Reforming the Self #08

Tom Facchine


Channel: Tom Facchine


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under him, Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam, ala Ashraf and MBIA, will mursaleen they'll be in our foot watching the Muhammad Ali he offered to Sarah asked her to sleep on Lahoma. And even though we may have found our Downton Abbey mount Island, and that was even the Andaman, out on the on the moon

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last week

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along with us, for Hani, he taught us something about the three main human capacities.

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And if we tend to them,

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and cultivate them, and train them and refine them,

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we will be successful.

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And if we neglect them, if we let them atrophy,

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if we

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by either neglect or by deliberate action corrupts them,

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we will be corrupt.

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And all of our actions will

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and our dunya. And our Asita will be as well. What are these three capacities? Does anyone remember? The three fundamental human capacities that we have to

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we have to tend to.

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that was close knowledge was related to one it was

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what comes before knowledge or we should say, knowledge is one of the fruits of this one capacity.

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It's one of the good fruits if you if you tend to it, it will result in knowledge. The capacity itself was the capacity for thinking thoughts. But that's good. So you you're ahead of me. Yeah.

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The SE family just came in. The question is, what were the three human capacities at all, but also he was talking about last week that we have to maintain and cultivate and refine the first one that you had a family got it? It's the intellect or thought what were the other two?

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Impulse is very good. And we mean by that like the bodily appetites, whether it's food or romance, and very good. Last one was zeal or anger. Excellent job. I knew once the CHE family came in, we get them all mashallah, I think you guys reviewed during the week, which is great.

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Excellent. So we have these three capacities. And that allows for Hani, he situates each capacity as kind of a neutral capacity that can go

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straight to goodness, to the macadam machete, to the elites qualities that Allah wants us to have in order to be his representative on earth. Or it can be led astray, neglected, corrupted to one extreme, or to the other. So each good, wholesome, developed refined, the quality is between two extremes.

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So let's go capacity by capacity, we have the capacity for thoughts.

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And as the shahada finally said, that, if we cultivate it, if we refine it, if we tend to it, we train it, it will yield knowledge and even better yet, wisdom.

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What were the two extremes

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what are the ways in which the capacity to think the intellect can be corrupted?

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We're living in a time of a lot of corrupted intellects.

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arrogance was related to one It wasn't arrogance in and of itself. But it was something similar.

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I don't want to get name names or get too political but we have certain politicians

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that are in leadership roles in our nation that

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are deceitful, right the con man. That's what the intellect corrupted leads to. Because you've got someone Yes, exactly. The treachery, the con artists because you've got someone who's gotten knowledge. But he's in scrupulous, he doesn't care. He's got no morality, no principles. He's just out for himself. He'll say anything. Do anything, fake anything.

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didn't make any lie in order to get what he wants. So the intellect corrupted down this one instrumentalized to just get what the ego wants, which is what Dr. Mohsen just said.

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And that is, there is an there is arrogance there will lead to the common,

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the deceiver. What about the other extreme?

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What's the other way that it can be corrupted the capacity for thought?

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In the opposite direction.

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Again, just like our against confusion is there.

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But it's it's broader than just confusion, confusion, is the fruit of it, is the result. manipulated? Yes, that's there to show the family that is also a result of it. But it's a disdain for the intellect. Right? It's a culture of

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taking pride in ignorance. And so it's this kind of neglect, of developing that faculty, which, which results in confusion, which results in being manipulated, which is they tend to be manipulated by the con man, right? It's kind of interesting how you see the yin and the yang, they're kind of two sides of the same coin. So we have this capacity for thought. If we develop it correctly, it leads to knowledge and wisdom. If we

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let it go astray or corrupt it on an individual level, it will end up in one of these two, at a societal level. If we let it be corrupted, if we don't take care to properly channel, the capacity for thought, we're gonna get both. And we're gonna have a society of con men manipulating us, a social sphere, or a social Stratus of people who actually take pride in not reading books and take pride in not being informed take pride in

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not thinking about things. Right. This is the entertainment This is the big threat that the entertainment industry

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poses against Muslims and against the entire nation. That kind of keeps everybody busy with things that are just distractions. Not that all entertainment is bad. But you know that there are people that just move from one entertainment to the next. They the binge, right, we've even started to use

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pathological language, to describe people's relationship to entertainment and media, to binge where does the word binge come from? It comes from pathology and addiction. And it's been kind of seeped down into people to describe people's relationship with Netflix and media. Oh, I binge on the show, I watched 610 episodes in a row. Right? Maybe people, some people spend their entire weekends now we're Muslim. So we take a break to pray and we do other things. We're very family oriented. But other people aren't like that. Some people they literally just hold up all weekend, and after their work and everything and they just

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consume entertainment. That's it. Right? This is sloth. This is a corruption and a neglect of the capacity for thought. So that's the first capacity good. The second capacity we mentioned were the kinds of desires the impulses we're talking about the bodily urges, the bodily urges for

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mostly for food and romance or intimacy or however you want to describe it. So what's the the good results if we tend to that capacity if we if we

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refine it if we train it?

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If we cultivate it? What did those capacities lead to?

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Excellent shape family 100%.

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Excellent. When it comes to we're talking about the bodily urges for romance and for intimacy. If we cultivate it, it leads to chastity. Yes, as Muslims, we believe in something very unpopular.

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Today, which is called chastity, it is a virtue to be chaste, or to be chaste depending on how you want to pronounce it to

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your intimate moments and relationships within a context of checks and balances rights and responsibilities. And accountability. That is what chastity is, to not just have it bought and sold on the street.

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Like everything else.

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And then when it comes to your your food and your drinking your money to develop it in the proper way, is what lead to generosity, because you're no longer grasping this thing. You don't want it with such a desperate, fearful, greedy, wanting that you can't give it up when other people might want it or need it. So if you take that urge, that impulse for the food fell asleep for the intimacy and you train it, you get these results, you get chastity and you get generosity. Whoa. And we talked about what are the two ways that it can be corrupted?

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The one direction it can be corrupted with? Does anybody remember?

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Yes, exactly being gluttonous. Okay, gluttony. The you're feeding a fire that can never be satisfied? And how can we take Ethel hat as automotive Markovia? Yes, completely insatiable as alasa and soulless, it's a cathode, you are constantly competing for more and more against each other, until you go into your graves. This is the meaning of the prophets Hadith on a sloth of Saddam, that nothing will satisfy the mouth of Benny Adam except the dirt of his grave.

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That if you don't train, this capacity that Allah created in you,

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it can potentially lead to this insatiable thirst and desire for these things.

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And there is no limit. There is no limit to those desires. And we're seeing that in this in this society, I'm not going to go into graphic examples. I don't know if there are kids listening. But we see it in both of these realms, both in intimacy and in our relationship to food and things like that, we see that there is no limit. There's not a point at which the desire stops, people have kept feeding it and kept feeding it through whether it's movies or commercials or television or ads or everything else to the internet. And then that the desire keeps on increasing, it doesn't decrease it doesn't get cut. By the increase in stimulus. It's exactly like an addiction, where the receptor

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site requires

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a more intense hit the next time in order to be satisfied. So that was the one way in which it can be corrupted. The other way in which it can be corrupted.

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What was it?

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I want to see someone beat the shake family to the answer. Don't just sit back and say oh, let's take family knows

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even if your guest is wrong

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it's the opposite. What's the opposite of the gluttony and the insatiable nature.

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It's atrophy. It's desensitization. It's being numbed. Right? The thing loses its meaning entirety entirely. There's such a glut of images, let's say okay, let's say intimate images of flesh in the movies and on the TV and the Internet, that it becomes so normal, that a person then he even loses their ability to enjoy that thing at all. Or the same thing with food, options upon options upon options and the grocery store this and that and the other till the person doesn't even enjoy it anymore.

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Those are the two extremes when it comes to this capacity. The third capacity we said was zeal or even anger. Yes, anger which gets a bad rap, along with fear in our society as a purely negative emotion.

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Which in the Islamic tradition, it's not a purely negative emotion. There's good fear and bad fear. There's good anger and bad anger.

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It's more complicated than that. So he said that anger. It can be trained it can be cultivated, it can be directed and focused to lead to what

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what good quality what elite squad

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excellent bravery on the individual level level, and then if it's applied to society wide justice, because it takes anger, sometimes righteous anger, to bring an oppressor to justice, or to bring a criminal to justice, you have to feel anger on behalf of the victim.

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And if you harness it and direct it towards justice, then that is the proper use of that capacity.

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And the two extremes that it can go down,

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if you neglect it, or if it's corrupted

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are two extremes that we see today in our society, which are what?

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Violence Yes. What type of violence?

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Reckless violence, wanton violence, crass, callous violence, right? Violence with no justice. That's what it is. Because sometimes justice requires violence. Is that not true?

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To drown Pharaoh, in the Red Sea requires violence.

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When the state, you know, apprehend is a criminal. There's violence behind the apprehension of that criminal. There's violence in his sentencing, there's violence in the punishment. So it's not all violence. It's a particular kind of violence that is not in the service of justice, unjust violence, reckless violence, violence that is not motivated by mercy for the victim. Or by establishing what's fair, on Earth or, or restoring peace and tranquility to the social sphere.

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But violence which is

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which is mindless, gratuitous, we use the word gratuitous violence, reckless violence, misdirected, wanton, callous violence, violence for the sake of violence. Yes, we see that. We see that all the time in video games, things where, you know, we How many shooter games are there. How many shooter games where people go around, and then they, you know, you're killing people. And then you actually, you know, what, what kids do, when they do these games, they actually simulate mutilating the bodies after they're dead. Or worse, I'm not going to mention what, what else they do, but I Counter Strike and, you know,

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Call of Duty and things like that. I mean, I was a teenager, I played these games. I know what on an online setting, you're playing with other people. I know, I know what goes on not only are you killing that, but then you're even simulating things further than that. One time, callousness, violence. And then there's the other extreme as well, which the shahada family brought up

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is cowardice

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to turn our back on all violence to turn our back on justice.

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Yes, apathy, is there too. Good. Apathy is there to shake family

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100% And maybe desensitization as well, that's a good point, to turn our back and shut the door. And say that, no, we really just need to forgive everything, or no, we need to be merciful and everything. We do need to be merciful. That's true. But we do not accept the idea that there is no mercy and justice. Justice is mercy.

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Justice has mercy to the victim.

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And you can't have mercy without justice nor the other way around. Right. So to turn our back entirely on any sort of, well, no, we don't believe in any sort of you can't harm a fleet. You can't. Yes, you can't harm a fleet because a fleet is an innocent creature of Allah. But we're talking about a criminal somebody who has robbed a family of one of their own a life that could have gone on and robbed a community.

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Exactly like turn the other cheek. Exactly what I'm talking about, and robbed an entire community of trust.

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You know, that there's, there's, there's neighborhoods in Utica where you're like, don't walk there at night. Don't go there at night. Don't go there during these times of day. If you see someone walking up to you quickly, then run or you got to have a weapon or something like You've robbed that community from trust and security and safety. You can't let your kids play out on the street.

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But without being afraid of getting hit by a stray bullet or something like this, this is a crime against the whole society and the whole community. And the person who takes away that tranquillity must be punished. They must be punished as a mercy to everybody else, to bring back that tranquillity to bring back that trust that was broken. Right. So Islam, we anger, anger is a capacity that Allah has created. And he has created it like every other capacity, if you train it, if you focus it, if you refine it, it can be used for good. And then there's two possible extremes that you can go to with it, and it can lead to bad. So that was a impassioned recap of what we did

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last week. Today, we have a new chapter from Ramadasa honey, where he gives a parable, right? remember way back in the beginning of the book, he started with parables to get us thinking about things. He's going to talk about another parable. And this parable is how to imagine the struggle between the desire, the impulse, the urge, and the intellect, right, these two fundamental kind of opposing forces within a human being that we've been created with both of them.

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How do we understand the struggle?

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The author gives us a parable.

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I'll ask now because you'll really understand the parable very well. If you've watched our tool. Do we have any air tool watchers in the in attendance tonight?

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Yes, okay. Dr. Mohsen, Isola anybody else?

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Okay, shake family? Yes. Good. Well, two out of two shahada family. Okay, shattered family says no. Okay. So I'll then I won't go too much into it. But for the people who have watched our tool, they're going to understand this parable. Exactly. It's as if it's as if at all, God will ask for how he wrote the scripts to Arturo.

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Remember, in season one,

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when they went to Aleppo, and you have the Aziz, right.

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Who you have kind of Aziz has two kinds of influences on him.

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Right? Who are they? There's a chef about the dean or whatever his name is his uncle, his uncle, who is a righteous person who's advising him to do good, right cares about Islam cares about the Muslims. And then there's the guy next to him his other advisor, which is actually he's a mole for the

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for the Templar Knights.

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Now, so, right, and NASA

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is working with one of the servant girls who goes by the name of s mat.

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And she's pretending to be a Muslim, but she's really also one of these Templar Knights who is just sabotaging everything. So listen, okay, you now that you're there, and you're headspace, if you know the series, this is the example that along with so many gifts, he says, the parable of the soul within the body

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is the power is like a king in a city. Okay, so, the soul is like the king.

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And the body is the Kings territory.

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And his intellect is like a wise adviser. Like Aziz is uncle in the shop.

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And his desire, his impulse, his urges, are like a treacherous servants, like a smack, or who goes by the investment,

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plotting always to undermine, and create a distance and sabotage the relationship between the king and his trusted advisor, the soul and his intellect.

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Always trying to out move him always trying to outdo or undo the things that they've done together the progress that they've made.

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If the intellect if the wise advisor falls asleep for an hour,

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this is all wrong. No one else behind me talking to him. If he forgets that he's in this epic struggle against this traitor that's in their midst that they can't quite identify.

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Then corruption is going to happen in the kingdom. Oppression is going to happen, chaos will reign.

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Then he says that a person's anger or a person is energy or their zeal

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is like

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a security guard

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Take Nasir, in the show is like the other right hand man of the king, another adviser

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who's in charge of like the army or in charge of the security apparatus.

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If that person, if the security guard are the chief of security,

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he has two sides he can be on.

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He can be in the service of the wise advisor, the intellect. Or he could be in the service of the trader, the treacherous servant.

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If he's in the service,

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of the treachery of servants, that means all your energy, your motivation, your zeal, if it's put towards your desires,

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and all you're going to see throughout the entire kingdom, which is your body is corruption, and chaos, and wrong and oppression. And for those who have seen the show, this is exactly what happened. The head of security Nasir was working with a smack the trader, the trader, servant, and everything was chaos, they eventually locked up the uncle who was the good guy. And they were going to do all these bad things hand over the entire city to the Christians, the Crusaders and all this chaos.

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But on the other hand, on August says,

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if that head of security, if he's put for if he works, or if he collaborates with the wise advisor with the intellect, all of your zeal, all of your energy, all of your motivation, if it's working with your intellect,

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then it's going to be conducting a full search a full investigation to find out where that trader is.

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Who's the who's the trader in the in the kingdom? Who is that servant? What are they doing?

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That treacherous servant who is trying to plot and trying to undermine and trying to undo

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this super team, this this dynamic duo of the wise advisor, the intellect and the security guard, which is your zeal and your energy and your motivation, it's going to keep the desire, the how the chakra, so off balance, by pursuing it by training it, fasting, praying in the nighttime, giving away things that you love, even when you need them. dedicating your time to other people, it's going to keep that desire and impulse. So off balance, that it's not going to have a chance to create any chaos, it's not going to have a chance to cause any type of corruption.

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Because this is another what else for honeys point. At the end of the day.

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It's the soul who's the king

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and the intellect on one hand, and the desire or the impulse, on the other hand, are really just

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advisors. They're really just suggesting things. They can't force the king to do anything one way or the other. All they can do is try to convince him.

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And it's up to the king, the soul to choose a course of action to choose which side he's going to support to decide which representative or which advisor is going to gain his favor, and which one he's going to not listen to.

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The converse of this

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is that even the devil if the devil calls to you,

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he's not forcing you to do anything. He's only calling to those parts of your inner self which are ready to hear what he's saying, and ready to take his suggestion and ready to take his advice. And it's your soul that decides to either go for that advice or go against that advice, which is why the soul requires training. Because if you don't train it,

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if you don't train it to listen to the intellect, if you don't train it to listen to what is good and wholesome. Then the suggestions that are laced with desire and

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the satisfaction of urges.

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And instant gratification is just too strong. It's going to overwhelm

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I don't know what else for Hani He likens it to a doctor, right. A doctor can only write a prescription. He can only tell you what to do. You have to go home and do it. You have to take

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The pill, you have to implement the treatment.

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Your intellect is like this. It's like a doctor that wants well for you.

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It's up to you, whether you follow it or not. And then so he dovetails this. And we'll I guess end with this because we're within 10 minutes,

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that this is the

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jihad Allah Akbar. This is what is the greater Jihad

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that the Prophet SAW Allah holiday was salam said, that we have the outer jihad, the lesser, but still important jihad, which is striving in the way of Allah, when it comes to the people who are enemies of Islam and the Muslims.

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And then there's the inner and greater jihad, which is striving in the way of Allah against the enemies of Islam and the Muslims within every single person.

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Those receptor sites that you have the ones that are calling to those receptor sites to go off and to get that moment of instant gratification.

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That's going to lead you to regret, that's going to create a habits that's going to dull your ability, and your capacities that Allah gave you, that's going to create an obstacle between you and reaching through to this upper level of purpose, which is Khilafah, which is the being a representative of Allah on earth, that's going to create an obstacle to you getting these elite qualities, the McHattie machete Yeah,

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this is the greatest jihad. And this is the terrain, the battlefield, if you will.

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And so, according to this, there are three types of people.

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There is the person who is completely controlled by their desires.

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This is like a last statement, I thought I it's many tattle that you love Hoo, hoo, ha. Have you seen the one who has taken their taken their desires as their God. And we live in a time where we can say yes, that's most people in our society. Most people in our society have taken their desires as their god,

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my desire for entertainment, our desire for wealth, my desire for this or for that thing.

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So that's one extreme where this person is just continuously overcome. By the in the struggle, he's winless or only has a handful of wins. He's at the bottom of the table. If you're a soccer fan, he's not doing too well. And then there's someone on the other extreme, someone who has mastered themselves and their desires and has trained those capacities. And so they are in control, for the most part

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of their desires and their urges. And this is the kind of person that Allah described as well. mm and half Nakamoto be who you want to Hanif Sanyal, Hauer

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right, this type of person, the the elite, the saints, the only up the NBR, the severe pain, right? These people that are legends, it all starts with taming yourself, and refining these capacities.

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So that they're just and right in the middle of where they should be, and controlling yourself.

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And then there's everybody else, me and you, in the middle.

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Sometimes winning, sometimes losing.

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Hopefully we come out even in the end or a little bit above, even sometimes we're overcome

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by our base desires by our our need for instant gratification, whether it's something physical, or whether it's something metaphysical such as praise, such as recognition. Right, such as status.

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Oh, somebody didn't call me ma'am.

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Maybe there's a little part of my neffs that's like, he didn't call me by my title. Right? This happens to people. And so now you're kind of, you know, somewhat frustrated. That's the neffs that's your desire and you're yearning for that. That status station.

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And then sometimes we're victorious. We have moments of glory, we have moments of triumph where somebody comes to us and we really, you know, we don't want to but we know that we should help and do the right thing and we do the right thing.

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We have moments. I always bring up spouses because you're

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you have the most opportunity to struggle against yourself with your spouse's

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not struggle with your spouse's you know what I mean? struggle against your your neffs when you're interacting with your spouse,

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because they don't, they have no pretenses, they they know your worst secrets on all of your day.

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dirty laundry and everything that your shortcomings, they know it all. There's no hiding, there's no oh, you know, we used to call the angles in the, in the MySpace days, right, they used to take a picture that you know,

00:35:12--> 00:35:19

is more appealing because it kind of gets rid of the bad stuff and only has the good stuff, there's none of that with your spouse.

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So to interact with your spouse and to control your neffs is one of the hardest things to do to control your need for recognition, to control your need for praise to control your need for even just your whole orientation about my needs, my needs my needs, my rights, my rights, this is what I hear a lot my rights

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and to reorient yourself towards

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interacting with Allah, this person before you there another soul, just like you, but you're really only kind of in this game together really allows testing you every moment, your spouse says something not very nice to you, or they don't do something that they were supposed to do. Or you know, they do it but not the way you wanted them to do it.

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All of these things every single moment it's this kind of training ground this training ground so work on yourself your knifes

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and that doesn't mean I always have to say this you know to make sure people don't misinterpret it doesn't mean you let yourself become oppressed. Like the shake family said earlier, there is no turn the other cheek. Right? We don't put up with abuse, and things of that nature. But there's a happy medium involved. There's a happy medium between

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converting your interactions to really interacting with Allah.

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You might be talking to somebody else, you might be doing something for someone else, or even receiving an action someone else is doing. But in your intention, you're you're interacting with Allah. I'm doing this because this is what Allah wants. I'm not doing this because this is something a lot does not want. That's jihad. That's jihad against the neffs okay, we're at the end of time. Does anybody have any questions comments concerns? Before we dismiss?

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mean what yeah

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anything good is from Allah.

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And anything that's less than that is mine.

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hamdulillah ha salatu salam say Allah. Thank you, everybody. I'll see you next time Shala Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa