Social Justice – Episode 40 – Incremental Change vs. Radical Reform
Channel: Omar Suleiman
Series: Omar Suleiman – Social Justice
File Size: 38.76MB
All right. So now when it comes to library cattle,
we now have the last bottle somewhere so lonely early, he was talking to Manuela,
I want to welcome you all to this final class. So we started this class in February of 2017, and hamdulillah. Here we are now at the very final session of this class on the 40 Hadith on social justice, I want to welcome all the guests, I think this is the largest number of guests we've had for this class, I want to welcome all of you to our community, those of you that are joining us today.
And I also want to remind everyone that there are 39 classes that precede this one. So if you feel like there's a gap in something that I'm saying, then please go back and watch all 39 of the previous lectures, and then I'm happy to address any gaps or concerns, you may feel there are, as a result of that. This has been for me a personal journey,
you know, of just a really drawing deeper on some of these traditions, I pray that this will be a series and shadow that will be used for years and years to come hopefully, and that people will be able to draw benefit from and that will allow us to start drawing on some of these paradigms, I also don't plan to stop exploring some of these subjects deeper from from from an Islamic perspective, as time goes on.
Just because we cover this set of subjects is sort of like a primer on how we deal with social change. And social justice as Muslims does not mean that there aren't many more topics, and much more to be done with the topics that we've already covered. So this series will continue just not as the 40 on justice. So this is the last of the 40 on justice, if anyone can name all 39 previous talks, and go ahead. Alright, what are we talking about last week, though? So stop there. What did we talk about last week,
returned to principles can be more specific.
And you remember what we talked about last week?
no justice, no peace, the easiest one in the world. So we talked about this concept of justice, the presence of justice being an essential requirement for peace. Right. And then in the q&a. We talked about what we would speak about this week and sort of as a conclusion of this all, well, at what point? Do you disrupt the peace for the sake of justice, for example? So how do you actually enact meaningful change? At what pace Do you enact meaningful change? And what is the priorities? Or what are the priorities that we should address in the process of change? So the title of the very last class is incremental change versus radical reform, the prophetic way of enacting change, we drew on
paradigms some of those classes might have seen, might have might have been perceived as being overly idealistic, like you're talking about this, these lofty ideals of how you're supposed to treat your environment, how you're supposed to treat the people around you. And what change looks like we can't even get to this basic level of decency. Right? So this seems too lofty. This seems like you know, it's the pie in the sky concept. You're not really getting anywhere. So what is the prophetic way of enacting change, incremental change versus radical reform? Now, let me clarify. And we have a lot of guests today, as well. And I'm sure people watching online, and some people will
read the title, when Muslims use radical doesn't always mean violent.
No one's talking about violence here. So radical in the true definition of the word radical transformative, denoting a sense of rapid change, radical change, or radical reform versus incremental change. And there are a few things that we'll address number one, there's a difference between a goal and a process. Sometimes you see someone that acts in accordance with a radical agenda. in a positive sense, once again, every time I use the word radical, it's in a positive sense, you have a radical agenda, but meaningful steps that are being taken to enacting that change, right, and towards that agenda for change. And some people see it as too slow. And think, you know,
and some people view
you know, meaningful steps, sort of playing the long game as being, you know, escapist, as being passive, as, as you know, sometimes even viewed as cowardice, right? There are very, there are some ways that you can interpret steps that are taking meaningful steps. So let me just be very clear that there's an agenda for radical change, if you will, that's achieved through meaningful steps. And there's the Hadeeth. That's going to start
This all off the tradition that we look at from the Prophet peace be upon them is a narration from our beloved Massoud. May Allah be pleased when we said that the Prophet peace be upon him said there is no prophet whom Allah sent to any nation before me.
But he had disciples and companions from among his nation, who followed his path and obeyed his commands. So starts off with that every prophet that came before had disciples and companions. Sometimes a prophet had one follower, some had 10 some had 100, every prophet every nebby Mammon, Libyan
bathala, Fiamma Tim cobley in Canada who mean Matty, he Howdy, Yuna was hub. No Prophet came before except that Allah gave him prophet companions or disciples from among his nation who followed his path and obeyed his commands. Then after them, it's a long tradition. So I'm not going to read the whole thing in Arabic, then after them came generations, who said what they did not do, and did what they were not commanded to do. So after them came hypocrites, after every prophet, and in fact, most prophets encountered hypocrites in their own time. Right? It was the norm for a prophet to encounter those who would twist the message in their own time. There were those that outright rejected
prophets. And there were those that took the messages of the prophets and started to twist them even in their own times. And there were prophets that were rectifying what was twisted from a prophet that came before them. So if you look at largely what was a Sati Salaam what was Jesus peace be upon him combating Jesus peace be upon him was combating people who twisted the message of Moses of Moses and Moses peace be upon him. So he's combating a form of deviated religion. Right? Or Isa Islam, you know, has a very interesting task ahead of them. So sometimes you have those that are actually fighting, hypocritical interpretations and skewed interpretations of religion. But every prophet had
companions and disciples, and then those that came after them. You had amongst them those that said what they did not do and those that did what they were not commanded to do. So you had hypocrites. Then the Prophet peace be upon him said whoever strives against them with this hand is a believer, whoever strives against them with his tongue is a believer, whoever strives against them with his heart as a believer. Beyond that there is not even a mustard seeds worth of faith. This is in Sahih Muslim. It sounds very similar to another narration that we covered before where the Prophet peace be upon him said, I'm in C'mon carpha Jiro who Brd whoever amongst you season evil, let him change
it with his hand, but in your stickler for bt Sonny, and if he's unable to do that, then with his tongue, and if he cannot do that, then let him at least hate it with his heart, let him at least find internal revulsion from the evil around him. And that is the lowest of faith. There are a few lessons to take from this as we start to break down some of these concepts. And of course, this does serve as a summary lecture of all of the all of the Hadith, the traditions we covered in regards to justice.
Number one, the prophet peace be upon him directly connected a person's attitude towards evil with faith.
And that's in direct contradiction with those who use faith for evil ends, if that makes sense. And that's what Imam Ali Baba, we may Allah be pleased and upset about that first narration. He said that, you know, talking about Jesus peace be upon him is not undoing the deviance of those who twisted the religion. And the way of Moses Pierpont of Mossad is similar, that the Prophet peace be upon him directly connected faith with what you do, or your attitudes to your attitude towards evil. And that is indirect, or that is the direct opposite of those who would actually use faith for evil purposes. The other thing the Prophet peace be upon him said, and this was a theme that read that
that was a recurring theme throughout all of these traditions, and throughout all of these classes, that just because you're unable to make a dramatic change, does not give you an excuse for making a change with that, which is within your capacity. So because something is outside of your capacity, or because things seem overwhelming, and there is an entire gorilla, right, that you know, that needs to be changed. That doesn't mean you don't do what's in your capacity. So the Prophet peace be upon him saying that Allah will ask you about your capacity. He's not going to ask you about the things that you are incapable of changing. For the things that you were incapable of changing, Did
you at least internally, feel a revulsion towards those things that you were unable to change? So you find yourself incapable but but still, internally, the prophet peace be upon him is saying this should not be normal. You should not accept evil as normal. Right? You know, when they tell you
Keep telling yourself this is not normal. This is not normal. This is not normal. Right? You know, if you think about the images of evil that are constantly plastered across our screen, and there are various social and justices that we see, and you keep on seeing them over and over and over again, at some point, you become desensitized. Seeing the bomb falling on top of children, playing and doing nothing becomes normal, you just press share, you send it with your words of outrage, but internally, it's
another one, right? Things become normal. So whether it's a moral evil, or whether it's a form of oppression, things become normal, this should not become normal. Okay.
The other thing that we learned from the Prophet peace be upon him
is that the goal is to bring things back
to their pristine form of guidance to the way of the prophets that came before.
So you almost want to peel back the Prophet peace be upon him is saying that there were prophets that were sent before and they were all seeking to establish a singular message. And this is really a profound point here. And this is why I chose this Hadeeth to start this off, to be honest with you, it was hard to come up with the narration to illustrate, or to sort of encapsulate everything that I really want to cover in tonight's class. But it's really interesting here, if you think about it, a lot of sense in our tradition, 124,000 prophets.
All right, from Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to David, to, to Moses to Jesus to Mohammed, may Allah peace and blessings be upon them all, he said, Prophet after prophet after prophet.
The Essentials of monotheism and morality that was in accordance with that monotheism did not change it was a consistent message across across all 124,000. We talked about this last week, the message of Moses often being presented as a contradiction to the message of Jesus, right? So for example, Moses said, an eye for an eye, Jesus said, turn the other cheek, as if these two men were acting out of opposing moral frameworks rather than properly contextualizing those two messages, right? All 124,000 of those prophets had the same theological message, worship one God, right, and act and you know, act in obedience to that one God and the divine revelation that he sends you. They had the
same standard of morality, they had the same elements of prayer and connecting the spiritual with the material connecting the personal prayer, with the with, with collective societies benefit, right connecting all of that there might have been differences in jurisprudence, there might have been differences and how one prophet prayed versus another prophet. There might have been differences in some of the recitations, there might have been differences in some of the rulings so they all for example, fasted right? So for example, Allah mentions in the for an quotevalet, camassia, mocha, mocha, teavana, Medina, and publikum, Lando competitor, one, fasting has been prescribed upon you,
as it was prescribed upon every nation that came before you, so that you may gain piety and God consciousness. So they all fasted. They all had seasons of fasting. But maybe there were some different rulings within those fasting, but the lesson of fasting, the goals of fasting, the goals of prayer, the goals of monotheism, the all of those things were coherent across all 124,000 profits. So here's a question, why didn't a lot just send one and just get it over with?
