A Burden or Relief
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
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few quarters until Ramadan is to maybe go through is number 23. And as much as we can all the way to item number 40 of social slot, this is the 17th surah of the Quran. And in this section 23 to 40. A lot of revealed what some Sahaba considered the equivalent of what was given to Musashi Salaam once famously called the 10 commandments, right, so the Quranic version of that. So the Quran also has its, you know, almost a reiteration of what was given a summary of what was given in previous scripture, and it still applies to us the most fundamental moral teachings of our religion. And so it's a very powerful passage in the Quran, that kind of, you know, all of Islamic law and all of our
teachings kind of boiled down to these fundamentals. And they're encapsulated in very, very brief I art so even if I don't get through
All of that for your own reading suta number 17 is 23 to 40. That's the passage that is kind of, you know, at the at the heart of the laws of Islam and the moral teachings of Islam. And really there are two things laws and moral teachings. So let me take a minute because we're going to go through this and it's going to include some laws, and it's going to include moral teachings. So you can call them a GM and Hickam in some sense, or a HELOC. Even so, there are laws and there are, you know, moral, you know, obligations, and there is a difference between them. So let me just quickly, kind of describe the difference before we get into these
laws are black and white, either it's halal or haram. Either you have to do it, or you must not do it. It's just do's and don'ts. And they're very, very clear. And obviously, there are exceptions, given certain circumstances and things like that. But at the end of the day, laws are very specific. They're not ambiguous, they're not General, they're very, very specific. And laws can even be punishable laws can be something that there are consequences for you directly in the next life, sometimes, even in this life. And punishment doesn't necessarily mean physical punishment. It can also be penalties. For example, if you miss a fast in Ramadan, there is a penalty, and you must make
up for it. Right? So there are it's not just that you may go by and it's good enough. No, when when you break a law, then there has to be some kind of expiation, some kind of, you know, you know, fee or fine or penalty that has to be given. Then different from that are moral teachings. And the moral teachings of Islam. What Quran sometimes calls them hikma to,
are things that you cannot make black and white, for to give you a small example, actually, from this passage with Adam, she filled out the Maha, don't walk on the earth with pride. It's a teaching in the Quran, don't walk on the earth with pride. But you can't exactly gauge that you can't have some kind of moral police or Islamic Sharia police that says, hey, that's pride walk. You can't do that. Because somebody could be walking in what you think is a very humble walk. But in their head, they're still pride. And somebody you know, somebody walking a certain way, and you think, Wow, they have a lot of pride in their walk. But no, they have a ankle problem. And that's just how they walk.
Right. So you can't gauge that. Because that's something that's a matter of the heart, it's a matter of one's conscience. So there are ethics related things. And what Quran does is it fuses both of them together. And behind both of them is an awareness of Allah. So Allah doesn't just tell us do this and don't do this. As a matter of fact, pretty much any time Allah talks about a law or a moral teaching, he tells us behind those laws and moral teachings, the only people that will be able to follow them, the way they're supposed to follow them, are people that are aware of Allah. And that's the other introductory comment. That's very important. When we study the laws of Islam. You see,
laws are in a sense, blind. Okay, so when you know, people can take advantage of the law. And people do that all the time. So for example, in accounting, if you're a really good accountant, then you can save your client a lot of money on taxes, because you know, how to bend the rules of the law just enough for you not to get in trouble with the authorities, and save quite a bit of money at the same time. Right. So there are laws, but there are people that know how to manipulate the laws to get what they want. Right. And one time, I was actually part of my business school education, while one accounting course I took Advanced Accounting in alila, he were in a larger and I'm not an
accountant. I barely survived that class. It was the best sleep of my life. But anyway, before I passed out, my teacher would say, he said some funniest thing, he said, You know, one day you will become an accountant. And your client will come to you and say, you know,
they'll ask you what you can do for them. And the way you're going to tell them is, so how much do you want to pay in taxes?
like as if that's a negotiable thing, because then they're gonna manipulate whatever they can, etc, right? So, the thing is that even in the prophets case, sallallahu alayhi, wa sallam, two people came to him, right, and they have a dispute. And of course, he's the judge. And he's gonna rule by the law of Allah. So it's the perfect judge and the perfect law. Sometimes you don't use sometimes you have a corrupt judge, right? That happens. And sometimes you have corrupt laws, that happens too. But now you've got the best judge, and you've got the best law so you couldn't possibly take your case to someone better. And two people have a dispute and they come to him. And one of them
makes a really good case. Like he's really good at describing what went wrong. And how you know, he's been wronged and the other one is kind of nervous, not very well spoken. Maybe he started sweating or something getting having a little panic attack. And you know, when when the cops see somebody sweating, they're like, oh, he must be guilty. So the way he's speaking sounds like he's probably guilty. And the one who's very well spoken, he made a pretty good case for his side. And the profits on basically heard both sides and passed a verdict, but didn't just pass a verdict. He also
So said, well, it could be that I, I've passed the verdict in the favor of one and against the other, but Ally's the final judge. In other words in this life, you can have the best law and the best judge and still not get justice. Because somebody could still get away with something, somebody wasn't able to make their case as well as they could have. Maybe some evidence didn't come forward. You know, in Islam, for example, to accuse somebody of Xena, you have to have four witnesses, is it possible for people can come forward and lie? That's possible. And if somebody gets the, you know, accused and charged as guilty for having committed such an act, and they've got four witnesses, then
technically the law of a law was implemented, but justice was not served. Right? So just because we have the laws, doesn't mean you can have justice, the laws can be manipulated, so can the moral teachings be manipulated, what has to be behind both of them for neither of them to be manipulated, that is the awareness and the dukkha of Allah. That's why in the Quran, whenever Allah talks about the do's and don'ts of Islam, he doesn't talk about them, absent of Allah taqwa, absent allies, watching above all else. And if you know, you can get away with it in a courtroom, you can get away with it with a good lawyer, you can get away with it, because you made a very good argument or you
shut somebody up, you can get away with that, but you won't get away with a law. And that's the so the Quran is not just a rule of a book of rules, and a book of do this and don't do this, though. The Quran is a book of, you know, these teachings have no meaning until the power of allies there. As a matter of fact, there were people that came before us, they had a lot of laws, and they memorize a lot of laws. And they showed on the appearance that they abided by a lot of laws. But Allah basically describes them as hearts that have become hard. Even though they were very practicing actually, their their their seminaries and their synagogues and theirs, their worship
centers were filled. And this law describes them as a bar, bar, meaning they write so much and they study their books so much their hands are always covered in ink. Apart from Hibbard means ink, these are people of ink, meaning they're always flipping pages, they're always writing something, they're always studying the sacred word. They're always studying the sacred law. That's what makes them the people of ink. And yet Allah describes their hearts had become hard. Why? Because when you just worry about the do's and the don'ts, and you don't realize you like, it's like you're worried about the tree, but you're not feeding the root, the tree is going to be hollow and empty. And it's true
that the fruit is going to be rotten, because it's not getting fed. So with that in mind, look at how Allah describes a summary of all like the law that was given to the Israelites, and then passed on prophet after prophet and then continued by a lion, the Quran itself through the prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he starts by saying what Kabbalah buka your master has made a decree, your master has passed a verdict. So Allah is describing himself not just as the master now as a judge, also. And you know, so that's a pretty powerful opening for this passage, Rocco darbuka. He says, Allah, Buddha, Allah Yahoo, that you're not going to be in servitude and in slavery to anyone
other than him. That's the first decree worship only and only one God, enslave yourself to only and only one God. And worship isn't just that we do such that in the direction he told us to, or we believe in just him, or we pray to only just him, that's just a starting point. The word the enslavement to him means that any other force, any other entity, that is pulling us away from our loyalty to him, that is pulling us away from our obedience to Him, must be rejected as a false god, they must be put in their place. So sometimes it's a culture that's pulling us away from obeying Allah, then that culture has become a false god. Sometimes it's the larger society and the peer
pressure that's pulling us away from obeying a lot, that peer pressure has become a false god. Sometimes it's keeping up in appearance. And above all else, you don't want to lose an image that you have, that image of yourself is an idol that you're worshiping as opposed to Allah. So when he says, Your master has decreed that you will not be enslaved to anyone other than Allah, then the real question a believer ask themselves is, what am I enslaved to truly? What are the forces pulling at me? What are the things that get in the way of me from being truly enslaved to him, and it could be outside forces, like I said, it could be culture, it could be money, it could be peer pressure,
it could be image, it could be those things, but it can also be something inside me. It could be my own greed. It could be my own selfishness. It could be my own pride. It could be my own anger. It could be my own need for revenge. It could be my own sadness. It could be anything inside me to that.
More powerful than what ally is asking me to do. And I've let that become, you know, my personal my personal feelings, my empty feelings really because they don't give you anything those feelings, they're empty and they're as empty as Allah describes empty feelings as how and how is another word for air in Arabic. And it's also used for whims and feelings. He says it Amanita Illa Hahaha, have you seen someone who takes their power and turns them into their God, their feelings and they turn them into their God? What does that mean? Nobody worships their anger. Like they make a statue that looks like a poster of anger and decides not to. That's not what that means. worshipping anger means
you submit to your anger and all of your decisions are in submission to that anger. And you don't care what the law says. worshiping your desire means your desire overtakes all other conscience, all other do's and don'ts, all other rights and wrongs. And you just submit to that, that surrender to that desire, that desire became your God. worshipping greed means the desire to make money made you forget what's held on her arm, you threw that on the side, because this is your God. Now this is what you submit to who you surrender to who I surrender to, on the outside, or even on the inside are the ones that are being tossed away. When Allah says your master has decreed that you will not
be enslaved to anyone other than him.
So this, this is the first sort of starting point of understanding all the laws of Islam, everything he will say this first. And the other part of this, Allah didn't say what Allahu Allah decreed, are alive. As the judge said, he said, rabuka, your nurturing Master, your nurturing Master, and this singular form. rabuka is usually primarily an address to the Prophet himself. Salallahu alaihe salam, and that's an important part of this conversation. Even if the rest of this whole bunch just about this, that's okay with me, because these concepts are that important. He says in this ayah by using the word rabuka. He's clearly communicating to us that allows decree a laws law, a law, His
commandments are first and foremost delivered in a nurturing way to his most beloved slave sallallahu alayhi wa sallam the Prophet himself. That means that we don't just look at the laws, and what they say, we actually look at the slave who was the best example of implementing them. And this is important for a number of reasons, because sometimes you can have a law. But the judge has the sense to know, in this case, this applies in this case, it doesn't apply.
That doesn't mean that they're playing with the law of Allah. That means that the law which is Al Kitab, can only be implemented with wisdom, which is a hikma where you Alamo monkey taba will hikma, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam will take the laws of Allah, and he will show humanity and show his followers and through them us. When and how do you implement the law of Allah? Because you can take the law of Allah, which is meant to be a way of nurturing is meant to be a way of protecting the slave Actually, that's what the law of Allah is. Allah says in Surah, Nisa, and other places in the Quran, you read the law, Julio huffy. funcom. Allah intends by way of giving you laws,
the passage is about laws. He says, by way of giving these laws, Allah intends to lighten your burden. He wants to make your life easier. That's the intent behind the laws of Allah. The laws of a law are not chains and burdens that are cast on top of you. And you're like, crushed under these, you know, laws. And he literally describes the Israelites, the people that came that were given the law before us, they kept creating more and more fatwas for themselves. So their books of fatwas kept piling up and piling up and piling up until they became so enormous and so voluminous. They didn't even remember which ones of these are actually the law of align, Which ones did we overcomplicate
for ourselves, and then they made up stuff on top of that, so their life started getting harder and harder and harder. And one of the goals of the Quran as a favor to the Israelites was when your own home isn't a home, when Allah Allah, Allah t cannot Allah him, Quran says, and he gave this law so he can remove from them the burdens and the chains that they that were on them. And what is the burdens and the chains? It's not the law of Moosa, that was a burden and a chain. It's what they did with the law of Masonic Islam. It's what they did, they kept complicating it, and they kept adding more and more, you know, corollaries and complexities to it until it became something else
altogether. Like you wouldn't even recognize it from the time of Busan, Islam, you would recognize the to Allah gave the law to make things easier. The conception in many, in the minds of many Muslims, is when Allah gives us a rule like halal and haram. It's like a pain. It's not
a burden. And we have this like when somebody observes the laws of a law or tries to at least we say, Man that guy is or that one's a really strict Muslim. So we use the word strict, right and strict suggesting that they adhere to the word of Allah, or they adhere by the law or the moral moral teachings of Allah. As a matter of fact, the laws of Allah have nothing to do with strictness. It's quite the opposite. When people don't adhere to the law of Allah, they are oppressing themselves. They're putting themselves in trouble. They're creating misery for their own life. They're closing the doors of risk. They're creating problems in their relationships. They're
creating long term problems in their businesses. They're closing the doors to many, many blessings for themselves, because they think they've got a better way of figuring life out than the one Allah gave. They've got a better plan than Allah Himself. This is why Allah began with Waka darbuka, Allah taboo, Illa, Allah has decreed the first law of all the laws is that you will not enslave yourself to anyone except him. Stop thinking you're smarter than Allah. Stop thinking that you've got a better plan than the one Ally's got for you stop thinking yeah, Allah says that, but I've got a special situation. And you know what, sometimes you do have a special situation. But there's a law
for that, too. There's an example for that, too. That's why the living example of the Prophet was there. So a lot more than he was, you know, like to give you an example of how the law applies and doesn't apply. In the Quran. Allah describes that if a man has been in a state of janazah, or a woman, if they've had intimacy with their spouse, and they cannot pray, except by having wasn't, you know, and by and if Genova happened even in their sleep, if they, you know, you know, some kind of excretion happened, then they have to, you know, make goosal, they have to, they have to shell or take a bath before they can pray again. And there's an incident of a companion who got injured, and
he had a head injury, and he was in a state of Geneva, and they had here to pray. And he said, If I shower, my head injury is going to get worse, it's going to the water is going to go in, it's going to get infected. And the people around him said, What are you going to play with the law, the law, you should obey.
And he succumbed because it's the law of Allah should do that. So he went, and he, he took a bath, and the infection got worse and he died. And the Prophet of Allah Salallahu alaihe salam was extremely upset that they made him do that. Now, the the the the concept, the rule, the law, that you must take a bath is actually in the Quran.
So the Kitab is there. But the way in which it was applied, lacked hikma lacked wisdom, meaning what we're learning from that is a much larger principle, which we'll get into as we talk about these incoming called buzz. And that is that the law of Allah gives us the general absolute rule. And then there are cases that are not the norm. Allah is not going to say, you know, for example, Allah will not give you one law. And then say, by the way, this applies in every circumstance in under all situations. This is why people used to come to the prophets, I saw them with particular cases and say, how does the love of Allah apply to me? How does it apply to me and they sincerely want to obey
Allah? they genuinely want to obey Allah, but the prophets, Allah will make a way for them, if they so long is what's their duck, why is there I just don't want to be upset. That's number one.
You know, for some people, they want to find a way to do what they want to do. And then they want to find some, some shape, some Google person, some YouTube video that justifies what they're doing, so they can feel better about themselves. So you've already made up the mind your mind that you want this thing that Allah has made her arm to be helpful for you. Now you want somebody to make you feel better. That's a game you're playing with a lot. We're not we're aluna. Labine can tell them, are you going to teach a lie your religion? So that's not what I'm talking about when I talk about exceptions. Exceptions aren't, I just don't want to follow this. Can you give me like a kind of
exception pass? So I can say, Hey, I got you know, this chef said I could do it. That chef said I could do it. I tell you before I tell you a true story of how far this can go. And this is actually a personal experience of mine. Somebody from a long time ago, someone stole from me, stole quite a bit from me, actually. And they got caught. And they were actually a volunteer. they volunteered. And in their capacity as a volunteer, they stole over and over again. And it was actually a charity account that they stole from. And when they eventually got caught when I finally caught them. What were you thinking, the first response was, I'm so sorry, I'll pay everything back. I didn't realize
what I was doing, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, remorse, Nadella shame, I'll pay with him. And then two days later, an email Actually, I spoke to a sheriff and he said that my voluntary services should have been compensated. And so I'm completely justified and was held on.
