My beloved Muslim brothers, my respected Muslim sisters, the Great Almighty says in his Holy Book, right after we seek refuge in God Hearing, the Knowing from the accursed Satan, In the name of God the most Merciful:
“Indeed, God has cursed the disbelievers and prepared for them a Blaze (64); Abiding therein forever, they will not find a protector or a helper (65); The Day their faces will be turned about in the Fire, they will say, “How we wish we had obeyed God and obeyed the Messenger” (66); And they will say, “Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way (67); Our Lord, give them double the punishment and curse them with a great curse” (68); O you who have believed, be not like those who abused Moses; then God cleared him of what they said. And he, in the sight of God, was distinguished (69); O you who have believed, fear God and speak words of appropriate justice (70); He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys God and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment (71); Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant (72); [It was] so that God may punish the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the men and women who associate others with Him and that God may accept repentance from the believing men and believing women. And ever is God Forgiving and Merciful (73)” Al-Ahzab “The Factions” 33; verses 64-73. God Almighty has spoken the truth, and his noble Messenger has informed fully, and we bear witness to that. O God make us witnesses of Truth, standing by Just, Amen O Amen.
My beloved brothers and sisters, without giving or implying any introductions I’ll head straight to my topic.
I sense, or rather sensed and still do, from the elite intelligent and insightful Muslim scholars and intellects a shade of disparity in our reparation. I won’t say reforming the nation, I’d say reforming us since we are part of this nation, we’re not a bunch of watching visitors, rather part of this very group. I sense this shade of hopelessness and frustration. In contrast, I sense -and I think you all share me the same feeling- a lot of optimism from the less bright masses and common folks. Matters -for this optimistic bunch, and they are many, aplenty in reality- are all fine!
Truth of the matter is, this isn’t optimism as much as it is apathy. They primarily don’t care, they truly don’t care, they sincerely don’t care. It is difficult to expect a commoner -dear brothers- who hasn’t been polished by knowledge, arts, cultures, thought and meditation -a commoner!- it is very difficult indeed to expect this person -my dear- to be interested in fields beyond his/her individualistic, perhaps family-oriented range, the edges of their block at best. Hence, they fit the bill perfectly to be the fuel in clashes destroying their home countries. They don’t know what ‘Home’ means, what ‘home country’ means in its broader, deeper sense, but rather live in narrow fields. Therefore, they are worn out by every shade of prejudice possible -local prejudices- , and so, in Arab countries, and of course in other countries and all places, the commoners favor their villages, their counties, their sides, within the bigger home. Odd! He’s prejudiced against his own people and wouldn’t care much. Careful; he was indoctrinated with that fully! It’s not a matter of optimism as much as it is a carelessness tendency -my brothers-, indifference, he doesn’t care in reality. Therefore, frustration doesn’t grind him, and the gloom hits no bitter notes.
But now we speak about the intellects and insightful -as I said earlier- those that are fully awake. Why are they so pessimistic?
We’re not any different from others. All nations rise -my brothers- shine, then fade away. That’s a norm for civilizations, a norm from the Almighty God, and we have shone for some time then the sparkle faded away, and the carpet was rolled up, and the turn came for others to shine. That’s God’s norm. This, of course my dear brothers and sisters, doesn’t mean we draw justifications and rationalizations to make us content with what we’re in now, never ever, but we’re trying to say here: This isn’t the end of the world, nor the end of us, not at all. Essentially there must be a philosophy, a solution, ways and means for a reform. It is possible and doable in God’s gracious will.
My dear brothers, I sense the bitter, deep grief whenever I read to some of the great thinkers of the world, those who are not even religious, some are actually atheists, like Bertrand Russell for example, while others are religious with a secular frame of mind and orientation. I sense a great deal of bitter grief when I see those people see in our religion what we can’t -I don’t mean we can’t see, but what we fail even to see- they see that this Islam is great. And in quotes (drop off from your accounts, imagination and illusions this deplorable state that we’re passing by right now. The state of terrorists, excommunicating suicide bombers, this sickly and uncontrollable madness. Drop this accidental state, it will pass, God willing) I believe it will form part of the remedy -dear brothers-, actually it is part of the remedy. And as I have said often; the Muslim nation now as a whole doesn’t just deny this path, but it disbelieves in it entirely, disbelieves this way of understanding religion. The entirety of the Muhammad followers by a mile, deny this way, and this is part of the remedy. It’s over, you’ve tried this, it doesn’t work and it doesn’t succeed, we didn’t regain any home with this, we didn’t kick any invader with it, instead, our miseries kept piling up. Therefore I always say: this is part of the global conspiracy, you may call it Jihad, martyrdom, commando-esque, but I call it a conspiracy, ’cause those who suffer are only us; our homes, our people, our religion and the reputation of this true faith the world over even among its children in their own homes.
So, my dear brothers and sisters; We can’t and we fail to see a path to Jihad. Jihad isn’t like this. Jihad doesn’t reach the verge or surpass this level of crime and terror, not at all. But we’re not overly frustrated or too pessimistic from all this, we know it is a temporary state. Our history was never like this -my brothers- I mean our recent history was never like this. This phenomena is temporary, fabricated, made up -my brothers- and devised and is being applied right now. It is true this nation’s low and downward consciousness makes it doesn’t understand or get all this. It can’t reach this since there’s no true culture. Beware! I truly want to state: since there’s illiteracy.. some might interrupt and say: “Oh but Europe..” no no no, what I mean here is: when Europe rose since the Renaissance, followed by its true revival which turned into revolutions -my brothers-, even the industrial and manufacturing, liberal, ideological and social revolutions, all in total were synonymous and follow-ups to educational revolutions. Sweden was one of the first countries -my brothers- and within only a century saw an increase of educated people who read and write reach an 80 percent, A Real Revolution! People started to read and write my brothers. Don’t convince me that a revival happens by itself, from across the street. What does a revival mean? Is it elitists’ only? Elitists alone bring it up? No way. Everyone must rise, must learn, must absorb.
Enough with this sickness! Right now, God bless, we’re drowning in this scum. The Arab nations are drowning in this scum.
Is there one single competition on Arab TVs or satellites for the intellectuals, scholars, bright-minded and geniuses to try help this nation in the first place? To analyze.. not even one! Yet we have 50 competitions, and 50 shows for singers. We’re not against arts, just against this sickly state -my brothers-, against this idolization. The simplest singer has contracts for hundreds of thousands, some reach millions, while the biggest thinker and brightest genius.. Where does this singer, with all due respect to everyone and all social classes stand? Where does he stand? What is a singer to begin with? What did he hurt himself do this poor fellow? God graced him with a voice. These are talents, not earned. Not something worth being proud of. God gave him a voice and may be didn’t give him any charm, or brains, or brilliance, and he polished this voice through rehearsing and that’s it, all rejoiced. That’s nice. We’re not against art. But what can this guy offer to his people? What can he contribute in solving this nations’ problems and calamities that fall and keep falling on its head?!
Yet an intellect who reads for 40 and 50 years, reads 20, 30 thousand books, or like Abbas Al Aqqad, who read 70 thousand books my brothers dies in debt, doesn’t own the house he lives in! If it was for one Arab intellect to live off his pen it would’ve been Abbas Al Aqqad, production galore, wrote thousands of pages and in every field, and still died poor!
Muhammad Rashid Rida, owner of Al-Manar (the lighthouse), the interpretation book and the magazine, who was a world-class renovating encyclopedic Imam, his books were read in India and Sindh, Pakistan and Turkestan, just as well as in Arabic countries, scientists and scholars contacted him from across the globe for being the encyclopedic man he was, may his soul rest in peace. The minute he died, his house was seized from his family cause it was mortgaged.
This is the Muslim nation’s situation! A catastrophe! One that we can’t feel!
I am addressing from this podium: Where are the Arab Sheikhs? I mean the Oil Sheikhs, not the beardy sheikhs. Where are the Arab Sheikhs? The Arab Princes? The Arab Kings? The rich Arabs? They must take this seriously if they plan to serve their nations. At least read Europe‘s Renaissance history, how Europe was revived, how thought was served -my brothers- and how science was served, and how the free opinion was served. If we really plan to help this nation escape this deplorable state surrounding it, and now many of its intellects and geniuses give up the possibility of it taking off, the possibility of it reviving again, to just wake up from this everlasting hibernation. Yet, the possibility still stands, God willing, but I’ll go on.
I myself get hurt from this kind of speech in the first place, and consider it a wooden language, this one that blames, that cries, that barks, that screams, mourns and rebukes just doesn’t help, and everyone is good at it.
We need to reach an analysis, a reasonable and plausible explanation my brothers. And of course as I always say: Anyone you listen or read to who summons one reason, The Reason behind this destruction.. just know that he’s.. what shall I say? He’s not thorough, doesn’t fully understand. There isn’t One reason, there are reasons, a variety of reasons. It’s not one reason like a simple organic disease, but a number of reasons.
How one nation that was classified atop the classes of civilization and urbanization, was a leader -on a global scale- fall this hard? And this fall didn’t come in a century or two, but in a few centuries. Throughout these centuries it has lived on a state of inertia, its former credit.
Without exaggerating my brothers, and not because I’m an Arab and a Muslim -I swear to God no- whenever I quickly overview our Arabic-Islamic heritage, whenever I go through the world of those big intellects, I swear I feel fascinated rather charmed.
See, we now live in the 21st century, we set atop a knowledge-based pyramid that may have never crossed the mind of the biggest geniuses of this world, not just Muslim geniuses, in any old era, where knowledge is multiplied every few years, and we may reach a stage where it does every single day, or even every single hour! That’s so unbelievable my dears! And the means of science and knowledge are available in unrealistic ways. Nowadays, if any smart individual can use.. I mean Mostafa Saadeq Al-Rafe’ie graduated elementary school, Abbas Al Aqqad barely finished the 6th grade, yet both were great geniuses. Anyone of you today can -if he wants, and was fully determined not to break down or fall off and I mean this- within 20 to 30 years, he/she can become one of the most enlightened intellects of this world. Without a tutor, a university, a sheikh, a college.. everything is available to you brother. Even the teacher, a fully alive teacher you may watch on YouTube. Al Azhar uploads thousands of as-is lectures of scientists, whether you listen to him in Al Azhar’s halls or via YouTube, he’s there nonetheless. Same goes in English, German, Chinese, and all other languages, this is all available now, none of which was this easy before!
But I think, get me the brightest mind today, not necessarily a Muslim, from any part of the world, the size of knowledge interest, the size of knowledge achievement, doesn’t compare to Muslim intellects, Muslim geniuses. Something astonishing I swear, puzzling, very puzzling! What were these people made of? Are they really our ancestors?! Are we really their descendants? There are astronomical distances between us! Astronomical!
How did they write? And what did they write on? What tools did they use? How did they write hundreds of workbooks? Hundreds of workbooks! The majority of those workbooks were deep and thorough -my brothers- and full of innovation! I mean, try and read the workbooks of Ibn al-Nafis which are many in numbers, very astonishing and mystifying! Al-Jahiz’s intellectual, philosophical, theological, dialectical and literary workbooks, purely incredible! So unbelievable brothers!
You’d be amazed how he writes one page, so how did he write all those hundreds of books? What is this? What was happening? Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi; the physician, philosopher and chemist. His workbooks are also unparalleled!
Jabir ibn Hayyan; credited with writing 1,500 books! Even if they were 500 -assuming half of it is made up- 700, 800 books remain. And the man is a founder of different sciences, not just one! True Chemistry, not alchemy, which sounds more like sorcery, the pseudo-science of turning sand into gold. No no, Real Chemistry, the man is a true founder of that! And Mineralogy, long before Abū Rayḥān Al-Biruni. And Al-Biruni has a book on mineralogy -metallurgy- too but still Jabir precedes him. Even in Botany, Toxicology. A true founder of science this man was, with hundreds of workbooks. Just how?! Incredible Ingenuity! I tell you, these men were true with the Almighty, with themselves, with their people and all of humanity, in that they wanted the best to humanity, to all people, and wanted to offer what they have as much as God allowed them to, so they followed the day’s brightness with the night’s darkness, they barely ever slept.
Avicenna; this wondrous marvel. This man used to sleep 4 hours a day most of his life! Wakes up for the dawn prayers and never gets back to sleep. Doesn’t get done until very late in the night. Writes every night, worked for the government among others.. was crafty in tens of various sciences! They were honest men, filled with self-confidence, they saw that fate chose and elected them in order to be something special, and to offer many things in life and so on..
Unfortunately again I fell into broader introductions, we go to our main topic:
My dears; these intellects and mindful are wondering how are we who we are? And how we remain where we are? We are as inferior as ever today. We have to be clear and aware. Not a single nation that rose from its slump this easy. Look at China today for instance, has a great revival today, at least in a material sense, not much on the ethical side though, their physical revival is huge today, all that came after big blows from bitter and harsh criticism, where many were imprisoned. There’s this book for a big Chinese intellect, he was accused of being a traitor and an infiltrator for writing that book, but he didn’t stop, and said: “We must criticize our life’s philosophy, we must criticize our basics, our conditions, stating that we the Chinese are..” in the book titled The Ugly Chinaman – The Crisis of Chinese Culture. He said “..we the Chinese are ugly, we are ugly! A totally ugly nation!” Criticizing.
One might ask “Why do we have to lash ourselves?” as if we are sacred and immune to criticism, just so perfect! Then how do we differentiate between self-criticism and self-flagellation? We have to criticize ourselves, to call out the ugly in us. We must call things for what they are, call a mistake for what it is, and call a good deed for what it is. A mistake can never be right, unless people are crazy and want to remain where they are and hibernate again.
This books is purely shocking! Can we call Arabs “ugly“? No way! Everyone will call you out stupid, peeling off your skin. This guy here says it. “We are ugly, repulsive and disgusting“, he goes on saying “We are number one on 3 lists“. And he’s true. This isn’t lampooning on a great nation with a great civilization, even today, however Bo Yang says: “We are on top when it comes to filth“, that’s well documented, where they eat about everything; cockroaches, rats, dogs, boars.. almost everything, and the smell that follows is just! A famous proverbs says: being Chinese and filthy don’t contradict one another! Like, it’s not a problem to be Chinese and be filthy, they go along! So he stressed on being filthy there. “Number two is Negligence. We are careless to almost everything“. Just like Arabs, who can teach you that in a heartbeat with sayings like “God’s will dominates“, “God predetermined, and He did what He wants“, “It is what it is“, “Perhaps it’s for the best“, “Let it pass whichever way“.. That’s just fatal negligence and indifference beyond measure. You’d see one of us 70-year-old, a college professor without real produce, real thought, real understanding, even when one of those preaches in their field of expertise, you’d notice them fall more than they succeed! What are you doing exactly?! Where have you spent your 70 years Mr. Professor?! What do you do in life? This is just indescribable!
The late Abdel Rahman Badawi, authored over 140 – 150 in various fields, may he rest in peace, always angrily wondered. This great Egyptian existentialist who lived an existentialist and ended up his life advocating Islam, Muhammad and the Quran -may God forgive his soul- asked “What are they -Egypt’s scholars- doing? like where are you? What are you guys doing? Am I any different from you? Made of Gold while you’re made of wood? I’m as much an Egyptian and Arab as you are and I wrote 150 books!” His translations and researches are serious really, none of his books can be called nonsense. All his works are thorough to any serious intellect my brothers, they’re not necessarily innovative, they’re very solid academically. “And what you grave Academics and senior professors are doing really? Fulfilled financially, yet no real produce can be seen. Where are your researches and translations?” He was very angry at this state, he never liked it and he has every right to get angry, scream, criticize and denounce all that and not stop to wake those around him.
Back to Bo Yang “Filthiness, negligence and lastly noisy“, he explains. “A Chinese yells and screams as he whispers to his pal“. Arabs are just as much, and many Italians do the same. We always yell, high voices. Signs of backward nations. We can’t speak calmly to one another in a train or a bus, whatever the topic is. We yell just as much as our Chinese friends, who are as loud as they get. Then we ask where did this stagnation and stalemate come from? What shook me from Bo Yang’s book was this “This Confucian legacy, this Confucius all the time -as if he’s a God-given prophet- ruined us” How is that? With its traditional and conservative tendency, in my own words “ Obedienism” I’ve mentioned it a few years ago. And yes Confucianism lives on being obedient, be it to the ruler, president, king, sultan, father, teacher, a wife to her husband, the young to his elder, obedient to everything and everyone. And is holy and sacred, the 5 pillars of the Li concept, in every field of life, even in education! “But education is full of creativity, it is about creativity!” No way! This concept states that no one individual -no matter what the heavens have bestowed capabilities and potential on him- shall have a bigger legacy than his mentor. No one student is better than his teacher! Oh really?! “This Confucius have ruined you all, go praise him all you want, you’re nothing but a waste. Try and unleash yourselves from this cage, free yourselves a little, alter it somehow. Take what counts and throw away what doesn’t“, hundreds followed Bo Yang’s footsteps soon after, shacking the unshakable until things changed.
These mindful -and I pray they are aplenty- keep wondering how can we enjoy being who we are languishing at the bottom of every list there is? So backward in every possible sense of the word. I mean you can see Turkey is doing better than us. Iran is doing better than us. Malaysia and other Muslim countries are doing way better than us. Yet Arabs languish at the very bottom! Why is that? Just why? We have the most desirable location on the planet. We link all the old continents together, all of them! We got oil, gas, and plenty of other minerals, and an abnormal manpower where youths ranging from 14 to 35 years old are condensed in this part of the world. Why are these young people’s lives go to waste? No one benefits from their existence, don’t get hired or employed or invested in. Why? What’s the problem?
I say, and I’ll be as honest as I’m ever with you, the solution to me isn’t magical, in Max Weber’s words; we have deciphered magic from this world! no more witchcraft or wizardry, a more reasonable, logical world, in Quranic terms, a world with laws. ([This is] the established way of God which has occurred before. And never will you find in the way of God any change), 23, Al Fat’h (The Conquering). This is what Sunna means. A Law-abiding world. Yet we live in a chaotic world full of anarchy and chaos. Arabs, and every backward nation or person wouldn’t see any law or rule, and so he wouldn’t find a meaning in any matter or event. And just for the record, the “God’s will dominates” mantra is an absurd way in understanding, it specifies that whoever claims it doesn’t know what’s going on in life. Yeah, just go explain everything in “God’s will“. You have no idea what’s going on! And through this concept, both good and bad become equal, the reformer with the spoiler, isn’t that right? The beautiful and the ugly! Why so? Because “it is God’s will” isn’t it?
That’s why, the solution to me is, and I hope you pay good attention as I’m not offering theories and words for the riches, I won’t say a philosophical luxury cause philosophy is important, and I’ve said long before never despise philosophy, and I think part of the Arab and Muslim fiasco goes down to not respecting philosophy, as it thinks it’s about saying how old the world is and be Aristotle-esque. It’s not that at all. Philosophy to me is a trend and a mindset in thinking, tending to question the intros while seeking the roots, that’s it. I don’t respect the doctrinal philosophies, I don’t care about doctrines. A very tiring process to digest every doctrine only to get a small tiny result, as doctrines are countless. In the past 400 years here in Europe, you’ll need 500 years to read all doctrinal philosophies, where each and every one goes in-depth with thousands of details and explanations. Why all that? I’m referring here to the mindset, tendency to go deeper, to analyze, to explain in questioning introductions and general frames, and thus it has the capacity to explain, analyze, breakup and give new construction formulas. Philosophy under this light is creative my brothers. And no innovation can be done without a philosophy, so I won’t refer philosophy to being a luxury in this directional sense.
So back again, I say the issue is simple, simple to me at least. What is it then?
We do possess the best principles. Like when Bertrand Russell who has felt so restless for the idea of human annihilation after seeing the first atomic bomb dropped, followed by the hydrogen bombs and the cheap cobalt bombs, where a small number of cobalt bombs can end every living life on earth, no man would still stand, and how much each one of those bombs would cost. This man was horrified, wondering what kind of problem is this we’re facing. Where did we go with science? And he didn’t stop searching, even with his limited and humble understanding of Islam, he still said “We don’t currently have many options. Some may raise the communist ideology, which is void, not suitable or applicable for many reasons“, he never believed in communism. “The most valid and closer solution remains is Islam“.
That’s bizarre! The atheist Bertrand Russell said that?! What did he see in Islam? Of course what we failed to even try and look for, cause when one of us becomes active, a bomb is all he may think of, killing everything and everyone in sight. So That is surely not Islam, it is way bigger and deeper than all this! And thus I want to say this for 3 or 4 years now, although I’m a bit worried and hesitant to be labeled a heretic; I believe that Islam hasn’t reached its peak, not even with the companions generation in place, with all due praise and respect to those companions, may God bless them all, yet these companions were cornered by their circumstances, conditions and phase. In contrast, what I believe that -and I would like to prove it in a lecture, book or session and without ranting further- Islam didn’t accomplish more than its minimum objectives. So don’t think Islam has already fulfilled it all, gave its everything then started retreating ever since. Not even close! I say Islam executed its most minimum objectives possible, then the mission was aborted. We aborted that, through the Umayyads, the Abbasids, the Mamluks and the Ottomans to this day’s very sultanates, continuing on the same abortion, misrepresenting, strangling and seizing its core, while everyone is poorly following mindlessly, be it the commoners or the intellects. I repeat this Islam fulfilled its most basic promises, reaching its minimum objectives and thus the future of this faith still lies ahead, if God allowed it be. Beware this Salafi (ancestral) traditional vision thinks we’ve passed our future, reached its peak a long time ago. This ancestral, traditional way of glorifying the forefathers and never allowing ourselves to understand the scripts in anyone’s eye but those before us, as if they were all prophets and infallible. I always say: we have one Prophet to look after, and it’s good we have many heroes, but these heroes will never be prophets one day, will they? You remain a champion, but not a prophet to me. Omar (ibn Al Khattab) is a hero, Ali (bin Abi Taleb) is a hero, but you guys are not prophets. You remain great champions to this nation, degrading them reflects how low one is, un-loyal, no doubt, with inferiority issues. Which reminds me; Bo Yang says “One of Chinese people’s illnesses which consumes and strains them fully lies between two complexes: inferiority and superiority” that’s how he faced himself and his people, stating that the Chinese with his inferiority complex is a slave, sees himself only as a slave, inferior, needless like a fly or a worm. Yet the Chinese with his superiority complex is a master, and so the Chinese doesn’t have many options.
