Reforming the Self #07
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 35.31MB
We're going to show
and hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Ashraful MBIA. Were more saline being offered once a month or could once in a Muhammad Ali he offered a solo as good as seen a Lahoma on him. That'd be very unfair. Oh, no. In fact, another thing that I learned when I was in an admin
it's Sunday night,
And we are
we're nearing are starting to get close to the end of the first section olahraga, but also had his book that er de la
McHattie machete on
the path to
obtaining elites qualities, elite qualities that the city
wants us to have
encouraged us encourages us to have in order to fulfill our purpose, and our potential on Earth.
Last class, we talked about how purifying the soul is a prerequisite for feet Atha
representing a law upon this earth
has a prerequisite and that prerequisite is purifying your soul. Just as our mid level purpose a bad has a prerequisite requisite, which is purification of the body.
And if we don't purify our souls first,
then we're never going to be fit
for Khilafah nor are we ever going to complete
our worship, our worship is always going to be lacking.
And the same even with our a model, the first our our level one purpose, settling upon Earth doing our worldly things.
So there's this kind of trickle down effect
with the McHattie mushiya. Once you train yourself upon them or obtain them,
it affects everything else. It affects your level one level level two and level three purpose, it makes you eligible for level three, and it completes and perfects level one and level two.
Today, we're going to talk about another chapter, which
is mostly about
what needs purifying.
How do we go about this project that Autumn and also Hani has kind of laid out for us. He's really kind of
whet our appetites. He's drummed up the anticipation, showing us the potential results inspired us with kind of our our true purpose and convinced us that this is indeed our destiny, certainly our potential.
So where do we start?
What is it exactly that requires purifying? And how do we go about doing it?
And what do we do it with?
At the very end of last week's class, we talked about what that we do it with. And our author arrived with us for honey draws a similitude between
water that is sent down to purify our bodies, and thus make us eligible to fulfill that level two purpose of a bad and then he talks about something else that is sent down from the heavens
that is supposed to purify our souls for our Khilafah for our level three purpose and that is the Koran.
So the Quran has the means is the medicine, the method of purification. But what is the illness?
What do we apply it to?
What's the site of the wound?
All well as for HANA, he identifies three human capacities that require
cultivation that require
management that require policing.
And each of these three capacities if it's maintained, and if it's focused
This will lead us on the path to the McHattie machete.
And if they're neglected,
or if they're corrupted,
it will fall off of this balance either to the right or either to the left, as we'll see soon enough, inshallah.
And it will cause corruption on earth.
It results in sin.
So he puts every virtue or every capacity,
we could say that he puts virtue as the proper use of a capacity that's between two other extremes. So for every virtue, there's two vices,
which is really a misuse of a capacity that Allah gave us.
I'll explain the three capacities, that he identifies our thoughts,
impulses, that includes our urges, our desires, our appetites.
And our we could translate it as our zeal.
We could translate it as our anger or fury, even
kind of our fire, I guess we say colloquially. So we have three, our thoughts
our impulses and appetites, and our fire, our inner fire, our motivation? These are the three arenas that we need to purify.
How do we purify thought? Or what's the aim of purifying our thoughts?
The aim of purifying our thoughts is to cultivate
knowledge and wisdom.
That should be simple enough.
What's the purpose of cultivating our urges, our bodily urges and our appetites and our impulses,
whether it's for food, or whether it's for money, or whether it's for romance.
The purpose is to achieve both chastity
Because once you train yourself
once you train yourself upon this, we mentioned this before, if you want something too much,
then generosity becomes impossible. You're clinging to this thing.
And then somebody else actually comes along and needs it more than you.
But you love the thing too much. And so generosity becomes not possible for you. So when you train and habituate, your desires, and your urges and your impulses, then generosity becomes possible. Also, chastity if we just apply the same logic to Romans.
As for the last one as for our fire, our potential for zeal.
If we train it, and focus it, and properly use it,
it can result in bravery.
And eventually, if multiple people within a community practice it,
it can result in justice.
So these are all the goals that we shoot for we shoot for knowledge and wisdom.
Through our capacity for thoughts, we're shooting for chastity and generosity
through our capacity for
impulse and bodily urges,
and we're shooting for
bravery and justice through our impulses of anger
What happens if we don't put in the work, whether it's for ourselves or our children? What happens if we don't nurture these capacities, focus them, refine them, sharpen them, direct them.
As we said, they're going to fall off either to one extreme or to the other.
And the result is not pretty.
If you look at the capacity for thought that human beings have
if it's not focused into something that
or something that serves the community,
or something that
is within the bounds of what pleases Allah.
What we're going to end up with is coming, right? Not just an innocent type of cunning, but a cunning that is treacherous. A cunning that inspires imposters and fakes and con artists.
We could maybe look at the advertisement industry, for an example, you have so much human intelligence
to get people to buy things,
to create desires and people that they didn't even have before. So that they can spend money, and so on and so forth. Right, this is a misuse of intelligence.
Its intelligence, it requires intelligence.
But it's not applied to a pure end, it's not focused in the proper way. And so it ends up doing harm.
We could say that with a lot of things in society that we see were kind of the game is kind of stacked against you, whether it's,
for example, insurance companies, right? You have adjusters insurance companies that their only job is to find out a way to not pay you. Right, I always remember Hurricane Katrina happened in the south,
one of the worst disasters to affect the United States and the last generation.
million how I don't even know how many homes destroyed millions or billions of dollars in damage, property damage primarily.
And then when it came time to, you know, this is why people get insurance.
And then, like, the most of the insurance companies found a way to not pay it. They said, this wasn't hurricane damage, this is flood damage. It's like, well, what brought the flood it was the hurricane, right? So you see a misuse of intelligence, and you see oppression because of that. People kind of using their intelligence to get out of some sort of responsibility. We see that with political leadership all the time.
People who are adept at manipulating others, who are experts at playing off other people against each other. Whether it's, I mean, my the most
readymade example, to my mind is British colonialism, especially in in South Asia. But everywhere that British colonialism touched it kind of chose these guys and pitted them against these other guys and kind of us there's this cutting involved, there's a form of intelligence behind it.
However, what's the end? It's just to rob people, extract wealth, do all these sorts of things. So it's the corruption of this capacity, think about all of the the we could say the opportunity cost.
If all of that intelligence had been focused and properly channeled,
what good could have been done on earth? Instead, it was put in the service of a very narrow set of priorities are a narrow agenda. And so it caused a lot of harm.
So that's the corruption of it in one direction, but it can also be corrupted in the opposite direction.
Which results in stupidity or naivety. 100% Shake family, oh, yeah, big time, redrawing the map lines in the Middle East after the World War so that there is constant fighting for land 100% it off, is a third Kurd a third, Shia, a third Sunni. That was by design.
Palace, Palestine, Jordan, all of those places. Exactly. 100% that's coming. And that's a misuse and an abuse of Allah's gift of intelligence.
And so if you look at that political leadership, do we say is this an ephah? As this
representing a law on Earth, with the laws qualities? No, absolutely not. It's a travesty.
It's the opposite. It's letting corruption rain and causing harm.
It can be corrupted in the opposite direction as well.
Which is basically if you can imagine it, almost like atrophy. Right? If you don't use something and then it becomes basically
all of these kinds of distractions that we have in the media, and there's no, there's nothing wrong in and of itself
with some entertainment once in a while, but we know that that's not really what's going on in normal American society, we have a cult of entertainment,
both for the youth and for adults,
where there are households where video games are the only things that are going on. And television and movies are the only things that are being kind of either discussed or, or observed or watched, or these sorts of things. And there are, that goes for children. And for adults, there are adults whose lives are simply going to work, coming home, heating up some dinner, or ordering out and watching Netflix.
This is abuse of the capacity that Allah gave you for intellect. Allah gave you an intellect, he wanted you to focus it.
So that you could have this Khilafah
you could represent him on Earth and do good and be just, and he gave you this capacity to serve you to that end.
And so if our lives are just entertainment,
we're letting those that capacity atrophy.
And it starts to fail from misuse. And we see in our society, right now our political moment that we live in, we have this kind of Gulf.
We have like intellectuals on the left, that their intelligence doesn't really benefit them at all.
And they themselves are guilty of extracting a lot of money from the lower classes over the last decades real wages have not increased since the 70s. homeownership, right. meaningful employment, all these things have been going steadily down down down for decades.
And then you have
a group on the other side of the aisle on the right, that starts to resent that group of people so much that they take pride in their ignorance. They take pride in their
anti intellectualism, we have this kind of streak in American political culture of anti intellectualism. People being proud that they only speak one language, people being proud that they don't read books, people being proud that, you know,
they speak in a certain way
that could be considered ungrammatical, right? They have no desire at all to
improve themselves to develop their intellect. And actually, there's a social thing where they actually police each other and make fun of each other, and scorn each other. For anybody who starts to pursue that project of refining your intellect.
So we have two extremes. And obviously, we see now what the social harm is to having either of those groups, let alone both of them. You can't tell though that group of people anything.
Right, you can't even have a discussion that has rules or has boundaries or things like that. Because there's an established culture of anti intellectualism or anti education. And we talked about this in a in a in an earlier class about how important a culture that respects education, and intellect, not for its own purposes, not just to monetize it, or commodify it to get money out of it, and status. But because this is the development of a capacity that Allah has given you, in order that justice can be established on Earth,
starting with yourself, then your family, then your community, and so on and so forth.
So we have both of these two extremes. And now things are even worse with social media. These things are very addicting, they're made designed to be addictive. And so they blunt the intellectual capacity of a lot of people, especially the youth.
Moving to the second capacity,
we talked about urge, bodily urges bodily impulses and desires. And we could sum these up, you know, there are others, but most of them have to do with nutrition or food and romance or intimacy.
So on one side of the aisle,
if we don't take care of this capacity, if we don't focus it and train it, and understand what it's there for what is its purpose.
Then what happens is, we become gluttonous.
We become insatiable
You literally can't get enough.
Right? I mean, this, we especially I'm more familiar about this with food. And there's actually a really amazing Hadith that describes exactly this one time the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he had a guest, I believe this was in the Meccan period, but I could be mistaken.
And his guests was not a Muslim. He spent the night with the Prophet Muhammad Ali, his thoughts of Sudan.
And when it was in the evening time, the Prophet alayhi salatu salam offered him milk, right. He said, You know, he had a sheep he like milk to the sheep and brought it to him.
And the person who was not a Muslim, this will that but he didn't say this or that, but you know, he down to the whole thing.
And then he's like, I need more like, that's not enough. And the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam a very gracious host,
went out and he found a different sheep and he melts that sheep. He came back and he offered it to his guest.
His guest down to that, too. He's ready for another.
And he went out and got another sheep and so on and so forth, until he had basically milked dry seven sheep to satisfy his guest. Now, the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam being an excellent host.
He would never refuse. And he never made a big deal. And he didn't kind of remember like mutter under his breath, or grudgingly
offer it to his guests. But of course, he noticed it.
hooking it up with what we said before because of his purification of his urges. He could be generous. Right? So we hear this with kids all the time, who haven't trained their urge.
Their main concern is, is there going to be enough left for me? Right. And some adults never get past that part.
Anyway, they spend the night and in the morning, when the man wakes, he accepts us that he takes his Shahada.
And so the Prophet Muhammad SAW I sat down, he says, you know, this is amazing, this is great. Welcome. Let me go bring you some milk for breakfast.
And he goes out and he milks the sheep.
And he brings back one bowl, from one sheep.
And the man starts to drink it, but he can't finish one bowl.
And the man is amazed because just the night before he had down the seven of them.
What changed what's different.
The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam he told him
that the believer eats in one stomach
and the disbeliever eats in seven.
Obviously, this is not a literal statement, biologically are talking about anatomy lessons.
People who are not Muslims don't have more stomachs than us. But it has to do with our relationships, our relationships to nutrition and nourishment and food.
The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam, he said,
We are a community or an ummah
doesn't eat until we're hungry.
And that stops eating before we're full.
And another Hadith, the Prophet alayhi salatu salam, he said
that it's sufficient.
It's enough for you
to simply eat enough, that's going to keep your back up. Right. That's the verbiage that he used the phrase that he used solo sauna.
He said, But if you can't handle that,
if you can't eat that little, then at least leave a third for water and a third for food and a third for air. A lot of us know the second half of the Hadith but not the first half.
The first half. He's telling us listen, I know you don't believe it.
But really, it's enough for you just to eat literally what's enough to keep you upright.
Very hard, a very high level to attain. He was there. Of course, he's lots of Sudan.
As for us, the normal typical people will go with the third's
Have a third for a third for food, a third for water and a third for air. And so we decided to surpass that.
So if we, the first Hadith we talked about about having one eating and one stomach, right? Having to do with our relationship to our bodily urges and impulses, everything has to be the proper amount.
Too much of anything
is no good.
And this is a perfect balance between
people who have gone to the other extreme of saying, No, you can't have any of these things.
A law says, and
so it's an iron ore is it sort of allowed off? Who would forbid my slave from Xena to hire to dunya the beautiful things of life. Now this is for the believers, we can have it and it's not a morally problematic thing to enjoy the finer things in life, but everything in a proper proportion, nothing too much.
And especially guard your relationship to that thing. Are you ready to give up that thing? Are you ready to offer it to others? Are you able to embody that generosity that indicates that you have kind of mastered your relationship to it?
These are all important questions. So that's the one side
we have the side of gluttony. Then we have the other extreme of this capacity, which is our bodily urges and impulses, which is kind of like desensitization
This is similar to the addict.
Right? Like somebody who has even coffee will give a benign example, right in case there are kids listening.
Let's give a benign example with coffee.
I love coffee, I drink it every day, I probably get cranky for a couple of days, if I don't have it until I get used to it.
We're accustomed to this thing.
It does a certain thing for our body.
But the more that we consume, our body will continue to match getting used to it.
Until we need maybe sometimes we need more and more and more to just give us the same sensation that we had. At first.
I'll try to say this in a PG 13 way. But
when it comes to addiction to pornography, there's there's a clinical relationship between addiction to that sort of stuff, and dysfunction of the reproductive organs.
Right, a similar thing is going on
where the capacity has been abused, and corrupted, and so it doesn't function as it normally should.
It has become numb and desensitized.
The final capacity, the third one,
our fire, our internal fire, our zeal,
even our anger, right? contemporary culture doesn't really like anger.
In the whole like kind of mindfulness movement. It's kind of labeled along with fear as a negative emotion.
And there's no doubt that there are many expressions of anger and fear that are not positive.
This is the spirit of the Hadith, the Prophet alayhi salatu salam used to say let's tell them don't get angry.
But that was a particular type of anger the Prophet alayhi salatu salam was talking about was that the Prophet alayhi salatu salam ever tell people on the battlefield to not get angry?
No, because that's a situation where you actually need to get angry. The Prophet alayhi salatu salam
sometimes would get angry on the minbar when he was giving the the hook but on Friday.
So the statement even though it is general, it's specific. It refers to a specific type of anger. There are other types of anger that are righteous.
When you're angry
for Allah because
you're angry at something that Allah is also angered by. That's a righteous form of anger.
In fact, part of our project of becoming better Muslims and believers is to conform
our own urges or our own sense of what we like and what we don't like, what makes us angry and what makes us happy to conform that to
Allah likes and doesn't like what Allah
what makes Allah happy and what makes Allah angry.
There's no doubt that somebody who is two people who are Muslims, one person is happy when they see Allah's commands being violated, whether it's alcohol or interest or something else, is not equal to somebody who sees those things and in their heart they hate that thing that Allah hates. The second person is a stronger believer, no doubt.
So that anger or that zeal or that fire also has to be focused and trained.
If it is, it results in nobility and bravery, and justice, you need to have anger for the victims and anger for the oppressed
on their behalf, in order to achieve justice,
but anger and zeal can be corrupted just like the other capacities.
It can be, we could say neutered for a mass emasculated to use a gendered term.
Right, which is kind of what we see going on a lot today with different
pop psychology kind of trends.
The claim of toxic masculinity, which there's no doubt that certain expressions of what people mean when they say that
there's a grain of truth in what they're saying. But there are other people who are over applying that term
any traditionally masculine positively masculine quality or behavior such as bravery, such as anger on behalf of the oppressed.
This is an extreme. And so if you
use this to remove from society, all anger,
and all zeal and all rage,
what you're going to end up with is cowardice.
And the people or community that's easily oppressed and manipulated.
Right? These are things that are good values, they just need to be trained and focused.
On the other side of the aisle, and we see this as well, because this kind of whole movement that has sought to remove
or demonize or vilify a lot of these characteristics or qualities, such as chivalry, or such as a certain masculine zeal or righteous anger. We've seen a push back in the opposite extreme, haven't we? The alternative, right? And all this stuff, we've seen the rise of this kind of hyper masculinity or this kind of what's truly toxic masculinity, which is this kind of callousness, and the carelessness and recklessness.
Anger, without focus, anger and rage and fury
and zeal for the sake of itself, not applied and not controlled, not prudence,
but just kind of self celebratory.
And this results in oppression, not oppression of themselves, but they are going to oppress other people. We see this all the time. If you guys I don't know how much you read, but I recently read an article on unnamed Laura southern or Lauren southern. One of she used to be formerly very popular on the alt right YouTuber content creator, stuff like that. And she hasn't been heard of making content for a long time. And I think the Atlantic did an article about kind of her experience within the alt right, as a woman, and how much
how much stuff she had to put up with how much aggression and callousness and carelessness and just mean spiritedness that she had to put up with and it kind of pushed her away from at least some of the activities that she was participating in and some of the circles that she was moving in. Right, this is very real. So it's not it does not fall into either extreme.
It does not say we don't go to the extreme and say that all anger is bad. You have to remove all anger.
All hatred is bad. You have to remove all hatred.
All fear is bad. You have to remove all fear. Neither do we
celebrate those things in and of themselves. Rather, we see every single thing that Allah has given us is a gift. But it's also a raw form of that gift. It needs to be developed, it needs to be focused, it needs to be trained.
Everything that we're given has a higher purpose if we apply it in the correct way. But if we're sloppy, and if we don't put in the work, and if we don't kind of are even attentive to that entire project,
then that capacity is going to be corrupted to one extreme or the other. And corruption and injustice will reign both in our private lives, both in our families and also in our communities. So again, just to recap, and we're running out of time here,
all about us for HANA, he sees every good quality as existing between two bad qualities or even better yet, every good quality is the appropriate development of a capacity.
The corruption of that capacity relieves in one of two extremes that are harmful. So
wisdom and knowledge is the correct application of our capacity for thought.
Whereas cunning in the evil, cunning sort of way, and stupidity, and sloth are the two extremes that corrupts that capacity.
chastity and generosity are the two fruits of successful training have the capacity for our bodily urges and impulses.
And if those impulses are left on their own, they will become corrupted either to gluttony or either to numbness desensitization.
And finally, our capacity for anger and our capacity for zeal, properly focused results in bravery and justice. And if it's led to flounder,
or overruns its limits, it will be corrupted either into cowardice or either into recklessness and callousness. On the other side.
Does anybody have we have one minute left? Anybody have any questions?
Okay, then, thank you. Thank you, everybody very much for your participation and your attention.
hamdu lillah wa salatu salam ala. I'll see you next time in sha Allah Salam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh