Library Chat #25 The Verse of the Covenant 7-172) and Ibn Taymiyya’s Unique Interpretation of It
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
Series: Yasir Qadhi – Library Chats
File Size: 60.90MB
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hello friends my name is Gabriel and this is exploring the Quran in the Bible. In this episode I speak with Dr. Yasser quality and extremely well known intellectual and leader of the Muslim American community. We speak a bit about his work both in the academy and his work in the community. And then we turn to a fascinating verse of the Quran, the verse of the covenant, which by some elements of the tradition is understood represent a primordial covenant in which all of humanity collectively acknowledges the lordship of God. But there are other interpretations possible. One of those is presented by Dr. Called the in regard to the thought of Ibn Taymiyyah. So you'll discover
more about Dr. Cody's own thoughts but even Taymiyah and about the verse of the covenant. Thank you so much for joining friends, please take a moment to like this video and to subscribe to exploring the Quran and the Bible.
Hello, Dr. Yasir. qadhi, thank you so much for joining me on exploring the Quran and the Bible. Hey, Gabrielle, it's my pleasure. Nice to see you. Some Pleasure is mine. I have a brief introduction, then we'll have some questions. And we'll have a presentation on the topic of a really important verse in the Quran that has a long tradition of study and speculation and debate around it, namely, the covenant verse. But before we get to the introduction and the questions, I want to give you the opportunity just to present yourself and speak about this occasion appearing on this channel.
Yes, I mean, like I really, I mean, a lot of people know, we go back quite a while we were, you know, we studied at Yale together, we have the same teachers. And of course, I really appreciate the academy and a lot of this doing, I've, I have to confess, I haven't seen all of your videos that you have on your channel. But obviously I follow along. And I am aware of the publication's you've had, and I believe it's very important that we engage in very frank dialogue. I know some people are a little bit hesitant to engage in dialogue. I'm not that type of person, whether we like it or not, there are views out there in the academy about the faith that obviously Muslims are going to find
problematic, that is the reality. We can't just ignore those views, we have to engage with them in a manner that demonstrates we have a robust tradition, we're able to defend I mean, I know for a fact some of the people you have on your channel, they have used that I strongly disagree with, you know, so obviously, me coming on your channel does not endorse their views as their views, I'm going to present my views or we're going to engage, engage in dialogue. And I want to just make clear for the record that perhaps 100 to 100 years ago, it would make sense for faith communities to be isolated from one another. But the world we live in now, isolation is not healthy, and it's not going to
protect a lot of people kick into a defensive mechanism of not wanting to engage with the other. I just don't think that's the way forward, even if we disagree, and I'm sure the two of us disagree on some things as well. So it is what it is. But we have to engage in a manner that demonstrates what exactly we believe why we believe it. We empathize with the other view, insofar as it's coming from a constructed argument that is logical. And if it's not, it's our job to you know, deconstruct it. That's exactly what these dialogues are about. So I am I'm very happy to be interviewed by you to present my presentation. And hopefully this is going to further the conversation not just about
diversity theft, but also about even TV, which is really the focus of today's talk. Great, terrific. Yeah, thank you so much, Dr. Called the first of all, for being here. And you're right, I mean, this opportunity to speak together does represent sort of bridge building, in a way because there are different communities interested in the Quran that might come together to watch this video. So that's terrific. And of course, we encourage people in the comments, to have a really constructive and respectful conversation. So please keep that in mind. But in another way. I mean, we're natural conversation partners, as you say, we studied both at Yale and with the same professor Gerhardt
buffering there at Yale. And so, and on an academic level, I mean, one of the beauties of the academy is people are able to form bonds, even if they're coming from different places, over sort of rigorous conversation. And as you say, we sharpen each other, we correct each other, when there is something less than rigorous in our thought. I'm going to go ahead and read a very short introduction. Friends, you probably know most of the viewers will know a very long introduction would also be possible. But Dr. Cole D is very gracious and humble and just sent along a very short introduction. His accomplishments are well known. He's an internationally known speaker, respected
in the academy in academic circles, also within the Islamic world and Muslim faith communities. So this is really special.
opportunity for me. So I really appreciate that. So everyone, Dr. Carter was born and raised in Houston, Texas, did a bachelor's in chemical engineering and had some background working in the field of chemicals, and then studied for 10 years at the University of Medina in Saudi Arabia. And I have a note here that you were the first American non convert graduate of the University of Medina. That's right. That is correct. Yes, there was. There were around 1718 before me that had studied, but they were convert. So I was born and raised as a Muslim in America and then went to study there. So the first year, okay, so we did both a BA and Hadith and an MA in theology at university Medina
and then came to New Haven, Connecticut, where we got to know each other and studied a PhD in Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, again from Yale.
Dr. Conte is currently the dean of the Islamic Seminary of America, and was recently appointed chair of the FIP Council of North America, I wanted to ask him some follow ups on those two, so that our viewers can get to know some of your work. But also, it's a way of understanding more the Muslim American community, and the work that's going on to develop both thoughtful conversations within the community and building bridges between Muslim communities and other Muslim communities. So starting with Islamic Seminary of America, could you introduce us a bit to the institution and your work there? Sure. So the Islamic cemetery, America is a project that a number of leading intellectuals
were thinking about for the last decade, I actually joined it eight years ago, seven years ago with the concept, the idea, it's been operating, you know, for four years now. And the Islamic cemetery, America is the first of its kind, it is about to be accredited. It is a master's or graduate level seminary. And it aims to produce thought leaders and movers and shakers, and also to traverse the traditions of the Madras and the Academy. We are faith based thinkers, we're a seminary, we are a seminary. But at the same time, we're not a seminary that shiz away from engaging with modernity from engaging with the Academy. And so we are, you know, committed Muslims. But we're also aware
that to be committed Muslims in the modern world requires, at times reinvestigation at times, reflections that perhaps would be very awkward conversations in the pure madrasas in the more, you know, traditional mainstream, and again, I come from one. So I'm very familiar with the do's and don'ts and the red lines. We don't have the liberty of having such red lines in the modern world. And so we are a faith based academic training seminary that engages not only with the classical tradition, but also with the modern problems that the Academy and the modern questions in the modern controversies that the academy brings in a manner that we, I mean, dare I say, I'm not trying to
toot my own horn, but I don't think any other place in the world would have that unique combination of a commitment to the faith and a willingness to engage with some of the most difficult questions. We've read some of your stuff, by the way, in the seminary, you know, and again, some of your writings about the Quran are obviously interesting to say the least. And they do raise a lot of questions that we have to deal with. So that's that type of thought process, where we're happy to say, the Islamic Seminary is at the forefront of that integration grid. So yeah, thank you for that introduction. And you do work as well. And Philip, I have a larger, more broad question about the
life of American Muslims in negotiating life as a faithful Muslim, and how to think through questions of jurisprudence. So I don't know if you want to enter into that a little bit. What are some of the particular challenges of living as a Muslim, in a society like America that is not majority Muslim, but maybe you can also introduce us to the work of the council in North America. That's a lecturer in and of itself, Gabriel, we have multiple problems, multiple problems of them is basically the free for all there's no, there's no leadership that is universally agreed upon. And there is a free market. Now, of course, that's a lot of pros and cons, we'd much rather I'd much
rather have this than a dictatorship, or a dynasty, telling me this is the grammar of the off to follow. I'm saying I'd much rather have the American scene, but the American scene obviously, and the Western world overall, it does present a dilemma for the average lay Muslim, the average lay Muslim has a full free for all market of ideas and, and religious authorities. And so in his or her own good conscience, they need to make a choice, who am I going to take as my reference point, right? And in the competition of ideas, you know, generally speaking, sometimes the best idea doesn't necessarily, you know, win the most and it's not a matter of winning, it's a matter of, you
know, trying to be faithful to the tradition. Again, similarly with Islamic seminary, faithful to the tradition, even as we engage with modernity, so
The Field Council of North America is the oldest. And the first such body of its type, it goes back the origins go back to the 60s and 70s. It was officially formed in 1980 81. And it is the oldest such Council where a group of scholars and clerics, all based in America come together to discuss issues of a modern nature, you know, so for example, I mean, obviously, one of the biggest issues for Muslims is how to engage with the economic system with banks with mortgages, you know, these are very difficult questions for Muslims, like, how does one exactly live in America, and the entire system is based upon certain values that are generally antithetical to our faith, you know, because
another, just to clarify, for any maybe viewers who are not familiar with the issue there because of the question of riba or interest, or the question of translators interest, which creates a challenge and an opportunity for new ways of thinking about banking. Yep, exactly. So I read a recent fatwa that I wrote, for example, is about Bitcoin. Is Bitcoin permissible or not? You know, these are like, these are these are controversies that take place. Another factor that I was also drafted to write was about the LGBT issue, like how does one balance the commitment to our faith with the modern realities of living in a world where, you know, there are different moralities and different
sexuality. So again, there's there's these really difficult questions, and the fifth Council occupies a place on a spectrum of interpretation. We consider ourselves to be in the middle, obviously, what everybody does, but we consider ourselves to be in the middle, not to literalist or fundamentalist and not to radical revisionist, either, right. We do have respect for our tradition, but we are not wedded to the tradition, the tradition in the end of the day is something we come from and we respect. But just because there is precedent doesn't mean we need to stick with it. When are we allowed to break away from precedent? That's a question that, you know, it's an internal
question among amongst clerics. Right, right, what exactly? What exactly does it mean to be a Muslim in the modern world where values are different? We're living in a democracy, we're living under a secular system. So these are very difficult questions. And the end of the day, we are one counsel out of many, but we do have the privilege, I would like to say, of being the first such counsel and of being one of the most reputable if not the most reputable again, the most reputable is a judgment call. It depends on who you ask. Right. But definitely, we are the first and, you know, definitely the most established and the oldest search Council and I was humbled last week to wasn't something
on my agenda radar, but they appointed me, the chair. And so that's one of my responsibilities. And that was well, congratulations, congratulations. And you're one more, one more task to be attentive to money is many, many others that you're negotiating. So yeah, and maybe I'll just add a very brief comment about that. In terms of my teaching at Notre Dame, we have mostly Catholic students, about three quarters, 60% 70% Catholic students.
At Notre Dame, and two things that I tried to inculcate with my students when speaking about Islam, one is to develop at least an appreciation if not
admiration for the Muslim concern and the Jewish concern with jurisprudence, which can be difficult for Christian students to see law positively and the zeal to follow the law positively. But the second is also to actually to learn from the Muslim example of the even the effort to be faithful. Obviously, 50 is a quest that is never ending, you're always thinking through new questions and thinking through new solutions. But I think a non Muslims can look to that. And find in their own tradition, ways of being more faithful to to their own tradition. So
yeah, so it's very interesting, also for non Muslims to observe the formation of groups like the Islamic Seminary in fifth council. So yeah, thank you for sharing that. I don't know if you want to add anything more. I mean, something that I admire about you Yasser, is you negotiate both really serious, rigorous academic scholarship that uses the methods of, of the academic tradition in understanding religion and texts, including scripture. But then you also do what we might call confessional or maybe better constructive Scholarship, which seeks to nourish the faith lives of believers. Is that difficult, negotiating those two together.
It was difficult at the very beginning, when I started my training at Yale, I needed to understand the division between the two worlds, but and you were there when I began so we knew each other from my very first year, but it ever since, you know, understanding the dynamics and the soul the paradigms of the two. I've never had an issue personally because I've learned to understand what my theology and
Faith demands of me, and the will sort of the paradigm of the academy. And I don't really have a personal, you know, issue balancing the two anymore. However, the same cannot be said of people on both sides of the aisle, right. So I have had slight or perhaps harsh backlash from both sides of the aisle about what I do on the other side, you know, and so the Academy has at times problematize, some of my moral stances, right, so my theological views that are online, nothing through the academy, and sometimes as well, many Muslims don't understand how I could be seeing, you know, breaking bread with people they think have, you know, heretical views, and, you know, maybe they do
from that paradigm, but I have to engage with the ideas I have to deal with, you know, the realities of that world. So yeah, it's awkward for people on both sides that are listening to me, me personally, I have never, you know, ever since the first year or two, I've never had an issue, you know, trying to understand the side of the aisle, as your as your where I taught at, at Rhodes College for a decade, you know, and I was the Imam of the Memphis Islamic center. So for 10 years, I was literally the professor of Islamic studies, you know, in very, you know, procedure, very nice University, and the Imam of the of the largest machine in Memphis for 10 years doing both at the
same time. I never had an issue, you know, balancing that. I wear different caps, and I'm very happy at that. But yeah, I mean, certain people sometimes do problematize the other side. Yeah, well, let's transition right to the principal topic, which is an academic one, because we'll be dealing with some of the superstars of the Islamic tradition. So we're gonna be speaking and you'll be sharing with us a presentation on what is sometimes called the verse of the mythos. Or the verse of the Covenant, although the word covenant is not in there in the verse itself. But I mean, it's become known at least in Western conversation, I think sometimes it's referred to as the verse of
In the Islamic tradition, because of the, the word soulmate.
Yes. So for everyone who doesn't is not familiar with this verse, I'll go ahead and read it in English.
But we'll have an opportunity to speak about the Arabic words as well, sometimes spoken of as a primordial covenant Quran in surah, Gilad off, which is sort of seven, says, when your Lord took from the Children of Adam from their loins, their descendants, and made them bear witness over themselves, saying, Am I not your Lord? They said, yes, indeed, we bear witness. Lest you should so now that that's the end of the quotation from the souls lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection quote, indeed, we were unaware of this. And then the following verses also connected to it. I don't know if you want to introduce us maybe Yasser, generally to diverse before we enter into
some of the debates around it. Yeah, I have it in the slides. So can I share my screen now? Is that to be able to?
Okay, let me see. Okay, let me is that can you see the screen? It's looking good.
Okay, yes, go into presentation mode, then the whole screen will show the PowerPoint. Okay, so before I do that, I just wanted to quickly
show some audio as well, then they'll do the presentation mode. So today's presentation is about inventory and diversity of the mythique. And it's been Tamia has a really interesting take on the verse, which one would assume is a typical of admin Tamia. And so in my brief presentation, I talked about this in my PhD in a lot more detail. I've also presented at academic conferences about this particular issue, and again, a lot more detail. So this is a summary of a much larger research and I'm going to have to cut a lot of stuff because of the time. However, let us begin with the verse of the myths out and of course, let me bring it a little bit of the confessional side here. And because
I'm a lover of the Koran, I've memorized the Quran, I have videos that in the Quran, I love to listen to the Quran. So let me bring in a little bit of confessionals that which I wouldn't have done unless there's somebody like you Gabriel, who knows me very well. And let's just might have a listen to the verse in his recitation as well. So let's just listen to the verse and then I'll translate it
while I shared
Okay, so now let us go to
view presentation mode, right.
Is that better now? Nope, that's not better. Sorry. Let me see. There we go. There we go. Perfect. Okay, yeah, perfect now. So the verse of the meetup is sorted out offers 172 And it comes after the story of Moses and a ver one of the longest sections of the corner about Moses and the universe.
Israel and the Quran says wait a fedora book I mean bunny Adam a medieval hoodie him. Recall one year old Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam from their loins, the reactor home, their progeny, their descendants was headed home Isla and forcing him and he had them testify against themselves or regarding themselves as Heather isla. You can testify for or testify against a shadow Humala and fusi him. So he caused them to testify on themselves regarding themselves. And that's to be Rob Beckham. This is a rhetorical question in the first person, Am I not your God? Am I not your Lord? Let's develop the con. All you Bella they replied. Yes, Shahid didn't know we testify until
Kulu. He cautioned somebody caution, the angels caution or other is cautioning, or the predestination is cautioning right? Until Kulu, Jamelia Amity in the corner and head of aphelion, so that you would not have the right to say now you cannot say on the Day of Judgment, we didn't know you are our God. We didn't know who was our guard, we were unaware of the reality of Lordship. So this is a verse that has been called the verse of the neath after the verse of the Covenant. Now, the verse itself is an extremely deep and profound verse, it has been interpreted so many different ways by so many different people. It is called yo ls the day of LS, who am I not? In Persian, it is
called ruzi ls the day of LS, it is also called the Ayatollah meetapp. The verse of the covenant. The reason why it's called the verse of the covenant is because Hadith literature Sunni Hadith literature mentions and interprets this verse and says that your Lord took shahada booka mythique your Lord took a myth that means a strong covenant from from the children of Adam. So this is called the date or the verse of the mythos. Now before we get to even Taymiyah very quickly, what are the pre Ibn Taymiyyah in mainstream standard Sunni Hadith based literalist based Halal Hadith based interpretations of the verse, again, a quick sampling of poverty who is the dawn of authority, you
know, tafsir, he is the giant the encyclopedia, even Taymiyah loves authority. He goes, it's the best I've seen ever written a top but he has a staggering 10 pages of and this is like literally of the massive volume here. This is like the big volume of poverty, literally, he's got like 10 pages 40 reports of event Abbas and Abu Hurayrah, and Omar and so many companions, and so many of the students that are companions, which presents a very vivid picture, this is an actual extraction. God from Adam, from one person, Adam, God extracted all of mankind, and God spoke directly to the souls of mankind this took place on Earth, this took place before our birds before our me and your birds,
there was an existence before our existence, and that existence is the birth of the soul. And so this takes place. When God sends Adam down to the earth. One of the first things he does is he extracts from Adam, all of the children of Adam, and he testifies or he causes them to testify, he tells them, Am I not your Lord? The rhetorical question, Am I not your Lord? And they respond yes, we accept You are our Lord, we know you are our Lord. So autobody is very clear, there is no other interpretation. This is an actual covenant, an actual extraction, an actual live like, you know, incident taking place, and God speaks to mankind and mankind responds to God. And this mythos, this
covenant is now embedded in the cycle in the psyche of men at the top of the psyche of man, in the in the in the subconsciousness, of man, even Abdullah bar as well, the great Lucien scholar again and
even Taymiyah loves him, quotes him all the time, and been absorbed, but also has a very extensive commentary in the mouth of Imam Malik when he has his time here. He talks about this reality and even Taymiyah quotes him even Tamia is well aware of even voters interpretation. And why Haiti again, one of the icons of authority, you know, tafsir, his 30 volumes of serial buses, which has just been recently published again, and why he is very explicit in this regard. And he mentioned that the annual demo first city in the afternoon, that's what he calls them, basically, all of the people worthy to follow. They said an actual extraction takes place. And there's an actual covenant
that he quickly says, As for the US herbal morality, those that don't care about the earth or those that don't care about ailment, the real refers to you know, these are the leaders pseudo intellectuals, as for this happen money, they say this is metaphorical, and then he goes on, right. So, again, while he is saying there is an actual extraction and an actual conversation, and this is the default of the amorphous Iran and the algorithm and the absolute utter utter means those who are following the reports
Is the Imam at VA who is the same?
Even Altea he concedes that a metaphorical interpretation could be linguistically possible. But then he goes, but then this interpretation contradicts. And then he says mutawatir like it has been narrated by too many people reports from the prophets of salaam that indicates an actual covenant. So even after Yes, as you know, what if there were no Hadith at all, then maybe the verses symbolic, maybe there's no actual extraction and in it, and you can interpret it to be something else, what that something else is, we'll talk about on the next slide. But he says, We can't do that, because there's just too many reports to do this. Right? If no Josie as well and his famous to see if he
lists a number of things out. And he lists a number of reports that indicate the the, the actual covenant, but then he goes, but there is as a judge, one of the early commentators who wasn't really known to be a part of the SIU school per se. He goes, as a judge says, this is a, you know, interpretation. Sorry, this is a symbolic covenant. It's not an actual Covenant. Now, we can go on and on. But the summary is the default position of pre Sunni
scholars have seated who emphasize the tradition who emphasize the narrations who emphasize hadith is that an actual extraction took place an actual conversation, an actual, you know, scenario takes place in which God speaks to mankind. This is pretty much the default position, pre Ibn Taymiyyah of those who followed, you know, the basically the, the the tidy school or the humbly or humbly theologically, for the advanced students, not humbly Fick wise, basically creative and tame me and types of understandings of Islam. Now, there has been an alternative opinion prebid Samia, and that is found by the Morteza lights, and by some of the Usher rights, the Morteza lights. Xhosa is the
main one I'm going to quote you But again, there's there's others as well. The more intensely lights, as I'm actually in his car shaft says that, oh, this verse. Yeah. And it's min Babbitt Timothy Lee with Dehaene. Right, this is literally what he says, right? That this is, it's a type of metaphor. It's like imagery to hear. It's like imagination is not actual, there was no actual extraction, right? And what the verse implies, is not an identity SHA he that he also had to recall that God gave us brains. God gave us minds. So this is not an actual covenant. No, there is no conversation taking place. No. The verse is saying, metaphorically, that God gave us minds to think.
And he gave us evidences in the world around us that conform with the minds that Allah has given us that God has given us right. And so as the machete is saying, there was no actual covenant. No, there's no me theft taking place. Rather, this is a symbolism of the intellect, the human intellect. And God is saying that he has blessed us with the brains to think, to rationalize, and he's given us all the evidences to know he is one, and 400 and Razi, who is even to me as nemesis, Ibn Taymiyyah is main interlocutor, in a number of books have been Tamia really took a Razi to be like one of the main points of contention, and interestingly enough, SitePoint if you almost ignored his daddy, we
emphasize Ghazali a lot. It's me kind of sort of sidelines me and I was like, not a big guy guy for him. It's a Razzie who is like the heavyweight ribbon Tamia, you know, he hardly mentioned it was it was interesting. I actually have a paper I was writing. If God gives me time, we'll try to finish it up. I've been Tamia and his position of Azadi. But a Razzie is the big guy write the entire data out of like the 10 volume My PhD was on write the entire data out of is the reputation of Razi. 10 volumes refuting a Razzie and a Razzie concedes in this verse, when he comments on it in his, you know, the famous, you know, the steel cable factory, the Rossi Rossi basically says that we know
that they will follow suit on and the author have interpreted a literal extraction, we know this, that that's their version, right? But then he goes over this is Baltic like this is an impossible to be the case. And then he goes for 12 reasons 1234 I don't have time to go into those well, but feel free to read directly from associated view, he goes for 12 reasons, this cannot have taken place. And then he says, so the real interpretation, which is the interpretation of the people of reflection, Allah novel, right, well, our Bibles are old. And the people in the Masters of intellect is that this verse implies that God basically is the machetes that God gave evidences to mankind.
And he gave them a sound intellect to understand those evidences. Okay, so basically, it's a machete. Razi come to the same conclusion. Even Thorazine records I'm actually at ease using some of the same
Principles and even the same evidence as as a machete. Okay, so before we get to Ibn Taymiyyah, we clearly now have the mainstream Sunni trajectory. When I say Sunni here, I mean, the author of the following the traditions following the Sahaba, tab your own the reports of the past, and we have explicit narrations that this is the default position, even from a Razzie and
both of you and others that they say, Look, this is it. And
we and others mentioned when our singers very, even after us or even Altea mentioned that we might have the possibility to interpret it another way, but we can't because there's water water reports. Right. So now we get to Yvan Tamia. And this is super interesting, because one would assume the stereotype people have a mutant Tamia is that how dare you go against the MUSAWAH reports? How can you possibly you know, go against the default position of the Mufasa rune and the author. So he too would affirm an actual covenant, but no, in his that a touto, which I've summarized in my PhD, my PhD was about a that I thought was right. So in his letter to auto, he actually, really,
interestingly enough, adopts the position of the machete and it Arrazi adopts it with a modification as we'll see. Okay. Can I also with one just small point of clarification, could you just translate the full title of Dota two onwards, because people might not know that the Arabic because it pertains to this,
averting the conflict averting the potential conflict between reason and revelation. Okay, averting the conflict between reason and Revelation. So, even Taymiyah wrote, I would say his magnum opus, and multiple people have said, this is a magnum opus, Ibn Taymiyyah wrote his 10 volume,
theological treaties about how to reconcile faith with intellect, you know, faith with with logic and reason and he took a bit, he took a Razzie as an interlocutor. He used a Razzie to be, you know, the, the Nemesis, the arch nemesis, you know, for the entire book, basically. And then through a Razzie, he jumps to basically the Morteza does in the philosophy and whatnot. But point being that in this book, even Tamia, by and large defends the tradition against the rationalists, the Morteza lights and the Metallica Lemma and the scholars of Kalam. Right. And obviously, in from his perspective, it's devastating. Now, we get to this issue of the mythique of the covenant, and really
interesting, even Taymiyah actually denies that there was an actual covenant, and he agrees with with a very important caveat, he ends up agreeing with the scholars that he generally refuting the rest of the book. And he basically says that neither the Quran nor the authentic sunnah indicates mankind actually spoke. Rather, God's extraction indicates he created them generation after generation. And their testimony is that he engraved them than the faculties to know His Lordship. Okay. This is basically the machete this is basically a Razzie. Exactly right? And he says here now, but what's the caveat? What's the difference? The difference is that, and I quote from the data out,
so they have in their fifth raw, or what is the fifth row, we'll come to this in a while, what allows them to verify that God alone is their Lord, and they have inherent within them what demonstrates the erroneous pneus of worshipping other than God. Now, the big caveat, the big difference for our Razi for as the machete for the scholars of Kalam and the philosopher even and others, the verse of the mythos is yet another validation of the superiority of the intellect over all else. And God is saying to mankind, I've given you the brains that you can use to think I've given you the mind. And I've given you the signs around to recognize, you know the truth. Okay. So
they interpret this verse, There is no mythos they don't call the diversity meetup. Right. That's what that's what the Sunnis say. That's what the the attendees say they're the scholars of the Thursday. This diversity Meetup is I'm not sure doesn't call the diversity meetup. There is no meetup for them, and a Razzie. What this verse is, is yet another indication of the superiority of the article over anything else. Now, Ibn Taymiyyah here's the key point here, utilizes the same arguments, employs the same hermeneutics brings in some of the exact same lines of poetry that as Mr. Shetty has, which I don't get into in my slides to come to a conclusion with one key difference.
And that difference is instead of African you have the fifth chakra. This is the key difference here. Now, what exactly is the fifth? The fifth chakra is
is of course an entire discussion altogether. I do have some lectures on it on my YouTube channel if you have time to listen. And it's also a part of my dissertation, I mean 150 pages of my or 100 pages of my dissertation more than 100 was about the fifth row. That was one of the main points of my dissertation, even to me is utilization of the fitrah for even Taymiyah. Here's the key point. The FITARA is a another faculty, just like we had the faculties of hearing and seeing and sense and intellect, even Taymiyah utilized a concept that is referenced in the Quran, it's referenced in the Sunnah. But no theologian before even Taymiyah created an entire faculty out of this concept. Even
Taymiyah is the first theologian in Islamic history, to the best of my research and knowledge to construct an entire theology, an entire epistemology around the notion of FITARA. And for even Taymiyah. Here's the key point. The fitrah is something that is more primordial and less susceptible to corruption, corruption than the human intellect. And the fitrah keeps the intellect in check. He wants a faculty that shall keep the faculties of the scholars of Kalam in check, right? He wants to have, you know, who's going to check the checkers who's going to, you know, teach the teachers who's going to who's going to be in charge of the intellect, evident to me, it says the fitrah is in
charge of the intellect and the fitrah, which is embodied, it is ingrained in mankind. It is a faculty that is deeper than even the intellect and it is less susceptible to corruption. And hence, the fifth chakra will know intuitively sometimes the brain doesn't recognize the fifth row will recognize and so for Ibn Taymiyyah, the verse is about the fifth round very quickly. How does he prove this? Because the verse seems to be very clear. In this regard. Sorry, go ahead. No, no, I'm just affirming what you're saying the verse does the the exoteric
outer meaning of the verse seems to be clear. So I'm very intrigued about how he negotiates this. It's not just the outer meaning more explicit if you read a poverties 10 pages like 40 narrations right? There is any authority doesn't even present two opinions like nobody usually says there's two opinions three opinions in this case. It's just like, this is it and he brings like an entire corpus of authority from multiple Sahaba multiple tab your own multiple people of the past right. Again, for those who don't even Tamia is this is an open shut case. Like once you have precedents from the Sahaba and Tabby rune once you have the authority or the narration speaking and that's even to me as
point all the time that when you have you know, the authentic, you know, Quran and Sunnah intellect cannot possibly overrule the Quran and Sunnah right? Now what does he do in this regard? So he firstly sidelines the issue of terroir and Iijima completely he doesn't have the added data which is mentioned by a number of people living healthy and others mentioned this he just signs lines
of consensus just to clarify consensus, the consensus of the people of
one strand of Sooners and so for Ibn Taymiyyah the setups consensus is a binding argument in a Tamia always says this right, the setups consensus the setup for the earliest callers the first two three generations of Sunni Islam for even Taymiyah their consensus is binding. And for admin Tamia to water is also like the water is, you know, numerous reports is also an evidence that cannot be rejected. He actually simply bypasses the issue of tomahto. And the issue of the fact that all earlier scholars from that one strand,
interpreted in this manner. And he begins the discussion by saying there are two opinions on this issue. There are two opinions. And it's interesting because the other opinion does not come from the self. It doesn't come from an ethic. It comes from Martha Zilla, but he goes, there's two opinions. And then what to do about these 40 Plus narrations what to do, but although these, you know, quotes, he goes over them one by one. And he either says number one, that they're not authentic in the isnaad, the chain of narrators, so can't be used. Or number two, it's not as explicit as there's an actual conversation taking place. Right? So either they are not slow here, or they're not steady,
either. They're not authentic, or they are not. They're ambiguous. And you can interpret them multiple ways. And again, this is ingenious, like going over one by one, and he rarely does this for any other issue. But essentially, by the end of these 510 pages, he's dismissed all the reports like the all these reports, they don't count one by one. Okay. Then he says there's no evidence that an actual covenant took place. Nothing from the Quran and Sunnah. Right? And then he goes back to the verse itself. And again, this is technical here. But if you look at the verse here, remember when your Lord took from the Children of Adam and Benny Adam in Tamia says, and this is exactly what the
scholars have cut down, but then when visited
said, This is not from Adam. This is from the children of Adam. Right. And he extracted from them, their children, their authority, their progeny. So for even Taymiyah, this is the generations of mankind, one after the other. This isn't a one off all of mankind. This is a reference to God, allowing mankind to procreate and having another generation, then that generation comes of age and has another generation. And then that energy conservation. This is the continuity of the genealogical realities of birth and life and death. That's what it meant to me. And this is exactly what the Martha's has said as well. Right? This is not found in somebody that's not fundamental to
you. This is like looking at the verse itself. Even Taymiyah says that God is speaking that from every generation, He extracts their authority, their progeny, right? So then he brings in a logical argument. And then and this is like, truly amazing that he goes, even from a rational standpoint, it doesn't make sense for testimony to be taken from somebody against that same somebody, you don't take testimony from somebody, for or against somebody, you take it from a third party, right. And again, this is a as a machete says this, right? This is a purely morphism by argument, which is a logical and rational argument, which again, for those who have been Tamia to use a rational argument
against the earth out, this is like alarm bells should be going off, right. But here, we haven't been Tamia saying, you can't use somebody to testify. And that's what the verse is saying that a shadow Homer Allah and fusi him. So he is saying, This is not a testimony of a verbal nature? No, it can't be because logically, you don't take a testimony for somebody against that same somebody, right? You need a third party to testify, you need a neutral party to testify. And so he said that this testimony, this testimony, doesn't have to be verbal, it can be by one's state one's had, and hear the testimony is their pure state of how God created them upon the pure fitrah. That is their
testimony. Right? And so he says that, therefore, the verse is not about an actual extraction and an actual covenant and an actual back and forth. Rather, the verse is saying, God has gifted mankind with an innate ability, with an inherent cognizance that God exists and God is worthy of worship, and God is the Lord. This is his understanding of the verse. Now, to conclude final two slides here right?
For them what to Kalamoon the scholars of Kalam philosophy more Tesla, the verse of the mythique
is a reference to the power role and efficacy of the intellect chocolate. But for Ibn Taymiyyah the verse is about a faculty that is even more powerful, even more deeply ingrained, and hence less susceptible to corruption because the FITARA is not acquired for him and Tamia. As for the intellect, it is acquired, you learn stuff, you learn things, right, the fitrah is gifted to you from birth, this will even Taymiyah says, quoting the Quran and Sunnah the fitrah is innate, the fitrah is inherent. And therefore, the fitrah is a faculty that is capable of keeping the role of the intellect in check. It is more powerful than the intellect, right. And so Ben, Timmy uses this
verse for the fitrah. And therefore, the reason for this, of course, is that Ibn Taymiyyah wanted to essentially deprive the more Tesla and the multicolor moon, of attempting to use this verse to support their claim that the intellect is the greatest gift that has that has been given to mankind. Even Taymiyah felt that the intellect is extremely finicky, susceptible to corruption, even Taymiyah wanted to strip them from the efficacy of their claim that their version of the intellect again, this is the key point here. Their version of the intellect is the primary source of ethics and laws and theology. And so he says, This verse is about the fitrah, not about the actor, in doing so, he
accomplishes two things. Number one, he he gets rid of their interpretation, their arsenal of trying to prove the atom to prove the supremacy of the intellect. And number two, he adds something to his own already ever growing repertoire of trying to prove the fitrah because again, we don't have time to get into all the there but for even Taymiyah the fitrah. So I have to I guess I have to mention this. The fitrah proves God's existence to such a level that you do not need intellectual proofs per se for the existence of God. That's the key point here.
cuz even Taymiyah was very much against the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God. Even Taymiyah was very much against even seen as you know, five proofs for the existence of God, he felt all of these proofs were superfluous, and caused more harm than good. Now what what's the alternative than open Tamia? How do we know God exists? Don't we need that? And here comes the fifth law. No, you don't need the APA to prove God's existence. The after is used for other areas, you don't need the intellect for any of these proofs because you have the fifth, right? So I saw conclusion here, therefore, and there's so so I don't drive here. The conclusion therefore is that
for Ibn Taymiyyah, this verse was an evidence that God has given in in mankind blessed mankind with an innate ability, from the very beginning of creation. It's embedded in mankind, and every generation is born with that innate ability, and that innate ability supersedes it is more efficacious than even the human intellect. And therefore, this verse has nothing to do with an actual covenant, it rather has to do with the fact that man is blessed with that concept of the football that can keep the apple in check. And with that, I can have some discussion or q&a. Thank you, Dr. Cody, I have a few follow up questions. You still have time. And energy, is it okay, if I
ask a couple follow up questions? Sure. Yeah, this is this is terrific. Because, I mean, among other things, it complicates a simplistic vision that beginning students, or maybe people who are sort of on the margins of Islamic studies may have about Ibn Taymiyyah, that he only represents one way of thinking through questions in regard to Quran and Hadith, that he only sides with a certain team, that he doesn't have sort of the nimbleness to think in an original creative way over particular issues. So yeah, it's just it's a great example to show in fact, how nuanced and complicated even Taymiyah start is, and the Islamic intellectual tradition and engagement of the Quran is, so that's
yeah, thank you so much for that. Okay, one immediate question that's related to fitrah. So, the most famous verse of fitrah may be in sort of the room is the line that the Patara NASA idea? Yep. So when sort of 30
Yep, that's 30. Yeah. And often understood, and you can Yeah, open to your correction, to mean that. The Quran there is alluding to God, instilling in humankind,
from the very creation, something like an instinct.
I think sometimes the Arabic word ahead EIZO is used as a sort of synonym for it, but some sort of instinct, which naturally leads humans to obey God and believe in God.
You've worked on this a lot. So we're gonna have a long talk about this. But my, my particular question is, in light of 17 years view, that the fitrah is really what's at stake in the verse of the Covenant in Quran seven 172.
Does that imply in which he agree, then, that the principle role of the prophets who are given to humanity as a mercy from God is not so much to impart new information that might lead to believe in salvation, but to remind humans have things that they should know because of the
good point here, for Ibn Taymiyyah. The FITARA is the he gives an analogy to this, like the fitrah is like the uncorrupted AI. And the revelation from God is like the sun. So the AI can appreciate the beauty and the light of the sun. So when you have eyes, you can see the light you can see the sun, right. So the fitrah can recognize the truth of the prophets as vividly and as clearly as the eyes can see the light during the day, right? However, the prophets do come with more knowledge than the fitrah provides. Okay, no doubt about that. They do come with more knowledge, but they validate with the fitrah provides, and the pure fitrah can recognize the veracity of the prophets
instantaneously. That's the key point here, and also the knowledge of the fitrah. So even to me never actually has a detailed discussion like this is what the federal says and this is what the article says no, but we've extracted I've extracted quite a lot in the digitisation for even Taymiyah the fitrah gives us basic necessary knowledge of God's oneness, God's perfection, God's existence, God's right to be worshipped. The fitrah finds comfort in worshiping God so there's a an element of spirituality. The fitrah knows the basics of morality, but not the details of morality and so conscience right
When you lie when you steal when you cheat, the fitrah knows you're not supposed to do that. That's why you feel guilty. Right? So for even Taymiyah it's actually a theological faculty, a psychological factor faculty or spiritual faculty all combined in one.
Yeah. Okay, great. And for a second follow up question.
And maybe we'll bring material in here again, but it's, it's more about the verse itself. And here I'd like to speak about another quality with other quality, former professor at the University of Chicago.
So she wrote an article, which I believe is more or less the track transcript of a lecture she gave to the American Philosophical Association. Yes, yes. It's freely available online. For those who are interested. The article is entitled, The primordial covenant itself, she refers to this verse, and human history in the Quran, maybe she gives something away by titling the article, primordial covenant because she does advocate for the more literal interpretation of this verse that is alluding to a real moment, as you said, in your presentation, before or after the creation of Adam and his descent or fall to Earth, or entrance into Earth, but then before the creation of the rest
of his descendants.
So she brings in this another verse, which she speaks about the verse of the trust, or the Amana,
in which she discusses, this is Quran 3372. She discusses them together. And that's where I'm sure you know, the first one could probably recite it for us. But that's what God offers the trust to the mountains into other natural features. And then only humans finally take upon themselves this Amana this trust.
So she brings these two verses together. And she says, I'll just quote a bit from the article here. I'd be interested in your response, especially about one point, she says, according to them, thus the two verses them is the Exodus Mufasa rune. According to them, thus, the two verses in the Quran that refer to man's formative stage and pre existence, make man's obedience to God, the fundamental element that governs the relationship between man and God. So that's one point, that so obedience is sort of the principal, duty or responsibility of humans in regard to God. And then she continues, furthermore, both versus insinuate that this situation is an ideal one that is difficult for man to
sustain. And they point to the strong likelihood of a departure from this ideal. So that's, that's really what I wanted to get your thoughts on? I mean, would you agree with that assessment, that the amount of verse in the verse of the Covenant, so called verse of the Covenant, speak to the difficulty of humanity's obedience to God? Would you say this is the Quranic approach more generally, in regard to humans disposition and the struggles they have to obey God?
So, that is, of course, an interpretation. Firstly, the correlation between the mythos verse and the amount of verse, it is up for grabs, you will have an entire spectrum. And I don't I don't think even Taymiyah correlated between the two. And in all likelihood, and even mainstream Sudanese would actually meaning like people like Ebola, we have an RT and others, they would view this as two separate things. So even so, those are interpreted an actual mythos. Right? That is not the Amana that's something else. The Amana is the fact that now what exactly is the amount of depends on which interpretation you follow? Many would say, this was the opportunity to be different from the other
creations, your opportunity to have the, the the eternal salvation of God, the potential for salvation, which comes with the risk of punishment, right? Humanity, right, this is this somehow distinguishes humans as rational creatures from exactly all other creatures, exactly. So the so obviously, the scholars of color would also interpret this as rationality, the blood, the benefits of rationality, whereas the scholars or the author or the others would say, this is simply a privilege given to mankind, that he has the potential to have everlasting life in God's pleasure. Whereas the rest of the Creation like you know, the animals and whatnot, they don't have that the
potential to attain salvation, the potential to be with God for all of eternity now that potentiality comes with certain perks and intellect is one of them. But the reference is not to the intellect according to this strand of Islam that had been Tamia common. So so so
does the Quran suggest that salvation is difficult for mankind? i That's an interpretation. Obviously, I would say that's not even to me his view. I don't think that's even to me, is you? And the reason being that the verse of the mouth actually does not give any such indication. On the contrary, the verse of the media tab is quite neutral. I'm gifting you even from an advantageous interpretation. I'm gifting you with the faculty to know that I'm here.
here and you shouldn't be worshiping Me. Right. Now the verse of the Amana. Yeah, that ends on a bit of a harsh note, right? Is that in our kind of Illuminati hula, you know, mankind was so ignorant in this regard. He thought he could do it and he didn't do it right. But the response to that would be, this is a rebuke to those who don't follow the prophets. Because God, you know, I mean, I like to joke when I speak with my Christian friends, For God so loved the world that he sent continuous prophets unto us. That's how I like to phrase it, right. So, you know, John 316, exactly. That's my version, right? For God so loved the world, he sent a continuous series of prophets to us, right? So
the purpose being that
from the perspective of, you know, Muslims, by and large, it's not that mankind is disadvantaged, it's that his animalistic instincts cloud, his his judgment that God blessed him with right. So again, one could quote the other verse in the Quran, that will affect the harlequin and Sanofi I send it up to him with the default we created man in the best of all ways, right? Then tomorrow that now as well as 70, the default you should go up there, the default how God created you is that you should rise up, but unfortunately, you know, problems of this world your animalistic instincts, your clouding, you know, the reality is you're wanting to follow the traditions of your forefathers.
That's what impedes your progress, not God, not the blessings of God, not the fact that God is sending prophets that would be a fairly mainstream interpretation. So, again, professor would that has the right to hold that that view? I don't think I would subscribe to that view personally. Right. Okay. Okay. Engaging him with with with dogs arguments here. She, she, she advocates for the, the more literal interpretation of this verse.
