Shaykh HAMZA Yusuf 0:50>
<Greetings in Arabic>
<Basmallah in Arabic>
<Salaat un Nabi in Arabic>
In the program, this topic is how to become a better human being, and it has a period, and I was thinking about, myself talking about that.
And I thought, I should put a question mark at the end, instead of a period, because I think I’m going to ask more questions, I think then maybe perhaps, provide answer.
But one thing that we should note, is that the Quran is a book that contains quite a few questions, it’s a book that, in fact, demands that human beings think. Because the nature of a question is to open the mind to reflection.
So questions are an important aspect of the human nature, and the human condition. And one of the questions that first comes to mind, is ‘what is a human being?’ We should ask that question.
Some of them would contend that a human being is more akin to the phoenix of the West, or the unicorn…a legendary creature that is talked about, but never actually seen.
The Quran in fact would contest that you, and indicates in the Quran that in fact, there are human beings, Allah Subhanawatallah when he gives one of the reasons why he created human beings in the first place, <Arabic>, that I’m going to place in the Earth a Calipha, and this itiklaf is considered one of the reasons why the human being was created in the first place. That Allah Subhanawatallah would put in the Earth the one that would be a caretaker over the Earth.
Now, the Angels because they had seen, according to Imam Razi, Fakiruddin Ur-Razi, they had seen what the jinn had done, when they were on the Earth, because the presence of the Jinn on the Earth, preceded the presence of the Human Being, they uh, they asked Allah Subhanawatallah, “are you going to put one on the Earth”, <Arabic> that will sow corruption, <Arabic> and they will spill blood.
And the angels in fact were saying, that it’s more appropriate that we should be put on to the Earth as a calipha, because we’ll do a better job, then these human beings. And Allah Subhanawatallah said something that all of us should ponder, <Arabic> I know what you don’t know.
And Allah Subhanawatallah said this, he was indicating that there was an element in the human nature, that was hidden from the exterior appearance of the human being. And this is the element of the, Okrawi element, or the other worldly element; The angelic element. It is because it is uniquely mans position in the Earth, that he was created as an interstate, between the two worlds. In other words, it is the angelic realm that is made for the <Arabic> or the highest place, the unseen world, the “Ghaib”, they don’t disobey Allah Subhanawatallah. Yet it is the human being that has the capacity to possess, these two elements, which are called the <Arabic>.
Allah Subhanawatallah says in the Quran about the first, <Arabic>, You understood the first <Arabic>, which is this <Arabic> we are in now. This first creation. Then Allah Subhanawatallah reminds us in another place in the Quran, <Arabic> then Allah will give you a 2nd <Arabic>.
So, this human being has these two creations. One is this world’s wordily creation, and the other is the next worlds creation. It is the Ruh and the Body which has been united in the body, which is called Bani Adam or the Insaan, the human being. And this uniting of the two forse, these two forces, the higher and the lower forces. Allah Subhanawatallah placed in the human being the ability to be a, a control, or a bridge between these two elements, so that they function harmoniously not in antagonous to one another, and that element is called the intellect. And so the Human being is called according to the Muslim scholars <Arabic>, The articulating animal. And this articulation is what distinguishes us from the rest of the animals kingdom, and puts us in the angelic realm. Because the angels, although they have the capacity to articulate, So Allah Subhanawatallah when he says, <Arabic>, The Merciful who has revealed the Quran, has taught the Quran, created the human being, then has given him the vehicle by which he can obtain the knowledge that is in the Quran. In other words he gave him the intellect, which will allow him to absorb the Quran. Because the Quran is an articulation, it’s Qalaamullah, it is the speech of Allah Subhanawatallah. So this human being has the ability to understand speech. And Allah Subhanawatallah has spoken to the human being. Now if you look at the nature, are nature, this lower nature, which is filled with what is called hawa, and this shawat. This is the passion and the shahwaat.
Shawaat is this thing that pulls us down, and hawa by its nature is a downward it’s a descent. <Arabic> By the Star when it descends, so hawa, is a movement down, it is a downward motion. And this is called <Darakaat> in the Quran. < Darakaat > is a downward motion. And the fire is towards the downward motion. This is metaphysics, we don’t, you can’t look at this quite literally, we’re in the metaphysical world. There’s a downward motion. This is why the Munafiq are in the lowest <Darak> of the fire.
