have one I have. I have one. You know, when I was right before I took my Shahada. I took a class on Islam, and had a similar experience with a professor, non Muslim professor teaching about Islam and a very problematic way. And it's a very, I

01:10:36 --> 01:10:55

think it's a fairly common sort of thing. Sparring in the classroom, infantilizing professors, arrogant professors, that sort of trying to cut you down as a person of faith, we really need to gather some of these stories, I think and put them together because I think Muslim college students could benefit from, from realizing, and I have the same sort of

01:10:56 --> 01:11:00

the same sort of reflection, it's like, Man, I know what I would say. Now, if I were back,

01:11:01 --> 01:11:04

when I was a 19 year old kid, you know, 20 years old, you know, you don't,

01:11:05 --> 01:11:20

either you're, you know, you're just sort of a deer in headlights, right? You're sort of caught in the moment, and you didn't expect this person, this professor to act that way towards you. In my case, and I don't want to take up too much time with this. But I had somebody basically,

01:11:22 --> 01:11:54

it was it was a particular book and some very sacrilegious things were done, that were against the slam, like the Koran was desecrated, in a particular book that we had to read as required reading for the class. And I was not a Muslim, but I was coming. You know, I was researching Islam, I was set very sympathetic to it. And I put up my hand, I said, you know, I think that that was wrong. You know, I think that he shouldn't have done that. It's very disrespectful, et cetera, et cetera. And the response that I got this professor said, Well, what would you like to do? Would you like to issue a fatwa to have him killed?

01:11:55 --> 01:12:19

So that was the you know, these these moments are very real, these moments are very real. And I know that they're on the minds of a lot of youth. So it would be a good thing. I think if we gathered some of these sorts of stories and showed sort of both what people are up against how, you know, the academia is not a neutral space. Right? The classroom is not a neutral space. It's actually a battlefield, an ideological Battlefield, every day, every class,

01:12:20 --> 01:13:04

but also with a, with a mind to try to embolden students, embolden Muslim students and prepare them and make them feel like they're not alone. But that's a whole other probably podcast. Yeah. So last thing, so we're talking about now, okay, so somebody, they've come to the conclusion that whether there's something or nothing, they say, there's something okay, there is divinity, there is some sort of divine force, they've come to they had to make a choice. Is it multiple? Or is it one, is it to heat or is it not? And they've come to the idea that okay, it's tell hate there is no sort of either multiple incarnation or pantheism? Or are idols of any sort of any sort? It's just total

01:13:04 --> 01:13:05

heat? Okay.

01:13:06 --> 01:13:46

There's one thing left, and that is, who is the god that they believe in? Right? Because the content of who that God is, is significant. And it's what we were just talking about, you know, there are valid I think, Christian points, sometimes Christians, when they, I've heard Christians respond, because Muslim sometimes will say, hey, we believe in the same God. And some Christians will hit back and I'll say, well, actually, no, you don't. Because we believe that Jesus God, we believe in a Trinitarian. God, right, and you guys don't. And that's a fair point. I mean, like the content of what we are defining God as are different, right, even if like the figure sort of in a historical

01:13:46 --> 01:13:48

sort of way, is, is the same.

01:13:49 --> 01:13:58

And so it doesn't make a difference. differences make a difference. Exactly. And so there's sort of this conception that you can believe in one God and you can believe in, you know,

01:14:00 --> 01:14:19

sort of the absurdity of shitcan the absurdity of sort of incarnation or idol worship, but one conception that remains is the sort of deistic conception of God, which is that God, he started the universe, He, you know, he's a watchmaker. He pressed the start button, and then stepped back and let it all happen.

01:14:21 --> 01:14:59

What's the difference between the content or the substance of who that God is versus the god of Islam versus a law, the god of Tel hate? Yeah, if that's God, then it's not right. Like what makes it not God? Maybe that's a different way to put it. So let me try since we're we are sort of building to the conclusion to circle back to my preferred pastoral approach because I am so confident that the souls go on strike from a God like that. Right. They will refuse to trust to submit the right slabs that are

01:15:00 --> 01:15:06

Why would I submit to a God that, you know, left me out to dry? You know?

01:15:07 --> 01:15:16

Okay, fine, He created me, you know, at some point in time or he created, you know, an atom that became me through the love of evolutionary process, you know, but

01:15:18 --> 01:15:21

a god I cannot relate to, I cannot bear to think about.

01:15:23 --> 01:15:27

I cannot bear to think about for so many different reasons, but,

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and that is why saying telehealth as a worldview is really about

01:15:37 --> 01:15:57

believing in a god in such precise and detailed ways that you're able to see the world as a reflection of his greatness, his actions, his wisdom, His power. So it's not so he does like a singular thing. It's seeing the world through his names and attributes. Yes, right. And relating all things, like the

01:15:59 --> 01:16:03

most recent book I was reading, I know it's a little bit different, but an easy parallel

01:16:04 --> 01:16:05

is hold on to your kids.

01:16:07 --> 01:16:10

About it's great, yeah. Funny story with the book, but for a later time.

01:16:13 --> 01:16:27

The idea is that orientation is the most fundamental need of a human being, I need, like, direction orient myself, of course, he's using it with regards to parents, and that's important. But he's saying, like, think of the example of

01:16:28 --> 01:16:51

being lost in the forest, not knowing how to get out, do you really care what you're going to eat, you don't care. I gotta get out of the forest. Out of this jungle, this confusion, the entanglement. And so clarity on God is what we mean by to hate separating God from false god is what we mean by self hate, the better you can do that, the more you can sort of invite someone. And that's sort of the Quranic narrative.

01:16:52 --> 01:16:56

You know, I remember one time, the shorter story, the guy came into the Muslim youth center.

01:16:58 --> 01:17:01

I was like late high school, and he said,

01:17:02 --> 01:17:18

you know, you have a distinct God in Islam, right? That's a common common critique from Christian Right. Not personable, not approachable, right? Whereas our God came in the flesh because humans need to relate to God. Right? And I wish I would have said,

01:17:20 --> 01:17:21

another book, another book.

01:17:23 --> 01:18:02

But the idea is, yeah, so what are the qualities of the God who came in the flesh like the person of will? How much acquaintance do you have with him? And almost anything anyone will ever recite has an entire name for it in Allah's names and attributes? Yes. God is Eduardo he's the most loving SubhanAllah. So without tainting him by blurring the line with creation and creator and creation. He is our duty is the most loving Subhanallah God, the Most Merciful every surah in the Quran pretty much starts with the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. And so I gotta just be honest, saying this even to Muslims that Bri introducing yourself to Allah

01:18:03 --> 01:18:13

is the only way you're going to actually want to have a relationship with Him, which is the greatest treasure on Earth knowledge of Allah you know, bla bla bla that famous

01:18:14 --> 01:18:18

for Islam he says that my second dunya right the

01:18:20 --> 01:18:27

the like, He's almost like sympathizing and saying like these these poor people that are obsessed with the material world

01:18:29 --> 01:19:06

or the worldly life not just material even like obsessed with ego, right? They left this world their whole life start expires Willamina do hola the philosophy here and they didn't get to taste the sweetest the most delicious thing in life. They said what is that? Oh, Imam. He said Maddie for to Allah. Be cognizant to be recognizing of God. So it's the sweetest thing in life. It Out? Does, you know, the pleasures of all of the people that indulge day and night in shallow pleasures. But how do you do that? It's through? Like, how did God create me going back to that point, and give me oxygen and a planet and give didn't give me the most important thing I need, which is guidance in my day to

01:19:06 --> 01:19:34

day and a framework to connect with him, which is my greatest need? Yes. Like, that is a source of resentment and not the source of relationship. Yeah, no. So the deistic God has kind of a cold remote sort of uncaring God basically. Just, you know, turns over it's quote unquote, children, right? Not literal children, but like, you know, if we have kids, like, it's like setting them off into the world and you're on your own,

01:19:35 --> 01:19:51

as opposed to the swim tarbiyah right, throw them in the deep end, as opposed to the tibia and the, here's the guidance and this is sort of an expression of My Mercy and the constant sort of care and upkeep and things like that. Two completely different conceptions of who God is.

