Zaytuna College Commencement 2019

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Event Name: Zaytuna College Commencement 2019
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 6/14/2019
Transcript Version: 1

Transcript Text


miss menorah Nam Rahim I now declare the

Zaytuna College commencement begun

please be seated alhamdulillah was sawed

off to a cinema daughter sweetie now ah

daddy he woman wada hamdulillah welcome


were privileged and honored to have all

of you here to celebrate this

commencement the graduation of these

remarkable students for the students

today commences a new phase in your

lives we celebrate the commencements

with teachers and fellow students to

remind us in some way that this is a

send-off of bon voyage of sorts into a

mysterious and sometimes dark place we

call the world you were born into

families with parents or caregivers who

held a sacred trust to nurture and

protect you but also to initiate you

when appropriate into the life of the

mind which makes you uniquely human that

initiation began with stories with songs

learning the alphabet memorizing

important things like the times tables

from there we move on to the more

complex problems attempting to penetrate

the mysteries of diagonals or the fact

that it's a self-evident truth that

there are no diagonals in a triangle or

turn circles into small straight lines

to measure circumference --is these

quantitative components of our education

often vexed us to no end the reason for

learning them was often not clear and

then language the mysteries of the

sentence weren't which comes from a

Latin word meaning to feel or from the

Arabic word Joomla which means what is

gathered and it's related to the term

Jameel meaning beautiful in coming to

Zaytuna you entered what we hope was the

beginning of your residency and

citizenship in the Republic of Letters

the Republic of reason today we're

issuing you certificates of citizenship

that you've resided in this Republic

with us obeyed its laws such as the law

contradiction also respect for truth

looking both ways before you cross a

dialectical Road this Republic has no

illegal aliens everyone is welcome with

the caveat that they seek the truth to

reside here means to love your neighbors

and fellow citizens irrespective of

their faith their color or their Creed

if they too are committed to that same

truth we have caused to live peacefully

within the borders of this republic our

religion when properly practice has

always honoured the denizens of this


Musha amid Mamoon the great Jewish sage

studied with a very wheeze in Cordova

and neither of them winced at the

other's presence this example starts

with the prophet sallallaahu said him

himself who sat with Jewish rabbis in

the Midrash is of Medina discussing

faith or the Christians of Natron

talking of the Trinity who when prayer

time came they were honored with a place

in his mosque to pray citizens of this

Republic take seriously his dictum seek

knowledge even unto China or wisdom is

the lost property of the believer

wherever he finds it he or she is more

has more right to it in other words

knowledge without revelation is

dangerous but revelation without

knowledge is also dangerous in order for

a republic or a democracy to function

its citizens have to foremost first and

foremost be citizens of the Republic of

Letters the philosopher Hobbes who you

studied here had a great suspicion of

democracy he feared it too easily can

degenerate into an oligarchy of orators

recent history seems to support this

point people who studied rhetoric and

understood its uses and abuses are not

easily swayed by fear as they have read

the chapter on emotions and understand

auditors manipulate pathos to their own


as the poet Alden said exiled Thucydides

knew all that speech can say about

democracy and what dictators do the

elderly rubbish they talk to an

apathetic grave analyzed all in his book

the Enlightenment driven away the

habit-forming pain mismanagement and


we must suffer them all again Alden was

a citizen of the public of letters not

fooled by the elderly rubbish dictators

talk in his Republic persuasion not

violence is our means to desired ends

the single most important means of

preserving the Republic of Letters is

honouring language the debasement of

language means its people are debased

the majesty and grandeur of language is

our greatest human possession without it

we are mere brutes Aldon himself said

quote as a poet there's only one

political duty and that is to defend

one's language from corruption and that

is particularly serious now it is being

corrupted when it's corrupted people

lose faith in what they hear think fake

news and that leads to violence the

merciful ar-rahman Halima Quran

Halliburton's an Alamo holiday on the

merciful who taught the Quran created

man and instilled in the human being

perspicuity by an clarity perspicuity

from the Latin to see through to be

clear to be lucid the Sun and the moon

are in perfect reckoning why does that

follow right after the declaration of

language because language needs to be

precise in order to function the Quran

says by N means clarity and as a

technical term all scholars chose it to

mean rhetoric perspicuity comes from

that to see through clarity when a

civilization loses clarity and loses its

poets it loses the ability to express

meaning in its most profound sense

hence confusion people make with

prophets and poets as a mere powder al

Jazeera pointed out in Tim be hello -

Mara Lemna who Cheryl Miami Gila we did

not teach him poetry nor was it

appropriate for him because a revelation

is not inspiration and yet the

who are easily confused we have

attempted in these four years to give

you tools of two great languages but

this is a commencement for a reason your

journey is far from over

guard your tongues beeper speak

perspicuous and perspicacious celebrate

subtle distinctions of our language

Arabic like a crown sits atop others in

its nuances vastness and weightiness

keep learning from her cherish her honor

her love her she will return you many

fold the liberal arts are an education

in human language as Van Doren said st.

Agustin paid his education the highest

compliment in saying that as a result of

it he could read anything that was

written understand anything he heard

said and say anything he thought perhaps

the most troubling sign of a language

debasement can be seen in the popular

entertainment of a people one need only

look at the rapid decline of television

which was already declared a wasteland

in the 1960s never insult your minds by

exposing them to filth or vulgarity that

dresses itself up as entertainment

art should mirror the world the artist

has an obligation to put mirrors up to


Aristophanes was a genius in the Greek

tradition at this just as Baudette was a

man or a momenta Beauty excelled in

revealing the hypocrisy z' of their

respective times especially amongst

religious leadership but to have a

serial killer as your protagonist to

never show the wages of sin is death

such so-called artists are liars shun

them liberal education to quote Strauss

said is liberation from vulgarity the

Greeks had a beautiful word for

vulgarity a Pyrrha Kalia lack of

experience in things beautiful this form

of education supplies us with an

experience in such things God is

beautiful and God loves Beauty the

people of asan which is ultimately what

the denizens of the Republic of Letters

are always make things beautiful they

strive for beauty Muslims of the

has adorned everything their dishes are

now museum pieces their architecture the

envy of the world India ruled by Hindus

uses the Taj Mahal in its brochures for

tourism just as Israel uses the Dome of

the rock and Spain uses the Alhambra

Palace to entice people to come visit

their lands calligraphy never reached

the heights in any language that it

achieved in Arabic carpets from the

Muslim world adorn the houses of the

wealthiest people the food nothing is

more colorful than our Muslim food a

Pakistani spread a Turkish breakfast or

a Palestinian feast

even the food nothing was devoid of asan

the prophet sallallaahu said i'm said

rectify your homes and in one meaning is

rectify your your saddles absolutely

holy haddock Oh adorn your clothes so

that you might be a beauty mark among

humanity what an aspiration for surely

God loves not vulgarity and found us is

the end of that hadith in the LA later

but flesh what to foul

Imam al-ghazali might see the

rectification of your homes is your

inward states and the rectification of

your clothes as your outward States in

other words beautify the inward and the

outward why in order to be a beauty mark

among the body of humanity the Quran

tells us come to Muhammad an illusion

Denese you were the best people that

came forth for humanity why Maronna bin

Maru what an hona and a moon car because

you call - what's beautiful - what's her

son - what's Hassan you call - what's

decent and you condemn what is foul what

is moon car what is vulgar again our

reiterates honor Arabic that you've

learned by learning more and using it to

understand the truths of its revelation

in its prophet his Sunna is eloquence

it's a Sunnah of the Prophet to be

eloquent he relished beautiful language

and wept upon hearing the poems of Al


honor your writing write well and write

often God taught with the pen the Angels

write unceasingly observe use your

senses cherish each day live life fully

do not be silly frivolous or foolish

people be serious people life is not a

joke our modern world has become the

fodder for stand-up comedians who reduce

everything to the brunt of a joke

our prophet sallallaahu centre who had a

marvelous sense of humor and on occasion

told a joke warned us that too much

laughing hardens the heart imam mahdi

said preempt death and it's Agony's by

preparing it before it arrives take

provision before death journey begins

don't fall into collectivism condemning

a whole group of people for the actions

of some or even most of those people

always allow for individuals to reveal

themselves through the content of their

character the Prophet said to Nicodemus

ivenna be jihad the son of perhaps his

worst enemy when he became Muslim he

said to him I always knew good would

come from your father

what magnanimity what graciousness imam

mattock once judged a poet who was sent

to him by the governor and he judged

against him when he announced his

judgement the poet said to him the Emir

wasn't expecting this in other words you

should have judged for me imam malik

says it doesn't really concern me what

the emir expected or didn't expect i'm

judging but i do what I deem is true at

that point the poet said well laa I'm

gonna Flay you alive with satirical

verses and Imam Malik said to him you've

just revealed yourself to be a very

petty person because anyone anybody's

capable of that can I tell you something

that if you do it you'll achieve what

men have lost their heads and attempting

to achieve be magnanimous be magnanimous

and always maintain your dignity

homer the great Greek poet reveals the

vileness of some of his Greek

compatriots and the nobility of his

enemies we don't know if Hector is is

the noblest man in the in the Iliad or

is it Achilles who is it he doesn't let

us know because he wasn't a tribal poet

he was a denizen of this Republic be

noble be righteous these words have

almost disappeared from our vocabulary

and yet they were the favorite

adjectives used to praise people in the


be humble humility from the Greek

houmous of the earth Kulu cumin Adam

were Adam Interop all of you are from

Earth Adam is from Earth and all of you

are from Adam serve others and God will

help you serve yourself and God will

leave you to it they forgot God Nestle

lava and saw him on Folsom they forgot

God and so God caused them to forget

their own selves never forget no matter

what others claim that faith in the one

true Living God the God of Abraham the

creator and sustainer of the heavens of

the earth that faith is a reasonable

faith if you look at the diversity in

the power of this creation you can't see

the Creator behind it but rather believe

that it came into existence on its own

that is unreasonable the fool says in

his heart there is no God your now is a

tunies Zaytuna yoon graduates of our

humble but serious Enterprise carry

yourselves with the dignity that Vice

Gerrans of God are endowed with be

serious people engaged in serious

pursuits don't squander this great

opportunity you've only begun the life

of learning in the Republic of Letters

we've attempted to help you acquire

those tools but it's up to you to use

them to search for truth goodness and

beauty always in to reflect continuously

on those eternal principles make us

proud a wise Greek once said don't ever

describe yourself as a philosopher or

talk much among ordinary

people about your philosophical

principles simply do what the principles

prescribed at a dinner party for

instance don't discuss table manners

just eat nicely keep in mind that

Socrates was so honest in tatius

unostentatious that people came to him

when they wanted him to introduce them

to philosophers and he took them along

so little did he mind being

unacknowledged himself if the

conversation turns to a philosophical

point staying mainly silent since

there's a great risk that you

immediately spew up what you haven't

fully absorbed when your silence is

taken for ignorant and you don't react

then believe me you have made a real

start on the philosophical Enterprise as

even al Qaeda said be like the bee it's

small in size but what great work it

does it produces body honey to heal the

bodies and wax to illumine our homes

you've worked hard in these last four

years and today you're reaping the award

of that work reward of that work

remember one day we finish our school of

life in the Republic of Reason and the

final exam on that great day to which

all creation is moving will be based

upon all of our studies here in this

life and how we acted upon them whether

we pass or fail is up to us alone

according to the hadith knowledge is a

good in and of itself but knowledge

without virtue engenders a world where

the seeking of knowledge becomes

impossible a world in which books are

either hidden or burnt schools

indoctrinate don't teach and leisure is

lost in vacuous entertainment in

conclusion life is monotonous but it

should never be the same ol same ol when

someone says to you what are you up to

beware of replying same ol same ol

nothing new you've missed the point of

the purpose of that monotony the word in

Arabic for monotony is our Taba which is


the people of God derived their term for

your daily devotional practices perhaps

even related somehow to our word routine

we make use of the monotony of life by

improving just a little bit each day

