Reforming the Self #23
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 38.64MB
salatu salam, ala Ashraf, an MBA almost serene, Naveen, our footwashing and Muhammad Ali. He after Salah was good to sleep.
Aloha. I didn't know we may in fact no one fan of him I don't know it was even the admin. Yeah, don't get on me.
Salam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. Everybody, welcome. Sunday night, we're with along with Elsa honey,
his book that he Metallian machete.
And the past couple of chat, what we're going to talk about today what I don't want well, so he's going to talk about today
builds off of the last couple chapters. So there's kind of a common thread that he's pulling. So I'll just briefly recap, or we'll recap together.
And all of us are handy. He talks about what motivates people to do good in the first place. He separates good into two categories. He says that there's good, that's part of this world.
Holding doors open for people saying nice things right and getting gifts for people.
And then there's the good, that's good for the afterlife, right? Specifically religious good. And yes, obviously, there's some overlap for people of faith and our goals
are mixed. Right? We were basically we're part of the project of trying to convert that first group into the second group, whatever good that we do we want it to be going towards our afterlife. Yes. But there are people who do good or some form of good that don't believe in anything or believe in different things than we do. Right? We haven't cornered the market on the broader definition of good, that has good consequences for other people. Right? And this worldly sense of good, that's what he's talking about. So let's try to recall what were the three motivations for doing worldly good. The Arroyo boss for Hani set, he puts them in a hierarchy, what's the lowest level?
That motivates people to do good?
praises the second level, it's the intermediate one.
There was something even lower than that.
Yes, to get something back, right, well, reward and punishment, very good, some sort of benefit, good. Reward and punishment, material, material reward and punishment.
Middle Level, as we said, praise and blame, right, non material, reward and punishment. Okay. And then the highest level was virtue, right, trying to pursue or inculcate or develop, yes, good for itself, right? Because we believe in honesty, or we believe in, you know, kindness and helping each other and these sorts of things, right. That's something that lots of people can get on board with. And then he made an analogy to doing good for the afterlife said for a believer, for a believer who wants to not just pursue virtue, yes, that's part of it.
Not just pursue virtue, but also convert this sort of stuff into what's going to give us an afterlife, what's going to enter us into paradise.
Similarly, we have three
separate levels, also on a ladder for a hierarchy of, of loftiness, or refinement, the lowest of which is getting the material goods of paradise row avoiding the material bads of the Hellfire.
The middle level is gaining the praise of a loss patata
or avoiding the blame of a loss pounce on it. So it's still transactional, that's no longer material. And then the highest level is seeking the pleasure of a lost power to Allah in and of itself.
Because we recognize who Allah is, we've internalized all of the laws, names and attributes and that, that pushes us and motivates us to do good just to please Him without any concern for the fruits for the benefits for what we're gonna get out of it, whether it's material in the form of paradise or whether it's not material in the form of praise. So
That's the first link in the chain. The second link in the chain was the
chapter that we did
last week, which is now a rocket with us finally starts talking about obstacles. What stands in the way of people doing this good if it's so obvious that if this if these were the only dynamics or these were the only
elements of the equation, that everybody would do good, right? Whether it was for the lowest reason of getting material benefit, or the loftiest reason of, you know, pleasing Allah sounds odd, but we don't find that we find a lot of people doing evil all over the place. So how do we account for that? What are the obstacles that put somebody off the ladder of goodness entirely, and knocks them down onto the ladder that actually goes down, which is sin or wickedness or transgression? And a lot of us for how many? He says that this ladder, okay, it extends the opposite way. And it has four different levels, right? So can we recall any of those levels? It might be, it might be difficult,
there were four levels to this ladder of Yes, Mashallah. Ignorance and ignorance was the first one. Correct. So simply not knowing the true from the false, not knowing beauty from ugliness, or filth, right requiring education. The second was, yes, was misguidance Malala.
So not only being ignorant, but also actively astray. Right.
Someone who's not accustomed to doing good, right, and so it's foreign to them. And they are enchanted by the evil, right. And this is very dangerous in our society, because they've people who sell evil, they figured out that they need to follow the devil's example, and make it very appealing, and make it very enchanting and tasty and delicious, and things like that. So this is the second level, the person's misguided. Oh, no, love is love. What's the harm? Everybody's doing it? Like, I don't see what's wrong with this. This is perfectly natural, it's perfectly fine. We see animals doing this in the animal kingdom. And you know, this in that ancient civilization did it
this way. And I think that that's just great. Right? This is the sort of second level.
The third level, we said was defiance. And we had a little bit of a tussle over the choice of word or the appropriate way to translate this because what all of us behind he was getting at was this sort of
this sort of, can't even recognize
the truth. It's kind of more steeped and more embodied. The person never knew the truth in the first place. They never knew what was beautiful. They've only known ugliness, right. And so they defiantly defend it, or they have an element. I think we set up supremacy, right? Where they like, Oh, my God, your women cover themselves and they, they stay at home and they do this. And they do that. Like that's, that's horrible. We need to liberate these people. Right? Maybe we could capture this kind of orientation by moving from a live and let live.
But I have my own preferences for myself. So almost a more evangelical evildoing, where you can't imagine that anybody could be happy or satisfied in living this life. How do you pray five times a day? This is insanity. You guys don't eat not even water, right? As the mean goes, right? Like, yes, not even water.
And these these sorts of things, right?
And then finally, was
an extra level of evangelical for the side of evil, which is not merely being viscerally disturbed by seeing goodness, but actively seeking to undermine it and ruin it and spoil it, and bring it down. Right. So it combines all of the levels that we talked about before being ignorant and being astray and being
defiant or supremacist, maybe. And then finally, yes, being the standard bearer, being the soldier of evil, right. This is what a lot means when he says his wish Sheikh Bong don't think that everybody needs to be like consciously enlisted to be in the party of the devil has been shaved on the devil can control people and use them as his soldiers without them ever realizing what's going on.
So this is the sort of furthest level. And we had said that
that's the hardest level to treat, right? If we're thinking about kind of a medical model, an interventionist model, you know, you'd like to catch the tumor in its very, very earliest stage, you know, the further and further it gets along, the harder it's going to be to remove. And so if you can catch something, if you can catch this, somebody who's just on the ladder of sin, where it's this is this, it's an issue of education, it's an issue of ignorance, then you have, maybe there's a fairly high chance of success when it comes to
a procedure or an intervention, or a treatment. Right. However, the farther and farther a person goes on that ladder, the more and more malignant and terminal, the disease becomes, it becomes very, very, very hard to take someone away from being literally a tool in the hands of the devil, trying to undermine and sow chaos and spread corruption, and then make them see the light exists extremely difficult proposition, of course, Allah is Able to do anything, and he has done that. But if we're talking like, from a strategy point of view, right, for our purposes, and more importantly than that, a warning to ourselves a warning to our own selves, then we're using these as kind of signs to
self diagnose, right? We don't want to be going around necessarily in society saying, Oh, that person's at the level of defiance, sir, this person here there has been a thought, right? This isn't the the title of a class, nor is it the purpose of these sorts of categorical ways of looking at these things. The purpose is to turn the glass or the Looking Glass inwards and look at yourself. What are the ways in which you remain on that rung of ignorance, where you're not even really sure? What's the thing to do? Or what's not the thing to do? In that scenario? Are there any things where you are? On a level further down than that? And how can you take yourself and put yourself on that
other ladder? Of doing good? That leads us to today's chapter, right? This is exactly what brought us for how he's now going to discuss.
How do you climb? Like, how do we get the motivation to climb and to not just stay comfortable, at the same rung on the ladder that we've been at maybe for years, maybe our entire lives.
Because by imagining it, imagining it as a ladder, when although Elsa, honey is trying to show you that
there's motion, there's momentum, right, things can degrade. And you're not always aware. That's the scary part, you're not always aware of the direction in which you're moving.
You could be moving down the ladder, descending from a place of ignorance and going down to being a stray or defiance, even in your misguidance. And you might not even feel it happening. This is where we compare the life of a person to a moving train, right? There's no neutrality, you're either going one direction, or you're going the other.
Also compare the life of a believer to the life or the life of anybody, really, to the life of a businessman, or a businesswoman, somebody who has their business.
Most business people, they're not content to just sit back
and do what they did last year,
and do what they did the year before. And tell themselves, you know, this profit margin is, it's good enough. I'm just going to hold and just ride this out. I'm not going to pay attention to what the competition is doing. I'm not going to pay attention to the market trends. I'm not going to pay attention to the supply chain. I'm just going to do exactly what I've been doing this whole time and this fella,
right, if that was the blissful, blissful ignorance, that's right.
If someone was in business, and that was their attitude, we would say this person's a failure of a business person, they would be headed for disaster. So don't you see that the markets going to turn this way? At the very, very, very least, we would say that this person is missing opportunities left and right. Right. Oh, well, there's this technology, technological innovation that's in the pipeline is going to change the industry like this. And you really need to update your systems and this and that and the other, right.
At the very least, they're going to be missing opportunities left and right in the world.
Case Scenario and perhaps the predominant scenario, the person's number of days in business are very numbered and limited. Right? We would expect somebody to fold and to eventually go out of business, if they have that attitude. What is the business person have to do? They have to be doing research, they have to be like all of those things that we said, they have to be aware, what's the competition doing? What's the market doing? What's projected to happen? What are my weaknesses are my vulnerabilities, how's the supply chain? All these sorts of things? And the business person? There's no nine to five, right? The CEO, there's no nine to five, they go home and they're thinking, How do
I improve it? How do I improve it? What are my
competitive advantages? What are my liabilities? What's the chink in my armor? And how can I invest in this piece of my business so that it's more resilient? That's how a business person or at least any business person that's worth their salt looks at their business? Well, that's exactly how
we should look at our own spiritual lives.
That's exactly how we should look at our own spiritual practices and our habits. Do we really think, do we really think that we are going to be able to maintain the same inner level
of love for Allah's patana of love for His messenger? So Allah, Hollywood sunnah, of who? Sure, in our prayer, quiet, observant, attentive
reverence in our prayer, do we really think that we're going to be able to maintain these inner states by doing the same outward actions year in and year out and year in and year out and year in and year out? Never doing an audit to run with the analogy, never looking for some sort of edge, shaking things up. Never experimenting? Right? Well, I've never tried fasting the white days, the days or the full moon before, or I've never tried reciting sort of sort of calf on Fridays, or I've never tried reciting sorts of moves before I go to bed, or all of these sorts of things.
Right? Well, we're not talking about now. We're not talking about
crazy experimentation, right? No spinning and you know, like these sorts of things. We're talking about experimentation in the sense of, with your your habits of devotion.
Right? challenging your schedule?
Can I get by with a couple more days fasting can I can get by with a couple more prayers in the day, a couple more pages of Quran.
Maybe it's given, right? How much of my money and my giving to the MSG or to this charitable cause, or to the poor, or this, whatever? How much percent of my income was at last year? Can I bump it up? 1% 2%
this sort of mentality where you're constantly looking to push the envelope.
Be because when it comes to your spirit, and the state of your soul, it's not just us in the room.
Right? We're not just the lone
who's working against us constantly. Whether we see him or not, whether we recognize him or not, the devil is constantly working against us. The devil is constantly giving us these, you know, these justifications? You know, it's like, man, you worked so hard this week. Just you know, sleep in today, it's gonna be okay, no one's gonna No one's even gonna notice you're not there.
Oh, you deserve it. You worked so hard, you know, you should really reward yourself with, you know, this extra thing or that extra thing.
This is the way that the devil operates all through justification and Tenzin, making things beautifying things, right? It's a constant force in our lives. And Allah told us that the way that our souls are structured, we actually have kind of, like, receptor sites.
For this sort of suggestion, all the devil does is suggest, but our problem is our problem is that enough, some amount of the, the part of the soul has receptor sites for this sort of suggestion. And like, you know what, I do work really hard. Yeah, you know, I do deserve that. I should really just, you know, take it easy, you know, like, I shouldn't really, you know,
so and so is only doing so much. Then we go through all these sorts of things, right? We look at someone who's doing less than us. Oh,
But they're only and they're fine. Right? This is how it operates and so we are lulled like a baby into a false sense of security.
And really what we're doing is that we're descending on that ladder and we don't even feel it.
Yes, well said in the comments, it's the beauty of the Sun Mashallah. It's never ending not only in the deeds you can earn, but the knowledge you should be constantly seeking to better yourself. Yes, of course. So, how can we
shake ourselves from this slumber? How can we
marshal the motivation and the inspiration
in order to not be lulled to sleep by the comforts of this dunya
alone along with us for Hani, he starts this chapter
with motivation. Right, he says that a lost power to Allah in the Quran. He attempts to motivate us to strive right to strive.
He says in Surah Al Imran was Sadhguru enamelled Filati mirabito modernity and Otto has somehow or indirectly Matatini Sati means like to, to race, right? From SR sorry, means to be fast Sati Arun means to race each other not in a you know, law school way where you're tearing pages out of a book like you want the other guy to fail, but in a way where you're not looking at so and so saying well they only do that and they're fine.
You're looking at so and so. And you're saying wow, mashallah they're doing more than I am. Maybe I should try to do like they do. I didn't realize that was possible and so on. So made it look so easy, you know, if they can do it, I think I can do it to
Allah wants this from us. He says sort of the bucket off aesthetic will hierarchs is a different verb. From subaqua which means to to get there first. Aesthetic will hire art is the same route as a savvy balloon, a balloon, the foremost the front runners, a stem equal Hyatts be in the front row. Be in the vanguard, try to put yourself out there, too. In everything that's good. Of Hyatts a lot of leaves in general, everything that's good. Try to be proactive. Don't just sit back and react and wait until something happens create your own opportunities when it comes to your spiritual success. And Allah says finally, and sorrows me known, he describes the believers and let me know when you're
sad, or when I feel Hyatts Well, whom Lucha Sadiq Khan, Allah brings the two previous verses together, he uses both of these verbs. They are the ones who you said they are gonna feel Hyatts they race each other. They hasten
in order to, or they hasten towards goodness, all goodness, while home the house happy and they're the first to get there. So, interestingly enough, in so much in the Quran, Allah focuses on merely our efforts. Right? Now you can live Allahu Allah was Aha. Now Allah doesn't
obligate anybody except for what they're able to write. For Tucker law, Mr. Tato. Obey Allah be pious of Allah, the extent to which you're able, but in this area, Allah not only talks about the effort, he also talks about the results. He also talks about the evaluation.
Like you said it, you're gonna feel hot. Well, Hola, Hi, Sam Cohen, yes, everybody is going to be rewarded according to their effort and their attention. But that doesn't mean that the person who tried is equal to the person who tried and succeeded and got it. Right. And so he's encouraging us here, to try to be of those who not just try but try and obtain
who exert and achieve
achieve what achieved goodness in all of its forms. And one of the another beauty of Assam as a build off of what the shahada family says, are the different the various types of good that there are
in the ritual worship that we're aware of.
Or being in service of other people, especially our fellow Muslims, especially our family members, especially our elders.
Just being generally helpful, a kind word, a smile.
Some people it's their finances.
their money, their monetary contributions, there's so many different types of goodness.
And so it's not exclusionary, it's not going to keep anybody out. The pie is big enough for everybody to get a slice.
Allah has power to Allah. He also warns he warns against backsliding.
So this chapter that along with us for honey is talking about he's now
letting us know after he showed us the two ladders, he says, look, okay, there's this ladder that goes up that you can put yourself on. And then there's this ladder that goes down that you can descend upon, and you might not even know it.
And he's trying to tell us that a lost power to Allah made us aware of these two sorts of trajectories. And he's encouraging us he's trying to cheer us on,
to get on this ladder, this one particular ladder of goodness and to push ourselves to climb as high as we can.
And he's warning us of falling onto the second ladder and slipping down and sliding and backsliding.
Allah says, and sort of sort of ADA, what I taught a tattoo at the Vatican. That's an Kalibo Ha, CD, don't turn back.
Right. Don't turn back or turn tail and run upon your heels turn upon your heels, perhaps a better translation
Fontana, Cali Bullhead City, if you do, you will become losers. Right? You'll be in the red.
After you have been given so much. You were put on this right path, you were put on this ladder, you were set up for success. And then you didn't push yourself. You let yourself get too comfortable.
And so you back slid and you didn't even realize it was happening. And you end up one of the losers.
Allah says so to Nahum, well, that's a corner Kela T, knuckle box OSLA member adekola. And don't be like people who they invalidated.
They invalidated the good that they did.
Right? You've kind of wasted you've squandered what you have saved up you are going really good. It's like I'm sure in the days of social media, we've all seen, you know, videos of people in a race. Right? And then they kind of they think that they want and they stop racing. And then there's someone coming from behind them. That's, you know, really booking it trying their hardest and then that person ends up winning
the first person they didn't realize they hadn't reached the end yet.
They thought it was secure. They got too comfortable.
Mozilla Yes. Sorry. I said that was the hat Yes.
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that definitely the Warner a mannequin.
The Colombina phone
also says found on it and sort of Muhammad in melody you never do on either bury him embody Manitoba yellowhammer. Houda. A shaitan. Who So what Allah home what em LA LA home.
Again, the theme is always similar.
Allah is found to audit is describing people who were on the right trajectory, they were doing the right things, and then they lost the plot. Then they fell off the path. And they were brought down. And a lot of times they did not even realize that it was happening.
So what's the pathway? What's the what are the steps to take along with us for Hani, he's now going to outline for different action points.
For those who want to ascend the ladder of goodness, those who want to strive
when it comes to reaching goodness before others.
And similarly, he's going to outline four stages of the sense and warn us from them.
We'll see how much we can get through. So the first level to ascending these heights to actually acting upon what Allah's Pousada is encouraging us to do
is repentance. The first stage is repentance Toba
because if you have a boat, right, and you've got leaks in the boat
your first priority before you start paddling is to plug up your leaks.
The leaks in your boats they jeopardize the entire journey.
Whereas paddling is something that
if you do it and your boat is taking on water, it's not really going to do you any good anyway.
So Toba repentance is plugging up your boat, fixing all of those leaks, stop the bleeding, so to speak.
stopping your sin as much as possible. Nobody is without sin, of course. But the important thing is that repentance is the intention. Because not everybody who sins intends to stop.
Some people are defeated, some people are resigned. They say, Oh, you know, I know we live in this time period, and everybody else is doing it. And so they've kind of given up on themselves.
The first step is to not be content with that reality
is to first admit that you're wrong, and that breaks your pride and your ego.
And second to resolve to not do it again, which is showing that you care, which is showing that you want to change.
The second step after plugging up your boat after repenting
is trying to increase your righteousness, trying to expend your efforts in good deeds. This is like paddling. Right. So once we've plugged up our boat, or in our boat, now we grab the oars and we start rolling.
To do righteous deeds, whether it's prayer, whether it's charity, whether it's fasting, helping others all this stuff.
It takes a realization
that you are doing things for a higher purpose than just yourself.
Somebody who's too invested in their ego and their self, they're going to find it very, very difficult to
engage in righteous actions.
Because a lot of them have no clear benefits. If they do engage in righteous actions, it will be this sort of hypocritical thing where they're doing it for the praise of other people, or they're trying to get away from the blame of other people.
But actual work righteous deeds, things that you don't benefit at all from.
This is something that requires you to register that there's a higher purpose than yourself going on. There's a higher purpose than just what feels good. What's convenient,
right? Is it convenient to call everybody that we should call? Is it convenient to check up on our family members and things like that? No, it's not.
But the believer, the person who does righteousness, they don't live for convenience.
They live for a higher purpose.
The third level,
after repentance, and after
are all but also hiney says that this is Al moja. This is the
level of jihad. And he's talking the energy had here. He's talking, this is like you've entered the battlefield.
So imagine you wrote a shore.
Okay, you got to where you're going. But you find out that there are hostile elements.
The point at all as for honey is trying to make as he's trying to say that
when you're at the state of righteousness, you're doing good deeds, okay?
But you might not be cognizant of all the forces that are working against you. You might not be cognizant that says that there's part of yourself that loves praise, for doing good things. That there's part of yourself, that is arrogant, that there's that there's part of yourself that is actually listening to suggestions from the devil
when it comes to beautifying certain sins or things like this, and so this level, the third level, is seeing the reality, realizing now all the forces that are for you, that are your friends, your allies and all the forces that are against you.
You realize now that your main enemy is inside of you.
And you're engaged in a fight against your own self. You're trying to now actively break your ego, not just about collecting good deeds. It's not about the outer form, but it's about the inner substance, somebody who's stuck at the level of righteousness. They think I just need to do more. Or somebody who's at the third level, the level of jihad are struggling
against the self. They realize I need to purify what I'm already doing.
I need to do it completely free from ego completely free from seeking praise of others or fearing their blame.
And this is similar to Allah statement
and sort of soy milk
leave a locum a Yukon accent or am Allah, Allah subhanaw taala said that he created us to determine which of us was best, indeed, not most numerous. In the end, the companions were like this, they were much more concerned about the quality of their righteous actions and they were about necessarily the quantity of them.
So this is the third level and the fourth level of animus Finally, he says is the level of a Cydia theme.
This is the level where you have everything from the previous three levels, but you have one more important ingredient.
And that is little
contentment, satisfaction with the will of Allah with Allah's destiny,
both outside in your patience and inside, in your heart.
Somebody might be at the level of jihad Majah they're fighting, they're knifes. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, but they might despair. They might feel overwhelmed, right? A setback might come and they might just get so down because they they might be overwhelmed by their understanding now of all of the forces that are with them or against them.
But the person at the fourth and highest level this is somebody who is
somebody who is truly submitted
and obedient to Allah is found to honor that realize that realizes that Allah's aid is imminent, to those who believe and try and give it their best shot. And they are content with the results after being satisfied with their efforts.
That pretty much takes us to the end of the class period, I guess I'll mention the four
levels of dissent. And then we'll fully flush them out next time in sha Allah.
He says the first one is laziness to achieve anything good, right? So this is its own disease. This is one of the things that Allah Spano, Tala is warning us from getting involved in
and then after that comes worse than that a rung down as
stupidity or slothfulness, in the sense, not just physically to do but to think and to analyze. Right? Perhaps you've met people that simply
don't want to think about it. They don't want to be bothered. They don't want to analyze their traditions, they don't want to analyze their habits.
They just live in this
internal laziness, where they're content to just consume work, go out to eat, watch Netflix, and that's kind of enough for them.
What's the last hole we'll help you with the last all the solid levena Levine Avenue I'm just sorry, I had to so we have to hit twice on this. So
I'd like to hear more what your what what where you see the connection. It might be it might be the same message and so it's an awesome
after stupidity that comes misguidance This is similar to what we talked about before seeing the false as true. This hardens the heart
and so it's even worse than an internal slothfulness. Now there's a sort of disdain
for the good and finally there's pure delusion which is attachment and love for what is false completely buying into the suggestions and the justification of it and that's the that's the level where the heart is sealed
yes, oh yes. We're talking about a local maxima I'm gonna yes, there's a very similar is sort of death as well.
That's where we'll stop tonight. Insha Allah does anybody have any questions, comments?
believe and do good
and encourage one another to the truth and patients
Hey well Asha Allah. I didn't think about it like that.
So believe okay,
that might be the most different one. So what are our so Hang Seng this has has Toba which obviously takes belief You're right. But yeah, I definitely see it You're right. Well, I'm going to study how to that's clearly the level of righteousness. What's the last little bit help
encourage each other on truth. There's a sort of
plural elements, a sort of friend and foe sort of thing. It's almost like the the, the other side of the coin of jihad, it's focusing on your friends too. So good, Huck.
What's the west over the summer
and your patience is almost like is similar to your radar and your contentment mashallah, that's nice. That's nice.
Very good suggestion.
Very good, anybody else?
everybody, enjoy the rest of your weekend in sha Allah, and I will see you next time, all the time. So don't