10 Quotes From Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

The very few regular readers to this blog will know I am a huge admirer of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and, as such, I have quoted him many times before (here is just one example).

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Anyways, below are 10 more quotes. Enjoy!


A lot of Muslims now tend to want to blame things outside of themselves and always look that it’s somewhere else. If you read the Quran what you’ll find is that the person that blames in the Quran is Iblees, and the person that takes responsibility is Adam. And this is why Adam was given the Khilafah, the Caliphate, over Iblees because Iblees blames. He even blames Allah. What Iblees says to God is “Because You lead me astray I’m going to lead all of them astray.” This is a sickness, it is a disease of blaming the other for what happens. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from a talk entitled Tribulation And Ease

Be patient with the tribulations Allah gives you, but also be content with His decree, because being angry at the decree of Allah is one of the deepest sicknesses of the heart. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from a talk entitled Tribulation And Ease

Everything that I loved about Christianity I got to bring into Islam. I didn’t see Islam as an abandonment of my Christian upbringing. I saw it as a fulfillment of it. I really didn’t have any conflict there. The Ten Commandments, I got. Jesus is a prophet as opposed to an incarnation of the divine, but one of the highest honored prophets. Mary is still a virgin in the Islamic tradition. The love of Jesus is in the Quran, but also the justice of Moses. So the Quran, although it appeals to the better angels of ourselves and asks us to be more Jesuit in our attitude towards the neighbor, it also allows for the redressing of wrongs. Muslims get that choice between the Mosaic justice and the turn-the-other-cheek of Christianity. I really felt that Islam was a fulfillment of that Abrahamic trinity of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Final Testament. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

I think this whole idea of America being the global policeman, it’s over. We’re almost bankrupt, if we’re not already bankrupt. We’ve got trillions of dollars in debt. We can’t afford these budgets anymore. Americans are living in a fantasy world. They really are. Look at the debt that China holds on us. If you want a security threat to this country, it’s the trillions that are in Chinese coffers. They’re buying up all the real estate in California because they have all these dollars and they’re just dumping it on real estate because it’s a hedge against inflation. So, I think we need to take care of our country. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

I’ve been to so many conferences condemning this stuff [i.e. ISIS]. The media ignores us. There are books written on this…They [ISIS] have nothing to do with Islam…The idea that this [ISIS] somehow represents Muslims and Islam is insane. We live in this temporal idolatry of now and there’s no historical context given to these things. Nobody ever gets an idea of what’s going on. Muslims and Jews weren’t always fighting. It’s a lie. It’s a historical lie, but how many times have I heard that canard reiterated: “Oh, it’s always been like this.” It’s not true. It wasn’t always like that. I recognize that we’re dealing with a largely inattentive, relatively uneducated, and highly distracted population. So, it is hard to get in-depth. If you go to Great Britain for instance and look at the BBC coverage of some of these issues, it’s just a lot more nuanced. That’s a fact. Even Haaretz, even the Israeli media, is more nuanced. We just have a cartoon worldview here [in America] that really bothers me. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

One of the fundamental crises in the human condition today is that we do not know how to prioritise. We do not know what to put before what. Education is about prioritising. The single most important thing for people to learn is who they are. If they know they are abd–Allah then everything from there will be correct…Today we, as a species, suffer from spiritual amnesia, we have spiritual Alzheimer’s. – adapted from a speech by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

People are dying of spiritual thirst…people are not well because they are not fulfilling their purpose. You cannot be well unless you are being human. We were created to be human, and the way that we are human is to surrender, to give up, to not fight Allah…and that is contentment. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Society thrives on stability. When there’s great change in society there’s always turbulence, and technology thrives on rapid change, and so this is part of the crisis that we have in the modern world is this loss of a conformity to norms. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from A Conversation With Miroslav Volf And Hamza Yusuf

When you are confronted with differing opinions of someone, err on the side of goodness, think the best of someone rather than think the worst of someone. For example, you say hello to someone, they do not respond, it could be they are ignoring you deliberately, but it could be they genuinely did not hear you, so err on the side of goodness. – adapted from a speech by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

You cannot honour the Prophet by dishonouring his teachings. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

START BUILDING YOUR NUCLEAR FALLOUT SHELTERS

I’ve been keeping an eye on all things Trump online (see here and here). Below is a quirky selection of some of the more recent quotes, images, and clips I’ve found related to The Donald. But first, a few of my own thoughts…

Family Guy Trump Edited

Start building your nuclear fallout shelters because the Trump Train marches on. With Trump now the presumptive Republican nominee get on board or get out of the way because God alone knows where this train will stop. Will it derail at the Republican convention or will it choo-choo victoriously all the way to Washington?

Despite the fact that Trump continues to test the limits of basic human decency, despite the fact that John Oliver called Trump a “sentient circus peanut” and “an ill-fitting suit full of chickens coming home to roost”, despite the fact that Trevor Noah called Trump a “self-financed jack-o’-lantern” and a “racist sunset”, despite the fact that on BBC’s Newsnight Jo Klein called Trump a “master of disaster” and David Frum said Trump was “obviously fraudulent”, despite the fact that Ron Fournier said Trump is “a bigoted, sexist, divisive, vainglorious fan of political violence”, despite the fact that Jon Stewart called him “a man-baby” who “has the physical countenance of a man and a baby’s temperament and hands”, despite the fact that Trump is the ultimate Churchillian riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a political enigma, despite all this and more, Trumpelstiltskin has somehow secured the votes of millions of Americans in state after state. The following quote from the movie Reds (1981) aptly comes to mind: “Voting is the opium of the masses in this country.”

Political analysts are still trying to figure out how we are where are. Nobody is quite sure why voters have decided to embrace the irrationality of Trump. Is it a last ditched battle cry of white Americans who now see themselves as the minority? Are cornered white Christians, fearing their downfall, now showing their true colours as they fight for survival? This may be somewhat true because, at this present moment in time, the majority of under 5 year olds in the States are non-white.

My wife said something interesting about Trump supporters: their racist, anti-semitic, homophobic feelings must have always been there, hidden, suppressed, but now they have an outlet in the form of Trump. The recent movie Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) had a line that made me think why so many white people may be voting Trump: “That’s how it starts, the fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness. It turns good men cruel.”

If it is true that you get the politicians you deserve then embattled white voters need to know that Trump is a living, breathing, walking, talking, bull-shitting, fear-mongering representation of the worst aspects of America’s collective ego. His supporters are forever strong in their fanaticism, refusing to surrender to the logic of common good and common decency. Seth Meyers recently said that “debating Trump supporters is like trying to untangle headphones in a tornado.”

Trump is a joke gone too far, a joke gone rogue as nobody knows how to bring it back. No one knows when the punchline will be delivered, perhaps at the Republican convention which, because of Trump, will now be a big, orange, loud, and frightening one-man show.

America continues having a collective nervous breakdown with Trump Pied Piping us all towards the inevitable apocalypse, and should the four horseman appear I hope one of them is Mexican, one is a Muslim, one is gay, and one is Black, all riding disabled Arabian horses, and all wearing cloaks made in China. One can but hope…

Anyways, enough of my ranting, here are the views of others. Enjoy!


Donald Trump’s central belief is Donald Trump…

Trump has a black and white view on all aspects of life, the universe, and everything. With foreign policy, for example, Trump has a win-lose approach: for America to win someone else must lose, and if someone else wins then by default America loses. His policy announcements so far have been very basic step 1 thinking, with no thought given at all to steps 2, 3, and beyond. In fact, Trump was asked who his best foreign policy advisor was, to which he replied:

“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain, and I’ve said a lot of things…I know what I’m doing, and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are…But I speak to a lot of people, but my primary consultant is myself, and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”


We now have an anti-Trump dating website called Maple Match


Ricky Gervais says American voters get what they deserve…

It’s funny, comedians tell a joke and they get in trouble; Donald Trump says a terrible thing and means it, and he gets elected. I get it, though, Trump hit a vein. He hit the peak of political correctness, and he’s an antidote to all that. People are tired of being told they can’t say things, so he’s suddenly this poster boy for saying what’s on your mind, however terrible it is. And it’s going to go the other way. Trump’s going to get in, and suddenly there’s going to be 32 Jon Stewarts. It’s cyclical; people build their different armies.

It was only recently that I realized that Trump actually could become president. I should have realized sooner. Think about it: We live a world where there are warnings on bottles of bleach — we have to tell people not to drink bleach. In that world, Trump can be president. And in a sense, you get what you deserve. That’s democracy, baby! It’s just a really odd thing to have this man who’s meant to be the most powerful man in the world act like a Twitter troll. – Ricky Gervais


…but Gervais does has a brilliant plan for trumping Trump…


Pankaj Mishra says Muslims should be thankful to Trump…

Donald Trump has violated almost every rule of political and social decorum in recent months. His inflammatory rhetoric now resonates across the world, finding echoes among Hindu supremacists in India and far-right politicians in Europe. Trump and his vociferous supporters seem to be setting up rancorous conflicts within and between societies.

In the process, however, Trump has made a little-acknowledged, and even vigorously denied, phenomenon seem incontrovertible: Islamophobia, the prejudice that blames an ancient religion for the crimes of some present-day murderers and fanatics, and makes a diverse population of 1.5 billion people look suspect in the eyes of the rest. – Pankaj Mishra


Moustafa Bayoumi shares similar sentiments…

While his campaign traffics in violence and threats, Trump doesn’t scare me. His corrosive comments on Muslims and Mexicans will only bring Muslims and Mexicans, and everyone else, closer together…

Muslims and Latinos are already actively seeking to register more voters than ever, and expect Muslim voter registration to really take off in June, during Ramadan, when Islamic centres will be full of congregants. Latino voter registration is already skyrocketing.

Even more fundamentally is the organising energy I see from young Muslim Americans and so many others determined not to let their country be taken over by radical haters. What I’ve never seen – and don’t expect to see – are Muslims cowering in fear of Trump. He may never have expected it, but Trump is helping to build the strongest, most multicultural, multifaith, and multi-ethnic America we have ever had. So, thank you, Donald. You really are making America great. – Moustafa Bayoumi


trump board game


Seth Meyers doesn’t know how we got here…

This should be a serious moment of introspection for the Republicans. How did they get to the point where they’re handing their nomination to a race-baiting, xenophobic serial liar who peddles conspiracy theories and thinks the National Enquirer is a real newspaper? – Seth Meyers


…but Bill Maher knows it’s not the fault of the liberals…


Obama reminds Trump (and the rest of us) about the seriousness of being president…


As expected, the Hitler comparisons still continue…

I think of Trump as Hitler without the warmth. – Gilbert Gottfried

He’s an unconscious fascist, less like Hitler the careful schemer, more like Adolf’s mentor Mussolini, who cobbled together a little bit from the socialist left and a lot from the nationalist right, winged it as he noted which lines got the most applause, and repeated those. – Ted Rall

tr160509


…as does the feud between rapper Mac Miller and The Donald…


trump volcano


Finally, Peter Wehner on Trumpism being far from Christian…

In “The Republic,” Plato writes of Thrasymachus debating Socrates over the meaning of justice. Thrasymachus, a cynical Sophist, insists that justice has no intrinsic meaning but is merely a pretty word for what is in the interest of the stronger party. Life is a competition to get more money and more power; that is what defines success. “Injustice, if it is on a large enough scale, is stronger, freer, and more masterly than justice,” he argues.

Almost four centuries later, a carpenter from Nazareth offered a very different philosophy. When you see a wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, Jesus taught, you should not pass him by. “Truly I say to you,” he said in Matthew, “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.”