She sees it as the Quran portraying, quote, a momentous and unique dramatic encounter between the divine and the human. She accuses now she's speaking here of the matassa Lee and she also brings in the Shia here because there are some Xiang traditions also, which follow the matassini law here. So she says that the Moto Z Li sheary perspective reduces this dramatic encounter, to a mundane mediated ordinary historical series of encounters. But again, she says they deflate the pregnant image of that encounter, taking away the art it is meant to impart one to follow up reactions to that that's evinced me as well like the the dramatic, like the way that ultimately presents it, it
truly is a majestic scene that, you know, like authority literally says that God robbed the back of Adam, and from the backbone from the spinal cord from the loins, you know, he extracted every single human being. So one can say that from authorities narrative, which is the mainstream Sunni narrative, God created the souls at that point in time, from Adam, God created the souls. And all of these souls were like pieces of lights, like flat pieces, like you know, rays of light, or you know, blobs of light, which you will write. And that's actually mentioned by a number of early commentators that, you know, God spoke to all of this, these lights because there was no bodies by
the way, we didn't get into this, but Allah so wolf, the Sufis love this verse, right? Because this is the existence before existence. This is the primordial existence, right? This is the default existence when God created them, you know, and they didn't have bodies because you know, the tension that ensued between the bodies and the soul, right. And the goal is to keep the soul pure. And so for the hood. Exactly. Yeah. For Sufis they omit Alastor, the Lucy Aleste, right, this becomes, you know, the paradigmatic, you know, default. And our goal is to come back to that very beginning. Our goal is to go through this life, and corrupt the soul as little as possible, so that when we leave
the bodies, again, that Gnosticism element here, when we leave the bodies, the soul is just as pure as it was on Yomi Alas, on ruzi arrest, right, so the Sufis have a whole different interpretation of this verse here. But obviously, for Ibn Taymiyyah, he's not interested in that interpretation. But you have to admit, the dramatic scene that even Sufis have, and the proto Sunnis have pre been Tamia have an actual billions and billions and billions of people, you know, and God is talking to them directly. And God is saying, Am I not your Lord? And collectively every entity says Yes, You are our Lord. I mean, what an image and obviously when you say there is no me thought it kind of becomes
but anyway, that's just a side point. Well, it is a dramatic contrast and you can see why certain contemporary figures pretty sure that about the body, the Iranian Shiite in turn
preacher goes for the the Afghan or the rationalizing interpretation. And from that perspective, I mean someone like Tabata by A, we might speak or she did as well can make the case that No, it's It's the the experience of each individual, as you put it, I think you can presentation generation after generation, discovering the Adela. The signs were the indications of God's lordship through their intellectual reflection on the created world. That's I mean, that's the momentous occasion. But I did want to ask, in this follows from the quotation that I read from with other party, I mean, she speaks of this What was her wording, momentous and unique dramatic encounter? But it's also
it's also image which seems surreal, maybe from a secular point of view. Of course, religious people have no problem with supernatural occurrences, but its image which seems, seems surreal, some might accuse it of being irrational, that you know, what does this mean to scrape from the back I mean, literally, the Arabic word has to do with backer usually translate his loins, however,
etcetera. I mean, we did even Tamia. Do you think that was part of his hesitancy on this account that he felt that it was intellectually problematic to imagine this sort of supernatural scene?
You know, I haven't thought about that question. I'll be honest with you, that specific question I haven't thought about, I'll have to think about it when I don't want to commit to an answer. He does say he does say, it is intellectually problematic to have an ish had oral testimony, you know, from the same person. So he does bring in logic over there. He does bring in rationality over there. But to be honest, would he find it problematic that God created all of the souls? I don't see that. But again, I haven't really thought about that. That's another sort of touch points, he would probably advocate for trusting the report, again, against metaphorical symbolic interpretation of things
exactly the point, which is why it's so surprising. Again, it's just really interesting that even Taymiyah you know, did not follow his own methodology. Dare I say, I mean, I know some of the students are gonna lambasted me for saying that some of these admirers, but I don't have a problem. By the way. On a personal note, the one thing that I really admire the most about Ibn Taymiyyah is his intellectual independence. He couldn't care what anybody thought or said, whether I agree or disagree with his final views. You cannot deny that he was a man who spoke his mind and defended his views regardless of the consequences. And I think this is actually an indication like he actually
want to get and this is not the only time and this is going to get into trouble but many of those who admire Ibn Taymiyyah and think that he's a copycat of the setup. I'm sorry, they haven't read the setup for you. They mean, you know, I've been Tamia is is ingenious, even Tamia is unique. Even Tamiya is at many occasions, inventing and breaking away from the theology of those before him ie the seller, even as he thinks or he's claiming he's following the setup. And this is but one indication this is a deeper topic, and I know it's gonna give me trouble. So may God protect me but even Tamia is no simplistic. Sanofi, I'm just I'll just say it the way that I want to.
He's not some literalist. You know, non critical on the contrary, he's an intellectual genius, whether you agree or disagree. And he is looking at the tradition before him. And he's honing and sifting, and at times contributing, and at times shaping the very tradition he claims to be defending literally. Anyway, that was a whole different tangent, but I needed. And of course, that spirit of independence, I think, ended up and ended him up or led him to prison, maybe on more than one occasion a couple times, multiple times. I heard I heard I've read somewhere of a report that he kept on writing in prison until literally they took his pen and paper. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, well,
no. Yeah. And even then it is used charcoal and you know, other stuff that he had to continue. But yeah, they took away his instruments of writing. Well, this may come as a surprise to you and some of the viewers, I was invited, it must be 10 years ago or so now to be at an interfaith event here on campus at Notre Dame. And our idea was, Okay, we're gonna have a couple of Muslims, a couple of Christians, and everyone will choose someone from the other tradition
and speak about how what they admire of their saintliness
to sort of spread a sort of hermeneutic of spiritual admiration of the other. That was the idea. So there was a Muslim I think it was from Iran spoke about St. Francis.
Another Christian spoke about some from Indonesia, but I spoke. I spoke about him in Tamia on that occasion. And, yeah, not everyone appreciated that actually. That was
So, okay, well, you've been really generous with your time you also thank you so much. And it really means a lot to me that we had this exchange. This connection, as you mentioned, you know, coming from different places, but you've been really gracious and with your wisdom and your time. Thank you for that. Thank you for hosting me and I appreciate the opportunity to talk a little bit to me in the verse of the meetup and there was some benefit for you and your viewers and thank you very much.
Thank you very much. Thanks
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