Who Is Allah – Understanding Allah’s Names and Attributes #01

Tom Facchine


Channel: Tom Facchine


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AI Generated Summary ©

The speakers discuss the importance of learning one's name and attributes in order to achieve their goals. They stress the need to use the example of Islam to improve one's personal and professional lives. The speakers also mention the importance of learning about one's spirituality to create a more personal and meaningful life. Additionally, they mention the use of a course for teaching hybrid models and the possibility of showing a video during a Zoom meeting.

Transcript ©

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Hello hello hello

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okay Bismillah R Rahman Rahim Al hamdu lillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah.

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This is the first class of understanding Allah's names and attributes stuck with a slug, called Asma UL Husna.

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This class is going to be based off of a book, a contemporary book written by a shake

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up the Rezac. And brother, we'll talk about who he is

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in a bit in the introduction in sha Allah.

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And this class will be at 6pm on Saturdays for approximately 40 minutes, every week, until the prayer times change and which we will notify everyone of when the meetings will move to so it'll slowly probably get a little earlier, or later, depending on the prayer times.

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This course is going to be spread out into basically three parts. So the first part is going to be an introduction, it's going to be talking about

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big picture things. Where do we situate studying allows names and attributes in the greater kind of schema of Islamic disciplines? What's the point? Why do we study it in the first place.

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And then the second part of the course is going to be dealing with kind of principles, principles, general principles, when we're talking about allows names and attributes that apply to either all or some of them. And then the last part of the, the bulk of the course is going to be going from Name of Allah to Name of Allah, the ones that are authentically narrated, either in the Quran or the Sunnah,

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talking about what they mean, but more importantly, talking about how they should affect our day to day lives. Because as we will soon discuss in sha Allah,

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all of this knowledge is not meant just to be kept in books or kept for reference, in recollection, it's to be applied, there is probably nothing that you could study that has the potential to impact your personal relationship with your Creator, Allah, then studying allows names and attributes. But we will talk more about that soon, inshallah.

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So, the first thing introducing the topic, what we are studying, allows names and attributes is situated in the discipline or the field of Arpita.

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I'll tell you the linguistically comes from the root AKA, which means to tie a knot.

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And what we understand from this word is it has to do with something that is your commitment.

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It's your, the bread and butter, if you will, of the content of what you believe. It translates roughly into the field of theology, and English parlance. So there's a lot of different things that enter into the discipline of Aviva or of Islamic theology. And I will try to make this even though we will only have two participants, I'm going to try to make this as participatory as possible. So if we think about al Qaeda, what do we imagine studying, right? If you have different disciplines, you have medicine, right? You have, you know, you know, biology, you have physics, you have earth science, you have all these different kinds of disciplines and ways of categorizing knowledge. And

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each discipline has its own topics that are subsumed or subordinate to that larger topic. So let's imagine for a second, we have the broad subjects of Arcada, or theology. What are all the things that we can imagine that fall under the study of al Qaeda or theology, you can either respond by unmuting yourself with a microphone icon, or via the chat if you want to type it in?

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What all makes up the discipline of our feeder

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I will call out names.

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Belief in a law Excellent. That's where it starts belief in a law is the first thing.

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What else?

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submission to Allah. Okay. We could, if we're going to make an outline that would be subsumed under belief and Allah, what's what does belief in Allah look like? submission is an aspect of belief in Allah. Right? Very good.

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So a real easy trick for understanding the map of the discipline of al Qaeda is that more than half of the discipline of our feeder is made up of Hadith Jibreel and the very famous Hadith where

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a man an unknown man came to the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam in front of the companions, and he asks the Prophet so I said, um, what is this that? And what is Eman? And what is SN? And the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam takes the opportunity to educate everybody who is present about what is that? So when he responds to the question, What is Islam he says, Islam is the shahada, and prayer and fasting and Zakah and Hajj. And then he's asked some love it who said, What is faith? What is Eman? And he responds with six things. And these six things form the pillars the foundations of the majority of study in Optiva. So it says belief in Allah, right? And his

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messengers, and the books of Revelation, and the angels, and the day of judgment, and the destiny, other.

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Those are the main aspects of athletes.

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And each and every one of them has different topics, you know, subordinate and within,

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in its respective area.

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The second part of aqidah is kind of a miscellany of issues. Alright, so we have issues that have to do with what is the nature of faith? Like where does faith reside?

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Is it possible to have faith that is divorced from action?

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Does faith increase or decrease?

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What? How do we account for somebody who commits major sins? What do we say of their status as a believer or as a person of faith? These are all topics in Arpita. In addition, all issues that come into tech fear, basically, drawing the boundaries as to who is and who isn't a Muslim, which regretfully, in our contemporary times, has become

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a very abused topic, in some sense, in the way that it's applied. And it's also kind of gotten a bad name. But because of how it's kind of tied into politics, and war, and things like that, but in and of itself, every single community has to draw boundaries. Right? You couldn't go into a Christian church, for example, and say, Well, I'm a Christian, or I identify as a Christian, but I don't believe that Jesus ever existed. It he said that, they would look at you like you were crazy. Because there's a principle of identity of fundamental identity, that is absolutely defining that has to be present. Right? So even though the issue the topic and its application in and of itself

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is, is abused, tech fear or things that revolve around shaping these boundaries, who is and who isn't a Muslim? Or at least let's say, what are the absolute essentials, of what you have to believe that enter you into the fold of Islam, and the things that if you believe in them, or practice them, take you outside of those boundaries? That's an aspect of the study of our theta.

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Then there's just a few more other miscellaneous topics such as the Companions and our belief in the companions and their, their righteousness and

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what they did for the religion. And finally, issues that tie into

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politics such as a Walla Walla, which we could translate as something like loyalty and allegiance, which is an interesting topic, it's not the subject of this class. But it's an interesting topic for those of us who live in the West, because we have rights and duties to Muslims across the world, and they have rights and duties to us. So this aspect of the sub section or sub field of aqidah deals with all of those kinds of what's the extent of those rights and responsibilities? Where do they begin? Where do they end? If they are kind of complicated by other allegiances or other rights and responsibilities? How does that kind of play out? So that's a roadmap. That's a zoomed out, bird's

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eye view of the field, the discipline of theology in Assam, about PETA, and most everything that you can find it Arpita can fit into one of those categories. So, if we are studying Allah's names and attributes, it should be very, very obvious. What part of the field of al Qaeda this class is going to deal with? And is going to deal with one aspect of our belief in Allah subhanaw taala? Not the only aspect. There's many things involved, like Dr. Marcin mentioned with his reply to my question, what goes on the inside your submission, right, the actions of love and obedience. That's one aspect of the study of our feeder. But this aspect that we're going to be studying is kind of aiming

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towards producing that as a result, right? By studying a laws, names and attributes, understanding who Allah is, we intend to

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obtain or attain to those results.

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Now, regretfully, and I do say this just because I'm still getting familiar with the community and where everybody's coming from how they've studied things before, regretfully, these days, and for a while, when a laws names and attributes are studied, they are usually studied through the lens of inter sectarian polemics. And what I mean by that is, it's usually kind of a,

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almost like a debate oriented,

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preparing yourself to engage with some sort of other sects that maybe you do or don't know about, to kind of prove them wrong or to support your own side. And this is something that I believe, is a regrettable, historical moment that we live in, because you have many people who don't understand who Allah is in the first place. And so they're worshipped of Allah, and their connection to Allah is lacking. It's not as strong as it could be. It might even be extremely weak and tenuous, however, they've memorized all of these arguments to refute these other guys that are out there somewhere, maybe they've never met them in their lives.

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And so my personal perspective is that the study of Africa in general, and the study of a law and his names and attributes specifically needs to be something that is more concrete, more constructive, and more working on the level of what is your relationship to Allah? And how can you strengthen it? Dr. Eco moneta, we base as he put it, this is basically studying, believing as opposed to belonging. Right, we're looking at the content of what we believe so it can nourish us and hopefully reform us and do work on us, as opposed to studying who's right and who's wrong, and maybe feeling good about ourselves. But at the end of the day, suffering in our actual relationship

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to Allah subhanho wa taala.