inching forward to the perfection that

our Lord calls us to this education

you've embarked upon knows exactly what

to do with the monotony of life it makes

it sacred monotony as if Anitha and I

said had it not been for the constant

repetitive practice of devotion insights

would have never come be patient with

your practice but practice and remember

God says every day God brings forth

something new go and make the world new



God's grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins

the world is charged with the grandeur

of God it will flame out like shining

from shook foil it gathers to a

greatness like the ooze of oil crushed

why do men then now not wreck his rod

generations have trod have trod have

trod and all is seared with trade

bleared smeared with toil and where's

man smudge and shares man smell the soil

is bare now nor can foot feel being shod

and for all this nature is never spent

their lives the dearest freshness deep

down things and though the last lights

of the black west went a warning at the

brown brink eastward Springs because the

Holy Ghost over the bent world broods

the warm breast and with our bright

wings thank you


mr. Bernardo Hanrahan we're going to

before we hear the commencement speaker

and then issue the diplomas we're

actually going to just pause to honor

somebody who I think has really helped

to make Zaytuna what it is in a cello

what it will become and that's dr. mark

damien Delp dr. del came to us over five

years ago and it was actually through

sister Maryanne Farina

and I told sister Maryanne if she's ever

canonized that I'll testify to at least

two of her four miracles necessary

because she she was the one that put in

dr. Hatton and my mind I think although

probably dr. Hatton might have had it

before me but she put it into our minds

in a in a in a yurt that some of you

remember down in Fremont or Hayward how

you watered and and and she was the one

that said you know you should consider

starting a Muslim college up on holy

hill and then she told me about this

building being available and then she

told me about that other building being

available then she told me one day I was

telling her that it was really hard to

find somebody that could teach

traditional logic most logic they teach

propositional logic but to find somebody

that really understood traditional logic

both in its material and formal which

our students have studied was very

difficult she said I know just the

person and it was dr. Delp and dr. to

helped came here and taught and became

one of the favorite favorite teachers at

the school but then when we had a crises

and we lost our Deen to Notre Dame a

Catholic college so our Muslim Dean went

to a Catholic College I went to a

Catholic asking him to become the Dean

of a Muslim college so these are the

days of miracles and wonders the world's

very topsy-turvy and we we relish it

yeah so dr. Delp came and he's done a

remarkable job

unfortunately it's bittersweet because

he's retiring this year but we want to

retire him as a distinguished professor

emeritus and so I'll just read what it

says in in grateful recognition of his

many years of dedicated service to this

institution mark Damien Delp is hereby

designate a distinguished professor

emeritus as dean of faculty dr. mark

damien dell infused his sincere

commitment to the liberal arts in all

aspects of the academic program as a

tuna and ensured that the college met

the highest academic and administrative

standards as faculty member dr. Deb's

depth of knowledge and philosophy and

logic fortified the College in these

philosophically impoverished times we

will miss dr. Dell his Grace and gentle

demeanor and we are forever grateful to

God for the time he granted us to learn

and benefit from him and then I want

this is a little surprise too

I was recently with my teacher who

received from the hand of Pope Francis

this little gift which has the Pope's

seal on it and it's a medallion of st.

Francis meeting upon kamon

and I think only God can arrange this


God got a little emotional there he's

been a really good friend for me

personally and and certainly for the

college so it's it really is a

bittersweet moment I'd like to introduce

a dear brother and colleague and friend

who said that would bethe Evans he's the

first scholar in residence at the