Learning To Be Human (w Umar Farooq)

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Event Name: Learning To Be Human (w Umar Farooq)
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 4/27/2019 10:22:01 AM
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heir 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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<