Reforming the Self #18
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 38.09MB
This will mean that hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala MBA or Muslimeen the vino but watching the Muhammad Ali are full of Surah What's this mean? Allah homonym that'd be million Pharaoh Nolan founded in that island Tina? Was it an Irishman Yoruba anime?
Welcome everybody. So I'm wanting to go to Sunday night. So we're with
a lager but also honey,
talking about that er, Isla McHattie machete
way or the path to obtaining
excellence, virtue that the city
asks us to develop somebody mashallah he informed me that this book actually is translated into English.
It's sort of an obscure academic work. But if you
if you type in, into Google into the I can try to link everybody to it later on in the class in sha Allah,
it does exist, I don't know whether it's still in print, or how available it is. But somebody did undertake the translation of this work into English as part of an academic project. So that would be very, very interesting to go back and look at this book with a different lens, after going through it.
In the Arabic or, you know, the way that I've rendered it, you can see somebody else's rendering and see, you know,
learn from a different perspective.
The last several classes, we've been dealing with a lot of us ohanaeze
categorization of blessings.
we said that he was kind of addressing some doubts.
Right. So he's his whole project is this project of self reform. And so one doubt that he anticipated was people's
concern that maybe they can't change, or feelings of defeatism or fatalism. And so he devoted several chapters to kind of easing and dispelling those doubts. And then he goes towards another doubt, which has to do with
developing ourselves mean that we have to shut ourselves up?
Right? And yes, exactly. So I had a family and as if they were born flawed, I was just born this way, I can't control it.
And then the next doubt that he kind of shifted to was this idea that reforming oneself required you cutting yourself off from the world or living a life of poverty or chaste or I shouldn't say just I should say, celibacy,
and so on, and so forth. Basically, a tension that assumes a
a fundamental opposition between what's in the dunya.
And what's in the afterlife. And his main thrust is to get us to see that the dunya is meant to be put in service of our afterlife, and not to be necessarily just turned away from and shunned that even when it comes to the blessings of health, wealth, family, all these sorts of things, all of them can be tools that are at your disposal to make your project of self reform easier.
And so in the process of this, of attacking or addressing this one particular doubt, he ends up categorizing all blessings. Right. Basically, his goal is to get to the types of blessings that one would assume
at first sight would be a hindrance
to one's path of self reform.
And to show you that, no, these are actually essential tools. You just have to use them right. But he doesn't merely restrict his treatment in the book to those specific blessings. He categorizes all blessings, and he has kind of a meditation on all of them. So he had broken down blessings into five categories. Okay, the first
type was the blessings of the afterlife, Janna, and all that that entails. And that this was the pure blessing to which all other blessings are directed. It's the goal of all other blessings. And then he said, there are the blessings of the soul, which we think of as virtues. Right, and they are the most immediately.
They they most immediately results in that higher blessing that goal of ours, which is paradise Jenner.
And then he said that there were blessings of the body such as wealth, such as health, or excuse me, this was not wealth not yet, such as health, such as longevity, and so on and so forth. Things that could be put, to use to help us worship
to help us worship because they enable us to either have honor and self respect, maybe we can even use the concept of self esteem.
Or because they make our worship to a loss power to how to physically possible,
right, being able to stand in prayer, being able to recite the Quran, being able to see to read the Koran, the works of scholars, things like this, right, having a lot of time, essentially having a life long enough, that we have the opportunity to seek forgiveness, to repent, to do all of these sorts of things. It stands in our favor, if we're blessed in this particular way. So there's those things and that he also defends the blessings that He says are external to ourselves, things such as wealth, write things such as family, things such as honor and dignity. And he says that, pardon me, I have to plug this in. And he says that these things too, similar to health and longevity, they are
also in the service and support of our ultimate goal, which is paradise, Jana, if only if only we take them to be so if only we realized, and put them in that service that, you know, our families, essentially, are our support network, they are our eyes and our ears. And
the process by which we come to know about opportunities. For the most part, even if those opportunities, they might be spiritual opportunities, or opportunities to study and learn and things such as this. So it benefits one, to have a family, a righteous family, and a large, righteous family. Because that will expose one to a multitude of opportunities, spiritually, practically, and otherwise, that will aid their project of self reform and worship. So the last, the last category of blessings that are also honey identified were blessings that kind of exist at the level of process. And and what we mean by process is, they are
blessings that have to do with success, blessings that have to do with
taking the correct path and achieving the results that we're actually looking for. Right. And so, he says that there are different types of V's but before he gets into, he defines what success is. Let me just plug this in one sec.
So he defines what success is it is the his last type of blessings, his kind of final meditation on this
categorization of blessings that he's embarked upon.
And after this, he's going to move on and talk about sort of different things and we're approaching very quickly the the end of the first third of the book.
So he says that what is success? Success is a harmony
between what a person wants and Allah's decree.
Okay, so, if Allah happened to decree, what we wanted
that's essentially what we call success.
For better or for worse, that's our common definition. I wanted to become. We'll get to Tofik um,
Tell feast has something a little bit more?
Well, no, you're right, actually, I mean, as far as the general category, he calls it. He calls it, infantile telethia. So yes, having to do with everything having to do with Sophia, he's going to introduce some terms to us that break up tofi into different sort of discrete acts or stages, right. But we can call, we can call Tofik.
The whole process, yes, of success.
Because people can want something. And Allah doesn't decree it. I could want to become a doctor, for example, or like when when people go to college, they have many possible majors that they can embark upon. I was an education minor. And I was like one credit short of that minor, you know, due to scheduling difficulties, I couldn't, couldn't complete the minor. Right. So
my desire did not align with Allah's other and cover up, it didn't align with what Allah wanted. So from the human perspective, of course, not from a loss perspective, but from the human perspective, we call this kind of a failure, you failed to meet your goal.
Right? And if what we decided we wanted, right, then at some point, after graduation, I've wanted to go to Medina and study in the Faculty of Islamic law, and so on and so forth and graduate, and of hamdulillah allowed to create it so that I did all of that. And so we in our dunya, we human lens, call that success, okay? It doesn't. Now our our terminology does not have anything to do with what's actually good for us or not, right? Because I could want something as a loss as in soda to the buffet ah, and it could be bad for me, just as I might despise something, and it could be good for me. But as far as our terminology is concerned, this is kind of how we break it up. We judge
stuff for a lot we kind of do with our language.
How much did Allah's decree coincide with what I had wanted before.
But we shouldn't necessarily even though we should understand that we have to submit to Allah, scholar and Baba. And we have to be humbled to us and be ready to relinquish our desires what we had wanted our goals, our hopes, our dreams, in the force in the in the face of the of the last quarter.
That doesn't mean that we go to the opposite extreme and not have goals or ambitions, or not expend our energy and effort to accomplish them are all given to us for HANA. He says no. Success or experiencing success is an essential ingredient to human life. He quotes a poem as he often does, he says either lemmya kona on Allah He little fatter for axon Eugen nearly HT Harry. He says basically, that if someone doesn't have the assistance and aid of a law, then all of their efforts
and struggle will eventually drive them insane. Right? Because they're, they're trying and trying and trying for this thing, and they're not getting any results. Right? Well, people float this around a lot, you know?
Maybe some of you are more knowledgeable than me if it's actually true people and in popular culture claim that the definition of insanity is to try something over and over and over and expect a different result. Right. So what we're getting into here is there was the relationship between our output,
and the results that Allah subhanaw taala brings. We're not human beings, we have to have some sort of degree in our lives of success. It's an essential ingredient. We would go crazy. If every single endeavor that we embarked upon, every single thing that we tried, blew up in our face, and ended up being the exact opposite of what we set out to do. Right? Whether it's something as major as getting married and starting a family, or starting a career or picking a major or having a certain type of job
to something very, very small and minut and every day such as you know
expecting that the doors on your excuse me, the locks on your door are going to work in this kind of base level of safety.
expecting that the water is going to turn on, when you turn the faucet or the door knob is going to turn and not just break off your door. When you touch it, these little successes, our expectation of what's going to happen and then Allah's color
matching those expectations. It's important to our psychological health, it has to be somewhere.
And so people need it, people derive satisfaction, right? They derive satisfaction from success. And there's nothing wrong with that. It can go to extremes on either end, but there's nothing wrong with extracting or feeling satisfaction from from having success. We haven't been in the chat. And sometimes he exchanges what we want with something better. But in the moment, it feels like a failure. And so we reflect on it years later, and realize he gave us better Subhan Allah. Yes. Oh, man, you hit it on the head right there?
How often? Do we not see a loss plan until we're looking back over the years? And we realized that Allah was guiding us beautifully, subtly, the entire way. I feel the same way. Thank you for that.
So the relationship between our efforts, and the results is not 100%. Okay, if we look, let's identify two extremes. If we expect it to be 100%, we've turned ourselves into Gods basically, right? If we think that every single goal, or thing that I want is so sacred, that it has to happen, that it can't possibly be thin or selfish or wrong in any sort of way. And that I'm going to get upset at Allah
for not matching my expectations, then this is to get both This is
absolute out of control arrogance, right.
Yet, on the other hand, if we don't have if we have 0% success, right, all of our efforts that we're putting out into the dunya, none of them are coming back as what we planned and what we we set out to achieve, then this would drive us insane. This is not something that's sustainable. So in reality, our success has to be somewhere in between those two extremes, right? We expect that we set goals, we reasonably try to meet those goals. If after all of our efforts, they don't happen, then we submit to what we
determined to be the will of Allah. That was to the contrary of that thing. We also do things like price to Hana, so that we are
satisfied internally and submissive to the fact that whatever happens is actually the best for us and not simply our own failures. Right, not simply our own failures.
But this whole process is extremely important of setting goals and working towards goals.
Then our roundabouts for HANA, he says after kind of defining what success is talking about these sorts of things.
Now he's going to break it down into like, almost like a timeline. What are the different constitutive that's constituent parts of success of Delphi? Okay, so the first one he says is, he died, okay, he died. He Daya
upon a raga with us for Hanny's terminology is something external. It's guidance. It's a type of guidance, but it comes from outside of you.
Right. The second stage in success is what he calls a rushed, rushed is
a type of guidance but it's an internal guidance. Okay. It's the correct method may be taking hold, or the
persistence and perseverance kind of developing within the inside of a person. He'll talk more about each one of these. The third part of success of Tofik is what he calls test deed. Test deed meaning appropriate and pertinent action. Okay. Somebody wants to have children or have a family, but they don't attempt to do anything.
When it comes to
meeting other people, or asking relatives or whatever you're culturally kind of
familiar pathways are to meeting a spouse. Right? This is someone who has been denied or denied themselves tested, they're not taking the appropriate action that would be required for them to meet their goal. Right. So this is the third stage of success tested. And finally, there's no straw and IIID, which is the assistance and aid of a law to make
bear fruit and results as according to what one had hoped and planned.
About so honey, he takes a second he says, there's no reaching any of these characteristics, like what's the what's the point of this whole category of success? telethia he says that there's no possibility that you're going to reach any of the characteristics that we talked about before. Whether there are blessings of the body, or blessings of external blessings such as wealth, or blessings of the soul such as virtue, let alone paradise. There's no chance you're going to get any of them except by Allah's guidance, and by Allah's mercy, which at the end of the day, is both the beginning and the end of all good.
He cites an Ayah from the Quran, although Aquila che in the Holika some ohada and Baja
he also says that what's the audit sort of unknown while Lola follow law he Alikum warahmatu home as a cam income in hiding evidence. Yes sir. What are kin Allah yuzaki Masha will log us me on alim.
Allah subhanaw taala says, if not for the bounty of Allah
on a come off Mutsu
and His mercy, so we have bouncy and mercy
Meza coming coming I had it evident, none of you would ever have become pure or purified.
What I can Allah He was lucky Manisha, but a lot purifies who He wills. So we have to be careful. And this is this is something that we see in a lot of popular kind of new agey spiritual movements, such as meditation, such as awareness, or which mindfulness, the mindfulness movement, such as, so on, and so forth.
We see in some of these movements, a lot of useful techniques to be honest. But we also see an over reliance on the means and techniques. And over reliance on the techniques, they've subtracted a lot from the equation.
They've subtracted his assistance
and his aid from the equation and make it seem like if you just do this, then you will be happy. If you simply employ this technique, you will feel satisfied, you will feel tranquil, you will feel peaceful.
We have the same attitudes towards lots of things to health. If I eat this, I will become healthy. If I exercise 30 minutes a day, if I do all of the recommended things, then I must
necessarily reach the goal.
Now, don't misunderstand me, of course. Those are the means that Allah created, okay, but we can't subtract a law's
bounty out of it. Because how many people do we see that take every single
opportunity and technique available to them, and Allah still denies them what they want it. There are people that have perfect diets and perfect exercise regimens, and are imperfect. We say you're in perfect health. And yet Allah wills that they develop cancer or something else and then their life is cut shorter than the occasional person that smokes and drinks and do does all these horrible things to their body. We see that happen. That's because a laws decision and will is supersedes all of the individual causes that he created. So it's not an endorsement for reckless behavior. Of course, again, don't get me wrong. Everybody is required to take the means to health, to wealth to
family. But even if you take
means it's not going to happen without the assistance of a lost data. So we have to be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that these means are all we have in that case, we're committing a major sin. We're relying upon something that's created in the same way that we should be relying upon Allah subhanaw taala exclusively.
So how does one achieve guidance? He died? We're going to talk about this first subsection, we say that there's he died, and then there's rust.
And then there's test deed. And then there's no straw or to eat. Okay, first station is hedaya.
How do we convert he died into a roaster? How do we progress upon these stages? Okay, if he died is something external? Can we help it along? Can we prepare ourselves? Can we open ourselves into a way that we're more receptive to it, than if we hadn't done anything in preparation? Yes, there are ways around but also honey, he says there's three parts or stages to
guidance and receiving.
So the first one,
the first one is to be able to distinguish the path of good from the path of evil.
And he always buttresses his claims with a Koran. Well, how are they now Nadine, and SOTL better?
Allah showed us the two ways. Right? So that distinguishing how do we distinguish? Okay?
We have many tools, there's not just one tool. It says in the eye. What are they now Nadine, that we guided him to the two paths, we showed him the two paths the path of good and the path of evil.
That can be that guidance can be from our Yes, it can be from our intellect.
Not saying that the intellect is 100% foolproof, but Allah gave us the intellect for a reason
to look at certain practices and certain beliefs and to evaluate them and say that doesn't make any sense at all. This makes sense. That seems pure. Right? And from Revelation, okay, are two main tools that we have to distinguish the good from the bad.
Right? Notice what's not there? What's not there as cultural continuity? Not not tradition. Right? Not what the powerful people or rich people are doing in society, not what the majority of people are doing in society.
Know, our intellect and Revelation are the two tools that Allah has provided to us to distinguish what is the beneficial path and what is the the harmful path. The second stage of guidance of the diet, the author says is progress toward that approach. Okay. And that simply means that once you identify, this is the right path. This is what a loss Pousada intended when he said, and I'm talking to him, right, like what path said Otto Medina and I'm to it, the path of which of the people that you've blessed.
You don't just pack up your things and go home. Right? It's like, Oh, I found it Hamdulillah. Alright, job's done. works over, know that you have to walk the path. Right? Now you have to progress down the path, you have to put one foot in front of the other and start walking and get tired and take a break and maybe get lost and find your way again. That's the second part of the diet is walking, walking the path and progressing along it
how do you progress upon the path of all of us we honey says two primary ways. One of them through increasing your knowledge.
And by that he means the knowledge of what Allah subhanaw taala wants for you. Your knowledge of a laws way. What he has determined as your deen literally your path for you in your life.
And second, in progressing with your righteous action, right? You start, barely pray. Maybe you make one prayer a day. Yeah, lots of Muslims are in that scenario. A lot of Muslims, they save all their prayers for the end of the day once they're done work. Yeah, people are in that that. That's a lot of people's reality. Okay. Now, instead of necessarily just shaming that person and stop for a lot, how could you do such a thing? Okay, that person needs to start walking the path, right? However long it takes. You're all
Lean competition with yourself. But the point is that you're going to be making progress. Five years, five years from now, do you still want to be making up all of your prayers? At the end of the day? No, that would not be acceptable. You would be going nowhere. Right? So how can you now put yourself in that position, where five years from now or less, or three years or two years or next year, you're making your prayers on time?
And so on and so forth with all of your righteous actions, okay, now, mashallah you pray five times a day.
But you don't really dedicate your time to the Muslim community, or your talents. Or, you know,
when it comes to your money, your wealth,
there's a million categories that we could look at ourselves and think, How can I progress? This is step number two, progressing down the path, pushing yourself pushing yourself pushing yourself, so that each year you're developing, you're developing,
just like a business person, they're never content to let their business stay stagnant.
What business person in the history of business people has ever said, oh, you know, this is good enough, I've made a good profit. And I'm just gonna keep on doing what I'm doing. Pretty much forever. Nobody, they're always looking for the next thing. They're always looking for the edge. They're always looking for a leg up.
That's how we need to be when it comes to our spiritual practice. What's the next thing that I could do? And it doesn't have to be crazy. It doesn't have to be really hard. It could be something like calling your parents once a week. It's like, Hey, man, I really don't call my parents as often as I should. Okay, well, let me start doing it once a once every other week. Then Okay, can I bump it up eventually? To once a week? Okay, how many times do I
cook a meal for my wife? Right? Maybe I can, you know, go from never to once in a blue moon, go from once in a blue moon to once a month maybe. Right and keep pushing yourself. Right and finding creative ideas. There are many, you know, there are some families where they don't want to talk on the phone that much. There are some households where the husband is a horrible cook, and the wife would never ever want him in her kitchen. Right? It's not about sticking to one particular thing and being rigid about it. It's about finding something that makes sense and works for you.
So that's the second the second is progressing upon the path.
And of course, he brings up an ayah from Surah Mohammed, while Levina tetto. Czar, the home Hodo ter home taco, so we have increasing them in guidance and so on and so forth. And then finally, finally, the third part of guidance is something that he calls the light a no. And he calls a normal el Wilaya. He says literally, this is the light of sates leanness or the light of righteousness, however you when he's talking about the O liegt, like the Willie. And this obviously is the end game. This is the light at the end of the tunnel. If we're talking about guidance, we're talking about you and me. Normal people, what's the extent the furthest extent the pinnacle to which we can
be guided, we can't be prophets and messengers that's over that door is shut. But we can become allies only at a loss friends, right we can become so close to Allah, that we are loving what Allah loves hating what Allah hates.
Right? We take pleasure in his commands, and we are angered by things that violate, go against his his commands. Right, just as we fear and find disgust in the things that He prohibits. That's being overly, you know, having this kind of confluence in harmony between your internal self and the laws, external commandments. So he says, this is the this is the last, this is what's left for us, essentially. So the first stage of guidance is to identify what's the right path and what's the wrong path. Second is to progress along that path with increased knowledge and increased action. And then the furthest that you can go along that path is to have this harmony where you become one of a
And he brings the court and as he always does to justify his claim was brought to us as a sort of an im call in the holder law. He who alHuda and he says, yeah, you'll have it in here.
Hola Elijah Isla calm for Allah he will give you for con the ability to differentiate between right and wrong.
Allah says and sort of later on in the Surah
Oh Americana Mita Akina who is your I don't know who Nora. Right? Allah is found to Allah he says, or like the one whom was dead.
And we brought him back to life we resuscitated him.
And then we gave him light. Right? So I was for honey, he's paying attention here carefully to Allah's words. He's saying that a law said, he didn't just say, We found some of you dead and then brought you back to life. Right? He's saying that after that, after that made a light for you. Right? So he's saying, look at these different stages, you can be dead, you can not know what's the right way. Then you can be brought back to life, you can have faith you can believe. And then you can be given a light so that you're on clear guidance, you know exactly what is ahead of you and what you're doing.
Then also, Honey, I'll have a couple of minutes here he goes into these other terms. So, we said the four stages he died, externally guidance, rushed internal guidance, test deed, relevant, appropriate action, and finally nostril and tat yield, which are have to do with the realization right the realization of our of what we set out to do. So then he goes on to rush rush, excuse me, and he says that this is an internal guidance, and he evidences his claim by the court and as usual, well, I gotta add Tina, Ibrahima Rasta, who? Mia Kapalua co Nabi he it mean, right that he gave Ibrahim has rushed. And he says that this is an internal compass that Ibrahim had.
And then he talks about
how what rushed is, is an increase in determination. Okay, so you can imagine it like this. If he there is
distinguishing the right from the wrong seeing the pathways,
progressing along the path and potentially reaching the end, then the rushed is the internal provision that you have, what keeps you going? What's inspiring you the zeal, right? The
you get the bug, you catch the bug, you're not satisfied, you want more, you want more, you want more, because everybody's walking down the path is not equal. There are some people who do progress down that path once you've distinguished the right one from the wrong one. But you do it but grudgingly Right? Or you do it half heartedly or you do it sort of lazily or you get distracted very easily. And then there's other people who they have a clear mission, and they will not be distracted. And they've got complete focus, right, this is rushed. Right? This is the internal resources and provision that is going to keep you sticking to that path and walking it
as far as you possibly can.
Then he says tested pertinent, relevant action.
Because all of the
internal zeal all of the external guidance is all for nothing. If we can't take the right means to get what we're searching for. Right? Some people have an immense amount of zeal
and they are completely upon falsehood.
They think that they are Allah's Alia, they think that they are a laws elite. They think that they are saints, it happens, it happens. But some of the things that they do,
deluded, they've been tricked. The devil has come to them and made them think that heedlessness was actually righteousness. Right? So this is the part where test deed comes in. Right, where you're picking the right the suitable actions to get you to where you want to go and conformity with the Sunnah of the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam, of course.
And then finally you have the end which is a nostra, which is Allah's help and aid which has a little bit more emphasis on from where it comes. And then to Eid, which is also aid, but has a little bit more focus on the place that's being helped us.
And this is a laws allowing all of your efforts, all of your discernments all of your
wayfaring to hit the mark and to bear fruit and to start to develop these virtues that we're talking about in the book.
And that is a good place to stop for this week. Does anybody have any questions? Comments concerns
it looks like the answer is no.
Thank you very much everybody for your attention as usual. Allahu Allah, Allah Allah. And I will see you next time in sha Allah AsSalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh