Reforming the Self #26

Tom Facchine


Channel: Tom Facchine


File Size: 34.80MB

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This one on our team

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hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen

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wa salatu salam ala schauffele MBA almost I mean, maybe you know what's in a Muhammad Allah here for Salah was good to Sneem Allah Allah and in that rebellion fauda on fattener LM Tina was even there and I mean,

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so then when they come off to La he would occur to welcome everybody after a nice long break

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from classes for Milan, for Eid

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for everything else. Welcome back to

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our regularly scheduled classes,

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starting with Sunday evening

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at Vidya McHattie machete,

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the path to developing ratio or the path to developing the virtues that whilst puntata wants us to develop

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in the city.

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And for those of you who have observed the schedule of classes

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and said, Well wait a second. We're missing a class we were doing a Saturday evening class and a Sunday evening class what's happening to the 99 names class.

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This class with firewalls for honey was by far the one in the most demand.

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And so just because of

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demands on my time, I only had time for one

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of the two in this particular stretch of the year. And so I went with the popular choice with all of us to honey

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and inshallah at another juncture we will resume with the 99 names of Allah as well

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organize a little bit here

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okay, everybody's hear they can hear me, right? Nobody's frozen.

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It's been a while since we did zoom and today was supposed to be the first also in person class. These classes are also going to be in person but because we announced the schedule just yesterday.

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Nobody's here in person so I'm giving this class from the office. Starting from this coming week. All classes will also be in person. So if anybody wants

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to come by the machine, they can enjoy the class in person as well as online.

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We had finished about 130 pages of this book, a lot of us are Hansie has kind of overview.

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On the situation, we talked a lot about

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why she say Elsa Hani was trying to introduce us to

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kind of our calling our higher call or our higher purpose in this world.

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And he one of the more important things that he raised was that we're not simply

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created to worship, which is a common point that's that we hear, repeated in Muslim circles that we're only created to worship. And he says that's true, that's true. But we're also created for something more than that we're also created for this concept of theta theta, which is kind of successorship its stewardship, it's kind of

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managing, tending, maintaining, representing Allah subhanaw taala. On Earth, and how

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higher level or the higher purpose for which we have been created is to kind of develop ourselves, to develop ourselves so that we have these virtues that Allah wants us to have to the point where we are embodying certain qualities of Allah in the creation and therefore maintaining the creation in the way that allows power Tada, once.

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if we can imagine for a second, what's the idea? Or what's the relationship between human beings in the creation, okay? A lot of people throughout the pandemic, right, they were kind of reflecting on some of these sorts of

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the ways in which the Earth was healing itself, from pollution from manmade destruction. You know, fish were returning to certain lakes and certain rivers that had never been seen before. Birds were returning to different areas that they hadn't been before, to the point where some people were reflecting, and they were saying,

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who's really the disease here?

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And one of the kind of

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hashtags that kind of picked up steam during the pandemic, when it was really bad and everybody was shut inside and all the kind of consumption of fossil fuels was kind of ground to a halt. One of the hashtags that got popular was like we are the disease, right, that human beings are actually the disease more of a threat to the earth than the Coronavirus, right.

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And for people who can only imagine the human activity as detrimental to Allah's creation, it might seem tempting

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to simply subtract human activity, and this world would kind of be better without us. Right? Another loss for Hani is telling us No, it's not that simple. That if human beings,

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if they are, cat, if they get carried away with their vices with their convenience,

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that happens a lot with their lower self. Yes, the relationship with the creation is detrimental. It's poisonous, it's parasitic.

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Right. But there's the flip side to that if we actually develop in ourselves virtue. And the virtues that Allah has found to Allah wants us to develop? It would, our relationship with the creation is actually going to be net positive, that's actually going to be an improving relationship or an improving kind of

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on creation, right, the creation will actually be better off the world will be more merciful, more caring, more, even productive, perhaps,

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with our virtuous leadership, then it would if we subtracted the human elements completely, and entirely.

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So that's what a lot of us Ohanian is kind of getting at in this book in general. So that's his purpose. He's explaining to us, okay, this is the this is the big picture. This is why we're here. Okay, and he wants to kind of navigate us through kind of the doubts.

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What might make a second guess maybe we can or can't do it what might make us hesitate

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to embark upon this path of self improvement or self reform

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and also to navigate through the how of these virtues. What's the actual, you know, granular level of data? Like, what's it like to be patient?

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What are the things that you have to be prepared for?

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If you're going to become a more patient person, what are the things that you have to look out for?

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Right, these sorts of things.

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So this is all what he's about, he kind of laid the general picture

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for us in the opening section of the book. And now we're moving on to the second section of the book, where he's going to zero in on one particular faculty, one particular capacity of human beings.

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And this is

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to all of us for Hani, the most important faculty that we have,

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which is the intellect.

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He talked about it extensively in the introduction, and he's going to talk about it in more detail in the second section. The second section, he says, it's on intellect and knowledge and speech, these three things, intellect, knowledge, and speech.

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Furthermore, he's going to say, What's related to these things, and what opposes these things.

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Recall that a lot of us for how many, he conceptualizes every virtue as being the successful development of a capacity

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and every vice as being

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one form of an extreme. So for every virtue, there's, there's two vices.

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If you develop your capacity for intellect, that it will yield fruit, and that's virtue. If you do, if you neglect the intellect, or any other capacity in one direction, that will yield this kind of problematic vise, if you neglect it, or abuse it in the other direction, it will also lead to an another undesirable extreme.

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And we had said way back in our intro, the entire book that

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along with us for harneys defense of the intellect

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as the most important human capacity, and kind of the the driver's seat, you know, the one who's in control, or the thing that really sets us apart, or the thing that really is our saving grace,

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our ability to develop virtue, according to a lot of us are handy hinges upon our intellect, and the proper utilization of it.

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And this had led him in his lifetime to be an after his his lifetime to be accused of being some sort of innovator, some sort of philosopher, some sort of hyper rationalist.

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And we mentioned about how long what else for Hani is very, very rooted in the Koran. And he's making his defense of human rationality from the Quran

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against those people who would try to discard it.

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So once we get into the intellect, okay, I guess I'll just maybe I'll throw a question out to you all, who are following along at home if you're able to type in the chat box or unmute yourself and answer

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we had talked about or irregardless Rouhani had talked about the importance of the intellect extensively in the intro to this book.

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Why is the intellect so important?

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What does it do for us?

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In the estimation of the author?

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Do we have any answers? I'm not sure if our attendees are able to

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to provide an answer but if you are please.

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Why did the lost power to Allah create in us this intellect, what's the point? What is it? If it can lead us astray?

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If it can lead us astray? Why would a law test us with this thing?

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protect us from innovation using right.

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I'll press further

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now that I know you're with me,

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what's the right use of it?

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What's the right use of the intellect?

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Such that

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if we do x, it will

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enable us to become a laws successors on earth or his PolitiFact? or what have you?

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And for the other answer, how can I protect us from innovation?

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Some people will say the opposite, right? Some people will say, No, no, no, that using your intellect is exactly what leads you to innovation in the first place. Right? We've heard this. We've heard this sort of talking in the Muslim community.

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So how does the intellect protect us from innovation? And how does what's the right use of the intellect that leads us to be qualified?

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How does a law address us in the Koran?

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Think about the Koran is addressed to a non believing people. Right? In the first instance, there's these people who don't believe or aren't Muslims.

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And as the Quran is coming down, the Quran is being addressed to them.

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How was the last fall? It's either making His appeal to these people who don't believe.

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Is he appealing to his authority?

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Is he appealing to their emotions?

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Is he appealing to how is a lot going to get people to believe?

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Hey, yes, he appeals to people through the reason primarily, not exclusively, but primarily in the Koran.

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And this is evidenced and along with our Sahami had mentioned.

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So it's a month, right?

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When everything is said and done, the people of the Hellfire will regret what will they regret now? COULDNA

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Mesmero Oh, Matthew, If only we had either listened and obeyed meaning kind of blindly. Or, or if only we had used our reason not to do

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then we would have been free from the fire.

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And then we have all sorts of harsh

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will tell Cal EmCell. Now Graber Helene NASCI la la han that's a fact cone.

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Certainly we make these examples, these analogies, these arguments, these discourses to people so that they might use their reason.

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Allah's power to Allah gives all these examples to think and reflect exactly.

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Look at the we were out today those who are together, out in the countryside, masha Allah,

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listening to the birds, and the rain, and the crops and the wild strawberries and the water, all these sorts of things, how the beaver makes its dam and actually participates in this really interesting cycle of, you know, turning

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lakes into bogs, and then it cycles through all these sorts of things that are in the creation, Allah subhanaw taala calls to them. He says, Look at this. Look at that. Look at this going on. Don't you see the rain coming down? Don't you see the seeds cleaving and bursting forth life? Don't you see the blessing in the crops and all of these things?

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Won't you take heed? Won't you use your reason?

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So that's the first instance that the intellect is placed within us so that we might receive guidance. Right? It doesn't mean that our and this is where people get tripped up. It doesn't mean that our intellect is sufficient to come to every single end conclusion. It's not like we're saying that our intellect would lead us to believe that we have to pray five times a day and

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that we would have to raise our hands to make tech be. And then say said Mr. E comes in America, in order to leave the prayer. It's not what we're saying. But in the first instance, in order to submit to a higher authority to submit to a moral regime to submit to restrictions, to discipline,

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external to ourselves, Allah has placed within us this faculty of reason to accept that, in general, that's the first sort of purpose for it. And the second purpose for it is once you do believe, once your reason has brought you to the door of belief and brought you to submission,

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then Allah further calls upon your reason, or calls upon you to use your reason in the interpretation of the texts.

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And this is one of we were talking about this today with some of the brothers. This is one of the fundamental pillars of the etheric creed, or the creative Amazon algebra, that allows power to either He created the world with a sebab with cause and effect. And his rules His act cam for us are based off of masala, they're more Allah, they have rationale behind them, they have human interest behind them. Whether we understand that rationale or human interest or not, is a separate matter entirely. We cannot completely exhaust the rationale behind praying five times a day, or why our prayers are sometimes two records or sometimes four records or sometimes three records. This is the

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area of the religion in which we apply Ali's statements when he said, If the Dean the worship itself,

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were according to what we thought

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our reason, then we would not wipe over the top of our socks, we would wipe under the bottoms because the bottom is what touches the ground. But the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam used to like over the top.

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So that's not what we're talking about. But when we're talking about other sorts of things,

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things within muamalat, within Halal haram, when it comes to commercial law, when it comes to

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these other sorts of aspects of our daily lives, then this requires human reasoning and intellect, alcohol, for example, alcohol is haram, because it ruins our intellect. Okay, this is something that's very, very clear. From the Hadith of the promise, I said,

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if we didn't assume, if we did not assume that Allah had rationale behind his rules. And if we did not assume that there was human interest behind it,

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then we would simply limit Allah's prohibition to the types of alcohol that existed at the time of the Prophet sallallahu, Isa, and we would not extend them by analogy to marijuana, or to other sorts of Drugs and Substances that cloud and ruin our ability to think and make judgments, right? So not everything within the religion, but a good a good amount of things in the religion are accessible, and do utilize this fundamental quality that the last founder, Allah has created us with the human intellect. And we see this right,

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people who aren't able to use their intellect are not morally accountable, right, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that the pen is lifted from three types of people, meaning three types of people are not morally accountable. And one of verses two of those types of people are children

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until they mature,

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and people who are mentally incapacitated, whether through fault becoming unconscious, or maybe they have some sort of, quote unquote retardation or mental handicap or mental illness, and so they're not able to use they're incapacitated in that in that particular faculty. These people are not morally accountable within them because of the lack or compromise nature of that fundamental

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And finally, the last thing to think about before we get into the actual text, this is just kind of an intro into the next part that we have coming up is

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this next section is about

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intellect, and knowledge and speech.

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So Robert, also honey is telling us that there is

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is an essential,

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indivisible relationship between the intellect and speech

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that to be able to communicate

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is inseparable from the ability to reason. And so that's why he lumps them together

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so getting into the first chapter, so all of us are handy, he talks about the importance of the intellect. He says that the intellect is the most noble of Allah's creation, and He uses a weak, heavy fear. And we we mentioned before that a lot of us are handy though he is a master of the Koran, and a Master of the Arabic language. He is just like you and me, a

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novice when it comes to Hadith. And so he mentions many Hadith in his book that are not authentic. So you mentioned this particular Hadith. However, what he's trying to say, has a basis, in that the intellect is one of the most important things that have lost power to Allah has created because of everything that we just said about how essential it is for people utilizing it, to take guidance.

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He says, As we had said before, and he had said in the first in the first section of the book, by virtue of the intellect human beings become a laws successors on Earth. So there's no path to reaching this high plateau, this destiny that Allah wants for you.

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Your higher calling, there's no path to it, except by using your intellect, I compare it to the matrix for those of us who were born in the late 80s, or the 90s. I grew up in that time when the matrix came out, right? Like you have Neo and he's able to kind of at some point, he realizes that he's in this simulation.

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Everything that he sees, and experiences he comes to realize is just numbers, zeros. And once he's in this simulation, and the real life is some something else entirely. But there's still action, there's still action in this sphere of zeros and ones, the simulation, and he's a part of it, he's able to do cool stuff, like stop bullets from coming. And you know, he does the whole kung fu things and all the things that you expect somebody in Hollywood to do, right? There's a similarity here,

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between a Muslim, a believer

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and Neo, when it comes to our relationship with reality, right?

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When you use your intellect, the insight that Allah gave you, you start to see the creation differently. Not so much that it's all zeros and ones in a simulation. But you start to understand that this is not the real life.

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Everything that happens to you, it's just opportunity from Allah opportunity, opportunity to be patient, opportunity for goodness, opportunity for reward opportunity for developing virtue. It's like a video game. The things keep coming, whether you break down on the road, or you pass by somebody who broke down, somebody calls you up, or it passes through your mind that you haven't talked to such and such a person in a long time. All of these things all day long, every single day until we are in our graves. It's just a study, role of opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.

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And we're in this sort of situation where sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, sometimes we triumph, sometimes we have setbacks, and then at the end of everything, we're in our graves, and then we're going to really find out, then we're really going to taste the results and the fruit of what we did have our action in the real world. So there's no path to

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getting that perspective. Understanding that this life is just kind of like that simulation, except through the intellect. People aren't born with it. People don't inherit it. People don't just pick it up through osmosis, right? They happen to be born in the right place, or to the right family or in the right village. It's something that every individual has to recognize. And if you go across the world, you find this that even in the holiest of places, Medina Metka any place that people kind of fantasize as a better place. You find people that

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have used their intellects and made that choice and understand the nature of reality. And you find people that have it, you find people that are

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even more blinded by

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the life of this world than some of the people that you might know in North America or

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or anywhere else in the world. So it's something that has to be chosen. It's something that has to be a decision and a realization that a person takes and it stems from the intellect.

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So they don't ask for having he says that human beings are guided by their intellects. Right, whoever lost pounds, Allah permits to have Tofik, to have success. And this is something that we mentioned before, and that people obtain their reward by its and their level in the afterlife. So everything that distinguishes between people,

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right, we are not like the scholars, we're not like the saint so and they are not like the prophets and messengers, and the companions of the prophets. So what differentiates people?

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Their faith? Yes, that's true. But how much they have attained to faith is also a function of how much they have utilized this gift, their intellect.

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Also, how many he gets into the types of intellect, so he basically breaks everything down into two categories. So that intellect, we can talk about a potential intellect, the capacity

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by which people, all people eventually learn, right? So every single one of us has some portion of it, he compares it to like a seed, if you take a seed, you take an apple, like an apple seed,

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there's an apple tree in there somewhere. Right? That seed has everything it needs to become an apple tree. Right? So you and I,

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in us right now have everything that we need to become a Khalifa of Allah to become a Willie of Allah to become somebody who is pious, who gets the reality who's moving through this creation, in the way that a Las Palmas Allah wants us to, that actually improves everyone around us, the human beings, the animals, the birds, the plants, everything, we have it in us, but its potential. It's not yet actualized. And so the second type of intellect is that actualized intellect that achieved intellect, that which is obtained and developed.

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That second type of intellect, it also has different types.

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So the type of intellect that we have to obtain or develop, he says, some of it is automatic,

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average person, they're going to be wiser at 50, than they were at 20. Right? That's largely an automatic process, somebody gains a certain amount of experience, and a certain amount of insight without any effort whatsoever. Even the most

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heedless people

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who their lives are just entertainment, television, whatever, you know.

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They're going to know how to do things, right? You catch up to them, when they're 50 years old, they know how to do some things, they're going to be able to advise their children, like, do things this way, not that way. This is how you balance a checkbook. This is how you pay off your credit card. This is how you, I don't know, lots of different things just from living.

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So there's this type of achieved intellect, but then there's also something beyond that. There's something that is chosen. There's something that is a deliberate choice of people.

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Something more akin to study. Right? Study is different from merely living and experiencing accumulating experiences. Study is an art. Right? And it's a technique. It's something that it has technique to it where you can actually okay, how do I study? How do I take notes? How do I do this? And then I, maybe I'm really bad at studying at first. But, you know, the first year I tried to study okay, it doesn't go so well. The second year, it gets easier the third year now I'm a pro at it, and so on and so forth.

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Right, so this type of intellect is what we're talking about when it comes to the thing that we need to unlock, in order to develop the virtues that are lost power to Allah wants us to develop, to be able to choose for ourselves a life of study. And not just that we'll get to this if we have time.

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Not just studying medicine or studying how to make, how to make more money, how to make a comfortable living. We're very good at studying for these things, but we're talking about how to study the purpose of this life, how to study the types of qualities that we're supposed to have

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If we want to succeed in the afterlife

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okay, we're running out of time so we might stop there was anybody have any questions or any reflections comments concerns

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was kind of a

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getting our feet wet again

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as a reminder all classes so this class will be Sunday evenings 6:30pm Again it will be in person

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going forward people will have more notice if you want to come by the machine and I'll move it out to the area of the prayer hall so if anybody wants to come in person in life has three categories potential automatic and stuff.

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I was so handy he breaks it down into two, right? Potential and achieved and then achieved is also into two further categories automatic and chosen or steady, everyone say

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so in some sense yeah 123 If you're just counting the edges

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Any other thoughts comments?

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Thank you very much, everybody. I'll see you next time inshallah Tada. I said I'm on equal