Tom Facchine – Reforming the Self #34

Tom Facchine
AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the importance of purifying oneself from negative emotions and learning from the past, as well as the struggles of students with dERS. They stress the need for teachers to be sensitive to their own behavior and develop a sense of peer and teamwork, as well as the importance of learning in a way that is comfortable and allows for critical application. The speakers also emphasize the need for context and media to create a sense of rhythm and teamwork, and the importance of avoiding branding people and creating a niche and name to differentiate oneself from others. The speakers stress the need for a practical, authentic, rewarding religion to achieve success in life, and the importance of educating leaders and creating a culture of educated leaders.
AI: Transcript ©
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hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam, and they are almost sitting and being handed over here. So that was

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a lot of them that I mean that we may in fact, no one

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was even their own money out of the land. I mean, so don't worry.

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Everybody with us, in person and online

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to Sunday evening reforming the self with along with us ohanaeze Nvidia Isla McHattie machete off the path to developing virtue. And that's a poor man's translation. Because macadam city is,

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we can use an entire paragraph to translate it. It's developing within ourselves the characteristics and qualities that are lost with Allah, and the Sharia histria demands of us in order to fulfill our potential, which is PLF, its Allah, which is being a laws, stewards and successors on this earth, in his creation, managing things, the one the way that a lost power to Allah wants them to be managed.

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And so we're in the second section of the book that specifically deals with knowledge, and everything related to it.

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One of those things being learning and education. And the last couple of classes, we talked about a very, very important part of the book, where I was the honey detailed, essential characteristics of students and essential characteristics of good teachers. Right. So just a brief recap of those.

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Some of the essential characteristics for students that he outlined was, first and foremost, purifying yourself from pure, poor etiquette. And he mentions just a few, he says, purifying yourself from haste. Because it's disrespectful to the subject material that you're studying, it's an overstatement of your own abilities and powers. Right, the person who realizes that success is truly in the hands of lost power to oughta. They're not hasty about what they're about to learn, they know that everything is going to happen in the last time. And there's nothing that I should say you should can take the means that the last one with Allah has provided, but you're not going to

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move faster than Allah has willed.

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And purifying yourself from jealousy

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was actually mentioned when we were, in the past few weeks, some personal experience with jealousy among, you know, students of knowledge and Imams, and all those sorts of things. Regretfully, it's a major part of

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the Dallas scene, and we ask a lot to purify our hearts.

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He, the author mentioned focusing on your studies not getting distracted by the dunya.

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And that doesn't mean that you're some sort of hermit, that only focuses on what you learn. However, this is a probabilistic kind of advice, because most people will let the dunya get in the way of themselves learning new things, as opposed to the opposite scenario. Very few are the people that are so dedicated to what they're trying to learn that they don't take time for their, their dunya, either their family or their job, or making money or things like that.

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So being organized, scheduling your time.

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The author noticed or noted being humble or avoiding arrogance, when it comes to both your instructor and the subject material that you're studying. And this is a huge one, anyone who has teenage boys can relate. Right? You tried to tell a teenage boy something and I was one of them? I know. I know. I know, that's the response that you're very likely to get,

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you know,

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what can we say it's something that's very natural, but it's something that everybody has to struggle against. And there's various sort of symptoms of that kind of disease of the heart arrogance towards the instructor thinking that, you know, more thinking that, you know, the instructor kind of

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isn't being judicious with what they're teaching you or how they're teaching you or the pace upon which they're putting you etcetera, etcetera.

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And then towards the material itself, right.

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Whether it's, you know, most people have a pretty decent respect for the Islamic sciences, but let's just say if somebody imagined that

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you could get the same or equivalent as a six year Medina education with, you know, your Google search, right, that would be something that is an affront to kind of the, the subject itself, right, treating the subject as something that's shallow enough that could be grasped or even just the the office of Fetzer.

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or the Office of Religious advice, imagining that the sights, the few sites that we have in English, such as secret guidance and Islamic q&a, and all these sorts of things, barely scratched the surface, you know, barely barely scratched the surface of what there is when it comes to the and studying the shutter. Yeah. As it would be for medicine as it would be for engineering any other subject, right? I mean, sure, doctors are very frustrated with people who do their own research, and come in and think they've got it all figured out. Right, about what's their diagnosis. And, you know, just Doctor, please give me this medicine, because I've already decided that I've got this,

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you know, that the person is foolish, because, you know, they've, maybe they've noticed one thing, however, there's a whole lot more that they're missing. And so their own self diagnostic diagnosis can often be fatal. Right? The same exact same thing applies to religious studies, how many times have I been asked a question? And the question I'm asked is very, very carefully worded, so that it's very narrow in scope. And then you start to ask a couple follow up questions, and you realize that there's something a lot bigger going on, right? famous example is when I was taught by one of my mentors, where a husband called the Imam to complain about his wife, his wife had stopped

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praying, right, no more than a boss. And so the email was called, and he's like, this is terrible, he comes in. And,

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you know, he's kind of prepped as if he just has to explain to the wife and lay the law down and kind of tell her that she needs to be praying, et cetera, et cetera. When he gets there, he comes to find out that, you know, the husband had attempted to wake her up for Phaedra, one day, not with a little sprinkling of water, but with a bucket of ice cold water. And that in protest, she had abandoned her namaz or her salah, which, obviously is a different problem, but it had a clear cause, and something that the husband was not completely forthcoming with. So this also happens in marriage counseling all the time. You never ever, and this is the lesson that we learned from. So they man

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right in the Koran, you never never judge based off of one person's side of the story, there's always a second side of the story. And the due diligence that's required of just like a doctor, to get medical history to get contraindications to get you know, other things like that someone in the Religious Sciences, their due diligence is to assess the entire situation, get various points of view before, before dropping the hammer or hitting the gavel, so to speak. And this is all touched on.

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All touched on by the author, he stresses the importance of someone being docile with the literal meaning of the word right, willing to be molded and willing to be transformed. When you're a student of something, you can't see the end game, right, you don't know exactly the type of person that you're going to be when you come out of it. So there's a certain trust, and this is it's a two way street. But there's a certain trust of submitting yourself to the edifying forces or the transformative forces of your instructors. And if you have good instructors, that transformative process is enriching. And you come out a better person, a different person, a wiser person, at the

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end of the, at the end of the education, and that's exactly how it's, it's supposed to be

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how it's supposed to go. But that's a perfect segue to the other side, which is that, you know, there are a lot of phony bad teachers out there. And all of this process depends upon a good teacher, whether it's Islam, that religious subjects or

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anything else to medicine, engineering, take your pick, right, so the the teacher, they have to treat their students with the concern of a parent, right? It has to be beyond.

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You know,

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you're not a computer that's downloading a hard drive onto an empty kind of motherboard, and then you're just kind of evaluating for regurgitation, right? That's the very mechanistic.

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Imagine sort of imagination for how learning should happen now that the person that studying is a whole person, they have motivations, they have issues in their personal life.

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And so a true teacher has to be sensitive to all those sorts of things.

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Even with children, you know, children have issues going on at home, right? Sometimes their parents are going through a divorce, sometimes they're going through a move. We have now these big apartment buildings right on Genesee that just got, you know, condemned and everybody's evicted. And now they're in shelters all around.

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But teacher can't throw the book at a student who has, you know,

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special circumstances, they have to be sensitive to these sorts of things and always prioritize the relationship to learning and try to plan around these sorts of things as they come up. And we had that happen last year in Sunday school. There was one one thing

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I believe that they never finished, technically finished the course. Because they basically were kind of their living situation had become in jeopardy at the end that so they weren't able to take the final exam. Right? The a good teacher has to be sensitive to those things and has to respond to those things with more than just pointing to the rules and saying, Well, it's against the rules, you're going to get it.

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So the other thing that this teacher must do, and this is something that regretfully I haven't seen very much of is the teacher should engender cooperation and love between their students. Right? This is the antidote to the jealousy that we see between speakers or callers, or scholars, or Imams, or any other sort of thing. You hear horror stories about law school, people ripping out pages, and, you know, in the books in the library and things like that, everybody just trying to get a leg up on somebody else, that's a failed system of whole person education, because you've just sort of tested for the, the regurgitation, all you care about is the evaluation, and you don't really are attentive

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to what are the means that your students are taking to get there. Huge problem, right, and we're educating the whole person. And all of the points in the world are not worth it, the highest marks in the world are not worth it, if there have been shortcuts that have been taken to get there, or they've been obtained in an illegitimate way. So that's, that falls on the teacher, the teacher has to be sensitive to those things, they have to develop a sense of honor, a sense of dignity within their students, they have to develop a sense of cooperation and kind of team identity with their students and not just kind of play off every individual against each other kind of every man for

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And it's the teacher's responsibility to just like if it's going to be a doctor and the Imam, to put the student on a track of development, right? To not throw everything on them at once or belittle them, you know, for their lack of knowledge, or any of these sorts of things that might have

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unintended negative consequences, right, the teacher has to deal with the person where they're at,

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take into account what they're likely to implement, just like if you

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just, there's so many parallels between being any man and being a doctor, you know, are the doctors of the soul and the doctors are the doctors of the body? Because you can probably tell, I'm guessing, you know, a certain patient, how likely they are to actually take your recommendation.

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Right? If you're right, you can write all the prescriptions in the world, you pretty much no, before they step out the door, that person is going to take it or that person is not going to do a thing that I said to do. Right. So it's an art, it's not a science to try to reach somebody in a way that motivates them to try to break things down in small enough pieces that they're digestible to that person to kind of speak to that person at their level. And even if you do the best job that you could possibly do, objectively speaking, it's not always going to work. There's always going to be people who

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just are trying to use you for the script, or in our case, use your for the pizza, or use your for the Nica as the case may be. And actually, the author is going to deal with that a little bit today, when he comes to an interesting chapter, which, who is it obligatory, to prevent knowledge from kind of a foreign concept to us, when we think about knowledge as being something that should be free and accessible to everybody, that's generally true. But the author has an interesting kind of pre modern take on that.

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And so and then, you know, the author had gone into a really beautiful kind of

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defense of Socratic method, I guess you could say, when it comes to learning education, getting people to come to conclusions themselves, as opposed to this kind of spoon feeding model, which is regretfully the model that they use in Medina, and not every single class, but the majority of kind of the educational culture there. And I'm guessing a lot of places throughout the Muslim world is mostly based off of memorization, and not based off of understanding.

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And here's the exact opposite. We never memorize anything, you know, growing up, where we could have used, I think, a little bit of muscle memory development, right.

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But it is a good thing to focus on understanding. But if you look at the Muslim community, and I was actually on a zoom call with the doctor that was visiting who's from Georgia, and he's one of the professors I would talk to his class this morning.

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And that was one of the reflections I had the students are asked me about the difference between education systems and east versus West. So that, you know, we really need a happy medium, somewhere in the middle, because in the Muslim world, we've produced so many memorizers and so few people who understand and can apply things critically. Whereas in the West

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All we do is critique, you know, my first degree was from Vassar College and liberal arts school. And we were taught to, to critique the first day we walked in before we even understood the things we were critiquing. Right. So there's two extremes. And as usual, Islam is in the middle, you know, between two extremes. And so there's a, there's a humility to mastery. And then there's room for critical application, you know, and both of those things in any sort of Islamic pedagogy, or sort of,

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you know, method of Islamic teaching should kind of shoot for that middle, where it's not merely regurgitation. It's not lower order thinking skills. Okay, five pillars of Islam are this. Yes, kindergarteners, that's where you have to start. But you know, you want to be able to move to higher order thinking skills, what is it about the human beings that requires the prayer? What are the things about the human being that require

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devotion, any relationship to to a law in the first place? Right, what is the purpose of the Cata societal level?

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Why does logic and reason and kind of our empirical observation necessitate monotheism? Right? These sorts of things, higher order thinking skills,

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getting people to think about the types of different idolatry that there are external idolatry is relatively unknown in the West, you know, it's more of a internal idolatry, idolizing the self and idolizing kind of desires, right? So getting people to think critically about that should be the should be the,

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the method and the goal of Islamic education. And the author, you know, he's writing in the, you know, 1000 years ago, you know, he, he's, he's talking about this stuff, not with the exact same examples, but he says, you know, it's better to get your students to conclude, for themselves, it's more honorable for both the student and the teacher. He says explicitness only has one dimension, whereas implicit instruction, you can uncover things that you never even realized before. Right?

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The student is now contributing to the education, right, as opposed to just the teacher just, again, spoon feeding and downloading. And finally, and again, anybody who's had raises boys can

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attest to this implicit education.

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Or I should say, I'll go the other way. Explicit education invites contrarian ism, and opposition and combativeness. Right, and I was this way, so I know, when I was a teenager growing up, you try to teach telling me something. Now it's not, it's this other way. Now you're wrong, I'll prove you wrong, right. Whereas if you're putting a problem in front of a student, and you're letting them solve the problem with what they already know, and just a couple little, you know, pointing and gesturing here and there, then the person has ownership over the conclusion, right? You've helped teach them you've helped them teach themselves essentially, as opposed to you setting yourself up

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for a battle. You know, like this is the way it is no, it's not and etc, etc. So the next chapter that the author goes to again, like an interesting thing that might kind of be scandalous to a modern sensibility. He titled The chapter the necessity of preventing ignorant people from certain types of knowledge

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and limiting things to what people can understand or grasp.

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So he cites a hadith and the prophesy sentiment, this is an authentic hadith, when the Kelemen nests or recovery or cooling. Right, the prophesy said um, when he would send people to instruct because the prophesy Saddam was often in a position where he was sending out teachers and emissaries to different parts of the Arabian Peninsula to instruct. He always warned people to speak to them at the level of their intellect. Right and in one narration, is it in the book or no?

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Yes, Kelemen NAS be my iPhone. What thou million million karoun A to read una and you can double la hora Su, that's very strong wording prophesies that I'm said, Speak to people with what they know, utilize the things that they already know, and leave what they have an aversion to. Right. And then he pairs this instruction with the reason which he says, do you want people to deny Allah and as messenger? Right, he says that the ultimate goal here is to get people to accept the law in His messenger. And the promise lies on him is implicitly teaching us that the methods that we use, the language that we speak, the examples that we use, the things that we choose for illustration. It can

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be it can make it or break it. Yes.

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There's no sort of reason to resort to, to scandal to device of things, the things that are not

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kind of you know,

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universally accepted and known. Now, this kind of shows us a lot of different lessons on a lot of different levels. First of all, we noticed discretion, right? Not every single thing is suitable for every single year, right? You have way, lots of different people in our community, small community here, you have lots of different people with different backgrounds, varying sort of capacities for understanding, I'm going to have a different conversation with other Medina grads, and you know, other Imams that are colleagues of mine, we might look at an issue. From a very theoretical sort of perspective, we might entertain possibilities, or very minority opinions that we might not want to

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publicize for fear of somebody grasping onto it, and running with it, right. And this sort of thing, thing happens all the time actually talk about it.

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Scholars who analyze kind of society and media, they call it context collapse, right? So what have we what have we found in the age of social media is that all context has been collapsed, you used to be a son, to your parents, and a brother to your siblings, and a spouse, to your, your spouse, and etc. And you had a slightly different identity with all of them. And that's not hypocritical. That's not to face that's actually very, very useful, because they call for different kinds of behaviors, and comportment. If you talk to your parents, you need to be humble, and you need to put yourself kind of in their service, and you're going to be much less bold with the things that you assert and

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you know, kind of take their lead. If you're talking with colleagues or with students, for example, you're going to have an entirely different sort of demeanor, you might resort to entirely different

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examples or illustrations, etc, etc. Right? So now that we have a social media where someone downloads a video or uploads a video on YouTube, and you can't control for, you know, for social class or for you know, intelligence or for expertise or anything, it's out there and it's out there you have the person who is thinking about becoming a muslim can listen to it. And you know, Yasir qadhi can listen to it, if he wants to, and everybody in between, right. And that has landed a lot of people into problems, because you need to be

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very, very, very have a lot of foresight as to how things can be misconstrued. And that discretion is part of this in that discretion is part of the action and instruction of the Prophet Muhammad, etc. And also part of the practice of the companions, I always share the story of the cabin, as you all probably well know by now, the Kaaba was meant to be rebuilt the Prophet salallahu Salam, he said to Aisha, a few years before he passed away, Saddam, that if he had his druthers, if he had it his way, he would have rebuilt the cabinet to its original shape, he would have made two doors at ground level, not the high, you know, basketball hoop height door that you see now. Right, but he

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said the reason why he didn't do it was because the Quraysh were new to snap. Right? So that's exactly how the prophesy said, I'm putting this instruction into practice. He knew that messing with the Kaaba was something that would be rejected by the porch, it would seem like a power grab, it would seem like a move for his legacy, just like any head of state or king wants to build something to be remembered by some sort of monument, etc, etc. He knew that that's how it was going to be interpreted. And so he didn't touch it. Even if he had a preference, he had a certain wish he wanted it to be a certain way. He had to take into consideration the state of the people that he was

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operating amongst. And so we find this with every single thing. One story that happened here, there was a gentleman that came in here, he was interested in this lamb. I wasn't here at this point, but I was told about it after I came.

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And he had he had a girlfriend, and he it wasn't just your normal fling. It was like some people have very committed relationships. They were in relationship for years. You know? And he had heard someone had told him, I must do gooder Muslim had told him that

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you know, girlfriends how long, right? So Oh, you want to be a new Muslim? Is that your girlfriend? You know, stuff for Allah. Right? But he heard a cat's out of the bag. Okay. So he's talking to one of the brothers from our community, and he was doing a good job and and The brother asked him, like, I heard this, someone told me that I can't have a girlfriend and be a Muslim. Is that true? And he stalled for time. He's like, Well, let me think about it. I need to go, you know, like, but eventually he told him was like, it's what you heard is true. You know, we don't approve of girlfriends and he never saw that guy again. Right? So you have somebody that he could have been

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He could have had an argument in front of the last thoughts on the afterlife, right? He could have been a believer and a lot can guide anyone he wants. Right? Once they're through the door only a lot knows what's going to happen.

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Better to have a Muslim living in sin

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than somebody who just completely doesn't even take the testimony of faith, despite feeling that way internally, right? Much, much more grave implications in the afterlife. And Allah knows best as to what will happen, of course, right? So that's the sort of thing that we're dealing with, you have to anticipate, you have to have foresight, you have to think, and you have to take into consideration the situation of the people that you're talking to. You're going to talk to a doctor different than you're going to talk to an engineer different than you're going to talk to somebody who spent 20 years in jail, different than you're going to spend talk to a farmer, right? If I give farming

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metaphors to Dr. Muhsin? I don't know, maybe he has experienced with farming, but maybe, you know, in all likelihood, he doesn't. Right.

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for some reason, it's telling me the battery's almost out.

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Somewhere, that was it, okay, good.

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You know, I mean, Dr. Mustard, mashallah, he goes berry picking. And that's all well and good. But, you know, when I start talking about nutrient cycles in the water cycle, and proper rotation and things like that, and I did a little bit of farming, so I have a little bit of experience in that. It's a different animal, it's not the best selection on my part, if I want him to be I trying to teach him something that he has to understand about his religion, that's going to help his afterlife, right? I would give him examples from the human anatomy, from medicine from, you know, these sorts of things. And the opposite. You go to a farmer, or you go to a mechanic, there's one

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brother in the community, he's a truck driver, I always try to give him car metaphors, mechanic metaphors, because that's what he that's what he does all day long, I was explained to him, why he has to study Tajweed. And why he was having such difficulty with it, he actually felt like, because we were getting deep into the rules of Tajweed. And he said that he experienced that

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he was starting to get all these sorts of doubts, and it was becoming almost like worse initially than how he used to read before. And I told him, I said, Okay, you in your truck, you have an engine, he's like, Yeah, it's like, what happens, what's the difference between a person who just gets in the truck and turns the key and goes, versus somebody who takes the engine out and, you know, takes apart the entire engine, so they see every single piece, they know how it fits together, and then puts it back together. It's like, you don't have an engine when you've taken everything apart. But when you put it all back together, you're going to be, you know, much more better, you're

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going to be better off than the person who never took it apart in the first place. And he totally got it. And he, you know, stuck with it. And he ended up mashallah, He improved a lot, He improved a lot. I'm very, very proud of his progress. So you have to teach this as the son of the Prophet say, Saddam, this is the Sunnah of the companions, to address people and treat people not in a condescending way, but out of sincerity, and wanting them to absolutely get the accurate the message accurately, to use examples to mention what's only going to benefit them and going and do it in a way where it's going to be grasped.

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And this is an I have to mention this, when we look at some of the contemporary social justice movements that we find, we see how they sputter and die because of a lack of this sort of ethnic, right. Let's take defund the police. Right. That's one of the, you know, the calls for today, even if, okay, if you go into and try to understand exactly what they mean, it's not as bad as it sounds, right? Like there's like, if you look at the comparative budgets between the police departments, and other sort of things like education, etc, etc. They're trying to communicate that, you know, resources should be allocated it with a little bit more equity between these sorts of things. We

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don't need to be spending as much money. Horrible messaging, absolutely horrible messaging was like, like, it's almost as if they didn't want to succeed. They were just like content with being like, thinking that they're right, and didn't care who believed them or who didn't believe them. Right. And this is something that you find with a lot of the social justice movements these days, they've lost the ethic of

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trying to earnestly be understood. Right, they've taken more the moral victory, right? That's like, well, we're right. And so who cares, you know, everybody else is just the local you know, they don't understand our, our utopian, you know, ideology. Okay, great. You can be right. But you know, you're not going to get anywhere Islam as a practical faith as a practical religion. There is no merit in picking obscure language or something that is

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is like the profit slice that, um, said, human ketone something that the people find, like the testable or something that they react to with this kind of visceral reaction, you have to choose things that are going to be applauded, and things that are well recognized and understood. With the with the people.

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You're and this also applies to, you know, within Islamic history or Muslim history, we also find that there are esoteric right? strains, right, where the all these sorts of very symbolic language and at, you know,

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the language itself, it's like, I know, it looks like ship, but it's not sure, right, they try to explain to you, like, this isn't really you know, like, like worshiping other than a law, it's actually this, it's this metaphor, it's like, okay, I know, I can believe you enough to believe that you're sincere. And you know, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But this is not an Islamic ethic, right to choose words that can be so easily misinterpreted, to choose metaphors that are provocative, right? Or that stir people to kind of in a divisive way, that's not the way of the prophets, it sounds prophecies, and I never did that. And the Companions never did that. And the

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prophets, like Saddam was not part of his station of Prophet who was that he was the best teacher, right. So if you have tricks and techniques from the best teacher, then we would hope that we would avail ourselves of them and not kind of invent our own sort of

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methodology of teaching.

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It also violates the ethic within Islam to stick to the GEMA. Right, we don't have an elitist kind of

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ethic within Islam, where we imagine that there's a sort of a, an elite vanguard of people that are going to just change the society and the masses kind of just stick to, you know, the city on that's good for them. And, and whatever, right, everybody is, has a brain, and everybody has an intellect. And everybody, the author has gone at length to try to convince us that everybody should be involved in developing that. Right.

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And there's different

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you know, everybody's going to take it to a different extent, not not everybody's going to reach the same sort of goal, but part of the worship of a Muslim is developing their intellect and developing themselves, right. And so we're kind of a much more pluralistic at the prophesy. centum said, stick to the GEMA. Right, actually, he was asked by more I've said, what if we reach this end time and we find that there's all these sorts of good use the word like these sort of sects, and they're all saying, I have the truth? No, is the truth and the prophesy said, I'm didn't say like, pick one and go with it. He said, avoid all of them. He said otoko had Hill Farah cola. So like, leave all of

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these sects and stick to the gym. Right? That basic kind of Muslim, you know, ethos, or the lowest common denominator of our Asana culture, there's something that is humble and stable and safe in that there's no need to to belittle it.

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Okay, good.

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So upon what grounds that show should someone be prevented knowledge? That's the kind of proposition that the author is putting here. He's not saying he gestures at first he said, Okay, when it comes to people's intellect, it's more about timing, right? It's not that you're going to brand somebody is stupid, and just say, it's like, well, you can't learn this and never teach them know, when it comes to intellect. It's about timing and development. All right, you want everybody to be on a path of progress, and you're developing them. And so you're going to expose them to things when they're ready to them, who's the only type of person that you should completely bar all knowledge to?

00:33:58 --> 00:33:59

What do you think?

00:34:03 --> 00:34:39

That's exactly what he says, somebody who's not pure with their intention, somebody who has poor character, right. And so this is a whole different dimension of being a teacher that in the West, we're not used to saying that the teacher has to look into the character of his students, and be able to tell who's jealous and be able to tell who's in it for the ego and be able to tell who, if they take that little bit of knowledge, whether it's medicine or engineering, or, you know, God forbid, the religion, that if they run with it, and they go make a YouTube channel, and they have one of these tabloid like, you know, YouTube channels where they're calling out this guy and that

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guy and that guy, that this is the type of person that sorry, like, you have to do some work before you can come and study like before, you're going to be taught this. You need to be on some sort of program. You need to engage in some sort of activity, some personal development, so that the knowledge that you learn becomes a proof for you and not a proof again,

00:35:00 --> 00:35:38

Steel. When we say this phrase, often, it's directly translated from the Arabic phrase, but it's a real thing. Right? So that's a really interesting and important distinction. We're not talking about branding people tracking people, right? They don't throw the special ed kids in the basement, right? They do in schools here, and the school that I grew up in New Jersey, right, and then put the AP, you know, in the bright classrooms with a nice windows and everything, no, we're not talking about that. We're talking about the people who have disease in their hearts, the people who, if they are taught certain things, they're just going to spread evil. Right? These are the type of people that

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need to be prevented until they remedy themselves somehow.

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So purification comes first. And we see the effects of this. And one of them. I already mentioned the two examples that came to my mind. One of them is kind of how this kind of click bait, tabloid ask. ethic has taken over a lot of YouTube channels, a lot of people who call to Assam it's all kind of driven by scandal. It's all like taking bits, sound bites from people out of context and say, Oh, look what he said, Oh, look, he sat with so and so he must collaborate with this group and that group, and he must all these kinds of guilt by association tactics, and at the end of the day, and that someone from the inside I can tell you that at the end of the day, this is all about personal

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vendettas, it's all about jealousy.

00:36:29 --> 00:37:07

If it goes back to it, you can trace some people were students at the same shape. And they were both jealous to try to compete to be you know, more in favor of the same shape. And then, because they both have a little bit of religious education. Now it's oh, well he collaborates with, they give a religious veneer to their their actual personal vendetta, right? Oh, well, he sits with these groups and this and so that means that he's that cetera, et cetera. So that's one thing that we've gotten to. And the other thing that we consider the other example or arena in which we can see this at work is the Oriental or the orientalist scholars, right, the non Muslim scholars, not all of them, but

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traditionally, or historically, the ones that study Islam,

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and produce, quote, unquote, knowledge within Islamic studies in western universities, the types of things that they come up with, you just have to scratch your head, you know, like, there are some people who claim that, you know, the Koran was not originally in Arabic, it was originally in Syriac, and it was copied from this, you know, this obscure person, and then it was lost, and all these sorts of crazy theories, you have people, you see the results of the Western education model, with absolutely no attention paid to purification or sincerity. Right, you have people that are just trying to make their careers. That's what it comes down to. And if you have to always look at the

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conflicts of interests that are involved in what, what is this type of education incentivizing? If and this is true in the western Academy, if the incentive is to produce groundbreaking material, and it always is. And the incentive is to somehow distinguish yourself and make a niche and make a name for yourself, then you created an incentive structure where somebody has a vested interest in doing something that's kind of scandalous, and off the wall. And so you'll find a lot of a lot of stuff within the orientalist kind of vein about Islam, off the wall stuff, right.

00:38:26 --> 00:38:37

Anything that comes from traditional Islamic sources is kind of like, you know, they turn up their nose at us, oh, this stuff, you know, there's just fairy tales, and etc, etc.

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And the things that they actually rely on are fairly, you know, comes down to grasping at straws, and there's really some far fetched stuff. And it's gotten better. I think it's gotten better in the last 1015 years, but definitely the average kind of pull, go errs on that side. And I've spoken with Yasser called the about this in particular, he has this kind of experience where he was in Medina, he did his bachelor's and his master's there. And then he went to Yale. And some of the stories if you ever get the chance to, to speak with him, I'm not sure maybe he shared some on his, his many YouTube videos or whatever. But some of the stories he can tell you about the bias, the anti Muslim

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bias or the suspicion of Muslim sources or Islamic sources, sources within the academy

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is quite rampant and persistent even to today. Right. So all of that to say, and I can talk about that for a long time, because that was actually a meaningful divergence in my life where I had the opportunity to go one way and I eventually went the other and I went abroad to study in a in a traditional way. But the reason why it comes up here is because we see the results of the education system, right and why you have to prevent, according to the author, why you have to prevent knowledge from people who have not, who have

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he'll intentions are not sincere, or don't have the requisite character to kind of deal with the information that they're learning.

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So it becomes a duty, he says the duty to guard knowledge from the unpurified until they become purified. And he justifies this with a an Ayah from the Koran, oral inserts, and he sat where last month ALLAH is talking about money and inheritance, and how you deny the inheritance to the Sufi, and the fullest person or the person who is young, they haven't reached maturity yet until they reach maturity, right? And see, so he says, if that's money, then what about religious knowledge, right, religious knowledge is even more precious and even more valuable. So of course, you would do the same with that.

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But there's a flip side, there's a flip side, and we've talked in previous classes about gatekeeping. And how this occurs in the Muslim community to and in the scholarly class where somebody comes in, and they want to say, like, oh, I want to become a scholar of Islam, and I want to study physics, and I want to learn all these things, you know. And then, regretfully, sometimes they're met with discouraging words, right? Some people say, Oh, you have to study this one book for, you know, 30 years, and then maybe you can, you know, tie my, my sandal strap. You know, like, that's regretfully, you know, this is kind of the mentality that some people communicate. And

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obviously, again, if you look at the conflict of interest that's involved, it's because there's people that want to keep people in a certain position and not let them rise, for fear that they might be one day surpassed. And this comes back to jealousy and lack of character, etc, etc. So the important corollary of the rule that the author sets out is that just as you have a duty to withhold knowledge from the person who doesn't have the character to stomach it, you have the duty or the obligation to provide knowledge to the person who's ready for it. It's not absolutely not acceptable for someone who wants to come in and learn to discourage them in any way. And this comes back to the

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difference between what type of assessment and evaluation as the teacher doing, we don't reject people based off of their intellect, we don't write somebody off saying, like, oh, this person will never be able to understand this, you stick to, you know, at least that time, we'll be the big boys up here doing, you know, inheritance law or things like that. No, you take the person where they're at, you work on them and develop them and you hope, if you're sincere, you hope that one day they'll even surpass you. And that's the mark of a sincere teacher. Whereas the only sort of filtering out that should happen is the filtering out that happens on the basis of character. And that's the

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teacher's job. The teacher's job is to differentiate between character first, and then to take people under his wing, not just like, Okay, you go out and hang out on the street corner, because you're just the rotten apple and can't have you in here, take them under their wing. But note that it's not necessarily for Okay, it's time to learn. But we have to square away a couple other things first, when it comes to your,

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your character, your service, your sense of mission, etc, etc, etc.

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And that's where the chapter ends. Next chapter is about building educated leaders and the importance of educated leaders, and an ecosystem of learned leadership, which is directly applicable to community life running a machine running and a religious nonprofit. So I look forward to that anyone have any questions or comments about anything that's been gone over in this particular class or anything else?

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Come on, give me something

00:43:59 --> 00:44:02

nothing from the shake family, shake family is always with me online.

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So the province I said, I'm said Aquila, camera, or Qualcomm. Yes, teaching at appropriate times is very important. That's right. And every one of us is a teacher at the end of the day, you know, and in the Muslim community, when it comes to our children, and all the children that we interact with.

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All of us are at least for five minutes a day. We're an instructor, we're an educator. So these are all reminders for myself and reminders for all of us we can all work on implementing them Mashallah.

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If that's all I thank everybody for attending tonight. May Allah benefit us by the knowledge that he provided 100 of those thoughts.

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Gonna get

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