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Learning To Be Human

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Event Name: Learning To Be Human
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 4/27/2019 10:22:01 AM
Transcript Version: 2


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Part 1

[Music]

Ttonight for me is a big treat.  Dr. Omar Abdullah Faruk was always old for me.  I first met him when I was about 18 years old.  I was wet-behind-the-ears and we met in a garden in Granada in Spain and he was like the old man of the mountain and I realized that he was actually less than 30 years old at the time.  So he was not old, but he seemed old, because he is an old soul, he's a very wise man and arguably I think we could make a very strong case that he's probably the single most learned Muslim scholar that we have in the UnitedStates at least in my estimation.  I've been a student of his from the first time that I met him I've been honored to know him in 1970.  He was doing a PhD in English literature, Shakespeare and he read the Autobiography of Malcolm X and that led him to an interest in Islam he ended up actually going to the University of Chicago and doing a PhD in Islamic studies I've actually read his dissertation.  It's amazing that somebody could know that much at that time and he's recently done an extraordinary book on Iman Maddox meth have in Medina he's a very serious theologian he's a serious historian; he's also a polyglot knows many languages and so we're very honored to have him here at Zaytuna and behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.  No behind every great man, is truly a great woman and doctor Omar's wife is here tonight Hodja Samira.  Who I've also had the good fortune of knowing for many years so we're deeply honored to have them and without further ado dr. Omar is going to lecture us and then we'll break for a makarov and then have a conversation

[Applause]

salamualikum' very happy to be here in

such a blessed gathering in such a

blessed place and what I'd like to talk

about tonight but I do

bismillahirrahmanirrahim or subtle law

and I say you know I met early he was is

considering what it means to be human

and to be humane in the light of the

fitrah which is the natural condition of

the human being the primordial soul this

is of course a very big very central

Islamic teaching I actually wrote a book

about that which came out in Arabic I

wrote it from 1997 to the year 2000

called Emanuel Fatah that faith is a

matter of Fatah and it's been published

it's available through doubt alpha P

what I say tonight is very much taken

from that but the book goes into a lot

of details it studies many verses in the

Quran that pertain to the primordial

nature of human beings we'll look at

actually maybe two of those tonight and

then it looks at the mini hadith which

are very very many that deal with it at

all also it would be very difficult to

find any religious dispensation or any

community that has such a positive view

of human nature as Islam does and of

course we believe as Muslims that that

is the teaching of all prophets and all

messengers it may be clear in some

faiths and it may not be so clear and

others but it's certainly not something

that we originated or that is unique to

us but it's very clear in our tradition

and so we I'd like to talk about

and in that we'll talk about what we

should be what we should not be one of

the main verses about the futur in the

Quran is in surah number 30 which is

called a room the byzantines verse

number 30 and this verse says set your

face which means your entire being to

the religion as a seeker of truth

Hanif very difficult word to translate

and the Hanif is a person who inclines

towards truth and declines away from

falsehood

I put seeker of truth I couldn't think

of anything better some people don't

even translate it so set your face to

the religion as a seeker of truth in the

primordial nature from God which is a

translation of patata law which

literally means the fitrah of God but if

we say that English we don't understand

what it means the translation here says

the primordial nature from God upon

which he originated humankind there is

no substituting anything else for what

God has created that is the upright

religion but most of humankind do not

know do this

turning unto him and reverence him and

perform the prayer and do not be among

the idolaters among those who have

divided their religion and become

factions each party rejoicing in what it

has so this is a very important verse we

can talk about it in great detail but we

won't do that tonight one of the things

we see here is that primordial nature is

there in every single human being there

are no exceptions and when we look at

some of the hadith that we'll talk about

tonight that's made explicitly clear

there are no exceptions to this rule all

human beings have this same good basic

primordial nature and then also the

verse says that

this primordial nature is fit rotolo now

the word fitrah in arabic means the way

something is created the way it's

creation is originated and everything

that exists has a fitrah cats have one

fish have one trees have one and they're

all perfectly made by God but none of

them are called fit Rotolo none of them

are called the fitrah

that is associated directly with God and

this is a genitive construction but if

we said the fitter of God as I said most

people would under miss understand it

but what it means is that this is a very

praiseworthy fit law and in fact it is

the best of all that human beings are

given the very best of natures and that

nature of theirs takes in everything

about them it takes in the way they

stand erect Li the way we walk on two

feet the way we eat the use of our thumb

it takes in also the perceptions that we

have the knowledge that we have and in

the Islamic conception of the head of

the Fatah every human being is endowed

with an infinite gift of the knowledge

of God the need and the desire to

worship God we're a race of worshipers

as Milton says that we either you've got

to serve somebody it might be the devil

and it might be the lure but you've got

to serve somebody so either we have

religions or we have secular

alternatives to them but so this

indicates that the filter of the human

being is distinctive and it and it's

very very rich in the Islamic conception

of it in my book I go into that looking

at a number of different sources of it

and also it says you know this is the

fitrah of God or from God the one that

is so great he associates it directly

with himself just like we talk about the

how

of God or the religion of God and also

that human beings are created on this

fitrah literally in arabic ila and again

the use of the prepositions in the Koran

is very subtle but what that means is

that this fitrah is 100% of us it's not

like 30 percent in some 40 and others

every human being has this fit to

permeate themselves no matter if they

turn out to be the worst of human beings

or the best there are no differences and

again it cannot be I put here

substituted for tibi deal it has no tip

deal some translators say it can't be

altered that's a problematic translation

because it can be altered it can be lost

just like this human hand that we have

is one of those organs in your body that

has more nerves and more sensations than

almost anything else your lips are that

way to other parts at the bottom of your

feet are like that but if I'm a laborer

working with my hands every day maybe I

don't feel anything anymore so the hands

still the hand it's not been substituted

for another hand but it doesn't have

that same sensation and although we do

alter our natures that always comes from

the outside so this is the Islamic

perspective it never comes from the

inside our scholars will even say that

if human beings were left alone just

with themselves with no negative out

influences they wouldn't need law or

anything they would be upright and they

would be correct and they would be sound

so we all have that and this indicates

of course that human beings are

perfectly created this is what we

believe God created human beings with

souls with bodies with souls with hearts

with intellects with spirit

that are free of anything contrary to

the truth that are free of any injustice

or any wrong there's nothing ugly about

us in ourselves and again as we said

then all deviation and everything that's

contrary to that it comes from the

outside let's look at another text this

is a hadith mm-hmm which is a statement

from the Prophet as the vast majority of

you know and this is one of the most

authentic of all hadith

Kalume eluding you led to an alpha trole

so this says every child is born on the

fitrah of course that's a general

statement but if we look at other

transmissions of the same hadith all of

these by the way are the most authentic

of traditions that we have Bukhari

Muslim so when I just read it in Bukhari

and Muslim and also in the what of Malik

and others but the agreed narration

between Bukhari and Muslim is there is

no child born mam in ma ludian ill

you'll eternal fatwa so there is no

child born but that it is born on the

Fatah so that's a beautiful hadith

because here if there were any doubts

about the universality of the statement

it's removed every single human being is

born with this Vitara another

transmission from Muslim which is one of

our most authentic compilations of

hadith says whoever is born is born on

this fitrah another one says every human

being is given birth by his mother on

the fatwa

concerning tele2 who you are el faro so

these are among the many proofs that

show that this is as we believe

absolutely universal in any time in any

place in any race in any civilization or

people that don't have civilization

another hadith which is again very

authentic is when the Prophet said that

God says I created my servants as her

niece as seekers of truth people who

incline towards the truth and they

disinclined away from falsehood so all

of them are created that way and then

another one in another transmission of

the same hadith the Prophet said peace

be upon him shall I not speak to you

about what God has God glorified in

majestic be he has spoken to me about in

the book or in the revelation that God

glorified in majestic be he created Adam

and his children as hanifa and as

Muslims Muslim here means people in

complete submission to God so it's not

the name of a dispensation it's the name

of a condition and then also because we

have these hadith we have others one of

our great commentators El Corte will be

from the city of Cordoba talking about

this hadith I just mentioned that God

says I created my servants as Hanif's

people inclining towards truth he says

thus if they die before attaining

maturity they will be in the garden that

is the standard opinion of Muslim

scholarship there are difference of

opinion about that but that is the

strong opinion thus if they die before

attaining maturity they will be in the

garden whether they are the children of

Muslims or of disbelievers and we have

the hadith that the Prophet in his night

journey was shown many amazing things

and in one of these the Prophet accounts

the different visions that he saw in the

night vision in the night journey and so

he said then we set forth again and we

came to a beautiful green garden

tima in which there was every beautiful

color of spring and there in the middle

of the garden was a tall man whose head

could hardly be seen because it was so

high in the sky and around the man there

were the most children that I've ever

seen and other transmissions it says the

most beautiful children that I've ever

seen I asked them the angelic visitors

who took him what is this man

what are those children they said to me

let us go let us go and so we went and

then at the end of this hadith which is

authentic this is in Bukhari at the end

of the hadith the Prophet is addressed

by the two angels and he speaks to them

and he said truly tonight I have seen

amazing things so what is it that I have

seen then they explained to him two

different things he saw and when they

come to this account of the tall man

they say that as for the tall man in the

garden it is Abraham peace be upon him

and as for the children around him they

are every child born that died on the

Fattah meaning they died before that's

been altered then some of the Muslim

said Messenger of God even the children

of idolaters and the Messenger of God

replied even the children of idolaters

let's look again at a few more texts and

then we'll conclude be easily to Allah

one of the most important texts that

pertain to the fedora is that of the

primordial covenant this is in the sewer

of the heights which is number 7 verses

172 to 173 and when your Lord took from

the children of Adam from their loins

their progeny and made them bear witness

concerning themselves

am I not mmm am I not your Lord they

said yes indeed we bear witness this was

done lest you should say on the day of

resurrection truly of this we were

heedless or lest you should say it is

only that our fathers ascribe partners

unto God beforehand and we were their

progeny after them will you destroy us

for that which the falsifiers have done

so this verse refers to what we call the

great primordial day it comes at the end

of the world that was before we believe

in five different stages of life a world

before this one this one then the

intermediate stage after death and the

resurrection then the garden and the

fire so this is a reference to the great

primordial day and this verse is the

cornerstone of Islamic sacred history

and anthropology it establishes that the

fundamental relationship between God and

all human beings is premised upon a

single unmediated recognition of his

lordship at the moment or the last

moment we could say of their pre

existence in the first world so this

great primordial day is the foundation

of God's purpose in creation this is a

day beyond days today not reckoned in

time even though it has a time and this

is the me theft as we call it the

Covenant and also it's called the Ayad

the pact this took place in our belief

according to hadith which are sound this

took place in man and not man is a dry

Valley that those of you who've made

pilgrimage have all been over that

separates the sanctuary of Mecca which

is huge from out of that where we go for

pilgrimage this is called where the

artifice

so this is actually called Nam and

that's where it took place and we have

many hadith about it which I talked

about my book so this pre earthly

agreement stamps the Fatah

on us because we believe that God

manifested himself to all of us and that

we all heard his uncreated eternal

speech and that has huge implications

because it means that we have his

knowledge stamped upon us again it makes

this covenant incredible but this

earthly agreement of this primordial

covenant between God and all human

beings then was unmediated all other

covenants were mediated by prophets and

universal every single human being it

was contracted directly between God and

every one of us from the first to the

last and again this may be regarded as

the basis of all later and specific

covenants all of which were mediated by

prophets the pauran speaks of covenants

at least 18 times you have the covenant

between God and the human beings then we

have covenants between the believers in

general we have the covenants with

Abraham with Ishmael with Abraham's

progeny covenants with the children of

Israel and covenants with the Christians

and the people people of the book as a

whole this is a very important topic and

a good thing to study the covenants so

this meeting then this stamps the Fatah

on us

and we see from this that all human

beings

no matter how degraded they might be

because of the oppression that they live

in or the deprivation every single human

being has the most illustrious beginning

of all and this is very important this

is an extremely important belief because

this has to affect the way that we look

upon each other and the way that we look

on human beings also God declares in the

Koran that most people don't keep their

covenants right so in surah number 7 the

heights 101 to 102 God says these are

the towns whose stories we have

recounted unto you their messengers

certainly brought them clear proofs but

they would not believe in what they had

denied earlier

thus does God set a seal upon the hearts

of the disbelievers we did not find most

of them faithful to their pact many

commentators if not most they say that

pact is the primordial covenant indeed

we found most of them to be deviant in

their unfaithfulness to God's pact it is

said that in fact that human beings have

no pact at all literally the verse says

we found no pact for most of them they

didn't have a pact they didn't keep it

and what this means they were not

faithful to the pact means that they did

not continue to recognize God's lordship

and his rightful claim to their

obedience and worship during the course

of their earthly lives although they

took that covenant and everything

necessary for it was stamped on their

natures even the desire to do it so the

verse implies that most human beings are

unfaithful to their natures and this

comes up over and over again they fail

to act we fail to act upon the intrinsic

knowledge

and the moral agency and

responsibilities that God has instilled

in us so the the Fatah then is something

that takes in the whole of our being we

talked about that it takes in everything

about us it's natural for us to stand

erect it's natural for us to walk on our

feet it's difficult for us not to do

that it's natural for us to eat in a

particular way it's difficult for us not

to know that but the fit role also

includes those things that pertain to

intellect that pertain to the heart and

everything it's a very comprehensive

knowledge and it is we believe a

manifestation of God's mercy to us

because we believe that human beings are

given a very important task which is

stewardship on this earth this world is

not our garden you know it's the garden

of the animals it's the garden of the

trees and of the water you know but to

keep that pact of stewardship is very

very difficult if we are good everything

becomes good if we are bad everything

that comes back but God gives us

everything we need for that in fact he

gives us much more than we need and much

more than we ever use also connected

with this is the idea that faith which

is ingrained in us by virtue of our

fitler our primordial self is something

that only needs to be brought out we

only have to be reminded so there are

basically two kinds of people then from

this point of view those who turn their

backs on the futur and forget that it's

there and forget what it is and those

who allow their thoughts to delve into

their futur to know themselves and to

remember the infinite treasures that are

stored up there

and God says in the Quran this is the

refrain that goes through the whole

Quran that perhaps they may remember and

he says in order that the people of

al-bab of true hearts a call to

remembrance and he says remember the

blessing of God upon you and the

Covenant that he made with you and this

theme of Vicar and Tessa Korah and

thethe key are in death care this goes

through the piranhas as you know so

again what are you remembering you're

remembering what you know and the

prophets and messengers who are given

their messages by God they come to bring

that out in us and to make us remember

who we are and what we have in us one of

the things that God says in the Quran is

that he created us with two hands with

his two hands God said to Satan I

beliefs what prevented you from

prostrating unto what I created with my

two hands he doesn't say that about

anything else God creates things with

his hand that's that's said with his

hands but here I created with my two

hands did you grow arrogant or are you

among the exalted he said Satan I am

better than him you created me from fire

while you created him from clay but here

God is saying to a Blees are you really

like you think are you really a creation

more exalted than this Adamic being that

I made with both my hands I didn't make

anything else like that and the verse

indicates that God undertook the

creation of Adam by himself

of course God creates everything but

that this was a unique and special

creation which all of us inherit

stink from everything else and

everything that God's hands have wrought

God singled out Adam then for creation

with God's two hands or by his two hands

to honor him to give him Kurama dignity

among all human beings and again to make

it possible for him to do what he's

created to do it been out of him he says

from the first existent thing down to

the last of existent things God did not

combine both hands in anything he

created except the human being that is

in the human beings earthly and bodily

and other configurations he created

everything by the divine command but

with one hand

God's two hands gave Adam a preeminence

to sheath over all creation all the

realities in the created world were

brought together in him which of course

makes him possibly the lowest of the low

but it also makes him the highest of the

high everything in creation has a

station angels have stations cats are

cats birds are birds but human beings

you have to find your station and you

can always go higher and higher and

higher there's no limit we can also go

lower and lower and lower there's no

bottom to the pit all the realities in

the created world were brought together

in us this was so that the human being

could be the Khalifa unga of God on

earth so you know good and you know evil

there's nothing that you don't know even

the demonic doesn't know more about evil

than you know but you weren't created to

be evil you were created to block evil

but you have to know it to do that the

world demands

you know the divine names and the divine

names were brought together with

in Adam all of them that is why Adam was

singled out for the knowledge of the

names of all of them as we believed and

also rabbinic belief emphasizes this as

much as we do maybe even in greater

detail a lot of rabbinic belief begins

with Adam pad moon with Adam in paradise

so Adam then is an independent world

everything else is part of that world

the world becomes complete with the

creation of adam adam is complete in

himself

and the world is like that - you are the

microcosm it is the macrocosm if you get

yourself right it gets itself right it

is incomplete without you you're

complete without you it is complete

without it but you are complete without

did I say they're right it is incomplete

without you and you're a complete

without it the two hands emphasize God's

power in Adams creation and that God

created Adam without an intermediary

there was no father there was no mother

it alludes also to the diverse

activities involved in Adams creation I

will pass him push ad one of our great

spiritual masters and teachers he says

about the creation of Adam by God's two

hands what God deposited in Adam is not

found in anyone or anything else so that

God's special favor and the special who

sucia the special status that he gives

to human beings become manifest in Adam

and in his children one of our great

scholars gen D we have great Persian

scholars he's one of them he says the

reality of beliefs of Satan contradicts

the reality of Adam and everything the

reality of Adam is the manifest form of

the unity of the all comprehend

if nests of everything brought together

by God in the engendered worlds so

that's Adam he brings everything

together and that's who we're supposed

to be also God brought his two hands

together in Adam

only because humaneness is a reality

requiring equilibrium ya t doll and

balance and the perfection of bringing

together both the the thickness of

things and the men eNOS of things is all

in that in contrast the reality of a

Blees is disequilibrium and unbalance a

Blees becomes defined by the particular

ego which we call in our tradition Elana

nieta Lucia the partial ego he is

delimited by seeking exaltation by

claiming eminence by manifestation of

the self as ego rising up against the

reality of truth and of the one and he's

veiled by that this reality requires a

fiery separation that rise up rises up

against other elements couldn't we one

of our great scholars he says the

interrelationship of God's two hands

brings all correlation and polarity and

the world into existence and all of

those correlations and polarities are of

course in us who can be the highest of

the high and the lowest of the low

it establishes the fundamental created

dualities such as the seen and the

unseen it sets up the fundamental human

perceptions such as declaring similarity

between God and creation or between

creation and God and incomparability

tanzy all movement all change all

process in the world or trace back to

this reality of the two hands let's

conclude

now so we believe in our tradition in

what some people have called

transcendent humanism and I always like

to mention this if I get a chance but

among the books that really everyone has

to have especially students as a tuna is

the rise of humanism by George Makdissi

this was a great Christian Arab scholar

a real scholar and he shows that the

rise of human human ISM in the West we

won't say that it's not indebted to the

Greeks and to the Hellenic tradition but

it's fundamentally indebted to us also

the rise of humanism in fact Pico della

Mirandola who is one of the great

ideologues of the Renaissance and he

writes a book on man which is called the

manifesto of the Renaissance but he says

in that he's speaking to Catholic

priests and he says Reverend father's

I'm not going to quote what he said

because I forgot

but basically what he's saying is that

he is the measure of all things which is

the Renaissance language as I learned

from Abdullah the Saracen which means

Abdullah the Arab and who is Abdullah

the Saracen probably Abdullah even poo

Tabor who is one of our humanists who

wrote about that many centuries before

Piko Piko know Arabic by the way and he

knew Hebrew and he knew many things but

the human being is either everything or

nothing and although we can speak

honestly about in between there is no

excluded middle but the reality is

really that we have to strive to be

everything and if we don't do that in

the end it's as if we were nothing and

some of us do in fact become nothing

Nadja but Ned Modine or Ozzie another

great Persian meta physician says in

kneading the clay of Adam

all the attributes of the satans and the

Predators and the beasts and the plants

and the minerals and the inanimate

objects were actualized in us however

the clay was singled out for the

attribution of by my two hands hence

each of these blameworthy attributes

became a shell and within each shell was

placed a pearl of a divine attribute

each of these things these potential

evils we have they're like a shell and

in each of them is a pearl

that's if we were we live as the human

beings were supposed to be and then he

goes on to say the human frame belongs

to the lowest of the low while the human

spirit belongs to the highest of the

high the wisdom of this is that human

beings have to carry the burden of the

trust and the pact the knowledge of God

and to be stewards in his earth hence

they have to possess the strength of

both worlds to a perfection they

possessed possessed this strength

through attributes not through form life

knowledge power will hearing seeing

speech and so forth since the human

spirit pertains to the highest of the

high nothing in the world of spirits

even Angels can have its strength and in

the same way the human soul pertains to

the lowest of the low

so that nothing in the world of the

souls or the physical beings can have

its strength whether a beast or a

predator or anything else

so our transcendent humanism then is

based on the idea of the in sandal camel

of the perfect human being the human and

this is the purpose of religion for us

you know religion is to know God it is

to worship God it is to know God it is

to be his steward

earth but also you can't do that without

perfection and we have the power to

perfect ourselves but this is in

following the way of the prophets and

the messengers and the great Saints so

the goal of the human being therefore is

balance and harmony everything is that

and in the Greek tradition you see that

understood

perhaps more perfectly than any other

Western tradition the goal of the human

being is balance harmony and perfection

Kamel

we must arise and become Allen sandal

camel the perfect human being and you

must in that move beyond Allen Sun and

hyowon the human being who's an animal

to become a perfected human being is not

only the highest possible human

aspiration it is the only proper human

aspiration human beings who do not

actualize their beautiful and majestic

and unique form are less than human we

can only become perfect through absolute

servanthood through our ibadah through

Budhia through Buddha each of these has

a special meaning for nearness to God

only comes through that God is the real

this is what we believe

isn't it the absolute I'll help the more

that you approach him the more real you

become the more real you become the more

balanced you become beauty is the

splendor of truth' right that the the

universal routing of beauty is God is

the truth God is beautiful he loves

Beauty then as you come close to him and

are made real by him you become inwardly

beautiful which is balanced harmonious

just virtuous and then you radiate

beauty and this is why we see in any

sound civilization or culture that human

beings are extremely beautiful and

everything they do

God is the real so the closer that we

approach him the more real we become and

with

I'd like to conclude may god enable us

in this incredible College that you have

here in this incredible place to bring

this truth to life this is our tradition

but then who knows it in this time even

we ourselves are among the most ignorant

people of it thank you very much

[Music]

Part 2

[Music]

first of all just wanna thank you dr.

Amato for your talk I mean the the book

that you wrote which I have in Arabic

about cetera Amman and cetera Abdullah

bin baya actually read that book and was

very impressed with it the hadith that

you quoted cool amalu denuded Oh Allen

cetera

baba who you hurry Daniel oh you know

Serrano you Magister nahi that the

hadith indicates that people are

enculturated into customs and beliefs

and traditions but then he says come out

to a jeweled behemot obey the hematin

Gemara just as the animal is created

complete or whole in its nature held to

his Sunnah behind in Jeddah do you

notice any mutilations that that you do

as humans to your animals like cutting

their ears and things like that so it

indicates that the Vitara is it's it's a

wholeness in nature that's there but the

hadith also indicates that there's a

whole set of other possibilities to that

that inherent or Principia nature and

one of the things I think that's very

confusing for people in the 20th century

we've seen human nature is denied like

this idea that we have human nature is

denied and that all peoples the

anthropologists and sociologists and

social scientists have shown that

there's so much diversity in the world

that it's impossible for us to have some

type of human nature that unites us all

as this hadith would indicate and

there's a very interesting Herodotus in

the histories has a very

interesting section where Darius the

King brings the Greeks and they honor

their fathers by burning them and he

asked them how much money would it cost

to get them to honor them by eating them

and they said they you could give them

all the money in the world they wouldn't

eat they were horrified by that and then

he brings the Indians and who ate their

father's to honor them and he says how

much money to burn your fathers and they

were horrified by that and Herodotus

makes this comment about how customs are

so different even though they were both

honoring their their ancestors so just

in terms of how do you see this

incredible diversity of human expression

and and the relationship that it has to

this idea of a universal nature when we

talk about the filtra you know then some

of the most important verses about it

are like surah Deschamps in surah 13 you

know by the fig and the olive and so

forth by the sun and the morning

brightness so these are these are

chapters in the Quran which established

that human beings are perfectly created

and that there's nothing wrong about

them at all

but commentators say that one of the

reasons why they're preceded by the

oaths is because the oath in Arabic

means this is the literal truth it's

emphatic it's not metaphorical it's

absolutely so but it needs that emphasis

because no one would believe this and

you know that if you look at what people

do especially the evil they do this also

takes on so many forms it's impossible

to comprehend and it is very clear and

the other hadith we just denied as you

know just looked at a very small part

even the hadith I mentioned

left out two-thirds of the hadith just

for times sake you know but it's very

clear in our tradition that it is the

demonic more than anything else that

alters the human beings and they do it a

thousand different ways times a thousand

different ways if we would look for

proofs of the filter law then I think

one of the greatest proofs of that in

the 20th century is the great Austrian

[Music]

anthropologist Vilhelm it and he wrote a

book in German das poem this idea got

this Goethe cedilla the origin of the

idea of God never translated into

English and it's 12 volumes and you know

this book is really amazing because he

spent his life documenting all the

so-called primitive religions primitive

religions being what we call micro

religions their kinship groups that

don't have political structures

everything is determined by kinship and

these little groups that we call

primitive they're always very isolated

otherwise they wouldn't be that way and

there many of them especially in the

20th century there still were many that

are not there today and he showed that

all of them have the idea of the one God

no exceptions whatsoever none of them

are polytheistic in the sense of having

Pantheon's not a single one and he did

that also to refute lubbock and tyler

who were evolutionist anthropologists

who didn't do research by the way they

didn't do good research and they claimed

that religion begins with animism so he

showed that's absolutely not true and he

himself who was a catholic he believed

that this was a proof of ancient

prophecy and we wouldn't necessarily

disagree with him because these people

are so isolated and yet they have these

amazing similarities that pertain not

just to the belief in the one god

then they call by beautiful names you

know but also they believe in morality

they believe that marriage is given to

them by God they believe in heaven and

hell some of them even believe in the

sea rot the path that takes you to the

garden and so we would also say that's a

manifestation of football but like as

you said human beings no one has a

greater spectrum of potentials good and

bad than us right

the Nesta Webster who was regarded

before she went into conspiracy theories

and as a historian in one of her books

she makes that argument that the the

unitarianism was the aboriginal faith of

human beings that idolatry was was

secondary and and not primary so she I'm

wondering if she was influenced by that

well Arnold Toynbee was right that's one

of the main influences on Arnold Toynbee

and Arnold Toynbee who is really a

remarkable thinker and you know

historians sometimes are equivocal about

whether they want to accept him or not

because he's he does what historians are

not supposed to do which is to tell you

what it all means

but you know Toynbee I was very deeply

influenced by Schmitt and by others and

one of the interesting things about

Toynbee is that he believed that the

most advanced human beings who ever

lived were those of the Paleolithic of

the Old Stone Age and again he doesn't

say that just off the top of his head

they didn't build cities like we built

cities but they were spiritually very

far advanced and he bases that on a lot

of things but Schmidt's one of them well

you brought up Toynbee and I think you

were the first one that exposed me to

Arnold Toynbee that's kind of become a

very interesting reference that I go

back to at different times I think some

of the students I have actually read at

least the abridged

version of toy biz study in history but

one of the things that he talks about he

at the outset of the study he argues for

the differences like these differences

in civilizations and he wants to

understand where civilization originated

from and what produces it and he he

basically rejects race this idea that

there's racial superiority and some

peoples as opposed to others he

categorically rejects that but he does

make an argument that there are distinct

manifestations of civilization and one

of the things that again as human

expressions there's such an incredible

diversity on the planet of human

behavior and expression so which would

you do you see civilization as something

that unifies human beings in in in from

from a fifth sense that humans by nature

begin to create civilization you know

language is so important so when we use

the word civilization one of the

problems is that it defining the term it

comes from the word city so it's those

great societies that build big cities

like Rome and so forth and this is where

in our tradition we use the word I'm

wrong and I'm wrong to me is a much

better word because of the fact that it

has nothing to do with cities it means

bringing things to life you know it

could be preferred to better ones just

as although we have al-hilal and Alaba

do but you know I think that you know

with with Toynbee and you know his

concept of civilization this focusing on

these civilizations that are big States

and so forth I think that that's if we

had a broader spective it would be good

of course when he talks about human

beings in the Paleolithic then he's

taking that broader perspective but

Toynbee also believes very much

what he calls the creative minority and

one of the most important ideas in point

B is that history is always the work of

minorities and therefore more minorities

that are galvanized and that have

solidarity they will lead and they will

have great effects and he believes that

civilizations like those of Egypt and

those of Mesopotamia and those of

ancient China the Yellow River Valley

Civilization the Yellow Emperor that you

know that these begin by creative

minorities and creative minorities are

always inclusive and they're not

oppressive and they're great gift to

human beings and in fact maybe hitomi

hints at this but we could easily say

that they're prophetic and he emphasizes

the fact that to do civilizations like

those of Egypt or Mesopotamia or the

yellow valley in China is such an

immense human undertaking that

essentially can't be done without a

prophet it's got to be done with

something that can you know give us

divisions in labor and a whole way knew

of weight in a new way of living but

then the civilizations usually become

civilizations of domineering or dominant

minorities and then they oppress and

they become the they become you know the

Prophet they become the property of the

elites and then they create which time

what time because the proletariat's

using that Marxist term but you have an

internal proletariat which are the

oppressed people in the society and you

have an external proletariat which are

usually better when people's who are

also oppressed by that civilization he

would regard the pre-islamic Arabs to be

the external proletariat of the

Byzantine and Persian empires okay so

they have to keep their distance but

they also learn from them how to use

weapons

and usually they can often conquer them

as well but I sort of forgot the

questions well yeah okay it's fine let

me let me look at something else here

that you brought up the idea of moving

because you spoke very beautifully about

the Adamic nature and that human beings

are these incredibly honored creatures

but there's also in the quran in san

which is a difficult word to translate

you know it's the intimate being it's

the being that that represents the

essence it's that dying you know the in

san is the essence of the of the the the

i but the in son is also talked about

potato in Sonoma Clara you know that

that in Santa Julio Kahului you know the

human being was created in angst and

anxiety he's called a jewel in the Quran

he's hasty he's oppressive you know ya

Johannes in the Mubarak inada and fusco

your oppression is against your own self

nasa talking to all humanity Marvin I'm

now who are economists um Kennedy Albany

moon we didn't oppress them but they

were oppressing themselves so there's

also this other side of the human being

that is actually very negative in the

Quran and obviously the Christian

tradition deals with that with the idea

of the Fallen human being how would you

address that aspect of the human being

so this is also part of the futur all

that it has the negative capacity right

and it is forgetful and it has to be

forgetful because then it can't use what

its Vitolo is for which is to rediscover

it and when we come into life we believe

that all children until the age of

maturity or sometime after that they're

Saints you know because of the fact that

they have this fitrah and they're also

not morally responsible they're not

moral agency you know but then as the

passions develop in us then these

passions you know the the idle of the

pig the idol of the dog anger and

appetite

you know they will necessarily veil us

from who we are so you have this seeming

contradiction between holy people in

Sanyo hell you are either Meza who shall

rue Jews who are with either a mystical

faith oh man you are so we have this but

again our commentators make it very

clear that this is a particular type of

human being you know here's a human

being who's not true to his or her foot

law and what was the other part just you

know that idea of looking at the human

and all these negative qualities so

would then human nature if we if we say

there is a human nature that's universal

I mean you'd exceed that we would insist

but but for us the nature and from that

hadith that began the talk the nature

the human nature is really a nature of

potentialities of is of capacities and

and so the actualization and we have the

concept of it an incentive common you

know this idea of the perfectible human

being that can move towards a kind of

wholeness or completeness which is a

restoration of that of that first being

is that is that mmm is that how we have

that and you know of course I'm a

convert this beloved brother is a

convert many of the people here are

converts and I remember when I became a

Muslim which was early January the 3rd

1970 and then as I went through that

first year there were certain dilemmas I

had in my heart from before like an

emptiness even though I had been

religious and that was filled

you know believe it or not you could

actually see your face changing in the

mirror

especially in Ramadan like can I do this

can I fast this I've never done that in

my life and then you just see yourself

changing and so it's this is manifest I

think to most people who come into the

faith and I remember when we were in

Spain Sheikh Hamza was also part of that

that we had a particular person come to

us from the mountains he was from Madrid

he came from a Stalinist background he'd

become a Buddhist he was in a black suit

that he could sleep in or keep him warm

he did his own Buddhism and then all of

his buddies joined us and he was we

later called him ice man you probably

met him and when he came to us he was

frightening you know his eyes were like

about to pop out of his head yeah and we

had a madrasah which comes a I met him

there and we had it was an Andalusian

type of school and you know we had a

little door with a open for the window

you know it's like a window to the door

to know who's knocking and when he

knocked at the door the brother who went

to open it shut it just like that it's

like and then he says oh my god like

what if he becomes a Muslim you know

we've got enough crazies in the

community already

and he kept knocking and if finally we

had to let him in and then in Nelly lie

he were in LA he wrote you know he took

the Shahada we thought oh my god what

are we going to do and I know my wife

Samira remembers him really well and

like within three weeks you could not

recognize him and he was also a

professional Acrobat and I would watch

him from my office looking over the

garden and he couldn't take two steps

without doing us a big skipped and the

way that Acrobat skip is not the way you

skip and he became he became the most

beautiful person in our community and he

became a person that you know anything

you wanted done even cleaning your house

even doing your laundry

you know sacrificing a chicken he would

be the one to do it so again one of the

most important things is you can come

back to the football and that's why we

say the filter can be altered but it

can't be substituted for something else

my wife and I when we were at Michigan

where I began to teach in 1978 you know

we were in student housing because I was

an assistant professor who's always poor

and she was also completing her

education that we were in the Graduate

housing and there was a woman there who

was a feminist she was divorced with a

child she was a law student and I don't

know why but she liked us we liked her

and we always argued and she's always

talking you have you can't get in a word

edgewise and then you know one spring

day and she's talking about you know

that how horrible religion has been to

women and we say that women are

religions best friends that religious

not necessarily their best friend and

you know so one spring day she was out

we were out in an open area and her son

was there he's about three years old

and he was having a big time and then he

got over to where the cars were parked

hmm you know on a street both sides of

the street and there's a car coming down

the street really fast and he's going

out between the cars and then she

notices him just at the last moment

where did she say oh my god

I swear she said oh my god and the car

slammed on its brakes and it screeched

and there was crying and yelling and he

escaped by an inch of his life

you see and then and this is what the

Quran says that anyone who calls upon

God in dire need he will answer their

prayer that was st author which she did

which is coming out of what her fitful

but when the fitara is veiled over it

only shows itself to be what it is in

times of great fear mm and this was a

time of great fear I can't lose my son

and also times of great joy and that can

they say there's no disbeliever in the

foxhole so but the ability of the fits

order to come back this is very hopeful

for us isn't it and this is one of the

important things about studying the fit

role because people can get so far away

from it and every we can take a thousand

different paths but you can come back to

it actually very easily the you know

about women I like that that they're the

best friends of religion but religion is

not always their best friend and that's

something for centuries women were seen

that their nature was inferior to male

nature Aristotle asserts that and and

that was certainly you'll find that

creeping up in both Christian and Muslim

texts and there's a very interesting

verse I think it's in sort of about it

says a woman Eunice at validity of it

Osamu Mubeen and it's it's articulated

in the masculine

and yet most of the Memphis udon bubbly

Mujahid most most of them say it's

talking about women and and it uses the

maddening that much hold unis chef know

that they are enculturated into

ornaments you know ornamentation that

they're put up as ornaments women and

then they it they have an inability to

articulate that it indicates essentially

that it is inculturation that there's a

nurturing element and then if you remove

that because if if we say the woman's

nature is inferior like it has been

asserted by many many people in the past

then it leaves it

it's irremediable you can't you can't

alter that fact but if it's understood

as a nurture thing which we clearly see

especially in in in the 20th century

where women have been given equal

opportunity to in fact in many ways

they're exceeding the men now at a lot

of universities I think you saw that

when you were in teaching in the Middle

East

women were farming students they were

the best students in fact my whole

academic career women are the best

students right I mean that's that I've

even as a that's been our experience I

think that's a tuna men you know you got

to get to work well feed a dick FLE at

NFS and with NF you soon but but that's

a clear example of where a complete

misunderstanding about these differences

between male and female led to

oppression even from within religious

traditions and where that was understood

to be a nurture phenomena which I think

that ayah in the Quran indicates and I

think that's why it's put into the

masculine that the same would happen to

a man who was raised in that environment

where he's not allowed to to have his

intellect nurtured because he's more in

an ornament for the male of course when

we look at the prophetic history there

was this clear cultural difference

between the women of Mecca the Quraysh

and the women of Medina

where the profit went in his migration

and the women of Medina were extremely

articulate and they were warriors on the

battlefield

and of course they're women who live in

an agrarian culture because Medina was a

huge Oasis and usually when women and

men are doing the same thing then

they're extremely compatible and that's

certainly the way it was with the

melanie's women we had a Zoe

not long ago just a few weeks ago in

Egypt and we had our sister Maryam

Shivani I hope people hope you didn't

mind me mentioning her name but she

actually took hadith about women and

studied them very carefully and showed

how they're often misinterpreted but

that that's not really the valid

interpretation and you know so but the

women of Medina were extremely strong

and very outspoken and this is a Meccan

surah that you're referring to so you

would think come in my mind is it is

talking to the Meccans in terms of their

own culture and the women of Mecca were

they were very different because also

the city lives by international trade

and it lives also by the pilgrimage and

although women partook in that the men

are the ones who really do it so they're

there women tend to be much more subdued

they could also go on the battlefield by

the way but they weren't the kind of

warriors that the medon ease women could

be so but we do believe that men and

women have these perfect natures and you

know that the women are not debilitated

in any way by their nature and in

Islamic law you know it is a societal

obligation that women get knowledge

every type of knowledge right religious

knowledge just like men well I think

even out of you'd even argue that they

have spiritual advantages over men

that's what they say even out of you

even in one

part of the futa hot Makia he talked

about a saint a man st. who spoke to God

with there was a feminine voice and I

had the honor of reading that with a

Moroccan scholar and explained to me

that this is very common in that

tradition the you know the and that you

know if you don't have that feminine

voice you can't really attain the

highest spiritual level one of the good

books by the way you know that for

people interested in that is the Tao of

is Sachiko Bharata right by Murata it is

the first thing she wrote she was a

Japanese convert to Islam and it's a

very good book that translations are

really good in Arabic and in Persian but

later on she would discover Chinese

Islam and then she becomes one of the

authorities in Chinese Islam if she had

only had that knowledge of Chinese Islam

the book would have been even more

beneficial than it is but the Tao of

Islam is a very very amazing book to

read and it's about the male principle

and the female principle you have in in

the pre-modern world I think as far as I

can tell most civilizations agree that

there was a human nature certainly the

Islamic did even the the Indyk and the

Buddhists and traditions would have

understood that as well and the Buddha

nature was a potential that could be

realized in any human being you you also

have certainly in the Christian

tradition the idea of human nature they

they might differ on certain aspects of

his potentialities but essentially the

idea of a unified nature since the

Enlightenment period people like Hume

who reject human nature and then in the

20th century you get like merleau-ponty

says something like the only nature that

humans share is that they share no

nature

or you get somebody like Ortega y Gasset

who also denies human nature and and I

think modern there's in fact Pinker who

who's at Harvard Steven Pinker wrote a

book called the blank slate arguing that

that there is a human nature and very

troubled by this negation or denial of

human nature one of the things that

we're seeing now is the idea of a fluid

nature that human beings can can they

might be born into the wrong body for

instance so I have a feet I'm a female

trapped in a man's body

and instead of seeing that maybe as

dysmorphia or some type of mental

illness that needs to be treated it's

now being embraced even in children and

children are being encouraged in fact I

think in Sweden they're doing non-gender

child rearing where the children wear

the same clothes the traditional pink

and blue for instance that people would

if it was a girl they would give at the

wedding shower they would give all these

nice girly type things and this is the

argument that this is simply

inculturation

that this is nurture all not natural and

that that the nature of in fact Crowley

Aleister Crowley in the book of the law

chapter 2 argues over a hundred years

ago that the time is coming soon when we

will be free of this binary and we will

be able to choose our own genders so

this is something that we're really

seeing happening all over now and young

people are really encouraged I actually

saw a East Asian man if you can believe

this I saw a Pakistani man with a nose

ring and I was amazed at that because I

think in that culture I think maybe in

some of the Hindu castes or something I

don't know but in that culture a man

would not wear a nose ring as far as I

know but the this is kind of the

throwing off of cultural decorum and

this idea how

would you address that just from this

denial of human nature that we're seeing

in the 20th century and the 21st century

you know that on the level of the

horizontal which is you know if you live

in a world where you only explain things

by reference to other things like them

that's like a horizontal universe then

there is no meaning there and there

there are no immutables and there's no

truth either and atheism agnosticism

they require a horizontal world and once

you put in the vertical connection which

is to look up to heaven and to look to

first principles the law of

non-contradiction the excluded middle

law of identity causality possibility

necessity and possibility then you've

got a tenth and then you have a

structure and then you have also meaning

so a lot of the things that we see in

our time is because of this Cartesian

worldview that we have where we don't

even know what's out there we don't even

know that it is out there we can't

relate to it and you know so you have

these all these social experiments and

most of these social experiments around

gender they go back also it's very

important to study the genealogy of

ideas so that is a complex issue

Descartes is the one who gives us the

concept of mind in its modern sense and

his is sexless which is something we say

is a fundamental mistake but and it's

also important genderless but you have

Karl Marx Sigmund Freud Vilhelm Irish or

IC age sexual revolutions from him and

he means revolution he means revolution

and you only win that revolution when

incest is best okay it's it's got to go

there and then you have also Herbert

Marcuse a

he was a big deal here in Berkeley in

the 1960s eros and civilization and so

forth and then you have Judith Butler

and of course what you're talking about

as you know I didn't know she was in

Israel

no no she teaches here at UC Berkeley

okay I didn't know that but so it's very

important to know who gave you this idea

and where did they get it from and what

are their first principles and so much

of modern thought doesn't even have

first principles and therefore for us we

want to get our orientation correct and

we want to know why do we believe what

we believe where do we begin

how does the intellect work most people

don't even know today what intellect is

intellect doesn't need anything outside

of itself and of course you've heard

about that in the debunking of the

syllogism and things like that but

that's not true in any Universal

statement like existence and

non-existence the syllogism works

perfectly because you have excluded

metal you distribute the middle term and

you know so for us you know

and I think this is one of the great

things about Zaytuna is that we learn

our tradition where we get our ideas and

how we know them and we also learned

that the West is a tradition right and

that these ideas don't drop out of the

sky there are certain people that are

behind them and I feel that one of the

most eloquent ways to address these

issues and most objective ways is look

at where the ideas come from the idea of

first principles and again that's

getting to something that is deeply

rooted in the essential nature of the

human being the law of non country

that's fit also for us you know that you

know the law of non-contradiction you

know the law of the excluded middle you

know the law of identity you know that

this is shaped from the use of

this is shake up the law they're not the

same I was not like you and now him he's

now you when I taught logic I taught

them identity was Popeyes law I am what

I am

[Laughter]

