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Event Name: Attributes of Allah (CD Set)
Transcription Date: 4/9/2019
Transcript Version: 1

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Alondra Productions presents the

attributes of God with dr. Umar Farooq

Abdullah and Shi Hamza Yusuf

bismillahirrahmanirrahim the attributes

of God in Islam I'm sure by now most of

you have flipped through the program and

seen the topics that have been

identified I'll just run through the

topics very quickly the philosophy of

religion creed or chaos right thinking

regarding God self knowledge as theology

Creed as experience and finally the

sidrón sea realities and

responsibilities these topics were

carefully selected and the specific

subtopics themes and information that

will be presented have been carefully

reviewed and aggregated by our scholars

this is a detailed presentation of very

specific material which will God willing

give all of us as I said earlier a

greater appreciation of our

understanding of God according to the

Islamic doctrine according to the

Islamic Creed now why is it important to

study theology why spend time studying

theology when it has a lot of people say

we have more practical problems to worry


and not to be dismissive but this

question reveals an inherent

misunderstanding of what's wrong with

the Muslim world as our dear brother and

scholar dr. suleiman yang has so

rightfully pointed out ideology is the

wallpaper that covers the cracks of

logic ideology is the wallpaper that

covers the cracks of logic meaning that

people afraid to confront the logical

holes in their theology will instead

resort to ideology and what we need now

more than ever is a correct appreciation

and a correct understanding of theology

and not any more rhetoric for indeed it

is our subversion in torretta Rick that

has caused the Muslim decay and that has

brought us to the point that the Muslim

Ummah is in so it is our hope that today

in our

way that Noah we foundation and our

scholars presenting to us and all of us

being here together will hopefully

contribute towards an appreciation of

Wright theology now on a personal note I

want to tell you that I was born into a

Muslim family and I grew up Muslim right

here in Chicago and of course doctor I'm

Ryan Imam hums up

both converted to Islam and it's

interesting to me that a lot to Allah

talks about in the Quran the fact that

if the Muslims don't do what they're

supposed to do a lot to Allah replaces

them with people who will do what the

Muslims are supposed to do

it's interesting to note there's so many

of our teachers so many of our Messiah

so many of our ulema

to whom we turn for guidance are people

that Allah Ta'ala brought into this Deen

they weren't born into it they didn't

take it for granted as I did growing up

now at the same time let me tell you

something growing up as a young Muslim

in America with parents from the


I always struggled with my religion as a

young person I'm sure a lot of people

can relate to this sitting in this room

right now

why well the main reason was because

whenever I'd ask questions about

religion I never seem to get a straight

answer I never seem to get an answer

which satisfied my intellectual

curiosity I would always get a slap on

the head don't any more questions and go

to No Mas and this was highly

unsatisfactory and highly unsatisfying

and it wasn't until I actually came in

contact with people like dr. Umar and

Imam Hamza that finally finally my

questions began to get answered finally

I discovered that there is a rich

intellectual tradition within Islam and

there are Muslim scholars alive in

humanity today who have kept that

tradition alive and they have passed it

on from generation to generation and

indeed it is a tremendous honor to sit

at their feet and to benefit from them

so it is with this intention that we

have invited our distinguished scholars

here today and inshallah it is with this

intention that all of us should be here

which is an appreciation of the fact

that they are keeping alive a rich


within our religion and that said

without further ado I would like to

invite Imam Hamza Yusuf who without a

doubt I can unabashedly say it's

probably one of the singular human

beings who has altered the course of my

life and I could say dozens of my close

friends and associates I think he goes

without saying that among the American

Muslim until intelligentsia

there are a few intellectuals few Muslim

scholars who can rival the contributions

that Imam Hamza has made and I'm saying

this in front of him not to embarrass

him but to put it in context so

insha'Allah without further ado I would

ask him out how's the use of who all of

you know is the director of the Zaytuna

Institute based in California he will in

shot let's say a few words about dr.

omar and then dr. omar will of course

reintroduce him in a more detailed

fashion and then imam Howser will

proceed with his first presentation Imam

how's a use of Rahim or subtle or

anissina Muhammad and he will send him

to sleep first of all I want to say that

I'm very appreciative and also actually

really surprised at how many people

would be interested in this subject on

the other hand I'm also surprised at how

many people aren't interested in the

subject given that it's really the only

interesting subject because it's the

subject of ultimate concern as some

theologians have remarked that theology

is the study of what has ultimate

concern which is God I first met dr.

Omar over 20 years ago in Spain we met

in a madrasah there it was a very

beautiful medicine it was in the city of

Granada which was a city of great

Islamic learning and there's a famous

book that was written called an acaba

yeah body on an author encompassing all

the news about Granada and its three

huge volumes which is detailed

discussion about the great sky

and the history of the city I met dr.

Omer there and I was struck at that time

because I was in a sense just starting

my studies and dr. Omar was already

deeply knowledgeable in many many

subjects and over these last 20 years

what I have seen is just this continual

commitment to discovery the Arabs

their word for discovery is also the

word for ecstasy because the most

extraordinary and delightful experience

human beings can have is to find out

something new to discover something and

the greatest discovery is the discovery

of God and that's why the essential

attribute that our scholars gave God was

the attribute of what can be discovered

or the existent one the one that can

actually be found that that is God's

essential attribute God is not only real

but God is something that we can find in

our lives that's what I've seen in my

teacher dr. amar who is somebody who's

been on this path of setting out to find

God my many fortunate trips to Saudi

Arabia I would always try to visit and

spend very fruitful time not nearly as

much as I would have liked to but all of

those times that I was afforded that

opportunity I benefited greatly and

that's what's called the JD's the Provos

Elias in him said that the a sound

companion is like the seller of Musk

that if you sit with them they'll either

give you some or you can buy some from

them or you can at least just get a

beautiful smell the fragrance of that

company I have a friend who I've been

for probably several years been buying

perfume from in Jeddah and he always

gives me more than I ever bought

and I'm always reminded visiting him of

that hadith so the prophet saww assumed

his descriptions are the most apt and

that's why we're very fortunate to have

this musk seller who gives more than he

sells his economic team alhamdulillah

alameen wa sallahu wa salam ala

rasoolillah ala early he or softly he

ajma'in like imam hamza i am impressed

by this turnout and I am personally

honored by the fact that so many of you

have honoured us with your presence

today I know that Imam Hamza will be

equal to the task I pray that I can also

be equal to it this is the most noble of

all subjects as imam hamza said this is

the ultimate concern of all human beings

and especially in the time that we live

a time of great knowledge unimaginable

knowledge that knowledge has to be

grounded just like electricity is

grounded and it has to be made

meaningful this was one of the supreme

legacies of Islamic civilization and it

remains our task today and the grounding

of that knowledge is in the discovery of

God and of relating all of that

knowledge to the supreme cosmological

truth I am strengthened by the presence

of my ally and my teacher and my guide

who is Imam hamza as he mentioned we met

when I was already in my 30s and he was

a very young man he was sixteen years

old at that time and I have never seen

imam hamza as anything less than a

superior even at that time when I met

him in this beautiful garden in Granada

where we had a wonderful school I was

impressed from the very beginning by the

intensity of this young man and by the


that he had and it said in the famous

tradition which is attributed to eben

Abbas and to others men are nila Bhima

Halima what Rahul mamela mikuni alum

whoever will put in practice what they

know God will give them as an

inheritance knowledge of what they did

not know and this has always been the

characteristic of my beloved brother

because of the fact that he always put

into practice what he knew and as his

knowledge increased his practice changed

but you could always know what he was

learning by where he was and what he was

doing and I know that whatever Imam

Hamza believes he will do that he will

apply it and therefore his knowledge

increases from the time that I met you

mom Hamza I saw him as a vanguard the

vanguard of course are the troops that

go before the army and that check out

the territory and that open up the

ground because this is what he always

was for me when he met me the first time

I had been given a task which was to

teach the agile oomiya and Arabic to

that community in Spain that we had and

quite frankly I didn't know what the

agile Tamia was I had studied Arabic in

the Oriental fashion but I'd never

studied it in the traditional and never

been able to because of the fact that

when I opened the book of Siebel way

which was the place to end and not begin

it was so difficult

I couldn't get beyond the first chapter

so he brought to me not only the text of

the agile Omiya but he brought to me


a beautiful English commentary of it

which remains one of the best that is

available to this day and he brought

other books as well and as God raised us

through our lives that have always

intertwined the word marriage in Latin

comes from a root meaning to take two

trees or two vine

and to have them grow up parallel to

each other and then intertwine over each

other to make an arch that's the

metaphor of marriage in the Latin

tradition and it pertains to human

beings as well as to spouses so our

lives have always been intermarried like

that and imam hamza has always been the

teacher to me he's always in the


he's always brought me new materials

he's always pointed in new directions

and sometimes I've studied him from afar

sometimes close at hand I know that most

of you know him as well as odd and I

know that although your turn out today

is a great honor to us especially

because it's an honor of the knowledge

that we hold dear I also know that if it

were not for the presence of this

luminary that the turnout would probably

be much more modest so thank you very

much for coming thank you for honoring

Sheikh Hamza thank you for honoring me I

pray to God that we can fulfill our

tasks and that we can make this a

beneficial session so that we not only

enjoy each other's presence but that we

also learn this menorah menorah he moves

a lot at us in Muhammad and he was like

you send him to steamer what I heard

over Aqua team Aloha Miller in Milano

I love dinner in antara I didn't wanna

hurt him a lot

aluminum I'm gonna be Magnum ten I was

in that in or slightly loved him I

hadn't seen the Muhammad when he was

five you will send him to Salima and I'm

the the topic at hand of this gathering

is the attributes of allah subhana wa

ta'ala and what both dr. omar and I

decided that we would do is begin with

an introduction and this came from in my

Western studies I had the good fortune

of studying with a Western theologian I

had two courses with him one was the

philosophy of religion another was

epistemology very brilliant man

and the one on philosophy looked at the

phenomenon of religion and how

frameworks relate to religion in other

words how we attempt to understand

religion within frameworks of thought

because religion as a phenomenon as a

human phenomena and it is a global and

universal phenomenon as a phenomenon it

is more related to experience in its

initial stages than it is to anything

intellectual it's not initially framed

in intellectual frames of reference but

rather experiential and the first

generation in every religion is always

the most extraordinary if you look at

any religious tradition you will find

that the first generation had something

that none of the later generations have

this is consistent in all of the world

religions now what's also consistent and

fascinating is that all of these

religions have almost identical problems

but there are problems because of the

nature of the particular tradition will

manifest in different ways but essence

they are very similar problems and Islam

is certainly not an anomaly in that the

problems that we as Muslims encountered

early on in our tradition were

encountered by other traditions before

Islam Islam has a unique vantage point

in that it was the last of the great

world religions and for that reason the

Parana context deals with previous

traditions and some of their troubles

one of the things about the Jews

tradition is that the Jewish tradition

does not have an understanding of the

Islamic tradition within their early

texts the Christian tradition has an

understanding of the Jews tradition but

not an understanding the Islamic

tradition whereas when you get to Islam

we have an understanding

of these two Abrahamic faiths and in

that way are a completion of them in a

clarification and this is one of the

beauties to me of Islam is that when you

become a Muslim you are becoming a Jew

and a Christian as well that we in a

sense embrace them even though both of

them reject us the Christians embrace

the Jews in essence because they

recognize the validity of Jewish

tradition but the Jews do not embrace

the Christians whereas the Muslims

embrace both and the greatest proof of

that is the fact that we are sanctioned

to marry both Christian and Jewish women

I mean I think this is a clear

indication from God is that not only is

that a figurative embrace but it can

also be a literal embrace of those

traditions and it is prohibited for

Muslims to prevent their wives from

attending synagogue or Church and

completing their sacraments in their own

faith Islam does have that wonderful

aspect that is absent in certainly the

second other great Abrahamic tradition

which is Christianity Judaism is a much

smaller phenomenon so what happens in

religion is interesting because what

happens in religion is in a sense a

manifestation of archetypes that are

replicated in all of these different

traditions and that's why you will find

even within traditions very similar

expressions of the religious personality

that we have people in Islam that are

very similar to people that are found in

Christianity and in Judaism in fact they

often will have more in common with

their Christian counterparts than they

have with other Muslims or with their

Jewish counterparts than they have with

other Muslims in their behavior and also

in their understanding and that is also

very interesting and one of the things

that even Tamia rahim allah said was

that when muslims go astray they go

astray like the jews go astray or like

the christians go astray in other words

he was reck

and articulating archetypal deviancy

that when you deviate you deviate as a

deviation it doesn't matter whether

you're what tradition you're coming from

they are forms of deviancy now the other

aspect of trying to put religion into a

frame of understanding is that it is a

process that when the phenomenon of

religion enters into the world either as

a restorative event which happened with

the Jewish prophets who would come like

John the Baptist is within Judaic

tradition and we also recognize Jesus

are they said I'm as being in that

tradition but then you have radical

breaks within religious tradition and

one of them obviously is Islam Islam

makes a radical departure from Judaism

and Christianity in in the same way that

Christianity made radical departure from

Judaism so you have a continuity but

then at certain periods in history you

have these breaks and those breaks need

to be understood also when they occur if

you asked for instance the Sahaba about

the law on whom if you asked them what

was happening to them they would not I

don't believe that they would explain it

in the way that we would explain it now

in other words the terms the frames of

references that they would use would not

be ours and that occurs because of a

distance when you are experiencing the

world without mediary in this immediate

sense that is very different from

somebody who is looking at a phenomenon

from outside of it because of that

historical distance and you will have

different understandings based on the

time and the place that you're coming

from so we as a people now will

understand the Islamic tradition in ways

that are different from people a hundred

years ago or two hundred years ago we

cannot deny the the historic reality of

where we were born of the circumstances

even factors like socioeconomic factors

have influenced its Abu Hanifa Delano

the fact that he is a non-arab will

influence his Medhat and if you don't

recognize that when you study it about

certain rulings that he gave and there

are rulings that I feel more comfortable

even though I'm a monarchy I feel more

comfortable with Omaha NEFA as an agony

as Anan era and so you can deny that and

you can say that's not true but I think

that you do it to your detriment because

you're not recognizing the enriching

element that that provides as people

have gifts and when they come into Islam

they bring their gifts with them every

people have gifts and those gifts are

not the same

Allah distributes his gifts differently

amongst people and one of the new CDF

manzano said he said that you have to

know the wisdom of diversity and when

you go to a land you have to understand

that those people are not the same as

the land that you are coming from that

they have differences that we have

universals that we share every human

being shares them but we also have

particulars and if you lose sight of one

without the other and this is one of the

big debates in Islam between the

philosophers and the theologians because

the philosophers said god only knows the

universals the philosopher said god only

knows universals the theologian said no

God knows the universal and the

particular if you ignore the particular

than you do so it will have tragic

consequences and so each people that

came into Islam brought with them gifts

the Persians in particular brought

extraordinary gifts into Islam the

Hellenic tradition also gave

extraordinary gifts and that came

through the Byzantine influence you can

see a clear difference between scholars

that are writing in the pre Hellenistic

period and the scholars that are writing

in the post Hellenistic period you can


the way that knowledge becomes

classified the logical structuring of

their thought all of these things you

can see was a direct influence on

intellectual gifts that were introduced

into the community and so these are part

of the enrichment and the process of

understanding who we are what we believe

and what our religion is and that is why

the argument that there's no knowledge

except the Salif period this argument

that we accept only this one period of

time and after that it's everybody goes

astray that argument is denying

something so elemental to our human

experience and that is the increase of

knowledge in our own lives our own

evolution as we grow and come to know

more and also the gifts that Allah

subhana WA Ta'ala has given peoples and

times and places that to live in Cordoba

in the 9th century must have been just

an extraordinary experience and what

they knew and what they were thinking

about what they were discussing to deny

all of that as somehow being innovative

or unnecessary or extraneous is I think

to really throw a gift of Allah subhana

WA Ta'ala away and so what I would like

to look at now is in a sense an attempt

to understand how we frame our

experience and how that relates to creed

now every religion is founded upon

direct experience of our loss of

Mohammed Anna now that does not

necessarily negate the mediary of the

angel but what I'm talking about direct

experience is that it is not a rational

cognitive process that what happens to

prophets who have this direct experience

of the Newman already angelic realm and

that is a direct experience in other

words if we all went outside

right now and we could see from one

horizon to the other horizon and as far

up in the sky as we could look the angel

jibreel and all of us saw that together

how would that affect our practice as

Muslims see if I just told you that that

the prophet sallallaahu sanim saw the

entire horizon the celestial sphere fill

up with an angelic being and that was

his experience now the interesting thing

about experiences experience is not a

logical proposition you cannot prove or

disprove experience you can discuss it

you can interpret it but you cannot say

it's true or its false experience is

real for the one experiencing it what

then is the challenge is to determine

whether or not that experience has an

objective reality or a subjective

reality in other words is that

experience a true experience or is it

somehow something that's happening to

this individual as a type of psychosis

because we have people now that speak to

God directly they hear God we have

people living today that literally will

tell you and they're not lying you can't

say they're lying because these people

are in delusional states and they have

auditory hallucinations and sometimes

also they actually see things and these

things are very real to them now one of

the interesting things about Catholic

the Catholic Church and I find this

really fascinating because this is 4th

century doctrine the Catholic Church

determined how to differentiate between

a true divine experience and this

relates to prophets and saints and

between a demonic experience because

they to believe in the demonic realm

like we do the way they differentiate is

that a demonic experience is always

accompanied with an expansion of the


in other words it's a very exciting and

joyful experience and it is followed

with despair and a true spiritual

experience is exactly the opposite

the initial experience is incredible

constriction and fear and dread and it

is followed with a sense of expansion

and joy this is in their doctrine this

is actually doctrinal in Catholic

tradition now if we look at the

experience of the prophet sallallaahu

them if we look at the experience of

Moses Moosa

that's half Moses when he had this

experience was filled with fear

Ibrahim also the Prophet Muhammad this

is consistent with what we see in the

Quran and also what the Christians and

the Jews understand within their

traditions is that this religious

experience is overwhelming incapacitates

the self and I personally believe that

the Prophet SAW Allah today was Saddam

went into a state of shock because if

you look at the description of his

initial experience as if a physician and

I worked in a trauma center and had to

study that just how to identify people

in different stages of shock that if a

physician looks at the descriptions of

what happened to him she was in a state

of shock now one of the most interesting

things to me about his state was because

of the vastness of his soul and even

payment Jozy rahim allah said that the

soul of the prophet is bigger than this

cosmos in kita barua that he actually

says that the prophet saw I am the

magnanimity of his soul the vastness of

his soul is beyond our comprehension

that one of the things that is so

extraordinary about his presence of mind

is despite the fact that he was going

through the physical and autonomic

nervous systems experience of shock his

mind was completely present which is

absent in a normal human being when they

go into shock they lose the ability to

think and the proof for me in that is

what he said to his wife Zam balloonism

me Tony

Zen me known

wrap me up now we know that patients who

are given shock that the first thing one

of the first things you do is you wrap

them up you're actually told to wrap

them to cover them up to create some

containment because part of shock is a

loss of self it's when the outward and

the inward crash there's just a massive

crash that occurs and so the experience

of psychic integrity of the sole being

the self being whole is shattered

because something has forced itself in

on the soul and so the prophet sallal

itis in him whatever happened to him in

that cave and one of the extraordinary

things about that was the actual squeeze

that gibreel gave to the Prophet and

there were three squeezes and the

prophets Eliza times what it's reported

is that he used County attendeth he used

to go and do this thing called tendeth

and to head north in the Arabic language

if you look almost always the common

errors put next to it to AB good but if

you look at the word hint-hint

is actually shirk and tendeth is to

remove oneself to general is to final

form in Arabic one of the purposes of it

in morphology is to avoid something so

tahajud is to avoid sleep who Jude is

sleep to Kenda to Hamel that's actually

from tequila but to Gen nope is to avoid

nearness to somebody

the Djemba and to handle is to avoid

ship the Prophet Sawa's Emmet is the

early stage of his life he was going to

the cave in order to remove himself from

the exterior world of all of these forms

and go into a place at night and do what

he was doing and it was it was a

horrific practice it was a practice of

those people probably akin to what we

would call today meditation that he was

in a contemplative state his desire was

the desire to empty out forms because

the soul has to be emptied of forms

before it can have knowledge of the one

who has no phone

because forms will impinge on that

understanding and so what gibreel

according to some of our scholars like a

moment Hanabi says that the squeezing

was actually squeezing any remnant out

of his soul from the world from his

historical circumstances because he was

going to be filled with three vessels he

was going to be filled with Iman Islam

and yes son and so there had to be a

complete emptying out in order and this

is one of the things that the Sahaba

said about the problem that we used to

the Prophet used to empty us of jahiliya

and fill us with Islam and so Islam is

an emptying before it's a filling and

this is called Thalia Thalia the people

of the science say Italia to test milk

Italia that the emptying out it must

precede the ornaments in other words you

have to be stripped of the ugly before

you can be ornamented with the beautiful

and so this is this is at the essence of

the religious experience is this

emptying out of the world and being

filled with a sense of the numinous

obviously is what occurs to the prophets

Allah ISM now his second of these

experiences he has many experiences but

obviously that first experience which is

a para the second experience I mean he

has the experience as a child but we're

talking about the prophetic experience a

lot it was said of the second experience

is the istra and the mirage now this is

another deep spiritual experience and

this is the inner Hedra that is also

related to the outer Hedorah and even

payment Oh see I wrote a book called the

two he dies because a lot of people

think that he Jonah is a physical

movement and the prophets Lyceum negated

that when he said that the real mahadji

is the one who makes his era from what

Allah has prohibited him and Allah has


from everything other than himself so

this experience that the prophet

sallallaahu a do synonym has if you look

at the quranic description it says

Misaka Misaka while Madhava his vision

did not deviate now we have to

understand this in the context of what

was happening to him what was happening

to him was he was moving through the

seven heavens and that means that he was

being given unveilings of the unseen

world he was literally being given

unveilings of the unseen world now if we

had unveilings right now if we had if

allah removed this veil from us we would

probably the vast majority of us would

go into a state of insanity quite

literally because we could not take it

we know now in our material sciences

that we are seeing less than a billionth

of the material stimuli at any given

moment in other words when I look out in

this room I'm actually seeing less than

a billionth of what is materially there

to stimulate my senses

so my spectrum like that extraordinary

and it's one of my favorite metaphors

because it's such an extraordinary

metaphor visible light is a very small

spectrum on the electromagnetic spectrum

you have infrared and then you have the

ultra violet light so it goes up and it

goes down and the waves get smaller and

longer depending on which way you're

going well there is a very small

spectrum within that electromagnetic

continuum that we call visible light and

that is what we see now that is the

material world that's what we've

identified that's not dealing yet with

the hyb that's actually not right

because the vibe we do not have access

to it in the same way that we have

access to the material world we also

know that in the sense that this is the

the dominant theory now is that the

overwhelming majority

the universe is dark matter in other

words 95% of the universe the physical

universe is actually not even perceived

by us so what we actually when we look

out there and one of the interesting

things that caused this is it when they

began to look out and see stars

everywhere just it just goes on and on

and on a question came why isn't the

night sky as light as the day sky

because if light travels and all these

lights are out there the whole heavens

are filled with just orbs of light

why aren't they filling up the night sky

in the same way because we only see

about two-and-a-half to three thousand

stars on a really clear moonless night

why isn't it All Stars and what they

realize is that only some stars are

penetrating and actually going it's a

visitation which is very interesting

because the Quran says was some at UWE

thought oh well madaraka mubarak an edge

will happen the night and the night

visitor and the star is a night visitor

which indicates that the light of the

star is moving it's a journey and when

it gets here it is like a night visitor

quite literally so the Quran describes

stars as night visitors and then it says

what will convey to you what this night

visitor is it says anism without the

piercing star now the pub is to put a

hole through Pearl and so the stars that

are actually reaching us are like that

they are the ones that penetrate all of

this extraordinary celestial light so

what we know about the seen world is

incredibly small and yet the unseen

world we have no knowledge of now I want

to look other than what we've been told

and those are called the Summoner yet

what we're told now I want to look just

at the essaouira and this idea that his

vision did not deviate if you were

traveling through the unseen realm and

all of this unveiling was occurring you

were seeing all of this extraordinary

unveiling why wouldn't your vision be

looking at all of that in other words

wouldn't you be distracted and that

again goes back to the heart of the

profits Eliza time who had only one

concern that night and that was to visit

his Lord he was on a journey to God and

he was not interested in the particular

because if you know God you know

everything like the poets at kilometer

hawawa mowjood and fee that ELA

everything you desire exist in God so if

you have God you have your heart's

desire and everybody else I mean

everything that human beings are running

around out there looking for is

ultimately that's what it is it's

nothing else everybody's looking for the

same thing they are looking for their

heart's desire and that is why Imam of

junaid once passed by a man who was

about to get his he was a thief a

brigand fought their buddy up he was

about to get his head chopped off and he

greeted him and one of the students with

him he said you know why would you greet

a man like that and he said any man that

will give his life for his desire I

respect in other words that sacrifice

that's somebody that's taking life very

seriously and that's why I actually in

some ways I have a soft spot in my heart

for atheists and I'll tell you why I've

never met an atheist that didn't take

God seriously and yet I've met so many

people in my life that are not atheists

that just don't take God seriously but

I've yet to meet an atheist that does

not take God very seriously they're

bothered by it

it's they're troubled by it they read

books about it it ends up being a topic

of discussion with them because that's

how serious they take it and one of the

seven deadly sins

in Christianity and they're certainly

deadly in Islam as well and it's to me

it's the most interesting one it's

called sloth a sadya in Latin and this

sin most people think of it as laziness

but it's not laziness in Catholic

tradition sloth was spiritual

lassitude it was that you did not take

your salvation seriously that you

literally squandered your time on earth

and did not take your life seriously and

that is why the vast majority of us are

in a slothful state even if we're

spending all of our time working if we

are not thinking deeply about where

we're going what happens then we're in a

slothful state we're spiritually lazy

and lazy people are uninspiring people

they're uninspired people and they're

held in contempt by even other lazy

people so if we look at this experience

of the asana and the mirage it's an

extraordinary experience because this is

direct witnessing but look at the

preparation that took place before that

that is not how Islam began is it it

began with gibreel it began with the

intermediary and then it was 13 years of

persecution and the thief is the

experience that precedes the Islam which

is the lowest point of the prophets life

on earth according to the prophet saw

him he said to Aisha the worst time I

had was at the hands of your people

the peeve that was the worst experience

that he'd had total state of humiliation

the children threw rocks at him salawatu

out he was sent him and then he was

offered this opportunity for revenge and

he didn't take it and his reason was the

children so he expressed not only his

ultimate humanity but just his

extraordinary magnanimity in a moment

when many many people would have in fact

most people and certainly most mail

would have wanted revenge and he did not

and so he's followed on the way back and

then the jinn is another element because

they become Muslim so introduction also

into this other world and then

ultimately the astronomer Raj when he

comes back from that experience the

prophet sallallaahu said him now is

ready to move to the next phase which is

to be in the world

because the world is no longer a threat

to him as a distraction he now sees

reality as it is and this is what his

prayer to Allah subhanAllah data was

show me things as they truly are show me

things as they are so he was given this

extraordinary gift of seeing things as

they truly are and when he comes back to

the world he is able to be in the world

in a way in which the world is no longer

going to be not only a distraction to

him between him and his Lord he will not

miss perceive the world and this is

called right understanding and this is

also in all of the world religions

there's an understanding or a first

principle that everything begins with

right understanding that we must

perceive the world correctly because our

lack of perception our misperception of

the world is what causes us pain I mean

this is very interesting and it's a

motif that's very dominant in the

Buddhist tradition is this idea of your

suffering comes from a lack of

understanding of the nature of the world

because suffering is related to desire

at what we call in in Arabic what the

Quran calls buggy and buggy which means

desire also means oppression which is so

to me that is so fascinating that the

word for desire and the word for

oppression are the same in Arabic so

freedom from desire

Budhia the freedom from desires when you

make your desire right desire in other

words you have a right understanding of

what you should want then the challenge

is to make what you should want what you

want because it's one thing to know what

you should want it's another thing to

want that thing because there are plenty

of people that are smoking that want


they know I should want to stop smoking

and they will also say I want to stop

smoking but really what they're saying

is I should want to stop smoking and

then they get to a point where they do

want to stop smoking and then the

struggle begins knowing what you should

want and knowing what you want are not

the same and most of us don't even know

what we should want and that is a big

problem once we know what we should want

then it's how do we get to wanting what

we should want and once you want that

thing and want comes from a word which

means to be impoverished which is

related to this idea of Iftikhar which

is the definition of humanity creation

in arabic is and wolfs Takuto in allah

it is the one that wants is in want of

our lawsuit on Owatonna that is the

definition of creation the definition of

the creator is the one free of want and

most of neon it cool free of want has no

want has no need and so this idea of

knowing what we should want and then

wanting that thing the prophet

sallallaahu saddam when he comes back he

goes to medina and then the experience

is translated into practice and this is

the next phase is how do we translate

our experience of the divine a direct

experience into the world and this is

how he becomes the model for Humanity

because he Halabi alakina he took on the

divine qualities of these ethical

qualities that God that Allah subhana WA

Ta'ala has described himself with so if

you look now just in terms of what

happens this experience happens and

there's a story of the devil was walking

with one of his disciples and there was

a man in front of him who stumbles on

something and he picks it up and

suddenly you see this illumination

around this person the disciple asked

the devil what what just happened he

said he just stumbled on to the truth

and he says why aren't you

and he says I'll get him to organize it

tomorrow so this is where we move now

into the realm of how do we organize the

experience how do we schema ties it how

do we put it into a Creed there is an

incredible danger in that and it's in a

sense it's the decline of religion and

yet at the same time there's an absolute

necessity for it and that's why our

scholars had to do it I think they

realized its danger and that's where you

get their great hesitation with this

process because I really believe and I

want to show you historically what

happens and why it came to this

extraordinary culmination that I don't

see in any other religious tradition

none I really don't I'm not an expert on

comparative religions or religion that

was my university major but I can't say

that I'm an expert by any means I don't

know the languages that are necessary

look at the primary sources but in the

overall presentations and and educated

summaries of the religions that that

I've looked at I've never seen anything

that comes close to this and that's why

I want to look at it when you look at

religion ultimately religion is

experience and then that experience

enters into propositions the experience

has become propositions I believe that

as you head to a la ilaha illa-llah one

of the beauties for me of our creedal

formula is that it is not just a

testimony because Shahada means to


it also means witness and that's why I

believe that the beauty of islam is that

it has enabled the proposition to be

experienced also it will not be

experienced for everybody but we can say

their Shahada in two ways we can say

ashhadu a la ilaha illallah in other

words i see that there is no god but

allah subhan allah tala or we can say i

testify that that arabic word holds both

those meanings so it's not just

experience it experiences they

but there's also the creedal formula now

I personally believe that the Sahaba and

certainly The Messenger of Allah were in

that first understanding not all of them

that's what I believe I believe that

they were not saying I testified they

were saying I see I am witnessing I am

experiencing the truth of la la la la

and that is that is the difference

between them and the vast majority of

the rest of us and that is why they're

such an extraordinary community and I

think Abu Bakr is after the prophets

Allah isn't the greatest witness he has

the greatest experience of that and

that's why he never he never falters he

never wavers he never has any hesitation

because he was in a state of witnessing

and it had a hadith is probably another

excellent example of that

careful spot a spot that your husband

won't mean and haha he said how have you

woken up is a Hassan hadith how have you

woken up

he said I've woken up a true believer in

other words something happened to him in

which he went from am open to a Mortman

- he's qualifying his state of Iman that

there is a qualitative difference

between my state of Iman this morning

than other mornings and the prophets

Eliza time said think about what you're

saying because every reality has a proof

what is the proof of your reality and

then he gives the description that I am

experiencing Jenna as if it's right here

and I can hear people moaning from the

agony of Hell he was in a state of

experience and the prophets Eliza time

said our ofte fellows them you have

madatha you have true knowledge now so

hold tight to it because you can lose

that hold tight to it now if you look at

what happens one of the extraordinary

things about our tradition is always in

the time of greatest need you can see

providence the providential care

that has been in this religion and

Providence it comes from similar to

provide it's that God gives you what you

need when you need it that is Providence

and and we can see Providence in our

tradition if you look at it I'll give

you an example at the point in which it

was absolutely necessary to codify the

sacred law these four Imams emerge same

time the basic same time one didn't come

a hundred years after the others they

were students of each other with the

exception of Amida man Hongbin they were

benefiting from each other I'm at the

Mohammed is a student of Imam Shafi an

imam Shafter he takes from ahmed

obviously he then is a student of omaha

even Maddock through that because the

chain is is there so these men all

appear at this same time now the other

extraordinary period is the time of the

Credo formation and the time also of the

spiritual knowledge and I want to show

how all of these three come together in

a unique and extraordinary human being

and why that to me is one of the proofs

of Islam the three men who give us a

cradle understand and I'm not going to

go into and it's interesting it's

fascinating to go into a lot of the

historical the more tizzy light and what

happens with walls so they've been a

thaw and Nizam and all these different

and also the helada age I mean there's

some really interesting characters that

show up and cause a lot of trouble but

generally one of the most common

problems in religious tradition is what

is known as the reason tradition

dichotomy we call it upon 1 upon the

akan and knockin dichotomy that most

religious traditions in fact all of the

world traditions have a problem in

resolving this essential split which is

how do we get tradition to conform to

reason or reason to conform to - to

tradition now in Islam there's an early

which is the Mozilla who are the

rationalists they take this Hellenistic

tradition and this is essentially what

philosophy is because theology is

divided into two broad demarcations

natural theology which is the theology

of reason and revealed theology which is

the theology of tradition these are two

within systematized religion these are

the two ways of looking at the

philosophers are the people that are

interested in natural philosophy they're

not interested in revealed philosophy

now the first two early philosophers in

the third century are al-kindi and al

farabi and both of them attempted to

create a rational basis for tradition

and this is a deep-seated interest in

the West and something that the Muslims

abandoned largely with the exception of

the Shia tradition the Sunni Muslims

abandoned this pursuit the Christians

did not and it led to real problems

later on for Christians especially the

Catholic Church because of Saint Thomas

Aquinas when the Hellenistic ideas about

God and about the idea of the cosmos

being eternal coexistent with God and

that what God was was God was the

cybernetic force in the university was

the unifying factor he was on that

molded chaos so the Greeks had this idea

of cosmos and chaos that the high Allah

or the Haila was this eternal substance

and what happens is that there's a

unmoved mover that's affecting all of

this and these ideas came into Islam and

caused a lot of problems early on in the

third century

well they move on they have their own

strain and those are called Muslim

philosophers and they're an interesting

lot and they're brilliant and they have

a massive impact on the West they have a

much greater impact on the West than

they do on the Muslims I mean really

they alter the Western civilization

completely I mean Western civilization

takes a sharp turn as a result

particularly of arrow ease or even

Lucien who is ultimately a student of

even Cina

a student of an Farabi who's a student

of AK Indian thought so what you had

that strain those are the natural

theologians and the five proofs of the

existence of God that are so famous in

the west from st. Thomas Aquinas are and

I've seen edgar myers shows exactly

where he got them from al farabi and he

puts a side-by-side st. Thomas's Latin

version and the Arabic version and the

translation you can see that he's it's

literally a direct translation from out

of Farabi so you know the Christians

were using Muslim proofs now that strain

don't think that this idea of proving

the existence of God has anything to do

with doubt about God doubt about God is

a modern concept there are very few

ancients who had any doubts about God

and the people trying to prove the

existence of God were largely deeply

religious people they were deeply devout

people so why do you think they would

try to prove the existence of God

because they felt that faith should be

based in reason they felt that in order

for faith to be on firm foundation it

should have the foundation of reason and

that's why they attempted to the best of

their ability to create a rational

foundation for belief and this again

gets to reason and tradition this

problem so they were trying to

synthesize the essential problem of

oppan and knuckle how do we get nothing

to correspond with a phone or vice versa

and they made many many attempts at a

certain point because of massive

confusion that was beginning to reign in

the Islamic lands a group of people show

up one was in Egypt with Jaffa how he

and he dies in 321

which is 933 of the Christian era the

the second is from Basra and teaches in

buck Dada two cities that are in the

news a lot and in those days the wars

were with sandals in the mosques

throwing shoes at each other when they


oh but hasn't a shoddy now they're using

them to hit

statues and things like that so

traditions hard to get rid of

oh but Hassan and uh shadi who dies in

324 and that's 935 and then Abu Mansour

and Matuidi who is from he's born in

Madrid and dies in summer pans in what's

called traditional Horus on the land

where the Sun rises hora Sun Sun Sun

hora so it's horizontal and where the

Sun comes up which is the East or Asia

we would call it now Central Asia and he

comes from that place now what's

interesting about Central Asia is he

came from a place that was a center of

Buddhist learning and I find this deeply

significant I actually wrote a paper

called how the Buddha saved Islam it's a

paper in which I tried and I've never

seen this anywhere but I really tried to

show that the paradoxical formulas that

are introduced by the Met to Dedes and

the Ashanti's were actually coming out

of Buddhist logic and the Buddhists had

a massive impact a lot of people don't

know this but they actually had a

massive impact the tolerance of the

Abbasid period I believe is largely due

to the influence of Buddhism because the

bar metkids who were the great ministers

of the abbasids were from Afghanistan

and that family was a famous Buddhist

priest family they're very tolerant

deeply tolerant people and they

introduced a lot of this extraordinary

tolerance during the Abbasid period into

the Islamic tradition and removed a lot

of the very harsh interpretations and

they textually justified it which is

what's so beautiful and that's why the

danger of religion is that it is open to

multiple textual interpretations and

it's which one are you going to choose

and in a sense that is revealing

something about your essential nature

what are you attracted to because you

can find harshness you can find cruelty

in all the religion and then you can

find all these other qualities and I

feel that the other qualities are the

dominant qualities it's almost like

those harsh and cruel aspects it's like

a shadow a union

shadow religion that exists alongside

the true religion to almost separate

people and to to reveal themselves

because hypocrisy is the worst type of

personality the one who's hiding his

true nature so these three men all our

existing I mean look at that 333 321 324

and 333 and this is their death dates so

these three men are all living at the

same time and they formulate these

Creed's that basically save Islam now

Imam of the Howey is more of a knuckle

he's not interested in Apple and he has

very few if any he has a few but he has

very few what is miss term speculative

theological formulas it's miss term that

I would say more rational the Albert

hasanat a shoddy is in a sense a bridge

between alkali knuckle but imam abu


and Matuidi takes it to a much deeper

level the three in terms of this

fundamental problem and what's

interesting is the great creedal formula

of the muslims becomes the formula of

imam and Nyssa fee who was a Matuidi

with the commentary of taftazani who was

an ashati

and this is what was taught in our

mattresses for centuries I mean these

are the two great texts one is a

commentary by an a shoddy but the other

is a Creed by a Matuidi and these three

men represent what comes to be known as

Anna sooner well GEMA

they basically create Creed's they

produce Creed's and credo in Latin means

I believe so a Creed is what you believe

you say credo I believe and that's why

in the beginnings of these Creed's they

always say a Coulomb or a Tuppy then I

say believing so the Arpita is what

you're bound to it's what you have

conviction about you know it's a pet too

you know it's what you're not at its

what you've bound to it it's what you

believe and have conviction about and

this becomes the IP that this is the

word that's used in ours for the Creed

so they call it the al-qaeda and that's

via the arcade Howie the Arpita

like that and then each one of these

I mean of imam abu jaafar of howie and

imam and Matuidi are the two hanafis and

imam and ashati there's a debate the

matter Keys claim him as a matter key

and the Shaffers claim him as a chef

very so there and I think probably the

stronger argument is that he was a Shafi

but his greatest student by one there is

a meaty area between the the two his

greatest student is a bucket of belani

who was a Maliki scholar who develops

what's known as the atomic theory in

Islam and it's probably the most

sophisticated pre-modern theory and

there's a book called the history of the

atom and there is a chapter on the

Muslim atomic theory and they do admit

that the scientist that wrote that book

said that this is clearly the most

sophisticated pre modern atomic theory

that we have and he also says that he

doesn't really understand how they got

it the Muslims and so they they were

thinking very deeply about that now I

believe also there's a connection

between the Buddhist atomic theory and

abu-bakr Balinese theory because there's

a lot of similarities and that is

obviously deep speculation and there's

Muslims that did not like that at all

and that tended to be within the hum

body tradition you have a third a fourth

strain from these three men you have a

fourth strain which is the ham body

strain the ham bodies tended to be

although Albert Hasan had a shoddy wood

would use imam ahmed as his foundation

in a sense because imam ahmed was was

considered the imam of ala Sunnah wal

Jamaa it's his lock up because he had

such an important role to play in

protecting Islam from the merit is he

lights he was honored with that and so

in that sense now Imam of the four Imams

the three imams maja neva mattock and

Schaffer II have room for more room for

Apple and the most is of

honey feral Delano he is the most

rational he is a legal philosopher in a

way I mean Imam Shafi is also but Abu

Hanifa will use a Khan more than any of

the other Imams I'm at the Muhammad is

the least inclined to do that he will

prefer a weak hadith over analogical

reasoning and that is in hizmet which

gives total lie to this idiotic idea

that weak hadees have no place in Islam

I mean if I'm a demon ham but use his

weak had these before he uses PS in his

o soul I mean I think that exposes the

ignorance of people who claim that weak

Hadees are worthless

on the contrary they've been used for

centuries by our greatest scholars so of

those three of the four strains the ham

body strain will be the least inclined

to any type of rational approach to

creed and it will get to the point where

the anthropomorphise who are a problem

in all religions not just the Muslims

this phenomenon is a phenomenon within

religion are people that take things


in other words believe in the literal

meaning of everything that is said and

that is absolutely impossible to do with

any text of Revelation because the

nature of language is that there is

always analogy and metaphor always you

cannot get out of it it's impossible it

is simply impossible and it leads to

very difficult even the literalists who

deal with the pot on they get into big

problems in interpreting certain verses

in the Quran and create very clever

rhetorical devices to deal with those

problematic verses for them like ask the

town for set up area you know ask the

town how do you ask a town I mean what's

a town what do you mean ask the town do

you mean ask the people of the town

you mean astley I mean if it's literally

the town town can I ask you a question

Chicago I'd like to ask you well I can

say that you know I want to hear what

Chicago has to think about all this now

obviously I mean you people here from


well that's metaphor

and that's in language it's just the way

it is the White House announced today I

mean nobody saw these bricks that are

painted white saying something right

these far as I know announced things so

the discipline knuckle is is what

when Mansoura Matuidi is trying to bring

together this understand now the third

formulation is amongst the people who

deal with it son or the spiritual

science of Islam so the providential

care that we see in this community is

during the period we see at how death

and Mojave whose 243 Imam and Junaid who

is probably the great formulator of the

tradition in 297 and then a Shibley his

student 334 elbow thought of and Mickey

386 and then I would add Arabiya an idea

to that because she introduced the idea

she really is credited with the

introduction of the idea of love of God

being higher than the fear of God and

it's a very important introduction into

the Islamic tradition the Bekaa own who

were these men that literally became so

enveloped with fear of God that they

stopped eating that cry all the time

they were basically dysfunctional from

this immense fear and she introduces

this idea that love is such a higher

concept when dealing with the divine and

that becomes very strong within that

tradition now that Islam the four Imams

Iman these four traditions and then it


these four be moms and adding arabiya

as the fifth in that science they

basically formulate iman Islam and asan

it becomes a religion in the sense that

we can study it in an organized

schematized way that was not true in the

first community

it just wasn't because much of it was


you could ask the Sahaba they knew all

these things they had an immense

knowledge of all three subjects but they

did not have Babbitt will do or babbit

the heart or you know Bab Anika and

dividing niihka into different types and

having different types saw and facet or

the five formulation so here you have

the Philosopher's that are pure

rationalist you have the traditionalist

which were the mahadji foon who are pure

traditionalists they're not interested

in in alpha they're interested in

nothing and that's why the AHA say

the Mahadev is a pharmacist he's not a

doctor so never get a prescription from

a pharmacist all the pharmacists knows

is nothing see what the doctor has is

open he knows how to apply he knows how

to put things together he knows how to

we hope but that's what the physician he

learns how to discern between signs and

symptoms what if you have jaundice what

that means and and then what is the

prognosis where it's going all these

things so that's the and rarely do

you get the two together now the same is

true about Allah Subhan Allah to add as

these credo formulations you have the

Creed which is none but then you have to

have an understanding of it this is aqua

and so bringing these two together this

is what fucka daddy not Raji says is the

meaning of neuron Aden or that light

upon light is revelation on intellect

and the rock a Buddhist behind said

never be impressed with a person's Islam

until you've tested their intellect

because the most dangerous thing that

you can have is intellect without

religion or religion without intellect

it's a disaster both our disasters

intellect without religion leads to

concentration camps gas chambers you

know we've got a problem it's called the

Jewish problem and what's the most

efficient way to deal with this problem

I mean this really this is pure reason I

mean there's people that could argue

against that but ultimately this

is how they perceive the world this is

how Nazi Germany perceived the world

efficiency and we were the open immense

you know where the people beyond good

and evil we're not because in the

content moral argument for the existence

of God what Kant says is the

understanding of good and evil is the

greatest proof for the existence of God

because without God you could have no

understanding of good and evil and this

is what happens when revelation is

removed from internet because intellect

can be evil and this is what in the

golden mean intellect is a mean between

craftiness and between stupidity

so the intellect can be used for evil

and religion without intellect leads

also to gas chambers they might be

metaphorical ones but again we have a


you know the Americans are our problem

well let's just kill them all I mean

it's a great solution because God said

kill them wherever you find them so

let's just do that I mean this is the

tie this what happens when you divorce

one from the other you you end up with

the same result which is brutality a

loss of your humanity it's really


and this is why bringing these two

together is so difficult and yet our

religion has been so brilliant at doing

it and the man that did it is called the

proof of this law which it's a lot

Hasani he is the man that brought it all


he brought the thing that will sold

he was a master he's one of the greatest

a Saudi scholars in history he brought

the a peda he brought the philosophical

tradition and he brought the spiritual

tradition and he synthesized it into

this extraordinary exposition of Islam

where he said don't fight each other

these are not mutually exclusive

meanings can't you see you're all

looking at things from a different

perspective and what you need to

recognize is this is a diamond that has

different facets and it is the divine

light that comes into that diamond that

refracts it into this extraordinary

rainbow of colors that you sort of know

13 Delight those who look at it this

session continues on the following CD