Reforming the Self #20
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 33.35MB
Bismillah Al Rahman Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Ashraful, MB or even more Sunni Nabina Muhammad once in a Mohamed Ali he sada was asleep Allahumma eliminated be made and found out. One fatten me
was eaten yet on
my previous chapter
we had talked about
success, right, we were still within all of us for harneys Division of blessings, right?
Can we recall? What were the categories of blessings, there were five of them.
And we completed them basically.
Today, he's going to talk about the relationship between some of them
he said blessings from the last time and tada, we're not able to be counted. They're unfathomable. But they do fall into
certain categories. Body after life. Very good. Those are two afterlife being the highest one.
There was one in between body and afterlife. He had them in a in a hierarchy.
wealth was part of external blessings. Good. So that's their two, that's three out of five.
What's his whole shtick in this book to get us to do develop our
our virtue? Right? So blessings of the soul?
Yes, very good.
Yes, those are the internal blessings good. And then the last category, which we had talked about last class was everything related to success. And we dwell on how, you know, you could have all of the correct
things being done on your part. But if Allah wills to not make it successful, or bring about the results, then he's not going to do it. We talked about that also in the clip, but this week, about how part of a laws the Dow has invitation to us, is to free ourselves from fixating on the means.
Even though he created cause and effect, he created certain knowable, means to avail ourselves of.
We also cannot commit our heart to fixating on those means some of the examples we have brought up were that
the person who's sick
the doctor can't save you,
except by the will of Allah.
All the doctors in the world get together and Allah wills that it's just not going to happen, then.
Sorry, it's not going to happen. You're not going to get better. And the opposite is true. Haven't there been doctors that have said, You've got two months to live, you've got one week to live. Everybody says the prognosis is scary. And then a lot we found has willed something else. Right? That's not to spurn or minimize the, the involvement of the doctors and the usefulness of doctors, of course, not medicine, etc. However, we cannot become fixated and dependent on those things, because at the end of the day, they are a means that a law has created and a law is in control of all of those means a law can make them and their techniques and their knowledge and their a
treatment hit the mark or he can choose to not allow it to do anything. The person who's afflicted by whisperings, evil suggestions, perhaps even magic evil eye.
It's not the reciter that saves you.
It's not the rocket that saves you. It's a law that saves you if He wills
and Rokia nice things they are a means that Allah has created completely permissible.
But we can't get fixated on them. Some people. They act as if their salvation is in the hands of the recital. I
And we have seen
how this can lead to manipulation.
Right? no created being deserves that kind of power, trust and influence because at the end of the day, it's up to Allah, whether things come about or end as we want to or not.
So this is sort of the thing that we were talking about last week, when it came to, what's the relationship between the inputs and the outputs, our effort that we put forth, and the results that we're seeking for, right, every step of the way, it depends upon a law's blessing,
and his toe feet, right, his willingness to make those actions and inputs line up with the outputs that you're seeking for. And reforming yourself is no different. Right? You can do all the techniques, right, and kind of the Western mentality is very good at but sometimes overly focused on the technique. Right? If you just get the technique down, then we expect the result to happen.
Right, but there's something more that's going on there, there is blessing, there is Sofia, there is success. Okay. So even with reforming yourself, you think that okay, the technique to reform in myself is to give a lot, right to be and that that is generosity, right, or to restrain and refrain from things that are belong to other people or even have the good things of this life. Or it's to not talk right to refrain from excess speech, and it's to sleep a little bit. And to do this, right, these are all means that's true. These are all means that we're gonna have talked about them a lot.
But none of them are going to hit the mark and actually cause what you're looking for.
Except with a lot of selfies, with Allah's will.
Today, along with us for honey, he gets into something slightly different. Okay, now that we've kind of put out the map, you know, put all the blessings on the table,
and looked at them with a lens of what category they might fall into.
Now, he's going to zero in on one of those categories, specifically, the blessings of the soul, meaning virtue,
and talk about how each of them is dependence on the other, and how strengthening one usually leads to strengthening the other.
Recall that when it came to virtue, a lot of them will ask for Hani conceives a virtue as coming from three capacities. Right? He says that the human being has begun with three capacities. If we develop and train these three capacities into what they're supposed to be, that's virtue.
If they swing to either extreme the left or the right, that's vice.
So the three capacities that we have, we had
urge or impulse
and we had anger. Those are the three capacities Allah has given us.
And as a refresher, a lot of us for honey said, if we take our intellect and we develop it, the way that Allah wants, it leads to wisdom.
Whereas if we misuse it,
it can either turn into ignorance or it can turn into cutting.
Right the seat
We have our capacity of urge impulse for food for intimacy.
And if we develop and refine it, it will lead to
restraint and generosity.
go to one extreme, it will land us in gluttony
where we become insatiable, we want more and more and more. And the opposite extreme to that is that we become numb to it so that we don't even appreciate
any of it that we do have.
And then finally, the last capacity was anger.
You could also translate a zeal maybe
if we develop
A bit, it becomes a mechanism for justice
and for bravery.
Whereas if we over indulge, it becomes oppression, if we under indulge, it becomes cowardice.
So these are the sorts of capacities. And that's Robert. So his whole mind map of virtue, virtue and vice. So he's saying now that each of these virtues depends upon,
or we should say is enhanced by the development of the others, right? So you might be able to, you might find some lopsided people out there, right? Maybe somebody has developed their intellect very far, to a higher level, but their anger, or their zeal is very undeveloped.
And so, if you end up lopsided like this, then that's holding back even your intellect from being developed to the utmost. Right? If you, if you neglect any one of these three categories, it's going to affect the remaining ones.
So he gives some examples, he says that
when you develop your intellect,
you see things for how they really are. You've attained not just knowledge, but also wisdom, you know how to apply it.
You will increase in restraint and generosity, right, the second virtue, because you will realize what's in your true interest at the end of the day. Okay. There's kind of a,
a false assumption or a lapse of our intellect when we withhold something from somebody else. Okay. Well, let's give a real simple example the prophesy centum he said that charity does not decrease your wealth, no, it increases it. Why would he have to say this? Because the materialistic assumption, what we're able to only observe is that charity decreases our wealth.
So when we have our possessions,
and we have enough Hamdulillah,
no one's died.
And somebody else our brother, our sister, and faith or any other human being is in need or any other creature,
not just human being is in need.
We face a moral decision,
whether to give from that thing that we love,
or whether to withhold it and keep it ours.
If we withhold it,
and keep it for ourselves, this is a lack of
intellect. It's exposing
a chink, a shortcoming in our intellect. Why? Because we're imagining
that giving it away is actually going to decrease what's ours.
When Allah subhanaw taala has revealed to us by way of his last messenger, so long way is that not only is it not going to
decrease from what we have is actually going to increase it, both in this life and in the afterlife.
So if somebody were really an intelligent person,
what would they pursue? Which action would they take? Would they keep it for themselves? No, the reality is that that is an illusion.
They're under the illusion that they are gaining something by keeping it with themselves.
Whereas an intellect that is advanced beyond that realizes that you're actually going to get more both in this life and the next life from giving.
And so we see how the development of the intellect has developed restraint and generosity.
Right? People who are stuck
with a short sighted
worldview that only think that
or only believe in what they can observe.
Right, now they're stuck at a lower level of development, they won't be able to see this or apply it. They will think they will have the scarcity mindset, something we've talked about a lot in this class.
They will really think that there's only so much to go around. They will really actually think that a lot cannot bless things. Or at least they'll act like it. Even if asked and they deny it.
like that the person who develops their intellect
will also develop their justice, their sense of justice, or their practice of justice and their bravery.
The person with a limited intellect, when they see someone being oppressed, they see someone being wronged.
They think that it doesn't affect them.
They think, well, you know, at least it's not me,
either on an individualistic way, or on the level of group identities, right?
We have that famous kind of quote that people have been using a lot in the last five years here in the States, right?
They said that they were coming for this in this group. And so we let them and then they said they were coming for that group. And we said, well, it's not us, let them until there's no one else left, except for our group.
The quote is a little bit more rolls off the tongue a little bit better than that. But that's the gist of the of the quote.
The limited into intellectual can't see past
our own either material or in group interest.
Whereas if the intellect is developed, the way Allah wants you to develop it to the point of wisdom,
you understand that that a rupture injustice in society affects everybody the same?
Once the principle has been, or the precedent has been established, that this sort of behavior is okay.
Then everybody else is then entitled to use that behavior or that tactic or that strategy for whatever ends that they want. Look at what happened at the Capitol building earlier this month.
Right? Only a short sighted person that's only concerned with their policy, you know,
what specific policies they want to see enacted and government
would approve of such behavior.
A person with more developed Exactly, yes, I'm ready. You guys always come with the quotes Mashallah. Injustice anywhere threatens justice, everywhere. MLK, and it's timely. Mashallah. 100% we see it. That's what a lot of people ask for how he's telling us, didn't Allah say?
And so it's either
that if you killed one soul, it's as if you've killed everybody.
Without right, of course,
why is that?
Because if one soul dies, safety, security, tranquility, trust is gone from that community. You can't let your kids play outside, you can go in that neighborhood at night, you're afraid of getting robbed, you're afraid of getting stabbed, you're afraid of getting shot up, catching a bullet.
One person is dead, it affects everybody.
Injustice affects one person, it affects everybody.
One group thinks it's okay.
to resort to violence to cut through the line to the front of the line, to use a shortcut to get what they want. That means everybody's going to think that that's okay to do what they want for themselves. Now, it's just whoever's got the most weapons.
The developed intellect realizes not enough there has to be reciprocity.
Right? If somebody violates justice, then that affects all of us. Now, our ability to institute justice is compromised. Now safety is gone. Now tranquility is gone until it is restored.
So that the developed intellect will give everyone their due rights, they won't have such a short sighted vision
to only want to get away with something for themselves. Either as we said on the individual or the group level, they won't play dirty. They know that they have to play fair
and they will adhere to those principles rather than ends justify the means.
And so developing the intellect we see how it it aids and assists the development of those other two virtues.
Similarly, if we develop our
bravery, right the capacity for anger, we've taken it to its logical
its logical conclusion we've refined it and honed it until it becomes
bravery at the individual level and justice
On the level of society
this will help us develop our, our restraint.
Being brave and being just insulates someone against their impermissible lusts, and desires.
This is the response of the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sallam.
Somebody came to him
and said, basically, I really want to fornicate with this one person.
And he was all you know, he was in the grip of the devil, like he couldn't he was, he wasn't in his right mind the Prophet sallallahu sallam, what did he say to him?
He said, What if it was your mother, meaning the woman? What if it was your sister, and he kept going with his female relatives until the man was able to calm down?
Right, he was using the man's sense of justice and bravery when it came to His own family.
To enhance his restraints when it came to his own self and his own desires and his own lusts.
If you're brave, you're okay with cutting against the grain.
Being part of a counterculture, we have too much of this in the EU in the US, and I'm sure probably in the UK as well, where we're so concerned with fitting it.
We're so concerned with being accepted. There's a degree of being accepted, which is praiseworthy, and there's a degree of being accepted, which is, too, too far. Right? In the United States, you have the luxury and freedom to develop your own counterculture, right. We have in high school, you have countercultures according to music tastes, right, you have the grunge crew you have the punks you have you know this, and they all have their different way of dressing. They all have their different hairstyles and their different lingo and the different things that they do, and everyone's fine with it.
It takes bravery and courage to live in a way that's different.
And Muslims should avail themselves of that courage to live in a way that's different when it comes to the things in our faith that we should not be compromising on.
We should have our own counterculture.
And lean into that
certain ideological movements and identities have a pride parade. Where's our pride parade?
They have made an entire whether you agree with a parade or not, that's a whole different thing. But the the idea behind the technology of the parade is that they have realized that they have this freedom to have a counterculture.
And they have leaned into that and used it to its full extent we have the same freedom. No one's going to send us back somewhere or
do something else to us if we
decide to live within our counter culture.
They aren't accused of being a fifth column of being against the government or something and neither will we, at the end of the day, inshallah.
developing your bravery, in addition to developing your restraint, because it takes bravery to resist the temptations that we have in our society. Everybody.
I mean, I'm sure High School has only gotten worse since I was in high school.
Right? If you didn't have a girlfriend,
as a young man in high school, you were bullied. And you were made fun of and you were mocked. along certain lines, your your orientation was questioned.
Your masculinity was questioned. Right? And I'm sure that things were going on for women that I wasn't privy to, because I wasn't in those circles.
Right. So it takes bravery to stand up for something.
It takes bravery to live according to a different code.
A different system of ethics.
So developing our bravery will help us with all of that developing our bravery will also increase our
Yes, what does Allah say and solids and Bacara
that the devil the idol Columbian fakra? Yeah, document that he threatens you with poverty. Literally, he promises you poverty in order to get you to sin. He dangles the thing. There's, there's either fear of something, or love of something. That's how the devil works. He either takes your fear of something and he dangles it in front of you and taunts you with it until he gets you to sin. Or he takes your love of something and he tempts you with it and tempts you with it until he gets you to sin.
So it takes bravery, to not fear,
to not fear that poverty or loss of status or loss of reputation, or whatever else the devil is threatening you with?
Well, if you do this, then what are people going to say? Well, if you don't sell alcohol, then it's going to cut into your, it's going to cut into your bottom line.
Well, if you give this away, there's not going to be enough for you and your family and your kids, your kids need to
go to go to school and go to college, and all of this and that. And the third.
This is why even rich people in the United States don't have any money.
They don't have disposable income. Normally, they have it all tied up with things.
If you make $100,000 or $200,000 or $300,000 a year, there's always something more to tie it up, then there's always a better kindergarten, to send your kid to there's always a more elite, preschool now these days to send your kid to and the devil is going to be there threatening you Oh, don't you want a good future for your childhood? Don't you want them to have better than what you have? Don't you want to set them up for success?
Devil will take those things that you fear and will try to provoke you. It takes bravery and courage in order to not fear those things. To not fear poverty. This is one of my favorite Hadith when I will Hurayrah who was at a sufferer right was one of the people of the bench. And they were poor. They were dirt poor, they didn't have anything.
And they were very, very hungry one day, they literally only ate when the Prophet sallallahu Sallam received someone gave him some charity the Prophet Muhammad SAW I said I'm didn't eat from charity. And so he brought it and gave it away to us.
One day, the prophesy said, um, he was given
a bowl of milk.
And Abu Hurayrah came.
And he gave us that.
And he said that Abu Hurayrah take it and go to the masjid and let everyone drink from it first, and then you can drink from them.
I love the story so much, because I can just feel how I will hold I must have felt walking to the masjid. He's got to be looking at this bowl. And thinking, Man, I'm not gonna get any, there's no way that it's going to go that far. How many people are in the masjid, like, all of us experienced this thing, you know, some time or other.
But he fights his naps. And he does it and he goes to the Mesha. And he gives the, you know, the first guy and the first guy drinks, drinks and drinks and drinks and I will hurry there's got to be just like, oh my god, like there's not gonna be any left. But then he gets it back and it's still full, the same amount.
And then he passes it to the next person and the same thing he drinks and drinks and drinks until he can't drink anymore. And he looks he gets it back and it's still full. It hasn't decreased at all.
And then it makes all the rounds. And then the Prophet Muhammad Ali Salam comes in right as I will writers about to drink, and the prophesy suddenly says drink of all the writer and he starts to drink. And then he stops.
And he looks down at still foam.
And he says drink again. He says that three times until he has drunk and as much as he he's stuffed he can't drink anymore. And the prophesy said and laughed.
because of the blessing because of the bravery that it takes to not fear poverty.
Right. I will Hurayrah was
he was afraid of it. But he fought against it. He had the bravery. And so look at look at what happened in the end.
This is also why the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam he he compared fighting your neffs to jihad.
And he said in some narrations that there's some difference of opinion as to how authentic they are. But the meaning is very accurate, that the greater jihad.
The greater jihad is against your own self.
Right because it's much easier
to apply a certain technique
swinging the sword, kill the enemy. You know, battle tactics line up here, sweep around the flank, all these sorts of things, and it is to control your own urges. And it is to fight against your own fears, than it is to deprive yourself. deprive yourself of the things that you love. Right? To give them away to other people in their time of need. And sometimes even when you need it.
So these these virtues, right, these three things, the wisdom, the bravery, injustice, the restraints and generosity.
We see now how this is real liberation, right? We live in a society. And I don't know, if the discourse that swirls around the UK, because we have a sister with us from the UK is the same as in the United States. But in the United States. Our political and social discourse is all about freedom all the time.
Whether it's the right wing, or the left wing, the right wing says you know that it's all about freedom. The left wing says it's all about liberation, and so on and so forth. Freedom is the currency, right? Nobody can be against freedom, they will look at you like you're crazy, like what are you talking about? You're against freedom, you're against liberation. And yet, and yet, despite all the lip service, that we give freedom and liberation.
In the United States,
people are so deeply enslaved
by their neffs.
They are so completely captive,
held for ransom by the things that they love and their conveniences, or comforts.
And by the things that they're afraid of.
You know, it's almost like an open air prison. Right? People imagine that they're the most free people in perhaps the world. You know, they imagine that things elsewhere are really scary and not free. But the actual lived reality is that if you don't develop these virtues, based in
belief, of with Allah, our belief and Allah,
you have no freedom.
And you have the liberation.
And we see how Islam is the only true liberation, and the only true freedom
when you've developed your intellect.
To understand what's in your actual self interest, we're talking long term after life self interest, as opposed to what's just
a quick buck,
as we say, when you've developed your restraint and your generosity,
so that you're no longer thrown into an emotional fit. If you don't get the thing that you want. The thing that even you're used to having, every day, we run up against this and Ramadan every year is why Ramadan as a school,
guilty, right? Our three, three square meals a day, whatever we're used to, we get really grumpy if you take that away from us. Right? It's an exercise to break the chains to break the chains
to show us what we really need and what we don't really actually need.
The bravery and the Justice This is setting you free, liberating you from other people's expectations, this group think
this kind of dystopia that we live in now where everybody thinks that they're so unique and individual. And they're such a unique individual, but really everybody's kind of the same.
Right? Islam is actually if you develop these virtues within the context of belief and a lot, you're setting yourself free from all of that groupthink.
You're enabling yourself to look at reality as it really is, and benefits yourself
in this life, and in the next.
That takes us just about to the end of our time. We don't really have enough to get into the next chapter. Does anybody have any other reflections on this or questions or
Okay, if there's nothing else I still do come Allah. May Allah safeguard and save. Keep all of you and bless you and to Allah and we'll see you next time in sha Allah