Why do I bring all this? I’m not trying to summarize the book. All those I mentioned match us to the letter today. It is very clear that an Arab man -bar the exceptions- too is consumed and strained between an inferior and superior complex, seeing himself as a big deal. This explains why an Arab can’t live like a normal human being. I’m a simple human being sir, I’m not your master nor your slave, I’m your brother, I’m your pal, your friend, nothing more. “Muslims are brothers” as the Prophet once said. He said “Oh God, I bear witness that all people are brothers“. Being brothers is way higher than equality in the Human Rights code. Equality and equal rights speak in legal terms, while brotherhood speaks in.. More of a statement, being brothers is a statement. Your brother remains who he is whether you like it or not, but for him to be equal to me or not can be cheated. Can you imagine your brother not be your brother though? Being from the same two parents? No of course, he’ll remain your brother no matter what he does. However you can break that equality measure between you and others very easily, through oppression. You claim a higher status to yourself and treat him unfairly, and kick his dignity about without a care, just like what happens in our countries, where securities are frightening to deal with. Why so? When one is just a cop! Do you feel frightened from any cop here? Ever seen a scary officer here in Austria? Not at all, an officer breeds safety. I feel safe every time I see one wandering my neighborhood, it breeds safety. You sleep tight in the night while this poor man works to protect you, to secure your life. Even when you break a law and he calls for your license, he’ll refer to you as “Sir“, politely. In England they always use that term. Even in the US, gently. “You know why I pulled you over sir?” and you know this line very well. However, an officer in our countries ruins every safety imaginable! As if his sole purpose is to terrorize, scare and dehumanize people! What does he think he is? In God we seek suffice! Doesn’t he feel scared from God at all? Terrorizing, whenever investigating, breaking, smashing, violating every Red line, beating, insulting one’s mother, father, sister. What is this? What kind of raising brought this? What is this Arab exactly? Thinking he’s a human and an officer, ignoring the fact that he’s a despicable monster, reflecting how low humans can be.
Bo Yang reflects “a Chinese has only two options; either be your master or your slave“. If he couldn’t be your master, then instantly he becomes your slave. Dear Lord! Dear Lord! We’re similar to that by the way, cause if you bring any slave from anywhere, the janitor or doorman and get him someone lower in rank, he’ll become his master and abuse him almost instantly! Isn’t that right?
And we said, you’re just a police officer -with all due respect- and doing a much needed job, but you remain just an officer, not a university professor, a minister, an ambassador, a writer or a philosopher. A police officer and that’s it! We respect you and your profession, and all professions are respect-worthy, including this. But what is this officer doing humiliating people? Feeling empowered by humiliating, insulting and scaring everybody?! Rejoices when he sees them insulted, broken, and scared to death. What complex is this you’re carrying to us?
So I’m telling you we have to hit the topic, this sermon will be over without us coming to a solution. Listen:
We do have the best principles possible. Some would say “the best religion“, no I refuse this statement. You know why? When I say “the best religion” then in what sense? Who’s understanding? Is it your understanding, or his or hers? I might agree if a particular person’s understanding is the most suitable. The best understanding according to me as I’ve understood this and other religions, and so I’d see this understanding -of Islam- is the best. But the mantra carried out by this bomber, this expiatory, that murderer? Then no chance this is “the best religion“, these are general and abstract terms. Don’t come out with this statement without linking it to a real meaning, don’t tempt yourself over facts. In what meaning do you understand religion? Then I’ll answer if it is the best or not. It could be the most calamitous, catastrophic meaning to his and all people, isn’t that right? Don’t be fooled by those headlines and clichés, always shuffled: “Best religion“, “Best people“, and I don’t know what. No. We must be clear with ourselves with a Quranic logic, like this one.
So, we have the best principles. Yes indeed. Don’t say no before reading the Quran. Get me Quranic principles that are not good. Demonic principles -God forbid-, I swear to God there isn’t one in God’s holy book. Then, how come we have the best principles yet the worst people and conditions? I’ll tell you the answer in my opinion, I could be wrong, yet I’m definitely partially right, I won’t mistake myself in naïve humility. I know I’m right, with a few minor errors in between. So what is it?
My brothers, my beloved ones, my sisters: principles, ideas and values no matter how good, effective and beautiful they may be will not be suitable enough if it doesn’t adopt a perspective, a true philosophy in life. That’s the answer as I see it.
“We have no idea what do you mean by this! What do you mean a philosophy in life? A life perspective? What’s that? Is there a philosophy in life? A perspective in life away from principles?” Of course, without a shadow of doubt! You might find two trustworthy people, yet each one is trustworthy according to a philosophy adopted in life. The philosophy is different, yet the values are the same. One is honoring his parents, and the other follows suit yet with a different philosophy, right? Let’s not carry on and lose ourselves in the midst of all this.
My brothers: I believe that a Muslim’s life philosophy is derived, from where? Simply not from Aristotle, Socrates, or Nietzsche or any newer ones, it is derived from Creed. Your creed. How do you believe? In what way do you -particularly- believe in God, doomsday, and religion? Most important is how do you believe in God, your relationship with Him, your understanding of Him, your connection to the Almighty. How? Creed is paramount here. Your creed is your visualization of this existence, your life’s philosophy, your perspective to living.
I’ll tackle a point I think is the most dangerous, vague, mysterious and problematic in Muslims beliefs on both theoretical and practical levels, and ever since they were plagued with the Umayyad dynasty to this day. It started with the Umayyads and still runs out and is the mystery of Muslims tragedies. You know what it is? A Muslim’s overview against God’s. Does he see himself truly dignified? God’s heir on earth? Free? Therefore, effective productive and active? Therefore, responsible? Or does he see himself destiny’s playground? Just a playground, a field that fate plays with? A feather against the wind? The very end product of fate’s work? Without a true character, ego, or self-importance, therefore, is not required to do something authentic, or a real breakthrough, therefore, doesn’t see himself a responsible person?!
I see the result siding with the second opinion, not the first, for the past 1300 years to this day. This matter wrecked the Muslim character, as a whole nation. How odd!
Though, one might argue “you contradict yourself, you just mentioned Al Razi, Jabir ibn Hayyan and Al-Jahiz!“; however I’ll tell you: All I those I mentioned and who walked the same path lived and died accused of blasphemy, and were treated as such! What do you think? Because they didn’t submit to all these perspectives at all! Yet their self-esteem was overflew with belief. See, they weren’t like common folks, submitting to ideas or imams, that’s nonsense to them. They were completely independent philosophers and intellects, understood the role of human, the value of mankind, and this is why they excelled beyond belief. Al-Jahiz was Mutazili (Isolationist) which means he sees man is the creator of his own actions without attributing any single act he does to God at all. Everything you do is yours and only yours. So don’t accuse me of contradiction, I know exactly what I’m saying here.
So this fatalistic view, this metaphysical fatalism is purely catastrophic! When this nation over the years thinking ‘I live in destiny’s domain‘, as Mustafa Sabri phrased it “I live in destiny’s domain, I am the act of destiny, a feather in the face of destiny’s wind“. Even Ibn al-Rumi who was famous for being skinny, hideous and binge eating didn’t understand once that over eating to this extent is going to bring an end to his life! He never liked that idea and rhymed:
Your friend’s enemy can be handy.. so mates in abundance may hurt..
And an illness you most see.. turns away from food and a slurp..
Anyway, his body started showing swellings, glut among other issues, and his doctor tried to cure him and slipped. Once asked about what happened to him, he replied “That’s it, I’m done, I’m dying now” and so he did – may he rest in peace. “But why are you dying?” he didn’t blame it on his binge eating, only blamed it on his physician! “But what can we do? it is destined to be, it is God’s will” even when God said “He is severe in assault“, Ibn al-Rumi rhymed:
My doctor’s fault hit hard.. knocked His powers away..
We may blame him though.. his error is destiny’s way..
Forcing destiny against God’s power on top of it!
Our Levantine friends have another expression that matches here: ‘For the softest reason‘ , one reason followed the other. It’s all fates and destiny’s play, we have nothing to do with it. We refuse such logic in this way. A doctor’s mistake is predetermined? Did the Prophet even say that? The Prophet said “Animals acts are predetermined“. If an animal makes a mistake, that’s not a mistake, yet a doctor makes a mistake with such logic? And back home, oh dear, I have -in almost the last 5 months now- heard from folks in our camp back home, 4 cases were people died because of a nurse’s or a doctor’s mistake! How stupid is this? Every other day in a very simple camp someone dies, why? Wrong treatment! Wrong injection! He had the best education with the best control and ministry to keep up!! That’s not right at all my dears.
Here in Europe, I know a professor closely, one of Austria’s most famed neurologists, without mentioning any names even though he was once listed on the Krone with a report and all, he was imprisoned for 3 years! Locked up immediately for a slight mistake. Unlike us with our metaphysical fatalism!
You can log in to Twitter, Facebook or any social media outlet, you’ll notice many young ones insulting a scholar, an intellect or even a writer calling him: a kid, a little child! And once you check him up, you find him 35, 40, or 45 years old. Who are you referring to? What’s your problem? They’re not convinced he’d be well educated and fully informed until they see a hunch in his back, and the Grey on his face and hair and about to fill his casket. Why is that? It’s not that they disrespect all scholars, not really, it is mostly a reflection of what’s inside them. You’d see some 25 year-old graduate who still doesn’t see himself responsible, not yet, not entrusted with anything, still a poor baby. A fatalistic breading, a fatalistic mentality! Call it an indifferent mentality. He’d see a dead man in front of him and it won’t make the world any different! Cause he’s still a baby, poor kid! How is that possible? Charity money gets stolen from a mosque, the Prophet’s money, the Prophet’s coat sold out! And it won’t move a thing in him, claiming he’s poor, a kid, a baby! What baby?!
You’re going straight to Hell brother, you’re throwing yourself to the bottom of the abyss you idiot, made a fool of yourself. You are accountable. Yet he still doesn’t believe he is, cause he doesn’t know will he be one! And of course our education fosters this, we’ve seen how parents and grandparents back home confront an 18 year-old you when he’s about to speak. You’d be silenced immediately “silence you fool, what do you really know?” you’d be told, “that’s what we need now, another kid talking in our presence!“. Is 18 being a kid to you? The Prophet sent Osama bin Zaid leading the troops to the Levant saying “carry out Osama’s expedition” even on his deathbed. He was 16, 17, 18 years old at best! Mehmed the Conqueror was 22 years old at best when he conquered Constantinople, which stood tall for a thousand years, only to fall to a 22-year old! Is this 18 year old still a baby? A fool? An idiot? What kind of vile and ignorant upbringing is this? Of course yes with those Sheikhs, fatalistic upbringing, metaphysical fatalism, and is followed by social fatalism; where we’d add society, conditions, surroundings, folks, pressures, clerical establishments, authorities, controls, family, tribe, etc.. all this leading to a social fatalism. add to it another “great philosopher” among us who believes in historical fatalism, and historical inevitability like (Carl) Marx, that’d be a disaster! We’d have a socialist Marxist who’d believe in economic fatalism as well; where all ideas, ideologies, arts and religion depend on economics, if it falls everything falls, or changes, or shrinks. Unbelievable! We’d delve into the economic fatalism tunnel. No way!
The Quran responds with a straight no. No to fatalism. And by the way, we’re like one who broke his lantern and walked in the dark. We threw our lanterns and walked in the dark. We don’t deal with God’s Holy Book in any seriousness, like when we read this verse from God (Every soul, for what it has earned, will be retained) 74:38. Do we take this seriously? And please drop off the silly pedantries and hollowed philosophies that tell us that “we’re forced into it, and He predestined all this, and He knows all” and all that nonsense of which we have a million crystal clear answer to but we don’t wanna get it, being taught that we have no role to play. And by the way my dears, this leads us to become schizophrenic, divides our personas into two halves. We have enough types of schizophrenia anyway, but this one is the worst!
You know, if someone truly and sincerely believed that he’s compelled all the way, that’d be half a problem. He’d be at least coherent with himself, you know? Some consistency, and could be a good person. Stating “I felt an urge inside not to steal from them” not a shallow conscious “I’m forced to this, but I won’t steal“, no surprise seeing him show some good deeds. Yet, no one can be this idealistic, you know why? If you believe in metaphysical fatalism on a theological, philosophical or religious background, what would happen? You’d become schizophrenic, living under force. Forced when it comes to your mistakes and errors, when you slip, steal, lie, delude, deceive, stop praying, commit adultery, consume alcohol, what would you say to yourself? “God’s will dominates“, “God predestined this“, “Perhaps it is for the best?“, “I don’t know, it could come good at the end“, Good? What good? See now Good is equal to Evil! Look at this moral nihilism, hitting even his own values, no values are consistent anymore. So stealing, fornicating, lying, deceiving people, infidelity and treason where he’s willing to sell his home and religion -if he had to- and he’d come back with “it might be good in the end” What good do you mean? We won’t see anything good from the likes of you, ever! From anyone thinking this way. In return, if it was about what he likes and desires, he’d be fully elective! Using every trick in the book, and every plan drawn just to get what he wants, see what he’s become? Or have you seen someone become as elective when it comes to his ambitions? No way! If it was about cravings then he’s elective to the very end. If it is about rivalries, would he let go easily? If a chance looms large, would he let it go? If it was about the basics -eat and drink- and there aren’t any, you’d see him pull anything out to survive. Why have you become elective now?!
Cause he’s a schizophrenic, poor man, totally damaged character! And as I said earlier: its values are disturbed. Thus, why we’d justify the errors of an unjust ruler, a police officer, these stupid sick doctors, or even sheikhs and muftis, every fault! Why? cause “God’s will dominates“, and “God wanted this“, God forbid!
The Prophet taught us “If something overpowered you…” if you stand short in front of something really big “then say God predestined this and He does what He wants“, and said “A strong believer is better than a weak believer, though each is still good inside. Seek help from God, don’t feel helpless. And if something overpowered you…” a real predestined, bigger, stronger act of God “then say God predestined this and He does what He wants“. Don’t call your errors and sins “God’s will dominates“! Do you know that no one reasoned with fatalism in evil acts but the polytheists?! In God’s Holy Book, and I’ve mentioned this a number of times before, refer back to Al-Nahel (The Bees) and other chapters; 16:35 (And those who associate others with God say, “If God had willed, we would not have worshipped anything other than Him”), protesting with fatalism against their polytheism, obscenity and oppression! And yes, we as a group, protested with fatalism on everything wrong happening to us! What do you think now? But to this point we still haven’t hit any targets, oratorical at best.
If there’s only 7 minutes before Asr prayer then someone please give me a signal.
Anyways, what do I wanna say? What do I like to say? I’d like to say my dears; the most dangerous detail in Muslims’ life philosophy is that a Muslim is not offered a true, active and precise visualization of his own free will “Are you free? Are you responsible?” these questions aren’t answered yet in the back of his mind.
What’s the difference between this metaphysical fatalistic philosophy, and the Quranic philosophy? 20th century late Indian philosopher and poet; Muhammad Iqbal -may he rest in peace- of course lived among the Hindus and Muslims in India. He never liked the Hindu philosophy cause it was self-annihilating. All Indian philosophy -including Buddhism– are actually self-annihilating, where it sees ego to be the reason for every misfortune, pain and evil. He didn’t like that at all. He argued that, quite the contrary, every civilization and revival was built by egos, that ego that identifies itself, its role, its responsibilities. He explained “I understand Islam as a selfhood philosophy“, called it (Khoodi) which means selfhood in Persian/Urdu. He even wrote a book called The Self-Secrets, he explains “Self as I understood from Quran, this earth-succeeding self, is one that is strong, conscious, mandated and accountable to change the chaotic world” liking this chaotic world to wild bushes. I’ve stated this many times, a forest can’t be a garden, and these are nice words from the great mind of Iqbal. Have you ever seen a natural garden? Garden’s can’t come naturally, they’re man-made. God -or nature to Atheists- created what? The bushes and forests. Gardening is a man-made art, where one would turn this disarray into a garden, cutting and snipping into different shapes. “So even in the laws of sociology and history; my Muslim brother you are to rearrange conditions anew according to one’s own philosophy, one that understands self, roles and responsibilities” he continues. And this is why Iqbal fought hard against asceticism, and I’ll add to Iqbal’s words a few humble steps, where he said that asceticism is not an Islamic philosophy (in life). Please don’t call this a lie. There isn’t one single verse in the Quran that says the best thing to do in life is to be poor, or is there? Is there one verse that poor people are absolutely better than rich people? And it is better to receive money and donations? Not one single verse!
In return, many verses call money: Good (Khair)!
2:180 – (if he leaves wealth…) wealth is (Khair). 100:8 – (And indeed he is, in love of wealth, intense) wealth is (Khair).
Yet we have hundreds of Hadiths demean, lampoon, undervalues money and scolds those who gather it. I doubt Prophet Muhammad said any of it, it’s a big mistake. Actually, is there any civilization, revival and urbanization without money? Not at all. Can there be trade, investments and competition without money? Money is the nerve of life.
Now that Muslims -unfortunately- through futile experiences that thwarted their faiths and their life’s philosophies couldn’t but notice most rich people were plagued with greed, arrogance, deceit, cut their kinship, friendship and loved ones bonds for the sake of gathering more money, unfair competing, and take every step -accepted or forbidden- to gather more and more money. We’ve noticed that and still do, you’d see one lose his faith and himself just to gather money. The fact this is happened doesn’t mean money is a curse or evil when God called it Good (Khair). These people’s fault revolves around them carrying an erroneous philosophy on money and its functions. Is that clear?
I say This Hadith the Prophet surely said it, the meaning is correct whether he said it or not, it has a fine Isnad from Imam Ahmed (ibn Hanbal), not that I care much about Isnads or Sanads here, but because the meaning matches that of the Holy Quran: (Blessed the good money to the good man). Even scholars debated who is better, a grateful rich, or a patient poor? Keep in mind that a poor who was forced into this state, where he tried and failed, is a different story.
Anyways, I want to step further philosophically with Muhammad Iqbal regarding asceticism, where we’ll measure if it works or not on many levels. It occurred to me that there’s a standard to distinguish between good and bad deeds in concepts, ideas and values. But what is this standard exactly? Generalization! In simple terms; do you think that any good deed or meaning, whichever it is, if it prevailed over everybody, would it produce any evil? No way! The more good prevails, the more good will come, isn’t that right? Let’s take an example with honesty; if all people become honest, would that hurt anybody? Quite the contrary, it will get better and better, right? Apply that on a family, parents and children of both sexes where everyone is honest, will that result in any harm? God forbid any harm will come out of this. And so it goes with all other pleasant values.
Now let’s take an example on asceticism; let’s not work, not make money, be poor and take as little from life; force this to prevail over everyone and it will result in a great deterioration, not a simple one. This will make a nation of beggars, a handicapped nation militarily and culturally producing nothing at all.
That’s why I dare, get me any reformer who belonged to any monotheistic sects and succeeded in his reformation, cause we do have stupid reformers who called for poverty and asceticism, and you can never ever reform societies with such a mentality. Money will always be needed with a good philosophy on how to use and invest it, isn’t that right my dears? That’s right!
So again, we need to reconsider our philosophical framework on life. Our life perspective, and the most important point in this perspective is to reaffirm that we are free, have choices, accountable and responsible before God, and we must be responsible before our societies in this life where each one is held accountable for his/her mistakes.
I add that such a philosophy will turn our lives upside down, and the first thing it will turn will be the perspectives on values and virtues, it will all be turned around my dears. It will also turn the education system. Take a look at those who spoil their kids, there’s no one worse than a parent who spoils their kids. These kids will be spoiled, loose, weak and don’t have the ability to face life, just the ability to confront their mistakes and themselves, to reform one’s own self, all will be the same to this parent whether the kid was harmed or not it will all be overlooked. In return, a good upbringing is like a mirror. God is called the Lord (Al-Rub), the word upbringing/education (Tarbeya) is derived from the word (Rub). God raises his worshippers, and God Almighty doesn’t need us. 15:49 (inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful).
If we surpass this one to afternoon prayer then it’s your responsibility. Alright then, we’ll have enough of this. I say this, and ask God for forgiveness to both me and you.
In the name of God the Merciful, God bless the prophet Mohammed.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, this life perspective, this life philosophy -and I mean the one convinced with metaphysical fatalism, produces -almost- the Muslim you and I both know. This Muslim who sees himself the result of fate, not the one who makes his own fate. In reality, we perform a disgraceful dismantling between cause and effects under our misunderstanding of fate. If we analyze fate -in its evident form as we claim- and agree that everything is subject to fate, then we must agree that the cause is subject to fate as much as the effect made. Yet we confuse between the two, blame one on fate and ignore the other. As I said earlier, this schizophrenia is apparent in our reasoning and behavior.
This other point is even more apparent and we see it daily in ourselves and others, where this Muslim is taught and still believes that; just being a Muslim of the creed that states there’s no deity but God, and Muhammad is his messenger, then don’t worry much, you’re going straight to heaven. Isn’t this in our belief? It’s a given, a no brainer. So listen; if such a Muslim believes that he’s the result of fate and destiny, in God’s name how would this man repent for real? Why would he repent? He doesn’t need it. It’s all “destined” so why repent? And what is easier, to demolish or build? Of course to demolish. What is easier; self-restraining or to satisfy our desires and run after every pleasant thing there is? Of course the latter is easier. This is human vulnerability, as God said 4:28 (..and mankind was created weak). Therefore, I won’t worry, I’ll do every sin in the book, this and that, and then I’ll be forgiven! At the end, it was mentioned in the main Hadith books that (Prophet Muhammad’s intercession -Peace be upon Him- is for the great Muslim sinners).
This forces me to divert and ask; why exactly was this Hadith formed this way? That if we fully agree that the Prophet said it to begin with. Sadly this is found in the two major Hadith books. Cause this is for the great sinners! If the Hadith said: the intercession is for “the Muslim philanthropists” or to “those who mixed good and bad deeds“. Cause even God opened the door to forgiveness to them, those poor ones with mixed deeds, as we’re not prophets or angels. That would’ve made more sense. But to state that the intercession is for the great sinners?! Of course we know that adultery, stealing, murdering, usury, bribery, perjury and -God forbid- injustice are all “Great Sins“. So relax and don’t worry, don’t you worry my Muslim brother cause Prophet Muhammad’s intercession -PBUH- is for those great sinners in Islam. So most certainly if you murder, if you were a serial killer killing innocents, imprisoning, torturing, oppressing and cursing them, you’ll end up in an everlasting peaceful heaven. My God! What good will come from such a perspective?
By the way, I’m not in the process to theologically discuss all these issues, intercessions and sins, that’s not what I meant at all. That’s a different story anyways, one I’m not discussing now, rather using the reinforcements and implications. The subsequent obstacles. In short, the results of all this! That’s better than implications. The results of this philosophy, this perspective, this understanding. I, as a monotheist Muslim, carrying so and so issues. What type of Muslim would that be? The answer to this is: Who we are today. Is that clear my brothers?
So we’re struggling, struggling with ourselves, from our treatment to one another, how we deal with each other, sway one another, cheat one another, con one another, dig problems for each other. We’re just odd! We are and we make our own hardships. It has become normal for someone to join us anywhere, here in God’s place, fully bugged and wired recording everything we say to an intelligence service, telling them “Beware! This man said -just implied- something that seems to target you and your agency” and you’d see him praying with us, even shedding tears and nodding his head! Unbelievable! What kind of man is this? What kind of upbringing he got? What kind of result is this? By the way, he might be honest with himself, praying, craves God’s mercy just as much as he’s honest while committing adultery or stealing and still craves God’s mercy. Of course since he’s a monotheist Muslim and shall not fear or feel sorrow. That’s a terrifyingly dangerous theory! This is all a result of that hollow perspective, the metaphysical fatalistic perspective.
No you’re not compelled, you’re not forced. God’s willing perhaps in the coming sermon, even though I’ve discussed it, yet I might elaborate further with simpler terms and deeper understanding, simplified to the commoners how God’s will and knowledge don’t contradict with you being free. Yes, he knows every choice you’ll make and still you’re free and can’t complain. We’ll explain this in simple philosophical terms, unprecedented as well. If someone beat us to it we would’ve recommended for you to go read this or that, but this is all unprecedented. We’ll use a few physical methods as well to ease things for everyone. Those who’ve been following me for sometime know what is it, when I discussed it with our good old mentor Abdel-Wahab El-Messiri, he responded within 5 minutes “That’s a very important understanding, it solves the unsolvable” and solve it does. To me it all makes sense thanks to God Almighty, simple and doesn’t cause any obsession on how God knows and I’m still totally free.
Someone might say “Totally?“. Yes Totally! “But how? Are you free with how you look?“, and who said how I look is part of my own deeds? We’ve said it before; my physical appearance is not my own action, it’s God’s creation! I’m only looking at my own actions man! You’d still see the stupidity of our scholars, some are highly-esteemed, when they say “You’re free to choose this, and forced with how you look“. Oh dear, my looks are my own deeds? How stupid is this?! This is where the dispute is. Who created me? God did! I’m only discussing my own deeds, my own actions. My looks are God’s creation, has nothing to do with being free or forced into anything. We’re disputing my own deeds only! Another might say “You’re forced to have this or that as your parents“, “You’re compelled to look a certain way“. I’m not free nor compelled. This is not my own act, it’s God’s act, 28:68 (And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses), this is what God chose for me, please don’t mix things up! Our minds are chaotic, in everything! No, I want my own acts and deeds, when I tell the truth or lie, what did I intend when I did this? You don’t know but God knows what I intended! If a brother or a sister says something, why did they say it? Why did they write it? What was their intention? God knows it very well, and he/she were free to intend that way!
Beware; where does this metaphysical, inevitable fatalism philosophy stand compared to the Quranic philosophy? There’s something magical and unusual in the Quran. I find it so attractive and fascinating than ever! And with that I can understand why we are the heirs of God on this earth. Why mankind is so precious to The Almighty? As we said before, a very rare one all around! Incomparable! A true rarity as we said in the sermon about Killing (The Crime Doctrine); you have to understand that when you kill a fellow human, you basically kill a rare coin that exists in a universe with a diameter of over 90 billion light years -as per the latest studies-, one that consists of billions of galaxies, hundreds of billions of stars and planets, to this point there doesn’t seem to be any intelligent life in this universe but ours, can you imagine?! Incredible to even think about! If we try to bring an example -it falls short but still- if we fill this hall with sand, and one out of all those sand particles stands out, it will be remarkably striking, isn’t that right? Similarly, this human race is remarkably striking in this universe my dears! Therefore, respecting this mankind, approving its dignity and freedom without compromising its existence and free will, are all extremely sacred and holy to God Almighty. And this is where I’ll accept this Hadith fully -without having to argue about its Isnad if it was correct or not, the meaning is very true- (The demise of the heavens and the earth is nothing to God compared to killing one man) why so? Because there isn’t any one like him! Through this entire universe, there is only THIS human and that’s it, so if it goes He’ll replace it. And God harnessed this entire universe with all its might for this human, as he said; 45:13 (And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth – all from Him..). All that for us? This lost sand particle? Yes, but we’re not lost. Lost only for those lost ones, for the nihilists. Contrary to that, we’re not nihilists! And this is where the greatness of Islam is, and we won’t be unable to see the greatness in our faith -and Thank God, all of it is great-.. The greatness of me, as a human being, is unparalleled my brothers, and the Quran taught us how and why. Don’t tell me you’re a lost particle in this universe, in some suburb, a house or room, I won’t buy that one bit! Regardless, you are far more important than this whole universe. It is harnessed for you. And surely what’s being harnessed is less important than who it is harnessed for. “All this is harnessed for me?” Yes for You, better know your worth! And I explained before how I support Iqbal’s Khoodi selfhood philosophy. Know your worth, you my Muslim are at the core of God’s interest. You are what God wants. This whole universe is a shell, and you are the precious pearl within. You. As a whole you’re important. Iqbal says “The entire field may burn, yet the seed will survive..“. If a field is struck by lightning, would it burn one grain or seed, or it will burn the field? It can’t hit one seed by itself! Look at Iqbal’s amazing philosophy when he said “Don’t worry and ask; who am I? I’m just one! What’s my worth?“, no, you can add so much to this world, especially if you have the recipe, if you have what others don’t have. God can revive a whole nation through you!
The –Egyptian– Book of Dead, you know the Book of the Dead? What does it say? -and by the way, this is very nice in the Egyptian philosophy- It basically says “The last human, the last man standing, is required to testify before the judge of the underworld (Osiris) on the entire mankind“. It tells him you’re one of them. You represent them. You’re not responsible for only your society, but the entire mankind. Come forth and give us your testimony. What do you say about this race called mankind? the sons of Adam? Imagine! It is beautiful to see how the Egyptians had such an understanding from long ago.
For the Muslim, this isn’t an idea or a principle. I tell you this is a belief! When I’m affiliated with a Prophet so followed named Muhammad -Peace be upon Him-, a Prophet God calls: 21:107 (And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds), I erupt not only in ecstasy, pride and vainness, but also in knowing my worth. “Is this my Messenger, and I carry on his message -God willing- by lifting this torch to humanity?” Oh yes! “To all mankind?” Yes, to all of mankind, not just your society or surroundings, to all of humanity! Yet of course, if someone fails to reform himself, he’ll fail to reform his society, let alone mankind! Therefore again, know your own worth! Iqbal says “you have to believe in God, then believe in yourself, and derive your self-belief from your faith in God“. This simplifies the greatness of the Islamic proposition.
Some might argue that “Nietzsche had his selfhood philosophy, and Iqbal is suspected of benefitting from Nietzsche’s philosophy“, I’ll be honest and say: That might be true! Since Muhammad Iqbal studied in Germany and earned his PhD in Law from Munich, so surely he learned about the German philosophy and Nietzsche, and it is apparent in his writings. Yet no way the two philosophies match! In the end, Nietzsche is an atheist and a nihilist, and every atheist philosophy will lead to nihilism. Iqbal wrote one of his most beautiful poetic lines:
God’s existence is fragile to you.. (meaning Nietzsche)
And your existence is fragile to me..
That’s it, you too have lost yourself to me.
The source of strength lies within man’s personality, where he depends on God the Almighty, and we believe in Him, not in a way that is fatalistic, and we call upon believing in God not in the way that may consume one’s self, and make it stand alone against the winds of fortune. Not at all my brothers. We believe in a way -and I won’t say we take part-, but we’re partially in there. I won’t say we’d choose all by ourselves -being polite in front of God’s will-, but we completely select our own future, our own destiny. How is that? First off; we have to arrange philosophically and be coherent in our philosophic citation. So, we agreed that man is free to choose what he wants. Is that clear? We’ll answer any objection on this statement in the next sermon so we’re done with this issue once and for all, so no need to still argue about it, as the Quran affirms in countless verses that man is free and accountable, and he’s accountable because he’s free, otherwise that will be unjust, is that clear? Therefore, I’ll take this freedom to the end of the road. How?
In simple terms; you are free and believe that you’re free, deal? What happens next? Here and now, you do have a few select options to choose from, you’re able to notice 3 or 4 of them, they might yield thousands inside, yet all you can notice and see are 3 options, 4, let’s say 10 max, alright? Like someone who graduated school and has 10 – 20 options on what college to go to next, keeping in mind that you’re 100% free to select here. All these 20 are open doors and I’ll have to walk through one of them, “make my calculations” -as our Tunisian brothers say-, then get in. This path is opened, while all others shut straight away. God says 13:39 (God eliminates what He wills or confirms, and with Him is the Mother Book). We called it “shut“, God called it “eliminates“. Indeed, the Quranic term is greater and more accurate philosophically, you know why? This just struck me standing right here. If God said that these other paths close or shut, then there is a possibility that they might open later to others, and that’s impossible! In the words of [Miguel de] Unamuno and Gabriel Marcel, “no two people can be equal on all fronts in the whole history of this world“. So we come back to Iqbal’s Selfhood (Khoodi); you are You, no one else can be You. And I add; you as an individual are entirely unique, and the same applies on me, a world in its own, and we won’t find anyone like you in the entire history of it all, what do you think?
This philosophy -bear with us with all these philosophies- weights heavily on a Muslim commoner’s brain. He won’t like it. You know why? Our Islamic mentality is based on scriptures, right? Philosophy worked a bit with Al-Kindi, a bit more with Al-Farabi and Avicenna, debated between Al-Ghazali and Averroes, returned back to Iran and Persians, as it lived in a post-Averroes era there, not in Arabic-speaking lands, and by the way it remained weak among the Sunni and Shiia circles in general. Thus, our mentality is based on sacred texts, very textual. Unfortunately, this Muslim mentality is not used to individuality or singularity, doesn’t support it or deal with it. It is plural in nature, seeking consensus or unanimity, and likes it – the impossible unanimity. If anyone argues about unanimity, tell them it is just impossible to apply. There is no such thing that each and every one will agree on ONE thing, stop lying to us. To seek a general consensus, you’ll need the consent of the whole nation’s assiduous and scholars, which includes Shiiats and Zaidis, unless you expel them from Islam altogether. One might say “we don’t think they’re infidels, they’re just astray who came up with strange new ideas“, in return a Sunni has gone astray too, totally lost, hates the Prophet’s family, et cetera, and so is an Ebadhi, and so and so. Regardless, do you Adnan expel them? No I don’t, and when did they ever gather on one thing. Answer me! Whatever they have agreed on fully aren’t even matters for debate, they are simply fixed textual facts, isn’t that right? Either mentioned in Quran, or recurring in Sunna/Hadith, so they’re not matters for debate, purely textual. So please don’t argue about a consensus, yet the masses love it, you know why? To repress innovation. And that’s exactly what happened – I swear – where heads have fallen so easily!
I promise to preach in one sermon about Punishing Assiduity -and all its elements are with me already- where everyone who innovates a little is punished, and he might be murdered my brothers, that’s the problem! For instance, Ibn-Taymiyyah was accused of heresy! Ibn-Taymiyyah is a heretic? He’s a Salafi scholar with outward understanding, the man never carried esoteric beliefs nor liked that path altogether, still was charged with heresy! Labeled a heretic! And was imprisoned 7 times, where his last imprisonment saw him die after spending 2 and a half years in jail, just because he brought new ideas to the table, violating the familiar norms, the “consensus“. What consensus are you talking about? Stop deceiving people!
Anyways, Muslims mentality seeks unanimity, likes it thoroughly. And unanimity is the opposite of innovation, isn’t it true? What is innovation in nature? Creativity’s nature rests in individuality. You’d call this thing “original“, “creative“, God is the (Originator of the heavens and the earth) 2:117. Thus, do you know what is originality? Or being creative? Originality is to weave in a non-patterned fashion. You know the knoll used to weave on? Well, he doesn’t use the same one to weave on. Everyone weaves on the same knoll except this one and without following any patterns. He doesn’t imitate anyone. Walks in uncharted territories. But who walked before him? No one! He led the way. And that’s someone creative, the first one to walk through this path is this new person. So when we claim that “this thing is original and wonderful” what does it reflect on the inventor? His originality. What does it mean? That he is absolutely unique. This is the first time we see this thing, this theory, this suggestion, this meaning. To see things from this angle for the very first time! What does that reflect? Reflects the originality of the person who invented it. That he doesn’t think like you and me, and that’s why he is original of course, and therefore he’s creative. Which makes him unique on his own. Uniqueness means it’s a standout, nothing’s like it. Unique! Alright? So, unanimity is against creativity. Unanimity would tell you “Silence! Don’t you dare violate the consensus. You must say what has been said. Say what has been told to you. Repeat and rewind!“. Anyone who deviates from the mainstream will be punished!
Now we move to; the nature of the Muslim’s mind. Now if we ask anyone who studied the fundamentals of jurisprudence, or even read a 300-page book on the topic “whenever we speak of assiduity, it will base itself on what?“, he’ll reply “with benchmarking!“. We commonly have texts and assiduities, and assiduities base themselves on benchmarking. And is benchmarking innovative or not? It’s not at all. Cause this benchmarking alienates, from what? From originality. From the opposite. But it likes those who’re similar, thus, it drops the differences. Looks for similarities, connecting one to another. Connects the branch with the root and gives it the same verdict, and loves doing so. Is there a chance that we get a new verdict to this issue? No, we must benchmark. And benchmarking is totally against originality and creativity! And if you insist that it still contain some innovation, then it will be minimally present in the smallest percentage possible. Now try and see what have they translated Islamic jurisprudential benchmarking into? Analogical Deduction! In German, we got Analog and Digital. What does Analogy means? An Analogue or polemic. So they translate benchmarking to Analogical Deduction. One like the other, resembles the other, alright? Where’s the creativity here? Nowhere to be found.
Therefore, the Muslim’s mind in general is one that doesn’t sympathize with innovation. Why? Cause it is textual. Not because religion wanted that, not at all. Sadly when scholars worked to set the bases of assiduity and evidences sadly came up with the unanimities and benchmarking and set this path to us. So we no longer accept any innovation. Sadly, we don’t even call it innovation or creativity. They call it heterodoxy, abnormality, disagreeing with the common consensus, the prevailing. And whatever the masses want prevails. Isn’t that true? And as I said before; whoever is creative gets punished. It won’t be call innovative, they’ll give it more demeaning, lessening, disgracing terms, which mean to alienate everyone from it, where you start hating innovation and innovators. Why shall I innovate anyway? They’ll hit me with heresy and cut my head off, the hell with this whole thing, isn’t that right? So when you read through history; you’ll see scholars averse away from various sciences, totally scared of them. Sciences like Logic, Philosophy, Astronomy. Anyone who worked with it before starts burning what he wrote, swearing he has nothing to do with it and doesn’t like it one bit. For God’s sake, Why? Cause they were threatened to be killed or murdered. Can you imagine that? Anyways, it’s all in the past! History!
So we come again. There can’t be too people 100% identical in every way, shape or form. No way! And so God said 13:39 (God eliminates what He wills or confirms..). You walked this way, what happens to the other paths? They don’t close down, but are eliminated (in Quran’s words; erased), no one on earth may walk through any of them. One might argue “Nonsense. Assuming someone studied sociology, deal? All other fields didn’t accept him with millions accepted into them“. That’s true, but it’s not HIM who went into those fields! Even when he studied sociology, his outcome will be totally different compared to billions others studying the same field! This one studied with a different mentality, awareness, experiences and potential and will get you a unique outcome! 100% for sure! Another might add “But how come it’s not the same in our countries? 10,000 will graduate and they’ll look and act the same?“, simply cause creativity has been murdered in our culture, where we became a nation of parrots with a simian spirit, echoing everything. Intelligence is measured according to what you memorize, not what have you invented! Isn’t it obvious? How much can you memorize! If you memorize Quran verses, Hadith, its Isnad and content, poems, everything’s been written, read and thought of in literature and art.. then you’re a genius! What’s genius about that?! You got nothing. No outcome that resembles who YOU are! You’re nothing but a tool! When this entire nation descends, and loses the value of ego and self within, one is lost away from self, and he’s like everybody else, One is the same as a thousand. That’s disastrous!
Back on track. 13:39 (God eliminates what He wills..) is a tremendous Quranic philosophy altogether! Let’s take another example away from studying, 5 wasted years. Let’s say I have some money. Someone telling me “Adnan, take this donated money for the mosque” could be a very tempting figure for regular people “take this 100 – 150 thousand, but please oh please don’t let anyone know the source. I’m donating this to God not people” and took off, some visitor from Qatar, the Emirates or anywhere. Satan -God forbid- now comes trying to tempt me. I for one -between me and you- if that ever happens to me, I’ll lose my self-respect to the day I die, even if I just thought about it. I’ll despise myself, feel emotionally and mentally ill. I don’t know about others but that’s how I was raised. Don’t despair in comparison, but I think it is very difficult to discover how low you are deep inside at one moment, rascal and hollow. A 150k is enough temptation to become a thief? To claim being a God-loving Muslim yet still fall into a thief before a 150 thousand, million, or even 100 billion? Would you do it? There’s something wrong with your upbringing, education, your faith in God. 96:14 (Does he not know that God sees?), he sees if you take one or a hundred! He’s there and sees all, and will question all on 1 or billions, all for its worth, isn’t that right? How can I fear God on a cheap and ridiculed 1, yet forgot Him with a million in hand? If anything, this means my faith as a whole is shaky, let’s be honest, that’s a shaky faith system as simple as it gets. Anyways, so I have a 150. I have ways to either donate or not donate. And in each way there are more paths and doors. I can donate without having any financial return benefit me personally, right? For instance, my income may be low, and I’ll take this money and bargain with my employers telling them that it doesn’t match my potential and produce, so help raise this income. “But we don’t have any, if we had we would’ve raised you!“, “well there are a 150k invested“, “Oh, God bless, then you’ll get the raise“. Still that’s considered immoral. Don’t you believe God sees your conditions and has plans for you as per your intentions and outcome? Do you think this way to begin with? Anyways, so now you made a choice, walked through one door. All other doors are eliminated.
Now read my question carefully; Did that change your future or not? Yes it did. You just made a new future to yourself. You could’ve made yourself a different future, that of a beggar who’s not trustworthy, who lost his self-respect, etc.. to add to this, this will reflect on your personality. Don’t argue that you’ll steal this much, then spend the rest of your life weeping and repenting, and if you invest in them you’ll return them and donate more. Your action has reflected on you till the day you die. You know why? When you return back home, to your wife and kids, you’ll not be the same dignified, self-confident person, the same levels a few hours ago, you’ll return a servile despicable one, one who sees himself a thief. Your spiritual connection with your family will start to dwindle. Isn’t that right? These matters are so deep I swear.
Whether you are a father, friend, teacher, sheikh, preacher, writer, journalist, intellect, president.. whatever you may be, how do you see yourself deep inside? How’s your ability to inspire others, especially those closer to you? Without pretending or acting. I’ll be honest with you; At times we’d see people weeping and crying, thanking the Lord, and I won’t twitch a nerve. He’d force a tear, and I swear it won’t impact me one bit! Others show in his support and all he’s doing is acting. Act all you want, weep all you can, go break the world, our hearts won’t respond to you. Who do you think you’re lying to? And if you see some responding to him, crying with him, they are as much liars as he is. They didn’t do it seeking God’s forgiveness, rather sanctimoniously. All the same. These spiritualities are God-given. Thus and take it from me, you won’t be able to raise your kids through acting. You can’t raise them, inspire them to know right from wrong, or teach them rationality, chastity, honesty and belief through acting. While outdoors you’re -God forbid- totally obscene, a thief and a traitor, etc.. while indoors you’re all pious!
All this is profoundly deep, I’ll add this and move on. Any married ones here, remember the night you conceived your child? Remember how close were you to God, praying, worshipping, abiding by his law, believing in him. All this is reflected even on your sperm, your current child! What do you think? And remember when you were in a phase of questioning, indulging in impurities, etc.. that too was reflected on your child! That’s truly bone chilling. As if all this is programmed, one affecting the other down to the sperm and its genetic data. I have no idea, but it’s all incredibly wondrous. Same applies on a leader with his followers, and a preacher with his disciples, it is all connected spiritually where acting and pretending won’t fix it.
But why can’t we distinguish between each one? We might lose this sensory power if lying and deceiving prevailed all around where we become blinded by all of it. Yet if one or two can tell them apart, then there’s still good within the surroundings.
Back to our topic. So now you’ve made a new future walking through one door, you could’ve picked any other door. One might ask “So I picked the wrong path -God forbid-, is that it? Am I doomed?“, no you still have a chance. The greatness and generosity of God still appeals, and you’ll see the new doors around you. Didn’t you take this money for yourself and moved on? Seconds later, even fractions of a second, you’ll start to have tens of options available -therefore tens of futures-, including ways to repent. This new path tells you to seek forgiveness by returning the money where it should go, even add to it from your own money, cover your mistake and I’ll cover behind you, don’t worry about it. Doesn’t that happen? Like moving from one lane to another, no problems! This is what repentance means, then it is followed by a reform. Are we confronted by new futures every moment? Yes, and every path you take while others get eliminated, you’ll open newer paths. 13:39 (God eliminates what He wills..) what a strong philosophy that is!
And so, my dear brothers and sisters, you create your own future every second of the way -God willing-, every moment you select a new path. And this new future is based on the previous choices made in an accumulative and integrative relation. As we said earlier, one path is far off from the other, from the way of treachery back to honesty, back to the Right Path, and so on.. The way I see it, this is a big part of understanding 13:39 (God eliminates what He wills or confirms..). So you have plenty of futures ahead of you, don’t you dare tell me that you’re standing like a feather against the wind anymore, deal?
Now, -God willing- I’ll cite a big objection and end my sermon.
There’s a big objection that some people will raise their flags with, claiming “All what you said is easy to say. Philosophical gibberish! None of it is true with day-to-day evidence proving the contrary“, how come? “Look at our society!“. A humorous man was asked once “Is man free to choose or not?“. “He is free in Europe and the West, not free in all of the East” he replied. Although it sounds funny, it still is very true. Indeed, Eastern philosophies and civilizations compel man with no freedoms to give, to the point it is called Eastern Tyranny, right? Look at China or Japan, as far as they are, even the Arab world for a long while now. The idea of human Gods showed up the most in our civilizations. In contrast, in modern, post-Renaissance Europe man is free to choose. But man is man anywhere. A European is similar to a Far or Middle Easterner, what’s so different? The perspective of life! Life’s philosophy!
Since Renaissance Europe and the Humanism culture evolved, people started focusing on Roman literature and heritage which glorified mankind. Of course it is filled with pagan ideas, where man is the maker of his destiny, and would battle God Himself -I seek forgiveness from the Almighty- rather their pseudo-God of course. Most expressions hurt our feelings as monotheists but are partially true. Their ancient civilizations didn’t have monotheistic principles like ours, sadly it was all falsified a long time ago. They used to have exhibitions and markets to buy Gods! What God do you want to buy? Every phenomena has a God, and every tribe has a God. Everything has a God! Notice when the Pharaoh was drowning, he confessed to God’s existence? Believed at this moment, right? Well he said 10:90 (.. I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe..), to this moment he still thinks Gods are nationalistic, each tribe with a God of its own. He still doesn’t get it! When Moses spoke of Lord of the Worlds, the Pharaoh replied 26:23 (And what is the Lord of the Worlds?) what does this mean? We don’t know one that is the God of all, we know a God for this and that, for every tribe and every phenomena. He can’t fathom the idea that there’s a God for All, a Lord of Lords! Even the term (Lord of Lords) explains how there were other lords/Gods made up by man. Sadly, humanity used to think this way. He said 10:90 (.. I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe..). Can’t even say God of All, doesn’t digest the idea of it, the idiot! And you’d get idiots saying “The Pharaoh died a believer“, nonsense! He couldn’t construct a meaningful phrase “I believe in their deity” still saying “their“. The poor idiot died with a programmed mentality. Anyways, he’s not poor!
So back to our topic, Peace be upon Muhammad, we were saying that the objection looks at how this human in Europe is the maker of his own destiny, challenging everything along the way. Indeed, we read puzzling stories here in Europe, for instance this man who is legless straight from his torso, crossed Le Manche / English channel. Legless and still swam across from France to Britain. How?! How was he able to strike such a feat! He’d simply reply “Why? Why not?“. Just the other day, a friend sent me a photo of man with artificial legs, or rather tubes, climbing a mountain almost reaching the top. Oh dear lord! So what does he have more than what we have? In fact, he’s got less than us, one with no legs and the other climbed a 1 or 2km far off mountain with only iron tubes! So what does he have more than us to achieve this extraordinary feat? Keep this in mind folks; The Will! This Will made each do what they did. I too have a will though, but what’s the difference?
Listen here carefully; What activated his Will to perform supernatural miracles? And what put it to sleep with you? And made you this burden on your own self before being one on the rest of mankind. Some truly see themselves to be a burden on themselves, thinking “if only suicide wasn’t forbidden, I would’ve put an end to this burden“, may even add that he’s “feeling uneasy, hating the very skin on me, can’t see myself but an obsolete object in life“.. Why big man? Why? You’re healthy and able to live normally, and you got more than what these two have. At least you got your legs! Or even look at the blind geniuses of this whole world. Those blind folks who amassed as much knowledge as only God knows! Like the miraculous Helen Keller, who was deaf, mute and blind!
You know what’s the difference between us and them? In two words; Life Philosophy. Your life perspective, philosophy, how you see yourself, objectives, targets, context.. all this is called Life Philosophy. It is what can activate and ignite one’s Will or put it back to sleep. You got my point? The old poet says:
They chose you for a matter, if you know..
You’d run not to foster with the obsolete..
Don’t you ever ask “Who am I?“, you’re something very big in God’s eyes. Of course don’t go further and become arrogant or bloat around. Just activate your good intentions, intending to become a man of your word.
Back to the objection; he’d say “With all due respect to you Adnan, and you really bothered yourself -and us along the way- yet your philosophies are all hollow“, Why so?!
Now listen, and I wanted to make sure I don’t leave today before I make this statement very clear. Now those who’ve been around me for 20 or more years might have heard it, but new people listening on YouTube may’ve not. It is very important, and derived from the Quran as well. He said “All you said is nonsense, cause back home in my country” and that country is definitely Syria, or Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi, the Emirates, all of them.. we’re all united in misery. “Where I come from, my home, a child is born incomplete. He arrives to this world an incomplete human, his mother’s milk is polluted, if it even existed. She couldn’t be fed properly to feed her child. This all affected the child on a formative level, on a cellular level. And not only is he lacking in structure, he also is born with no luck. No luck getting a good health care” And that is true, compared to places like Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany or France? No way at all! You’ve got to be kidding!
In any of those I mentioned, someone might be only visiting, one of our parents visiting, not a resident, just on a visit visa. He’d fall or gets hit, be rushed straight to hospital, no one seeks any claims until he’s fully healed, once he’s out they’d ask “Do you have enough to pay us?“, “No I only have those 2,000 Euros“, “But you have a bill of over 77k“, “I only have these 2ks“, “No problem, give us what you have!” and the whole case is forwarded to the mayor to be pardoned. And that’s to a visitor! That always happens in France, and don’t you dare ask anyone in emergency for money before they’re taken care of, do your part then we’ll discuss in peace. How humane is that! To a visitor, and not even a European citizen!
Back home, stashed with billions -and let’s be honest here, right?- from oil and gas trade. Only God knows where these billions go! Actually, He knows and we know too, but anyways.. back there, once born, one is not received with a good healthcare, low-standard education straight ahead, no equal chances in employment right after that education. No chance to get hired the right way my dear where bribes, favoritism and nepotism kill every leveled chance. Unbelievably sick! This is all without taking into account the authorities, the suppression, intelligence agencies and investigators alongside tons of other security bodies hovering around every head in sight. One would say “Free? What free big guy? Come walk through this hardship first! You’re actually comparing me with you, your kids and everyone living there in Austria, Holland, Sweden and all those good countries out there? What are you thinking?” so the whole issue is bigger than what we think, way bigger!
I do have an answer though, and it’s all Quranic! And I value this answer myself, this is the Holy Book, not me being savvy or anything. Have the Quran never mentioned it I may have not understood it to be honest, of course since this is the word of God! What puzzles me really my dears is that when the Quran reviewed society, it was way ahead of its time and surroundings, leaving the early sociologists or those kicking about, still baby steps in comparison to today fully shocked. Ibn Khaldun laid the basis for sociology, right? Died 808 H.C. early 9th century, and lived through the 8th century. In comparison, Abu al-Hasan Al Masudi precedes Ibn Khaldun 5 centuries before, died 346 H.C.! Famous for Caution and Nobles and The Meadows of Gold among others. Both, respectively, understood in a more systematic way that a society is bigger than just the sum of its individuals. Not in any way, shape or form! A society is treated differently than treating any individual, has a sort of personality and character on its own! “How come? We all know a society is the sum of its individuals“. No, not even close! Any idea what it would mean if your statement is true? It means that ANYONE would be free to do ANYTHING within their surroundings. However, when you see how every social aspect affects you; be it cultural, educational, economical, political or concerning security, etc.. So, a society is truly not the sum of its individuals.
So, can we say a society is like a building made up of blocks, like this hall for example? No way obviously! “Why so?” because blocks don’t have any interactivities between them, unlike a society with people interacting. So, is it like trees in a forest? No, again! A gardener can tell what the tree will be, what type, what will it produce, under good conditions of course, etc.. It won’t matter what you plant next to it, nothing will change! So obviously we’re not like trees in a forest, a bit more complex than that. So what are we?
Do we interact chemically or physically? Let’s try and draw inspiration from science, use its terms and tools. No, we don’t interact either way again, can you see that? It is more complicated than it seems.
If we interact socially on a physical level, what would change in us? Just the shells, outlook and image while the essence remains untouched. This is what physical interactivity is in simple terms. Doesn’t water evaporate in high temperatures, remove the cause and it will condense back to its neutral form. Freeze it and it will solidify, remove the cause and it will return again to its neutral form. That’s a physical interaction here, forms change per the cause, and the only matters changing are the shape and apparent formal details leaving the essence as-is. Like, on a structural level, does the water molecule change any bit? Either frosted, evaporated or neutral, it remains H2O. So it is very apparent that we don’t interact physically in society. Mankind is much deeper to interact on the outer layer level only.
And do we interact chemically? Of course not again, why? In a chemical interaction, elements are consumed and reforms into a newer element or complex as the molecular structure changes as a result. So now we have a new mixture, that doesn’t look anything like its basic elements. Taking water again for example, it is not Hydrogen nor Oxygen. And it’s not the properties of each element on an individual level. Not at all, since this is a chemical interaction. So do we interact chemically? So when Malek Bennabi says “Chemistry of Humans” that’s an invalid expression, scientifically and sociologically. If we interact chemically then I’ll lose my essence, and you’ll lose yours, forming a totally new and different mixture altogether, becoming a full entity till it interacts with a new element and so on. Apparently we stand in the middle in all this, somewhere between chemical and physical interactivity. It’s a bit strange, we’ll see!
My dears a society in God’s Holy Quran has its own character, a realization of its own, an identity, a shade. How? Where? How did Ibn Khaldun, Al Masudi and all of us understand that? In the Quran, 6:108 (..Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds..). I can understand if deeds were pleasant to you and me as our tastes are different. But for one nation to have a mood where it likes or dislikes various things, that’s unbelievable! Though there are practical examples in God’s book. Like who? The people of Lot who liked sodomizing one another, the idea itself is pleasing for them to collaborate and achieve -God forbid- this impurity and defilement. That’s when Lot came preaching, asking them what calamity are you folks doing. Of course he’s a prophet with a life philosophy that is so deep, he knew if this act continues it would mean the end of mankind. Men are sexually content with men, so are women with women and we lose this mankind. Upon asking them why they’re doing so, what was their reply? 27:56 (they said, “Expel the family of Lot from your city. Indeed, they are people who keep themselves pure”). “Oh yuck, they like to be pure!” They’re disgusted from purity, while they’re delighted with and permit sodomy. That’s the meaning of the verse 6:108 (..Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds..), what do you think?
I know groups of people in Eastern Europe who like filth, they enjoy filth on a sensual level, the stench and to be stinky. Oh God have mercy if you ride the subway train with them, it’s as if nothing is there, hope you don’t ever see it. They just like the idea of stench! So who made the stench desirable to them? Here the Quran talks about nations and peoples, groups in general, as they are really just one person. This group now acts like one, with its own identity and taste, where it likes or dislikes certain things, very odd! The Quran speaks to us 6:108 (..Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds..).
That was One. Two; the Quran then specifies that for every group, and according to its status, character and tastes it deserves a defined type of message delivered. 10:47 (And for every nation is a messenger..), a very delicate expression. In simpler words, God says He sent this messenger with this message, principles and ideas to this particular group of people to fix what has been twisted, to treat its social illnesses, isn’t that right? Thus, this messenger who’s sent to this group of people, and more often than not, is a son of this group, one of its own, is more suitable to it than anyone else, like an illness addressed by a physician. 10:47 (..So when their messenger comes, it will be judged between them in justice, and they will not be wronged). More than that, the Quran states that nations, peoples and groups have an end, an expiration. I know I have an end, you have an end, we breathe that last breath then fall, right? But does a group have an end as well? Yes, and I have many verses that say so. 7:34 (And for every nation is a [specified] term. So when their time has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it]) Wow! This is the Quran, the Quranic language! A strange and weird scientific language my dears! If you explain this to a sociologist he’ll pull the hairs off his head! He might say “That’s impossible! A book to speak in such terms?! and a 1400 years before?!” Yes, that’s God Almighty’s Holy book.
What’s more impressive than all this, on doomsday; 18:49 (And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open]..) Wait, THE record/book? Not books like usually? No cause this one is for a group. Of course each one of us has his/her own book 84:7 (Then as for he who is given his record in his right hand..) No this is a different story now, 18:49 (And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it..). One record book, and the group’s criminals are all sobbing. Someone might ask “How could that be?” This is this nation’s book, this people’s book, this group’s book; only one record book! The previous verse was from Al-Kahf (The Cave), another stronger evidence is from Al-Jatheyah (The Kneeling) 45:28 (And you will see every nation kneeling [from fear]. Every nation will be called to its record..) Dear Lord, it has One book! Thus, this type of people have one record to be judged upon!
See now I’m done, with this philosophy I’ve given my answer in full. “How?” Someone might ask “We didn’t get it” I’ll tell you how; This is God’s book, This is God the Almighty. God is telling us; When you think, kindly think deeply, don’t do it childishly or disparagingly. At least think on the same level as the book I’ve sent you. You’d tell me a child born is born incomplete, no luck, no good structure; God would reply “You’re mourning this on Me? You lament this on The Almighty? Can’t you blame it on society? Your society?” You’d say “How do I blame it on society? So is my child a victim of society?” Of course he is the victim of this society, all of it and not only one within. Not even the victim of the ruler, but of the whole social structure. And all those casualties who are imprisoned, murdered and tortured, these are all society’s victims. Careful now, so there are society sins, these society sins are different than mine and yours, they are only specific to the society itself. One might argue “What kind of philosophy is this?” That’s a very dangerous philosophy, a huge changing and revolutionary one. Why so?
One; This philosophy denies the sufficiency of Sufism and mysticism in reformation. Tell me “Oh, I’m a Sufi. I’ll care to fix myself, I seek my salvation and so on.. and if I reform myself on my own without interacting with surroundings, people or culture altogether, totally away from everyone, then everything will fix itself” and I’ll say You’re wrong! You are Quranically mistaken. You must reform yourself, and at the same time in parallel, you must acquit yourself doing what you ought to do towards your surroundings. Give your society what it requires to reform from you in terms of commanding, preventing, criticizing, enacting and applying knowledge through, that’s very necessary! And if you don’t take your part there, you might yourself become a victim of this society. At least you won’t get away in this world. You might face a day when you won’t be able to safely worship God, get killed in your own home. Isn’t that what’s happening in our beloved Syria now? We ask the Almighty to relieve it. Yes, you won’t get the chance to pray to God in your own, you’ll be massacred, bombarded, barrels drop from F16 aircrafts. Unbelievable! Because you remained silent, and thought only about yourself. That doesn’t work!
You’d say “What a catastrophe! We’ve lost our earthly lives. Okay, is there a salvation in the afterlife?” Not entirely to be honest. You have one way for salvation though, a Quranic theorem that -I swear- is a terrific philosophy; you’ll get your salvation if you do your social duties and acquitted yourself from what you’re ought to do in commanding and preventing, if you say Yes to good deeds and No to bad deeds, and continued on this path till the day you die, help reforming yourself and those around you before you died. “But I failed” You know why? Cause there aren’t many like you, right? You failed cause there were only ten or twenty like you, in a society of 40 million, right? It won’t work this way, and this has happened before. God annihilated Noah’s people, Noah’s work alone with his very few followers couldn’t help, so God extirpated them, ended their lives for good. God even annihilated the Pharaoh and his troops all at once, and told Moses to leave that land for good, this isn’t working at all, let them be in their disbelieve, isn’t that right? So in the Quran 7:164 (And when a community among them said, “Why do you advise [or warn] a people whom God is [about] to destroy or to punish with a severe punishment?”.. ) what did they say? (they said, “To be absolved before your Lord and perhaps they may fear Him”) to be excused! Even if I knew my words, commands, prohibitions and screams won’t do the trick, I’d still talk and shout. Why? Perhaps some would respond. And I have told you many times how God would send a prophet or a messenger to only one person. “Only to one person?” Yes. God told us through the knowledge received to us that He may send a messenger that may help save a million people’s lives, and still He knows only one would be guided to safety, still God didn’t deny this one this guidance. And this itself explains one of God’s names Al-Hadi (The Guider), when you try and explain what Al-Hadi means, just say; Al-Hadi is the One who’s guidance reaches all. This also is a sign of His mercy, supports and works alongside His mercy, for Him to send one messenger -and surely he’s not someone like you and me- to guide only one person! He’d send a messenger, and this man dies, and the guided man dies, no problem, and everyone else are still recklessly blind in the dark, let them be in this scourge, He’d still help this one fellow. Is it clear now?
I am as a Muslim too, that’s my philosophy in life, I’ll say the truth and shout it loud till the day I die in hope that God help guides one or two with my efforts, and I’d have my excuse in front of God on doomsday, and thus will be ousted from the collective record. (..To be absolved before your Lord..) I’d be able to say; Oh Lord, I’m not one of them, and He may reply that Yes my servant, you were not one of them, you said the truth and worked by it, your record is different. This nations record will be displayed, thus they’ll have to answer collectively, and it won’t help anyone then to apologize or be excused “Oh Lord, there was no point, we were desperate, most people wouldn’t have listened“, God may just ask that; Did you try? Did you speak? How did you know? Do you know the unseen? Or the untold? Wasn’t there a chance that if you spoke and shouted so loud that many people would’ve listened and looked for guidance, that the whole situation would’ve changed? Yes, all would’ve changed!
Just imagine, if I thought this way, that I may push towards change, and you thought; let me participate, then scientifically speaking we might reach a critical point, a threshold were everything changes for everybody, see? Of course that point is known to God not us. If we had 4,000 – 5,000 reformers who may rise from their silence. 3,000 won’t work. 4,000 would hit the mark and would change everything, right? Let me not cut this number down, help raise it -God willing- and contribute in some way. Is it clear my dears?
So bottom line; the injustice to people you see in society, reaching the infants, the elders and even animals, people rot in jails and prisons, my answer is this isn’t fate’s fault, and God shouldn’t be asked about it. “Who to question?” Society. This is society’s sin, it’s very fault.
So as one person, what’s the extent of my independence? You said the interaction is neither chemical nor physical between me and my surrounding society, 25:67 (..between that, [justly] moderate), just being a part of a society forces you to concede some of your independence, you can’t live whichever way you like within, that’s impossible, you can’t do that. Any society has constraints and attractors, some you fear and despise, and others you like and desire. This forces a tough question; how much of independence I may relinquish to submit to society’s laws, the good, the bad and the untold? I say; we don’t know exactly how much, we don’t have a theory or a mathematical theory to know precisely, the biggest sociologist now won’t even be able to answer that. We have failed in this department. However, Quranically speaking, whatever’s left of your independence is enough for you to face the mainstream of your society. What do you think? You can face society’s ideology, even the ruling and authoritarian ideology, perhaps the one that even the masses refuse to adhere to.
Some might ask that “Where is your evidence?” We have a hundred ones yet we’ll discuss only one now that we took too long. And what is it? Surat Ghafir (The Forgiver). Tell me, what else do we call this chapter? Al-Mo’men (The Believer)! Who is this believer? Not you and me, this is the Pharaoh’s family’s believer. 40:28 (And a believing man from the family of Pharaoh who concealed his faith said, “Do you kill a man [merely] because he says, ‘My Lord is Allah’ while he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord?..) till the end of context. One here might ask “Why did God the Almighty call this great and kind chapter/Surat Ghafir -which is one of the most amazing chapters, and the whole Quran is great and wondrous- why did He call it the Pharaoh’s family’s believer, or the believer?” A marvelous significance if you ask me. This Believer is pretty much like Asiya who was murdered of course and is a martyr to us, this damned Pharaoh killed her even though she was his wife, and this believer is a relative, part of the Pharaoh’s family, possibly a cousin in some sort but definitely not part of the Coptic people or society. One of the hierarchy’s household. He’s a believer alongside Asiya, a male and a female, fascinating! One female, and one male! To me these two are far more magnificent than the Companions of the Trench, why so? These companions were a closed unit, following a certain religion -which was Christianity-, where they support and please each other in adhering to and celebrating their faith, and we’ve seen that and still do. You might see communists who’d sacrifice themselves and die not to give up their principles, yet this situation is different; we have a lady and a man in the middle of a totally pagan society, right? And where do they live? At the core of this unjust authority, the one that turned the entire society into paganism, right? This damned Pharaoh claimed that he is their Lord, their God, and still Asiya and this fellow believer were able to break through from this pattern. Did they break through? Yes they did! This believer was able to mitigate the pattern’s desirables. Was able to become the odd one from society’s mainstream, broke out of the line. Would anyone have such ability? Yes, you do have it within you as well. All prophets did it. One might argue “But these are prophets!“, and yes I agree. Yet this believer wasn’t a prophet and still did it, and succeeded as well! And the Quran immortalized him with a chapter to his name, isn’t that right? The Believer!
I can let go of certain things, and I’m forced to do so, that’s very natural. It’s true society adjusts many things from my sentiment, thoughts and awareness, yet whatever independence remains in me is enough to unleash me from all we spoke of so far. Is that clear?
So my brothers, to conclude in shorter terms if possible;
All these faults and sins are society’s.
If we plan to repent from those sins, we do it as individuals or as a society?
As a society.
So, is this philosophy or recipe we presented, is it for individuals or society?
It’s a social recipe.
Does it reach the conduct of individuals or society’s culture?
Society’s culture. All clear? It must reach culture itself.
Reviewing this sermon from the beginning now;
Do you know what is the most important element we need to change in our Islamic and Arabic culture? This belief in the inevitable and metaphysical fatalism. We must emphasize on human independence in taking a decision my dears. To determine his actions. The human has options and is free. Enough with these deceiving fatalistic tendencies.
Last thing of course, and please pay attention here;
All this is awesome, beautiful, and forms the basis. All this occupies 80% in a reformation. You know what’s missing? The remaining 20% that makes the rest become useless without: Education. An Education to turn this perspective into a Culture, not into Friday sermons, philosophical studies and college degrees, not at all. But a Culture for society to breathe, like it breathes the air around it. What do we breathe today? Laziness, apathy, negligence, contempt for others, for working -I swear- and fatalism. This is the polluted air we breathe which ruined us, destroyed us entirely. We need a healthy and valid culture to breathe for us to produce entirely different returns!
The main question now is; How do we turn this theory, knowledge, perception and awareness into a culture? Piece of cake, answer again is; Education and raising well. One would respond “We are educating, and we’ve been well raised, we’ve been to mosques in our lives” I’d say; Yes! We’ve been raised and we raise through a corrupt philosophical perspective, a rotten life philosophy. We need to adopt this new philosophy! By the way, this new philosophy would require me as a father -in a family- and as a teacher, sheikh, educator, etc.. as a policeman, and an officer, it would require me to encourage those who do good, and discourage those who do bad, in relevance to their good and bad deeds. And also, to warn and scold then later to reward and punish. As said earlier, being merciful with my children doesn’t mean I let them be spoiled and pampered. That will ruin them. It’s not even a way to raise up, rather a destruction and corruption, they’ll become corrupt and mellow. If your son is at fault, you warn calmly once, twice or thrice, give explanations and reasons then follow up. I’m not calling anyone to beat children, I’m against that, yet deprive them from bonuses, it is a punishment in a way. Cut their pocket money. No TV for a week. No Nintendo, Playstation or any similar things I don’t know well, all cut out for a week. If it was a big mistake, then the period lasts a month. I once disciplined my children by taking their phones till the end of the school year, yes of course, and it was fully adhered to thank God. Even though I’m passionate and affectionate, and my heart was aching from inside, I’d tell myself that it’s necessary so they won’t become spoiled, with all the heartache caused.
Anyways, so this upbringing makes the child fully know that he’s/she’s responsible. Please, no more toleration for doctor mistakes that’d take your parent’s or brother’s life for us to only respond with “God’s will dominates” The thing I hate the most in Libyans is this phrase “God’s will dominates“, I’ve lost my mind with this phrase. Although I love Libyans sincerely, I love them so much I swear, yet I hate this phrase they use on everything. It is why you have this horrendous state of flabbiness. By the way, your life’s philosophy is wrong! And all of us are this Libyan, you’re not alone in this. One keeps repeating this phrase! Dominated me with it! So be careful of this wrong philosophy.
We must reward the good, and warn then punish the bad. Not necessarily through beating, just a proper punishment would do. Do you know that such a conduct within a small family will result in raising people with accountability? People who respect themselves and their choices, acknowledge that they are free to make decisions in life, now start applying this on a broader scale.
By the way; in poetry, you should bring Ibn Al-Rumi’s example, bring his poems after listing other poems which affirm accountability and freedom of choice to let people know who’s wiser, and how stupid was Ibn Al-Rumi when his physician is accountable for what he did. Surely today an investigation takes place to see the conditions and circumstances on why a patient may die on the table, unless his case was incurable, alright?
Everyone is accountable for what he does, no place to forgive as easy as this goes. We all know Islam’s punishment philosophy; if they were individual rights, even if someone -God forbid- killed my son, I can renounce and I’m called to do so, yet the public rights remain important. That’s why former scholars explained; individual rights are best be minimized. Meaning people would narrow them down among them, keep them limited between one another. And we stated that this society is a whole entity, right? I can’t let go of society’s rights. God’s rights are built on forgiveness, may God forgive you.
Anyways, upbringing is a different topic, so I’m content with this much in hope that God the Almighty would benefit all of us with all what I said, and all thanks to the Almighty, and may peace and God’s mercy be laid upon you all.
– The End –