All right, why didn't a lot just send one and get it over with? And if these profits were so perfect, which we believe the profits were infallible? We do not. as Muslims, we don't we do not allow for attributions to prophets that are unbefitting of godly people of major sin and decency and all those types of things. We reject those attributions. Right. So if those prophets had miracles, and had such exemplary character, and had a perfect message, and we're given divine aid, how is it that 124,000 times people went astray after those profits? You think about that, right? over 100,000 profits were sent. And still people found a way to go straight people found a way to veer off of
that path in human history. Right? So bringing it back to a coherent message that all of these prophets preached. We as Muslims do not believe that any Prophet was immoral or had an immoral message or a message that sanction oppression.
So it's not like the prophets before were deficient or incomplete and that's why Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him to to fill in what
All the other prophets had done before wrong. No, none of the prophets heard. They didn't make an am talking about that the theology, the methodology, the the message was the same. Right? The Prophet peace be upon him was undoing the evil that was done by those who failed to stick to the principles of the prophets that came before. Right. And that's there's a beautiful, you know, when you think about the complete house, perfection is never achieved in this world, but the way the Prophet peace be upon him is, you know, described in that Hadith, right, like, think of the prophets as a house. All right, and they're all bricks. And so you're walking by that house, and you see there's one
brick missing, and you say, there's that brick, so that brick comes in, and that brick was the Prophet peace be upon them. The point is that they're all acting in accordance with
a singular theology, with differences only in the legislations and the jurisprudence and going back to that pristine divine guidance, and that goes back to something we stated in halaqa. One, which I'm sure all of you remember, all right, that we were created upon fitrah upon goodness, we were created with natural dispositions of goodness, we corrupt that. So how do you go back to that original sense of good? Not an original sense of evil, original sense of good, so then it goes. So there's the question again, why didn't allowed to send one profit? And just get it over with? Right? Why 124,000 profits? Why so many profits? Why so many nations? Alright, so we first start off with
gradualism, as a son of Allah as a tradition of God Himself. How the scholars mentioned that Allah could have created everything in an instant, but he wished to establish the graduation of events as a tradition in his universe. A lot could have made conception and birth instantaneous, but he wished for humans to understand the wisdom by which their lives must be governed.
Think about it, a lot could have created everyone the way he created. Jesus peace be upon him, configure and be in it is. But instead, there's a process, right? And you witness that the Divine Wisdom of Allah, in the way that things proceed gradually, Allah could have sent angels to eradicate the opponents of profits before they resisted, but he wished his example to be human and replicable. With all that entails of prudence and perseverance. So Allah teaches us patience, are the examples of the profits and steadfastness otherwise, it could have all ended in the first year in Mecca. Right? You know, the persecution could have ended a lot could have sent those angels and just done
away with the opponents right away. But we allow wants us to see an example of people that persevered. People that strove that even the prophets of God, even the Prophet, peace be upon him has to strive and has to exhibit patience and is shaken. But eventually, with hardship, comes ease. So there is gradualism in the creation of Allah subhanho wa Taala. There is gradualism, gradualism, in the center of a lot in the tradition of the way that Allah allows things to function. There's gradualism with our personal acts of worship with our personality about that we're talking about incremental change here okay. So for example, the prophet peace be upon him said this religion in
Edina use this religion is one of ease
this religion is one of ease and none will overburden himself with the religion except that it overwhelms him. So seek a middle path and draw near to perfection as best as you can. And be hopeful of Allah and seek help and being consistent through the morning hours the afternoon and part of the late night so the Prophet peace be upon him teaching us even in the way that we develop our own relationship with a lot our personal change, if you will, that if it's not meaningful, calculated incremental than a person you know goes in quick and comes out just as quick right becomes overzealous tries to take it all in at one time and then burns out really fast. So change at the
personal level is realized through what you look at this religion which is a notion and you think Alright, well how do I start and the Prophet peace be upon him saying a demon use the religion is easy, and anyone who will who overburden himself with the religion will be overwhelmed by it, not because the religion is off. But because the way you approach the religion is off the way that you approach change is off. It's not about the religion being hard. It's about you making it hard for yourself because you approach that wrong. The standard is there, but don't try to take it all in at one time. So the Prophet peace be upon him said seek a middle path drop
As near to perfection as you can and be hopeful of Allah, Allah, it's amazing that that hope, that component of Hope is what's going to actually keep you progressing. So that you don't despair. Because here you are, you're starting to make your, you know, you're starting to take your steps and change on a personal level. And then you see someone else who's so far ahead. And you're like, well, I'm never going to get there. Hope, right, that hope allows you to make continued progress. And part of what the scholars say that part of what overburdening yourself with religion is, is undertaking what is not currently sustainable. I'm gonna I promise I'll get back to social justice and all that
stuff I'm talking about now personal change and how we connect that the public change part of overburdening yourself with the religion is undertaking what is not currently sustainable.
The Prophet peace be upon him said, undertake of actions what you can bear, for a lot does not give up rewarding you until you give up seeking undertake of the religion, not at the point that what you're capable of doing undertake of actions what you can bear for a lot does not give up rewarding you until you give up seeking it. So there that's a direct connection between the two. There's gradualism with the way that religion is taught. So for example, we find from
from the great companion it may Allah be pleased with him. He said that don't give people things that they're not ready for. Because you might actually cause them to disbelieve in God. Don't give people things they aren't ready for because you might cause them to disbelieve in God. The great scholar Ibn taymiyyah may love mercy on me said if a person being commanded or prohibited is currently in capable, whether due to his ignorance or his negligence, and removing that ignorance or negligence is isn't possible. Perhaps it would be better to abstain from commending him or prohibiting him. as some have said silence is the best response to some issues, just as the law
giver initially kept silent, regarding certain certain commands and prohibitions. So sometimes you look at the prophets the way they acted, they acted with wisdom.
The prophets all came with calculated messages.
Jesus peace be upon him didn't start flipping tables right away.
He got to that point
at some point right. But that's not the first way that he saw Islam the Jesus peace be upon him approach corruption in in the temple, Mossad Islam Moses, peace be upon him didn't split the seas right away.
All right, it got to that point. So it's not like he didn't show up to fit around. He didn't show up to the Pharaoh and say, I'm about to drown you in this palace.
What did Allah say? Allah said, speak words of gentleness lenient and wisdom,
so that maybe he will comprehend.
Allah gave Musashi Salam hope in Freetown in the pharaoh knowing that for the most evil person he ever created on the face of this earth, but try, give it a shot. Talk to him. Maybe he'll wake up, maybe he'll comprehend. Right? So Moosa and Harun Moses and Aaron peace be upon them both. We're not responsible for the reaction of the Pharaoh. Right? How does fit own respond the way he responded to everything else? mutilate people, kill people humiliate. That's the way that Pharaoh responded because of an ugliness inside of him that made him incapable of responding to positive change. So whether Moses Nam spoke words of wisdom,
or gentle words, or if he spoke confrontationally right away, and without him, that wasn't going to change the outcome, but Allah still tasked him with that. Allah still tasked him with that he still had to do that. Right? So there is that, that approach in the teaching of the religion as well. And that's again, starting with the very first narration that we started with. This is something that all of the prophets did. All right. They came with divine commands, and they taught divine commands, with Divine Wisdom. And it is known that the messenger peace be upon him would only convey what could be comprehended and practiced. The Prophet peace be upon him conveyed, what could be
comprehended, and what could be practiced. And there's a saying in Islam, that if you wish to be obeyed, only instruct that which is feasible.
So as those who are acting on behalf of the lawgiver of God, God's messengers if you wish to be obeyed, only instruct I'm sorry, only instruct that which is feasible. Okay. So that's why in Islam as well when someone first becomes Muslim, there is a graduation of responsibilities.
All right. That's why the Prophet peace be upon them allowed for certain concessions for certain tribes. When someone first accepts the religion, they don't they don't take it all in all at one time, there's a sense of gradualism, right? You don't, you don't get overwhelmed with the religion. There's a saying that,
that a believer is guided by the light and extremist is blinded by the light, right? And I thought, that's a very powerful, very powerful when you try to take it all in at one time, and you end up
going crazy, literally, and making everybody else crazy for that matter. So the Prophet peace be upon him a lot for concessions for tribes, people, when they first start to undertake this journey of faith. How do you start? How do you take that on, in a gradual sense is really interesting, because there's a tribe of bento hanifa, for example, that when the Prophet peace be upon him, came to them with religion, they said, Look, we can't do this prayer five times a day. So how much can you pray? So we can do once a day? Maybe three times the Prophet peace be upon him said fine.
And then eventually, you know, our main lobby pleases them was very energetic. He said, Well, wait a minute, how are you going to let them? Are you telling them that that prayer five times a day doesn't exist? He said, No. He said, they're going to end up praying anyway. They'll get there. They'll get there. And they got there, right? Because if they taste the sweetness of faith, and eventually, they'll take it in with it's very, you know, in a mature fashion, they'll adopt in a very mature fashion. There was there's political gradualism, that we that we learn from this and incremental change in the political sense. Now, many of you might be familiar with the very famous
treaty of her day via the peace treaty of the Prophet peace be upon him with the people of Mecca. You've got to understand the psyche of the Muslims in Mecca. We've been killed, persecuted, our families have been tortured. We were run out. And now we're getting into a peace treaty. Why should we get into a peace treaty with these people? And then not only that, but some of the conditions they're placing upon us are unfair. Now, if you're witnessing that,
if you just look at the tenor of some people, or the behavior of some people, you might make the mistake of judging a person's integrity or dedication by their outward enthusiasm.
So for example, the prophet peace be upon him is going into a peace treaty with these people with the people of Mecca. And when they went when the treaty is being written, says Bismillah R Rahman Rahim, the Islamic way of addressing God in the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful.
What is the Mexican Ambassador say said I don't recognize Ottawa Kanaan Rahim, the most compassionate, the Most Merciful. erase that. Right? Mohammed Rasool, Allah, Mohammed, the Messenger of God, he said, Well, I don't if I recognize you, as a messenger of God, I wouldn't be doing this to you. So he said, erase that too. And the Prophet peace be upon him tells ID of the Aloha, it may be pleased to erase it, go ahead and erase it.
And he was unwilling to eraser
couldn't bring himself to do it, because that seemed to him.
As if, you know, that seemed to be cowardice, that seemed to be compromise, right? We can't do that. Okay. Now, whether they erase it or not, was that going to affect the faith of those people that were there? No. Profit Prophet peace be upon him said go ahead for the sake of that treaty.
Go ahead. Do it. All right. For the sake of that treaty, Omar, you know, last goes around and he says, aren't we on the truth? Aren't they on falsehood, we should be fighting.
Right? Forget about this. compromise. Forget. He's literally going around saying a lesson our other half, aren't we on truth? Aren't they on falsity? Aren't we on truth? Aren't they on falsehood? So we should be out there fighting? Right? If you're watching a bucket and armor that day, a bucket who's calm, who's on you know who's seeing things, the way the Prophet peace be upon him is seeing things the long term of this treaty and what it brings. And you're seeing all more than you might think to you might make the mistake of assuming that all Medicare is more
that Ahmad may Allah be pleased with him? Has it right? That why is he pulling out? Why is he showing this this? You know, what, why are they being this way? Why? Why aren't they doing anything about it? But look what ends up happening as a result of the Treaty of her baby. Right as a result of that treaty that took place even just from the grander scheme, if you look at the faith itself, right.
for 18 years of persecution,
the number of of followers of the Prophet peace be upon him was 3000 people, right? It tripled to 10,000 in less than two years. Because when there was no longer persecution,
right, then there was the free exchange of ideas. There was the ability to show the beauty of faith and what you ended up having as a result
That that quote unquote setback led to what Allah described fatahna Medina led to an actual victory. It wasn't bloody. It wasn't. It wasn't exciting, right? It wasn't, it wasn't this, this grand shake up. But at the same time it was meaningful. Again, Jesus peace be upon him didn't flip tables right away, he got to that point that was his last time to Jerusalem. Mossad, Islam Moses peace be upon him was addressing Pharaoh was addressing for their own and not just advocating on behalf of his people who were enslaved, but giving a message that would have been to the benefit of everyone. Right, trying to find the best way to deal with the situation. What ended up happening is that you
had this complete, you know, this complete
revulsion on the part of those who were perpetuating that evil. And then you obviously had different steps that were taken in that regard. And there is particularly the wisdom you know, you look at some of these different things, you look at the wisdom of a man that existed in the, in the society, Medina, whose name was Abdullah and obon said, Oh, this was a man who, who was actively trying to plot against the Prophet peace be upon them and actively, you know,
causing chaos in that society destabilizing the society pitting people against each other. And what do they tell the prosecution on? Like, can you do something about him?
He says, nope.
The Prophet peace be upon him didn't do anything about him. hurt him. No.
He said, I don't you know, then people are gonna say that the Prophet peace be upon him kills his companions. I'm not gonna kill anybody. Right? No, I'm not gonna kill him. I'm not gonna hurt him. Leave him alone. And Omar is pushing the Prophet peace be upon him and there's a very there's a very interesting and by the way, how I've loved it events have been salute died a natural death and the Prophet peace be upon him, clothed him with his own with his own cloth. Right, even though he was the chief of the hypocrites, those the men destabilizing society. It's really interesting because the Prophet peace be upon him highlighted that wisdom to have the love and obey been settled. He
said, Oh, I'm sorry to Alma. He said, Oh, Alma. Now the same people that would have rose up against us for killing him, would now willingly do it themselves.
What did the Prophet peace be upon i mean by that, if the Prophet peace be upon him, acted, you know, on that on that impulse,
and took them out because of what he was doing to society, right, it would have caused more division, more bloodshed, more violence,
the prophet peace be upon abstains for the sake of a greater communal goal. As a result of that the Prophet peace be upon him saying to all of our people eventually saw the evil of our beloved obey been sorted, the same people that would have rose up against us in a feudal society and tribalism, and pounced on us, now they would want to take them out. But the prophet peace be upon them didn't go that route. So sometimes acting on the impulse is wrong. And that's where you find again incremental change, to realize a greater agenda. The Prophet peace be upon him responding to the frustration of his followers, and Mecca as they were persecuted. And the true mark of these prophets
of God is that they don't respond to evil with evil.
There's a saying and one called law you yrb Moncure evil cannot be changed with evil, right? Evil cannot be changed with evil. So for example, if a terrorist group exploits a legitimate agenda, with an illegitimate tactic, if you listen to the language, they kill our children so we will kill there's evil does not justify evil and evil is not changed by evil. In fact, evil is compounded and perpetuated by evil. So if you look at hubbub coming to the Prophet peace be upon him, his back, is missing all of its skin because of the torture that they encountered in that first decade in Mecca. And he says, aren't you going to do something about it and the Prophet peace be upon him, says to
him, that you're being hasty
that you're being hasty, but there were people that came before you that were tortured and much more grievious ways what I cannot come to start doing but you're hasty. you're impatient with God. Right? That didn't mean we're not going to try to change our situation. We're not going to try to fight persecution. When the Muslims in the later part in Mecca when a man came to, when the followers said to the Prophet, peace be upon him, let's go out at night and let's start attacking them. And the Prophet peace be upon him said we were not commanded not to be valid. We were not commanded to act that way.
If you sacrifice your principles
as a result of an impulse, if you partake in evil,
supposedly saying that the end justifies the
if you partake in evil saying that you're really changing evil, you're really just becoming a product of that which you claim to detest. Right. And that's something that, that ties directly to this lack of lack of the lack of trust in God. And it's really interesting because sometimes trust in Allah trust and God is used to shut down legitimate means of change.
To say, You know what? We're metaphysical. We believe that everything will come from Allah. So let's just pray. Right? And the Prophet peace be upon him did not just pray, he did more than that the prophets did not just pray they did more than that, right? But at the same time, they didn't lose hope. Because if you despair, in the one who truly enact change, then eventually your methodology of change will be hijacked by something that is not godly. Okay, so that's something that we take from the Prophet peace be upon him, as well. So there's the importance of not you know, and this is sort of the last couple of points rebellion and revolution. And, and what, you know, what does that
actually mean? And how did how did Islamic scholars grapple with that subject of stability versus change? Right? are, you know, when you see a clear evil, and not doing anything about it, and how did they grapple with all of those subjects? Well, the way that they looked at it was that you always looked at Masada and Mufasa, you always looked at the greater benefits and the greater harms. So sometimes, people had very legitimate concerns and did things about very legitimate grievances, but because they were not prepared properly, with their estimations ended up doing more harm than good.
Sometimes you do more harm than good when you're unprepared. Even if everything is legitimate, you didn't partake in evil, you did not do anything. I mean, you are acting in accordance with a a proper methodology with a proper understanding. And you're trying to do that which is good but because you're unprepared remember the the way the Prophet peace be upon them taught us to to, to address our private journeys, undertake that which you are capable of doing.
God does not tire of rewarding you until you tire of seeking his reward. What that means is when you are unprepared and you take on something that you're unprepared to do, sometimes you do more harm than good. And it's unintentional. You're not like the person trying to change evil with evil. But still, you should have paid more attention to preparation. The one of the greatest revivals In fact, you know, he's looked at an Islamic history, as a reviver for many reasons, the first Majed did was omitted bin Abdulaziz, bin Abdulaziz
was the true reformer that we find in our nation in many different ways, rectified many social and justices did away with many of the much of the corruption that had occurred in previous governments. And he encountered these things very wisely. And he was only 38 years old when he when he took his position when he assumed his leadership. And he had a son by the name of Ogden Malik, who was very pious, and often Malik used to press him to accelerate decisions of reform. And then Malik would get on him every single night. And tell him how can you sleep at night, when the orphan remains in the street, when stolen money remains in government's possession, when and he would just go on and on
and on and on and on about the disease would not be able to sleep at night because his son would literally scold him. Because he said, You're not doing enough, you've got to do more, you've got to do more, you've got to do more. So he would say to him, oh, my father, why are you not executing matters, you are delaying things that I imagined you would have completed on the day of your inauguration before nightfall, the by a lie, wish you would do that, or do this, even if that meant that you and I would boil for it in the kettles, what that meant is you undertake these massive reforms. And I would rather that you do this on the first day, even if they throw us in kettles, and
they boil us meaning even if the people revolt and kill us, because we try to do we try to do too much at one time. Right now Omar was was in a very sticky position. Why? Because Ahmad was assuming governance after his family members who were corrupt. And so he was taking his family members to task in the Umayyad dynasty. He was taking his family members to task for government corruption and things of that sort. And eventually, he was poisoned and killed for doing right. So he had two years of reform, two years of taking government to task radically altering the way that governance worked in the oma and his son is saying, you should you know, we should be doing more and it's okay, let's
just go forth with it. Even if they kill us now, a sun is coming off as brave, right? But that boldness and haste and fearlessness of young age, sometimes can be the
The greatest sabotager of reform, if Obama would have listened to his son,
then he would not have been able to effectively enact much of the change that he was able to enact. Right? It would have it would have left it would have left the the Muslims in a very exposed position it would have left many of those people that he was claiming to advocate on behalf of it would have left them in a horrible situation. But again, if you're watching that you might think to yourself, Well, hey, you know what, all of a sudden, has a point. You're watching this on the outside you're like, you know what, almost son has a point. Go for it, do your thing. So I'm going to bin Abdulaziz responded, he said, Oh, my son.
Alongside the great Sarah that Allah has portion to you, is talking about righteousness. He said, alongside the great share that Allah has portion to you of righteousness, you still carry some of the qualities of young people.
But you're still young. So even though Allah is giving you a lot of righteousness, you're still a little young. He said, Oh, my son Do not be hasty. Or Allah had this praised wine twice in the Quran and then prohibited on the third occasion, meaning what the prohibition of drinking alcohol in the Koran came in three stages. The first two, were ambiguous in a way, the second one prohibited drinking wine before you came to the mosque to pray. And the third one was outright prohibition. So he said, even Allah dispraise, that twice before he outright prohibited it. They saying even Allah employed a gradual approach. He said, I fear and this is one of the most profound statements by the
way, that you find from a bit of an odd disease. He said, I fear committing them to the truth altogether less, they rejected altogether. I fear committing them to the truth altogether less, they rejected altogether, meaning I impose all of this at one time, they'll run away from it, all of it at one time, not going to work. seems great. It's it's these are great ideals, we have to come in with these ideals. But at the same time, there is a process, he said, I cannot present them. And this is particularly now with teaching the religion properly so that I cannot present them with any part of the religion, except while offering some worldly benefit alongside it in order to soften
So as I teach them properly, they have to see the benefit of that teaching as well. So their hearts become soften to it out of fear that they would erupt against me in a way that I cannot repel. He said, Does it not please you that not a day passes by your father, except that he revives a sooner destroys a bidder except that he revives a prophetic, prophetic tradition and destroys an innovation does not please you that every day that goes by in my rule, there is some reform that's taking place. I know it's not at the pace that you want it. But But I'm getting there. Right. And what ends up happening as a result of that, by the way, in two years, Amata bin Abdulaziz reinstates the
purest justice that has ever been seen in the oma, a justice that resembles the coming of Christ Himself. Right. So the things that happen under omnibenevolent Aziz, in terms of reform, you can find people to give charity to because he had, you know, he eliminated that disparity. He made sure that corruption didn't take place, when almost eliminated corruption, they couldn't find people to accept his account anymore.
He reinstated such a pure justice in those two, two and a half years, two years in a few months, that the oma benefited from it for years and years and years to come. Okay. So basically, what we take from this is that reforming a society
is, in some ways, like reforming the individual. That's what the prophet peace be upon them taught us in some ways, they vary, and in some ways they don't. Okay, so some will not, you know, as an individual, you don't reform from a vise at once, but instead you take baby steps. And in the case of societal reform, you also take steps with the goal of expelling the greater evil. But as you can't get to expelling the greater evil, you continue to make strides with the lesser evils until you're able to remove it all. Okay, so you don't give yourself an excuse to not do anything.
But at the same time, you keep things in perspective. And it's very important here that that Ahmedabad disease was not as radical as his son wanted him to be, but he was too radical for the oma, which is why he got poisoned anyway. So his agenda of reform was too radical anyway, for some people, even though to his son, he wasn't doing enough. All right. So the verdict is always going to be very subjective
as to what type of change you're making, and a lot of times it's a lot easier.
As we learned with our previous president, to talk about change sometimes than to enact change at the, at the, at the pace that you want to enact it, okay? It's just the way that things unfold, unfortunately, many times. So I'm going to these did ruffle feathers. The Prophet peace be upon him did discomfort people even though the Prophet peace be upon him had the greatest wisdom and the way that he approached things around him but at the end of the day, he was revolutionary, right again, even though he saw Islam, you know took time to flip tables, he did flip tables. Eventually, they knew when to act in that way they knew when to employ certain steps in their certain times. Okay, so
the Prophet peace be upon him, spoke up very early on not just against idolatry, but he spoke up against female infanticide, he spoke up against tribalism, which had serious backlash, okay. However, the prophet peace be upon him did not allow his companions to take up arms and self defense in Mecca, even though it would have been moral for them to do that it wouldn't have been smart. And that's the problem that we make sometimes that we conflate those two things.
No one could have said to the people of Mecca, the Muslims in Mecca and a decade of persecution took up arms against those that were persecuting them, no one would have been able to call them oppressors or said they were wrongdoers. They would have been justified, but it wouldn't have been smart. Okay, it wouldn't have been smart, I'm talking about if they would have fought their oppressors. Right and employee took up arms against their oppressors. And that's why we find a lot as he mentions it in Medina, that Quincy Valley Community tell him Allah has prescribed fighting for you now, even though you detest it, meaning Allah knows that you don't like to fight, you don't want
war. But at this point, now, this is the time for you to defend yourselves. This is the time for you to take up arms in defense. So the Prophet peace be upon him did not allow them to take up arms and self defense, okay, even and the Prophet peace be upon him did not allow them to curse the idols, the way that they were being insulted. And later on the Prophet peace be upon him, of course, did allow them or rather allow them to take up arms and defensive and defensive themselves again, by all standards, it was moral. Likewise, when the Prophet peace be upon him, if you just read about the conquest of Mecca, and I hate using the word conquest, because conquest implies, right, you know,
heads rolling and blood in the streets.
If the Prophet peace be upon him, came back to Mecca,
and kill those that had killed so many Muslims run him out. No one could say that was immoral or unjust.
But the prophet peace be upon him had vision
farsighted, okay? He didn't have a tunnel vision, he was farsighted. And look what Allah made out of them instead. So here's the final lesson.
With all of that being said, the standard should always be maintained and not ambiguous. Even as we take baby steps to the truth. People must always know what the truth is. This is an important, an important lesson for people that have a set of principles that they're bound by, because they believe them, they hold them to be divine. So all aspects of our faith. We cannot be ambiguous about our principles. But we can prioritize and be wise about how we carry out agendas to enact meaningful change. The truth, however, cannot ever be ambiguous. What that means is that the Prophet peace be upon him. Even before he was 40 years old. Everyone knew the Prophet peace upon him, didn't worship
idols and didn't believe in idols. They knew that about him. But they weren't threatened by his message of monotheism yet, because the message of the Prophet peace upon his message of monotheism meant that they could no longer commodify and profit off of their gods. Right, but there was there can't be ambiguity about where you stand about where your principles are, regardless of what that principle is, regardless of what that truth is, meaning the standard the ideals always have to exist, there always has to be that we're trying to get here. Okay, just like in our personal acts of worship, yes, the prophet peace be upon him gave people concessions and allowed people to proceed at
certain paces. But the prophet peace be upon them never blurred the standard. Okay, so whether that standard, of course, for the sake of this class, we're talking about social justice, the ideals that we talked about, I know some of you, you know, as we were going through some of these classes are going oh, that's, you know, that's that's so wonderful, how the Prophet peace be upon him cared for, for animals and, and the environment. And that all seems so great, and it's all rosy, the standard has to remain theologically socially, politically, the standards cannot be blurred, the standards remain. So just as a personal agenda for change, you've got your long term goal and you've got your
goals, you work in a way that you remain inspired. But with tools that you can continue to aspire with, you have to balance those two things. So when it comes to social change as well, you do the exact same thing. The other thing that we take from this is that when you think about a holistic agenda of reform, hearts needs to be reformed. Right? They are in Islam go hand in hand. Right? Complete reformation of the heart, the hearts and minds of people goes hand in hand with the reformation of policy, okay with the reformation of societal standards and societal injustices, moral rectification and justice go hand in hand. The reason why you could trust the Prophet peace be
upon him, when he told you that this is bad for your hereafter, is because the Prophet peace be upon him protected you from what was bad for this world, bad for you in this life. The Prophet peace be upon him proved that he loved people and wanted good for people in this life. So when he spoke about the Hereafter, he was trusted. Okay. What that means is that moral rectification the more comprehensive sense and justice go hand in hand calls for justice should go hand in hand. We don't belittle any of these things. Dawa and Islam go hand in hand amendment of Azadi. May Allah be pleased with him, wrote the the famous. The famous collection of Azadi is considered one of the
greatest scholars and mystics in the history of Islam. He wrote a very famous collection called Luma. Dean, the revival of religious sciences, while Muslims were facing massacres at the hands of Mongols and at the hands of Crusaders. And these people were still teaching religion, they were still teaching spirituality, they were still thinking about writing books that people will read 1000 years later, while at the same time defending themselves while at the same time, you know, trying to better their world. And in a comprehensive sense, none of these things were exclusive to the other. It all works together. And by the way, one of the things we do wrong, is we try to place all of this
on every single individual.
Okay, meaning what, if you're doing too much good in this regard? You're not doing enough of it here.
All right. So we tear down people
that are enacting change in a meaningful sense in a way that is true to text because we say, well, you're not doing enough. And those that are usually saying you're not doing enough, are doing absolutely nothing.
All right. That's that's, that's usually the way these things work. Those people existed even in the time of the Prophet peace be upon them. They were called the hypocrites. They sat back and they said, it's hot outside.
They sat back, and they tried to paralyze any type of good any type of movement, because they weren't they were unwilling to take part in anything that actually required from them labor or movement or doing anything. All right. So not everyone, just because all of these things work hand in hand for comprehensive reform, right? in a way that's theological, political, moral, all these things, just because all of it works together doesn't mean that any individual is tasked with doing all of it at the same time.
We specialize, we don't undermine one another. Right? We don't tear down each other. Some people work on speaking to legitimate grievances that people have other people deconstruct the illegitimate agendas that take advantage of those legitimate grievances that people have.
They work in tandem, they work together the theological, the moral, the social, the political. And so you know, in conclusion of all of this, gradualism cannot be an excuse for inaction, and foolishness often masquerades as courage. So we create pressure, we create a sense of urgency, we work we do I mean, you necessarily have a quote unquote, again, radical agenda. And how you achieve radical positive change theologically, politically, socially, morally, right, is through being smart and being wise and that usually comes through what the what Allah says in the Quran, or amerihome should have been at home that they consult with one another, that they work together that they think
about how how to enact again, meaningful steps towards the ideal, while never losing sight of the ideal. So that is unhemmed Ilan hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah that is the end of the 40 Hadith on social justice. I'm not going to do another class for a year and a half now because this class took a year and a half. I'm just playing shall I'll get started right when I get back from Hajj in September inshallah, but I do want to thank everyone who has been a part of this, follow the notes online.
Go back and review
Whatever it is that you missed, I hope that inshallah we'll be able to create some more content out of this content, put it together in more and more formats that people can benefit from inshallah, if I said anything wrong in this entire class, then it is from myself, and from the from the evil of shavon. I seek refuge in a lot from from my lower self and from the shape and if anything good was said or taught, than all the praises are due to Allah. Only the mistakes belong to me. And we asked a lot to send us peace and blessings upon His Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam to allow us to aspire towards that which he taught us to aspire to Allah Ameen.