Rihla 2014: Book of Knowledge by Hamza Yusuf

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Event Name: Rihla 2014: Book of Knowledge by Hamza Yusuf
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 7/15/2019
Transcript Version: 1

Transcript Text

First of
all welcome
marhaban everybody and I also want to
thank personally the the Science Center
from the balladeer yeah especially you
said Ali I don't want to say your last
name because I'll I'll I can't pronounce
so I don't want to but it was dead Ali
who was with us last year and he's
become the director here and so they
were kind enough to allow us to use this
facility which is a very high-tech this
was a huge multi-million dollar center
and it's the Turkish community and the
government's commitment to really
restoring to our tradition the
importance of science a lot of a lot of
the extraordinary developments that
happened historically in science were
from the Muslims and at a certain point
that aspect of worldly knowledge was
abandoned to a large degree they kept up
astronomy till very late but by and
large you did not see the types of
advancements that you had in that really
period and because of that especially in
the military area the the Europeans who
benefited greatly from the Muslim
knowledge in fact I think it's arguable
that the hadith about one of the signs
at the end of time is untied
and I'm a Tibet aha I mean my personal
interpretation of
I haven't seen it from a scholar but my
personal interpretation of that is that
the Islamic civilization gave birth to
the Western civilization and the Islamic
civilization was a it was a civilization
it was a civilization of servitude and
but it gave birth to a civilization of
of hegemony a civilization of rubia that
really took it upon itself to conquer
nature and instead of working with
nature to subdue nature in fact a
metaphor that was used by Francis Bacon
who is really at the root of Western
modern Western civilization Francis
Bacon is probably the single most
important person in the change that
occurs in Western civilization from a
religious society to a secular society I
mean he really begins that
transformation there are people before
him undeniably but he's at the root of
it when deductive reasoning was
supplanted and and replaced by inductive
reasoning and the scientific method
becomes the only method of knowledge
which is only one aspect of knowledge
and and so the Muslims had metaphysics
but they also had physics and you need
both to have a healthy civilization so
it's really it's important and and the
Turkish the nice thing about this
country is there there is a lot of
intellectual activity and I I spent last
year we had a evening one night with
several the Turkish scholars and I I was
just really impressed to see them
discussing a lot of the ideas in in
Western philosophy they were you know
they'd read Heidegger or Hamas they knew
what post-modernism was they knew what
critical theory was and I haven't seen
scholars in other parts of the Muslim
world and that and those are important
for scholars to be aware of because
these are the things that are people
don't realize that that philosophy is at
the root of what determines the
worldview of civilizations and so to
ignore philosophy is really to ignore
the worldview that is dominant in your
civilization and we have a hegemonic
civilization that is having very very
negative effects on the environment
it's a belligerent civilization it's a
civilization that manufactures massive
amounts of weapons and then spreads
those weapons all over the world and
then really partakes in in in conflicts
that happen as a result of those weapons
and so the Muslim civilization was
traditionally a service-oriented
civilization was a civilization that
every every enterprise involved serving
the poor free hospitals the Muslims
started a lot of the things that we take
for granted in in some of the more
enlightened societies and I'm talking
more not so much enlightened in terms of
religious but just in terms of social
services like the northern European
countries like Norway and Iceland and
Denmark Iceland I think is probably one
of the most intelligent secular
societies out there and they've done
amazing things in their social welfare
prohibiting pornography not on religious
grounds but simply on the commonweal it
wasn't a healthy thing for a society
there they're also one of the few
societies that is truly middle class and
the profits lies to them even though he
chose poverty over wealth and he had the
choice he did that as a way of
solidarity with with poor people which
are the majority of people on the planet
but he preferred middle he preferred the
middle what we would call the middle
and I'm not talking about middle class
