Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
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hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu wa salam O Allah ashrafi ambia, evil mursalin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi edgemere. In some of
the last two talks, the talks that we heard are actually incredibly inspirational. And I am not going to give you one of those talks today. But I do want to give you as a little bit of mental prep. Before I begin this, I think what I want to share with you, I find it extremely important that Muslims have some background, at least in context. So I'm going to be talking to you about something that's going to take a lot of brain juice, but at the same time,
respect the fact that you've been sitting here all day and are pretty exhausted mentally. So make sure that I'm able to be clear to you, and you're able to stay with my train of thought. Now, the only reason I'm giving you this introduction is because when I asked you a rhetorical question, and I this is how I teach, I don't just ask you a question for the sake of asking your question, I asked your question. And I expect you to give me a response in as loud a voice as possible, simply to indicate that you are still alive. That's the only way I know that you're still breathing so that I'm going to ask you a number of rhetorical questions as I go, and I will only be able to continue.
If you're able to keep up with me. I think I can wrap this up within a half hour. I hope I'm not Don't hold me to that. But I'll try my best in child level data. We heard some things about the incredible Islamic history, some perspective from Islamic history, we heard some things about the incredible perspective from the seat of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. But I want to start today's talk, inshallah, with European history, some things from European history and some perspective that all of us need at least some background in in order to understand the problem that we're facing in our time.
So I take you back to European history when there's a revolt in Europe, against the authority of the church. If you don't know about that, while you the summary of it is church policy in Europe, Europe was a religious society, it was dominated by the church and church policy was extremely oppressive. The word of the Pope was equivalent to the Word of God disagreeing with the Pope was basically what you would call an act of Cofer. You were a mortared, you are no longer a believer and you must be executed. The only way you can be cleansed of the sin of disagreeing with the church is you have to pay with blood, you have to be tortured and killed, and you're not just killed, you are tortured and
then killed. That's the only way to save your soul. in that environment. Europe had been oppressed by this religious doctrine. In for long enough, a time that two movements, sprouted two movements came out almost at the same time. One of those movements is the Protestant Reformation. The idea that not and because the church said that the average Christian has no business reading the Bible, they're not supposed to be reading the Bible themselves, that will come from the pope or from the authority that the hierarchy, and they will not only read the Bible, they will also be the ones to interpret the Bible. And their interpretation is not subject to question, the Protestant movement
says no, every Christian should have direct access to the Bible, they shouldn't be able to read it for themselves, figure it out for themselves, we don't need the church to tell us this. So this, you know, revolt against the authority of the church begins. And that is the summarize this is a eighth grade, seventh grade elementary school version of the Protestant movement. Now, at the same time, yet another movement comes forward. And even a more powerful one, and these two are related to each other. The second movement that comes forward, essentially says that the church has been teaching the doctrine that doesn't make any scientific sense. These people burn books of philosophy, books,
of books of science, anything that disagrees with their doctrine, like the earth is the center of the universe, the you know, that's the biblical claim, at least from the Catholic side, how can we accept the earth is the center of the universe, there is scientific discovery going directly against that now, we cannot accept this faith. And as a reaction to that the church considered this scientific inquiry cover this belief, so they burned down libraries and killed people of science and kill people of philosophy. So there's this, you know, the, the, the, the essence of the French Revolution, which is the undercurrent of which is the Catholic or the Christian doctrine. Number
one, it is oppressive. And number two, it doesn't even make sense. It doesn't make sense we need to come to what makes sense, which is science, which is philosophy, which is logic rationale. And so there's that
revolt against the church from both directions from the religious direction the Protestants and from the scientific secular direction, this other revolution that takes place that removes and eliminates the authority of the church. Now,
once this revolution takes place in Europe, and it's one of the bloodiest revolutions in world history, once this revolution does happen, now, all of a sudden, Europe is a free thinking society, they are rediscovering what they should believe in, and what beliefs they should hold on to, and what thoughts what ideas should be at the center of that society. They are, it's an open marketplace of ideas. So this is a time where a number of philosophies came out of Europe, a number of scientists, actually the earliest scientists in Europe, were at war, some of their biggest philosophers, so philosophy and science to them was actually hand in hand. And they were not one but
many, many different kinds of philosophies that were clashing against each other in this open marketplace of ideas. But, and this is where I need you to pay attention. Now. There is one common thought that dominated in the end, one common line of thinking, even though there are variations that are small here and there, one trend in the in European thought, one in the end, and eventually, not only did it remain in Europe, it made its way to the entire planet. And today, the world we live in is actually still facing the repercussions of that idea or these sets of ideas. So I'm going to try to explain these brief ideas to you before I give you something from suitum. kiama was supposed
to be from the beginning the art of circle tiama. But I want to set the scene a little bit for you first,
in pre modern society, most societies in the world, if not all societies in the world, were dominated by religion, all society what doesn't matter which religion, whether it's the Hindu religion, whether it's Christianity, whether it's Islam, in pre modern society, most most societies had some kind of religious doctrine. And in religious societies, religious teachings are the most important thing. Science is not the most important business is not the most important, the most important thing, the highest kind of credential is the religious leader. So in, in ancient societies, or pre modern societies, the the priest, or the minister, or the Imam, or the ILM, right,
or the or the, you know, the spiritual guides of the Hindus, or whatever, these are the most important people they hold a very high caliber in society. And what do you learn from these people, you basically learn three things, you learn to emphasize three things, you learn to emphasize God, we're not talking about Islam yet. So I'm not saying Allah, not yet. But you learn to emphasize God. Now for different religions, that means different things. It could be multiple gods, or it could be one God, or it could be, you know, an entire mythology of Gods whatever it may be, but some kind of unseen God, that is the first emphasis, the second emphasis is on the soul. So human beings have a
body, but they also have a soul and across religious traditions, you will find there's an emphasis on the soul. Somehow there is this unseen, mystical, mysterious part of ourselves that is inside of ourselves, and it must be saved. So there's God. Now you tell me, that was number one, that was God. And what was number two, the soul And number three, there is some concept of an afterlife. There is something that is going to happen after this world, whether it's you're going to be resurrected as a tree or a bird, or you're going to give you're going to go to heaven or hell or something, whatever it may be. But this is not the only life there is more to life than this. There's more to existence
than this. So across all the different religions, three things get emphasized God, you tell me now God, and what else? The soul? What else? And afterlife? Is that true of Islam also, it is actually true of Islam. It's true of Islam as well. Now,
this revolution in Europe happens. And they say that we have in in Europe, also under the church, we've been emphasizing God, we've been emphasizing the soul, we've been emphasizing the afterlife, but this life is horrible. Look at what the church has done. All this time, we've been thinking about God, we were thinking about the wrong thing. We should have focused our energies and thought and our intellect on the universe. We should have been thinking not about God, but about the physical universe, okay, if you're not gonna think about a love, you're not gonna think about God, what's the next biggest thing?
It's the physical universe, we should have exhausted ourselves trying to understand the physical universe. And actually the little that we have tried to understand it has brought about a lot of benefits. Like when you study the physical universe, which is basically science, right? When you study the physical universe, you get discovery.
And what does discovery do, it makes the world a better place. It brings about kinds of different kinds of invention, different kinds of utility. And you cannot have that unless you study the physical material universe. So they say people that have been studying god, look what they've produced. And the people that study the universe, look what amazing things they're starting to produce. Look at the machinery we're able to build. Look at the events as an architecture. So we need to put our energies and our attention on the physical universe, as opposed to what, God what was the second emphasis I asked you again, just to check if you're alive? The soul? What is the
soul? Has anybody even seen it? Can you even tell where it is? We're so worried about the soul. But what about all the diseases in the world? What about better nutrition? What about this physical body? So the emphasis needs to be shifted from studying the soul to studying the body? So we look at the last few centuries? Has the human body been studied more than ever before in human history? Absolutely. Has the physical universe been explored materials on this earth, and beyond? ever before in human history? Absolutely. So God got replaced by the universe, and the soul got replaced by the body intellectually speaking. So the highest learners of a society used to learn about God, and they
used to learn about the soul. And now the highest learners of society are PhDs in science or medical medicine, right? They're the highest intellectuals. What was the third one? It was God's soul. And what else?
Hmm. After life, life will be good in heaven. Life will be good suffer here, and will be good in heaven. What are the Europeans say, We're tired of this. We don't want the life. And I don't even know if there is one. We need to emphasize the life of this world. Let's see how we can make this life better. Let's explore political science. Let's explore sociology, let's explore anthropology. Let's explore public relations. You know, let's explore all of these humanitarian you are human sciences, that can make society a better place. So we can govern ourselves and live better. And by the way, the more they studied these things, the more they studied, you know, urban development, the
more they studied political science, the more they studied sociology, the more they even studied psychology, did it have a positive impact visible positive impact on in Europe, it did, road started getting built, buildings started coming up, trade started expanding, inventions started coming up. As a matter of fact, before the United States, what was the leading nation nation were the leading nations of the world that everybody was envying, it was Europe. And they didn't obviously keep themselves to that, you know, that patch they wanted to bring. As a result of this, they wanted to expand these ideas all over the world and expand for greedy reasons, all over the planet. So
actually, most of us that Muslims today most of us have our ancestors have tasted European colonization, most of us, we have had the taste of it. And as a matter of fact, you know what that means? Our ancestry has people that directly received a European format of education. And as a matter of fact, in countries like Pakistan, and India, and Algeria, you go all over the Muslim world, you will, you will find the public school system. And the educational curricula that they use to this day, are actually directly influenced by the French and the British and whatever they left behind. It's still there, it's still there. You know, it hasn't gone anywhere. Now, I share all of
this with you.
Because in the in the middle of all of this, when people said, Well, what about eemaan? What about faith? What about God? People said, basically, their argument started happening, there is no God, there is no religion, it's all man made, etc, etc. So there were a bunch of people in Europe that became atheist. This year, I had an opportunity to go to Switzerland, which is a very conservative society, they are extremely cautious of preserving their churches from 400 500 years ago, no one goes to church, but the church building is perfectly intact.
Like they love the history of it, but they want nothing to do with their religion. I actually surveyed people Oh, are you? Are you religious? No, I don't believe in religion. I don't believe in religion, but they hear the day you still hear the church bells. They still hear the church Well, just because they want to preserve a history. So it's this empty history. I'll give you another example in New York City. You know, one of the earliest churches built in New York City was on 21st Street and Sixth Avenue or Park Avenue. Rather. It is a it's a it's a historic site. So the government or the state government has predicted declarative a historical monument so you can tear
it down. So in the middle of all these modern buildings, there's like a 200 year old church, Catholic Church, but nobody goes to that.
Church so they turned it into a nightclub. It's actually a nightclub now. But the building is intact exactly as it was a historic site. I was walking by I used to walk by that church every day to college. And I'm walking by and it says, ladies free drinks on Thursday night. And they're like, what kind of church is this?
You know, what denomination of Christianity?
Holy Water on Thursday night? What do you mean? I don't know what is this? But anyway, so I'm painting this scene for a reason.
We today in 2014, all over the world. Whether we like it or not, we of course, are believers in Allah believers in the aka believers in the rule, believers in the Quran. We want to protect the integrity of our heart. We want to cleanse our heart from diseases all this conversation is really about what you can philosophically call the soul, even though it's not the best term within Islam. But you know what? European, this this new European thought that took over all over the world. It didn't say you don't have to believe in God.
It didn't say that. It basically said you could if you want to, it's fine.
You could believe in an afterlife. That's that's your right. If you want to believe it, it's fine. Keep it to yourself. That's fine.
You don't have to believe you don't have to let go of your belief in heaven. I think it's stupid. But you can believe in it if you want. It's fine. That's cool.
But what they said is something far more dangerous. They didn't say we don't we don't we disagree with you. They said it doesn't matter.
They said it doesn't matter. Whether you believe in God or not. Who cares? Science is real.
Whether you believe in God or not, medicine is real. Whether you believe in a soul or not. Whether you believe in heaven or not, politics is real. Economics is real. So let's worry about the real world. What happened to the Muslims, the vast majority of us have received a modern education. And if we have an education, it's a modern education. And as a result of that, even if we don't disbelieve in Allah, and we don't disbelieve in the law, and we don't disbelieve in like, you know, in, you know, in the in the heart and the concerns of the heart, for all practical purposes, our attitudes are no different than what the European revolution intended. Our attitudes are no
different practically speaking. I'll give you some practical examples. So you understand this problem? You have a Muslim family living in the United States or living in Trinidad or living in Guyana? Are you?
Or they're living in? I don't know, Pakistan or wherever? What do they want their children to do?
What What does an average Muslim family want their kids to do? Get a good education. Why do you want to get a good education?
That's gonna give you a good life. That same son of yours says,
Well, I want to get a good education. But I'd rather get a good education in Islam first.
I was thinking about learning some Islam learning about a love.
And the parents, Muslim parents with beards and jobs. What job are you gonna get?
How are you going to live your life? How are you going to get married?
How are you going to live a life? What do you want to do? You're throwing your life away.
somebody decides to even turn to the religion a little bit you you guys that are here. You know this already. You are not the majority of the Muslims on this island. You are the strange minority. The vast majority of Muslims here and all over the world are barely connected with Islam, barely holding on. Maybe they show up to the Friday prayer, maybe? Probably by the very end of the prayer. Last one in first one out, maybe you'll see them in most numbers at the IID prayer. And for those people, what role does religion play in their life? Actually, they're not alone in this for the Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or any other religion in the world today. Religion plays a very small part
of people's lives. It does not dictate how you're going to live your life. It is not what you take inspiration from to decide where you're going to live, or how you're going to raise your children. You already have all of that figured out from the priorities that were laid down for you by colonizing nations. We've already been we've indoctrinated ourselves deep into in this tradition. Now that I told you in the beginning of this talk, there are two movements, what were they there was the French Revolution? What was the other movement in Europe, the Protestant Reformation, the Protestant movement, and it's really interesting what happened with them and I need you to
The Catholic tradition overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly, the idea there is that this world is a terrible place. This world is a curse really, though human beings will only have happiness were in heaven. And they are they have been sent down to the earth as a punishment from God.
So the fact that human beings are miserable in Europe is actually expected. That's how they're supposed to be. Because this world is a terrible place, it's a place of misery. The Protestant movement actually reacts to this and develops a new Christianity. And in the new Christianity, the more dunia you acquire, the wealthier you are, the better job you have, the more money you make is an indication that God loves you.
The wealthier you are, the more it is proof that God loves you. So they are actually diametrically opposed philosophically, to the Catholic tradition, you wouldn't be so far. So if you go to like this deep south of the United States, where like, two thirds of the radio stations are Christian,
and you listen for a good hour to a Christian talk, you know, talk show or a preacher, I want you to go get that job, because Jesus wants you to get that promotion.
That nice car that is Jesus loving you.
You know, you will find the wealthiest people are actually preachers. They're extremely wealthy, and they were in incredibly expensive clothes and things like that. And they say, this is what Jesus does, you see,
you know, so the idea is that you come to religion for what? Why do you need religion now? Because it will further your materialism.
And I'm using the word for the first time now materialism, when you when you concern yourself with the universe instead of God, that is materialism, when you concern yourself with the body as opposed to what the soul that is materialism, when you concern yourself with this life over the next life. What is that? materialism, modern Christianity became a way to justify materialism,
to further materialism. And Muslims, we're not too far behind. When do Muslims really get happy for each other and celebrate and do something about that even the Muslim that doesn't pray, doesn't even come to Juma when he buys a new house, he has an amine at his house.
Yes or No. Why?
Because this is Allah has really blessed me. Allah has blessed me, this must be a sign that ally is happy with me. The more dunya you acquire, the more is an indication that Allah is happy with you. This twisted idea even took over much of the Muslim world. And of course, we have the opposite reaction, there's lunia as horrible, there's Guney as evil, it's corrupt.
Now, in the middle of all of this, what I just wanted to share with you is what the Quran does, and this is a long, like philosophical lecture, but I'm going to take you five minutes, just I want to drop a seed. Maybe if we get a chance to talk about this tomorrow, I'll expand expound on this tomorrow. But at least just one idea I want to give you in child love.
The spirituality, spirituality, you know, what will increase your mind what will increase your spirituality in modern discourse was replaced with psychology.
Right? So instead of looking at it as something from the unseen, we want to figure it out from the scene. So if you're depressed, it may not have anything to do with spirituality, it must be some chemical imbalance in your body, take some pills, you'll be fine. Right? So we even take the the emotional states of human beings are trying to find for for problems of the unseen, we're trying to find solutions in the scene. Right, and it's destroying humanity. suicide rates are higher than ever before in the modern world. And in some of the wealthiest counties in the United States, right? We're destroying human beings. Now.
There is a feeling inside of us and negative emotion called guilt.
This negative emotion is called guilt. When does someone feel guilty?
When they've done something bad?
In modern psychology, guilt is not a good thing.
So if somebody comes to a therapist and says, Yeah, I took some, I drank some alcohol, I got drunk, I feel really guilty. The therapist says to him, you need to get rid of your guilt. You need to learn to forgive yourself.
Your guilt is something that is a kind of a human flaw inside of us. Because you need to feel happy all the time.
You need to feel happy. You need to let go of this negative emotion inside of you. There's too much negativity. So tokuyama begins now. See movie Oh, kiama wanna
be enough? Scylla wama the unless swears by the day of standing the Day of Resurrection. And then the lust swears by the person, the knifes inside of us that feels What? guilt over and over again, the people the individual who feels guilty inside, over and over again. Now these two things are actually lasme and Malzieu. They're tied to each other. What is the relationship between the day of judgment and guilt? A lie is telling us an incredible spiritual and psychological reality.
A spiritual and psychological reality. What is that?
You know, if you hear an alarm right now, and you hear an announcement, please exit the building, there's a fire in the building. If you heard that, what would you do?
You'd exit the purpose of an alarm is to warn you of a danger. Will you react? Even if you don't see a fire? Yes, what is enough for you? The alarm that woke you up a lot created a human being with an innate sense of good, an innate predisposition towards doing the right thing. It's called our fifth law. And when we violate that spiritual programming inside of us, then Allah created a security mechanism inside of us, it is called alone enough salomaa guilt. Guilt is a gift from Allah warning you that what you are doing is violating your soul.
And when will you see that you don't see the danger. When you violate your soul, you don't see the danger, when will human beings truly see the danger that they were ignoring? judgment.
The ultimate proof of judgment, A is the psychological sentiment of guilt inside of ourselves. The proof of Judgment Day is every time you feel guilty, and it's not just Muslims who feel guilty, every single human being was given the gift of guilt inside of them, so they could know when they're doing something wrong. This isn't right. I don't know, I feel like I'm gonna get in trouble for this somehow.
It's something inside me is not sitting well, you know, kids that are that are breaking into the teacher's desk. And they're kind of constantly looking to see if the teacher walks into the class, the feeling they have inside of them are going to get caught, I'm gonna get caught that gnome inside of them, and especially when they get caught and they're humiliated. All of that is known.
modern psychology cannot discuss this in a positive way. It can't. Because for them, there is no soul.
No psychological theory will teach you in school. No, no therapist can tell you, you have to protect your heart.
We the Muslims are the only ones. We're the only ones. This is the only book. This prophetic model is the only model. Please listen to this carefully. And I'm done. This is the only model that actually finds the balance between the seen world and the unseen world. The Catholics denied the unseen. The the Protestants embrace the unseen wholeheartedly. The secularists rejected the unseen entirely. We're the only faith tradition that actually engages with the scene world. And through it, it betters the unseen reality. I'll just give you one example of that. And, you know, as part of this, and that is that, you know, for Buddhists, they when they pray, they close their eyes or when
they come they meditate, they close their eyes. And you'll notice in many spiritual traditions, people concentrate and meditate for hours and hours with their eyes closed. How do we pray?
Now, you will tell me if you close your eyes and prayed? Wouldn't it be easier? Honestly, tell me Would it be easier to concentrate? If you close your eyes? It would be but we don't. We keep our eyes open. Why is that? You ever wonder why that is? It's actually a fundamental of this religion. You are supposed to connect with the unseen God and the unseen Allah while not losing sight of the fact that you're living in this world.
Even in Salah we don't get to disconnect ourselves from this world entirely. We don't. Why would the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam the most connected to Allah? Why in the world? Would he shorten his prayer when he hears a child crying? Shouldn't he be so engrossed in prayer that he wouldn't even hear an earthquake? None let alone a child crying.
We are not a spiritual people at the expense of living in this life, we have to find that balance between these two things, this balance has to be restored not just for ourselves, but for all of humanity, they have rejected so many have rejected the religion completely and as an adverse reaction, so many have become extremists in religion, all of it because we strayed away from the core teachings of this book. Now remove Enough said lower level civil beliefs in Loma Subhana Allah I wanted to I know this is a really philosophical but I at least want to share some of this at this forum with you because Muslims we have to raise our level of thinking all of us do not just the art
and the researchers of the speakers the average Muslim leads to learn to think heavier. I don't want a question answer session at the end of this even if you have questions answer for them. I'm not going to do what I just want you to think just on your own just just process things in your head. Where are we now? What What is the crisis that we're facing? This modernization has made its way inside the massagin
we have to revitalize the faith of Islam from the very core. May Allah azza wa jal help us become the oma that comes back to the essential teachings of this Deen and are able to spread them for the benefit of the oma and for the benefit of
humanity at large barakallahu li walakum wa salaamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh