Reforming the Self #03
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 39.05MB
Okay, it's six o'clock so we'll get started in sha Allah
Bismillah R Rahman Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala Ashraful MBIA will mostly be in awkward watching and Mohammed Ali upon Sarah was the first name. Hola Hola. Hola, Linda, we met and that one I like that and other than that I don't tend to was it in and then yeah Rob de la they need
so this is a class on self perform selections from the book of Vidya Isla macadam Shetty, I buy a lot of us for hay. We'll talk either this class or next class about how exactly to translate that title, I've been leaving it untranslated intentionally, because it's kind of the whole point of the book. So we'll see the punch line, either this classroom next class, insha Allah,
and a lot of us Rouhani. He's taken us through
many sort of chapters, in this section of the book where he's telling us about ourselves, in light of the Quran, and the Sunnah, especially from the Koran,
who we are. And he's kind of moving from talking about our nature, and our Constitution, and how we're made up and how Allah created us with purpose.
And he's kind of been shifting to okay, what is the point? What should we be doing? What's our destiny? What's our mission here,
and how the two go together the things that we're given, that Allah gives us in the Create due to our,
the fact of us being his creation, they lead organically,
to the things that
Allah wants from us, are the things that Allah has created us
the purposes for which Allah has created us. And so we talked about one of a raga. The last for Hanny's
that we mentioned towards the end of last week is that
the human being is somewhat different from the rest of creation.
And that the rest of creation, especially the animal kingdom, if we look into the animal kingdom, we find that
things are born and created, having these faculties these advantages, either have defense, or they're able to attack or they're able to maneuver or escape or evade all of these sorts of things. They come readymade. The animals, they have claws and fangs, and they have way better eyesight and hearing that we have,
right or strength, you know, tons of animals are stronger than human beings.
And some animals, maybe they're not predators, but they're way faster than we are. And so they're better at escaping the predators and all these sorts of things. And how the human being was kind of different, because a law created us primarily as potential unrealized potential, this kind of
amazing, and amazingly powerful tools, such as the intellect and compassion, and mercy and all these different things that we have language that are in us,
but that they're not yet ready to go. They're not yet ready to be deployed, they're not yet ready to be
used in our favor or to benefit us at all, without undergoing some sort of development.
And if they're developed,
then we become perhaps stronger than any of the laws creations or at least potentially more noble.
And if we don't develop anything, then we remain this kind of weak blameworthy creature. That was one of the main points that we had gotten to the A Lago, but also having said last week, he's going to further
this theme this week, the next chapter that we have, he goes back to talking about the conditional superiority of men. Okay, so before he was talking about the chapter before this was titled, the superiority of human beings over the other animals, and he kind of tipped his cards and showed us without telling us that that superiority was not absolute, that it was conditional. And so this week, in this chapter, he goes oh,
into that, can that conditional superiority that it's not absolute, that it has to be earned, and it has to be worked towards. And he, he bases all of this off of a surah that most of you know sort of the shrimps are Allah says, All the F Lahoma is a CA are the hardener that
Allah subhanaw taala he says what we can translate to mean that this is right after a lot of talks about the soul and soul of the shrimps. The chapter entitled The Sun is one of is one of the most interesting stories in the last 30 years of the Koran if not the entire Quran, because Allah begins it by this huge chain of swearing. Or Shamcey what Whoa ha ha Well Comrie that Allah and on and on and on. He keeps swearing by different aspects of the Creation drawing our attention to this drawing our attention to that and keep on moving and moving he strings together more there
than in perhaps any other place in the Koran. And then he swears by the human soul one FCU with msoa Bahama happy Georgia Hi What's up Allah, Allah Allah Hamza CA, welcome to harden the SA. And so he's talking about the human soul and he swears by it. Because when a law swears by something, he's drawing our attention to the miraculous nature of something,
something that demonstrates the power and the ingenuity and the genius of Allah.
And then he says,
the person who is successful is the one who purifies that soul, called the EPA hormones occur.
