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 America. Because they have a lot of bounties. Well, Allah says, <Arabic> We will take them by degrees. What does that mean to be taken by degrees? It means Allah will give people great gifts, and they won’t give gratitude to Allah and he will increase them in their gifts, and they will become deluded, they will enter a self-deluded state, thinking that the increase in their blessings is in fact a sign that Allah loves them. And all they are seeing is the beauty of Allah Subhanawatallah , and hidden behind it, is the majesty of Allah Subhanawatallah, <Arabic> “He’s the first and the last, & he’s the outwardly manifest, and he’s the inwardly hidden.” So don’t be deluded by the dual attributes that Allah Subhanawatallah possesses. These attributes, when seen on the outward seem opposites, in fact they are one, and so we witness Allah because we are Muhadoon, we say <Arabic> , and we see the oneness in Allah his majesty and his beauty. So the human being, this extraordinary creature. If you look, in the world right now, Allah SW says, <Arabic> “From his signs he created you from dust”, <Arabic>, “And look your human beings” <Arabic> “Look anywhere, spread out on Earth”
Now there are two types, because Allah Subhanawatallah has two types, the Angelic contention that we will spread corruption on the Earth. But Allah SW says <Arabic> so from amongst these creatures there are 3, natures.
From amongst the creatures there are 3 natures. The first nature is called <Nafs al-Lawama> The Bani Adam has 3 natures. The first nature is called < Nafs al-Amara> <Arabic> My nafs commands to evil. This is the first nature of the human being.
Now if you watch the child after its beautiful state of fitra. Which is the first year of life you’ll see absolute submission. Absolute and noble submission. But as the child begins to enter into the egocentric stage, the state of the Nafs al-Amara, when all it sees is self. It becomes the little emperor. And the parents are the servants, they become the slave of the infant. When it enters that stage, it only knows “Nafsi Nafsi”. And we have to teach it, “No there are other people in this world, beside you little boy or little girl”.
This is what the parent has to impart to the child, and it’s a difficult lesson, and many parents fail to learn it. Many people will spend their entire lives in that infantile, egocentric state, in which they will simply say “nafsi nafsi”. I’m all that exists, and the world is here to serve me. And this is a sickened diseased state for the adult. For the child, it’s a wonderful state of life, you see. We laugh at it, it’s not funny when they’re Thirty seven years old and they’re still playing the same game. But when they’re little children, it’s cute, it’s beautiful.&n