The Jewels of the Qur'an Session 1

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Event Name: The Jewels of the Qur'an Session 1
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Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 4/22/2022
Transcript Version: 1

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ramadan mubarak to everyone out there alhamdulillah i'm going to start
a short course on the great imam razadi's quran i have some preliminary
things that i want to cover before i actually go into the book itself but alhamdulillah inshallah it's going
to be very interesting i hope and may allah subhanahu wa to give all of you may allah bless your ramadan may
inshallah increase all of you give you lots of openings this is the month of returning to the book of allah subhanahu
wa ta'ala for those who have neglected it for increasing our recitation of it for
those who have been reciting it throughout the year and for delving into deeper understandings
of the book of allah so in essence the ramadan is like a continuing education if you're a
physician or a lawyer or anybody that's in a vocational field a dentist
then you have to do what are called continuing education courses so that you keep your skills
upgraded and you constantly honing your craft well the spiritual path is
actually far more serious than those aspects and so it's really important for us to
to really re-ignite reconnect to the book of allah subhanahu wa ta'ala
which is the foundation of our faith and then following that obviously the sunnah of our prophesies
him and then not just his verbal or oral sunnah but actually the sunnah of practice
what imam called and so the reason i wanted the jew do the
jawahar quran i mentioned this last year because we looked at ibm jose kelvi and i i love even jose alkelby
it's one of my favorite tafsirs the tassiel it's a brilliant tafsir it's short
concise but it's one of those oceans where every time you dip into it you realize
that how how could have he done that how how did he get so much into so a few pages
well imam razadi is is the ocean his own teacher imam joining said that he was
that he was an ocean that would drown you that once you go into him uh he
is an ocean and it's really important to emphasize when we talk about imam marquez
is that he has been much maligned of late by our community
and unfortunately it's one of the signs of the latter days that the prophet sam told us that the
people towards the end of the ummat would curse or speak ill of the people at the outset
of the ummah so this has to be fulfilled i suppose but i feel sorry for those people that
are the ones that are fulfilling that hadith so imam razadi as you can see
i'm using the term the oceanic imam and sheikh the proof of islam the wonder
of his age and that comes from imam dahabi the great muhaddith and historian
who was a stu famously a student of ibn taymiyah the the the
and the uh he was a polymath but ibn temi and imam razadi
have a very interesting relationship i mean obviously even timmy is after him but in many ways have been tamiya's
responding to imam khazadi so it's one of the dialectical conversations in our ummah
so imam al-zabi calls him al-imam al-bahar and bahar in arabic
can mean different things but here it clearly means ocean in the in the facade of in the quran that actually
means in in the bed amongst the beto and in the cities so the baha'i means the the korah and the mudun
because often cities are built by rivers or by oceans because of the trade the
importance of trade coming to them so the bahar can mean different things but it's used for
the meaning of ocean and interesting is related to the word heber in the great derivation so the
the jews are called ahbar because the hebrew is also the bahar he's the bahar of ink and the prophet
sallallahu islam who is the great ocean that we all
are either marveling at on the shore or others have dived into his sunnah
and are drowning in the glories of his sunnah the prophet sallallahu alaihi salaam
interacted with the the akhbar and went and used to debate them so they they the hiber is the person who
spends a lot of ink uh in in his uh occupation
so imam dahabi calls him imam al-bahar
he is the huja of islam the proof of islam and the wonder of the age
and this is important because of who
is he he's he's clearly one of the great scholars of islam
and so when a great scholar of islam acknowledges another scholar and gives him titles like that you have to take it
very serious another great scholar who is the the polymath and the hafel
ibn najar he actually says about about the imam khan imam khan imam
and then he said that he was also the rabbani of the ummah rabbani
rabbani um
that's what he calls him so even ajar who was in baghdad and he lives after imam not
that long after imam al-qazadi but he is one of the great imams of baghdad and and he said that he was
a a an imam in iraq and he was you know and and he had
mastered it so he said he's the imam al-fukah which means that he's really
there they're the master and and and i'm going to go into that more but so as we
move in i want to just begin by before we get into jawahar quran i'm going to take you through two doors the
first door and which i'm going to look at inshaallah today is the door of the imam himself and looking at the imam and why he's so
important and why he has to be restored to his position because some people have tried to knock him off
his pedestal and this is not the first time that it happened it's happened in the past but he is
the most important jurist after the first generation in the history of islam
and he's also one of the most important theologians and he is certainly probably the most
important mystic of the islamic tradition so in that way he is after that first generation he is the
imam of of iman the imam of of islam and the imam of ichsan
for the sunni tradition the shia traditionally have had a difficult time with him because he did spend
the the the little time that he spent in refutation was in refuting the shia so unfortunately because he's iranian
one would think he would be one of the great treasures of iran
he's not as appreciated i think as he should be although the shia did benefit from and not nasiruddin atosi who's a great
shia scholar did so he was born in tulsa which is in a area that was really called
khorasan so today you can have afghanistan you have turkmenistan and you have northern iran all of that
was called horizon so the avrahanis are really the turkey
the turkmen the turkmenstanis are harassanis and the people of northern
iran because it's a persian word that just means where this is so from uh the sun is
is is sun is that right it's yeah sun so is where it rises
is that correct yeah so he was born in this place uh in in in tus in northern iran
and his father was a a simple some say he was a gazelle like
a a person who was a wool carter and that's why there's a debate about his name was he imam ragazzali or is it with a
soft zay but his his his father was a very simple man who
loved the ulama and he used to serve them and he would honor them and he would
treat them and do whatever he could for them and he made sincere du a to allah that he had two
sons ahmed and muhammad muhammad is muhammad ahmed
becomes a scholar and a great mystic but his son abu hamid really becomes
hajjit and i think it's from the sincerity of his father but he was raised an orphan because his father dies
in his early years he left him to be taken care of by somebody when the money ran out
he put them in a madrasa because he couldn't afford to keep them and so they grow up in this madrasa
in tus which is where he learns the beginnings of his his knowledge and he studied with an
imam there uh where rath kali is his name and he's he's very interesting and then
he moves to georgia and that should say georgian which is gurgan which is near what they call it
and he studies there ima many great imams from this place imam jirjani was from there both
giorgiani's because there's two of them but a really truly extraordinary place of knowledge
so he goes there and he studies with abu nasar al-isma'ili some says
this is around 465 he was born in 450 and so he's about 15 years of age
so he's literally on his journey now and he spends he stays there with uh with this sheikh
was a former boshich in um in in in and he basically memorizes
quran uh he did that earlier he studied arabic but he studies with him
chavez and and he basically writes what's called the talika which is essentially all of his notes of
the lectures because this is a time when scholars did what is called amali they just umly
so for instance has a book called amalia dalalet which
is a a very formidable book in also all of it was from lecture he did it
without notes simply lecturing off the top of his head his students recorded it and then it was
transcribed and then he edited it but those were his amali very few scholars can do that today i
know one more italian scholar who told me that he could write in this moment
he um me i could i could dictate to you 40 books in 40 sciences
and he said since i mastered those sciences i've only been asked about three out of out of the so 37 he was never
even asked about so he he basically writes on his after four years
close to five after studying with this man he's on his way back and he tells this story
where these brigands come and they and they basically robbed the caravan this was quite common in those days
and they robbed the caravan and so imam al-ghazali i mean you can imagine he's 19 years old
and he's just studied and he's mastered all of this uh knowledge that he's learned
but he hasn't memorized it so he understands it but he hasn't memorized it so the thief takes his uh
his his bag of books and the imam runs after him and begs him
please don't take my knowledge from me and at that point the thief laughs at him and the thief says to him
what kind of knowledge is it that a wretch like me could steal it from you
can you can you really call that knowledge and says i knew then
that allah made him say that for me to know that that is not knowledge if it
can be stolen from you by a thief it's not knowledge and so he goes back to those
and spends the next three years memorizing everything he had learned by rote so that nobody could ever take it from
him again and then at that stage he sets out for what's
called nisabur or nishapur and this was another great
center of learning in northern iran today it's called northern iran and he studies with the great imam abu
ali imam al jawaini he's also called imam haramein he was probably the most brilliant
scholar of his age in phike he was a chef a jurist but he was also an osuli which
means he studied legal philosophy so the philosophy of law and what's more important is he's really
even though arguably imam shafi malik imam and imam abbahanibah all are
working in a makasidhi approach that's undeniable if you if you look at their methodologies
but it hadn't really been articulated the beginnings begin with imam shafi when he writes his famous
resala but then it's imam al-juwani that really develops the makasidhi
school so he comes up with the five universals uh that these are the makasid of of
of our religion like protecting the religion itself protecting life protecting
intelligence reason itself protecting family and then protecting
the property and then the the sometimes they add a six which is
dignity but most of them include that in family because honor and that all goes under
your name because you carry your family name so anybody that disparages it is disparaging your honor so they put
havoc in heaven so imam al-ghazali now you can imagine
the toffee that imam al-juani must have felt by having a student like imam razadi because he actually has him teach
in his madrasah very early so he studies with him there for uh five years he goes there when
he's 23 imam al-juni dies but what's really important
this was a time when there was a lot of fitan imam jueni or adilanu was actually there were assassination
attempts on his life because of the botania he actually had to flee at a certain point he goes to
he's called the imam haramein because he goes to mecca and medina he taught in mecca and medina
but he had the greatest student of the age and it's just extraordinary that
allah brought those two together and that's very important to remember that you know they say if you see a
turtle on a fence the one thing that you can deduce from that is that it didn't get there by himself
and there's a lot of truth uh to the fact that wherever you are in the world you did not get there on
your own and if you study it's your teachers that are
going to make you or break you i mean just it's it's the reality teachers will either turn you off of
knowledge and unfortunately many do that to young people or they will ignite a fire
in you that that is in it's it's just the kindling is there it's all ready but it's it's a great
teacher that will ignite that fire in in the student and this is imam al-khazadi already had that fire
but when he goes to imam jawaini amazing things happen one of the first things that he does is
he masters his book al-burhan in us and then he actually abridges it so he
br bridges his teacher's book and then brings it to him and and shows him the book so he's very
impressed with it then he goes uh after imam joining dies in um when the imam is 28
he he actually goes to the court of nitham and you have to understand that imam razali will be the first to admit
that he was an incredibly ambitious person and in fact so one of the things that the the people
of uh of uh you know the spiritual masters of the religion say is that the last thing to leave the
heart of sincere people is habriasa it's love of leadership because it's love of leadership that often
it gets them there without that they won't have that drive to outstrip everybody else because they
have that thoroughbred nature and so he goes to nilam
now nidham al-mulk who was a seljuk minister nilam al-murk was actually a righteous
minister the government arguably was not a great government like all governments it had
its problems and there were a lot of there was a lot of dissent but even tamiya one of the things that
he points out is that the idea that you cannot work with governments unless they're perfectly angelic
is he said it's insane because it will lead to all of the aspects of the religion
falling into disarray because governments are the ones that establish the mosques in muslim countries they're the ones that have the mahakam
the the courts they have the uh ifta the fatwa places so if if all the ulama
in their righteousness say i'm not going to have anything to do with the government then who runs the government and i'll give you one
example of this there was a man named muhammad sharif who was a libyan
and he worked in the government under qadhafi and i actually
visited him in 1978 in libya with one of my teachers
and he hosted us he's a beautiful man he helped so many people he helped
africans he helped all and then but he stayed in the government for years never said anything
he was doing everything in spite of what what was happening he hated
gaddafi he hated the government but he was the he was a hidden man he was like the men amongst ali faraon
the believer within alif raon and they actually wanted to try him after
the the um the rebellion and uh the death of qaddafi but thankfully
because of the intercession of some good people particularly jordanians he was able to go to jordan he has spent
his life doing his works he's he's one of the few people that did critical editions of his
works so that's an example of somebody at the time there were probably people that saw him he's adam sultan he's just working with
the government imam
he said i learned knowledge for other than allah but knowledge refused to be other than for allah
and so even though he might have had his nia was not always the best his
path because he was a sincere seeker his path was his purification and so he went
through great tribulations so he gets into the court he completely floors
nizam and moku was adam himself and was surrounded by ulama and he sees him as somebody
this man is going to be very useful and and
had a project at the time they were cursing the ashari's on the mimbars literally cursing them the ashari
mutikalimun the theologians there was a lot of fitnah in the community
the the the ismailis the botania were very strong the occultists and i'll talk about that later
so there's all these problems and he it's just amazing what he does because
he comes in and he he can win every argument he is just so formidable and so
irrefutable that um the ulama just they can't they can't handle him and so
they a lot of envy a lot of jealousy but nilamon mok sends him he becomes a full professor in baghdad
at the neva mia now you have to understand at the at the young age i mean he's in his early 30s
and he's a full professor at a place where most of these teachers are going to be in their 60s and 70s right so it's quite stunning and
but then he has a crisis the crisis comes about the age of 38.
he goes into what we would call a an existential crisis in the west they'd probably call it a
midlife crisis where he really begins to he goes through a period of radical
skepticism and doubt and just is wondering and this is partly because of his own
genius and because he's he penetrates so deeply into things but he really begins to question everything
and because of that he actually loses the ability to talk he can't teach anymore and this is a man
who the ulama came to listen to even appeal the great grammarian and
and scholar used to come and sit i mean this is a man who the great the ulama of baghdad
would come to sit in his lectures that's that's how formidable he was
but he he just can't talk and the doctors basically say
you need a psychologist you know we're we're physicians we we can't we can't do this you you
need somebody adam and neff's because this is a it's not a physiological problem this is a psychological problem
and so he basically decides to to just really examine everything and he he
looks he he identifies four sources of knowledge he calls them the theologians the mutu
and then the philosopher the rationalists and then the the botania the occultists
like people that seek knowledge through the occult through hidden arcane knowledge esoteric
knowledge and and then finally the mystics who at that time were called sophia
which should not be confused with what a lot of people associate with so called sufiya because there's imam
al-khazadi was one of the great critics of these so-called sufis and he was actually if you look at him
he's far more critical of sufism than than uh than not in the yeah he's
constantly condemning a lot of practices but he recognized intuition that the the knowledge that
that the uh the the people of tasaw are talking about is intuitive knowledge
it's kash knowledge and he realizes that this is essentially real knowledge because there's a
berkeley professor paul fierio band who wrote a book called against method in which he argued it's a very radical
book and i'm not i'm not recommending people read it but i did read it many many years ago
and one of the arguments he made which is very interesting in the book is that he said that scientific method
has never helped any major discoveries in science all major discoveries in science were
intuitive scientific method is what helps the dummies understand it
but but the actual breakthroughs came from great moments of insight and you will find this many of the nobel
prize winners i mean linus pauling who won the nobel prize in in chemistry he had he he saw
the whole thing in a fever like in his mind now one could argue all their study
helps produce those moments and that's very possible but the point is intuition is an underrated understanding
of knowledge heads because all of knowledge is founded on the concept and the concept is
mystical in its essence just the fact that we have consciousness the fact that we can see things
and perceive them and then take the one out of the many an abstract and
all these things are coming out of an intuitive source that we don't understand some
will call it the agent intellect there's there's a lot of debates about where that knowledge comes from but essentially
it is a mystical type of knowledge that is the foundation of all knowledge and so he realized that that was the
real true knowledge but it's not easily acquired and and so um he goes into seclusion
this is a very early i think this is the first picture of damascus if you see the minaret on the right apparently that is the
minaret where he actually resided for uh uh over a year
some say 18 months i mean there's debates about this even in his own book there are some debates i mean some
people have accused him of prevarication in the book which i don't think is fair because
first of all people when he was in the state that he
was in one wonders just what was going on in his mind because he was in a very
profound state of um aporia so
but he does spend time there and this is where he begins to write the ulamadin this is part of his project but
not all of his project and then he actually goes to damascus to jerusalem
and he writes
which is really a fundamental book in in qaddam which i'll get to and then he
goes uh some say he visits egypt there's a debate about this he was
planning on visit visiting yusuf tashifin yusuf teshafeen is the great muraba
leader who who actually conquers andrussia it was imam al-ghazali who wrote him a letter
arguing to him that he must go and save andrussia because if he doesn't it will fall to the christians
and so some say that it's actually imam al-qazadi that led to the murabitun going into in the famous battle in
zalaqa where they defeat the christians and then he restores uh the the uh the unity of
antarctica after it had fallen into what are called very similar to what's happened today in the muslim world
so and then he goes on he makes his pilgrimage to mecca and medina
and during this time i mean there's wonderful stories about him but during this time he was literally sweeping
uh the mosque in the umayyad mosque this was the man who had been a dean
at the the greatest university uh in in iraq and and he's just
wants to be left alone and he's just he wants to work on himself and then he
goes back to baghdad and spends a short time there and he
at this time he's about 49 years old so some say and there's debates about this
and and i'm gonna take the imam at his own word there are debates about this some say and the the persian letters
indicate that he actually was gone less than that he was probably gone about two years
but for whatever time he was in seclusion this was a time the great jurors
visits him and abu bakr who is really one of the masters of the islamic tradition he was
a he was a a brilliant exegete of the quran he was a great maliki fakhri
he actually went and visited and he's the last student in iraq that imam rahzadi took
and he read with them yeah he takes back imam al-razadi's teachings to morocco
and then it becomes it begins to spread initially the murabitun rejected his book because of some of the
kalam problems that they found in it they were much more selfie in their orientation and by salafi i mean not mujasima salafi but
the traditional salafi not anthropomorphous but the people that were dogmatic
following like imam tahawi type text very simple they didn't like any elaborate uh
dialectical theology so he then basically goes uh to
nis nisapo ne sapor and he teaches in the nilami at this time he's teaching
usual and other things but he's about 50 years of age then he goes back to tus he opens up a
zawiya what they would call a i think they called hanaka or
yeah so he opens up a type of place where he's really doing character
development and spiritual work and teaching he most of the time was spent in recitation of quran at this
stage in his life he was he was reciting the quran at least once a week
and so and and with great deliberation
in 40 years he wrote 72 books some will argue because the books are like has 40 books so you could look
at it as 40 as opposed to just one so some say it's actually 400 books if you look at them but i think
around it's around 70 72 books somebody worked out given the amount of paper
somebody worked out he would have had to write for korrasa every day in his entire adult life from the time
he was about 18 until the end of his life to actually write what he'd written which is about 40 pages a day
he would have had to write so an incredible output so now i want to talk and this is really
at the heart of what i wanted to talk about today i want to talk about what is his project because imam
razadi has a project it's it's the m
project what is that project first of all and i use the term liberal arts i mean
the the traditionally this is a western term i like it because it's understood in the
west but it really is the same concept as the term the
that was used in the uh in the in the muslim world as the ulum allah these are the instrumental arts
they're the arts that that are studied to train the mind so that the mind can actually begin to understand reality
and and so this is part of his project and from that he is really his whole focus
is on reviving the sciences of iman islam and essen
and then that involved kalam in iman legal theory in islam and then
the inner path in on as a side project he has the refutation fundamentally of
two groups that had huge impact one of them was the peripatetic philosophers and the other were the
occultists the peripatetic philosophers and it's important to remember when they say that he he destroyed
philosophy he was focusing on one school of philosophy which is the peripatetic school and
and he identifies 20 problems three of which he considered to be really kofar and then 17 of which
to lesser and greater degrees but the methodology of the philosophers he
recognized as the best methodology and this is why he was not opposed to philosophy but he
was opposed to the results of certain schools of philosophy this is really important to understand ibn khaldun who wrote considerably
against philosophy in the mukha says despite the
errors of the philosophers their methodology is the best best methodology so even even hadoon
admitted this is the one that introduces the methodology of
the philosophers into kalam into usual and
and arguably into essen so and for that reason uh even tamiya
and and in many ways i i think really motivated from a very pure
uh he had a very pure intention i think but i don't think he recognized what the
imam was trying to do and why he was doing it the imam saw
the the fragmentation of the ummah well he saw what was happening and he recognized that there were tools
out there that we would need to protect this religion from the onslaught from outside
and it's not to say that the the religion itself wasn't enough it it is enough but the prophet saw
islam said al hikmatul that wisdom is
the lost property of the believer like a lost writing beast of the believer wherever he finds it and
now wherever he finds it he is more worthy of it because he will use it for the right reasons
so he really saw that there was great benefit in these tools in the same way that ab hasn't ashari
recognized the same thing in his kalam project ibn ibn sina
who is much maligned in our community unfortunately was an absolute genius that we should be
incredibly proud that allah made him from this ummah because he is one of the greatest thinkers in human history and peter
adamson actually argues that he's probably the single most influential philosopher in european history not just
in and he's an expert obviously on on um on ibn cena
but avasena is his right now the quarantine this is this is even though the prophet saw i
said first articulated the quarantine imam ibn was the one that said it should
be for 40 days he said people should wash their hands with vinegar
because these diseases are spread by what he called said the like harmful bodies
viruses aren't even living things according to most scientists there is a debate but most of them say they're not living
things uh the viruses they behave as if they were but they're actually not they're just
genetic materials material that have codes in them that uh corrupt our cells so
so the project is an a form of a one so in in the liberal arts he has two
fundamental books that are really important the first one is called
and this is his theoretical book he wrote it it's a book of logic and he wrote it because he felt that
the human mind was so fallible that it needed to be trained so
this book is literally the grammar of thought now most people
when they learn a language correctly and and i know there's debates about this but i actually believe in prescriptive
language so i'm going to use the word correctly there is incorrect usage of language and correct usage
by grammatical terms a lot of people don't like these terms anymore but uh so be it the
the grammar of thought is to learn how the mind should work properly when
it reasons that's what the grammar of thought is so this is called mantip
even temmie wrote a book called even though he was a logician he wrote a book called reputation of the logicians
because he said and this is a very interesting statement he said logic does not benefit stupid people
and it's superfluous for highly intelligent people that is absolutely true the problem is
most of us fall in the bell curve in that middle
and this is why the sahaba didn't need mantech because the the ones that were fukaha
and were reasoning were reasoning with their brilliance and so people that are highly intelligent
generally don't need month they still will benefit from this training but they don't need it so mantak is to
teach people uh of lesser capacity how to avoid pitfalls like hasty generalization it's
a logical fallacy in what's called material logic because we do that naturally i i had three south asian taxi drivers
in new york they all cheated me so every south asians had cheat that's obviously a fallacy
so that that but that's how the mind works so that's his first book and it's a
brilliant book we're actually alhamdulillah it's been translated and it's being edited now and so we we're actually this
is going to be part of the zaytuna curriculum series so alhamdulillah that book should be out hopefully within the year
the second book he wrote which is i think one of the most extraordinary books in uh in ethics and that is
which is so the m is the standard of knowledge
is the scales of action so that you could weigh every action and determine whether the action was
worthwhile or whether it wasn't so it's a book of virtue ethics it's a brilliant book it's heavily
influenced by the great polymath and persian scholastic who wrote
one of my favorite books so now just in iman he wrote
his two most important books one is the abridged version the other is more extensive
so economy in in belief and the other one is the principles of
the axioms of creeds of creed uh now so that so he has his project of
introducing the approach uh using logic in in
scholastic uh theology now it's important to remember the last book that he wrote probably is
called il jamil awam an el milkaram not allowing common
people to study theology so he was not somebody that really
encouraged but he recognized that a certain group of scholars must learn this
because it will enable them to refute the obfuscations and the attacks
of the religion by people from outside so for instance right now we have all of these philosophers we have
deconstructionists we have structuralists we have post modernist we have post-colonialists we have all these
different we have critical race theorists we have all of these p and then we have
also the analytic school we have people that are working within that school not not
just philosophers theologians like alvin plantinga who i was
fortunate enough to be part of the award ceremony a brilliant scholar working within a
certain school of philosophy to defend faith so he understood that you're always
going to have these people out there who use their intellects and sophistry to confuse people and if you don't have people
trained to recognize it to see it and to be able to refute it you're going to get into trouble and what will happen is you will be left
to the argument of blood that that that's when you can't defend your religion with intelligence
uh the people that are zealots that don't have the intelligence or the training to defend it
will end up defending it through violence and that's not a defense of religion blood is no argument so that's a really
important thing to remember now in islam he took the abridgements of
imam juwani the imam jawaini wrote a famous book called nihitar
in in the chavez it's a very important book but he he takes it and he writes a long
abridgement of it a middle abridgement and a short abridgement at basil
in fact one of the uh house
early on only 10 years after the imam died he died he said shay that method
was so these are the four books in furua that imam al-khazadi
writes the people who are shafi know this imam rahzali is the most important after imam jueni
i mean obviously the imam himself imam shafi but all of the later books that come after
including imam nowy are all dependent on the books of imam
so these are foundational books in the method this is in furua not in ho so this is in the branches of
jurisprudence and not in in the legal philosophy now in isan he writes
as a beautiful short book called which is really to prepare a person for the spiritual
path to get you to be doing uh practices uh on a daily basis but then
he writes his magisterium which is reviving the sciences of the religion and i'm going to get into that
he then abridges it in persian in a book called kimiya the alchemy of of happiness and then
and this is the book inshallah i'm going to be talking about in a few days
he writes a book called jawaharlal quran he writes it quite late he's referencing all his other books in
it this book is his theory of the quran and what you realize from this book
is his entire tradition revolves around the quran everything the
imam was doing is really revolving around the quran
primarily and then the sunnah of the prophet secondarily so he is a jurist of the first order
and he brings his juristic world view
into into the quranic world and into the prophetic world but it also is working in his
theological perspective and in his spiritual perspective now the third book is very interesting
it's called kitab again it's relatively late so these
three are the abridgements actually is three parts and the third
part is the the kitab al-arbayin this is the third part so he said in when he wrote jawahar
quran he said if you want you can use this as a separate book because he
wrote that it it was later published as a separate book but it's actually part
of the of the quran so he shows you what the quran is calling us to and
and and and that is why his entire opus is basically a commentary on the quran
and the prophetic life as we know is a commentary on the quran so it all goes back to the
book of allah the prophet saws is an explanation of the quran
everything is from the quran it's all from the quran i'm not a qurani i'm i'm 100 believe in
the kitab but the sunnah is an explanation of the quran
and we should understand that you need the sunnah you can't understand the quran without the sunnah
and i'll talk about that you mentioned a dialectical relationship between imam al-khazadi and
andy bentimi could you expand on the nature of that relationship and their respective ideologies
even tamiya is is a undeniable he's a polymath
he he was a brilliant scholar he was a hambury he was a fakie uh he was also
a a um a comparative uh religionist so he he he
wrote books on the on the old testament the new testament he has a six volume book that's very
important it's i mean it's a extremely important book he also wrote a book on
a book on the uh the the problems of knuckle and and reason uh knuckle being what's
transmitted so revelation and reason i think at the root of the difference is
even tamiya really wanted to
just keep it at the book and the sunnah like he really want he did not
want the type of edifice that was emerging out of the um
of the tradition of islam and and in some ways you have to
appreciate that because there's something very profound about the simplicity
of teachings and and in many ways tradition becomes very cumbersome
and and and i think kierkegaard has a very similar uh attitude towards what
happens within christianity um so i i appreciate him tamiya i really
do i appreciate what he's trying to do but i really feel like you cannot deny
the the human uh creativity that comes out of that
initial inspiration and you can't deny the fact that the prophet saws was a syncretist
in that he said seek knowledge the quran says seek knowledge it says go out explore
the world um go look how creation began that's that's that's a recommendation to
go study geology the quran has history it says look at
the people that went before you the quran certainly has metaphysics
so all of those are there and so the elaborations that come out of that initial inspiration
what you want to do is mitigate the the influences that are dangerous like
and they're going to slip in but you want to to prevent them and i think that was his
project i i think and i have to say this and i'm not the first person that said this
but i think imam al-azadi's his his intellect is just so vast
and and and i think um imam subhki syria zaruk and others
said that even tamiya was more reliable in his nakan than in his actual
the way that he uh looked at the knuckle so i think that's
fundamentally at the heart of the differences so like i said i appreciate and i actually understand
what even temiya was trying to do but i i really think in the end he's
he he's his his project was a a critical pro like he is criticizing a
lot like a lot of his books are criticizing imam al-razadi's project is a project he's building like he's
really trying to to build a normative islam that will
withstand the onslaughts of materialism of philosophy
of uh of atheism of all that's what he's trying to do he wants to
he wants to build a fortress around the book and the sunnah imam ibn tamiya he wants
he feels like the book in the sunnah doesn't need a fortress says no it needs a fortress and i'm
going to build it and i think that's fundamentally the difference aloha but we respect both of them and
and traditionally uh there were far more
critics of the bentaymia in our ummah than there were of imam they both have critics far more are
critical of ibn taymiyyah's project than they are of of imam al-khazadis but people are going to differ on this and
there's people that are going to stay with ibentemia i don't think it's
like you have to choose one or the other but but i think you have to recognize that one of them
defines the tradition and that you do need to recognize and
arguably for for a thousand years the ummah considered it was hajjit islam and it's
interesting he's called the proof of islam what do you use a proof for you use a proof against
people that are questioning you whereas even tell me it's called sheikh islam
he's one of many but that is a lockup that he was given so why was imam initially vilified by
the scholars of andrews well i think i said that they were
i you know this is something that a mauritanian friend of mine says that
the murabiton were like the taliban which i don't think is totally fair but they they were very um
in in in kalam they were dogmatic they did not like speculative theology
and many scholars did not ibn abdulbar who's one of my favorite scholars he's one of the greatest scholars in the
history of islam he attacks the terribly i mean he really really just sees them as
something really really uh bad for islam like ibn tamiya although even tamiya
he's mixed because he sometimes he praises them and other times he he condemns him but he does recognize
that they did play a role in defending islam so he's not entirely antagonistic so these
these are debates amongst the ulama it's it's uh you know his books were burnt
at one point in morocco although the men that burned him had a dream where the prophet sam came and had him
flogged by imam al-qazali so he actually repented publicly for burning them he burnt them
in a in a you know in a masjid and and then he had that dream and so he
repented that's a well-known story are there english translations imagine's works or other resources
fortunately he's he's he's been fortunate to have some good translators
um there's there's there was a translation done it's an abridgement of the yeah that was done by maulana
he was a south asian scholar mawlana
fault i think yeah and that was reprinted by the malaysians
and they edited a lot of it because he originally did not want he was actually a very formidable scholar he
uh he did a commentary on the mishkat and translated the into bengali i think
so he he that is is is good uh fonz vidai um has done some i
actually wrote the um the introduction to a couple of those books uh including the book of knowledge and
then also um the islamic text society has done a good job
i mean dr winter abdul hakeem winter is i think a
really excellent beautiful stylist in the english language and imam razali deserves
a good translator because he is so eloquent in arabic and it's a crime
to translate him poorly i was recently reading a translation of one of his i won't say who did it because he's actually a good scholar
but it was so bad the english was so bad and and i i i just i felt sad for
anybody who read that book and thought that that in any way reflected the style of imam al-qasadi
so and i know he's a great persian stylist i i'm not able to read him in persian but i i know from people that do know persian
that he's a beautiful stylist in persian so he was a very gifted orator a gifted writer
so i would say that those are good dr winter did the breaking of the two desires was
excellent book and i and i i think he did one other yeah the remembrance of death how can we
pursue pursue the spiritual pathways i pursue today stay tuned because that's
essentially what i'm going to talk about really what his project is because that is his project and so inshallah if allah gives us life
and maybe we to meet again did he reject the relationship between cause and effect
i'll get into that a little bit he did not and that's one of the big problems
the asha'ira are accused of being occasionalists which are people that
don't really believe in cause and effect it's very important it's a very sophisticated
understanding we cause and effect is the way allah has created the world
it's the sunnah of god in the world to deny it is tonight to deny reality
and so we do not deny cause and effect but we have i think a very profound understanding of
the divine um the divine
nature of what's happening in the world and and and and and that's where the
imam al-qasadi is a mystic so i would look at it you have
newtonian physics and you have quantum physics sharia is newtonian haka is quantum
if you this is an analogy i'm not saying don't say oh he said that kalam is quantum physic
i'm saying that in the same way that the quantum laws do not work
in the newtonian world that's the same that's happening so it's two different
way we have something called you know we live in a multiplex universe uh that
in fact it's not a universe it's it's a multiverse and he's the lord of all the world so
there are many worlds universe is this world it's one world but there are many
universes and so what's what we know if you look at a
persian carpet the ant knows nothing of the pattern of the persian culprit that is our intellect before the glory
of allah's creation and the prophet indicated that in a hadith about
the the mulk in relation to the melakut was like a ring in the midst of a desert a small ring
so he's all so this whole idea oh people lost their faith because they realize the universe is vast
our prophet's lies him knew how vast things were he didn't it increased his
faith you know this is something material say oh why are there so many galaxies
well you can do the same thing if you go inward like if you magnify yourself inwardly
you'll see the same number of of miraculous whether you go out or in
in fact there's a nobel prize winner alexis carroll who showed basically that the largest
things in the universe if you take the largest things that we know of and you take the smallest things we know of and and you divide them by to add
them together and divide them by two you get the basic human proportion he won the nobel prize
so we are the microcosm like the the cosmos is out there but it's also
in here everything's in here and in fact it couldn't be out there if it wasn't in here that's how we can see it and
understand it so anyway we'll get into that inshallah
and then did imam khazadi only acknowledge virtue ethics in his works how about other normative
ethical theories such as consequentialism deontological ethics i mean these are terms that come later
islam does have a kind of deontological approach i mean we do believe in duty-bound ethics
and we also have consequentialist ethics because there are situations where like kant
said you couldn't lie in any situation right and that's his deontological approach but
uh we know that lying is permitted to save somebody from a tyrant for instance
so that's a kind of looking at the consequences so um
i think ver the point of virtue ethics is the foundation of all ethics and and
it has to be studied to understand cultivation of virtues and
why it's important so i think traditionally virtual ethics has been the most important approach to ethics
in our tradition can you please recommend an introductory book on the quran that one can share with non-muslims the quran
you know i found it's very interesting quran
i would not recommend a non-muslim reading the quran because it's such a difficult book in
translation first of all it's it's a non-linear book but second of all
there's a lot of lacunae in in the quran and and i actually had a young
singaporean a really wonderful muslim lady that that worked with us
with the rehla group when we were in singapore and she was very troubled she had taken a a
a course in university and the course made an argument that the quran needed you know that it needed
commentary and she was like why would god reveal a book that is not sufficient unto itself
and initially i didn't really have an answer for her i didn't give her an answer i just thought about it but i actually realized
it's a reminder for you and for your people imam malik said that is saying so and so on so and so on so and
so that allah has made his book
impossible to reach without the intercession
of scholars of the waratha envia so you cannot understand the quran
without the prophet saw isam and you cannot understand the prophet's license without the scholars
so you always need commentary and and that is because the meanings of
the quran are locked in the hearts of human beings and
it is men like and women sometimes but it's men like imam al-khazali
who unlocked many of the mysteries of that book and that's what we're going to look at with the quran but before we do that i have a
few more things i want to say about the imam so inshallah may allah bless all of you maya i hope you remember
all of us at iftar remembers etuna all the people at zaituna also support
zaytuna inshallah we we have some really really big plans
but we need your help to do what we're doing may allah bless all of you and thank you subhana kalam