Tom Facchine – al-Raghib al-Isfahani #41 – Different Categories of Blessings

Tom Facchine
AI: Summary © The speaker discusses the importance of developing the strongest and most beneficial blessings of one's life, including their ability to achieve their goals in the afterlife. They stress the need for a system that is based on a baseline of needs and justice to facilitate this work. The speaker also emphasizes the importance of creating a system that is conducive to society and not just a temporary one.
AI: Transcript ©
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a side point that Oh, also he wants us to understand about these different categories of blessings is that they may can be put in service of the other, and some of them actually come first. And if they other blessings are built upon them. So for example, he says the blessings of the afterlife aren't possible without the blessings of virtue, or the blessings of the soul. So we can't skip the line, right? If we want to have the success in the afterlife, then we have to go through the work of developing the intellect. That's the whole point of the book, you know, developing virtue, developing justice, developing generosity, all these sorts of things, right. So even if the

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development of those things, doesn't every single time result in obtaining paradise, it doesn't work the opposite it that doesn't mean that we can get the paradise without developing those things. Now we need to develop those things in order to get to Paradise, okay, and then even if you go down the chain to some of the other blessings, that we have the blessings of virtue, intellect, and generosity, and all these sorts of things are facilitated by the blessings of the body. Right. So and this is important, because Islam is not a

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body negative religion, right, like some forms of of medieval Christianity, that you know, the body is filled in the body of sin in the flesh, and all these sorts of things know, the body is actually kind of the, the fountain or the wellspring of other sorts of virtues. So if you take care of your body, and you are healthy, and you're strong, right, then you're going to be able to, you know, execute justice, for example, you're going to be able to protect or you're going to be able to do things that if you neglected your body, maybe you aren't going to be able of doing. And then similarly, the body itself is aided by other sorts of things. So for example, we talked about

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something like the external blessings of livelihood and family and these sorts of things. Okay, the body is protected by that, right. And even though it's possible, we can imagine a scenario in which somebody, you know, they are able to obtain both virtue and health and longevity without having a stable family situation, or without having a stable livelihood, it might theoretically be possible, but statistically, it's rare, right? So there is some some recognition here of something like a hierarchy of needs, where people, you know, most people, they have to have their livelihoods figured out, they have to have a stable family situation, they have to have, you know, security, they have

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to not be afraid that they're gonna get shot when they walk outside their front door, and these sorts of things. And then they can work up the chain, and they can work on preserving their, their health, and they can work on preserving their intellect and developing their virtues and things like that. Right. So all of these things help one another. And this actually reveals the importance of Islam as a model for society. And as guidance for society, not just something about, it's not just an individual improvement project or a self help book, right? We believe that in order for individuals to develop themselves, there has to be a certain baseline of support and a certain

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baseline of justice and a certain baseline of needs that are taken care of to facilitate this work. And so if you look around yourself and society and everybody's, you know, like, barely struggling, you know, struggling to barely get by, you know, they're living from paycheck to paycheck, they don't have enough money for rent there. They live in a food desert, right there. There's gang violence, there's, there's drugs, there's addiction, there's all this stuff around how what's society going to be like, and what potential for enlightenment or for the development of virtue at the individual level as possible, it's not going to be possible, you know, the types of people who

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are going to be able to succeed or thrive, as virtuous, ethical people in such an environment are statistically very, very rare, right? You've got to have a system that's going to establish justice so that everybody can prosper, not just prosper materially but also prosper spiritually. So Islam as as an entire social system, as an entire way of organizing society becomes paramount, it becomes a very, very important thing. Because without it, you're going to find that the the conditions of society are not conducive to this type of work and this type of virtue and this type of development.

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