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

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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 peopl