At its core, Christianity teaches that everyone, no matter at what station or in what season in life, has inherent dignity and worth. “Follow justice and justice alone,” Deuteronomy says, “so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.” The attitude of Thrasymachus is foreign to biblical Christianity. So is Trumpism. In embracing it, evangelical Christians are doing incalculable damage to their witness. – Peter Wehner

To Connect Or Disconnect…

When it comes to life online, there seems to be two types of people. On the one hand you have people like Suzanne Moore, who says we should fully embrace all things digital and we should subsequently immerse ourselves online. She goes even further to suggest that anyone who wants to detox digitally is perhaps displaying a holier-than-thou attitude:

Virtual untethering is mostly virtue signalling. It is deemed good for the soul by just about everyone who talks about social media on social media. Apparently we can reclaim a sense of self, freedom and creativity when we stop our online dependency. We engage more fully and at a deeper level in our personal relationships. We can focus better and concentrate more. All of this is taken as a given by just about everyone who talks about the digital world. In other words, the thing many people do is inherently bad for us…It is possible to accept that social media may cause anxiety and unhappiness and that those networks do not often work out equally, but we surely have to move away from always opposing the real world to the online world. They are integrated. – Suzanne Moore, 11th May 2016, from a Guardian article entitled Stop Telling Us To Switch Off – We Live In A Digital Culture Now

Louis Suzanne

In the other camp you have the likes of one of my favourite comedians Louis CK. Louis recently announced that he was ‘quitting’ the internet. Below are three clips of him talking about the reasons behind his recent digital disconnect. In one clip he reads a touching letter from his young daughter about his brave decision to spend more time in the real world, and in another clip he predicts how the Twitterati would react to the return of Jesus. Enjoy!


I don’t go on the internet anymore. The last month I haven’t been on the internet…I’ve always wanted to [swear off the internet] because I hate this feeling that I’ve got this thing [this phone] in my hand all the time and I can’t [switch off]…it’s a bit of an addiction, you know, and it’s not good, I don’t think it’s good. Everything is mean and weird and upsetting. But every time I say I’m not going to look at the internet I get drawn back to it. So I gave my phone to my 10-year-old daughter and I said put a code in for the restriction and then take me off. So it’s the opposite of what you’re supposed to do: my daughter is keeping me off the internet. So it’s been a month and I just feel better because I don’t know what’s going on, first of all, I don’t know anything that’s going on, and it’s exciting when somebody says “Hey, did you hear about the thing the guy said?” And I’m like “What did he say?!” Like I can’t wait to hear, like I get to hear about it, instead of just knowing every little f*****g thing about everybody, I get to hear about it. And when I’m on the streets and I’m looking for something I go up to human beings and I ask them, and then they Google it [LAUGHTER], you know, but I get some human contact. And I’m getting all this culture because I was in an airport and I bought a book. I haven’t read a book since I was like, I don’t know, 19 years old or something like that. And so I want to plug some things that aren’t just my show, because I feel like that’s selfish. So I bought this book at the airport [HOLDS OUT BOOK]. This is Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice [LAUGHTER]. You can get it at any airport, or any junior high school library…I’m reading it on the subway and everything… – Louis C K, May 2016, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon



Conan: I noticed that not too long ago you got a Twitter page. I’ve known you for a long time and I didn’t know that you were into social media, are you that interested in it?

Louis: Well I kinda hate it I think it’s awful, and I have Twitter so that I can just tell people what I want them to buy and give me money. I don’t care. People get mad because I don’t follow anybody, there’s zero people that I follow and people are like ‘You’re an arrogant prick.’ Like I get really angry…

Conan: People get mad at you for that?

Louis: They get really…’How dare you not follow…’ But why do they care? It’s like a piece of cake going ‘Come on man, what, I’m right here, why aren’t you eating me?’ Like why do they give a shit? I’m sorry on television. I think it’s…you shouldn’t just do…everything that is available to do isn’t a good idea. There’s a culture right now that says ‘Hey! You get to do this? I’m gonna do it!!!’ There’s no, sort of, like, maybe that’s not…just the constant…nobody takes in life unless it comes through this [mimics holding phone]. Like whenever I see a televised event that’s like a huge, like the Olympics opening ceremony or Time Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve, everybody, they see seas of people all looking at it through their phone. Like there’s explosions and acrobats but they’re looking at it through a little three inch screen. Like I think if Jesus comes back, and starts telling everyone everything, it’ll just…everybody is gonna be Twittering and they won’t…it’ll be like:

[Jesus:] “I am Christ and I have returned”

[Tweeter:] “Oh My God! Jesus is right in front of me right now, I swear to God!!!”

[Jesus:] “I am now going to impart to you…”

[Tweeter:] “I have a Twitpic of Jesus, OMG he is trending, Jesus is trending right now!!!”

[Jesus:] “I…OK, can you just look at me for a second?!”

[makes funny voice and Tweeting gesture]

Ramadhaan 2016 – Useful Resources And Quotes

Kaba pic

We are nearly in the month of Shabaan (moonsighting.com), which means Ramadhaan is just around the corner. Preparations for Ramadhaan should therefore ideally begin now. With this intention, I am hoping the list of resources below can help us all to make the most of this blessed month, insha-Allah…


Information about the month of Shabaan…

Please see the following PDF file about the month of Shabaan, from the excellent book The Best Of Times by Muhammad Khan. Please read this in order to get the best out of this blessed month.


Islamic lectures…

An excellent lecture about Ramadhaan is one called Preparing For Ramadan by Shaykh Zahir Mahmood (scroll down the page please in order to get to this particular lecture).

Another excellent lecture is from Shaykh Hamza Yusuf called Ramadan Advice.


Useful websites…

A useful website with loads of really good practical hints and tips is http://productivemuslim.com.

I came across a really good website where if you type in a post code it will show you the qibla direction from that place: http://www.qib.la/.


Useful files…

Four files that will insha–Allah provide some good information:

Complete Guide To Ramadhan

Laylatul-Qadr – guide

Ramadhaan checklist

Ramadhaan preparation pack


OVERALL…

Know that you will only get out of Ramadhaan what you are willing to put in. Therefore please make time to read the Shabaan article, to read the pdf files and the Word doc, and to listen to the lectures before Ramadhaan begins.

To hopefully inspire further, here are 4 quotes related to Ramadhaan and fasting:

We have become like gerbils in the dunya, chasing after things…The job of the dunya is to make you unstable…the more you become immersed in this dunya, the more you become invested in this dunya, then the more unstable you become…Some scholars have said that jahiliya is to see something and to perceive it as something else, that this is ignorance…in Islam true knowledge is to perceive something as it really is, as best you can…people who immerse themselves in this dunya have immersed themselves in a lie, and they are getting played like a piano on Sunday school, and that is why they are not stable…this dunya calls you to become people who are completely insecure with themselves…Fasting and Ramadhaan call us to be stable. – adapted from a speech by Imam Suhaib Webb

Ramadan is not a temporary increase of religious practice. It is a glimpse of what you are capable of doing every day. – Shaykh Abdul Jabbar

The less fasts certain people keep during Ramadhaan, the more eager they seem to be to celebrate Eid. – Anon

This month of Ramadan is about asking “Where is your heart?” Is your heart with God? Is your heart with your own ego? Is your heart with your lust? Is your heart with your passion? Is your heart with your greed? Is your heart with your pride? Is your heart with your envy? Is it with your resentment? Is it with your desire for revenge? “Where is your heart?” That is the question this month is asking us: “Where is your heart?” And this time that we have been given, a few days of reflection, this is the time when you can actually go into yourself, and dig into yourself and ask that question: “Where is your heart?” Because as Sayyidina Ali said “A man lies hidden under his tongue”, because the tongue expresses what is in the heart…“Whoever loves a thing does much remembrance of it”. If you love Allah, God is on your tongue. If you love the world, the world is on your tongue. That is the question: “Where is your heart?” This is the time to return to God, to give the heart back to the One who possesses the heart… – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from a speech entitled Ramadan Advice