Now Janaat is dharajat, and the dhuraj is a ladder, which takes effort to climb up. Now here Allah is indicating in the vocabulary of the Quran, that there is a dual tension. There is a dual nature here. One is an upward motion, which is the motion of the intellect, because the intellect is the highest point on the human being.
If you look at the organs, the intellect is the highest organ. The lowest organ is the Fard, because everything below the private parts, there are already examples of it above the private parts. In other words, muscle, and bone, and these things. So the lowest organ is the private parts.
Now look at these private part, it’s an amazing thing because we share it with the human being, the animals. Now the animal has the same organs, animals can, in fact they are better at it, if we think that somehow we are, that it’s uniquely human, the animals are better at that then the human. I mean, A Cock has 40 or 50 hens. You see. The human begin, this isn’t possible. The human being does not have a monopoly on that aspect of nature. You see other animals have it, and their better at it then human beings. And this is why there are people that take that as their deen. Because The Prophet Muhammad (S) said <Arabic>, the one addicted to fornication is like the worshipper of an idol.
So there are people that worship it. Now what has Allah done, just to remind us of the nature of that organ. He has put the <> on that organ. We are circumcised to be a reminder throughout our lives,that we have an oath with Allah Subhanawatallah we will not become slaves to that lower part of ourselves. We will not become slaves to that lower part of ourselves. If there is a section of it that is cutoff from the human being . To indicate there is a purification, an obedience, to the animal nature, the bestial nature of the human being. Now this shaitaan literally, this is one of his easiest inroads into the human being. One of his inroads, is to come through these shahwaat, these passions.
So this <Arabic> that is moving down, is literally obviated or blocked, by this intellect that is moving up. Now the intellect is given massive facilities. I mean if you look at the brain itself, it’s estimated that in the heuristic sciences, that there are more brain cells then there are stars in the universe. Allah has given this human brain, massive capacity. In most estimates, we use less than .1% of the brain. The total brain mass, less then .1%. There are people hydrosefatalic people, people with water on the brain, given less than 5% of the total neocortex, which is the new brain mass. Yet they graduate from universities with honors. You see, this is a fact of life. There are people that have less than 5% of our neocortex, the brain mass, and they do fine. You see, so the brain has massive potential. But that potential needs to be harnessed by the human being. But Allah Subhanawatallah has put within this brain. And this is what modern neuropsychological research is revealing, that the human brain has an extraordinary capacity at self deception. Now In many ways, the self deception is essential. The first great self- deception is that you will not die. This is the first great self deception, which is the human begin will not die. Now this state of believing you are immortal is important for the first phase of life. In other words, for the child to grow, for the child to experience the world, the child in a sense has to be fearless, intrepid.
If the child realizes, how dangerous it was, to get up in the morning and to walk around, it would stay in bed. But it doesn’t realize that, it believes in a self deluded sense that it is invulnerable. So what you will see with the child as it is coming into its body, it begins to become aware of its limitations, its bodily limitations. The child will touch fire and get burnt. And this is a lesson for the intellect. It is imprinted at the cellular level. The child will bruise itself and will fall…children at an early age will jump off anything, but then they learn quickly that no, there are limitations, So this is a movement from this deluded sense of the brain that doesn’t know limits into the state of understanding there are human limits. There are limits. Now this is the first, this is the perquisite to understanding the limits of Allah Just as there are physical limits to the human begin; There are also moral limits to the human being and if they are transgressed, then things will happen to them as if those physical limits are transgressed, things will happen to them. This is the nature of the world we’re living in, it is a world of limitations. Now one of the things you will note is the motif of the age we’re living in, You see, they’ll put a person on top of mount Everest, they’ll have a Nike Commercial, “Just Do it”. In other words, just go beyond the limits , in fact that’s an ad campaign, just break the limits. And there’s an ad campaign for one of these commercials. So this is the idea of, break those boundaries, go on do it. And this is exactly what the shaitaan wants you to do, he wants to fool you in to breaking your limitations, as well as your morale and spiritual limitations and this is part of his game, to bring us down, Shaitaan is down. And the amazing thing about it is, what shaitaan complained about, he said <Arabic >, you created me from fire, which is high, it’s a rising element, and you created him from mud and water which is low, it’s a lowering element. This is in the outward level. The inward level is the secret that things lie within opposites
That by the fact the human is low and humbled, It is raised up high and exalted by Allah Subhanawatallah <Arabic>, the one who is humiliated and debased for Allah’s sake, Allah will raises him up. And the one who <Arabic>, And the one who becomes arrogant and high and exalted, Allah will abase him on the Earth < Arabic>, the one who becomes a tyrant or an oppressor, Allah will destroy him, will abase him and this is the nature, this is the Sunnah in his creation. Because Allah has Sunnah, which are spiritual and moral just as there are Sunnan, there are physical laws. And this is part of understanding what we are, as a human being, what is Bani Adam.
Now if we look into , more into this human nature, the human being has these two, but then he has these two other things called <Arabic>, the two joys.
The first joy is the joy of this world, Allah Subhanawatallah says <Arabic>, remember my naimah that I have given you. And there is a sadaah, in this world, a type of joy in living in this world with the blessings of Allah has bestowed upon human beings. And the one who is in a reflective mode, will recognize that no matter how difficult his life becomes, he is in Naam.
See Allah says, <Arabic> If you will begin to count the blessings of Allah, you will never reach its end. They are unlimited. Ibn Abbas RA said “Any tribulation you are in, it could be worse, and that in itself is a naamah. That you should make gratitude to Allah for. If you look at our Bosnian brothers and sisters, That was a great tribulation that came upon our brothers and sisters. But Allah Subhanawatallah brought many of them back to the deen through that tribulation. They came back to the deen. They had to learn the prayer. You see, they had to learn the prayer. They haven’t been praying for a long long time. And they have to learn the prayer. Now it was a majestic and powerful way of learning the prayer, but they learned the prayer. They went back to the prayer. And this is the nature of Allah’s majesty. Because we are either witnessing the Beauty of Allah or The Majesty, and both of them <Arabic>, these are both namaat’s, Allah’s majesty and Allah’s beauty. He is <Arabic>, So the human being, is the one who enters into the witnessing of Majesty and Beauty of Allah. Either Al-Qadir or Al-Batiin, and for the mumin he’s the one that sees Allah in both states.
The Kaafir and the Munafiq,
only sees Allah in the state of beauty.
They don’t see Allah in the state of majesty. And this is why, if Allah gives us things,
they say, <Arabic> “Allah loves me, God Loves me”, you see. We’re #1. Some people think that, God Bless
This is Shaytan, these are his whisperings into the hearts of human beings. If you don’t get him he’s gonna get yet. And this is what the modern corporate mentality is, it’s a dog eat dog world. You see, and the Dog, this is what Sayeedna Isa in a Muslim tradition said, <Arabic>, The world is like a dead carcass, and its people are like dogs around it. There was an advertisement that I saw in a magazine, and it was an advertisement on how to be a more ruthless business man. And it had a bunch of wolves.
That was the advertisement. I’m not making this stuff up. It had a bunch of wolves, and it said, “Learn how to work in a pack”.
You see, In other words, in a corporate team, you can eat more people. And Then it said, “Good for lone wolves Too”. You see, so they’re already telling you what they think of you. You’re a predatory animal, You’re a predatory animal. Now Allah Subhanawatallah gives a different picture of a human being.
Side 2 of 2
“I know what you don’t know.” What is the thing that Allah knows that the Angels didn’t know? That the human being has a Rua, that he is a Baatani creature as well as a Zhari.
That he’s not simply body. That he’s not simply hawa and shahwaat. That he’s not simply a <passive> Bestial nature that calls for him to sow corruption in the Earth. He’s not simply a Nafs al Amara, he’s a Nafs al Lawama. This is the next state.
Now Nafs al Amara is the movement
into a cognitive faculty that recognizes right from wrong. Abd this is part of
the socialization that is needed from the parents and the society to teach the
child. And you’ll find that societies
are 4 in nature. 4 in
Nature. There are societies in
which the parent and the society are condusive to the
natural fitra of the child. And this is the ideal society for the
child. And this is what we call Medina Munawara any model that follows after it. Like the great Islam and Shaykh Usman Dan Fodio in
When they were just and rightly guided leaders, The Prophet said Allah Subhanawatallah his sultan in the Earth is <Arabic> That the just ruler is the King of Allah. In which this human creation is safe from the sum of oppression, from the heat of oppression.
This is why, when one goes out on the authority of the Sultan, has left the <Arabic> of Islam. He’s outside of Islam. He’s become a Qariji. He is someone who has rebelled against the authority of Allah Subhanawatallah and his messenger. So if you look then at this Allah Subhanawatallah this <Arabic> this mechanism that Allah Subhanawatallah placed in the human being. It is the recognition of right and wrong. But Allah Subhanawatallah says that there are some <Arabic>, They mix good actions with wrong actions. <Arabic>, But Allah will forgive them, will give Taubah to them if they make Taubah to Allah Subhanawatallah.
So there are those that are in this middle state. And Allah Subhanawatallah says about the people who were given the book, <Arabic> There are those who are oppressive to themselves, <Arabic>, And there are those who are in the middle, <Arabic>, And there are those who are outstrippers in good. By the permission of Allah.
Ibn Abd Dharr, the great Hafiz of Maghrib said, Allah began with the <Arabic>, those that oppress themselves in order for them not to despair, <Arabic> do not despair of the Mercy of their lord. Then he took the middle people, the Muktasib, because these people are a bridge, in other words, from <Arabic> you have to move to the Muktasib. Then he ended with <Arabic> By the permission of Allah, and this is called <Arabic> to witness the <Arabic> to witness the gift of Allah, the Tawfeeq, that Allah has given you success in the worship of Allah, so you don’t become deluded so that you don’t become arrogant, and don’t become self righteous, and don’t become filled with pride and puffed up.
Because this is what you will enter in this direction, he sees that he can’t take you out of your obedience he will enter in with pride. And Allah Subhanawatallah does not allow the heart with Kibr into his Jannah.
Because Jannah is for those that are low and humbled in the Earth. <Arabic>, Those servants of the Merciful, because Rahmat is a humbling quality. To have mercy on people is a humbling. Because it’s not mercy to forgive somebody who has no ability to punish them. That’s just the status quo, Right, that’s just status quo. <Arabic> in the Arabic language means you have the ability to punish them yet you forgive them. That is the mercy that humbles you. That’s the quality that lowers you, that makes you humble. And That’s the quality that enters you into Jannat. <Arabic>, Have mercy on the Earth, and the one in the heavens will have mercy on you.
Allah Subhanawatallah, He will have mercy on those that show mercy. Show no mercy and Allah shows no mercy. <Arabic> Because Allah gives rewards in accordance to their actions. <Arabic> The reward is in accordance to the action itself.
So this Nafs al Lawma that Allah swears by. Allah does not swear by the Nafs al Amara. You see Allah does not swear by the first Nafs. He swears by the second Nafs; Because it’s a great Nafs. Don’t think it’s not great. Because Allah swears by great things. And many Muslims live and die in the state of Luwama. They don’t enter into the third state which is Mutmaina, and these are called <Arabic>, The People of the right. The people of Lawma, which blaming, who’s conscious, whose faculties withinin their own heart enabled them to overcome their own evil, so that their good is greater than their evil. Their intentions are good and stronger then their intentions that are evil. But this dynamic tension exists within the human heart and Bani Adam has to rise up, to the level of overcoming the pole for the lower self.
Arabic> You will not get out of this Heavens and Earth without this Sultan. From Allah, with power and authority from Allah, and it is Allah who gave us the Ism, to worship him. <Arabic> Remind people, give them Ism to make pilgrimage to the House. And this is the Adamic journey, to the Kabba, the Lord of the House.
This is where we are going. <Arabic> And to your Lord is your end, to your Lord is the Goal. So this is the Goal of Bani Adam.
Now the Lawma state which Allah swears by, <Arabic> Allah swears by the Nafs al-Lawma, the movement out of this state into Nafs Al-Mutmaina, is the highest movement of the human soul. Because this is entering into a state of Absolute submission. Prior to this Nafs al-Luwama, the human being, as long as there in Nafs al Amara, their in rebellion.
Their in rebellion to Allah. If their in Nafs al-Luwama, they move from rebellion to obedience. They move from rebellion to obedience. But Nafs al Mutmaina, is when the heart has becomes tranquil.