in America which is a an extravagant
wealthy class but middle class in
cultures where people have enough they
have their basic needs are met
that's a middle class when your basic
needs are met I mean middle class in the
West is actually would be considered a
very wealthy class historically I mean
the houses that a lot of us live in in
the West if you go and visit King
Abdulaziz his house in in in I mean the
first hundred years ago if you if you
visit his palace in but if which we did
a few years back it's actually far less
impressive than most of the middle-class
houses I've been in in the United States
and that was a king of the Arabian
so people today live like kings of the
past so we were here in Turkey
and this is a really difficult time for
Muslims as all of you are very aware I
don't think anybody here's unaware of a
lot of the events that have been
happening in the Muslim world there's an
incredible amount of suffering going on
right down the road and there's a
helplessness I think that we all feel
how they've been a yeah man but of the
Alon who once said that towards the
latter days the Prophet told him that
towards the latter days he said you hire
and motto bein a Nazi with food or that
people would be given a choice of being
bad people or being helpless people and
one of the tab Union said Kabbalah
lodges may Allah make ugly the
helplessness because these were Arab
people strong people and how they fit
Vanilli a man said Kabakov anta may
Allah make you ugly alleged ooh hey
luminol food your helplessness is better
and profligacy so the sunnah of
helplessness and our prophet was
helpless in Mecca he was helpless at the
if there's a Sunnah of being helpless
and and part of that Sunnah is accepting
your state that is your state its
helplessness and it's a hard state to
accept but that is the sunnah of
helplessness is to accept your state and
to call on God and and to be content
with the cadeau because you there's only
two views on this planet one is that we
live in an orderly universe and this
doesn't just mean the heavenly orders or
the orders of the seasons the flowers
bloom in an orderly manner farmers don't
plant in winter farmers know when to
plant because there's an order if you
plant outside of the season of planting
you're not going to harvest the fruit
they know that and so the nature of
God's world is order and then there's
the people that don't believe that that
this is a chaotic disorderly planet with
no order in it the chaos and disorder
that you see on the planet only comes
from the chaos and disorder that's
within us that when we don't align align
ourselves with heavenly order that's all
it is it's a manifestation of our own
disorder and that is because of
sinfulness it's as simple as that if
people align themselves with God then
Allah subhana wa tada harmonizes their
conditions in Allah Allah Allah aroma be
a common man be apollomon had you're a
maybe enthusiam Allison doesn't change
the conditions of a people maybe a
common he doesn't change the conditions
of a people until they change what is in
themselves so this is to Queen and tech
leave America Queenie and amertek leafy
the condemned
Asians are there mokona there outside of
the tech leaf you can't determine your
conditions you can't determine your
condition that the people in Gaza did
not determine their conditions they were
born into those conditions we didn't
determine our conditions but what we can
determine is what's in our nufs that's
where allah has given us power we can
actually change what's in ourselves and
God says that when you get enough people
to do that he will change your
conditions he that's his business that's
not our business and part of the carbon
topic which is the inversion of
realities that happens at the end of
time is that people are preoccupied with
things outside of their power and
completely unoccupied completely
negligent of things within their power
and so this is a huge problem with the
human condition so the the time we're
here is is a short time
the Quran about a Yemen might do that
about Ramadan it says that they're mad
dudettes is what they call general pilla
you know a yam is Jimmy Aquila that it's
its Alcott's its general pilla it's us
it's a it's a plural of pal city it's a
few days and so we're here in for a
limited amount of time and we want to
make the best of the time that we can
and utilize the time try not to waste
our time
we're inefficient by our nature it's an
outlaws cut about Elena had a shade I
mean this is something even our bodies
are working at about a 30 33 34 percent
efficiency rate in terms of the the
usage of our caloric energy a lot that's
his son in creation you know a car has
about a 7 to 10 percent efficiency rate
90 percent of the cars energies
dissipate is just wasted so humans are
our time wasters were master food
wasters we if you see the tonnage of
food that's wasted on this plan is
beyond belief there was a lot of food
wasted tonight we waste food we waste
money we waste time but what we should
do is make Toba and and get better and
better and Chawla
at trying to utilize the time because as
it's a diminishing commodity if you want
to use a economic metaphor velocity in
l-insana that Vyasa by time man is at
loss because it's just dissipating life
is a is a concatenate of moments it's
just one moment after the other Allah
they called Allah the Scholastic's in
medieval Christianity called God the
nuke stands and and I think they
probably got that from Imam al George
Ani and the teddy fat he says that God
is an atom the eternal now God is in the
present tense but and we are always in
the present tense but we're obsessed
with the past and the future we're in a
state of health about the future fear
everybody's in fear and trepidation
what's going to happen next and then we
have grief over the past this is a human
condition the Prophet SAW I said I'm
sought refuge from these states
Aloha man in the arabika minute hos knee
right minute present minute huh me what
what minute anyone huh what hasn't I
seek refuge in you from anxiety about
the future and hasn't about the past so
he sought refuge in that state you know
from that state so we have a short time
trying to make the best of the time I
people are obviously coming from
different places some people were
already in Turkey so you have no excuses
but the people that came from other
places it takes a little time to
acclimatize and so utilize the time to
get to sleep
when you can and and and then also
because of the nature of this it's an
intensive your minds gonna be stimulated
hopefully and and because of that you
know you're you're gonna be activated
and and that and that will sometimes
make it difficult just to relax so we
have dr. yang who's coming to get you
guys calm down
he's actually he was here last year
people really liked him my advice to you
is he's a real he's a real gem
he's got hit he's comes out of it
another tradition and so be aware of
that he's very respectful of Islam but
be aware of that that he's you know he's
from China and he comes out of a
different tradition but he's a martial
arts expert and he's he'll he was also a
chi gong expert in chi gong chi gong are
the exercises that are related Janey's
martial artists do chi gong as exercises
for kung fu and Tai Chi kung fu is the
young man's martial art in China and Tai
Chi's the older man's martial art but
the Qi Gong are the exercises that they
do to strengthen their their Chi and
their Jing and and and and they're
actually they're very useful he's a
really good teacher he knows him really
well and he's living proof of how
effective they offer for people that
were here last year indefatigable energy
he he he really has incredible energies
and he attributes that to being
consistent in that practice so but and
then hum did all the teachers are here
Allah subhana WA Ta'ala says to the
believers of the ilaha wealthy rasool
ullah lemma demon come obey Allah and
His Messenger and Allah Almighty minkum
the the people put in charge so
at the macro-level we have to obey all
the laws in this country respect the the
state that we're in and I'm sure
everyone will do that but also we have
to respect the people in authority at
the at Doretta
inshallah none of them would abuse their
power like the Sahaba one of the Sahaba
was a mere of a group and he told them
to jump into the fire and they said we
became Muslim to save ourselves from the
fire so when they got back they told the
Prophet SAW lies in him and he said
Authority me my hope and few marceia
taught him you don't know they create
creatures if it means disobeying the
Creator and that's a Qaeda in our
tradition so you should obey the you
know the people if they ask you not to
do something don't get testy with them
if it seems unreasonable or something
like that maybe go to a superior about
it but don't argue this isn't a place
for argumentation the Prophet SAW I sent
him said in a hadith Imam Germany and
others relate to who then can you tell
jet that people don't go astray after
they were given guidance except that
what's replaced argumentation is the
replacement of the guidance that's a
sign that people are astray if they're
arguing and Imam Matic never argued and
if people start arguing in the masjid of
the Prophet he used to get up shake his
already that his shawl and santim how
your war and he would just walk away
our religion is not a religion of
argumentation anima it's my crew for
anima to debate it was traditionally
considered haram for common people to