01:19:53 --> 01:19:55

They show I rallies around when he says people, like,

01:19:57 --> 01:19:59

obey God, you know, accept God and

01:20:00 --> 01:20:00


01:20:02 --> 01:20:49

he they were unethical, cutthroat capitalist basically, that's what they were in that time. And he said to them, look at the justification in rugby, Allah Serato. Mr. Team, why? Why? Because my God is upon a straight balanced perfect path. You want equilibrium in life, you want direction in life, you want definitive guidance, not just like Monday morning memes, that who knows? whether they're right or wrong? Or how to apply them? Or is it just my algorithm lying to me? Right? In Nairobi, Allah Serrata Mr. Team, and so even the guidance God gives, but even before that, who God is, you know, the concept of Christianity, offering the opportunity of a loving God and Islam not foof how

01:20:49 --> 01:20:59

wrong how wrong can a person be? Yeah, every place in the Quran. If you look at the pairing of reward and punishment, in terms of Allah's actions,

01:21:00 --> 01:21:32

you'll notice a very obvious pattern, that when it speaks about the punishment, it speaks about it as an action of God. And when it speaks about the mercy, it speaks about it as an inherent quality of God. So it looks like it's, you know, the complementary pairs reward and punishment, reward and punishment. But if you're paying attention, and there's so much you should really catch it. It's really saying God in the event that he acts in punishment, it will be severe. Right? God who he inherently is, is the most loving, the most merciful, so very different.

01:21:33 --> 01:22:11

Right, so panela Yeah, I mean, it's depend a lot. And that's like, you know, I think it's fascinating that the Christians, they try to, they try to claim a monopoly on redemptive power on the redemptive power and on the love the love tack, right. And so some of them, they say, you know, it's like, our God is a God of love your gods, a God of laws. And they're really just exposing themselves, right, because they don't have any familiarity. And I'll say this, not only do Christians get it wrong, in the sense that they don't have a monopoly on the whole love department when it comes to their conception of God. But I think the substance and the details of love or the

01:22:11 --> 01:22:42

implication or the let's say, the, the how does that love play out? is much clearer in Islam than it is in Christianity, Christianity, kind of, you know, hangs its hat on this whole sort of very dramatic, suppose it you know, crucifixion, you know, Ransom, whatever. But I mean, the rest of the Bible, okay, is is the God of the Bible as loving as the God of the Koran. I don't think so. That's not the Bible I read growing up, like, especially if you go into the Old Testament, like you see something like whoa, really?

01:22:43 --> 01:22:50

So not only is not providing morality, that's historically Yeah. And then you think even festival or is not providing morality,

01:22:52 --> 01:23:20

a gift from a compassionate Well, intending god, yeah. Taming the beast of alcoholism and interest bearing transactions, zero tolerance policy on these things. Don't lie to yourself and say, you can get that close to adultery, and you won't fall in, and so on and so forth. Muslim majority populations, as much as they've drifted relatively speaking from sort of the purist teachings of Islam still benefit a whole lot from that love God extended. And of course, I mean, I think

01:23:21 --> 01:23:28

much of what I said here could be misunderstood as like high horse type stuff. There could be Christians listening to us and

01:23:29 --> 01:24:03

read the chapter of Mary. We are not dug in Christianity, we believe that there's so much commonality because there should be there's common roots, you know, the differences make a difference. And our belief in a loving God is why we're highlighting that in these in this crossroad. This is the path of the Almighty. Yeah, we're responding to common sort of misconceptions. And if and if some of a Christian, you know, they want to understand about Islam, and they have a certain conception, you know, if they've spent two minutes searching on sort of evangelical or Christian websites that supposedly respond to Islam, they're going to be exposed to

01:24:03 --> 01:24:38

this line of argument that, you know, the god of, you know, Islam as a death cult, right. That's one of the things and, and, and the God of Islam as a remote sort of uncaring or like, whatever God, I say, you know, what about all the Christians who have traveled through the Muslim lands, like what do they say, Where are you going to get better hospitality, you're gonna get better hospitality, you know, in the Muslim lands, or you're gonna get it in the Christian lands, like, just just saying, and these things aren't like Conclusive Proofs, but you have a lot of people YouTubers and stuff like that, that travel the globe. And what's the thing that we consistently hear back like reporting

01:24:38 --> 01:25:00

from the Muslim lands, like like you're saying, it's like, we have a sort of hospital A has a hospitality, we have a certain certain etiquette, and it's not some inherent thing because of our skin color because of just because of our culture. It is. These are things that Allah subhanaw taala taught us these are things that are actually manifestations of the loving God and the loving law that he got

01:25:00 --> 01:25:14

gave us and the the duties and responsibilities that he imposed upon us for the, for the creation, the proofs in the pudding, right? Because, you know, I used to laugh because you know, one of the one of the famous hymns in the church or you will know, we are Christians by our love, right?

01:25:15 --> 01:25:51

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the him the hymnology of the him sort of repertoire of the church, but the proofs in the pudding, you can claim that you have the most loving God, and you can claim that you're the most loving sort of religion out there. But I would challenge anybody, honestly, I would put the love that it's expressed by Muslims the world over, I will put it up against anybody in a competition to see, you know, who sort of is being if this is what a Christian is supposed to be like, loving, etc, then I think that we're being more Christian, sorry. Like, I think that the Muslims like are killing it, like in a good way, of course, when we're talking about

01:25:52 --> 01:26:06

expressing love to other people. And does every group have problems? Of course, Are there exceptions to the rule, of course, but I think by and large, if you travel a little bit, and if you expose yourself to different experiences, I think that that's on display for people to find out for themselves.

01:26:08 --> 01:26:23

Now, I recall, Pew Research, as well. They did a demographic study recently, in the past few years on religious communities in the United States. And the most inclusive, I guess, right, the most welcoming the way they framed it was

01:26:24 --> 01:26:33

one of the ways that they measured it and controlled for it was ethnically diverse, religious communities in the US, the Muslim community came out number one.

01:26:35 --> 01:26:37

So if they could spend money,

01:26:38 --> 01:27:11

if they could spend money to get the diversity that we have, they would, right? I think, and it wouldn't work, and it wouldn't work, right? Because I says if you spend that's to say that even Arabs couldn't do it right, let's just Yeah, quote that. If you don't mind, Allah says, and I mended between your hearts meaning by sending you the Prophet Muhammad by revealing to the Quran, and the method or the Jimmy and if you would have spent all that's on the earth of resources, you would not have been able to mend between their hearts were lacking Allah, Allah forbade him, but only Allah was able to do that. Yeah, and these things are important. Because you know, as Muslims in house

01:27:11 --> 01:27:50

problems, we know our problems, right. And so sometimes we get fixated on our own problems. And we've got tons of problems. But I think having that data dimension to your lens can actually be encouraging because you can actually look at what we're doing and say, hey, you know, what, are we perfect? No, like we're do we struggle with accepting other sorts of, you know, ethnicities or cultural practices within our own communities? Yes. However, if you go to the local church, like we're doing a way better job when it when it comes to that. I mean, there's some churches, such as the Mormons, I believe, like you couldn't be a black Mormon until the 70s. Right? If I'm not

01:27:50 --> 01:27:57

mistaken about that, maybe we need to fact check on that. But I've definitely seen people who personal narratives that that that have have claimed that

01:27:59 --> 01:28:42

we have and that's what guy Eaton said in his book, Rahim Allah and Allah mercy and so on. I mean, book The destiny of man. He was speaking about how Islam is the natural progression, and all objective, impartial thinkers need to just consider that own that. He said the same way that the law of Moses came with the July with the mind of God because that that era needed it. And the Law of Jesus came with the gem and the beauty of God, the law of Mohammed came with L KML. Sort of the total package. Yeah. See, that's actually that was the Arabic has given it to me. But guy Eaton was sort of paraphrasing this. And then he went on to say to your point, he said, and you think about

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it, in a strand of religion that has nationalized their religion. Remember how you said idolatry, you know, reminded me right, it's control. I get a God that looks like me and sort of dances semi tune or whatever. Right? Yeah, I have nationalized religion. It's from this bloodline, you know, elitist. In group. Yeah.

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And then you have another one that has reduced the god to an emotion so they took these things in extremes, right, reduced the god to an emotion called Islam. And it's on the table for everyone for optimal outcomes in this world before the next Allahu Akbar. That's, I think, a really good place to bring us to the end. Do you have any final thoughts or anything you want to say about telehealth as a worldview?

01:29:26 --> 01:29:59

No, I think we we've overstated I'm just afraid I think that was a horrible caused people to forget other parts of what we said there's so much to say right? I already know there's so much just like but I like Divine Love is is a good post read if you're interested. But it was always a pleasure. I'm Tom bottle coffee. Thank you so much. We benefited so much and we always do from your experience and your insight and may allow increase you and make yourself sincere and accept from us. So that's all from us from dogma disrupted inshallah we'll catch you next time so panicle Lahoma. We have like a shadow Allah Allah and to stop for to go to the lake. Salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah.

with Imam Tom Facchine

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