these are very important and if you look

at most modern thought if you look at

Stephen Hawking you know you know the

theory of everything it's because

everything's a model right Stephen

Hawking it says this chair is not a

chair it's probably a molecular

structure probably and my model is what

makes it a three-dimensional brown chair

so this is Cartesian dualism and

therefore and it's also it's it's the

content this idea that there's no

correspondence because I think Muslims

were very much committed to

correspondence truth and that's exactly

what the fitna is that's why the

festival to see the Fatah it enables you

to know the world because you've got it

in you you know we say the critiques of

modern science they say that physics

doesn't believe in red apples okay

because it just believes there's

molecular structures that you make into

an apple and it tastes sweet and it

nourishes you but it's all about

probabilities and and this leads to a

type of Gnosticism they're there and and

I think we're very much in a gnostic

world in many ways even despite the

materialism there there's an occult

element that's very strong this this

idea that none of this is real that we

can't know reality that that this this

might be just simply a celeb Cystic

worldview in my head we've got young

people now going in and shooting up

people in schools and it it's a complete

divorce of reality than that that

they're not really inflicting pain on

other people there's something it's

almost like they're in a matrix and they

perceive it as a kind of a

a game that they're doing so and that's

a very demonic reality I think that's

being a lot of people are experiencing

and I think one of the it's very

interesting that it's very related to

film and these games that people are

playing where they I mean the the

Decalogue that the second prohibition

the Decalogue which and i know you know

this book that in in amusing ourselves

to death Neil postman's over the good

book yeah the second chapter where he

talks about what why would a why would

there be a prohibition on making graven

images you know this whole idea because

we've entered into a completely image

based civilization where the word is is

being moved we're even speaking now in

icons you know in in these these these

that once you lose when you enter into

that image based culture you lose the

ability for abstraction for real

abstraction the ability to to understand

essences like the chair to understand

what makes a chair and why despite the

fact that you can have chairs that are

you take a dog the idea that you can

have a Chihuahua and a Great Dane and

see the dog eNOS that they share is

amazing like that human beings can do

that and and and seeing the also human

nature despite the fact we can look and

somebody in the Amazon or somebody in in

in in an Aboriginal culture that are

completely different from us in their

expression of their humanity and yet we

can still abstract that essential human

nature and see that this too is a human

being that's being lost in people it's

you know the image based culture where

people are divorced and enter into this

I mean I I see it as a with no events to

people afflicted with this but a kind of

autism that you know the Arabs

translated it as towads

you know this idea of going into the to

the individual self and lose

a sense of other you know so you know we

get our humanity I think you know from

looking people in the eyes and having

their companionship from our mothers our

great grandmothers or grandmothers or

aunts from the men and so forth of our

families and what happens to people who

were raised on video games and iPhones

and things like that and who get there

or Facebook or whatever I remember a

girl that was with us in Spain in

Rosales was a daughter of one of our

brothers and really amazing girl but

it's as if she couldn't even socialize

with the other teens that were there

it's always her phone it's like if you

want to talk to her send her a text and

one of our brothers in Chicago who's a

neurologist he told me about this

syndromes that they have you probably

know the name of it I forgot but it's

like people bumped their head today and

they have to go see him

it's like I have memory loss and he said

they they call this some kind of a

psychological disorder I don't know but

you know again I'm not a neurologist so

I can't really say anything about what's

what he's the one who deals with these

well we grow up in a very different ya

world but my belief this is just an

intuition is that they're actually

having memory loss because it's like

they're extremely weak

they're extremely vulnerable because you

know whatever strength we have in my

opinion is because you know we were with

human beings and these human beings gave

us our humanity and they gave us our

ability to meet with trials and

tribulations and and so this is you know

one of the things of course that we are

conscious of we need to be very

conscious of is what does this

technology due to our primordial self

because that primordial self needs to be

nurtured by other human beings who have

that

and you know so this is very important

in our time and you know to learn to use

our technology very very intelligently

and very wisely of course it gives us

tremendous benefits you know I'm able to

be here because of technology you're

able to hear me because of the

technology we're being filmed on it you

know so I don't believe that we I think

we should be thankful for it you know

but at the same time we have to know how

to use it and this is one of the things

which one of the great books on

technology is Jacques Ellul this was one

of our classics back in the old days and

Jacques a little warns about you know

how technology sets its own rules it

goes its own direction

I think the Jockey rules book is a

little bit problematic because we don't

want to make people so pessimistic you

know that they can't deal with the world

they live in but you know we have to end

there's one things that Alou says is

that the massification of society is

required for technology to have its

March so you have to break down

significant religious and social groups

who could apply principle right and this

is why also for us as people that should

be principled we want to be principled

then we have to also learn about these

things how do they affect us how are we

going to use them and and to live in a

way that's beneficial how many of our

people are destroyed on social media

right dr. jackson who many of you know

he said that social media is not going

to leave us a single leader I see a

single value a single principle well

that also the one of one of the problems

is this idea of the neutrality of

Technology and I think that's something

that one of the most important

influences for me on that because you

know I've talked a lot about and how

I've been talking for years about the

problem of

of image based media and and long before

this what it's come to now because I

this was pre-internet there there's a

book that is a big noob roses in ski

wrote called between two ages which he

wrote in 1969 and he talks about the

introduction of technology because he

was aware they were very aware of the

internet and all these things the arm

the US military has technologies that we

don't even know about and the internet

they were using the internet in the

Universities I think in 1969 or 70 was

when when it begins the actual first the

first transmission was from UCLA I think

just Stanford and it was they were going

to put like log L o G and it crashed

after L Oh so it was like lo and behold

and and one of the things I saw Verner

Hertzog's amazing documentary on the

internet and the first half is all the

positive aspects of it how amazing it is

which it is right I mean it's just like

my dictionary app I just I use it all

the time and they're so cool so it's

it's just amazing to have it and then

and then to have like all these Arabic

dictionaries literally in the palm of

your hand it's unreal but the second

half was on the dangers of the internet

and one of the things that there's

something really floored me was this

lady and I felt like you know ghazali

when the thief tells him he laughs at

him when he says you can't steal all my

knowledge I just spent two years right

writing it all down and the thief

laughed at him and said what kind of

knowledge is it that a thief can steal

it from you and and he said untuk aha

lauded the company he knew that God made

him say that and he vowed never

- he would always memorize after that

everything that he learned but there's a

woman in there it's a family and it's

one of the most depressing parts of this

documentary but they're all they look

very depressed and and the woman they

lost a daughter in a horrific car

accident and she had her head severed

and it was hanging off her body

but these looky-loos who drove by took

pictures of it and then they posted it

on the internet and then over time

people kept sending them to her to the

family and she here's what she said and

it really floored me when she said it

cuz I felt like unto Allah she said that

I think that the Internet I think the

spirit of the Antichrist has descended

into the internet and people that are

susceptible to it it just opens up a

kind of vileness and it's it's just so

interesting how vile people are on I

mean just cruel there's so much cruelty

you know one of the things I have I've

been asking somebody from Silicon Valley

maybe an engineer here I want a computer

a program that automatically erases

anything done on the internet that is

grammatically incorrect because it would

eliminate 99.9 percent of the trolls

because they always write in bad grammar

but be that as it may

there's something I think it's in

Thessalonians I'm I'm not sure I think

it's in second Thessalonians where Paul

talks about the mystery of iniquity and

and and the man of lawlessness the the

person towards the end of time you know

and this is obviously a reference to the

Antichrist but he says the mystery of

iniquity is already active in the world

and we have a tradition in our own

tradition where the Prophet Elias Adam

said that there's no fitna that has

occurred since the beginning of time

except that it's preparing for the

greatest fitna this anti Christic period

where people completely divert from

their nature

and and the fitrah is really so

perverted that people lose it and so

this what's happening now with so many

people turning away from faith and

godlessness being celebrated and

profanity being celebrated the idea of

of mocking religion which would have

been so unacceptable not that long ago

in most cultures in the world now it's

something it's it's just it is the bread

and butter of comedians it's it's it's

it's the Hollywood you know everything

is just really just making religion seem

like such a dark thing and there's so

many young people now you know they say

I'm spiritual but not religious or they

don't want to have anything to do with

organized religions I was telling to

join Islam because we're the most

unorganized religion perfer there is but

anyway what what what do you what do you

what do you say about that because the

Prophet said one of the signs of that

precedes the Antichrist is people stop

talking about the Antichrist and and it

seems like we're in a very anti Christic

world where you know the word that we

use of course for the Antichrist is

added gel and belief in him is

obligatory and it comes from dead little

and digital means to lie to you know

confuse to turn things up down upside

down some of our scholars say that what

the job does is he overturns the the

very principles of knowledge so that you

you no longer know that what is true is

true and what is false is false and this

is the age we live in because we don't

have even like if we look at Descartes I

think therefore I am ok well that

changes the whole history of human

thought because in traditional medieval

thought existence come

first yeah in our tradition also

existence comes first and then

epistemology so now for him epistemology

comes for us and then we don't really

know if we exist or not so we should say

I am therefore I should think yeah some

people say I am therefore God exists but

you know overturning the what we call

immutables immutables our first

principles immutables also for us are

the basic principles of prophetic law

the dispensation and the basic

principles of theological truth

necessary being possible existence a

change indicates temporality and then

the basic the rabbit of su Luke of the

moral path of self perfection these

don't change but the Dajjal makes them

change and then you have the immutables

made mutable and this gives you the

disasters which are the ugly signs of

the end of time as the Prophet said you

know the slave girl will give birth to

her mistress or her master and you'll

see barefoot naked poor shepherds vying

for each other sometimes camel Shepherds

buying free with each other in the

building of tall buildings so you see

that but then when we look at it we say

many people probably most they say that

you know the mother will give birth to a

daughter who would treat her like a

slave and of course we see that today

and you know and then you can see the

buildings you can go look at themselves

the them years old one of the signs at

the end of time is either born eager to

Mecca either item Mecca tab or a jet

column when you see Mecca guarded with

tunnels and you see tall buildings over

the tops of the mountains and know that

the hour has cast its shadow over you

you can go and see the hour doing that

the big tower but they call that bulge

aside they call the town of the yes

that's frightening as you know I went to

Mexico the first time in 1973 there

wasn't a single Tunnel anywhere it's

like where they come from but you see

then what happens is why does the girl

treat her mother as a slave or the boy

treat his mother as a slave or as a

slave that's mistreated because the

rabbit are gone that they don't have

sound belief they don't know first

principles they don't have the morality

okay so all that's and then when that's

done then she will do whatever she wants

to do and the same thing you look at the

shepherds vying with each other in tall

buildings so it means certain so Abbot

have been overthrown and among these are

a sound political order which should put

people in power who are capable of

leading and who lead us for our benefit

and not their own and then you have also

overthrowing a sound economic system in

which there is distribution of wealth so

you get all this wealth concentrated in

the hands of shepherds many of those

shepherds are shames and those are very

good people you know but they're not the

cloth that you make leaders from in a

time like this they can't deal with that

so the Dajjal this is what he does he

takes the thoa Abbot the immutables and

makes them mutable and changes them in a

thousand different ways right you know

Christ said to the woman accused of

adultery you know where are your

accusers because they all left and then

he said goings and sin no more

mm-hmm and and this is an age where it's

go there isn't do what thou wilt for

there is no more sin you know this is

the idea that the concept of sin is

being removed from the world and

anything that I do is my own business

that I am an autonomous agent that

nobody can tell me what as long as I

don't you know

a harm principle as long as I don't hurt

anybody

then I can do what I want I'm I want to

because we're the times coming to a

close but I want to the the Quran in in

the verses that you quoted from surah

tarom it says that this is the fitara of

God the the the principal nature that

God has created the human being on and

and then Latifa para nasa and they had

that God has fought para he's al father

you actually wrote about that in in your

book about that name which is a very

interesting name of God and and I think

it was it but our best didn't know what

it meant and he heard the the Bedouin

saying on a photo ha

you know I dug the well before you so I

was the first one so Farah is to make it

first or the original and I mean it's

interesting we call aboriginals you know

from the origin of man they have that

but it then it says let Abdullah little

Kela

and and you alluded to the difference of

opinion but even even Jews a preferred

the opinion that it was that the the

negation there was for prohibition and

not impossibility

you know like lan fe little jinns it

wasn't learn if allegiance it was lani

do not change it's a warning to change

do not change and what we're seeing now

is an incredible in the west and

increasingly affecting people in the

east what we're seeing now is a real

change of this fitrah that that it's

being altered in people and and how what

what advice would you give us to protect

that Principia later to nurture it i

mean we have this idea of Talia

Thalia and Thalia the at the emptying

out a vicious character and the the

feeling of virtuous character in order

to experience the divine if you look at

the hadith that are on the Fatah and I

have those in my book one of the things

we see in them is that there's nothing

easier for us than to live according to

our natures you know and it's very easy

for us to do that and there are thousand

ways back to your nature and the

traditional Islamic City was a Garden

City and to be a valid City and Islam

according to law you have to have land

you have to have water on that land or

above it you have to produce all the

food you need for your city in your city

you can't depend on the outside okay but

we were garden cities and we had animals

and lots of animals and we have a whole

law about green zones and things like

that that enable us to support those

animals and we believe in our tradition

I believe according to my teachers in

our tradition that without animals you

can't be human you know chickens are

amazing and if you do permaculture you

know how amazing they are yeah you know

and chickens will teach you a lot all

animals would do that so I think getting

back into the natural world

you know we you're going to have this

program on permaculture with our brother

ramiz Kent may the 21st till June the

2nd yeah and we had one in Spain last

summer and we made soil you can make

soil in eighteen days you need three

parts of carbon which can be sticks you

need two parts of nitrogen which can be

green grass and you need then something

else that catalyzes it like manure okay

one part and then again three two one

three and you water it properly so it's

not too wet it's not it's not too dry

and it's it's steaming in one day it's

full of life in order to have healthy

food you have to have

living soil not just nutrients you know

this is one thing they learned in the

organic movement and they learned it

from Muslim India by the way the organic

movement comes out of Muslim India and

you know so you know making soil you

know you should be a producer not just a

consumer of course you're a consumer a

lot of beautiful things to consume you

know but if your producer that's a

revolutionary act you can do it on your

apartment and I think of all the things

we did in that Zawiya making the soil

captivated people more than anything

else and you know I know of an example

of a young man in Australia he's

Lebanese

he came to 11 into Australia because

it's a Lebanese civil war there are lot

of Lebanese like that in Australia

Muslim from the north from Tripoli and

other areas and he felt he was treated

like you know by a ray in a very racist

way at least he felt that way and he

didn't think he owed anything to

Australia and he actually said I hate

this country even though it took you in

as a refugee and he was taken out you

know to learn about the soil do some

permaculture plant trees and in the act

of planting a tree you know he put his

hand in the ground and he said that when

I put my hand in the ground everything

changed and he said I began to love this

country and I began to feel that I'm

part of it so contact with the soil

contact with animals contact with nature

contact with each other with other human

beings talking visiting these are very

important these bring us back to a

nature there are a lot of things I would

also say martial arts and there are all

kinds of martial arts as I'm sure

everybody here knows but martial arts do

something for you one of the big

problems with males in particular is

that we don't have initiations you know

whereas in traditional societies you

have initiation

that neighbors you to move from being a

boy to being a man women often don't

need that because their biological

changes are so powerful that they serve

as initiations but you know getting back

to nature you know you should learn the

language of nature the Aborigines who

are incredible people a crowd of

incredible culture you know they teach

children to listen and if a child asks a

question they say go ask your mother

what do they mean go listen to nature

listen to what nature says about this so

and you can do that here you have this

incredibly beautiful environment you can

find yourself a sitting spot in the

forest

you know people even tell you the best

ways to do that learn the language of

the forest learn the language of the

birds the birds will come to look at you

other animals will come to check you out

so these things are very good for us you

know getting in your body you know

getting out of in in dream time for

Aborigines is being in the center brain

it's not just about dreaming it's about

being out of this analytical brain it's

always worrying and always analyzing and

concerned about stuff you know get into

the center brain so I just think it's

very easy to come back the photo I gave

you the example of our brother earth man

in Spain and many of us have seen this

in our own lives I mean look at Malcolm

X you know how this man changed so

incredibly after the pilgrimage his

voice was even different you know so we

believe in that patron this is a belief

it's obligatory for us and again this

affects the way we look at the world

that there's no one out there who is

foreign to us there's no one out there

who's alien to us and you know may we

benefit you know in learning our

tradition again one of the great dangers

of this time

and this is you know one of the things

we have to be very conscious about in

secular institutions is epistemic

warfare you know which is warfare

against your epistemology and that's

what they did the Aborigines like you're

not even human beings

you're not even animals you're like

plants you can cut down the plant you

can take away its sibling you can take

away the little plants that's what they

did

you know but the amber and epistemic

warfare means your tradition cannot

generate knowledge I spent hours with

the Aborigines in Australia and with

ones who are like basically spirit

doctors everything they say is knowledge

you know for example they don't have a

word for health they have a word for

healing that's because you have to heal

yourself every day you have to get that

negativity out of you you know that's in

you and it's just incredible but also

you know when we defend our tradition

it's not because shouldn't be because we

romantic not because we lament a loss

past no it's because I know and this man

knows and you know that our tradition

generates knowledge okay so we can't

allow our the people who don't even know

our tradition to say it doesn't you

belong in a museum we'll give you a nice

place in the museum you did produce

beautiful things and you know epistemic

warfare is imperialism and a lot of our

institutions are that way they're they

say they're liberal but they're not

liberal to anything that doesn't agree

with our the with the epistemic

tradition that they have and you're very

blessed to be in this wonderful place in

this wonderful environment some of the

best libraries and and minds in the

world and I really hope that this

institution succeeds and I believe it

will I'm amazed because the last time I

was here I don't know how many years ago

it was maybe five or seven but I

remember coming into this place and it

wasn't even used yet but I mean you know

this is a great gift that's been given

to you

and do you have great teachers you know

many of them I'm looking at right now

and may we continue to do this and I

believe myself that we are here to save

humanity in a quantum failure on quantum

later on Latino collegiately nos you are

the best community brought forth for

human beings a mammal Buhari says how

you doin a salinas you must be the best

of all people to all people and people

today they really you know how long will

this last how long will this last you

know that you know like we have schools

in Naperville right now that one class

has in it three suicides and that was

unthinkable in the old days

suicide was virtually unthinkable you

have one school they had 30 suicides

this is not right

you know these are vital signs that are

being lost and you know we have to bring

ourselves to life but we have to be life

givers as well and when we do that we'll

find a lot of good people in this

society Christians and Jews and others

you know who are on the same page that

we're on in that and in Shaw we work

together in this it's very important and

you know when we do the right things

like permaculture to me it's win-win you

know and not only that when when that

you then find that some of the best

people in the world you know you you get

to know them and that benefits us along

you know I just when I when I was in

Mauritania there was a shake there his

name was Muhammad and I mean they called

me know and when I visited him I was

staying in shear hut but he would wave

his house I think it was twenty two or

three and we we used to go visit him his

dhikr was the Hassan at how seen he was

to recited every single day by memory

the whole thing and his do I was making

dua for the OMA much like that that's

what he did was he he was I think in his

80s

at the time and he told me I've never

wished for anything to be different than

the way it was but today I wish I was a

young man so I could go with you to mark

the Hajj to study and then he picked up

some earth and he said no see Hattie

Lika

that uptight man had he had he Oh

Malcolm Marshall he said my advice you

don't get far away from this this is

your mother

you know the earth and I think one of

the things that technology is doing is

it's really distancing people from just

being with with the earth and we're

fortunate to be in an incredibly

beautiful environment here there's a lot

of places to go so I think that's really

good advice just about being in in in

nature and we know the prophets all I

said I'm he was very deeply connected to

the natural world and that natural world

spoke to him and and and he spoke back

he's with jabba the hutt jabba dona had

one out you know walk barefoot in the

grass yeah it's incredible

it's not too cold I'm sure the matter do

I'm sure how fat insane Omar said that

remind yourself be like mad even Adnan

and walk barefoot sometimes right yeah I

said no more said even you know I mean

even when you wear your shoes you can

imagine that you're walking barefoot

you're feeling the earth underneath you

these things are all very very valuable

to us they're also very good for our

health and getting rooted and learning

to be human beings again right that's

one of the things we have to do but I

just emphasize it's easy to do that

mm-hmm it's not difficult even though it

would might seem to you impossible but

this is one of the easiest things to do

that's also God's mercy it's so easy to

come back and it's very difficult to

astray to go astray

because the point where we're at right

now

there was a lot of work put into that

over a lot of generations it didn't just

happen overnight

you know and there's a lot of money

invested in that as well and it's very

easy to come back and to be yourself and

to be natural and you know our religion

is a religion of service and love and

service and love you know everything one

last point in question to you you talked

also about beauty and the importance of

beauty the the prophets of Lies to them

when the man asked him about was wearing

nice clothes and a good Santa was that

from arrogance and he said no it's it's

it's a lot loves beauty and and and one

of the things that that I find really

notable about pre-modern people is that

they they adorned things they they

didn't have a lot of things generally

but what they did had they always made

beautiful and when I was in Mauritania

they started using Bic pens their

traditional pen was a bamboo pen but

they started using big pens but the

women would adorn them with leather and

make them very beautiful so they would

actually take the plastic and they would

just do a design on it and then put

little frills at the end of it and the

students would write with these pens and

when I asked one of the women why they

did that she said it's so ugly you know

the bigger pen you know and and what is

what is that thing in humans that wide

not just have a functional carpet why

put the Tree of Life on the carpet why

not just have functional walls why put

wainscotting with designs on the on the

I mean what is that and how do we

restore that because Muslims they

dressed beautifully even peasants

dressed view you know the Afghan

embroidery and and the the seborrhea

that the Egyptian fella wears with the

striped people really have become they

don't you don't see the the

the the Caliphate of God in that in that

human being anymore and how is that

restored you know traditional societies

you should tell me any traditional

society that was not beautiful you know

look at the first nations of this land I

mean look at the Inuit you know the

Eskimos we're really a civilization

there are on that's a good example of

I'm wrong that doesn't have cities but

everything they did was beautiful

look at the Aborigines you can't believe

how beautiful everything they they they

make is and we were like that too we

were a highly skilled society we were a

society of crafts and everything guilds

and everything we made was beautiful and

that's because God is beautiful

and he loves beauty beauty is the

splendor of truth' you know and that

means God doesn't love ugliness and

ugliness is the mark of falsehood

ugliness means you've gone astray so you

know getting this back again I believe

it's going to be easy and again if we

look at say tuna and if we look at many

of the brothers and sisters that are

dear to us look at the beauty they they

they they create you know so God is

beautiful if you love God you become

beautiful you become internally

beautiful that's the universal routing

and then what you produce is graceful

and beautiful even the way you walk even

the way you talk even the words you use

because you want to use beautiful words

you want to know what your words mean so

this is very important to get back this

beauty and everything and that makes us

human you know that Alma to Dede who is

one of our great theologians he talks

about how God holds us back from evil by

putting us in a natural setting we still

do evil but the natural setting is

telling us this is wrong this is wrong

this is wrong what happens however when

you put people in an ugly setting of

broken windows

you know

you know broken glass in a graffiti you

know rats so forth it you can't believe

there's such a thing as truth anymore

you can't believe that there's any such

a thing as goodness anymore and that's

what beautification is something we have

to do to ourselves and in Islamic art I

believe the highest form of art is

architecture architect and and in our

tradition architecture is what generates

so many other forms of incredible art

you know but our art according to some

it begins with clothing some would say

it begins with the mihrab the recitation

of the Quran the writing the Quran but

clothing is one of the first things and

we we believed in beautiful clothing and

who didn't all traditional people were

like that you know and it showed their

identity it showed their honor and it

showed what they believe in who they are

you know but we wanted clothing that

would be beautiful we want a clothing

that also we could pray in and not be

embarrassed you know you look at their

Eid prayers you know in Nigeria and you

can put it National Geographic you look

at us praying I eat prayers it's like

please don't take a picture in tell her

you know sitting up or standing up again

right except for the sisters they're the

ones that come off okay but you know we

wanted to call so clothing that would

look good clothing also we can do

ablution with easily and we made

beautiful things and you know in

Pakistan those of you who have been to

Pakistan you're from Pakistan they have

enroll pindy this incredible museum

called Lok varsa and local varsa in

Punjabi means the tradition of the

people and I went to that museum the

woman who took me she was one of the

curators she said and I was this is a

question in my mind

and so she answered it without me asking

it and it's like she said this is a

museum designed to preserve the cultures

of this land not to destroy them because

many people say that you know being put

in a museum is likes a lot of janazah

you know it's this the end of your

culture so they said we don't want to do

that and then if you go there you know

and you look at all these cultures in

Pakistan

you know Punjabi you know Pashtuns you

know the Cyndi's they're all these

different cultures and they're all

beautiful and everyone is distinctive

everyone is distinctive and they're so

beautiful it's like beyond words oh good

look at look at what the Indonesians to

what the Malays do but this is the way

we were traditionally you know you go to

a rosales this beautiful retreat we have

in Spain and you have a tile which is to

me one of the most beautiful tiles in

the world

you know it's an Andalusian tile but

it's called the breath of the most

merciful

and the colors are soft you know and

then you have what is called in a

Contracting Square which looks like a

cross with points and you have expanding

square which looks like I guess an

octagon okay inside and that's that's

the breadth of the most merciful in and

out and you know so how did they develop

that and it's so simple but and

especially I do I'tikaf there in the

last ten days of you know Ramadan if I

can and you know I just like to focus on

those tiles because to me they're

spiritually therapeutic right so this is

who we were and this is who we are and

this is who we must be and you know

beauty is our means right beauty in

making beauty and you know again you

know one of our teachers who studied

metaphysics we talked tonight about my

booty and koona we and others these are

the greatest Mehta physicians they are

spectacular

you know this man spent his life

studying great mother physicians and

that's not something that everybody can

do not everybody can do rocket science

you know but this man he was visiting a

particular place in Pakistan I think

body Imam

or bullish ah I don't know which one it

was and he's overstayed his time so he

came out it was late at night and he had

to be taken to his hotel and his hotel

was a long ways away and there is nobody

there and then out of the darkness came

this cart a cart driver and those of you

who know or do you know what they call

that cart

I always forget and you know the cart

driver he said if you looked at him his

clothes you could buy all of them for

one dollar in the market he was a poor

man and so he spoke them he didn't know

or do he knew Persian he spoke to him in

Persian and said could you take me to

the hotel the man answered or do he

could understand it because the

languages are close he got on the front

seat of the car with this poor man and

the man who was he

this world is filled with amazing things

began to recite to him from Hafez and

Rumi in perfect Persian and he said in

those 45 minutes I learned more about

metaphysics than I learned in 30 years

so beauty is the language of truth also

and that's why you know even some of the

things we talked about tonight because

it put in an intellectual vocabulary

not everybody can understand that but

when you put that into poetry when you

put that into rhyme when you put that

into art and into beauty you know then

everybody gets it and beauty attracts

you then to those meanings this is why

also our societies were so beautiful and

you know a lot about that I remember

going to one of the great I think it's

the celli mia one of the great mass of

scene and in a DNA I think it is and

it's basically read and I actually

couldn't leave that mosque it's like

this is the story of the whole universe

you see it's a he's telling it in colors

he's telling in symbols he's telling

into shapes but like what have you done

here you see so this pulls our souls to

the truth and oddly Nastasia opposite

and that's why we want to replace the

ugly

with beauty thank you on that note I

want to thank you dr. omar on behalf of

the community here for coming this way

also Hodja Samara for coming and

supporting you may you have a blessed

trip here the Maurice Murray tenían say

that Abbas in Shaba may not see any evil

I want to thank everybody for coming out

tonight

may Allah subhana WA Ta'ala bless doctor

Omar Abdullah Farook and his family and

his loved ones and keep him safe and

preserve him Shalom may we benefit from

what we've heard tonight and may you all

return to your homes safe and sound and

and have a blessed sleep with some dream

time inshallah may you say may you see

beautiful things in your dreams

tonight's and shall one of the signs of

the end of time is many beautiful dreams

that are true you see because this is

one of the ways it God's merciful to you

that you live in a world where so many

people don't believe so he sent you

these incredible dreams so may you have

beautiful dreams sweet dreams alive

archaic own ceremony

you

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