Poisoned Meat - Sacred Text Messages Podcast - S2-E05

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Event Name: Poisoned Meat - Sacred Text Messages Podcast - S2-E05
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 4/25/2022
Transcript Version: 1

Transcript Text

rst of all i want to thank people for coming back to this i apologize for

being absent the last few weeks i was going to try to get some out but i was became really intensely

engaged in some work at zaituna college so today i wanted to

look at a sacred text message allah mentions

that those who have hashia or this awe of god are the the ulama

and allah reminds us to ask the people of knowledge if we don't know

uh and [Applause] are they equal those who know and those

who don't know and so it's central in our faith this idea of knowledge and and we were

commanded by our prophet alaihi wasallam to seek knowledge

to seek knowledge uh in weak narrations it mentions from the cradle

to the grave mentions a report that the prophet saw is im said

seek knowledge even unto china which irrespective of the senate the meaning

is certainly true the prophet saws encouraged seeking knowledge he mentioned that the indo-europeans if there was

knowledge on pleiades that they would attempt to get that knowledge

through space travel even so there's the the idea of seeking knowledge is

very important and ibn umaji and imam rabe and others relate

hadith about seeking knowledge and one of them one of the most famous ones is

that seeking knowledge is an obligation on every muslim and then in the raja of the hadith which

is mudraj hadith is something that the raoi adds the person that's narrating it

ads for clarification and so the rawi added on the narrator added on

to that muslima just so that people would not interpret that to mean the males only that

knowledge is incumbent on the male and the female but one of the most important things in

our tradition also is this idea of honoring the people of knowledge of honoring

scholars and scholarship and recognizing because as human beings what

what distinguishes us from all of the rest of creation is knowledge that we are distinguished

by knowledge it's it's what makes us different animals have all of the other aspects

of our nature so animals eat they can eat more than we can animals

procreate they can procreate more than we can animals can lift things they can build things beavers build dams

bees builds hot build hives ants build ant hills that are actually

called arya in arabic the city of the ants so and they're

they're quite intricate in that so animals do all of these different things but

what can't what can't they do that we can do they they can't reason and they can't

abstract as far as we know there is no other creature outside of the gin on this planet that

abstracts and so because of that the highest knowledges are the most abstract knowledge

and the most abstract of all knowledges is knowledge of god of metaphysics so

honoring scholars is really important in our tradition so i wanted to just look at this

aspect of our tradition one of the things that ibn mubarak said was and he's one of the great

scholars of the third generation he was a student of imamatic and a teacher in his own rights but he

said whoever makes light of the scholars

loses his afterlife

and those who make light of the rulers will lose their their worldly affairs their dunya

and then he said woman

and those who make light of their brothers they lose their dignity so this is

something that [Music] i think traditionally muslims really

understood this that you that there's a hierarchy in the world and that hierarchy is meant to be

respected and without it the world cannot exist as as as as the divine intended it and just to

give you an example we're born into hierarchy we're born into families that that

our parents are over us even we're born into a birth order that will really dictate

certain aspects of our life so we have older brothers and sisters and they have different rights

than we have being in that position being in the elderly position and in some cultures like in this

south asian culture they actually distinguish these things with titles that they give so the big sister

is is actually the word it's not just my sister it's my big sister and so when she's addressed

she's addressed as the big sister out of show a display of respect but also a recognition

of hierarchy in the world there's a wonderful moment in the the the great novelist

dostoevsky's work which is called the the demons one translation is the demons

another translation is the possessed and dostoevsky wrote this novel to really

highlight the fact that russian society was breaking down with all these new

materialistic atheistic ideas and was eroding the traditional religious culture

which which he loved um the slavophilic culture but there's there's a scene in in the

novel where they're they're debating the existence of god and there's an officer who's in this

debate and dostoevsky just makes this mention that he gets up in the middle of the

debate and shouts out as if speaking to himself dostoevsky says he shouts out if there's no god

then how can i be a captain which is an incredibly profound question

because what he was saying if if there is no hierarchy of being then

how can i how can i be in a position that of authority above anyone else if there's no one above me if there's no

god then then because once you remove god all authority

dissipates and this is this is why atheism ultimately breeds communism

which says there's no hierarchy and and yet because it's such a false doctrine it invariably

creates a hierarchy and then they have to kill each other and they have to kill everybody who disagrees with them

so this is something really important so when you lose scholars when you lose this understanding of that there are

people who know and and there's people that don't know and ignorance is real and we're all ignorant every there's many things i

mean there's far more things we're ignorant about than that we have knowledge of about but certainly though those who know

something if for instance if i get into a discussion with a physicist about physics i'm a fool

what i should do is simply if i'm interested in physics is learn from him but this idea that i can have a real

conversation with him even though i've actually read a few

books on physics and i'm interested in physics but i am by no stretch of physicist and

so for me to debate a physicist about physics is is absolutely absurd

and the same is true for instance i was a cardiac nurse but i'm not going to debate a cardiac

physician or a professor of cardiology about whether or not striated muscle is is

real or just simply a name that we're giving to something we don't really understand or

you know is the all-or-nothing frank stark law of the heart is that really is that really accurate who am i to do

that to discuss those things i would be a complete fool if i did that and yet we live in it in

an age where people seem to feel compelled to have an opinion about

everything and i think the worst thing about it is for the muslims who should know

better because allah subhanahu clearly says

and do not go what you have follow what you have no knowledge about don't don't go there

so if you don't know allah says ask the people who know if you don't

know ask the people who know if you do not

know but the problem with that is that it demands humility

and this is the crux of the matter is that a lot of people especially semi-educated

people i heard a christian once he was asked why are all the educated people atheists

and and the real simple people believers like the africans they're all believers

and he literally said the africans you know they're believers and yet the level of education africa is much lower

than europe whereas in europe they're they're much higher levels of education but

the majority of them don't believe anymore and this christian man he said that's very easy because

knowledge tends to puff people up and and they become arrogant and they

actually think they know much more than they actually do know and whereas with with simple people

there's a type of humility that that allows their hearts to be open

to truths that only the heart can comprehend and i just thought that was a really

good answer because my experience for a lot of people that are highly educated

is that they do slip into a type of puffery

and and and it's really sad so just recognizing who that scholarship

if somebody spent their life studying for 40 50 60 70 years i mean we have

scholars that literally have been studying for 70 years like sheikh abdullah and and then

for for me to be like a 30 year old writing articles against him i just

it i mean the goal of it just to make it really amazes me and and now and people obviously oh well so

are you saying they're above criticism nobody's above criticism but who

who is the critic who is the critic the only one above

criticism is the prophet sallallahu isaac and but but who is the critic

because the word in arabic for critic is naked which means the one who can

determine what's gold and what's not so it's the person that can actually

determine whether something is pure or impure so who can do that well that has to be

somebody who really knows something but when when you're young you think you

know everything and as you get older you're you know they say that uh fruit a

heavily laden uh tree with lots of fruit

it it the branches are low because there's so much weight from the fruit and this is the reality people are

humble so one of the things that imam


to attack the people of knowledge especially the greats among them

is from the enormities from the the major sins like just like the kebab so attacking

people that have immense knowledge is actually it's a kibera and what's amazing too it's quite

stunning is that people write things you know they say blessed is the man who dies and his sins

die with him people don't realize that when you write something on the internet and you're dead that's still on the

internet so your backbiting will go on forever as long as people are reading the

internet your backbiting is on there or or if you write an article if you write a book

against somebody and the thing is people can write books we have a great

scholars who attacked other scholars but they were great scholars so imam

razari can attack evan cena and then even russia could come along and attack

imam razali because they're they're they're critics they can determine

what's gold and what's not gold and they can be wrong just like any critic can be wrong but they're at that level where

they can do that and so it's always interesting to me that the people that tend to attack the

scholars tend to be nobody's ever heard of them they haven't written anything

they haven't really established themselves as great intellects i mean i'll be the first to admit that

i just i don't like i don't know who i could really criticize amongst the great scholars

because i would feel like such an idiot just like to write a book against i love ibn

rushid he disagreed with imam al-ghazali and i love imam

but i'm not going to write a book about why even russia was wrong in his criticism of imam al-ghazali i

just wouldn't do that even though the ulamas say generally our olympus say that he was wrong in certain

of his critiques but i'm not going i might quote a scholar saying that but to to say that

is it seems like just an extraordinarily uh overarching uh thing to do

and i mean obviously to point out things that our scholars have said uh that are

that are wrong if it's agreed upon or if there's reasons to do it then

you know i would make an exception for that probably but again you have to know your place in the grand

scheme of things even the angels say each one of us has

a fixed station like not to go beyond your station and it's better to think you're below

your station than to think you're at your station or above your station

says that whoever is has a station

that he genuinely has and he claims it allah will take it away from him and if he claims the station over his

station allah will expose him with scandals and and if he claims a station less than

his station allah will elevate him to a station over he says that

and and he looks at that like a metaphysical um so it's it's really important not to

uh you know to not to know who you are and where your

place is in the grand scheme of things it's it's actually a very important thing to know that's why self-knowledge is so

important because how can you know anything else if you don't know yourself how really can you know anything when

yourself is the closest thing to you and yet so many people do not know themselves they don't know their limits

they don't know their intellectual limits like to recognize at a certain point which i had to do at a certain point

i just realized i have real intellectual limitations genuine intellectual limitations and and

largely because i i i read a lot and then i

see what really profound thinking is and i see what really original thought is

and i see what really illuminated thought is and then i look at my own thinking and i look at what my what i have

produced myself and i recognize what an immense gap is between

myself and my own understandings and that of the people i read and one of the things that i've noticed that a lot

of people do a lot of people read books you know there's a great line

by a poet laureate who he won the nobel prize for poetry that says you know

people read books and repeat quotations draw conclusions on the wall that

there's rooney said if you want to be considered a great scholar just say whatever you

want and then attribute it to somebody else and so there's so many people that

like they read tafsirs and then they they speak it as if it's their own

insights like they don't tell who they're quoting like i i heard one person giving a talk

and i knew exactly where he was getting everything because i'd read the same thing and yet never once did he say it's from

so and so it was as if he had all these amazing insights into the the book of allah

you know or something you make of the quran and like oh this is uh you know

or something how does he know it's he read in the tafsir that it was

he didn't produce that and this is the difference between a student of knowledge and real scholars

is that students in all we read what others have said but for us to think that we can produce something

that from our own quote unquote original thought hey hatsa like the arabs say so it's

just really important to know that and i think the older you get the more the more you you kind of you realize

that that that uh that we're just so limited in our understanding but attacking scholars is just really

really dangerous attacking anybody is dangerous unless there's a real reason to to to do that and obviously delusion

is an important part of human existence many people are deluded and so obviously they'll say oh i'm just protecting the

dean and and i mentioned that imam al-khazad's great quote in the book of knowledge but abdullah

bin maser said um

this is the sahabi a companion of the prophet him and he said that all of tribulation

is related to speech he said if i mocked a dog i would be

afraid that i would be turned into a dog that it's just it's something we have to

be really careful about just making fun of people uh or attacking people doing these

things i mean it seems to be the the zeitgeist now is all about attacking other people that

that's what there's so much of it there's so much uh negativity out there and

and i i think if you go online and and and look at this you're going to get sick i'll tell you

something that uh uh said he said something amazing

and and and this is uh mentioned in mustafi it's uh it's a very interesting

statement but so it's recorded that you imam ahmed himself in london said this the flesh of the scholars is poison

whoever smells it will get sick but whoever eats it will die

meaning the heart it's the death of the heart so whoever smells it that means that if you just read it if you're reading people making fun of

or attacking or and there's a lot of it and i'm not putting myself in here let me let me

make something perfectly clear i don't i am a student of knowledge i do not consider myself

one of the ulama by western standards people can consider somebody a scholar

that's fine but not by islamic standards i know what a real scholar is because i've actually

been blessed to study with them this is who they're talking about they're talking about these people who

allah has chosen because the prophet sam said in the hadith

sahih that illinois relates the prophet isaiah said

whoever allah wants good for he will give them understanding of the

religion that is called the joomla it's a conditional sentence

which means that if somebody has understanding of this deen allah wanted good for them so who are

you to want bad for them if allah wanted good for them woe unto you

woe unto you and and and so when you look at people who've been given great knowledge if you

say oh he's this or he's that or he's you don't know what his ishtihad is you

don't he's working with a whole other set of criteria that you don't have you don't

know what you don't know what he's going to defend himself on the day of judgment how are you going to defend yourself if

you attack him and he has an ishti had that allah said

on the tongue of his prophetizing because all