Now, how do we do this. Allah says <Arabic>, Isn’t it by the dhikr of Allah, that the heart becomes tranquil. Allah says about the Munafiqeen, <Arabic> They only make mention of Allah a little bit. Allah says <Arabic>, You have in the messenger the best example; For who? The one who desires Allah Subhanawatallah. And he desires the last day. They’re looking forward to meeting their Lord, <Arabic> - The one that loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him. <Arabic> And he makes remembrance of Allah much. That if you make remembrance of Allah much, then Allah will give you the ability to smash the hold by which shaitaan has over you. <Arabic> You become free to creation, so you are free. And this is one of the secrets of the Arabic language, where Muollah, the freed slave, the master and the slave. The slaves and the slave. Allah is our Muollah, and we are also the Muollah. And this is one of the secrets of Aobodia to Allah, For Bani Adam is that you become free from this creation. That you are no longer a slave to creation. <Arabic>, How wretched is the slave to his clothes, and wealth all all these outward trappings of the world. This is the trap, <Arabic>, This is the snare of Shaitan, to delude you into thinking that the world is permanent. To delude you into thinking that you are not meant for the other world.
We are Okrawi people, we are not Doonyiwi people. Like Sulnaiman Nang says, the The Dunyists, The Dunyists, the worldy people. We are not those people, we are the people that were created for akhira, this is the sadaattain <Arabic> , And as for those that have true happiness, it is in Jannah.
<Arabic>, If you went you are completely exhausted, then to your look,
This is the Nafs al-Amara you see, the child, the Nafs al-Amara.
The Prophet SAWS Said,…now, one of the amazing thing about the human being, is that the human being is in a deep sleep. Now this is also, there is an element of Rahmat from Allah (SW), But there is also a dangerous element, And Allah says, <Arabic>, From his signs, from the signs of Allah SW, you will sleep by day, by night and by day. One of the interesting thing about the Arabic language is that you have something called <Apt>, which is a conjunction particle. And what the conjunction does, is that the Arabs like to repeat certain prepositions when they are talking about the same thing.
So for instance in that ayah, <Arabic>, and then he doesn’t say, <Arabic>, because that would indicate, this would indicate two types of sleep. But this only one type of sleep. From his signs we are asleep during the day and the night. It’s the same type of sleep, it’s a continuous sleep. And Like Hazrat Ali said, <Arabic>, “People are asleep, and when they die, they wake up.”
Now the one that believes this state, the infantile state of believing that they are immortal, which is the dream state. And if you look at the word in Arabic for intellect , and from the word Haleem, it means to dream. The most powerful aspect of the intellect is the word “Qial”, which is the imagination.
And Qial is from <Arabic> or <Arabic>, And the arrogance and pride of the son of the Adam, is that they will not die and be raised up and be questioned by Allah, that they will not die and be raised up and be questioned by Allah SW.
They enter into the state of adulthood, which is the age of Takleef, which is called <Arabic>. Which is where you enter into puberty. The <Arabic> is once you internalize that first form of the verb, which is to, in other words you become aware the dreamlike state of the world.
In no way am I like the Hindu’s this is Maya, an illusion. We’re not Hindu’s, we don’t believe the world is an illusion. The world is very real. But its contingently real, it’s not absolutely real. Allah is the absolutely real. This world is contingently real, its only real as long as Allah sustains it. When Allah SWdecides to annihilate it, <Arabic> Everything is in annihilation, except Allah SW. It’s going to be destroyed, <Arabic>, everything is in annihilation and what remains is your Lord, the possessor of Beauty and Majesty. The possessor of Jalal and Ikram.
And so the human being has to wake up. And this is the pact. Now – how do we wake up? It’s a part of how we be human. And since I only have about 1 minute left. I put this forward this …for all of us to think about, that and I’ll end it from these words from Allah, <Arabic> the human being is created in a state of anxiety. See the child is a antsy creature. Look about the infant, they’re anxious, they’re anxious about the food. Because they don’t have a belief it’s going to come again, they don’t. And that’s why they scream. They literally pout and give-up. Because they haven’t learned to trust the caregiver. But as they move into trust, they don’t cry for their food anymore, they just tell their mother, I’m hungry.
But initially they <cry>, and the mother has to go; Why? Because its frightened. It’s still hungry, and it doesn’t know if there’s going to be food. This is the infantile Nafs, and this is the Nafs of the vast majority of human beings. They’re screaming because they don’t know if their provision will come to them.
So human beings are created in anxiety, and Allah SW says, <Arabic> When evil inflicts them, when Majesty afflicts him, <Arabic> he goes into despair, but not the muhwahid. This is the state of the infantile Nafs, they go into despair, they think it’s the end of the world, <Arabic>, and when good touches them, When good comes to them, they become withholding, why? Because they’re anxious, they’re <Arabic> they don’t think, I have to hold on to it. If I let go, then I’m going to lose it all.
Now, this is called the <Arabic> in the grammar, this is a group, this is a group. <Arabic>, except except men, except those that pray. Except those that pray.
Now part of our problem as Bani Adam, Allah SW says, <Arabic>, those that are forgetful about their prayer, they’re people of prayer, but they forget about their prayer. <Arabic>, when they get up to pray, they pray lazy. They pray lazy, and the Prophet sought refuge from laziness.
<Arabic>, I seek refuge in Allah from incapacitation and laziness. Incapacitation is when you want to do something, when you want to do something, but don’t have the strength to do it. Laziness is when you have the strength to do it, but you don’t want to do it, <Arabic>.
And Allah says about these people <Arabic>, when they get up to pray, they get up lazy, they don’t really want to pray, Abi Abu al-Hatim of Taif said, I never heard the azaan, except that I was yearning for prayer. I never heard the Azaan, except that I was yearning for prayer. The way to our humanity, if we want to leave our infantile state of anxiety, and enter a state of peace, the way is prayer. And this is why Prayer is <Arabic>, It’s the Pillar of the deen. As an ummah, we have to go back to establishing prayer, we have to get up for Fajr. You see, the Muslims have to get up for Fajr, this is called mind over mattress. You see, you have to get up for Fajr. And I’ll give you a good mechanism for not missing your Fajr.
The first thing you do, is recognize that shaitaan takes Bani Adam as a toilet bowl. And the toilet bowl is your ear, it even looks like a toilet bowl from one point of view. Now shaitaan, the person who doesn’t wake up for Fajr, shaitaan urinates in his ear. That’s what he does, <Arabic>, Don’t laugh, <Arabic>, don’t laugh.
How many times in here, and you ask yourself, how many times has shaitaan taken you as a toilet. How many times in your life, so far. Because the Prophet only missed the prayer, Fajr, twice, for <Arabic>, to show his ummah, <Arabic>, this is from our usool.
Sometimes our Prophet would do something, just to explain it to the people. You see, And it’s actually <Arabic> for him, its drawing near to Allah. So how many times has the Shaitaan taken your ear as a toilet bowl.
Now the next thing to remember, on the Isra and Miraj, the Prophet (S) saw a group of people who had their heads smashed up against a rock, and then skulls would be brought together, and then they would smashed again by Shayateen. And he said, Ya Jibril, who are these? <Arabic>, Those are the people who didn’t really care about getting up for Fajr.
So we have to become people of Fajr. And that’s the first victory against shaitaan for the day. If you haven’t won that victory, then you’ve lost the battle already. Forget about the rest of the day. Because the Prophet said you’ll wake up lazy, <Arabic>, And foul in your nature. So forget the rest of the day. If you lose that first battle, shaytaan’s got you, forget the rest of the day, that doesn’t mean you know…no, make Taubah, Inshallah, Allah accepts your Taubah, and we have to establish our prayers on time, and become Jamaat. Because the prayer in Jamaat is important, we want to learn Humanity, Ins, Ons, Insan is from Ins, and Ons is with Allah, and our Oons with Allah, our Intimacy with Allah, is in prayer. It’s called <Arabic>. Intimate discourse with Allah. And our prayers should be together with other insaan, <Arabic>, with other Bani Adam, with other nas.
And finally, Allah says, <Arabic> Say I seek refuge in the Lord of Nas, of humankind. <Arabic>, The King <Arabic>, If you want to enter into a state of humanity, you have to reject your shaitaan, you have to reject your Shaytan, and the way to reject your shaitaan, is to seek refuge in <Arabic>, and <Arabic>, is beyond any attribute, <Arabic>, Asalamualaikum.