Ep. 29: Islamic Principles #4: The Patterns of Creation

How can we make sense of Islam today? This is not only the name of this podcast, but a question that I’ve been obsessed with for decades. This series shares several first-principles that we need to keep in mind as we seek to answer this question. Some will seem basic (but need repeating) and others might be new. In both cases these meta-principles are essential tools to make sense of it all.

 

Quran Mentioned
“You will not find in the patterns of God change” 35:43
“We will show them our sings in the heavens and in themselves until they see it is Truth”41:53
“These days we alternate power between people” (3:140)
“He causes the night to pass into the day and causes the day to pass into the night” (35:13)
“He created you into tribes and nations to know one another” (49:13)
“Where it not that God checks one group of people against another, there would be tribulation on earth” 2:251

 

Hadith Mentioned
“scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets” (al-Tirmidhi)

Ep. 28: Islamic Principles #3: Understanding the Quran

Ep. 28: Islamic Principles #3: Understanding the Quran

How can we make sense of Islam today? This is not only the name of this podcast, but a question that I’ve been obsessed with for decades. This series shares several first-principles that we need to keep in mind as we seek to answer this question. Some will seem basic (but need repeating) and others might be new. In both cases these meta-principles are essential tools to make sense of it all.

 

 

Quran Mentioned
“We have revealed Quran and We have preserved it”, (15:9)
“no soul will bear the burdens of another”, (6:164)
if you are mindful of God He will show you a way out”, (65:3)
“I am sending a vicegerent on earth”, (2:30)

People Mentioned
Ernest Hemingway

Selected Links
A Farewell to Arms

Ep. 27: Islamic Principles #2: Mercy

How can we make sense of Islam today? This is not only the name of this podcast, but a question that I’ve been obsessed with for decades. This series shares several first-principles that we need to keep in mind as we seek to answer this question. Some will seem basic (but need repeating) and others might be new. In both cases these meta-principles are essential tools to make sense of it all.

Quran Mentioned
We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind, 21:107
Indeed in the Messenger of God is a perfect example, 33:21

Hadith Mentioned
Hadith of 99 names, (Tirmidhi)
My Mercy precedes my wrath, (al-Dhahabi)
I made injustice haram, (Muslim)
I have been sent as a merciful gift, (Bayhaqi)
None of you truly believe until you love the Prophet more than your own self, (Bukhari)
First hadith (aka the hadith of mercy), (Tirmidhi)
“go you are free” (Ibn Hisham’s Seera)

People Mentioned
Imam Jazuli (d. 1465)

Ep. 26: Islamic Principles #1, Why were we created?

Ep. 26: Islamic Principles #1 Why were we created?

How can we make sense of Islam today? This is not only the name of this podcast, but a question that I’ve been obsessed with for decades. This series shares several first-principles that we need to keep in mind as we seek to answer this question. Some will seem basic (but need repeating) and others might be new. In both cases these meta-principles are essential tools to make sense of it all.

 

Quran Mentioned
worship verse, 51:56
purification verses, 91: 9-10
Zulaykha taking about the lowest level of the self, 12:53
development verse, 11:61

 

Hadith Mentioned
“No good in a religion without prayer”, Abu Dawud
three people who said certain things and Prophet said I will be moderate and “whoever doesn’t follow my way is not from me”, Bukhari
hadith of the greater jihad, al-Daylami

 

Ep. 25: Thoughts on Change

Change is one of the few things we can be certain of in life. However, it’s not always easy, nor do we always change the ways we want to. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the month of Ramadan and wanted to share some thoughts with you. Hope you find them useful.

 

Quran
“names your parents called to” 53:23
“God does not change the condition of a people until they change what’s in themselves” 13:11

 

Hadith
“Whoever doesn’t concern themselves with the affairs of the Muslims is not from amongst them”, al-Tabarani
“begin with yourself then those next to you”, Muslim
“all of you are shepherds and all of you are responsible for their flock”, Bukhari and Muslim
Story of Sayyiduna Umar, Bukhari
“The best of actions are consistent, even if few”, Muslim

 

People Mentioned
Walt Whitman
Bob Dylan

Ep. 22 Islamic Spirituality, Pt.5

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.

 

 

Episode Notes

2:17 tools of the path
2:36 tool #1: absolute adherence to Sharia and sound belief
4:22 tool #2: persistence
7:31 tool #3: lessening of particular things in the beginning of the path
12:43 tool #4: remembrance (dhikr) and contemplation (fikr)
22:36 tool #5: the need for a teacher and instructor
23:24 conditions for finding a spiritual teacher
29:38 what to do if you can’t find a teacher

Selected Notes

Imam Nawwawi’s Book of Remembrance
Conditions for finding a teacher
Purification of the Heart
Ghazali translations

Quran Mentioned

The people that remember God standing, etc., 3:191
Remember God often, night and day, 33:41
Indeed by remembrance of God the heart is tranquil, 13:28
If My servant asks of Me, Indeed I am near, 2:186
Ask the people of remembrance if you don’t know, 16:43

Hadith Mentioned

“Best of actions consistent even if few”, Bukhari
“Enough for the person is a couple of morsels of food per day, but if he can’t…”, Tirmidhi
“Will people enter into hell fire with other than the harvest of their tongues?”, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah
“Everything has a polish and the polish of the hearts is the remembrance of God”, Bayhaqi
“Remember God until people say you are crazy.”, al-Hakim
“The Prophet was in the service of his family”, Bukhari
“Chains of transmission is from the religion”, Muslim
“Never given an option except that he chose easiest of options.” Abu Dawud

People Mentioned

Ibn Arabi
Abdullah Ibn Mubarak

Ep. 21: Islamic Spirituality, pt4

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.

 

Episode Notes

3:09 an overview of principles of the Path
3:17 principle #1, God is the goal
7:11 principle #2, the one who gazes, doesn’t arrive
10:56 principle #3, time is the most important commodity
17:29 principles #4, not about arriving first, it’s about sincerity
19:51 principles #5, with time worship becomes easy
22:01 principles #6, takhliyya (removing bad traits), tahliyya (gaining positive traits), tajalli (illumination)
26:32 principle #7, spiritual experiences and insights

Selected Links

Rabia’s poetry
Purification of the Heart

Quran Mentioned

If my servant asks of Me, I am near, 2:186
It is difficult except for the sincere, 2:45
And when they rise to pray to they rise lazily, 4:142

Hadith Mentioned

“Worship God as if you see Him”, (Muslim)
“Be with Allah and don’t be concerned”, (I miss spoke and this is a common statement, and not a hadith)
Playing with your spouse is a form of worship, (Bukhari, Abu Dawud, al-Bayhaqi, and al-Tabarani)
“Indeed knowledge is by acting knowledgeable, and kindness is by acting kind.” (Tabarani)

People Mentioned

Rabia al-Adawiyya
Imam al-Shafi
Hamza Yusuf

Ep. 20: Islamic Spirituality, pt 3

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.

 

Episode Notes
2:24 overview of hadith of Gabriel, and the parts that make up the whole
3:32 overview of the differences between the body, the soul, and the self
4:12 multiple words for the self in Islamic literature
5:40 the three goals to existence as outlined in the Quran
15:00 the nafs is referred to in different names in the Quran
15:50 the 7 levels of the nafs
19:30 the focus historically is how to traverse these levels
19:50 the five subtle things
22:45 the importance of past experience
25:10 moving into the practical side of Islamic spirituality
30:00 the importance of traversing these levels as a fundamental approach to Islamic spirituality

Selected Links
Movie The Terminal
Levels of the self article

Quran Mentioned
“enter into Islam completely” 2:208
“we have not created jinn or humans except to worship” 51:56
“created you on earth and asked from us to build it (development)” 11:61
“blessed is he who has improved their nafs…” 91:9-10
“the self that calls to bad actions” 12:53
“blameworthy self” 75:2
“mutmainna nafs” 89:27
“made faith believing to you and beautidued it inside you….” 49:7

Hadith Mentioned
“be in the world like a traveler” Bukhari
“worshiping God as if you see Him” Muslim
“Companions are best generation” Bukhari
“next person to come in is a person of paradise” Ahmad

People Mentioned
Imam al-Shafi
Imam Malik