Reforming the Self #19
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 39.16MB
Alhamdulillah Alameen wa salatu salam, ala MDA almost being a Latina Muhammad Ali, he
was get to sleep. A lot of my other baby may have found out and fat and I knew that I loved and that was even arraignment. You're on the line. I mean, it's their money. Everybody welcome Sunday evening to our class of reforming the self with
that era, ILA machete machete, the path to virtue, the path to excellence, the path to
living up to your potential, realizing your true destiny.
The excellent qualities that Allah wants you to have and to perfect
we're still within the author's corner a lot of people joining up so let me pause for just a second
so we're still within a log of a loss for Hanny's breakdown of blessings. Okay. He had talked about the different types of blessings
can we recount them?
And we recall what are the different categories of blessings He says there spy
in the chat box or
muting yourself, whatever you want to do, somebody throw out.
Health, wealth matters. Okay.
Those are all part of the blessings. That's true. But he had categorized it into five categories. So for example, health would fall into which category
the blessings of the body a well there we go. And wealth would fall into Okay, manners would fall into virtue, right, which is in with the mind and everything. Yes, good. And then wealth would fall into
something he called like external blessings because they didn't have to do with your body or your mind or your virtue, anything that is located within your person, right, something external to yourself.
That's what wealth was part of. So those were the three middle ones and the two book ends were the afterlife, right easy one, the blessings of the afterlife, the highest virtue, you know, the goal
of everything that we're shooting for, and then success, blessings that have to do with success.
So, those are the five categories First of all,
the blessings of the afterlife
blessings of virtue
and also say the mind there I think the body external blessings such as wealth, family, etc. And finally, success then we talked about how are all of Elsa honey he broke down success into more discrete parts. Alright, so he talked about he died, which is kind of like this external instruction, direction, guidance
that he talked about rushed, which was more of an internal direction a response right to the external stimulus that's going to set you into the right orientation.
Then he talked about test deed which was relevant, appropriate action
that will actually bring you to your goal to what you want.
And then he talks about nostra and Eid which is the aid of Allah which brings about the results
because even with all of the three previous ingredients correct external instruction, correct internal orientation,
correct or appropriate action only a law can bring the results.
Only a law can bring the results
the cause or causes
and he had also mentioned how there are three stages to
guidance, the first of which is distinguishing the path of good from the path of evil.
The second is progress making progress upon that path.
And then the last is kind of maximizing your potential, how far can you go? Right? Everybody's journey is limited and structured by the amount of resources that we have.
at our disposal, whether it's the number of years that we're going to live on Earth, whether it's the amount of pennies or pounds, in our bank accounts, whatever they are, are the limiting factors.
Each of us has an end, a ceiling, an upper limit, where as far as we can go, and that is the realization of our best selves. That is the righteousness and the third sort of level of guidance. That's an also how many identifies
how does one practically all these things sound very nice? Right?
It sounds really nice to be to have this clarity, guidance, success, all this other stuff. Okay? If it were so easy.
Wouldn't everyone be successful?
the actual, concrete
that someone can take in order to
or become more successful?
not successful, just in the sense of
at your job or at your career, but we're talking here spiritually, we're talking to here, when you interact with the poor, and when you are doing the jihad work of your fraught relationships with your family.
Ah, you remember, very good, it's all based on loving and believing in what is good and beautiful. Yeah.
That's that was the first step. That's very good.
He has some additional techniques.
We could say, how to
attract a laws, guidance and aid and protection, one of which he says,
is intense, listening.
So often, and I'm as guilty of this as anybody else.
So often, when we're listening to somebody,
we're not really hearing them.
But rather, we're hearing something else.
We're hearing something that's maybe similar, but not exactly what we're being
told. Something that happened in our experience and in our lives, we managed to hijack the conversation and really make it about us.
It happens all the time.
Someone is pouring out their heart to you about a difficult relationship, that they're going through a loss in the family.
And the temptation is to
make it about us, that reminds you of a loss that you experience. It reminds you of a relationship issue that you're going through.
Now, this doesn't have to be a bad thing. Right? You can use your common experience to relate to somebody to reach out to somebody to encourage somebody to keep the spotlight on them.
But but it can also go astray. It can also go haywire. If you're still stuck up within yourself and your own issues, you're not going to be able to give refuge to the other person, hey, you're listening but not paying attention. 100%
It's like somebody
comes to you and tells you about their issue with their spouse, and then you get heated. You say, Yeah, that's right. And I have that and this issue and this is going on. Right? The person was reaching out to you for help and for advice, and now you've kind of made it into your own thing.
Or here's another thing that we do. Here's another thing that we do
when we're listening
And we're not quite agreeing
with the conclusion or the framework that the person is coming to you with. We're thinking the whole time the other person is speaking, how to respond.
We've stopped listening,
or we're listening but not paying attention, as was just said,
we're like, okay, it's almost like we think it's a chess match. You want to win.
Right? Like, Well, okay, they said this. So I'm going to attack from this angle and outflanked them on the right side, and then half got them.
And then that case or that situation, you're not really doing a whole lot of intense listening.
If this happens every single day when it comes to our own relationships, and what's the relationship between this practice and success? Well,
Allah subhanaw taala has given us the only complete and preserved book of Revelation
on earth of Quran
and Allah said it was to be added and liquid initially, it was it clarified everything.
Hold the limits of
for the pious.
How can we receive
the instruction coming from Allah?
If we are treating Allah's revelation, just like we're treating that conversation where we're not really, we're not really listening.
Allah was trying to tell us something. And we're focused on this other thing that it reminds us of tangentially related possibly,
but not really what Allah is trying to alert our attention to. Or we're plotting how to convince ourselves that that's not us. In the Koran, if it's talking about reproach and reprimand, I'm telling you to stop doing something.
We have all the excuses prepared for ourselves and justifications as to why I got why I talk about other people, why I don't spend more in charity, why I don't do more worship. We have all the excuses already prepared.
And so we treat allows guidance to us.
Like a conversation in which we're not really listening.
Do you see now how much of an obstacle that is to being guided to success? We want to have success we want to get to the afterlife, we might cry, we might cry about
pray and cry about it.
But all those tears at the end of the day, if when we read the Koran we're not really listening.
Then what are the chances of us having a moment of success of taking that guidance to heart?
There is a related issue to this. Okay, not all poor listening
is arrogance. But some of it is. And so the next thing that Arroyo Hani says if you're looking for success, one of the practical things that you can do is to humble your heart
to humble your heart.
There's a reason why the prophet will have this little Allahu Allah he was and
he said that anybody who has so much as a mustard seed
of arrogance in their hearts will not enter paradise.
Why is arrogance so deadly compared to other things such as heedlessness, such as other forms of transgression, drinking alcohol,
illicit relationships, all these sorts of things. Arrogance is more dangerous often than all of those because arrogance stops you from submitting. Arrogance stops you from succeeding, it is a block an obstacle, a huge locked iron door between yourself and the guidance that Allah is trying to get
it done it's like it's like in fertile soil. It's like trying to plant a seed on a rock.
It doesn't matter how much fertilizer or whatever else you're going to throw at it. It's just not going to go there. It's got nothing no receptor sites. It's got no
to literally and figuratively to receive. It's not prepared to receive. It's not docile. It's not submissive.
Ah, that's right. Yeah, very good. Very good. Very good example,
to shake on at least.
He refused to bow down. Why? So I'm better than him.
I'm beta fire he's made of clay. He you close things, boo. Right childish argument if you really think about it, but arrogance will take you there. It will take you to that kind of childish conclusion.
And you won't be able
to get out of it.
So humbling one's heart.
Humbling one's heart is an essential ingredients to success.
You can't take things personally.
Right? You can't think that if somebody has feedback for you, whether it's a person in your life, whether it is
that it's targeting, you know, it's just about this thing that you're doing. That couldn't be better.
You have to suspect yourself, rather than also having talked about this earlier that the intellect when it's developed, it suspects itself. Wait a second, what are your motivations?
Right. The lower self inclines to
what's easy, what's convenience
shiz away from hardship shiz away from discipline.
So you suspect yourself, you humble yourself, you assume that you could have been mistaken that you could have been wrong.
And you assume that you see yourself in the text before you're thinking about oh my gosh, that's this person. I was talking to someone once. And they confessed to me, they said, You know, I have this problem. I read the Koran. And every time it talks about like the sinners and the deniers and these people, I'm thinking of like individuals in my life.
I was very impressed with that person's honesty.
Right? At least I've identified the problem. Why is it that we so easily picture other people and don't picture ourselves? What's the ways in which you are denying the truth? What are the ways in which you are preventing other people from getting the rights or taking other people's rights away?
Or just not giving people their due?
Right? This is a humble This is a humble heart, somebody who will find
find fault with themselves first.
Also honey, next he mentions
the restrictions and limits, having restrictions and limits. And he specifically says having a sincere teacher
who's going to place restrictions and limits upon
Oh, this is so interesting, compared to our modern age.
You know, what everybody is looking for some sort of satisfaction and the era in which we live people think that satisfaction is to be found in liberation.
Liberation means really freedom to do what one wants license
to act, how one pleases
and a lot of but also handy here, he's telling us something that's revolutionary and different and opposing to that that the satisfaction and blessing and success is to be found in disciplining yourself.
And by pointing out that
it's useful to have a sincere teacher or maybe even essential to have a sincere teacher. He's implying something about ourselves that we just talked about
how the wise person suspects themselves, okay?
They find fault with themselves. That tells us that if we're left to our own
we don't have any external authority
looking out for us evaluating us, then it can become an echo chamber, it can become a,
a positive feedback loop, it can be just, you know, you're impressed with yourself, or you're kind of comfortable or no one's pushing you from the outside.
Now, a lot of us ohana, he qualifies this, and he says it has to be as sincere teacher, because
how many people throughout history have abused the station of a teacher.
They weren't a sincere teacher. And so they end up manipulating their students taking advantage of them leading them astray. This is a real problem. There needs to be checks and balances. Everybody needs a sincere teacher, to keep them in line to evaluate to give feedback. Once in a while to reprimand, to say you shouldn't have done things like that. Next time, do it this way.
what that person what that teacher knows about the students. Okay? Everybody's different. Some people, they respond well to straight talk, hey, do this. Don't do that. Easy, beloved. Other people, they don't respond well to that sort of style. And so they need somebody who's going to be more gentle, give them a parable, give them something that they're going to understand. appeal to their intellect a little bit more, everybody's a little bit different. The teacher student relationship, ideally, if the teacher is sincere, enables that sort of advice.
So having a sincere teacher is going to break you out of your echo chamber.
And is going to fast track your success.
Because one of the possible limitations to our success, is if we're just stuck in this kind of echo chamber and groupthink, and everybody's telling everybody that they're doing great. And nobody's kind of
giving some feedback or evaluation for how things can be done better.
Oh, yeah. Sure How to family 100%.
It happens all the time.
convince ourselves that we're on the right path. We're the ones that are saved. We're the ones that have it right. We're the ones that are following the true the true way, the truest,
And if there's no oversights
we've seen without getting into details, but I think anybody who's been
had a finger on the pulse of the Muslim community in the Anglosphere in the last 3040 years knows that, you know, this lesson is significant.
Yeah, so now. Yeah, so that's a fantastic comment about how the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa, Salam tailored everyone's education to their own individual needs. Yes, there were companions, who were rough, who didn't understand, right?
Subtle intellectual speak.
That they needed someone that say, Yo, cut it out, as we would say, on the east coast of the United States. Right.
And there were other people who were more sensitive, they were more maybe we could say refined.
And so the prophets of Allah Allah, he was salam was able to tailor the style to people's individual needs, because they had that sort of familiarity among themselves. They weren't
stuck behind the screen.
Like we are in this pandemic, sha Allah may Allah hasten the end of this pandemic so we can get back to doing things in person. And of course, also, you know, streaming things for those who need and can't attend in person but having the in person relationship is extremely important. Right? If I'm coming to you all on this screen, I can wear a big turban and press my white though and put a pen in the pocket and I can manipulate the background look at mashallah, I've got my big books in the background and everything and I can project right, a certain image.
But the more you know me
on an individual real life relationship, the more you'll know, okay. Okay. Yeah, well, you haven't Tom, you know, he's good at this. And this other thing is he's not so good at
Other, I was surprised when I saw him do this, right? All these things that let you know that I'm a human too. And I need as much evaluation and feedback as the rest of it.
So this is one path to success.
Having a sincere teacher
that is going to be able to give you limits and restrictions that are outside of yourself. That's that's the important thing. A third, a neutral third party, right? This is how we expect nonprofit organizations to function. Right? Why would we not expect
our own spiritual life to function the same way? Imagine if, you know, there was a
big charity and big Muslim nonprofit organization and
people wanted to know where all their money when they said, Oh, we did it. We did an audit, we audited ourselves. Here's what we found.
Like, wait a second, this sounds a little bit sketchy. You can't audit yourselves, you have to have an independent third party audit you that's what all of us behind us getting out here. Everybody needs a, an outside audit. Right? Once in a while. To correct to steer just a little bit this way, a little bit that way.
And then along with us for hunting, he pairs us with. Okay, so a sincere teacher and an agreeable friend. Yes.
Notice the distinction between the two roles. Okay. A sincere teacher who's going to put restrictions on you? And an agreeable friend.
Right? Or oh, so he's telling us that the position of the friend, we're not policing each other. Okay, that's not our role. And there's some, you know, Muslim microclimates
where there's too much policing, there is.
Because at the end of the day, you've got everybody's more on the same, more or less on the same level, and they're correcting according to their limited knowledge. And it's chaos.
Oh, you need to have your clothes this way. And you can't do that. And you have to do this. And why didn't you say this? They don't know the differences between for example, we see this in the pandemic. Oh, how many people have asked me? Is it permissible to pray in the masjid with social distancing?
This is something that scholars talked about for centuries. It's not a problem. The strictest school.
When it comes to spacing and Rose is the handle the score and the humble these would say that this what we're doing with social distancing is absolutely acceptable. And they have evidences from the Sunnah.
Yes, the promise lies on commanded us to stand together in a line together. But the command is a sunnah of the prayer, it's not broken. It's not an essential aspect of the prayer, such that if it's broken, then the prayer is invalid or your record is invalid or anything.
Very, nobody sent us before. Right. But if you have a sort of ecosphere, or in an ecosystem within a Muslim community, where everybody's kind of at the same level, and everybody is policing each other without a teacher, a sincere teacher, who has the authority to kind of say, Listen, don't worry about that. Worry about this instead.
Everybody's just going to be policing each other and nobody has any true authority. And so what we have is chaos.
So it also honey, he goes out of his way to say that the friend, the agreeable friend,
right. Now, obviously, he doesn't mean like, agreeable to everything. But what we're saying is that friendship should be built upon
commonality upon good a tile and who is building what tackler right? Coming together on good things.
And support a well, that's a good word to Yeah, support supporting each other. If you don't think what some like one thing that somebody else is doing is right. You don't have to support them with that, or you don't have to support them on that. But if it's an issue of knowledge, and you leave that up to somebody who has knowledge to address that, you support them with what you know, is good. And they support you with what they know is good and everybody has is building positivity, and everybody's building good vibes, and we're leaving the things that aren't even our job. We're leaving them to people who are more knowledgeable.
The role of the friend and the role of the teacher or
are two different ones. That's what a lot of us for honey is trying to imply here.
Then he says, another key aspect of success and Okay, so I should back up. He's putting this within success. Yeah. Anyway, Muslim is mirror of his brother. He's putting all of this in the
part on success, the chapter of success, because
if you have an agreeable friend,
agreeable on what is good and righteous, it's going to motivate you.
It's going to motivate you, you guys are, you know, when you sit down your milk, you know what I was really thinking about? So and So and they're really having a hard time. What do you think we can do to kind of cheer them up? Or help them out? Or, you know, I was noticing that in the machine, we don't have this. And I think it would be a really good idea, what do you say we go to the EMA, or we really think that we need like, it would be good to have a class or a lesson or a seminar on this topic, like, why don't we go together, and we try to see if we can do this, or learn this thing together. That's the type of agreeable friendship that produces a lot of success.
Each one is encouraging the other, supporting each other. And so each, the I should say, the sum is greater
than, excuse me, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, right? That unit of friendship, and if it's at a community level, that entire community is worth much more, and will achieve much more success than just each individual kind of trying to slog their way through Arabic or whatever else, they're trying to slog their way through.
Then around the walls for honey, he mentioned, sufficient wealth,
a key ingredient to success is sufficient wealth. And then he qualifies, he says, Neither
that the excess occupies him and distracts him.
Nor so little, that he's worried about his provision, or he has to spend an inordinate an ordinate amount of time seeking His provision, right? There's a sweet spot
on enough provision, so that you can keep your eyes on the prize, enough provision so that you can keep going to this path of virtue.
Right? If you have less than what you need,
all of your life we talked about, like the hierarchy of needs, all of your life becomes a model to our talked about the three levels of purpose, all of your life becomes trying to just gain your livelihood, trying to just barely hang on with you and your dependents because that's your responsibility.
But if you have too much, then it's going to be distracting. You're going to get lost in it, it's going to make you lazy and needless to prophesy. So I'm warned us about how too much food too much sleep too much conversation can turn us into lazy people who don't pursue what's good.
So there's a sweet spot. There's a sweet spot of efficiency that keeps you pushing yourself towards success. It frees you up
to do a little bit core an Arabic, this, that the other.
You yet you're still secure
in what you need.
And then finally, and we'll end with this because we're getting close to time.
Family sufficient, just like there was sufficient wealth, he says sufficient family and sufficient honor.
These are referring back to the external blessing.
They help with success. Why? Because sufficient family and sufficient honor keeps someone away from foolishness.
He says it just like that.
Why? Because we said before that your family is your primary network. Right? They're looking out for you.
Both when it comes to opportunities, hey, my cousin's got this job. And can you put in a good word for me and I can do this or come over and do that, right?
And that sort of networking of opportunities, but also in accountability. Right? It happens so and so's not acting right? We've got to find out how to solve the situation so and so is arguing with their wife again.
They need some arbitration, they need some sort of help.
Right? If you have sufficient
And finally, it's going to keep you from foolishness.
We have the stereotypes of like the father figures saying, you know, get a job and
get start to get serious and, and things like this right? Well, that's kind of a little bit what we're talking about
somebody who doesn't have any accountability,
then they're liable.
They're liable to go out and commit foolishness. They don't care, nobody's watching out for them. This is an epidemic in the United States, especially in the inner cities, where we have families that are completely broken and torn apart. I think now, between 40 and 45% of children are born out of wedlock as part of law,
and many of them grow up in households with one parent, at the most, if not less than that.
If you don't have anybody,
setting expectations as to what's appropriate, and what's inappropriate behavior.
Foolishness is going to happen.
Sufficient family and sufficient honor
will turn someone away from living life in the fast lane.
Living an ostentatious life chasing the money.
It's no coincidence that we see a parallel, right? I hope you're not privy to what goes on in hip hop videos. But if you are, you don't need a lot of concrete,
observational skills to know what goes on, right? The ostentatious displays of wealth,
in cash, in cars, in houses in everything, toys, whatever.
And the culture of having no accountability, no father figure no parent figure, to set expectations for you. There's it's not a coincidence, these things trend together. Right. And we have a music industry and popular culture that glorify this type of lifestyle.
That's what living is living the good life, living life in the fast lane.
The stronger the family is, the more it keeps people away from that foolishness.
The weaker the family is, the more every individual is prey and vulnerable to these messages, that society is sending that media sending them this is the good life. This is what success means.
And so on and so forth.
having sufficient family and honor also keep somebody's opinion of themselves in check. It's going to stop or at least temper arrogance.
Okay? Arrogance and self aggrandizement, if you're one of 567 children.
Right, then, you know, that's, I don't want to say that you're not special, but you don't have any delusion, that you're the best thing since sliced bread, right? You're just like the coolest thing going.
In other scenarios, and other scenarios, you can fall prey to this sort of
thinking, if you have insufficient family around you setting boundaries, setting expectation, showing you that there's a lot of useful ways to be, there's a lot of useful roles to fulfill and to play, and that everybody's in this together and actually complementing each other and it's not like this competition.
well said, no limits, no boundaries. But that has a direct correlation to also low to no morals and values. Yes, of course, there's no direction, then your morals and values are going to be what's on MTV, or what's on BT, or what's on
whatever is being wrapped about pop music or song about in pop music, that's what's going to be your morals.
That's just what it is. I mean, it's got a, it's an empty glass, it's got to be filled with something. If it's not the expectations of your family, it's going to be the expectations of media.
Don't get me going on body image.
It's a can of worms. We could talk about that all night.
And finally, finally, sufficient family and sufficient honor will give people a strong aspiration will keep someone from loving the dunya too much
and will keep someone from delaying unnecessarily their progress or their journey on this road to becoming a virtuous person.
When you have good quality people in your life nourishing
Relationships, nourishing family relationships, you can inspire, you have that one uncle or that one cousins and man, I love this person, every single time I'm with them, I just want to be like them. They're so serene and they're so peaceful and I love how they've gone about their life that inspires you
to think about your own situation and to try to achieve something similar.
If you don't have that, then you've similar to what we said before you have no aspiration. There are no expectations put on you. There's no models or guides to follow. And so as we've said, Something's going to fill the glass whether it's media, whether it's what your friends are doing,
you're going to get it off the street.
So all of these things are very, very practical nuts and bolts steps to achieve success. Okay
if we're wondering why we're not getting results, we have action
we have the quarter end and we're not getting the results that we want out. So honey, he's got a couple ideas for some quick techniques that you can implement to try to maximize or further optimize your success and the last mile to Allah knows best. Any questions before we depart for the evening?
sounds like that's it. Everybody. Have a wonderful evening and we'll see you next time in sha Allah. Sit down while you come off the line.