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So all of that to say, now we've come to the part of the introduction where I'd like to turn it back to you. Why do we study aqidah? I've mentioned a couple of reasons, but I want to hear

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from you guys. Why should someone study after either? Why should someone study in particular Allah

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His names and attributes. Imagine you're talking to your teenage son or your soon to be teenage son who wants to know why you're taking him away from his video games and making him come to the masjid or go on a Zoom meeting? And studying this stuff? He asks you why? Why do I have to study this? What would you tell him?

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Why do we study Allah's names and attributes?

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For those who have joined late, you can either use the the chat or you can unmute yourself with a microphone icon and respond.

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Mashallah, as the of the chief, excellent response doctor, yes. If you want to, if you claim to love something, or to love someone,

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that claim is contradicted

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a situation if you don't know that thing that you claim to love,

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we can take a ready made example with romantic relationships. Let's say that you just claim that you, you're in love with this person, maybe you've been married to them for a long time. But someone starts to ask you, well, what are they like? What's their history? What's this? What's that?

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And let's say the person that you're talking to, they have no idea. They don't know where they were born, they don't know. Where their siblings they don't know their family dynamics. They don't know their likes or dislikes, all these sorts of things, their personality traits, what makes them happy? What makes them sad? What makes them angry? You would look at that person, like they were crazy. It's like, how can you possibly claim to love this person, and you don't understand the first thing about them.

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Really, that type of love is kind of someone falling in love with the idea or their own idea of something else or someone else. So that's an excellent response. If we claim to love Allah, we know that we have to need to love Allah. There is no path to loving Allah except by knowing Allah. And if we truly knew who Allah was, who he is, then loving him to Panama to Ana would be automatic, it would be a very, very easy thing to have happen.

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Anyone Any other answers? Why should your teenage son study

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allows names and attributes?

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We give so much importance to the Koran, right? We want to produce her fault. We have a health health program at the masjid. We want all of our kids to memorize the Quran.

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But how much have we talked them about Allah's names and attributes? Here's your chance. You've got to sell it.

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To be able to worship him correctly. Very good. Excellent, similar idea to what Dr. Xia Dean said.

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And that

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Allah has a particular thing that he wants from us, not because he needs it. But because he knows it's actually the right thing for us, and it's for our own good.

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So it doesn't matter that we have necessarily just any old intention, we might intend the best, we want to make people happy. But if we haven't even troubled ourselves to ask, how do we make a law happy?

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Then how can we worship him correctly? And how can we claim to love him?

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I mean, this is something that

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spouses deal with all the time. Right? I mean, we have our own understanding of what would make them happy, and they have a different understanding of what would make them happy. And sometimes we're, look, I did this for you, and I did this for you, and I did this for you, and they're like, I don't care that none of that makes me happy and I'll throw myself out there. I am guilty of this, as I'm sure many of you are. So when it comes to Allah, we really want to make him happy and pleased with us. We want to worship him correctly. And so we need to understand who he is and what he wants from us.

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Doctor machine says to try to understand Allah's commands. That's also a very important thing as well. 100% Because

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I mentioned this in the hook but the other week, we have this set of commands and prohibitions in Islamic law.

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Very good. Yes. The doctor doctors yeah as if we are thinking of how to make a law happy automatically guides our behavior.

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100% back to what Dr. Muhsin said, we have all of these commands, right? Prayer five times a day. Ramadan is a cat hygiene aamra the hijab, not drinking alcohol, all these sorts of things that are well known to one person,

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those commands, and those prohibitions feel oppressive. It feels like the person just, they feel like they're backwards. They're, they're medieval. They're Dray, conic. They're all of these horrible things, and that they just can't wait to free themselves. They can't wait until they move out from their parents and go to college. And they can experiment and explore and do all these different things. Right. And then you'll find with the same set of commands and prohibitions, somebody else feels a B feels liberated by them. Let's say this is what I was searching for my whole life, to be able to pray five times a day, and understand the motions and understand, you know, what

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is expected of me. I've never felt like I've had more purpose in my life. So what Dr. Medicines comment is important for is that if we understand who Allah is, we understand the character that's informing. And that's constituting Allah's commands and Allah's guidance. So we no longer look at Allah as some being that's trying to make things hard for us, or trying to nag us or trying to constantly kind of catch us, oh, you're doing this wrong, you're, you're doing that wrong. But we understand that Allah does everything that he does out of love for us and out of concern for us and our well being. So when you understand those things about Allah, as Dr. zeal, then said, everything

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falls into place.

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Everything else falls into place, you have a trust, even if you don't understand why something is the way it is. At least you know that, okay, from my experience of and the history of this kind of my interaction with this supreme being, I know that everything he does is out of love. And everything that he does is out of concern.

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And so even if I don't understand this one particular command, or this one particular prohibition, it enables me to submit to it.

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Because I trust the source that it's coming from.

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Kelly adds to displace misunderstandings, we maybe didn't even realize we had, and that is 100%. True. Anybody who watches movies who's ever seen a movie in their lives, or watch television in their lives, they know that the typical depiction of God or Allah is this big bearded white man in the sky, a stump for Allah. Obviously, we know enough. That's not true. But sometimes we act as if a lot is that big, bearded white guy in the sky, kind of this Zeus figure who's ready to throw thunderbolts and catch you the second that you slip up, punish you for the littlest things that you've done wrong, right? These sorts of things are fundamental mistakes about who Allah is, and

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what Allah does and what Allah doesn't do.

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And there's another extreme as well, so there's one extreme where we can imagine Allah as this very forbidding severe, petty, petty deity that's just out to get us. And then there's another extreme where we can imagine that this entity, this deity, that's a law is just has no standards, and will just doesn't really necessarily want anything from us, and is going to be okay. Even if we're doing horrible things to our loved ones, if we're oppressing them if we're taking advantage of them, and things like that. So, understanding who Allah is, keeps us right in the middle at that tawassul at that moderation, that Allah is always reminding us that we have to maintain neither on this extreme,

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neither on that extreme. And we have all of these societal factors and media influences that might push our imagination of who a lot is to one side or the other. But if we study who Allah is from the correct sources, it will keep us on the straight and narrow. Excellent, that's very good.

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I'll just mention a couple other Yes. Sister Samina says, it's very easy for youngsters to establish strange ideas about a lot due to atheistic or missed mythical or agnostic studies, knowing their creators names and attributes clears up misconceptions for children. Yes, a 100%. And I'm

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If we can get a program, I've just thought of this now. But if we can eventually get a program that's allows names and attributes directed towards children, that would be a great thing. One thing that my wife and I have done for the past few years, is to do a countdown to Ramadan. Right. So like 99 days until it on the lawn. Every night, we've done like a name, we talk about it as a family. We talk about what it makes it what it makes us think of how we think we can apply it in our lives. And it's something we've done for a couple of years. And maybe we should make it into a program before Ramadan, that might be a good thing to do. I'll try to remember that. So good. So

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other things that have to do with the why the motivation? Why are we studying this? Why should you study it? Why should your children study it?

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Many things we've already mentioned is that this is the your Arpita has primacy. It comes first over every sort of legal thing that we have. And it's that, right? And this is because our intention, and our AlQaeda is going to be really the thing that's going to get us into paradise or not. Right, you could have someone who prays and fasts and kind of technically complies with the law. But if they don't believe in Allah, let's say they're doing it because of family pressure, or they're doing it because of peer pressure, or

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other things like this. How much is all of that worship going to be worth? It's not going to be worth anything.

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And the opposite scenario is true as well. We take somebody who doesn't have any understanding, they came, they walked in off the street, they accept Islam, they don't know anything about prayer. They don't know anything about fasting about Halal haram, but they strongly believe in Allah. And they strongly intend to do well. That if that person dies, right, in that moment, Allah is going to bring put that person in Paradise, and there's actually companions. Where this happened to. There is one companion that

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I believe he was from one of the Jewish tribes in Medina, and before the Battle of HUD, he woke up that day, saying, This is the day where I submit to the truth. And he accepted us that he went out and he fought on the side of the Muslims in the Battle of God and he was killed. He had not prayed a single prayer. He had not given a single cent in charity. He had not done anything, as far as the legal aspects of a snap. But his intention and his belief were pure. And so the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that he would be in paradise.

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One of the sub reasons why it's so important to talk about the why of studying allows names and attributes is something that sister Samina mentioned about the other sort of influences. And there's a trend today, there's a trend today to

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look or view at religion

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through a lens of the worldly benefits that it can provide to us.

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Right? We hear this all the time.

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And it can be a useful tool and dour. It's true. But it's not the larger purpose for what we're going for, to say things for example, like Islam gives us community. And it gives us ritual and it gives us a sense of belonging and it reduces stress, right? We see like what happened to yoga, and meditation practices, these sorts of things, even though they're true, in and of themselves. decontextualized they are part of a trend to kind of focus on the worldly benefits of religion. Exactly side benefits. Leighton's benefits, we could say, they missed the forest through the trees, because the primary importance is the spiritual importance, the other worldly importance, the

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importance that our eternity is going to be affected by. Whereas everything else that happens in this world of Hamdulillah, we accept it with open arms, but it's not the main purpose. So studying Allah's names and attributes, brings us back to this reality and kind of pushes against that trend, that trend to look at everything as a bargain as a trade. Well, if I'm feeling stressed, I'll just go do yoga, or maybe

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I'll make a prayer and it will get me this thing in this world, right? Maybe I didn't pray all month. But now I want this job or now I want this spouse or I want this kind of opportunity. And now I'm going to really hit the hit the prayer mat and do my all, because I'm kind of trading my religious practice for benefits in this world. Studying allows names and attributes recenter us and reground us into the real purpose of practicing our devotion to Allah.

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We mentioned about how this is the primary path to please Allah, that love is proved by your knowledge about whom you claim to love, and your obedience to that person that you claim to love. And that loving Allah, part of it is knowing who Allah is, and how Allah wants to be loved, we would laugh, we would laugh at somebody who would say that they are loving Allah by drinking alcohol, or they're loving Allah by verbally abusing somebody else. But when it comes to, we have to make sure that we apply this criteria across the board.

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Another issue and we also mentioned this with Dr. Machines comment is that knowing a law through His names and attributes is the foundation of all worship. It's the foundation of all compliance. Because we feel this with our children especially you can force them to behave, you can force them to pray, you can force them to memorize Quran, all while they're under your roof.

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But if you don't plant in their hearts, love for Allah.

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All of that work that you've done, can be gone in a second. If they go away to college, if they go and move out of the house,

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it can all be lost very, very easily. So understanding Allah's names and attributes is the foundation to all compliance and all obedience and all worship.

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And if we find ourselves lacking in compliance, or obedience to Allah, if we find ourselves just lackadaisical or neglectful, we don't really care. Or we haven't thought to care about what Allah thinks about some aspects of our lives or what we're doing some aspect of our activity, then this comes from a lack of awareness or a lack of knowledge.

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About a lot because if we truly knew who Allah was, then we would, it would be an automatic thing.

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Studying Allah's names and attributes is also the primary path to reforming ourselves. Right? If we understand who Allah is, we understand our correct relationship with Allah. And we understand our purpose for being in this creation in this universe in the first place. So we find things though these latent benefits the side benefits as a doctor Zia said, such as inner peace and purpose and liberation, we will feel those things in this life. If we understand precisely who Allah is, and precisely who we are. We won't have delusions of grandeur that we're not entitled to, nor will we kind of belittle ourselves and the human project or the human journey that we're on.

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There's many other things as well. We understand the importance of Allah's names and attributes because of how frequently they come up in the Koran. Many of the layouts of the Koran or the chapters of the Quran that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam informed us have special weight and value are verses that are heavy with Allah's names and attributes such as Iota, of course C, such as sort of a class, and so on and so forth.

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Many of the scholars also comment that studying allows names and attributes is the best thing that you could study, in an absolute sense, right, divorced from kind of societal concerns, like who needs what the most looking at it just in an absolute sense, studying who Allah is, is the best thing that you could possibly study better than, better than Hadith better than history better than even Arabic? Because a lot is the best. And since a lot is the best than studying, who Allah is inherently become

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was the best.

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One of the final, let's say the final reason is that Allah loves his own names. And he loves to see his names and attributes embodied in the creation. Right. So, for example, a lot is beautiful. And as the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, he also loves beauty. He loves to see us

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in a beautiful way, he loves to see beauty in his creation, because it reflects, it brings about it brings the creation in harmony with who its creator is.

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So every time that we're able to reform ourselves, or create some good in the world, that makes the creation, or ourselves just a little bit closer

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to an attribute or a characteristic of a law that he loves. Allah loves that thing that we're doing. Allah is all knowing. And so he loves knowledge. And he loves those who are knowledgeable and put that knowledge to us. Allah is generous, and he loves generosity, and he loves to see generosity. In his creation. Allah is strong, and the Prophet Muhammad SAW I said, I'm told us that he loves a strong believer more than he loves a weak one.

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So all of these things have to do with kind of trying to bring about reminders of who a lot is, and trying to make a laws, names and attributes manifest in his creation. So

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when it comes to we're running out of time, see, we have six minutes left, I will take questions very shortly, I'll try to wrap up the intro so that next class we can get to the general principles of Allah's names and attributes. Our goals, as a class, studying what we're studying, our first goal is to learn who Allah is and who he's not.

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The second is to learn what Allah does, and what he doesn't do.

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The next is to develop the ability to recall our newfound knowledge of a lot when we need it, in prayer, in devotion, and in our daily lives.

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Another goal that we will have is to try to observe the effects of this knowledge in our attitudes,

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emotional responses, we want to move from knowing intellectually,

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knowing with our hearts Yeah, and we want the fact

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is ketene is general is generous, excuse me, to affect how we're feeling our lives, and our Creator and the creation as we're moving through it.

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We're also going to be exploring ways to apply this knowledge and trying to change our vision so that we recognize in the creation of laws, characteristics and attributes when we see them being embodied.

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So that does it pretty much for the introduction, there's four minutes and change left. If anyone has any questions, you can unmute yourself and ask where you can put it in the chat box.

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I'll give some time for questions. They can be about anything, it doesn't have to be about this particular course. And then we will conclude for today shall

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00:39:05--> 00:39:07

Yes, Sunday school classes.

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So initially, the plan was to have some sort of while we were waiting basically for the school to excuse me, the school district to make a decision about what they wanted to do.

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So New York State released its own decision about doing this kind of hybrid model. But the Utica School District and the surrounding school districts revisited, analyzing that plan and decided to go entirely remote for a period of time and then reassessing at certain intervals. So, in discussion with the executive committee, we kind of mutually decided that we're going to follow the school district's lead, and go all online.

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So it's upon me at this

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Point to

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assess what are going to be the ramifications of that decision on the curriculum. What should we need to get in place for curriculum, and then we're going to

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come up with a plan, distribute lesson plans over the course of the year.

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So yes, we will be teaching this year in sha Allah, it just takes a little bit of a shift and a pivot to account for the new medium. We're going to need to have a training to have the teachers who are willing to teach on Zoom, orient themselves with the technology.

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We're going to look into the compatibility of this medium zoom with other media, right? Is it possible to show a YouTube video is it possible to you know, include graphics and things like that during a Zoom meeting? Right so there's things that have to be explored with that but the short answer is yes, inshallah stay tuned. Thank you very much, Mr. Samina

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Adi, come sit on my football

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okay, it seems like we have one minute left on my account down here. So it seems like that's pretty much everyone's questions. Thank you, everybody for your participation, your attention. May Allah benefit us by this knowledge and keep us sincere and bless our message, feed our community, the new messy project and help us to adjust to all of the new circumstances that we find ourselves in and inshallah we will see you next time next week. Same time in sha Allah, I mean, oh, yeah, come, so don't worry come to LA he will work out