Mac 07, 2009

Syed Naquib Al-Attas' Interview with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

"Birds have been flying for more than 15000 years, I think. We don't know. And yet they know their places. They know themselves. The eagle does not fly at the level of the sparrows. It doesn't make any mess down there, it's always up at the top.."

What do you think is the essential crisis taking place right now in the Muslim world?

I said of that it the loss of adab. Adab is a reflection of wisdom, because this comes from the knowledge of the Prophets. It is not something that you receive from universities or even from knowledge. Because sometimes people have knowledge but no adab.

Adab, the way i understood it, it is acting in conformity with justice. Justice is THE final virtue, justice is the culmination of all virtues.

As said in the Qur'an:
"Verily Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those whom they are due (amanah); and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice..." 
(Surah An-Nisa': 58)

There are 4 terms in this verse that is important.

1) That the verse is a command ('amr). And when you talk about command you talk about law. Law can only take place when people realise the commands and prohibitions and submit to it.

2) The people of authority are not leaders in legitimate power, but people that are mentioned in the Qur'an as Ulul 'Ilm (those with knowledge), Ulul Absar (those with vision), Ulul Albab (those who are in thinking). This can also mean just governments too.

3) Wisdom, which is the knowledge that tells you of the proper places of everything. Those who are given wisdom include the Prophets and the philosophers. Unfortunately some of the philosophers do not realize that wisdom comes from Allah s.w.t, thinking that wisdom comes from their own minds.

Everything has its own proper place. Things are established in its proper places in accordance to haqq which is reality and truth. Wisdom is therefore the methods of how to deal with these things, to put them into their proper places.

4) Adab is conformity with the knowledge of the proper places of things. And when this is carried out, the condition that results from this is justice. Therefore justice is the condition in which things are in their proper places.

And these are the things that are lost in the Muslim World.

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