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[Slideshare]intermediate islam introductnakhlaq-lesson#2(22-oct2011)

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“INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF ‘ILM AL-AKHLAQ ” …

“INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF ‘ILM AL-AKHLAQ ”

Intermediate Level Islamic course in English for Adults conducted by Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail

LESSON # 2 –

HUMANS CAN CHANGE OR BE CHANGED

Published in: Spiritual, News & Politics

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  • 1. IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST COMPASSIONATE, MOST MERCIFUL. INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF ‘ ILM AL-AKHLAQ “ Verily! You (Muhammad) are upon the most exalted (Kuluq) disposition.” Using text & curriculum he has developed especially for Muslim converts and young Adult English-speaking Muslims. “ To seek knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male & female)” “ INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF ‘ ILM AL-AKHLAQ ” Intermediate Level Islamic course in English for Adults conducted by Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail LESSON # 2 – HUMANS CAN CHANGE OR BE CHANGED All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 2. “ So is it other than the religion of Allah they desire, while to Him have submitted [all] those within the heavens and earth, willingly or by compulsion, and to Him they will be returned?” ( Qur’an: Aali ‘Imran: 3: 83 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 ) IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST COMPASSIONATE, MOST MERCIFUL.
  • 3. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 4. “ LET IT NOT deceive thee that those who are bent on denying the truth (i.e. unbelievers) seem to be able to do as they please on earth: it is [but] a brief enjoyment, with hell thereafter as their goal - and how vile a resting-place!” ( Qur’an: Aali ‘Imran: 3: 196-197 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 5. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 6. “ Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing--(not even) mentioned?― Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight. We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).” ( Qur’an: al-Insan (Dahri): 76: 2-3 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 7.
    • Although we may be using the term ' freedom ' mutually with the non-Muslims when speaking of rights, what does it really mean? Is our understanding and their understanding of this term the same? I have written something about this in a journal (NUSMS), which I feel is relevant for Muslims to understand it, and would like to share it here:
    • " Freedom and freewill – what do they mean?” Lest some people may misconstrue this concept with the notion of “ freedom ” in the Western sense (thus we find some has mistakenly use the Arabic the term “ hur-riyyah ” for ‘ freewill ’), let us consider the Islamic perspective on this.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 8.
    • The meaning of “ hurriyyah ” is connected more towards the freeing or removing oneself from something, which is constraining him against his will. For a Muslim, to agree to this Western concept without referring it (i.e. qualifying it) to the Islamic perspective would be naïve.
    • The very fact that ‘ al-Islam ’ requires of us Muslims, our submission and obedience to a higher power (Allah and His Messenger), we (as Muslims) therefore have already agreed to be constrained by all its stipulated ideals.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 9.
    • Therefore our agreement to this concept of freedom should not be like that of the non-Muslims.
    • Were Muslims to blindly imitate this obsession for freedom (in the Western notion) it would imply agreeing to even freeing oneself from the loyalty to Islam itself. Such would be termed in Islam as rebelliousness ( ‘isw-yaan ) and it tantamount to a Muslim renouncing his religion ( irtidad i.e. becoming a murtad ).
    • Na-‘uudzu-bil-laa-hi min dzaa-lik!
    • (We seek refuge with Allah from this)
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 10.
    • Thus when we ponder deeply upon these two terms i.e. “ freedom ” and “ Islam ”, in the absence of any qualification, these would be incompatible terms. Perhaps what we need to clarify is that in Islam, we do recognize that within our nature, we do have freedom to make choices i.e. a free will . And with it man should assert this right responsibly.
    • We, in Islam advocate “ freedom ” only in the sense of freewill here, but not absolute sense of freedom).
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 11.
    • According to Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas Founder Director of ISTAC and one of the most prominent Muslim thinkers today, the term “ ikhtiya r ”, which also include this innate volition to act according to our will, but it delimits the scope of our choice within things which is good or better and does not condone the choosing of what is harmful and wrong.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 12.
    • Interestingly, he argues, the word ‘ ikhtiyar ’ has ‘ khayr ’ (good), – ‘ akh-yaar ’ (better or superior) as the root. Therefore by the exercise of our freewill in the Islamic perspective, it is the freedom for us towards choosing only what is ‘right and good’. Whereas the Western notion of freedom implies that choice is also for the ‘right to’ doing of what is bad and wrong.
    • Thus, for them, individual right and freedom are not delimited and somehow they are even trying to extend it to freedom to self-destruct! Islam does not agree to such notion of freedom.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 13.
    • This confusion in their concept of ‘ freedom ’ perhaps may account for their ‘iconoclastic’ tendencies towards all traditional value system ( ethico-religio ), and the obsession of wanting to free themselves from whatever they perceive as constrains .
    • In Islam, our concept of freedom (i.e. the freewill termed as “ ikhtiyar ”) cannot allow for such anarchic license. It is not a matter of freedom ( ikhtiyar ) for man to be at liberty to indulge in what is ‘bad and wrong.’
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 14.
    • Though man may direct this free volition even to indulge in evil and wrong, but to be indulging in these (bad and wrong) would be termed as “ zulm ” (i.e. meaning one has “ committed injustice and oppression ” to oneself) and not an act of ‘ ikhtiyar ’.
    • And since the society is obliged to uphold justice (as a collective social responsibility) and prevent or disallow such things from being done, such restrictions ( NAHYUL-MUNKAR ) is not at all against personal freedom.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 15.
    • Surely, there must be a limit to what we mean by “ freedom ”. This distinction is important as more young Muslims now seemed to be attracted to the ‘ liberal ’ ideas of freedom (as expounded by modernist) and yet they are ignorant of the profound difference in perspective in the meaning of ‘ freedom ’. Is the ‘ freedom ’ to be understood in the absolute sense? Surely not!
    • Without clarification on this point, many young Muslims may be led to misconstrue the teachings of Islam, or even agree to the criticism levelled by the Westerners upon it.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 16.
    • In my discussion with Dr. Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud (ISTAC), he opines that what these Westerners may misperceive in Islamic society “ as curtailment of individual freedom ” is actually not acts intended to deprive the individuals of their rights, but rather as preventive action from his committing injustice to his own self (and thus saving the individual as well as society from harm)."
    EXTRACTEED FROM: NUSMS (National University of Singapore Muslim Society) Quarterly Journal “The Fount” of June 2001) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 ) WaAllaahu - a’lam http://an-naseehah.blogspot.com/
  • 17. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 18. “ Verily, Allah does not change men's condition unless they change their inner selves ( Anfus -Nafs ); and when Allah wills people to suffer evil [in consequence of their own evil deeds], there is none who could avert it: for they have none who could protect them from Him. “ ( Qur’an: Ra’ad: 13: 11 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 19.
    • Even though the physical make-up of an individual produces certain dispositions on him, it is by no means true than man has no choice in the matter and is absolutely compelled to abide by the dictates of his physical make-up.
    • On the contrary, since man had the power to choose, he can overcome the dictates of his physical nature through practice and effort, and can acquire the disposition of his choice.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 20.
    • Of course, it should be admitted that some of those disposition of mental faculties such as intelligence, memory, mental agility, and the like, are not alterable.
    • All other dispositions, however, may change according to man’s will or left to be formed through habit.
    • Unlike animals, human can control his lust, anger and other emotions and desires, and channel them to edify himself and propel himself along the path of perfection and wisdom.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 21. “ Verily, We create man in the best conformation; and thereafter We reduce him to the lowest of low. excepting only such as attain to faith and do good works: and theirs shall be a reward unending!“ ( Qur’an: at-Tin: 95: 4-6 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 22. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 23. “ Be conscious of Allah ( TAQWA ) wherever you may be, and follow-up whatever misdeeds you may have committed (as reparation) by doing (more) righteous deeds (for these) shall efface them (the negative effect of these misdeeds), and interact with people in the best manner of disposition (i.e. adopt a noble character - AKHLAQ ).” ( Hadith reported by Tabrani from Abi Dzar r.a. ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 24.
    • Human perfection has many levels. The greater the amount of self-discipline and effort on the part of the individual, the higher the level of perfection that he would attain.
    • We stand between two extreme points, the lowest of which is below the level of beasts, and the highest of which surpasses even the high station of angels.
    • “ ’ Ilmul Akhlaq ” (science of human disposition) entails discussion on these levels of attainment.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 25.
    • Thus scholars regard ‘Ilmul Akhlaq as very important and consider it to be the most exalted and valuable of science; since the worth of any science is directly related to the worth of the subject with which it is concerned.
    • The subject in ‘Ilmul Akhlaq being “ Human ” and the means through which he can attain perfection as Human, Islam teaches positively of man’s destiny - whose ultimate purpose of existence is to attain perfection through submission to the guidance of His Creator / Sustainer.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 26. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 27. “ O mankind! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware." ( Qur’an: Hujurat: 49 13 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 28.
    • ‘ Ulama (Islamic scholars) in the past did not consider any of the other fields of learning to be truly independent sciences.
    • They believe that without the science of human disposition (‘ Ilmul Ahklaq ) which stresses spiritual purification, mastery of other sciences is not only devoid of any value but it would in fact lead to the obstruction of insight and ultimate destruction of those who pursue it.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 29.
    • Thus it has been said: “ Knowledge is the thickest of veils !” which prevents man from seeing the real nature of things.
    • In ‘ilm-al-Akhlaq (the science of Human disposition), it entail firstly the removal of accretions, blemishes, and other ‘veils’ which may even require process of ‘unlearning’ – before its adornment with noble traits and disposition. In fact, the ‘Ulama regard adornment of the noble disposition in the person as an indispensible criteria for being learned.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 30. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 31. “ CONSIDER the flight of time! Verily, man is bound to lose himself. unless he be of those who attain to faith, and do good works, and enjoin upon one another the keeping to truth, and enjoin upon one another patience in adversity.” ( Qur’an: al-Asr’: 103: 1-3 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 32. “ DO MEN THINK that on their [mere] saying, “We have attained to faith”, they will be left to themselves, and will not be put to a test? Yea, indeed, We did test those who lived before them; and so, [too, shall be tested the people now living: and] most certainly will God mark out those who prove themselves true, and most certainly will He mark out those who are lying. ( Qur’an: Ankabut: 29: 2-3 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 33. “ And [remember the time] when your Sustainer made [this promise] known: 'If you are grateful [to Me], I shall most certainly give you more and more; but if you are ungrateful, verily, My chastisement will be severe indeed!" ( Qur’an: Ibrahim: 14: 7 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 34.
    • Islamic development entails the forging of relationship between ourselves and our Maker, Who will guide us in our relationship with others.
    • Thus the awareness of Allah (in TAU H EED ) brings to mind our own position as the created beings of Allah. Everything that we have are bestowals from Allah, the Most Gracious. Therefore, for successful development, the key factor according to Allah is the sense of gratefulness, termed as “ SHAKUR ”.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 35. FROM: BASIC FARDHU ‘AIN All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 36. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
    • The key to succeed in this life-test as well as to deserve achieving further increase of bestowals from Allah.
    • yet how does one become grateful? What are the important criteria?
    • Acknowledge and extol praises of the true giver, Allah Who alone is God, the Bestower of all favours.
    • Learn the value of what is given, do not take any of these favours for granted. Bring to mind and speak about it.
    • Utilize what is given in accordance to what may please the Giver (i.e. do not abuse the gift), so as not to cause His wrath to befall us.
    FROM: BASIC FARDHU ‘AIN
  • 37.
    • Gratefulness requires the acknowledgement to Allah of the gifts being given, knowing its worth and fulfilling its potential by utilising them according to His Guidance.
    • Our entire creation, our Self ( Nafs ), our life-time sojourn in this world, and all its inherent potentialities and opportunity, etc requires our immediate attention and consideration.
    • This – “striving to become endowed with gratefulness” - is essential in ‘Ilmul Akhlaq .
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 38. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 39. “ Verily, We did offer the trust [of reason and volition] to the heavens, and the earth, and the mountains: but they refused to bear it because they were afraid of it. Yet man took it up - for, verily, he has always been prone to be most wicked (unjust), most foolish.“ ( Qur’an: Ahzab: 33: 72 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 40. “ YEA, INDEED, [O men,] We have given you a [bountiful] place on earth, and appointed thereon means of livelihood for you: [yet] how seldom are you grateful! “ ( Qur’an: A’raf: 7: 10 ) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 41.
    • Our ignorance, which basically prepares us for knowledge can be detrimental if we do not want to acknowledge it with humility and seek to learn and be educated.
    • We may be guilty of being a JAHIL MURAKAB “ Compound Ignoramus ”, which is characterised by our unwillingness to be developed, always thinking that we already know, but in actual fact, we don’t. It is “ ignorance compounded with self-conceited arrogance” .
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 42.
    • With this, we become cynical of others, and often rebel towards the advise and the Guidance from Allah s.w.t. , His Messenger s.a.w. , our parents and teachers, - which are meant for our own good.
    • We have a dislike for being dictated by Allah and His Messenger (S.A.A.W) refusing to acknowledge that it is Allah’s Sovereignty over our lives to prevail.
    • Who do we think we are?! How we have taken many things about ourselves for granted, without the true realisation.
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )
  • 43.
    • Who are we actually? When we say “I”, who is this “I? In the Qur’an, Allah in addressing us directly uses the term “ Nafs ” (self) or the plural form “ Anfus ”, and directs us to see the many wondrous signs.
    • Each one of us is a “ Nafs ”, but the state of this “ Nafs ” differ from people to people, or from time to time. It can either be left corrupted or be purified and adorned with noble disposition.
    • In ‘ Ilmul Ahklaq , it usually begins with a deeper understanding of the nature and state of our “ Nafs ”.
    • WaAllaahu - a’lam
    All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 ) TO BE CONTINUED – INSHA-ALLAH
  • 44. http://an-naseehah.blogspot.com/ http://introductiontotauhid.blogspot.com/ http://oyoubelievers.blogspot.com/ http://al-amthaal.blogspot.com/ http://zhulkeflee-archive.blogspot.com/ http://criteriaforaholybook-quran.blogspot.com/ http://with-the-truthful.blogspot.com/ http ://muqaddam-nurul.blogspot.com/ All welcome to visit my web-blog: All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )