May 2, 2008

Surah Kahf Lecture Series unorganized notes-Shaykh Bilal Ali (BU MSA)

Posted in Character, Islam, Islamic Lectures, Knowledge at 7:29 pm by faith786

Assalamu Alaikum,

So I have been frantically going through my notebooks, and I came across my surah Kahf notes. Alhamdulillah, I attended some of the Surah Kahf lectures by Shaykh Bilal Ali at BU, sponsored by the MSA there. But I am kind of mad because a little kid spilled some black stuff on my notes, so I am putting up the bit of my notes from one lecture that I can read. I am probably posting this more for myself so I don’t lose these notes, but there might be something here you might gain from. This will be primarily lessons and stuff to learn from surah Kahf vs. the stories in the surah. For that, check the Quran out. Insha ‘Allah, the recordings of all the lectures on surah Kahf will soon be/are available at . When all of them are available, one day I’ll type up notes for all of the lectures. (Not only for the person who is reading this to benefit, but for me to learn how to take notes and retain knowledge that I have learned.)

But anyway, this is what I have:

  • There are many levels of Iman for different people and for different people, there are different standards and expectations. (i.e. a person might think it is a lot to do 4 rakahs tahajud, but for someone of higher Iman, 4 rakahs are too few.) We should try to *raise* our bar.
  • Musa as and his companion (I believe Yusha’) went traveling a HUGE distance. (And Musa as has been known to have great knowledge and *father* of fiqh)
  • (lesson from above) no matter how much knowledge you have, you will always be seeking knowledge from birth to death.
  • So Musa and Yusha’ went on a journey—don’t give up until you get to your destination/goal. Never. Give. Up. (even after 80 years)
  • A person must be determined to meet his goal-no matter the cost.
  • Is Islam meant to be interpreted as entertainment? (i.e. coming to a lecture if you think it will entertain you? People have to learn in madrasas and put for a huge extra effort) It wasn’t meant to be easy….
  • It isn’t about the speech/results that matter. It is what we learn and put effort in.
  • Eventually Musa as arrived at the meeting of the Persian and Roman seas. Why did he have to travel that far?—>to seek knowledge, you need to put forth the effort.
  • It is important to struggle for knowledge and the struggle for knowledge is critical for the *learning experience.*
  • We also need to prioritize our goals, especially in regards to Islamic knowledge-we can’t be content with so little. (Reminds me of a line on my class’s Rumi blog-It is a pity to reach the sea, and be satisfied with a cup of water.)
  • Three things a person must do/be to be a true student: (Allah swt will not waster him/her)

—purify your intention

—make sure you are on the right path

—hard work and diligence

  • Musa (as) went to a place where his fish would disappear and he’ll meet Khidir (etymology:green). ***Khidir was known for the green connection because where he would sit somewhere, the grass there would become green.
  • NOTE: Musa as has a greater status, but he is learning from someone of a lesser status—-lesson: you can learn from anyone.


  • He has great knowledge (special knowledge)
  • Possible prophet (no concrete proof)
  • Lower status that Musa (but here the student surpasses the master… in a sense)
  • He did things contradicting the shariah of that time. (Again, possible prophet)

Deen is supposed to be easy to understand and comprehend-but more difficult in practice.

  • Allah swt gives us both blessings and calamities, but it is etiqutte to not say “bad things” come from Allah.
  • (From above) The way we see things are critical in shaping our understanding of the deen.
  • Deen IS adhab/etiquette/respect
  • ex: Putting the Quran on the floor-it is not outright HARAAM, but it is not proper adhab.
  • When it comes to decision making, there are two primary elements: mashwarah (consulting-people, Quran, etc. etc.) and Istikharah.
  • ( I have notes on the actual story of when Khidir and Musa go together, but those are 5 pages and I am not typing them. Too lazy.)
  • On the tablet of gold that belonged to the two boys, were 7 things:
  • —–Bismillah
  • —–Amazing person who believes in destiny, but still despairs.
  • —–Allah swt is the Sustainer but people keep striving too hard
  • —–Believes in death and is still happy
  • —–who believes in the hereafter yet he (sins?)
  • —–knows the world and is still relaxed
  • —–Shahadah
  • In order to gain something (i.e. knowledge) there MUST be some sacrifice.
  • Materialism:what you see, you should believe
  • Don’t rely purely on your own knowledge
  • Faith: believing in what you CAN’T see.
  • Everything except Allah can deceive you (and probably have)
  • In faith, there must be a balance of thought and intuition.

The rest of my notes are either too scribbled up or have some unidentified soda/blackish juice on them. Kinda sad about that. But I hope you gain something from these notes! (And me too.) Ameen.


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