bethe to debate about religion because
you can't you can't if you don't have
knowledge you shouldn't be discussing
fine points of this that or the other so
don't argue can discuss things that's
important I was looking at these some
really and
collagen some really intelligent quit I
thought they were for me I see no God
but some some really good questions from
the opposite class so it shows good so
you have a right to ask any question you
have a right to ask any question
not all answers are satisfying that's
the nature of dunya you know there's
certain things we just a lot of pseudo
Adam we don't know why a lot of things
happen but the general principles that
we have in our religion give us guidance
in any situation and then the wisdom is
determining what's the appropriate
guidance for the appropriate situation
which is what our odom are called
tactical manat inshallah we'll talk
about that in fact Imam al-ghazali
actually is the originator of that
concept which is a very important
concept in also little fib so I wanted
to read and then I'll just
the prophet Elijah them Abu Huraira
mentions and this is in the book of it
fit and by New England and I met that
the prophets law I said I mentioned that
was talking about when they fit tend to
come and we're living at a time of
fitting and if you don't believe that I
don't I don't know where you are on the
north pole or something like that but he
said lay and you Minshall really mundaka
do erotic that no one will be safe from
this except those who call the prayer of
a drowning man and that really should be
our prayer these days because the planet
is drowning and if you're not aware of
that again I don't know where you are I
heard somebody I was in Istanbul
yesterday and I heard somebody in a
table next to me was saying to the other
oh it's so amazing we went out on the
boss first and there were all these
incredible jellyfish and that person
probably doesn't know this, 
but I actually read a book called 'Stung', which is about how jellyfish are taking over the ocean.  It was one of the most disturbing books I've ever rea.  It was  written by the leading expert on jellyfish who lives in New Zealand, 

but he said, 


he said the happiest people in those days would be
pious people who kept their piety to
themselves if they show up somewhere
nobody knows them if they sit somewhere
nobody's looking for them and he said in
the and the
worse people are the the Habib's the
Miss healthy miss town which is a really
powerful orator you know because this is
a time of demagoguery and so you have
orators that rile people up and get them
stirred up and get them agitated in an
agitated time and then people going
travelling to someplace so and he said
that this fitna would be I'm yeah mobile
email it'll be like a blind dark fitna
tomorrow morale bottom it'll be like
waves of the ocean lay a baton minute
out of William Illumina a to the Lanois
Hoffa there's no home of the Arabs or
the non Arabs except they're filled with
this duel and fear to be Forbush am
without Chappell Iraq it'll be in Syria
and it'll be in Iraq covering Iraq with
topo bill jazeera be ad Huaraz leha and
it will have its hand and foot on the
arabian peninsula
teracle omaha Arkell Adeem the oma will
be pounded like the claw the leather
cloth that's used to grind mill like the
millstone cloth yes Ted 2vl Bella had a
young car Fe had mouth off the
tribulations will be so great that there
won't be the model won't be known who
your fov head monk are and the the moon
car will be what's known last ethereal
haroon and your food and no one will be
able to say stop stop
silence silence well I
now Europeana Hammond area tan alert a
fat ax-cut Manhattan
nobody will show up one part of it
except another part will be ripped open
you spare a juicy ham Amina William C
kuvira people will go to sleep believers
and wake up Caviar's
what I and Jim in her element
a cadaver axle Baha and the only people
that will be saved are people that
called the call of somebody who's
drowning so low on amid this applies to
our time right now but certainly sounds
like it so when were in a difficult time
and I think a lot of people are almost
it's you know I worked in a in a
intensive care unit and you know
sometime we had comatose patients there
and it was always very strange when you
change their IV lines or you cuz you'd
poke them or draw blood or do it and
there was nothing no response so it's
it's a very strange thing to see
somebody really comatose but the oma
seems to be really comatose we just get
afflicted with so much and we need to
call on a lawsuit behind with Diana we
really do this a time we should be
calling the Dada Dada you know somebody
who's drowning because that's the dua of
the one who Allah will always answer
their prayer Yugi moto
he that Iosefa sue Allah will answer the
prayer of the desperate and he will
remove their harm and we should believe
that so
may Allah give you all a blessed time
here I hope you don't see anything that
troubles you while you're here I hope
it's beneficial for all of you and we
should during this time just remember
our brothers and sisters in Gaza in
Palestine in Syria in Iraq Egypt Libya
Yemen the Central African Republic China
now the hue guards are having
difficulties Somalia that's been going
on for a long time even Kenya I mean
recently met with a lady from Kenya very
very high-powered Muslim lady she's has
a very high position in the government
and she was in the United States
visiting and she came had dinner with me
and my family and she said that she's
from Kenya from the Muslims of Kenya and
she said that the Muslims were always
considered the most trustworthy
community in Kenya she said when she was
young they were all the Kenyans
respected them they were known to be
honest as merchants she said now they've
begun to hate us and she said it's very
strange to see that happening and it's
coming from these really harsh
manifestations of people that call
themselves Muslims I don't know where
they get that idea because the Prophet
wasn't was anything but harsh no Cavani
they'll be landfill boom and hullick you
know for be Muhammad in oh man you know
la he'll in tera home it was a mercy
from Allah that you were gentle he was
layin allarakha he was the gentle human
being and he really did not like
violence it was not a violent person if
you study his life he was not a violent
person and but he was a lion in battle
when he was forced to but he said
let the manolio Kyle I do in sahih
al-bukhari don't desire to meet enemies
that there's a sickness in that when you
want to fight it's a sickness it's a
sickness of young men in particular
emerald face inside Buhari
there's a section about fitna it's in
the babble fitna inside Buhari
and and it's and and and it said the
Sahaba said that whenever fitna either
stated fittin whenever fitna arose
amongst the Muslims we used to remember
the lines of emerald peace the jihad
report this is inside Buhari right and
and and and and and the lines are about
the nature of war that that when war
shows up al horrible automatic uno
Fatiha 10 Tessa a busy Nazi highly
khaleja holy that when war first shows
up it shows up like a beautiful young
girl seducing every young ignoramus
Hatta either stand at Waseda be Rama ha
well let a Jews and later that that eheh
Lily until when when the flames erupt
and it becomes the harshness of war she
turns out to be an old hag without a
husband that's what they used to when
fitten came they would remind themselves
don't get pulled into this so there's a
lot of people suffering right now
because of all these fittin that have
happened in the Muslim world and and
it's for those of us who live in bubbles
and most of us do on the one hand we
have to be grateful for the bubbles that
we're in on the other hand we have to be
really aware those bubbles can burst
very easily that in in some ways why
these tribulations are happening to
these people is because they're actually
people that are closer to
God because the Prophet said o meteo
Mattoon Mohammed enjoy their behalf Eden
yaja my Ummah is a is a Ummah that is
mahoma that it has the mercy of God on
it and part of that mercy is that it's
punishment is in this world and so when
Muslims that are close to God when they
go off they get it in this world
and our community has deviated very far
from the teaching of our prophet
Palladino Haruna and Umrah he and
Toshiba home fettino - no Yossi Bahama a
divan alene let them be warned who go
against the guidance of this prophet let
them be warned fell yah
let them be warned if you deviate from
the path of your prophet that he's this
guy he's given you you will be afflicted
with with fitna and painful chastisement
so you know may Allah have mercy on on
our Ummah on all of us and and and may
we keep them really and in our hearts
and in our minds make dua for them
during the prayers the prophets allies
that I'm said call on your Lord when
your heart is is brittle in other words
if you cry for any reason make dua even
if you're crying your pet cat died and
you start crying make dua because the
Prophet said that at that time the
hearts close to God when it's brittle
when it's broken because when when the
heart breaks there's room for the light
of God to come into it and that's why in
Allah and then Monica Sarah tfoo boham
Allah is with the brokenhearted as long
as you keep your faith in God he's with
you and unfortunately a lot of people in
this time are losing their faith and
these are people that it's questionable
whether they had any faith to begin with
because the whole point of faith is not
when things are going
it's when it's when it falls apart
that's when faith is real so if people
lose their faith when it all falls apart
you were just on the wheel of fortune
you were on the top and now you're on
the bottom so when the when fortune was
kind to you
you remembered God but then when fortune
is unkind to you and fortunes a fickle
so I'm Dana we should all remember these
people and I you know I've Lana stands
another place that and they've had 40
years now it's going on the Prophet said
how will you be like when people grow
young people grow old in the same fitnah
50 Netanyahu Murphy has suckier the old
person grow the young person grows old
in it so but we have to be aware you
know it's really on the on the on your
thing it says the three iman is cinnamon
it's an the three dimensions of islam
what is it
the three foundations of islam but
there's really four in the hadith
gibreel that people tend to forget and
the fourth one is the signs of the end
of time and that is our deen and so it's
important to know the signs to be able
to read them if you don't know the signs
when when they come you see the stop
sign if you don't know what that means
you keep driving and you get hit so you
have to know the signs of the end of
time so that I know what this is this is
signs that we're getting closer
I thought about the side - inshallah
bummer so we're certainly closer than
the Prophet said barreto Anna was
Sarkoja attained I was sent in the hour
is like this that was 1,400 years ago so
we know were 1400 years closer and at
it was like this so but we're here the
Prophet said if it comes and you're
planting a seed keep planting it so
we're people of hope and Abu Yussef on
his deathbed the great Hanafy scholar
was memorizing some Messiah
and one of his students said that you're
about to meet your Lord and you're
preoccupied with this he said I'd rather
meet him knowing these things and being
ignorant of them and then and that's the
way of our religion it's no matter what
we keep doing it like the the the
Chinese calligraphers when they're when
they were being attacked and the master
came out and said this is the time to do
our calligraphy they just kept doing
that calligraphy you saw here oh so
that's that's that's what we have to do
just keep doing the work keep learning
the Deen my you know my dissertation is
on Abdullah had been a show and I pretty
much I read everything I could find on
him I read all the public art literature
I read and handled I've read most of
what he's written and what I was amazed
about was he lived the first 20 years of
his life he died at 49 the first 20
years of his life were some of the best
times in Morocco he lived under mansoura
the heavy and very peaceful time but the
second half of his life was was all
civil war and fits in his City Fez was
bombed several times they used to have
medjani up the they would throw fire
bombs in the city was bombed several
times he never mentioned any anywhere I
couldn't find where he mentioned the
fittin all he left behind is FIP
our pita top CEO Tish wheel he was a
master of Tish weed he has several books
Grammer polluted fit that's what he left
behind because fitten are they come and
they go
as long as human beings have been on
this planet trust me that the Mongols
what they did was much worse than
anything that's happening right now in
the Muslim world much worse they didn't
leave anything breathing when they came
into them Muslim cities they just killed
everybody it was much worse
the Muslims actually got their faith got
stronger you look at the post Mongol
period of Islam and it's great great
spiritual even this city there's a shape
Mawlana Rumi gelada Dena Rumi he fled
the Mongol invasion his father had some
premonition and took them out his city
was destroyed after that and they came
here and under the auspices of the
so fit and come and go but this stays
not knowledge stays and that's what
you're gonna take with you you won't
take the fittin with you when you leave
this world you won't take the fit in
with you but Allah says to you
Okara WAPA we recite what you know and
be raised in degrees
you're very latina aminal well Ladino
tell in da Rajat those who believe in
our and are given knowledge that's
that's to have humility rutulian
even though you have to earn it and work
for it and struggle it's still a gift
from God
so inshallah use this time to learn as
much as you can try to implement as much
as you can while you're here from the
Sunnah to make things become habituated
and and I'm gonna talk about that a lot
about habit and invocation of habit
so de alcalá herons vahana Columbia
Homme de que shadow and you know hate
lanta stuff lyric or to avoid a mala