Ep. 76 - Friday Night Live with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Transcript Details

Event Name: Ep. 76 - Friday Night Live with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 4/25/2022
Transcript Version: 1

Transcript Text

come everyone to friday night live it's the 76th episode we are honored
tonight we have special guests that will be joining us will be my co-host and we've been eagerly waiting for our
teacher mentor scholar of our country of alhamdulillah the ummah um he'll be joining us tonight hamza yusuf the
co-founder of zaituna and the president of zaitunga hafiz protect him prolong his life and
it gave him so much more time in his space to contribute to the society from
his writings from his speeches from his work from his presence and honestly we as an american society we
have not valued our scholars especially the elders of our community um so we're
so fortunate i i typically i'm never nervous speaking in front of or being with another scholar because now it but
he's like an elder to us and and i've already apologized to him before we even start if i say anything disrespectful
and i want to apologize to the audience that's going to be watching insha allah give us the ability to value our uh
um joining us before we start i'm going to have half of one of our
students who is finishing his island program in chicago and inshallah he'll be joining us for a beautiful recitation and then we'll have
a beautiful panel a reminder discussion with our great scholar
hamdulillah good to see you at least we're seeing you on camera go ahead we're not going to hold you back
good to see you all too oh don't be lying in a shank
foreign [Music]
and [Music]
[Music] home
[Music] foreign
[Music] a
[Music] is
a [Music]
[Music] thank you for the beautiful recitation this part and every time you recite this beautiful
part of the quran it really melts our heart and we we miss you so much here michigan inshallah you are doing well in
your studies and everything you're doing
i'm going to invite on and welcome
how are you doing i'm not sure who's excited the audience or me that's that's the only problem
right now i think it's unfair both of us are very excited we're here to learn from shaykhamsa and
we we we read his work we listen to his uh teachings and uh america overall is
very lucky to have a scholar to speak in the language that they can understand and the west is very lucky we're
fortunate we ask allah to give us the ability to value our time in the company virtual company of scholars so
please welcome shahamsa for us i think you know um without saying that
yusuf does not need an introduction um but for the sake of
the session yusuf is all of our teacher he's have he's had a direct and indirect
hand in mifta in the work that's happening here in michigan and majority institutions all across north america
and he obviously is the president of jay tuna co-founder uh it's it's his brainchild
and uh i don't want to take too much time because he's waiting there uh and i'm gonna bring
[Music] and you can't and we can't hide our excitement for you being on our program
tonight i mean i mean all of us and uh allah
keep you young and healthy and in the books that you've done in the books that you're writing the articles that you put published and continue to publish allah
bless your fingers bless your heart and bless the eyes and the ears that listen and read your work
um i don't know how many programs you come on for other institutions the last year
um i know you came on for imran khan recently a few months back but between this and
and now have you been on any other virtual programs because you're very busy yeah i i have and i don't do a lot of um
i don't do that much online uh anymore it's an honor to be to be the
fact that it took out time for us no no you know look my
everybody has areas of concern
and it's it's part of what makes the world uh extraordinary
is that people um sorry let me turn this off that people
uh you know in this you know allah says that
humanity all of their endeavors are diverse and and that's part of the sunnah of
allah because you need all these different people to be engaged in different things but
arguably the most important of all things is education and so i will always
when educational institutions contact me even from outside of our faith
i'm very concerned about education because with education there's a possibility of
transformation and without it there's an inevitability
of really objective of just uh the opposite
of of what uh allah intended for us in in in creating
us because we were intended to know him you know
he said you know to know him and marika comes
with education both outward and inward education
and and and so what you're doing is extremely important it's a very difficult endeavor it's
it's a mysterious uh component of our
of our species because there's so many different views about education about what it is about what its purpose is
about what what the best ways to go about it there's a lot of different educational theories
and so it can be very confusing but what we do know is that
our species have has produced extraordinary works and these are the great works that
are our are our different civilizations have produced so if you look at the asian
civilizations they have extraordinary works and and i have a lot of
uh books from that civilization i benefited from right now i've been rereading uh
musashi miyamoto's uh the book of five rings which is an amazing book on on
martial arts but it's very applicable to the world in general and
just to cut you up i hope you don't start fighting into martial arts because we don't want to keep you on the safe side
oh i'm sorry well sorry to cut you off so so uh
and then and then you have um the extraordinary indic culture that produced so many
wonders mathematics really comes from uh from that part of the world and it moved