So that's what I'm talking about.
About deep down inside, you know what you did. You know what you did, but you want to put your conscience to sleep. And on top of that, you want to put a little you know how cake has chocolate frosting on top. You want to put a little religious frosting on top to make yourself feel better not and I got a fatwa on it, so I'm good. Somebody said it's Helen did Allah wood allows messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam did and that's when when duck was missing, then you can play with the law when duck was missing, but when taqwa is not missing, then are there exceptions, then are there ways out sometimes for difficult circumstances? Absolutely. There are. And so but but this cannot
ever disappear, that we are enslaved first and foremost, to Allah. And whatever it is we're doing whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, the first question is going to be the way we carry ourselves. Are we going to be in trouble when we stand in front of a law or not? That's it. Can I stand before a line answer myself and say, I obeyed your word. I didn't circumvent your word. I understood. I didn't think I was some special case exception. I get to get away with it or ignore your word I didn't. I did everything I could to abide by your word. And the word of Allah is merciful in that way. The word of Allah is accommodating in that way. We just don't give it a
chance. We assume that the word of Allah is strict, its uncompromising, it's, it's, you know, it's oppressive, even it's harsh. And so we don't even give it a chance. Let Allah speak for himself. Study a buzzword. See how he describes his own laws? You know, we just we've reduced all of Islam to halal and haram.
Like that. We don't even have to go back to Atlas book anymore. We can just know this is hallelujah. That's great. You know that. But isn't it important to know how Allah described it? Like, he's the best of all speakers and the way that he said it is important to note, when he obligated you to do something like you have to pray. Did he say you have to pray. He told musallam akima salata, Lee, established a prayer so you can remember me
that so you can remember me is not a fatwa. All the only way we have the only ruling we have is it's mandatory, right? It's mandatory. But the love and the prayer that when you establish, that's the that's the number one way you're going to truly remember me, we're missing out. Because we didn't let him speak for himself, turn to a large book, open it, read it with an open heart and see how Allah describes his own laws. In a in a non hookah session some time ago, I described how a very small percentage of the Quran is actually laws. When Allah speaks about something only a little bit, that doesn't make it less important. It just means that that one place is so special, that you have
to go to it and ponder if you only talked about it once that better be that one time was enough to cover forever,
is something that should be gone back to over and over again. Because it's that special. It's like when sometimes a parent says to you, I'm only gonna say this once.
That doesn't mean it's insignificant. That actually means that's extremely significant, you understand? So there's day to day advice that can be repeated. And there's I'm only gonna say this once things. And there's in the Quran, there is those laws of Allah, that he basically only says once or a very handful of times, to add on to them and realize what will make us those that are loyal to his word, and to bring light and lightness and the removal of burdens from our lives by adhering to his word, and may allow his origin make us of those who love Allah's Word and His law more and more as our days passed by as we get closer and closer to meeting him. barakallahu li
walakum filco Anil Hakeem when finally we'll end it with
hamdu lillahi wa kafa wa salatu wa salam O Allah.
Allah, Allah Mohammed, Mohammed Al amin, he was mine, Allah azza wa jal kitabi Kadima and okudah Billahi min ash shaytani r rajim. In Allah Allah Allah, Allah Allah Allah. Allah Dena amanu sallu alayhi wa sallam, Taslima Allahumma salli ala Muhammad Ali Mohamed Chi masala tada Rahim Allah and Ibrahima philomene in the middle Majeed Allahumma barik ala Muhammad Ali Mohammed Omar Abdullah Ibrahim Ali Ibrahim ethanolamine in the middle Majid about Allah. Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah.
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