al-Raghib al-Isfahani #42 – Virtues Within Blessings

Tom Facchine


Channel: Tom Facchine


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also honey introduced the idea of external blessings. And he talks about family and he talks about livelihood and wealth and honor and lineage and these sorts of things. Now somebody might come and they say, Well, this has nothing to do with virtue at all. Right? Like, we can have somebody who's poor, and that is actually maybe he's more likely to be virtuous and somebody without a family, you know, maybe it's better, right? And I get this question all the time for people who are trying to study abroad? Do I get married now? Or do I wait until after my studies or things like that is it going to be a hindrance to me, having a family to pursue my studies or to develop myself, and not

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all of us, Rouhani is very, very firmly against the sort of idea that these things are opposed. In fact, he's quite insistent that the external blessings that we have wealth and livelihood and family, etc, that these things help the development of our virtue. And so he tackles them one by one, for example, he starts to say that wealth says, Look, many of the acts of worship that we have are predicated upon money, right? To give us a cat is better is an act of worship to receive a cat is not an act of worship. And so to give us a count, you have to have a certain amount of money in the bank, you have to have a certain a threshold of wealth in order to give it this is something

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that is an opportunity for the wealthy people that people who are poor don't have. Hajj similarly is also this sort of thing where it takes Yeah, it takes especially these days, it takes quite a bit of money to go on Hajj. So if somebody has a sort of level on their of their livelihood, it actually opens up opera, yes, they have a higher level of responsibility.

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Maybe they're under more scrutiny, maybe they have more accountability, but it also unlocks new possibilities for worship, and new avenues for worshiping Allah subhanaw taala. Whereas people who don't have those opportunities, they are in a, they won't be able to enjoy them, they won't be able to reap the fruits of those things, in general. And he the author, he strikes an example he says that the destitute in the quest for elite qualities is like a soldier who's rushing into battle without a sword. Right? So he says that, you know, don't think of these things as opposing, like, if you want to develop yourself, if you want to develop your virtue, then your livelihood is a

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tremendous blessing. It's something that's only going to help you if you have the proper attitude, and you have the proper sort of orientation towards it. And finally, he, he says that the Prophet alayhi salatu salam used to make dua for wealth and he sought protection from *er fraud, he sought protection from poverty, right, and this is all you need to know, to know that, you know, wealth and livelihood are tools to be used. And yes, they can be used wrong. But just because they can be used wrong, doesn't mean we jump to the extreme and say that, Oh, money is the root of all evil. No, it actually can be a tremendous blessing and benefit. Look at some of the companions such

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as Abu Bakar. And such as Earth man had been a fan, and sad and cost and other the Companions who were extremely wealthy, if you have the right level of piety, and God consciousness that this is something that is actually a tremendous asset to you, and your development. Family is a similar thing, right? Don't think that you can go it alone, that you're just off by yourself in the world, and you need to just get away from your family to develop your virtue and, and really your family's just holding your back. No, your family is actually the raw material and the means for you to develop your virtue. First of all, because as if you're part of a family, it's almost like that's

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your, your natural network. They're almost like an extension of your ears and your eyes and your hands, they they're going to be aware of opportunities, they're going to know other people that you're not necessarily aware of. And there's an eye of the Koran when Luke Adi salaam, is struggling against his people. And he says, basically, if only I had family that I could avail myself to, or avail myself to, to help me to support me against you for what his people were about to do. So this is an indication that having a family again, just because there are bad family members, and there are you know, sinful family members and family can be difficult. It doesn't mean that the whole

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thing categorically is an obstacle to development. No, a family in and of itself is a good thing. And family can help you and provide you with the raw material and the means for for developing yourself. dignity and honor, this is something that is extremely important when it comes to developing yourself. You don't have to put up with humiliation, right? Having dignity and having otter enables you to protect the people who are underneath of you. Because when you want to develop yourself, how do you ensure that you're doing it with a pure intention? How do you ensure that you're not just doing it to please this person or to please that other person or you're doing it

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transactional? transactionally having dignity and honor is going to save you from that. And finally, even your lineage and your heritage, right? And he kind of is pushing back against people who don't give heritage anyway

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All, he says yes, of course, heritage and lineage is not a free pass. It's not something and we've made other video videos that have pushed against the one extreme of people who are saying that basically, oh, I'm saved because I'm related to a prophet or I'm, you know, I'm descended from this has nothing to do if with you if your actions completely contradict the guidance of that profit. But Rogal also had his point is that having a heritage makes it easier, right, having a lineage having influences having role models, having sort of this, this inheritance, when you come into the world, about manners, about, you know, norms about expectations, makes, it makes it a whole lot easier if

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you come into the world, and you have people around you who are, you know, have achieved a high level of morality and a high ethical level, and are operating with all these virtues. And that's who you know, you that was normal to you from day one, from the time when you could first you know, talk and walk, you know, then this is a tremendous benefit to have, then somebody who comes in, and they're, they're, they're around people with poor manners, and then they have to work really, really hard to break those habits and to find new mentors and to accustom themselves to other sorts of behaviors. And we find that honestly, as non Muslims, as somebody who's a convert to Islam, and who

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talks to many other converts in Islam, we experienced that firsthand. You know, a lot of times we have poor manners, and poor sort of attitudes and things that we've picked up unconsciously from either our parents or our culture, are different sources. And part of the process of becoming a muslim is confronting these things and identifying them and trying to free ourselves from them. So all of these things can be helpful, right? And I was for honey doesn't want us to think in extremely antagonistic terms he doesn't want us to think in in dismissive terms, and he doesn't want us to lean towards monasticism, which is what the Christians eventually leads to, you know, when they made

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sort of a very strict binary thinking that this world was cursed, and everything about it is cursed, and the flesh is cursed and all this other stuff, and only the spiritual and what denies the material is, you know, sacred or holy or virtuous. He doesn't want us to think and fall into this oppositional thinking, he says, No, that's not from our tradition. Islam says that your body, your wealth, your health, your family, all these things are given to you as blessings from Allah. Don't reject them. Don't imagine that they're against you or holding you back. No, they're actually there to help you. The trick for you or the job, that is your job is to use these things and make them

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work for you and your afterlife and not get distracted by them and keep you down and keep you away from your afterlife.