into the arab world and then and then uh our our uh ancestors the muslim
ancestors gave it to the europeans and then they created the atomic bomb so you know uh we we in some ways we we
have our own civilizations to to blame for that because there were a lot of scholars that said don't teach them math
i mean we actually had the ulama said the christians come down to learn from us we shouldn't teach them you know
because they they're not going to use it for good things what what what was that in in in um in
greece that was something similar to philosophy like take this knowledge and it's whoever took this knowledge it
destroyed them what's the background of that knowledge sometimes well philosophy you know the original meaning of it is a
very beautiful meaning because it's philosophia in greek it's philo is
love and sophia is wisdom some even say sophia comes from from that greek word
and that's one opinion but but it's a love of wisdom and it came from pythagoras who who did not
want to be called a sophist which meant wise person
you know sophomore in uh in in our school system
comes from two greek words morose which is stupid and then sophia which is wise so a
sophomore is like a wise fool because they're no longer a freshman and they think they know a lot more than
they do and and so there was an understanding that a little bit of learning is a
dangerous thing so so pythagoras did not want to be called wise but he he's so he said but
i'm a lover of wisdom so he was the first one to use that term of filos
philosophy you know the the lover of wisdom in arabic it was termed you know
they they called it hakeem which is a beautiful word because
as you know i know you you've all studied um but in in in arabic that that beautiful
pattern is a active and a passive so it's a it's a recipient of wisdom as
well as being uh a giver of wisdom like
so so you know philosophy is is a very important uh aspect of
education and and unfortunately one of the problems with the muslims is they associate philosophy with one school
which is called the parapet parapathetic school imam ghazali and is to have philosopher was only talking about one
school wow he was talking about as a school that had some major problems in it because
they came to conclusions through rational thought that were completely antithetical to our
teaching like the eternity of the world um the that there's no resurrection of
the bodies uh that god doesn't know the particulars so these things he he identified 20 problems in peripatetic
philosophy was which was the greek philosophy of aristotle
and and so but the but the methodology of the philosophers
what was recognized to be very useful and that's why imam zali incorporated it into us
i mean he is the first one to really bring the methodology of philosophy into us
and that's why as you know there's a branch of osulli tradition that's called the usolab
you know that the people that it's it's it's the people that are using scholastic tradition
logic i mean as you know the mustafa the first 40 pages
is on logic and i'll tell you something very interesting about about saudi arabia so in saudi arabia you know there
was some of the ulama because of the early positions and because you'll read there's a lot of early positions in our
tradition that are opposed to kalam so they say whoever learns kalam becomes a heretic and so people think that that's
the calam of the later tradition but it wasn't they were talking about
the martezi knight school which was heavily influenced by peripatetic philosophy
and so later they they recognize look there's tools that we can use here and so they
incorporated those tools so these aspects of our tradition which a lot of people unfortunately because they don't
know the tradition well enough um they they and then you have people that
cherry pick they'll give you they'll write a book against kalam and they'll have all these
scholars who are very notable scholars in our tradition that we revere who are telling you beware of kalam anybody who
learns kalam goes astray this and that that was all true at the time they were saying it but as time passed these tools
were incorporated into the tradition and so the later scholars recognized the benefit of these tools so these this is
really important to to understand because a lot of uh people don't understand that i mean one of the
biggest problems that we have today we have an ossified tradition and and and it's it's it's a problem
that the tradition always needs to eat it needs but it doesn't need it
if it doesn't need like innovation you know it doesn't need
it needs renovation not innovation so the innovators
bring things into it that uh will alter it and just um i think just
just froze for a second uh i know i can hear shahamsa perfect what do you mean sorry go ahead so so so
um philosophy is very important the method
and this way even hadoon who did not like the philosophers if you read them he didn't like the philosophy but he
said their methodology is the soundest of research methodologies
and he was very steeped in it because the the scholastic tradition adopted it
as a methodology so also becomes influenced by it um the uh the
it's just unbelievable because of that angle approach that he has it's just
is a great example of somebody who who really just
went so deeply into that methodology that he was able to find things in the in the quran that
nobody before had found sure you mentioned something earlier about uh education inwardly and
outwardly right and the the the need of rectification and um for for us i mean the the title of the
of the program is the power of education and how would we as students of knowledge and as all the attendees and
listeners understand the inward education aspect and how that also is as
important if not more important and then the outward aspect of it and perhaps you can shed some light on that as well well
our tradition bismillah our tradition always saw
that hand in hand with fatim and they might not have used this
that term i mean it was used very early on but this idea of like tarpin
together is is probably a later iteration but but the idea they understood
that and this is why they called the the teacher was murabi so they understood that a teacher is not
just simply giving data or information a teacher is somebody who is literally
nurturing a seedling which is the potentiality in the student
now the student that there's something very natural in in in education
so that if a student is in the right soil given the right nourishment
knowledge will naturally grow in them because we all have the potential to know that it's part of our nature it's
part of our fitrah and the children are constantly asking
questions when they're little but that spirit of inquiry is very often driven out of them by drill drill you know
drill and kill by certain uh pedagogical approaches that become
very deadening to the soul and that's why it's very important
for the the teachers to to understand the nature of children that children
are at different stages this kind of cookie-cutter approach to education is very dangerous because
some students are are ready for mathematics at a very early age other students are not
and and and and if the teacher doesn't recognize that then what happens is a student will
actually think they're dumb or they can't understand it and then they there's a lot like just mathematics
there's a really good example of that because there's a lot of children that get math
phobia because math is introduced too early for them and this is why in traditional education
generally math was not introduced until a child was about 10 or 11 years old
the only thing they did with math was rote memorization but they did no abstract mathematics because
the the mind is generally not ready for it and so like in mauritania i'll just give
an example in muritania they don't do any math to in the traditional madrasa
and it's it's tragic because math is so important and and
the same you know allah gave us the heavens
one of the reasons for it is so that we could determine time and learn mathematics
and so math is extremely important and and your your your mind is divided
between qualitative uh aspect and quantitative so we're in the world which
is all quantitative but our perception of the world is qualitative so we we recognize beauty
you cannot quantify beauty beauty is experienced it's a qualitative experience you can't quantify it you
can't determine how much beauty there is in in in a great work of art or or or on
the human face or or or in a persian carpet but you can experience it it's
qualitative but you can measure that carpet that persian carpet could be measured you can determine how much red
dye was used in it you can that's all quality quantitative and so human beings have both elements
and a fully educated human being is somebody who's qualitative and quantitative aspects
have been realized their the potentialities that in here within the soul have been realized and so
it's very important for this the teacher to understand
because a student can the light bulb goes off and you can see it in their faces uh when the light bulb
goes off it's you can see that light uh just and it's quite stunning and
that's why it's wonderful to teach uh like third and fourth graders because
the intellect is just beginning to to to come into its maturation
and and and they're able to uh to discover things and and and have that
wonderful experience of learning something for the first time it's it's quite stunning to see that but if things
are introduced too early then the child shuts down and actually thinks that it's stupid
um brilliant people i mean i'll just give an example of
you know it's it's famously noted that they they literally thought that
albert einstein was that because he was such a slow learner
wow and and i'll give you an example my own son who
when he was about i think six years old he was in a
homeschooling uh but it was part of the uh
the school we were schooling him in home but but they had a person from the the
the state system who came and assessed uh is california so um and i and so they
called me into a meeting with with my wife and we went and they said your son has a learning disability
and i i was like no he doesn't and and of course they rolled their eyes
at that point you know i'm the parent in denial and they said no no he's we've assessed
him and he's not where he should be and i and i said first of all i'm a teacher and i can tell you that that son
of mine is of my five sons he's the smartest subhanallah
and i said it's not that he has a learning ability it's that he's he's he's a head of he's already
thinking about things that are beyond what you're trying to t you know what you think he should be
knowing now wow i said those things will click for him because i know from the questions he asks me that he's he's
thinking at another level and they just literally thought i was
crazy wow so that that child
i would not let them put him into a special and and by the way they get money for every child they identify as a
special needs child so there's an incentive in these school districts to identify children with learning
disabilities but if you tell a child he has a learning disability you're going to harm him psychologically
and i did not want that to happen to my son so i i totally refused so that
boy in in a high school class of 300 graduated with a 4.0
straight a at a really competitive high school all asian and south asian
people he he got into university of chicago he did a degree in the in classics
studied latin and greek and and graduated with with
you know a stellar gpa from a top american university
but had i listened to them he might have ended up thinking he was really stupid
unbelievable and so it's just it's important that people develop