May 22, 2008

Islam: Blind Belief or Rational Evidence-Shaykh Yusuf Estes at IFS

Posted in Da'wah, Islam, Islamic Lectures at 2:22 pm by faith786

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم  

Assalamu Alaikum,

Shaykh Yusuf Estes came to IFS and did a lecture called Islam: Blind Belief or Rational Evidence? I won’t lie it-when I heard the title, I had a bad feeling about the lecture because to cut Islam into black and white pieces is really dangerous. But the lecture was entertaining and a bit informative. It wasn’t very structured (that isn’t an insult; lectures aren’t meant to be perfectly structured, but his was harder to organize than other lectures I have attended before.) So forgive me if my notes seem rather spontaneous. (And I am a pretty bad note taker as I was doing salawat while taking notes. haha)

Islam: Blind Belief or Rational Evidence?

Quran is IN Arabic

  • Translation of the Quran isn’t the REAL Quran; you need to learn Arabic to truly understand it. [So don’t go running around thinking you understand God’s message with a translation-that is why we seek knowledge constantly]
  • Allah sent it down in Arabic for a reason… so learn it.
  • Every scholar MUST learn Arabic (I mean really, how can you learn hadith, Quran and other sciences without Arabic?)
  • In prayer, we must recite in ARABIC. [If you don’t know Arabic, you say subhanallah, alhamdulillah until you do. We cannot read translation in salah]
  • And translation of the Quran can’t just be word for word-it must be based on tafseer as well [because words can have many meanings and context must be taken into account]

Taqleed: To blindly follow——opposite of seeking rational evidence

  • Muslims should be careful about sources of knowledge-even in every day things
  • Islam=/ peace. It is hard/impossible to translate literally. [ =/ means not equal]
  • There are books on ayahs of the Quran [i.e. ayahtul Qursi], books on words in the Quran [i.e. Allah], and books even on letters in the Quran [i.e. bi in bismillah, alif, laam, meem, etc.]—there are so many resources and knowledge on Islam
  • Allah swt appointed Muhammad saw to give knowledge to the world
  • Allah gave us the faculties and right to think
  • Our opinions must be backed up with the Quran and prophet Muhammad saw
  • Kibr-arrogance
  • —a person needs to rid themselves of arrogance [see my Rumi notes about the evils of arrogance]
  • Avoid stereotyping and labeling—don’t focus on the tiny things in Islam [focus on major issues before narrowing in]
  • Don’t trust the majority of society] on moral issues because non Muslims may not know what is best for you.
  • Having taqleed is bad [in the sense that you are trusting unreliable sources and not God], so we must educate ourselves-even about the madhabs. [Imam Abu Hanifah said not to follow his madhab unless you studied it, know where he got it from, and consciously agree with it]
  • The 4 main madhabs agree that people should not follow their teachings unless they know where they got their information from [and don’t follow anything they say that isn’t in the sunnah or Quran]

6 things all Muslims need to believe:

  • Allah is one-and He is the Creator
  • Prophet Muhammad saw is the last prophet
  • All the books from Allah [Injeel, Torah, Quran]
  • Believe in angels
  • Believe in resurrection, Day of Judgement, Heaven and hell
  • Qadr-predestination from Allah

5 actions all Muslims must do:

  • Shahadah-public declaration of belief
  • Salah-5 daily prayers
  • Sawm-fasting in the month of Ramadan
  • Zakat-yearly charity
  • Hajj-holy pilgrimage at least once in your life

And that concludes my messy notes. There were some jokes and a random interlude of a cute little kid running around. I mean, there are some things to take home from this lecture-trust Allah before trusting other random sources. But I thought I owuld put this up anyways as a reminder. There is always some barakah in sharing knowledge, even if we can’t directly see it. Ciao!

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