Medina Stories #14 – None of The Students Wanted to Answer This Question
Channel: Tom Facchine
Series: Tom Facchine - Medina Stories
File Size: 5.71MB
One of my favorite stories from Medina was this particular professor that we had. I studied with him for two semesters. And he taught us my cost of the city and the first day of class he asked us are allows actions occasioned by causes, right do causes? Or is there a rationale behind his actions? Subhana. And in any place, and especially in Medina, sometimes there's a little bit of groupthink that goes on, right? Everybody kind of, you know, you have to wait, though, when you got the pen in the pocket. And everybody's, you know, many people are dressing very similarly. And everybody knows the right answer, right? That's the whole thing. You know what the right answer is? And as long as
the shakes like, you know, what are the three categories of toe hate? And what's this? And that, like the lollipop answers are the softball answers everybody? Because like, Yes, we all know that, you know, and that's kind of, it can become a little bit.
It can, it can teeter towards group to think, at times. And so he asked us this question, and everyone was afraid to answer it, because it was so far afield from what we were used to thinking about and how we were used to thinking like the actions of Allah have causes behind them, like what does that even mean? And so no one wanted to answer, and he was very patient, and he wasn't going to let us off the hook that easily. And so he, like, waited and waited. And then finally, somebody ventures kind of a wishy washy answer. Well, now his attention is on him. And yeah, follow up questions. What What do you mean by that? Well, what about this scenario? What about that scenario?
Are you saying it's not possible for all and he will be provocative? And that's what I liked about it. I mean, like, Are you saying that a law cannot act unless there's a cause driving him? You know, and so it's, you know, belief lately, like, oh, that sounds really bad. I don't want to say that. And so he was playing with us the whole class. Right, this basic thing, and that data that none of us knew, despite having studied, we, that was like our fifth semester, I think. And at the end of the day, the whole point in that was to, to, first to humble us, but also to draw our attention to one of the most important issues in our Arpita in our theology as Muslims is that
Allah is a is a rational deities a rational God. Right. Now, that doesn't mean what some people might think it means.
We don't box a lot in according to our conceptions of rationality, maybe we think we mean something by rationality that is not
accurate or does not describe the things but maybe a better way to put it is that a law does not act arbitrarily. Right? A laws commandments has *ty is not arbitrary. We're not just jumping through hoops. Okay, there is most of the hype behind it, there's benefit in it towards us, because everything in our, in our tradition, or a revelation can be divided into two categories. There's aqidah, which is Hubbard is basically information about the reality. So there's nothing else to talk about. That's the reality, right? It's when you die, this is going to happen to your soul.
You know, this is this prophet was an actual profit, all these sorts of things just about reality. And the city, or the insha, the commands they have to do with Muslims, they have to do with what's in our best interest. And so Allah subhanaw, taala, the entire world turns upon this idea of reason, or rationality, or if we're not comfortable with those terms. It's not arbitrary. And that is something that should provide us with a tremendous amount of comfort, and also, inspiration to learn. Because when I was growing up, and I was a Christian, we were always told to not ask questions, right? Well, you just got to have faith, you just gotta believe. Why this well, why this
is why we do it this way. Why don't you just got up. And if your starting point is that Allah is not arbitrary. And the Sharia is not arbitrary. And that all of the guidance that we have is not arbitrary. There is reason behind it, then that is an entirely different orientation towards your faith. Let's ask the questions. Let's dig through the books. Let's find the answers. There's questions I still have. From that I keep in a notebook that I haven't found the answer yet to. But I'm going to ask all these different people I come across in one day, I'm going to find the answer. And then some of those questions. That notebook I've crossed off after years, I'd be like, yes, he
Yes, he gave that he, he hit it on the head. Right. And so this is what our religion This is what Islam encourages us to do. Right? the regret of the people of the hellfire and sorts of smoke. We'll call it a lacuna and that smell oh, nasty, though, if only we had either listened or had used our reason. Right. So all of these sorts of things. If there's something that doesn't make sense to you about the Sharia. Why do you know if there's a brother and sister and the brother inherits twice as much? Why Why does that happen? Or if you know this common one, why can't women marry more than one spouse? Or why polygamy or why this or why? Ask the questions, ask the questions, find the answers,
and don't expect that okay, be reasonable, because not everybody is going to have the answers. You don't just ask one person the question and be like, well, he didn't know and so
This whole religion is trashed. No, you have to put in the work, even us in Medina as students, we would ask, some of them share questions and we could tell when they didn't know the answer, or they kind of gave us a stock answer or standard answer. It's like, okay, thank you. Like, I'm going to ask somebody else, you know, like, be mature, be mature, but also don't stop asking your questions because on the other side of those questions, as long as you're sincere, as long as your questions are sincere, on the other side of that work of asking the questions and trying to figure it out, is an increased level of certainty and with an increased level of certainty comes and increased
experience and faith.