And the person
who has lost their way and lost everything
is the person who neglects that soul and therefore, buries it, they cover it over.
And that covering over happens via our impulses and our urges, and our, our habits and our desires and our whims and our excuses and all these other things that basically take the place of our own self development. Right. So a lot of didn't give us a third option, right? He didn't say, you're successful, if you purify that soul, and you're really, really a goner, if you
if you abuse that soul, and if you don't do anything, you know, you'll just be between the two. Now he didn't say that he only gave us two options. He said, Well, that's the Hamza CAHA. The person is successful, who purifies it, I'll call the Haveman the Sangha. And the only other option other than purifying it is the variance is to let it atrophy. Right, like anything else that we've been given.
If you use your excuse me, if you don't use a certain muscle,
your arm or your leg, for example, or your hand, for months and months and months, it grows frail, the muscles stop working. Everything that we have, including our soul, a law is telling us is use it or lose it.
And so, we are only given two options either we purify our soul and thus we become after the hub, we succeed or by either neglect or even worse abuse, we bury it that becomes dirty, it works against us and becomes the cause for our own ruin. So this kind of
these two options that Allah gives us
in this chapter, so at the chef's is the basis for a rather than us for Hanny's chapter.
The conditional superiority of men
our superiority is not guaranteed, we do not have a birthright
to superiority, it has to be earned. And it's only earned if we develop ourselves and purify ourselves
and if we don't we've completely abandoned that gift or that title and we don't deserve it
but I'll go with us for honey actually quotes a line of poetry
but I'm Euro WE ARE YOU be nasty Satan
cannot simply call the Rena Tanami. The meaning of the of the line of poetry is there's
there was never seen a worst trait or a worse characteristic. Then some
One who's full of potential not realizing it.
And he's talking about the entire human, he's talking about the entire human species here.
So if human beings are only a potentially
better species, then
their mission or their charge or their trust,
is to develop that potential.
And if we don't, if we don't,
then we are no better than the animals. In fact, sometimes as he'll explain in later chapters, we are actually much worse.
Just like in English, and Arabic, there are certain animals that are associated with certain negative traits. Right? So irrigable, also honey, he starts going through these negative traits that are associated with certain animals and basically saying that
if you don't take time to purify yourself,
or establish habits or break these certain tendencies that are lying inside of you latent,
then you too will come to
you, too, will come to embody these sorts of characteristics. You become kind of more animalistic yourself. So for example, this is one that crosses both Arabic and English, like we associate pigs with gluttony, right? He's He's a pig, he's gluttonous. Everything that he sees, and he wants, he just automatically has to consume it. There's no filter, right? If someone comes over your house, and you offer them something that food there's no even pretense of saying no, thank you very much. That's kind of you. I'm okay. And then maybe after the second and third and fourth environment, well, maybe, okay, sure. Just a little something, right. This has begun. In our culture, especially
the glutton, the person who has has gluttony, they, they have no filter, they're offered something they want it, yes, I have to have it, give it to me.
And if they have the power,
then they're just going to take it. And some people have that, gluttony in them, they only are missing the power to take what they want. But if they were given the power, they would take absolutely everything that they wanted, money, food, wealth, status,
So a raga. But also honey is telling us that it takes training to break that tendency, it takes training to break something like button
to be in a position, okay, there's, there's levels to it, to be in a position. First of all, where you have that built in, where you exercise restraint, let's say for if taught during Ramadan, right, you've been fasting all day.
And you have, you know, you have a comfortable life, let's say, you, you make enough money, you have a good house, you have a fridge full of food, right? Then it's time to break fast.
And there's people in the mystery who don't have a job, or there's people in the machine who are really, really like struggling, don't have food in their fridge.
But you in that moment, you've been waiting all day, and you're looking forward to the pakora. And you're looking forward to this and the that the Brioni.
And that is a test, that moment is very, very hard to control yourself.
And to have that filter, and to take only what you need, or maybe even less than that, that takes training. That's one level, there's levels beyond that.
There's a concept that the seller used to talk about called ethos. ETHOS is something that is a quality that a lot praises people for and the poor and
the law says and sort of the harsher where you if you don't either and posting him, well, what oh, can it be hidden costs, awesome.
It's giving preference to others in their time of need, even if you yourself are in need. That's another level far beyond merely having a filter. You have something and you yourself are in such bad need of that thing.
But you know that your brother Muslim or your sister Muslim also needs that thing.
And you've developed yourself and train yourself to the point where you want that person to have that thing more than you want to have it or at least you know that it's the right thing to do and so you do it.
That's something that doesn't come naturally to people. That's something that requires development, refinements, practice training
levels of mastery of the self. These qualities that we're talking about don't come except by training.
This actual idea of the Qur'an that I mentioned, there's a specific story about this, where there was a couple, and they were a poor couple companions. And they had children, and they have so little food that
the mother and father, were going to go to bed hungry. They were basically the only food that they had they were going to give to their kids for their their daily meal.
Now, the father goes to pray a Shah at the prophets machine.
And the province like Saddam has a guest of the prophesy philam He was someone who lives in poverty, his entire life.
There were times where he was driven out of his home because of hunger.
He often would ask God Aisha when he woke up, is there any Do we have anything, any food? She would say no. And so he would say, Okay, I'll fast today.
That was his life. So Allahu alayhi wa salam.
So when the Prophet alayhi salam had a guest,
he knew he didn't have anything to give this guest. He asked the Companions after the Isha prayer, he said, can anybody host this guest of ours?
And the unsavoury man, the father of that family
immediately raised his hand and said, Yes, I'll take him.
Even though he didn't have anything. He wanted the reward. He wanted the the point. So the law.
He wanted the practice to develop and train himself.
And so he brings them at home. And he comes in the door. And the first thing he says to his wife, is, we have the guest of the Prophet, Allah Islam.
And him and his wife work in perfect tandem. She doesn't say like, oh my God, how could you do this to me? Why did you spring this guy on me? You know, we don't have any food in the house.
What she does is amazing. She goes and takes the food that's going to go through her children.
And she serves it to the guests instead.
And she pretends like she's boiling food, and getting food ready in the pot for the children.
And she turns down the light, the lamp, and the oil lamp. Slow, lower and lower and lower. Until the children they're waiting for the food. They fall asleep while they're waiting for the food.
And so she feeds the guests from her own children's food, and they wait until tomorrow. They don't have they go to bed hungry. They eat the next day. That takes training.
That train that takes amazing faith and amazing training. And then what happened was the prophesy Saddam was informed of what they did.
And he said, he told them how pleased Allah was with it. And that verse of the Quran was revealed and so that's what Hashem
so a lot of us for hunting, he keeps going. So we don't want to be gluttonous like pigs. So we need training. It takes training to break that gluttony from us. We don't want to have the contempt or the disdain of camels, right. This is something that's known more in Arab culture where you have, you know, readily experienced with capitals, but even in English, we kind of have the sense that camels hold grudges, right? There's a famous story, where, you know, there was a camel herder that kind of whipped one of his camels during the day. And the camel, obviously didn't like it or appreciate it very much. But he waited until nighttime. And then the camel herder was sleeping in
his tent. And the camel went and sat on the man and his tent and killed him at night.
Because camels are known to kind of hold these kinds of grudges, and remember and like kind of be out for revenge.
Isn't that also a possibility for man and woman? Isn't that also a possibility for human beings? Don't we also hold grudges? Don't we know people in our families who have gone years without talking to their relatives, because of some stupid thing, a long time ago that started started small, but represented something big in the minds of the people who were kind of in the feud. And then the next thing you know, years are going by and people haven't talked to each other. Human beings are capable of that kind of level of grudge as well. And so a raga with us for honey is telling us if you don't train yourself, if you don't purify your soul and train yourself to have compassion
have forgiveness and kind of extinguish that need for revenge, or getting back, or I'll show you.
If we don't do that, then we too will become like camels in our ability to hold grudges.
Then you mentioned arrogance, and I guess the Arab they have more
experience with tigers. For them, the tiger is a symbol of arrogance for us, we might say, maybe the rooster or the peacock, right? Kind of like this, strutting about,
like, you're very important, like the things that you do, you know, it's all comes back to you.
Well, you know, I did this, and I did this. And
I've got this accomplishment and this accolade and this reward.
Rather, but also honey is telling us that in order to not fall into that quality of arrogance, it takes training and gratitude, it takes training of thankfulness and realizing that
even our gifts, and our talents, and even our developed skills are nothing without the success that Allah has granted us.
And if Allah had wanted, he could have given it to somebody else. Or if Allah had wanted, we could have spent as much time training and studying and whatever we did,
and Allah could have still prevented us from seeing success because of those that training or those skills or those talents.
So training oneself with gratitude is the antidote to this sort of thing, if we don't train ourselves and will become the same will become the roosters strutting around, pumping out our chest, look at me, look at me.
He mentioned the cutting of boxes. This is something in our culture as well as a fox, he uses his his wits and his intelligence to get what he wants. It doesn't matter who he has the trick who he has to fool.
There are no rules.
He'll say anything, do anything to get what he wants and his object. And so human beings if we do not train ourselves, we can easily become like that. Maybe some of us know people like that.
If we don't train ourselves to be transparent, and be forthcoming, and be this concept of an Arabic and the soul, the soul is like somebody who wants the best not just for themselves, but for other people, and wants what's best for other people at the same level that they want
the best for themselves, if not more.
And then rather than also having the endless kind of
list of animals and these kinds of qualities that we associate with them and the need to develop ourselves so that we don't fall into these kinds of habits. And he says, occasionally, you will find people who have neglected their souls so much, and neglected their and abused their souls and fed the ego and fed the ego until they haven't just developed one of these qualities. They've developed all of them. The gluttony, the contents, the grudge, holding grudges, the arrogance,
and to the end of it, and he says these people are embodiments of the devil himself.
And even this he bases in a Quranic idea. And so it's not either when Allah was talking about a group of
the Jews, after the after Moses passed, he said, Well, John, I mean, come on, get up to 1.0 I believe both. Allah says that as punishment for what some of these people were doing, he made them monkeys, and swine. And devils are going to fall roots, worshipers like devil worshippers, people who have
transgressed all bounds.
And so it also honey uses this ayah to justify what he's saying that there's people who maybe touch individual qualities of this,
acting like this or acting like that. And then there's some people that get the whole package. And those people are not just animals, but worse than animals.
So only if we develop
our intellect and refine our actions, refine our spirits. Do we become fully human, that is of autumns message to us?
He says that if we continue to develop them, so it's almost like this kind of spectrum. He's like, we if we were born here, and we have this potential, if we develop and develop and develop, we will reach the level of human but he says there's more than that. There's one
levels beyond that we can keep on developing until we reach a level that is even safely or a level that is akin to the angels themselves. He even bases this onto the Koran as well and saw the use of when the women have the encounter, right, the diseases why wife invites us invites all the women over who have been gossiping about her, and then tells us to come in what do they say all the women, they say in how the ILA medical Corinne,
this is nothing but an angel. They say looking at yourself, because use of has all of these qualities. He has intellect, and he has honor and he has transparency. And he has goodwill, his wisdom, he's trained himself and refined himself with the success of Allah.
And so because of this refinements, he is recognized as somebody who is angelic.
As for the starting point, of every human being, as a dog, and so honey has told us it's between the two, we have animal
on one pole, and we have angel on the other and mankind they start out, they start out here.
They start out in between.
He justifies this by a law statement. And so little Bella will have the inner ledger Dane, Allah says that we guided people.
And we showed them the two ways.
This verse has many valid interpretations and none of them contradict the other the two ways they can represent both intellect on one hand and impulse on the other. They can represent blasphemy on one hand, this unbelief on the other, they can represent guidance on the one hand and delusion on the other distinction on one hand and defects on the other eternal life on one hand, and eternal damnation on the other. So rather than us Mahony says that human beings are part animal and part Angel, we're part animal in our impulse that we have, we have the same urges and impulses to food, to money to wealth to, you know,
intimacy, these sorts of things.
And all of those urges and impulses, what's the purpose of the Shetty on the purposes of the city is to refine and direct and focus those impulses in a way that actually benefits ourselves both in this life and the next.
But we're also part Angel, our ability or potential for wisdom and our potential for justice, and generosity.
All of these things represent our potentiality on the other side, our angelic nature. And so if animals are here, and angels are here, then the human being has the ability or the potential to surpass the angels.
Why? Because the angels do what they do, and they don't have a choice.
They obey a law, they worship a law constantly.
But they never get to decide whether to worship or not.
And so if a person
gets to the point where they've refined themselves,
and they've converted, everything that they do into worship,
even their seemingly monotonous daily chores, and activities, their relationships, everything, then they actually surpass the angels, because they've chosen that they have the ability to choose otherwise.
And the same thing, on the other end of the scale, we have animals, and animals do what they do. That's their fifth of all, that's their innate disposition that they're created upon. They're not morally culpable for what they do, even if we say that pigs are greedy, and camels hold grudges, and these sorts of things. They're not, those aren't moral decisions that they're making.
Those are just things that they're doing, because that's the way Allah created them without this sort of choice. So if a human being then chooses those qualities,
or at least neglects his soul or her soul, to the point where they're making those decisions.
And deepening those qualities in themselves, then they too, they go beyond and they are worse than atoms. Just like the law says, In the Quran, that they are about a body, they are more astray. He compares them to behind him. So they're like, cattle, Benham about this and then Allah says neither, they're even worse. They're even further as
Right, because cattle do what they do automatically. They have no option to be any other way, we have the chance. And we either took it, or we squandered it.
The next chapter is fantastic, but it's a little long. Does anybody have any questions, either unmute yourself, or put it in the chat. And if you don't, then we'll at least start it. And we can recap it for next week and convenience.
I have a new scenery this week because I'm traveling as some of you know.
Okay, I'll begin the next chapter. And if anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate. So the next chapter is a chapter that I had alluded to a couple of classes ago, one of the main chapters of the book, and of this first section, where at all but also honey, who's going to talk about the purpose of human life.
And I had begun I think, on the first day of class to see what Surah regarding about feeding the guest, that is sort of the hashtag Surah Al Hashem. I don't know how you would translate that maybe the gathering or the gathering together?
It's in the
I don't know the number of the sort of sorry.
It's in the 28 juice.
A little before half way through that juice.
So I had asked him, I think in the very first class, what's the purpose of life?
Why are we here?
You know, and I said that the questions that promise you the answers that Muslims have
ready to deploy for that question are typically inadequate, and insufficient.
Because we respond with something that is factually true, but that is not relevant. For someone who's looking for purpose.
Especially a Muslim who's looking for purpose and Muslim who already knows that they have to faff they have to pray. They have to eat halal, they have to do these sorts of things.
And if they come and they ask, what's the purpose? Why am I doing all of this stuff?
What your average average Muslim will say is that well, our purpose is to worship Allah said
and sort of that yet that he had, he said, well now Allah to Allah, Gina will Insightly Lilia Boone.
I have not created a law says I have not created the gym for people except for them to worship.
And you can see how this answer is true.
But it's kind of circular logic. When it comes to
responding to somebody's concern or their doubt or their feeling of purposelessness. I asked you what's the purpose behind all of this? And you told me the purpose is just to do it? It seems like there's no end in sight and there's no rhyme or reason I don't understand.
Right? And so a lot of us are honey, he's going to give us a more robust answer to this question. And one that
is more satisfying to somebody who's approaching these sorts of questions. So he breaks down the purpose of human life into three categories and he justifies everything as he always does by the Koran, because either will also Hani is a master of the Quran.
He says the first purpose is what's called an email to our email or to our settling upon the earth.
He justifies this by an IRA in Surah Hood for a law says, what's that medical fee? Huh?
A lot several of you there in.
And so, a lot of this level of purpose that I know, settling upon Earth kind of represents all of our
basic necessities, our worldly life, the need to provide food and clothing and shelter and money and to, you know, have spouses and have children and progeny and all these sorts of things.
Right, this is all represented. It's one of the purposes of our lives. Allah has made it something so close to
It's a universal right? Every single person has experience with this.
So it is one of the purposes of our lives Allah wouldn't make it something so close to us and not be one of the purposes to our existence.
But it's not the only one the second purpose at all but also and he says is the famous answer a bad luck worshipping Allah subhana wa Tada and this is based off of the idea that we mentioned them sort of that yet on our follow up of intelligent insight Ilya balloon, we have not created jin or mankind except for them to worship Allah.
This refers to your devotion, your obligatory prayers, you're keeping Hello, you're wearing the hijab,
fasting Ramadan making hajj and umrah Payne's a cat, everything that you do that you think bread and butter, Islamic worship, this is represented in the second category here, a Betta
but a lot of Allah Subhanallah he says that there's a third level. There's a third level and it gets to the core of what this entire book is about.
And that level is the lab
Khilafah which we could translate as being a laws representative, being a steward of Allah upon Earth, being a successor of Allah upon this earth
arrival also Hannah He justifies this by an IRA and sort of an era
where I love says oil stuff leave a comment below the young Boracay Putana Loon,
Allah says that he will cause you to succeed,
he will cause you to
be a representative or a successor, he will make you a successor on earth. And he will see how what you do with it. Basically, he will look at the at the results. He's watching to see, here's your opportunity, what are you going to make of this opportunity?
So a rug will last for hunting he tells us that what this level is about is
the purpose of humans.
Representing a lot on Earth means managing
and embodying allows qualities
in our management of the earth.
Both in the way that we manage resources, the way that we manage land, the way that we manage relationships, the way that we build communities, the way that we treat each other,
we can breathe into all of this activity,
qualities that belong to Allah and that Allah loves and that Allah loves to see us bring about in his creation, such as mercy, such as wisdom, such as justice,
such as forbearance, such as excellence,
these sorts of things.
All of these qualities that are qualities of Allah, and that Allah loves us to have and that Allah wants to see us bring about in creation, these are called macadam, a Shetty out there the title of the book,
these finer qualities, these elite qualities.
And so the title of the book is vedea, healer macarius machete, it translates to something like the path to obtaining these elite qualities of the city.
And this purpose of the lappa of being this, this representation figure this figure of representing a lot on Earth
and managing it in the way Allah wants us to manage it by breathing in to everything that we do the mercy and the love, and the wisdom and the knowledge and justice.
This is our higher purpose.
And the way to do it, is by developing in ourselves, the macadam machete, all these qualities, we have to first if we want to bring about these, it's our purpose to bring about these qualities upon Earth, and it's our higher purpose.
Then we must first bring about these qualities in ourselves. Because if we can
then how are we going to bring them about in the earth? outside of our own selves? It's not possible.
This is a much more satisfying answer to anybody who is struggling with purpose. Because it's an aspirational
purpose, as opposed to the previous one to worship Allah. It's somewhat aspirational, but it's mostly descriptive, as well. Our existence is worshiping Allah. And our purpose Yes, is to worship Allah. That's something that's baseline.
But our higher purpose that Allah wants to see all of us achieve is to be his representative on earth, to bring about those policies that Allah has here on Earth, in our families in ourselves first in our families in our community. And that's a really good place to stop because it's not too far into that chapter. And that sets us up for next time. Anybody have any questions? There's a minute left on the clock before the the session will end on its own final question.
Okay, if that is all for everyone,
then we asked a lot to benefit us by this knowledge
and to aid us and help us to do His will and His wish on Earth.
And thank you very much everyone for your participation. And you're listening.
And we will see you next time Insha Allah on hamdu lillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah.